Streicher, Julius°

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STREICHER, JULIUS°

STREICHER, JULIUS ° (1885–1946), Nazi propagandist and antisemitic agitator, publisher of a crude antisemitic newspaper which characterized the Jews in quasi-pornographic fashion. Born in Fleinhausen, Swabia, Streicher was a teacher by profession. He was a founder of the German Socialist Party, which soon merged with the Nazi Party. Limited in his education, ambitious, and emotionally disturbed, he was enabled by the antisemitism of the Third Reich to give vent to his abnormal tendencies. In 1921 he founded the Nuremberg branch of the Nazi Party and participated in the attempt to remove Hitler from the party leadership. But he won Hitler's confidence by his participation in the Beer Hall Putsch (1923), which led to his arrest. In the same year Streicher founded Der *Stuermer, a weekly which achieved a circulation of 500,000 copies. He became its editor only in 1935 and was its owner. Hitler appointed him Gauleiter of Franconia (1928–40). He was elected to the Reichstag, made a general in the SA (storm troops) in 1932, and was charged with organizing the annual party convention, the Nuremberg Rally. Despite all his titles, Streicher had no real influence on policy making. Many of the party's leaders loathed him and plotted against him and his newspaper. In 1939 he was forbidden to make speeches and from 1940 was confined to his estate, Pleikershof. However, Streicher was esteemed by academic circles engaged in the "scientific" development of antisemitism. He achieved his fame and influence as a result of his fanatical incitement against the Jews. In hundreds of articles in Der Stuermer and in his speeches, in which he portrayed the Jews as the devil, the enemies of humanity, inferior beings, and dangerous germs, Streicher demanded their total extermination. He organized the economic boycott of the Jews (April 1, 1933), and his sadistic depictions of Jews in Der Stuermer as "defilers of the race" prepared the ground for the *Nuremberg Laws (1935). Even before *Kristallnacht (1938), Streicher presided over the destruction of the Nuremberg synagogue, and on the morrow of the riots (Nov. 10, 1938) publicly justified it. Captured in 1945, after a period of hiding in disguise, he was brought before the Nazi war criminal court at Nuremberg and sentenced to death under the Crimes Against Humanity clause for his part in the preparation of German public opinion to accept the "*Final Solution." He was hanged in October 1946.

bibliography:

L.W. Bondy, Racketeers of Hatred (1946); E. Davidson, Trial of the Germans (1966), 39–58; G.M. Gilbert, Nuremberg Diary (1947), 301–6; R. Hilberg, Destruction of the European Jews (1961), index. add. bibliography: R.L. Bytwerk, Julius Streicher (1983).

[Nathan Feinberg /

Michael Berenbaum (2nd ed.)]