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The 1901 Jewish Encyclopedia
A modern word expressing antagonism to the political and social equality of Jews.
The term "Anti-Semitism" has its origin in the ethnological theory that the Jews, as Semites, are entirely different from the Aryan, or Indo-European, populations and can never be amalgamated with them. The word implies that the Jews are not opposed on account of their religion, but on account of their racial characteristics. As such are mentioned: greed, a special aptitude for money-making, aversion to hard work, clannishness and obtrusiveness, lack of social tact, and especially of patriotism. Finally, the term is used to justify resentment for every crime or objectionable act committed by any individual Jew.
Its recent origin is proved by the fact that David Kaufmann, in 1874, speaks of the ethnic theory of Semitism as "allerneueste Weisheit" ("Magazin für die Literatur des Auslandes," 1874, No. 44), and Ludwig Bamberger, in his essay, "Deutschtum u. Judentum ("Unsere Zeit," 1880, 1:194), says, "The war-cry against the Semites is, as the word indicates, of very recent date." In his memoirs, too, referring to 1858 or shortly before, Bamberger says that the word "Semitism" had not then been invented ("Erinnerungen," 2:311, Berlin, 1899). In February, 1881, a correspondent of the "Allgemeine Zeitung des Judenthums" speaks of "Anti-Semitism" as a designation which recently came into use ("Allg. Zeit. d. Jud." 1881, p. 138). On July 19, 1882, the editor says, "This quite recent Anti-Semitism is hardly three years old" (ib. 1882, p. 489). So far as can be ascertained, the word was first printed in 1880. In that year W. Marr published "Zwanglose Antisemitische Hefte," andWilhelm Scherer used the term "Antisemiten" in the "Neue Freie Presse" of January.
History of the Term.
It is, however, impossible to trace with certainty the first use of the word. It does not appear to have been coined before the end of the seventies, when the German empire entered upon a course widely different from its former policy. The nature of the word implies the preexistence of the word and idea of Semitism, which has itself a history that must be traced. August Ludwig von Schlüzer (1735-1809) and Johann Gottfried Eichhorn (1752-1827), both professors in Göttingen, were the first to use the term "Semitic nations" (Eichhorn, "Historisch-Kritische Einleitung in das Alte Testament," 2d ed., 1787, p. 45; idem, "Repertorium," 1781, 1:61; "Ausland," 1872, p. 1034) in a philological sense; but the ethnical distinctness of Semitic nations was not a generally accepted theory until Franz Bopp (1791-1867), in his "Comparative Grammar" (1833-52), had created the correlative term of "Indo-Germanic languages," called by the French school "Indo-European," and by the English "Aryan." What was originally a merely linguistic term soon became an ethnical designation based on the results of comparative philology. The first who attempted to draw a picture of the ethnical character of the Semites as contradistinguished from the Aryans seems to have been Christian Lassen (1800-76), professor at Bonn, who, in his "Indische Altertumskunde," Bonn, 1844-61, 1:414, says:
"Civilization has been the gift of but a few nations. Of other races only Egyptians and Chinese, and of the Caucasian only Semites and Aryans, have built up human civilization. History proves that Semites do not possess the harmony of psychical forces which distinguishes the Aryans. The Semite is selfish and exclusive. He possesses a sharp intellect which enables him to make use of the opportunities created by others, as we find it in the history of the Phenicians and, later on, of the Arabs."
Renan on the Jews.
Independently of Lassen, Ernest Renan (1823-92) asserted the same principle of the inferiority of the Semites, which inferiority he claims to have been the first to recognize ("Histoire Générale et Système Comparé des Langues Sémitiques," 5th ed., 1878, p. 4). "The two words," he says, "which have served until now as a symbol for the progress of the human mind toward truth, science, and philosophy, were foreign to them" (ib. p. 3). Stronger still are Renan's expressions in his essays on the history of religion ("Études d'Histoire Religieuse," 5th ed., Paris, 1862). Therein he claims for the Aryans all the great military, political, and intellectual movements in the world's history; while the Semites must be credited with the religious movements (p. 85). The Semites have never had any comprehension of civilization in the sense in which we understand the word; they were at no time public-spirited (p. 88). Intolerance was the natural consequence of their monotheism (p. 87), which, if not imported from the Semitic world, would have remained foreign to the Aryans, who were impressed with the variety of the universe (p. 85). The Jewish people, while not progressive, claimed that the future was theirs; and this illogical position accounts for the hatred which eighteen centuries were unable to mitigate (p. 130).
Application to Ethnology.
While Renan, in the preface to his history of the Semitic languages, warned against wresting individual passages from the context, and insisted that the racial element was counterbalanced by many other influences; while he said that the Jews of our age are not Semites, but modern men; and while he even denied the existence of a Jewish race ("Le Judaïsme comme Race et comme Religion," Paris, 1883), it was, nevertheless, he who had forged the arms which the anti-Semites used in their attacks on Jews and Judaism. For they could refer to the testimony of a scholar and a freethinker, when they repeated in reference to the Jews what he had said of the Semites—namely, that they lacked personal courage; that their moral ideal was different from "ours"; that they were selfish, chiefly negative, and altogether "une race incomplète." Many other representatives of the young science of ethnology—which was constantly advanced by the development of comparative philology—proceeded to draw lines of demarcation between Semitic and Aryan civilization (Philippson, "Weltbewegende Fragen," 1:31, Leipsic, 1868). Of the immense literature on the subject an article, published in the "Ausland," a weekly edited by Friedrich von Hellwald, 1872, pp. 901 et seq. and 957 et seq., seems to have exercised a great influence upon the growth of the anti-Semitic movement, although the anonymous author (afterward acknowledged by von Hellwald to be himself) is in no way original, but has mainly copied the words of Renan. He says:
"The Jews are not merely a different religious community, but—and this is to us the most important factor—ethnically an altogether different race. The European feels instinctively that the Jew is a stranger who immigrated from Asia. The so-called prejudice is a natural sentiment. Civilization will overcome the antipathy against the Israelite who merely professes another religion, but never that against the racially different Jew. The Jew is cosmopolitan, and possesses a certain astuteness which makes him the master of the honest Aryan. In eastern Europe the Jew is the cancer slowly eating into the flesh of the other nations. Exploitation of the people is his only aim. Selfishness and lack of personal courage are his chief characteristics; self-sacrifice and patriotism are altogether foreign to him."
