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How did the Jews feel about Hitler trying to take over the world?

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GarnerGirl10120 | eNotes Newbie

Posted November 18, 2013 at 9:14 PM via web

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How did the Jews feel about Hitler trying to take over the world?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted November 18, 2013 at 9:40 PM (Answer #1)

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In answering this question, we must first realize that Jews in Germany (and in Europe more generally) were not a monolithic group that all had the same opinions.  There would have been various opinions about Hitler.  These opinions would have become more homogeneous over time, but would not have been identical for the whole time.

For example, let us think about attitudes that might have prevailed in 1933 or 1934.  Outside of Germany, many Jews might not have even heard of Hitler.  Therefore, they would not have had much of an opinion about him taking power in Germany or about his desire to control the world.  Within Germany, different Jews would have had different opinions.  Many Jews would have been repelled by Hitler’s anti-Semitic rhetoric.  They might have thought he was crazy and they surely would not have wanted him to control the world.  Other Jews, though, would have identified themselves as Germans.  German Jews were some of the most integrated and assimilated in Europe.  Many of these Jews might have liked Hitler because of how he was giving Germany an economic boost and for how he was making the country powerful and respectable again.  They would not really have thought he was talking about them when he criticized the Jews.

If we look at attitudes in 1942, by contrast, there would have been more of a consensus.  By then, it would have been clear that Hitler felt that all Jews (even those who had assimilated into German culture) were evil and that he meant to do very bad things to them.  By this time, essentially all Jews in Europe must have come to oppose Hitler and would have been appalled at the idea that he might conquer the world.

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