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Hitler's Role in the Persuection of the Jews by the Nazi Regime: Electronic Version, by Heinz Peter LongerichTable of Contents
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2. HITLER`S EARLY UTTERANCES ON THE "JEWISH QUESTION"
2.1Hitler's very first political statement, his letter to Adolf Gemlich on 16 September 1919, already includes a clear declaration of his antisemitic position (Gemlich was a former participant in one of the political indoctrination courses organised by the military authorities in Bavaria, on which Hitler had taught) .
Antisemitism of the emotional sort finds its final expression in the form of pogroms. Rational antisemitism on the other hand, must lead to a systematic legal opposition and elimination of those special privileges which the Jews hold, in contrast to the other aliens living among us (alien's legislation). Its final objective must unswervingly be the removal of the Jews altogether.1
2.2This outlook also characterises Hitler's early public posture. The radicalism of his antisemitic statements at this point is remarkable; clearly his vision of a "removal" of the German Jews carried definite implications of violence. As early as 1920 he spoke of extirpation (Ausrottung) and annihilation (Vernichtung). Thus according to a police report of a NSDAP meeting on 6 April 1920 he declared:2
We have no intention of being emotional antisemites who want to create the atmosphere of a pogrom; instead, our hearts are filled with an inexorable determination to attack the evil at its roots and to extirpate it root and branch. In order to reach our goal every means will be justified, even if we have to make a pact with the devil.
2.3In a talk before a gathering of National Socialists in Salzburg on 7 August 1920 he said:
Don't think that one can fight against disease without killing the cause, without exterminating the germ; and don't think that one can fight against racial tuberculosis without taking care that the peoples be freed of the germ of racial tuberculosis. The effect of Judaism will never disappear and the poisoning of the people will not end unless the cause - the Jews - are removed from our presence.1
2.4In the first large mass meeting of the NSDAP after the refounding of the Party (which had been banned after the failed putsch of 1923) Hitler, on 27 February 1925, looked back on the founding of the NSDAP and explained:
The goal then was clear and simple: fight against the devilish power which has pushed Germany into this misery, fight against Marxism as well as the spiritual carrier of this world plague and epidemic - the Jews. Fight - not on the bourgeois model 'carefully' so that it doesn't hurt. No and once again no.2
2.5In another part of this speech Hitler spoke about the newly founded Party: "Who does this movement have to combat? Against the Jew as an individual and Marxism as his cause.3
2.6And in another passage, Hitler pointed once again to the chief objective of the National Socialists - to the struggle against the Jewish "poison" within the German people (Volk), in his view clearly a lethal danger:
The greatest danger is and remains for us the poison of foreign peoples in our body. All other dangers are limited in time. Only this alone is eternally present in its consequences for us. [...] The peace treaty can be abrogated, reparation obligations can be declared invalid and rejected, political parties can be disposed of, but blood that is once poisoned can never be altered. It remains and proliferates and pushes us down from year to year ever deeper. If you are surprised today about the inner turmoil of our people than consider the following: The blood which is at odds with itself is merely expressing itself in the inner turmoil of the German people. And there lies the greatest danger, that with the continuation of this poisoning in 10, 20 and 30 years we will be weaker than now, in 100 years weaker than after 30 and in 200 years more unconsciousness than after 100 years; one day however the time will come when our people will fall from its cultural heights and will finally hopelessly perish as a result of this blood poisoning...4
2.7In his book, MEIN KAMPF, which appeared in 1926 and especially in a manuscript written in 1927, which remained unpublished until after 1945 (his "Second Book")5, Hitler placed this radical view, which leads to the "removal" of the Jews from Germany, within the context of a theory which he tried to derive historically. According to this theory, the meaning of world history is a permanent struggle between the races or the peoples (Völker) over "living space" (Lebensraum). In this model the Jews, who are said to be unable to develop their own territorial state or culture, play the role of parasitic beings who seek to destroy from within (together with other Jews in a international conspiracy) the construction of Lebensraum empires by the superior races.
