- What was the Holocaust?
- Judaism and Jewish life
- What is antisemitism?
- How did the Nazis gain power?
- Life in Nazi-controlled Europe
- What were camps?
- What was the Final Solution?
- How did people respond?
- Survival and legacy
Although Hitler wanted to become a military dictator, he saw that he would be unable to take the country by force. He now knew that he would have to use legal and democratic methods. While in prison, he wrote his book Mein Kampf, in which he set out his political ideas and developed his antisemitic ideas.
Following Germany’s defeat in the First World War, Hitler became convinced that people in Germany - particularly Jews - had worked against the country to achieve their own ends. Hitler felt that, as Germany continued to suffer throughout the 1920s, drastic action was required to save the country. From his experiences both with the army and later with the NSDAP, Hitler learned to persuade others with his speeches.
Mein Kampf did not contain any new ideas. Many people in the 19th and 20th centuries had believed that races were not equal, and that some people were stronger or better than others.
Hitler took on these ideas, and stated that Germans were part of a race called ‘Aryans’ who were superior to all others and would one day rule the world. In Hitler’s view, Jews were a separate race and could not be German. He believed the Jews conspired against Aryans to rule the world for themselves.
As some of the most prominent German communists had been Jewish, Hitler believed Jews had created communism to destroy the Aryans. His aim became to destroy communism and the Jews.