Kurt Weill and Bertholt Brecht's Berlin


Goebbels’ goal in "Why are we Enemies of the Jews?" is to create party support through hatred of an ‘other.’ Goebbels begins by expouding on the importance of nationalism and socialism in the face of society’s decay. Before long, though, he turns to Jews. He paints them as the ultimate enemy of any righteous movement, claiming that in order to fully assume power and stability, the Germans must eventually defeat the Jews.

This scapegoating of the Jews is relevant to other exhibits, in that Goebbels attributes several of the sins to them. Greed: “As soon as he has power he preaches peace and order so that he can enjoy his theft.” Sloth: “The Jew has no interest in solving Germany’s fateful questions. He cannot, indeed. He lives because they are unresolved.” Wrath: “Where he senses filth and decay, he appears from his hiding place and begins his criminal slaughter of the peoples” (Kaes et al. 1994, 138). In this way, Goebbels frames wrath as a solution to sin.

This is another interesting way of framing political wrath, as it seems like everything is in response to some injustice. For example, as discussed elsewhere in this exhibit, the Spartacus Manifesto is predicated on painting the government as a bloody murderer. In this example, Goebbels creates a scapegoat for angry Nazis to blame, not the government itself but rather the Jews who supposedly stand behind all evils.


Goebbels, Joseph. "Why Are We Enemies of the Jews?" In Weimar Republic Sourcebook, edited by Anton Kaes, Martin Jay, and Edward Dimendberg, 138. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1994


This page has paths:

This page references: