Is all of this merely attributable to antisemitism?
The economic background to the war is necessary for a fuller understanding, before casting judgement on the originators of these viewpoints.
At the end of the First World War, Germany was essentially tricked [see Paul Johnson "A History of the Modern World" (1983) p24 and H Nicholson Peacemaking 1919 (1933) pp13-16] into paying massive reparations to France and other economic competitors and former belligerent countries in terms of the so-called Treaty of Versailles, thanks to the liberal American President Woodrow Wilson. Germany was declared to be solely responsible for the war, in spite of the fact that "Germany did not plot a European war, did not want one, and made genuine efforts, though too belated, to avert one." (Professor Sydney B Fay The Origins of the World War (vol. 2 p 552)).
"As a result of these massive enforced financial reparations, by 1923 the situation in Germany became desperate and inflation on an astronomical scale became the only way out for the government. Printing presses were engaged to print money around the clock. In 1921 the exchange rate was 75 marks to the dollar. By 1924 this had become about 5 trillion marks to the dollar. This virtually destroyed the German middle class, reducing any bank savings to a virtual zero." (Koestler The God that Failed p 28)
According to Sir Arthur Bryant the British historian (Unfinished Victory (1940 pp. 136-144):
"It was the Jews with their international affiliations and their hereditary flair for finance who were best able to seize such opportunities. They did so with such effect that, even in November 1938, after five years of anti-Semitic legislation and persecution, they still owned, according to the Times correspondent in Berlin, something like a third of the real property in the Reich. Most of it came into their hands during the inflation. But to those who had lost their all this bewildering transfer seemed a monstrous injustice. After prolonged sufferings they had now been deprived of their last possessions. They saw them pass into the hands of strangers, many of whom had not shared their sacrifices and who cared little or nothing for their national standards and traditions. The Jews obtained a wonderful ascendancy in politics, business and the learned professions (in spite of constituting) less than one percent of the population. The banks, including the Reichsbank and the big private banks, were practically controlled by them. So were the publishing trade, the cinema, the theatres and a large part of the press all the normal means, in fact, by which public opinion in a civilized country is formed. The largest newspaper combine in the country with a daily circulation of four millions was a Jewish monopoly. Every year it became harder and harder for a gentile to gain or keep a foothold in any privileged occupation. At this time it was not the 'Aryans' who exercised racial discrimination. It was a discrimination that operated without violence. It was exercised by a minority against a majority. There was no persecution, only elimination. It was the contrast between the wealth enjoyed and lavishly displayed by aliens of cosmopolitan tastes, and the poverty and misery of native Germans, that has made anti-Semitism so dangerous and ugly a force in the new Europe. Beggars on horseback are seldom popular, least of all with those whom they have just thrown out of the saddle."
Goodness gracious, Sir Arthur! What made you get out of the wrong side of the bed?
Strangely enough, a book unexpectedly published by Princeton University Press in 1984, Sarah Gordon (Hitler, Germans and the "Jewish Question") essentially confirms what Bryant says. According to her, "Jews were never a large percentage of the total German population; at no time did they exceed 1% of the population during the years 1871-1933." But she adds "Jews were over-represented in business, commerce, and public and private service. They were especially visible in private banking in Berlin, which in 1923 had 150 private Jewish banks, as opposed to only 11 private non-Jewish banks. They owned 41% of iron and scrap iron firms and 57% of other metal businesses. Jews were very active in the stock market, particularly in Berlin, where in 1928 they comprised 80% of the leading members of the stock exchange. By 1933, when the Nazis began eliminating Jews from prominent positions, 85% of the brokers on the Berlin Stock exchange were dismissed because of their 'race'. At least a quarter of full professors and instructors (at German universities) had Jewish origins. In 1905-6 Jewish students comprised 25% of the law and medical students. In 1931, 50% of the 234 theatre directors in Germany were Jewish, and in Berlin the number was 80%. In 1929 it was estimated that the per capita income of Jews in Berlin was twice that of other Berlin residents." etc etc.
Arthur Koestler confirms the Jewish over-involvement in German publishing. "Ullstein's was a kind of super-trust; the largest organization of its kind in Europe, and probably In the world. They published four daily papers in Berlin alone, among these the venerable Vossische Zeitung, founded in the eighteenth century, and the B.Z. am Mittag, an evening paper. Apart from these, Ullstein's published more than a dozen weekly and monthly periodicals, ran their own news service, their own travel agency, etc., and were one of the leading book publishers. The firm was owned by the brothers Ullstein - they were five, like the original Rothschild brothers, and like them also, they were Jews." (The God that Failed (1950) ed. RHS Crossman, p 31).
Edgar Mowrer, Berlin correspondent for the Chicago Daily News, wrote an anti-German tract called 'Germany Puts the Clock Back' (published as a Penguin Special and reprinted five times between December 1937 and April 1938). He nevertheless notes "In the all-important administration of Prussia, any number of strategic positions came into the hands of Hebrews. A telephone conversation between three Jews in Ministerial offices could result in the suspension of any periodical or newspaper in the state. The Jews came in Germany to play in politics and administration that same considerable part that they had previously won by open competition in business, trade, banking, the Press, the arts, the sciences and the intellectual and cultural life of the country. And thereby the impression was strengthened that Germany, a country with a mission of its own, had fallen into the hands of foreigners."