It is claimed that, although the Jews have amalgamated to a considerable extent with their surroundings, they no longer adopt commercial pursuits exclusively, have their children educated in the public schools, and are eager to give up their peculiarities, the Jew remains a separate individuality, and, while he participates in the spiritual and political work of the nation, his desire is to make it subservient to the rule of Judaism (Roeder, "Zeitschrift für die Gesammten Staatswissenschaften," 1871, No. 3; Jules Richard, in "Le Constitutionnel," Nov. 24, 1872).
The Old Hatred of the Jews.
While the term Anti-Semitism should be restricted in its use to the modern movements against the Jews, in its wider sense it may be said to include the persecution of the Jews at all times and among all nations as professors of a separate religion or as a people having a distinct nationality. Its history begins with the period of the Book of Esther, when the charge was first made that the Jews are a "people scattered abroad and dispersed among the people in all the provinces of thy kingdom; and their laws are diverse from all people; neither keep they the king's laws; therefore it is not for the king's profit to suffer them" (Esther 3:8). The Jews, having met with nations who disputed their claim of superiority, were, in the Hellenized Orient and later on in the Roman world, the targets of hatred combined with contempt. The charges preferred against them were that they hated all other men; that they were clannish (ἀμιζία) and irreligious (ἀθεότης); that they had not participated in the work of civilization; that they had become a menace to the Roman empire; that their bodies emitted a peculiar odor; that they sacrificed annually a Greek; and that they were descendants of lepers, who had been expelled from Egypt (Schürer, "Gesch." 3d ed., 3:397-420, Leipsic, 1898; Reinach, "Textes d'Auteurs Grecs et Romains Relatifs auJudaïsme," 1895; Vogelstein and Rieger, "Gesch. der Juden in Rom," Berlin, 1896). See see APION.
The medieval literature on the subject is foreign to this article, as its attacks on Judaism are principally on religious grounds, although the Jews were also proclaimed as dangerous from an economic point of view and denounced as enemies of all Christians. What is properly known as Anti-Semitism had its roots in the age following the French Revolution, when religious liberty had become a more or less accepted dogma in political science, and a new basis had to be found for the attacks on the Jews, more particularly for the opposition to their full enfranchisement. The years following the battle of Waterloo saw a deluge of anti-Jewish pamphlets (Jost, "Neue Gesch. der Israeliten," Breslau, 1:43 et seq.; Grätz, "Gesch. d. Juden," 11:318 et seq.).
Frederick William IV. of Prussia and the Jews.
Reactionary tendencies which molded the political physiognomy of Europe until the French Revolution of 1830, and of eastern Europe down to the forties, aroused a strong democratic opposition. The opponents of reform combining the reactionary forces in both the political and ecclesiastical camps received valuable encouragement by the accession to the throne of King Frederick William IV. of Prussia (1840). In a "Cabinetsordre" of 1841 the king defined his views on a new law, which was to regulate the status of the Jews; to treat the Jews as a colony of foreigners; to give them autonomy in their congregational affairs; and to take from them the municipal franchise which they had possessed since 1812. Small vexatious measures—for example, when Minister of Justice von Mühler issued a circular recommending that every court should buy a copy of a pamphlet directed against the Jews (Thiele, "Die Jüdischen Gaụner in Deutschland")—gave further encouragement to the reactionaries. (On this period see Wilh. Freund, "Die Gegenwärtig Beabsichtigte Umgestaltung der Bürgerlichen Verhältnisse der Juden im Preuss. Staate," 1842; and Isidor Keim, "Ein Wort über die Rechtlichen Zustände der Juden im Preuss. Staate," Leipsic, 1842.)
The opposition against granting to the Jews all political rights came from various quarters. It was natural that those who believed in the ideal of "a Christian country" should be opposed to it, and that these should be joined by the advocates of the autocratic form of government, based on the principle of classes, which is a diluted feudalism. The representative of the latter party was Hermann Wagener (1815-89), who in his "Staatslexicon," and in his pamphlet, "Das Judentum und der Staat" (1857), defended its doctrine. From an ecclesiastical point of view, the necessity of keeping the Jews on an inferior level of political and civil rights was defended by A. Th. Hartmann, professor at Rostock (1774-1838), in various pamphlets, among which was "Gegen Gleichberechtigung der Juden" (1834). The liberal Christians also furnished opponents of the emancipation of the Jews; for example, Joh. Fr. Röhr (1777-1848), head of the Protestant Church in Saxe-Weimar, who was one of the foremost rationalists of his age; H. E. G. Paulus (1761-1851), professor at Heidelberg, the most outspoken representative of rationalism. In his "Jüdische Nationalabsonderung" (1830) he advocated the denial to the Jews of all political rights until they would give up their ritual practises. The same position is taken by Karl Streckfuss (1778-1844), a poet and government official in Prussia, in his pamphlets, "Ueber das Verhältniss der Juden in den Christlichen Staaten" (Berlin, 1843), in which he says (p. 115): "As long as all Jews do not renounce their ceremonial law, emancipation can not become an accomplished fact." Similarly, Bruno Bauer (1809-82), one of the most radical of German theologians: "The only logical position of the Jew in the Christian state is that of a separate corporation" ("Die Judenfrage," 1843, p. 59). Even the modern tendency to label as Jewish everything that is disliked is found in the works of Wolfgang Menzel (1798-1873), an influential literary critic, who calls the literary movement known as "Young Germany" by the name of "Young Palestine," and in Richard Wagner's pamphlet "Das Judentum in der Musik" (1869).
Jesuit Hostility Toward Jews.
In 1870 a complete change had taken place. Liberalism had become predominant in western Europe. The North-German Confederation had adopted in 1869 the liberal principle that a man's creed should not in any way affect his civil or political rights. What is called Anti-Semitism was limited to those who opposed the fundamental principle of the modern state, the equality of rights regardless of creed and nationality, and yet even the "Kreuzzeitung" of Berlin, the organ of the feudal autocracy, "Junker-Partei," spoke of the Alsatian Jews as a Jewish branch of the German nation ("Allg. Zeit. d. Jud." 1871, p. 805), when political interest made the friendship of the Jews a desirable object. The most persistent advocates of papal infallibility, the Jesuits, in their organ, "Voce della Verità," said at the time: "If a reconciliation between the pope and the kingdom of Italy should ever take place, the Jews will have to return to the Ghetto" ("Kölnische Zeitung," April 6, 1873). The Duc de Broglie, then the leader of the monarchical and Clerical party in the French Chamber, proclaimed, as the chief misfortune of France, that there should be more than one religion ("Allg. Zeit. d. Jud." 1873, p. 107). Bishop von Ketteler of Mayence, one of the founders of the "Centrum," or Catholic party, in the Reichstag, mocked at the German "Michel" who allowed Jews to teach him what Teutonism was—a hit at Ludwig Bamberger, who was deputy to the German Reichstag from Mayence (ib. 1872, p. 265).