2.8This "theory" is described most clearly in a lengthy section in his "second book":6
The Jewish people, because of their own lack of productive capacity, are not able to build up their own territorial state. Rather, they need the work and creative activity of other nations as a base for their own existence. The existence of the Jews themselves thus becomes that of a parasite within the life of other peoples. The final goal of the Jewish struggle for survival is therefore the enslavement of productive peoples. To reach this goal, which in truth describes the struggle for existence of Jewry in all times, the Jew uses all weapons which correspond to the whole complex of his being. Domestically, he fights within the individual nations first for equality and then for superiority. As weapons he uses cunning, cleverness, subterfuge, malice, dissimulation, etc..., qualities which are rooted in the essence of his ethnic character. They are ruses in his struggle for existence, similar to the ruses other peoples use in sword-fights. In terms of foreign policy, he tries to make the peoples restless, distracting them from their true interests, pushing them into wars with one another and in this way, with the help of the power of money and propaganda to bring them under his dominance. His ultimate goal is the denationalisation, the promiscuous bastardisation of other peoples - the lowering of the racial niveau of the highest peoples as well as domination over his racial porridge through the extirpation of the völkisch intelligencia and its replacement by members of his own people. The end of the Jewish world struggle will thus always be bloody Bolshevisation, that means in truth the destruction of the spiritual elite which is bound with the peoples, so that he alone can ascend and become master of a mankind which has been rendered leaderless. Stupidity, cowardice and wickedness help him to achieve his goals. In the bastard he secures himself the first opening so as to break into the body of another people. The end of Jewish domination is nevertheless always the decay of all culture and finally the insanity of the Jew himself. Then he becomes a parasite of the peoples and his victory signifies the death of his victim as well as his own end.
2.9As is clearly demonstrated in his MEIN KAMPF and his "Second Book", Hitler perceived the situation of Germany after the end of the first World War to be the consequence of an international Jewish conspiracy. Jews dominated "international finance capital" as well as the socialist movement: they were responsible for war, revolutions, the decline of national values and for the pernicious "mixing of the races".
2.10The language which Hitler used in this early period to refer to the Jews was filled with boundless hatred. Eberhard Jäckel once compiled a series of typical designations for Jews from MEIN KAMPF: The Jew is a maggot in a rotting corpse; a germ carrier of the worst sort; mankind's eternal germ of disunion; the spider that slowly sucks the people's blood out of its pores; the pack of rats fighting bloodily among themselves; the parasites in the body of other peoples; a sponger, who, like a harmful bacillus, continues to spread; the eternal bloodsucker; the peoples' parasite; the vampire.7
2.11An analysis of the public statements by Hitler in the second half of the twentieth century shows clearly that antisemitism had always played a central role in his thinking. In Hitler's speeches in this period, antisemitism was by no means a marginal element used only for demagogic purposes. Rather, antisemitism was the central component of the ideological structure which he endeavored - with stubborn perseverence - to convey to his listerners.
2.12For even when Hitler concerned himself with political questions of the day, in the course of his public statements in the second half of the twenties, the large majority of his speeches and articles would usually return to the ideological train of thought which he had developed in MEIN KAMPF and in his second book. These ideological considerations were necessary for him so as to explain the precarious situation in which Germany found itself after the end of the first World War.
2.13Central categories in Hitler's public statements continued to be "space" and "race": the future of the Germans as a racially valuable people depended upon the conquest of as great a space as possible.8 The fulfilment of this historical mission, which according to Hitler's central argument was decisive for the security of the existence of the German people, was obstructed by systematic attempts by the "Jewish race" to prevent it.
