Why Did Adolf Hitler Hate Jewish People?

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Several different theories exist that attempt to explain the motivation Adolf Hitler had for hating the Jews, ranging from the speculation that his mother died because of a Jewish doctor’s incompetence or that Hitler might have even been Jewish himself, but the most recent research indicates that his hatred was an outgrowth of simple bigotry in the lower middle classes in the chaotic aftermath of World War I. That bigotry turned into a decision to make the Jews scapegoats for the loss of German glory, which snowballed into the Final Solution.

When World War I ended, the results were disastrous for Germany. The Treaty of Versailles limited Germany’s ability to arm itself and placed crushing debts for reparations on the back of the losing side. The fledgling Weimar Republic, which took over governance after the war, struggled to maintain a solid standard of living for Germans, and anger swiftly built.

Before Hitler came to power, Jewish individuals owned about half of the banks and newspapers in Germany, as well as about 80 percent of retail stores. Almost all of the stockbrokers at the German exchange were Jewish, and over time, blaming the loss of the war on the incompetence or outright sabotage of the Jewish financiers became popular. Hitler took this further, also blaming Jews for the Russian revolution, as both Karl Marx and Leon Trotsky were Jewish. When a Soviet republic briefly flared up in Munich, Hitler saw it as the time to act, bringing down vengeance against the Jews.