Hornshoj-Moller Stig, Montreal paper


Paper presented at the conference “Genocide and the Modern World”,
Association of Genocide Scholars, Concordia University, Montreal, Canada,
June 11-13, 1997

By Stig Hornshoj-Moller, Copenhagen, Denmark


The paper presents a core summary of my Danish book FOERERMYTEN. ADOLF
Adolf Hitler, Joseph Goebbels and the History behing a Genocide). It argu=
the importance of a Nazi propaganda film, “Der ewige Jude”, which is
characterized as an X-ray of the decision-making process that led to the
Holocaust, as the film is the result of the efforts of both Joseph Goebbe=
and Adolf Hitler themselves. Based on a source-critical analysis of the
film and its production history a new, very precise chronology is present=
of the final decision-making process to launch the Holocaust, with four k=

1. Viewing rushes on October 16, 1939, Goebbels decided to use the film =
an advocacy for killing the Jews.

2. Finally approving the film on May 20, 1940, Adolf Hitler had become
emotionally prepared to take the ultimate decision.

3. Adolf Hitler took the decision on June 1, 1940, while visiting the
site, where he was blinded in WW1.=20

4. On June 22, 1940, Adolf Hitler gave an oral order to Heinrich Himmler
to be in charge of the extermination program.

The paper furthermore argues that the film can be seen as the official
promulgation of Hitler’s decision, and that it – together with the featur=
film Jud Suess – deliberately was used to prepare both prepetrators and
bystanders for the extermination of the Jews. Finally, the paper contains
principal reflections on the importance of “produced reality” in
reality-like media, and the need to leave the still rather literary
tradition and to aim for a broader concept of recognition in scientific

When first the concept of=20
differentness has been rooted,
all the incomprehensible becomes possible.
Slavenka Drakulic, 1992


The Holocaust has changed human civilization. The knowledge of the fact
that it was possible to disestablish and exterminate a certain group of
people from the rest of the society simply because they were defined by t=
authorities as different and dangerous, is a challenge of the outmost
importance to the human mind. The systematic mass murder of six million
Jews cannot be erased from the history of mankind, but could, should and
must be used to discern and warn against structures and developments in
present society which could lead to new genocides.=20

Therefore the complex development that led to the Holocaust has been
submitted to numerous investigations, based on theories and methods from
widely different scientific disciplines and research traditions. Many
questions have been solved, but the intense debate after Daniel J.
Goldhagen’s book on “Hitler’s Willing Executioners” has shown that there
are still many major problems left to clarify (note 2).=20

One of these problems – and, as I see it, probably the principal reason f=
the very critical reception of the book by leading scholars of contempora=
history – is the lack of a commonly accepted interpretation of the
decision-making process itself, because a detailed, chronological
reconstruction of this process (like in all other crimes) is the very
precondition for evaluating the significance of the many different
contributory factors and their complex interrelations.=20

Only after establishing a chronology which acknowledges all those data an=
observations which can be considered to have factual character, will it b=
possible to evaluate the relationship between the conditions which could =
characterized as historically unique in the case of the Holocaust, and
those factors and structures which can be considered more general element=
of processes leading to genocidal behaviour.=20

The establishment of such a chronology belongs to the most heavily
discussed issues in modern history because written evidence is weak and
inconsistent. It is in its original context deliberately so vaguely phras=
that the same document can lead to directly opposite conclusions among
scholars of today. After more than 25 years of intense debate most
historians now tend to consider 1941 as the decisive year, although there
still exists a major controversy whether Hitler actually took the key
decision himself, and about the time at which such a decision was made
(spring, summer or autumn, 1941) (note 3).=20

Two fundamentally different views of history have led to two different
traditions of interpretation. The “intentionalists” (Philippe Burrin (not=
4), Gerald Fleming (note 5), Eberhard J=E4ckel (note 6) and others) claim
that Adolf Hitler did give a formal order to set in train the exterminati=
programme – although it was never put into writing as was the order
transferring the responsibility of the socalled Euthanasia-Project to
Philipp Bouhler and Rudolf Brandt at the beginning of October 1939(note 7=
On the other hand, the “functionalists” (Goetz Aly (note 8), Christopher =
Browning (note 9), Hans Mommsen (note 10) and others) claim that such an
order was never neccessary because the administrative system started the
systematic annihilation of the Jews in Europe “all by itself” as a
“natural” consequence of Nazi ideology. The differences between these two
schools have, however, in recent years become less distinct and most
historians today use elements from both traditions in their models of
interpretation, almost exclusively based on the existing written source
material (note 11).=20

The purpose of this paper is to suggest a new chronology of the final
decision-making process with two crucial dates:

June 1, 1940, as the date on which Adolf Hitler personally took the
decision to shoulder the ultimate consequence of his own ideology

June 22nd, 1940, as the date on which the Fuehrer gave Heinrich Himmler =
oral order to prepare for the total annihilation of the Jews in Europe,
which should begin simultaneously with the attack on Soviet Russia.=20

Theoretical background

The basic assumption behind my attempt to establish this new chronology i=
a notion that the decision to kill other human beings ultimately is taken
by a human being – the fundamental question being: How and why is the
empathy towards fellow human beings removed in the decision-makers, the
perpetrators and the bystanders?=20

The whole reasoning behind this attempt is also greatly indebted to Hanna=
Arendt and her observation on Eichmann in Jerusalem from 1961:

“The trouble with Eichmann was precisely that so many were like him, and
that the many were neither perverted nor sadistic, that they were, and
still are, terribly and terrifyingly normal. From the point of view of ou=
legal institutions and of our moral standards of judgment, this normality
was much more terrifying than all the atrocities put together, for it
implied … that this new type of criminal, who is in fact hostis generis
humani, commits his crimes under circumstances that makes it well-nigh
impossible for him to know or to feel that he is doing wrong.” (note 12)

The importance of this statement is supported by the testimony of Kurt
Moebius which is related by Daniel J. Goldhagen at a key place in his boo=

“I would also like to say that it did not at all occur to me that these
orders could be unjust. It is true that I know that it is also the duty o=
the police to protect the innocent, but I was then of the conviction that
the Jews were not innocent but guilty. I believed the propaganda that all
Jews were criminals and subhumans and that they were the cause of Germany=
decline after the First World War. The thought that one should disobey or
evade the order to participate in the extermination of the Jews did not
therefore enter my mind at all.” (note 13)

Adolf Hitler, Joseph Goebbels and other instigators of the Holocaust,
however, were also human beings – and if one wants to understand the
complex of factors and structures that created the genocidal mentality of
both decision-makers and perpetrators, one consequently has to use a very
broad – and in the very sense of the word: human scientific
(“humanwissenschaftlich”) approach where the actual use of theory and
methods of analysis is defined by the character of the different
detail-questions raised during the research. And the evolving explanation
must be in accordance with both the scientific standards and the accepted
knowledge of all these disciplines.=20

The sociological notion of “the social construction of reality” (note 14)
consists of both imagery (pictures) and words, but the social
(re-)construction of reality in a scientific context nevertheless still
primarily consists of words, based on an interpretation of written
evidence, although these only reflect a part of that social construction =
reality from which a person perceives, thinks and acts. The significance =
the non-verbal part – especially of imagery – for the world view of the
person in question and his relations with the outer world is often

This is partly because it is most difficult and time-consuming to
reconstruct. Or to put in a another way: The non-verbal side has not
received the attention it ought to have had – especially in a modern
mass-media society like the Third Reich, where the production of “reality=

by means of visual media, like photos and films, played a well-documented
role in establishing and reproducing Nazi world view to the German societ=
(note 15). And although it is well-known that Adolf Hitler was a person w=
reacted very emotionally to what he saw (note 16) – and that many of his
decisions were taken suddenly and often took the men around him with
surprise – there does not seem to have existed a systematic analysis of t=
possible relation between such decisions taken by Hitler personally and t=
experiences he had had just before taking these decisions.=20

This observation – together with the use of both the newest psychiatric
knowledge on Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (note 17) and a broad semioti=
(note 18)/cultural anthropological (note 19) approach including a
consequent use of film, fotos, art, architecture, music etc. as sources
equal to the written source material – has led me to undertake an analysi=
of some of the situations in Adolf Hitler’s life where he took key

In the centre of my reconstruction of the most important decision of all =

the Holocaust decision – stands the source-critical analysis of the
notorious propaganda film “Der ewige Jude” (1940) which – from my point o=
view – can best be characterized as an X-ray of the decision-making proce=
itself, thus making the history of its production and distribution the
skeleton for a very precise chronology of the decision-making process (no=

Empirical research background

Going back to the formation of a critical historical science in the 19.
century there exists a long tradition concerning the standards of
publishing written sources, but although our century has witnessed the
development of other media for social communication, scholars of
contemporary history still seem to consider written evidence to be more
valuable and trustworthy than other kinds of sources. It should also be
noted that it has been specialists of medieval history – and not scholars
of contemporary history – who have taken the initiative to establish a
methodology for using film and television in historical research.

