Research

Six new research projects were approved by the Academic Committee in January 1998:

  • The Non-Existent Manuscript: The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, a Twentieth-century Apocryphal--Prof. Cesare G. De Michelis, Tor Vergata University, Rome
  • Following previous research done over several years, along with the publication of a number of articles on the topic, Prof. De Michelis proposes a new philological examination of the textual variants of the Protocols. This has led to a new dating of the text to 1902–1903, and a new hypothesis about the milieu in which the infamous forgery was produced, and about its Russian antisemitic extremist authors. Based mainly on Russian archival sources, as well as the Hoover Archives at Stanford University, the research focuses on the Russian White policy toward the Jews and the relationship between its leaders and some Jewish leaders. Jewish participation in the movement, the weight of antisemitism in White ideology, and in its propaganda in local newspapers and leaflets, as well as the “Jewish Question” in White diplomacy and in the publications of Russian émigrés of the 1920s, will be assessed. This research will analyze different forms of philosemitism during the Weimar period. Specific discourses include that of the German political Left, the Liberals and the Socialists; the conversionary philosemitism of the Protestant Right, and ambivalent forms of intellectual philosemitism. In addition, other forms of philosemitism such as Christian proselytism and the nexus of intermarriage and philosemitism will be addressed. Based on interviews with baptized Russian Jews, some of whom emigrated to United States or Israel, the aim of the research is to define their national and religious identity, the role of experiencing antisemitism in keeping alive the sense of Jewish ethnic identity even after baptism, as well as the dilemmas challenging these Jewish converts when encountering antisemitism in the Russian Church.

    Antisemitic Violence in Hungary during the Period of Political Radicalization and the “White Terror” (1919)

    Dr Avigdor Löwenheim, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel

    Using a recently available collection of testimonies, the study will analyze the different types of anti-Jewish violence carried out by the mob organized by Hungarian officers under Admiral Horthy. Legal reports and accounts from local newspapers will be used to round out the picture of these events. An assessment will be made of the impact of the Hungarian Bolshevik revolution and the anti-Jewish “White Terror” on relations between Hungarians and Jews during the 1930s and the Hungarian antisemitic policy.

    Extreme Right, Xenophobia, and Antisemitism in Spain (1931–1982): The Political Use of the “Conspiracy Theory”

    Dr José L. Rodríguez Jiménez, Complutense University, Madrid

    Spain has experienced two processes of transition to democratic regimes during the twentieth century — in 1931, with the proclamation of the Second Republic, and after General Franco’s death in 1975. In both cases, the “conspiracy theory” was used to discredit and subvert the path to democracy. The research will focus on the Spanish extreme Right discourse of tensions and dangers based on the antisemitic myth of a world Jewish conspiracy.

    Research Projects in Progress

    Dr. Jean Ancel, Antisemitism vs. Nationalism — Romania 1942

    Dr. Olaf Blaschke, Jews and Catholics in the German Empire

    Dr. Jacob Borut, Antisemitism in Jewish Everyday Life in the Weimar Republic

    Prof. Benjamin Braude, The Image of the Jew in the Literature of Eastern Travel, 1350–1650: Power and the Transition to Antisemitism

    Dr. Patrick Anthony Cavaliere, Antisemitism in Fascist Italy: The Intellectual Origins of the Racial Laws of 1938

    Dr. Silvia Cresti, The Perception and Discussion of Antisemitism in Jewish Periodicals during the Weimar Republic

    Dr. Daniel Gutwein, Antisemitism in England 1882–1914: Economic and Political Factors

    Dr. Brian Horowitz, Russian-Jewish Interaction, 1880–1913: Cultural Cooperation in an Epoch of Antisemitism

    Prof. Melinda Jones, The Role of Law in Over- coming Antisemitism in Australia

    Dr. Anthony Kauders, Democracy and Antisemitism in Munich, 1945–1965

    Dr. Nissim Kazaz, Arab Nationalism and the Attitude toward Jews in Modern Iraq

    Dr. Andras Kovacs, Antisemitism in Con- temporary Hungary

    Prof. Jacob Kovalio, Between Idealization and Demonization: The Boom of “Jewish Books” in Japan

    Prof. James Mueller, Jews and Judaism in Early Christian Literature

    Andrei Oisteanu, The Image of the Jew in Romanian Traditional Culture

    Dr. Nora Strejilevich, The Construction of Antisemitic Discourse in Contemporary Argentina: 1974–1994

    Dr. Anna Szalai, Jewish Characters in Hungarian Literature of the Nineteenth Century

    Dr. Victor Shnirelman, The Myth of the Khazars and Intellectual Antisemitism in Russia, 1970s–1990s

