The Pre-1914 Origins of Hitler’s Antisemitism Revisited

Thomas Weber* (Corresponding Author)

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This article revisits the origins of Adolf Hitler's antisemitism. It raises the question as to whether it is really credible to argue that Hitler did not harbor antisemitic sentiments prior to the post-revolutionary period following World War One. The article introduces readers to hitherto unknown testimony by Elisabeth Grünbauer, the daughter of the family with whom Hitler lodged in Munich prior to the First World War. According to her testimony, Hitler was already an antisemite six years earlier than previously believed. Crucially, she claims that Hitler's Jew-hatred predates the watershed of World War One. In her testimony, Grünbauer recorded antisemitic statements Hitler made to her father that link Hitler's decision to leave Austria to his antisemitism. The article provides a critical assessment of Grünbauer's testimony. Further, it attempts to explain the genesis of Hitler's antisemitism in the prewar world and its eventual mutation in postwar, post-revolutionary Munich.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)70-86
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Holocaust Research
Volume34
Issue number1
Early online date22 Jan 2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Keywords

  • Adolf Hitler
  • antisemitism
  • Hitler's Vienna
  • Elisabeth Gruenbauer
  • Karl Hoeffkes
  • Becoming Hitler

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