2.14Over and over again Hitler repeated in his speeches his stereotypical grievances against the Jews: That they were not able to work productively and were unfit to create culture9; that they lacked a positive attitude towards the soil; that instead they had others work for them and charged them interest.10 He therefore called the Jews "parasites" or "spongers" (Schmarotzer).11
2.15In Hitler`s view, through clever activities they had gathered the economy in their hands.12 Although personally unable to create culture, they had been able to dominate the culture industry and the press and therefore controlled public opinion.13 The political parties were, in his view, dominated by the Jews.14 This was especially true for the Socialist parties.15 In a typical expression, he called "Marxism" the "greatest instrument for the annihilation of the Aryan peoples, for the annihilation of the intelligence of these Aryan peoples and for the constitution of a thin Jewish upper class".16 In the Soviet Union, this goal had already been largely achieved through Stalin`s dictatorship, in his view.17
2.16On an international level, the Jews had also achieved a dominating position in the economy; he claimed that "international finance Jewry" used their position to put additional economic and political pressure upon Germany.18 Communism and capitalism were, in Hitler's view, both instruments in the hands of Jews for the attainment of a position of world domination: "Western democracy on the one hand and Russian Bolshevism on the other are the forms in which the present Jewish world conspiracy takes its form."19 The international order created by the Versailles treaty serves the Jews for the purpose of annihilating the German people.20
2.17In Hitler's view, the Jews had thus largely succeeded in infiltrating the German people and manipulating and splitting it. The Jews were responsible for the fact that the German people had already begun to turn away from their task which was decisive for their future - that of accumulating soil and working it.21 The inner division of Germany, the political conflict between the bourgeoisie and the workers was also the work of the Jews.22 In his speeches, Hitler frequently used the metaphor of a "body of the people" (Volkskörper) which a foreign element had penetrated, in order to describe the supposed dominant position of the Jews within the German "Volk"23: a cancer - which had to be removed.24
2.18From this chain of reasoning, Hitler came to the conclusion that Germany's problems could basically only be solved by means of the removal of the dominance of the Jews. Concretely, he developed specific suggestions which were entirely based upon the Party Programme of the NSDAP: this involved the elimination of the economic ascendancy of the Jews and - in the event that they did not submit - their physical removal: "If he conducts himself well than he can stay, if not than out."25 Hitler also prepared his listeners for the concept that this settlement of accounts with the Jewish mortal enemy would not be an easy task, but rather might involve a difficult and if necessary violent confrontation.26
2.19If one considers the function of antisemitism within Hitler`s world view it becomes clear that it played the role of the central binding element in a hodgepodge of highly contradictory ideas. Hitler's public statements in the second half of the 1920`s make it clear that his world-view (Weltanschauung) was unthinkable without his antisemitism. He promised his listeners that with the solution to the "Jewish problem" he could solve Germany's basic dilemmas in the areas of foreign and domestic policy, as well as in the economic, social and cultural realms.
2.20After 1930, when the NSDAP had become a party with a mass base, the antisemitic element began to recede markedly. Clearly Hitler was aware of the fact that the number of his electors had surpassed the number of radical antisemites in the German population.27 A more precise analysis of his speeches reveals however that he had not in any way altered his basic ideology. For in fact in the years 1930 to 1933, as the NSDAP attained unprecedented electoral sucess, the basic elements of the Hitler ideology, "space" and "race", remained the center of his speeches.28 Hitler emphasized on different occasions that he continued to regard the "Jewish race" as the main enemy of the German people.
2.21Thus on 29 August 1930, a few days before the greatest electoral victory of the Nazis in the Reichstag election, in a speech in Munich he announced, in regard to the Jews: "The head of another race sits upon the body of our people (Volkskörper); the heart and the head of our people are no longer one and the same."29 In another speech a few weeks later, he portrayed the struggle against the Jews (without naming them) as a contract with divinity:
When we present ourselves as German and try to protect ourselves from poisoning by another people, then we are trying to return into the hands of the almighty Creator the very same creature which he bestowed on us...30
1. 'Der Antisemitismus aus rein gefühlsmäßigen Gründen wird seinen letzten Ausdruck finden in der Form von Pogromen. Der Antisemitismus der Vernunft jedoch muß führen zur planmäigen gesetzlichen Bekämpfung und Beseitigung der Vorrechte der Juden, die er zum Unterschied der anderen zwischen uns lebenden Fremden besitzt (Fremdengesetzgebung). Sein letztes Ziel aber muß unverrückbar die Entfernung der Juden überhaupt sein.' Jäckel/Kuhn (eds.), Hitler, Aufzeichnungen,No. 61, HSTA München, Abt. IV, GruppenKdo 4, Bd. 50/8).
