On 30 January 1939, Adolf Hitler stood before the Reichstag and bellowed, to roaring applause, ‘If the international-finance Jewry inside and outside of Europe should succeed in plunging the peoples of the earth once again into a world war, the result will be not the Bolshevisation of earth, and thus a Jewish victory, but the annihilation of the Jewish race in Europe!’ This ‘prophecy’ of genocide, which Hitler referred to sinisterly several times when the Holocaust was under way, may seem to be founded on an anti-Semitic conspiracy theory. But according to Sir Richard Evans, ‘Hitler himself was not much of a conspiracy theorist.’ This is one of the more controversial ideas in this book. Evans draws a subtle distinction between Hitler’s belief that Jews, due to their supposed hereditary racial instincts, could unconsciously work towards the destruction of ‘Aryans’ and the conscious plotting required to produce a conspiracy theory.
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