Letter shows first-known desire by Hitler to remove Jews

Simon Wiesenthal Center unveils in New York a 1919-dated letter penned by Hitler expressing his anti-Semitic aspirations for Germany.

June 8, 2011 10:45
2 minute read.
Adolf Hitler

Adolf Hitler 311. (photo credit: Courtesy)


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The Los Angeles-based Simon Wiesenthal Center unveiled on Tuesday a signed letter by Adolf Hitler that contains what is believed to be his earliest transcribed calls for the removal of Jews from Germany.

Purchased from a private dealer for $150,000 and presented at a press conference in New York City, the founder of the Jewish human rights organization Rabbi Marvin Hier said that the letter is "one of the most important documents in the entire history of the Third Reich."

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The letter's importance stems from the fact that Hitler, on assignment to assess the German Jewish situation, expressed that the final solution for the German government would be a "removal of Jews" (German: "Entfernung der Juden").

This was in 1919. Twenty two years later, Hitler, as the Third Reich's chancellor, would materialize his intentions.

In the letter's English translation, presented by the Weisenthal Center, a Jewish human rights non-profit, Hitler explains his dissatisfaction with a Jewish race growing in the midst of the German nation, holding "feelings, thoughts, and aspirations" different to those of the German people.

Hitler identifies Judaism as a race, and not as a religion, and decries acting upon emotionally inspired anti-Semitism that leads to pogroms, the attacks on Jewish communities by angry mobs occurring widely in Russia at the same time period. Instead, Hitler, with bigger aspirations, seeks to remove the population of Jews efficiently and systematically.

Writing as Germany was coming out the immensely destructive first World War, the letter clearly shows how Hitler believed that the this destruction of Germany's Jewish community was a political issue as well, as he wrote "To accomplish these goals, only a government of national power is capable and never a government of national weakness."


Heir said that the letter, found by a US soldier in 1945 in the Nazi Archives near Nuremberg, was sold to an historical documents dealer and remained in private hands until it was sold in 1988. Though offered to the Wiesenthal Center at this time, the center turned it down, saying the letter lacked proper authentication.

However, when it was offered a second time, Heir jumped on the opportunity and acquired the historical document for the organization's archives.

The letter, accompanied by a typewriter, will go on permanent display in the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s permanent Holocaust section in July.

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