Germany Must Perish!

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Germany must Perish (Kaufman).jpg

Germany must Perish! is a 1941 book written by Theodore Newman Kaufman, a Jewish American businessman and writer. The book called for the sterilization of the German people and the distribution of the German lands to other countries as a measure towards the goal of Jewish supremacism.


Kaufman Partition Plan, published in "Germany Must Perish!". Caption reads: "Map Showing Possible Dissection of Germany and Apportionment of its Territory."

Call for genocide

Long Before Jewish 'Holocaust'

Theodore Kaufman, the writer – an American Jew born in New York City and a successful businessman – wrote the book in late 1940. This was a full year before the USA entered the Second World War, and also long before the Holocaust allegedly began in the summer of 1941 in association with the Operation Barbarossa. Thus, a common defense of the book, that it was a shocked reaction to the Holocaust, is false.

Demonization of Germans

TODAY'S WAR is not a war against Adolf Hitler. Nor is it a war against the Nazis. It is a war of peoples against peoples; of civilized peoples envisioning Light, against uncivilized barbarians [Germans] who cherish Darkness. Of the people of those nations who would surge forward hopefully into a new and better phase of life, pitted against the peoples of a nation who would travel backward enthusiastically into the dark ages. It is a struggle between the German nation and humanity.

With these words, Kaufman opened the book. He spends several chapters further demonizing Germans -- historically and in current affairs -- before proposing his genocidal solution.

Extinction by sterilization

A dynamic volume outlining a plan for the extinction of Germany, containing a map showing possible dissection and apportionment of its territory (Kaufman's summary of his book in a New York Times ad).[1]

The plan boiled down to forcible mass-sterilization of most German women under 45 and most German men under 65. This would eliminate "inbred Germanism", proposed Kaufman, thus solving a great deal of humanity's problems. There was also a partition plan associated with "Germany Must Perish!", in which Germany's territory would melt away into its neighbors'.


The full 96-page booklet sold for 25 cents, and enjoyed "brisk sales" for a period in 1941[2]. It was published in March of 1941 by Argyle Press of Newark, New Jersey. A preliminary edition of the book may have been published as early as December 1940, with a very small circulation.[3]


Reviews in the American press

A number of American newspapers reviewed the book when it was published, including New York Times, the Washington Post, Time Magazine, and the Philadelphia Record. A 24 March 1941 Time magazine review called it "sensational"[4], and compared the book to Jonathan Swift's A Modest Proposal, noting that, unlike Swift, Kaufman's work was not satirical.[5] An advertisement in the New York Times, stated that the book was released to the public on 1 March 1941, which Kaufman also promoted by mailing a miniature black cardboard coffin with a hinged lid to reviewers.[6] Inside the coffin was a card proclaiming, "Read GERMANY MUST PERISH! -- Tomorrow you will receive your copy."[7]

The back of the book's dust jacket contains excerpts from purported reviews of the book. One blurb reads, "A PLAN FOR PERMANENT PEACE AMONG CIVILIZED NATIONS! --New York Times." In reality, the Times never published a full review of the book. The quotation is the entirety, plus an exclamation point, of a one-line summary of Germany Must Perish! published in "Latest Books Received" section of the paper.[8]

Outrage in Germany

A shocked and angered reaction to the book took place in Germany. The Berlin daily newspaper Der Angriff of 23 July 1941 proclaimed: "Diabolical Plan for the Extermination of the German People" and that Kaufman's was a work of "Old Testament Hatred." Extracts from the book appeared in the nationally-circulated weekly newspaper Das Reich, 3 August 1941.[9]

Leaflets were printed to expose the book and inform the public about it. The leaflets also claimed that Roosevelt, Churchill, and Stalin supported versions of the plan (See Similar Plans). The leaflet presents Kaufman's "8-Point Plan", and is then captioned: "German People! You now know what your eternal enemies plan to do. To stop their extermination-plan, there is only one thing to do: FIGHT, WORK, WIN!"

A million copies of the small book were republished in German at the direction of Joseph Goebbels, to warn Germans of their possible fate if the war was lost. Goebbels also reported that Kaufman was part of Roosevelt's inner-circle, which was not exactly true in that form, although the two had apparently shaken hands at one time.

