The Pathogenesis of the Anti-Semitism of Sebastian Brunner 1814-1893
Brunner was an initiator and a central figure of Catholic antisemitism in the nineteenth century. He rose rapidly in the church hierarchy and was a prolific writer. He devoted his life to writing and preaching against Enlightenment, liberalism and, particularly, Judaism. His grandfather introduced him to the works of the Viennese Augustine monk, Abraham à Sancta Clara (d. 1709), and it is thought that this triggered off his hostility to the Jews which only intensified with time. Brunner’s antisemitic and anti-liberal polemics led him into clashes with the legal authorities and he repeatedly appeared in court. He claimed that Jews had ritually slaughtered Christian children. His hatred of Jews increased from year to year and he may be considered the first person in whom clericalism and antisemitism were joined. His anti-Jewish terminology paved the way for National Socialist antisemitism — the Nazi ideology of the 1930s.