Background: The Nazis began a weekly newspaper called Das Reich in 1940. Goebbels generally wrote the lead article, in which he took special pride. Goebbels’ anti-Semitism was more “refined” than Julius Streicher’s, but as this essay shows he was more than able to produce vehement attacks on the Jews.
This essay is dated 16 November 1941. All Jews in Germany had recently been required to wear the yellow star in public, and the Holocaust was beginning. In this article, Goebbels made it clear that the future of the Jews in Germany was over. Anyone sympathetic to the Jews would be punished. This article, like most of Goebbels’s lead articles, was read over the radio. Howard K. Smith’s book Last Train from Berlin asserts that all Germans got copies of the article with their monthly ration cards (p. 198).
The source: “Die Juden sind schuld!” Das eherne Herz (Munich: Zentralverlag der NSDAP, 1943), pp. 85-91.
The Jews are Guilty!
The historic responsibility of world Jewry for the outbreak and widening of this war has been proven so clearly that it does not need to be talked about any further. The Jews wanted war, and now they have it. But the Führer’s prophecy of 30 January 1939 to the German Reichstag is also being fulfilled: If international finance Jewry should succeed in plunging the world into war once again, the result will be not the Bolshevization of the world and thereby the victory of the Jews, but rather the destruction of the Jewish race in Europe.
We are seeing the fulfillment of the prophecy. The Jews are receiving a penalty that is certainly hard, but more than deserved. World Jewry erred in adding up the forces available to it for this war, and now is gradually experiencing the destruction that it planned for us, and would have carried out without a second thought if it had possessed the ability. It is perishing according its own law: “An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth.”
Every Jew is our enemy in this historic struggle, regardless of whether he vegetates in a Polish ghetto or carries on his parasitic existence in Berlin or Hamburg or blows the trumpets of war in New York or Washington. All Jews by virtue of their birth and their race are part of an international conspiracy against National Socialist Germany. They want its defeat and annihilation, and do all in their power to bring it about. That they can do nothing inside the Reich is hardly a sign of their loyalty, but rather of the appropriate measures we took against them.
One of these measures is the institution of the yellow star that each Jew must wear. We wanted to make them visible as Jews, particularly if they made even the least attempt to harm the German community. It is a remarkably humane measure on our part, a hygienic and prophylactic measure to be sure that the Jew cannot infiltrate our ranks unseen to sow discord.
As the Jews first appeared several weeks ago on the streets of Berlin graced with their Jewish star, the initial reaction of the citizens of the Reich capital was surprise. Only a few knew that there were still so many Jews in Berlin. Everyone suddenly found someone in the neighborhood who seemed like a harmless fellow citizen, who perhaps complained or criticized a bit more than normal, and whom no one had thought to be a Jew. He had concealed himself, mimicked his surroundings, adopting the color of the background, adjusted to the environment, in order to wait for the proper moment. Who among us had any idea that the enemy was beside him, that a silent or clever auditor was attending to conversations on the street, in the subway, or in the lines outside cigarette shops? There are Jews one cannot recognize by external signs. These are the most dangerous. It always happens that when we take some measure against the Jews, English or American newspapers report it the next day. Even today the Jews still have secret connections to our enemies abroad and use these not only in their own cause, but in all military matters of the Reich as well. The enemy is in our midst. What makes more sense than to at least make this plainly visible to our citizens?
In the first days after the introduction of the Jewish star, newspaper sales in Berlin went through the roof. Each Jew on the street bought a newspaper to conceal his mark of Cain. As this was banned, one began to see Jews on the streets of the west side of Berlin in the company of Gentile foreigners. These Jewish lackeys actually should wear the Jewish star themselves. The excuse they give for their provocative conduct is always the same: the Jews are after all human beings too. We never denied that, just as we never denied the humanity of murders, child rapists, thieves and pimps, though we never felt the need to parade down the Kurfürstendamm with them! Every Jew is a decent Jew who has found a dumb and ignorant goy who thinks him decent! As if that were a reason to give Jews a kind of honorable escort. What nonsense.
The Jews gradually are having to depend more and more on themselves, and have recently found a new trick. They knew the good-natured German Michael in us, always ready to shed sentimental tears for the injustice done to them. One suddenly has the impression that the Berlin Jewish population consists only of little babies whose childish helplessness might move us, or else fragile old ladies. The Jews send out the pitiable. They may confuse some harmless souls for a while, but not us. We know exactly what the situation is.
