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Social Outcasts in Nazi Germany

An obsession with Aryanism and eugenic theory was the catalyst for Nazi policies of repression and extermination against gypsies and other ‘asocials’ – the forgotten victims of the Third Reich.

Of all Nazi atrocities, the extermination of the Jews has, rightly, commanded the most attention from historians and the general public. But this understandable preoccupation with the horrors of Nazi anti-Semitism has led people to overlook the fact that the Jews formed only one, albeit the major, target in a broad campaign directed against a variety of groups who were considered to be 'alien to the community' (Gemeinschaftsfremd), and who were often defined in biological terms. Only recently have historians begun to focus their attention on this hitherto neglected sphere of Nazi policy and action.

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