By Steven Beller
Anti-Semitism has been a chillingly chronic presence through the final millennium, culminating nowa days within the horror of the ultimate answer. This Very brief advent examines and untangles many of the strands of anti-Semitism visible all through background, revealing why hatred of the Jews seems to be so continual via time. Steven Beller illuminates the heritage of the phenomenon: from medieval non secular clash, to the expansion of anti-Semitism as a political and ideological circulate within the nineteenth century, to the "new" anti-Semitism of the twenty first century, as mirrored in Holocaust denial and Islamic anti-Zionism. the writer additionally discusses the position and attitudes of key figures corresponding to Wagner, Nietzsche, and Marx, in addition to key texts akin to the solid "Protocols of the Elders of Zion." briefly, this compact booklet bargains an insightful account that underscores how anti-Semitism reached it its darkish apogee within the worst genocide in sleek history--the Holocaust--and the way it nonetheless persists worldwide today.
The most powerful a part of Beller's ebook is his exemplary introductory bankruptcy, "What is Anti-Semitism?", which might be required interpreting for all scholars of the Nazis and the Sah, of ethnic violence and of historiography. magazine of recent Jewish Studies
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Additional info for Antisemitism: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions)
The emergence of political and ideological antisemitism in German Central Europe in the late 19th century has often been linked by historians to the culture of ‘irrationalism’. This cultural approach was not in itself irrational, rather it was a reaction against the rationalist claim that all of human experience and endeavour could be reduced to rational, calculable objects and relations, and should be. Irrationalists, in contrast, asserted that there was a place for ‘irrational’ emotions and imagination in art and life, that these indeed were part of a realm superior to mere reason.
Although the terminology came later, irrationalist culture from the early 19th century deﬁned German nationality in terms of a ‘community’ (Gemeinschaft) rather than a ‘society’ (Gesellschaft); Jews, having been the traditional outsiders of German society for centuries, found it nigh impossible to enter the former, whereas as rational individuals their way into the latter had seemed wide open. Second, the irrationalist critique was difﬁcult for Jews to refute because it mirrored, albeit distortedly, enough of social and cultural reality to be at least partly credible, especially in German Central Europe.
19 The burden of the past The reasons for this relative failure of antisemitism in Hungary before 1914 are fairly clear: the Magyar political leadership calculated that the Magyar national cause would be much better served by coopting Hungarian Jewry, both as enthusiastic new members of the Magyar nation and as the group with the most capability for modernizing the Hungarian economy and hence giving the Magyar nation the economic power that was necessary to be taken seriously politically. Hence during the struggle for Hungarian autonomy from the 1840s into the 1860s, the Magyar leadership welcomed the largely voluntary Magyarization of Hungarian Jewry, especially in the western part of the kingdom and in Budapest, and it allowed and encouraged a Jewish bourgeoisie to develop in Pest that became the economic and ﬁnancial powerhouse of the Hungarian nation state that was emerging in nuce in the Hungarian ‘half ’ of Austria-Hungary from 1867 onwards.