SA Members Hang Boycott Posters on a Jewish Shop in Munich (April 1, 1933)
After Hitler became chancellor, members of the SA and NSDAP quickly took the "Solution of the Jewish Question" into their own hands. In arbitrary individual actions, Nazi adherents beat, arrested, and murdered Jews, and damaged or destroyed their shops, homes, and synagogues. After the Reichstag elections on March 5, 1933, the violence became so severe that Hitler was forced to expressly forbid these spontaneous eruptions because they were damaging the German economy and tarnishing the reputation of his regime. With the April 1st "Jewish boycott", Hitler aimed to placate impatient SA men and party members. At the same time, he also used the boycott to signal that anti-Semitic actions should (and would) be organized and directed from a central point. This was the first step toward legalized state persecution of Jews in the Third Reich. Photo by Heinrich Hoffmann.