The most peculiar and contradictory charges were brought against the Jews in the clerical newspapers. The "Volksbote" of Munich said that the Jews were responsible for the fraudulent business methods of the Dachauer Bank, which was an enterprise founded and patronized by the Clerical party. The Jews had ruined it by their control over the law courts. The "Univers" of Paris and the "Vaterland" of Vienna (April 6, 1873) claimed that the "Old Catholic Church" was the work of the Jews, while Hermann von Scharff-Scharffenstein in his "Das Entlarvte Judenthum der Neuzeit" (2:61, Zurich, 1871) claimed that the wickedness of the Jesuits was due to the large number of Jews in the order. This policy was not confined to the Catholics. When the Prussian Diet passed the law of Feb. 8, 1872, which placed the control of the school system in the hands of the state, von Senfft-Pilsach, a member of the Conservative party, said, referring to Lasker, the law was the work of a "little Semitic gentleman." In a literary controversy on the subject of socialism Adolf Wagner, who subsequently was one of the leaders of the Christian-Socialists, dwelt, as an argument against his opponent H. B. Oppenheim, on the fact that the latter was a Jew. The leader of the Czechs in Austria, Francis Palacky (1798-1876), a Protestant said, in his farewell address to the Czech nation, that the Jews were Shylocks. The soil was ready to receive the seed of Anti-Semitism which from 1878 became a distinct political program.
Attitude of Bismarck.
It was, therefore, not difficult for Prince Bismarck, when in 1878 he changed his liberal policy and returned to his former reactionary principles, to wake an echo in the hearts of the people which was soon answered in Hungary, Austria, and France. In order to comprehend this fully, we must understand the political condition of Germany, where Anti-Semitism originated ("L'Antisémitisme moderne—c'est une importation allemande," says A. Leroy-Beaulieu, in "Israel chez les Nations," p. 25, Paris, 1897). Bismarck had always been an advocate of autocracy and an opponent of a parliamentary form of government. When he adopted the latter, it was partly because of the exigencies of the times, and partly because the Liberals stood for a united Germany, while the Conservatives opposed it as an encroachment upon the sacred rights of the legitimate princes, and the Ultramontane party dreaded it on account of the hegemony of Protestant Prussia. From 1867 Bismarck allied himself with the Liberals—to which party most of the German Jews belonged—and thus obtained the required parliamentary support in founding the German empire. When the empire had been firmly established, the danger of a restoration of the monarchy in France and of a war of revenge had passed entirely away. When President MacMahon had resigned (1879), and the Liberals had done their part in assisting Bismarck in his war against the Catholic Church, the "iron chancellor" grew tired of his allies. Accidental events had aided him in producing the impression that his change of policy was necessary. On May 11, 1878, Hödel, a vagabond, made an attempt upon the life of Emperor William. As Hödel had some leanings toward the Socialist party, the government introduced a bill in the Reichstag against Socialistic agitations. This bill was rejected; but shortly afterward (June 2, 1878) sympathy with the "glory-crowned" monarch, who was then in his eighty-second year, and the great prestige which the government gained through the Congress, held in Berlin, which followed the war between Russia and Turkey, strengthened the case of the government, which dissolved the Reichstag.
The German Elections of July 30, 1878.
The new elections (July 30, 1878) brought an increase of Conservative members. This may be considered the birthday of Anti-Semitism. The word had not yet been uttered; but a "Neuer Wahlverein" (New Electoral Society), which had been formed in Breslau, drew up a platform which proclaimed the necessity for a revision of the Liberal legislation of previous years. Two years before this, the "Deutsch-Konservative Partei" had been formed, which proclaimed the necessity for the Christianization of school and state. This party was a reactionary one of moderate tendencies. In 1878 an attempt was made to win over the masses of the people to the conservative program by the foundation of the Christian-Socialist Party (Christlich-Sociale Partei), which adopted some parts of the Socialistic program, in combination with conservative principles. The real founder of this party was the court chaplain Adolf Stöcker. The object of this organization was to provide a vent for the political dissatisfaction of the people.
Officially, Anti-Semitism did not show itself at first in its true colors. It was, however, the moving force of the Christian-Socialist party, at the head of which was the court chaplain Adolf Stöcker. Bismarck had wearied of the Liberals, upon whose support he could not rely for his new policy, which demanded special laws against the Socialists, a protective tariff, measures against the abuse of commercial freedom, and increasing demands for the army. The Christian-Socialists soon received enthusiastic support from many quarters, especially from teachers and journalists. One of the most important acquisitions to their cause was Heinrich von Treitschke (1834-96; professor of history in the University of Berlin, a member of the National-Liberals), from whose remarks two bitter phrases gained wide currency. He spoke of "Hosenverkaufende Polnische Jünglinge" (Polish youngsters who sell trousers), and said: "In the circles of educated Germans, who would protest indignantly against the charge of religious or national intolerance, one single cry is heard, 'The Jews are our misfortune' [Die Juden sind unser Unglück]" (see "Preussische Jahrbücher," Nov. and Dec., 1879, and Jan., 1880; reprinted as a pamphlet under the title, "Ein Wort über Unser Judentum," Berlin, 1880). The importance of these articles is demonstrated by the fact that the minister of public worship, von Puttkamer, a prominent member of the Reactionary party, whom Bismarck had appointed in the place of the Liberal Falk, referred to it, in a debate in the Prussian Diet, Feb. 12, 1880, as a proof of the necessity of preserving the denominational character of the public schools. The excitement continued and reached such a pitch that in Berlin Jews were assaulted in public places. On one such occasion a Jew named Kantorowicz was insulted in a street-car by two high-school professors and slapped one of his assailants in the face; this brought about a debate in the Diet which lasted two days (Nov. 20-22, 1880). Hänel, a member of the Liberal party, had interpellated the government as to the position it intended to take with regard to the anti-Semitic movement, which had assumed tangible shape in a petition to the government to restrict the civil and political rights of the Jews. Minister Count von Stolberg replied that, while the government had not yet received the petition, he was ready to declare that it had no intention of altering the existing laws. Professor Virchow replied, however, that the anti-Semitic movement, started by the Clericals and the Feudalists, had received encouragement and material aid from the secret funds of the government, which desired to see some Jewish deputies defeated.
