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The Historic Roots of Contemporary Anti-Semitism

Former President of Germany Christian Wulff speaks at Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial museum in Jerusalem, Nov. 28, 2010

Former President of Germany Christian Wulff speaks at Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial museum in Jerusalem, Nov. 28, 2010
Photo Credit: Kobi Gideon/Flash90

The parallels are striking. The German regions with the highest incidence of medieval anti-Semitic violence were also the regions with the highest incidence of anti-Semitic violence in the 1920s. They attracted 1.5 times as many Nazi voters, deported 24% more Jews between 1933 and 1944, destroyed or damaged a fifth more synagogues in 1938, and their inhabitants sent 20 percent more letters to the anti-Semitic Nazi newspaper Der Stürmer.

In a new study, to be published later this year in the Quarterly Journal of Economics, Voigtländer and Voth researched whether the old patterns still exist today. By asking people questions such as “Do you object to a Jew coming to live next door?” or “Do Jews abuse the Holocaust for their own personal gains?” they tried to quantify the degree of anti-Semitism in a particular region.

To their amazement, they found that for every 10 percent of extra votes which the Nazi party used to attract in a particular German town, there are 1 percent more anti-Semites in this town today. This is a very high percentage, says Voth, as only about 4 to 5 percent of the contemporary Germans are considered to be anti-Semites.

Looking at the historical records, it is understandable that many Jews consider Israel a safer place to live than Europe. The Jewish homeland guarantees Jews their security – which is why every attempt to rob them of this homeland, or endanger its existence, is an anti-Semitic act endangering the entire Jewish community.

 

Originally published by Stonegate Institute www.stonegateinstitute.org

About the Author: Peter Martino is a European affairs columnist for the Gatestone Institute.


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