The founder of a Jewish human rights organization said today the group has acquired a document by Adolf Hitler believed to contain his first written comments calling Jews a threat that should be removed. Rabbi Marvin Hier of the Simon Wiesenthal Center said the center paid $150,000 to a private dealer last month to obtain the 1919 writing, known as the Gemlich letter. At the time it was written, Hitler was still serving in the Army and had taken to riling up the troops with his anti-Semitic rants. A superior officer urged Hitler to put his ideas on paper.
The letter, found by an American soldier in the final months of World War II, was typed by Hitler on a German army typewriter. In one section, Hitler said a powerful government could curtail the so-called "Jewish threat" by denying their rights. "Its final aim, however, must be the uncompromising removal of the Jews altogether." Hier unveiled the letter in New York, but the center plans to put it on display at the Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles in July.