Racial antisemitism

Racial anti-Semitism is a form of anti-Semitism or prejudice against Jews based on racial or ethnic group, rather than prejudice against Judaism as a religion. [1] The definition is based on the premise that Jews constitute a distinctive raceor ethnic group, whose traits or characteristics are in some way abhorrent or inherently inferior or otherwise different to that of the rest of society. The abhorrence may be expressed in the form of stereotypes or caricatures. Racial anti-Semitism may present Jews, as a group, as being a threat in some way to the values ​​or safety of society. Racial antisemitism could be seen as an abuse of religious antisemitism because of religious antisemites conversion was an option and once converted the ‘Jew’ was gone. With racial antisemitism a Jew could not get rid of their Jewishness. [2]

According to William Nichols, religious anti-Semitism may be distinguished from modern anti-Semitism based on racial or ethnic grounds. “The dividing line was the possibility of effective conversion … a Jew ceased to be a Jew upon baptism.” However, with racial antisemitism, “Now the assimilated Jew was still a Jew, even after baptism …. From the Enlightenmentonward, it is no longer possible to draw clear lines of distinction between religious and racial forms of hostility towards Jews. Once again, they have been emancipated and secularized by their opposition to the Christian hostility towards Jews, the new term antisemitism becomes almost unavoidable, even before explicitly racist doctrines appear. ” [3]

In the context of the Industrial Revolution , following the emancipation of the Jews and the Haskalah (Jewish Enlightenment ), a rapidly expanding urbanization and experience of greater social mobility. With the decreasing role of religion in public life, the combination of growing nationalism , the rise of eugenics , and the resentment of the socio-economic success of the Jews, and the influx of Ashkenazi Jews from Eastern Europe. newer, and often more virulent, racist antisemitism. [4] [ citation needed ]

Scientific racism , the ideology that genetics played a role in group behavior and characteristics, was highly respected and accepted between the years of 1870 and 1940. It was not only antisemites that well. This acceptance of science makes it possible for antisemites to clothe their hatred of Jews in scientific theory. [5]

The logic of racial antisemitism was extended in Nazi Germany , where racial antisemitic ideas were turned into law, which they looked at the “blood” or ethnicity of a person, and their current religious affiliations, and their fate would be determined purely on that basis. . When added to its views on the Jewish racial traits which the Nazi pseudoscience devised, led to the Holocaust as a way of eradicating conjured up “Jewish traits” from the world.

Limpieza of blood 

A first appearance of racial antisemitism can be found in the Middle Ages alongside religious antisemitism. Though the limpieza de sangre and ( “purity of blood”) laws of medieval Spain and New SpainIt was not a question of Christians in society, it had a significant impact on the subject, and it was possible for them to be stigmatized for their “inferior” blood. The laws were converted to Catholicism, which were denied equal rights and status by Christians, and their descendants, whose sincerity to their new faith was always in question before the Inquisition , and always had to be able to prove their blood line.

Racial anti-Semitism has been added to the anti-Semitism since the Middle Ages , if not earlier. In Spain Even before the Edict of Expulsion of 1492, Spanish Jews Who converted to Catholicism ( conversos in Spanish), and Their descendants Were called Expired New Christians . They were frequently accused of lapsing to their formation religious practices (” Crypto-Jews “). To isolate conversos , the Spanish nobility developed an ideology of ” cleanliness of blood “. The conversoswere called “New Christians” to indicate their inferior status in society. That ideology was a form of racism, as in the past there were no grades of Christianity and a convert had equal standing. Cleanliness of blood was an issue of ancestry, not of personal religion. The first statute of purity of blood appeared in Toledo in 1449, [6] where an anti- converso riot lead to conversos being banned from most official positions. Initially these statutes were condemned by the monarchy and the Church. However, the New Christians came to be hounded and persecuted by the Spanish Inquisition after 1478, the Portuguese Inquisition after 1536, the Peruvian Inquisitionafter 1570 and the Mexican Inquisition after 1571, and the Inquisition in Colombia after 1610.

In Portugal, the legal distinction between “New” and “Old” Christians continued until the issue of a legal decree by the Marquis of Pombal in 1772.

Nationalism and anti-Semitism

Racial antisemitism was preceded, especially in Germany, by antisemitism arising from Romantic nationalism . As racial theories developed, especially from the mid-nineteenth-century onwards, these nationalist ideas were subsumed within them. But their origins were quite distinct from racialism. Johann Gottfried Herder’s ‘Volk’ ideas . This led to antisemitic writing and journalism in the second quarter of the 19th century qui of Richard Wagner ‘s Das Judentum in der Musik ( Jewry in Music ) is Perhaps The Most notorious example. On the other hand, Radical socialists such as Karl Marx(himself of Jewish descent) identified Jews as being white Both victims and enforced Perpetrators of the Capitalist system – eg In His Article On the Jewish Question . From sources such as these, antisemitism entered the vocabularies and policies of both the right and the left in political thought.

