Hitler's Role in the Persuection of the Jews by the Nazi Regime: Electronic Version, by Heinz Peter Longerich

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<< 7. Hitler and the Pogrom...List of abbreviations >>


8.1After the pogrom, Göring was entrusted by Hitler with the direction and control of further "anti-Jewish policies"; while Hitler conferred upon Göring the task of investigating all decrees relating to the "Jewish question" before publication,71 in fact Hitler himself settled the details of further "anti-Jewish policies" in the months following the pogrom.
8.2Thus Göring disclosed a series of concrete decisions by Hitler in a conference with leading representatives of the Reich and the Party on 6 December.72 According to these resolutions, there was to be no particular label for Jews; no prohibition against selling to Jews; a boycott against Jews (Judenbann) could be ordered for certain localities.
8.3On 28 December 1938, after a discussion with Hitler, Göring communicated to central party and state officials the "authoritative expression of the will of the Führer" (Willensmeinung des Führers) on further measures to be taken against Jews.73 Accordingly, the law for the protection of tenants was not, in general, to   be abrogated for Jews. On the other hand, in "individual cases" it was declared to be desirable to "proceed in such a way that Jews be quartered together in separate houses in so far as the contract situation allow".74 The use of sleeping and dining cars was to be forbidden for Jews. The use of "certain public establishments" (gewisse, der öffentlichkeit zugängliche Eirichtungen), such as bath houses or health baths, could be prohibited to Jews. Jews who were civil servants were not to be denied their pensions, but the possibility of reducing payments was to be investigated. Jewish welfare organisations were to be allowed to continue to exist. Jewish patents were to be "aryanised". Further, Hitler gave specific orders concerning living accommodations for people in "mixed marriages" and the "aryanisation" of their property. This catalogue is an excellent example of how precisely Hitler's detailed instructions were transmitted by Göring and translated into reality by the bureaucracy.
8.4Thus the Reich Transport Minister (Reichsverkehrminister) forbade Jews the use of sleeping and dining cars on 23 February, following Hitler's "will".75 By means of the law on rentals to Jews of 30 April 1939, the law for the protection of tenants was extensively curtailed thereby creating a legal situation according to Hitler's orders whereby Jews could be quartered together in separate houses.76 The law, once again based on Hitler's "will", however, ordered that German-Jewish mixed families with children be allowed to remain in their homes. With the circular put out by the Minister of the Interior on June 1939 Hitler's wish regarding the "Judenbann" was fulfilled whereby the presence of Jews in baths and health establishments could be curtailed.77
8.5As early as 12 November, at the meeting of leading representatives of the Party and State which was held under Göring's direction and which dealt with further measures of anti-Jewish policy, Göring announced that Hitler would  
now finally make a foreign policy thrust, beginning with the powers who had raised the Jewish question, in order really to arrive at a solution to the Madagascar question. This is what he explained to me on 9 November. It doesn't work otherwise. He also wants to tell the other States: 'Why do you constantly talk about the Jews? Take them!'78
8.6These foreign policy initiatives took concrete form in the following weeks. Hitler left the necessary steps to Schacht, President of the Reich Bank, who elaborated on a plan initiated by Fischböck, Economics Minister in annexed Austria: according to this plan, the emigration of German Jews would be financed by means of an international loan. In this way, within the period of the next three to five years, emigration would become possible for some 400,000 employable Jews and their dependants.79
8.7It was only after Hitler had expressly agreed to this plan in a general meeting with Schacht,80 that Schacht was able to begin with appropriate inquiries in London at the end of December, 1938, and later with concrete negotiations. They did not lead, however, to tangible results.81
8.8With this foreign policy initiative, "the Third Reich" tried to make the German "Jewish problem" into an international question. The conjuring up of the memory of the pogrom of 9 November and additional threats were intended to place pressure upon German Jews to hasten to leave the country as well as to prevail upon the international community of states to prepare to admit a greater number of Jews.
8.9After Göring had already stated, in the meeting of 12 November, that in the event of an international conflict "an important reckoning with the Jews" would be "a foregone conclusion"82, Hitler expressed himself in a similar way in the course of the following weeks and months: The South African minister of defence and economics minister, Pirow, who had offered Hitler among other things his intervention in finding an international solution to the German "Jewish question", was told by his host on 24 November, 1938: "But the problem would be solved in the near future. This was his unshakeable will. It was not merely a German, but rather a European problem".83 During the conversation, Hitler moved to an open threat: "What do you think Mr. Pirow, what would happen in Germany if I lifted my protective hand away from the Jews? The world can not conceive of what would happen."84 With this remark, Hitler made it clear to his guest that the authority in the German anti-Jewish policy ultimately remained with him and that he was in a position to decide about a new pogrom at any time - to lift his protective hand, as he expressed it euphemistically. This expression was of course a deception. In fact, it was never Hitler's aim to protect the Jews. By presenting himself as a "protector" of the Jews, he wanted to deflect from his own central role in anti-Jewish policy and intended to portrait potential further anti-Jewish violence as a spontaneous outburst of popular fury. He followed here the official version which the Nazis had dissmimated after the progrom of November 1938.
8.10The report on Hitler's official reception of the Czech Foreign Minister Chvalkovsky on 21 January 1939, contains the following remarks by the "Führer": "The Jews would be exterminated here. The Jews will not get away with 9 November 1918. This day would be avenged".85
8.11In his speech before the Reichstag on the occasion of the sixth anniversary of the take-over of power, on 30 January 1939, Hitler finally expressed himself in a pivotal and lengthier passage on the "Jewish question".86
In my life I have often been a prophet and was generally laughed at. During my struggle for power it was mostly the Jewish people who laughed at my prophecies that I would some day assume the leadership of the state and thereby of the entire Volk and then, among many other things, achieve a solution of the Jewish problem. I believe that in the meantime the then resounding laughter of Jewry in Germany is now choking in their throats. Today I will be a prophet again: If international Jewry within Europe and abroad should succeed once more in plunging the peoples into a world war, then the consequence will be not the Bolshevisation of the world and therewith a victory of Jewry, but on the contrary, the annihilation of the Jewish race in Europe.87
8.12This threat by Hitler contained a new quality in that it no longer was aimed at putting further pressure on Jewish emigration. Rather, Hitler began to adjust to the fact that in the case of a war, a Jewish minority would continue to exist in Germany; he now intended to use this Jewish minority and the Jews of other countries, who in the case of war would fall under his domination as hostages so as to prevent an intervention by the Western Powers against his war policy. This is why his menaces concentrated on a "world war" and not merely on "war". The threatened "annihilation" (Vernichtung) of the Jews is here to be understood as a not clearly defined but in any case violent intimidation.


