Why Hitler Chose the Jews
By Bryan Caplan
A reader sent me an excerpt from a fascinating interview with Hitler (by one Major Josef Hell) on why he singled out the Jews for extermination:
When I now broached the question of what the source of his so strongly felt hatred for the Jews was, and why he wanted to destroy this so undeniably intelligent race – a race to which the Germans and all other Aryans, if not the entire world, owed an incalculable debt in virtually all fields of art and knowledge, research and economics – Hitler suddenly calmed down and gave this unexpectedly sober and almost dispassionate explanation:
It is manifestly clear and has been proven in practice and by the facts of all revolutions that a struggle for ideals, for improvements of any kind whatsoever, absolutely must be supplemented with a struggle against some social class or caste.
My object is to create first-rate revolutionary upheavals, regardless of what methods and means I have to use in the process. Earlier revolutions were directed either against the peasants, or the nobility and the clergy, or against dynasties and their network of vassals, but in no case has revolution succeeded without the presence of a lightning rod that could conduct and channel the odium of the general masses.
With this very thing in mind I scanned the revolutionary events of history and put the question to myself against which racial element in Germany can I unleash my propaganda of hate with the greatest prospects of success? I had to find the right kind of victim, and especially one against whom the struggle would make sense, materially speaking. I can assure you that I examined every possible and thinkable solution to this problem, and, weighing every imaginable factor, I came to the conclusion that a campaign against the Jews would be as popular as it would be successful.
In short, Hitler’s take on internal hate-mongering directly parallels Göring’s take on external hate-mongering.
The lingering mystery in my mind is how people like Hitler could occasionally admit their true strategy without undercutting their public pronouncements. Perhaps that’s the reason why Mein Kampf was so poorly written?