Anti-Semitism an Issue in Elections.
Public meetings, at which Stöcker and his adjutants, Fürster and Henrici, harangued the audience, denouncing the Jews as a danger to the German nation, were of daily occurrence. In all municipal elections Anti-Semitism was made an issue. Women's associations were formed with the object of boycotting all Jewish merchants. A strong agitation was set on foot to enlist the interest of the students. The petition to disfranchise the Jews obtained 1,400 signatures among the students of Berlin, and 1,022 among those of Leipsic. In spite of the strict rule enforced by the Prussian police, serious riots occurred at Neustettin, July 17, 18, 1881. Not long afterward the synagogue of that place was burned down, and the Jews being charged with having set fire to the building, some of them were arrested as incendiaries on charges preferred by the anti-Semites; though declared innocent, they were attacked by a mob, and only the timely interference of the police saved them from being killed (March 7, 1884). The language of mobs was heard in the parliaments. A priest named Frank, a deputy to the Bavarian Diet, said (Jan. 30, 1880) in an address: "If you wish to assist the starving population in the Spessart, make one brief law:'Every "Handelsjude" [Jewish pedler] is to be shot or hanged.'"
At the same time the organized anti-Semites lost no opportunity to bring about practical results through their agitation. Their chief aim was to exclude Jews from public office; and this idea was emphasized by the refusal of Pastor Hapke, in Berlin, to take oath before a Jewish judge (Jan. 8, 1883), which Stöcker called the justified outcry of an outraged conscience ("berechtigter Ausdruck der Gewissensnoth"). The Conservative party, whose spokesman, von Rauchhaupt, declared, "We have taken upon ourselves the whole odium of the anti-Semitic movement," introduced a bill in the Reichstag providing that Christians should have the right to ask for a Christian judge when taking an oath. Although the government did not accede to these demands, it gave them indirect encouragement. Bismarck answered very courteously telegrams sent to him by anti-Semitic meetings. The administration of the minister of public worship, von Puttkamer, as far as was compatible with existing legislation, complied with the demands of the Conservatives; and the bill introduced into the Prussian Diet by the minister of public worship, von Zedlitz, 1892, even proposed to divide the school children according to their religion. The bill was, however, defeated by the strong opposition of the best elements of the country.
Exclusion of Jewish Immigrants.
The demand of the anti-Semitic petitioners to prohibit all Jewish immigration from Russia was not directly granted, but the government recognized it so far as to exercise a strict supervision of the Russian refugees who arrived in Germany in large numbers. A law of 1847 was unearthed, which, as the government acknowledged, had become superseded by subsequent legislation. Still, from it the government deduced the right to expel all foreigners employed by a Jewish community (Oct., 1884). Similarly, an edict (May, 1885) to expel all foreign Poles from the eastern provinces of Germany seems to have been aimed at the Russian Jews who were residents of Germany, many of whom had been living there for years. Bismarck's refusal to transmit to the Reichstag the expressions of sympathy passed by the House of Representatives at Washington, upon the death of Eduard Lasker (Jan. 5, 1884), was interpreted as an anti-Semitic demonstration. Various attempts were made to take from the Jews, in an underhand way, the rights which the constitution had given them. Fiscal legislation, such as an increased tax on stock-jobbing, was often prompted by anti-Semitic motives. The regularly repeated motions of anti-Semitic parties in the Reichstag and in the Diets of the various states, to investigate the text-books of the Jewish religion, to have the Talmud or the Shulḥan 'Aruk translated at the expense of the government, and to prohibit, on the ground of cruelty, the killing of animals according to the Jewish rite, were received by the governments with little complacency in the Prussian House of Lords (March 22, 1893), in the Diet of Baden (Feb., 1894), and in the Reichstag (April 25, 1899). As long as Bismarck was in power Anti-Semitism was checked; for though an anti-Semite by birth, as he himself confessed, he never permitted the turbulent elements to gain the upper hand. In fact, after his retirement he said that the Conservatives, in their attempt to fight Socialism with anti-Semitism, "had got hold of the wrong insect-powder" ("Allg. Zeit. d. Jud." Nov. 11., 1892). The accession of Emperor William II. to the throne (June 15, 1888) soon gave encouragement to the anti-Semites and their allies. An attempt was made to induce the emperor to refuse his confirmation of the election of Prof. Julius Bernstein as rector magnificus of the University of Halle. Bismarck evidently advised the emperor to decline so to act. It was also Bismarck's influence that brought about Stöcker's retirement as court chaplain.
Bismarck's Retirement Encourages Anti-Semites.
Bismarck's retirement (March 20, 1890) gave a new impetus to the anti-Semitic agitation in Germany. Ahlwardt appeared upon the scene; and his pamphlets—especially the "Judenflinten," in which he claimed that the firm Ludwig Löwe & Co. had been hired by the Alliance Israélite Universelle to furnish inefficient guns to the German army in order that Germany might be defeated in the war of revenge—created a great stir. The government took a firm position against Ahlwardt, but in other cases displayed more weakness. When the Oberlandesgerichtspräsident of Breslau, a high official in the department of justice, issued a circular (1891) advising the judges not to put Jews on a jury, and the Liberals made this fact the basis of an interpellation in the Reichstag, the government defended the proceeding. The "Kreuzzeitung," the organ of the Feudalist party, said (Oct. 1, 1892) that the charges brought against the Talmud in the anti-Semitic literature ought to suggest to the government the necessity of examining the text-books of the Jewish religion (Strack, "Die Juden: Dürfen sie Verbrecher von Religionswegen genannt werden?" Berlin, 1893). The matter was brought up in the Prussian Diet (Feb. 13, 1893), and Minister Bosse replied to the effect that he had already ordered the revision of these books, but could say no more for the present, the reports not having been handed to him.
