The history of anti - semitism


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Geschiedenis: De geschiedenis van het antisemitisme

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  • We will discuss this more when we discuss Deadly Medicine and Who was a Jew by Nazi standards.
  • Hatred of Jews has existed since the earliest Jewish communities. In the pre-Christian era (Before the Common Era, B.C.E.) Jews were the only group to follow one Supreme being while other groups had a pantheon of gods. Non Jews in these centuries were suspicious of Jews for their monotheism and distinctive religious rituals. In the Roman Empire before Christianity Jews were criticized for their unwillingness to honor the official gods of the empire. Thus, unlike other peoples of the pre-Christian era, their monotheism set Jews apart, and non-Jews in the empire harbored suspicions and negative stereotypes about them.
  • The crusade got underway in the summer of 1096, but before the crusaders left for the Holy Land, they set out to remove enemies from their homeland. During the centuries of the Crusades, myths about Jews circulated and helped to heighten popular hatred and fear of Jews. It became common for Christian groups to think of Jews as agents of Satan. Images of the satanic Jew adorned cathedral courtyards and town squares of Europe.
  • A popular anti-Jewish myth that gained widespread acceptance was the notion that Jewsmurdered Christians because they need blood to perform satanic rites—the charge of ritual murder or blood libel . It was believed that Jews, usually led by rabbis, kidnapped Christian children on Jewish holidays in order to bleed them to death for occult rituals.   According to medieval myth, Jews thought the Christian blood could purge the diseases caused by their own corrupt blood, or cure the wounds caused by circumcision. Christians believed that Jews mixed the blood in their ritual foods at Passover in order to sanctify them. Some thought that the captive Christians were crucified in order to reenact Christ’s murder. If a Christian child was murdered near Easter or Passover, there was a good chance that local Jews would be massacred. Into the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, at least two dozen ritual murder trials took place in Central and Eastern Europe. The Black Plague in the middle of the fourteenth century killed approximately one-third of the population of Europe. At the time, it was not known how the illness spread, but stories and rumors circulated that Jews had poisoned the wells. The accusation was totally unfounded. Nonetheless, many Christians believed the myth.   This accusation led to severe consequences for Jews. More than sixty Jewish communities were burned to the ground with all their occupants killed. In cities in Switzerland and Germany—Basel, Cologne, Strasbourg, and Mainz—Jews were tortured and, in some cases, burned to death in bonfires. Christian writers rationalized the attacks on Jews, claiming that Jews deserved death for killing Jesus and for taking unfair economic advantage of Christians.   By the end of the fourteenth century, Jews were seen to embody evil. There were no longer tales of Jews converting. Rather, it was believed that Jews stabbed the Host—literally stabbed Christ. Images of Jews as scorpions and pigs adorned Cathedral walls. The proliferation of anti-Jewish images in the Middle Ages presaged the Nazi propaganda that depicted Jews as satanic figures.
  • Image: Jews mocking the Host at Pressburg, (Bratislava) in 1591, contemporary woodcut from the Kupferstichkabinet, Berlin.
  • In the late Middle Ages, many of the guilds which regulated trades and crafts excluded Jews. One of the few professions open to Jews was lending money for interest, a practice considered a sin for Christians. Jews also served as middle men for landowners, collecting taxes from their serfs and carrying out administrative tasks. The association of Jews with these activities increased Christian antiapathy for, and suspicion of, Jews. These negative notions about Jews have persisted to the present even though Christians now engage in these activities, and Jews have gained access to many trades formerly restricted to the Jewish community.   The first victims of the religious intolerance of the king were the Jews who were often the bankers of the kingdom. Since it was, in theory, prohibited to the Christians, the Church condemned any financial transaction comprising the payment of interest.
  • The Reformation during the sixteenth century refers to the movement in Western Christianity to purge the Church of abuses that developed during the Middle Ages. The Reformation sought to restore the doctrines and practices of the Church to conform with the Bible and New Testament of early Christianity. The movement led to a split between the Roman Catholic Church opposed to the reforms of the sixteenth century and the Reformers that came to be known as Protestants. Protestantism took many forms: Anglicans in Great Britain, Huguenots in France, Lutherans in Germany and Calvinists in Switzerland. In 1517, Martin Luther attacked the Church for calling for a Reformation that would restore Christianity to its purist form. Luther’s act led to a schism in Christianity with the followers of Luther separating from Christians who continued to follow the Pope and the Papal States. At first, Luther thought Jews would convert to Lutheranism, but by 1543 he realized this would not happen and unleashed harsh vituperations against Jews. There has been a great deal of research on the transformation of Luther’s attitude toward the Jews. Part of the reason for the dramatic changes lies in his disappointment that Jews failed to convert to Lutheranism. It is also important to consider that in the 1520’s and 1530’s Luther witnessed peasant rebellions and realized that the power of secular authorities was the only way to suppress the violence and chaos. Hence, Luther’s idealism of 1517 was tempered by the political realities of the sixteenth century. Moreover, as Luther grew older, he became increasingly obsessed with the notion that the Devil threatened him constantly. His association of Jews with the Devil heightened his anti-Jewish attitudes.
