As I was once strolling through the inner city [of Vienna], I suddenly happened upon an
apparition in a long caftan with black hair locks.
Is this a Jew? was my first thought.
They surely didn’t look like that in Linz. I observed the man stealthily and cautiously. But the
longer I stared at this alien face, examining it feature for feature, the more my first question was
transformed into a new conception:
Is this a German?
As always in such cases I began to try to remove my doubts with books. For a few hellers I
purchased the first antisemitic brochures of my life. Unfortunately, they all proceeded from the
standpoint that in principle the reader was conversant with or even understood the Jewish
question to a certain degree. Moreover, their tone was in most cases sufficient to recreate
doubts in me, particularly because of the shallow and extraordinarily unscientific support for
I had a relapse for weeks, on one occasion for months.
The matter seemed so monstrous, the indictment so immoderate, that, tortured by the fear of
doing an injustice, I again became anxious and uncertain.
But, certainly, I could no longer be in doubt that it did not concern Germans of a peculiar
religion but rather a people in itself. For since I had begun to concern myself with these
questions and become aware of the Jews, Vienna appeared to me in a different light than
previously. Wherever I went, I now saw Jews, and the more I saw, the more sharply they were
distinguished from other men in my eyes. Especially the inner city and the areas north of the
Danube Canal swarmed with a people who even externally no longer bore a similarity to
However, if I still had doubts, these hesitations were finally removed by the position of a
segment of the Jews themselves.
A great movement among them, which was quite extensive in Vienna, came out most
emphatically for the confirmation of the racial character of Judaism: Zionism.
It might look as though only a section of Jews approved this position and that the great majority
condemned such an affirmation, indeed inwardly rejected it. But upon closer examination this
appearance dissolved in an evil vapor composed of pure expedience and pretext, not to say
lies. For the so-called Jewry of liberal disposition did not reject the Zionists as non- Jews, but
only as Jews of an impractical stamp, whose public confession of their Jewishness might even
In their inter-relatedness nothing had changed.
In a short time this phoney struggle between Zionistic and liberal Jews nauseated me. It was
thoroughly false, based on lies, and little in keeping with the always asserted moral superiority
and purity of this people.
The cleanliness of this people, moral and otherwise, is a point in itself. Just looking at their
exteriors, even with your eyes closed, you can tell they are not lovers of water. Later the odor
of these caftan wearers often sickened me. Added to this were their unclean clothes and less
than heroic appearance.
All this is far from appealing. But you must be even more offended when you look beyond the
physical uncleanliness to discover the moral stains upon the Chosen People.
Nothing affected me in so short a time as the slowly mounting insight into the kind of activity
carried on by Jews in specific areas.
Was there any kind of filth or brazenness, particularly in cultural life, in which there was not at
least one Jew participating?
As soon as you cautiously cut into such an abscess, you would find, like a maggot in a rotting
body, blinded by the sudden light, a little Yid!
Jewry had much to answer for in my eyes when I got to know its activity in the press, art,
literature, and the theater. All their unctuous reassurances were no longer of any use. It was
sufficient to observe a billboard, to study the names of the intellectual producers of the horrible
trash they advertised for the movies and theater, to become hardened for a long time. This was
the pestilence, intellectual pestilence, far worse than the Black Death of long ago, with which
the people were being infected. And in what quantities was this poison being produced!
Naturally, the lower the intellectual and moral level of such art fabricators, the greater his
fertility until the rogue like a garbage sorter splashes his filth in the face of humanity. Just think,
for every Goethe, Nature can easily come up with ten thousand such polluters of the
environment, who now poison the soul like germ carriers of the worst sort.
It was horrifying, but undeniable, that just the Jew in abundant numbers seemed chosen by
Nature for this shameful destiny.
Is this the chosenness of the Jews?...
I now began to examine my beloved “world press” from this viewpoint.
The more fundamentally I probed the object of my erstwhile admiration, the more it withered. Its
style became ever more unbearable. The content I had to reject as inwardly corrupt and
superficial. The objectivity of the reporting seemed to me now to partake more of lying than the
honest truth. Ah, but the authors were—Jews.
Thousands of things I had scarcely noticed before now appeared noteworthy to me; other
things that I had thought about I now learned to grasp and understand.
I now saw the liberal slant of this press in a different light. Its aristocratic tone in the answering
of attacks as well as their condemnation to silence were revealed to me now as clever and
shabby tricks. Encomiastic theater criticism was always reserved for Jewish authors, and their
rejections never fell upon any but the Germans. In the needling of Wilhelm II could be
discerned the constancy of its methods, exactly in the same way as the commendation of
French culture and civilization. The kitschy contents of the novellas now became unacceptable
[to me], and in their language I detected the sounds of an alien people. However, the sense of
the whole was so inimical to Germandom that it could only have been intentional.
But in whose interest was this?
Was it all an accident?
Gradually, I became unsure.
However, the process was accelerated by insights which I gained in a series of other events. I
refer to the general conception of ethics and morals, as openly exhibited by a large part of
Jewry and which could be visibly substantiated.
Here again the streets offered a frequently and truly evil instructional lesson.
The relationship of Jewry to prostitution and still more to the white-slave traffic could be
especially well studied in Vienna, as in no other city of Western Europe, with the possible
exception of the ports of southern France. Walking of a night the streets and alleys of
Leopoldstadt, you witness everywhere, whether you want to or not, encounters which
remained hidden from the greatest part of the German people until the war presented soldiers
on the Eastern Front occasion to see similar things, or, more aptly put, forced them to see such.
The first time I recognized the Jews directing this disgusting traffic in vice, shamelessly and in
ice-cold business fashion, a cold shudder ran down my back.
But then it inflamed me.
Now, I no longer avoided discussion of the Jewish question. No, now I welcomed it. But as I
had learned to look for the Jew in all the areas and manifestations of cultural and artistic life, I
suddenly happened upon him in a place where I least expected to do so.
When I discerned the Jews as leaders of the Social Democrats, the scales fell from my eyes.
The long struggle of the soul thereupon concluded.
Even in the daily relations with my fellow workers I saw an astonishing adaptability, how within
the space of a few days or even a few hours they adopted altered positions on the same
question. It was difficult for me to understand how men, who when spoken to privately still had
some reasonable views, immediately lost them as soon as they came under the spell of the
masses. This happened often enough to make me despair. When, after hours of persuasion, I
was convinced that this time I had finally broken through the ice or that I had cleared up some
nonsense and rejoiced in having done so, I would on the next day, to my grief, have to begin all
over again. It had all been in vain. Like an eternal pendulum, their views seemed to swing back
again and again to madness.
This much I could comprehend: they were dissatisfied with their lot and damned the destiny
which hit them so often and so cruelly. They hated the employers who seemed to be the
heartless executioners of that destiny. They cursed the authorities who, in their eyes,
possessed no feeling for their situation. They demonstrated against the price of necessities
and carried their demands into the streets. All this could be understood without reflection. What
remained inexplicable, however, was the boundless hate which they laid upon their own
nationality. They defamed the greatness of the nation, sullied its history, and dragged its great
men into the gutter.
This struggle against their own kind, this [fouling] of their own nest and homeland was equally
senseless and incomprehensible. It was unnatural.
It was possible to cure them of this vice, but only temporarily, for days or, at most, weeks. If,
however, you met the same supposed convert a little later, he had returned to what he was.
He was again possessed by the Unnatural.
Gradually, I realized that the Social Democratic press was conducted predominantly by Jews.
But I did not put any special significance on this circumstance because the conditions were
exactly the same in the other papers. Only one fact was obvious: there was not a single paper
with Jews present on it that could be designated as truly national, at least according to my
education and conceptions.
When I mastered myself enough to read these kinds of Marxist press productions, the aversion
grew to such proportions that I now sought to get to know about the manufacturers of these
thrown together villainies.
From publishers on down, they were all Jews.
I gathered all the obtainable Social Democratic brochures and sought out the names of their
authors: Jews. I noted the names of almost all the leaders: they were in by far the greatest part
also members of the “Chosen People,” whether acting as members of the parliament or in the
secretariats of the trade unions, heads of organizations, or street agitators. It was always the
same uncanny picture. The names Austerlitz, David, Adler, Ellenbogen, etc. will remain
eternally in my memory.
One thing had become clear to me: the leadership of the Party, with whose petty members I
had been carrying on a violent battle for months, lay almost exclusively in the hands of an alien
people. For that the Jew was no German I now knew to my inner satisfaction and with finality.
Only now did I learn to know the seducers of our people completely.
A year of my sojourn in Vienna had sufficed for me to become convinced that no worker could
be so stubborn as to be beyond better knowledge and better explanations. Slowly I mastered
their doctrine and employed it as a weapon in the struggle for my own inner convictions.
Almost always now I was victorious.
The great mass was to be saved but only after the heaviest sacrifices of time and patience.
