Irving v. Lipstadt

Defense Documents

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

Table of Contents
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9.1From the preceding sections it has become clear that Hitler - in accordance with his programmatic statements in the twenties - consistently pursued the policy of "removal" of the Jews from Germany in the years between 1933 and 1939: he did this, to begin with, through a policy of systematic segregation and discrimination, finally through the use of violence. Hitler's direct influence can be demonstrated for all phases of the persecution of the Jews, although the dictator remained flexible: while in general he attempted to radicalise anti-Jewish policies, he could also check the radical course of the persecution of the Jews if and when for internal or foreign policy reasons this appeared opportune.
9.2It has also become clear, however, that the persecution of the Jews played a central role in Hitler's politics and that the dictator used anti-Jewish policy to try to gain advantages for his regime both within Germany and internationally. With the help of the boycott of 1933, international criticism of the terror of the Nazi regime was to be silenced; with the help of antisemitic laws, the hope of direct economic advantage, tied to antisemitic aspirations on the part of the party basis, would be satisfied; the arms programme was possible only by means of access to Jewish property; finally, Hitler intended to force the Western powers to take the Jews as hostages in order to force the compliance of the Western powers. Hitler's antisemitic policy is therefore not merely to be understood as the implementation of an ideological fanatic; it fulfilled a significant function in his policy to secure and expand his power position.