Icon by Margaret HolmesA Chronology of Anti-Semitism

Anti-Semitism is the political, social, and economic agitation and activities directed against Jews. The term is now used to denote anti-Judaic acts or sentiments based on any grounds, including religious ones. The adjective Semitic originally was applied to all descendants of Shem, the eldest son of the biblical patriarch Noah; in later usage it refers to a group of peoples of southwestern Asia, including both Jews and Arabs. The word anti-Semitism was coined in 1879 to denote hostility only towards Jews. This hostility is supposedly justified by a theory, first developed in Germany, that peoples of the so-called Aryan stock are superior in physique and character to all those of Semitic stock. This racial superiority was used to justify the civil and religious persecution of Jews during Hitler's Holocaust.

The Chronology of Anti-Semitism

1710 - J.A. Eisenmenger's Judaism Exposed is published.
1764 - Voltaire's Philosophical Dictionary gives a secular basis to anti-Jewish thought.
1782 - The Austrian Emperor, Joseph II, issues an Edict of Toleration, acknowledging Jews as permanent residents.
1807 - Napoleon revises French provisions for Jewish equality enacted on 1790-91.
1845 - Alphonse Toussenel, a socialist, condemns "Jewish money power" in his The Jews, Kings of the Epoch.
1850 - Richard Wagner publishes Jewry in Music under a pseudonym.
1855 - Count Gobineau provides a theoretical basis for racial anti-Semitism in Essay on the Inequality of the Human Races.
1867-1871 - Germany, Austria, and Hungary institute legal equality for Jews.
Nazi propaganda by Seppla (Josef Plank)

Nazi anti-Semitic cartoon by Josef Plank.
Photo from Library of Congress, courtesy of USHMM Archives.


1873 - Financial crash causes a major depression in Central Europe.
1879 - Wilhelm Marr introduces the term anti-Semite into politics while founding the first anti-Semitic party.

Court Chaplin Stoecker and his Christian Social party turn to anti-Semitism.

The historian Heinrich von Treitschke publishes "A Word About Our Jews."


1881
- Wide-scale anti-Jewish riots (pogroms) in Russia initiate a massive westward Jewish emigration.
1886 - Edouard Drumont publishes La France Juive.
1889 - Austrian university fraternities adopt the "Aryan paragraph," prohibiting Jewish membership.
1895 - Captain Alfred Dreyfus, a Jewish officer on the French General Staff, is convicted of treason and sentenced to life imprisonment on Devil's Island (pardoned in 1906).
1897 - Karl Lueger is elected Mayor of Vienna.
1898 - Protocols of the Elders of Zion is fabricated in Paris from old and new materials, probably by agents of the Okhrana (tsarist secret police).
1898-1900 - Ritual-murder accusations lead to sensational trials of Austria-Hungary and Prussia.
1912 - Roman Dmowski organizes the boycott of Jewish businesses in Poland.
1917 - Balfour Declaration promises British support for a Jewish national home in Palestine.
1919 - Minorities' Treaty, safeguarding Jewish equality, is signed by Poland and Romania.

Pogroms occur in Hungary, following the overthrow of the communist regime of Bela Kun, and throughout the rest of eastern Europe.

1920
- A quota limiting Jewish attendance is established at Hungarian universities.
1921 - Henry Ford reissues articles from his newspaper in a four-volume pamphlet, The International Jew.Anti-semitic movie poster
1922 - Radical rightists assassinate Walther Rathenau in Germany.
1933 - January 30. Adolf Hitler becomes Chancellor of Germany.

April. Hitler's government institutes an official boycott of Jewish businesses in Germany, purges the civil service, and restricts admission to public schools and universities.

1935
- Nuremberg Laws, defining German citizenship in racial terms, abolish Jewish emancipation in Germany.
1936 - Cardinal Hlond's pastoral letter on the Jewish question in Poland condemns Jews as atheists and revolutionaries and lends church support for economic anti-Semitism.
1938 - May. "First Jewish Law" in Hungary limits participation in economic and professional life.

November 9-10. During the Kristallnacht (Night of Broken Glass), stormtroopers burn 300 synagogues, loot and vandalize hundreds of Jewish shops, kill 91 Jews, and send 25,000 concentration camps.

1939
- Beginning in September, the Nazi policy of forced emigration of Jews is phased out in favor of deporting them to the East, where they are concentrated in ghettos.
1941 - January. The fascist Iron Guard instigates a wave of pogroms in Romania.

March. Commissariat-General for Jewish Affairs, created by the Vichy regime, directs anti- Jewish policies in France.

September 29-30. 33,771 Jews are massacred at Babi Yar, outside of Kiev.

1942
- January 20. The Wannsee Conference systematizes the Final Solution of the Jewish Question.

By April, Einsatzgruppen (mobile death squads) operating behind the advancing German armies have murdered 461,500 Soviet Jews.

July-September. First phase of mass deportations of Western-European Jews to Auschwitz.

1943 - January-April. Jews inside the Warsaw ghetto resist deportation.

October. Operation "Reinhard" ends; 1.5 million Jews have been exterminated in the death camps at Belzec, Sobibor, and Treblinka.

1944
- By July 7, over 437,000 Hungarian Jews have been deported to Auschwitz.

October 7. Jewish prisoners revolt in Auschwitz.

1945
- April-May. With the collapse of Nazi Germany, the Holocaust ends.
1948 - Founding of the State of Israel.
1953 - The manufactured "Jewish Doctors' Plot" against high-ranking officials exploits latent anti-Semitism in the Soviet Union.
1962 - Anti-Semitic outrages occur in Argentina.
1967 - The Six-Day War in the Middle East launches a sustained anti-Zionist campaign in the Eastern Bloc.
1979 - The Call, Cairo newspaper of the fundamentalist Muslim Brotherhood, condemns a monolithic Jewish conspiracy against Islam.
1987 - Several Anti-Semitic works, including Protocols, become best sellers in Japan.
Taken from: Anti-Semitism in the Modern World: An Anthology of Texts D.C. Health

Web Links

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