German Question/Jewish Question: Revolutionary Antisemitism in Germany from Kant to Wagner

Overview

In this compelling narrative of antisemitism in German thought, Paul Rose proposes a fresh view of the topic. Beginning with an examination of the attitudes of Martin Luther, he challenges distinctions between theologically derived (medieval) and secular, "racial" (modern) antisemitism, arguing that there is an unbroken chain of antisemitic feeling between the two periods. "Rose persuasively demonstrates that for almost all [German revolutionary thinkers of the right and left], the German Question was ensnarled ...
See more details below
Available through our Marketplace sellers.
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (14) from $4.54   
  • New (1) from $24.79   
  • Used (13) from $4.54   
Close
Sort by
Page 1 of 1
Showing All
Note: Marketplace items are not eligible for any BN.com coupons and promotions
$24.79
Seller since 2007

Feedback rating:

(447)

Condition:

New — never opened or used in original packaging.

Like New — packaging may have been opened. A "Like New" item is suitable to give as a gift.

Very Good — may have minor signs of wear on packaging but item works perfectly and has no damage.

Good — item is in good condition but packaging may have signs of shelf wear/aging or torn packaging. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Acceptable — item is in working order but may show signs of wear such as scratches or torn packaging. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Used — An item that has been opened and may show signs of wear. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Refurbished — A used item that has been renewed or updated and verified to be in proper working condition. Not necessarily completed by the original manufacturer.

New
Clean, unmarked pages. Good binding and cover. Softcover. Ships daily. (GER)

Ships from: Boonsboro, MD

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
  • Express, 48 States
  • Express (AK, HI)
Page 1 of 1
Showing All
Close
Sort by
Sending request ...

Overview

In this compelling narrative of antisemitism in German thought, Paul Rose proposes a fresh view of the topic. Beginning with an examination of the attitudes of Martin Luther, he challenges distinctions between theologically derived (medieval) and secular, "racial" (modern) antisemitism, arguing that there is an unbroken chain of antisemitic feeling between the two periods. "Rose persuasively demonstrates that for almost all [German revolutionary thinkers of the right and left], the German Question was ensnarled in the Jewish Question, and that a deep kinship between left and right was expressed in the loaded opposition between Deutschtum and Judentum."--Robert Alter, The New Republic "The suggestion of the title of Paul Rose's imposing book that Kant, the patron saint of liberal humanitarianism, was in fact the initiator of an important, and perhaps the crucial, strand in German antisemitism may come as something of a shock. But for this and for a number of other, more comprehensive, propositions, Paul Lawrence Rose has assembled a powerful, if rather single-minded case."--Anthony Quinton, The New York Review of Books "An intensely interesting, learned, and combative book."--Geoffrey Wheatcroft, The Times Literary Supplement
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Rose persuasively demonstrates that for almost all [German revolutionary thinkers of the right and left], the German Question was ensnarled in the Jewish Question, and that a deep kinship between left and right was expressed in the loaded opposition between Deutschtum and Judentum."—Robert Alter, The New Republic

"The suggestion of the title of Paul Rose's imposing book that Kant, the patron saint of liberal humanitarianism, was in fact the initiator of an important, and perhaps the crucial, strand in German antisemitism may come as something of a shock. But for this and for a number of other, more comprehensive, propositions, Paul Lawrence Rose has assembled a powerful, if rather single-minded case."—Anthony Quinton, The New York Review of Books

"An intensely interesting, learned, and combative book."—Geoffrey Wheatcroft, The Times Literary Supplement

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780691008905
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • Publication date: 12/14/1992
  • Edition description: REPRINT
  • Pages: 416
  • Product dimensions: 6.11 (w) x 9.24 (h) x 1.02 (d)

Read an Excerpt

German Question/Jewish Question

Revolutionary Antisemitism from Kant to Wagner


By Paul Lawrence Rose

PRINCETON UNIVERSITY PRESS

Copyright © 1990 Princeton University Press
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-0-691-00890-5