Never, however, was a Jew to be freed from his viewpoint.
I was still childlike enough at that time to want to make the madness of their doctrine clear to
them; I talked my tongue sore and my throat hoarse and thought that I must succeed in
convincing them of the harmfulness of their Marxist insanity. In fact, I achieved just the
opposite. It seemed as though the mounting insight into the nihilistic effect of Social Democratic
theories and their realization only served to strengthen them in their determination.
The more I argued with them the more I learned their dialectic. At first they calculated on the
stupidity of their adversary. Then, when they could find no other way out, they played stupid
themselves. ...Whenever you attacked one of the apostles, your hand closed around slimy
matter which immediately separated and slipped through the fingers and the next moment
reconstituted itself. If you struck such an annihilating blow that, observed by the audience, he
had no choice but to agree with you, and thus you thought you had taken one step forward, the
next day your amazement would be great. The Jew knew nothing at all about yesterday and
repeated his same old twaddle as though nothing had happened; if you angrily challenged him
on this, he could not remember a thing other than he had demonstrated the correctness of his
assertions on the previous day.
Many times I stood there astonished.
I didn’t know what to be more amazed at: their verbal agility or their art in lying.
Gradually, I began to hate them.
All this had but one good side, that to just the extent I identified the actual bearers or at least
the disseminators of Social Democracy, so the love for my own people had to increase. Who
could curse the unhappy victims of these devilishly skillful seducers? How difficult was it for
even me to master the dialectical lying of this race! And how vain was such a success against
people who twisted the truth in your mouth, who brazenly denied the words they had just
spoken and in the next minute took credit for it anyway.
No, the more I knew the Jews, the more I had to pardon the workers....
...It was the duty of every thinking man to push himself into the forefront of the cursed [Marxist]
movement, in order to perhaps avert the worst....But the instigators of this disease of the
peoples must have been real devils. For only in the brains of monsters—not men—could such
a plan and organization assume palpable form, the actions of which would have as their final
result the collapse of human culture, thereby leading to the desolation of the world.
In this case the only salvation remaining was war, war with all the weapons the human spirit,
reason, and will could muster, without regard to which side of the scales destiny might throw its
Thus I began to familiarize myself with the founders of this doctrine, in order to study the
principles of the movement. That I came to the goal more quickly than I had at first perhaps
dared to think, I owed to my newly won, though still superficial, knowledge of the Jewish
question. It alone enabled me to compare the reality with the theoretical sham of the founding
apostles of Social Democracy; it taught me to understand the language of the Jewish people
which speaks in order to hide its thoughts, or at least to veil them. Its real objective is not to be
found in the lines but rather slumbering, well hidden, between the lines.
It was for me the time of the greatest inner upheavals I had ever had to endure.
From a weak cosmopolitan I had become a fanatical antisemite.
Just one more time—it was the last—I was visited by the deepest anxiety and oppressive
As I scrutinized the effects of the Jewish people over long periods of human history, suddenly
there arose the fearful question: did an unknowable destiny, for reasons unbeknownst to us
poor men, perhaps wish with eternal and immutable decision that the final victory go to this little
Could it be that this people, which lives only for the earth, will be granted it as a reward?...
As I calmly and clearly deepened my knowledge of Marxism and thus the effects of the Jewish
people, destiny itself gave me the answer.
The Jewish doctrine of Marxism rejects the aristocratic principle of Nature and sets in its place
the eternal privilege of power and strength of the mass and the dead weight of its numbers. It
therefore denies the value of the human personality, contests the significance of nationality
and race, and therewith withdraws from humanity the basis of its existence and culture. As a
foundation of the universe this [doctrine] would bring about the end of any intellectually
comprehensible order. And thus as in this the greatest recognizable organism, the realization of
such a law could result only in chaos and, ultimately, death for the inhabitants of this planet.
If the Jew with the help of his Marxist creed is victorious over the peoples of this world, then his
crown will be the funeral wreath of humanity; then this planet will travel through the ether as it
did millions of years ago, devoid of men.
Eternal Nature avenges itself mercilessly on the transgression of its commandments.
Thus I believe today that I am acting according to the will of the almighty Creator: when I
defend myself against the Jew, I am fighting for the work of the Lord.
|Adolf Hitler: On the Jews
From Mein Kampf
Originally titled My Struggle Against Seven Years of Stupidity, Lies, and Ignorance.
Ironic that today in Europe many people feel the same way about the
Moslem immigrants as Hitler did about the Jews.
Painter & Architect