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HITLER’S FAMILY BACKGROUND

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  1. HITLER’S FAMILY BACKGROUND • Hitler’s father, Alois, married three times • Hitler was 4th child with his 3rd wife, Klara • 23 years younger than Alois • Grandfather on father’s side may have been Jewish • No hard evidence of this

  2. CHILDHOOD • Moved to Leonding from Braunau when Hitler was five • Not successful at school • Never graduated from high school • Tense relationship with father • Wanted to become an artist but did not have the necessary talent • Developed life-long inferiority complex about his lack of education and a hatred for “professors”

  3. HITLER’S ART

  4. ONE THEORY • Kimberly Cornish, The Jew of Linz • “one Jewish boy” referred by Hitler in Mein Kampf was Ludwig Wittgenstein • Later a famous philosopher at Cambridge • From wealthy Jewish family in Vienna • Hitler may have envied Wittgenstein’s material success • Hitler’s anti-semitism may have evolved from hatred and envy of Wittgenstein

  5. ANOTHER THEORY • Brigitte Hamann, Hitler’s Vienna • Hitler only became a convinced anti-semite after World War I • Before war in Vienna, Hitler went to Jewish parties and mixed with Jews on a daily basis

  6. STILL ANOTHER THEORY • Hitler’s constant references to Jews as “seducers” of innocent German women may suggested that he had contracted syphillis as a youth or had an unfortunate sexual experience • He may have had a difficult relationship with his father or a strong relationship with his mother

  7. HITLER IN THE ARMY • Hitler was a good soldier • Won Iron Cross, first class • Army life gave him the comradeship and security he craved • Germany’s defeat shocked Hitler • Unable to accept defeat, he sought refuge in fantasy • Blamed Jews for defeat of his beloved “Fatherland”

  8. HITLER JOINS THE NAZI PARTY • Ordered to spy in German Workers’ Party in 1919 • Joins Party instead • Changes name to National Socialist German Workers’ Party • Party originally led by Anton Drexler • Hitler works with Drexler to draw up original party program • Replaced Drexler as leader in April 1920

  9. ANTI-SEMITISM ON RISE IN POST-WAR GERMANY • Right-wing paramilitary groups murder Jewish political leaders • Walter Rathenau • Rosa Luxemburg • Karl Liebknecht • 400 anti-semitic associations and 700 anti-Jewish periodicals in German by 1933 • Right-wing parties attempt to introduce anti-Jewish laws in the Reichstag and state legislatures • University students become strongly anti-semitic • Protocols of Zion becomes a best-seller

  10. BOYCOTT OF APRIL 1933 • SA given permission to organize boycott of all Jewish shops in Germany • Results were disappointing • Most Germans either apathetic to boycott or sympathetic to the Jews • Contradictory signal • Boycott failed but at the same time the vicious persecution of Jews was on the rise as the rule of law broke down

  11. THINGS GET WORSE: 1933 • Law for the Restoration of Professional Standard of the Civil Service • All Jews (except Jewish veterans) fired from civil service • Quota placed on admission of Jewish children to German schools and universities • Jewish academics fired from their university positions • Jewish lawyers prohibited from practicing law • Goebbels excludes Jews from working in the theater, film industry, and music profession

  12. “GLEICHSCHALTUNG” • Means “coordination” or “bringing into line” • Really meant: “no free speech: • Even making a verbal complaint against anti-semitism became a criminal offense • Jews thrown undefended on the mercy of a racist state

  13. JEWISH EMIGRATION I • Jewish homeland established in Palestine by Balfour Declaration of 1917 • Nazis originally prepared to deal with Jewish Agency for Palestine • Get all German Jews to resettle in Palestine • Haavara Agreements • If German Jews left for Palestine, they would pay money into a Jewish trust company • Once in Palestine, the immigrants would get ½ of the money back • Remaining money would be used by Jewish Agency to buy German products • Some German Jews did take advantage of this program

  14. JEWISH EMIGRATION II • Madagascar Plan • Create Jewish reservation on the French colonial island of Madagascar • Problems with Plan • In the event of war, British control of the seas could make the plan unworkable • Madagascar was a French possession and it was not clear the French would voluntarily cooperate with the plan

  15. NUREMBURG LAWS I • Passed at the time of Nuremburg Nazi Party Rally of 1935 • Passed at a time when some concern was being expressed in government circles about the negative impact of anti-semitic policies • Hjalmar Schacht • Wilhelm Frick

  16. NUREMBURG LAWS II • Made racial purity a legal requirement for everyday life and banned marriages between Aryans and non-Aryans • Jews deprived of right to vote • Jews no longer citizens of Germany but now considered “subjects” • Extra-marital relations between Aryans and non-Aryans prohibited • Jews prohibited from employing a German woman under the age of 45

  17. NUREMBURG LAWS III • Three categories of Jews • Jew • Mischling, first degree • Mischling, second degree • “Jew” defined as someone with three fully Jewish grandparent • Also put in this category if you had two Jewish grandparents, belonged to a Jewish religious community, or had married a Jew • Mischling first degree was someone who had two Jewish grandparents, was not married to a Jew, and not a member of a synagogue • Mischling second degree was someone with one Jewish grandparent • Anyone with only one Jewish great grandparent or great-great grandparent was considered German

