On the Origins of Jewish Self-Hatred

Front Cover
Princeton University Press, Apr 29, 2012 - History - 176 pages
1 Review

Today, the term "Jewish self-hatred" often denotes a treasonous brand of Jewish self-loathing, and is frequently used as a smear, such as when it is applied to politically moderate Jews who are critical of Israel. In On the Origins of Jewish Self-Hatred, Paul Reitter demonstrates that the concept of Jewish self-hatred once had decidedly positive connotations. He traces the genesis of the term to Anton Kuh, a Viennese-Jewish journalist who coined it in the aftermath of World War I, and shows how the German-Jewish philosopher Theodor Lessing came, in 1930, to write a book that popularized "Jewish self-hatred." Reitter contends that, as Kuh and Lessing used it, the concept of Jewish self-hatred described a complex and possibly redemptive way of being Jewish. Paradoxically, Jews could show the world how to get past the blight of self-hatred only by embracing their own, singularly advanced self-critical tendencies--their "Jewish self-hatred."

Provocative and elegantly argued, On the Origins of Jewish Self-Hatred challenges widely held notions about the history and meaning of this idea, and explains why its history is so badly misrepresented today.

 

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.

Contents

Introduction
1
Genealogical Imperatives
5
The Birth of Jewish SelfHatred and the Spirit of Interwar Europe
45
Prominence The Making of Theodor Lessings Book Jewish SelfHatred
75
Conclusion
121
Notes
127
Select Bibliography
155
Index
161
Acknowledgments
165
Copyright

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2012)

Paul Reitter is associate professor of Germanic languages and literatures at Ohio State University. He is the author of "The Anti-Journalist: Karl Kraus" and "Jewish Self-Fashioning in Fin-de-Siecle Europe.

Bibliographic information