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ANTISEMITISM
THE MUTATING VIRUS


ANTISEMITISM
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Tel Aviv University    Worldwide
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ANTISEMITISM and the NAZIS

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EDUCATION
From Yad Vashem


This page provides these teaching aids

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NAZIS
From:  Imperial War Museum, London, Holocaust Exhibition, 1915

Antisemitism - hatred of the Jews - was central to the Nazis' world -view.  They believed that  the world was locked in a great struggle between two races, the 'Aryans 'and the 'Semites'.


Everything the  Nazis hated - Communism, liberalism, Jewish and Christian ideas  of tolerance and humility- was in their view due to the influence of the 'Semitic race', the Jews.  They claimed that the 'Aryan race' - white Europeans - once noble warriors, had been weakened and corrupted by this influence, whose elimination they saw as their most important task

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The Nazis' built on an ancient tradition of antisemitism that was already very widespread.  They found supporters throughout Europe.  


Most European Jews lived in Eastern Europe, where violence often took the form of violent riots called pogroms.  Waves of pogroms struck the Russian Empire between 1903-7 and again in 1920-1921, killing tens of thousands of Jews.  Later Hungary, Romania and Poland passed anti-Jewish laws.


Anti-Semitic movements flourished in most countries.  Riots had accompanied the Dreyfus affair in France.  In Britain famous writers such as Rudyard Kipling, GK Chesterton and TS Eliot expressed anti-Jewish prejudice.  In the 1930's Sir Oswald Mosley's British Union of Fascists carried out violent attacks on Jews.

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The Nazis funded their state on the idea that there was a Master Race superior to all others.


The Master Race' (Herrenvolk)  was made up of the Germans and their neighbours in northern Europe, especially the blond and blue-eyed  'Nordics' .  The dark haired people of southern Europe were considered inferior, though still 'Aryans'.  Below them were  people regarded as 'subhumans'  (Untermenschen):  the Slavs to the  east, Gypsies and non-whites.  At the very bottom - inferior, yet powerful, the eternal enemy of the  'Aryan race' - were the Jews.


The Nazis claimed that 'inferior races' threatened to subvert  'Aryan' culture'  and pollute 'Aryan' bloodlines.  They wanted to cleanse Germany - and Europe  of such supposedly alien influences.

EVOLUTION OF NAZI RESTRICTIONS
UCL Centre for Holocaust Education   By Paul Salmons March 2014

Antisemitism  was a familiar part of European political life in the 1800s. Political antisemitism was preceded by centuries of religious persecution of Europe's Jews. There is evidence as early as 1919 that Hitler had a strong hatred of Jews. As Chancellor and later Reichsf�hrer, Hitler translated these intense feelings into a series of policies and statutes which progressively eroded the rights of German Jews from 1933-1939.

At first, the Nazis boycotted Jewish businesses for one day in April 1933. Then legislation excluded Jews from certain professions. The Nuremberg Laws created very detailed Nazi definitions of who was Jewish. Many people who never considered themselves Jewish suddenly became targets of Nazi persecution.

The world accessible to German Jews narrowed. Jews were no longer allowed to enter cinemas, theaters, swimming pools, and resorts. The publishing of Jewish newspapers was suspended. Jews were required to carry identification cards and to wear Star of David badges. On one night, Nazis burned synagogues and vandalized Jewish businesses. The arrests and murders that followed intensified the fear Jews felt. Next, Jewish children were barred from schools. Curfews restricted Jews' time of travel and Jews were banned from public places. Germany began to expel Jews from within its borders.

Germany's invasion of Poland in late 1939 radicalized the Nazi regime's policy toward Jews. Hitler turned to wholesale death of the European Jewish population. He swept Jewish populations into ghettos in eastern Europe. Simultaneously, mobile squads killed millions. The next step was to send Jews to squalid concentration and death camps. Approximately six million died for one reason: they were Jewish.

THE INDELIBLE LESSONS OF AUSCHWITZ  (See Holocaust)
from Time Magazine, Oct 9 2014  Mary Eberstadt is a senior fellow at the Ethics & Public Policy Center in Washington and author of How the West Really Lost God: A New Theory of Secularization.

