Johann von Leers calls for the creation of a Jewish state (1933)

Early in the Nazi regime, there were several proposals to ‘resettle’ Germany’s Jews to places far removed from Europe. In 1933, Dr Johann von Leers, one of the NSDAP’s most vocal anti-Semites, proposed the creation of a Jewish state located far away from the European continent. This extract is reproduced with the permission of the German Propaganda Archive.

“From century to century, Europe has always had outbursts of anti-Semitism, and from justified desires to defend non-Jewish peoples against an indigestible Jewry. We cannot be satisfied with a solution that simply moves the Jews from one country to another over the centuries. This can only strengthen the dangerous Jewish ability to carry on its policies within states, building trans-national power. Furthermore, there always remain strong Jewish groups, the result of race-mixing and assimilation within the respective peoples, which increase racial decline.

Instead, one must find an affirmative solution that frees Europe of wandering Jewish masses. This is not a matter of small numbers, as statistics demonstrate. According to statistics, there were around 15 million Jews in the world at the end of 1931. There were 9.8 million in Europe, of whom 3.1 million were in Poland, 3.0 million in Rumania, 0.6 million in Germany, 0.5 million in Hungary, and 0.4 million in Czechoslovakia. Since these figures include only Jews by religious confession, these figures are probably low. Even those numbers include millions of vagrants, impoverished peddlers and Eastern European tradesmen, population groups that are ready whenever the borders open to leave their Polish and Lithuanian ghettos and flood into Europe. As long as the pressure from these Jewish millions exists, the Jewish Question in Europe will not be resolved…

Even if a government and a people have had the worst experiences with Jewry, it could contradict the German Nordic sense of history to see a negative solution as the way to protect ourselves from the Jewish masses. Instead, the entirety of our historical mission demands a grand and comprehensive approach that will appeal even to our opponents…

Zionism assumes that it can build a new Jewish people from the many Jewish individuals. It has, however, some justice in demanding a territorial foundation for its development. Palestine is unable to absorb the coming Jewish masses since it cannot support them, nor is it the right location. Furthermore, England has to consider both the native Arabic population and the worldwide Islamic community, which makes it impossible to settle even a reasonably significant part of the Jewish masses there.

Only a barbarian standing outside world history would propose a general anti-Semitic battle aimed at the extermination of this people. The goal of the highly developed peoples is not to promote hatred where there is a decent way to solve the problem. The only imaginable, positive solution that will finally resolve the Jewish problem in Europe – and at the same time provide the real possibility of becoming a people, of becoming rooted to land, and even perhaps allowing its less valuable elements to be influenced by the more valuable elements – is a healthy region outside Europe…

Of course, there is a danger that such a Jewish settlement area would become a world-famous El Dorado of criminality, given the deep moral decay of a large part of Jewry. There will have to be a force to provide just and honest supervision. This would also be possible, and details could be worked out. The danger may not hinder a broad solution of the Jewish Question by resettling Jewry to an appropriate settlement area outside of Europe.

We propose this to the world: Give the ‘wandering Jew’ a homeland, as far as possible from us, but sufficient and attractive. If he makes of it a garden he may keep it, and he will be protected. But if he makes of it a den of thieves, then we will keep him there. However, we must attempt a decent solution to this question. Those Jews who for centuries have recognized the battle of the Jewish Question are called to contribute to a real solution. Those Jews who recognize that the dream of Jewish world domination has failed, and who are therefore ready to become a people among peoples.

Those peoples among whom the question burns the hottest because of the Jewish masses among them are also called, particularly the major Western European colonial powers with vast possessions, for it cannot be permitted that a decent solution be prevented by cheap humanitarian slogans. With a single blow the Jewish question, which has always surfaced, can be resolved.”