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Hitler's Split Image of America

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Lauren Cribb

on 4 December 2013

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Transcript of Hitler's Split Image of America

Hitler's Split Image of America: What Changed?
Background: Mein Kampf
Before Nazi rise to power, Hitler's views were neutral, even positive, and respectful towards the US, admiring their racialized society and industrial strength.

“North America, which mix[es] only very little with the lower, colored races displays a humanity and a culture different from those of...South America,” (pg 392)

“Compared with this, the war propaganda of the British and the Americans was psychologically right.” (pg 234)
Background: 1930's opinions
Hitler's and Nazi party's opinions of America were much different than those expressed in
Mein Kampf
The US was dominated by Jews and racially polluted by Jews and negroes
The US did not have a culture - they were greedy and consumerist
America was hypocritical for opposing Nazi policies were similar to their own
Research Question:

Why did Hitler's views of America change?
Karl May:
German fiction author who wrote stories about the American West
Friedrich van Bötticher:
Military attaché to the US, reported on a sympathetic US military
Colin Ross:
World traveler who reported to Hitler of the Jewish control over America
Theory #1: Inaccurate Sources
Jewish Control over America:
Roosevelt was seen as working for the Jews. Jews controlled the economy and the press.
Racial Hypocrisy and Degeneration:
Treatment of African Americans was terrible in America (South) yet the US condemned Nazi treatent of Jews. Inferior Blood had mixed too much.

Theory #2: US
Domestic Policy
Evian Conference:
US refused to take Jewish refugees but condemned Nazi treatment of them (US Immigration Act of 1924 limited Jewish immigrants)
American Control in Europe:
Resentment over the Treaty of Versailles invoked as American politicians demanded war
to protect democracy
Theory #3: US
Foreign Policy
Hitler was an intelligent person. While he did have sources reinforcing his existing ideas of America, we do not find propaganda or speeches featuring information directly from Colin Ross or Karl May. It is more likely that these individuals provided Hitler with support to pursue agendas against America that were already being prepared.
~ A teacher's guide to racial instruction featured statistics showing America's dengeneracy due to African American and Jewish mixing into the blood pool.
~ A Nazi pamphlet stated that America was not a unified people, due to Jewish influence in creating the "melting pot": after all, America had the largest number of Jews of any country.
~ Political cartoons criticized America's treatment of African Americans and lynchings in the South while the US criticized Nazi treatment of Jews.
~ America was a loud-mouthed, mongrel society. Japan was able to stab America in its loud mouth with the attack on Pearl Harbor.
~ The Nazi propaganda office released newsletters for its speakers: under "Enemies of of the State," American and Roosevelt were criticized for ignoring mass murder in Spain, exercising control over European boundaries with the Treaty of Versailles, warmongering, and for being the mouthpiece of international jewry.
Nazi reactions to America became more critical as the war started, demonstrated by the upsurge of political cartoons being published in the 1940s. The line between how Hitler and the Nazis responded to domestic or foreign policy blurred during this time. Because of that observation, I think the change in opinion was fueled by America's involvement in the war more than the Nazi's critique on American life in America.
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