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PROLOGUE: Roots of the Holocaust
 pg. 27 
Erhard Auer was one of many Munich Post journalists who worked to expose the lies behind Hitler's supposed patriotism.
Photo: Bilderdienst SYddeutscher Verlag
Although it eased some Versailles Treaty demands, the Young Plan required Germany to pay reparations until the 1980s. It met with fierce opposition from the German right, including the NSDAP.
Photo: Bilderdienst SYddeutscher Verlag
At the heart and soul of Hitler's political creed stood the ideal of racial purity. Above all else, German or so-called Aryan blood must be kept vital and strong. Taking this ideology to be the fraud it was, Gerlich went for the jugular by spreading the impression that Hitler, the champion of "pure blood," was not only a lying hypocrite but an aspiring German leader whose character and political ambitions were rotten to the core.

No one went further than Gerlich to state publicly what others may have suspected: namely, that Hitler's appearance was scarcely like the Nordic ideal about which he could wax so eloquent. In the article that Gerlich wrote to accompany the photo montage and its scathing headline, he brilliantly used satire to argue, in particular, that Hitler's nose could not stand the scrutiny of the "racial science" that Nazism advocated. Putting Hitler's nose on trial, Gerlich's article concluded that Hitler miserably failed his own racial test. Gerlich's attack on Hitler's physiognomy, moreover, went more than skin deep. Persistently using the Nazis' own imagery against Hitler, Gerlich contended ironically that there could be nothing truly German about Hitler because "blood," according to Nazi ideology, was a matter of spirit as well as the key element in physical life. In Gerlich's view, Hitler's theories and political practices--despotic and corrupt at once--were profoundly at odds with the highest Germanic ideals.

Hitler was not pleased. Soon after Gerlich's article appeared, Nazis attacked the journalist's apartment building. Undaunted, Gerlich used the next week's issue of Der Gerade Weg to press the issue further. On July 24, 1932, he made clear that his lampoon had in no way been an endorsement of the Nazi racism he found so abhorrent. His point had not been to put Hitler on the low end of a racial hierarchy. To the contrary, he stated, all people are essentially equal because their souls are "bestowed on them by God." Furthermore, invoking religious tradition, Gerlich insisted that no man or woman could be racially inferior because "we are all descendants of one father and one mother, children of Adam and Eve."

 1851: Norway allows Jews to enter the country.
 1860s: Europe sees its first stirrings of Zionism, as a nationalistic Jewish movement to establish a Jewish homeland in the location that will become Israel.
 1864: A satire by Maurice Joly called the "Dialogue aux Enfers entre Montesquieu et Machiavel" ("Dialogue in Hell Between Montesquieu and Machiavelli") attacking Napoleon III is published in Belgium. It becomes the basis for the antisemitic Protocols of the Elders of Zion.
 1865: The Ku Klux Klan is founded in the United States. It is anti-black and antisemitic.
 1867: Hungary grants citizenship to Jews.
 1867: German journalist Wilhelm Marr publishes a popular book, The Victory of Judaism over Germanism. He coins the word "antisemitism" so that Judenhass, or Jew-hatred, can be discussed in polite society.
PROLOGUE: Roots of the Holocaust
 pg. 27 
The Holocaust Chronicle
© 2009 Publications International, Ltd.