One of the pioneers was the late professor Niels Skyum-Nielsen at the
Institute of History, University of Copenhagen, who laid down his
principles in a book called “Film and Source Criticism” (only in Danish,
1972). His main interest was aimed at developing methods to evaluate the
authenticity of single clips which in his opnion always had a pars
eventu-character contrary to most written sources which normally had to b=
considered as post eventum-evidence.

In 1970 he made “Der ewige Jude” the topic of a project in order to
establish methodological criteria for future source-critical editions of
important film documents. The editorial method was based on these
principles, but it also had a semiotic angle, as it analysed in details t=
many different kinds of symbols and imagery in the film which were part o=
the social construction of reality for the German audience in the cinemas
in 1940.

Apart from this attempt to create an exemplary demonstration of how to ed=
historical film documents, the original research project soon came up wit=
another perspective. Film historians had for a long time claimed that on
the basis of an analysis of its contents, the film should be considered a=
deliberate targeting propaganda for the Holocaust; it should – using the
words of Erwin Leiser in 1968 – “turn brave citizens into willing mass
murderers” (note 21). Such a claim would, however, mean that a conscious
decision to instigate the Holocaust had been taken at least before the
first performance of the film on November 28, 1940, and for chronological
reasons this was imcompatible with the models of interpretation put forwa=
by historical research.

The original purpose of my analysis was therefore to demonstrate that a
painstaking source-critical analysis would show no positive evidence to
substantiate such a claim and that it must therefore be seen as an
over-interpretation by the film historians deriving from the sheer fact o=
the Holocaust. My original working hypothesis was to prove that the
production of the film was solely due to a wish by the Ministry of
Propaganda to use the film medium as a another means of legitimizing
anti-Semitism as a corner-stone in Nazi ideology to the German public.

During the study this hypothesis began to crumble, because it was
impossible for me to find any such evidence, which supported it in any wa=
Instead more and more sources indicated that the film expressed a
deliberate call for genocide where the “produced reality” in the most
reality-like medium at that time was intended to legitimate to the public
the “need” to annihilate the Jews of Europe. It should act as the “visual
proof” of Adolf Hitler’s notorious prophecy from January 30, 1939, which =
a recut version played a predominant part in the film’s conclusion.

It became clear that the whole film could only be understood as one long
“commercial” for genocide, using the same simple technique of
“problem/solution” now to be seen in TV-commercials for e.g. washing
detergents (note 22).=20

>From Goebbels’ diary as well as from other contemporary written sources i=
could furthermore be documented that the original concept of the film cam=
directly from the Minister of Propaganda himself, and that the film was
considered to be of such importance that Hitler himself saw several
versions of the film and repeatedly ordered changes. Eventually, it was
Hitler, not Goebbels, who decided upon the release of the film for the

Fritz Hippler – executive director of the film – told the BBC in 1992, in=
TV-interview, that=20

“Hitler wanted with this film to prove, so to speak, that Jewry was a
parasitic race in humanity which should be extirpated from the rest of
humanity. This film should be the very evidence for this purpose. For mor=
than 13 months this film was changed, recut, enlarged etc. on at least mo=
than a dozen occasions, not to speak of the different versions of the
commentary which became increasingly more bloodthirsty, more aggressive”
(note 23).=20

And the correctness of this testimony is corroborated in detail by the
source-critical analysis of the production history of the film.

The production history of “Der ewige Jude” (note 24)

On November 10th, 1938, the Fuehrer made an important speech to the Germa=
press (note 25). Although he did not directly refer to either the
Reichskristallnacht itself or to Jews in general, he nevertheless did so =
his own way, when he spoke about matters of foreign policy: as the German
Jews from his point of view did not belong to the German people, the Jewi=
Question consequently was a matter of foreign policy. Therefore, his whol=
speech can be regarded as his comments upon the lack of support for the
pogrom of the German public. He rebuked the propaganda makers for not
having understood his strategy – aiming at war – and made it unmistakingl=
clear to his audience what he meant:=20

“Coercion was the reason why for years I only talked about peace. But
gradually it became necessary to attune the German people psychologically
and slowly make them grasp that there do exist things which one must solv=
with violent means when this is not possible by peaceful means. To do so,
however, it was neccessary not to make propaganda for violence as such, b=
to elucidate certain events of foreign policy to the German people in suc=
a way that the nation’s inner voice all by itself slowly begins to call f=
violence. Accordingly, certain events would be presented in such a way th=
there in the brain of the broad masses gradually totally automatically
would evolve the conviction: What one cannot solve benignly, one has to
solve with violence because it cannot go on like that.”

The rebuke was certainly understood by Joseph Goebbels who immediately
launched a fierce anti-Jewish campaign and also for the first time decide=
to use the film medium as part of inducing anti-Semitism into the German
people (note 26). Being responsible for Nazi film production Goebbels had
for almost six years preferred other topics for the screen (including she=
entertainment and a more “positive” presentation of Nazi world view), but
immediately after Hitler’s speech he called upon the production companies
to present scripts for anti-Semitic feature films. Eventually this order
led to the production of two films, “Die Rothschilds” and “Jud Suess, bot=
released in 1940 (note 27).

Goebbels also wanted to have a “documentary” – a “reality film” – based o=
the concept of the 1937-exhibition in Munich called “Der ewige Jude” in
order to reach the attention of all Germany. He was, however, confronted
with a practical problem which delayed the production of the film: He
simply lacked footage of Jews who looked like Jews (i.e. Orthodox Jews) a=
the Polish authorities declined his request for filming in the ghettoes o=
Poland. However, with the outbreak of World War II this obstacle no longe=
existed, and the UFA newsreel 471 of September 14, 1939, contained a mino=
sequence with Polish Jews (note 28).=20

Three weeks later – on October 4, 1939, after having approved a newsreel
with a comprehensive story on life in the Polish ghettos – Goebbels decid=
to send Fritz Hippler, Head of the Film Department in the Ministry of
Propaganda, to Lodz to take further shots for a “Ghetto film”, and on the
following day he outlined the structure for such a film to Hippler and hi=
expert on anti-Semitism, Eberhard Taubert (note 29). Hippler was ordered =
film “characteristic types of Jews”, life in the ghetto, service in the
synagogue as well as ritual slaughter (note 30).=20

Hippler returned to Berlin on October 16, 1939. After having informed
Hitler about the project which had the Fuehrer’s “great interest”, Goebbe=
later that night saw half-an-hour of rushes with slaughter of cows, calfs
and sheep. Although Goebbels himself had ordered the recordings to look
like cruelty to animals – and so they were! – he was nevertheless deeply
shocked at what he saw. He wrote in his diary: “This Jewry must be
annihilated” (note 31). That night – October 16, 1939 – Goebbels must hav=
passed the “Threshold of Genocide” (Robert Jay Lifton), and from that day
on he deliberately used these pictures as well as the whole film producti=
as a cynical and ruthless advocacy for genocide.

