By Marcel Stoetzler
The country, the kingdom, and the Jews is a learn of Germany’s past due nineteenth-century antisemitism dispute and of the liberal culture that engendered it. The Berlin Antisemitism Dispute all started in 1879 while a number one German liberal, Heinrich von Treitschke, wrote a piece of writing helping anti-Jewish actions that appeared on the time to gel into an antisemitic “movement.” Treitschke’s reviews instantly provoked a debate in the German highbrow neighborhood. Responses from supporters and critics alike argued the relevance, that means, and origins of this “new” antisemitism. finally the Dispute used to be as a lot approximately Germans and the way they can best consolidate their lately shaped nationwide kingdom as approximately Jews and those that hated them. Treitschke’s liberal antisemitism threw into sharp aid the antinomies inherent within the glossy constellation of country, tradition, and society.In a newly united Germany the Dispute compelled the highbrow neighborhood to question the parameters of nationwide identification. Born in the liberal culture that, on the time, in most cases championed Jewish emancipation, the Dispute’s center query was once how kingdom, kingdom, race, ethnicity, and faith may still relate to each other. From a detailed research of the the most important contributions to the controversy, Marcel Stoetzler crafts a compelling critique of liberalism and liberal notions of nationwide id. The specifics of the Dispute increase uncomfortable questions on the position of race, faith, and ethnicity inside glossy liberalism. The Dispute offers an street for knowing the improvement of antisemitism inside of liberal society and, finally, is an indictment of liberalism itself.
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Extra resources for The State, the Nation & the Jews: Liberalism and the Antisemitism Dispute in Bismarck's Germany
91 The Dispute Simmers on Low Heat In studying the Berlin Antisemitism Dispute there are some unexpected rewards in the form of great humor. ”92 On the other side there is the very intentional humor of those who perceive and challenge the pomposity of Treitschke’s discourse. The example of the (anonymous) mock-Börne has already been mentioned; another gem is the letter by the rabbi of Memel, a town on the German-Polish border, Isaac Rülf, published in the Allgemeine Zeitung des Judenthums in February 1880: he engages critically with Treitschke’s use of the epitheton ornans “trouser-selling” for the emigrating Jewish youths from “the East” and points out, inter alia, that they tend not even to own a decent pair of trousers for themselves to wear.
We, the imaginary community of reasonable people of all walks of life who do not like noisy people (Stöcker and other populist demagogues), should not “deceive ourselves” and underestimate the current movement. However, the line between reevaluation and appreciation is thin. In pointing out the modern character of the antisemitic movement lies part of the strength of Treitschke’s text. His understanding is here superior to that of those of his contemporaries who merely turned up their noses to the vulgar noises of the antisemites.
He adds that only two Jewish deputies of previous Reichstage sat on the right, the “ﬁnancial aristocrats [Fürstlichkeiten der Finanz]” Strousberg and von Rothschild. It could be held against Bamberger’s argument that these two are regularly cited by antisemites as particularly despicable Jews. Bamberger’s reduction of the anti-Jewish campaign to nothing but an element of a campaign against liberalism fails to explain why it also directs itself against Jews who are not liberals. ”47 He suggests—like Breßlau— that it had been initiated ﬁve years earlier as a campaign against Bismarck in which the Jews were merely a pretext.