This photograph shows Adolf Hitler speaking to the Reichstag (the German Parliament) on 30 January 1939, the sixth anniversary of his coming to power. Hitler’s speech contained this warning to the Jews of Europe.

One thing I should like to say on this day which may be memorable for others as well as for us Germans: In the course of my life I have very often been a prophet, and have usually been ridiculed for it. During the time of my struggle for power it was in the first instance the Jewish race which only received my prophecies with laughter when I said that I would one day take over the leadership of the State, and with it that of the whole nation, and that I would then among many other things settle the Jewish problem. Their laughter was uproarious, but I think that for some time now they have been laughing on the other side of their face. Today I will once more be a prophet: If the international Jewish financiers in and outside Europe should succeed once more in plunging the nations into a world war, then the result will not be the Bolshevising of the earth, and thus the victory of Jewry, but the annihilation of the Jewish race in Europe.

This speech did not mean that Hitler was yet planning the Holocaust; it has generally been seen as a warning to the USA not to resist Germany by using Europe’s Jews as hostages. Nonetheless, the speech reveals the antisemitism of Hitler’s world view, with the belief that capitalism and Communism were part of a Jewish conspiracy, and shows the potential for mass murder in Nazi ideology.

Photo: Hitler addressing the Reichstag, 30 January 1939; Bundesarchiv

Speech: Max Domarus (ed.), Hitler: Reden und Proklamationen 1932-1945 (Löwit, 1973)