The 1919 Hitler Letter We Should All Read!

The Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles, California, is in possession of an original letter written and signed by Adolf Hitler in September of 1919, just days after he had joined the German Worker's Party. This was 14 years before he would become Chancellor and take over Germany as a dictator. This letter was authenticated in 2011. In and of itself, a letter from a world leader of the past is a valuable piece of history, even if it doesn't contain any important information, because it validates the very period it refers to. This letter is quite different. It is quite possibly the very first recorded use of the word "antisemitism" by Hitler. At least, it is the only one on hand. It is also a rare letter because Hitler and his core group of evil co-perpetrators went out of their way to communicate without leaving much in writing so that they couldn't be accused of their crimes. There are several reasons why everybody should know about this letter.

The letter militates against Holocaust denial and revisionism: In the body of the letter, several references are made about the need to eliminate the Jews. Hitler doesn't beat around the bush, even as early as 1919. He wrote "Its final aim, however, must be the uncompromising removal of the Jews altogether. “There is no way to look at such a statement and spin it in a way that would mean anything else but the desire to completely annihilate the Jews. Yet, many people around the world continue to claim that the Holocaust never happened, was grossly exaggerated or was simply some propaganda for Jews to steal and colonize "Palestine".

The letter proves that Hitler had a desire to eliminate the Jews as early as 1919: While historians and scholars alike will continue to speculate on why Hitler was so possessed with killing all the Jews as fast as he could, nobody really doubts that he did. His goal would only exponentially increase over the next two decades as he continued to gain more power, even in the wake of the failed Beer Hall Putsch of 1923. Hitler then spent some time in prison where he would gather, structure and put down his genocidal agenda in "Mein Kampf".

The letter proves that Hitler was not insane: We have to be very careful not to label Hitler and his lieutenants as insane. Insanity leaves the door open for people's actions to be exonerated. It can be claimed that because of insanity, the party who acted was not really responsible. Hitler was NOT insane; he was evil and quite possibly demon-possessed; between which there is a big difference. The letter shows him being very coherent and methodical in his thinking, which is something insane people don't usually have.  However, he doesn't base his assessment of the Jewish people on facts.

The letter ignores that antisemitism is always wrong regardless of how it is justified: Antisemitism is the irrational hatred of the Jewish people characterized by thoughts, words and/or deeds against them. There is absolutely no justification for antisemitism. Hitler wrote, "Antisemitism as a political movement must not be, cannot be, determined by emotional criteria, but only through the recognition of facts." First, he tries to peg antisemitism as a political movement, probably in an effort to distance himself and those who would follow his advice from being accused of xenophobia. Then, he insists that antisemitism cannot be an emotional reaction;  but should only be based on facts, setting the stage for his legalization of the destruction of all Jews - but are they real facts?

The letter is written on a foundation of lies called "facts": It was fake news before fake news was even popular. He claimed that antisemitism was justified against the Jews, as long as it was not emotional but based on facts. The problem is that what he described as facts were misunderstandings at best and fabricated lies at worst. Hitler claims that "First, the Jews are definitely a race and not a religious community." He failed to understand the difference between Judaism and Jewishness. Judaism is a religion based on the Old Testament and later the Talmud. It is followed more or less closely by Jews around the world depending on their level of orthodoxy, from secular/agnostic to ultra-orthodox. So, Judaism is something people follow, adhere to and practice out of their own volition. Jewishness, on the other hand, is something that one is born into. One or two Jewish parents will guarantee that you have Jewish lineage regardless of your adherence to Judaism. Jewishness is something that one is born with and can never lose. Judaism is a choice. They are two different sides of the coin of Jewish identity and cannot be mixed or blurred.

The letter includes the age-old lie about "the greedy Jew": Expecting his audience not to know much about European history, Hitler accuses the Jews of being greedy and centering everything about wealth and monetary gain when he writes "The value of the individual is no longer determined by his character, by the importance of his achievements for all, but solely by the amount of his possessions, by his money." Hitler possibly didn't even know about the origins of this lie that goes back to the Middle Ages when Christians couldn't borrow money from Christians and Jews couldn't own property. Jews became money lenders, but as they charged interest, the rulers of Europe taxed them increasingly more and forced them to raise their interest rates to survive. The myth of the "Greedy Jew" was born and it lived through the ages and is alive and well today. Hitler insists that Jews do everything for money, "Everything which makes men strive for higher things, whether religion, socialism or democracy, is for him only a means to an end, to the satisfaction of a lust for money and domination. "

The letter sets the stage for the Nuremberg Laws of 1935: The Nuremberg Laws also known as the Reich Citizenship Law and the Law for the Protection of German Blood and German Honor were passed by Hitler and his government at the Nazi party meeting on September 15, 1935. When Hitler wrote "But antisemitism based on reason must lead to the systematic legal combating and removal of the rights of the Jew, which he alone of the foreigners living among us possesses (legislation to make them aliens), he declared that Jews had to be made aliens or foreigners in the midst of the German people. This was achieved after the Nuremberg Laws were passed and it greatly facilitated and justified the "Final Solution"

When one looks at how Adolf Hitler came to power, some call it "the perfect storm". A weak post-war economy, a people desperate for recovery at any cost, even their own freedom, and a scapegoat. This letter clearly validates that the horrors of the Holocaust happened, and that Hitler was unashamedly behind it all. People's rights and freedom are also at risk today. Such a letter goes beyond exposing Hitler's intention as it serves to warn us that all that happened against the Jews could happen again, and not just against the Jews.

