The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

"My first and foremost task..."

"Once I really am in power, my first and foremost task will be the annihilation of the Jews. As soon as I have the power to do so, I will have gallows built in rows - at the Marienplatz in Munich, for example - as many as traffic allows.

"Then the Jews will be hanged indiscriminately, and they will remain hanging until they stink; they will hang there as long as the principles of hygiene permit. As soon as they have been untied, the next batch will be strung up, and so on down the line, until the last Jew in Munich has been exterminated. Other cities will follow suit, precisely in this fashion, until all Germany has been completely cleansed of Jews." (1)


"When I now broached the question of what the source of his so strongly felt hatred for the Jews was, and why he wanted to destroy this so undeniably intelligent race - a race to which the Germans and all other Aryans, if not the entire world, owed an incalculable debt in virtually all fields of art and knowledge, research and economics - Hitler suddenly calmed down and gave this unexpectedly sober and almost dispassionate explanation:"

"It is manifestly clear and has been proven in practice and by the facts of all revolutions that a struggle for ideals, for improvements of any kind whatsoever, absolutely must be supplemented with a struggle against some social class or caste.

"My object is to create first-rate revolutionary upheavals, regardless of what methods and means I have to use in the process. Earlier revolutions were directed either against the peasants, or the nobility and the clergy, or against dynasties and their network of vassals, but in no case has revolution succeeded without the presence of a lightning rod that could conduct and channel the odium of the general masses.

"With this very thing in mind I scanned the revolutionary events of history and put the question to myself against which racial element in Germany can I unleash my propaganda of hate with the greatest prospects of success? I had to find the right kind of victim, and especially one against whom the struggle would make sense, materially speaking. I can assure you that I examined every possible and thinkable solution to this problem, and, weighing every imaginable factor, I came to the conclusion that a campaign against the Jews would be as popular as it would be successful.

"There are few Germans who have not been vexed with the behavior of Jews or else have not suffered losses through them in some way or other. Disproportionately to their small number they account for an immense share of the German national wealth, which can just as easily be put to profitable use for the state and the general public as could the holdings of the monasteries, bishops, and nobility.

"Once the hatred and the battle against the Jews have been really stirred up, their resistance will necessarily crumble in the shortest possible time. They are totally defenseless, and no one will stand up to protect them."(2)


1. Josef Hell, "Aufzeichnung," 1922, ZS 640, p. 5, Institute fuer Zeitgeschichte. The retired Major Josef Hell was a journalist in the twenties and in the beginning of the thirties, during which time he also collaborated with Dr. Fritz Gerlich, the editor of the weekly newspaper Der Gerade Weg, as cited in Fleming, Gerald. Hitler and the Final Solution. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1984. p. 17

2. Ibid., as cited in Fleming, pp. 28-29

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