  • The history of Jews in Europe during the nineteenth century is complex. On the one hand, one nation-state after another granted citizenship to Jews and removed the economic, social and religious restraints that had oppressed Jews for centuries. On the other hand, conservative leaders and political parties in most European countries objected to Jewish emancipation—they clung to earlier views of Jews as pariahs and greedy moneylenders. When these conservative parties gained political control, they often imposed restrictions on Jews.
  • Three main factors contributed to antisemitism in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries when Jews were emancipated and enjoyed the opportunities of social mobility and education. Groups that opposed the progress Jews made in the capitalistic economy blamed Jews for their own economic troubles; Peasants, who were not directly affected by capitalism, blamed Jews for the ways in which capitalism had turned their world upside down; The traditional classes, landowners and peasants, blamed Jews for polluting the traditional order of German life. At this time, the notions of racial antisemitism gained prominence and Jews were blamed for infecting the German Volk.
  • With the creation of a unified German state under Otto von Bismarck in 1870-71, Jews played a prominent role in parliamentary life With the creation of a unified German state under Otto von Bismarck in 1870-71, Jews played a prominent role in parliamentary life
  • Wilhelm Marr coined the term “anti-Semitism” in 1879 in his The Victory of the Jews over the Germans, which appeared in 12 editions in one year. His publication blamed the Jews for threatening to dominate the German economy and destroy the greatness of Germany. Marr viewed Jews as inherently evil; he did not believe that the evil of Jews would ever change. According to Marr, the only solution was for Jews to be driven away from German society. Marr echoed views of another writer of his era who expressed racial antisemitism in 1876:
  • Even the most honorable Jews is under the inescapable influence of his blood, carrier of a semitic morality, totally opposed to Germanic values. . . aimed at the destruction and burial of German values and traditions. . . . Before the vote for anyone, first ask about his blood and worry later about his political opinions.   From Wilhelm Maar
  • Nothing more graphically illustrates the complexity of the "Jewish Question" (the position of Jews in European society) in nineteenth century Europe than the Dreyfus Affair. Captain Dreyfus, a Jewish officer in the French Army, was accused of treason and sentenced to life imprisonment. Even though evidence came forth that Dreyfus had been wrongly accused, and a man named Esterhazy had committed the crime, the military officials refused to release Dreyfus. Two sides developed. Military officials and conservative political leaders held strong antisemitic views and maintained that Dreyfus, a Jew, was guilty. On the other side, there was a range of liberal journalists and politicians who campaigned for Dreyfus’ release and pardon. The writer, Emil Zola, was firmly convinced of Dreyfus’ innocence. Zola wrote a series of articles during 1896 and 1897 in his newspaper Le Figaro , arguing on behalf of Dreyfus. In January 1898, Zola wrote in the liberal paper, L’Aurore, a letter to the President of France, Felix Faure. The letter opened with the words “ J’accuse ” (“I accuse”) , and Zola accused the government and military of lying about Dreyfus. A year later, 1899, the case was reopened, and it was discovered that a forgery had been used to implicate Dreyfus. Dreyfus’ sentence was reduced to ten years. It was not until 1906 that Dreyfus was rehabilitated. The Dreyfus Affair demonstrated that old hatreds and suspicions of Jews were still alive in the public imagination and could be easily brought to the surface.
  • What was life like for a Jew in Germany prior to 1933? Most lived normal lives. They thought of themselves as Germans first and Jews second
  • During World War I German Jews sought to demonstrate their patriotism by participation in the army. 100,000 Jews served in the army; 12,000 died in action.