  18. NUREMBURG LAWS IV • 750,000 first and second degree Mischlings • 450,000 full Jews who practiced their religion • 300,000 full Jews who did not practice their religion • Total of 2.3% of the German population • Other groups also targeted by laws as being of “alien blood” • Gypsies, negroes, and “their bastards” Headline reads “Fighting the Gypsy Plague”

  19. NUREMBURG LAWS V • Nazis made exceptions to Laws • General Erhard Milch • Mischling second degree • Reinhard Heydrich • Himmler’s chief deputy • Perhaps of Jewish ancestry • Records “lost” • Many Nazi officials not full Germans • Hitler (Austrian) • Rudolf Hess (raised in Egypt) • Alfred Rosenberg (from Estonia) • Walther Darre (raised in Enlgland) • Baldur von Shirach (mother was an American) Milch Heydrich

  20. ANTI-SEMITISM IN AUSTRIA • Provided Nazis with model for “Jew-baiting” • Older Jews forced to clean streets with small brushes • Other Jews beaten up and homes looted • Jewish businesses taken over • Criminals encouraged to terrorize Jews • Foreshadowed what would happen in Germany later

  21. VICTOR KLEMPERER • Had converted to Christianity but still classified as “full Jew” • Former professor at the University of Dresden • Kept diary throughout the 1930s • Detailed absurdity of life in Germany under Nazi rule • Perished later in the Holocaust

  22. IAN KERSHAW, POPULAR OPINION AND POLITICAL DISSENT IN THE THIRD REICH: BAVARIA, 1933-1941

  23. SARAH GORDON, HITLER, GERMANS, AND THE JEWISH QUESTION

  24. KRISTALLNACHT, NOVEMBER 9-10, 1938 • “Crystal Night” • Herschel Grynszpan killed Ernst von Rath in Paris • In response to German government dumping 17,000 Polish-born Jews at Polish-German border • German SA and Nazi supporters attack Jewish synagogues, homes, and businesses • 91 Jews killed and 7500 businesses destroyed • 30,000 Jews arrested and sent to Dachau, Buchenwald, and Sachsenhausen

  25. KRISTALLNACHT II • Nazi portrayed event as a popular, spontaneous reaction of outrage to von Rath murder • Goebbels inspired event with inflammatory speeches • Motivated by behind-the-scenes power struggle between him, Himmler, and Heydrich • Event was part of sinister game of one upmanship on Goebbel’s part • Event does appear to have had Hitler’s full approval

  26. KRISTALLNACHT: AFTERMATH I • Goring allows insurance companies to pay damages to Jews but then confiscates the money • Goring announces “Decree on the Penalty Payment by Jews who are German Subjects” • German Jews fined one billion marks for their “hostile attitude towards the German Volk and Reich”

  27. KRISTALLNACHT: AFTERMATH II • Decree on Elimination of the Jew from German Economic Life • Excluded Jews from retail trade, the management of German companies, from the selling of any goods or services, and from employment as independent craftsmen • Goebbels and Heydrich enact additional measures: • Jewish children banned from public schools • Curfew imposed on Jews • Jews banned from theaters, cinemas and beaches “Aryans only”

  28. NAZI EUGENICS • Scientists advocated “selective breeding” to improve German master race • Laws passed between 1933-35 which aimed to reduce “genetic inferiors” through forced sterilization • 500 children of mixed German/African backgrounds sterilized by radiation in 1938 • Known as the “Rhineland Bastards” • 350,000 people judged physically or mentally handicapped also sterilized • 30,000 Gypsies also sterilized

  29. UNDESIRABLES AND “ENEMIES OF THE STATE” • Political opponents and trade unionists arrested • Homosexuals forced to wear pink emblem, arrested, and imprisoned • Jehova Witnesses were banned as an organization • Literature confiscated, they lost their jobs, were refused all social benefits, and were often arrested and imprisoned • Their children were sent to juvenile detention homes and orphanages Gad Beck German homosexual, spent 4 years in concentration camp

  30. THE “JEWISH PROBLEM” I • Adolf Eichmann, local SS leader in Austria, helped launch and direct anti-Jewish terror there • 45,000 Jews had been “persuaded” to leave country and another 100,000 would do so by 1939 • Eichmann had also invented a bureaucratic apparatus to deal with Jews • Reestablished Jewish Religious Community • Made up of Jewish leaders • Worked with them to encourage Jewish emigration • Served as model for Third Reich • Heydrich authorized Goring to set up Reich Central Office for Jewish Emigration in January 1939

  31. THE “JEWISH PROBLEM” II • After conquest of Poland, the “ghetto solution”was set up • Jews transported from Germany and other conquered areas and herded into specific areas of Polish cities • Goring proposed that rich American and Canadian Jews buy land for Jewish resettlement in North America • What does all this mean? • As late as 1939, Hitler preferred the expulsion of Jews as the best way of dealing with the “Jewish Problem” • Mass murder not yet discussed as a viable option