History of anti-Semitism until 1945

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Caricature on the cover of Édouard Drumont's anti-Semitic magazine La Libre Parole (1893). It depicts a Jew, hands and feet full of money, who is clinging to the globe. The caption reads “Leur patrie” - her fatherland .

Anti-Semitism , an anti-Semitism linked to nationalism , social Darwinism and racism , has appearedin Europe since the Enlightenment . It replacedor transformedthe older Christian anti-Judaism . The 1878 resulting racial anti-Semitism led as state ideology in the era of National Socialism to the Holocaust (1941-1945).

In the history of anti-Semitism since 1945 , the state persecution of Jews receded, but many anti-Jewish stereotypes and prejudice structures remained virulent and were adapted to the new situation.


Socio-economic situation of the Jewish minority

Around 1800, Jews formed the largest non-Christian minority in most of Central Europe . Most of them belonged to the lower class, since in the Middle Ages they were forbidden to acquire land and cultivate arable land, to join craft guilds and merchants' guilds, and to rise to the nobility . Isolation in urban ghettos and the constant threat to their existence from pogroms characterized their situation at that time.

In the early modern period , Jews were only able to compete with non-Jews in certain professions: non- guild crafts (such as butchers), junk trading , pawn shops , small lending businesses, brewing and pubs , peddlers and traveling agricultural businesses . Where, as in Poland in the 16th century, they temporarily achieved an elevated position that was indispensable for the nobility as customs and tax collectors , land tenants, timber and horse traders, they were later ousted by the small nobility and the rising Christian bourgeoisie . Only less than two percent of the Jews achieved the status of wealthy and respected “ court Jews ” or doctors. The masses lived in "Jewish villages" or " Jewish alleys " in religious, legal and economic isolation. Their encounters with the rest of the population were largely limited to barter deals and markets.

By around 1670, most German cities had driven the Jews into the countryside. Even in the 18th century, particularly poor and unemployed Jews were often expelled by other oppressed classes and city merchants or because of supply crises. B. 1745 from Prague , 1750 from Breslau , 1772 to 1790 from the Dresden district . Wherever they were tolerated, their trades and marriage options were restricted and the right to settle down was made dependent on a minimum amount of assets. Temporary " letters of protection " from sovereigns had to be paid with high special taxes.

Since around 1780, many impoverished Jews from Eastern Europe , whose ancestors had fled pogroms from Central Europe , migrated westwards again. In 1791, Tsarina Catherine II issued a statute that Jews were only allowed to live and work in certain border areas, which in the 19th century became known as the Pale of Settlement ; In the following years, around 230,000 Russian village Jews were expelled or forcibly resettled. As a result, expulsions increased again in Prussia from 1800 to 1848 . The consequence was a steady decline, downsizing and impoverishment of the remaining Jewish communities. This in turn reinforced the negative external image of them, which was reflected, for example, in the legends of the Eternal Jews wandering homelessly through time .

In 1820 there were around 220,000 Jews living in German-speaking countries. By the time the empire was founded in 1871 , it was 512,000, and by 1910 615,000. Their share of the total population fell from 1.25 percent to just under one percent.

In 1905, 95 percent of all places in the German Reich had no Jewish residents. 25 percent of all Jews lived in large cities with over 100,000 inhabitants. Large proportions of these - around 1885: 30, around 1910: 60 percent - were concentrated in a few large cities, especially in Berlin (around 1905: 144,000 Jews, corresponding to 3.7 percent of the total population) and in Frankfurt am Main . 175,000 (8.6 percent) Jews lived in Vienna and 204,000 (23.1 percent) in Budapest . About a fifth of them were of foreign origin, mostly " Eastern Jews ". Due to linguistic and social barriers, these often lived in their own city districts or enclaves and were therefore clearly visible as a minority.

The occupational structure changed considerably: while around 1800 the vast majority of Jews still lived from emergency and retail trade, this proportion fell to below ten percent by 1907. 62 percent of all Jews now worked in the goods trade and transport (compared to 13 percent of the other Germans), 27 percent in handicrafts and industry, eight percent for public and private service providers, 1.6 percent in agriculture and forestry. So there were still almost no Jewish farmers and few industrial workers, but there were many merchants. The proportion of freelance professions - promoted since the Prussian Education Act of 1833 when the Jews turned to "science and arts" - grew above average among Jews. The prosperity of urban Jews in particular grew faster than that of the rest of the Germans, which Werner Sombart proved in their tax payments in 1910. The number of large companies and banks run by Jews also grew by 1914. On the one hand, Jews were more concentrated in large cities and trade professions and, on the other hand, were able to use emancipation more for social advancement than others. The patterns of discrimination and exclusion that had existed for centuries had always related to such social differences and areas of friction. In economic upheavals and crises, the Jews were increasingly perceived and fixed as the cause of conflicts. It was no coincidence that the waves of increasing anti-Semitism fell. B. 1819, 1873, 1879 ff., 1918–1924 and 1930 ff. Together with economic crises. Its unclear economic causes were traced back to an alleged cultural, political and economic dominance of the Jewish minority.

Emancipation and reaction

The work of the Prussian archivist Christian Wilhelm Dohm on the bourgeois improvement of the Jews (1781) became an influential model for the emancipation of Jews. But around 1800 only a few, mostly aristocratic, educated people read and discussed such writings. The majority continued to treat Jews as people of inferior worth and rights and feared the loss of their own class privileges. This outweighed the prospect of more democratic participation. The social situation gradually changed as a result of the bourgeois democracy movement. This process was subject to constant setbacks, especially in German-speaking countries. It could only be enforced with state regulations that also retained traditional discrimination.

After the Habsburg “ Tolerance Patent ” of 1781, the French National Assembly granted Jews full civil rights for the first time in a European state in 1791. In doing so, however, they also abolished their previous community autonomy and exemption from military service and thus forced them to assimilate. The Civil Code issued by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1804 also introduced these laws in the German territories conquered by France. a. the Rhineland and Hamburg. But in 1808 a decree from Napoleon restricted the civil rights for Jews as well as their freedom of movement and employment opportunities: Jewish lenders had to prove that their claims against the debtor had come about without “fraud” and limit interest on loans to five percent; if the agreed interest rate exceeded ten percent, the total amount was forfeited. In addition, Jews were only allowed to do business on presentation of an annually renewed certificate of good repute. For many Jewish traders and merchants this meant ruin. The medieval, discriminatory oath of Jews in legal dealings with non-Jews was abolished in France in 1839. By 1812 almost all German states followed Dohm's demands for equality, most recently Prussia. Its Jewish edict , however, continued to exclude her from the higher civil service, although this only applies to the old Prussian areas, i.e. H. those in which the “ General Prussian Land Law ” was applicable. The provinces on the right bank of the Rhine were still excluded, in them the status of 1808 continued to apply. In the following years attempts to achieve full equality failed.

After the Wars of Liberation , the Congress of Vienna in 1814 allowed the states of the German Confederation to withdraw Napoleon's laws. Thereupon they revoked their previous concessions. After the unrest of 1819 (see below), Jews were even expelled again ( Lübeck ). In 1822 Friedrich Wilhelm III banned Jews apprenticed to Prussia and dismissed them from all civil service. As a result, many educated Jews were baptized Christian for career opportunities and secure income : Heinrich Heine saw the "baptismal bill" as the entry ticket to European culture.

It was not until 1830 that liberal democrats also demanded the "bourgeois improvement" of Jews and peasants in order to abolish feudalism . The German patriotic Jew Gabriel Riesser fought for full religious freedom without discriminatory social consequences and ensured that the Frankfurt National Assembly in 1848 included this in the basic rights of the German people . Many German states that had adopted Napoleon's 1808 decree did not repeal it until 1849. The Prussian professional bans remained in force until 1850 , so that Jews continued to be despised and insecure niche professions and small businesses.

After the Grand Duchy of Baden (1862) and the city of Frankfurt am Main (1864), Jews were granted full equality in the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy in 1867 and finally in the North German Confederation in 1869, and the latter was legally extended to the Empire in 1871.

Early anti-Semitism

Enlightenment, idealism and romance

Since the Peace of Westphalia in 1648, scientific and social progress gradually changed attitudes towards the Jewish minority. The enlightened philosophy derived the equality of all citizens from natural law . The overcoming of the irrational superstition of anti-Judaism as well as that of "Judaism" was regarded as their condition or goal . In doing so, the rising bourgeoisie pushed back the church's influence on society, but at the same time took over a large part of the traditional anti-Jewish patterns of thought and behavior.

Even the English Deists fought against the belief in revelation and miracles in Judaism, mainly to undermine Orthodox Christianity. Even Voltaire (1694-1778) both religions declined from scratch from. He repeatedly scourged Jews in his work a. a. as "deceitful usurers ", "thieving moneylenders" and "scum of humanity" with innate negative traits. Nevertheless, he also defended her freedom of conscience and protested against religious persecution at the time.

Georg Christoph Lichtenberg (1742–1799) wrote that “the Jew” was “an insatiable, greedy deceiver, possessed by an unscrupulous trade and chess spirit”, amoral, cunning, devious and parasitic. He thinks he is far too intelligent, but is "extremely adaptable, useless and harmful to the environment", an example of the evil and inferior. In his Sudel books he often compared Jews with sparrows , which at the time were considered bad pests and were fought en masse. On the other hand, he stood up for befriended Jews.

Immanuel Kant (1724–1804) called Jews “ vampires of society” in table conversations . They had "gained the not unfounded reputation of fraud [...] because of their usury since their exile." Although he developed the basic biblical ideas of the Torah in his moral law in a reasonable manner and hardly knew the rabbinical traditions, he considered Christianity to be morally superior, sharply demarcated it from Judaism, demanded that Jews renounce biblical ritual laws and publicly admit to the ethical religion of reason. Only then could they receive a share in all civil rights . He wished the Jews, whom he described as “the Palestinians living among us”, a “ euthanasia ”, “a happy death”.

Johann Gottfried Herder (1744–1803) considered the Jews to be “corrupt”, “dishonorable” and “amoral”, but could be improved through education. He interpreted their diaspora situation as an incapacity for an independent state life and coined the often quoted sentence that Jews have been "a parasitic plant on the tribes of other nations" for millennia . He called for the abandonment of their religion as a prerequisite for their national and cultural integration.

John Toland (1670–1722), English free thinker , was the first to expressly advocate legal and cultural Jewish emancipation . In Germany, Moses Mendelssohn (1729–1786) fought for the recognition of his religion, which he wanted to liberalize from within and to enlighten about himself ( Haskala ). His friend Gotthold Ephraim Lessing (1729–1781) called in his comedy Die Juden in 1749 to give up the anachronistic prejudices against them. In his drama Nathan the Wise (1779) he called for the mutual tolerance of the three monotheistic religions, whose subjective "truth" was objectively unprovable. The main character bears Mendelssohn's features and erected a monument to him. Lessing believed in the abolition of all religious superstitions through humane progress and the pedagogical education of the human race (1781); He also wanted to “overcome” the “Jewish children's belief” in the Torah and Talmud .

Of the important theorists of the Enlightenment, only Montesquieu (1689–1755) recognized Judaism in its peculiarity.

The Dominican Ludwig Greinemann united Jews and Freemasons for the first time by claiming in a sermon in Aachen in 1778 that Pontius Pilate , Herodes Antipas and Judas Iscariot were members of a Masonic lodge that had secretly planned the murder of Jesus .

Johann Gottlieb Fichte (1762–1814) was a determined opponent of the Jews, albeit in a very theoretical sense. In 1793, in his much-cited contribution to the rectification of the public's judgments on the French Revolution, he wrote :

“To give Jews citizenship, at least I see no way to do this but to cut off all of their heads in one night and to put others on, in which there is not a Jewish idea either. To protect us from them, I see no other means than to conquer their promised land and send them all there. "

In the same text, however, he also emphasized their " human rights ", which must be respected . His anti-Semitism was of an intellectual nature and was directed, on the one hand, against the particular role of the Jews within the German nation, whose indivisible sovereignty Fichte emphasized and in which he saw the need for a far-reaching, anti-pluralistic and state-sponsored homogeneity, and continued to be based on Fichte's special conception Christianity derived very abstractly from the Gospel of John , which renounced a dialogical relationship with God as person and creator in favor of a religiosity based solely on the reason of the thinker, whereas, according to Fichte, the Jewish components of Christianity, handed down by the apostle Paul, stand . In his personal environment, Fichte turned against anti-Jewish harassment: he gave up his position as rector of the Berlin University under protest after the university's senate, against Fichte's resistance, a Jewish student who was unprovoked and repeatedly beaten in public by non-Jewish fellow students. despite his apparent innocence co-punished.

Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (1770–1831) interpreted Jews as the embodiment of division and material bondage in contrast to the Greco- Platonic freedom of spirit in a youth publication he did not publish . There he wrote, for example: "The lion has no room in a nut, the infinite spirit has no room in the dungeon of a Jew's soul."

“The fate of the Jewish people is the fate of Macbeth , who emerged from nature itself, clung to alien beings and so in their service had to trample and murder everything sacred in human nature, finally abandoned by his gods and shattered in his own faith . "

Hegel contradicted a popular romanticism and advocated legal equality for Jews. In his Basic Lines of Philosophy of Law he wrote that Jews “are first and foremost human beings and that this is not just a flat, abstract quality, but that lies in the fact that through the granted civil rights it is rather the self-esteem , as legal persons in civil society to apply, and from this infinite root, free from everything else, the required adjustment of the way of thinking and convictions comes about. ”which also contributes to abolishing the segregation accused of the Jews.

Clemens Brentano (1778–1842) showed his contempt for the Jews in 1811 in the satire Der Philister before, in and after the story for the Berlin Christian-German table society :

“The Jews, of whom many copies are still available in person, who can testify to the shame attached to the crucifixion of the Lord by each of their twelve tribes, I do not want to touch, since everyone who is eager to collect a cabinet is not far behind need to botanize them; He can catch these flies left over from the Egyptian plagues in his room with old clothes, at his tea table with theater slips and aesthetic chatter, on the stock exchange with Pfandbriefe and everywhere with disgust and humanity and enlightenment, rabbit fur and whitefish. "

Friedrich Schlegel (1772–1829) contradicted this attitude and pointed out in 1815 that Jews had fulfilled all civil duties, especially military service, and could therefore no longer be denied civil rights .

Anti-Napoleonic nationalism

On the eve of the French Revolution, Emmanuel Joseph Sieyès (1748–1836) defined in his influential martial art What is the Third Estate ? the concept of the nation as the entirety of all commoners in contrast to the privileged classes of the nobility and clergy . For the revolutionaries of 1789 , all people living in the country had the same human rights. Anyone who embraced the principles of freedom, equality, and brotherhood could belong to the nation .

Because of and after the French occupation , other states reacted to this democratic definition with an ethnic , exclusive conception of people and nation as a "community of descent". This did not demarcate itself from the privileged classes, but from the French and all foreigners, especially the Jews.

In Germany, many saw the aspired German nation state as an “organism” even before 1848 and often associated this biological image with criticism of “pests of the people” and unproductive “parasites”. This contempt (like the “usurers” in the Middle Ages) continued to apply primarily to Jews.

For example, at the beginning of the Prussian emancipation debate in 1791 , the Berlin judicial councilor Carl Wilhelm Friedrich Grattenauer (1773-1838) demanded that they be expelled. His pamphlet On the Physical and Moral Constitution of Today's Jews , published anonymously in 1791, sparked heated debates in Berlin. More hate writings by Grattenauer followed (including 1803: Against the Jews ) until the state banned them.

The Berlin writer Friedrich Buchholz (1768–1843) warned in 1803 ( Jesus and Moses ) of the protracted "civil improvement" of the Jews and regretted that they could no longer be expelled at that time. Nevertheless, he discussed this possibility in detail in public. It remained a constant threat to speed up the assimilation of the Jews and to make their religion disappear as soon as possible.

German nationalists rejected Jewish emancipation and saw it as a threat to previous privileges. So warned Hartwig von Hundt-Radowsky , Friedrich Rühs u. a. since 1812 before the imminent Jewish world domination of the once oppressed, now allegedly favored minority of Jews over the Christian, especially the "Germanic" world.

The Swiss pedagogue Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi (1746–1827), the “gymnastics father” Friedrich Ludwig Jahn (1778–1852) and the ethnologist Ernst Moritz Arndt (1769–1860) were nationalists and Jews who were anti-Semitic , whose ideas of German folkism later took up racist anti-Semites . This is how Arndt wrote about the western migration of Russian and Polish Jews:

“The Jews as Jews do not fit into this world and these states, and that is why I do not want them to be increased in an improper way in Germany. But I also don't want it because they are a completely foreign people and because I wish to keep the Germanic tribe as clean as possible of foreign components. "

While most governments wanted to integrate Jews in the long term in the interests of all citizens, provincial towns often continued to allow their evictions. To this end, educated early anti-Semites liked to activate “people's voice”. The ethnologist Friedrich Rühs (1781-1820) z. B. wrote in an anti-Jewish treatise in 1816: If the Jews cannot be persuaded to be baptized, then all that remains is their extermination. The philosopher Jakob Friedrich Fries agreed: “Just ask man before man whether every farmer, every citizen hates and curses them as spoilers and bread thieves.” The “society of junk-addicted second-hand traders and dealers” has to give up its fraudulent activity or the The state must force them to do so, otherwise their forcible eviction would be inevitable. He demanded to get rid of the "Jewish plague".

In 1817, Fries called on the students present at the Wartburg Festival in 1817 when the Urburschenschaft was founded to burn books . It was also the font Germano mania of the Jewish author Saul Ascher that the German national paranoia criticized, with the cry woe to the Jews! thrown into the fire. In 1840 he said of Heine as follows:

“At the Wartburg there was that limited Teutomanism, which greeted a lot about love and faith, but whose love was nothing more than hatred of the stranger and whose belief consisted only in unreason, and which in his ignorance could not invent anything better than to burn books ! "

In 1817 the Prussian criminal inspector Christian Ludwig Paalzow wrote the dialogue novel Helm und Schild , which divided the arguments for and against Jewish citizenship between a Jew (helmet) and a Christian (shield) and let the latter triumph rhetorically. In Schild's mouth, he referred to the allegedly excessive increase, political unreliability and inclination to rebellion of the Jews because of their belief in the Messiah . Their freedom of trade will give them economic power over the majority. Therefore, one must drive them out in good time if they do not leave voluntarily. The harm caused by their loss is less than the benefit of being rid of them.

In 1821 Hartwig von Hundt-Radowsky published the Judenspiegel . In it he propagated u. a. the sale of Jewish children as slaves to the English to prevent further Jewish descendants, and finally the extermination and expulsion of all Jews. Even Heinrich Eugen Marcard called 1843 in Minden with a petition their "extermination". Hermann von Scharff-Scharffenstein wrote in 1851 in his pamphlet A Glance into the Dangerous Goings-on of the Jewish Family :

“But that forms the basic character of this nation that they oppose all their own and foreign state life in a hostile manner and cling to all peoples like parasites without rewarding them other than by ruining them ... The Jews want rule over Germany , yes all over the world. That is why they will not go, because 'here' they can suck the blood of Christians like vampires and in Palestine they will not find any. "

Like many other authors, he used the animal metaphors of the spider spinning its web around the world, the leech, or the voracious locusts for Jews.

Since 1830, aversions came against educated, mostly converted Jewish writers and artists to their alleged "character flaws" and lack of "national folklore" they resourceful Wi plagiarists - and epigonism forcing. Richard Wagner wrote against the composers Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy and Giacomo Meyerbeer, who were perceived as competitors :

"A language, its expression and its further development is not the work of an individual, but of a historical commonality: only those who have grown up unconsciously in this community also participate in its creations."

The grammar school teacher Eduard Meyer wrote against Ludwig Börne :

“Börne is a Jew like Heine, like Saphir. Baptized or not, it's the same. We do not hate the faith of the Jews as they would like us to believe, but the ugly peculiarities of these Asians, which cannot be discarded with baptism: the shamelessness and arrogance that often occurs with them, the indecency and frivolity, their cheeky natures and theirs often poor basic property. "

He urged Börne not to call himself German, since it was not the place of birth but rather the “German attitude and love of the fatherland” that was about it and that he lacked it.

From 1803 to 1805, 1812 to 1819 and from 1848 onwards, such writings were particularly widespread in academic literature. They continued the medieval tradition of anti-Jewish inflammatory pamphlets in the enlightened, non-church bourgeoisie and established the rhetoric of resentment , demarcation, deportation and extermination in public discourse for about 100 years before the concept of race for Jews emerged.

Early Socialism and Anarchism

Anti-Semitism was closely tied to, but not limited to, the rise of nationalism. In 1962, the Israeli historian Edmund Silberner points to “a long anti-Semitic tradition in modern socialism ”, which can be traced from the enemy images of the early socialists to the racial anti-Semitic ideas of French socialists around the turn of the century. Already in Deism , then also with some Young Hegelians , critics of religion and early socialists, one finds statements against traditional Christianity and Judaism at the same time, which aimed at the dissolution of both. Ludwig Feuerbach classified the Jewish faith morally still standing under polytheism and equated it with egoism: "Your principle, your God is the most practical principle in the world - egoism, namely egoism in the form of religion."

Some early socialists equated Jews and capitalists. Pierre Leroux, for example, described the Jews as "the embodiment of mammon ". The journalist and publicist Eduard Müller-Tellering (1811 – after 1851), who also wrote for Karl Marx ' Neue Rheinische Zeitung , claimed that “Judaism” was “ten times more vile than the Western European bourgeoisie” and “not the kings, not them Soldiers, not civil servants ”are the“ real tormentors, because they are only tools of our tormentors, the Jews. ”In 1844, Marx himself, in his essay on the Jewish question , equated capitalism with monetary rule and this with Judaism. The “haggle” appeared to him as “the secular cult of the Jew” and as the “essence of Judaism”.

