Policies Against the Jews
Hitler was now in control of Europe with the start of World War II. Hitler’s discrimination against the Jews was now turning into downright control of the Jewish population as well as the rest of Europe. It started with the Nazi invasion of Poland. “The radical, planned programme of ‘ethnic cleansing’ that followed was authorized by Hitler himself (Kershaw 518). ” From there, he and Nazi leaders began to dream up new ideas of how to approach the “Jewish Question. ” The Nazi party had already attempted to pursue the Madagascar plan, which would deport all German Jews to the island of Madagascar, however this failed.
Now Hitler had his eyes on the east; the Soviet Union to be exact. “He was now thinking about something else, not exactly more friendly (Kershaw 594). ” Hitler was hinting at the takeover of the Soviet Union which was an inevitable event, and using this as a “dumping ground” for the Jews (Kershaw 594). ” Hitler’s idea of what to do with the Jews was in no way a clear-cut vision. The recent invasion of Poland was an option for Hitler in the later months. For some time, there was uncertainty with what to do with the Jewish people and how they would complete their plan of ‘ethnic cleansing’ (Kershaw 521).
In his Reichstag speech in October in 1940, Hitler also mentions the “ethnic resettlement as preparation for the ‘new order’ of ethnographical relations in former Poland (Kershaw 521). Poland would later be used as a place for Hitler to transport the Jews into concentration camps. Franz Rademacher, the new head of the Foreign Ministry’s ‘Jewish Desk’ had begun to devise options for solutions to the ‘Jewish Problem’ in the summer of 1940. He provided 3 options that included deporting the Jews to Western Europe, removing them from Europe entirely, or sending them all to Palestine.
Complications would make it so that none of these options would work. Great Britain would have to be secured in order for the Madagascar plan to work and using Palestine was an unfavorable choice for the Nazi’s (Kershaw 578). In the meantime, Hitler was dealing with the British and Germany’s relations with the Soviet Union. The German’s and Soviet Union were now at a disagreement. This did not sit well with Hitler and he could see their relations with the Soviets slowly deteriorating (Kershaw584).
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The increasingly hostile relations between the two countries were giving way for Hitler’s justification of Operation Barbarossa. Hitler’s plan to evacuate and eradicate the Jews started with Operation Barbarossa. This plan was to take over the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe in order to have a place to “remove the Jews to”. Hitler was unsure of how well Operation Barbarossa was going to be executed. “Outwardly confident, he was inwardly less certain (Kershaw 589). ” However unsure he was, this was going to be the plan to solve the “Jewish Question. The Nazi policies involving the Jewish people took a lot of time to finally complete. There were a lot of different options that Hitler and Nazi officials had discussed when attempting to find a solution to the “Jewish Question”, but ultimately, the final decision lie within the fate of Operation Barbarossa. It would be the success in the invasion of the Soviet Union that would determine the success of the relocation of the Jews in Europe. War was the only option that Hitler and the Nazi officials deemed reasonable for their final decision. Thus, Operation Barbarossa commenced.