69. Below, Adjutant, p. 136; Schallermeier (personal adjutant in Himmler's staff), affidavit, 5 July 1946. (SS-(A)-5, IMT XLII, 511ff).
70. On the reporting by the Nazi press: Obst, Reichskristallnacht, pp. 65f. Concerning the destructions before the evening of 9 November: Popplow, Novemberpogrom; Paaatzold/Runge, Kristallnacht; Kingreen, Landleben, p. 132.
71. According to Göring in the discussion of 6 December (next footnote).
72. Edited by Aly/Heim, Ordnung.
73. 069-PS, IMT XXV, 131ff (transmitted by direction of the Stab des Stellvertreters des Führers. No. 1.39, 17.1.39).
74. 'Einzelfällen so zu verfahren, daß Juden in einem Haus zusammengelegt werden, soweit die Mietverhältnisse dies gestatten'. Ibid.
75. Walk (ed.), Sonderrecht, III 154.
76. RGBl 1939 I, 864.
77. RMBliV, 1291, 16.6.39
78. 'jetzt endlich einen außenpolitischen Vorstoß machen, zunächst bei den Mächten, die die Judenfrage aufgeworfen haben, um dann tatsächlich zur Lösung der Madagaskar-Frage zu kommen. Das had er mir am 9. November auseinandergesetzt. Es geht nicht mehr anders. Er will auch den anderen Staaten sagen: 'Was redet ihr immer von den Juden? - Nehmt sie!" 1816-PS, IMT XXVIII, pp. 499ff. On the session see also the description by Lösener in: Strauss (ed.), Reichsministerium, 286ff.
79. For the origins of the Schacht plan: Weingarten, Hilfeleistung, pp. 127ff; Fischer, Schacht, pp. 216ff.
80. Schacht got the consent during a talk at Hitler's in Munich: ADAP, Serie D, vol. 5, No. 654, undated note to the draft of a Telegram, 12.12.38.
81. BAB, 25-01, 6641, Rublees note to Schacht on 23 December, 1938 with the sketch of the project. Details on the plan and the negotiations in Schacht entry, 16.1.39, ibid., printed in ADAP, Serie C, vol. 5, No. 661. Vgl. Weingarten, Hilfeleistung, 135ff.
82. 'eine große Abrechnung an den Juden...selbstverständlich'. 1816-PS, IMT XXVIII, pp. 499ff.
83. 'Aber das Problem würde in der nächsten Zeit gelöst werden. Dies sei sein unerschütterlicher Wille. Es sei aber nicht nur ein deutsches, sondern ein europäisches Problem.' ADAP, Serie D, vol.4, No. 271.
84. 'Was meinen Sie, Herr Pirow, wenn ich die schützende Hand von den Juden wegziehen würde, was in Deutschland geschehen würde ? Das könnte die Welt sich nicht ausdenken.' Ibid.
85. 'Die Juden würden bei uns vernichtet. Den 9. November 1918 hätten die Juden nicht umsonst gemacht, dieser Tag würde gerächt werden." ADAP, Serie D, vol. 4, No. 158.
86. Speech of January 30, printed in Domarus, Hitler, vol. II., pp. 104ff, for the relevant passage pp. 1055-1058.
87. 'Ich bin in meinem Leben sehr oft Prophet gewesen und wurde meistens ausgelacht. In der Zeit meines Kampfes um die Macht war es in erster Linie das jüdische Volk, das nur mit Gelächter meine Prophezeiungen hinnahm, ich würde einmal in Deutschland die Führung des Staates und damit des ganzen Volkes übernehmen und dann unter vielen anderen auch das jüdische Problem zur Lösung bringen. Ich glaube, daß dieses damalige schallende Gelächter dem Judentum in Deutschland unterdes wohl schon in der Kehle erstickt ist. Ich will heute wieder ein Prophet sein: Wenn es dem internationalen Finanzjudentum in und außerhalb Europas gelingen sollte, die Völker noch einmal in einen Weltkrieg zu stürzen, dann wird das Ergebnis nicht die Bolschewisierung der Erde und damit der Sieg des Judentums sein, sondern die Vernichtung der jüdischen Rasse in Europa." Domarus, Hitler, vol. II, p. 1057.
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