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Anti-Semitism in History

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					Anti-Semitism in History
Anti-Semitism: A Definition
According to the American Heritage Dictionary
  (2006), Anti-Semitism is defined as “hostility
  towards or prejudice against Jews or
  Judaism.”

It is important to realize that “Judaism” is a
    religion, whereas “Jew” was considered by
    most cultures to be a “race.”
Early Anti-Semitism
 70 B.C.E.: Jerusalem is conquered by the
  Romans. The Jewish temple was destroyed
  and Jews were ordered to begin worshipping
  Roman gods. Most Jews resisted.
 About a hundred years later, Christianity
  began to spread after the death of Jesus.
  Eventually, it became the official state religion
  of the Roman Empire.
Judaism vs. Christianity
By the 4th century, Jews were disliked by
  Christians in general. Important Christian
  leaders, such as St. Augustine, called Jews a
  “wicked sect” and said they should be driven
  into permanent exile due to their wickedness
  (de Cruet, 1997).
Anti-Semitism Becomes Law
Laws were passed in Christian nations during
  this time that forbid Christians to eat with or
  do business with Jews.

By the 6th century, Jews were not allowed to
  employ Christians as servants, hold public
  office, or even be seen on the streets during
  “Holy Week,” which is the week
  commemorating the time between the “Last
  Supper” and the crucifixion (de Cruet, 1997).
Think about this:
It is clear that such laws were meant to make
    life difficult for Jews. How could these laws
    also make life difficult for the Christians they
    were meant to “protect?”
The Crusades
In 1096, the Crusade against the Muslims
  began. Christian leaders wanted to take
  control of Palestine, since it was the
  birthplace of Jesus.
On their way to the Middle East, the Crusaders
  attacked Jewish communities. Jews were
  given a choice: be baptized as a Christian or
  be killed. Most chose death. Nearly 10,000
  Jews died in the first 6 months of the First
  Crusade (de Cruet, 1997).
  “Leave No Single Member Alive”
The leader of the First Crusade, Godfrey Bouillon,
  vowed “to leave no single member of the Jewish
  race alive.” He ordered his troops to burn down
  the synagogue in Jerusalem with the
  congregation trapped inside (de Cruet, 1997).



                      Painting from the
                      Middle Ages
                      portraying
                      Crusaders killing
                      Jews.
Marked
Large numbers of Jews fled to Eastern Europe
  and other places in an attempt to escape
  persecution.
By the 13th century, Germany required all Jews
  to wear cone-shaped hats so they would not
  be mistaken for “real” Germans. In other
  countries, they were required to wear yellow
  badges on their clothing to identify them as
  Jews (de Cruet, 1997).
Few Choices
Jews had few ways of earning money, except to
  become moneylenders. The Catholic Church
  felt that it was sinful for a Christian to be a
  moneylender, and so they allowed the Jews
  to take on this position in the community.
  This, however, led to a stereotype of Jews
  being money-hungry.
Eventually, Jews were driven out of the banking
  industry as well.
Rise of Ghettos
By the end of the 15th century, Jews were
  almost totally isolated from their Christian
  neighbors. In many countries, they were
  forcibly confined in ghettos, which were
  sectioned off from the rest of the city by high
  walls that gave them a prison-like aura.
Think about it
Today in the U.S., there are areas, especially in
  inner cities, that are called “Ghettos.” Is the
  use of this name appropriate for these areas?
  Why or why not?
Taking the Blame
        Jews became scapegoats for
          societies wrongs more regularly,
          and were portrayed as servants of
          the devil (de Cruet, 1997). The
          Black Plague was even blamed on
          Jews, who were accused of
          poisoning wells, among other
          things.
Mass Migration
Over the course of a few hundred years, most
 Jews were pushed from central Europe and
 ended up in Poland and Russia. However,
 those countries were not free from danger. In
 1648-1649, thousands of Polish Jews were
 killed. In the late 1800’s, Jews in both
 countries were slaughtered in organized
 mass killings called “pogroms” (de Cruet,
 1997).`
Viva La France!
One of the side effects of the French Revolution
 was a call by many French Christians for the
 emancipation of Jews. By the mid 1800’s,
 most western & central European Jews were
 enjoying new freedoms brought about by this
 emancipation (de Cruet, 1997).
Enter Hitler
In 1933, Adolf Hitler became Chancellor of
  Germany, and quickly mounted a campaign
  of heavy-handed propaganda against Jews.
This would culminate in the “Final Solution,” a
  plan to physically annihilate the Jewish race,
  along with other undesirable members of
  society.
    An Example of Anti-Semitic Nazi
             Propaganda
A Children’s book
entitled “Trust No
Fox on his Green
Heath And No
Jew on his Oath”
by Elwira Bauer

This book included
lines such as
“From the start the
Jew has been
A murderer…”
(Calvin College)
Works Cited
anti-semitism. (n.d.). The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language,
    Fourth Edition. Retrieved January 15, 2008, from Dictionary.com website:
    http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/anti-semitism

De Cruet, R. H. Perez. “A Brief History of Antisemitism.” The Holocaust Project.
   Retrieved January 15, 2008, from The Holocaust Project Website:
   http://humanitas-international.org/holocaust/antisem.htm

Calvin College. German Propaganda Archive. Retrieved January 15, 2008, from the
   Calvin College wesite: http://www.calvin.edu/academic/cas/gpa/

				
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