By Lars Fischer
In Imperial Germany (1871-1918), so much Socialists felt that the antisemites had some degree yet took concerns too a long way. actually, Social Democratic objections to the antisemitic move usually didn't hinge on its anti-Jewish orientation in any respect. even if they did, the Socialists' arguments typically said frequent anti-Jewish stereotypes instead of wondering them. via targeting the various notions that antisemites and anti-antisemites in truth shared, and by means of introducing quite a number new resources, this ebook offers a thorough reinterpretation of the Socialist reaction to antisemitism in Imperial Germany.
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Additional resources for The Socialist Response to Antisemitism in Imperial Germany
They fail to feature in this book not for lack of interest or 24 Theodor W. ’ This text, first published in 1950, has been reprinted in Adorno’s Gesammelte Schriften 9 (Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, 1998): 265–331, here 303. P1: KDA/OSZ 0521875528int P2: KDA/OSZ QC: KDA CUNY754/Fischer 0 521 87552 8 December 23, 2006 Introduction 15:26 11 compassion for actual Jewish concerns on my part. Instead, their absence is in a very important sense part of the story this book tells: it is because the concrete realities of actual Jewish existence were almost entirely absent from the Social Democratic discourse on antisemitism and ‘the Jewish Question’ that they are equally absent from my account of this discourse.
Did the non-Jewish majority not realise, it was asked, that it would be showing itself up (and giving the Jews far too much credit) if it conceded that it had failed to prevent the Jewish minority from wreaking all the havoc the antisemites ascribed to the Jews? Another line of argument suggested that the antisemites would only provoke Jewry into refusing further assimilation and falling back into its admittedly ghastly clannish ways. Hence, the antisemites would in fact only aggravate the very problem they claimed to offer a solution for (a problem that indeed required a solution, as the Social Democrats readily conceded).
When, then, is an anti-antisemite an anti-antisemite? All other things being equal, the attempt to answer this question is beset by one absolutely fundamental problem. To us it seems self-evident that the term antisemitism can only be usefully applied to denote the stance of an individual, a group or an ideology vis-`a-vis (supposedly) Jewish phenomena. Admittedly, on occasion, we might suspect somebody who has made no explicit remarks about Jews of being antisemitic because his or her orientation more generally also implies a problematic attitude towards Jews.
The Socialist Response to Antisemitism in Imperial Germany by Lars Fischer