Hitler’s 1919 letter on eradicating Jews going public

NEW YORK (JTA) — A 1919 letter written by Adolf Hitler that purportedly is the first time he presented his idea to eradicate Germany’s Jews will soon be available to the public.

Starting in July, the letter will be exhibited at the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles. It has been accessible only to historians.

Hitler wrote the letter well before his rise to power in Germany, but he had already outlined the government’s role in the extermination of the Jews. 

"The anti-Semitism of reason must lead to a struggle for the legal battle to abrogate laws giving them favored positions, differentiating the Jew from other foreigners," he wrote. "The final goal must be the removal of the Jews. To accomplish these goals, only a government of national power is capable and never a government of national weakness."

Rabbi Marvin Hier, founder and dean of the Wiesenthal Center, called the document "the most important archive we have ever seen."

The center had bought the letter for $150,000 after experts confirmed it was legitimate.

Addressed to an unknown "Gemlich," the letter is typed but signed by Hitler. It will be exhibited at the museum along with a German army typewriter. Visitors will be able to see the original German letter along with an interactive translation.    

An American soldier found the letter in a Nazi archive near Nuremberg in 1945. Since then it has been traded from dealer to dealer, often sold for sums as large as $270,000.      

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