Adolf Hitler on 'Anti-Semitism On a Religious Basis'

Continuing with passages from Mein Kampf, 2017 Thomas Dalton translation. See here.


THE FAILURE OF [THE CHRISTIAN-SOCIALIST] PARTY to fulfill its dream of saving Austria from dissolution must be attributed to two main defects in the means they employed and also the lack of clarity regarding the goal itself.

First: The anti-Semitism of the new movement was based on religious instead of racial principles. The reason for this mistake gave rise to the second error also.

The founders of the Christian-Socialist Party believed that they couldn't base their position on the racial principle if they wished to save Austria, because they felt that a general disintegration of the [multiracial] state might quickly result. In the opinion of the party chiefs, the situation in Vienna demanded that all factors that tended to estrange the nationalities from one another should be carefully avoided, and that all factors making for unity should be encouraged.

At that time, Vienna was so permeated with foreign elements, especially Czechs, that great tolerance was necessary if these elements were to be enlisted in any party that was not anti-German on principle. If Austria was to be saved, those elements were indispensable. And so attempts were made to win the support of the small traders—a great number of whom were Czechs—by combating liberal Manchesterism. And they believed that by adopting this attitude, they had found a slogan against Jewry that would unite all the different nationalities that made up the population of old Austria.

It was obvious, however, that this kind of anti-Semitism didn't upset the Jews very much, simply because it had a purely religious foundation. If worst came to worst, a few drops of baptismal water could always save the Jew and the business at the same time.

On such superficial grounds, it was impossible to deal with the whole problem in a serious and rational way. The result was that many people couldn't understand this kind of anti-Semitism, and therefore refused to join it. […] It looked more and more as if the whole movement was a new attempt to convert the Jews or, on the other hand, as if it merely wished to compete with other movements.

[…] The movement failed to awaken a belief that this was a problem of vital importance for the whole of humanity, and that the destiny of the whole non-Jewish world depended on a solution.

Through this half-hearted approach, the anti-Semitism of the Christian-Socialists turned out to be worthless.

It was a sham anti-Semitism—almost worse than none at all. The pretence gave rise to a false sense of security among the people, who believed that the enemy had been taken by the ears. But in reality, the people themselves were being led by the nose.

The Jew readily adapted to this form of anti-Semitism. In fact, its continuance was more beneficial to him that its absence would have been.

This led to great sacrfices being made for the sake of that multi-national state; but much greater sacrifices were required by the German element.

One didn't dare to be a 'nationalist,' even in Vienna, lest the ground should fall away from under one's feet. It was hoped that the Habsburg State might be saved by quietly avoiding the nationalist question; but this policy led that state to ruin.


Mein Kampf, MKVolI