Letter shows Hitler called complaint of violence on Jews lies

A Jewish woman wrote to the German chancellor before WWII complaining about violence, and Hitler sent back a handwritten response.

Adolf Hitler (photo credit: MIHAILO1997/WIKIMEDIA COMMONS)
Adolf Hitler

A letter was revealed after World War II in which a Jewish woman complained to Adolf Hitler about Jews being targeted in Germany before the war to which Hitler responded that this was a lie.

"When we discovered the letter for the first time there was great excitement," said former MK Rachel Azaria who is now the director-general of Kulanu and the granddaughter of the woman who sent the letter.

The letter features a handwritten response from Hitler in which he strongly rejects the claims of harm done to Jews and calls them downright lies.

After Hitler came to power in Germany on January 31, 1933, and incitement against and harassment of Jews began, Azaria's grandmother Frida Friedman wrote a letter to then-German chancellor Paul von Hindenburg.

"I was engaged in 1914, and my fiance was killed in battle in 1914," she wrote. "My brothers died in 1916 and 1918, and my only remaining brother came back from the war blind. All three received the Iron Cross medal for service to their country. But now, in the streets of our country, leaflets are handed out saying 'Jews out!', and there are open calls for pogroms and violence against Jews. Is the incitement against Jews a sign of bravery or cowardice while Jews are 1% of the German people?"

Frankfurt am Main Synagogue burning during Kristallnacht (credit: CENTER FOR JEWISH HISTORY/WIKIMEDIA COMMONS)Frankfurt am Main Synagogue burning during Kristallnacht (credit: CENTER FOR JEWISH HISTORY/WIKIMEDIA COMMONS)

Hindenburg responded that he was taking the letter seriously and passed the letter on to Hitler for his response, and the handwritten answer accused Friedman of lying, telling her that there were no calls for pogroms.

What happened when the Gestapo came for Friedman?

A few years later, Friedman suffered another hit when the Gestapo came for her husband Martin. He was a WWI veteran, so he was relatively protected and worked in helping defenseless Jews.

When the Gestapo knocked on the door, Friedman went out to meet them and told them "he abandoned me ages ago, I'm heartbroken." Martin, who already feared that the Gestapo would come looking for him, had begun to sleep in his office at night. 

The letter with Hitler's handwritten response was taken by the British to be archived, and today, it can be found in the Koblenz archive.