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Jews, Turks, and Other Strangers

Roots of Prejudice in Modern Germany

Jerome S. Legge, Jr.

Publication Year: 2003

Scholarly, objective, insightful, and analytical, Jews, Turks, and Other Strangers studies the causes of prejudice against Jews, foreign workers, refugees, and emigrant Germans in contemporary Germany. Using survey material and quantitative analyses, Legge convincingly challenges the notion that German xenophobia is rooted in economic causes. Instead, he sees a more complex foundation for German prejudice, particularly in a reunified Germany where perceptions of the "other" sometimes vary widely between east and west, a product of a traditional racism rooted in the German past. By clarifying the foundations of xenophobia in a new German state, Legge offers a clear and disturbing picture of a conflicted country and a prejudice that not only affects Jews but also fuels a larger, anti-foreign sentiment.

Published by: University of Wisconsin Press


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pp. vii

Figures and Tables

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pp. ix-x

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pp. xi-xvi

Many of my reasons for writing this book came out of teaching “The Holocaust and Contemporary German Politics.” I first began teaching the Holocaust in one of my classes in the University of Georgia’s Study Abroad Program in Verona, Italy, during the summer of 1997. I attempted to structure the class around the...

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pp. 3-13

In June 2000 a violent racist incident occurred in the town of Dessau in the eastern Bundesland of Saxony-Anhalt. In this state, the extremist right-wing Deutsche Volksunion garnered 13.8 percent of the seats in the April 1998 Landtag election. Three skinheads murdered a resident from Mozambique in a drunken orgy of beating...

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1. The German Economy, “Foreigners,” and Jews

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pp. 14-31

The reemergence of united Germany is of tremendous importance for the economic and political vitality of Europe and the West. More than any other event, the tumbling of the Berlin Wall and the merging of the two divisions of Germany symbolizes the intellectual...

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2. Reunification with East Germany and the Refugee Problem

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pp. 32-55

With the regime changes that occurred in Eastern Europe in the late 1980s and early 1990s came an additional movement of peoples. These individuals consisted of persons seeking better economic opportunities, refugees fleeing the civil conflict in Yugoslavia...

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3. The Question of Economic Threat and Anti-Foreign Sentiment: The Early Years of Unification

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pp. 56-78

In this chapter I examine the issue of German attitudes toward refugees, guest workers, and “foreigners” in general. In particular, a major item of inquiry is whether prejudicial attitudes around the time of unification were due to economic fears, as is commonly supposed, or whether the anti-foreign attitudes can be better understood...

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4. More Recent Evidence of Anti-Foreign Sentiment:The 1996 ALLBUS General Social Survey

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pp. 79-113

More recent and comprehensive data are available on attitudes toward foreigners in united Germany. A second survey of public opinion, the German Social Survey (ALLBUS), was conducted in 1996 by the Zentralarchiv f

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5. An Economic Theory of Antisemitism? Exploring Attitudes in the New German State

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pp. 114-130

Economic explanations are among the most prominent in accounting for antisemitism. In contemporary Germany, the belief that economic conditions generate such prejudice seems persuasive, although so far I have found little evidence to support...

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6. Antisemitism in Germany at the Millennium

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pp. 131-155

As a decade, the 1990s were interesting times for Germany and the “Jewish question.” The Holocaust and German responsibility for the destruction of the Jews were discussed extensively and publicly for the first time since the close of the war. Before...

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7. The Economy, Minorities, and the German Future

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pp. 156-170

This final chapter discusses the implications of this book for Jews and foreigners in Germany in light of the disappointing performance of the German economy in the 1990s. The most recent evidence suggests that the economy improved slightly during 2000, but the...

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Postscript: The 2002 National Election

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pp. 171-174

The 2002 German national election was extremely close, with Chancellor Gerhard Schr

Appendix A: Coding and Distribution of the Exogenous Variables

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pp. 177

Appendix B: Codes and Distributions of Predictor Variables

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pp. 178-180

Appendix C: Questions and Variable Coding

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pp. 181-182


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pp. 183-188


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pp. 189-197


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pp. 199-205

E-ISBN-13: 9780299184032
Print-ISBN-13: 9780299184001

Publication Year: 2003