Twelve days later Goebbels showed these slaughtering scenes to Hitler and
others present at the dinner table. According to his diary they were all
“deeply shocked” (note 32). And in estimating the effect on Hitler one
should not forget his attitude towards animals: he was almost religiously=
vegetarian (note 33). To Adolf Hitler these scenes – and later the whole
film, in which they were the emotional climax – must have functioned as a
reinforcing factor and legitimization of his latent wish to exterminate t=
Jews as the “Evil of the World”.

Three days later – on October 31, 1939 – Goebbels personally went to Lodz
and summarized his impressions of the visit in the ghetto in his diary:=20

“Lodz is a disgusting city. Driving through the ghetto. We get out and
inspect everything carefully. It is indescribable. They are no longer hum=
beings, but animals. It is, therefore, also no humanitarian task, but a
task for the surgeon. One has got to cut here and that most radically. Or
Europe will vanish one day due to the Jewish disease.” (note 34)=20

This notion certainly defined the whole mentality behind the production o=
the film and Goebbels was explicitly confirmed in his opinion of Jews by
Hitler when he reported on his visit to Poland. An entry in his diary of
November 2, 1939, states:=20

“Above all my description of the Jewish problem finds his (i.e. Hitler’s=
total approval. The Jew is garbage. Rather a clinical than a social
matter.” (note 35)

On this trip Goebbels was probably accompanied by his script-writer
Eberhard Taubert and a cameraman, Erich Stoll, who was considered to be
politically particularly trustworthy. Additional footage for the film was
shot. About one week later Goebbels saw new rushes – and during the
following weeks and months entries in his diary demonstrate how intensely
he took interest in the film, and how important he considered it to be. H=
diary from November 19, 1939: “I inform the Fuehrer about our Jew film. H=
gives some ideas for it. On the whole film is a very valuable propaganda
medium for us just now.” (note 36) It should also be noted that Goebbels
regarded himself as an important film maker (note 37), and that Hitler,
too, considered himself to be an expert on film propaganda. He took each
week the neccessary time to review the latest UFA-Newsreel. The Fuehrer
even sometimes ordered changes before approval for public screening (note

On December 11, 1939, the Fuehrer rebuked Goebbels for bad film making –
and worse: It happened at Hitler’s dinner table while Goebbels’ intimate
enemy Rosenberg was present (note 39). “Der ewige Jude” could therefore
also be seen as Goebbels’ answer to this rebuke. The first cut of January
8, 1940, did not include the sequence with Hitler’s notorious prophecy ma=
on January 30, 1939. It contained only “Jewish” scenes (including a
comparison between Jews and rats) and climaxed with the slaughter scenes
(note 40). Hitler turned this version down on January 11, 1940 (note 41).=

Unfortunately, it is impossible to discern who came up with the idea of
including the speech: Goebbels, Hitler or a film-researcher looking for a
suitable Hitler-quotation. But, as the Fuehrer’s public response to the
Jewish way of slaughter, it was included in the following versions. The
quotation that ‘if a war should start the consequence would be “the
annihilation of the Jewish race in Europe”‘ was, as-it-were, “hammered”
into Hitler’s own mind by constant repetition as he viewed Goebbels’
different versions.=20

A protocol of a test screening before top propagandists from all branches
of the Third Reich on March 1, 1940, proves that “Der ewige Jude” was
tested the way commercials are tested to-day before shown on television
(note 42). Another intention of this screening was probably to radicalize
the mentality of these opinion-makers of German society through the effec=
of the slaughter scenes, as ritual slaughter had for long been one of the
spearheads of anti-Semitic propaganda. This protocol is together with the
source-critical shot-to-shot analysis of the film another elucidating pro=
of the subtle accuracy and the technical perfection with which “Der ewige
Jude” was produced in order to be as effectful as possible.=20

>From the start, the so-called “film document” was to be understood as
Goebbels’ advocacy for a radical solution as the ultimate logical
consequence of Hitler’s own anti-Semitism – the Fuehrer, not Goebbels,
being the decision-maker in the “Jewish Question”. And this also seems to
be the reason why the film was so very well “researched” and in an almost
“scientific” way embedded in the traditions of anti-Semitic propaganda,
although it also used the whole range of audio-visual manipulations known
in 1940 (note 43).=20

According to the rolling titles at the beginning of the film it was a
“documentary film” which “shows us Jews the way they really are, before
they conceal themselves behind the mask of the civilized European.” It us=
the slaughter scenes as the emotional climax, claiming that the reason fo=
showing this “original footage”, which belonged to the “most dreadful” ev=
recorded by a camera, was justified by one argument: By means of seeing f=
themselves the German people would at last “comprehend the truth of Jewry=
And according to the commentary – read by the authoritative speaker of th=
Newsreels – “these pictures prove the cruelty of this form of slaughter. =
reveals the character of a race which conceals its brutality beneath the
cloak of pious religious practices.”

Therefore the screenings of the film – being Hitler’s only concrete
confrontation with Jews after the Campaign in Poland – must have actualiz=
the Jewish question in general and especially the “need” for him to take =
decision in accordance with his ideology. It must have put him
psychologically under pressure for making a move, as the “Saviour” of the
German people, and thus to adhere to his own “prophecy” of January 30,
1939, which in the film was presented as the “solution” to the Jewish
problem. And in 1940 the premise had become a reality, as the war was
already in progress – a fact which was explicitly stressed in the promoti=
in press and radio, when the film finally had its opening night on Novemb=
28, 1940.

It was, however, only when “Providence” once more had confirmed him in hi=
psychopatic world view on May 20, 1940 (i.e. when German troops according
to his strategy cut the enemy forces into two by reaching the Channel
Coast, and thus proving to himself that he had chosen the right strategy
contrary to the advice of his military staff), that he seems to have give=
Goebbels his approval of the version of the film which is known today (no=

The visualized and structured externalisation of Hitler’s more vague
thinking through the “film document” had finally struck back. It had beco=
the validation of his own hatred to the Jews and had removed any last
doubts he, Hitler, might still have had in his subconsciousness. To the
World, the climax of this film was to be understood as the Fuehrer’s
unspoken yet incontrovertible Sentence of Death upon the Jews. And yet,
from his psychopatic point of view it was not him, but “Fate” – or
“Providence” – that commanded the extermination of Evil: He was just a

“Der ewige Jude” was nevertheless not released immediately after its
approval by Hitler in May, 1940. The reason was that it awaited the final
cut of the feature film “Jew Suess” which was another part of the
propaganda package and which should arouse those anti-Semitic feelings th=
were to be “proven” by the other, “authentic film-document” (note 45).
While “Jud Suess” had its opening night during the film festival of Venic=
on September 6, 1940, “Der ewige Jude” was shown to the top people of the
Third Reich on September 8.=20

On that occasion Goebbels used it as a concrete demonstration of the new
kind of war propaganda, which was to be used to prepare the German audien=
for the continuation of the war (note 46). Members of the attendant
audience protested strongly against showing the slaughtering scenes outsi=
party meetings, and Goebbels had to produce a milder version for women an=
children. However, he insisted that both should be screened in public
cinemas (note 47).

“Der ewige Jude” finally had its opening night on November 28, 1940, when
the director of the film – Fritz Hippler – stressed that the film was the
proof of the correctness of Hitler’s prophecy of 1939. In an interview,
broadcasted all over Germany, Hippler ended by quoting this prophecy afte=
having pointed out that the premise – the war – had become reality (note

And just after the film had been shown all over Germany, Hitler himself o=
January 30, 1941, started recalling this his prophecy in his broadcasted
speeches – thus virtually giving oral confirmation of the call for genoci=
expressed and legitimized in the film (note 49). Especially as he – on th=
occasion and ever after (note 50) – claimed to have said it at the very
outbreak of the war (just as he backdated the Euthanasia order). It was t=
dreadful images of the “inhumanity” of the Jews that the German public wa=
expected to recall when they heard or read these speeches. In a time wher=
real blood was virtually never shown on the screen, the slaughter scenes
certainly had the same psychological effect of creating the genocidal
mentality as the use of pictures of commited atrocities by the enemy duri=
the war in former Yugoslavia in the 1990’s (note 51).

