The Origins of Hitler’s Anti-Semitic Views.
The Origins of Hitler’s Anti-Semitic Views.
Examination Questions (Rowe, Page 58-59)
a) Explain how far Source B differs from Source A in relation to the origins of Hitler’s anti-Semitic ideas. Use Source A and B and your own knowledge.
The difference between sources A and B are that; in source A it is explained that as soon as Hitler saw ‘something in a long caftan with black hair locks’, the typical style and look of an orthodox Jew, he ‘… began to concern [himself] with the Jewish question.’ This source is an extract from Hitler’s Mein Kampf, at this point in the book he is talking about his time in Vienna, at this time in Hitler’s life he was a down and out and a failed artist, whose hatred became more visible through his failings. The Jews that Hitler would have experienced in Vienna would have been fairly successful Jews, most likely in banking and trade, who were doing very well for themselves financially, this could have inspired jealousy in Hitler and thus he started to hate the Jews more and more viciously. This source suggests that Hitler had never liked the Jews but now saw them as an infestation. This is clear by the in-human language, such as ‘swarmed’ that is used to describe the Jews actions. The statement: ‘Gradually, I began to hate them’ , shows that from Hitler’s point of view, from the first moment that he saw a Jew his hatred for them built and built. This differs from source B in that; firstly, it was published by a historian in 1999 as opposed to source A coming first hand from Hitler. Source B explains that Hitler’s school mates and fellow residents ‘…were all astonished by Hitler’s political career in Germany after 1919.’ This is followed by the statement that they were even more confused on his stance of anti-Semitism, as Hitler ‘…had got along with Jews especially well…’ This contradicts source A’s explanation that from his first sighting of a Jew he hated the more and more. This would therefore support the theory that his antiSemitic views and ideas were only brought into existence and developed from his time in Vienna, which would therefore mean that Hitler had only had anti-Semitic views for a few years as opposed to having always hated them. Mein Kampf was dictated by Hitler while he was in prison, he had the book written to inform the German people of the great evil of the Jews and the greatness of the German people, thus the book was written with an agenda to become powerful and take over Germany to make it great again, therefore for the sake of seeming stronger and a better leader, lies were almost always used in propaganda, therefore the information presented in source A is not very trustworthy at all and so the theory expressed in source B is far more reliable as the source was written by a historian many years later, with no reason to twist facts to suit an agenda.
b) Use Sources A, B and C and your own knowledge. How important was anti-Semitism in attracting support for Nazism by 1933?
The importance of anti-Semitism in the Nazi ideology was belittled by other pressing issues that faced the German people when the Nazi’s were voted into power, however it is clear that it still played a role in winning the vote from the German people. The evidence that supports the notion that anti-Semitism was an important influence in gaining votes for the Nazi party is that: Communism was the greatest fear of the west. The Germans feared
all Nazi propaganda was. Through propaganda and a need to place the blame on someone. Therefore due to their fear of communism and thus Judaism. The agricultural trade had suffered massively in the depression and so the farmers of Germany were very bitter. From this source we can see that anti-Semitic propaganda was being published and distributed in 1929 before they were voted in. so areas that were middle-class. It could also be argued that the German people voted for the Nazis in spite of the anti-Semitism. This treaty caused much anger and embarrassment and if the German people saw that the Jews were to blame then how could they possibly be civil towards the Jews? The Nazis were both anti-Semitic and promising to overturn the Treaty of Versailles. Therefore source C supports both sides of the argument. it is clear that the Nazis targeted different areas and different people with different types of propaganda. whereas areas that were working with Jews in business and trade would not have anti-Semitic propaganda as they could see that the Jews were hard working and helped Germans to succeed. Source A is an extract from Mein Kampf. so communist/Jewish propaganda was fed to them. seeing the acts of hate and violence against Jews as a necessary means to protect Germany from communism. therefore antiSemitism must have played more than a small part in gaining votes for the Nazis. in that. Mein Kampf was widely read but more so after Hitler came to power. IN reality this is only one piece of propaganda and due to the structure and organisation of the Nazi party. but rather only voted for them because they believed that the Nazis could get the German people out of depression and put into order and discipline that the Nazis demonstrated publicly. therefore the Nazi’s would have seemed like a prime choice when voting. These leaflets and other propaganda often referred to the Jewish community as ‘the Jew’ this helped to dehumanize them even more and made all Jewish people seem the same. therefore all Jews were evil.
. were Jewish. At this point Nazi propaganda had spread the idea that all Jews were communists. communism was their biggest fear. out of the German assembly only 16 members were Jewish out of 350. It was published in 1925 after being dictated by an imprisoned Hitler. From this information it is clear that many people must have known Hitler’s intentions and hatred for Jews and could not have voted for Hitler without weighing up the value of the dehumanization of the Jews in Germany. Another factor that provides evidence for anti-Semitism playing a large part in the voting in of the Nazis is the massive hatred of the Treaty of Versailles by the German people. Mein Kampf is littered with anti-Semitism and racism and Hitler was not subtle about it. ‘After my chance meeting with something in a long caftan with black hair locks…’ This statement clearly shows that Hitler thought of the Jews as sub-human and wanted the rest of Germany to think so too.
communism that had taken over the USSR. Source C can also be argued both ways. the Treaty of Versailles was blamed on Jews. it is a Nazi propaganda leaflet aimed towards ‘German Farmers’ and it is also littered with anti-Semitism. no matter who you thought they were. that were forced to sign the treaty. this was due to the fact that the Germans were led to believe that the politicians.The Origins of Hitler’s Anti-Semitic Views. some Germans voted for the Nazi party. On the other hand it is a massive generalisation to say that because source C is anti-Semitic. that Judaism and Communism were one and the same. however this was actually untrue. presuming that the Nazis would not act upon their word upon the Jews. this was an ideal opportunity for the Nazis to inspire more hatred in the hearts of the German people towards the Jews. This suggests that anti-Semitism was important in Hitler gaining votes as he was so openly anti-Semitic and his goals were clear.
unemployment and hyper-inflation. Hitler was a very powerful speaker. After interviewing Germans after the war was over as to why they voted for the Nazis many explained that Hitler was such a charismatic speaker that that was one of the main reasons they voted for the Nazis. The need for more money caused the printing of money to increase massively and this caused hyperinflation. However that does not mean to say that antiSemitism did not play any part in the number of votes that the Nazis received as they clearly stated their anti-Semitism with pride and plastered the Germans with propaganda that must have had an effect on even a small number of the German population.The Origins of Hitler’s Anti-Semitic Views. The German currency was worth nothing. Overall. It is clear from examining voting graphs that the votes that the Nazi party received rocketed when Germany was financially failing. This evidence suggests that the main reason the Nazi party were voted in was because the German people wanted change from their old system of democracy that had failed them bitterly.
. The Nazi party promised order and discipline and many more jobs. Germany was hit severely by the depression as America called back all the money that it had lent to Germany to help pay the £6. where their more mild parties had failed. his speeches showed his anger and frustration at how Germany was being run and he convinced many people through his strong and powerful image that he was the strong leader that Germany needed to get it out of the financial and social mess it was in. This was a very dark and desperate time for Germany and they hated the Weimar republic and the government that had put them into that mess. hoping that they would solve Germany’s problems. Another important aspect to consider is that of Hitler’s speeches. At this time people started to vote for and support more extreme parties.6 billion reparations dictated in the Treaty of Versailles. In July of 1932 the Nazis held 230 seats whereas in March 1933 they held roughly 285. while there is much evidence to suggest that many of the votes the Nazis received in this time period came due to the anti-Semitic nature of the Nazi party. it is obvious that the majority of votes that the Nazis received were from desperate Germans who were suffering at the hands of the depression.
Without a doubt the main reason for the Nazis gaining votes was the depression. at this point in time there was over 6 million Germans unemployed.