Germany experienced strong industrial growth following its unification in 1871. Romantic nostalgia coalesced with the rising industrial middle class to the Völkisch movement . Proponents became concerned with race: pre-Christian German pagan traditions and customs. Terms such as “teutonic” and “aryan” entered the vocabulary. Industrialist Theodor Fritsch financed publication of texts such as The Protocols of the Elders of Zion and Henry Ford’s Reprints of ” The International Jew .” The Germanenorden of 1912 was one such party to emerge from this movement.

Concept of a “semitic race”

Main article: Semitic people
A stylized T and O map , depicting Asia as the home of the descendants of Shem (Sem). Africa is ascribed to Ham and Europe to Japheth

In Medieval Europe, all Asian peoples were thought of as descendants of Shem. By the 19th century, the term Semitic was confined to the ethnic groups who had historically spoken in the Fertile Crescent, as the Jews in Europe did. These peoples were often considered a separate race . However, some antisemitic racial theorists of the time argue that the Semitic peoples arose from the blurring of distinctions between previously separate races. This supposed process was referred to as semiticization by the race-theorist Arthur de Gobineau .

Gobineau himself did not consider the Semites (Decedents of Shem) to be of a lesser race. He broke people up into three races: white, black, and yellow. The Semites, like the Aryans (and Hamites) came from Asia and were white. Over time each of the groups had mixed with black blood. The Aryans had stayed pure and long ago. It was this mixing of races that would lead to man’s downfall. [7] This idea of ​​racial “confusion” was taken up by the Nazi ideologist Alfred Rosenberg . [8] It was used by the Nazis to perpetuate the idea that the Jews were going to destroy Germany. [7] [ citation needed ]The term semiticization was first used by Gobineau to label the blurring of racial distinctions that, in his view, had occurred in the Middle East . Gobineau had an essentialist model of race based on the distinct racial groups, though he had no clear account of this division. When these races mixed this caused ” degeneration “. Since the beginning of the Middle East, the Gobineau argued that the process of mixing and diluting breeds of breeders, and that Semitic peoples embodied this “confused” racial identity.

This concept suited the interests of antisemites , since it provided a theoretical model to rationalize racialised antisemitism . Variations of the theory are to be found in the writings of many anti-Semites in the late 19th century. The Nazi ideologist Alfred Rosenberg has developed a variant of the theory in his writings, arguing that Jewish people were not a “real” race. According to Rosenberg, their evolution is about the mixing of pre-existing breeds rather than natural selection . The theory of semiticization is typically associated with misunderstanding and misrepresentation , manifested in negative images of mulattos and other mixed groups.


Modern European antisemitism has its origins in 19th century theories-now generally considered as pseudo-scientific , but then accepted as credible-that said the Semitic peoples, including the Jews, are entirely different from the Aryan , or Indo-European , populations, and that they would not be able to assimilate. In this view, they are not allowed to rely on their religion , but on account of their hypothetical hereditary or genetic racial characteristics : greed, a special aptitude for money-making, aversion to hard work, clannishness and obtrusiveness, lack of social tact, low cunning, and especially lack of patriotism . Later, Nazi propagandaAlso, the shape of the ” Jewish nose “. [9] [10] [11] [12]

While enlightened, they have a declension and a sign of ignorance, because of this ‘scientific’ connection to genetics . In order to differentiate between the two practices, the term “antisemitism” was developed to be “acceptable” bias against Jews as a nationality, as distinct from the “undesirable” prejudice against Judaism as a religion. Concurrently with this usage, some authors who? ] in Germany began to use the term ‘Palestinians’when referring to Jews as a people, rather than as a religious group. Similar custom is still displayed in the academic circles of the term “Hebrew” in preference to the term “Jewish”.

Actually, it is questionable whether Jews Looked Significantly different from the general population in qui They Lived. Reviews This was Especially true in like seats Germany , France and Austria Where the Jewish population tended to be more secular (or at least less Orthodox) Than That of Eastern Europe, and Did not wear clothing (Such As a yarmulke ) That Would PARTICULARLY Distinguish Their appearance from the non-Jewish population. Many anthropologists of the time Such As Franz Boas tried to use complex physical measurements like the cephalic indexand visual surveys of hair / eye color non-Jewish European populations to prove that the notion of separate “Jewish” and “Aryan” races was a myth. The 19th and early 20th century view of race should be distinguished from the efforts of modern population genetics to trace the ancestry of various Jewish groups, see Y-chromosomal Aaron .