In other words, there are many cogent reasons to argue that “Der ewige
Jude” can be considered to be Hitler’s public statement to perpetrators a=
bystanders of what was going to be the next step in his war against the
Jews(note 52).

The final decision

Using this notion and the well-established chronology of the production o=
“Der ewige Jude” it seems possible to suggest the exact dates and places
for Hitler’s insane decision and for his order to Heinrich Himmler to tak=
charge of the extermination project.=20

Hitler’s pattern of behaviour during the Campaign in France was certainly
defined by his war trauma from WW1. Although he was the Supreme Commander
of the German army he was more interested in visiting his old battle-fiel=
from this war (note 53). From a psychological point-of-view the approval =
“Der ewige Jude” for public release must have activated his latent desire
for a “Final Solution of the Jewish Question”, but his visits to key plac=
of relevance to his own, personal war trauma pulled the trigger and
enforced his irrevocable decision to kill European Jewry. =20

On June 1, 1940 at around 6 p.m. Adolf Hitler returned to a little hill
called “La Montagne” on the French-Belgian border, 2 kilometres to the
south of the village of Wervicq (note 54). Here during the night of Octob=
13/14, 1918, he had been blinded by a British gas grenade (note 55). He h=
then been transferred to a hospital in Pasewalk, Pomerania, where he
recovered his ability to see, but as on November 10, 1918, he heard that
the Kaiserreich had disintegrated and Germany lost the war, he wept
hysterically and once more he temporarily lost his eye-sight (note 56).

In order to get back his ability to see the future “psychopatic God”
(Robert G.L. Waite) Adolf Hitler signed his personal Faustian pact with t=
Devil – or God or Providence, as Hitler preferred to call it. At least th=
is how he himself perceived and internalized this traumatic experience
(note 57), which made him take the decision to become a politician: “With
the Jew there can be no pact – only ‘either … or'”. This sentence becam=
the “credo” of his life (note 58).=20

Standing on “La Montagne” he was once more confirmed in his “mission”,
because with his very own eyes Hitler could see that he had done what he
had promised himself to do in Pasewalk. He had turned the wheel of histor=
and reestablished the power of the German nation: He had achieved the
conquest of France.=20

Apart from this psychological argument there is some evidence supporting
such an interpretation, especially if one accepts the notion of Yehuda
Bauer and others, that the war against the Soviet Union from Hitler’s poi=
of view, was a war against the Jews (note 59). On the day after the visit
to Werwicq – June 2, 1940 – he told a general, that he hoped that England
would soon “come to its sense”, so that he could commence his “real task”
and march against “Bolshevik Russia” (note 60).=20

The following days also saw new initiatives in anti-Jewish policy (note
61), but the most important piece of evidence is probably the secret decr=
of June 5, 1940, which could be used to cancel all German laws representi=
legal obstacles to total warfare (note 62). This move can hardly have bee=
justified by the second phase of the campaign in France, but must be seen
in connection with a principal decision of attacking the Soviet Union. Th=
interpretation is supported by the dates when the decree was renewed –
December 20, 1940 and May 15, 1941. Both have clear connections with the
planning of Operation Barbarossa.=20

On the following day – June 6, 1940 – Hitler moved to a new Field
Headquarters which he himself renamed and gave the symbolic name
“Wolfsschlucht” (note 63). The “Wolfsschlucht” does not only refer to
Hitler’s first name – “the noble Wolf” – but also to the German national
opera “Der Freischuetz” by Carl Maria von Weber, where the Wolf’s Gorge i=
the place of a Faustian pact with the Devil. Shortly after he also named
the next Field Headquarters to be used in Schwartzwald after the
capitulation of France. He called it “Tannenberg”, thus clearly indicatin=
his decision to attack Russia as his next step in the war (note 64).

On June 17, 1940, France asked for negotiations and Hitler ordered a
“re-enactment” of the armistice of WW1 in Compi=E8gne on June 21, where h=
was present as a “mute”, god-like figure. However, he also visited old
battle-fields that day, including the site near Soissons where he had bee=
awarded his Iron Cross 1st Class (note 65). Then – on the evening of June
22, 1940 – he received the official document, stating that France had
surrendered. From a psychological point of view this must have been the
final confirmation to Hitler of his “chosenness”, and this made him
externalize the decision taken at Werwicq. He called upon Heinrich Himmle=
right after having received the document around 9 p.m. and installed him =
an oral order with the task to annihilate all European Jews.

This hypothesis, based on an analysis of Hitler’s traumatic pattern of
behaviour, is supported by one written source. According to Himmler’s
masseur Felix Kersten, Himmler at first refused to accept the order,
because he considered it to be “un-Germanic” to kill an entire people, bu=
finally he gave in and accepted the dreadful commission (note 66). Kerste=
claimed that this command was given by Hitler “immediately after the
capitulation of France” – and that Himmler explicitly blamed Goebbels as
the person who had made Hitler take the decision (note 67). From Kersten =
also learn how the Fuehrer carefully checked Himmler’s various actions. F=
example, Hitler had all Himmler’s secret speeches recorded – and Himmler
later told Kersten about Hitler’s rages when the Fuehrer found his speech=
or measures too weak – or when he didn’t like the speed with which the
actions against the Jews were being carried out (note 68).

As usual when confronted with moral problems Himmler got stomach cramps a=
let Heydrich – the real “Architect of the Final Solution” – take over (no=
69). On June 24, 1940, Heydrich wrote a short but pointed letter to
Ribbentrop, reminding him that in January 1939 Goering had entrusted him,
Heydrich, with authority over Jewish emigration. As the American speciali=
on this matter, Richard Breitman, has pointed out, this letter is
unthinkable, unless Heydrich was sure that he acted on the authority of t=
Fuehrer (note 70).

The assumption that Hitler gave such a verbal order to Himmler on June 22=
1940, would explain why there is no reference to Jews in Himmler’s second
plan for Germanization of Eastern Europe, dated June 30, 1940, in contras=
to his former plan, presented to and approved by Hitler on May 25, 1940
(note 71). It would also explain the purpose of Heydrich’s wellknown repo=
of July 2, 1940, on the activities of the SS and the SD during and after
the Polish Campaign (note 72). This report was certainly intended for
Hitler’s eyes and can be seen as an operational step to secure the
independence of the killer force. At the same time it can be seen as the
formal acceptance by Heydrich (and Himmler) of the assignment.=20

In return for this acceptance there is some evidence that suggests that
Hitler promised Himmler a both significant and somewhat odd “fee”: On Jul=
12, 1940, the Reichsfuehrer-SS got permission to tear down a church and
enlarge the Wewelsburg Castle near Paderborn which Himmler meant to be th=
future “Centre of the World” (note 73). The architecture of the North Tow=
as well as the planning of the whole site implies that Hitler’s body was
going to be buried here, and the possession of this most sacred “relic” o=
The Third Reich would secure Himmler’s power after Hitler’s death (note

The implementation of the order

The Reichsfuehrer-SS was to keep the task as secret as possible, followin=
Hitler’s general instructions of not letting anyone know anything they di=
not need to know, and to inform those, who had to know, as late as possib=
(note 75). In this respect, the plan for sending the Jews to Madagascar w=
part of the cover-up, because it ensured the cooperation of the authoriti=
(from Eichmann as chief coordinator and down- and outwards in the
bureaucracy) and of the Jews themselves, who were made to believe in this
possibility of a “human way” of solving the Jewish problem (note 76).
Judging from the psychology and moral thinking of Himmler, he – contrary =
Heydrich – was reluctant to carry out his assignment and desparately hope=
that the Madagascar Plan would become a reality, for both Madagascar and
annihilation had the first phase – registration and segregation – in

The designated murderers (including Himmler himself) had to be
psychologically prepared, because they had to believe that they were doin=
something good and noble – even while killing. And the German public as
well as the non-Jewish population in occupied Europe had to accept what w=
going to happen to the (once) fellow citiziens that they could still meet
in the streets.

