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Causes. Medieval distrust. Judaism identified with an obsolete way of life. 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
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Causes • Medieval distrust. • Judaism identified with an obsolete way of life. • Promise of wealth, equality • Many people suffer under capitalist dream. • Judaism identified with ill-gotten gains.
National statesGlobal 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
Dreyfus • 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.
Pogrom“RIOT” • 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” • http://www.yad-vashem.org.il/
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 oriental-preasiatic 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 pseudo-science.”
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.
1939-45 W W 2 • 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)
Camps Chelmno 150, 000 Dachau 230,000 Sobibor: 250,000 Belzek: 600,000 Treblinka: + 7-900,000 Auschwitz + 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 outbecause I was not a Jew. • Then they came for me, and there was no oneleft to speak out for me.
Jewish population 1939 1948 • World millions 16.6 11.5 • E. Europe (exc. USSR) 4.7 0.8 • European USSR 2.8 1.8 • Western Europe 2.0 1.1 • America + Australia 5.5 5.8 • Palestine/Israel 0.4 0.6 • 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 work. • (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
CANADA • Protocols of the Elders of Zion promoted by some religious leaders • 1910 - 1940s, Henri Bourassa, and Mackenzie King associated with anti-Semitism • Russian pogroms justified: • Hitler praised, • Jews refused sanctuary.
Very controversial Issues • How unique was the holocaust? • Can it be understood rationally? Is it different than: Soviet mass starvation of Ukrainians Khmer Rouge slaughter of millions in Cambodia
Issues • Compensation for victims and families • State of Israel: can it go too far in establishing a homeland?