1919 signed letter contains Hitler's first known stance on Jewish 'removal'
June 7th, 2011
06:35 PM ET

1919 signed letter contains Hitler's first known stance on Jewish 'removal'

By Dana Garrett, CNN

New York (CNN) - A signed letter by Adolf Hitler, which contains what is believed to be the earliest written expression of his views on Jews and anti-Semitism, was unveiled at a press conference in New York on Tuesday by the Simon Wiesenthal Center.

Rabbi Marvin Hier said the letter, written in 1919, is "one of the most important documents in the entire history of the Third Reich."

Wearing white gloves to protect the fragile, yellowing document, Hier, founder and dean of the Wiesenthal Center, pointed out what he considered to be the most significant phrase in the four-page, typed letter - the words "Entfernung der Juden," German for "removal of Jews" - which Hitler wrote must be the government's "final goal."

"In 1919 he wrote this. Twenty-two years later he implemented it as Chancellor of the Third Reich," Hier said. "He removed the Jews altogether."

The Simon Wiesenthal Center, a Jewish human rights organization, purchased the letter from a private dealer for $150,000 and will put it on permanent display in July at the center's Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles.

Hitler was a 30-year-old veteran of World War I when he wrote the letter on September 16, 1919. At the time, he was working for the propaganda unit of the German army, Hier said. It was Hitler's supervisor, Capt. Karl Mayr, who assigned him the task of articulating the army's position on the Jews for Adolf Gemlich, who was an army spy. (At about the time he wrote the letter, he also attended a meeting of the German Workers' Party to find out more about them, at Mayr's request. Later, it would be the National Socialist Workers' Party, and Hitler would be its chairman.)

The letter, which was written on a German army typewriter, is addressed to Gemlich. It was authenticated in 1988, according to the Wiesenthal Center.

In the letter's English translation provided by the Wiesenthal Center, Hitler identifies Judaism as a race, not a religion, that has been preserved "through a thousands years of inbreeding" and is only concerned with "the pursuit of money and power."

"The result of which is that a non-German race lives among us with its feelings, thoughts and aspirations, while having all the same rights as we do," Hitler wrote.

He warned against anti-Semitism "born of purely emotional ground," which he wrote would only lead to pogroms - referencing the organized mob attacks that targeted Jews in Russia and, later, Germany. Hitler's letter makes clear he had a larger objective in mind. "The final goal must be the removal of Jews," he wrote. "To accomplish these goals, only a government of national power is capable and never a government of national weakness."

Hier said the letter was found in 1945 in the Nazi Archives near Nuremberg by an American soldier, William F. Ziegler, and sold to an historical documents dealer.

It has remained in private hands since then. Hier said a dealer offered him the letter in 1988, but then sold it to another collector before the Wiesenthal Center could verify its authenticity.

When it was offered a second time, Hier said there was no hesitation.

"We knew immediately that the Gemlich letter is absolutely historic. There is nothing like it in the world," he said.

Hier said an unsigned "office copy" of the letter exists in Munich, which scholars have known about, but that the copy now in the hands of the Wiesenthal Center is the only signed copy. It has never been publicly displayed.

Hier said the letter is significant in large part is because there is no known signed order by Hitler for the extermination of the Jews. Instead, it was the No.2 man in the Reich, Hermann Goering, who gave the order in July 1941 to Reinhard Heydrich, the head of the Nazis' security apparatus, to carry out "the final solution of the Jewish question."

"This is the first document and only document of its kind that deals with the Jews exclusively and postulates the solution," Hier said of the Hitler letter.

Whether Hitler had in mind concentration camps and mass extermination at the time is not a question that can be answered by this document, Hier said. "But I can tell you that Hitler in 1919 said we don't want any Jews in the country that I live, and I don't want them removed by corner pogroms. I need them removed by a legal system where the government legally removes them," Hier said. "That is unprecedented." he added.

