To what extent was Hitler personally responsible for the Holocaust?
The word Holocaust comes from the Greek. “Holos” means “Whole”, while “Caustos” means “Burnt”1. This indicates straight away that the Holocaust has something to do with “burning out”. The Holocaust is also a strong example of Genocide, or the annihilation of a race, and was first used in 1944.2 This coincides along side my first point on “burning out”; burning out the existence of Jews and those alike (Homosexuals, gypsies, the mentally ill et cetera).
The question remains as to how much Hitler was personally responsible for this mass execution. This in itself is a difficult task to decipher owing to the fact that Hitler, who was a world famous dictator, rarely wrote anything down. Therefore we have no hard evidence which can lead us to the answer.
Hitler was a strong anti-Semite. He says this himself in his own book ‘Mein Kampf’ (My Struggle). From a young age he began to notice the Jews and “the more I saw, the more sharply they became distinguished in my eyes from the rest of humanity.”3 The Jews began to disgust him and make him stick to his stomach. This, however, was a minor thing for Hitler. He soon saw things that made him believe the Jews were positively evil: He saw them in acts of prostitution and “when thus for the first time I recognised the Jew as the cold-hearted, shameless, and calculating director of this revolting vice traffic in the sum of the big city, a cold shudder ran down my back.”4
From then on the young Hitler began to notice that the Jews also were in the press. Indeed the Social Democratic press was directed predominantly by Jews. Hitler soon decided to become more closely acquainted with the men who wrote the papers, and from the publisher down, they were all Jews. Hitler came to a conclusion that “the Jew was no German”5
A shocking statement, which in my opinion shows that Hitler was already beginning to plan the Holocaust, arose not long after he began...