    Dr. Leon Volovici, Project Coordinator, Antisem- itism in Public Discourse in Post-Communist Eastern European Societies, with Dr. Andras Kovacs, Prof. Wolf Moscovich, Dr. Gheorge Voicu, and Dr. Paul Zawadski

    Research Projects Completed

    Dr. Gila Fatran, Antisemitism in Slovakia, 1848–1918

    Dr. Kay Knittel, Vienna’s Antisemitic Legacy: Our Image of Gustav Mahler

    Dr. Slawomir Tokarsky, The Evolution of Jewish Economics and Political Mobilization of the Peasantry, Antisemitism in Galicia 1868–1914

    New Books

    The following titles have been published by researchers of the Center:

    Simon Epstein, Histoire du people Juif au XXe siècle. De 1914 à nos jours (Paris: Hachette, 1998. A new and original survey of contemporary Jewish history including the story of Zionism and the State of Israel, questioning some traditional approaches to antisemitism and to the Jewish response to it.

    Dalia Ofer and Lenore J. Weitzman, eds., Women in the Holocaust (New Haven, Conn. and London: Yale University Press, 1998). The special problems and particular vulnerabilities of Jewish women during the Holocaust, as well as their unique responses and changing roles is examined in this pathbreaking collection of articles by notes scholars and survivors.

    Mihail Sebastian, Jurnal 1935–1944 (Bucharest: Humanitas, 1997); French tr., Paris: Stock, 1998; German tr., in preparation), ed. Gabriela Omat, with Introduction and Notes by Leon Volovici. The diary of a well-known Jewish Romanian writer in the most dramatic period in the history of the Romanian Jewish community. Sebastian provides testimony on the antisemitic trends among the Romanian elite, the anti-Jewish policy of the Antonescu regime, and the everyday life of Romanian Jews in these years.


    Felix Posen Fellowships

    Congratulations

    Manfred Böcker, a Felix Posen Fellow, has received his doctoral degree from the Westfalische Wilhelms-Universität, Münster, Germany. His dissertation was on The Antisemitism of the Radical Right during the Spanish Second Republic (1931–1936)

    Ph.D. Students

    Ido Basok (Hebrew University), Youth Movements among Polish Jews in the Interwar Period

    Achim Detmers (Justus-Liebig-Universität, Giessen, Germany), Calvin, Reformation, and Judaism

    Eva-Maria Kaffanke (Kunsthistorisches Institut der Universität Bonn, Germany), The German Redeemer. Representations of Christ around 1900 in a “Völkisch” Context

    Albert Kaganovitch (Hebrew University), The Attitude of the Czarist Administration to the Bucharan Jews and their Legal Status in Turkestan, 1868–1917

    Richard Steigman-Gall (University of Toronto), “The Holy Reich”: Protestantism and the Nazi Movement, 1920–1945


    Second year

    Mihai-Razvan Ungureanu (Jassy University, Romania), Religious Conversion and Cultural Integration within Romanian Society at the Beginning of the Nineteenth Century

    Seminars on Research

    (October 1997–July 1998)

    Semyon Goldin, “The Russian Army Policy of Expelling the JPopulation, 1914–1915”

    Dr. Jonathan Judaken, “Jean-Paul Sartre and the ‘Jewish Question’: The Politics of Engagement and the Image of ‘The Jew’ in Sartre’s Thought, 1930–1980”

    Daniel Romanovsky, “Russian-Jewish Relations during the Holocaust—Stereotypes and Stances: The Case of Belarus”

    Prof. Judith Deutsch Kornblatt, “Russian-Jewish Christians: Between Antisemitism and Identity”

    Dr. Anthony Kauders, “Antisemitism and the Jews in Postwar Germany, 1945–1965: The Case of Munich”

    Dr. Nissim Kazaz, “Arab Nationalism and Relations with the Jews in Iraq”



    Discussion Evenings

    Three evening discussions marked the publication of important new books.

    November 27, 1997

    Nazi Germany and the Jews, by Saul Friedländer. Participants included Yehuda Bauer, Dalia Ofer, Dov Kulka, and Robert Wistrich, with a response by the author

    March 16, 1998

    Mihail Sebastian, Jurnal 1935–1944, with an introduction and notes by Leon Volovici. A debate on Romanian intellectual antisemitism in the interwar period. Participants: A. B. Yaffe, Moshe Idel, Dalia Ofer, and Leon Volovici.

    March 29, 1998

    “The Expected and the Surprising in the Damascus Affair (1840)” marked the publication of The Damascus Affair: “Ritual Murder,” Politics, and the Jews in 1840, by Jonathan Frankel. The evening was co-sponsored by the Zalman Shazar Center and the Vidal Sassoon International Center for the Study of Antisemitism. Participants included Shmuel Almog, Jonathan Frankel, Richard I. Cohen, and Daniel Gutwein.