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June 8, 2011

“the Gemlich letter” …. it sounds better in the original German

Filed under: California, Germany, Holocaust — furtherglory @ 10:35 am

This morning I was astounded to read this news headline here:

The Seeds of Hitler’s Hatred: Infamous 1919 Genocide Letter Unveiled to the Public

This quote from the article contains the most important part of the story:

Few have questioned the importance of the Gemlich letter in understanding Hitler and the Holocaust. It not only provides a look into his beliefs, but reveals early ideas of how he would attempt the systematic extermination of the Jews. “Anti-Semitism — born of purely emotional grounds — will find an expression in the form of pogroms,” Hitler wrote, according to a translation provided by the (Simon) Wiesenthal Center. “The final goal must be the removal of the Jews. To accomplish these goals, only a government of national power is capable and never a government of national weakness.”

According to this article, “the Gemlich letter,” which has recently been acquired by the Simon Wiesenthal Center in California, is the first and only time that Hitler wrote something which clearly indicated his plans to “attempt the systematic extermination of the Jews.”  

Wow! Way back in 1919, when Hitler was 30 years old and just released from an Army hospital where he had been treated for mustard gas poisoning, he was already planning the genocide of the Jews?  This news sent me to google and bing, and every search engine that I could find, to read this letter in the original German.  Actually, Hitler’s letter is so erudite that the original German would be way beyond my ability to translate it.  What I really wanted to know was what words he had used, which were translated into English as “the removal of the Jews.”

I was amazed when I read the full translation of his letter on this website.  Hitler was a high school dropout — how could he have written a letter which sounds as if it were written by a highly educated person?  Could this letter be a fake?

Here is a quote from the web site, cited above, which explains the content of the letter:

The deduction from all this is the following: an antisemitism based on purely emotional grounds will find its ultimate expression in the form of the pogrom.[1] An antisemitism based on reason, however, must lead to systematic legal combating and elimination of the privileges of the Jews, that which distinguishes the Jews from the other aliens who live among us (an Aliens Law). The ultimate objective [of such legislation] must, however, be the irrevocable removal of the Jews in general.

Some historians have interpreted the letter’s call for the “irrevocable removal [Entfernung]” of the Jews from German life as a prefiguring of the Holocaust. But it is clear from the context and from later statements that, at this point, Hitler meant segregation or expulsion rather than systematic liquidation.

The above quote shows that the German word that Hitler used was Entfernung which has been translated into English as “irrevocable removal.”  This could mean “extermination” which is the word used by Holocaust historians to mean the act of killing, since death is irrevocable.  But “irrevocable removal” could also mean “transported to the East” which was the euphemism that the Nazis used at the Wannsee Conference.  I visited the Simon Wiesenthal Center many years ago and I vaguely recall that the exhibit about the Wannsee Conference did not accurately translate the words used at the Conference.

I put Entfernung into Google Translate and got 5 different words as the translation:

1. distance
2. removal
3. range
4. expulsion
5. excision

Could Hitler have meant #4. which is “expulsion?”  Or maybe #1. combined with #2. to get “removal at a distance?”

Maybe the meaning of the word Entfernung has changed over the years, just as the meaning of the German verb “ausrotten” had changed.  I foresee endless arguments over the meaning of “the Gemlich letter.”


  1. […] […]

    Pingback by Young Hitler and the Judeo-Bolcheviks... - Stormfront — January 8, 2013 @ 6:39 pm

  2. I’m reading “Mein Kampf” now and it’s a wonderful book with many insights into nature of jewish people. I don’t think Hitler wanted to exterminate the jews, rather he wanted to remove their noxious influence upon german life. For instance, the jew strives with his utmost to maintain his blood free from intermixture while advocating interracial mixing with the white races so that they become weaker, diluted and therefore ineffectual in maintaining moral integrity. I’m quoting Hitler here, but it does make sense considering the biggest promoters of pornography are jews. Jews really are social vermin and really do need to be removed, but it may too late for that now.

    Comment by John Sackville — October 6, 2011 @ 10:56 am

  3. It’s bad enough as is stands, even with “removal” intended. Whether he set his goal in 1919 or with Heydrich 20 years later is not important. I’ve tried to read “Mein Kampf” twice. It’s unreadable, both in German and in English. One entire chapter was titled, “Der Judische Affe.” (Note: The banning of Mein Kampf in Germany has made only the sanitized versions easily available.) Mein Kampf is clearly the spewing of a severely disordered mind. This letter is just the tip of the Hitler iceberg. Remember: Hitler was not always an anti-Semite. He got that way by reading propaganda. Is your reading material free of propaganda? Look again. Think. Be skeptical.

    Comment by jorgekafkazar — October 5, 2011 @ 2:26 pm

    • Hitler set his goal long before 1919. Way back in 1882, an Austrian politician named Georg Ritter von Schönerer first came up with the idea of Pan-Germanism, which was the concept of the unification of all ethnic Germans into one country in Europe with one leader. Hitler was born in Austria. His father believed in Pan-Germanism and little Adolf became a German nationalist at the tender age of 6.