Mowrer says "No one who lived through the period from 1919 to 1926 is likely to forget the sexual promiscuity that prevailed. Throughout a town like Berlin, hotels and pensions made vast fortunes by letting rooms by the hour or day to baggageless, unregistered guests. Hundreds of cabarets, pleasure resorts and the like served for purposes of getting acquainted and acquiring the proper mood." (pp. 153-4). Bryant describes throngs of child prostitutes outside the doors of the great Berlin hotels and restaurants. He adds "Most of them (the night clubs and vice-resorts) were owned and managed by Jews. And it was the Jews among the promoters of this trade who were remembered in after years." (pp. 144-5).
Douglas Reed, Chief Central European correspondent before WWII for the London Times, was profoundly anti-German and anti-Hitler. But nevertheless he reported: "I watched the Brown Shirts going from shop to shop with paint pots and daubing on the window panes the word 'Jew', in dripping red letters. The Kurfürstendamm was to me a revelation. I knew that Jews were prominent in business life, but I did not know that they almost monopolized important branches of it. Germany had one Jew to one hundred gentiles, said the statistics; but the fashionable Kurfürstendamm, according to the dripping red legends, had about one gentile shop to ninety-nine Jewish ones." (Reed Insanity Fair (1938) p. 152-3). In Reed's book Disgrace Abounding of the following year he notes "In the Berlin (of pre-Hitler years) most of the theatres were Jewish-owned or Jewish-leased, most of the leading film and stage actors were Jews, the plays performed were often by German, Austrian or Hungarian Jews and were staged by Jewish film producers, applauded by Jewish dramatic critics in Jewish newspapers. The Jews are not cleverer than the Gentiles, if by clever you mean good at their jobs. They ruthlessly exploit the common feeling of Jews, first to get a foothold in a particular trade or calling, then to squeeze the non-Jews out of it. It is not true that Jews are better journalists than Gentiles. They held all the posts on those Berlin papers because the proprietors and editors were Jewish" (pp238-9).
The Jewish writer Edwin Black notes "For example, in Berlin alone, about 75% of the attorneys and nearly as many of the doctors were Jewish." (Black, The Transfer Agreement (1984) p58.
To cap it all, Jews were perceived as dangerous enemies of Germany after Samuel Untermeyer, the leader of the World Jewish Economic Federation, declared war on Germany on August 6 1933. (Edwin Black The Transfer Agreement: the Untold Story of the Secret Pact between the Third Reich and Palestine (1984) pp272-277) According to Black, "The one man who most embodied the potential death blow to Germany was Samuel Untermeyer." (p 369). This was the culmination of a worldwide boycott of German goods led by international Jewish organizations. The London Daily Express on March 24, 1933 carried the headline "Judea Declares War on Germany". The boycott was particularly motivated by the German imposition of the Nuremberg Laws, which ironically were similar in intent and content to the Jewish cultural exclusivism practiced so visibly in present-day Israel (Hannah Arendt Eichmann in Jerusalem p 7).
Hitler saw the tremendous danger posed to Germany by Communism. He appreciated the desperate need to eliminate this threat, a fact that earned him the immense hatred and animosity of the Jewish organisations and the media and politicians of the west which they could influence. After all, according to the Jewish writer Chaim Bermant, although Jews formed less than five percent of Russia's population, they formed more than fifty percent of its revolutionaries. According to the Jewish writer Chaim Bermant in his book The Jews (1977, chapter
"It must be added that most of the leading revolutionaries who convulsed Europe in the final decades of the last century and the first decades of this one, stemmed from prosperous Jewish families. They were perhaps typified by the father of revolution, Karl Marx. Thus when, after the chaos of World War I, revolutions broke out all over Europe, Jews were everywhere at the helm; Trotsky, Sverdlov, Kamenev and Zinoviev in Russia, Bela Kun in Hungary, Kurt Eisner in Bavaria, and, most improbable of all, Rosa Luxemburg in Berlin .
"To many outside observers, the Russian revolution looked like a Jewish conspiracy, especially when it was followed by Jewish-led revolutionary outbreaks in much of central Europe. The leadership of the Bolshevik Party had a preponderance of Jews. Of the seven members of the Politburo, the inner cabinet of the country, four, Trotsky (Bronstein), Zinoviev (Radomsky), Kamenev (Rosenfeld) and Sverdlov, were Jews." Other authors agree with this:
"There has been a tendency to circumvent or simply ignore the significant role of Jewish intellectuals in the German Communist Party, and thereby seriously neglect one of the genuine and objective reasons for increased anti-Semitism during and after World War 1. The prominence of Jews in the revolution and early Weimar Republic is indisputable, and this was a very serious contributing cause for increased anti-Semitism in post-war years. It is clear then that the stereotype of Jews as socialists and communists. led many Germans to distrust the Jewish minority as a whole and to brand Jews as enemies of the German nation." (Sarah Gordon, "Hitler, Germans and the Jewish Question", Princeton University Press (1984) p 23).
"The second paroxysm of strong anti-Semitism came after the critical role of Jews in International Communism and the Russian Revolution and during the economic crises of the 1920s and 30s. Anti-Semitism intensified throughout Europe and North America following the perceived and actual centrality of Jews in the Russian Revolution. Such feelings were not restricted to Germany, or to vulgar extremists like the Nazis. All over Northern Europe and North America, anti-Semitism became the norm in 'nice society', and 'nice society' included the universities." (Martin Bernal, Black Athena vol. 1 pp. 367, 387).
"The major role Jewish leaders played in the November (Russian) revolution was probably more important than any other factor in confirming (Hitler's) anti-Semitic beliefs." (J&S Pool, Who Financed Hitler, p.164). http://truthseeker-archive.blogspot.com ... -wwii.html