The advent of racial antisemitism was also linked to the growing sense of nationalism in many countries. The nationalist context of the Jews is a separate and often “alien” nation within the countries in which Jews resided, a prejudice exploited by the elites of many governments. quote needed ]

Racial antisemitic legislation

A chart used to explain the Nuremberg Laws of 1935, which used a pseudo-scientific racial basis for discrimination against Jews

In Nazi Germany, the Nürnberg Race Laws of 1935 and sexual intercourse Aryan and Jew (such relations under the Nazi ideology as a crime punishable as Rassenschandeor “racial pollution”), and made it that all Jews, even quarter- and half-Jews, were no longer citizens of their country (their official title became “subject of the state”). This meant that they had no basic citizens’ rights, eg, to vote. In 1936, Jews were banned from all professional jobs, effectively preventing them from any influence in politics, higher education and industry. On November 15, 1938, Jewish children were banned from going to normal schools. By April 1939, nearly all Jewish companies had either collapsed under financial pressure or declining profits, or had been persuaded to sell to the Nazi government. This further reduced their rights as human beings; they were in many ways officially separated from the German populace. Similar laws existed in Bulgaria (The Law for Protection of the Nation ), Hungary , Romania , and Austria .

See also

Wikimedia Commons hasanti-Semitism related media .
  • Jews and Judaism
    • Jewish history
  • Other articles on antisemitism:
    • History of antisemitism
    • Christianity and antisemitism
    • Christian opposition to antisemitism
    • Anti-globalization and antisemitism
    • Arabs and anti-Semitism
    • Islam and anti-Semitism
    • New antisemitism
    • Persecution of Jews
  • Related topics:
    • The Protocols of the Elders of Zion , 1900s hoax
    • Anti-Zionism
    • Self-hating Jew
      • The Operated Jew (1893 book)
    • Racism
  • Topics related to religious antisemitism :
    • Anti-Judaism
    • Martin Luther and anti-Semitism
    • Spanish Inquisition
    • Blood libel
      • Beilis trial in Russia, 1913
    • Host desecration
    • Edgardo Mortara
  • Antisemitic laws, policies, and government actions
    • Pogroms in Russia
    • May Laws in Russia
    • Polish 1968 political crisis
    • Dreyfus Affair in France
    • Farhud in Iraq
    • General Order No. 11 (1862) of Ulysses S. Grant
    • Historical revisionism (negationism)
  • Nazi Germany and The Holocaust
    • Racial policy of Nazi Germany
    • Holocaust denial
  • Antisemitic websites
    • Jew Watch
    • Islam Radio
    • Institute for Historical Review
    • The Heretical Press
    • Stormfront
  • Organizations fighting antisemitism
    • Simon Wiesenthal Center
    • Anti-Defamation League
    • Jewish Defense League
    • Southern Poverty Law Center


  1. Jump up^ “Anti-Semitism”,Jewish Encyclopedia.
  2. Jump up^ Brustein, William (2003). Roots of Hate . Cambridge University Press. p. 173.
  3. Jump up^ Nichols, William:Christian Antisemitism, A History of Hate(1993) p. 314.
  4. Jump up^ “Antisemitism in History: Racial Antisemitism, 1875-1945” . www.ushmm.org . Retrieved 15 September 2017 .
  5. Jump up^ Brustein, William (2003). Roots of Hate . Cambridge University Press. pp. 95-96.
  6. Jump up^ Estatutos of Limpieza de Sangre, Pablo A. Chami.
  7. ^ Jump up to:b Brustein, William (2003). Roots of Hate . Cambridge University Press. p. 101.
  8. Jump up^ “Alfred Rosenberg” . www.ushmm.org . Retrieved 15 September 2017 .
  9. Jump up^ “How to Tell a Jew” .
  10. Jump up^ “Education – Lesson Plan: Antisemitism” .
  11. Jump up^ “Antisemitic Caricature: ‘The Jewish Nose Is Wide At The End And Looks Like The Number Six ‘ ” .
  12. Jump up^ “Jews and their noses” .


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  • Bodansky, Yosef. Islamic Anti-Semitism as a Political Instrument . Freeman Center For Strategic Studies, 1999.
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  • Ehrenreich, Eric. The Nazi Ancestral Proof: Genealogy, Racial Science, and the Final Solution . Indiana University Press, 2007.
  • Freudmann, Lillian C. Antisemitism in the New Testament . University Press of America, 1994.
  • Hilberg, Raul . The Destruction of the European Jews . Holmes & Meier, 1985. 3 volumes.
  • Lipstadt, Deborah . Denying the Holocaust: The Growing Assault on Truth and Memory . Penguin, 1994.
  • McKain, Mark. Anti-Semitism: At Issue . Greenhaven Press, 2005.
  • Prager, Dennis, Telushkin, Joseph. Why the Jews? The Reason for Antisemitism . Touchstone (reprint), 1985.
  • Selzer, Michael (ed). “Kike!”: A Documentary History of Anti-Semitism in America . New York, 1972.
  • Steinweis, Alan E. Studying the Jew: Scholarly Antisemitism in Nazi Germany . Harvard University Press, 2006. ISBN  0-674-02205-X .

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