chapter  13
13 Pages

Jewry in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries

By the latter part of the nineteenth century Jews in Europe were largely emancipated. None the less political conditions after 1870 caused considerable disruption. A number of independent nations emerged and fought against indigenous minority groups in their midst. Under such conditions Jews were viewed as unassimilable. Typical of such attitudes was the coinage of the term 'anti-Semitism' by Wilhelm Marr in the 1870s. Unlike previous anti-Jewish notions based on religious grounds, Marr focused on biological descent. Anti-Semitism was thus a racist policy directed against the Jewish population. According to Marr, the Jews have 'corrupted all standards, have banned all idealism from society, dominate commerce, push themselves ever more in state services, rule the theatre, form a social and political phalanx'.