“Der ewige Jude” was instrumental for this purpose together with the
feature film “Jew Suess”. Both films were used to “elucidate” the Jewish
problem to the Waffen-SS which had to cope with the gradually growing
economical and social problems of detaining Jews in ghettos (note 77), an=
the public showings of these films in Germany and the rest of occupied
Europe were a subtle way of making the public accomplices in the killings
(note 78) – even if the task itself was delegated to the SS. In acting in
this manner, Hitler once more followed the strategy he had outlined in th=
chapter on propaganda and organization in “Mein Kampf” (note 79).=20

Hitler’s prediction of a “conviction” that would be “gradually, totally a=
automatically released” became true, as we can discern from the
above-mentioned testimony by Kurt Moebius as well=20
as from the notorius letter from Rolf-Heinz Hoeppner in Lublin to Adolf
Eichmann on July 16, 1941. Hoeppner found it more ‘human’ to search for a
way of killing the Jews than to let them starve in the forthcoming winter.
In his brain-washed mind they had to die anyway (note 80).

Concluding comments and perspectives

The source-critical shot-to-shot analysis of the film demonstrates that
“Der ewige Jude” probably is the most manipulated film ever made (note 81=
Apart from being a shuddering example of Nazi paranoia towards the Jews i=
is also one of the best illustrations of how distorted “reality” can be
used as a means of creating hate and genocidal mentality, because the way
it was done can be documented down to the tiniest detail.

Unfortunately, the story of the “produced reality” of “Der ewige Jude” is
not just a contribution to the ongoing academic discussion of the
decision-making proces, which led to the Holocaust. Despite the fact that
German authorities has forbidden its distribution and public showing, it
can easily be obtained in both German and English versions and it is used
by Neo-Nazi groups as “cult film” (note 82). Finally, one has just to see
the propaganda of the contending sides in former Yugoslavia to conclude
that Joseph Goebbels with his anti-Semitic films did create standards for
dehumanization that still are applied as justification of genocide (note

The psychologist Israel W. Charny once concluded from his comprehensive
study of genocidal killing: “The mass killers of humankind are largely
everyday human beings – what we have called normal people according to
currently accepted definitions by the health profession” (note 84). The
sociologist Everett C. Hughes confirmed the observation by Hannah Arendt =
Eichmann and stated that such mass killers could in fact be viewed as “go=
people” doing the “dirty work” of their societies (note 85). The
sociologist Michael Ley has described the necessity to understand the
“religious” function of National Socialism (note 86) and the sociologist
Zygmunt Bauman has stressed genocide as part of modern mass society (note
87). Finally the sociologist Eric Markusen and the historian David Kopf
have underlined the function of mediated dehumanization as a neccessary
condition for such mass killings (note 88).

Bearing all these observations on the reasons for instigating past
genocides in mind one also has to acknowledge another important fact whic=
in many ways have been sadly neglected by scholars of genocide: the
influence of modern mass media. As most of our conscious perception of th=
outer world derives from our eyes and as modern society is more and more
developing into a mediated “information society”, where our perception of
reality is more and more shaped by visual information, it becomes urgentl=
important to create a scientific approach which can integrate and compare
information from written and non-written evidence.=20

The case of “Der ewige Jude” as Hitler’s unspoken, yet unmistakingly clea=
order to commit genocide is a warning example that we as historical
scientists need to revaluate our basic thinking and methodology, deriving
from the traditional primacy of written evidence, and to take the
consequence of the fundamental character of science as societal
communication. As the history of the film shows, it is neccessary to use =
broader approach than the traditional, based as it is on the assumption
that only written evidence is permissible in scientific contexts.=20

Notes and references:

1. I would like to express my gratitude to Professor Gerald Fleming,
London, for his encouraging and challenging criticism during the
preparation of this paper, which contains the core summary of a book whic=
was published last year in Danish: Forermyten. Adolf Hitler, Joseph
Goebbels og historien bag et folkemord. Copenhagen 1996, 424 pages.

2. Daniel Jonah Goldhagen: Hitler’s Willing Executioners. Ordinary German=
and the Holocaust. New York 1996. – Cf. Julius H. Schoeps (ed.): Ein Volk
von Moerdern? Dokumentation zur Goldhagen-Kontroverse um die Rolle der
Deutschen im Holocaust. Hamburg 1996.

3. Christopher R. Browning: The Path to Genocide. Essays concerning the
Final Solution. Cambridge 1992. – Philippe Burrin: Hitler und die Juden.
Die Entscheidung fuer den Voelkermord. Frankfurt 1993. – Christopher R.
Browning: “The Euphoria if Victory and the Final Solution: Summer-Fall
1941”. German Studies Review 17 (1994), No. 3, 473-481. – Richard Breitma=
“Plans for the Final Solution in Early 1941”. German Studies Review 17
(1994), No. 3, 483-493.

4. Cf. note 3.

5. Gerald Fleming: Hitler und die Endloesung: “es ist des Fuehrers
Wunsch…”. Frankfurt/Main 1987.

6. Eberhard J=E4ckel: Hitlers Weltanschauung: Entwurf einer Herrschaft.
Stuttgart 1986. – Eberhard J=E4ckel/Juergen Rohwer (ed.): Der Mord an den
Juden im Zweiten Weltkrieg. Stuttgart 1985.

7. Karl A. Schleunes: “Nationalsozialistische Entschlussbildung und die
Aktion T 4”. In J=E4ckel/Rohwer (note 6), p. 70-83.

8. Goetz Aly/Susanne Heim: Vordenker der Vernichtung. Auschwitz und die
deutschen Pl=E4ne fuer eine neue europ=E4ische Ordnung. Frankfurt/Main 19=
93. –
Goetz Aly: “Endloesung”. Voelkerverschiebung und der Mord an den
europ=E4ischen Juden. Frankfurt/Main 1995.

9. Cf. note 3.

10. Hans Mommsen: “Die Realisierung des Utopischen: Die ‘Endloesung der
Judenfrage’ im ‘Dritten Reich’. Geschichte und Gesellschaft 3 (1983), p.

11. Cf. Ian Kershaw: The Nazi Dictatorship: Problems and Perspectives of
Interpretation. London 1993.

12. Hannah Arendt: Eichmann in Jerusalem. A Report on the Banality of Evi=
Penguin edition, 1978, p. 276.

13. Goldhagen (note 2) p. 179. My underlining.

14. Peter L. Berger/Thomas Luckmann: The Social Construction of Reality: =
Treatise in the Sociology of Knowledge. Penguin 1972.=20

15. David Welch: Propaganda and the German Cinema 1933-1945. Oxford 1983.=

Rudolf Herz: Hoffmann & Hitler. Fotografie als Medium des Fuehrer-Mythos.
Muenchen 1994.

16. Robert G.L. Waite: The Psychopatic God Adolf Hitler. New York 1977. –
Norbert Bromberg/Verena V. Small: Hitler’s Psychopathology. New York 1983.
– I have describe several examples of this in my book Forermyten (note 1).
One of them also is a significant example of, how his perception of films
made him take important decisions. It is well-known that it was Hitler’s
personal letter to Stalin on August 20, 1939, that was the reason why the
Hitler-Stalin-Pact became a reality. In her memoirs Leni Riefenstahl tell=
what happened immediately before Hitler wrote this letter. Sie was presen=
when Hitler saw foreign news-reels: “In one of them one saw Stalin at a
military parade in Moscow. Among the shots were some which showed the
profile of Stalin in close-ups. I saw that Hitler bend forward and looked
upon them very concentrated. As the screening was over, he surprisingly
demanded to see the news-reel one more time without saying why. When Stal=
once more was to be seen, I heard him say: ‘This man has a good face – on=
ought to be able to negotiate with him.’ When the lights were turned on,
Hitler got up, excused himself and left.” Leni Riefenstahl: Memoiren
1902-1945. Frankfurt/Main 1994, p. 344. Her story is confirmed by an entr=
in Goebbels’ diary of March 15, 1940, when Hitler related his view upon
Stalin: “The Fuehrer saw once Stalin in a film, and he (i.e. Stalin) seem=
immediately to be sympathetic to him (i.e. Hitler). At that moment the
German-Russian coalition actually had begun.” Elke Froehlich (ed.): Die
Tagebuecher von Joseph Goebbels. S=E4mtliche Fragmente. Muenchen 1987. Vo=
4, p. 75.