Hier said he hopes the letter, which will be part of an interactive display in Los Angeles, will be used to teach students young and old about demagogues and the consequences of taking them lightly.

He said if people had taken bets in 1919," they all would have bet this is a lot of nonsense, nothing would happen like this. And 22 years later, it happened exactly as he wrote it.," he said.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Europe • Germany • Holocaust • Judaism • New York • United States

soundoff (931 Responses)
  1. RandUm

    Case settled! πŸ˜€


    June 8, 2011 at 1:00 am |
    • Philip

      oh good find! Dr. Schroeder is amazing. i've read some of his stuff, and watching this now. thanks

      June 8, 2011 at 1:09 am |
  2. Caroline

    The talkbacks here prove again that I was right to stop watching CNN for their constantly biased pro-Palestinian views. Such a position attracts the antisemites worldwide to their site. I visit this site to check if a miracle happens to make it less vicious. But no – business is still as usual here.

    June 8, 2011 at 12:49 am |
    • lonely

      i miss you and i really want to talk to you. πŸ˜‰ you are so amazing and i really miss that heavenly sound of your voice honey. i still need you.

      call me.


      June 8, 2011 at 12:53 am |
    • Gerald Goldstein

      You are one very confused zionist.. very confused haha.

      June 8, 2011 at 12:59 am |
    • Caroline

      @Gerald Goldstein
      You are wrong about me – I have strong views. And you must be one of those Jewish renegades trying to show how "open-minded" they are regarding those who act to annihilate you for the only crime you did – born as a Jew.

      June 8, 2011 at 1:24 am |
  3. james

    While the Zionists execute a similar plan for the 'removal of Arabs' in Palestine – with US support.

    June 8, 2011 at 12:47 am |
    • YM

      I totally agree with you , and they complain about anything & everything that they dont like , they go a cry to US and the US like dogs go ok u r right.
      i see no diff between on what Hitler tried to do with the Jews and what the Israelis (not all Jews) are doing to the Palestinians

      June 8, 2011 at 1:01 am |
    • simonc

      How many Muslems were today killed by Muslems?

      June 8, 2011 at 1:17 am |
    • clow

      James... you are an ignorant fool.

      June 8, 2011 at 1:51 am |
    • clow

      YM... you see no difference because you have no education or understanding of the holocaust, the diaspora, or the atrocities by Arabs on Jews.... You are fighting for a people who shrowd their woman and kill people without fair trial.. nice job

      June 8, 2011 at 1:56 am |
  4. skeeter tweeter

    And now the Israelis repeat this against the Palastinians.

    June 8, 2011 at 12:44 am |
    • more tea vicar

      What absolute nonsense; the two cannot be compared. Even if you have a point you've lost all credibility by that unwise statement.

      June 8, 2011 at 12:50 am |
    • Hart

      ..So you're saying that the Jewish people are now placing Arabs on trains and exterminating them?? Or did you mean to say that the Jewish people are trying to live side by side with a group of Arabs hell bent on exterminating the Jews?

      June 8, 2011 at 1:00 am |
    • simonc

      How many Arabs were today killed by Arabs?

      June 8, 2011 at 1:19 am |
    • Caroline

      Isn't that true?

      June 8, 2011 at 1:26 am |
    • slats1992

      @Skeeter Tweeter: I don't understand. Are you saying that incursions by Israel onto land previouslhy owned by Palestinians is equal to the rounding up of Jews throughout Europe for gassing, slavery and extermination? Because it SOUNDS like that's what you're saying...

      June 8, 2011 at 3:14 am |
    • Chartreux

      What a ridiculous comparison. Cite sources, show photos of death camps and concentration camps, please. Otherwise you're a laughingstock when you bring up this point: Anyone who brings up Nazis in a debate or argument automatically loses according to the Godwin rule. You lose.

