Audio of this blog post “Why Did Hitler Hate Jews?”
Looking at the horrible way Jews were treated during the Holocaust, Hitler’s hate for them must have been really extreme and apparently there were enough Germans supporting his notion that Jews needed to be eradicated. But what caused all of this?
Historians today still debate the reasons for the Nazi hate for Jews, as there are many factors that might have played a role.
Why Did Hitler Hate Jews? Factors That May Have Contributed
- Religious Conflict – Conflicts between Christianity and Judaism have existed for years, which partly helped create an atmosphere of anti-semitism in Europe.
- Anti-semitism in Vienna – Hitler spent a part of his youth in Vienna, Austria, where anti-semitism was very prevalent and highly advocated. He may have been influenced by some of the ideological ideas of that environment.
- Jewish Economic Power – At the time when World War 1 broke out, a majority of financial institutions, banks and large companies were controlled by Jewish people. Hitler blamed the loss of the war, the economic downfall of Germany and the bad decisions of the Weimar Republic on Jewish capitalism.
- Conspiracy theory – Hitler believed that the Jewish had some conspiracy to control the world and that they would stab Germans in the back whenever it would suit them.
- Biological differences – Hitler and many Nazis believed in the superiority of the Aryan (German) race and that Jews were inferior to such an extent that they were almost non-human in his eyes. He felt that he would be doing the world a favor by wiping out the Jewish race.
But fundamentally, why did Hitler hate Jews? These factors are only explain part of the answer to the question. For more information on this topic, we recommend listening to an interview with European History Richard Weikart, who discusses the religious beliefs of Adolph Hitler. A cursory look at Hitler’s value system goes a long way toward explaining why he thought it was in the best interest of the German people to murder millions of its own fellow citizens.
This article is part of our larger selection of posts about Adolph Hitler. To learn more, click here for our comprehensive guide to the life of Adolph Hitler.