The Holocaust – How responsible was Adolf Hitler

Hitler could have been solely responsible for the attacks on the Jews because he often spoke privately about a wave of attacks (pogroms), which he claimed would hit the Jews harder than those described in their biblical past, which did take place during the holocaust. However, there were other factors that lead to attacks on the Jews plus Hitler was under extreme pressure from his officials and generals.

In 1933 Hitler introduced certain policies against the Jews, the most significant was the April boycott, it came about because more and more Nazi officials were calling for action against the Jews so Hitler gave the ok even though there was reluctance in his mind. The boycott lasted one day, on the 1st of April storm troopers stood outside the Jewish shops with banners saying, “Germans do not enter”. 934 was a quiet year for the Jews as Hitler’s programmes for unemployment were underway, and many Jews returned to Germany thinking the worst was over however they were still under threat from propaganda.

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In 1935 the nazi party were getting very frustrated at the lack of progress in solving the ‘Jewish problem’, some took it into their own hands and held more boycotts and terror which lasted 4 months but Hitler had decided it was time for him to do something. At an important nazi rally 2 days before the close he ordered laws to be made to ban relationships between Jews and Germans.

The laws were finally passed on the 15th September 1935 and banned marriage and sex between Jews and Germans, it also stopped Jewish firms employing female German servants under 45 years of age, this was so that Germany had the strongest workers to help the country which was still recovering. The laws also stopped Jews gaining German citizenship, this made it easy to define Jewishness and made them second-class. This was a radical step up from the peace of 1934 and it was spontaneous the way Hitler drew up the laws 2 days before the rally closure.

Most of the party leaders were calling for more aggression towards the Jews and Hitler gave in because if he didn’t he would be liable to criticism. 1936 the Olympics were held in Berlin, Hitler called off the attacks on the Jews because he knew that if the world knew what they were doing then they would do something to prevent it or punish Germany, but Hitler still had his feelings and when Jessie Owens won 3 gold medals Hitler walked out of the stadium as he was appalled that a black athlete won because the nazis hated other groups as well such as homosexuals, gypsies, and black people.

This shows that Hitler was mainly in control because he could just call of the Jewish attacks when he wanted to although he was being pushed and pushed by party leaders all the time. Between 1937 and 1938 aryanisation stepped up in Germany, the Aryan race was Hitler’s ideal people they were the blonde hair blue eyes theory and he often spoke of aryanisation at rally’s and it featured a lot in propaganda.

Goring who had been put in charge of the 4 year plan to get Germanys economy ready for war turned his attention to aryanisation at the Jews who still had some economic control, this meant he would buy out Jewish firms or confiscating their belongings, this only occurred in 1937 because the Jewish businesses had been needed up until then to help the German economy and rearmament programme.