The anarchist Pierre-Joseph Proudhon wrote: “The Jew has an anti-production temperament; he is neither a farmer nor a trader, not even a real merchant. He is always a fraudulent and parasitic mediator [...]. His politics in business are completely negative; he is the evil principle, namely Satan and Ahriman , who took shape in the race of Shem . "Jews saw Proudhon as" enemies of humanity. You have to send them back to Asia. ”The anarchist Mikhail Alexandrowitsch Bakunin wrote in Personal Relationships with Marx 1871:

“Now this whole Jewish world, which forms an exploitative sect, a people of leeches, a single eating parasite, narrow and intimate not only across state borders, but also for all the differences in political opinions - this Jewish world stands today for the most part on the one hand Marx, on the other hand Rothschild available. "

- Mikhail Bakunin : Personal Relationships with Marx


The Dominican Ludwig Greinemann united Jews and Freemasons for the first time by claiming in a sermon in Aachen in 1778 that Pontius Pilate , Herodes Antipas and Judas Iscariot were members of a Masonic lodge that had secretly planned the murder of Jesus .

Anti-Jewish riots before the founding of the Empire

The reactions in the people to bourgeois emancipation and intellectual aversion to the Jews were not long in coming. In August 1819 , with the Hep-Hep riots, a violent series of riots spread from major German cities to Copenhagen and Amsterdam . Politically and economically dissatisfied craftsmen , farmers and students blamed the Jews for the problems of early capitalist industrialization. They looted and destroyed their houses and shops, set synagogues on fire and abused Jews with the battle cry: “Now, to vengeance! Our battle cry be Hepp, Hepp, Hepp! All Jews, death and perdition, you must flee or die! ”“ Hep ”was interpreted as an allusion to the crusader call Hierysalem est perdita (“ Jerusalem is lost ”) or the animal call (“ Jump, run away ”). Jews were attacked as " Christ murderers" in leaflets and slogans of the rioters . The Jewish emancipation, inspired by enlightened ideas, was not supported by the bulk of the population.

In the following decades, too, there were acts of violence against Jews in many places, partly as an accompaniment to general anti-feudal protest and revolutionary moods, partly in crisis situations or for old religious motives. In Hamburg , Jews were expelled from Jungfernstieg in 1830 and 1835, as in 1819 . Inspired by sensational reports about the Damascus affair in 1840, the ritual murder legend also revived and led in some places - u. a. Geseke , Oettingen , Thalmässing - to sometimes months of riots against Jews. Thereby, hate cries such as "Hepp, Hepp, Jude verreck!" And "Beat the Jews dead!" Were loud. In Mannheim , a government resolution to allow a Jewish petition for equality led to riots against Jews in the city. In 1848, groups of farmers in Leiningen in the Taubertal destroyed the homes of Jews whom they regarded as believers. In Baisingen, armed farmhands chased Jewish residents out of their homes with the cry of “Money or Death!” And temporarily forced 230 local Jews to flee. They tried to blackmail the municipal councils into depriving the Jews of citizenship, which included the use of the common land .

In the course of the March Revolution of 1848/49 there were severe anti-Jewish excesses , particularly in southern and eastern German regions and around 80 cities, including Berlin, Cologne , Prague and Vienna. In addition to the destruction of letters of credit and debt files, there were repeated threats of annihilation, both from insurgent peasants and anti-revolutionary citizens. Both blamed the Jews for hardship and revolution.

Social Darwinism and Racism

The ecclesiastical Middle Ages had in principle kept a salvation in the hereafter open to Jews , which they could already achieve in this life through baptism. This is why Jewish communities were temporarily tolerated and expressly protected by some popes and emperors. Voluntarily baptized Jews were usually relatively safe from further persecution. Only in forced baptisms did other Christians have reservations about them, especially in Spain : After the mass expulsion of Spanish Jews by the Alhambra Edict of 1492, the Spanish Inquisition persecuted the conversos who remained in the country as "pigs" ( marranos ) and justified this with the racist ideal the “purity of the blood” ( limpieza de sangre ).

This pattern was repeated in the 19th century against the emancipation of the Jews. As early as 1790, the Göttingen popular philosopher Christoph Meiners (1747–1810) developed a races ranking system that classified Jews above " orangutans ", " negroes ", " Finns " ( rags ) and " Mongols ", but among whites and Christians. Therefore, they have fewer rights than these. Since Ernest Renan's widely read The Life of Jesus , it has become increasingly common to attribute a lack of civilization to Jews as “Semites”. Early anti-Semites such as Grattenauer and Hartwig von Hundt-Radowsky directly described Jews as apes in order to deny them their human rights and to devalue their emancipation process, their pursuit of education and enlightenment as ridiculous and illusory from the outset.

1853-1855 founded Arthur de Gobineau in his four-volume Essay on the Inequality of Human Races , the theory of an Aryan master race , which he the inferiority of Negroid faced breeds. However, Gobineau's racism is not anti-Semitic. In 1858, Charles Darwin's essay on the origin of species founded the theory of evolution and modern genetics with the principles of variation, inheritance and selection: the “struggle for existence” leads to a selection of the species most adapted to survival. Racists transferred this to the history of nations: It should be interpreted as an eternal struggle between higher and lower races. This made it possible for anti-Semites to propagate the “Jewish question” with pseudobiological arguments as a race problem.

The Austrian cultural historian Friedrich von Hellwald (1842–1892) wrote in a newspaper article in 1872 that Jews were foreigners who immigrated from Asia; Europeans would feel this “instinctively”. The so-called prejudice against Jews can never be overcome through civilizational progress. As a cosmopolitan , the Jew is superior to the “honest Aryan” in cunning. From Eastern Europe it burrows itself into other European peoples as a cancerous tumor. Exploitation of the people is his only goal. Egoism and cowardice are its main characteristics; Self-sacrifice and patriotism are completely alien to him.

After the legal equality of the Jews, anti-Semites exaggerated the racial to the world-historical contrast: "Aryans" were considered to be called to world domination, "Semites" as their inferior competitors who nevertheless still ruled over the Aryans at the time. The economist Eugen Dühring (1833-1921) justified this with his popular book Die Judenfrage als Racen-, Sitten- und Culturfrage (1881), which became a kind of Bible for anti-Semites. He explained the "selfishness" and "lust for power" of the Jews as an unchangeable hereditary disposition and thus combined anti-Christian and anti-capitalist motives: The Bible is a religious document soaked in "Asianism". Jews are "masterminds" of the crisis phenomena and social grievances of industrialization. He was one of the first to speak of a "final solution". Since this is not possible for the time being, the Jews should be forced back into ghettos and monitored there. But the goal remains:

"The Nordic man who has matured under the cool Nordic sky has the duty to exterminate the parasitic races, just as one must exterminate poisonous snakes and wild predators!"

These linguistic images of dehumanization , known since the Middle Ages, were adapted by the anti-Semites to the scientific language of bacteriology , mimicry theory and race theory . Jews were more and more not only compared with bloodsuckers, canker sores, parasites, epidemics, vermin, pests, rampant creepers, etc., but also identified. If the devil was behind them in medieval superstition , that is, an ultimately invincible demonic power, then with medical and technical progress it became conceivable to radically get rid of these "human viruses ".

This closed off any opportunity for Jews to adapt socially. Because even baptized Jews remained Jews who descended from ancestors with a Jewish religion, regardless of whether and how long their ancestors had been Christians. As a result, religious affiliation was only important for anti-Semites as a pseudobiological characteristic that made being a Jew an inescapable fate. The negative genetic traits assigned to Jews did not appear to be changeable by any upbringing, education, integration or emancipation. Their complete expulsion or annihilation throughout Europe was suggested as the only realistic “solution to the Jewish question”.

Racism also underpinned the rejection of foreign peoples externally and ethnic or other minorities internally. Xenophobia grew in parallel with anti-Semitism across Europe . In Germany this z. B. against " Gypsies " or Sorbs .

Darwin distanced himself from this political abuse of his theories in 1880. After his death in 1882, however, these were increasingly racially reinterpreted. There was now talk of the “power of decomposing Jewish blood” and “half” or “quarter” Jews were also counted as part of Judaism, while the “Aryan race” became more and more a unifying idea. Their "self-defense" against the Jews was presented as a law of nature. In this way, the right of the strongest against natural and human rights was legitimized deterministically. For example, B. Paul de Lagarde (1827-1891) in Jews and Indo-Europeans 1887 the unity of "race and people" to the exclusion of Judaism. He complained that there were more Jews living in Berlin than in Palestine, and demanded that “this rampant vermin be trodden down”: “ Trichinae and bacilli are not negotiated, Trichinae and bacilli are not educated either, they are brought up as quickly and as thoroughly as possible destroyed. "

Even Wilhelm Marr in 1879 used the image of Jesus murderers, saying culturally pessimistic from a victory of Judaism over Germanism , where he Jews as a separate race showed.

In 1899, Houston Stewart Chamberlain (1855–1927) was the first to call for the “purity of the Aryan race” against “mixing” in his book The Foundations of the 19th Century . Kaiser Wilhelm II personally read the book to his children and recommended it as teaching material for the cadet schools .

In the 1920s, mass production of racist and anti-Semitic tracts, books, and reprints reached new heights. In Germany z. B. the writings of Hans FK Günther popular: Rassenkunde des Deutschen Volkes (Munich 1922, 16th edition 1933), Kleine Rassenkunde des Deutschen Volkes (Munich 1929) and Rassenkunde of the Jewish people (Munich 1930).

The importance of racist anti-Semitism is judged differently. Some historians see the racial teachings as the increase in traditional hatred of Jews that prepared the way for National Socialism. Others, such as Mark Weitzmann from the Simon Wiesenthal Center , emphasize that they only added a "racist and scientific sheen" to existing anti-Judaism.

Establishment in the German Empire (1871–1883)

Even before the German Empire, the cliché of the greedy and unprincipled Jew was part of popular culture ; it can be found in Gustav Freytag's book Soll und haben (1855), Wilhelm Raabe's The Hunger Pastor (1864) and Felix Dahn's A Struggle for Rome (1867). The founder crash of 1873 added another aspect to this cliché. Now Jews were identified with the stock exchange and with the disposal of capital that was not earned through labor.

In June 1875 the journalist Franz Perrot published the now famous "era articles" in the Kreuzzeitung . The five-part series of articles in which speculations by Jewish and non-Jewish bankers, gentlemen and members of parliament were exposed, contained sentences such as:

"If the financial and economic policy of the new German Reich [...] consistently gave the impression of a pure banking policy, that is, a policy by and for bankers, given the circumstances of the personalities involved in these matters, this was by no means surprising: because Mr. von Bleichröder is himself a banker, Mr. Delbrück is a relative of a bank (Delbrück, Leo & Co) and Mr Camphausen is the brother of a bank (Camphausen & Co). "[...]" If at the same time the monetary and economic policy of the German Reich always gives the impression of Jewish policy, this can also be explained, since the intellectual originator of the policy, Mr. Bleichröder, himself is a Jew. "[...]" Messrs. Lasker , Bamberger and the two close friends, of course Mr. HB Oppenheim , who has only recently entered the Reichstag, are Jews and the actual leaders of the so-called ' national liberal' majority of the Reichstag and the Prussian Second Chamber. "[...]" We are actually governed by the Jews at the moment. "

It was then that Wilhelm Marr began his anti-Semitic journalism. Otto Glagau (1834–1892) argued more economically in a well-read series of articles in the Gartenlaube (1874), then with writings about the alleged stock market and start-up fraud in Berlin (1875) and the bankruptcy of national liberalism and the 'reaction' (1878). Both mobilized traditional Christian prejudices against Jews.

At that time , the Catholic Church in many European countries experienced a phase of ultramontanization , centralization and anti-modernism : it viewed demands for more freedom of the press and freedom of expression as well as for the realization of more legal and social equality as a threat to its own claim to truth and its inner being based on the principle of hierarchy Order. During this time (up to the first half of the 20th century) a “double anti-Semitism” could be observed within the Catholic Church: in articles and pronouncements violence and anti-Semitism based on racial ideology were rejected as contradicting Christianity (which individual representatives did not prevented from including related stereotypes in their polemics ), on the other hand they represented an allegedly defensively oriented form of anti-Semitism, which believers are not only allowed but even required, for example when it comes to standing up against the supposedly harmful and corrosive influence of Jews in economic and cultural life and an often assumed Jewish hatred and corresponding subversion against Christianity as such went. This double anti-Semitism encompassed not only well-known religious (“God's murder”) but also older secular topoi such as the accusation of usury, but also more recent accusations such as the Jewish striving for world power . Examples of this journalism are the theology professor Alban Stolz , the Paderborn Bishop Konrad Martin , the President of the 16th German Catholic Convention in Würzburg (1864) Ernst von Moy de Sons , the historian Josef Edmund Jörg , the Mainz official and later Vicar General Ludwig Erler , the clergyman and MP Georg Ratzinger or the Dominican Albert Maria Weiss should be mentioned.

August Rohling (1839–1931), priest and professor of Catholic theology (1871–1874 in Münster, later in other places), became well known in 1871 after he had published the anti-Semitic work Der Talmudjude . It contained quotations from the Talmud that were taken out of context and interpreted negatively by Rohling. In doing so, he attempted to act theologically against the so-called "Jewish race". He relied mainly on the work of JA Eisenmenger , Entdecktes Judenthum or Thorough and True Report, which the stubborn Jews blaspheme and dishonor the Holy Drey unity . Another source by Rohling was the Jewish convert Aron Israel Brimann (pseudonym Dr. Justus), who had excelled through anti-Semitic inflammatory writings. The Talmud Jew had a far-reaching effect at the time, and Julius Streicher also used Rohling's argument in his weekly newspaper Der Stürmer . According to Rohling, the Jewish religion commands its followers to damage and kill Christians whenever possible - this is how Rohling defended the medieval legend of ritual murder .

Adolf Stoecker (1835–1909), Protestant court preacher in Berlin, founded the Christian Social Workers' Party in 1878, which in 1881 joined the German Conservative Party as a Christian Social Party and an independent movement . It found far more supporters in the economically threatened petty bourgeoisie and middle class than among the workers originally addressed. Stoecker now positioned his party increasingly anti-Semitic. With his speech Our Demands on Modern Judaism of September 1879, he called for the supposed Jewish influence on politics to be limited. This agitation was a major reason for its rapidly growing popularity. In his public statements as a member of the Reichstag, he condemned “the Jews” both as arch-capitalists and as anti-capitalist revolutionaries. Both the economy and the labor movement are "Jewish" in the same way. Stoecker reconstructed the main social conflict of his time anti-Semitically into an ethnic antagonism - here an uplifting German national community, there a foreign / foreign racial and destructive Jewish minority. Even if party-political anti-Semitism lost its importance at the end of the 19th century, Adolf Stoecker had decisively carried the ideology behind it into the student body and the Protestant church.

1879 is considered to be the year of the birth of “modern” anti-Semitism, in which German national, anti-liberal, anti-capitalist and racist motives were linked and became socially acceptable in the bourgeoisie across the empire. At that time, Marr's book The Victory of Judaism over Teutonicism reached 12 editions. Thereupon he founded the “ Antisemite League” as the first German group that sought to expel all Jews from Germany. To this end, Marr published the paper Deutsche Wacht every fortnight. Shortly before, an essay by the respected historian Heinrich von Treitschke (1834-1896) had triggered the two-year Berlin anti-Semitism dispute. Treitschke supported Stoecker's demands and coined the sentence The Jews are our misfortune , which later became the subtitle of the National Socialist striker . The ancient historian Theodor Mommsen (1817–1903) sharply criticized this anti-liberal hostility towards Jews in 1880 and, with a notable declaration he initiated , managed to isolate Treitschke from the Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität zu Berlin . But anti-Semitism was now also established as a "scientific" topic.

In the Prussian House of Representatives , Albert Hänel brought in the interpellation in 1880 on the occasion of an anti-Semitic petition, which in particular demanded the removal of Jews from civil service, which revealed a dispute between conservative and center MPs on the anti-Semitic side and liberal and progressive MPs on the other.

The animal welfare associations, which were often founded in the early 1880s, spoke out against both ritual slaughter and animal experiments , which they saw as an expression of one and the same "Jewish medicine", and were supported in the same way by celebrities such as Richard Wagner. While animal welfare was rather ignored in the German Empire and animal welfare-friendly legislation was refused, the National Socialists later took on the issue with high priority and clearly anti-Semitic omens. This makes it difficult to deal with one's own animal welfare-specific traditions in German Jewry to this day.

One in the summer of 1880 by Max Liebermann von Sonnenberg , Bernhard Förster u. a. initiated " anti-Semite petition" demanded u. a. a special tax for Jews, their exclusion from all public office and a ban on Jewish immigration to Germany. Many student committees promoted the petition in universities . This resulted in the associations of German students , which united in the Kyffhäuser Association in 1881 . Marr and Stoecker also mobilized their supporters in the Berlin movement for the petition. Around 250,000 citizens signed it. In April 1882, Sonnenberg handed over the signatures in the Reichstag ; Chancellor Otto von Bismarck ignored the demands.

In 1880, the teacher Ernst Henrici used anti-Semitic hate speech to woo voters for his Social Reich Party across the empire . The unexplained synagogue fire of February 18, 1881 in Neustettin followed one of his speeches. In 1881, Sonnenberg founded the patriotic-conservative German People's Association and the German People's Newspaper, which spread the catchphrase "anti-Semitism" throughout Germany.

The local politician Alexander Pinkert founded the anti-Semitic German Reform Association in Dresden in 1879 , which was followed by similar local associations in 139 cities by 1885. This resulted in the German Reform Party in 1881 . In 1882 Pinkert convened the first “ International Anti-Jewish Congress ” in Dresden. Around 400 representatives of anti-Semitic groups, mainly from Germany and the Habsburg Empire, tried to find common goals there. This failed, so that the final manifesto to the governments and peoples of the Christian states endangered by Judaism did not make any concrete political demands. The second anti-Semite congress in Chemnitz in 1883 also did not bring any concrete results and no agreement between moderate social conservatives and racial anti-Semites.

The protagonists of political and cultural anti-Semitism were also closely networked: The US historian Paul Lawrence Rose was able to show how close Wilhelm Marr was in written contact with the Wagner family . Marr was also having a detailed report on the first in August 1876 Bayreuth Festival in the edited by Otto Glagau gazebo published.

Advance into journalism and party politics (1884–1893)

Wrong world. Eugen Richter dismisses the court preacher Adolph Stöcker : “You should not give false testimony against your neighbor.” From: Berliner Wespen , June 8th 1881.

The conviction of a Jewish pursuit of world domination was also represented by enlightened, liberal educated citizens such as Eduard von Hartmann (1842–1906). In his book Judaism in the Present and Future (1885), like Heinrich von Treitschke , he distinguished himself from anti-Semitism and tried to take a balancing position. But he spoke of " host peoples " who had taken in the Jews and to whom they had granted human rights. In gratitude for this, however, the Jews had not assimilated themselves completely, but held onto their religious-national special existence and thus generated anti-Semitism. In her belief in the Messiah , her international sense of community and her organizations, he saw her striving for power:

"In this way, Judaism forms an international Freemasonry, which has its ideal content in religion, its visible distinguishing mark in the ethnological type, and the crystallization center of an international organization in the Alliance Israélite Universelle and its capital power."

This is "the first embryonic facility for a central government of the future Jewish world domination" and a "regrettable obstacle to the faster de-Jewification of the Jews". If Judaism were to hold on to its identity, it would have “cheated the German people by demanding and accepting Jewish emancipation”.

Theodor Fritsch (1852–1933) tried in 1884 to collect the quarreling anti-Semites in his German Anti-Semitic Association . In 1885 he published the newspaper Antisemitische Correspondenz . In 1887 he wrote the to 1945 always newly launched Antisemitenkatechismus who spread all anti-Jewish stereotypes. Fritsch concluded from the failures of his predecessors:

“Our goal must be to push through all parties with the anti-Semitic idea. [...] As soon as we emerge as a political party, we no longer have the Jews alone as opponents, but also all other political parties. "

The Marburg librarian Otto Böckel (1859–1923) found a lot of approval among the rural population in Hesse with anti-Semitic agitation. In 1886 he founded his German Reform Party , which soon merged with the von Fritsch Association. In the Reichstag election on February 21, 1887, Böckel was the first self-confessed anti-Semite to win a Reichstag mandate in the Kassel constituency , which he held until 1907.

At the anti-Semite day in Bochum on June 10th and 11th, 1889, the different groups could not agree again. Stoecker and Sonnenberg wanted to win conservative and petty-bourgeois voters for the monarchy and the nation state; their supporters formed the new German Social Party . Böckel, on the other hand, wanted to show his goals in the party name and founded the Anti-Semitic People's Party with other groups in 1890 . Both new parties demanded the repeal of the emancipation laws and ridiculed liberal parties before the Reichstag elections in 1890 as "Jewish protection troops". However, they met resistance and together they only won just under three percent of the vote. The leader of the German Liberals, Eugen Richter, said: "If we allow this movement to grow, we will destroy the pillars on which our culture rests."

In 1890 Hermann Ahlwardt (1846–1914) emerged with the books The Desperate Struggle of the Aryan Peoples with Judaism and The Oath of a Jew , in which he accused Gerson von Bleichröder , banker and friend of Bismarck's, of corruption. Afterwards he claimed in the writing Judengunten that the Jewish arms manufacturer Ludwig Loewe had delivered unsuitable rifles to the Prussian troops in secret agreement with the French. For these defamations he received four and five months in prison, which he did not have to serve because of his immunity as a member of the Reichstag. He was chosen by farmers in the Arnswalde-Friedeberg region - where there were hardly any Jews - by blaming “ Junkers and Jews” with the economic hardship in personal conversations . In 1894 he presented a program that provided for the expropriation of all large landowners and transferring their property to common property, which was rejected by the other anti-Semites.