The BLOOD ACCUSATION made its appearance in connection with the murder of a child in Xanten, June 29, 1891. The government did all in its power to suppress the rumor that the local shoḥet (Jewish butcher) had committed the murder; and the accused was acquitted. But other events showed that the government displayed much forbearance in cases of anti-Semitic offenses. Referring to a trial of a society of gamblers, in which some Jews were implicated, the "Tägliche Rundschau" (March 3, 1893) said: "This state of affairs shows that all Jewry should either be forced back to the conditions of the eighteenth century or be expelled from the country." Some Jews brought a libel-suit against the paper, as the law, in such cases, gives every member of a libeled community the right to prosecute. The court, however, decided (Oct. 15, 1893) that the article did not attack all Jews, but only those who had been guilty of the actions which the writer characterized as revolting.
Among other instances of an anti-Semitic tendency may be mentioned the avowed practise of the Hessian minister of justice, Dittmar, to appoint no Jews as judges—the "Frankfurter Zeitung" (Oct., 1899) had made this the subject of an article, accusing the minister of a violation of the constitution; a decision of the Bavarian minister of the interior that Jews could not hold any position in schools frequented by Christian children ("Mittheilungen aus dem Verein zur Abwehr des Antisemitismus," 1899, p. 357); and a decision of the court in Glogau, May 12, 1899, dismissing the case against Count Pückler-Muskau, who had said in a public address that it was time to drive the "Judenbande" (Jew-gang) out of the country.
In Germany a society for the protection of the rights of the Jews, "Verein zur Abwehr des Antisemitismus," formed in 1891 by some of the most prominent German authors, scientists, andstatesmen, has so far had more moral than practical results.
When, in the Hungarian Parliament, Victor de Istóczi, a deputy unknown up to that time, made a motion (July 12, 1878) that the government should force Turkey to give up Palestine and should deport there all the Jews of Hungary, it was considered a joke. Even as late as Nov. 27, 1880, the Hungarian minister Trefort could declare in Parliament: "Our country shall never witness a spectacle similar to that presented in Germany." Events soon proved that his optimism was not justified. Anti-Semitism was favored both by the Slavonic nationalities, which were oppressed by the government, and by the Clerical party, which saw the time approaching when the government would have to abrogate the canonical law, which was still recognized in the marriage legislation. Seventeen members of the House of Deputies made, Feb. 18, 1882, a motion to repeal the act which had emancipated the Jews.
The Esther Solymosi Case.
The disappearance of Esther Solymosi in Tisza-Eszl´r, April 1, 1882, aroused such an excitement that the Jewish deputy Morris Wahrmann and Istóczi came to blows in Parliament (June 5, 1882). In many places riots occurred; Jews were mobbed, and in some instances were killed or seriously wounded. Such riots occurred in Presburg, Sept. 28, 1882; in Budapest, Oedenburg, and other places (Aug. 8, 1883), after the discharge of the Jews accused of the murder of Esther Solymosi; the most serious of all, in Zala-Egerszeg, on Aug. 23, 1883. A petition to the Parliament, asking that the act for the emancipation of the Jews be repealed, received only a few votes; even the independents who were in opposition to the government voted against it (Jan. 20, 1883).
Not long afterward (Oct., 1883) an anti-Semitic party was organized in Parliament. It consisted of four members, Ónody, Széll, Istóczi, and Simonyi. Its platform demanded the restriction of economic liberty, withdrawal of the right to sign promissory notes, and exclusion of the Jews from the liquor trade. The elections of 1884 increased the number of anti-Semites to 17, but the government, in the address from the throne at the opening of the session, Sept. 9, 1884, declared itself strongly against the anti-Semites. The minister-president, Tisza, lost no opportunity to define his position during the debate on the address. The year 1884 marked the height of the anti-Semitic movement; and with the new ecclesiastic legislation of 1894, which abrogated the privileged position of the Roman Catholic Church and recognized the Hebrew faith, Anti-Semitism in Hungary received a crushing blow.
The defeat of Austria in 1866 and its financial condition, which bordered on bankruptcy, had brought the German-Liberal element to the front. The consequence of this change of policy was the promulgation of the Constitution (Staatsgrundgesetze) of 1867, which declared the principle of religious liberty. What might be called Anti-Semitism came from the ranks of those who were opposed to the principle of religious liberty and political equality, or could be heard among those who, while liberal in principle, drew the line of distinction in the social life. Thus Anton von Schmerling, a former minister-president in the Austrian House of Lords (1880), urged the necessity of instruction in German in schools in order to overcome the advantageous position of the Jewish soldiers in the regiments of Galicia, who, owing to their knowledge of the German language, had better chances of promotion to the position of non-commissioned officers; he added, "Personally, I am not in sympathy with the Jews." The serious financial crisis of 1873, which struck Austria severely, produced there as in Germany ill-feeling against the stock-exchange and consequently against Liberalism in general, and against the Jews in particular. This ill-feeling became a political factor when, with the formation of the Taaffe ministry (1879), the Czechs, who had hitherto refused to acknowledge the constitution of 1867, sent their delegates to the Reichsrath. As the German-Liberal element (Verfassungspartei) opposed the ministry, the latter formed a majority out of the Slavic element, combined with the German Clericals. Without being anti-Semitic the ministry tried to win the favor of the majority by some concessions to the Reactionary program. This was the tendency of the school-law, passed in 1883, which required that the principal of every public school should belong to the same church to which the majority of the school-children belonged. This law debarred the Jews from all teaching positions in country districts, and served to deter Jewish students from entering the normal schools. The law made an exception in favor of Galicia, where, in the cities, the Jews were often in the majority. Restrictions upon peddling and upon the clothing trade were further concessions to the political parties demanding a revision of the constitution in a reactionary sense.
Georg von Schönerer.