      June 8, 2011 at 9:41 am |
    • forpeace

      extermination is extermination by whatever means. The Germans used trains, gassing, concentration camps, etc., the Israelis use bombs. The end result is the same innocent people being killed on a large scale.

      June 9, 2011 at 12:53 pm |
  5. Lord Kensington

    This whole talk is pure gas.

    June 8, 2011 at 12:41 am |
  6. GermanPride

    Napoleon also planned the removal of Jews from France. Why dosen't the meida ever coverage that?

    June 8, 2011 at 12:39 am |
    • Lalalalala

      uhh HELLO!? It's because Napoleon didn't really exist! duh! There's no proof of him. Have you ever seen video of him? No. At least not in color.

      June 8, 2011 at 12:43 am |
    • Caroline

      What you are talking about? Napoleon was the first head of state who gave full civil rights to Jews in Europe! He was a great man with a little bit more ambition than he needed.

      June 8, 2011 at 12:53 am |
    • Caroline

      What you are talking about? Napoleon was the first head of state who gave full civil rights to Jews in Europe! He was a great man though with a little bit more ambition than he needed.

      June 8, 2011 at 12:53 am |
    • Chartreux

      (Looks around) And yet, Napoleon didn't succeed in his attempt, did he? Had he done so he'd also be someone held in scorn, hatred and contempt forever after for committing genocide. IIRC, Waterloo had something to do with that.

      June 8, 2011 at 9:44 am |
  7. Cythara

    The information is rather unremarkable. A LOT of people, including Zionists at the time, were talking about moving Jews out of European society by all sorts of means, including one highly successful means concluded between the Nazis and the Jewish Agency in Palestine called the Haavara Agreement. I would be more impressed if Zionists would comment on how Nazis facilitated the kibbutz training, emigration of 65,000 German Jews and transfer of $100 million (1934 amount) to the Jewish Agency in Palestine. This German program was so successful that Poland was looking into setting up a similar program but the war ended that. Really gums up the hate machine, doesn't it?

    Also it would be nice for Zionists to explain how there were 500,000 German Jews at the beginning of the war and at the end, 300,000 German Jews, according to Jewish sources, survived the war. That rate of survival is almost the same as that of the general German population. If you subtract the 65,000 German Jews who emigrated to Palestine, that leaves only 135,000 Jews unaccounted for, of which several thousand would have been emigres to the US, Canada and the UK. YOu can read about the Haavera Agreement at Wikipedia. It is not connected to any other items concerning the 'holocaust' WW2, etc so only those who are actually looking for it will find it. Jews have been pulling the wool over Western eyes forever and a day.

    June 8, 2011 at 12:27 am |
    • Do Your Freaking Research First, Moron!

      I'm definitely not a Zionist, but I can explain it.

      There were 533,000 German Jews in 1933, but about 308,000 emigrated before the war started, so only 214,000 remained, of which 160,000- 180,000 were killed in the Holocaust.

      Sorry to screw up your pathetic little revisionist holocaust-denier conspiracy theory with facts, Cynthara.

      June 8, 2011 at 12:45 am |
    • Gerald Goldstein

      Yeah dude I am THE farthest thing from a zionist but the holocaust happened.. it really did, there is overwhelming evidence for it like my grandma's side of the family which is gone because of it. However, it does not justify the brutal acts that israelis commit to the Palestinians which are in many ways parallel to what the nazis did to the Jews and many other non blonde hair blue eyed people in Germany at that time.

      June 8, 2011 at 12:56 am |
    • clow

      I'm Jewish and not even a religious jew, but Goldstein, you are the farthest thing from a zionist because you're a huge liberal P^^$Y who is dumb enough to believe that giving Arabs what they already lost after 2 wars they were quite willing to engage in with Israel will result in Arabs accepting coexistence with jewish people... Or your'e a crazy extremist hassidic who has the interpretations that the jews do not deserve israel right now.