For their sake alone we must win the war. If we lose it, these harmless-looking Jewish chaps would suddenly become raging wolves. They would attack our women and children to carry out revenge. There are enough examples in history. That is what they did in Bessarabia and the Baltic states when Bolshevism marched in, even though neither the people nor their governments had done anything to them. There is no turning back in our battle against the Jews even if we wanted to, which we do not. The Jews must be removed from the German community, for they endanger our national unity.
That is an elementary principle of racial, national, and social hygiene. They will never give us rest. If they could, they would drive one nation after another into war against us. Who cares about their difficulties, they who only want to force the world to accept their bloody financial domination? The Jews are a parasitic race that feeds like a foul fungus on the cultures of healthy but ignorant peoples. There is only one effective measure: cut them out.
How stupid and thoughtless are the arguments of the backward friends of the Jews in the face of a problem that has occupied mankind for millennia! How they would gape if they could ever see their dear Jews in power! But that would be too late. That is why it is the duty of a national leadership to take all necessary measures to keep such a thing from happening. There are differences between people just as there are differences between animals. Some people are good, others bad. The same is true of animals. The fact that the Jew still lives among us is no proof that he belongs among us, just as a flea is not a household pet simply because it lives in a house. When Mr. Bramsig or Mrs. Knöterich feel pity for an old woman wearing the Jewish star, they should also remember that a distant nephew of this old woman by the name of Nathan Kaufmann sits in New York and has prepared a plan by which all Germans under the age of 60 will be sterilized. They should recall that a son of her distant uncle is a warmonger named Baruch or Morgenthau or Untermayer who stands behind Mr. Roosevelt, driving him to war, and that if they succeed, a fine but ignorant U.S. soldier may one day shoot dead the only son of Mr. Bramsig or Mrs. Knöterich. It will all be for the benefit of Jewry, to which this old woman also belongs, no matter how fragile and pitiable she may seem.
If we Germans have a fateful flaw in our national character, it is forgetfulness. This failing speaks well of our human decency and generosity, but not always for our political wisdom or intelligence. We think everyone else as is good natured as we are. The French threatened to dismember the Reich during the winter of 1939/40, saying that we and our families would have to stand in lines before their field kitchens to get something warm to eat. Our army defeated France in six weeks, after which we saw German soldiers giving bread and sausages to hungry French women and children, and gasoline to refugees from Paris to enable them to return home as soon as possible, there to spread at least some of their hatred against the Reich.
That’s how we Germans are. Our national virtue is our national weakness. We do not want to change all that much, and as long as our world-famed good nature does no great harm, why should we? Klopstock gave us some good advice, however: don’t be too good natured, since our enemies are not noble enough to overlook our mistakes.
If this advice applies anywhere, it apples to our relations with the Jews. Carelessness here is not only a weakness, it is disregard of duty and a crime against the security of the state. The Jews long for one thing: to reward our foolishness with bloodshed and terror. It must never come to that. One of the most effective defenses is an unforgiving, cold hardness against the destroyers of our people, against the instigators of the war, against those who would benefit if we lose, and therefore also against the victims, if we win.
Therefore, we must say again and yet again:
1. The Jews are our destruction. They started this war and direct it. They want to destroy the German Reich and our people. This plan must be blocked.
2. There are no distinctions between Jews. Each Jew is a sworn enemy of the German people. If he does not make his hostility plain, it is only from cowardice and slyness, not because he loves us.
3. The Jews are to blame for each German soldier who falls in this war. They have him on their conscience, and must also pay for it.
4. If someone wears the Jewish star, he is an enemy of the people. Anyone who deals with him is the same as a Jew and must be treated accordingly. He earns the contempt of the entire people, for he is a craven coward who leaves them in the lurch to stand by the enemy.
5. The Jews enjoy the protection of our enemies. That is all the proof we need to show how harmful they are for our people.
6. The Jews are the enemy’s agents among us. He who stands by them aids the enemy.
7. The Jews have no right to claim equality with us. If they wish to speak on the streets, in lines outside shops or in public transportation, they should be ignored, not only because they are are simply wrong, but because they are Jews who have no right to a voice in the community.
8. If the Jews appeal to your sentimentality, realize that they are hoping for your forgetfulness, and let them know that you see through them and hold them in contempt.
9. A decent enemy will deserve our generosity after we have won. The Jew however is not a decent enemy, though he tries to seem so.
10. The Jews are responsible for the war. The treatment they receive from us is hardly unjust. They have deserved it all.
It is the job of the government to deal with them. No one has the right to act on his own, but each has the duty to support the state’s measures against the Jews, to defend them with others, and to avoid being misled by any Jewish tricks.
The security of the state requires that of us all.
Go to the Goebbels Page.
Go to the 1933-1945 Page.
Go to the German Propaganda Archive Home Page.