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The Development of Modern Anti-Semitism

Political Anti-Semitism


Anti-Semitism from the left...



Poster for Adolf Willette...



Adolf Stoecker...



The first copy of the
anti-Semitic newspaper...



In 1886, the French writer Edouard Drumont...



Karl Lueger...


TOWARD THE END OF THE 19TH CENTURY, more and more people receive the right to vote. New parties are formed and the foundations are laid for modern mass movements. Groups and classes that held power for centuries are confronted with a new phenomenon: they have to compete in the political arena. Political parties begin to use modern mass propaganda in their attempt to attract voters. The exploitation of anti-Semitic sentiments turns out to be a successful tool in the contest to win the electorate's favor.

As Jews tend to become politically active in Liberal and Socialist parties, conservative forces use anti-Semitic propaganda to tarnish their political enemies by depicting them as "corrupted" through the presence of Jews. During a period of economic crisis in the last decades of the century, political parties are formed in France, Germany and Austria with anti-Semitism as the sole program of political action.

For a while, these parties gain a very large following. But not only conservative parties abuse anti-Semitic prejudices. Even some socialists see capitalism as an expression of the "Jewish spirit" of exploitation, and in their eyes the struggle against capitalism has to be directed against "Jewish capital" or the "capitalist character" of Judaism. These tendencies among the Socialist parties are mostly resisted by the leadership, by Jean Jaurès in France and Karl Kautsky in Germany, among others.



In the eyes of anti-Semites...



The Jew as a snake...


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