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Other titles in the Social History, Popular Culture, & Politics in Germany series:
Exclusionary Violence: Antisemitic Riots in Modern German History (Social History, Popular Culture, & Politics in Germany)by Christhard Hoffmann
Synopses & Reviews
Whereas a large body of scholarly literature exists on German antisemitism in general, pre-Nazi histories of violence against Jews in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries have been widely neglected. This coherent and well-focused collection of essays is the first comprehensive work in any language dealing with antisemitic pogroms in modern German history from the Hep Hep riots of 1819 to the Reichskristallnacht.
In the Western mind, outbursts of collective violence against Jews have been largely identified with Tzarist Russia and the medieval crusade massacres. However, by narrating pogroms as archaic, historians have overlooked their significance to the development of modern antisemitism in Germany and Europe as well as the reasons for its continued presence in the contemporary world. The evidence presented in this volume suggests that acts of exclusionary violence were not dead-end streets of futile protest. Rather, they were rehearsals for new kinds of destruction.
The integration of various perspectives and the close cooperation of scholars from different disciplines is a major achievement of this volume, which will be of interest to advanced undergraduates, graduate students, academics and the general reader in a variety of disciplines, including German studies, Jewish studies, Holocaust and genocide studies, ethnic relations, history, and the social sciences in general.
Christhard Hoffmann is Associate Professor of Modern European History, University of Bergen, Norway. Werner Bergmann is Professor of Research on Antisemitism, Technical University, Berlin, Germany. Helmut W. Smith is Associate Professor of History, Vanderbilt University.
A comprehensive examination of pre-Nazi violence against Jews in nineteenth- and twentieth-century Germany
The first book investigating the recent historiography of the ritual murder accusation
The ritual murder accusation is one of a series of myths that fall under the label blood libel, and describes the medieval legend that Jews require Christian blood for obscure religious purposes and are capable of committing murder to obtain it. This malicious myth continues to have an explosive afterlife in the public sphere, where Sarah Palin's 2011 gaffe is only the latest reminder of its power to excite controversy. Blood Libel is the first book-length study to analyze the recent historiography of the ritual murder accusation and to consider these debates in the context of intellectual and cultural history as well as methodology. Hannah R. Johnson articulates how ethics shapes methodological decisions in the study of the accusation and how questions about methodology, in turn, pose ethical problems of interpretation and understanding. Examining recent debates over the scholarship of historians such as Gavin Langmuir, Israel Yuval, and Ariel Toaff, Johnson argues that these discussions highlight an ongoing paradigm shift that seeks to reimagine questions of responsibility by deliberately refraining from a discourse of moral judgment and blame in favor of an emphasis on historical contingencies and hostile intergroup dynamics.
About the Author
Hannah R. Johnson is Associate Professor of English at the University of Pittsburgh.
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