CHAPTER 1

The Genealogy of Modern Antisemitism: National Character, Race, and Revolution


NATIONAL CHARACTER

TRADITIONAL Christian hostility to the Jews and Judaism revolved around a cluster of related theological and social themes. The first and earliest of these was the conception of Judaism as a superseded religion that was essentially national, and based on the Law, and thus merely a precursor of Christianity, the new universal religion of Love. This basic critique of Judaism is clearly expressed in St. Paul's Epistle to the Romans (Rom. 8–11) in the framework of a relatively benign attitude toward the Jews themselves. But with the destruction of the Second Temple and the Jewish Commonwealth, a bitter, punitive view of the supersession of Judaism emerged. The Jews now stood accused as the deicidal nation that had murdered Christ. Christians were to find corroboration in pagan sources for a hateful Jewish national character that had driven the Jews to deicide. In the large commercial cities of the Roman Empire, social and religious rivalries between Jews and pagans had long been intense, and these engendered the resentful national critique of Judaism summed up in Tacitus's indictment of the Jews as a nation driven by their "hatred of the rest of humanity." The writings of the church fathers, most notably St. John Chrysostom, expanded this charge into a repertoire of anti-Jewish clichés: the Jews are full of hatred for the rest of mankind and are the enemies of all gentiles; they are parasites on the gentile societies that harbor them; they are addicted to money, and through the power of money, they aspire to be rulers of the world even though they have, by their innate quarrelsomeness, lost their own state.

It is often said that this pagan and Christian conception of the Jews as a hateful nation was not racial in the modern sense. Individual Jews might share the ugly national character of their people, but conversion to paganism or to Christianity signified their abandoning of that national character. Nevertheless, many Christian thinkers remained skeptical of the Jews' capacity for redemptive conversion. The sixteenth-century Christian humanist Erasmus would charge that the converted Jews among his opponents had not purged themselves of the hateful spite of their nation. In any event, the question of the efficacy of conversion in changing national character was of marginal importance, since most Jews obstinately refused to convert. And here another thematic justification of Jew-hatred emerges—the notorious "stubbornness" of the Jews. It was their inexplicable refusal to accept the self-evident truth of triumphant Christianity that perplexed and infuriated Christian observers of Judaism—and worried them too. For it was not just a matter of Jewish redemption, of forcing the Jews to become free, nor even a question of punishing them for their deicide. Rather it was Christian redemption itself that was at stake; the Jews held Christendom itself hostage, since Christ could not return in the Second Coming until they should be converted.

From this Christian notion of the Jews' role as frustrators of redemption grew a new theme that was to be of central importance for the later history of a specifically German antisemitism. In 1543 Martin Luther denounced the Jews as a special affliction of the German people. The Jews (in league with the papacy) were blocking the Germans' need to fulfill themselves in achieving both their "Christian freedom" and their political "freedom." In Luther—and in modern German antisemitism—this perception was fed by the older theme of the Jews as Christ-killers, but the murderous instincts of the Jews had taken on a new form. Having crucified Jesus, they were currently intent on crucifying the German people.

This attack was being carried forward on two levels. Materially, the Jews were extorting money from an exploited German nation. Luther's bogeyman, the indulgence-hawker Tetzel, was a converted Jew and Jewish money was enabling the Emperor Charles V to proceed against those German princes who had embraced evangelical truth. Morally, the Jews were the worldly agents of the devil, deadly menaces to the truth of the Gospel as preached by Luther. The spirituality of the German people and the purity of Lutheran doctrine were threatened by contamination with "Jewishness" and with "Judaizing." Thus, Luther, the molder of so much of German culture, launched the essential myth of Verjudung, or "Jewification," which was to dominate modern German antisemitism. It is a myth that is at once social and moral, spiritual and political, a myth that pervades Luther's later writings against the Jews and by means of which he "Germanized" the traditional universal themes of Christian Jew-hatred.

The often contradictory nature of German antisemitism, which oscillates between a sort of suspicious benevolence and hatred, was personified in Luther." In his early writings of 1510–20 the reformer had adopted a traditionally hostile attitude toward the Jews. The Jews had been exiled as punishment for rejecting Christ; Jewish stubbornness rendered them enemies still, and they were not to be tolerated. In 1523, however, Luther allowed himself to be swayed by charity into temporarily modifying this harsh stereotype. The tract, "Jesus Christ Was Born a Jew," sought the conversion of the Jews through kindness and at times anticipated the views of some later Enlightenment thinkers that the evil national character of the Jews was not the result of any intrinsic badness or hatred of humanity, but rather was the product of centuries of Christian oppression and ostracism of the Jew from the brotherhood of mankind. Thus, Jewish usury was not an expression of innate greed, but rather was something into which the Jews had been forced by Christian rulers. The Jews were deserving of love rather than punishment.

Luther's apparently benevolent attitude was not in any meaningful sense "pro-Jewish"; he was moved to act as a "friend of the Jews" not out of respect for Judaism, but from a thirst to redeem them by destroying Judaism. This idea of redeeming the Jews from being Jews had long been a feature of Christian thought; Luther now engraved it obsessively and permanently on modern German culture. Even after its Christian context had fallen away, the destructionist ideal of Jewish redemption survived the Enlightenment to become a fixture in the secular mentality of later German thinkers.