2. 'Wir wollen keine Gefühlsantisemiten sein, die Pogromstimmung erzeugen wollen, sondern es beseelt uns die unerbittliche Entschlossenheit, das Öbel an der Wurzel zu packen und mit Stumpf und Stil auszurotten. Um unser Ziel zu erreichen, muá uns jedes Mittel recht sein, selbst wenn wir uns mit dem Teufel verbinden müßten.' Jäckel/Kuhn (eds.), Hitler, Aufzeichnungen, No. 91 (StA München, PolDir. 6698. Police-Report).
1. Denn denken Sie nicht, daß Sie eine Krankheit bekämpfen können, ohne nicht den Erreger zu töten, ohne den Bazillus zu vernichten, und denken Sie nicht, daß Sie die Rassentuberkulose bekämpfen können, ohne zu sorgen, daß das Volk frei wird von dem Erreger der Rassentuberkulose. Das Wirken des Judentums wird neimals vergehen, und die Vergiftung des Volkes nicht enden, solange nicht der Erreger, der Juden, aus unserer Mitte entfernt ist.' Jäckel/Kuhn (eds.), Hitler, Aufzeichnungen, No. 129 (BAB, NS 11/28).
2. 'Das Ziel war damals klar und einfach: Kampf der Teufelsmacht,die Deutschland in dieses Elend hineingestürzt, Kampf dem Marxismus sowie dem geistigen Träger dieser Weltpest und Seuche, dem Juden. Kampf nicht nach bürgerlichem Muster, 'vorsichtig', damit er nicht zu weh tut. Nein und nochmals nein.' Hitler, Reden I, No. 6, p. 20.
3. 'Gegen wen aber hat diese Bewegung zu kämpfen? Gegen den Juden als Person und den Marxismus als seine Sache.' Ibid., p. 21.
4. 'Die größte Gefahr ist und bleibt für uns das fremde Völkergift in unserem Leibe. Alle anderen Gefahren sind zeitlich bedingt. Nur diese eine allein ist in ihrer Folgewirkung ewig für uns vorhanden. [...]Den Friedensvertrag kann man brechen, Wiedergutmachtungsverpflichtungen können ungültig erklärt und abgelehent werden, politische Parteien vermag man zu beseitigen, aber das Blut, das einmal vergiftet ist, kann man nie mehr ändern, das bleibt und wuchert fort und drückt uns von Jahr zu Jahr tiefer herunter. Wenn Sie sich heute wundern über die innere Zerrissenheit unseres Volkes, so bedenken Sie folgendes: Es sprich aus die deutschen Volke in seiner Zerrissenheit nur sein zerrissenes Blut heraus. Und darin liegt die größte Gefahr, da wir bei einer Fortsetzung dieser Vergiftung in 10, 10 und 30 Jahren schwächer sein werden als jetzt, in 100 Jahren schwächer als nach 30 und in 200 ohnmächtiger als nach 100 Jahren; einmal aber kommt die Zeit, da unser Volk von seiner kulturellen Höhe sinken wird, um endlich an diesr Blutvergiftung rettungslos zugrunde zu gehen...' Ibid., p. 23.
5. Hitler, Adolf: Manuscript, printed under the title: Außenpolitische Standortbestimmungen nach der Reichstgswahl, Juni-Juli 1928, (Hitler, Reden II A).
