For the Nazis, the Jews represented a “problem” that had to be “solved” and even seeing the “problem” in various ways, they finally opted for the physical elimination (murder) of individuals identified as Jews. Final Solution
The term “final solution” defines and identifies all measures taken by the Nazi regime to physically eliminate the Jews.
It must be understood that anti-Semitism (understood as hatred of all Jews or supposedly Jews) was nothing new in Entreguerras Europe where, throughout history, no country was free from strong outbreaks of anti-Semitic violence and the continuing climate of hostility towards those who practiced the Jewish religion or who were their genetic descendants. Final Solution
The fact of belonging to a minority (whether Jew, Freemason, Gypsy, of any ethnicity or thought “different” from the majority) has been since time immemorial the first step towards being seen as an “enemy of the State” which, in this way, is winning. an internal enemy, it allowed the politicians and nobles of power to distract citizens from the problems they themselves (and not the minority) caused.
The Nazis only resumed the anti-Semitism previously existing in German society (as well as in Austria since 1938 and in all the countries they occupied from 1939 onwards), enhancing it.
Among other issues, they blamed the Jews of the previous war (World War I and later the Second, already in the midst of conflict), of the world crisis that followed, of being specifically to blame for the German defeat in World War I (the famous “stab by the back”). Final Solution
They were also accused of destroying the foundations of German society (the Nazis understood that there was a pure “Germanity” that should prevent it from being contaminated by non-Aryan influences) and of having a secret plan to take over the world. For the latter they were based on the book “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion”, a forgery, but which has been regularly used in alleged anti-Semites.
Nazism‘s first anti-Jewish measures pursued its marginalization and expulsion from Germany (and later from the Reich and the occupied territories)
However, as the war progressed and the Axis troops conquered more territory, so did the number of Jews (or considered as such by the Nazis) who were under its administration. Final Solution
If initially concentrated in camps and deported mainly to the territories of Eastern Europe (starting with Poland), the virulence of the treatment given to the Jews soon increased.
As a result of this, in the 1941 invasion of the Soviet Union, Earth troops were accompanied by the Einsatzgruppen, SS platoons whose mission was to murder as many Jews as possible, so they began to operate with various methods, such as mass shootings or the use of quick lime in large pits.
However, the diversity of means and criteria made the results of the Nazi hierarchs doubtful, as they decided to meticulously plan the mass murder of all Jews in Europe.
The Wannsee conference, held in January 1942, is technically the starting point of the so-called “final solution”
In this conference, held in a house that had been robbed of a Jewish businessman before the war (now a museum and center for the interpretation of what happened), the top Nazi officials decided the ways, since the objective was already known: extermination. .
Among the Nazi executioners we can highlight:
- – Reinhard Heydrich, known as “the butcher of Prague”, who would be killed six months later by a command of the Czech resistance. Representing the security services (SD) was, in fact, the intellectual perpetrator of the plan.
- – Adolf Eichmann of the Gestapo. His name would come to fame because of his kidnapping in Argentina by Mosad agents and his subsequent trial in Israel, being the highest Nazi hierarch tried by the authorities in that country.
- – Rudolf Lange from SD.
- – Alfred Meyer, Reich representative for the occupied territories.
- – Wilhelm Stuckart, co-author of the Nuremberg Racial Laws.
- – Martin Luther, Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
- – Friedrich Wilhelm Kritzinger, representative of the Reich Chancellery and therefore of Adolf Hitler himself.
- – Otto Hofmann, head of the Commissariat for Race and Colonization.
The result of the conference was the complete control of Himmler’s SS, especially the entire process of executing the Jews, although they were captured by other branches of Reich security whose cooperation was secured at the meeting.
From that moment, hunting and capturing Jews for their later murder became an obsession of the Nazis that lasted until the last episodes of the war.
Some historians argue that this was part of the final defeat of the Axis in Europe, since men, resources and efforts were destined and who, on the other hand, could face the fight.
What should have been the “final solution” for some became the Holocaust or the Shoah for the survivors.