German resolve stiffened

Hitler reportedly read a copy of the book in August of 1941.[10] Subsequently, he gave Goebbels permission to have Jews wear yellow armbands. Goebbels changed this on his own to yellow-stars.

It has been speculated by historians that the existence of the Kaufman-Plan (and the later, official Morgenthau Plan), and the fact, that Germans knew about their existence, "when combined with the (also unnecessary) demand for unconditional surrender, extended the war needlessly at a cost of millions of lives".[11]

Politically correct views

The politically correct view, as stated in, for example, Wikipedia, is to depict Kaufman as an eccentric without any influence in the United States, but extensively used in German propaganda. Furthermore, Kaufman in 1939 had proposed sterilizing Americans if they would again participate in a war and in 1942 proposed democratic re-education of Germans rather than sterilization.

Revisionist views

The book had brisk sales for a time in 1941 and was reviewed by no less than the New York Times, the Washington Post, Time magazine and the Philadelphia Record. This brought it to the attention of Josef Goebbels, who then distributed a million copies of the screed with German commentary to the military as an inducement to resist surrender.[12]

This and release of some of the information regarding the Morgenthau Plan for a punitive occupation of Germany are thought by many to have, when combined with the demand for unconditional surrender, to have extended the war at a cost of millions of lives.[12]

When Stalin complained to Churchill that knowledge of the Morgenthau Plan was making the Germans fight harder, Churchill made subsequent remarks which might indicate that the extension was not all that unwelcome to him, as he deemed it important "to kill as many as possible in the field."[12]

When Robert H. Jackson was preparing to assume his responsibilities as the chief prosecutor at the Nuremberg trials he met with Judge Samuel Rosenman to examine papers related to an earlier plan made at Yalta to send several million Germans to Russia as slave laborers. When Jackson said that he did not believe that Roosevelt had agreed to anything like this, "Rosenman explained that F.D.R. had 'thought the Germans deserved to be so punished,' as the judge noted in his diary, 'and emotionally was very bitter [and] had even seriously discussed sterilisation and more or less in fun had devised a machine to perform the operation on a mass production basis.'"[12]

Furthermore, it has been argued that Germany must Perish! directly influenced the later Morgenthau Plan.[13]

Similar Plans

Kaufman's book inspired several other plans for what to do with the Germans once they were conquered.

  • Hooton Plan (1943) – Proposed in the pamphlet Breed War Strain Out of Germans by Professor Hooton, "called for genetically transforming the German nation by encouraging mating of German women with non-German men" over the next several decades.[14]
  • What To Do With Germany (1944) – Book by prominent B'nai B'rith member Louis Nizer, calling for mass re-education of Germans. Read by Churchill, FDR, Eisenhower, and Truman.
  • Various plans were proposed at the "Big Three" Allied conferences such as the Tehran Conference. All of these involved some kind of partition of Germany, which was also implemented after the war.
  • Morgenthau Plan (1944) – Called for the division of the German Reich into four states, with significant territorial losses to Poland in the east, as well as various extremely harsh measures against Germans. Formally abandoned due to public pressure after it became publicly known, but harsh measures were despite this implemented.

See also

External links

References in German Media


  1. Advertisement for Germany Must Perish!
  2. Commentary on "Germany Must Perish" by David Thomas.
  3. The Book that Hitler Fears Germany Must Perish! by Mark Weber, Institute For Historical Review (IHR)
  4. The Book that Hitler Fears Germany Must Perish! by Mark Weber, Institute For Historical Review (IHR)
  5. Time
  6. Anonymous Advertisement for Germany Must Perish!. New York Times. 1 March 1941. p. 13.
  7. "A Modest Proposal (Books)."
  8. Anonymous. "Latest Books Received." New York Times. 16 March 1941. p. BR29.
  9. Introduction to "Perish", by Mark Weber, (IHR)
  10. Nuremberg: The Last Battle, by David Irving, pg.42
  11. Commentary on "Germany Must Perish" by David Thomas.
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 Codoh: Germany must perish!
  13. The Morgenthau Plan and Kaufman’s ‘Germany Must Perish!’: A Comparison
  14. Introduction to "Perish", by Mark Weber, (IHR)