The Destruction of the European Jews - Vol. 2

The Destruction of the European Jews - Vol. 2

The Destruction of the European Jews - Vol. 2

The Destruction of the European Jews - Vol. 2

Excerpt

The mobile killing operations in the occupied USSR were a prelude to a greater undertaking in the remainder of Axis Europe. A "final solution" was going to be launched in every region under German control.

The idea of killing the Jews had its shrouded beginnings in the far distant past. There is a hint of killing in Martin Luther's long speech against the Jews. Luther likened the Jews to the obstinate Egyptian Pharaoh of the Old Testament: "Moses," said Luther, "could improve Pharaoh neither with plagues nor with miracles, neither with threats nor with prayers; he had to let him drown in the sea." In the nineteenth century the suggestion of total destruction emerged, in more precise and definite form, in a speech which Deputy Ahlwardt made to the Reichstag. Ahlwardt said that the Jews, like Thugs, were a criminal sect that had to be "exterminated." Finally, in 1939, Adolf Hitler uttered a threat of total annihilation in language far more explicit than that of his predecessors. This is what he said in his speech of January 1939:

And one other thing I wish to say on this day which perhaps is memorable not only for us Germans: In my life I have often been a prophet, and most of the time I have been laughed at. During the period of my struggle for power, it was in the first instance the Jewish people that received with laughter my prophecies that some day I would take over the leadership of the state and thereby of the whole people, and that I would among other things solve also the Jewish problem. I believe that in the meantime that hyenous laughter of the Jews of Germany has been smothered in their throats. Today I want to be a prophet once more: If international-finance Jewry inside and outside of Europe should succeed once more in plunging nations into another world war, the consequence will not be the Bolshevization of the earth and thereby the victory of Jewry, but the annihilation [Vernichtung] of the Jewish race in Europe.

These remarks by Hitler have much more significance than the suggestions and hints of earlier German writers and speakers. To start with, the idea of an "annihilation" was now emerging in the context of a . . .

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