In 1893 the two anti-Semite parties together won 18 seats in the Reichstag. In 1894 they united under the leadership of Sonnenberg and Oswald Zimmermann - without Böckel and Ahlwardt - to form the German Social Reform Party . Their program was based on the racial theories of Houston Stewart Chamberlain and in 1899 spoke for the first time of the " final solution to the Jewish question " through "segregation" and, if necessary, "total annihilation". In 1898 the party won 13 seats in the Reichstag. In 1900, however, it split again on the question of cooperation with the Federation of Farmers founded in 1893 . Activists from student associations such as Diederich Hahn and newspaper publishers such as Otto Schmidt-Gibichenfels had made this anti-Semitic, Christian and monarchistic. He was therefore seen by the more radical anti-Semites as an appendage of the Conservative Party. They directed their nationalism more strongly against the nobility, church and state conservatives and the National Liberal Party, which led the Reichstag . - Even in the 1903 Reichstag election, the divided anti-Semite parties only received 3.5 percent (11 seats). In 1907 they had seven MPs. Sonnenberg sat in the Reichstag until his death in 1911. None of the goals of his petition from 1879 were implemented in the German Empire.

In the 1912 Reichstag elections, the anti-Semitic parties lost their share of the vote; even the racist reform associations had hardly any measurable success. Heinrich Pudor drew in his book How do we get it out? In 1913 the balance sheet that the anti-Semitic movement had achieved "next to nothing" since the establishment of the Reich. One should therefore “make life so sour for the Jews that they pick up the walking stick again” and “expel this poison again with the help of settlement agreements.” In addition to older immigration and occupational bans, he now called for the “legal elimination of Judaism from Germany ”. The slogan of “excluding the Jews” had become common property of anti-Semitic groups; there was no political concept for its implementation.

Anti-Semitic clubs and associations

Anti-Semitism in the empire was not only party-bound. Many clubs have remained anti-Semitic since 1880 or were newly founded as anti-Semitic clubs, including the German Gymnastics Association , the respected officer corps and many student associations . The Kyffhäuser Association was the first to exclude Jews in 1886. Most fraternities followed him by 1896 . In 1902 Ernst Böhme from the Kyffhäuser Association stated in retrospect:

“The social isolation of the Jewish student is largely complete today. The entire respected cultural associations, corps, fraternities, country teams and colored gymnastics associations, as well as the main mass of black associations, the academic gymnastics clubs, choirs and scientific clubs exclude Jews from membership today. "

Only the Allgemeine Deutsche Burschenbund declared in 1905: To be German, you don't have to be of purely Germanic descent.

In the Vienna section of the German and Austrian Alpine Club from 1905 only Germans of "Aryan descent" could become members; In 1907 and 1910, the Vienna and Munich Academic Sections also banned Jews from membership, others followed. In 1921 the National Socialist Eduard Pichl became chairman of the Austria section of the DuÖAV and began to enforce anti-Semitism. In 1924 98 of the 110 Austrian Alpine Club sections had an Aryan paragraph . Jews were not allowed to be members or to be entertained in the club huts.

The image of the “Jewish exploiters” and their “corrosive” democratic ideas was able to establish itself in broad sections of the population through other topics such as the armament of the imperial navy or protective tariffs against English imports.

Anti-Semitism at universities was particularly momentous. Many academics, lawyers, doctors, engineers, teachers and pastors trained there took part permanently in the anti-Semitic agitation , disadvantaged Jews actively and thus contributed to their increasing ousting from state offices and social ostracism. Their professional associations have also been hit by the anti-Semitic wave since around 1890. The German National Trade Aid Association for white-collar workers and craftsmen was founded in 1893 as an anti-Semitic association . He quickly gained influence among Protestant youth associations. There anti-Semitism was seen as the only ideological alternative to liberalism and socialism . Many later party politicians emerged from him. However, special interests were in the foreground there. As a result, Böckel and Förster founded the German Volksbund , built according to the Führer principle , in 1900 , whose members were excluded from the German Social Party in 1907 .

After Bismarck's dismissal in 1890, the small but influential Pan-German Association consciously wanted to help a Greater German imperialist policy to break through and to subordinate all Germans to a “collective will of the nation”. This made him increasingly anti-Semitic. The first chairman, Ernst Hasse , declared in 1906 that the races educated today now want to become homogeneous and constant, that they want to excrete the foreign bodies that have not been assimilated ... especially when these foreign bodies are inferior or are perceived as inferior. The second chairman Heinrich Claß published the book If I were the Kaiser in 1912 . In it he demanded that all foreign Jews be expelled and that citizenship be withdrawn from all German Jews .

The German Federation founded by Friedrich Lange in 1894 represented the “care of the German way”. He saw in farmers and artisans the “most genuine representatives of our nationality”: ... these forces must be preserved under all circumstances against social democracy as well as against their Christian competitors. In Pure Germanness (1893), Lange made a strict distinction between folk and nation state and named the principle of equality in Judaism as a common basis for Christians and socialists, Morbus internationalitis ("international disease"):

“Before Christianity there is no people, caste and tribal type, but only humanity… Is war an evil? This question clearly shows that Christian law contradicts the natural feelings of our people. "

The Gobinau Society , founded in 1894 by Karl Ludwig Schemann (1852–1938), wanted to promote the “ Nordic-Germanic race ”, had Gobineau's works translated into German and published. Chamberlain was one of her. Richard and Cosima Wagner were also closely connected to Gobineau and his ideas. Theodor Fritsch (1852–1933) founded “Hammer communities” in 1904, which united in the Reichshammerbund in 1912 to collect non-party anti-Semites. To this end, he cooperated closely with the Pan-German Association.

In the Reichstag election on January 12, 1912 , the SPD achieved 34.8 percent of the vote and for the first time had the largest parliamentary group in the Reichstag. The anti-Semite parties lost votes.

Some radical-conservative people like Konstantin Freiherr von Gebsattel said that the majority in the Reichstag was dominated by “Jewish gold” and coined the political battlefield “Jewish election” for this thesis. Other ethnic-racist anti-Semitic groups formed: the secret Germanic order , from which the Thule Society emerged in 1918 , the Association against the Overconfidence of Judaism , the German-Austrian Protection Association Antisemite Association , the Association of German Officials and the Association of Völkischer Women .

Influence on domestic politics and established parties

In 1891 the social democratic joke sheet Der Wahre Jacob approvingly illustrated the slogan “Against Junkers and Jews” issued by the anti-Semites.

In 1892, impressed by the initial successes of the anti-Semites, the Conservative Party included some of its demands in its program. The first paragraph read: “We fight against the often encroaching and corrosive Jewish influence on our people's life. We demand a Christian authority for the Christian people and Christian teachers for Christian students. ”That meant the exclusion of Jews from all state offices, from education and culture.

The Catholic Center Party also left - not least because of the attitude of Pope Pius IX. , who accused Jews of being inclined to anarchism and Freemasonry since 1872 - initially some anti-Jewish MPs were running on their lists. Party leader Ludwig Windthorst sat down u. a. through the Kölnische Volkszeitung publicly for the rights of Jews and against anti-Semitic attacks. He had the Prussian MP Cremer expelled from parliamentary group and party for joining Stöcker's “Berlin Movement”. Thereafter, the center remained largely free of anti-Semitic ideas and defended the Jews, around 1887, when anti-Semites wanted to ban slaughter in an alliance with animal rights activists . On the other hand, individual central leaders expressed in antisemitic important held topics, the MEP Karl Fritzen 1892 in the debate on the Xanten blood libel in the Prussian House of Representatives when he, with the support of anti-Jewish members of Wackerbarth by the Conservatives, which sought an explanation Rickert accused To “ create a mood in a Jewish-friendly way”, or Georg Friedrich Dasbach , who made numerous allegations against the Talmud in his speech during a petition discussion about the demanded control of Jewish religious textbooks which, according to anti-Semites, denigrated Christian society . According to Heinrich August Winkler , the entire bourgeois culture of the empire, with the sole exception of the staunch liberals, was “saturated with anti-Semitism”.

The “Radau Anti-Semites” remained splinter groups, but received lasting attention for their topic. The anti-Semitic associations affirmed the state order and mostly also the imperialist foreign policy of the government, although these only partially implemented their anti-Jewish domestic political demands. The moderate anti-Semitism of the national liberal and conservative parties favored this agreement.

Anti-Semitic caricature from the Catholic side (1872): Crucify him; because he is a Jesuit! If you let go of this, you are not a friend of the emperor (allusion to Jn 19, 12)

The fight against anti-Semitism was mainly led by representatives of the German Progressive Party and its successor parties such as Eugen Richter or Albert Hänel as well as by representatives of the left wing of the National Liberals (later Liberal Association ) such as Heinrich Rickert or Theodor Mommsen (see also: Interpellation Hänel , Schmach für Germany ). As a representative of the interests of wage workers, the SPD saw itself as both a force for humane progress and an opposition to discrimination against minorities. Since it was founded, it has never included anti-Semitic demands in its program, did not allow any anti-Semites to run for candidates on its lists and was the only party in the empire to openly contradict this ideology. Hans Leuss moved into leading positions in the SPD without revoking his previous anti-Semitic positions, which he had represented in 1893, for example, in the publication “Das Correct Bugs Remedy”. But in social democratic entertainment newspapers such as the Wahren Jakob , Süddeutsche Postillon or the New World , Jews were portrayed in jokes, caricatures and everyday stories from 1890 onwards as cunning hackers and usurers, stock market jobbers and traders without business ethics, driven by the pursuit of profit. These clichés were just as popular in bourgeois literature as Der Jude by Karl Spindler , Der Büttnerbauer by Wilhelm von Polenz , Soll und haben by Gustav Freytag , Rembrandt as an educator by Julius Langbehn and others. a. brought to the people so that they could establish themselves as a “cultural code” (Shulamit Volkov).

In 1892 at the Berlin party congress of the SPD, August Bebel was only able to assert himself with difficulty against internal party opponents such as Franz Mehring and Wilhelm Liebknecht with a resolution against anti-Semitism . Liebknecht was convinced at the party congress in Cologne in 1893 that "the anti-Semites will farm and sow and we Social Democrats will reap", so he did not want to fight anti-Semitic propaganda directly. Bebel believed that the anti-Semites “never had the prospect of exerting any decisive influence on state and social life”. In his presentation " Anti-Semitism and Social Democracy " at the Cologne Party Congress in 1893, he presented the anti-Semites as pioneers of social democracy :

“In its struggle for rule, anti-Semitism will be compelled to overshoot its own goal against its will, as has already been shown by Mr. Ahlwardt, who first entered the struggle arm in arm with Junkertum and gradually through his mood Voters were forced to use the slogan: Against Jews and Junkers! Even for the Hessian movement it is no longer sufficient to attack the Jews alone; it must already turn against capital in general; If this moment is there, then there will also come the time when our views fall on fertile ground and where we will gain the following, which we are currently striving for in vain. "

In 1895, the Louis Stern affair caused a lasting resentment between the foreign ministries of the USA and Germany.

Radicalization in the First World War

The First World War initially overshadowed the domestic political fronts, and the keep tied all parties in supposedly patriotic duties.

In 1914, Ferdinand Werner, a member of the Reichstag, united both anti-Semitic parties in the German Nationalist Party (DVP). Domestically, this demanded the expulsion of the Jews, a border closure for Eastern European immigrants and a racist reorganization of society. She agitated so strongly against the truce that the authorities censored many of her press organs. In terms of foreign policy, it called for far-reaching conquests that would make Germany the hegemonic power of Europe, and with other right-wing extremist parties a " victory peace " as the only acceptable war goal. Since 1917, their party organ, Deutschvölkische Blätter, had a swastika .

1916 Pan-German League and DVP intensified their anti-Semitic propaganda: Jews slide , which grew rich on trade with scarce food, and quitters, the sick more often reported on the front as non-Jews. War Minister Hohenborn then ordered a census of Jews throughout the army on November 1, 1916 . When this statistical survey showed a high proportion of Jewish soldiers at the front, ten percent of whom were volunteers , the ministry kept the results secret until 1919. The government blocked the promotion of Jews to state offices and their appointment to officers, and discussed plans to "evacuate" them.

Artur Dinter , forerunner of the later German Christians , wrote the bestseller The Sin Against the Blood in 1917 . In it he combined anti-Semitic stereotypes with physical ascriptions. From 1917 Heinrich Pudor called for violence against state representatives who for him embodied the foreseeable defeat in the war and the coming “Jewish republic”. Pogrom incitement and violence against Jews gained ground soon after the end of the war.

Reactions from Jews

In the empire, Jews, like their opponents, mostly belonged to the rising middle class. They experienced everyday discrimination and hostility especially in schools, universities and the army, so that Walther Rathenau summed up:

“In the youth of every German Jew there is the painful moment that he remembers his entire life: when he becomes fully aware for the first time that he came into the world as a second class citizen, and that he has no ability and no merit can free us from this situation. "

Anti-Semitic propaganda caught a particularly large number of educated Jews unprepared because they had strayed far from their traditions. In 1880 the Jewish historian Harry Bresslau responded apologetically to Treitschke that “Jews” and “Semites” are not identical. He will only designate those Jews whose parents were both born Jews. On the one hand, this argument favored the complete assimilation of Jews as Germans, since fewer and fewer two Jewish parents could show, and on the other hand, equating Jews with their own ethnicity or an alleged "Semitic race", since only their descent should decide whether they were Jewish. Accordingly, Brockhaus defined “Semitism” in 1895 as a term for Judaism, which was viewed exclusively from an ethnological point of view .

The Jewish doctor Leo Pinsker traveled all over Europe under the impression of the pogroms in Russia of 1881. He saw the spread of racial madness, especially in the "enlightened" countries, as a "judaophobia", that is, a mental illness in which mutually reinforcing "certainties" indicated a collective mental disorder. In his essay “ Autoemancipation ” in 1882, he concluded the necessity of a Jewish country of his own and thus became a pioneer of Zionism .

Most German Jews, however, rejected this attitude and preferred to fight for their integration. In response to the exclusion of Jewish students from most student associations, the Viadrina in Breslau was founded in 1886 as the first purely Jewish student association . In 1896 the first cartel convention of Jewish connections (KC) was established. These confessed themselves equally to Germanness and Judaism and tried to train their members through sport in order to defend their honor against anti-Semites in duel demands. In 1895 Heinrich Loewe and Max Bodenheimer founded the Association of Jewish Students in Berlin , which primarily recruited members from Russia and Poland. Other Zionist associations joined forces in 1914 in the Kartell Jüdischerverbindungen (KJV), which advocated “a renewal in Eretz Israel worthy of the past of the Jewish people”. KC and KJV radically opposed each other; but both called on their members to take part in the First World War.

Many Jews worked in non-religious and non-nationalist groups, e.g. B. the left-liberal association for social politics . They hoped to be accepted by non-Jews through adaptation to the point of self-abandonment. They had obtained legal equality only at the price of their “national consciousness” and affirmed this in the hope that liberalism would gradually overcome anti-Semitism. So it was not until 1891 that liberal Jews who had converted to Christianity founded the Association for the Defense against Anti-Semitism . In 1893, liberal citizens in Berlin also formed the Central Association of German Citizens of Jewish Faith . But these associations had little influence on the general development and only suggested to their members that they somehow belong to civil society.

A leaflet issued in 1920 by the Reich Association of Jewish Front Soldiers in response to the allegations of a lack of patriotism

In 1896, under the influence of the Dreyfus affair in France, Theodor Herzl wrote his book Der Judenstaat , which founded political Zionism. A year later he convened the first Zionist Congress in Basel . But most of the Jews continued to struggle for recognition and equality in the empire. As a result, around 100,000 Jews volunteered for German military service at the insistence of their associations, 10,000 of them voluntarily for the front when the First World War broke out. About 2000 of them were promoted to officer rank despite the rejection of the higher ranks and often honored for special bravery. They believed their Iron Crosses would protect them from further persecution.

After the First World War , the Reich Association of Jewish Front Soldiers was founded with the aim of warding off anti-Semitism and supporting Jewish veterans . Membership in many military associations such as B. denied the steel helmet .

Weimar Republic

Poster for the election of the National Assembly on January 19, 1919. The Jewish lawyer Dr. Oskar Cohn (USPD) represents supporters of the Weimar Republic

The millions of war dead and the German inflation from 1914 to 1923 left large parts of the population impoverished. The social contrasts intensified, for example through exorbitant prices, war profiteers and the turnip winter of 1917/18. Many officers, sections of the bourgeoisie and right-wing extremist organizations such as the Pan-German Association blamed the grievances and the foreseeable defeat in the war with preference on "Jewish" representatives of the labor movement , social democracy and pacifism. With the October reforms in 1918, the second Supreme Army Command put the SPD in charge of a ceasefire, thus establishing the later stab in the back legend . Freikorps and right-wing students violently struck down the communal council republics in 1919 and also attacked Jews. Shortly before her murder (January 15, 1919 in Berlin), Rosa Luxemburg was insulted as a "Jew whore" and severely abused.

Right-wing extremists and paramilitary groups such as the Consul organization committed targeted femicide of political opponents, often Jews. Among their victims were the first Prime Minister of the Free State of Bavaria Kurt Eisner , the representative of the Munich Soviet Republic Gustav Landauer , Foreign Minister Walther Rathenau and others.

Since the establishment of the Weimar Republic, vilified by anti-Semites as the “Jewish republic” in August 1919, German Jews were able to rise to the highest state offices for the first time. Although many opposed the left-wing parties, they were widely portrayed as benefiting from the coup and defeat in the war. Anti-Semites, who had previously hoped for the state to implement their goals, almost always rejected revolution and democracy at the same time, while their opponents usually defended both. During the war, anti-Semitic propaganda that was too open was censored by the state so as not to endanger the “truce”; Since the end of the war, the anti-Semites have been able to reorganize and agitate unhindered. Newspapers such as the Deutsche Wochenblatt and leaflets incited against the Jews. When they were distributed, there were frequent brawls on the street up until the spring of 1920; Intervening police often arrested Jews for their protection or as instigators.

New right-wing groups such as the Deutschvölkische Schutz- und Trutzbund and the Thulegesellschaft propagated the stab in the back. In it, anti-Semitic, anti-socialist and anti-democratic motives were combined in such a way that the entire national humiliation, own war guilt, defeat, revolution, misery of the post-war period and the conditions of the Versailles Treaty were again projected onto the Jewish minority as their alleged mastermind . Jews and Social Democrats, who had been marked as "internal enemies of the Reich" since the establishment of the Reich in 1871, were now also identified with the " Bolsheviks ": They allegedly stabbed the army "undefeated in the field" in order to surrender Germany to foreign powers and to destroy all cultural values ​​of the nation. Reference was made to Jewish names among leading Russian and German revolutionaries. The protocols of the Elders of Zion , forged by the tsarist secret service and published in German in 1920, confirmed this conspiracy theory .

According to his biographer John CG Röhl , the overthrown monarch Wilhelm II exemplifies the development of large parts of the bourgeois and military elites of the imperial era from ordinary to eliminatory anti-Semitism during the Weimar period. On December 2, 1919, Wilhelm wrote in a letter from his exile in the Netherlands to Field Marshal August von Mackensen :

“The deepest and meanest disgrace ever brought about by a people in history was perpetrated by the Germans on themselves. Incited and seduced by the tribe of Judah, whom they hated and who enjoyed their hospitality. That was his thanks! No German ever forgets that, and do not rest until these parasites have been wiped out and exterminated from German soil! This toadstool on the German oak tree ! "

Elsewhere he linked German Jews, foreign opponents of the war and civilian politicians of the “home front”: “While the brave front army won victories under me, my generals and officers, the people at home lost, lied to, bribed, incited, with by Judah and Entente war against his incompetent statesmen. ”In 1927 he asked Fritz Haber , the inventor of the poison gas , whether it was possible to gas entire large cities. At that time he described the press, Jews and mosquitoes as a “plague” from which humanity had to get rid of “one way or another”: “I think the best would be gas.” In 1940 he claimed that Jews and Freemasons had 1914 and 1939 Wars of extermination against Germany started in order to establish a "Jewish world empire" supported by British and American gold.

Anti-Semitic students and academics and former DVP members found their new political home mainly in the DNVP . This started a campaign against so-called Eastern Jews in 1919 : around 34,000 mostly Polish Jews were recruited as armaments workers and interned during the war; thereafter around 107,000 Jews persecuted and impoverished in Eastern Europe fled to Germany. Around a quarter of them lived temporarily or permanently in Berlin Mitte. By 1921 around 40 percent had migrated on. The DNVP demanded an end to the influx and the expulsion of the Eastern Jews in order to regain the opinion leadership against the "Radau anti-Semites". In Bavaria, Eastern European Jews were deliberately harassed by the authorities after the Kapp Putsch in 1920 and some of them were interned in deportation camps.

In 1921 the DNVP excluded Jews and people with one Jewish parent from the party. In 1921 the German fraternity decided to expel Jewish members. Many student associations , bourgeois monarchists , proponents of authoritarian state models and the Völkische Movement, like the National Socialist German Student Union (NSDStB), called for a “national revolution” to replace Weimar democracy. This ideological consensus between conservatives and National Socialists is an important reason for the triumph of the NSDAP.

