The Tauber Institute for the Study of European Jewry

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

Monika Schwarz-Friesel and Jehuda Reinharz

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

A Sarnat Library Book

Exploring expressions of antisemitism in Germany today

Antisemitism 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.

Purchase from Brandeis University Press

About the Authors

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 President Emeritus and 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.