by Voltaire
Oct. 2008

It is a truism of history that Adolf Hitler was the most evil of all anti-semites. It is a message of history so firmly established by the post-World War Two era that no one doubts it. And yet, as Hitler's youthful collaborator and later antagonist, Reinhold Hanisch noted, if Hitler was an anti-semite, it came only much later in life-and may even have been an act necessitated by politics.

When Hitler went to Vienna in 1909 to become an artist, he stayed at the Ratzner men's hotel. There he quickly became friends with two Jews, Siegfried Loffner and Joseph Neumann. Neumann, a trained copper polisher, frequently engaged Hitler in long conversations on Theodore Herzl's Zionism. (Herzl was a Viennese Jewish journalist.) Hitler was favorably impressed by Jewish racial solidarity and remarked that it was a pity that Germans were not equally race conscious. It would appear, then, that Hitler used Zionism as a model for his later National Socialist movement. In 1913 young Hitler made a third Jewish acquaintance at the hotel, Rudolf Redlich from Moravia. When Hitler had a falling out with Reinhold Hanisch, it was the Jew, Siegfried Loffner, who reported Hanisch to the police as having defrauded Hitler. Hitler is known to have been on very good terms with many Viennese Jewish families in this period, attending music concerts in their homes. More importantly, it was Viennese Jews who provided the bulk of Hitler's income during this important early period. It was the Jewish art dealers Morgenstern, Altenberg and Landsberger who sold Hitler's paintings to rich Viennese Jews, like the lawyer Dr. Joseph Feingold. According to Hitler's later testimony, without Morgenstern, his financial angel, Hitler would have been in dire straits during this period. Hitler was not noted by anyone to have had an anti-Jewish bias at the very time in his life when he was most closely associating with Jews, both personally and financially.

Hitler's anti-semitism surfaced only in the aftermath of Germany's defeat in the First World War. Before going any further, it is necessary to note that Hitler's newly found anti-semitism was a product of its era. And it did have factual support. Jews were deeply involved in communist revolutions in Germany, Hungary and Russia. These facts were noted by Winston Churchill in England and the State Department in America, as well. Jews from foreign countries bought up German businesses and real estate while ordinary Germans were devastated by the post-war inflation. This is what caused Hitler's anti-semitism, not his personal relations with Jews which had always been good. When Hitler came to power, he was the moderating force among the more radical National Socialists. Hitler promulgated the Nuremberg race laws in 1935 but he made numerous exceptions for the so-called mischlinge, or products of mixed Jewish-gentile marriages. Numerous Jews of partial gentile descent were made "honorary Aryans" and allowed to serve in the Wehrmacht. More than this, there were many high Nazi officials of part-Jewish descent. Herman Goering had a half-brother who was a half-Jew, Albert Goering. Reinhard Heydrich, of Czechoslovakian  fame, reputedly had a Jewish actor father. The Fuhrer's favorite photographer was the part-Jew Heinrich Hoffman. In the arts Adolf Hitler proved himself particularly indulgent.

He allowed favored Jews to participate in German cultural life while ruthlessly purging the majority. Thus, while Erich Leinsdorf and Eric Korngold were fleeing to Hollywood, Franz Lehar was allowed to remain wed to Lizzie Leon, daughter of the Viennnese Jewish librettist, Victor Leon. Hitler sponsored the career of the part-Jewish soprano Margarete Slezak at the Berlin opera. (The part-Jewish Austrian tenor, Leo Slezak, was a huge admirer of Hitler's policies.) Hitler even had a regular visitor at the Berghoff, a Jewish mother and her child.

Adolf Hitler, as a mature statesman, was hardly a friend of the Jews. He may not have murdered six million of them in non-existent "gas chambers" but he did deprive them of their influence and power. His policies were based on political factors and not on personal animosities. Those who look for the "secret" of Adolf Hitler's anti-Jewish outlook min personality disorders deceive themselves. Hitler's record shows quite clearly that he interacted very intimately with Jews on a personal level. His policies arose from the organized Jewish political malignancies which have plagued the world for centuries.  

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