From 1922, republican media, parties and interest groups perceived anti-Semitism as an attack on the Weimar Constitution. The Central Association of German Citizens of the Jewish Faith managed at times to raise awareness of the enormous increase in anti-Semitic desecrations of cemeteries and to reduce it.

During the hyperinflation and occupation of the Ruhr in autumn 1923, incited young people and unemployed people attacked Jews in Berlin's Scheunenviertel , invaded their shops and apartments, abused residents and robbed them. Right-wing extremists had previously claimed that " Galicians " had bought up the permanent emergency money that the city administration had spent on the unemployed.

During the Hitler putsch on November 9, 1923 in Munich, the Bund Oberland, which had emerged from the Freikorps Oberland , arbitrarily took “Jewish-looking” citizens as “hostages” in order to blackmail political changes. Right-wing street violence, for example by the Sturmabteilung against Jews and political opponents, became commonplace. She was hardly followed by the police or the judiciary. In 1924, the Jewish lawyer Ludwig Foerder in Silesia documented with a scandal chronicle how much state authorities tolerated anti-Semitic crimes or supported them through convictions.

Conservative academics like Wilhelm Stapel or Edgar Julius Jung renewed the folk ideology of the 19th century. In 1927, Stapel declared the German and Jewish collectives to be incompatible and demanded support for Zionism in order to force Jews to emigrate. Jung called for a return to the estates society and legal "dissimilation" of the Jews.

Some representatives of the left-wing parties passed off anti-Semitism as legitimate anti-capitalism . A smear campaign by the National Socialists against the Jewish Vice-President of Berlin Police, Bernhard Weiß as Isidor, was followed by denigrations in the magazine Roter Aufbau . Clara Zetkin therefore warned in 1924 in a letter from Moscow to the 9th party congress of the KPD: "The left party majority unites fraternally abundantly KAPists, syndicalists, anti-parliamentarians, seen in the light - horrible dictu - even reformists and recently - fascist anti-Semites." KPD board member Ruth Fischer demanded in 1923: “Trample the Jewish capitalists!” She followed up with a threat against the non-Jewish capitalists. In the Völkischer Beobachter of the NSDAP, Fischer, who was of Jewish origin, was insulted as anti-Semitic himself the next day.

Nevertheless, the openly anti-Semitic NSDAP only received 2.6 percent of the votes in the 1928 Reichstag election . With the street terror of the SA, violent attacks became more frequent. After the Reichstag elections in 1930 the windows were thrown in the Wertheim department store in Berlin , followed by the Kurfürstendamm riot of 1931 , which around 500 SA thugs reported as a “cleanup” of a “Jewish” street.

National Socialism

Since 1908 Adolf Hitler heard speeches and read writings by Viennese anti-Semites like Jörg Lanz von Liebenfels , the Viennese mayor Karl Lueger and the Austrian leader of the "Pan-Germans" Georg von Schönerer . However, he did not emerge with anti-Semitic agitation in Bavaria until July 1919 . In an “expert opinion on the Jewish question” of September 16, 1919, requested by his military superiors, he first described his eliminatory “anti-Semitism of reason”:

"But his ultimate goal must be the removal of the Jews in general."

The NSDAP , founded in Munich in 1920 , initially developed in the Free State of Bavaria into a gathering place for radical anti-Semites and anti-communists . On February 24, 1920, Hitler announced the NSDAP's 25-point program in Munich . It called for Jews to be excluded from German citizenship and thus from all public offices and to subject them to special "alien laws". In the event of a supply shortage, the "members of foreign nations (non-citizens)" should be expelled. A ban on immigration and the expulsion of all "non-Germans" who had immigrated since August 2, 1914, including Jews in Germany , should be ordered.

By 1923, Hitler gained the leadership of the NSDAP primarily with anti-Semitic rhetoric. In his program Mein Kampf (1925/26) he claimed that he had been an “instinctive” anti-Semite even in his school days. He gave revenge on the " November criminals " as a motive for his turn to politics, confessed to eliminating racial anti-Semitism and announced that he would politically and militarily enforce the "removal" of all Jews. He saw in this an inevitable liberation of mankind from the alleged world Jewry , to whose conspiracy against the “Aryan master race” he - like the protocols of the Elders of Zion known to him - attributed Anglo-American capitalism and Russian Bolshevism alike. Analogous to his front-line experience with chemical weapons , he considered mass murders of Jews with poison gas to be a legitimate method to uphold the fictitious "purebred" of the Germans. Essential elements of this ideology came from the newspaper editor Dietrich Eckart and the "national socialist" Gottfried Feder .

In the 1928 Reichstag election , the NSDAP received only 2.6 percent of the vote, partly because its anti-Semitic propaganda repelled voters, but above all because there were major economic problems at the time. Thereupon the party leadership ordered that in future election propaganda no hostility towards Jews should be used. She focused from 1929 to 1933 mainly due to issues such as reparations , the Young Plan , the Great Depression and represented a diffuse national community ideology . In these years of advancement, there were repeated politically motivated acts of violence, especially against the Jewish population, especially by the SA .

Demolished shop windows (October 1930) at the department store chain Wertheim

Immediately after their " seizure of power " on January 30, 1933, the National Socialists began to oust all Jews from German society. For this Hitler had fanatical and devoted comrades- in-arms in the party ideologues Julius Streicher (editor of the Stürmer ), Alfred Rosenberg (editor of the Völkischer Beobachter ) and Joseph Goebbels, as well as in the SS built up by Heinrich Himmler . During the Nazi era (1933–1945) around 2000 anti-Jewish laws and supplementary ordinances were passed. One of the first laws was adopted on 21 April 1933 and entered into force on 1 May 1933 law on the slaughter of animals, the slaughter of animals without stunning, that is primarily the shafts , was banned. The Reich Animal Protection Act followed on December 1, 1933 , including extensive provisions on the restriction of animal experiments. This enabled the National Socialists to discriminate against German Jews, who played an important role in the fur trade , the medical profession and biology, and serve widespread resentment. In order to internalize the defamation effectively, one often used the "sexual denunciation", in that the Jews were accused of all conceivable forms of sexual deviance - from child molesting to sodomy (sexual intercourse with animals).

Exhibition “The Eternal Jew” in the Deutsches Museum in Munich; November 8, 1937 to January 31, 1938

The measures of the Nazi regime led through the boycott of Jews , professional bans , pressure to emigrate, the Nuremberg Laws , the “Reichskristallnacht” , “ Aryanization ” and ghettoization to the Holocaust disguised as the “final solution” with historically unparalleled severity and consistency . In January 1939, Hitler announced the "annihilation of the Jewish race in Europe" in the event of a world war . The organized mass extermination of Jews began in June 1941 with the " Russian Campaign ". It claimed around six million victims.

In a decree of May 1943, the National Socialists turned away from the term "anti-Semitism", since the Arabs are also part of the Semitic peoples and the new Arab allies should not be lumped together with the Jews. After the United States entered World War II and the lost Battle of Stalingrad , the murder of Jews was intensified and in some cases was given priority over warfare. Werner Bergmann , for example, finds the much-discussed peculiarity of German racial anti-Semitism in its practical implementation:

“The A. of the NSDAP differed from the primarily literary one of the Kaiserreich in its implementation in a terrorist policy. Your verbally aggressive A. was not a substitute for action, but a pioneer of action. Even if there was no concrete plan of action, the genocide lay in the logic of the racist A., because one of his essential elements was the refusal to find a settlement for a permanent German-Jewish coexistence, since he did not refer to a state of apartheid , but aimed at a complete 'removal' of the Jews. "

In the Holocaust, the Nazi regime implemented the inhuman ideology of anti-Semitism in an unmatched murderous manner.


Emancipation and advancement until 1815

With the tolerance patents of Joseph II, emancipation began for the traditionally ghettoized Jews of the Habsburg Monarchy , who were then around 1.5 million . In 1782 they were admitted to all schools and universities in Vienna and Lower Austria and were given extensive freedom of trade. They should be given access to craft and agricultural professions in order to increase their benefits for the state. However, immigration was just as prohibited to them as was the acquisition of property and property and the importation of Jewish writings. Since 1787 they had to take German, often discriminatory names: z. B. Burda - "Fraß" - or Blumentritt - "the one who seduces innocent, underage girls". In 1788 they also had to do military service.

Numerous special laws restricted these equality approaches again. Jewish foreigners had to z. B. Pay 30 kreuzers a day and renew your residence permit every 14 days. Jewish midwives were only allowed to give birth to Christians in emergencies. In 1815 the court chancellery ignored a petition from the Viennese Jews to establish tolerance in law.

For monarchist officials like Friedrich von Gentz , Prince Metternich's advisor , Jews were "born representatives of atheism , Jacobinism, and the Enlightenment". That did not prevent him from visiting the salon of Fanny von Arnstein (née Itzig) at the Vienna Congress . This tried to use the salon contacts between people of different ranks and creeds to pay attention to the problems of their fellow believers.

But the Christian guilds and guilds continued to fend off the emerging Jewish competition as best they could. Jews remained largely dependent on trade, especially in rural areas, and only slowly got into other professions. Long-distance trade, the relatively crisis-proof supply of uniforms to the army, and the leasing of the tobacco control room proved to be the starting point for building Jewish factories and factories with the help of commercial capital.

After the import of raw cotton was released, Jews in Bohemia were able to make the rapidly growing cotton industry their domain and displace the linen and wool trades that had dominated the fabric industry up to that point . Despite violent protests, the tailors' guilds in Moravia could not prevent financially strong Jewish wholesalers from developing a clothing industry from the mending and reworking of clothes and uniforms traditionally carried out by Jews. This in turn gave work to many Jewish expellees in towns and villages. Jewish banking houses also expanded into other growth industries at the time; Salomon Rothschild financed the construction of the railway line to Galicia in Vienna, which employed 14,000 workers.

The civil equality of the Jews favored their urban advancement more than in the country, so that the influx of Jews into the cities increased. In Prague z. B. 11,700 Jews lived in 1848, 40 percent of the Jews of Bohemia. Most of the Jews lived there in relation to the rest of the population in all German-speaking cities. In Moravia, Jews were not allowed to settle in villages until 1848; Brno became a center of attraction for them. Together with the city councils, they defended their relatively secure situation against further influx of impoverished, destitute Jews from Galicia .

Around 1800 there were only 500 to 600 Jews living in Vienna among a total of 200,000 citizens. Only a few privileged families were tolerated here. In 1848 there were 4,000 Jews (0.8 percent); the first Jewish community was constituted.

Restoration after 1815

After the wars of freedom against Napoleon, the Holy Alliance , founded in 1815, made Christianity the basis of its policy and again represented the divine right of princes. In the restoration phase that followed, many educated people rejected the emancipation that had begun. The social theorist Adam Heinrich Müller , member of the Christian-German Tischgesellschaft , demanded in an expert report in 1823 a marriage ban between Jews and Christians and the withdrawal of equality that had been achieved. He attributed the upheavals of early industrialization to Jewish economic activity and equated Judaism and capitalism. In contrast, he represented the ideal of the pre-industrial class society.

The urban Jewish communities reacted to this with increased adaptation and reform efforts. The traditional Ashkenazi worship service, which to a large extent was also a secular community meeting, was first adapted to the Christian worship service in Vienna. The “Viennese Rite”, first introduced by Isaak Mannheimer , provided for strict rules of propriety and a high musical level for the chasan (cantor) instead of the sermons given in Yiddish . The German-speaking lay preachers questioned the primacy of the Hebrew-speaking rabbis. From Vienna the Viennese rite spread to Bohemia and Galicia.

Some Jews now converted to Christianity. One of the most prominent converts was Johann Emanuel Veith . In 1831 he became court preacher at St. Stephen's Cathedral in Vienna , but remained connected to his Jewish community. When the Damascus affair revived the ritual murder legend in Europe too, he swore from the pulpit that these allegations were false. Together with other Jewish Christians , he founded the Vienna Catholic Association in May 1848 for more freedom for Jewish Christians in the church and towards the state. Even Paul Stephanus Cassel was a Protestant preacher and a respected historian of Jewish history . He later protected the Jews against Treitschke and Stocker’s attacks. Only with increasing acceptance of Jews around the middle of the century did conversions decrease.

After the revolution of 1848

During the March Revolution , academics, including many educated Jews, were mostly committed to liberalism. Many Jews fought with the Christians on the barricades. In the year of the revolution it was still possible for the Jewish preacher Isaak Mannheimer and the cantor Salomon Sulzer to stand together with Catholic and Protestant clergy at a communal grave in the Schmelzer cemetery to honor those who died in March. It was only a short time, however, and tensions soon increased. In Vienna's slums the cry was loud: Beat the Jews to death! , accompanied by individual acts of violence. Nevertheless, the Pillersdorf constitution finally brought the Jews the longed-for full civil rights and religious freedom in Austria . The restoration partially reversed this: in 1851 Jewish officials had to swear allegiance to the state, in 1853 Jews were again forbidden to acquire property, and in 1855 also the notary and teaching professions.

They were allowed to own newspapers, so that they more frequently achieved leading positions in the publishing industry. As a result, an anti-Semitic Catholic counter-press emerged, which now persistently incited against the “democratic Jewish rabble” and equated it with liberalism, capitalism and communism. The leading figure was the artillery officer Quirin Endlich , the “Jew eater of Vienna”. Even Eduard von Tellering , a journalist for the " Neue Rheinische Zeitung " of Karl Marx , attacked Jews in his book Freedom and Jews as "usurers" (representatives of capital) and "free spirits" (representative democracy), but spread to the old ritual murder legend back.

As early as 1848, leaflets claimed that Jews had built barricades out of Christian coffins and slaughtered Christian children in the street, the guillotine demanded and crosses mocked. It also said:

"If the Christ people have no more Christianity and no more money ... then you Jews, have your iron skulls made, you will not survive history with the bony ones."

The editor of the “ Wiener Kirchenzeitung ” founded in 1848 , Kaplan Sebastian Brunner , wrote against enlightened philosophers in his famous Nebeljungenlied :

"We no longer have a Jewish God,
and we hate the God of Christians,
We are the cheekiest gang in the world,
We Jewish pantheists."

He tried to provide "historical evidence of the ritual murder legend", also renewed the stereotype of the murder of God, on the basis of which Judaism was cursed, and concluded:

“As long as the Jews remain Jews, not only in terms of their origin but also in terms of their faith, their emancipation is impossible at all ... This would de-Christianize society, so that Judaism would then rule. The people's voice will not accept this. "

The following public dispute with Ignaz Kuranda's Ostdeutscher Post attracted international attention. Brunner was defeated in several censorship and libel suits in court, which exacerbated his hatred of Jews. In 1886 he wrote a bug epic in which he described Jews as "vermin" and "parasites" and anti-Semitism as "bug powder". He also agitated against Heinrich Heine and Ludwig Börne.

Austro-Hungarian monarchy

In 1867, the emancipation of the Jews in the Habsburg Empire was completed in the Austro-Hungarian Compromise . For the first time in their history, the December Constitution allowed Jews to freely reside and practice their religion throughout Austria. 40,000 Jews already made up 6.6% of the population of Vienna and thus outstripped the old Jewish population centers of the Habsburgs such as Prague , Krakow and Lviv . In 1858 a synagogue was built in Vienna, which was one of the most imposing in Europe. Most of Vienna's immigrants came from the Hungarian half of the empire, followed by Bohemia and Moravia. Galician Jews had also come, driven by overpopulation, famine and cholera epidemics. When the Polish nationalization campaign increasingly ousted them from economic life in the 1870s, they fled en masse. Urbanization concentrated the previously small-town and village Jewry in the big cities.

Shooting range with target from Bohemia / Moravia around 1860/70. As soon as the shooter hits the mark, the dog snaps with considerable noise at the Jew, who tries to defend himself with his umbrella, while a boy tugs at his coat from behind and kicks him.

From 1875 a “Christian-social” or “ethnic” movement emerged in Austria as well as in the German Empire: the main representative was the convert Karl von Vogelsang , editor of the Viennese conservative newspaper Vaterland . He saw the country "flooded with Jews",

"... because the liberal change with which we are made happy is permeated through and through with the Jewish spirit ... the Jewish spirit has infected us, it has incarnated in our institutions, our whole outlook on life, our trade and change is permeated with it ..."

“Nothing was gained by special laws against Jews. Society would have to turn back to Christianity and the class society, then it would 'absorb' the Jews and thus end the 'Jewish flood'. "

In 1881 he distanced himself from clumsy “Jew-baiting” as it emerged in the Berlin anti-Semitism controversy. But he too attacked the “golden international” of “financial Jewry” and polemicized against the alleged world domination of the House of Rothschild, against poor “peddler Jews” and Russian “haggling and rampant Talmud Jews”. Like Vogelsang, Prince Aloys von Liechtenstein and the moral theologian Franz Martin Schindler saw anti-Semitism as a natural reaction to capitalism where Jews are supposedly socially privileged.

Since 1877 the monthly newspaper Österreichischer Volksfreund under Carl von Zerboni has been inciting openly racist propaganda : Talmud Jews wanted to become the ruling race of the globe (No. 1), resistance against Judaization was necessary (No. 5). From No. 9 above every edition was written in capital letters: Buy only from Christians! From 1882 the paper became the press organ of the “Austrian Reform Party”, which emerged from various anti-Semitic craftsmen's associations under the lawyer Robert Pattai . He saw “Manchester liberalism” and the emancipation of the Jews as identical processes and, on the other hand, strove for “healthy state socialism”:

"If it is not possible to cut off the roots of the Jewish question through these necessary reforms and to restore the natural balance, then the much sought-after exceptional laws against Judaism would have to become necessary."

This was supported by Ludwig Psenner , who had been the new editor of “Volksfreunds” since 1884 and which he led until 1897. Like Vogelsang, he sought the remedy against the “Judaization” of culture and society by returning to “Christian values”. But in 1886 the reform party broke up because a radical wing under Georg Ritter von Schönerer wanted to make Greater German “Pan-Germanism” a program.

Thereupon Psenner, Ernst Schneider and Adam Latschka founded an association from which in 1887 the “Christian Social Party” (CSP) emerged. At the inaugural meeting, the speakers, u. a. the Hungarian Franz Komlossy and the Viennese Reichstag deputy Karl Lueger , mutually in anti-Semitic inflammatory speeches, which gave about 1000 people with stormy applause.

For regional elections, the CSP immediately formed an anti-liberal coalition with German national and anti-Semitic groups, the “United Christians”. Anti-Semitism was the link that everyone involved could agree on. The program called for a ban on immigration for Jews, their exclusion from civil service, judicial and medical professions, retail trade and joint schooling with non-Jews. In the Deutsches Volksblatt the goal was outlined:

"Radically anti-Semitic, strictly national and decidedly Christian-social, we beat the drum every day for the great army of enemies of the Jews ... in order to achieve their unification in a single great people's party."

1888 at a rally for Pope Leo XIII. Karl Lueger achieved the leadership role. In 1890 he demanded in the Reichstag that the "main causes of Christian anti-Semitism" be eliminated:

  • the "Jewish liberal press",
  • the "crushing big capital" that is in Jewish hands,
  • the "oppression of Christians by the Jews";
  • the “martyrdom of the Germans” among the Jewish “predators in human form”.

His party friend Ernst Schneider also found in 1893 that Austria was suffering from a contagious ulcer , from which the peoples and the Austrian state will unfortunately perish if this ulcer is not removed ...: It is the Jews. In Lower Austria, he later demanded similar premiums for the shooting of Jews as a supplement to a law on the killing of birds of prey .

The agreement of the anti-Semites failed again: the conservative Catholics wanted to save the Habsburg monarchy , while the German national “democrats” wanted an anti-clerical Greater German Empire. The “moderate” Christian-social wing asserted itself: Schindler wrote the party program of the CSP in 1895, which attacked the exploitation, “it comes from wherever it wants”. Racist hatred of Jews was rejected; one does not want to fight Judaism as a religion, but rather “Talmudism” and the “reform Jews” equated with liberalism.

The Pope blessed this with the stipulation that anti-Semitic attacks should be avoided. As a result, Emperor Franz Joseph had to confirm Karl Lueger as mayor of Vienna in 1897. With Lueger it was not possible to clearly differentiate the CSP from racial anti-Semitism.

But this also applied to theologians like August Rohling , whose pamphlet Der Talmudjude (1871) , which was distributed in 17 editions, provided anti-Semites with religious arguments for decades. He wanted to prove with partially falsified excerpts that the Talmud allowed

“... to exploit all non-Jews in every way, to destroy them physically and morally, to destroy their life, honor and property, openly and by force, secretly and assassinately; - The Jew may, yes, should, if he can, obey this religiously so that he can bring his people to earthly world domination. "

Anti-Semites invoked this in political meetings, among others. a. the Viennese craftsman Franz Holubek 1882:

“Do you know what's in this book? The truth! And do you know how you are referred to in this book? As a horde of pigs, dogs and donkeys! "

This caused a riot. Holubek was charged with public disturbance but was acquitted after his defense attorney quoted Robert Pattai from Rohling's book. When Rohling, as a trial expert, also presented the ritual murder as an “extraordinarily sacred act” for Jews, the young rabbi and Reichsrat member Joseph Samuel Bloch publicly accused him of willingness to perjury . Rohling reported him; to make the process possible, the Reichsrat lifted Bloch's immunity . His defense lawyer, Josef Kopp , achieved the approval of two foreign reports on the Talmud in tough negotiations. Rohling then withdrew his complaint before the main hearing began. He had to bear the legal costs and lost his professorship for Bible studies .

