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Antisemitism, Christian Ambivalence, and the Holocaust

Edited by Kevin P. Spicer, C.S.C.

Publication Year: 2007

In recent years, the mask of tolerant, secular, multicultural Europe has been shattered by new forms of antisemitic crime. Though many of the perpetrators do not profess Christianity, antisemitism has flourished in Christian Europe. In this book, thirteen scholars of European history, Jewish studies, and Christian theology examine antisemitism's insidious role in Europe's intellectual and political life. The essays reveal that annihilative antisemitic thought was not limited to Germany, but could be found in the theology and liturgical practice of most of Europe's Christian churches. They dismantle the claim of a distinction between Christian anti-Judaism and neo-pagan antisemitism and show that, at the heart of Christianity, hatred for Jews overwhelmingly formed the milieu of 20th-century Europe.

Published by: Indiana University Press

Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

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Contents

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pp. vii-viii

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Preface

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pp. ix-xii

The scholars whose essays appear in this volume met at the Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in the summer of 2004 for a workshop about the Holocaust and antisemitism in Christian Europe. Our goal was to examine how the legacy of antisemitism within the Christian churches limited ...

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Introduction: Love Thy Neighbor?

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pp. xiii-

For many years, Father Heinrich Weber labored as the Caritas (Catholic Charities) director in the diocese of M

I. Theological Antisemitism

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pp. 1-2

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1. Belated Heroism: THE DANISH LUTHERAN CHURCH AND THE JEWS, 1918–1945

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pp. 3-25

Compared to most other countries, the Danish-Jewish experience seems to stand out as a remarkable exception in modern European history. Obviously, this perception is intrinsically linked to the unique rescue effort of the Danish people in October 1943, causing Nazi Germany’s attempt at rounding up and arresting Danish Jews to fail: only a ...

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2. Rabbinic Judaism in the Writings of Polish Catholic Theologians, 1918–1939

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pp. 26-49

In the interwar period, Polish prelates spent a great deal of time discussing Jewish matters. Authors wrote much about the ‘‘Jewish Question,’’ including Jews’ so-called involvement in capitalism, socialism, liberalism, and revolutions; their anonymous empire aimed against all non-Jews, especially Christians; and their destructive and demoralizing impact on social, political, and cultural life. Both nationalistic and ...

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3. German Catholic Views of Jesus and Judaism, 1918–1945

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pp. 50-75

The Second Vatican Council endorsed a change in the Catholic Church’s self-understanding and its stance toward the world and other religions. When Pope John XXIII convoked the council on December 25, 1961, he opened the way for both the end of the hegemony of the notion of the Church as a ‘‘perfect society,’’ that is, as a self-sufficient, juridical institution, and also the end of the Church’s negative attitude ...

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4. Catholic Theology and the Challenge of Nazism

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pp. 76-102

Vatican II’s foundational document was Lumen Gentium. This description of the role of the Church was informed by a biblically and historically rooted ecclesiology as well as by an experientially subjective anthropology. This statement helped nurture the Church’s assault on antisemitism in Nostra Aetate and supported its engagement in the contemporary ...

II. Christian Clergy and the Extreme Right Wing

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pp. 103-104

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5. Working for the F

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pp. 105-120

In December 1930, Dr. Philipp Haeuser stood before the Augsburg members of the National Socialist German Workers’ Party (NSDAP) and addressed them: ‘‘Today the National Socialists of Augsburg celebrate Christmas. That is a fact. Another fact is: a Catholic priest delivers the address at this Christmas celebration upon the special wish of the National Socialists. Both facts are extremely sad—sad for the self-righteous ...

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6. The Impact of the Spanish Civil War upon Roman Catholic Clergy in Nazi Germany

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pp. 121-135

On the night of July 17, 1936, civil war broke out in Spain. Soon, many interpreted the events in Spain as an ongoing struggle of the forces of democracy versus the forces of fascism; for others the war represented a struggle between Western Christian civilization and the Bolshevik East. As one historian commented, ‘‘Beyond Iberia the civil ...

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7. Faith, Murder, Resurrection: The Iron Guard and the Romanian Orthodox Church

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pp. 136-170

Romanian antisemitism had deep roots in the teachings of the Romanian Orthodox Church. In the first half of the twentieth century, unschooled local priests in rural areas, theology faculty at the country’s universities, and the national leadership of the Church hierarchy, including the Patriarch himself, openly professed antisemitic views and preached antisemitic stereotypes. They spread intolerance and hatred in ...

III. Postwar Jewish-Christian Encounters

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pp. 171-173

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8. The German Protestant Church and Its Judenmission, 1945–1950

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pp. 173-200

Beginning in the nineteenth-century, German Protestant churches established mission societies that focused specifically on proselytizing Jews in Germany.1 The raison d’etre of the Judenmission (Jewish missions) was to encourage Jews to convert to Christianity. Pointing to passages in the New Testament and to the example of Jesus for justification ...

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9. Shock, Renewal, Crisis: Catholic Reflections on the Shoah

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pp. 201-234

In the introduction, it stated: ‘‘In view of the confusion caused even among Christians . . . over several decades, and particularly in recent years, by a consciously or unconsciously anti- Christian antisemitism with respect to the Jewish question, we consider it to be our obligation as Christians to point out the teachings of Christ’s Church regarding these questions, and, from that point of view, respond ...

IV. Viewing Each Other

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pp. 235-236

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10. Wartime Jewish Orthodoxy’s Encounter with Holocaust Christianity

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pp. 237-269

For the most part, Orthodox Jewish thinkers during the war had either a dualistic conception of Christianity, according to which sacred Israel remained categorically split from Christianity, or a unitive conception, according to which Israel and Christianity were bound together on a humanistic or spiritual level. ...

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11. Confronting Antisemitism: Rabbi Philip Sidney Bernstein and the Roman Catholic Hierarchy

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pp. 270-284

On July 13, 1946, Rabbi Philip Bernstein, advisor on Jewish a√airs to General Joseph T. McNarney, theater commander, U.S. Forces, European Theater (USFET), wrote a letter home to Rochester, New York. That week, he had attended the International Military Tribunal (IMT) in Nuremberg and afterward recorded: ...

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12. Old Wine in New Bottles? Religion and Race in Nazi Antisemitism

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pp. 285-308

Among other things, it represents an important element of the increasingly public dialogue between Christians and Jews about what precisely contributed to the worst instance of antisemitic violence in world history, the Holocaust. In the years immediately preceding its release, the Vatican had increasingly scrutinized itself (and continues to do so) with regard to the Catholic Church’s possible contributions to an ...

List of Contributors

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pp. 309-312

Index

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pp. 313-329


E-ISBN-13: 9780253116741
E-ISBN-10: 0253116740
Print-ISBN-13: 9780253348739

Page Count: 360
Publication Year: 2007