Purim through the ages and the faithfulness of God!

Wednesday, February 28, 2018, marks the celebration of the Jewish festival of Purim. Jewish people around the world gather to recall God's protection in days of old. People eat special foods, dress up and read the Megillat Ester or scroll of Esther in the synagogue, where a lot of noise is made at the calling of the names of the three main protagonists: Mordechai, Esther and Haman. Gifts are often exchanged as well as donations made to charity.

• PURIM IN THE BIBLE: The first time we read about Purim, is at the end of the book of Esther–a book about God's miraculous preservation of the Jewish people–even though this is the only book of the Bible where God is never mentioned by name. The story of Purim is also a very strong post-Genesis example of God's promise to Abraham to bless those who bless him and curse him who curses Abraham (Genesis 12:3.) Haman, the archenemy of the Jews built gallows to hang Mordechai, and at the end, he and all of his sons were hanging on these very gallows...A curse for a curse!

Haman's approach to the "Jewish problem" is worth looking at from the perspective of Satan, the ultimate enemy of the Jews. Early on (Genesis 3:15), Satan had come up with a master plan: Use people to destroy the Jews on a global scale; thus anti-Semitism was born
In Esther chapter 3, Haman puts his curse against the Jews in motion, and because of one Jew, namely Mordecai, Haman seeks to destroy all of them. We start seeing the irrational behaviors promoted by an anti-Semitic heart. Haman seeks to destroy ALL THE JEWS of the Persian Empire where many of them lived at the time.

In a sense, Haman tried to make anti-Semitism a government-sanctioned policy, something that will be picked up again much later in history by Nazi German. We read in Esther 3:1-2, 6-5: "After these events, King Ahasuerus promoted Haman, the son of Hammedatha the Agagite, and advanced him and established his authority over all the princes who were with him. And all the king’s servants who were at the king’s gate bowed down and paid homage to Haman; for so the king had commanded concerning him. But Mordecai neither bowed down nor paid homage. When Haman saw that Mordecai neither bowed down nor paid homage to him, Haman was filled with rage. But he disdained to lay hands on Mordecai alone, for they had told him who the people of Mordecai were; therefore Haman sought to destroy all the Jews, the people of Mordecai, who were throughout the whole kingdom of Ahasuerus.

Furthermore, he proceeds to give the reason why the Jews are not wanted in Ahasuerus’ kingdom, and that is simply because THEY ARE DIFFERENT. "Then Haman said to King Ahasuerus, “There is a certain people scattered and dispersed among the peoples in all the provinces of your kingdom; their laws are different from those of all other people, and they do not observe the king’s laws, so it is not in the king’s interest to let them remain. (Esther 3:8)

Haman realizes that his endeavor will require some logistical finesse, so he asks the king to issue a decree for the destruction of the Jewish people. “If it is pleasing to the king, let it be decreed that they be destroyed, and I will pay ten thousand talents of silver into the hands of those who carry on the king’s business,…And letters were sent by couriers to all the king’s provinces to destroy, to kill, and to annihilate all the Jews, both young and old, women and children, in one day, the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, which is the month Adar, and to seize their possessions as plunder. (Esther 3:9-13)

While the outcome was unfortunately different in both cases, the process by which Haman sought to annihilate the Jews and the one used by Hitler have many similarities.
• One Man’s jealousy led to uncontrolled hatred (3:5)
• Targeted hatred became global hatred (3:6, 13)
• Hatred was apparently caused because of non-conformity (3:8)
• Attempted annihilation of the Jews was structured and organized (3:9-13)
• Funds were spent and financial wealth was provided for the perpetrators (3:9, 4:7)

• PURIM in the 1940s:  Soon after coming to power, Hitler quickly banned the celebration of the Jewish festivals including Purim. In a speech delivered the day after Kristallnacht, in November 1938, Julius Streicher (1885-1946), Hitler’s “Director of the Central Committee for the Defense against Jewish Atrocity and Boycott Propaganda” declared that since the Jews killed 75,000 Persians in the days of Esther, the same fate could befall the German people and so the Jews had to be stopped. Again, the "curse-for-a-curse" biblical principle was applied to Streicher who eight years later was executed on the gallows at the end of the Nuremberg Trials. Streicher looked at the audience in the courtroom and yelled “Purim Fest 1946”, as his final claim that the Jews were out to get him. It would have required a certain knowledge of the Jewish lifestyle and festivals for Streicher to even make the parallel.

PURIM IN 2018: Satan knows that he cannot succeed but he tries without ceasing. He has indoctrinated much of the world against the Jewish people, creating anti-Semitism and making it the oldest and most enduring form of hatred against a people group. While he keeps sub-contracting his hatred to different groups of people, the danger remains the same and the Jewish people continue to be the “scapegoats of humanity”. The same approach used in biblical days and during Hitler's reign is used today by historical revisionists,  BDS promoters, Christian Palestinianism proponents and all other enemies of Israel and the Jewish people. If they had their way, Israel would be erased from the map and the Jewish people completely eradicated from existence and from history. But in a very "Purimesque" ending, Israel will prevail and the Jewish people will continue to flourish.

Be it during biblical times, during the 1930s and 1940s or even today, through thick and thin, God has always had Israel in the palm of His hand. Even though He was absent by name in the book of Esther and it felt more like "the eclipse of God" during the Holocaust,  He never reneged on His promises. So today, we can celebrate Purim with confidence and with joy because the same God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob has our back and keeps His word.

Chag Purim Sameach!