The first one, however, to make Anti Semitism a political program was Georg von Schönerer, an ambitious politician and millionaire, who had inherited his wealth from his father, a railroad contractor in the employ of the Rothschilds. He renounced the anti-German policy of Count Taaffe, and, together with two other members of the Reichsrath, Schöffel and Fürnkranz, formed the nucleus of an anti-Semitic party. In the Diet of Lower Austria he demanded (Oct. 3, 1882) a legal solution of the Jewish question, threatening that otherwise the people would take the law in their own hands. Previously (May 11, 1882) he had brought into the Reichsrath a petition against the immigration of Russian Jews, and had found the support of 22 members. He obtained still more ardent support among the students of the university of Vienna; and the largest of the students' societies, the Deutsche Lesehalle, was responsible for turbulent meetings at which the Jews were insulted. The larger and more respectable element of the population did not participate in this movement; nor did the government as yet tolerate its excesses. Meetings, at which violent speeches were delivered, were promptly dissolved by the police; and inflammatory pamphlets were suppressed. The most prominent citizens in Vienna and of other large cities, following the example of Berlin and Paris, formed committees for the purpose of assisting the Jewish refugees from Russia. The affair of Tisza-Eszlár also exercised its influence upon the conditions in Austria. Rohling, who in 1871 as professor in the Catholic Academy of Münster had published his notorious pamphlet, "Der Talmudjude," had in the meantime been called to Prague, where he continued his agitation, adding to his former charges against rabbinical literature the odious one that the Talmud makes it the duty of the Jews to use the blood of Christians in certain religious rites (Rohling, "Die Polemik und das Menschenopfer des Rabbinismus," Paderborn, 1883; "Meine Antworten an die Rabbinen oder Fünf Briefe über den Talmudismus und das Blutritual der Juden," Prague, 1883). This agitation was taken up in the Reichsrath, where the Polish deputyMerunovicz made a motion, January, 1883, to have the Talmud translated under the supervision of the government.
Liechtenstein and Lueger.
The elections to the Reichsrath of 1884 brought several anti-Semitic candidates into the political arena. Even in Vienna, hitherto a stronghold of Liberalism, one candidate, Pattai, presented himself to the electors on the basis of an anti-Semitic platform, but he was defeated.. The municipal council demonstrated its liberalism through a congratulatory message sent to Sir Moses Montefiore upon his hundredth birthday (Oct. 24, 1884). But Anti-Semitism made constant progress; and in 1891 the elections to the Reichsrath brought thirteen anti-Semitic members, who were divided into three groups, the Ultra-Nationals, with Schönerer at their head, who were in favor of annexation of the German part of Austria to Germany; the Loyal Austrians, led by Pattai; and the Clericals, under Prince Liechtenstein and Schneider. Similarly, the provincial Diets, especially that of Lower Austria, showed an increased number of anti-Semitic members. The debates in these bodies, the speeches in public meetings, the pamphlets and newspapers indulged in language which breathed a violence perhaps only equaled in the literature of the Jacobins during the French Revolution. Schneider, in the Diet of Lower Austria, said that the government should offer a premium for the shooting of Jews similar to that offered for shooting wolves. Lueger, who was the leader of the Clerical anti-Semites, admonished the various factions of his followers to amalgamate, saying that it was not worth while to quarrel over such minor details as to whether the Jews should be hanged or beheaded. Gregorig said in the Diet of Lower Austria, "These are not human beings; they are Jews," and Edward Suess, the famous geologist, and Liberal leader in the Reichsrath, was prompted to the remark, April, 1894: "What has been spoken, written, and done against the Jewish people during the last few years has been in flagrant violation not only of our Constitution, but of the principles of human justice and Christianity."
The Polna Affair.
The worst part of the drama, which has not yet come to an end, began when the anti-Semites in 1895 succeeded in electing a majority to the municipal council of Vienna, and when Lueger, after the government had twice refused to confirm him, was made burgomaster in 1897. The elections to the Reichsrath of 1897, which were held on the basis of a new law enlarging the franchise, brought losses to the Liberals and gains to the anti-Semites of the different shades, notably to the Christian-Socialists. The weakness of the government, manifested in the frequent changes of ministries, encouraged the turbulent element, and riots against the Jews occurred, among which those at Prague, December, 1897; Nachod, April, 1899, and Holleschau, October, 1899, were very serious ones, resulting in bloodshed. The murder of Agnes Hruza in Polna, Bohemia, March 29, 1899, caused great excitement. The charge of ritual murder was revived; and a Jew named Hülsner was indicted and found guilty by a jury. Hülsner was retried and again found guilty Nov. 14, 1900 (POLNA AFFAIR).
In the meantime Anti-Semitism was asserting itself with great vehemence in France. Public sentiment with regard to the Jews had indeed undergone a great change since the death of Crémieux. When he died, the French Chamber of Deputies, by 344 votes to 91, passed a resolution (Feb. 2, 1880) to have him buried at the public expense. In a lecture "On the Jews as a Race and as a Religion," delivered Jan. 27, 1883, by Ernest Renan, who had been instrumental in popularizing the ethnical theory of Semitism, he said: "Let us be glad that these theories, so interesting for the historian and the ethnographer, have no practical meaning in France." In the same year the essayist Victor Cherbuliez in speaking of the conditions in Germany said: "We experience some difficulty in France in realizing that there is a Jewish question in Germany; that this question should excite the soundest minds, and should furnish material for virulent polemies. Thank heaven, there are plenty of things settled forever in France, as to which one would try in vain to reopen discussion" (G. Valbert, pseudonym for Cherbuliez: "Hommes et Choses du Temps Present," p. 76, Paris, 1883). The publication of Édouard Drumont's book, "La France Juive" (1886), proved the falsity of all this. But the change in public opinion was not so surprising as it may at first sight seem. The Republican party always considered Clericalism its enemy. Gambetta, who had coined the battlecry, "Le cléricalisme, voilà l'ennemi," led a crusade against the Catholic Church. While he was unsuccessful in his attempt to carry an amendment to the school law of 1880, which would have forbidden Jesuits to engage in educational work, he and his friends were nevertheless able to pass a law which ordered the expulsion of certain monastic orders. This law, by which 261 monasteries were closed and 4,350 monks and nuns were rendered homeless, created a great deal of bitterness against the dominant party of freethinkers. The school laws of 1881 ordering gratuitous tuition were a blow against the schools maintained by the friars. The freethinkers were denounced as Jews in disguise. In 1881 a weekly paper, called "L'Anti-Juif," was founded in Paris. When Baron Rothschild clothed poor school-children his act was denounced as that of a Jewish propaganda. The agitation in favor of a bill permitting divorce, which the Code Napoléon had prohibited, created great commotion within the ranks of the Church, and was used as a weapon against the Jews, because the chief agitator for it, Naquet, was a Jew. Bishop Freppel of Orléans called the bill in the chamber a "Semitic law" (August, 1884).
