The Nazi propaganda film “The Eternal Jew”, purporting to be a documentary, was given its public premiere on 28th November 1940. It was all part of the continuing process of desensitising the general population of Germany to the growing persecution of the Jews. Later the film would be distributed in the occupied countries. The message was presented very crudely, as can be imagined from the poster.
Notoriously “The Eternal Jew” juxtaposed footage of rats with scenes of Jewish life. This was just a graphic example of how the Nazis sought to portray the Jews as vermin or a type of infection. Having created this association it was a small step to make the suggestion that they needed to be eradicated or exterminated. They had created a problem that needed a ‘solution’.
“The Eternal Jew” – Goebbels introduction
The film was accompanied by a pamphlet written by Minister of Propaganda, Joseph Goebbels. There was nothing subtle or sophisticated about the methods used to indoctrinate people, they were given the message and they were told what to think at the same time. As such this document usefully encapsulates the Nazi world view:
The film begins with an impressive expedition through the Jewish ghettoes in Poland. We are shown Jewish living quarters, which in our view cannot be called houses. In these dirty rooms lives and prays a race, which earns its living not by work but by haggling and swindling. From the little urchin to the old man, they stand in the streets, trading and bargaining.
Using trick photography, we are shown how the Jewish racial mixture in Asia Minor developed and flooded the entire world. We see a parallel to this in the itinerant routes of rats, which are the parasites and bacillus-carriers among animals, just as the Jews occupy the same position among mankind.
The Jew has always known how to assimilate his external appearance to that of his host. Contrasted are the same Jewish types, first the Eastern Jew with his kaftans’, beard, and sideburns, and then the clean-shaven, Western European Jew. This strikingly demonstrates how he has deceived the Aryan people. Under this mask he increased his influence more and more in Aryan nations and climbed to higher-ranking positions. But he could not change his inner being.
After the banishment of the Jews from Europe was lifted, following the age of Enlightenment, the Jew succeeded within the course of several decades in dominating the world economy, before the various host nations realized – and this despite the fact that they made up only 1 per cent of the world population. An excerpt from an American film about the Rothschild’s, made by Jews, reveals to us the cunning foundations of their banking empire.
Then we see how Jews, working for their international finance, drive the German people into the November Revolution. They then shed their anonymity and step out openly on to the stage of political and cultural life. Thus the men who were responsible for the disgraceful debasement of the German people are paraded before us. Incontestable examples are shown of how they robbed the country and the people of immense sums.
As well as gaining financial supremacy they were able to dominate cultural life. The repulsive pictures of so-called Jewish “art” reveal the complete decline of cultural life at that time. Using original sequences from contemporary films, the degrading and destructive tendency of Jewish power is exposed. For hundreds of years German artists have glorified figures from the Old Testament, knowing full well the real face of Jewry.
How the Jew actually looks like is shown in scenes shot by Jews themselves in a “culture film” of a Purim festival, which is still celebrated today to commemorate the slaughter of 75,000 anti-Semitic Persians, and the doctrine with which future Rabbis in Jewish schools are educated to be political pedagogues. We look into a Jewish ‘Talmud’ class and experience the oriental tone of the ceremony in a Jewish synagogue, where Jews conduct business deals among themselves during the holy services.
However, the cruel face of Judaism is most brutally displayed in the final scenes, in which original shots of a kosher butchering are revealed. These film documents of the inhuman slaughter of cattle and sheep without anesthesia provide conclusive evidence of a brutality which is simply inconceivable to all Aryan people. In shining contrast, the film closes with pictures of German people and German order which fill the viewer with a feeling of deep gratification for belonging to a race whose Führer is fundamentally solving the Jewish problem.
A central theme of the “The Eternal Jew” sought to portray the Jews in their ‘natural state’. The Nazis had forced the Jews of Poland into the confines of the overcrowded ghettos, where they were starved and destitute. Now the Nazis photographed and filmed them in order to illustrate their ‘subhuman’ characteristics – a prime example of the perverted thinking of the regime.
The “civilized” Jews that we know in Germany give us only an incomplete picture of their racial character. This film shows genuine shots of the Polish ghettos. It shows the Jews as they really are, before they conceal themselves behind the mask of the civilized European.
Although the violent, murderous anti-semitic attitude of the regime towards was readily evident in its actions in Poland, the process was less blatant in Germany and occupied western Europe. Here the Jews found their lives increasingly restricted by discriminatory measures but the full extent of the intended persecution was always kept obscure. The film marked yet another step along the way to the Holocaust.
We are the initiators of the fight against world Jewry, which now directs its hate, its brutal greed and destructive will toward us. We must win this battle for ourselves, for Europe, for the world.
A short extract with English subtitles, including Hitler ranting against the Jews, gives a sense of the Nazi message: