Now, the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles has acquired what it believes may be the original version of the document, known as the Gemlich letter. In July, the center plans to put it on public view for the first time, at its Museum of Tolerance, making the letter the centerpiece of its Holocaust exhibit. The text of the letter is well known to scholars. It is considered significant because it demonstrates just how early in his career Hitler was formulating his anti-Semitic views. The version of the letter best known to scholars is in an archive in Munich, and news that another copy had made its way to Los Angeles met with some skepticism among historians. The market for Hitler memorabilia is notorious for forgeries.
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In his response letter to Gemlich, Hitler appears anxious to establish his credentials as a knowledgeable anti-Semite though his rhetoric is quite tame, stressing the need for a "rational" and "scientific" antisemitism.
Hitler calls for the "irrevocable removal" of Jews from German life, but it is clear from the context that, at this point, Hitler meant only segregation or expulsion rather than systematic liquidation. The letter impressed Hitler's superiors and he soon gained a reputation as a man who could inoculate the masses against revolution and whose anti-Semitic rhetoric could help discredit the Weimar Republic.
The danger posed by Jewry for our people today finds expression in the undeniable aversion of wide sections of our people. The cause of this aversion is not to be found in a clear recognition of the consciously or unconsciously systematic and pernicious effect of the Jews as a totality upon our nation.
For this reason, antisemitism is too easily characterized as a mere emotional phenomenon. And yet this is incorrect. Antisemitism as a political movement may not and cannot be defined by emotional impulses, but by recognition of the facts. The facts are these: First, Jewry is absolutely a race and not a religious association. Jews have never yet adopted much more than the language of the foreign nations among whom they live. It's the same with the Jew who lives among us and is forced to make use of the German language.
He does not thereby become a German. There is scarcely a race whose members belong exclusively to just one definite religion. Through thousands of years of the closest kind of inbreeding, Jews in general have maintained their race and their peculiarities far more distinctly than many of the peoples among whom they have lived.
Nevertheless, it possesses all the political rights we do. If the ethos of the Jews is revealed in the purely material realm, it is even clearer in their thinking and striving. Their dance around the golden calf is becoming a merciless struggle for all those possessions we prize most highly on earth. The value of the individual is no longer decided by his character or by the significance of his achievements for the totality but exclusively by the size of his fortune, by his money.
The loftiness of a nation is no longer to be measured by the sum of its moral and spiritual powers, but rather by the wealth of its material possessions. This thinking and striving after money and power, and the feelings that go along with it, serve the purposes of the Jew who is unscrupulous in the choice of methods and pitiless in their employment.
In autocratically ruled states he whines for the favor of "His Majesty" and misuses it like a leech fastened upon the nations. In democracies he vies for the favor of the masses, cringes before the "majesty of the people," and recognizes only the majesty of money. He destroys the character of princes with byzantine flattery, national pride the strength of a people , with ridicule and shameless breeding to depravity.
His method of battle is that public opinion which is never expressed in the press but which is nonetheless managed and falsified by it. His power is the power of money, which multiplies in his hands effortlessly and endlessly through interest, and which forces peoples under the most dangerous of yokes. Its golden glitter, so attractive in the beginning, conceals the ultimately tragic consequences.
Everything men strive after as a higher goal, be it religion, socialism, democracy, is to the Jew only means to an end, the way to satisfy his lust for gold and domination. In his effects and consequences he is like a racial tuberculosis of the nations. The deduction from all this is the following: an antisemitism based on purely emotional grounds will find its ultimate expression in the form of the pogrom.
The ultimate objective [of such legislation] must, however, be the irrevocable removal of the Jews in general. For both these ends a government of national strength, not of national weakness, is necessary. The Republic in Germany owes its birth not to the uniform national will of our people but the sly exploitation of a series of circumstances which found general expression in a deep, universal dissatisfaction.
These circumstances however were independent of the form of the state and are still operative today. Indeed, more so now than before. For that it will take a rebirth of the moral and spiritual powers of the nation. And this rebirth cannot be initiated by a state leadership of irresponsible majorities, influenced by certain party dogmas, an irresponsible press, or internationalist phrases and slogans. But these facts deny to the Republic the essential inner support of the nation's spiritual forces.
Even though as various statements of the leading personalities reveal today's leaders fully realized the danger of Jewry, they seeking their own advantage accepted the readily proffered support of the Jews and also returned the favor.
Stuttgart, , pp. Translated by Richard S. Until recently, the term described exclusively the organized or spontaneous massacres of Jews. Download our mobile app for on-the-go access to the Jewish Virtual Library. Adolf Hitler.
1919 Hitler letter offers first glimpse of his anti-Semitic obsession
As the first written political statement of the future Nazi leader, the letter is considered a document of immense historical value. It was shown to the public for the first time Oct. At the behest of his superiors, Hitler wrote the letter to a fellow soldier propagandist named Adolf Gemlich, and the document is known as the Gemlich letter. In contrast to his later public rants, Hitler assumes an almost professorial tone in the letter. What are the facts?
The Seeds of Hitler's Hatred: Infamous 1919 Genocide Letter Unveiled to the Public
Adolf Hitler, pictured in , is believed to have first documented his anti-Semitic beliefs in the Gemlich letter, written in In September , the year after the end of World War I, a German captain named Karl Mayr, who ran a propaganda unit in charge of educating demobilized soldiers in nationalism and scapegoating, received an inquiry from a soldier named Adolf Gemlich about the army's position on "the Jewish question. The resulting Gemlich letter, as it is known to historians, is believed to be the first record of Hitler's anti-Semitic beliefs and has been an important document in Holocaust studies for decades. This week, Rabbi Marvin Hier, the founder and dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, announced that the center has obtained the original, signed letter, which had never been publicly displayed. At the letter's public unveiling in New York City, Hier explained its tortuous journey from Hitler's own hand to its eventual home at the center's Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles. Ziegler took the letter home and sold it to a private collector.
Adolf Hitler: First Anti-Semitic Writing
Through a thousand years of inbreeding, often practiced within a very narrow circle, the Jew has in general preserved his race and character much more rigorously than many of the peoples among whom he lives. And as a result, there is living amongst us a non-German, foreign race, unwilling and unable to sacrifice its racial characteristics, to deny its own feeling, thinking and striving, and which none the less possesses all the political rights that we ourselves have. The feelings of the Jew are concerned with purely material things; his thoughts and desires even more so. The dance round the golden calf becomes a ruthless struggle for all those goods which, according to our innermost feelings, should not be the highest and most desirable things on this earth. The value of the individual is no longer determined by his character, by the importance of his achievements for all, but solely by the amount of his possessions, by his money.
Landmark Hitler letter on Jews unveiled in New York
A document understood to be the only existing written statement by Adolf Hitler in which he set out his belief in a systematic removal of Jews from society has been acquired by the Simon Wiesenthal Centre in Los Angeles. The four-page letter, typewritten on faded brown paper and bearing Hitler's signature, was shown in public for the first time in New York, in what is likely to be seen as a key artefact in the historical record of the Holocaust. It will go on display at the centre's Tolerance Museum in Los Angeles. The centre's founder, Rabbi Marvin Hier, said it was one of the most important documents of the period, showing the development of Hitler's antisemitic thought, and proved he had in mind a governmental solution to the so-called "Jewish Question".