Chapter

‘<i>Ostjude</i>’ as anti-Semitic stereotype

Julie Thorpe

in Pan-Germanism and the Austrofascist State, 1933-38

Published by Manchester University Press

Published in print August 2011 | ISBN: 9780719079672
Published online July 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781781703199 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7228/manchester/9780719079672.003.0006
‘Ostjude’ as anti-Semitic stereotype

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The question of Jewish assimilation and citizenship in the Austrian state bound Austrofascists and German nationalists even as religion again proved a sticking point. State functionaries preferred comparisons between Jews and Ottoman Turks as twin threats from ‘the East’, while German-nationalist editors focused their attacks on vagrant Jewish criminals from Eastern Europe. All of these images of Jews were conflated into a single anti-Semitic stereotype of the foreign Eastern Jew, the ‘Ostjude’. This chapter seeks to appraise this unity, rooted in hermeneutic differences. Anti-Semitism cannot be comprehended by typological approach. It can be seen as a constructed image of Jews, just as nationalism is also understood in constructivist terms. Such a mode of analysis avoids teleological readings of modern anti-Semitism that places its origins in the late nineteenth century. The image of the foreign Jew was a product of the First World War and the post-war peace settlements.

Keywords: Jewish assimilation; religion; Eastern Europe; Ostjude; constructed image; foreign Jew; modern anti-Semitism

Chapter.  17544 words. 

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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