      June 8, 2011 at 1:14 am |
    • clow

      furthermore whatever israeli atrocities have happened to palestinians does not equate Isralies to Nazis!!!! not even close...! Isolated incidents of a conflict will happen after decades of hatred bred from suicide bombings.... This occupation crap is a huge lie.... There may be refugees and civilian casualties in this conflict but there is atrocities on both sides, and the palestinains engage in the most horrific atrocities against humanity!!! I would believe that could make people hate them to enough of a degree that there will be disgregard for palestinian pepole at isolated incidents throughout this conflict... they bring it on themselves yet the world and liberal jews like you want to blame israel.. Arabs who are peacfull Israeli citizens have the most opportunity than in any other Arab country! that is a fact!

      June 8, 2011 at 1:23 am |
    • Caroline

      @ Gerald Goldstein
      Just what I said above: you are a renegade. Unfortunately we have a lot of those... You can't find one among the Palis but the Jews are famous for that. Jewshave always been known for their large views and a feeling of exclusivity. Do you feel special by joining the ranks of Jewish renegades?

      June 8, 2011 at 1:37 am |
    • Caroline

      Well said!

      June 8, 2011 at 1:39 am |
    • Voice of Reason

      Aren't you forgetting that the Germans kept meticulous records. Not just names , but numbers of people who could fit into a mass grave with lime, as opposed to without / How many showers per day – per crematorium / how many people fitted into vans with the exhaust pipes inside. etc etc. It's weird that in Germany Holocaust denial [in its entirety is a jailable offence? They admitted the figures who are you little pipsqueaks to disagree with them???They took Jews from every country in Europe. They also exterminated 6 million gypsies, gays, politicos, insane, disabled, part Jewish, catholics, non-aryan dissenters. Copying someone else's BS without any real understanding doesn't make you smart. Just a bit sad maybe.

      June 8, 2011 at 2:00 am |
    • Chartreux

      VoiceofReason, these folks don't want to hear the facts about what the Germans did to the Jews. As a matter of fact, what I love to do best is to remind them that Jesus was a Jew. Then I stand back to watch their heads explode. It's so very amusing.

      The other part that fascinates me is the part wherein they don't want to know what led to the Jews returning to Israel. I love that part. They close their eyes to the ebb and flow of nations and politics because they think history is an ancient concept. These are the same people who have archaeological proof of Jewish settlements in Egypt dug up every day, but repressed by the government's policy to deny history. It's 1984 in 2011. How about that? Government lying to the people. We don't have a monopoly on that in the US, do we?

      But, yes, there's overwhelming proof the Germans killed many people.

      If nothing else, here's a question that can't be answered otherwise: if all those people weren't murdered, then where *did* they all go? Answers including kidnapping by space aliens will not be accepted.

      June 8, 2011 at 10:01 am |
  8. Brian

    Google "Hitler DNA." Some of his distant relatives have been tested and found to have some Jewish ancestry. This fits in with the rumors about his illegitimate father.

    June 8, 2011 at 12:25 am |
    • Do Your Freaking Research First, Moron!

      That lame DNA thing has been totally debunked. It wasn't even done by scientists.

      June 8, 2011 at 12:30 am |
    • Phil

      Actually it hasnt been debunked . it was scientists that did the testing

      June 8, 2011 at 2:39 am |
  9. Mike

    that was for John Patros

    June 8, 2011 at 12:24 am |
  10. Mike

    I will pray for you!
    If you were sick, you would go to a physician. To type things like you are typing show that you are sick deep inside, and your best hope is the mightiest physician of all, Christ - the one who brought you in to existence. Did you know that if you will pray to him and ask him to save you, that he will? All you have to do is to sincerely ask him into your heart, and he will come in to your life and save you.


    June 8, 2011 at 12:23 am |
  11. Reality

    "The allegation is sometimes made that Hitler was a Catholic – a Christian until the day he died. This claim is based upon the fact that Hitler was born and raised in a Catholic family. ----------

    However, as an adult, Hitler specifically rejected the Catholic Church, as well as Christianity in general. He described himself as "a complete pagan".