6. 'Das jüdische Volk kann mangels eigener produktiver Fähigkeiten einen Staatsbau räumlich empfundener Art nicht durchführen, sondern braucht als Unterlage seiner eigenen Existenz die Arbeit und schöpferische Tätigkeit anderer Nationen. Die Existenz des Juden selbst wird damit zu einer parasitären innerhalb des Lebens anderer Völker. Das letzte Ziel des jüdischen Lebenskampfes ist dabei die Versklavung produktiv tätiger Völker. Zur Erreichung dieses Zieles, das in Wirklichkeit den Lebenskampf des Judentums zu allen Zeiten darstellte, bediente sich der Jude aller Waffen, die dem Gesamtkomplex seines Wesens entsprechen. Innenpolitisch kämpft er dabei innerhalb der einzelnen Völker erst um die Gleich- und später und die Überberechtigung. Als Waffen dienen ihm hierzu die Eigenschaften der Schläue, Klugheit, List, Tücke, Verstellung usw., die im Wesen seines Volkstums wurzeln. Sie sind Kriegslisten in seinem Lebenserhaltungskampf, so wie die Kriegslisten anderer Völker im Schwertkampf. Außenpolitisch versucht er, die Völker in Unruhe zu bringen, von ihren wahren Interessen abzulenken, in gegenseitige Kriege zu stürzen und auf diesem Wege langsam mit Hilfe der Macht des Geldes und der Propaganda sich zu ihrem Herrn aufzuschwingen. Sein Endziel ist die Entnationalisierung, die Durcheinanderbastardierung der anderen Völker die Senkung des Rassenniveaus der Höchsten sowie die Beherrschung dieses Rassenbreies durch Ausrottung der völkischen Intelligenz und deren Ersatz durch die Angehörigen seines eigenen Volkes. Das Ende des jüdischen Weltkampfes wird daher immer die blutige Bolschewisierung sein, daß heißt in Wahrheit die Vernichtung des mit den Völkern verbundenen eigenen geistigen Oberschichten, so daß er selbst zum Herrn der führerlos gemachten Menschheit aufzusteigen vermag. Dummheit, Feigheit und Schlechtheit arbeiten ihm dabei in die Hände. In den Bastarden sichert er sich die ersten Öffnungen zum Einbruch in einen fremden Volkskörper. Das Ende einer Judenherrschaft ist dabei stets der Verfall jeglicher Kultur und endlich der Wahnsinn des Juden selbst. Denn er ist Völkerparasit, und sein Sieg bedeutet ebensosehr den Tod seines Opfers als sein eigenes Ende.' Ibid., P. 183.
7. Jäckel, Hitler's World View, Hitler, Mein Kampf:'wie die Made im faulenden Leib'(p. 61), 'Bazillenträger schlimmster Art' (p. 62), 'ewiger Spaltpilz der Menschheit' (p.135), 'Die Spinne begann, dem Volke langsam das Blut aus den Adern zu saugen' (p. 212) 'eine sich blutig bekämpfende Rotte von Ratten' (p. 331), 'Parasit im Körper anderer Völker' (p. 334), 'ein Schmarotzer, der wie ein schädlicher Bazillus sich immer mehr ausbreitet' (p. 334), 'den ewigen Blutegel' (p. 339), 'Völkerparasiten' (p. 358) 'Vampir' (p. 358).
8. Hitler, Reden I, No. 7, speech in Weimar, 4.7.1926; ibid. II/1, No. 102, speech in Munich, 9.4.1927; ibid. II/2, No. 168, speech in Nürnberg, 21.8.1927; ibid., II/2, No. 187, speech in Hof, p. 521; ibid. III/1, No. 2, speech in Berlin, 13.7.1928, pp. 14f; ibid., III/1, No. 24, speech in Bad Elster, 14.9.1928, pp. 89f; ibid., III/1, No. 37, speech in Oldenburg, 18.10.1928, pp. 157ff; ibid. III/3, No. 54, speech in Bautzen, 6.6.1930; ibid. II/1, No. 160, 6.8.1927.
9. Ibid. I, No.62, speech in Stuttgart, 15.8.25; ibid. I, No. 72, speech in Wismar, 8.10.25; ibid. II/1, No. 140, speech in Munich, 3.6.1927; ibid. II/1, No. 144, speech in Nuremberg, version A, 9.6.27, p. 363.
