Why did Hitler hate Jewish people?

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geosc eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Why Hitler hated Jewish people: World War I was a great disaster for Germany.  One of that war's causes was competition between industrial England and industrializing Germany for world trade and world markets. 

Hitler was a soldier in the German army during the war; he was very proud of his war-time service.

Germany was devestated by the war.  The peace settlement imposed upon Germany by the Allies at the end of the war was humiliating and designed to keep Germany in a third-world state of existence. 

During the war, German jews had not rallied to the colors; they did not support the German war effort.  A German once told me that jews were much disliked in Germany after World War I because they had not supported the war.  Considering Hitler's pride in his war-time service and Germany's devestation by the war and the shameful settlement imposed upon Germany by the Allies, it is very likely that Hitler shared this dislike of jews.

Hitler certainly used the German people's displeasure with the jews for his own political advantage, as previous answers have amply described. But how could he murder so many people?

Hitler was extremely power hungry. He started and prolonged World War IIso that he could increase and prolong his hold on power. When it became obvious that Germany would loose the World War II, he continued to make war because it was also obvious that he could hold onto power only so long as the war lasted.

That he could persecute the jews for political power, then use that power to murder so many of them; that he could prolong the suffering and death of so many victims of war so as to hold onto power,demonstrates thatat the very least that he had no value system to form his character. I believe he was a psychopath. Desire for power and lack of empathy for other people's suffering are characteristics of psychopaths.

Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Certainly, this constitutes a fundamental question about Hitler and his place in History.  I would say that his hatred and depiction of the Jewish people was motivated out of a need to find a political scapegoat, or someone that was to blame for all of Germany's problems after the First World War I.  Hitler was one of the first to use the politics of blame in order to consolidate his own power and ensure that there could be no voices of opposition or dissent.  In the final analysis, his hatred of the Jewish people was motivated by political expediency.  His message would not have resonated with a shattered Germany if he argued that Germans have themselves to blame for their economic and social conditions of disarray.  These types of messages do not allow politicians to hold power for very long.  Rather, it became politically pragmatic for Hitler to argue that there were enemies of Germany, individuals who engineered its downfall and wish for nothing more to keep it pinned under the weight of such a conspiracy.  Hitler chose the Jewish individuals within and outside of Germany because it was easy to target groups that lacked a national boundary- based identity, or a government which could speak for them.  All of Hitler's targets were individuals who lacked that political voice that could stand for them.

pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

There is no way of knowing for sure why Hitler singled out Jews to be his scapegoats for all the problems that Germany faced after the end of World War I.  But I can speculate some about why this might have been.

For centuries, Jews had lived in Europe but had not assimilated into European society.  This was not really their fault -- they had often been banned from integrating.  But that doesn't matter -- they were different and separate and kept to themselves.

This made them a perfect scapegoat.  They were a distinct group, pretty much separate from society.  They were often also more successful economically than average.  This meant they did not have a lot of supporters to back them against people like Hitler.

I do not know if Hitler picked them because they would be an easy target or if he hated them just because they were obviously different and often successful.  One way or the other, it was reasons like this that led to the Holocaust in my opinion.

davidkadoch | Student

As a practicing Jew, we believe that God periodically sends his messengers to "awaken" the Jews in order to become better i.e. follow his commandments. In the past God has sent many "hitlers" they just went by different names. As long as Jews keep the covenant they took part in with God, God will protect them. The moment they start to stray from that, and begin reforming what is expected from them, God sends a messenger. The messenger can be a natural disaster, a death to an unexpected person or even, in extreme cases, a Hitler.

krishna-agrawala | Student

Before I try to answer this question two points must be made clear. First it is very difficult to differentiate between what Hitler really felt about Jews and what he pretended and claimed to feel about them to serve is political aims. Secondly what ever be the real feelings of Hitler about Jews, these are based on prejudices and not on facts.

The reasons advanced by Hitler to Justify his hate of Jews and for persecuting them include the following.

Hitlers hate campaign was based on the general prejudices that were already existing in European and other western countries. Some Christians blamed Jews for death of Jesus (of course forgetting that Jesus himself was a Jew). During the middle ages Jews in Many European countries were charged additional taxes and forced to live in segregated areas called ghettos. in  Such prejudices are also reflected in famous literary like in Merchant of Venice written by Shakespeare. Hitler caught on to this existing prejudices against Jews, and fanned the fire of hatred against them to serve his political ends.

Perhaps underlying the hate for Jews was jealousy. In general Jews were considered to be more successful in business. This created jealousy among non-Jews who accused Jews of practicing dishonest and unethical means for making profits.

Hitler claimed that Germans  - that is, original residents of Germany excluding all immigrants including Jews - represented a superior form of humanity. This automatically classified all other people including Jews in some inferior grade of people.

He accused Jews of corrupting everything of ethical and national value. He claimed that by defending himself against Jews he was doing the Lord's work. Please note that such claims of Hitler are just words without any concrete facts to support his claims.

mkcapen1 | Student

No one will ever truly be able to know why Hitler hated Jews.  It has been speculated that he was part Jewish and since his mother had been left by his father, a possible Jew, he had developed a hatred for Jews.  However, this theory has not been proven.

Prejudice is often something that develops by being surrounded by a predetermined set of ideals.  The Jewish population has always been a race of people that had to move from one place to another due to persecution.  Europeans resented he invasion of the Jewish immigrants and saw them as people who took their jobs and income away from them. 

Adolph believed that he had the answers to the success and protection of the Aryan race.  He thought that if the Hebrew genes were erased off the earth, then they could no longer cause disruptive genetic patterns.  He believed in the concept of a pure race. 

Hitler did not like many of the features of the Jewish people.  Some had hook noses, dark eyes, strong dark course hair and habits and prayers that the German's found odd and uncomfortable.  They were also gaining economic success in a country where many were struggling.

Adolph Hitler found that hatred was a good connector and so he used it to unite the people.  He defined the Jewish characteristics as those of less intelligence and being inferior.  His hatred probably grew considerably the more it was supported by those around him.


martha65 | Student

I believe the Jewish people are obviously VERY tallented.

All the good they have done

However, two things that absolutely puzzle me is why are SO many of them SO left wing?  Also, if you look at  our  government,  there  are  a  HUGE  amount  of  Jewish  people  in power.    I  just  don't  understand  why  they  would  seem  to  NOT  love  this  country.  They   seem  to  want  to  make  our  country  very  marxist.   They  seem  to  love  socialism.   This  country  has  been  the  BEST  for  them  but they  don't  seem  to  love  our  system

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