The creation of the term "anti-Semitism" a century ago signalled a turning point in the history of Jew-hatred, marking the division between the classical, Christian hatred of Jews and the modern, politically-rooted racist attitudes. This is the first biography of radical writer and politician Wilhelm Marr, the man who introduced the term "anti-Semitism" into politics and founded the first "Anti-Semitic League." Marr (1819-1904) began his political career as a democrat and revolutionary, fighting for the emancipation of all oppressed groups including the Jews. But when he became disillusioned with contemporary politics, Jews became the focus of his attack. Drawing on Marr's published and unpublished works, as well as on previously unexamined journals and voluminous correspondence, Zimmermann sets out to discover why an intellectual radical like Marr would become a virulent anti-Semite. As Zimmermann follows Marr's profound influence in the political, literary, and artistic circles of his day and his collaborations with Karl Marx, Richard Wagner, and other radical founders of modern anti-Semitism, he reveals the diverse ways that anti-Semitism came to permeate German thought and illuminates critical moments in the emergence of the German Reich. The book also includes Marr's surprising, never-before-published "Testament of an Anti-Semite," written at the end of his life when he finally turned his back on the movement he helped to create. This is the first volume in a new Oxford series, Studies in Jewish History. The General Editor for the series is Jehuda Reinharz of Brandeis University.
- Publication Date:
- 05 / 03 / 1987