    The book Hitler's Secret Conversations: 1941-1944, published by Farrar, Straus and Young, Inc. (1953), contains definitive proof of Hitler's real views. The book was published in Britain under the ti-tle, Hitler's Table Talk: 1941-1944, which ti-tle was used for the Oxford University Press paperback edition in the United States.

    Some excerpts:

    All of these are quotes from Adolf Hitler:

    Night of 11th-12th July, 1941:

    "National Socialism and religion cannot exist together.... The heaviest blow that ever struck humanity was the coming of Christianity. Bolshevism is Christianity's illegitimate child. Both are inventions of the Jew. The deliberate lie in the matter of religion was introduced into the world by Christianity.... Let it not be said that Christianity brought man the life of the soul, for that evolution was in the natural order of things. (p 6 & 7) "

    10th October, 1941, midday:

    "Christianity is a rebellion against natural law, a protest against nature. Taken to its logical extreme, Christianity would mean the systematic cultivation of the human failure. (p 43)"

    June 8, 2011 at 12:23 am |
  12. ArtistLimited

    I hope that if there is an afterlife, noone, not even Hitler is suffering the same torturous experiences that the Nazis created and imposed.

    June 8, 2011 at 12:14 am |
    • John Patros Ph.D.

      I hope you find a real job and stop being such a slacker ! get a real life ! do something with ur life

      June 8, 2011 at 12:24 am |
  13. Andrew

    Do a google search for his signature, if you look you'll find one from 1924, just a couple years later. While the "Hitler" portion looks pretty good (though a bit rounded in the I and T), the "Adolf" portion is different in many respects, particularly in how the A, D, and F are structured.

    This does not look authentic to me. And I've seen sport memorabilia considered fake for less variance...

    June 8, 2011 at 12:12 am |
    • Chartreux

      Wait and see. If it was done on the same typewriter as the other copy, it may very well be authentic. In addition, over decades, people change their signatures. I'll watch this with interest.

      June 8, 2011 at 10:10 am |
  14. cometlinear

    Wow, the ignorance in this forum is shocking.

    June 8, 2011 at 12:05 am |
    • more tea vicar

      True, and this is one of the least negative bunch of comments I've seen for a while. You should see what it's like when politics are the story!!! Absolute hatred.

      June 8, 2011 at 12:56 am |
  15. Peter E

    And of course this letter, showing a a famous EUROPEAN Christian's anti-semitism is justification for the repression of arabs in the middle-East and the continued land-grab by Israel.
    Fun stuff: look up UN Security Council resolutions 242 and 338, BOTH of which the US is signatory to and haven't changed from as our official policy forn the past four decades.
    But of course, UN resolutions are ONLY important if arab countries break them...

    June 7, 2011 at 11:46 pm |
    • MikeS

      Nonsense. Israel was an original Jewish settlement predating post WW2. At the time Israel was created there were Jews, Christians, and Muslims living there. No one was forced out. The area that is called "Palestine" had MANY divisions and countries... Jordan, Syria, etc. Israel was one of many divisions. The reason for all the hate is not the Jewish state but archaic muslim "leaders" that foment hate. If the radical muslims stopped strapping bombs on their children there will be peace in the area. We all know that is not going to happen with or with out an Israel. So please stop the BS.

      June 8, 2011 at 12:14 am |
    • Orenil

      What "land grab"?
      Since 1967, Israel has only been shrinking.
      First we gave up the Sinai peninsula, larger than Israel itself, for a peace accord with Egypt.
      Then we gave up most of the west bank to the Palestinian authority as a part of the Oslo agreements (Israeli soldiers are not regularly present in these areas, and the Palestinian police is in charge there).
      Last we have completely evacuated the Gaza strip, including the dislocation of tens of thousands of Jewish settlers (Waht did we get as a reward? 10,000 missiles on our southern towns).
      In conclusion, the old "land grab" myth is a lie, a hoax, a legend.
      It is happening mainly in the imagination of Palestinian propaganda agents.
      Yes, there are some Jewish settlements outside 1967 borders, but no new legal ones are constructed nowadays.
      Illegal settlements are dismantled (one was torn down just yesterday, look it up).
      These settlements were mostly constructed on bare, uninhabited land.
      And perhaps more important – there are Arab settlements INSIDE 1967 borders. Why do you not consider this as Arab "grab" of Jewish land???

