The Simon Wiesenthal Center announced today it has acquired "the most significant document in its 34-year history," a four-page letter signed by Adolf Hitler, dated September 16, 1919, six years before the publication of "Mein Kampf." The letter describes Hitler's hatred of Jews and calls for "the uncompromising removal of the Jews altogether." The letter will be displayed at the Museum of Tolerance on Pico Boulevard, beginning July 16. From the flackage:
What began as a private letter, one man's opinion, twenty-two years later became the 'Magna Carta' of an entire nation and led to the nearly total extinction of the Jewish people. This is an important lesson for future generations," said Rabbi Marvin Hier, Wiesenthal Center Dean and Founder. "Demagogues mean what they say and given the opportunity, carry out what they promise," he concluded.
The New York Times story begins:
In 1919, a soldier in Munich discovered that he could galvanize small groups of fellow trench warfare veterans with virulently anti-Semitic oratory. A superior officer, impressed with the soldier’s oral skills, asked him to commit his ideas to paper.
Thus came into existence the first written record of Adolf Hitler’s obsessive hostility toward Jews, an embryonic form of the worldview that would later lead to the Holocaust and millions of deaths.