The Promotion of Anti-Semitism in Yad Vashem Studies, Volume III

John H. E. Fried

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The Promotion of Anti-Semitism Through the Abuse of Democratic and Socialist Concepts

The optimistic essential rationality of human behavior has been replaced by pessimism. Yet Jews have continued to struggle for humanistic rationalism. Democracy is based on the rationalistic concept of equality of human beings. Such “social justice” has often been manipulated to promote antisemitism, for example by National Socialism in Germany. Antagonism between the elite and non-elite inevitably arose. Hitler and the Nazis channeled rebellious energies against the Jews, whose social prestige had been lowered. The Nazis constantly denounced materialism and won over the workers by dazzling them with words like “folk community” and “hierarchical equality”. Abuse of democratic ideas is more dangerous in countries where unrest and dissatisfaction are more common. It has been said that “Anti-Semitism is the Socialism of the moron” and even intellectuals can become such morons. Attribution of secret, sinister powers to Jews increases antisemitism. Major outbreaks of antisemitism can only occur if they are connived beforehand. Will the existence and policies of Israel indirectly erect a barrier against antisemitism?

Products specifications
Year 1959
Catalog No. 195902
No. of Pages 8 pp.
Format Electronic article in Yad Vashem Studies, Volume III, pp. 17-24, Edited by Shaul Esh
Publisher Yad Vashem