      The Pan-Germans wanted a German nation of only ethnic Germans as citizens with the Jews and Gypsies excluded. Their hatred of the Jews intensified when Eastern European Jewish refugees began arriving in Vienna after the Russians started expelling the Jews from their homeland following the assassination of Czar Nicholas I in 1881, which was blamed on the Jews. The Pan-Germans were also against the Catholic Church because it exerted a lot of control over Austria, a Catholic country.

      By 1882, the original German state of Austria had grown to be a multi-ethnic empire called Austria-Hungary; it included the territory which, after World War I, became the independent countries of Austria, Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia, Hungary, Romania, and one third of the new independent country of Poland. (The Poles had lost their independence in 1795 when Prussia, Austria and Russia divided the former country of Poland.)

      There were many ethnic groups in the old Austrian Empire which were agitating for their own independent countries before the start of World War I, including the Czechs who had never had their own country. Schönerer’s dream of the unification of all the Volkdeutsch would have required the empire to be dissolved. This finally happened as a result of the Treaty of St. Germain that was signed by the Allies and Austria after Austria surrendered to the Allies in November 1918.

      It was another Austrian, Theodor Herzl, a Jewish journalist in Vienna, who started the Zionist movement in 1896 when he wrote a book called “The Jewish State,” which advocated the unification of all the Jews in their own country. By the time Hitler entered elementary school, the Pan-German movement was in full swing in his native country. The Pan-Germans formed a political party in 1897, the same year that the World Jewish Congress met for the first time in Switzerland to make plans for a Jewish state. Hitler supported the idea of a Jewish state; he wanted the Jews out of Europe and he accomplished that. That’s what he was talking about in 1919.

      The Pan-German political party had its own flag and its followers sang the German national anthem; Hitler and his elementary school friends were waving the flag of the Pan-Germans at the same time that the Zionists in Austria were waving their flag, which is now the blue and white flag of Israel. Austrians were singing the German national anthem while the Jews were singing their anthem called “Hope” which is now the national anthem of Israel. In 1935 when Hitler proclaimed the Nuremberg laws which denied German citizenship to the Jews, he nevertheless added a clause which said that the right of the Jews to fly their own flag would be protected.

      Comment by furtherglory — October 5, 2011 @ 4:07 pm

  4. In germany we like to use simple words with quite a final meaning. Even more so a hundred years ago. The word “Entfernung” used together with “letztes Ziel” (ultimate aim) and “unverrückbar” (uncompromising) clearly calls for a final solution, something which does not leave anything behind. Moreover the expression “der Juden überhaupt” (the Jews altogether) is slightly colloquial and includes everything jewish, not only the humans, to be removed. Thus the intension is indeed very much like using a stain remover (Fleckentferner), you want to rub it out, you don’t care about the stain, you care about your cloth. The stain may be destroyed, not only dissolved.

    Comment by joa — October 5, 2011 @ 9:17 am

  5. Hitlers first kill the Jews letter sold. ..Published on Friday June 03 2011 10 39 AM Source The first signed document in which future Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler rants about removing Jews from German society has been bought by a Holocaust remembrance organisation to form the centrepiece of a museum display.Hitler s 1919 diatribe against Jews a full 21 years before their extermination began in earnest in massacres in Russia and in death camps in occupied Poland was bought by the centre for a little over 100 000.Known to scholars as the Gemlich Letter Hitler s views were sent to Adolf Gemlich in charge of an inquiry for the Reichswehr the post WW1 German army about the Jewish Question.Hitler who was in Munich where he was struggling to find a purpose after the slaughter of the trenches was singled out by his commanding officer because of his oratorical skills.In the letter to Gemlich he wrote The danger posed by Jewry for our people today finds expression in the undeniable aversion of wide sections of our people . Rabbi Marvin Hier founder of the Los Angeles-based Simon Wiesenthal Centre named after the legendary Nazi hunter said he acquired the four page letter through a dealer last month.It has been examined by experts who has testified to its veracity. The Gemrich Letter hitherto available to historians is a copy in the Munich state archives.Rabbi Hier said it will form the centrepiece of the Museum of Tolerance at the centre which charts the Nazi Holocaust of six million Jews.Rabbi Hier said the letter was found in the closing days of WW2 by an American soldier named William Ziegler In terms of the Holocaust we have nothing that would compare to this document he said.

    Comment by hemp — June 16, 2011 @ 7:25 pm

  6. “Entfernen” stems from the word “fern”, which means “far (away)”, so I doubt it ever meant anything else than “to remove (by putting something somewhere else)”.

    Of course, with a Fleckentferner (stain remover), you can “remove” a stain by dissolving it… I think this would be stretching it a bit, but if anybody feels like grasping at straws… 🙂

    Comment by Rachel — June 8, 2011 @ 4:36 pm

  7. Grasping at straws…what they can’t produce is anything substantive in writing while Hitler was in power proving any order authorizing or even ackowledging the existance of the Final Solution.

    Comment by blair ericson — June 8, 2011 @ 2:46 pm

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