Nonetheless, his theses and the legend of the ritual murder remained alive among Austria's Catholics. Pastor Joseph Deckert compared the Turkish distress and Jewish rule in a cycle of sermons in 1893, and distributed free brochures that alleged to prove the ritual murder of Simon von Trient based on "files" from 1475. He commissioned the convert Paulus Mayer for a monthly salary of 100 guilders to provide him with a document that was supposed to "prove" the ritual murder according to Kabbalistic and Talmudic teachings. According to an advance publication, Bloch reported Deckert, Mayer and the editor of the fatherland : In the process, all three were sentenced to imprisonment or fines.

This did not prevent Deckert from continuing his agitation with anti-Semitic conference speeches and diatribes (1894–1898). It said z. B .:

“Therefore, open your eyes, my Christian people, recognize the oldest and most dangerous enemy of your religion; ... defend yourself of your faith; You will thereby also secure your earthly welfare. Amen."

Deckert was warned by the Vienna Ordinariate in 1896 and then declared that Bloch had "incited him into anti-Semitism". But he had already shown solidarity with Karl Lueger in 1895:

“Anti-Semitism is not directed against the religion of the Jews, although the Talmud forms the basis and the basic evil of Judaism… but against the race, insofar as it has shown itself to be hostile to all non-Jews, but especially to the Christian Aryans. That is why racial anti-Semitism is justified ... "

Likewise, the priest Albert Wiesinger (1830–1896) as editor-in-chief of the Wiener Kirchenzeitung (from 1861) stirred up resentments in the “Ghetto stories” section. With him, too, the entire anti-Jewish repertoire was found, from alleged insults by Jews against churchmen and supposed usury to allegations of ritual murder and desecration of the host.

As the mayor of Vienna, Lueger was uncomfortable with radical agitation. Anti-Semitism is a very good means of agitation to get up in politics, but once you are up there you can no longer use it, because that is a mob sport! Before 1914 he drove this further against the "red Jewish protection force" of the rising social democracy.

As a countermovement, the Austrian association for the defense of anti-Semitism (Abwehr-Verein) emerged in 1891, a few weeks after its German counterpart was founded . He was born by members of the liberal Viennese upper middle class. Initiators were u. a. the married couple Bertha and Arthur Gundaccar von Suttner , the textile industrialist Friedrich Freiherr von Leitenberger , the writer Rudolf von Hoyos-Sprinzenstein and the doctor Hermann Nothnagel . The supporters also included the psychiatrist Richard von Krafft-Ebing , the geologist Eduard Suess , the writers Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach , Peter Rosegger and Ludwig Ganghofer , the art and science patron Edmund Graf Zichy and the composer Johann Strauss (son) . In addition to educational press work, the association (which never had more than 5,000 members) provided free legal protection for discriminated Jews, organized protest meetings and collected funds for Jews who had fled the pogroms in the Russian Empire.


Anti-Semitic election poster of the Christian Social Party for the National Council election in Austria in 1920 .

After 1918 the Christian Social Party tightened its course against the republic and the influx of Polish Jews from Galicia . Individual cases of smugglers and speculators led to a “mass rally of Christian Viennese” in October 1919, at which members of the state parliament demanded the expulsion of all Jews from Austria. The new party program in 1926 demanded the cultivation of the German character and the fight against the overwhelming power of the corrosive Jewish influence in intellectual and economic areas . Party leader Ignaz Seipel declared that this was not a change of course, but was always a tradition of the party.

The journalist Joseph Eberle had published the magazine Das Neue Reich for the Catholic intelligentsia since 1918 , which explicitly relied on medieval solutions to the “Jewish question”. For him, parliamentary democracy “smelled too much like Polish ghettos”.

He proposed a "folk hymn" written by Richard Kralik as a parody of God I get with the text:

“God preserve, God protect our country from the Jews! Mighty through the support of faith, Christians, stand firm! Let us protect our patriarchal heritage from the worst enemy, so that our people do not perish, remain firmly united in faithfulness! "

Before 1933, other radical anti-Semites and opponents of the “Jewish republic” were the ethnologist Wilhelm Schmidt and the social reformer Anton Orel (who even wrote that “the baptism of a Jew is the baptism of someone with dangerous hereditary diseases”). The Austrian clerical fascism drew lines from the Middle Ages to contemporary politics: The Catholic press in Salzburg raised z. B. the merit of the church to have for centuries warded off the Jewish danger through special laws. In 1925, Bishop Sigismund Waitz warned in the New Kingdom of the "global danger" of greedy, usurious, unbelieving Judaism, whose power had "increased tremendously".

This was contradicted by the Benedictine Alois Mager , who for the first time declared anti-Semitism to be unfounded and unfounded, indeed unchristian. In the period that followed, the paper moved away from the political exclusion of Jews and warned of the rise of National Socialism. However, it continued to hardly fight Catholic anti-Semitism: in 1933 another inflammatory pamphlet appeared in Graz about the Protocols of the Elders of Zion : Pastor Arbogast Reiterer's Judaism and the Shadows of the Antichrist .


After Hitler's appointment as German Chancellor ( January 30, 1933 ), Austrian newspapers played down the persecution of Jews in Germany: After the boycott of the Jews on April 1, 1933, Hermann Göring's declaration was quoted that the Nazi government would never tolerate a person being subjected to persecution for just that reason because he was a Jew . The philosophy professor Hans Eibl emphasized the historical guilt of the Jews for Bolshevism . The exclusion of Jews like Max Reinhardt from Berlin's cultural life was welcomed, as was the book burning on May 10, 1933. In his book Geist und Blut, the ethnologist Oswald Menghin affirmed Zionism for “racial” reasons, since the integration of Jews was “German Volkscharakter "would change.

Immediately after the annexation of Austria to the Third Reich, Viennese Jews were forced to engage in degrading " frictions ". The writer Carl Zuckmayer described these days in March 1938 in his autobiography (1966) as a nightmare painting by Hieronymus Bosch […]. What was unleashed here was the revolt of envy, resentment, bitterness, blind, malicious vengeance - and all other voices were condemned to silence.

Those who publicly objected to the measures taken by the National Socialists usually emphasized in the same breath that assimilation and conversion of the Jews were absolutely necessary in order to avoid the "danger" they posed. At the same time, a return to the Catholic corporate state , in which the Jews were ghettoized , was often propagated . Even the November 1938 pogroms interpreted leading Austrian Catholics like Eberle as a reaction to Jewish guilt of earlier centuries. Only a few - for example the philosopher Dietrich von Hildebrand - took a clear and passionate stand against the Nuremberg Laws .


Jews in Switzerland were severely discriminated against for a long time. Few Jews have lived there since their expulsion in the 15th century; around 1800 there were 553 Jews in the two Aargau villages of Endingen and Lengnau . They were legally discriminated against , had to pay increased tariffs and a body duty , were not allowed to practice any craft or to own land. Numerous special laws described Jews as "godless swarm" or "pestilence".

The French invasion of 1798 gave Swiss Jews their first chances of emancipation with the idea of human rights . Now the special taxes imposed on them are gradually being canceled. In Geneva , equality of all citizens before the law - also because of the tradition of Calvinism - first prevailed. But the Federal Constitution of 1848 continued to deny non-Christians the general freedom of settlement and religion as well as equality in legal proceedings outside their home canton. Until about 1850, most of the cantons refused to allow Jews outside the canton to settle. In 1866, a referendum gave non-Christians full civil rights and allowed them to practice their religion freely.

In 1874 France, the Netherlands and the USA put pressure on Switzerland: they made their trade agreements with Switzerland dependent on the freedom of establishment for Jews as well. As a result, the revised Federal Constitution in 1874 lifted the last restrictions on civil rights for Jews. The population remained anti-Jewish. In 1892, animal welfare associations launched a popular initiative to ban slaughter , i.e. the custom prescribed in the Torah of bleeding an animal by cutting the neck and trachea for kosher meat (see federal popular initiative “Ban on slaughter without prior stunning” ). As a result, the federal constitution forbade slaughtering in Switzerland from 1893. During the debate (i.e. before the vote), anti-Semitic writings were increasingly published. In French-speaking Switzerland , the majority of the population was tolerant of Jews.

In many village communities traditionally inhabited by Jews, legal equality at the state level was opposed to further legal restrictions at the local level, for example restrictions on the right to vote in Endingen and Lengnau. In Switzerland, too, this led to a movement of Jews to the cities. In the following decades, urban Jewish communities emerged, for example in Zurich , Basel , St. Gallen and Lucerne . In the cities the climate was much more liberal. In Bern, Moritz Lazarus was appointed honorary professor to the university in 1859 , where he held the teaching post with three other Jewish lecturers and became rector and dean in 1864.

During the First World War, “the Jews” in Switzerland were charged with the high price of food, u. a. because z. For example, a relatively large number of department stores in Basel had Jewish owners. From 1918 onwards Switzerland practiced a restrictive immigration policy and only allowed very few Jewish refugees to enter; especially Jews from Eastern Europe were turned away. In 1920, Zurich issued special regulations on naturalization that discriminated against "Eastern Jews"; these remained in force until 1936.

Since 1930, an anti-Semitic party alliance, the front movement , has also formed in Switzerland . She practiced hate propaganda based on the National Socialist model, cultivated the “ Führer principle ” and mystified “old federal virtues” against liberal and socialist ideas. But they only had success in local elections in 1934-1936. In St. Gallen a "Swiss Christian Armed Forces " worked around the doctor Walter Fehrmann and propagated hatred against Jews, Freemasons and Jehovah's Witnesses ; which are all the same. Also active in this movement was the Catholic (and later Protestant) clergyman and rector of the Catholic Kantonsrealschule St. Gallen Josef Böni (1895–1974) (including his work Modern Swarm Spirits , published in 1925 ). Other anti-Semitic propagandists were Emil Reiffer (1900-1970), who edited a pro-National Socialist magazine and also published it in the publications of the World Service , and the Jesuit Rudolf Walter von Moos , who also emerged as a proponent of eugenics . The Catholic-conservative journal Die Ostschweiz also often reproduced anti-Semitic positions and statements, as did the Gossauer Fürstenland under its editor Karl Hangartner (1901–1968) and the right-wing Catholic integralist newspaper Schildwache, which was co-founded by the Catholic priest Robert Mäder (1875–1945) .

Of the Swiss bishops, the St. Gallen bishop Alois Scheiwiler (1872–1938) took a position in 1935 and 1936 against anti-Semitism based on racial theories, but at the same time remained in many of his utterances a theologically founded anti-Judaism . The Lugano Bishop Angelo Jelmini (1893–1968) took a position against the anti-Jewish measures and persecution in Germany in 1938 and 1939 and was also committed to helping Jewish refugees from Italy and Hungary.

It is true that in 1937, after a four-year trial, the Swiss Association of Israeli Congregations succeeded in declaring the Protocols of the Elders of Zion to be forgeries. But they were not forbidden; the federal authorities took no further state protective measures against racist and anti-Semitic propaganda. Swiss Jews found allies for such demands only in a few cantons, with left-wing parties and individual prominent humanists, e. B. the religious-socialist theologian Leonhard Ragaz .

After the Nazis came to power in Germany in 1933, Switzerland became an important destination for German Jews and, after the annexation of Austria in 1938, also for Austrian Jews. However, the Swiss government usually only allowed them one stopover. Foreign Jews were rarely naturalized anymore, which is why the emigration of Swiss Jews overseas increased dramatically. The Jewish National Councilor David Farbstein resigned in protest . After Austria's annexation in March 1938, Switzerland signed an agreement with Germany on the control of German Jews: it initiated an ordinance according to which, from 1939, the passports of German Jews had to be stamped with a red J. This prevented their illegal escape and from 1941 onwards meant death for many German Jews, as they could no longer avoid being deported to the extermination camps. At least 30,000 German-Austrian Jews were also turned away from the Swiss border in 1941–1945.

According to more recent research by the Simon Wiesenthal Center , this anti-Jewish refugee policy did not react only to pressure from the National Socialists. Rather, there have been at least 36 extreme right-wing, patriotic and fascist groups in Switzerland since 1940, whose anti-Semitic ideas influenced the entire Swiss public and were supported by officers and professors. Documents found in the National Archives of the USA reveal several secret agreements between the Swiss Justice Minister Eduard von Steiger and the Association of the Swiss Fatherland regarding the refusal of German-Austrian Jews willing to flee at the borders and refusal of asylum for refugees who have already entered the country. The Swiss police also instructed the border guards to do so.

This secret numerus clausus made naturalization of Jews virtually impossible. Since 1939, Jewish children have not been allowed to come to Switzerland for recreation like other children; Swiss women of the Jewish faith who were married to a foreigner were also not allowed to re-enter or be naturalized. In 1941, the Federal Council also hesitated to grant Jewish Swiss in France and Italy full diplomatic protection. In 1995 the Federal Council apologized to the survivors for this policy.

The Wiesenthal-Zentrum's report was rejected by the Swiss government at the time: Thomas Borer , government spokesman for the Swiss coming to terms with the past, said that the vast majority of Swiss people were “clear democrats and anti-fascists” during the Second World War, and that Switzerland was “the only oasis of democracy, freedom of speech and tolerance on the continent ”. Despite her isolation from foreign policy, she took in most of the refugees, including many Jews.

In contrast, the historian and religious philosopher Gerhart M. Riegner (1911–2001) saw the rejection of Jewish refugees since 1938 not as an exception to an otherwise exemplary democracy, but as a result of a Swiss tradition of anti-Jewish motivation and anti-Semitism. He refers to the late implementation of Jewish emancipation, the 1893 slaughter ban , the restrictive naturalization practice towards Eastern Jews and the transit land doctrine in federal migration policy after the First World War.


1789 (French Revolution) to 1848

As a result of the French Revolution in 1789, members of the groups that were disempowered at the time, above all aristocratic supporters of the Bourbons and a restoration of the Catholic corporate state , created a series of conspiracy theses. The Jesuit Augustin Barruel claimed in 1797 that the revolution was the result of a plot by the Freemasons , whom he equated with the Enlightenment philosophers and Jacobins , against Christianity.

In 1791 French Jews received full citizenship rights . Therefore, opponents of the revolution were now also seen as beneficiaries and possible masterminds. This view intensified when Emperor Napoleon I campaigned for the freedom of religion and organization of Jews in France and all areas occupied by France, and on 23 August 1806 convened a new Jewish High Council ( Sanhedrin ) for this purpose. In the same year Barruel received the so-called Simonini Letter , the author of which claimed that, as an Italian officer of Jewish descent, he had learned of the intrigues of greedy Jews against the Christians of Europe. Barruel overlooked a secret alliance of the Jews with Jacobins, Freemasons and Illuminati to wipe out the Christians from France and to build a Jewish world domination. This letter was published in 1878 by Le Contemporain , a French anti-Semitic magazine. It is uncertain who the author was. Louis-Gabriel-Ambroise de Bonald also advocated similar theses in his article Sur les juifs in 1806 . The fact that most of the Masonic lodges excluded Jews and the anti-Jewish Order of Illuminati had been banned in 1784 and subsequently dissolved did nothing to change the persistence of these suspicions.

In 1846 Alphonse Toussenel published the treatise Les Juifs, rois de l'epoque (“The Jews, Kings of the Age”) in Paris , which was soon translated into many languages.


( Second French Republic (until 1852) and Second Empire ) In 1858 Gobineau defined the concept of the nation against the revolutionaries of 1789 in his racial doctrine, nationally and genetically. In his homeland, however, he only found resonance with a few intellectuals such as Ernest Renan and Édouard Drumont (1844–1917). Drumont wrote another book in 1880 (see below).

In 1869 the pamphlet Le juif, le judaïsme et la judaisation des peuples chrétiens (“The Jews, Judaism and the Judaization of the Christian Peoples”) by Henri Roger Gougenot des Mousseaux appeared in Paris , which, in view of the Damascus affair of 1840, became the anti-Jewish ritual murder legend propagated. The book revived the conspiracy theory of the 'Alliance of Jews and Freemasons for World Domination'. Pope Pius IX awarded the author a high ecclesiastical order for the book. It saw several new editions.


It also served as a template for other anti-Semitic pamphlets such as August Rohling's bestseller Der Talmudjude (1871) and Albert Monniot's Le crime rituel chez les juifs (Paris 1914) and was translated into German by Alfred Rosenberg in 1921 ( Der Jude, das Judentum und die Verjudung der Christian peoples ).

At that time there was anti-modernism in the Catholic Church ; it lasted until the First World War.

In 1878 the anti-Semitic magazine Le Contemporain published an alleged letter from Barruel from 1806: An Italian officer had drawn his attention to a conspiracy by the Jews who controlled the Illuminati Order. He then left his completed fifth volume on conspiracies of the Jews unpublished in order not to trigger a pogrom . That should make the absence of the Jews in his conspiracy theories plausible and give the Simonini letter a later reputation.

Édouard Drumont (1844-1917) published the two-volume work La France juive in 1886 , the basic work of modern anti-Semitism in France. It was also published in German in 1886.

The Panama scandal , a bribery scandal, lasted from 1889–1893 :

  • The French company founded in 1879 to finance and build the Panama Canal had to file for bankruptcy in 1889 . She tried to get money through a lottery . The legal approval for this was u. a. Acquired by Lesseps' partners Cornélius Herz and Baron Jacques de Reinach - both Jews - by bribing numerous politicians and journalists. The company's bankruptcy was inevitable. The French government initially kept the losses secret from shareholders , which, in addition to the corruption affair becoming known, led to a significant loss of trust among the people. This and the participation of some Jewish financiers (Cornélius Herz, Jacques de Reinach, Émile Arton , Louis Andrieux ) in the society encouraged anti-Semitism in France.

Together with Drumont, the Marquis de Morès (1858-1896) founded the Ligue antisémitique de France in 1889 and organized the first anti-Semite congress in Neuilly-sur-Seine in 1890 (the then Parisian Archbishop de la Vergne also took part in Morès' funeral ).

In 1894, the Dreyfus Affair showed how strongly anti-Semitism was anchored in the French military and the judiciary: reactionary officers and judges, supported by monarchists and devout Catholics, condemned Captain Alfred Dreyfus , Alsatian and Jew, for treason on the basis of forged papers . When the fake became known, he was denied rehabilitation for years. Journalists like Émile Zola , who campaigned publicly for Dreyfus, were prosecuted. The affair made Theodor Herzl come to the conclusion that the assimilation of Jews in Europe had failed and that Jewish life was only possible in the long term in a separate Jewish state. His book The Jewish State (1896) founded political Zionism .

The King Rothschild . Anti-Semitic caricature on the cover of the French magazine Le rire (April 16, 1898)
Depicts a member of the Jewish Rothschild banking family who holds the whole world in his claws.

After Dreyfus was finally rehabilitated in 1905, anti-Semitism in France was socially and politically discredited, although the Bishop of Nancy-Toul , Charles-François Turinaz , declared in 1916 that belief in Dreyfus' innocence was synonymous with apostasy , apostasy .

After that

After the First World War it flickered again briefly under the influence of Charles Maurras . French translations of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion appeared , of which that of the Catholic clergyman Ernest Jouin (1844–1932), published in 1920 in the Revue International des Sociétés Secrètes , was the most widely distributed. The (often writing under pseudonyms) priest Paul Boulin (1875–1933), editor-in-chief of this review from 1922 to 1929 , published in 1932 the anti-Jewish Cahiers anti-judéo-maçonniques . The royalist and journalist Roger Lambelin (1857–1929) published the translated Protocols of the Elders of Zion in 1921 and wrote several anti-Jewish (and anti-Masonic) treatises under the title Le péril juif .

In 1934, the revelations surrounding the Ukrainian-Jewish financier Alexandre Stavisky led to a state crisis and a great anti-Semitic wave. Some research approaches see the break-up of the company Pathé- Natan - one of the largest media groups of the time - as the result of an anti-Semitic and xenophobic campaign against its managing director, the producer and director Bernard Natan , a French Jew of Romanian origin. Natan was sentenced to two prison terms for fraud in this context. In 1942, after his release from prison, his French citizenship was revoked and he was handed over to the German occupiers. They had him deported to Auschwitz, where he died a few weeks later.

During the occupation from 1940 to 1944 anti-democratic and anti-Semitic tendencies dominated again. The Vichy regime took an active part in the imprisonment and deportation of French Jews to the German extermination camps (see chronology of the collaboration of the Vichy government in the Holocaust ).

Many French hid Jews, smuggled them into the unoccupied part of France and took part in the Resistance . Other French denounced Jews and handed them over to the German occupiers. The propaganda of French anti-Semites received a boost: In Bordeaux , the “Inspector for Jewish Issues”, Maurice Papon , initiated the traveling exhibition The Jew and France in 1942 , which was very well received. The newspaper La Petite Gironde wrote e.g. B .:

“The vernacular says that when you commit a crime you always have to look for the woman who is behind it. From now on we know that in all misery, bankruptcies, financial disasters, scandals or wars we have to look for the Jew who is behind it. "

Great Britain

Shylock and Jessica by Maurycy Gottlieb (1856–1879)

In 1290 England was the first country in Europe to completely expel the Jews from the country. The Jews were not allowed to return on threat of the death penalty. The order of King Edward I was announced on July 18, 1290. The eviction began on October 12 and was completed by royal decree at the end of the month. Estimates of the number of people affected vary between two and five thousand people. The action was unprecedented in the Christian Middle Ages and took place without a reason that would have been written down by chroniclers. Decades earlier, the discrimination and persecution of Jews had come to a head. They were accused of ritual murder and desecration of the host, were believed to be murderers of Christ and were hated, beaten and lynched as moneylenders. This hatred left deep scars that lasted for centuries. As an antithesis to Christianity, Jews were still present in the sermons. Although the English had not seen any more Jews, 300 years later, in Shakespeare's time, Jews played “like wolves in modern children's stories a strong symbolic role in the economy of the imagination”. Anti-Semitism in England became very clear in literature. These include the plays The Jew of Malta by Christopher Marlowe and The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare , which are known beyond England . The character of the Jew Shylock was the main character of the subject and many anti-Semitic stereotypes, although the character was not the main character of the play. The Merchant of Venice is interpreted today as a reaction by Shakespeare to the xenophobia of the time. Marlowes The Jew of Malta was considered a mass spectacle in the London metropolis. Stephen Greenblatt refers to the deep anchoring of anti-Semitism in society: “It is indeed quite possible that The Jew of Malta had such a liberating effect, but probably only among those viewers who were already inclined to let themselves be liberated The key scene for Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice is a political event typical of anti-Semitism at the time: the denunciation of the Portuguese personal physician to Queen Elisabeth I. Roderigo (Ruy) Lopez as a Jew and conspirator by “the extremely anti-Spanish, militant Protestant faction to the Earl of Essex ”. His conviction as a traitor without evidence and the public reaction to his execution are described as extremely anti-Semitic.