17. It is well-known that Adolf Hitler’s pattern of behaviour was highly
ritualized and was characterized by acts of obsessions, cf. Waite (note 1=
and Bromberg/Small (note 16). The kind of his psychopathology is reflecte=
in his keen interest in dates, places and symbols. This is one of the
reasons why I in my Danish book Forermyten (note 1)have presented him as =
person suffering from some kind of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
after his decision to become a politician in Pasewalk on November 10, 191=
The notion could probably be supported by an psychiatric expert on these
matters who could make a lot of observations on Hitler by means of the
massive amounts of film material which exists and to my knowledge only ha=
been used once by a psychiatrist, although for another purpose. Ellen
Gibbels: Hitlers Nervenkrankheit – Eine neurologisch-psychiatrische Studi=
Vierteljahrshefte fuer Zeitgeschichte 42 (1994), p. 155-220. – A survey o=
the literature on PTSD is given by John P. Wilson/Beverley Raphael (ed.):
International Handbook of Traumatic Stress Syndromes. New York 1993.

18. John K. Sheriff: The Fate of Meaning: Charles Peirce, Structuralism a=
Literature. Princeton 1987. – Charles Morris: Languages and Behavior. New
York 1946. – Charles Morris: Foundations of the Theory of Signs. Chicago
1970. -Christian Metz: Film-Language: A Semiotics of the Cinema. Oxford
1974. – Suegfried Kracauer: From Caligari to Hitler. A psychological
History of the German Film. Princeton 1970.

19. Claude L=E9vi-Strauss: Structural Anthropology. Penguin 1972. – Marce=
H=E9naff: Claude L=E9vi-Strauss. Paris 1991. – Michael Walitschke: Im Wal=
d der
Zeichen: Linguistik und Anthropologie – das Werk von Claude L=E9vi-Straus=
Tuebingen 1995. – Roland Barthes: Mythologies. Paris 1970. – Roland
Barthes: Le texte et l’image. Paris 1986. – Iren=E4us Eibl-Eibesfeldt: Li=
und Hass. Zur Naturgeschichte elementarer Verhaltensweisen. Muenchen 1972.

20. Stig Hornshoj-Moller: “Der ewige Jude”. Quellenkritische Analyse eine=
antisemitischen Propagandafilms. Institut fuer den Wissenschaftlichen Fil=
Goettingen 1995 (=3D Beitr=E4ge zu zeitgeschichtlichen Filmquellen Bd. 2)=
. –
Stig Hornshoj-Moller: “Die Entscheidung. Der antisemitische Propagandafil=
‘Der ewige Jude’ und seine Bedeutung fuer den Holocaust. In: Gerhard
Maletzke/Ruediger Steinmetz (ed.): Zeiten und Medien – Medienzeiten.
Festschrift zum 60. Geburtstag von Karl Friedrich Reimers. Leipziger
Universit=E4tsverlag, Leipzig 1995, 142-163. – Stig Hornshoj-Moller: “‘De=
ewige Jude’ (1940) – Legitimation und Ausloeser eines Voelkermordes. In:
Karl Friedrich Reimers (Hrsg.): Unser Jahrhundert im Film und Fernsehen.
Verlag oelschl=E4ger, Muenchen 1995, 59-97.

21. Erwin Leiser: Deutschland, erwache! Reinbek/Hamburg 1968, p. 67.

22. When commercial TV was introduced in Denmark in 1987 I worked for two
year as the assistent in-house producer for a very experienced English
producer who worked as a consultant for the second biggest advertising
agency in Denmark. We also produced four major commercials for washing
detergent. There were striking similarities between the way the
audio-visual medium was used to influence people in The Third Reich and i=
a modern democratic country like Denmark. My experience from this job,
however, made me understand the “creative” process during the production =
“Der ewige Jude” much better.

23. Lawrence Reece: We have Ways of Making You Think. Goebbels – Master o=
Propaganda. BBC – International Services, 23.12. 1992.

24. The production history is described in details in my source-critical
edition (note 20).

25. Wilhelm Treue: “Rede Hitlers vor der deutschen Presse (10. November
1938). Vierteljahreshefte fuer Zeitgeschichte 6 (1958), p. 175-88.

26. Ralf Georg Reuth: Goebbels. Muenchen 1990, p. 399-400.

27. Dorothea Hollstein: Jud Suess und die Deutschen. Frankfurt/Main 1983.=

R=E9gine Mihal Friedmann: L’image et son juif. Paris 1983.

28. The very same day Hitler had a meeting with Reichsfuehrer-SS, Heinric=
Himmler, which can be seen as the beginning of the policy of establishing
ghettos as formally ordered by Himmler’s deputy, Reinhard Heydrich, on
September 21. Here, too, visual perception can be seen as the releasing
factor for the decision: Hitler had had all his prejudices of Jews –
actually looking like Jews – confirmed while visiting the already
overcrowded ghetto of Lodz the day before, and once again on September 20=
when both Himmler and Heydrich were present.=20

29. Cf. my source-critical edition of the film (note 20) p. 16.

30. For chronological reasons it should be noted that Hitler on October 6=
1939, outlined his concept for Eastern Europe in a broadcasted speech
before the Reichstag and that he on the following day made Himmler
responsible for the “Germanization” of the area. It was also at that time
that he signed the authorization of the Euthanasia project – which Hitler
by the way backdated to the outbreak of the war at September 1, 1939. War
was to him a process of “racial cleansing”. This project had been on its
way for some time, but here too “visual exposure of reality” played an
important role for his final decision: Philipp Bouhler had shown
documentary footage of mentally ill persons at his dinner table on August
8, 1939.

31. Froehlich (note 16) vol. 3, p. 612. – According to Hippler’s memoirs,
Goebbels “wanted to show me how somebody with a proper attitude towards t=
Jewish question would react. Almost every close-up was accompanied by
shouts of disgust and loathing; some scenes he criticized so strongly as =
to bring a reaction from the screen itself; at the ritual slaughter-scene=
he held his hands over his face.” Fritz Hippler: Die Verstrickung.
Duesseldorf 1981, p. 187.

32. Entry in Goebbels’ diary under October 29, 1939. Froehlich (note 16)
vol. 3, p. 625-26.

33. Waite (note 16) p. 27f. Froehlich (note 16) vol 3, p.680, entry in
Goebbels’ diary from December 29, 1939: “The Fuehrer is a fundamentally
convinced vegetarian.”=20

34. Froehlich (note 16) vol 3, p. 628-29.

35. Froehlich (note 16) vol. 3, p. 630.

36. Froehlich (note 16) vol. 3, p. 647.

37. Rudolf Semler: Goebbels – The Man Next to Hitler. London 1947, p.

38. E.g. on November 9, 1939. Froehlich (note 16) vol. 3, p. 638.

39. Hans-Guenther Seraphim (ed.): Das politische Tagebuch Alfred Rosenber=
aus den Jahren 1934/35 und 1939/40. Muenchen 1964, p. 110-11.

40. Frank Maraun: “Symphonie des Ekels. Der ewige Jude – ein
abendfuellender Dokumentarfilm. Der deutsche Film 4 (1939/40) p. 156-61.

