Background: This page provides two May 1933 articles about how to solve the “Jewish Question,” taken from the Nazi Party’s theoretical journal. Both propose a “Zionist” solution to the “Jewish Question,” though von Leers explicitly rejects a Jewish state in Palestine.
Achim Gercke had been a Nazi official before 1933. As a student, he had attempted to develop a card index listing all Jews in Germany. In April 1933, he was appointed to the Ministry of the Interior, where he served as an expert on racial matters. His article outlined Nazi public thinking on what to do about the Jews at the beginning of the Third Reich, which includes expelling them all from Germany. It notes that the just-issued Nazi laws restricting Jewish laws were provisional measures that indicated the direction future measures would take.Johann von Leers was one of the most prolific Nazi anti-Semites. After the war, he fled to Italy and Argentina, eventually ending up in Egypt, where he converted to Islam and remained an active anti-Semitic propagandist until his death in 1965. His article proposes the removal of all Jews from Europe. His article specifically rejects “extermination” as the solution, which, I think, is indicative of the early stages of Nazi rule when they were still trying to decide what to do about the Jews.
The source: Dr. Achim Gercke, “Die Lösung der Judenfrage,” Nationalsozialistische Monatshefte, Heft 38 (May 1933), pp. 195-197, and, in the same issue, Dr. Johann von Leers, “Das Ende der jüdischen Wanderung,” pp. 229-231.
As a result of the victory of the National Socialist revolution, the Jewish Question has become a problem for those who never before thought about solving the Jewish Question, who never fought to solve it. Everyone has seen that the current situation is intolerable. Allowing free development and equality for the Jews has led to an “unfree” situation of exploited competition, and to a handing over of important positions within the German people to those of a foreign race.
The result is that anyone who thinks about this question looks for a solution. Everyone has a proposal on his desk, which gets a more or less favorable reaction in discussions. That was to be expected.
But the solution to so important a problem is not as easy as is often supposed.
The legal measures that have just been issued by the government are cleansing actions that adroitly respond to Judah’s declaration of war. Primarily, the laws provide a direction in which to move. One should not underestimate the significance of these laws. The entire people will be educated about the Jewish Question and will come to understand that a people’s community is a community of blood. For the first time, they will be reached by racial thinking and will be focused not on theoretical solutions to the Jewish Question, but rather on a real solution.
Nevertheless, these temporary measures cannot be a final solution to the Jewish Question since the time is not yet ripe, although the laws point out the direction and leave room for any future developments.
It would, however, be too early to work out plans for public discussion which propose to do more than can currently be done. Nonetheless, a few principles must be laid out so that the plans one makes can mature and mistakes can be avoided.
Fundamentally, one must decide whether or not to bring the Jews in Germany (as well as those of Jewish descent) together organizationally. Many plans announced so far propose to bring the Jews together in a federation so that they can be kept under watch and influenced. All of these proposals are fundamentally in error. Were one to establish a federation of the Jews, whether under some kind of Jewish overseer or in some sort of federation or other innocent-looking structure, the Jews would have an eternal legal anchor in Germany, a way to present their wishes, a tool for their goals, a legal way to secure secret links. And one would give at least the impression that one was dealing with a national minority that could seek, and would find, support outside Germany. One may not give even the superficial appearance of supporting such an attitude toward the Jewish Question, as it would be politically insane to confound domestic German measures on the Jewish Question with foreign policy questions.
All proposals that include a permanent presence, a permanent regulation of the Jews in Germany, do not solve the Jewish Question, for they do not eliminate the Jews from Germany (denn sie lösen die Juden nicht von Deutschland). And that is what we want to do. If the Jews are able to exploit their host peoples forever, they will remain a constant source of the open, destructive flame of Bolshevism, making it easy to repeatedly kindle it again, not to mention the political uncertainties resulting from disunity within the people and the danger to racial unity. Let us swear off such thinking forever, whether it results from poor thinking or evil intentions. To summarize, the state can and must focus on systematical elimination, on emigration.
