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"A Menace to Jews Seen if Hitler Wins": Brtish and American press coment on German antisemitism, 1918-1933

Stephanie Seul

<plain_text><page sequence="1">Jewish Historical Studies , volume 44, 2012 "A Menace to Jews Seen If Hitler Wins": British and American press comment on German antisemitism 1918-1933 STEPHANIE SEUL Introduction To what extent did Anglo-American newspapers report on antisemitism in the Weimar Republic? Which aspects of this antisemitism - physical vio- lence, discrimination and boycotts, or anti-Jewish propaganda - aroused the particular interest of the foreign press or were neglected? Were there simi- larities or differences in the coverage of newspapers of diverse nationalities and opposing political orientations? When and why did changes in the report- ing occur? Above all, how did foreign papers perceive the antisemitic prop- aganda and violence of the rising Nazi party? Did they understand the central role of antisemitism in Nazi ideology and the threat that this posed to German Jewry? Despite a considerable body of literature on the Jews and antisemitism in Weimar Germany, these questions have hardly been addressed.1 Whereas the foreign media responses to Nazi antisemitism after 1933 and to the Holocaust aroused scholarly interest as early as the 1960s, and more recently during the last ten to fifteen years,2 research on the foreign press coverage of 1 See e.g. n. 7. For the few studies dealing explicitly with the German press and antisemitism, see n. 41. 2 Andrew Sharf, "The British Press and the Holocaust", Y ad Vashem Studies 5 (1963): 169-91; Andrew Sharf, The British Press and Jews under Nazi Rule (London, 1964); Deborah E. Lipstadt, "The American Press and the Persecution of German Jewry: The Early Years 1 933-1 935", Leo Baeck Institute Year Book 29 (1984): 29-39; Deborah E. Lipstadt, Beyond Belief: The American Press and the Coming of the Holocaust 1 933-1 Q45 (New York, 1986); Tony Kushner, The Politics of Marginality: Race , the Radical Right and Minorities in Twentieth Century Britain (London, 1990); Tony Kushner, The Holocaust and the Liberal Imagination (Oxford, 1994); Robert Moses Shapiro, ed., Why Didn 't the Press Shout? American and International Journalism During the Holocaust (Jersey City, 2003); Laurel Leff, Buried by &gt;(The Times": The Holocaust and America's Most Important Newspaper (Cambridge and New York, 2005); Stephanie Seul, "The Representation of the Holocaust in the British Propaganda Campaign Directed at the German Public, 1938-1945", Yearbook of the Leo Baeck Institute 52 (2007): 267-306; Stephanie Seul, "'Any reference to Jews on the wireless might prove a double-edged weapon': Jewish Images in the British Propaganda Campaign Towards the German Public, 1938-1939", in Jewish Images in the Media , eds. Martin Liepach, Gabriele Melischek and Josef Seethaler (Vienna, 2007), 203-32. 75</page><page sequence="2">Stephanie Seul Weimar antisemitism is still in its early stages.3 Recent studies of Anglo- American press reporting on the Weimar Republic do not touch on this matter.4 Studies of British and American diplomatic perceptions of the Weimar Republic have likewise neglected the issue.5 However, a brief glance at the contemporary sources shows that British and American papers, in par- ticular the quality press for an educated readership, reported regularly on German antisemitism at that time. Andrew Sharf noticed in his pioneering study of the British press coverage of the Holocaust that British quality papers such as The Times , the Manchester Guardian and the Daily Telegraph provided the fullest account of the Nazi persecution of the Jews. In contrast, the so-called popular press for a mass readership paid comparatively little attention to the subject and showed no interest in a consistent coverage.6 Anti-Jewish propaganda, discrimination and violence were indeed an inte- gral part of everyday life in the Weimar Republic. After the First World War, a wave of antisemitism swept through Germany. Reactionary and völkisch groups accused the Jews of being responsible for the military defeat, for Germany's economic plight and for the revolution that brushed aside the monarchy. Given the prominent role played by Jews in the revolution and foundation of the Weimar Republic, the reactionaries fanatically defamed the latter as a "Jewish republic". Between 1919 and 1922, numerous Jewish politicians were murdered, among them Rosa Luxemburg, Kurt Eisner and Walther Rathenau. After a somewhat calmer period from 1924 to 1929, anti- semitic propaganda and violence increased again sharply with the rise of the Nazis over 1 930-1 933. 7 No doubt, during the Weimar Republic antisemitism 3 The first study of British press responses to Weimar antisemitism is Felicitas von Selchow, "Antisemitism in Weimar Germany as Seen by the British Press 1918-1933" (M.Phil thesis, University of Cambridge, 1995). I thank the author for kindly supplying me with a copy of her manuscript. 4 Thomas Wittek, Auf ewig Feind? Das Deutschlandbild in den britischen Massenmedien nach dem Ersten Weltkrieg (Munich, 2005); Carmen Müller, Weimar im Blick der USA: Amerikanische Auslandskorrespondenten und öffentliche Meinung zwischen Perzeption und Realität (Münster, 1997). An exception is Brigitte Granzow, A Mirror of Nazism: British Opinion and the Emergence of Hitler 1Ç29-1933 (London, 1964), which also pays attention to the perception of Nazi anti- semitism in the British press. 