Around the middle of the 17th century, the Jews began to return. Around 1750 around 8,000 Jews lived in the country, but they were subject to a number of restrictions (exclusion from sea trade, prohibition of buying land and denied access to public offices). A Naturalization Act (jewish naturalization act) of the Whig -Premierministers Henry Pelham met fierce resistance from the Tory -Opposition and the public. In the course of these events there was a heated discussion about the Jewish question, which, however, cannot be interpreted as broad anti-Semitism. The interruption of Jewish life during the period of decisive economic developments is seen as one of the reasons for the relatively poorly developed anti-Semitism in the country.

In the British Kingdom, the emancipation of the Jews subsequently took place with almost no public debate. From 1850 Jews were only barred from entering Parliament (in 1858 they were given access to the House of Commons ), and until 1871 they could not become Fellows at Oxford and Cambridge.

The novelist and two-time British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli (1804–1881) was considered to be the first Jew in England to “enter society”. He represented extreme Jewish chauvinism against the racism of the nobility . As an “exceptional Jew”, he inspired a lot of anti-Semitic clichés by saying publicly, according to Hannah Arendt , “what the others only hoped and meant in secret or in private”, and was considered in society as a “ charlatan ”, “actor” and “ parvenu ”. Although Disraeli was completely ignorant of questions of Jewish culture and confirmed that as a baptized Jew he had been brought up “outside of Jewish society and with great prejudice against Jews”, he himself used the stereotypes about the Jewish world conspiracy for his career and believed himself to be that "Chosen man of a chosen race". In his biography "Lord George Bentinck", Disraeli demanded the legalization of the "influence [it] of the Jewish race on modern states". Hannah Arendt sums up in her treatise on Disraeli: “So it came about that Disraeli formed an idea of ​​the aspirations of the Jews to rule that - if one subtracts the changed omens - was not so dissimilar to the madness of the wise men of Zion . He had this in common with the anti-Semites: he could not imagine a people without any political will to rule a ruling caste without any will. … What impressed Disraeli (like anti-Semites) so immensely about the exceptional Jews was the togetherness based on money and blood without any external signs. "

During the Second Boer War from 1899 to 1902, anti-Semitism was widely expressed on the side of the liberal and left-wing war opposition. The war was rated as a “Jewish war” in the interests of “Jewish finance”. The central motive of the anti-Semitic prejudice was its connection with a Germanophobia . This ranged from the undifferentiated assumption of pro-German political sympathies and conspiracy theories to equating all Jews with Germans and the particularly negative portrayal of German Jews. An example of the latter is provided by Robert William Cole's (1869–1937) novel The Death Trap , published in 1907 , in which crude anti-Semitic stereotypes are used to characterize a German Jewish businessman, both internally and externally .

Solomon enjoys himself with two pretty christian girls - caricature by Thomas Rowlandson (1756–1827)

Only in the course of the heavy immigration of almost 200,000 Eastern Jews from Poland and Russia around 1900 did conflicts arise. The immigrants were clearly distinguishable by language, costume and customs and mostly arrived in England completely penniless. In 1903, for fear of cheap “wage pushers”, the miners from South Wales struck against their Polish colleagues and demanded that impoverished foreigners be banned from entering the country. This anti-alien bill was issued in 1905 against protests by the English Liberals. A later addition, however, excluded those persecuted for religious and political reasons, so that Jews expelled from Russia and Romania could still enter the country almost unhindered. They were integrated relatively smoothly.

During the First World War, small groups of anti-Semites emerged in Great Britain who, for nationalistic reasons, mainly rejected German Jews without having any major impact. George Bernard Shaw stated in 1925 that although there was anti-Jewish prejudice in his country, these were no different from prejudices against Scots, Irish, Welsh and all foreigners. Just as one mocks the greed of the Jews, one also mocks the greed of the Scots. There could be no question of anti-Semitism for England. Despite enormous immigration of Jews, social conflicts and simultaneous violent anti-Semitic propaganda on the continent, especially in Germany, Great Britain retained its liberalism and opened up all opportunities for social advancement to Jews.

One reason for this was the traditionally strong enlightened philosemitism , for example of poets like Matthew Arnold and the actress Mary Ann Evans , known under the pseudonym George Eliot . Her essay The Jews and Their Opponents , who passionately and intelligently pleaded for understanding and reconciliation with long-enslaved Judaism, met with great approval in 1880. Another reason was the theological interest of English Christians in Israel's role in salvation history. This led to the formation of an "Israel Movement" ( British Israel Movement ) in 1850 , which also influenced official church theologians of Anglicanism and Methodism .

But in 1930 a fascist movement arose in England as well , which organized itself into the British Union of Fascists . But it could not achieve decisive political power.


In 1775 Pope Pius VI. Issued an edict on the Jews , which collected all anti-Jewish laws of the Middle Ages and affirmed them for the Jews in the ghetto of the Papal States in Rome. In 1797, these Jewish laws were repealed during the military occupation of Rome by French troops. As a result, Vatican theologians increasingly replaced the earlier idea of ​​a papal duty of protection for the Jews with the assumption that Christians had to be protected from the alleged increasing and pernicious influence of the Jews and that they had to ward off Jewish emancipation .

In 1814 Pope Pius VII, captured by Napoleon, returned from exile in France to the Papal States. The conservative Catholic and later Cardinal Giuseppe Antonio Sala handed him a reform plan there, which provided for the abolition of the legal equality of the Italian Jews again, and justified this with the alleged striving for power of all Jews: They had exploited the secularization in Europe that was favorable to them in order to Protection of enlightenment ideas and with these “infected” rulers “throwing off their yoke” and “exercising their superstitions”. As "tireless producers of deceit and deception" they sought to restore their kingdom of Judah and rebuild their temple in order to deny Jesus' prophecy of the destruction of the temple, thus disempowering Christianity and appropriating ecclesiastical properties. The Pope must at least put a stop to this in his own domain.

Sala's article initially had no consequences. But in September 1825, Francesco Ferdinando Jalabot , later Master of the Dominican Order, in the Giornale ecclisiastico di Roma , founded in 1823, again demanded the ghettoization of Italian Jews and strict application of all previous Jewish laws in order to induce them to convert to Christianity. Only then can they be accepted into Christian society as citizens with equal rights. Their poor collective qualities would have caused constant unrest and crimes against Christians throughout history. Their suppression is a necessary consequence of the curse they have drawn from the murder of God. Otherwise, because of their depraved folk character, they would inevitably subjugate the Christians. Leo XII. , Pope from 1823 to 1829, did not contradict this pamphlet, but possibly commissioned it as a cardinal himself.

Since 1890, almost all Catholic newspapers in Italy, including the Vatican Osservatore Romano , propagated the alleged Jewish domination of culture and the world in a campaign-like manner. The Jesuit organization La Civiltà Cattolica began a series of articles on the “Jewish question” in 1890 and declared it to be the “question of survival” of the Christian world. As exploiters of Christians, the Jews are closely connected to one another; there is hardly any antidote to their “cunning and superiority”. Their expropriation and banishment are nonetheless wrong: moderate laws should slow down their inexorable rise and protect them from the "vengeance of the peoples".

In 1894 all the Catholic newspapers in Italy took a stand against the Jewish officer Alfred Dreyfus in the Dreyfus affair and interpreted his alleged high treason as a conspiracy theory: The emancipation had given the Jews power and influence everywhere, which they now exploited in all areas in league with Freemasons and early Socialists . It was only when a process revision became apparent in 1898 that the same papers interpreted the affair as an intra-French legal matter. Pope Leo XIII. 1899 called for an end to the affair.

Memorial for the Jews of Merano deported in 1943 at the former Balila House, Otto-Huber-Str., Merano

The Jewish communities in Italy were small. In August 1938 a Jewish census was carried out according to racist criteria, in which 58,412 Jews were registered. 46,656 of them were of the Mosaic faith. They lived mainly in the big cities of the north. More than half of them lived in Rome, Milan, Trieste and Turin. In southern Italy, Sicily and Sardinia, where the Spaniards ruled for a long time and had expelled almost all Jews, there were hardly any of them.

In the course of the Risorgimento , the emancipation of the Jews had also taken place since 1848; The liberal Kingdom of Italy saw itself as neutral in matters of faith despite the formal privileges of the Catholic Church. In return for the lifting of all discriminatory regulations, Jews were expected to integrate and assimilate in the long term.

But anti-Semitism was also to be found in Italy since the end of the 19th century. In the Catholic Church in Italy and the press associated with it, the Jews appeared not only as the murderers of Christ, but also as symbols of all developments of modernity that were perceived as threatening, such as liberalism, capitalism, freemasonry and socialism. In the Catholic Church in Italy (and in other countries) anti-modernism prevailed at that time . In 1921 the fascist Giovanni Preziosi (1881–1945), who became Inspector General for the Race in 1944 , published the first Italian translation of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion , an anti-Semitic pamphlet that was supposed to prove a world Jewish conspiracy. These prejudices were favored by the good social situation of the Jews, who were mainly merchants and employees, and their above-average level of education. In 1931 there was hardly any illiteracy among them , while the average rate in Italy was still over thirty percent.

In contrast to Germany, however, anti-Semitism found hardly any response in the liberal ruling class in Italy and was not as widespread in the rest of society either. Jews held important positions in the private sector, in the liberal professions, and even in politics. The Jew Luigi Luzzatti was Prime Minister of Italy from March 31, 1910 to March 2, 1911; another top politician, Sidney Sonnino , had a Jewish father.

Benito Mussolini found opponents among them since 1921, but also comrades ready to make sacrifices, e.g. B. Enrico Rocca , the founder of Roman fascism . Mussolini understood by “race” the nation united by the total state, so he did not differentiate between Jews and Italians. Politically, he sought dialogue with representatives of Zionist organizations in order to gain international recognition and to push back British influence in the Mediterranean region. He presented himself as a philosopher and mocked Hitler's racial theories. NSDAP ideologues such as Alfred Rosenberg referred to Mussolini at times as a “Jew servant”, who himself descended from Polish Jews.

Only after the Abyssinian War and the "Rome-Berlin Axis" in 1936 did Mussolini make concessions to National Socialism . A “ race manifesto ” of his PNF party spoke in 1938 of a “pure Italian race” that should be “Aryan origin”.

Corriere della Sera, November 11, 1938

In autumn 1938, the Italian race laws forbade people with one Jewish parent from marrying "Aryans", holding public office and employing "Aryan" employees. Other laws forbade them from possessing radios and from visiting libraries and schools with non-Jews.

This meant that no further persecution was intended: until 1943, Jewish Italians lived relatively safely in their homeland. It was only after Mussolini's fall from the Nazi regime that the puppet government under Mussolini had Jews interned in concentration camps and their property confiscated. The German occupiers (the Wehrmacht occupied Italy in September 1943 - Axis case ) prepared measures for the “ final solution to the Jewish question ” and drove the Jews of large Italian cities into ghettos in order to deport them from there to extermination camps. The majority of the Italian population rejected this, as Jews were not considered foreigners. Despite severe threats of punishment, some hid their Jewish neighbors and helped them to escape, especially after the Jewish ghetto in Rome was evacuated on October 17, 1943.


Spain had "solved" its "Jewish problem" as early as the end of the Middle Ages. According to the deportation edict of March 31, 1492, all Jews had to leave the country within three months if they were not baptized. The converted Jews ( marranos ) were still considered Jews and suspected of collaborating with their former fellow believers.

Jews and marranos were repeatedly victims of the Inquisition . In 1680, 86 Jews were burned at a car dairy in Madrid. With the proof of blood purity ( Limpieza de sangre ), a connection between anti-Semitism and racism ( Estatutos de limpieza de sangre , first laid down in Toledo 1449), up to a 16th Jewish share of inheritance, the integration of converts should be prevented.

"For the first time in European history, a figure of argument appeared here in which one referred to the racial-biological otherness that cannot be influenced by individual choice."

- Karin Priester : Racism

From the 16th century to the beginning of the 19th century, it was necessary to submit a pure family tree, similar to the Aryan certificate , in order to obtain a higher office . In 1796, the Minister of Finance Don Pedro Varela , who was hoping that Jewish immigration would stimulate the economy and consolidate the weak financial situation after the war against France, recommended that the ban on settlement be lifted. In 1802 Charles IV reaffirmed the ban on settlement, among other things at the urging of the clergy. From 1876 the Jews were tolerated in Spain. From a religious point of view, however, they continued to be discriminated against, as Article 11 of the constitution of 1876 prohibited all “religious rallies” except catholic ones. In 1909, Article 11 was repealed.

Despite the close attachment of the Franco regime to Germany and public statements such as:

"[...] the attitude of the Spanish government towards Bolshevism and communism would not change, and that this struggle would continue at home and abroad, as well as against Judaism and Freemasonry."

Franco differed from Hitler on the Jewish question . Spain is said to have saved around 50,000 European Jews who fled to Spain. In 1933 a large number of Jews came to Spain from Germany. In the period that followed, a “transit” of Jewish refugees was tolerated as long as it was inconspicuous.


Under pressure from Castile and the Inquisition, Jews had to be baptized under King Manuel I in 1496/97 or were expelled (together with Muslims). The new Christians , known as the Marranos , were also subject to various forms of discrimination, for example they were forbidden from public office and from marrying into noble families. The situation improved during the personal union of Portugal with Spain , and during the Restoration War and after the restoration of Portuguese independence in 1640, investment by Jewish businessmen was increased. From 1800 their number gradually increased.

In 1914 the anti-republic movement of Integralismo Lusitano was born . Its chief ideologist António Sardinha (1887–1925) published O Valor da Raça (“The Meaning of Race” ) in 1915 , in which he raised anti-Jewish accusations, the prevention of intermingling by the “medieval and Christian monarchy” and positively emphasized this “pollution “Faced in the wake of the Portuguese discoveries of the 16th century. In the works Portugal Cristão Novo ou Os Judeus na República and A Invasão dos Judeus by Mario Saa (1893–1971), published in 1921 and 1925, respectively , the Jews are accused of having "contaminated" Portuguese society with their blood and infiltrating all state institutions and in accordance with their supposed world conspiracy and annihilation plans operated the "decadence" of Christian and "Aryan" culture.

During the Salazar dictatorship , when Portugal took a neutral position in World War II, various Portuguese newspapers published satirical articles against the National Socialist racial ideology, which led to several protest notes from the German Reich. At the same time , Moisés Bensabat Amzalak (1892–1978), the honorary president of the Jewish aid organization Comissão Portuguesa da Assistencia aos Judeus Refugiados , maintained a close advisory relationship with Salazar.

Islamic world

Massacre of the Banu Quraiza in the year 627 by order of Saʿd ibn Muʿādh with the consent and supervision of Muhammad. Illustration by Muhammad Rafi Bazil , 19th century, British Library

In the Koran , the Jews are accused of having broken the covenant with Allah and the Muslims : "... and because they broke their obligation, we have cursed them" ( Sura 5 : 13; also 4:46; 4: 155;). In addition, the Jews are considered to be fraudulent, “... and (because they) took interest when it was forbidden to them, and fraudulently deprived people of their property. For the unbelievers of them we have prepared (in the hereafter) a painful punishment ”( Sura 4 : 161; Sura 2 : 100; Sura 9 : 34;). In Sura 9 : 29 is called to fight against these "infidels" until the jizyah paid (a special tax). Paid them, they were as dhimmi Although marginalized , but protected from persecution. Jews have traditionally been portrayed in classical Arabic literature as cowardly and insignificant, but not as a threat. A hatred of Jews that was widespread among the population, as in Europe, can not be ascertained in the Muslim world of the early modern period .

Nonetheless, there were several mass murders of Jews in Islamic regions for various reasons, such as 1033 in Fez (~ 6000 victims) and the massacre of Granada (~ 4000 victims). Local Jews were forcibly evicted in 1016 in Kairouan , 1145 in Tunis and 1232 in Marrakech . In 1790, Moulay Yazid ordered a pogrom against the Jews of Tetouan and other cities who had denied him loans. Whether these outbreaks of violence can be described as anti-Semitism is controversial. The Islamic scholar Michael Kiefer emphasizes that anti-Semitism has hardly any religious roots in Islam and only emerged there since contact with the western world . So it is an import from Europe that was later "Islamized". The authorities of the Ottoman Empire first learned about anti-Jewish ritual murder allegations through Greek Orthodox subjects. In the Damascus affair in 1840, they used this as a basis for anti-Semitic persecution. In Morocco, the Jewish-British philanthropist Moses Montefiore , who had already mediated the Damascus affair, successfully urged the sultan to affirm the protection of the Jews by decree in accordance with Islamic tradition. Nevertheless, in the following years up to 1880, 300 to 500 Jews fell victim to pogroms.

The revolution of the Young Turks in 1908 then favored a further spread of anti-Semitic suspicions, namely of conspiracy theories. The young Ottoman author Ebüzziya Tevfik denounced the reform course of the Committee for Unity and Progress , which he rejected as un-Islamic, as the work of Jewish conspirators. The Protocols of the Elders of Zion , a 1903 forgery designed to prove Jewish plans for world domination , were first translated into Arabic by Christians in 1921. The Palestinian conflict was another catalyst for the import of anti-Semitism: the more it intensified with Jewish immigration, the more inclined Christian and Muslim Arabs to adopt anti-Semitic stereotypes of Jews as dangerous conspirators.

Grand Mufti Amin al-Husseini in conversation with Adolf Hitler. Photo taken in November 1941

At the end of the 1920s, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem Mohammed Amin al-Husseini (1893–1974) initiated a relatively intensive collaboration between Islamist and nationalist circles. During the Second World War, he openly volunteered for National Socialist propaganda and made inflammatory speeches against Jews on the radio. As early as 1938, translations of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion were distributed at conferences of the Muslim Brotherhood .

In French Algeria , anti-Semitism had been widespread among the Christian settlers, the so-called pieds-noirs , since the Dreyfus Affair . In the parliamentary elections in 1898, pronounced anti-Semites won four out of six seats in the National Assembly, including Edouard Drumont. As a result, there were repeated anti-Semitic riots in which the settlers demanded the withdrawal of the Décret Crémieux , which gave the Jews of Algeria legal equality. A participation of Muslims can only be proven in connection with the Palestine conflict and the National Socialist seizure of power in Germany, as a result of which anti-Semitic propaganda spread to North Africa. In 1934 Muslims killed 25 Jewish men, women and children in Constantine, Algeria . 26 Jews were injured and 200 Jewish shops and houses destroyed. The damage to Jewish houses, shops and synagogues is estimated at 150 million francs. 3000 Jews - a quarter of the city's population - were destitute afterwards. There were also anti-Semitic riots within a radius of 100 kilometers around the city. Jews were also murdered in Hamma, Mila and Ain Beida.


In the summer of 1934, the Jewish population in Eastern Thrace fell victim to collective violence, after which they were expelled. Local authorities ordered the Jews to conduct business and vacate their homes within a few days, which they did. Many left their property behind or had to sell them to local Turks at bargain prices; some were able to take their movable possessions with them. The number of displaced people was estimated at up to 10,000 people; official Turkish data claimed 3,000 displaced persons.


In the Netherlands Jews received full civil rights as early as 1796 and were then able to develop and integrate freely. They rose z. B. early on in high state offices, were judges, university professors, etc.

From 1924 a right-wing authoritarian movement with partially fascist positions emerged here, the Nationale Unie . In 1931, Cornelis van Geelkerken (1901–1979) and Anton Mussert (1894–1946) founded the Nationaal-Socialistische Bewegungsing (NSB ) in Utrecht , which based its leadership principle on Mussolini and, like the latter, did not represent any pronounced anti-Semitism. People of color and Jews were initially able to become members there. Their goal of a "Greater Dutch" empire was supported by around eight percent of the Dutch until 1936. Within the party, however, a ethnic faction with strong sympathy for Hitler and anti-Semitism grew. Out of consideration for them, party leader Mussert announced in 1937 the complete adoption of the National Socialist racial ideology; from 1938 the NSB excluded Jewish members. High party functionaries welcomed Austria's annexation to the “Greater German Reich” and maintained close contacts with the Nazi regime .

This pro-German attitude was followed by election losses and party withdrawals. After the beginning of the war, Mussert tried to oblige the NSB to be "neutral". Nevertheless, the Dutch authorities arrested 10,000 NSB members as alleged collaborators during the German invasion on May 10, 1940 . After Queen Wilhelmina's flight into exile, Mussert declared his party to be the only representation of the Dutch vis-à-vis the Germans and declared Hitler that he wanted to incorporate his country - expanded to include Belgium and Wallonia into a 'Greater Netherlands' - in the "Bund Germanic Peoples".

