Secondary antisemitism

Secondary antisemitism

Secondary antisemitism is a distinct kind of antisemitism which is said to have appeared after the end of World War II. It is often explained as being "caused by" —as opposed to "in spite of"— Auschwitz, "pars pro toto" for the Holocaust.cite web
authorlink=European Fundamental Rights Agency
title="Antisemitism. Summary overview of the situation in the European Union 2001-2005"
format = PDF
] One frequently quoted formulation of the concept, first published in Henryk M. Broder's 1986 book "Der Ewige Antisemit" ("The Eternal Antisemite"), stems from Zvi Rex, an Israeli psychologist, who made the observation that "The Germans will never forgive the Jews for Auschwitz."cite book
last = Broder
first = Henryk M.
authorlink = Henryk Broder
title = Der Ewige Antisemit
language = German
publisher = S. Fischer Verlag
location = Frankfurt am Main
year = 1986
isbn = 3596238064
] Citation
last = Weinthal | Wed. Jun 06, 2007
first = Ben
title = The Raging Bronx Bull of German Journalism
publisher = Forward. The Jewish Daily
date = 2007-06-06
url =
accessdate = 2007-06-23
] The term itself was coined by Peter Schönbach, a Frankfurt School co-worker of Theodor W. Adorno and Max Horkheimer, based on their Critical Theory.cite book
last = Schönbach
first = Peter
title = Reaktionen auf die antisemitische Welle im Winter 1959/60
publisher = Europäische Verlagsanstalt
location = Frankfurt am Main
language = German
pages = p. 80
year = 1961
ASIN: B0000BNH43

Adorno, in a 1959 lecture titled "Was bedeutet: Aufarbeitung der Vergangenheit" (published in his 1963 book "Eingriffe. Neun kritische Modelle."cite book
last = Adorno
first = Theodor W.
authorlink = Theodor W. Adorno
title = Eingriffe. Neun kritische Modelle
language = German
publisher = Suhrkamp Verlag
location = Frankfurt am Main
date = 1996 (this edition), original 1963
isbn = 3518133039
] ) addressed the fallacy of the broad German post-war tendency to associate and simultaneously causally link Jews with the Holocaust. According to Adorno's critique, an opinion had been readily accepted in Germany, according to which the Jewish people were culpable in the crimes against them. Jewish guilt was assumed to varying extents, depending on the varying incarnations of that antisemitic notion, one of which is the idea that Jews were (and are) exploiting German guilt over the Holocaust.


"Sometimes the victors are declared to be the cause of what the defeated have done when they were still in charge, and for the crimes of Hitler those are declared guilty who acquiesced his rise to power, and not those who hailed him. The idiocy in all this is in fact an indication of something mentally uncoped-with, of a wound, although the thought of wounds should be dedicated to the victims."

Initially, members of the Frankfurt School called this "guilt-defensiveness anti-Semitism", an antisemitism motivated by a deflection of guilt.cite web
author=Andrei S. Markovits
title="A New (or Perhaps Revived) "Uninhibitedness" toward Jews in Germany"
publisher=Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
work=Jewish Political Studies Review 18:1-2
date=Spring 2006

One aspect involved in the formation of secondary antisemitism appears to be the rehabilitation of many lower- and even several higher-ranking Third Reich officials and officers regardless of and in fact deliberately ignoring their partly considerable individual contributions to Nazi Germany's crimes. Several controversies ensued early in post-World War II Germany, e.g. when Konrad Adenauer favoured Hans Globke as secretary of state although the latter had formulated the emergency legislation that gave Hitler unlimited dictatorial powers and had been one of the leading legal commentators on the Nuremberg race laws of 1935. cite book
last = Wistrich
first = Robert Solomon
authorlink = Robert S. Wistrich
title = Who's Who in Nazi Germany
publisher = Routledge
year = 2001
pages = 74-75
url =,M1
isbn = 0415260388
] cite book
last = Pendas
first = Devin Owen
title = The Frankfurt Auschwitz Trial, 1963-1965: Genocide, History and the Limits of the Law
publisher = Cambridge University Press
year = 2005
pages = p. 18
url =,M1
isbn = 0521844061
] However, according to Adorno, parts of the German public never acknowledged these events and instead formed the notion of Jewish guilt in the Holocaust.


ee also

*New antisemitism
*Daniel Goldhagen
*Victim blaming

External links

* cite web
last = Böhmer
first = Jochen
title = Sekundärer Antisemitismus
publisher =
url =
accessdate = 2008-02-15

*PDFlink| [ Introductory statement for panel on Holocaust education] |24.4 KB from the OSCE Conference on Anti-Semitism and on Other Forms of Intolerance, Cordoba, 8 and 9 June 2005.
*PDFlink| [ Best Practices on Combating Antisemitism - Conference Documentation] |1.15 MB from an OSCE meeting, Berlin, 20 to 21 November 2006.
* " [ The anti-Semitism of the 68ers] ". An interview with Tilman Fichter.
* " [ The Years of Extermination] ". Dan Diner reviews Saul Friedländer's three-part history of the Holocaust.

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Antisemitism — Part of a series on Discrimination General forms …   Wikipedia

  • ANTISEMITISM — ANTISEMITISM, a term coined in 1879, from the Greek ἁντί = anti, and Σημ = Semite by the German agitator wilhelm marr to designate the then current anti Jewish campaigns in Europe. Antisemitism soon came into general use as a term denoting all… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Antisemitism in the Soviet Union — Antisemitism Part of Jewish history …   Wikipedia

  • Antisemitism and the New Testament — The presence of antisemitism in the New Testament is a debated topic in biblical scholarship. It is argued that the New Testament contributed toward subsequent antisemitism in the Christian community.[1] Contents 1 The New Testament and Christian …   Wikipedia

  • Christianity and antisemitism — Antisemitism Part of Jewish history …   Wikipedia

  • History of antisemitism — Antisemitism Part of Jewish history …   Wikipedia

  • New antisemitism — Antisemitism Part of Jewish history …   Wikipedia

  • Martin Luther and antisemitism — Antisemitism Part of Jewish history …   Wikipedia

  • Nation of Islam and antisemitism — Part of a series on the Nation of Islam …   Wikipedia

  • Denazification — Workers removing the signage from a former Adolf Hitler Street A swastika at the Nazi party rally grounds being blown to pieces, as …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.