Reviewing two new biographies of Hitler, one by Peter Longerich and the other by Brendan Simms, Daniel Johnson takes stock of the connection between the dictator’s hatred of the Jews and his hatred of the West:
While Longerich places the main emphasis of his book on a comprehensive account of how Hitler exercised power, Simms is more interested in the question of why. Both agree that he saw the war as an existential struggle against “the Jews,” especially from 1941 onward. Longerich shows that Hitler himself was responsible for the radicalization of the war against the Soviet Union into one of racial extermination. But this process was part of Hitler’s need to implicate an often reluctant German nation not only in his pitiless bid to reverse the unexpected defeat of 1918 but also in his genocidal project, above all the annihilation of European Jewry, thereby deliberately incriminating his compatriots and allies.. . . .
When Hitler declared war on the U.S., in one of the last of his Reichstag speeches on December 11, 1941, he claimed that Roosevelt, like Woodrow Wilson before him, was “mentally disturbed” and that his long tenure in office could only be explained by the sinister “power” behind him of “the eternal Jew.” Simms gives this speech prominence in his account: there Hitler set out in detail his claim that “the American president and his plutocratic clique” intended to establish “an unlimited economic dictatorship” over the world. The world was now, he declared, at war—a war between the German Reich and the “Anglo-Saxon-Jewish-capitalist world.” . . .
To this day, here in Britain, there are politicians who combine anti-Americanism, anti-capitalism, and anti-Semitism. They peddle the politics of resentment, of the “have-nots” against the “haves.” They call themselves socialists and their enemies Nazis, but they often turn a blind eye to mass murder and they like to make scapegoats of the “Zionists.” We all know who they are. And we British, of all people, ought to know better than to lend them our votes.