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

The Nazis did little to add to the litany of terms already in use by the conservative and radical Right to describe its version of Germanness and its enemies. Volkstum (suggesting the unity of the German people), Deutschtum (German-ness), Diktat von Versailles (Dictate of Versailles), Schieberrepublik (Profiteer Republic) Schmährepublik, (Reviled Republic) and Judenrepublik (Jew Republic), were all part of the political language of the Right during Weimar. Although antisemitism had been a common motif of political propaganda, Hitler’s Mein Kampf raised its importance in Nazi ideology. Joseph Goebbels (later Minister of Propaganda) came from the more radical (socialist) side of the National Socialist movement, favoring a second revolution. When it became clear that Hitler was the unequivocal leader of the party, he quickly fell in line, and remained a close confidant of Hitler until their deaths in 1945. The following text from the NSDAP party paper Der Angriff, whose publisher Goebbels was, demonstrates both his will to please the National Socialist leader as well as to establish antisemitism as a key tenet of Nazi ideology.

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Why are we enemies of the Jews?

We are enemies of the Jews because we are warriors for the freedom of the German people. The Jew is the cause and the beneficiary of our slavery. He has used the social troubles of our broad masses in order to widen the split between the Right and Left among our people, he has split Germany into two halves. Here is the real reason for the loss of the World War on one side and for the betrayal of the revolution on the other side

[ . . . ]

The Jew has no interest in the solution of the questions regarding the German fate. He can’t, since he exists only because they remain unsolved. Once you turn the German people into a unified community and give them freedom on the world stage, there would no longer be a place among us for the Jew. He holds the better cards when a nation lives in domestic and foreign slavery than when it is free, hard-working, self-confident and united. The Jew has caused our misery, and today he makes a living from it.

That is the reason why as nationalists and as socialists we are enemies of the Jew. He has tainted our race, spread moral rot, undermined our morality, and broken our strength. Thanks to him we are the pariahs of the entire world today. As long as we were Germans, he was a leper among us. Since we have forgotten our Germanic character, he has triumphed over us and our future.

The Jew is the malleable demon of decline. Wherever he scents debris and rot, he comes out of hiding to begin his criminal butchery among the people. He wears the mask of those whom he wants to deceive, pretends to be the friend of this victim, and before the unsuspecting victim knows it, he has broken his neck.

The Jew is uncreative. He does not produce anything, he merely trades in goods. With rags, clothes, pictures, precious stones, stocks and bonds, shares in mining operations, people and states. And everything he trades in he has stolen somewhere at some point. While he is launching an attack on a state, he is a revolutionary, yet as soon as he is in possession of power, he preaches peace and order so he can leisurely devour his prey.

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