AUSCHWITZ-BIRKENAU

Before the extermination

Road to Auschwitz

At the beginning of the 1920s, the Nazi party (Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei – NSDAP) was one of many radical political groups that gained support in Germany as a result of public dissatisfaction with the outcome of World War I. The loss of territory in the east, the numerical limitations on the army and navy, and finally the economic crisis with its ruinous hyperinflation all served to foster a belief among the people that the situation resulted from collusion between sinister forces aiming at destroying Germany and depriving the country of its status as a superpower. The majority of the Germans, fed for years on nationalist propaganda, had no doubt that Germany enjoyed a divine right to such status.