10. Ibid. II/1, No. 140, speech in Munich, 3.6.1927, p. 340; ibid., II/1, No. 144, speech in Nuremberg, version A, 9.6.1927, p. 363.
11. Ibid. II/1, No. 140, speech in Munich, 3.6.1927, p. 340; ibid. II/1, No. 159, speech in Munich, 30.7.1927, p. 434.
12. Ibid. I, No. 62, speech in Stuttgart, 15.8.1925, p. 145; ibid. I, No. 72, speech in Wismar, 8.10.1925, p. 172; ibid. II/1, No. 159, speech in Munich, 30.7.1927, pp. 428ff.
13. Ibid. I, No. 62, speech in Stuttgart, 15.8.1925, 145; ibid. I, No. 65, Völkischer Beobachter, 17.9.1925, p. 155; ibid. I, No. 72, speech in Wismar, 8.10.1925, p. 172.
14. Ibid. I, No. 62, speech in Stuttgart, 15.8.1925, p. 145; ibid. I, No. 72, speech in Wismar, 8.10.1925, p. 172.
15. Ibid. II/1, No. 102, speech in Munich, 9.4.27,; ibid., II/1, No. 140, speech in Munich, 3.6.27, p. 340.
16. 'Er ist das große Instrument zur Vernichtung der arischen Völker, zur Vernichtung der Intelligenz dieser arischen Völker und zur Einsetzung einer dünnen jüdischen Oberschicht.' Ibid., III/1, No. 34, speech in Munich, p. 136; similar statement ibid. II/1, No. 153, speech in Freilassing.
17. Ibid., II/1, No. 159, speech in Munich, 30.7.28, p. 433; ibid. III/1, No. 2, speech in Berlin, 13.7.28; ibid. III/3, No. 14, Illustrierter Beobachter, 8.2.30, p. 81.
18. Ibid. I, No. 57, speech in Zwickau, 15.7.1925, p. 125; ibid., No. 34, speech in Munich, 10.10.1928, p. 143.
19. 'Westliche Demokratie einerseits und russischer Bolschewismus andererseits bilden die Form, innerhalb derer die heutige jüdische Weltbeherrschung ihren Ausdruck findet.' Ibid. I, No. 65, Völkischer Beobachter, 17.9.1925, p. 153.
20. Ibid. II/1, No. 146, speech in Munich, 13.6.1927, p. 369.
21. Ibid. III/1, No. 39, speech in Augsburg, 25.10.28, p. 177; ibid., III/1, No. 61, speech in Nuremberg, 3.11.1928, p. 307.
22. Ibid. II/1, No. 144, speech in Nuremberg, 9.6.1927, version A, p. 363; ibid, II/1, No. 10, circular for the organisation of the Nazi Party in Austria, 20.7.26, p. 31.
23. Ibid. II/1, No. 159, speech in Munich, 30.7.1927, p. 428; ibid., II/1, No. 235, speech in Munich, 24.2.28, p. 674; ibid. III/1, No. 13, speech in Munich, 31.8.1928, p. 42.
24. Ibid. II/1, No. 159, speech in Munich 30.7.1927, p. 431.
25. 'Führt er sich gut auf, kann er bleiben, wenn nicht, dann hinaus damit!' Ibid. II/1, No. 235, speech in Munich, 24.2.1928, p. 674. Similar statement ibid. II/1, No. 159, speech in Munich, 30.7.1927, p. 431.
26. Ibid. II/1, No. 159, Speech in Munich, 30.7.1927, p. 431.
27. Paul, Aufstand, pp. 236ff/
28. Ibid. IV/1, No. 29, speech in Bielefeld, 16.1.1930, p. 110; ibid. IV/1, No. 96, speech in Kaiserlautern, 26.4.1931; ibid. IV/2, No. 67, speech in Gießen, 9.11.1931; ibid. IV/2, No. 70, speech in Darmstadt, 13.11.1931; ibid. IV/3, No. 4, speech in Lemgo, 8/1/1932.
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