From feuding medievalists to the Berlin Antisemitismusstreit of 1879-1881

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In November 1879, Heinrich von Treitschke published his "Unsere Aussichten", in which he attacked the Jewish historian Heinrich Graetz and the Jews of Germany in general; in the course of time, Treitschke's essay became one of the basic German antisemitic texts. "Unsere Aussichten" was met by indignant reactions on the part of German intellectuals, especially by Theodor Mommsen. Argues that crucial factors behind the "Antisemitismusstreit" were the publication of volume 11 of Graetz's "Geschichte der Juden", as well as a feud between German historians that broke out in the 1870s. Indeed, the 11th volume saw light in 1870, at the peak of the Franco-Prussian War, and Graetz's extolling of the French emancipation of Jews and criticism of the policies toward the Jews in contemporary Germany gave Max Lehmann an opportunity to blame Graetz for a lack of patriotism in his review of this volume in 1871. Argues that Treitschke in 1879 borrowed the main lines of his criticism of Graetz and the Jews from Lehmann's review. Explores the conflict between the two historians, the non-Jewish Georg Heinrich Pertz and the Jewish Philipp Jaffé; in this conflict, Mommsen appeared as a supporter of Jaffé, while Lehmann and his academic patron Treitschke were Jaffé's adversaries. Notes that Treitschke's and Mommsen's views of the "Jewish question" were similar, and that the difference between them was "style" rather than principles.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)239-267
Number of pages29
JournalJahrbuch für Antisemitismusforschung
StatePublished - 2012

RAMBI Publications

  • Rambi Publications
  • Antisemitism -- Germany -- History -- 1800-2000
  • Graetz, Heinrich -- 1817-1891
  • Jaffé, Philipp -- 1819-1870
  • Jews -- Historiography
  • Lehmann, Max -- 1845-1929
  • Mommsen, Theodor -- 1817-1903
  • Pertz, G. H -- (Georg Heinrich) -- 1795-1876
  • Pertz, Karl August Friedrich -- 1828-1881
  • Treitschke, Heinrich von -- 1834-1896


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