41. Froehlich (note 16) vol. 4, p. 11.

42. Institut fuer Zeitgeschichte, Muenchen. Mc 31 a. Fritz Hippler.

43. “Der ewige Jude” contained nothing new, but was virtually a filmed
“black book” filled with examples from many years of anti-Semitic
traditions. As part of the propaganda set-up – and as with all feature
films of the day – one could purchase an illustrated program, the
Illustrierte Film-Kurier, with a summary of the contents of the film whic=
is reprinted here in order to give an impression of this the hate-film of
all times:

“The film begins with an impressive expedition through the Jewish ghetto=
in Poland. We are shown Jewish living quarters, which in our view cannot =
called houses. In these dirty rooms lives and prays a race, which earns i=
living not by work but by haggling and swindling. From the little urcin t=
the old man, they stand in the streets, trading and bargaining. Using tri=
photography, we are shown how the Jewish racial mixture in Asia Minor
developed and flooded the entire world. We see a parallel to this in the
itinerant routes of rats, which are the parasites and bacillus-carriers
among animals, just as the Jews occupy the same position among mankind. T=
Jew has always known how to assimilate his external appearance to that of
his host. Contrasted are the same Jewish types, first the Eastern Jew wit=
his kaftan, beard, and sideburns, and then the clean-shaven, Western
European Jew. This strikingly demonstrates how he has deceived the Aryan
people. Under this mask he increased his influence more and more in Aryan
nations and climbed to higher-ranking positions. But he could not change
his inner being.
After the bannishment of the Jews from Europe was lifted, following the
age of Enlightment, the Jew succeeded within the course of several decade=
in dominating the world economy, before the various host nations realized=

and this despite the fact that they made up only 1 per cent of the world
population. An excerpt from an American film about the Rothschilds, made =
Jews, reveals to us the cunning foundations of their banking empire. Then
we see how Jews, working for their international finance, drive the Germa=
people into the November Revolution. They then shed their anonymity and
step out openly on to the stage of political and cultural life. Thus the
men who were responsible for the disgraceful debasement of the German
people are paraded before us. Incontestable examples are shown of how the=
robbed the country and the people of immense sums. As well as gaining
financial supremacy they were able to dominate cultural life. The repulsi=
pictures of so-called Jewish ‘art’ reveal the complete decline of cultura=
life at that time. Using original sequences from contemporary films, the
degrading and destructive tendency of Jewish power is exposed. For hundre=
of years German artists have glorified figures from the Old Testament,
knowing full well the real face of Jewry. How the Jew actually looks like
is shown in scenes shot by Jews themselves in a ‘culture film’ of a Purim
festival, which is still celebrated today to commemorate the slaughter of
75.000 anti-Semitic Persians, and the doctrine with which future Rabbis i=
Jewish schools are educated to be political pedagogues. We look into a
Jewish ‘Talmud’ class and experience the oriental tone of the ceremony in=
Jewish synagogue, where Jews conduct business deals among themselves duri=
the holy services.
However, the cruel face of Judaism is most brutally displayed in the
final scenes, in which original shots of a kosher butchering are revealed=
These film documents of the inhuman slaughter of cattle and sheep without
anaesthesia provide conclusive evidence of a brutalty which is simply
inconceivable to all Aryan people. In shining contrast, the film closes
with pictures of German people and German order which fill the viewer wit=
a feeling of deep gratification for belonging to a race whose Fuehrer is
fundamentally solving the Jewish problem.”

44. The evidence is circumstancial, but this date is the only one that
interlocks with the logic of the film production and with the psychologic=
pattern of Hitler’s behaviour. From an entry in Goebbels’ diary on May 9,
1940, we know that he is still working on the final cut. Froehlich (note
16), vol. 4, p. 150-51. We know from the same diary, that he sent a
transportable projector to Hitler’s Field Headquarters because he
considered it important for his activities as a propaganda minister that
Hitler at least could see the news-reels. Entry from May 12, 1940,
Froehlich (note 16) vol. 4, p. 156. In the following days Goebbels does n=
refer to “Der ewige Jude” in his diary, but on May 23 he suddenly informe=
his staff that he was satisfied with the film in its present version. Wil=
A. Boelcke (ed.): Kriegspropaganda 1939-1941. Geheime Ministerkonferenzen
im Reichspropagandaministerium. Stuttgart 1966, p. 487. It was the first
time that “Der ewige Jude” is mentioned officially in the protocol of the
secret conferences and it can only mean that Hitler must have approved it
before this date. Another indication of an approval on May 20 might be th=
fact that the earliest hint towards a future campaign against
Jewish-Bolshevik Russia was a remark from Hitler to general Halder on May
21. Klaus Hildebrand: Deutsche Aussenpolitik. Kalkuel oder Dogma? Stuttga=
1990, p. 99. =20

45. Cf. note 27.

46. Froehlich (note 16) vol. 4, p. 315.

47. Boelcke (note 44) p. 503 and 518.

48. Interview printed in three German film magazines: Der Film No. 48/194=
Film-Kurier No. 279/1940; Filmwelt No. 49/1940. Reprinted in my
source-critical edition (note 20) p. 309-12.

49. M. Domarus (ed.): Hitler. Reden und Proklamationen. Wuerzburg 1962.
Vol. 2, p. 1663.

50. C.C. Aronsfeld: “‘Perish Judah’. Nazi Extermination Propaganda
1920-1945. Pattern of Prejudice 12,5 (1978), p. 22-23.

51. During the summer of 1992 I closely followed Serbian and Croate
Television live on Cable-TV. My experiences from viewing these programs a=
well as the whole mix of programs finally made me leave my original worki=
hypothesis and to accept “Der ewige Jude” as a crucial factor for
instigating the Holocaust.

52. This interpretation is supported by three further arguments: 1)
Goebbels would never have dared to present a film on such a key issue in
Nazi ideology to the public without the explicit approval by the Fuehrer.
2) In 1940 all visual representation of the Fuehrer had to be approved by
him personally. 3) The significance of the Fuehrer-Myth and the way Hitle=
was presented to the German public by means of documentary footage is
documented through the SD-report from November 28, 1940 (the opening nigh=
of “Der ewige Jude”), commenting on the news-reels: “There is still an
overwhelming interest for all shots of the Fuehrer. It is almost so that =
news-reel without pictures of the Fuehrer is not regarded as a proper
news-reel. One wishes all the time to see what he looks like, whether he =
grave or laughs. On the other hand one is deeply disappointed that for a
long time one has not been able to hear his voice in the news-reels, too.=

– Heinz Boberach: Meldungen aus dem Reich. Neuwied-Berlin 1965, p. 114f.=20

53. Cf. Froehlich (note 16), vol. 4, 192.

54. Bundesarchiv-Milit=E4rarchiv Freiburg. RW 47/6. Kriegstagebuch des
Kommandanten Fuehrerhauptquartier. Entry from June 1, 1940, shows that
Hitler visited Wervicq that afternoon after having visited other sites of
WW1. His photographer Heinrich Hoffmann took nine photos on that occasion.
Fotoarchiv Hoffmann, Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, Muenchen. File XVI. 39.

55. Adolf Hitler: Mein Kampf. 681-685. Auflage. Muenchen 1942, p. 220-21.

56. Mein Kampf (note 55) p. 222-25.

57. Rudolph Binion: “… dass ihr mich gefunden habt”. Hitler und die
Deutschen: Eine Psychoanalyse. Stuttgart 1978. In an appendix (p. 178-81)
Binion has collected many sources of how Hitler himself described what
happened in Pasewalk.=20

