Article

Esther and Hitler: A Second Triumphant Purim

Jo Carruthers

in The Oxford Handbook of the Reception History of the Bible

Published in print January 2011 | ISBN: 9780199204540
Published online May 2011 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199204540.003.0036

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Religion and Theology

 Esther and Hitler: A Second Triumphant Purim

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The Book of Esther tells the tale of a prime minister, Haman, who, through various political machinations, attempts to annihilate the Jews of the ancient Persian empire. Esther, queen of the empire and secretly a Jew, averts the disaster and, together with her uncle, Mordecai, is celebrated as the saviour of the Jews. The end of the book institutes Purim as a festival to celebrate ‘rest from their enemies’ and the turning of ‘sorrow to gladness’ and ‘mourning into a good day’. As early as 1935, parallels were being drawn between this story and the politics of the Nazi party, which are discussed in this article.

Keywords: Book of Esther; Haman; Esther; Mordecai; Nazi party

Article.  6722 words. 

Subjects: Religion ; Judaism and Jewish Studies ; Religious Studies ; History of Religion

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