  • The history of anti - semitism

    1. 1. The History of Anti-Semitism
    2. 2. Who are the Jews? <ul><li>Confusing concept </li></ul><ul><li>J.P. Sartre, French philosopher, said: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“Anyone is a Jew who thinks he is one, or who is regarded by others as one.” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Important comment because it shows the arbitrary criteria on which hatred can be founded. </li></ul></ul>
    3. 3. Jews, the Semitic tribe <ul><li>Historically, they occupied the territory near the Dead Sea and the river Jordan. </li></ul><ul><li>Area became a Roman protectorate shortly after the time of Christ </li></ul><ul><li>70 AD rebellion against Rome </li></ul><ul><li>The temple of Jerusalem destroyed, the Diaspora begins, </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The dispersal of the Jews throughout the Roman empire. </li></ul></ul>
    4. 4. The Term Anti-Semitism <ul><li>First used as a term in Germany in the 1870’s by Wilhelm Marr </li></ul><ul><li>Not accurate. </li></ul><ul><li>Anti-Judaism would be more accurate </li></ul>
    5. 5. When does Anti-Semitism/Judaism begin? <ul><li>Has existed since the earliest Jewish Communities </li></ul><ul><li>Why? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Romans disliked the Jews because they did not swear allegiance to the Roman gods. </li></ul></ul>
    6. 6. 11 th Century- The Crusades <ul><li>First real massacre of Jews in Europe </li></ul><ul><li>Marks beginning of blind unreasoning prejudice against the Jews. </li></ul><ul><li>First crusade, 1096- Pope Urban II wants to liberate Jerusalem from the control of Islam </li></ul>
    7. 7. Anti-Judaism’s Fantasy accusations <ul><li>Stole Christian children- blood libel </li></ul><ul><li>Poisoned wells </li></ul><ul><li>Caused the plague </li></ul><ul><li>Desecrated the communion wafer </li></ul><ul><li>Engaged in a world wide conspiracy to destroy Christianity </li></ul><ul><li>There is not one documented case that the Jews did any of this. Confessions achieved through torture. </li></ul>
    8. 8. Picture of a Jew Poisoning A Well
    9. 9. Restrictions on Jews in Middle Ages <ul><li>Not allowed to own land, they could not farm </li></ul><ul><li>Most professions off limits </li></ul><ul><li>Not allowed to join guilds, barred from manufacturing activities </li></ul><ul><li>Not allowed to practice law or medicine </li></ul><ul><li>Could not hold office </li></ul><ul><li>Since Christians were prohibited from usury (lending money) Jews took over banking functions. </li></ul><ul><li>Jews prohibited from living in certain parts of town; Ghettos in all major cities. </li></ul>
    10. 10. The Protestant Reformation <ul><li>Was the split between the Catholic and Protestant Churches </li></ul><ul><li>Martin Luther accepted the Jews until they would not convert to Lutheranism </li></ul><ul><li>His writings later exploited by the Nazis </li></ul><ul><li>His dislike for Jews is much different, based on religion, not race. </li></ul><ul><li>Samples of Anti-Jewish Themes in Martin Luther’s Works </li></ul>
    11. 11. Between 16 th and 18 th Centuries <ul><li>Changes in attitudes </li></ul><ul><li>Economic expansion for all, including the Jews </li></ul><ul><li>Jews gained full citizenship rights in western Europe </li></ul><ul><li>France, Austria and Prussia were among the first to grant Jews civil freedoms and rights of citizenship </li></ul>
    12. 12. Jews in Germany in the 1800’s <ul><li>Very well assimilated into German society </li></ul><ul><li>1871 national laws made Jews equal </li></ul><ul><li>Jews emerged from Ghettos </li></ul><ul><li>Jews regarded Germany as a country where merit counted above all </li></ul><ul><li>They converted, dropped Jewish names </li></ul><ul><li>Jews thought of themselves as Germans of Jewish decent </li></ul>
    13. 13. Anti-Semitism still present <ul><li>As Jews became successful, old anti-Semitic hatreds resurfaced </li></ul><ul><li>They were associated with capitalism </li></ul><ul><li>With the massive changes in society from the 18 th century on, capitalism became vilified. </li></ul><ul><li>Anti-Semitism was everywhere </li></ul>
    14. 14. Rise of Modern Anti-Semitism <ul><li>1882-1886 The beginning of racial anti-Semitism. </li></ul><ul><li>Emerged out of an emphasis on Nationalism </li></ul><ul><li>Germany unified under Bismark in 1871 </li></ul><ul><li>An identity declared through exclusivity and the creation of a common enemy </li></ul>
    15. 15. Before WWI <ul><li>Germany still very prosperous </li></ul><ul><li>Things are not bad, but when things go bad, the Jews are blamed </li></ul><ul><li>But society is changing, change is frightening </li></ul><ul><li>Industrialization, displacement, impoverishment of workers, insecurity </li></ul><ul><li>People wanted an answer, a simple answer. </li></ul><ul><li>Racial anti-Semitism grew in these conditions. </li></ul>