If we destroy any organizational cooperation of the Jews and expel the dangerous, subversive Jewish agitators who show any signs of conspiratorial activities, the Jews will still have the synagogue, the rabbi, to shield them. If we support Zionist plans and attempt an international solution by establishing a homeland for the Jews, we will be able to solve the Jewish Question not only in Germany, but in Europe and the entire world. The entire world has an interest in such a solution, on eliminating this source of disorder, which constantly proceeds from Bolshevism. We must establish that clearly.
Perhaps the Jews will be able to become a nation, a people. That would require that Jewish workers, craftsmen, and settlers would develop from the Jewish population. If we regulate this plan, they we will create new foundations for such a settlement. Scattering the Jews to the four winds does not solve the Jewish Question, but rather makes it worse. A systematic program of settlement, therefore, is the best solution.
Plans and programs must have a goal pointing to the future. They may not be focused only on a temporarily unpleasant situation. A better future demands the systematic solution of the Jewish Question, not the organization of the Jews.
We must build our state without the Jews. They can be only stateless foreigners among us, with no legal permanent standing. Only so will Ahasver [the legendary wandering Jew] be forced to take up his walking stick again, and then turn it into axes and spades.
by Dr. Johann von Leers
The Jewish problem is a migrating problem that has moved over the centuries from one European region to another. One can speak of a certain degree of saturation with the Jewish population in individual regions. If this degree of saturation is reached or exceeded, the affected Gentile peoples always take the same defensive measures. They attempt to reduce Jewish influence, to hinder Jewish corruption of their cultural and business life, or to reverse it if it has already occurred. Often, the first step is a clear realization that the Jews are a foreign element. Those countries not simultaneously affected by the problem tend to misunderstand these defensive measures, and as far as it is in their political interests, or to the extent that they are under Jewish influence, speak of “barbarism.” When the emigrating Jewish masses show up by them, the whole course of events often repeats itself. Similar defensive measures appear in the second country, while in the first country the fighting spirit against the Jews has calmed down — and thus the misunderstandings continue.
No one who understands the situation will be able to deny that the cause of these defensive measures lies primarily in the Jewish people itself. Even with the greatest degree of impartiality, one will conclude that one is dealing with a group of people that is on average highly unpleasant. That may not stop one from looking at the question clearly.
It is questionable to even speak of a “Jewish people,” since there is only a limited and widely varied sense of real consciousness of being a people. There is a continuum ranging from the most convinced Zionists down to assimilated Jews, so that it is better to speak of Jewry as a group of humans in which there is a strong drive to establish a genuine people. Given the extent of Jewish migration, there are two things one must keep in mind. First, it is wrong to see Jewry as an already existing people, and thus treat them as one would treat an ethnic minority. Second, if one is to seriously solve the problem, one must take into account Jewry’s inner drive to built its own people.
Based on these reasons, mature reflection shows that it is a mistake to take those Jews in a given country and bring them all together in a special federation, regardless of whether they are orthodox, assimilated, or of mixed race, not with the possibility and goal of building a people, but rather to establish a legal minority with rights within a state of a Gentile people. The goal is always for Jews to build their own people, and to separate them from a Gentile people. Therefore, one must not promote individual Jews as minority citizens, or some such status, within a Gentile people, but rather move Jews out to build their own people.
From century to century, Europe has always had outbursts of anti-Semitism, and from good and justified desires to defend Gentile peoples against an indigestible Jewry. We cannot, therefore, be satisfied with a solution that simply moves the Jews from one country to another over the centuries. This can only strengthen the dangerous Jewish ability to carry on its policies within states, building transnational power. Furthermore, there always remain strong Jewish groups, the result of race mixing and assimilation within the respective peoples, which increase racial decline.
