How the Nazi leadership translated radical antisemitism into a narrative of an innocent, besieged Germany striking back at an "international Jewry" it accused of starting and prolonging World War II forms the subject of this study. In the Nazis' paranoid conspiracy theory "Jewry" comprised powers behind the scenes in London, Moscow, and Washington. In response to the "war of extermination" that Jewry had supposedly launched against Germany, the Nazi leadership publicly threatened to "exterminate" and "annihilate" the Jews as an act of justified retaliation. In their minds and in their policy, the ideological connection between the "Final Solution" and the Second World War was inherent, rather than contingent. The following analysis suggests why a centuries-old hatred led to mass murder between 1941 and 1945.


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pp. 51-80
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