Hitler's First Anti-Semitic Letter

Hitler's First Anti-Semitic Letter

In his recent book Hitlers November 9, the German historian Joachim Riecker shows how deeply the memory of Germany's surrender in 1918 impregnated everything that Hitler did. He traces the origins of the Holocaust to Hitler's fury at the so-called November criminals who had allegedly betrayed the German nation, foremost among them the Jews. Hitler, as Riecker underscores, never believed that Germany had lost World War I. Instead, the Jews had engineered a betrayal of the German nation. Hence Hitler's malignant obsession, to the very last day of his life, with eliminating the Jews who had cheated Germany of victory in 1918. Now, as the New York Times reports, Hitler's first anti-Semitic letter is headed toward the Wisenthal center in Los Angeles. Presumably, the letter is genuineā€”it was purchased for $150,000 from a private dealer. The tale of Hitler memorabilia, fake and real, probably deserves its own history.

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