Despite other objectives, Hitler left him in power. On December 12, 1941, Mussert swore a “ Führer oath ” to Hitler; two days later the NSB was declared the only authorized party in the Netherlands. From 1942 onwards, the formally ruling NSB leadership permitted the deportation of 102,000 Dutch Jews - along with 400,000 Dutch forced laborers for the German war economy - without protest. Up to 40,000 Dutch served in Dutch sub-groups of the Waffen SS under German leadership and helped put down the resistance and extradited Jews. For this, Mussert was sentenced to death as a traitor in The Hague on December 12, 1945 and shot on May 7, 1946.


Following Dutch research, in 2002 the Belgian Senate commissioned a research group led by the historian Rudi van Doorslaer to investigate the behavior of the Belgians during the German occupation from May 10, 1940 to the end of 1944. On February 13, 2007, Doorselaer reported to the Senate of their results, which were published in the two-volume book La Belgique docile (“The obedient Belgium”).

According to this, since 1930 there was a racist policy in the democratically constituted Kingdom of Belgium in order to suppress the “harmful influence” of the Jews. Therefore, immediately after the Wehrmacht marched in , the Belgian authorities arrested 16,000 Belgian Jews and held them in camps. By 1944 around 25,000 Belgian Jews had been extradited to the occupiers and deported to Auschwitz; only 1200 of them survived.


In Denmark in 1819 there were anti-Jewish riots in Copenhagen and other cities against Jewish shops, homes and people for five months. These immediately followed the German Hep-Hep riots. In 1849 the Jews received civil equality and were integrated without any disturbance.

In Sweden special anti-Jewish laws were dismantled more slowly: In 1870, however, the Jews were only denied the Reichsrat and ministerial offices.

In Norway , Jews were banned from immigration until 1851. However, anti-Semitic racial hatred was not evident in any of the three states.

Sweden did not allow Jewish settlement in Finland until 1809 and later Russia . In 1880 a ten-year debate about the emancipation of the Jews began , in which part of the press campaigned for the introduction of reforms in favor of the Jews, which reactionary voices and clergy rejected. Until 1919, Finnish Jews were subject to a number of occupational and residence restrictions; on July 17, 1919 a new constitution came into force.

In 1942, the then Finnish government under Johan Wilhelm Rangell rejected Heinrich Himmler's request to extradite Jews living in Finland for deportation.

Although only a handful of Jews ever lived in Iceland , there was a surprisingly high level of anti-Semitism. In 1853, the Icelandic parliament refused a request from the Danish king for free settlement rights and religious practice. During the Second World War, the country not only refused visas to Jews, but also expelled them to Germany.

It was only under the influence of the Berlin anti-Semitism dispute that there were unexpected anti-Jewish reactions against the emancipation of the Jews in Scandinavia: for example, the Norwegian theologian JC Heuch polemicized in 1879 against the Jewish literary historian Georg Brandes , who, based on Gotthold Ephraim Lessing, advocated a humanistic belief in progress. Heuch saw “reform Judaism without faith” as a dangerous enemy of Christianity, which was working towards its extermination.

Similarly, the Copenhagen pastor Fredrik Nielsen warned in 1880 against “modern Judaism”, which was anti-Christianity inspired by Lessing, Moses Mendelssohn and Abraham Geiger . However, both had hardly any lasting effect on the intellectual life of their countries.


In the years around 1848 the Jews of Congress Poland had once again shown themselves to be “ardent patriots” and fought for Poland's independence , from which they also hoped for equality. In 1862, after joint uprisings against Russian rule, there was fraternization of Christians and Jews in Warsaw , who buried their dead together. Count Aleksander Wielopolski then improved their legal situation: They were allowed to purchase real estate, were admitted to court as witnesses and no longer had to pay special taxes.

But after the failure of the Polish uprising in 1864, the Jews of Poland were deprived of their perspective of emancipation, while the prosperity gap persisted. Now a rejection of the Jews gradually gained ground, since they allegedly refused to assimilate and were accused of isolation due to their religion.

The Polish bourgeoisie reacted largely indignantly to the Russian pogroms of 1881 and ruled out similar acts of violence against Poland. But on December 25th of that year the Jewish quarter in Warsaw was plundered for days after 28 people died in a mass panic in a Catholic church and a rumor blamed Jews for it. Now the Warsaw Pravda wrote :

"The Polish people hate the Jews for religious and racial reasons."

This hatred increasingly hit Jews, who at the time fled Russia without knowledge of Polish culture and intensified economic competition with the likewise oppressed Poles. This also triggered frequent worries about “ foreign infiltration ” among liberal intellectuals .

In 1878 the journalist Jan Jeleński (1845–1909) published the first anti-Semitic publication in Poland, Żydzi, Niemcy i my (“Jews, Germans and We”). In 1887 the Liga Narodowa (National League) was founded in exile in Switzerland as a secret society against Russian rule. This resulted in the Narodowa Demokracja (National Democracy) party in 1897 . She soon sought to achieve social and economic progress through compromises with the Russians at the expense of the Polish Jews and Germans. Its leading ideologist, Roman Dmowski , wrote in 1903:

“A national organism may only soak up what it can adopt and convert into an increase in the growth and strength of the entire body. The Jews are not such an element ... the absorption of a larger quantity of this element [would] spoil us [...], replace with elements of decay those young creative germ cells [...] on which we build our future. "

National intolerance is the result of tolerating the Jews, as they are incapable of integration. These motives of ethnic anti-Semitism now spread in Poland as they did in Germany 20 years earlier.

Polish edition of the Protocol of the Elders of Zion

Among the Polish peasants, old religious motives for new hatred of Jews were effective alongside national ones. In Poznan and Galicia, in particular , it was mostly the Catholic clergy, the village priests, who incited them against the Jews. After the first waves of strikes and the Russian Revolution in 1905, they were denounced as secret masterminds of the social revolutionary coup. 1911 wrote z. B. Lviv Gazeta Niedzielna :

“You shouldn't experience that, gentlemen Jews. There is only one thing we will make easier for you, [...] that you leave our country as quickly as possible. If you want to stay with us, accept our faith and become a Pole ... "

In rural areas, for example, Catholicism and nationalism largely formed an anti-Judaist, anti-democratic and anti-socialist unit.

On the Jewish side, this strengthened ties to their own tradition and religion, and turned to Zionism and proletarian socialism. Many Jews refused an independent Poland until 1914 because this nation-state only promised them greater pressure to assimilate. When Poland became independent in 1918, this changed quickly: the Zionists formed a “National Council”, which ran as a party for the Sejm (the Polish parliament) and there demanded equal rights for all Jews in Poland - around two million. This was realized in 1930.

But since the Polish-Soviet war in 1920, open anti-Semitism grew in Poland. Poland's bishops published a call for help to Catholics around the world , in which they equated Judaism with Bolshevism :

“The real goal of Bolshevism is world conquest. The race, which has the leadership of Bolshevism in its hands, has conquered the world in the past by means of gold and banks, and now, driven by the perpetual imperialist greed that pounds in its veins, it is already aiming for the ultimate Submission of the nations to the yoke of their rule ... Bolshevism is in truth the embodiment and incarnation of the Antichrist on earth. "

The anti-Semitic priest and parliamentarian Kazimierz Lutosławski denounced the Jews as tools of Russification and Germanization and charged them with the demoralization of the people, their labor, the de-Christianization of culture, in short: the “poisoning of the people's soul” of Poland.

Against the background of these widespread anti-Semitic stereotypes, which the Catholic clergy and the national conservative parties supported and propagated, Jews were hardly defended by Poles during the German occupation . B. 1941 in Jedwabne murdered by the villagers. In the autumn of 1946 pogroms against Jews who had survived the Holocaust broke out again in Kielce and other Polish places.


The Jews residing in Lithuania were economically very successful from the middle of the 15th century, which first led to significant tensions in 1485. Lithuania was one of the centers of Jewish culture in Eastern Europe with its own schools, a large library and numerous Torah schools . Towards the end of the 17th century, an ever larger part of the population turned against the economic supremacy of the Jews, which in 1764 led to the end of the approximately two hundred years of Jewish self-government.

In the first years after Lithuania's independence in 1918, Jews still enjoyed considerable privileges (their own school system, the right to free use of their own language, recognition of the Sabbath (Sabbath observation), a ministry for Jewish affairs and the equality of rabbis with other clergymen). In 1924, after the Nationalist Party had gained strength, the Jewish municipal administration was placed under state supervision, the Ministry for Jewish Affairs was dissolved and Jewish autonomy for internal affairs was largely restricted. The situation of the Jews deteriorated further under the authoritarian-nationalist government of Antanas Smetonas .

After the Soviet occupation in 1939, Jewish organizations were dissolved and property was confiscated. Of the 35,000 people deported to Siberia , 7,000 were Jews. With the German invasion in June 1941, the anti-Semitism of the Lithuanian population developed to its full extent. At the very beginning of the German offensive, several thousands of Jews had been killed in pogroms . The general report of Einsatzgruppe A up to October 15, 1941 ( Stahlecker report ) states: “It had to be the task of the security police to set the self-cleaning efforts in motion and to steer them in the right direction [...] without any instructions from German authorities being recognizable . In Lithuania this was achieved for the first time in Kauen through the use of the partisans. [...] During the first pogrom on the night of June 25th to 26th Over 1500 Jews were eliminated by the Lithuanian partisans, several synagogues were set on fire or otherwise destroyed, and a Jewish residential area with around 60 houses was burned down. In the following nights 2300 Jews were rendered harmless in the same way. In other parts of Lithuania similar actions took place after the example given in Kauen, albeit on a smaller scale

By autumn 1941, around 80,000 dead can be assumed. According to the Jäger report , 134,000 people had been murdered by the end of the year, more than half of them Jewish women and children. While over 200,000 Jews lived in Lithuania before the Holocaust, there are only 5500 today.


While the Jewish population in the provinces of Courland and Zemgale were largely able to maintain their independence even after the incorporation into the Russian Empire in 1795, the Jews in the province of Livonia were forbidden to trade or to collect taxes and duties. In 1785, under Russian sovereignty, the first Jewish community was founded in Livonia. From 1822 the Jews were allowed to live in Riga and to do business and commerce.

During the German occupation, extermination actions against Jews took place by the German occupying power, which led to the almost complete annihilation of the Jewish population of Latvia .


The first Jewish community arose in Tallinn (first synagogue in 1883). Although there were anti-Semitic currents between the world wars, one cannot speak of any significant public anti-Semitism. Estonia had around 4,500 Jewish residents in 1941, about half of whom were able to flee to the Soviet Union . Those who were still in the country when the German troops arrived were immediately arrested and murdered or interned.

Russia, Ukraine, Soviet Union

In the beginning there were hardly any Jewish communities in the Russian Empire . Nevertheless, in addition to anti-Catholic polemics, the Orthodox state church adopted the traditional anti-Judaism of patristicism , for example from John Chrysostom . The icon painting also contained anti-Jewish motifs. In the course of the Russian expansion to the west, the Jews of Poland were often regarded as friends of the Catholics and were cruelly persecuted, for example by Ivan IV in Polatsk in 1563 .

The Khmelnyzkyi uprising of 1648 under the leadership of the Ukrainian Cossack hetman Bohdan Khmelnyzkyj was directed against the rule of the Polish nobility in the Ukrainian areas of Poland-Lithuania , but a large number of its victims were Jews, who were often in a precarious intermediary position between Polish magnates and Ukrainians Peasants stood. Jewish victims are estimated at between 10,000 and 200,000. While the uprising is considered an act of national heroism in Ukrainian historiography, Jewish historiography sees it as the first forerunner of the great modern murders of the Jews.

As a result of the Turkish wars and three partitions of Poland in the 18th century, numerous Jewish communities in the conquered areas came under Russian rule. In 1790 , after an initial tolerance , Catherine II banned Jews from the trade and imposed double taxes on them in order to protect Moscow merchants from unpleasant competition. Nonetheless, the serf peasants often had to go into debt with the Jewish petty bourgeoisie in order to compensate for the high requirements of their landlords. On this basis there were riots against the Jews of the region in Odessa as early as 1825, then again in 1841 and 1871 . The widespread contempt for Jews in the country is also reflected in the literature of the time, for example in Turgenev's Notes of a Hunter (1852).

Tsar Nicholas I (1796–1855, 1825–1855 Emperor of Russia and 1825–1830 last crowned King of Poland) pursued a tough anti-Jewish policy: in 1835, he limited the main residence of Jews in the Russian Empire to the so-called Pale of Settlement ( Tscherta osedlosti ), this comprised 15 governorates of the core empire and ten more in the kingdom of Poland . The Orthodox state church welcomed this ghettoization as an opportunity for a more concentrated mission to the Jews ; the conservative Russian nobility and the upper class saw it as a welcome defense against the parliamentary “virus” from Western Europe.

The " peasant liberation " of Alexander II (Emperor from 1855 to 1881) that took place in 1861 allowed formerly serf peasants to acquire land, which was more of a benefit to the educated and well-to-do - including a relatively large number of Jews. This only increased the envy and hatred of Jews among the common people. Dostoevsky also expressed their prejudices in his influential diary of a writer in 1877:

"Then the liberator came and freed the autochthonous people - and what now: Who was the first to throw himself on it as a victim, who preferred to use his vices, who turned it around with his everlasting golden trade, who immediately replaced where he could and came in handy, the abolished landlords? With the difference that the landlords, even if they had exploited the people heavily, nevertheless endeavored not to ruin their peasants, for my own sake, so as not to exhaust their labor; but the Hebrew does not care about the exhaustion of the Russian strength, he took what was his and went ... "

It was not until Alexander II that some wealthy Russian Jews were allowed to live outside the ghettos and send their children to higher schools. His assassination on March 1, 1881 triggered a wave of pogroms: State-launched rumors weighed on the murder and the poor supply situation of the Jewish minority, in order to open an outlet for the dissatisfied to prevent a land reform promised by the tsar from failing. In the following months, unemployed impoverished peasants who invoked an alleged Tsarist order, devastated and plundered over 100 Jewish communities, mainly in Ukraine. The authorities remained inactive and the Christian urban population tolerated the attacks. Only a few Orthodox clerics tried to dissuade the peasants from the excesses.

Tsar Alexander III (reigned 1881-1894) then ordered on 3 May 1882, the so-called May Laws that prevented the Jews of free choice of occupation and freedom of trade and plunged many into even greater poverty. The percentage of Jewish high school students was limited to 10%. They triggered the first aliyah (wave of immigration) of Jews to Palestine . During this time, some intellectuals began to protest against the anti-Jewish state measures, including Odessa's Archbishop Nikanor . The "Russian Lessing", the religious philosopher Vladimir Sergejewitsch Solowjow , campaigned for lasting mutual respect for Jews and Christians in addition to the reunification of the Orthodox and Catholic Church ( Judaism and the Christian Question, 1884). It met with the unreserved approval of Leo Tolstoy .

The anti - Jewish agitation was rampant in the priesthood in particular . A lack of education and the traditional connection between state despotism and the church contributed to this. The ritual murder charge found prominent advocates and popularity in Russia in the 19th century. From 1881 on, Judaism was equated with revolutionary activities, which seemed plausible because of the formation of a Jewish socialist party and the relatively high proportion of Jews in Russian social democracy. The counter-revolutionaries united in groups such as the Federation of the Russian People or the Archangel Michael Bund , which were popular among Orthodox priests. These circles produced and published the inflammatory pamphlet Protocols of the Elders of Zion , through which anti-Semitic ideas are spread around the world to this day.

Victim of a pogrom in Yekaterinoslav (now Dnipro ) in 1905

The second major wave of pogroms was probably organized by such groups. It began on Easter 1903 in Kishinev and quickly spread to Gomel and then hundreds of other places. The military did not intervene as required by law, and the government presented the pogroms as allegedly "spontaneous acts of revenge" by the Christian population on Jewish revolutionaries. This was repeated during the Russian Revolution in 1905 .

In 1903 the Protocols of the Elders of Zion appeared for the first time as pamphlets in Russian to incite the population to pogroms against Jews. In 1905, Sergej A. Nilus published them as an appendix to his books; the text came from the tsarist secret service Ochrana and summarized its anti-Semitic motives. Following older Russian and French forerunners and models, the pamphlet established a connection between socialism or Bolshevism , capitalism , Freemasonry and Zionism . It led modern revolutions , wars and other negatively interpreted events back to an alleged secret elite of Judaism , which strives for an alleged Jewish world domination to the detriment of all other peoples. It also established the idea of Jewish Bolshevism . The German translation and publication of 1920 created the prerequisites for this conspiracy theory to function as a “deadly instrument of mobilization and manipulation” in the Weimar Republic and especially under National Socialism .

The February Revolution under Alexander Fyodorowitsch Kerensky brought all minorities, including the Jews, legal equality in 1917. 140 anti-Jewish laws were repealed. But in the Russian civil war after the October Revolution, the worst waves of pogroms so far occurred in the areas occupied by the “white” counter-revolutionaries. Around 60,000 Jews died, especially in Ukraine. (see Russian Civil War # war victims )

Thereafter, Christians and Jews were exposed to the same anti-religious state propaganda and oppression. The previous equation of Judaism and communism in the Orthodox clergy ensured that the CPSU did not give preference to the synagogues and punished its teachers, like those of the Church, with forced labor or in show trials with death for continued religious instruction . In the first decade after the revolution, the state's anti-Jewish actions were mainly limited to activities against and the practice of religion. There were e.g. B. Campaigns against the Sabbath, against other Jewish holidays or against the baking of unleavened bread ( matzo ). All Jewish schools, Hedarim and Yeshivoth, were closed, religious publications were no longer allowed to appear, and there were some high-profile lawsuits against both secular and religious Jewish institutions and their sponsors. The arrest, condemnation and murder of clerics and the closing of synagogues on a large scale then began in 1928. The blurring of the lines between anti-Semitism, anti-Zionism and the suppression of religious forms of life did not begin until the mid-1930s.

Stalin activated orthodox anti-Judaism since 1936 against all divergent opinions and groups in the CPSU, especially against alleged or actual Trotskyists . It is true that since 1941 he relaxed some of the anti-religious laws in order to mobilize traditional Christian Russian patriotism against the attack on Hitlerite Germany and its allies . The Jewish communities were exempt from this, although their members were no less willing to defend their homeland. Russian Jews were often reported to the Soviet authorities or denounced and handed over to the occupiers . The Red Army undertook initially nothing against the ghettoization of Polish Jews.

Archive material published around 2005 a. a. of the Central Committee of the CPSU dates state-organized anti-Semitism to 1938 (Kostyrtschenko 2005). At that time, leading party organs asked about the alleged “ contamination ” of the cadres (employees) in the People's Commissariat for Health: Half of the surnames on this list were “Jewish” (see also “ Purge ”). From 1942 to 1944, anti-Semitic documents within the party increased. In the war years, Stalin allowed the effects of this latent anti-Semitism in the state apparatus to be slowed down for domestic and foreign policy reasons.


The situation of the Jews improved with the reforms of the Austrian Emperor Joseph II , which were shaped by the ideas of enlightened absolutism and the Jewish Enlightenment ( Haskala ) . The tolerance patent for Bohemian Judaism of 1781 allowed them all forms of handicrafts and trade.

With the opposition between Czechs and Germans that accompanied the national movements of the 19th century, the Jews had to choose to belong to one of these cultures. Integration efforts on the part of the Czechs led to an increased "Germanization" of the Czech Jews. B. In 1890 74% of Prague's Jews said German as their colloquial language.

In Bohemia and Moravia , full equality for Jews was guaranteed by law from 1867. Nevertheless, the Jews were associated with "Germanness" and capitalist exploitation. After the failed attempt by the Viennese government to make both German and Czech the official language, there was a storm on German institutions throughout the country and subsequent anti-Semitic riots. The so-called Hilsner affair caused a sensation in 1899 when a murdered girl was found in northern Bohemia. The suspicion fell on the Jewish journeyman cobbler Leopold Hilsner, who was accused of having murdered the girl for ritual reasons in order to use her blood at the Passover festival . Hilsner was sentenced to death (later commuted to life imprisonment).

Under the first President of the Czechoslovak Republic Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk and his successor Edvard Beneš , anti-Semitism was not officially accepted, and Jews were considered to have full equality. This ended with the invasion of German troops in March 1939 (" smashing the rest of the Czech Republic "). Of the 118,310 Jews from the Czech lands, 78,000 fell victim to the Holocaust; 26,100 emigrated.


Poster by Miltiades Manno (1919)

In Hungary , a sentiment which developed purebred culture saw endangered by Jews of Hungary. Because of the participation of Jews in the revolution of 1918/19, the term "Judeobolshevik" was spread among the population. After the collapse of the monarchy, liberal, more tolerant nationalism gave way to a more radical and authoritarian conservatism consisting of anti-Semitism, nationalism, revanchism and aggressive Christianity. An example of this trend is the Christian social and anti-modernist bishop of Székesfehérvár Ottokár Prohászka (1858–1927) , who is still prominent today .


Deportation of Jewish women, supervised by a Romanian soldier, July 17, 1941

When the constitution of the Kingdom of Romania , proclaimed in 1861 , was drafted in 1866, consideration was given to whether the Jews might not be an obstacle to the country's independence, prosperity and culture. Article 7 (“Only foreigners of Christian faith can become Romanian citizens”) excluded these Jews as citizens. When the Berlin Congress in 1878 demanded equality for Jews from Romania in Articles 43 and 44 of its final document, the MP Vasile Conta responded on September 5, 1879: "If we do not fight the Jewish element, we will die as a nation". The writer Ioan Slavici even suggested pogroms to solve the problem: "If we strangle them, we throw them into the Danube so that not the smallest remainder of them remains". The government passed more than 200 Jewish laws , several of which later served as a model for the National Socialist regime in Germany. From 1900 to 1906 over 70,000 Jews emigrated to America. This strong emigration aroused the world’s public opinion and prompted the American government to dispatch the so-called Hay Note in 1902, which warned the European powers that Romania had disregarded the Berlin Treaty.

