The Jew Accused: Three Anti-Semitic Affairs (Dreyfus, Beilis, Frank) 1894-1915 / Edition 1by Albert S. Lindemann
Pub. Date: 10/28/1992
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Three Jews--Alfred Dreyfus, Mendel Beilis, and Leo Frank--were charged with heinous crimes in the generation before World War I--Dreyfus of treason in France, Beilis of ritual murder in Russia, and Frank of the murder of a young girl in the United States. The affairs that developed out of their trials pulled hundreds of thousands of people into passionate… See more details below
Three Jews--Alfred Dreyfus, Mendel Beilis, and Leo Frank--were charged with heinous crimes in the generation before World War I--Dreyfus of treason in France, Beilis of ritual murder in Russia, and Frank of the murder of a young girl in the United States. The affairs that developed out of their trials pulled hundreds of thousands of people into passionate confrontation. Quite aside from the lurid details and sensational charges, larger issues emerged, among them the power of modern anti-Semitism, the sometimes tragic conflict between the freedom of the press and the protection of individual rights, the unpredictable reactions of individuals when subjected to extreme situations, and the inevitable ambiguities of campaigns for truth and justice when political advantage is to be gained from them. This study explores the nature of modern anti-Semitism and the ways that politicians in the generation before World War I attempted to use hatred of Jews as a political device to mobilize the masses. The anti-Semitism surrounding the affairs is presented as an elusive intermingling of real conflict between Jews and non-Jews, on the one hand, and, on the other, fantasies about Jews derived from powerful myths deeply rooted in Western civilization. In attempting to untangle myth and reality and to offer a fresh look at the main personalities in the affairs many surprises emerge; heroes appear less heroic and villains less villainous, while real factors appear more important than most accounts of the affairs have recognized.
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Table of ContentsList of plates; Acknowledgements; 1. Introduction; 2. The historical setting in Europe and America; 3. Earlier anti-Semitic affairs; 4. France before the Dreyfus Affair; 5. The Dreyfus Affair, more than a trial; 6. Beyond the Pale; Russia and the Jews, 1890–1914; 7. Blood libel; the Beilis Affair; 8. America, the 'exception'; 9. The Leo Frank Affair; Epilogue and conclusion; Bibliography; Index.
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