Drumont's "La France Juive."
The elections of 1885 nearly brought a majority of Monarchists into the Chamber. This party had seized the opportunity to denounce the persecuting spirit of atheism. A riot in Château-Villaine, where the prefect had ordered the closing of a chapel in a manufactory, was made the subject of an interpellation in the Chamber (April 13, 1886), and during this heated discussion Drumont's book, "La France Juive," already referred to, was published. The phenomenal success of the book showed that the great masses of the population shared the view of the author; namely, that the Jews were the cause of all the misfortunes that had befallen France. F. Brunetière, editor of the "Revue des Deux Mondes," himself, as he confesses, not prejudiced in favor of the Jews, sums up Drumont's book as follows: "If the France of M. Grévy, as everybody will admit, does not resemble that of Louis XIV., and still less that of St. Louis, the fault, or rather the crime, lies with the Jews. They are as guilty for what they have done as for what they have left undone." Brunetière accuses Drumont of "being blinded by hatred" and speaks of his "sereine audace de fanatisme" ("Revue des Deux Mondes," 1886, pp. 75, 693). Other books by Drumont followed in rapid succession; and his paper, "La Libre Parole," soon became a very influential and widely read journal.
The Dreyfus Affair.
Political scandals, and especially the venality of an incredibly large number of politicians and journalists, brought France to the verge of civil war. The collapse of the Panama Canal Company, and the publication of the scandals connected with it, were a new source of danger to the republic. In that colossal swindle several Jews were prominent; and although they were merely the agents, the venal politicians being the real culprits, the fact of their participation, constantly reiterated by the clerical and the anti-Semitic press, fomented the hatred against the Jews. The anti-Semitic agitators had especially protested bitterly against the Jews holding administrative offices or commissions in the army. In 1892 Captain Mayer was killed in a duel which he fought with Marquis de Morès, one of the fiercest leaders in the anti-Semitic movement. In 1895 the Dreyfus Affair brought the excitement to a dangerous pitch. In Algeria the demonstrations led to bloodshed. The anti-Semites elected Max Régis, one of the most rabid Jew-haters, as mayor of Algiers; and although the government deposed him, Anti-Semitism still raged in Algeria. During the revision of the Dreyfus trial in 1899, Guérin, the editor of "L'Anti-Juif," defied the authorities for a time by barricading himself in a house and refusing to yield to the law. While the fear lest an outbreak might endanger the success of the Exposition of 1900 served to subdue political passion, the municipal elections in Paris and in Algeria, in the month of May, 1900, resulted in a victory for the Nationalists, who, being a composite of Clerical Monarchists and opponents of the government in power, are mainly cemented together by their common Anti-Semitism.
In Russia the effect of the assassination of Alexander II. (March 13, 1881) was the strengthening of reactionary tendencies. The late emperor had in various ways tried to mitigate the despotic form of government which was the traditional policy of the empire. The restrictive laws against the Jews were to some extent moderated by exceptions and otherwise were less rigorously enforced. Alexander III., haunted by the specter of Nihilism, gave himself entirely into the hands of the Slavophiles, whose policy was that of unrestricted tyranny. Pobyedonostzev, head of the Holy Synod; Count Ignatiev, Aksakov, and such men possessed his unbounded confidence. An improvement of the sad condition of the Jews was part of the Liberal program, and, consequently, could not be countenanced. Soon after the accession of the new emperor, serious riots broke out (April 27, 1881) in Elizabethgrad, in the southern part of the empire, and in Kiev (May 5). Property of immense value was destroyed; Jews were expelled from several cities; and a considerable number were killed or seriously injured. Similar scenes occurred in Warsaw in December, 1881. More than two thousand families were made homeless, and property estimated at from 767,000 to 1,119,000 rubles in value was destroyed. Imperial ukases of Aug. 22 and Oct. 19, 1881, restricted the Jews' right of residence to the towns of the so-called Pale of Settlement, and so produced a pale within the Pale; prohibited the sale of liquor; the right to hold land; and limited the number of Jewish students in colleges and universities.
The fanatic population showed a full perception of the intentions of the government. Serious riots were of almost regular occurrence—at Rostov on the Don, May 22, 1883; in Nijni-Novgorod, June 7, 1884; and recently in Nikolaiev, April, 1899. The expulsions continued, and assumed serious proportions in 1891 and 1892; so that President Harrison, in his message to Congress, spoke of the concern created by these measures in the United States.
The death of Alexander III. (Nov. 1, 1894) brought no decided change in the status of the Jews; and while persecutions have abated, the restrictive laws are still in force. One result of these conditions has been the scheme for settling the Jews in Palestine, advocated by Laurence Oliphant, and subsequently taken up by the Zionists; and a similar attempt by Baron de Hirsch to found homesteads in Argentina for the Jewish refugees. Large numbers of them settled in England, in the United States, and in South Africa.
Ever since the dethronement of Prince Cusa of Rumania in 1866, that country has been the theater of serious outbreaks of mob violence against the Jews. The persecutions of December, 1871, caused by the trial of a Jew accused of buying sacred vessels stolen from a church, evoked protests in almost every civilized country. When Rumania's independence was recognized by the Congress of Berlin (July 1, 1878), it was on condition that the constitution of the new country should grant equal rights to all citizens, regardless of creed. Rumania submitted, but did not fulfil its obligation, and the Rumanian government declared all Jews to be aliens and made the naturalization of foreigners dependent upon a special act of the legislature. Naturalization was granted in but very few instances, and the lot of the Jews in Rumania grew steadily worse. They were the victims of frequent mob-violence (as in Bucharest, Dec. 12, 1897, and in Jassy, May 28, 1899), and their assailants went unpunished when brought before the courts. As in Russia, Jews were expelled from villages, and in many other ways restricted in their economic activity; they were debarred from the public schools, and at present (1901) the government is putting every imaginable obstacle in the way of the Jewish schools with the evident object of preventing the Jews from improving their condition. Large numbers of emigrants left the country during 1900, notwithstanding the accession to power of a more liberally minded premier, Minister Carp.
