"'But did the Führer license the Final Solution?'"

 Führer is the German word for 'leader' or 'guide'; it has now taken on negative connotations because of its associations with Adolf Hitler.

In 1933, Hitler was appointed Germany's Reichskanzler (Chancellor of the Reich), and in 1934, he adopted the title Führer und Reichskanzler (Leader and Chancellor of the Reich).

The Final Solution (Die Endlösung) was the euphemism used by German Nazi leaders for their plans to annihilate the Jewish people during World War II.

Heinrich Himmler (wearing spectacles) in Greece (1942)
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeHeinrich Himmler (wearing spectacles) in Greece (1942) - Credit: Mayr (German Federal Archive)

 Heinrich Himmler is believed to have been mainly responsible for devising the annihilation programmes, and Adolf Hitler is known to have used the words, die Endlösung der Judenfrage ('the final solution of the Jewish question'). However, there is some disagreement as to Hitler's precise role in the planning and  authorisation of the programmes.

By the end of World War II, approximately 6 million Jews throughout the German-occupied territories had been murdered by the Nazi regime. This mass genocide is generally referred to as the Holocaust.

 

Greek Jews awaiting deportation (Ionnina, 1944)
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeGreek Jews awaiting deportation (Ionnina, 1944) - Credit: Wetzel (German Federal Archive)

 

 

Deportation of Greek Jews (1944)
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeDeportation of Greek Jews (1944) - Credit: Wetzel (German Federal Archive)