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JWST 240 Chapter Notes - Chapter reading: Heinrich Himmler, Social Darwinism

Jewish Studies
Course Code
JWST 240

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The term antisemitism was coined in the 1870s by a German
journalist who wanted to contrast his supposedly scientific
antipathy towards Jews with religious forms of anti-Judaism
Antipathy toward Jews in Europe dated back as far as the
ancient world
In 70 CE Romans destroyed the temple in Jerusalem, the focal
point of Jewish life up to that time
The rise of Christianity added to anti-Jewish sentiments
Some early Christian accounts blamed Jews for Jesus's death
even though the crucifixion was a Roman form of punishment
practiced during Jesus's time
Often crusades against Muslims and Christians accused of heresy
started or ended with violent attacks against Jews (pogroms)
German Jews were generally excluded from the highest ranks of the
government bureaucracy and the military
Jewish and black men were described as sexual predators who
lusted after Christian or white women
By the 1920s and 1930s many Jews in Poland, Lithuania, Hungary
and the USSR lived in large cities, spoke Polish, Lithuanian,
Hungarian and Russian and participated fully in national culture
Hitler and the Nazis did not invent antisemitism and were not the
first to attack Sinti and Roma people or those who were considered
to be disabled
The first people who were killed on a mass scale were those who
were deemed as disabled
Perhaps the Nazi leadership thought they would encounter
less position to attacks and to keep this program a secret
Those who were institutionalized were already isolated from
the rest of society
Many places introduced programs to sterilize people considered
According to European myths, Roma, like Jews, had been
condemned by God to wander the earth without ever finding a
Reading: Bergen 13-60
Sunday, January 19, 2020
2:17 PM
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