The recent increase in attacks against Jews reminds us to stay vigilant against antisemitism

From the murderous pogroms of the 1930’s to the chanting mobs calling for “death to the Jews” in a slew of European cities today, antisemitism and violence have historically gone hand in hand. It’s no surprise, then, that the rise of born-again terrorist groups marching in lockstep with al-Qaeda—chief among them the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS)—has been accompanied by an increase in Europe of boycotts, protests, beatings, firebombed synagogues and other attacks on Jews.

That’s unnerving news in more ways than one. For decades, most people in Europe have believed the monster of antisemitism to be all but buried for good. Not quite. Across the continent, physical as well as verbal attacks on Jews are shocking the consciences of people who never thought they’d see such displays there again. Against this backdrop, and with ISIS and its supporters rooting openly on social media for a new Holocaust, it’s worth meditating for a moment on a historical milestone just ahead.

November 24 marks the 70th anniversary of Heinrich Himmler’s 11th-hour attempt to hide the Nazi genocide. With the Red Army practically at the gates of Auschwitz, the largest of the Nazi concentration camps, Himmler—chief overseer of the so-called Final Solution—ordered the crematoriums at the camp destroyed and the killing of Jews throughout the Reich to cease.

Himmler’s attempted cover-up failed miserably. Seventy years of trials, books, museums, documentaries, memoirs, testimonies and articles have so powerfully borne witness that one can only wonder whether, by 2014, there is anything at all left to say.

The answer from all directions continues to be not only yes, but also plenty.

For one thing, there’s the fact that writers of stature continue to mine the signature horror of the 20th century. Today’s prominent example is British novelist Martin Amis, who grappled with the Nazi genocide in earlier fiction too. Amis’ new book, The Zone of Interest, is a satire set in a fictionalized version of Auschwitz.

The novel has become the object of impassioned—largely positive—reviews in both the U.S. and Europe (though it has yet to secure a German publisher). The sheer amount of international attention goes to show that in literature at least, there’s no such thing as the last word on the Holocaust.

Amis isn’t the only current writer of fiction who dares to take up the subject. British novelist Philip Kerr is the author of a series of Berlin-based noir procedurals in which a Marlowe-esque protagonist, detective Bernie Gunther, is repeatedly enmeshed in major episodes of Nazi history. In addition to fiction written for adults, Holocaust-themed literature for children and teenagers is also flourishing and often assigned in classrooms, at least in the U.S. Among the most popular: Markus Zusak’s The Book Thief and John Boyne’s The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas.

This fall has seen two other new commentaries destined to leave their marks. One is the English translation of researcher Bettina Stangneth’s Eichmann Before Jerusalem: The Unexamined Life of a Mass Murderer. Already well known in Germany, the book challenges Hannah Arendt’s “banality of evil” thesis via new documentation from Eichmann’s years in Argentina that reveal him repeatedly as an anti-Semitic braggart, a proud Nazi and a master manipulator. At the same time, a new film called Night Will Fall—about a rarely seen Holocaust documentary created in 1945 by a team including Alfred Hitchcock and Sidney Bernstein—is playing in theater’s across Great Britain.

In September, coincidentally, German prosecutors charged a former member of Hitler’s SS named Oskar Gröning with 300,000 counts of accessory to murder. This so-called accountant of Auschwitz is 93 years old. What will happen when the last camp guard finally dies off, the last survivor ceases to tell the tale? Will the world then forget about the death camps at last, and move on?

Even seven decades after Himmler’s attempt to conceal the Nazis’ crimes, that’s impossible to believe. No one can erase the collected, recorded knowledge of what happened. Auschwitz remains what it has been since the Nazis first set boots in the place: the inescapable moral Rorschach test of our time and of foreseeable times to come.

ANTISEMITISM
IT DIDN’T JUST START WITH HITLER

THE

INCREDIBLE

STORY OF THE JEWISH PEOPLE