This article is limited by the definition of Anti-Semitism as the opposition to Jews on the ground of their ethnical inferiority. Therefore it is unnecessary to refer to the condition of the Jews in countries like Persia and Morocco, where religious fanaticism needs no scientific pretext. However, the blood accusations of Corfu, April, 1891, resulting from the murder of a Jewish child, and the subsequent riots may be referred to in this sketch, but will be treated more appropriately under BLOOD ACCUSATION. Another instance of Anti-Semitism is given by the enactments which have been passed prohibiting the killing of animals according to the Jewish rite in Saxony, by an order of the minister of the interior March 23, 1893, and in Switzerland by a referendum, Aug. 20, 1893.
While it may be stated that Anti-Semitism as such does not exist either in England or in the United States, still amid the general class distinctions maintained in social intercourse in those countries, a feeling against the Jews manifests itself in social discriminations. A prominent expounder of the anti-Semitic theories in the English-speaking world, and, according to Lucien Wolf ("A Jewish View of the Anti-Jewish Agitation," in "Nineteenth Century," 1881, 9:338-357), their originator, is Prof. Goldwin Smith, of Toronto. His charges against the Jews are the same that are found in the works of the Germanauthors on the subject. He accuses them of tribal exclusiveness and cosmopolitanism; he calls them intruders and parasites, and an unassociable race. He looks upon commerce as the only motive of their activity, and says of Disraeli: "A Jewish statesman got up jingoism much as he would get up a speculative mania for a commercial purpose" (Goldwin Smith, "The United Kingdom," 1:46,108,137,185, New York, 1899; "The Jewish Question" in "Nineteenth Century," 1881, pp. 10, 494-515; "Can Jews be Patriots?" ib. 9:875-887).
Pettiness of Charges by Anti-Semites.
It can not, however, be denied by any fair-minded person that some of the anti-Semitic charges are monstrously absurd, as when Ahlwardt said that Sanitätsrath Lewin—who happened to be near the place where Emperor William was shot by Nobiling—had been advised by the Alliance Israélite Universelle of the attempt to assassinate the emperor; or the story that Crémieux had offered a prize of one million francs for the emperor's head. On the one hand the accusation was spread that the firm of Ludwig Löwe had furnished bad guns, because the Alliance wished to see Germany defeated; on the other hand, Captain Dreyfus was accused of having betrayed army secrets to Germany, because the Jews desired that country to be victorious. A German author has even accused the Jews of having caused the stylistic carelessness of modern German writers (G. Wustmann: "Allerhand Sprachdummheiten," Leipsic, 1891). Anti-Semitic pamphlets and journals have constantly published circulars purporting to be issued by the Alliance, which were forgeries, and they have fabricated a letter of the German ambassador to Paris—Count von Wimpfen, who committed suicide Dec. 24, 1882—in which he had charged Baron Hirsch with being the cause of his misfortune; whereas, actually, the unfortunate man had asked the baron as his best friend to take care of his family. They have untiringly published an alleged address of an English chief rabbi, Readclif, in which the Jews were admonished to put themselves in the possession of all the money of the world, so that God's promises to Abraham should be fulfilled. The source of this alleged address was a novel, "Gaeta, Düppel, Warsaw," by Hermann Goedsche, who had been dismissed from the Prussian postal service because of forgeries that he had committed, and who wrote under the pseudonym, "Sir John Ratcliffe." So whether right or wrong the anti-Semitic cause was only too frequently advocated by such methods.
- The German weekly Mittheilungen aus dem Verein zur Abwehr des Antisemitismus, Berlin, since 1891, is a repertory of the history of Anti-Semitism. The general literature on the subject is so immense that it is impossible to give more than a list of the most prominent works: A bibliography up to 1885 was given by Joseph Jacobs, The Jewish Question, London, 1885, supplemented by I. Loeb in the Rev. Ét. Juives for the same year;
- Glagau, Der Börsenund Gründungsschwindel in Berlin, 1877;
- the second part under the title, Der Börsenund Gründungsschwindel in Deutschland, Berlin, 1877;
- H. von Treitschke, Ein Wort über Unser Judenthum, Berlin, 1880;
- W. Marr, Der Sieg des Judenthums über das Germanenthum. 12th ed., Bern, 1879;
- E. Dühring, Die Judenfrage als Racen-, Sittenund Culturfrage, Carlsruhe and Leipsic, 1881;
- Ed. von Hartmann, Das Judenthum in Gegenwart und Zukunft, Leipsic, 1885;
- Ad. Stöcker, Das Moderne Judenthum, Berlin, 1880;
- Christlich-Social, Berlin, 1890;
- H. Ahlwardt, Der Verzweiflungskampf der Arischen Völker mit dem Judenthum, Berlin, 1890;
- Judenflinten, part , Dresden, 1892;
- A. Wahrmund, Das Gesetz des Nomadenthums und die Heutige Judenherrschaft, Carlsruhe, 1887;
- Liebermann von Sonnenberg, Beiträge zur Gesch. der Antisem. Bewegung, 1885;
- A. Rohling, Der Talmudjude, Münster, 1871;
- Dr. Justus (A. Brimann), Judenspiegel, Paderborn, 1883;
- Ed. Drumont, La France Juive, Paris, 1886;
- La Dernière Bataille, Paris, 1889;
- Le Testament d'un Antisémite, Paris, 1891;
- P. Constant, Les Juifs devant l'Église et l'Histoire, Paris, 1897;
- Sir Richard F. Burton, The Jew, the Gipsy, and El Islam, Chicago and New York, 1898. Of the apologetic literature may be noted: Antisemitenspiegel. Der Antisemitismus im Lichte des Christenthums, des Rechts und der Moral, Danzig, 1892 (Eng. trans. by Mrs. Hellmann);
- A. Leroy-Beaulieu, Israel chez les Nations, Paris, 1893;
- Th. Mommsen, Auch Ein Wort über Unser Judenthum, Berlin, 1880;
- Fr. Delitzsch, Schachmatt den Blutlügnern Rohling und Justus, Erlangen, 1883;
- B. Lazare, Contre l' Antisémitisme, Paris, 1896;
- N. Chmerkine, Les Conséquences de l' Antisémitisme en Russie, Paris, 1897;
- Schrattenholz, Der Antisemiten Hammer, 1892;
- further literature in the Theologischer Jahresbericht, which is published annually by Schwetschke in Brunswick.
These files are public domain.
Singer, Isidore, Ph.D, Projector and Managing Editor. Entry for 'Anti-Semitism'. 1901 The Jewish Encyclopedia. https://www.studylight.org/encyclopedias/eng/tje/a/anti-semitism.html. 1901.
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