      June 8, 2011 at 12:27 am |
    • Richard

      "Noone was force out" LOL

      June 8, 2011 at 12:41 am |
    • Voice of Reason

      @Mike S – FINALLY, someone who actually knows what he's talking about. Thank you.

      June 8, 2011 at 1:41 am |
    • Voice of Reason

      @orenil – EUREKA!, another man who knows what he's talking about. I cannot BELIEVE it. 2 in a row. Kudos to Mike and Orenil. I am so impressed. Usually reading these posts makes me want to kick the cat. Just now all I really want is a nice cup of tea !

      June 8, 2011 at 1:46 am |
  16. Donah

    With all the propaganda about who, what is Jew or fake.. and with no known proof in my last 89 years I have to take the findings for granted... but do I believe, let alone know... ? I am sorry.. I canΒ΄t..
    From the GripeVoine.... & Donah..//

    June 7, 2011 at 11:42 pm |
  17. Jim456

    I did not see the whole letter posted here. The words above only talk about to "break antisemitism". There is no word of "removal" as far I can see. Hitlers goal was to gain territory in the east for the "German Volk".

    Like Gimble posted above: Judaism- It was and always will be

    And I have to add: Muslims and also Christians, it was and always will be.

    The only thing I can see is how religion is misused; even today! for political interested and I also can see how ignorant people still are when it comes to their own religion or believes. Some Americans hating Muslims just because OBL was one is most evident.

    Religion, Intolerance, greed, thirst of power is what people rides to start wars. It was and it always will be!

    June 7, 2011 at 11:29 pm |
    • james

      It states 'removal' in there once.

      The letter is racist but coherent.

      He basically makes the point that Jews are alien to Germany, are effectively a different culture and a different people, and they they are not really Germans.

      He does have 1/2 a point – Jews are Jews first, 'German' or 'American' or whatever second, for the most part.

      To the extend that Jews VIEW THEMSELVES as 'separate' from the rest of the community – they are in fact separate and should leave.

      June 8, 2011 at 12:54 am |
  18. icomment

    Hope you're rotting in hell Hitler..

    June 7, 2011 at 11:21 pm |
    • Chartreux

      Quoted for truth and complete agreement.

      June 8, 2011 at 10:12 am |
  19. Wanda Johnson

    consider this


    June 7, 2011 at 11:19 pm |
    • Alvin Sklunkman, Accountanting Assistant from Beyond the 8th Dimension

      Wanda, you are a total bore.

      June 7, 2011 at 11:26 pm |
    • Alice Jenkins

      That is very inspiring! I love to see this stuff

      June 7, 2011 at 11:29 pm |
    • partaytyme

      whoa this guy is no joke
      we need more people like him

      June 7, 2011 at 11:34 pm |
  20. Kar98

    You'd think a letter of that relevance could be displayed, in its original, in full facsimile, but noooooo.

    June 7, 2011 at 11:19 pm |
    • You Are Lazy, Lazy, Lazy

      Well, they have this thing called Google, and if you learn how to use it, you might easily find things like a complete translation:


      Named yourself after a Nazi rifle, did you? I bet your a real brainiac.

      June 8, 2011 at 12:28 am |
    • Chartreux

      Have you seriously never heard of Babelfish? What are you, new to the internet, or what?


      It translates anything. Try it.

      June 8, 2011 at 10:14 am |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.