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Joseph Goebbels, Why We Are Enemies of the Jews (July 30, 1928)

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What has antisemitism to do with socialism? I’m asking in turn: what has the Jew to do with socialism? Socialism is the doctrine of work. Who ever saw a Jew work and not plunder, steal, sponge (schmarotzen) and profit from the sweat of another man’s brow? As socialists we are enemies of the Jews, because we see in the Hebrew the incarnation of capitalism, i.e. the abuse of the goods belonging to the people.

What has antisemitism to do with nationalism? I’m asking in turn: what has the Jew to do with nationalism? Nationalism is the doctrine of blood, of race. The Jew is the enemy and the destroyer of unity created by blood, the deliberate destroyer of our race. As nationalists we are enemies of the Jews, because in the Hebrew we see the eternal enemy of our national honor and our national freedom.

“But Jews are human beings, too.” Certainly, and none of us has ever doubted it. We only doubt that he is a decent human being. He doesn’t belong with us. He lives according to different inner and outer laws. The fact that he is a human being is not a good enough reason for us to allow him to oppress and bully us in the most inhuman manner. He is indeed a human being – but what kind? If someone beat your mother in the face with a whip would you then say: “Thank you, he’s only human?” That is no human being, that is a brute (Unmensch)! How much worse has the Jew done to our mother Germany and how much worse does he still do today?

[ . . . ]

Antisemitism is un-Christian. So that means that it is Christian to look on as the Jew cuts bootstraps from our skin and to let him add insult to injury. Being a Christian means: Love your neighbor as you love thyself! My neighbor is of the same nationality and blood as I. If I love him, then I must hate his enemies. He who thinks like a German must despise the Jew. One results from the other.

Christ himself once saw that love is not the answer in all situations. When he came across the jobbers and profiteers in the temple, he didn’t say: “Children, love each other!” Instead he took a whip and drove the pack away. We are enemies of the Jews because we stand up for the German people. The Jew is our greatest misfortune.

That is going to change, as sure as we are Germans.

Source of English translation: Louis L. Snyder, ed., Hitler's Third Reich: A Documentary History, Chicago: Nelson-Hall, 1981, 53-54. Edited by GHI staff.

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