    16. 16. Racial Anti-Semitism <ul><li>Late 19 th century, ancient prejudices are recast in racial form </li></ul><ul><li>Use of modern science for racial theories </li></ul><ul><li>But really a pseudo-science, not legitimate </li></ul><ul><li>Helped to legitimize anti-Semitism </li></ul><ul><li>Proliferated throughout Germany and all of Europe, even in the USA. </li></ul>
    17. 17. Extermination <ul><li>The notion came into its own before WWI </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Was a minority view. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Not taken seriously by most people </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Calls for the genocide or for the removal of the Jews to a distant land </li></ul><ul><li>Just about all that the Nazis thought about the Jews was already a part of public discourse before they came to power. </li></ul>
    18. 18. Austria <ul><li>Where Hitler was from </li></ul><ul><li>Hotbed of anti-Semitism </li></ul><ul><li>Very large numbers of Jews lived in Austria and Vienna </li></ul><ul><li>Jews assumed leading positions in cultural fields </li></ul>
    19. 19. Political Anti-Semitism <ul><li>Also in France, the Dreyfus Affair </li></ul><ul><li>In Germany, Anti-Semitism did not become part of political programs of parties until the Nazis </li></ul>
    20. 20. How did Hitler Come to Power? <ul><li>Looking at Nazi propaganda to see how he did it. </li></ul><ul><li>Early propaganda and Nazi party advertisements show how he appealed to the German public. </li></ul><ul><li>Look for anti-Semitism as a political tool </li></ul>
    21. 21. Historical Background <ul><li>WWI (1914-1918): Very crippling defeat for Germany </li></ul><ul><li>The Weimar Republic was established after the monarchy came to an end after WWI </li></ul>
    22. 22. Nazi Propaganda <ul><li>What is propaganda? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>--some sort of communication to large groups of people for the purpose of manipulating their thoughts. </li></ul></ul>
    23. 23. Joseph Goebbels giving a speech <ul><li>Minister of Propaganda </li></ul><ul><li>Ensured a one-sided exposure of the public to Nazi ideology </li></ul><ul><li>What did Hitler want art (movies, posters, paintings, etc.) to do? </li></ul>
    24. 24. The worm <ul><li>“ Where something is rotten, the Jew is the cause.” </li></ul><ul><li>The worm is named “Jewish scandals” </li></ul><ul><li>The apple is named “the German economy” </li></ul>
    25. 25. Nazi Propaganda Posters after Hitler comes into Power
    26. 26. Germany on the Cross <ul><li>Example of religious Christian symbolism used for Nazi propaganda </li></ul><ul><li>Anti-Semitic </li></ul><ul><li>Germany being crucified like Christ </li></ul>
    27. 27. First kind of “therapy” was euthanasia. <ul><li>In the 1930’s they began to murder the mentally handicapped and the physically handicapped </li></ul><ul><li>T4 program of euthanasia, euphemism for murder of social outcasts </li></ul><ul><li>Hidden from the public, deception made easier by the confusion caused by the WWII (begins 1939) </li></ul>
    28. 28. Another “therapy”: the Holocaust <ul><li>When Germany invaded Poland in 1939 WWII began </li></ul><ul><li>Now the Nazis had 3 million Jews in Poland to deal with </li></ul><ul><li>They applied what they had learned from their “euthanasia” program to the “problem” there </li></ul><ul><li>Einsatzgruppen were inefficient </li></ul><ul><li>Gassing experience applied on a grand scale </li></ul><ul><li>Making the “Volk” “healthy” and “beautiful” translates into mass murder. </li></ul>
    29. 29. The Cultural war against the Jews After the Nazis came to power and during the Holocaust
    30. 30. Anti-Semitic propaganda goes mainstream <ul><li>Begins to appear in all sorts of cultural arenas </li></ul><ul><li>Its purpose was to project powerful images of internal and external foes </li></ul><ul><li>This helped to maintain the illusion of national unity </li></ul><ul><li>Helped to keep the people committed to the war effort </li></ul>
    31. 31. The idea of the conspiracy of the Jews <ul><li>Symbolically represents many arguments against the Jews </li></ul><ul><li>What symbols do you see? </li></ul>
    32. 32. The Jew: War instigator and war lengthener <ul><li>Particularly nasty poster </li></ul><ul><li>Blames Jews for WWII </li></ul>
    33. 33. Propaganda for Children <ul><li>This is a children’s book </li></ul><ul><li>Called the poison mushroom </li></ul><ul><li>What does this picture imply? </li></ul>
    34. 34. The eternal Jew <ul><li>Movie poster </li></ul><ul><li>For the worst of the anti-Semitic films </li></ul>
