Achim Gercke on solving the Jewish question (1933)

In this 1933 article, Achim Gercke, a minor Nazi Party (NSDAP) functionary, provides his views on solving the ‘Jewish question’. Gercke’s views are typical of Nazi anti-Semitism in the early 1930s. Extract reproduced with the permission of the German Propaganda Archive.

“As a result of the victory of the National Socialist revolution, the Jewish Question has become a problem for those who never before thought about solving the Jewish Question, who never fought to solve it. Everyone has seen that the current situation is intolerable. Allowing free development and equality for the Jews has led to an “unfree” situation of exploited competition, and to a handing over of important positions within the German people to those of a foreign race.

The result is that anyone who thinks about this question looks for a solution. Everyone has a proposal on his desk, which gets a more or less favourable reaction in discussions. That was to be expected. But the solution to so important a problem is not as easy as is often supposed.

The legal measures that have just been issued by the government are cleansing actions that respond to the Jews’ declaration of war. Primarily, the laws provide a direction in which to move. One should not underestimate the significance of these laws. The entire people will be educated about the Jewish Question and will come to understand that a people’s community is a community of blood. For the first time, they will be reached by racial thinking and will be focused not on theoretical solutions to the Jewish Question, but rather on a real solution.

Nevertheless, these temporary measures cannot be a final solution to the Jewish Question since the time is not yet ripe, although the laws point out the direction and leave room for any future developments. It would, however, be too early to work out plans for public discussion which propose to do more than can currently be done. Nonetheless, a few principles must be laid out so that the plans one makes can mature and mistakes can be avoided.

Fundamentally, one must decide whether or not to bring the Jews in Germany (as well as those of Jewish descent) together organizationally. Many plans announced so far propose to bring the Jews together in a federation so that they can be kept under watch and influenced. All of these proposals are fundamentally in error. Were one to establish a federation of the Jews, whether under some kind of Jewish overseer or in some sort of federation or other innocent-looking structure, the Jews would have an eternal legal anchor in Germany, a way to present their wishes, a tool for their goals, a legal way to secure secret links. And one would give at least the impression that one was dealing with a national minority that could seek, and would find, support outside Germany…

All proposals that include a permanent presence, a permanent regulation of the Jews in Germany, do not solve the Jewish Question, for they do not eliminate the Jews from Germany. And that is what we want to do. If the Jews are able to exploit their host peoples forever, they will remain a constant source of the open, destructive flame of Bolshevism, making it easy to repeatedly kindle it again, not to mention the political uncertainties resulting from disunity within the people and the danger to racial unity. Let us swear off such thinking forever, whether it results from poor thinking or evil intentions.

To summarise, the state can and must focus on systematical elimination, on emigration. If we destroy any organizational cooperation of the Jews and expel the dangerous, subversive Jewish agitators who show any signs of conspiratorial activities, the Jews will still have the synagogue, the rabbi, to shield them. If we support Zionist plans and attempt an international solution by establishing a homeland for the Jews, we will be able to solve the Jewish Question not only in Germany but in Europe and the entire world. The entire world has an interest in such a solution, on eliminating this source of disorder, which constantly proceeds from Bolshevism. We must establish that clearly.

Perhaps the Jews will be able to become a nation, a people. That would require that Jewish workers, craftsmen, and settlers would develop from the Jewish population. If we regulate this plan then we will create new foundations for such a settlement. Scattering the Jews to the four winds does not solve the Jewish Question, but rather makes it worse. A systematic program of settlement, therefore, is the best solution.

Plans and programs must have a goal pointing to the future. They may not be focused only on a temporarily unpleasant situation. A better future demands the systematic solution of the Jewish Question, not the organisation of the Jews.

We must build our state without the Jews. They can be only stateless foreigners among us, with no legal permanent standing.”