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Götz Aly
Europa gegen die Juden. 1880-1945

© S. Fischer Verlag, Frankfurt am Main, 2017 Götz Aly: Europa gegen die Juden. 1880-1945 © S. Fischer Verlag, Frankfurt am Main, 2017If you go along with Götz Aly’s panoramic study on hostility towards Jews in Europe after 1880, secular anti-Semitism had other, deeper motives. The growing hatred towards Jewish minorities was an effect of the nationalist movements that emerged from the ruins of the collapsing great multi-ethnic empires of Russia, the Ottoman Empire and the Imperial and Royal Habsburg dynasty. In the early twentieth century, aggressive nationalism was spreading in fledgling states from Greece to Hungary and Poland, discriminating against and suppressing anything that was different. The idea of the ethnically pure nation was an accelerant for militant hostility towards Jews. Europa gegen die Juden (Europe against the Jews) highlights this connection, one that is not entirely new.
A second key motive was the emancipation of the Jews in the wake of the decline of feudal caste systems and the dawn of bourgeois society. It had been gaining ground in the continent since the nineteenth century, more quickly in the West than in the East. New professions were open to Jews. With the energy typical of minorities, many took the opportunity for social advancement to become lawyers, doctors or businessmen. It was precisely this that mobilised anti-Jewish phobia.
Aly presents the situation in Hungary as a typical example. There, the Jewish minority in 1920 made up less than 6 per cent of the population, but comprised 51 percent of lawyers, 39 percent of engineers and chemists, 34 percent of journalists and approximately 50 percent of doctors.

Stefan Reinecke: „Auf Biegen und Brechen“
© die tageszeitung, 2 February 2017

Götz Aly
Europa gegen die Juden. 1880-1945
S. Fischer Verlag, Frankfurt am Main, 2017
ISBN 9783100004284
432 pages


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