58. From my reading as a lay-man of modern research on Post Traumatic
Stress Disorder – using the excellent library of the International Resear=
and Rehabilitation Center for Torture Victims in Copenhagen – it seems to
be a very fruitful hypothesis to regard Adolf Hitler as a person sufferin=
from a potential PTSD and to use modern knowledge on this condition as th=
structural explanation of the development of his personality. The doctor
that treated him in Pasewalk described him as being hysterical because of=
shell shock, which was the way PTSD was diagnosed at that time. – This
approach might also point to the reason why Adolf Hitler hated the Jews –
and not the English who had sent the shell that blinded him. Brigitte
Hamann has recently shown that when Hitler left Vienna in Spring 1913, he
had not yet become a fanatic anti-Semite, although his impressions from
Vienna later became part of the reasoning behind his anti-Semitism.
Brigitte Hamann: Hitlers Wien. Lehrjahre eines Diktators. Muenchen 1996.
Therefore we have to search a personal experience with a Jew during the w=
to be the key event which at the outbreak of the trauma made him believe
that he himself was responsible for the German defeat: He had committed a
sin because he had violated German spirit by carrying out the wish of a J=
and therefore he himself had to redeem it by fighting the Jews. From a
semiotic point of view it is possible to put forward the following
scenario: Hitler’s immediate superior from January 31 to August 30, 1918,
was a Jewish officer, named Hugo Gutmann. Gutmann promised Hitler Iron
Cross 1st Class, if he was successful in getting an important message
through during heavy fighting in late May. It was months later – on Augus=
4, 1918 – that Hitler got the award which later became the token of his
life, but only four days later – at a time when Gutmann was on leave – th=
the German army had to retreat, and Gutmann was shortly after transferred
to a post far behind the lines, while Hitler stayed and got wounded.
Strangely enough, Hitler never told anybody why he was awarded, although
one could assume that this could have been instrumental in his efforts to
gain political support. Hitler, however, referred once explicitly to
Gutmann, namely in his table-talks on November 10, 1941. Jochmann, Werner
(ed.): Adolf Hitler. Monologe im Fuehrerhauptquartier 1941-1944. Die
Aufzeichnungen Heinrich Heims. Hamburg 1980, p. 132. The date here is
important, as his curse on Gutmann took place on the anniversary of his
trauma – and coincides with the date where Himmler was put so much under
pressure by Hitler that he told Kersten about the order to kill the Jews.=

59. Yehuda Bauer: Freikauf von Juden? Verhandlungen zwischen dem
nationalsozialistischen Deutschland und juedischen Repr=E4sentanten von 1=
bis 1945. Franfurt/Main 1996, p. 97.

60. Karl Klee: Das Unternehmen ‘Seeloewe’. Goettingen 1958, p. 189f.

61. Uwe Dietrich Adam: Judenpolitik im Dritten Reich. Tuebingen 1972, p.

62. Adam (note 61) p. 245 with note 59.

63. Kommandotagebuch (note 54). Entry from June 6, 1940.

64. Kommandotagebuch (note 54). Entry from June 13, 1940. The implication=
of this name was clearly understood by the Staff of the Army which starte=
to work out plans for the campaign without having a specific order. –
Hitler’s pattern of symbolic behaviour during this period is also confirm=
by other events. On the morning after the capitulation of France Hitler
paid a visit to Napoleon’s grave in Paris and, so to speak, took over the
task of fighting Russia, which Napoleon had invaded on June 22, 1812. It
was, therefore, no coincidence that the final battle against the Jews was
launched on June 22, 1941. It was exactly one year after he had ordered
Himmler to be responsible for exterminating the Jews.=20

65. Just as Hitler turned the village of his father (whom he hated becaus=
of the possibility of having a Jewish grandfather) into a training field
for the Wehrmacht, he “erased” the site where he had obtained his Iron
Cross 1st Class by installing a new Field Headquarters. He called it
“Wolfsschlucht 2”, a fact, which could be considered as another indicatio=
of Gutmann’s importance to the exterminist character of Hitler’s

66. Felix Kersten: Totenkopf und Treue. Heinrich Himmler ohne Uniform. Au=
den Tagebuechern des finnischen Medizinalrats. Hamburg 1952, p. 149.
Kersten is a disputed source among historians, because he is overestimati=
his own influence upon history. Richard Breitman choose to disregard him =
his important book The Architect of Genocide. Himmler and the Final
Solution. London 1991. Yehuda Bauer has on the other hand underlined that
there always seems to be some truth in the factual information, that
Kersten relates. See Bauer (note 58) p. 166-67. Gerald Fleming, who has
himself studied Kersten, in a letter to me has stressed that Kersten can =
used as a source, if he is double-checked. The main reason for me to
believe in Kersten on this particularly point is the date, he gives for h=
entry: November 11, 1941. This date would account for the reason why
Himmler suffered that much from psychosomatic stomach cramps that he told
Kersten. It was the day after Hitler had cursed Gutmann, and Himmler’s
stomach problems could have derived from a rebuke from Hitler for not bei=
efficient enough.

67. Kersten (note 66) p. 200.

68. Cf. Bradley F. Smith/Agnes F. Peterson (ed.): Heinrich Himmler:
Geheimreden 1933-1945 und andere Aussprachen. Frankfurt/Main 1974.

69. Richard Breitman (note 66) argues that Himmler started the preparatio=
for the Holocaust in the summer of 1940 on his own. Although I disagree o=
this point, I consider his book to be an excellent und well-documented
analysis of Himmler’s crucial role in actually carrying out Hitler’s orde=
which in details interlocks with the chronology of the decision-making
process presented in this paper.=20

70. Breitman (note 66) p. 124.

71. Helmut Krausnick: “Denkschrift Himmlers ueber die Behandlung der
Fremdvoelkischen im Osten (Mai 1940)”. Vierteljahrshefte fuer
Zeitgeschichte 5 (1957), p. 194-98. Breitman (note 66) p. 127.

72. Helmut Krausnick: “Hitler und die Morde in Polen”. Vierteljahrshefte
fuer Zeitgeschichte 11 (1963), p. 207

73. Karl Hueser: Wewelsburg 1933 bis 1945. Kult- und Terrorst=E4tte der S=
Paderborn 1982, p. 274.

74. In my Danish book (note 1) there is a detailed argumentation for this

75. Lucy S. Dawidowicz: Der Krieg gegen die Juden 1933-1945. Muenchen 197=
p. 175.

76. Cf. Breitman (note 66) p. 116-44.=20

77. On September 30, 1940, Himmler ordered the SS and the police to see
“Jud Suess” during the winter. Hollstein (note 27) p. 106. No such order
was neccessary with relevance to “Der ewige Jude”, because it was produce=
by the state itself – and not by a private company. Therefore there were =
expenses connected with the presentation of “Der ewige Jude” which were t=
case when showing “Jud Suess”.

78. There were also produced a Dutch, a French and an international versi=
of “Der ewige Jude”. Cf. my source-critical edition (note 20), p. 305.

79. Mein Kampf (note 55) p. 649-69.

80. Adalbert Rueckerl: Nationalsozialistische Vernichtungslager im Spiege=
deutscher Strafprozesse. Muenchen 1979, p. 256-57.

81. Cf. my source-critical edition (note 20) with its shot-to-shot

82. Stig Hornshoj-Moller: “Kultfilm der Neonazis. ‘Der ewige Jude’
verbreitet immer noch 24 Luegen pro Sekunde”. medium 3/1994, p. 31-33.
Michael Schmidt: Heute gehoert uns die Strasse. Der Inside-Report aus der
Neonazi-Szene. Duesseldorf 1994, p. 47-52. – A video-copy of “Der ewige
Jude” with an American voice-over can be obtained from International
Historic Films, Box 29035, Chicago, Illinois 60629, USA.=20

83. To quote the Minister of Information of the Federal Republic of
Yugoslavia, Slobodan Ignjatovic, in a television interview from 1993: “We
avoided showing atrocities and genocide committed by the Croatians and
Moslems against the Serbian people – except when we had no other
choice…”. Video-copy in the archive of the author.

84. Israel W. Charny: “Genocide and Mass Destruction: Doing Harm to Other=
as a Missing Dimension in Psychopathology”. Psychiatry Vol. 49 (1986), p.

85. Everett C. Hughes: “Good People and Dirty Work”. In: Howard S. Becker
(ed.): The Other Side. New York 1964, p. 23-36.

86. Michael Ley: Genozid und Heilserwartung. Zum nationalsozialistischen
Mord am europ=E4ischen Judentum. Wien 1993.

87. Zygmunt Bauman: Modernity and the Holocaust. Cambridge 1989.

88. Eric Markusen and David Kopf: The Holocaust and Strategic Bombing:
Genocide and Total War in the Twentieth Century. Boulder 1995.