The next flare-up of anti-Semitism occurred shortly after World War I. In 1923, Corneliu Zelea Codreanu founded the nationalist, anti-Semitic Legion of Archangel Michael (Legiunea Arhanghelul Mihail), which was called the Iron Guard from 1931 on, following the example of Italian fascism . Alexandru C. Cuza in Iași demanded in 1926 and again in 1935 in the name of a Liga apararei nationale crestine (League of the Völkisch-Christian Defense) the elimination (removal) of all Jews whose equality had only been enforced externally by the Paris suburb agreements in 1920. These “parasites” should be settled somewhere as farmers, but not on cultivated soil and certainly not in Palestine , which belongs to the Muslims and Christians. There are far too many Jews at Romanian universities; B. on his own in Jassy.

Even after Codreanu's death in 1937, the “Iron Guard” remained active, and anti-Semitism was also promoted in the press. In 1940, under pressure from the National Socialists, a coalition government of General Ion Antonescu and Codreanu's successor Horia Sima , who was extremely anti-Semitic, entered into a close alliance with Germany. Under this military dictatorship, the Romanian Jews were persecuted particularly brutally, with estimates of the number of murdered fluctuating between 300,000 and 400,000.


In 1878, in contrast to Romania, where until after the First World War they were mostly stateless and exposed to the arbitrariness of the authorities, all Jews were naturalized. After 1878 there were isolated anti-Semitic attacks for the first time. In the years during the First World War and under the regime of Aleksandar Zankow after his coup in 1923, anti-Semitic ideologies and activities grew stronger.

An anti-Semitic law for the protection of the nation , promulgated by the Bulgarian government in October 1940 and passed in January 1941, led to massive protests from the population, from well-known intellectuals and from the Bulgarian Orthodox Church . Due to the rejection of National Socialist anti-Semitism in large parts of Bulgarian society and further protests, it was also possible to prevent the deportation of around 50,000 Jews from the areas that belonged to Bulgaria before 1940. Over 12,000 Jews from the Bulgarian-occupied areas in Greece and Yugoslavia were deported to German extermination camps and murdered there.


Poster for an anti-Jewish exhibition in Zagreb (1942)

The anti-Semitism of the Balkan region has to be considered in terms of the long domination by the multinational, but nevertheless essentially Catholic, Austro-Hungarian monarchy and the Ottoman Empire , their national liberation movements, the short periods of national independence and the subsequent occupation by Germany during the Second World War become. In general it can be stated that the living conditions of the Jews in the Balkans improved after the reforms of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy from the 1870s. Anti-Semitism in Croatia was within the usual pan-European framework. However, the prevailing Catholicism and the Enlightenment, which was delayed in relation to the European core states , enabled anti-Judaism, which was influenced by the motive of the murder of God , to last longer.

As in the Czech Republic, in the course of the national endeavors of the 19th century, the Jews were identified with the “other nation” which was perceived as “foreign”. The “Croatian Jews”, who often did not fully master the Croatian language and instead spoke Hungarian, were considered foreigners and were seen in connection with the “Magyarization efforts” of Austro-Hungarian rule. Around the turn of the century, magazines such as Hrvatsko kolo appeared in Zagreb , which formulated the now strengthened anti-Jewish tendencies. When national independence was achieved in the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes , which was proclaimed in 1918, these phenomena did not weaken but intensified. Due to the economic damage caused by the war, the discontent of the people resulted in pogrom-like riots against Jews and their property in the form of the looting and destruction of their shops and houses.

Jews who had only recently lived in the territory of the new state and therefore did not have the right to Yugoslav citizenship were expelled. Further discriminatory measures were the exclusion from the elections to the constituent assembly as well as the denial of the access of Jews to diplomatic professions. Despite the discrimination mentioned, the extent of anti-Semitism in Croatia can be classified as rather low compared to other Eastern European countries such as Poland or Russia. It cannot be assumed that anti-Semitism is consistently state-controlled or demanded by party programs. In 1941 the country became a German vassal state , the Independent State of Croatia under the fascist dictatorship of the Ustasha movement, Ante Pavelić , which adopted the Nuremberg Laws and systematically persecuted Serbs, Jews and Roma , and murdered them mainly in concentration camps.


In 1941, with the defeat of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia , Serbia was occupied by the Germans and also became a vassal state ( Serbia in World War II ) under the fascist dictatorship of the ZBOR movement under the leadership of Milan Nedić , which adopted the Nuremberg Laws . Jews and Roma were systematically persecuted and murdered. An anti-Freemason exhibition was held in Belgrade in 1941 and 1942 as part of the propaganda campaign of the Serbian Nazi Collaborative Government and funded by the Belgrade City Council . In June 1942, Belgrade was the first city in Europe to be declared “Jewish clean” (“očišćen od Jevreja”). Four fifths of Serbian Jews lost their lives during this time.

United States

German edition of the work
Der Internationale Jude published by Henry Ford . A World Problem (1922)

For the Puritans as Calvinists, the Old Testament was more at the center of their religion. The longing for free religious practice was a main motive for their emigration to the then British colonies. The religious tolerance enshrined in the Bill of Rights 1776 made the USA the target of many oppressed and religiously persecuted groups in Europe, including the Jews.

By 1850, only about 60,000 Jews lived in the United States. Since the Russian pogroms of 1881 there have been 6,000 Russian Jews annually. By 1910 the number of American Jews rose to a total of two million. By 1930 there were over four million Jews in the United States. This enormous influx led to regional tensions, which in 1921 led to a legal limitation of Jewish immigration, especially from south-eastern Europe, through a quota system.

Since 1879, German and French anti-Semitic writings appeared in the US public. The German teacher and anti-Semite Hermann Ahlwardt tried since 1896 to found an anti-Semitic party based on the German model in the USA, but failed.

The free churches in the USA had a traditional interest in the mission of the Jews . Around 1900 this was maintained by over 30 denominations and associations. But already in 1890 there was a national conference of Jews and Christians who wanted to get to know each other better, listened to lectures and prayed together. The final declaration proclaimed that any unjust treatment of Jews and their exclusion for social benefit are "un-American" and "unchristian".

It was only in the wake of the First World War that an anti-Semitic trend emerged in the USA. Since 1920, Henry Ford's campaign was primarily responsible for this. However, sustained protests immediately arose from many quarters, including the Association of Churches of Christ in America, against his public charges in the Dearborn Independent newspaper . In large advertisements published u. a. 119 respected citizens express their disgust at Ford's anti-Semitic slogans:

“Anti-Semitism is almost invariably linked to lawlessness, brutality and injustice. It is also inevitably intertwined with other dark forces, especially those that are corrupt, reactionary and oppressed. We believe that the fight against this plague should not be left to the men and women of the Jewish faith ... "

In 1927 Ford revoked its anti-Semitic declaration in the face of widespread domestic political resistance and broke off the campaign.

A certain aftereffect was evident at some universities: For example, Yale University introduced a discriminatory admission system in 1925 that preferred the children of non-Jewish graduates in order to limit the proportion of Jewish students.

In the 1930s, radio broadcasts by the anti-Semitic Catholic priest Charles Coughlin were very popular. The aviation pioneer Charles Lindbergh , who enjoyed considerable respect in the American public, also represented anti-Semitic views. He visited Nazi Germany in 1936 and 1938, where he was received by Hermann Göring with great pomp and a lot of propaganda fuss. According to a 1939 poll, 53 percent of U.S. citizens believed that Jews were different and should be subject to restrictions. 10 percent thought deportations were appropriate. Various studies between 1940 and 1946 found that they were viewed as a greater threat to the good of the United States than any other nationally, religiously, or racially defined group.

In the southern states, the rejection of "Jewish Yankees " of " Wall Street " - that is, the urban high finance of the northern states - is in part rooted to this day.

Japan and china

After Japan a few Jews had since 1854 emigrated, which hardly differed from other Western immigrants and were not perceived differently. Anti-Semitism was unknown to the Japanese until Western educational literature - especially the New Testament and William Shakespeare - were translated into Japanese. After Lenin's October Revolution in 1917, the “white” Russian troops allied with the Japanese against the Bolsheviks first published anti-Semitic propaganda in Japan that the revolution was a conspiracy by Jews. In 1919 the Protocols of the Elders of Zion were translated into Japanese.

The political rapprochement between Japan, which was also shaken by the Great Depression, began in 1930. This was accompanied by the importation of National Socialist propaganda, including Hitler's Mein Kampf .

In response to European anti-Semitism and to get the US to invest in Japan, the Japanese government began to consider recruiting tens of thousands of Jewish refugees from Europe and settling in Manchuria with the Fugu Plan since 1930 . It was believed that Jews could increase Japan's prosperity and improve its international trade, especially with the United States, which was believed to be under the control of American Jews. So the plan was not friendly to Jews, but motivated by the belief in Jewish world domination that was adopted from Europe .

In 1938, after the annexation of Austria, the plan took shape; but after the pact between Japan and Germany and Italy in 1941 it was not implemented. The government fueled greater Japanese nationalism without persecuting the Jews living in Japan. Only because of a German intervention were Jews from Kobe and other cities in Japan deported to the Hongkou district of Shanghai, which was occupied by the Japanese, and a Jewish ghetto was established in Shanghai .


In Brazil , the race theories from Germany and France were also well received by intellectuals. The Brazilian dictator Getúlio Vargas had forbidden entry visas to persecuted Jews from 1936 onwards, and numerous Jews were extradited to Nazi Germany . In no country outside Germany did the NSDAP have more members.

Additional information

See also


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time of the nationalsocialism
Other countries

Web links


Biographies and works of anti-Semites

Overview / bibliographies

Early anti-Semitism

Empire and Weimar Republic

Nazi era

Country situations

Single receipts

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  11. Ludwig Rosenthal : Heinrich Heine as a Jew. Ullstein, Berlin 1973, p. 219.
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  13. according to the diary report by Johann Friedrich Abegg , quoted from Rudolf Malter (ed.): Immanuel Kant in speech and conversation . Felix Meiner, Hamburg 1990, p. 457
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  21. Micha Brumlik: German spirit and hatred of Jews. The relationship between philosophical idealism and Judaism , Luchterhand Literaturverlag, Munich 2000, p. 125.
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  26. Quoted from Reinhold Steig: Heinrich von Kleist's Berliner Fights. Peter Lang, Frankfurt am Main 1971, pp. 612–623.
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  117. Christine Schindler: Austrofaschismus: Politik, Ökonomie, Kultur, 1933–1938 , 2005 (paperback 2012, ISBN 978-3-8258-7712-5 ), p. 29.
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  119. Michael Brenner, Stefi Jersch-Wenzel, Michael A. Meyer: German-Jewish History in the Modern Age, Vol. 2, Emancipation and Acculturation 1780–1871 . CH Beck, Munich 1996, ISBN 3-406-39703-4 , pp. 308 f., 321.
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  121. Process documents in the reference article "Protocols ..." under web links.
  122. a b Hagalil: The Jews in Switzerland
  123. Gaby Knoch-Mund, Jacques Picard : Antisemitismus. In: Historical Lexicon of Switzerland .
  124. ^ Report of the Simon Wiesenthal Center: Switzerland in the 1940s riddled with anti-Semitism
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  126. Göran Larsson: The Power of a Lie. Fact or Forgery: The Protocols of the Elders of Zion , Part II: Roots. P. 20 f. (PDF; 433 kB)
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  130. Ira Katznelson , Barry Weingast : Preferences and Situations. ISBN 978-0-87154-442-1 , pp. 88 f. (English).
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  132. Thomas Whipple Perry: Public opinion, propaganda, and politics in eighteenth century England. A study of the Jew Bill of 1753. Harvard University Press, 1962, pp. 75-90, 99, and 178-182.
  133. George Macaulay Trevelyan: History of England. Volume 2. From 1603-1918. Leibniz-Verlag, 1947, OCLC 309996798 , p. 185 ff.
  134. ^ Hannah Arendt: Elements and origins of total domination . There: Benjamin Disraeli's career. Piper 4th ed. 1986, Munich 1995, p. 131 ff., Quote: p. 136.
  135. Joseph Caro , quoted from Hannah Arendt: Elements and origins of total rule. Piper, 4th edition from 1986, Munich 1995. p. 133.
  136. ^ Hannah Arendt: Elements and origins of total domination. There: Benjamin Disraeli's career. Piper 4th ed. 1986, Munich 1995, pp. 144, 145.
  137. Jago Salmon on the website of the Institute for Foreign Relations: Is Great Britain becoming anti-Semitic? ( Memento of the original from June 29, 2009 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was automatically inserted and not yet checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / cms.ifa.de
  138. Susanne Terwey: "The Death Trap (novel by Robert William Cole, 1907)." In: Wolfgang Benz (Hrsg.): Handbuch des Antisemitismus. Hostility to Jews in the past and present. Vol. 7 Literature, Film, Theater and Art. De Gruyter, Berlin 2015, p. 63 f.
  139. Susanne Terwey: Modern anti-Semitism in Britain from 1899 to 1919. Königshausen & Neumann, 2006, ISBN 3-8260-3460-0 , pp. 86 ff. And 102 ff.
  140. Thomas Brechenmacher: The Vatican and the Jews. Story of an unholy relationship. CH Beck, Munich 2005, p. 72 f.
  141. Thomas Brechenmacher : The Vatican and the Jews. Story of an unholy relationship. CH Beck, Munich 2005, p. 76 f.
  142. David I. Kertzer: The Popes against the Jews. Propylaea, 2001, ISBN 3-549-07147-7 .
  143. Thomas Brechenmacher: The Vatican and the Jews. Story of an unholy relationship. CH Beck, Munich 2005, p. 132 f.
  144. ^ Gabriele Schneider: Mussolini in Africa: the fascist racial policy in the Italian colonies 1936–1941. SH-Verlag, Cologne 2000, ISBN 3-89498-093-1 , p. 78 f.
  145. Julius Hans Schoeps: About Jews and Germans: historical-political considerations. Burg, Rehau 1986, ISBN 3-922801-16-1 , p. 117.
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  147. Karin Priester : Racism. Eine Sozialgeschichte , Reclam, Leipzig, 2003, ISBN 3-379-20076-X , p. 24.
  148. ^ The Spanish The Spanish Government and the Axis: No. 15. Notes on Conversation Between General Franco and Ambassador Dieckhoff .
  149. ^ W. Montgomery Watt: Muhammad at Medina . Oxford University Press, 1962. p. 214
  150. Meir J. Kister: The Massacre of the Banū Quraiẓa: A re-examination of a tradition. In: Jerusalem Studies in Arabic and Islam 8 (1986). P. 62.
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  153. Michel Bernhardt and Julia Jaki: The 'Protocols of the Elders of Zion'. The genesis of the idea of ​​a Jewish / Zionist world conspiracy in Europe and the Arab world. In: Schirin Fathi (Ed.): Plots, Heretics and Conspiracies. On the logic of conspiracy thinking. Examples from the Middle East . transcript, Bielefeld 2010, ISBN 978-3-8376-1341-4 , p. 206 (accessed via De Gruyter Online).
  154. Armin Pfahl-Traughber, Antisemitism in Islamism , Federal Center for Political Education . Retrieved April 29, 2017.
  155. Steven K. Baum : Antisemitism Explained , University Press of America, 2012, ISBN 978-0-7618-5578-1 , p. 27.
  156. Marrakech. In: Dan Diner (Ed.): Encyclopedia of Jewish History and Culture (EJGK). Volume 4: Ly-Po. Metzler, Stuttgart / Weimar 2013, ISBN 978-3-476-02504-3 , p. 53.
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  158. ^ Götz Nordbruch : Morocco. In: Wolfgang Benz (Hrsg.): Handbuch des Antisemitismus. Volume 1: Countries and Regions . De Gruyter Saur, Berlin 2010, ISBN 978-3-11-023510-4 , p. 227 (accessed via De Gruyter Online)
  159. Michael Kiefer: Islamized anti-Semitism . In: Wolfgang Benz (Hrsg.): Handbuch des Antisemitismus Volume 3 , Berlin 2008, p. 134 (accessed via De Gruyter Online).
  160. Michel Bernhardt, Julia Jaki: The 'Protocols of the Elders of Zion'. The genesis of the idea of ​​a Jewish / Zionist world conspiracy in Europe and the Arab world. In: Schirin Fathi (Ed.): Plots, Heretics and Conspiracies. On the logic of conspiracy thinking. Examples from the Middle East. transcript, Bielefeld 2010, ISBN 978-3-8376-1341-4 , p. 215 (accessed via De Gruyter Online).
  161. Michael Kiefer: Islamized anti-Semitism . In: Wolfgang Benz (ed.): Handbuch des Antisemitismus Volume 3 , Berlin 2008, p. 135; Michel Bernhardt, Julia Jaki: The 'Protocols of the Elders of Zion'. In: Schirin Fathi (Ed.): Blueprints, Heretics and Conspiracies , Bielefeld 2010, p. 217 f. (both accessed via De Gruyter Online).
  162. Armin Pfahl-Traughber, Antisemitism in Islamism , Federal Center for Political Education . Retrieved April 29, 2017.
  163. Olaf Farschid, Antisemitism in Islamism. Ideological forms of hatred of Jews by Islamist groups ( memento of the original from September 24, 2015 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. , in: Armin Pfahl-Traughber (Ed.): Yearbook for Research on Extremism and Terrorism 2009/2010, Brühl 2010, ISBN 978-3-938407-31-8 , pp. 435-485. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / www.fhbund.de
  164. ^ Richard S. Levy, Antisemitism - A Historical Encyclopedia of Prejudice and Persecution , Volume I, ABC CLIO, 2005, p. 139; Götz Nordbruch: Algeria . In: Wolfgang Benz (Hrsg.): Handbuch des Antisemitismus. Volume 1: Countries and Regions . De Gruyter Saur, Berlin 2010, ISBN 978-3-11-023510-4 , p. 25 f. (accessed via De Gruyter Online); Steven K. Baum: Antisemitism Explained . University Press of America, 2012, ISBN 978-0-7618-5578-1 , p. 27.
  165. Federal Agency for Civic Education (2014): The expulsion of Turkish Jews from Thrace in 1934
  166. Rudi Van Doorslaer (dir) et al .: La Belgique docile. Les autorités belges et la persécution of juifs en Belgique durant la Seconde Guerre mondiale: . Brussels, Luc Pire / Ceges, 2007, 2 vols., ISBN 978-2-87415-848-3 .
  167. Blick nach Rechts 4/2007: Report on Belgian collaboration ( Memento from March 22, 2007 in the Internet Archive )
  168. Jochen Reinert: Helsinki and the Holocaust ( Memento of the original from November 17, 2015 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and not yet checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. . Published in Ossietzky 5/2004. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / www.sopos.org
  169. Vilhjálmur Örn Vilhjálmsson: Iceland, the Jews, and Anti-Semitism 1625-2004
  170. ^ Maciej Jankowski: Polish Liberal Thought before 1918 . Central European University Press, Budapest and New York 2004, p. 198.
  171. For the time between the world wars: Heiko Haumann : Geschichte der Ostjuden. Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag, 1998, ISBN 3-423-30663-7 , p. 196 ff.
  172. Hellmuth G. Bütow (Ed.): Country Report Soviet Union (= Studies on History and Politics; Vol. 263), Federal Center for Political Education , 2nd updated edition, Bonn, 1988, p. 581.
  173. ^ E.g. indictment against Erich Ehrlinger and others, Landgericht Kiel 1960, p. 67; see the Yad Vashem document archive .
  174. Iulia Onac: "In the Romanian anti-Semites-Citadelle". On the emergence of political anti-Semitism in Romania 1878-1914 , Metropol-Verlag 2017, ISBN 978-3-86331-352-4 ( table of contents ). See also History of Romania # Kingdom of Romania .
  175. Not to be confused with the namesake of the university in Iași , Alexandru Ioan Cuza, which is named after the prince of the united Wallachia and Moldova when it was founded in 1860.
  176. ^ AC Cuza: The Jewish problem in Romania and the doctrine of the "ethnic-Christian defense" ; in Hans Krebs , Otto Prager: World Front. A collection of essays by anti-Semitic leaders of all peoples. Weltfrontverlag, Aussig 1926, pp. 56–59. Also in the 2nd edition. Nibelungen, Berlin / Leipzig 1935 List of authors and titles . Cuza lived from 1857 to 1947.
  177. Nellja Veremej: Bulgarian Paradox: Graduation Examination for Civil Society. Retrieved February 28, 2015 .
  178. helsinki.org.rs ( MS Word ; 80 kB) Helsinki Committee for Human Rights in Serbia: Antisemitism , 2008, (English).
  179. ^ Frank E. Smitha: Roosevelt and Approaching War: The Economy, Politics and Questions of War, 1937-38 , March 12, 2006
  180. Wesley P. Greear: American Immigration Policies and Public Opinion on European Jews from 1933 to 1945.
  181. Klaus Hart: Bad people. Anti-Semitism in South America - widespread and little researched. NZZ , November 11, 2008.
  182. in it especially further: Gustav Seeber : On the struggle of the German social democracy against anti-Semitism in the empire. Pp. 7-16; Karl-Heinz Gräfe: Stalinism and Anti-Semitism in the USSR in the 20s and 30s. Pp. 17-25.
  183. As well as all previous volumes; several editions, also under other publisher names.
  184. Interdisciplinary collection of essays with epoch cross-sections.
  185. In the introduction a research report, as a sketch for the years 1966–2004; in the appendix histor. Key documents; these two parts can be read online in the Internet bookstore.
This version was added to the list of articles worth reading on September 16, 2005 .