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Defense Documents

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

Table of Contents
<< 19. Evidence for Hitler'...List of abbreviations >>


20.1Throughout his entire career - in the time span from the period immediately after the German defeat in 1918 until the end of the Second World War - Hitler`s behaviour and thinking was dominated by the idea of "removing" the Jews from Germany. Antisemitism was clearly the central binding element in Hitler's political ideology, which in fact was a conglomerate of highly contradictory ideas. His language concerning Jews was full of hatred and threats.
20.2Through the twenties and early thirties, Hitler wanted to achieve the "removal" of the Jews by emigration or expulsion which would, according to his view, be enforced by violent measures and even murderous acts.
20.3From the beginning of his time in office, Hitler was continually occupied with anti-Jewish measures. He was not only actively engaged in the preparations for the central anti-Jewish enterprise (the "boykott" of 1 April 1933, the Nuremberg Laws and the pogrom of November 1938), but gave also orders and directions concerning detailed anti-Jewish legislation and other measures against Jews.
20.4He took the initiative to radicalise anti- Jewish policy step by step. The fact that from time to time he was prepared to make tactical concessions and to postpone single anti-Jewish mesasures reveals how much he was engaged in the formulation of policy in this field.
20.5After Kristallnacht, when Hitler realised that Jewish emigration might not be completed before the beginning of a war, he announced (prophesized?) at different occasions the "annihilation of the Jews" living in the territory under his control. With these statements Hitler threatened to use the Jews as hostagages to prevent the Western powers from intervening on the continent. These statement clearly included the possibility of Genocide.
20.6Hitler avoided giving a clear written order to exterminate Jewish civilians. He avoided speaking openly about killing in his entourage. However, there is clear evidence that he was deeply involved in the anti-Jewish policy during the war, particularly when it reached a murderous stage. In general, Hitler's comments on the "Jewish question" reveal his essential commitment to radicalise persecution to the extreme.
20.7Hitler was fully responsible for the order for the mass executions in Poland in 1939 and 1940. He was also actively engaged in setting up plans for a Jewish reservation in Poland and he backed the Madagascar plan. He was continually preoccupied with further deportations and deportation plans.
20.8In 1941 Hitler ordered the extermination of the "Jewish-Bolshevist intelligentisa" and the elemination of every potential enemy in the occupied Eastern territories. He was fully aware of mass executions of Jewish civilians in the occupied Eastern territories.
20.9In mid September 1941 Hitler ordered the beginning of mass deportations from Germany to ghettos in Eastern Europe. During Autumn 1941 and the following Winter, when preparation for the "Final Solution" in Europe were in full swing, Hitler spoke at various occasions openly about the annihilation of the Jews in Europe. It can be ruled out that the massive preparations for the systematic murder of European Jews in extermination camps in Poland, undertaken in Spring and Summer of 1942, were taken without his consent or his knowledge.
20.10Finally, from a number of letters and speeches of Himmler it becomes clear, that the Reichsführer SS referred to the Holocaust as a task which he had to carry out on the behalve of the highest authority in the Third Reich - Hitler.
20.11I have understood that my overriding duty is to the Court. My paramount obligation, as I have been advised by my Instructing Solicitors, is to assist the Court on all matters within my expertise regardless of whom my instructions are from and who is paying my fees. I confirm that this report is impartial, objective and unbiased and has been produced independently of the exigencies of this litigation. I believe that the facts I have stated in this report are true and that the opinions I have expressed are correct. Signed: Date:


192. 'Ich habe aber auch keinen Zweifel darüber gelassen, daß, wenn die Völker Europas wieder nur als Aktienpakete dieser internationalen Geld- und Finanzverschwörer angesehen werden, dann auch jenes Volk mit zur Verantwortung gezogen werden wird, das der eigentlich Schuldige an diesem mörderischen Ringen ist: Das Judentum! Ich habe weiter keinen darüber im Unklaren gelasssen, daß dieses Mal nicht nur Millionen Kinder von Europäern der arischen Völker verhungern werden, nicht nur Millionen erwachsender Männer den Tod erleiden und nicht nur Hunderttausende an Frauen und Kindern in den Städten verbrannt und zu Tode bombardiert werden dürften, ohne daß der eigentlich Schuldige, wenn auch durch humanere Mitttel seine Schuld zu bußen hat. Vor allem verpflichte ich die Führung der Nation und die Gefolschaft zur peinlichen Einhaltung der Rassegesetze und zum unbarmherzigen Widerstand gegen die Weltvergifter aller Völker, das internationale Judentum.' IMT XLI, pp. 549ff, Streicher-9.
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