Skip to 0 minutes and 1 secondThe Modern Era brought with it significant changes that had a direct effect on the way Jews and Judaism were treated and perceived. Be it in regions devoid of Jews or in areas where relatively high numbers of Jews were concentrated, new forms of antisemitism were being formulated. These often reinforced traditional anti-Jewish perceptions and tropes, and at the same time was reinforced by them. Last week we saw how the need to define oneself in relation to the “Jewish other” served as a major factor in Christian anti-Jewish thought, one which became especially prominent throughout the Middle Ages. This week showed us how this tendency continued during the Modern Era.

Skip to 0 minutes and 42 secondsNew forms of self-definition and the different place post-emancipatory Jews now held in European society led to a new form of “Jewish other.” Jews, especially those who had integrated into their respective societies, were now perceived as a threat to the very notion of progress, to the unity of the nation, and to the European race. In its extreme form, antisemitism in this period viewed the Jews as a global destructive force, destined to pollute society, conspiring to achieve world domination. All of this did not exist in the religious world of the Middle Ages.

Skip to 1 minute and 14 secondsNext week we will continue with our examination of the development of antisemitism, moving on to the 20th century, a period marked by two world wars and by the horrific events of the Holocaust. We will examine how the forms of antisemitism discussed so far continued to evolve during this turbulent period.

Conclusion and looking ahead to week 3

Well done on completing week 2 of “Antisemitism: From Its Origins to the Present.”

Next week we will continue with our examination of the development of antisemitism, moving on to the 20th century, a period marked by two world wars and by the horrific events of the Holocaust. We will examine how the forms of antisemitism discussed so far continued to evolve during this turbulent period.


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Antisemitism: From Its Origins to the Present

Yad Vashem

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