The Holocaust Was the Result of Hitler’s Personal Desire for Genocide: Assessment of the Statement

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“The Holocaust was the result of Hitler’s personal desire for genocide” Assess this view.

The Holocaust was not the result of Hitler’s desire for genocide, but rather stemmed from Hitler’s desire for genocide. Hitler’s desire for genocide meant that he was able to create the circumstances in Germany under which genocide could be possible, and encourage other individuals, such as Himmler to become involved. It is clear from Hitler’s first public statements made as early as 1920 that he had a long term desire for the extermination of the Jews “there can be no compromise - there are only two possibilities: either victory of the Aryan, or annihilation of the Aryan and the victory of the Jew.” This suggests that Hitler perceives himself as defender of the Aryan race, for the Aryan’s to be victorious the Jew’s must die and thus his desire for genocide. Hitler’s strong anti-Semitic beliefs can be seen in the 25 point programme, Mein Kampf and the increasingly discriminatory measures, Dawidowicz[1] asserts these advocate his vision for the final solution. However, some historians have used Mein Kampf and discriminatory measures in order to discredit the view Hitler had a desire for genocide, but have suggested that they are indicative of a gradual movement to the “final solution” which ‘preceded rather than followed on from a central decision to carry out the genocide of European Jews.’[2] Furthermore, although Hitler had a proven vision for genocide this alone did could not lead to the Holocaust, he needed to put this vision into action. However, one of Hitler’s main restraints in doing so, was his personality as he was legendary for hesitating with almost disastrous effects, when faced with grave decisions, such as the Roehm Purge, the Munich Crisis and whether to run in the presidential election of 1932. Therefore mass killings of about one million Jews occurred before the plans of the Final Solution were fully implemented in 1942, indeed Hitler had a desire for genocide but lacked plan. Himmler therefore became the catalyst as he was the ‘architect of the final solution’ [3] who had the qualities Hitler lacked such as the organizational talent that was necessary for the annihilation of the Jew’s, This enabled him to translate Hitler’s vision of a “racially pure Europe” into a reality, culminating in the mass killing of over six million Jews between 1939 and 1945.

Hitler’s anti-Semitic ideology layed the foundation for the Holocaust. By 1924, Hitler’s had made his stance towards Jews undeniably clear “it by no means believes in an equality of races, but along with their difference it recognizes their higher or lesser value and feels itself obliged to promote the victory of the better and stronger, and demand the subordination of the inferior and weaker in accordance with the eternal will that dominates this universe.” This suggests that Hitler felt obligated to make the Jews surbordinate to ‘Aryans’, and exclude them from society which the Nazi’s used as justification for the Holocaust. The anti-Semitic ideology Hitler expressed paid contribution to the process of the Holocaust. There were many early references to gassing made by Hitler, which became an integral part of the extermination process. “If at the beginning of the War and during the War, twelve or fifteen thousand of these Hebrew corrupters of the people had been held under the poison gas, as happened to hundreds of thousands of our very best German workers in the field, the sacrifice of millions would not have been in vain.”[4] Based on his avowed anti-Semitism as early as Mein Kampf (1923) and his early statements (1939) that Jews would be completely destroyed if they plunged Germany into another world war, therefore all decisions, political and military, were made with an eye to the ultimate extermination of the Jews. However, historians such as Dawidowitz have come under sustained criticism for using Mein Kampf as evidence that Hitler had a desire for...
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