Early Adolf Hitler letter on annihilation of Jews unveiled
* From correspondents in New York
* From: AP
* June 08, 2011 1:55PM
THE signature under the typewritten words on yellowing sheets of
nearly century-old paper is unmistakable: Adolf Hitler, with the
last few scribbled letters drooping downward.
The date is 1919 and, decades before the Holocaust, the
30-year-old German soldier - born in Austria - penned what are
believed to be Hitler's first written comments calling for the
annihilation of Jews.
Written on a German Army typewriter, Hitler's letter has long been
known to scholars. It is considered significant because it
demonstrates how early he was forming his anti-Semitic views.
The document was displayed today by the founder of a Jewish human
rights organisation that purchased what he says is the original
letter last month.
Hitler "set the gold standard about man's inhumanity to man" said
Rabbi Marvin Hier of the Simon Wiesenthal Centre, named after the
late Nazi hunter.
Three weeks ago, the Los Angeles-based organisation purchased the
original for $US150,000 ($139,899) from Profiles in History, a
dealer in Calabasas Hills, California, which acquired the document
from a dealer in Kansas, who in turn purchased it from a US Army
soldier named William F Ziegler, according to the rabbi.
Ziegler is said to have found the four typed pages in a Nazi
archive near Nuremberg, Germany, in the final months of World War
"The danger posed by Jewry for our people today finds expression
in the undeniable aversion of wide sections of our people," Hitler
wrote in German.
"The cause of this aversion ... arises mostly from personal
contact and from the personal impression that the individual Jew
leaves - almost always an unfavourable one."
In one section, Hitler said that a powerful government could
curtail the so-called "Jewish threat" by denying their rights. But
"its final aim, however, must be the uncompromising removal of the
At the time, Hitler was serving in the German army, and had taken
to riling up the troops with his anti-Semitic rants.
A superior officer urged Hitler to put his ideas on paper.
Known as the Gemlich letter, the document was certified as
authentic in 1988 by handwriting expert Charles Hamilton, who had
revealed the infamous "Hitler Diaries" to be forgeries.
The centre plans to put Hitler's letter on view at its Museum of
Tolerance in Los Angeles sometime in July.