Inside the Antisemitic Mind
The Language of Jew-Hatred in Contemporary Germany

Monika Schwarz-Friesel and Jehuda Reinharz


408 pp.

$35.00 Paperback, 978-1-61168-984-6 
$95.00 Hardcover, 978-1-61168-983-9
$34.99 Ebook, 978-1-61168-985-3

In the News:

"European anti-Semites increasingly playing victim in classic ‘perpetrator inversion,’ says expert"Marc Neugroschel, Times of Israel


Inside the Antisemitic Mind

The Language of Jew-Hatred in Contemporary Germany

Monika Schwarz-Friesel and Jehuda Reinharz

A Sarnat Library Book

Exploring expressions of antisemitism in Germany today

Inside the Antisemitic MindAntisemitism never disappeared in Europe. In fact, there is substantial evidence that it is again on the rise, manifest in violent acts against Jews in some quarters, but more commonly noticeable in everyday discourse in mainstream European society.

This innovative empirical study examines written examples of antisemitism in contemporary Germany. It demonstrates that hostility against Jews is not just a right-wing phenomenon or a phenomenon among the uneducated, but is manifest among all social classes, including intellectuals.

Drawing on 14,000 letters and e-mails sent between 2002 and 2012 to the Central Council of Jews in Germany and to the Israeli embassy in Berlin, as well as communications sent between 2010 and 2011 to Israeli embassies in in Austria, Switzerland, Belgium, England, Ireland, the Netherlands, Sweden, and Spain, this volume shows how language plays a crucial role in activating and re-activating antisemitism. In addition, the authors investigate the role of emotions in antisemitic argumentation patterns and analyze “anti-Israelism” as the dominant form of contemporary hatred of Jews.

Endorsements and Reviews

“The great merit of the authors is their systematic survey of a frightening phenomenon that had been regarded as vanquished in Germany following Auschwitz. Where does it come from, where will it lead? The two authors have brought the concealed to the light of day and broken new ground. The book is a great scholarly work.”
−Josef Joffe, publisher-editor of Die Zeit, and Distinguished Fellow, Stanford University

“[The book] is an absolute groundbreaker in anti-Semitism research. Such a detailed study based on linguistic analysis has never been done before. The book makes a highly significant contribution to the discussion on anti-Semitism, but not just in Germany alone.”
−Yehuda Bauer, Professor of Holocaust Studies, Hebrew University, and academic advisor to Yad Vashem, Jerusalem

“The interdisciplinary study provides insight into the mental and affective fundaments of modern Judeophobia. Anyone engaged with anti-Jewish attitudes today must take note of this book.”
−Michael Brenner, Professor of Jewish History and Culture, LMU Munich

“A Herculean task: the comprehensive and precise analysis of current anti-Jewish language usage. The authors have mastered an unenviable, yet necessary and crucial enterprise.”
−Walter Laqueur, historian and publisher, Washington

“The first systematic analysis of antisemitic ideas and language in the 21st century, this work breaks new ground. The book is an indispensable contribution to the interdisciplinary study of antisemitism in contemporary society.”
−Lars Rensmann, Professor of European Politics and Society, University of Groningen (Netherlands)

“The violence of anti-Semitism speaks. A fundamental and profound empirical study on the language of Judeophobia which is unparalleled.”
−Andreas Zick, Director of the Institute for Interdisciplinary Research on Conflict and Violence, Bielefeld

“A milestone in research.”
−Samuel Salzborn, Professor for Political Sciences at the University of Göttingen

“Perhaps the most important book to date on contemporary anti-Semitism.”
−Gunda Trepp, Jüdische Allgemeine

“…the most important empirical study on anti-Semitism that has been published … in recent years. … a magnificent work… alarming.”
−Wolfram Stender, Professor of Sociology, University of Hannover

“A monumental work.”
−András Kertész, Professor of Linguistics at The University of Debrecen, Hungary.

“one of the most disturbing reads in recent years.”
−Jan Süselbeck, Professor of German Studies, University of Calgary

MONIKA SCHWARZ-FRIESEL holds the chair in general linguistics at the Technical University Berlin. She is the author of several books on antisemitism and the power of language.

JEHUDA REINHARZ is Richard Koret Professor of Modern Jewish History and director of the Tauber Institute for the Study of European Jewry at Brandeis University. He is the president of the Mandel Foundation.

This book can be purchased directly through the University Press of New England