Most history students know that over six million Jews were slaughtered during World War II. However, there are actually several theories as to why Hitler hated the Jews. What was the cause that instigated one man to try and wipe out an entire race of people? Let us try and look at some of the possible causes or factors that lead to this cold-blooded massacre.
Theory of Superior Race
One of the most important reasons for Hitler’s deep seated aversion for the Jews was that he thought of them as an inferior race. In his speeches and conversations, Hitler passionately stated his belief that the Germans were the descendants of the mighty Aryan race. He firmly believed that it was the destiny of this race to rule the world. Others races like the Jews and Slavs were to be their servants. As time went on, this hatred eventually led to his belief that they should be killed and their entire race ought to be wiped out.
Conspiracy against the Germans
When Germany lost World War I, Hitler blamed the Jews and the communists living in Germany and felt that they were part of a huge conspiracy against the German military. He believed that had it not been for their interference, Britain and the allies would have lost the war. The consequences of the First World War was that Germany’s economy took a substantial beating and they were faced with huge debts in the hands of the allies. Hitler used the anti-Semitic feelings prevalent at that time in society to not only gain more power but also to fuel his own personal agenda of hate against the Jews. Most of Hitler’s speeches showed that he blamed most of Germany’s problems on the Hebrew people and the Bolsheviks. Why he thought there was a link between the two is not clear but the two became virtually interchangeable for him.
Another possible reason for Hitler’s hatred of the Jews was probably jealousy. After World War I, he saw that a lot of Germans were without jobs and struggling. Instead of looking at the war as the root cause of the economic problem, he blamed the Jews for the sorry state of affairs. Even during the hard times, the Jews were able to make good money in Germany. Through sheer resourcefulness they were able to land jobs as lawyers, doctors and skilled professionals. Hitler’s anger and hatred intensified because he felt that the Jews were taking away the opportunities that rightfully belonged to the Aryans.
Some theories suggest the Hitler’s hatred for the Jews had its roots in his childhood itself. It is possible that he was influenced by the anti-Semitic book, ‘The Protocols of the Elders of Zion’. The dictator also said that he was denied entry to the Vienna Academy of Fine Art because of Jewish professors. Others suggest that his parents were racists.
Some historians have suggested that the hatred was just concocted for political reasons. When he formed the Nazi party, he knew that having a scapegoat was extremely essential to win popular support. Realizing that anti-Semitism was already prevalent, Hitler just upped the ante. In short, he told people what they wanted to hear.
It is entirely possible that all of the above mentioned elements contributed to Hitler’s violent detestation of the Jews. It is also possible that in the beginning it was just used for political purposes but eventually, became real hate. Whatever the reasons be for Hitler’s hatred of the Jews, the end result became apparent only after the war. It was then that the world came to realize the horrors of the Holocaust.