"Either this nation will kill racism or racism will kill this nation." (S. Jonas, August, 2018)
"Jews for Hitler? You must be kidding." That's a question that I have come across on a number of occasions as I have studied the history of Nazi Germany over a period of many years. And yes, indeed, there were Jews for Hitler. There were not too many of them. And certainly many Jews who were living in Germany when Hitler was appointed as Chancellor by President Paul von Hindenburg on Jan. 30, 1933 and then was given dictatorial powers via the "Enabling Act" by the German Reichstag on March 23, 1933 were from those moments on afraid for their employment, their property, and civil rights they may have had under the predecessor Weimar Republic and eventually their lives. But "Jews for Hitler" there were, and organized too, primarily in an organization called "The Association of German National Jews."
Mein Kampf, by Hitler, which means .My Struggle. in English. Sound familiar?
(Image by Gwydion M. Williams) Details DMCA
As described by the relevant entry in Wikipedia:
"The Association of German National Jews (German: Verband nationaldeutscher Juden) was a German Jewish organization during the Weimar Republic and the early years of Nazi Germany that eventually came out in support of Hitler.
"It was founded in 1921 by Max Naumann who was chairman until 1926 and again from 1933 to 1935 when the association was dissolved. Politically, the association was close to the national conservative and monarchistGerman National People's Party which, however, refused affiliation with the association.
"The goal of the Association was the total assimilation of Jews into the German Volksgemeinschaft, self-eradication of Jewish identity, and the expulsion from Germany of the Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe. Naumann was especially opposed to Zionists and Eastern European Jews, the former he considered a threat to Jewish integration and to be carriers of a "racist" ideology serving British imperial purposes, while he saw the latter as racially and spiritually inferior. . . .
"[Among other things, the Association] issued a manifesto that stated that the Jews were being fairly treated. [This was at a time, in the summer of 1933, that Jews were already being subject to various types of repression which was being reported abroad by various Jewish organizations and denied as the equivalent of "Fake News" by the Nazi government.]
"In 1934 the group made the following statement:
" 'We have always held the well-being of the German people and the fatherland, to which we feel inextricably linked, above our own well-being. Thus we greeted the results of January, 1933 [positively], even though it has brought hardship for us personally.' "
"A possible reason why some German Jews supported Hitler may have been that they thought that his antisemitism only was for the purpose of 'stirring up the masses'. . . .
"Despite their extreme patriotism, the German government did not accept their goal of assimilation. The Association of German National Jews was declared illegal and dissolved on 18 November 1935. Max Naumann was arrested by the Gestapo the same day and imprisoned at the Columbia concentration camp. He was released after a few weeks, and died of cancer in May 1939."
But why might certain German Jews have been supporters of the Nazis and Hitler, especially since anti-Semitism, very loud anti-Semitism, had been central to Nazi doctrine since the predecessor to the Party had been formally organized in 1919? Well, there is the motivation noted in the Wikipedia excerpt just above. The Prussian Empire had been among the first nations in Europe to grant Jews full civil rights. There had been Jewish generals in the Prussian army in World War I.
So, it has been reported, there was an increasing feeling among the upper levels of German Jewry along the lines of "We are Germans; nothing will happen to us. As for those Jews in the Communist and Socialist Parties, let him go after them. They are our enemies too." Furthermore, while Jews were generally not among the major elements of the German ruling class in heavy industry and so forth, they were major factors in real estate, banking, retail, and publishing. Those Jews did not like the trade unions and other anti-Nazi organizations any more than the Nazis did. Of course, what happened to those German Jews who did not manage to emigrate in the early days of the Nazi regime is well-known.