Birth of Walther von Reichenau, Anti-Semite Who Says Jews and Bolshevism are the Same

Birth of Walther von Reichenau, Anti-Semite Who Says Jews and Bolshevism are the Same

Walther von Reichenau
Source: Deutsches Bundesarchiv

Walther von Reichenau is born in Karlsruhe, Baden-Württemberg, Germany, to a wealthy family descended from German nobility.

He will be one of the military leaders who convinces Adolf Hitler that he has to make a choice between the SA and the support of the military; Hitler has to choose the latter in order to ensure the stability of his government, and this leads directly to the infamous Knight of the Long Knives in which so many of Hitler's opponents and critics, including the leadership of the SA, are murdered.

A career military man, Walther von Reichenau is uninterested in politics, yet he is a committed anti-Semite. He is convinced that Jews and Bolshevism are the same thing, thus the war against communism is necessarily a war against Jews.

In October 1941 he issues his infamous Reichenau Order:

"In this eastern theatre, the soldier is not only a man fighting in accordance with the rules of the art of war. ...

For this reason the soldier must learn fully to appreciate the necessity for the severe but just retribution that must be meted out to the subhuman species of Jewry..."

What the Reichenau Order means is that every Jew is treated as a partisan; as such, they are either shot by soldiers or turned over to Einsatzgruppen who will execute them.


WW2 — Field Marshal Walter von Reichenau

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