How did all the discrimination against Jews that led to the Holocaust start?

Discrimination against Jews that led to the Holocaust goes back to the earliest period of Christianity and remained an issue in Europe through the twentieth century.

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European tensions with Judaism have their roots in the history of Christianity and the Roman Empire. The Jews, as monotheists, had a fraught relationship with Rome. Unlike Greeks or Egyptians, they refused to offer a pinch of incense to the imperial cult, which was regarded as traitorous, as it was a refusal to bow to imperial power. This tense relationship culminated in the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem. Some Christians, in blaming Jews for the death of Jesus, replicated the cultural antisemitism of the Romans. In the Middle Ages, Jews in Europe were often discriminated against legally due to their religion and forced to live in ghettos. One can see the antisemitism of the Renaissance reflected in Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice.

In Germany, in the 1930s, the Nazi party arose, promulgating a virulent nationalist platform that inflamed the resentments of the Germans against outsiders in the wake of the crushing defeat of World War I and harsh penalties imposed. The Nazis stoked hatred of Jews, gypsies, and homosexuals as a form of national pride. Jews were gradually banned from professional jobs in the 1930s. November 9–10, 1938, was the Night of Broken Glass (Kristallnacht), in which Jewish businesses and synagogues were attacked and destroyed in large numbers. After that, Jews were deported or moved into ghettos and required to wear yellow stars so they could be publicly identified.

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