Above Suspicion?

Michael Berkowitz

in The Crime of My Very Existence

Published by University of California Press

Published in print March 2007 | ISBN: 9780520251120
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520940680 | DOI:
Above Suspicion?

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  • Modern History (1700 to 1945)


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This chapter looks at pre-Nazi discourses on Jews and crime to show the interplay between myth, reality, and stereotype in non-Jewish and Jewish perceptions of “Jewish criminality.” In the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, debates about the so-called Kriminalstatistik, including criminal statistics on Jews, were a part of public discussions on many levels. The chapter focuses on the application of stereotypes of Jews as criminals, in which allegations of duplicity and financial impropriety loomed largest. The notion of endemic Jewish crookedness was particularly intense in the wake of Germany's defeat in the First World War, when a number of Jews were apparently involved in a barrage of highly publicized scandals.

Keywords: Jewish criminality; pre-Nazi discourses; Jewish stereotypes; financial impropriety; duplicity; First World War; Germany's defeat; Kriminalstatistik

Chapter.  9289 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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