Jewish joke

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The Jewish joke thematizes the life and history of the Jews . Often it refers to actual or perceived Jewish characteristics such as chutzpah and business acumen . In contrast, there is the evil Jewish joke, which, told by non-Jews, defames Jews or makes them contemptible. There are also books with the title The Jewish Witz , by the Swiss - Austrian writer Salcia Landmann , by Burkhard Meyer-Sickendiek and by the Austrian Hermann Hakel , among others .


In his book The Joke and its Relationship to the Unconscious (in which he also uses the term "Jewish joke" for the humor described here) Sigmund Freud writes :

“The jokes made by strangers about Jews are mostly brutal jokes in which the joke is spared by the fact that the foreigner regards the Jew as a comic figure. The Jewish jokes that originate from Jews also admit this, but they know their real mistakes and their connection with their advantages, and the contribution of one's own person to the criticism creates the otherwise difficult to establish subjective condition of the joke work. "

- Sigmund Freud

With the record, radio and stage programs Fritz Muliar tells Jewish jokes , the Austrian actor Fritz Muliar established himself as a popular interpreter of these jokes in German-speaking countries from the 1950s onwards.


The Offended (1904)

Many Jewish jokes describe a dialogue situation between Jews, mostly with typical names like "Kohn" or "Grün", and emphasize a special logic and argumentation . A prominent feature of Jewish jokes is their distant, sometimes bitter self-irony . The fact that Jewish jokes about Americans and residents of the state of Prussia are so rare is probably due to the fact that the modern assimilation of the Jews was nowhere better than in Prussia and the United States .

The term implies a special form of Jewish humor . If there is one, Ephraim Kishon can be regarded as a particularly famous representative in German-speaking countries. In one of his short stories, Kishon specifically addresses the question of Jewish humor (although in another story he is supposed to give a lecture on the question "Is there a special Jewish humor - and if so, why not?"). Since the 1990s, Jewish humor has been popularized in particular through films by Woody Allen and the hit sitcom Seinfeld .

With the song Dschiribim-Dschiribam by Arik Brauer from 1971 there is also a set version with little Jewish jokes.


  • Kohn complains to Grün : he opened a delicatessen shop in a street full of delicatessen shops, Blau has his delicatessen shop to the left and Almond Tree to the right. Both businesses are flourishing, only nobody goes shopping to him. "Well, it's very simple: Get a different name at the registry office," suggests Grün, "Just call yourself the main entrance !" to give ridiculous names.)
  • Grün's eldest son converted to Christianity in order to be able to marry a Catholic. Since nothing worse can happen to a pious Jewish father, Grün sinks into a deep depression and locks himself in his room. Nevertheless the door opens and an old man with a white beard enters. It is God: “Why are you crying, Green?” - “Shouldn't I cry, my son was baptized!” - “But Green, mine too!” - “Yes, and what should I do now?” - "Do it like me: make a new testament !"
  • In 1938 two German Jews who had just immigrated were sitting across from each other on the New York subway. One of them reads the striker , Julius Streicher's hate speech . The other reads the Jewish newspaper, the Forverts , and is getting excited. Finally he asks his compatriot, “Why are you reading this terrible paper? It's just pure anti-Semitism, hating the Jews. ”The first Jew looks straight ahead. He says, “Look. What's in your newspaper? Jews are refugees everywhere. We are being followed. Stones and bombs are thrown into the synagogues. I read the Nazi newspaper because it is more confident. We own the banks! We own the big companies! We rule the world! "
  • Kohn complains to Grün: "My wife, she talks and talks and talks, I'll still be very messy." "What is she talking about?" " Well , she doesn't say that."



  • Fritz Muliar : Fritz Muliar tells Jewish jokes , Preiserrecords 1965.
  • Fritz Muliar: So that I don't forget to tell you. Fritz Muliar is telling Jewish jokes again. Preiserrecords 1967.
  • Arik Brauer : Arik Brauer , Polydor & ORF, 1971, LP .
  • Arik Brauer: The first. Polydor, 1988, CD re-release.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Der Jüdische Jitz , Fink-Verlag, 2015.