History Essay

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Essay Topic: “Did Hitler have a masterplan for annihilating the Jews prior to 1941?”

There has been much debate since the end of World War II about whether Adolf Hitler did in fact plan on annihilating the Jews during his time as leader of the Nazis. This debate has split many Historians into two categories, the Intentionalists and the Functionalist’s. Intentionalists believe that Hitler did plan on annihilating the Jews, right from the beginning of his rise to power. Functionalists on the other hand, do not believe Hitler planned this from the beginning, rather that it was a series of decisions that led up to the ‘Final Solution’. In this paper I argue that Hitler did in fact have a plan for annihilating the Jews based on the evidence of a secret meeting held with High ranked officials and the anti-Semitic policies that were put into place, Hitler’s need for more land and the planned mass emigration of Jews to Madagascar.

It is one of the most talked about periods of history and still much debate as to whether the murders of thousands of innocent Jews was planned from the beginning of Hitler’s rise to power. As many people know Hitler was known to plan ahead with the goals he wanted to achieve, writing lists of what he planned on doing after he came to power. The aims of which the Nazis wanted to achieve were put into play soon after they came to power. One of these aims was the removal or annihilation of the Jews from Germany. This plan has never been confirmed as no documentation has been found with a signature authorizing these actions, as Hitler was never one to give his orders in writing, often giving orders verbally and with little detail. Hitler’s most “criminal activities” were always kept top secret. He would use euphemisms to keep his “murderous plans secret”, as the Nazis’ written records were not properly kept to keep their plans hidden from prying eyes.

The introduction of new laws came quick after the rise of Hitler in January 1933, Jews were amongst the first to be inconvenienced with the boycotting of Jewish businesses and professionals in April 1933. Hitler had sent Storm Troopers to stand in front of Jewish stores urging people to shop elsewhere and recruiting the German public to join in. This very public display showed quite early on that Hitler was not afraid to show his feelings towards the Jews and the lengths that he would go to, to turn people against the Jews. This was just the beginning of the nightmare that was to be unleashed amongst the Jewish population.

Shortly after the Nuremberg laws passing in September 1935 prohibiting Jews from citizenship Hitler made it a point to single out the Jews and to make them seem as though they were not real German’s. To further this Hitler made it so Jews were only able to marry another Jew, they were treated as foreigners and they were unable to vote or to hire young German women. The environment that was being created was full of anger and violence towards the Jews, which was further fueled by Hitler’s hatred of the Jews. Hitler was known for following through on any decisions he had made, one of which was the “complete annihilation of his foes” . One of his first acts after his rise to power was to incarcerate his political prisoners in the Dachau concentration camp, showing this type of bold and swift move after only being in power for two months would have proven to any opposition that they would not be able to take Hitler down, not without starting a war. His dedication meant that he would do anything within his power to get what he wanted, this included the annihilation of the Jews.

David Irving, a well-known English author known for his denial of the Holocaust, has long been scouring any possible sources for evidence that shows Hitler was not anti-Semitic. Stating “ He [Hitler] was the one doing everything he could to prevent things nasty happening to them”. As it has been shown that Hitler was the one to enforce the Nuremburg laws...
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