Hitler avoided giving a clear written order to exterminate Jewish civilians and he avoided speaking openly about killing in his entourage. On 29 April 1937 he told his Nazi leaders:

"Everything that can be discussed should never be put in writing, never!" However, there is clear evidence that he was deeply involved in the anti-Jewish policy before and during the war, particularly when it reached a murderous stage.

Hitler was fully responsible for the order for the mass executions in Poland in 1939 and 1940. He was also actively engaged in setting up plans for a Jewish reservation in Poland and he backed the Madagascar plan. He was continually preoccupied with further deportations and deportation plans.

In 1941 Hitler ordered the extermination of the "Jewish-Bolshevist intelligentsia" and the elimination of every potential enemy in the occupied Eastern territories. He was fully aware of mass executions of Jewish civilians in these territories.

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