Adolf Hitler on the Old Testament

Many anti-Semites in early twentieth-century Germany despised the Old Testament as the product of the Jewish spirit, and Hitler was no exception. He saw the Old Testament as the antithesis of everything he stood for. In his view, it taught materialism, greed, and deception. Further, it promoted racial purity for the Jews, since it taught them to avoid mingling with other races. In many respects, Hitler saw the Old Testament as a book instructing the Jews how to triumph in the racial struggle for existence.

Adolf Hitler gives a speech in Munich’s Hofbrauhaüs on the theme ‘Why are we anti-Semitic?’ – 13 AUGUST 1920

In his 1920 speech he explained that the Old Testament was vivid proof of the degeneracy of the Jewish race. He stated: “You must excuse me, that I first take the book called the Bible, of which I do not want to affirm that everything in it is absolutely accurate; for we know, that the Jews worked very liberally with it.

He then called the Old Testament a “frightful indictment” against the Jewish race. Not only did the Bible teach the Jews to use deceit to supplant other races, Hitler claimed, but also Abraham even gave up his wife to pharaoh so he could do business in Egypt. Jews after Abraham’s time have followed his immoral example, he continued. In Hitler’s view, then, Abraham was a wicked founding father who set the tone for Jewish life from that time forward. (Source: Vierteljahrshefte Für Zeitgeschichte Jahrgang 16 (1968) Heft 4)

In his speech declaring war on the United States on December 11, 1941, Hitler attacked Roosevelt for listening to a cabal of Jews, in which who were also steeped in the “greed of the Old Testament.” (Source: Adolf Hitler Collection Of Speeches 1922, 1945)

Otto Wagner, Hitler’s confidant, also remembered Hitler’s contempt for the Old Testament, which he writes in his memoirs recalling Hitler saying: “If one reads the Old Testament alone, one quickly loses one’s way in uncertainties […] since it is written in a style and a language that strike us as outlandish and since it is SUFFUSED WITH A MATERIALISTIC ETHOS THAT IS NOT OUR ETHOS. (Source: Hitler – Memoirs Of A Confidant)

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