The hatred was intense and impersonal because it wasnot directed at any one person inparticular, but was instead directedat unknown people who represented the groupthe person hated. Hitler and his Naziparty were anti-Jewish and, so they targeted all Jewish people rather thananyone specific person.
Feelings of prejudice can often lead to discriminatoryactions. In this case, the anti-Jewish climate in pre-war Vienna,Germany’s defeat in the First World War and Hitler’s belief that some raceswere superior and others inferior, may have lead to his discriminatory actions.Adolf Hitler, had power of authority over hisintended victims.
Many historians point to Hitler’s years in Viennaas having shaped his anti-Semitism. The city’s social climate was openly anti-Semitic.With an outspoken anti-Jewish mayor and many anti-Jewish newspapers andmagazines there was no restriction on antisemitism, and Hitler was stronglyinfluenced by this. The defeat of Germany in the First World War also had asignificant impact on Hitler’s world view and political beliefs. Hitler was asoldier and like many other German soldiers found it hard to accept the defeatof the German Empire. Many nationalists and conservatives believed that Germanyhad lost the war due to betrayal from within. Socialists, communists andparticularly Jews were blamed. Psychologists suggest that frustration and difficultiesof life may be found at the center of intense hatred toward out-groups.
People singled out for these hostilities are known as scapegoats.These scapegoats are usually easily identifiable minority groups that people inpower can lay blame and act out their aggressions on. Hitler blamed the Jews for failures of his own life andfor the problems of Germany. Hitler and his Nazi party made use of anti-Jewishfeelings that had existed for centuries in the German population. Many believedGermany had lost the First World War because of the Jews. They also believeddemocracy was a Jewish invention.
According to the Nazis, the Jews were engagedin a conspiracy for world domination and it was them who controlled society andmade Germans suffer. Many German Catholics believed that it was the Jews whohad killed Christ as they would hear this in Church and read about it in schoolbooks. Many people were already suspicious of Jews before the Nazis came topower. Adolf Hitler and his supporters believed that things would be muchbetter for Germany if the Jews could be kicked out of the country. Genocideis an expression of national hatred. The greatest extremes of hatred directedagainst minority scapegoats are those that have been carried out by order asnational policy. The Holocaust is the worst case of racial cultural genocidethe world has known in terms of the number of lives lost. AdolfHitler’s Nazi Germany, aided by its supporters, systematically murdered somesix million European Jews, or around two-thirds of the Jewish population ofEurope, during World War II.
AdolfHitler was born in Braunau am Inn, Austria, to Alois Hitler and Klara Polzl. Hewas the fourth of the six children born to the couple and was only 3 years oldwhen the family moved from Austria to Germany. He was a very bright child andwas popular at school, however he often clashed with his father over hisinterest in fine arts. This led to Hitler’s detachment from his family and hebecame a reclusive, discontented, resentful child, with an unstable temperamenttowards his father. He was deeply attached to his loving, caring, hard-workingmother. Sadly, she lost her battle against cancer in December 1908, having a shockingblow to Hitler’s already upset life.
It is believed that young Hitler showed anearly interest in German nationalism, condemning the authority ofAustro-Hungary. Throughout his early life, he was influenced bymany of the history forces, the most apparent of which were new ideas and groupidentities. The most influential period of his life was when he lived inVienna, where he was susceptible to the anti-Semitism that consumed the city atthe time. He began to discriminate against all Jews and grouped them alltogether as an inferior race.