Causes • Medieval distrust. • Judaism identified with an obsolete way of life.

• Medieval distrust.
• Judaism identified with an obsolete way of
• Promise of wealth, equality
– Many people suffer under capitalist dream.
– Judaism identified with ill-gotten gains.
National states
Global economy
• Fear of loss of control over one’s destiny
• Jews and “Jewish banking conspiracy” a
ready made scapegoat.
• Fears Jews are “taking over the world”
“Victory of Judaism over Germanism”
Wilhelm Marr, 1870’s
• We have become so Judaised that we are
outside salvation and a brutal anti-Semitic
outburst will merely postpone the collapse
of our Judaised society. It will not prevent
it. The great mission of Judaisation is
unstoppable… The twilight of the gods has
begun. You are the masters and we are
the slaves. It is the end of Germany.
Otto Glagau, in Die Gartenlaube (late 19th
century, Germany).
• Members of the Jewish tribe do not work.
They exploit the mental and manual work
of others. This alien tribe has enslaved the
people of Germany. Basically the social
question is the Jewish question.
Everything else is fraud.
“Alfred Dreyfus Affair”
• 1894: France
• Accused of treason
– Anti-Semitic violence
• Exonerated 1906: evidence falsified
• If he had been a Catholic or a free-thinker,
he would have been classified as an
isolated extraordinary case … The next
day the public would have been interested
in other matters… However, now
everybody in France is speaking of only
one man and his treason and that because
that man is a Jew.
(E. Bucheron, in Le Figaro, 1894)
Protocols of the Elders of Zion
• When the time comes for our Ruler of the World to be
crowned, we will see to it by the same means - that is
to say, by making use of the mob - we will destroy
everything that may prove an obstacle in our way …
We have set at variance with one another all
personal and national interests of the gentiles by
promulgating religious and tribal prejudices among
them for nearly twenty centuries… We are too
powerful - the world has to reckon with us.
Governments cannot make even a small treaty
without our being eagerly involved in it.
• Russia adopts severe restrictions on Jews
• Violence breaks out all over east Europe
Kishinev Pogrom 1903
(49 dead)
• Brothers, in the name of Our Lord who
shed his blood for us and in the name of
our holy Czar who is filled with
compassion for his people, let us cry out
during our great holiday, “Down with the
Yids!” Down with these horrible vermin,
these vampires slavering for the blood of
Russians. (pamphet)
Russian revolution, 1917
• Many Jews become communists
• Thousands migrate
• Russian Revolution rejected Judaism:
• Communism was atheistic.
A. Hitler, Mein Kampf, 1925-27
• At the start of the war, or even during the course
of it, if twelve or fifteen thousand of these Jews
who were corrupting the nation had been forced
submit to poison gas, just as hundreds of
thousands of our best German workers from
every social stratum and from every trade and
calling had to face it in the field, then the millions
of sacrifices made at the front would not have
been in vain.
Holocaust “Burnt Offering”
• Yad Vashem “Holocaust museum”
Stages in Nazi Anti-Jewish Policy
• Pre-WW1: E.g., ‘Protocols of the Elders of
Zion’ Forged document
purporting to
reveal a ‘Jewish conspiracy’.
• Post W W 1: ‘Mein Kampf’ Hitler’s
manifesto (1925-1927).
1933-1939 Pre-W W 2
• ‘Third Reich’: Hitler forms Government.
Laws establish who is a Jew
• The "Aryanization" of Businesses
• "The Night of Broken Glass" (Nov. 1938)
Der Ewige Jude
“The Eternal Jew”
Nazi propaganda film
• “Here, the ultimate mixed race that is the Jews
developed over the centuries from the orientalpreasiatic racial mixture, with a hint of the
negroid - foreign to us Europeans, born from
totally different kinds of racial elements, different
from us in body and above all in soul. We would
probably never have been bothered by them,
had they remained in their Eastern homeland.”
Ewige Jude
• “The relativity-Jew
Einstein, who
concealed his hatred
of Germany behind
his obscure pseudoscience.”
Ewige Jude:
Hitler’s 1939 speech:
• “If the international finance-Jewry inside
and outside Europe should succeed in
plunging the nations into a world war yet
again, then the outcome will not be the
victory of Jewry, but rather the annihilation
of the Jewish race in Europe!”
Concentration camps
• Political opponents
– Communists
– Democrats
• Gypsies
• Jews
Dachau camp: March 1933
• Münchner Neueste Nachrichten reported
• The Munich Chief of Police, Himmler, has issued the
following press announcement:
• On Wednesday the first concentration camp is to be
opened in Dachau with an accommodation for 5000
persons. All Communists and -- where necessary -Reichsbanner and Social Democratic functionaries who
endanger state security are to be concentrated here, …
these people cannot be released because attempts have
shown that they persist in their efforts to agitate and
organize as soon as they are released.
• The Occupation of Poland (2 million Jews)
• Invasion of the USSR (1941)
• Einsatzgruppen (action squads) massacres
• The "Final Solution" (deportations to camps)
• Failed Warsaw Uprising (1943)
150, 000
+ 7-900,000
+ 1,000,000
Rev. M. Niemöller: German Confessing Church
(7 years in a camp)
• First they came for the communists, and I did not
speak out because I was not a communist.
• Then they came for the socialists, and I did not
speak out because I was not a socialist.
• Then they came for the labor leaders, and I did not
speak out because I was not a labor leader.
• Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out
because I was not a Jew.
• Then they came for me, and there was no one
left to speak out for me.
Jewish population
E. Europe (exc. USSR)
European USSR
Western Europe
America + Australia
Encyclopedia Judaica and J. Lestschinsky, Crisis, Catastrophe and Survival
Jewish responses:
• Where was God?
E. Fackenheim
• Jews are forbidden to hand Hitler posthumous
victories. They are commanded to survive as Jews,
lest the Jewish people perish. They are
commanded to remember the victims of Auschwitz
lest their memories perish. They are forbidden to
despair of man and his world, and to escape into
either cynicism or other worldliness, lest they
cooperate in delivering the world over to the forces
of Auschwitz. Finally they are forbidden to despair
of the God of Judaism, lest Judaism perish… In
ancient times, the unthinkable Jewish sin was
idolatry. Today it is to respond to Hitler by doing his
(God’s Presence in History: Jewish Affirmations and
Philosophical Reflections)
Richard Rubenstein
• To see any purpose in the death camps, the
traditional believer is forced to regard the most
demonic, anti-human explosion of all history as
a meaningful expression of God’s purposes. The
idea is simply too obscene for me to accept…
When I say we live in the time of the death of
God, I mean that the thread uniting God and
man, heaven and earth, has been broken. We
stand in a cold, silent, unfeeling cosmos,
unaided by any powerful power beyond our own
resources. After Auschwitz, what else can a Jew
say about God?
• After Auschwitz
• Protocols of the Elders of Zion promoted
by some religious leaders
• 1910 - 1940s, Henri Bourassa, and
Mackenzie King associated with antiSemitism
• Russian pogroms justified:
• Hitler praised,
• Jews refused sanctuary.
Very controversial Issues
• How unique was the holocaust?
– Can it be understood rationally? Is it different
Soviet mass starvation of Ukrainians
Khmer Rouge slaughter of millions in Cambodia
• Compensation for victims and families
• State of Israel: can it go too far in
establishing a homeland?