However, the soft invitation to conversion did not work and so—again setting a pattern for German antisemitism, this time its fluctuation between "soft" and "hard" views of "destruction"—Luther swung in later years to a vehement conviction that the Jews were an active principle of evil, "children of the devil, who have perverted everything." In 1539 he told his congregation, "I cannot convert the Jews. Our Lord Jesus Christ did not succeed in doing so; but I can close their mouths so that there will be nothing for them to do but lie upon the ground." This is a seminal example of what was to become a salient and recurring characteristic of later German antisemitism—the use of ambiguous terms that may seem purely metaphorical but are also open to a physical interpretation. "Close their mouths" (das Maul ... ihnen zustopfen) and "lie upon the ground" (herniederlegen muessen) have a vagueness and at the same time a potential brutality that will be met with again in modern exponents of Jew-hatred, most notably Wagner, Dühring, and Hitler himself.

The pose of the "disappointed friend" was yet another syndrome of Jew-hatred that Luther bequeathed to subsequent German thinkers. Like many of the figures analyzed in this book, Luther had once entertained hopes that Jews might be redeemed into Christianity (or into "full humanity" in secular language)—only to be disappointed. He was forced to conclude that any hope of Jewish redemption was rendered vain by the irremediable evil of Jewish national character, and that consequently the only solution was to take practical measures of German self-defense against the Jews. In his furious invective of 1543, "Against the Jews and Their Lies," Luther accused the Jews of being the bloodthirsty murderers not only of Christianity but specifically of the German people, who are held captive in their own country, tortured, and robbed. In an uninhibited rehearsal of the paranoid themes of later German antisemitism, Luther explodes that

the Jews are lords of the world and all the gentiles flock to them ... giving the noble princes and lords of Israel all they have, while the Jews curse, spit on and malign the Germans.... They say that God is to kill and exterminate all of us Germans through their messiah, so that they can lay their hands on the land, the goods and the government of the whole world.... They let us work with the sweat of our brow ... while they stuff themselves, guzzle and live in luxury from our hard-earned goods. With their accursed usury they hold us and our property captive.... They are our masters and we their servants....

We are at fault in not avenging all this innocent blood of our Lord and Churches and ... the blood of the children which they have shed since then, and which still shines forth from their Jewish eyes and skin. We are at fault in not slaying them.


Luther hysterically spells out the practical measures he has in mind for the destruction of Judaism and the protection of Germany: burn the houses and synagogues of the Jews; ban their rabbis under pain of death; withdraw Jewish safe-conduct on the highways; prohibit usury; institute manual labor for young Jews; and finally, confiscate their wealth and expel them from Germany. Let them clear off back to Jerusalem where they can murder and cheat to their heart's content. The governments of Germany must be like a physician in using a "sharp mercy" to cut out gangrene; the princes must "deal harshly with them ... and drive them out like mad dogs." For fourteen hundred years (he says, anticipating a later slogan), the Jews "have been and still are our plague, our pestilence, our misfortune!"

Lutheran apologists have often tried to dismiss these outpourings as an unfortunate aberration, but clearly the case is not simply one of a young "pro-Jewish" Luther versus an old "anti-Jewish" Luther. Throughout his life Luther longed for the destruction of Judaism; it was simply that in his later years the emotion had modulated into a hysterical but nonetheless still related key. Luther all along felt his antagonism to Judaism to be central to his personality, to his faith, and to his mission to save his "beloved German nation." The first great national prophet of Germany and the forger of the German language itself, Luther himself shaped the overwhelmingly pejorative, indeed demonic, significance of the word Jude. Through the influence of Luther's language and tracts, a hysterical and demonizing mentality entered the mainstream of German thought and discourse; Luther in fact legitimated hysteria and paranoia in a major European culture.

Luther laid down the distinctive features of a Jew-hatred that is specifically German though it retains Christian and pagan aspects. Thus, to the traditional stereotype of the Jews as parasites, pariahs, and human forms of the devil, Luther adds German lineaments—self-pity, feelings of victimization, xenophobia, paranoia, the condemnation of the hated as the haters. The honest and true German nation, the new Chosen Race of Europe, is now being crucified by foreigners, Italians, Catholics, all of them instigated by the Jews. Here in Luther is first announced the principle that Germany's redemption means her redemption from the Jews and Judaism.

