From Prejudice to Destruction: Anti-Semitism, 1700-1933

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Harvard University Press, 1980 - History - 392 pages

Jacob Katz here presents a major reinterpretation of modern anti-Semitism, which blends history of ideas about the Jews gradually became transformed and then, around 1879, picked up so much social force as to result in the premeditated and systematic destruction of the Jewish people of Europe.

Mr. Katz revises the prevalent thesis that medieval and modern animosities against Jews were fundamentally different. He also rejects the scapegoat theory, according to which the Jews were merely a lightning rod for underlying economic and social tensions. On the contrary, he argues, there were very real tensions between Jews and non-Jews, because the Jews were a highly visible and cohesive group and so came into conflict with non-Jews in competing for social and economic rewards.

In the late 19th century, Mr. Katz argues, hatred of the Jews shifted from their religion to more essential aspects of their character and behavior. The term "anti-Semitism," he explains, which first came into use around 1870, was meant to describe this change. Thus, ironically, just as Jews were being integrated into the political state, skillfull propagandists such as Theodore Fritzche and Houston Stewart Chamberlain were extraordinarily successful in spreading notions of Jewish racial inferority and its threat to the pure Aryan stock. And so when Hitler came on the scene, the seeds of Jewish race hatred were widely sown.

 

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Contents

Introduction
1
Eisenmcnger
13
The Rationalist Reorientation
23
Voltaire
34
Ideological Counterattack
51
Philosophy the Heir of Theology
63
Nationalism and Romanticism
74
Incitement and Riot
92
Richard Wagner
175
The Christian State
195
The Jewish Stereotype and Assimilation
203
The Conservatives Rearguard Action
210
The Austrian Prelude
223
The Hungarian Prelude
230
The Incubation
245
The Crystallization
260

The Revolutionary Promise and the Catholic Reaction
107
The Socialist Indictment
119
The Liberal Ambiguity
129
Jews and Freemasons
139
The German Liberals Image of the Jew
147
Feuerbach Bauer Marx
159
The Hungarian Variation
273
The Austrian Extension
281
French AntiSemitism
292
Racism and the Nazi Climax
303
AntiSemitism Through the Ages
318
Copyright

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About the author (1980)

Jacob Katz was Professor of Jewish History, Emeritus, at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

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