History of the Holocaust

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HIST B323, Lesson 1, Identifications

1. The Bund was a Jewish socialist party. Founded in 1897, the party strived to become an equal part of Russian society. That is to say the Jews would maintain their culture through the use of the Yiddish language and literature. All the while seeing the masses as equal with other nationalities.

2. Wilhelm Marr lived in Germany, was German agitator and theorist, who apparently coined the term “anti-Semitism” as a euphemism for “Jew-hate”. This came to be some time around 1878 or 1879. Mr. Marr, an out of work journalist, blamed the Jews for his plight. Mr. Marr was a major link in the evolving chain of German racism that erupted into genocide during the Nazi era.

3. “Protocols of the Elders of Zion” is an anti-Semitic forgery that purports to describe a Jewish plot to achieve world domination. Supposedly originating in 1897 at the first Zionist Congress in Basle. In fact, these writings were concocted in Paris in the late 1800’s by Russian secret police. The Nazis used the protocols as an anti-Semitic propaganda tool during World War II.

4. Zionism is an international political movement, which supports a homeland for the Jewish people, Israel. The movement was formally organized in the late 19th Century although was not successful in actually establishing the State of Israel until 1948. Theodore Herzl proclaimed the right of the Jewish people to national rebirth in its own country. This took place in the First Zionist Congress in 1897.

HIST B323, Lesson 1, Source Analysis

Perhaps the most striking thing about the context of the petition is the fact that the Jewish people are never referred to as people. Jew, Jewish and Jewry are used to refer to the Jewish people, also used to describe the Jewish people were phrases like Semitic element and foreign stock. Yet it uses the term Volk, meaning people, when referring to German Christian. Perhaps the language was meant to begin desensitizing the German...