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This form of photography became a weapon to enforce Nazi racial policy; by singling out individuals for punishment who do not conform to the new anti-semitic ideology and are still interacting with Jewish people and businesses it was possible to deter others from doing the same. As can be imagined, the fear of incurring the wrath of local Nazi brutality would be enough for many people to shun contact with Jews. Special hatred appears to have been reserved for what were called ‘race-defilers’ by the Nazis; mixed Jewish-Christian couples who were presented as a threat to the purity of the German race. Photographs of Nazi’s parading such couples on the street, placards tied around their necks, exposing them to both public humiliation and violence were further designed to discourage any contact with Jews in Germany. Also shown in the book are photographs of German towns and villages with signs and banners hung over the streets declaring them to be ‘Jew-free’ or that ‘Jews are not wanted here’.  These images also provide an example of how a photograph taken for an original purpose, can be used for one never intended by the photographer. In this case the original purpose of these photographs was to enforce anti-semitic racial policies and show their widespread support within Germany, but in the Yellow Spot they become damning evidence against the Nazis and those same policies.

read more about the 1936 book the yellow spot and the role of photography in nazi propaganda, here.

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