Why Did Adolf Hitler Kill Jewish People

Why did Adolf Hitler kill Jewish people?

Adolf Hitler, the leader of the Nazi Party in Germany between 1933-1945, is notorious for his alignment and implementation of one of history’s most horrific events – the Holocaust. The relentless murder of millions of Jewish people is one of the most infamous events in history, and still centuries later, the reason for this mass genocide remains unclear.

Many experts, such as Middle Eastern historian, Dr. Michael Turovsky, have argued that Hitler’s extermination of Jewish people stemmed from a personal vendetta. Dr. Turovsky emphasizes that Hitler “viewed Jews as a powerful force, one that was engaged in a worldwide conspiracy to dominate the world and rob everyday people of their rights”. This “worldwide conspiracy” referred to by Dr. Turovsky, is commonly known as the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, which is an invention created by czarist secret police in Russia in 1903 detailing a Jewish plot to take over the world. Hitler relied on this accusation of world domination to explain his “need” to slaughter the Jews before the “end” of the world.

Political scientist, Professor Rose Kuffner, claims the German leader despised Jewish people purely because he considered them to be “lesser” and therefore detrimental to German social and economic life. To Hitler, Jews symbolized a “curse” upon German life as he believed Jewish people were superior in terms of intellect. German academics had previously fostered a notion that Jews “dominated” German industry, culture, and education – something which Hitler found to be of complete distaste and simply unacceptable. More specifically, Professor Kuffner provides examples of the “grievances” Hitler had with the Jewish people after losing “power” during the Treaty of Versailles. Through these grievances, Hitler justified his conduction of mass killings and nation-wide terror.

It is important to understand that the Holocaust was not just a consequence of deeply rooted anti-Semitism in the Nazi Party, it was also the result of mechanical and bureaucratic operations. Historians, such as Yale professor Christopher Browning, emphasize that the Holocaust was about “administration and implementation of a massive bureaucratically organized violence”. Through this, Nazi officials implemented detailed documentation of deaths, and a specific bureaucratic procedure to arrive at genocide. Browning describes the Holocaust as a slaughter created through “massive amounts of paperwork”.

The lack of strong military resistance by Jewish people and countries throughout the Holocaust also played an important role in why Hitler chose to target Jewish people. Hitler noticed that the Jews were “unable to defend against” or fight the Nazi regime, leading him to believe he could “coerce” the Jewish people into submission. Historian Dr. Zephaniah Blood points out that despite Germany’s lose in the First World War, Jews were not acting as “agents” for a greater army, which for Hitler, emphasized their inferiority. Therefore, without a strong sense of resistance, Hitler had no qualms about slaughtering Jewish people.

Economic Motives and Nazi Ideology

It can be argued that economic circumstance and the harshness of Germany’s punitive Versailles treaty may have also acted as a driving force behind Hitler’s hatred of the Jews. The Nazi regime was characterized by rigid gendered roles in terms of the racially ‘pure’ German family, which were enforced by the National Socialist German Workers’ Party throughout Germany. The party was created as reaction to the anti-socialist positions of the German right-wing, and this also played a role in attempting to create a prosperous Germany by eliminating the perceived ‘social parasites’ such as Jews, Bolsheviks, criminals and ‘asocials’, who were deemed to be undermining the state and its people.

Though the financial and economic state of Germany at the time was extremely precarious due to expensive foreign policies, some have postulated that Nazi ideology fanned the flames of anti-Semitism which had been driving social animosity against Jews from ideas of racial superiority, which had been prevalent in Europe for centuries. Anti-Semitic discourses also served as a basis for ‘economic justification’ for the killing of Jews, who, it was argued, were ‘parasites’ whose ‘spoil’ were required to help Germany rebuild after the war, while they were also blamed for the financial and economic burdens of Germany at the time.

Personal Experience and Revenge

Many experts have also focused on Hitler’s personal experiences and motivations for the Holocaust. Historian, Dr. Peter McAdam delves into the complicated childhood of Hitler, particularly with his father. Hitler’s father was a distant and feared figure with strict values, oftentimes lashing out at his son. This harsh relationship, combined with the circumstances of Hitler’s poverty driven youth may have helped form Hitler’s view of Jewish people. Dr. McAdam explains that as Hitler grew older, his views on Jewish people worsened as he grew further connected with the Nazi party as he felt opposition from his peers. As an adult, Dr. McAdam postulates that Hitler formed an image of Jewish people as a predominant force that had caused him great personal suffering.

Historian Dr. Thomas Hilder notes that this hatred Hitler felt towards Jews was intensified by his financial losses in Vienna due to unfair speculation by Jewish bank owners. These financial losses made Hitler even more disdainful of Jews. Dr.Hilder also emphasizes that Hitler’s feelings of revenge were further psychologically sustained by the Nazi propaganda, which was used to project stories of purification and cleansing of a “paired nation” forced to suffer the oppressive scars of vengeance from Jewish people.

Nazi Collaborations and Cruel Policies

Some have argued that the Holocaust was made possible due to widespread collaboration from local forces, such as the Polish police and certain ghettos such as Litzmanstadt. These local forces helped to capture Jews and transport them to concentration camps. This collaboration was also reinforced by certain harsh laws imposed under the Nuremberg Race laws, which stripped Jews of their German citizenship and prohibited intermarriages and other social contact between Jews and non-Jews.

These laws, alongside the initiative of mobile killing squads, helped create a culture of fear and terror in which Hitler could feel encouraged to subjugate Jews, in his pursuit to create the ‘Aryan super race’. This was also enabled by the state monopoly on violence, which allowed Hitler to legitimize extreme violence against groups of people for the sake of creating a ‘master race’. Historian Dr. Marcus Fitzgerald posits that the Nazi’s policy of state terror played a major role in providing Hitler with the opportunity to carry out his plans to murder Jewish people without retribution.

Nationalism and Expansionism

Finally, some have argued that the Holocaust was also a consequence of a desire for German nationalism and expansionism. Historian, Dr. Nathan James, argues that the Holocaust was a result of Nazi Germany’s desire to expand its borders in order to increase its political and military power. James points to the Nazi regime’s pre-war plans to create a ‘living space’ called Lebensraum in Eastern Europe, in which they could obtain more land and resources, as well as in their ‘New Order’ plans to bring the German culture and language to Eastern Europe. According to James, these plans relied heavily on Jewish people as targets as they felt that Jews were a major threat to their plans.

Thus, it can be seen that the Holocaust was a result of many different factors. Hitler’s personal grievances and his reign of terror, combined with economic and political motives and nationalist ambitions, all culminated in the mass genocide of Jewish people.

Elizabeth Baker is an experienced writer and historian with a focus on topics related to famous world dictators. She has over 10 years of experience researching, writing, and editing history books and articles. Elizabeth is passionate about uncovering lost stories from the past and sharing interesting facts about some of the most notorious dictators in history. In her writing, she emphasizes how dictators can still affect modern-day politics and society. She currently lives in Seattle, Washington where she continues to write and research for her latest projects.

Leave a Comment