Instead, one must find an affirmative solution that frees Europe of wandering Jewish masses. This is not a matter of small numbers, as statistics demonstrate. According to the Zeitschrift für Demokratie (sic) und Statistik der Juden (Berlin), there were around 15 million Jews in the world at the end of 1931. There were 9.8 million in Europe, of whom 3.1 million were in Poland, 3.0 million in Rumania, 0.6 million in Germany, 0.5 million in Hungary, and 0.4 million in Czechoslovakia. Since these figures include only Jews by religious confession, these figures are probably low. Even those numbers, however, include millions of so-called “bums” (Luftmenschen), impoverished peddlers and Eastern European tradesmen, population groups that are ready whenever the borders open to leave their Polish and Lithuanian ghettos and flood into Europe. As long as the pressure from these Jewish millions exists the Jewish Question in Europe will not be resolved, but rather will necessarily continue.
Even if a political movement and a people have had the worst experiences with Jewry, it could contradict the German Nordic sense of history to see a negative solution as the way to defend against the Jewish masses. Instead, the entirety of our historical mission demands a grand and comprehensive approach that that will also appeal to the opponent.
What gives some justification to Zionism’s goals is not that they are often either excessively romantic or a peculiar kind of advertising for its thinking (as the old Jewish joke has it: “What is a Zionist? A Jew who wants money from a second Jew so that a third Jew can go to Palestine.”), but rather its claim that there is a question with regards to a Jewish people, and that it must be resolved. Zionism assumes that it can build a new Jewish people from the many Jewish individuals. It has, however, some justice in demanding a territorial foundation for its development.
Palestine is unable to absorb the coming Jewish masses since it cannot support them, nor is it the right location. Furthermore, England has to consider both the native Arabic population and the world-wide Islamic community, which makes it impossible to settle even a reasonably significant part of the Jewish masses there.
Only a barbarian standing outside of the last great divine manifestation of world history would propose a general anti-Semitic battle aimed at the extermination of this people. The goal of the highly developed peoples is not to promote hatred where there is a decent way to solve the problem.
The only imaginable, positive solution that will finally resolve the Jewish problem in Europe and at the same time provide the real possibility of becoming a people, of becoming rooted to land, and even perhaps allowing its less valuable elements to be influenced by the more valuable elements, is a healthy region outside Europe. The Dutchman von Dinghene, in his book Vollzionismus, has proposed the island of Madagascar, but one could also imagine certain other suitable African or South American regions. On the one hand, such a settlement area must give the Jewish people a space where they can work productively, within the framework of providing space for peoples who now lack space. On the other hand, in those countries where the Jews are being separated from the Gentile population, the Jews will lose a large number of jobs. They must today be trained in work groups, receiving education in practical skills and agriculture so that they will be prepared to settle in this area. Those major Western European colonial powers, who are always worked up about the Jewish Question and its effects in Eastern and Central Europe, without however really seeing the connections, would perform a work not only of humanity, but also statesmanlike wisdom that would bring peace to the world and the solution of one of its most serious problems were they to make such a settlement area available. That would not only relieve Europe of the Jewish problem, but also enable Jewry to become a people.
Of course, there is a danger that such a Jewish settlement area would become a world-famous El Dorado of criminality, given the deep moral decay of a large part of Jewry. There will have to be a force to provide just and honest supervision. This would also be possible and details could be worked out. The danger may not hinder a broad solution of the Jewish Question by resettling Jewry to an appropriate settlement area outside of Europe. We propose this to the world: Give Ahasver a homeland as far as possible from us, but sufficient and attractive. If he makes of it a garden he may keep it and will be protected. If, however, he makes of it a den of thieves, then one will keep him there. However, we must attempt a decent solution to this question. Those Jews who for centuries have recognized the battle of the Jewish Question are called to contribute to a real solution, those Jews who recognize that the dream of Jewish world domination has failed, and who are therefore ready to become a people among peoples. Those peoples among whom the question burns the hottest because of the Jewish masses among them area also called, particularly the major Western European colonial powers with vast possessions, for it cannot be permitted that a decent solution be prevented by cheap humanitarian slogans. With a single blow the Jewish question, which has always surfaced, can be resolved.
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