chapter  3
24 Pages


The issue of how deep the roots of Nazi anti-Semitism are has been endlessly debated. The efforts of scholars to find the roots of the Holocaust in the middle ages and even farther have been sometimes thought-provoking, often unpersuasive, but there is a wider consensus among scholars that in the late nineteenth century solid roots - more than traces or tendrils - are to be found. These were the years of Hitler’s birth; the ideas in the air formed his worldview. Nazi terms such as Aryan, Superman (Ubermensch) or indeed anti-Semite, were either coined in this period or came to have a wider acceptance in it. Modern forms of extreme nationalism grew more powerful, especially by the turn of the century, mixing into more xenophobic, hate-filled forms of racism, also key traits of National Socialism.