Thomas Mann's profound allegory of German history, Doktor Fanstus, connected the demonized psychological universe of Luther with that of Hitler. Despite all the historical and religious distance between them, Luther and Hitler remain uniquely, characteristically German figures. They were both charismatics in whom revolutionary and reactionary impulses flowed together; and they both provoked revolutions—one religious and the other secular—in which the issues of "Germanness" and "Jewishness" and national redemption stood to the fore. It will not do to dismiss these parallels as pure accidents or as the delusory inventions of the "Luther to Hitler" school of German history.

* * *

Luther's Germanized Christian critique of Judaism combined German social resentment with Christian theological hostility. This adaptation of Christian Jew-hatred was amplified in eighteenth-century Germany by the notorious Jew-hater Johann Andreas Eisenmenger, whose Judaism Unmasked (Entdecktes Judenthum) appeared under Prussian royal patronage in 1711. Eisenmenger cleverly mixed the different emotional elements of the Lutheran approach into a form that would appeal not only to devout Christians, but also to the free-thinking secular public that was now growing. Canting that he intended his book to promote the conversion of those honest Jews who would be shocked by its revelations, Eisenmenger proceeded to amass quotations from the Talmud and other Hebrew sources revealing to all how the Jewish religion was barbarous, superstitious, and even murderous. All this was done in an apparently scholarly and reasonable way that belied the author's evident preoccupation (like Luther) with tales of Jewish ritual murder of Christian children and poisoning of wells. While piously insisting that the Jews must not be converted by cruel methods, Eisenmenger blithely recommended abolishing their present "freedom in trade," which was making them "lords" over the Germans. He demanded too an immediate ban on their synagogues, public worship, and communal leaders and rabbis. The contradiction in Eisenmenger's approach is more obvious to us than it would have been to his contemporary readers.


(Continues...)

Excerpted from German Question/Jewish Question by Paul Lawrence Rose. Copyright © 1990 Princeton University Press. Excerpted by permission of PRINCETON UNIVERSITY PRESS.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Contents

Acknowledgments, xi,
Abbreviations, xiii,
Introduction: The German Revolution and Antisemitism, xv,
PART ONE GENEALOGY AND MYTHOLOGY OF REVOLUTIONARY ANTISEMITISM,
Chapter 1 The Genealogy of Modern Antisemitism: National Character, Race, and Revolution, 3,
Chapter 2 Ahasverus and the Destruction of Judaism, 23,
Chapter 3 "Against Humanity": Moloch, Mammon, and the Secularization of the Blood Libel, 44,
Chapter 4 Myth and Reality in Antisemitic Mentalities, 51,
PART TWO ARCHAEOLOGY OF REVOLUTIONARY ANTISEMITISM,
Chapter 5 The Jewish Question: Conceptions and Misconceptions, 61,
Chapter 6 The German Statists and the Jewish Question, 1781–1812: Dohm, Humboldt, and Hardenberg, 70,
Chapter 7 The German Moralists and the Jewish Question: Kant, Herder, and Hegel, 91,
Chapter 8 The German Nationalists and the Jewish Question: Fichte and the Birth of Revolutionary Antisemitism, 117,
PART THREE YOUNG GERMANY: LITERARY REVOLUTIONISM AND THE JEWISH QUESTION,
Chapter 9 Revolutionary Judaism and the German Revolution: Börne and Heine, 135,
Chapter 10 "Young Germany—Young Palestine": The Junges Deutschland Controversy of 1835, 171,
Chapter 11 Karl Gutzkow's "New Ahasverus": Lovelessness, Egoism, and the Redemption of the Flesh, 185,
Chapter 12 Heinrich Laube: Revolutionary German Art and Jewish Mammonism, 211,
Chapter 13 Berthold Auerbach: Reconciling Jewishness and Germanness, 224,
PART FOUR YOUNG HEGELIANISM: THE PHILOSOPHICAL AND SOCIAL REVOLUTIONISTS ON THE JEWISH QUESTION,
Chapter 14 Judaism as Molochism: The Philosophical and Socialist Revolutionary Critiques of Judaism, 1836–1844, 251,
Chapter 15 Revolution to Race I: Bruno Bauer and the Critical Revolution, 263,
Chapter 16 Revolution to Race II: Wilhelm Marr and the Antisemitic Revolution, 279,
Chapter 17 Karl Marx: Judaism as Moral Myth and Social Reality, 296,
Chapter 18 Beyond Ahasverus and Moloch: Moses Hess's Subversion of the Revolutionary Myths of Judaism, 306,
PART FIVE THE REVOLUTION AND THE RACE,
Chapter 19 The Chosen Race and the Revolution: Constantin Frantz's Revolutionary Christian Federalism, 341,
Chapter 20 Richard Wagner: Prophet of Revolutionary Antisemitism, 358,
Afterword to the 1992 Edition, 381,
Index, 389,

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)