    35. 35. A scene in the film <ul><li>It equates Jews to rats </li></ul><ul><li>Shows rats </li></ul><ul><li>Too much for the German audience </li></ul><ul><li>People left the theatre </li></ul><ul><li>But the less blatant propaganda was successful </li></ul>
    36. 36. Conclusion <ul><li>Why did the Germans accept the Nazis? </li></ul><ul><li>It was a time of crisis. </li></ul><ul><li>The party propaganda gave them easy answers to the turmoil they saw around them </li></ul><ul><li>Eventually this propaganda made it easier for the Nazis to implement the Holocaust </li></ul><ul><li>“ We had the moral right to annihilate the people who wanted to annihilate us.” </li></ul>
    37. 37. Nuremberg (Nuernberg) Laws of 1935 <ul><li>Nuremberg is where the Nazis had their party rallies. </li></ul><ul><li>These laws withdrew citizenship from Jews. Now they were only subjects. </li></ul><ul><li>Forbade marriage and sexual relations between Jews and Germans. </li></ul><ul><li>Jews could not employ German women under 45 in their household. </li></ul><ul><li>Identified who was Jewish by % Jewish blood. </li></ul><ul><li>Organized persecution of Jews began in earnest. </li></ul>
    38. 38. The Fate of more Jews in the Hands of the Nazis <ul><li>Poland had 3 million Jews </li></ul><ul><li>Germany only 500,000 </li></ul><ul><li>Suddenly the Nazis had more Jews to deal with. </li></ul><ul><li>At one point they thought of a plan to send the Jews to Madagascar </li></ul><ul><li>British sea power curtailed this plan </li></ul><ul><li>First Jews were “resettled” in ghettos </li></ul><ul><li>When the USSR attacked in 1941, the Jews were seen as a particular problem </li></ul><ul><li>The Nazis began to think of a &quot;solution” </li></ul>
    39. 39. The Unforeseen Danger for the Jews <ul><li>Especially the Jews outside of Germany did not see the danger </li></ul><ul><li>They thought the Nazis were a passing phase to deal with and to survive </li></ul><ul><li>They could not anticipate what was coming. </li></ul><ul><li>After the war began, it was difficult for anyone to emigrate. </li></ul><ul><li>Jews ordered to wear the Star of David in November 1939, now they were easily identified </li></ul>
    40. 40. The Holocaust spread all over Europe <ul><li>As the Nazis occupy different countries, the persecution and deportation of Jews and other “undesireable” groups spreads </li></ul>
    41. 41. Fall 1941-Winter 1942: Decision for the “Final Solution” <ul><li>There was no written order for this. </li></ul><ul><li>Hitler spoke out his orders. </li></ul><ul><li>Decision made to exterminate the Jews under Nazi control in first in mobile vans then in death camps. </li></ul><ul><li>December 11. Following bombing of Pearl Harbor, Germany declares war on the U.S. </li></ul><ul><li>January 1942: The Wannsee Conference. Coordination of the “Final Solution.” </li></ul>
    42. 42. Jewish Population in Europe <ul><li>1933- 9 million Jews in Europe </li></ul><ul><li>By 1945- 2 out of every 3 had been killed </li></ul><ul><li>View map </li></ul>
    43. 43. Why the Jews? <ul><li>Traditionally the scapegoats </li></ul><ul><li>Hitler conveniently blamed them for everything </li></ul>
    44. 44. Why The Jews <ul><li>World War I </li></ul><ul><ul><li>100,000 Jews serve Germany </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>12,000 killed </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Some even had converted to Christianity </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Hitler and the Jews </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Hitler blames Jews for Germany’s loss in WWI </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Portrayed them as enemies and less than human </li></ul></ul>
    45. 45. Why The Jews <ul><li>Hitler and the Jews </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Encouraged scientists to prove they were inferior </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Hitler believed in the superiority of the Aryan race </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Needed to purify Germany </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Called racial hygiene </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Racial theories turned into scientific proof </li></ul></ul>
    46. 46. Why The Jews <ul><li>Adolf Hitler did not invent prejudice </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Created an environment in which Holocaust could take place </li></ul></ul><ul><li>How do we view someone who is different? </li></ul><ul><li>Antisemitism dates back to the beginning of Christianity </li></ul><ul><ul><li>rumors of blood libel </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Christians blame Jews for death of Jesus </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Policies against the Jews </li></ul></ul>