Laboratory for World Destruction
Germans and Jews in Central Europe
Publication Year: 1976
Published by: University of Nebraska Press
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Introduction: Jews and Antisemitism in Central European Culture
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Albert Einstein once remarked that when the German Jews first began to flock into the universities of Central Europe at the end of the 19th century, it was as if they had spent an entire millennium preparing for the entrance...
Part I: Into the Crossfire
1. The Ethnic Cauldron of the Habsburg Empire
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Few areas of the world during the past 150 years have been so shaped by Jewish influences as the former Habsburg lands of East Central Europe. The prominent Czech writer Milan Kundera once observed that in the pre-Hitler...
2. Adolf Fischof and the Tragedy of Liberalism
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Austrian Jewry first began to identify with German culture after the language decrees of the 1780s compelled Jews to establish German-language schools wherever they lived in the polyglot Habsburg Empire. Henceforth, Jews were...
3. Austro-Marxist Interpretations of the "Jewish Question"
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Austrian Social Democracy adopted a highly ambivalent attitude towards the "Jewish Question" before and after the First World War. Though much less openly antisemitic than rival mass movements such as the Christian-Social...
4. Rosa Luxemburg, Polish Socialism, and the Bund
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Rosa Luxemburg, born in Zamosc in Russian Poland (the birthplace of the famous Yiddish poet Y. L. Peretz) in 1871, was the outstanding feminine personality and most vibrant representative of internationalism in the socialist...
5. The Strange Odyssey of Nathan Birnbaum
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Nathan Birnbaum, the founder of Austrian Zionism was born in Vienna in 1864 to parents from a religious background with roots in Galicia and Hungary. His father, the son of Polish hasidim, had arrived in Vienna from...
6. Max Nordau: From "Degeneration" to "Muscular Judaism"
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Max Nordau (1849-1923), physician, journalist, playwright and litterateur, was the most prominent European man of letters to join the Zionist movement at the end of the 19th century.1 Born in Budapest, he was deeply...
7. Friedrich Nietzsche, Germany, and the Jewish "Superman"
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Friedrich Nietzsche was one of the great intellectual iconoclasts of the 19th century. In some respects more radical than even Marx or Freud, this descendant of generations of German Protestant pastors became perhaps the...
Part II: From Herzl to Hitler
8. Theodor Herzl: Artist, Politician, and Social Utopian
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Following the First Zionist Congress in Basle in August 1897, its initiator, Theodor Herzl, was convinced that he had "founded the Jewish State." Herzl knew, of course, that such a claim if made public could only expose him to...
9. In the Footsteps of "King Messiah"
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The First Zionist Congress, which opened in the Grosse Musiksaal of Basle's elegant municipal casino on 29 August 1897, was a high and solemn occasion attended by 196 delegates from sixteen countries. They had been...
10. The Last Testament of Dr. Sigmund Freud
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On the occasion of his seventieth birthday in 1926, Sigmund Freud wrote to his friend and disciple Marie Bonaparte with a characteristic touch of irony: The Jewish societies in Vienna and the University of Jerusalem (of which I am a trustee), in short the Jews altogether, have celebrated me...
11. Stefan Zweig and the "World of Yesterday"
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The opening chapter of Stefan Zweig's memorable autobiography The World of Yesterday conjures up the beguiling image of a world standing firmly and immovably in its appointed place.1...
12. Karl Kraus: An Anatomy of Self-Hatred
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Karl Kraus was one of the most controversial and explosive personalities to emerge in Habsburg Vienna at the beginning of the 20th century. He was an original figure even in a period where Jewish genius flourished as never before in Viennese music, theatre, literature, the social sciences, medicine...
13. Karl Lueger and Catholic Judeophobia in Austria
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The multi-national Habsburg Empire rather than Imperial Germany, Russia or France, was the true birthplace of antisemitism as an electorally powerful modern movement. Although the impetus came from events in Germany and...
14. Adolf Hitler: The Making of an Antisemite
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Karl Kraus once described fin-de-siecle Austria as "an experimental station for the end of the world." This is especially true of Vienna, the capital of this multi-ethnic state and the cosmopolitan heart of the supranational dynasty...
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Publication Year: 1976