5 Detlev Clemens, Herr Hitler in Germany: Wahrnehmung und Deutungen des Nationalsozialismus in Großbritannien 1920 bis 1939 (Göttingen, 1996); Francis L. Carsten, Britain and the Weimar Republic: The British Documents (London, 1984); Sander A. Diamond, Herr Hitler: Amerikas Diplomaten , Washington und der Untergang Weimars (Düsseldorf, 108O. 6 Kushner, Liberal Imagination , 35-36; Sharf, British Press , 10-1 1 and 171. 7 On German antisemitism during the Weimar Republic, see Donald L. Niewyk, The Jews in Weimar Germany , 2nd edition (New Brunswick, NJ, and London, 2001); Werner E. Mosse and Arnold Paucker, eds., Deutsches Judentum in Krieg und Revolution 1916-1923: Ein Sammelband (Tübingen, 1971); Werner Jochmann, Gesellschaftskrise und Judenfeindschaft in Deutschland 1870-1945 (Hamburg, 1988); Heinrich A. Winkler, "Die deutsche Gesellschaft der Weimarer Republik und der Antisemitismus: Juden als 'Blitzableiter'", in Vorurteil und Völkermord: 76</page><page sequence="3">British and American press comment on German anti-Semitism, 1918-1933 became firmly embedded in the political discourse as never before. It could be heard in political assemblies and read in the German daily press, either as expressions of editorial opinion or as reporting on antisemi tic incidents.8 This study focuses on three exemplary cases of German antisemitism during 1918-1933 and Anglo-American press comment on them. The first case concerns the wave of Jew-hatred at the time of the German revolution and foundation of the Weimar Republic in 1918-1919. There was a notable unanimity in the British and American reports: on the one hand they revealed a distinct bias towards Eastern European Jews (widespread in Great Britain and the United States after the First World War) who were contemptuously denounced as (Bolshevist) revolutionaries. On the other hand, foreign news- papers observed the frequent incidents of German antisemitism with appre- hension; they were concerned lest antisemitism would have a destabilizing effect on the young German democracy. The second case study focuses on the antisemitic riots in the Scheunen- viertel, Berlin's Jewish quarter, in November 1923. They were targeted mainly at the poor Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe living in that area. This time, conservative and liberal papers differed in their coverage of the event. Whereas the liberal press generally condemned the pogrom-like assault on the Jews as barbarian, the comments on the Eastern Jews in the conservative papers were rather unflattering and revealed a marked anti- Jewish bias. The third case study analyses Anglo-American responses to Nazi anti- semitism from the Reichstag elections of September 1930 until Hitler's seizure of power in January 1933. The papers reported extensively on Nazi propaganda and violence against the Jews and the negative bias towards (Eastern European) Jews, previously noticeable especially in the conserva- tive press, had by then disappeared. Some foreign observers, in particular British papers, were initially inclined to believe that Nazi antisemitism served in the first place a propagandistic purpose. Others warned explicitly of the consequences for the Jews if Hitler should take over power in Germany. However, few believed that the Nazis would seriously turn their extreme Jew-hatred into politics. Entwicklungslinien des Antisemitismus, eds. Wolfgang Benz and Werner Bergmann (Freiburg, I997)&gt; 34-Í-62; Dirk Walter, Antisemitische Kriminalität und Gewalt: Judenfeindschaft in der Weimarer Republik (Bonn, 1999); Cornelia Hecht, Deutsche Juden und Antisemitismus in der Weimarer Republik (Bonn, 2003); Michael Wildt, Volksgemeinschaft als Selbstermächtigung: Gewalt gegen Juden in der deutschen Provinz içiç bis içjç (Hamburg, 2007); Stefan Breuer, Die Völkischen in Deutschland: Kaiserreich und Weimarer Republik (Darmstadt, 2008); Reiner Zilkenat, Der Holocaust - Niemand konnte ihn vorhersehen? Niemand kann ihn erklären ? Zur Entwicklung des Antisemitismus in Deutschland im ig. und 20. Jahrhundert (Berlin, 2004). 8 Richard J. Evans, The Coming of the Third Reich (London, 2004), 152. 77</page><page sequence="4">Stephanie Seul This article argues that despite occasional differences along national and/or ideological dividing lines, the foreign press coverage of German anti- semitism showed a remarkable similarity. Anglo-American papers reported extensively on the antisemitic movement in the Weimar Republic, which was perceived as a threat to German democracy. Yet at the same time, the nature of this antisemitism was not considered to be far different from that preva- lent in other societies, for instance in Eastern Europe. Especially during the final years of the Weimar Republic, the Anglo-American press therefore failed to appreciate the central role of antisemitism in Nazi ideology. Hitler's assault on the Jews in the spring of 1933 thus came as a shock to the Anglo- American press and public. Before elaborating in more detail on these arguments, I will briefly intro- duce the newspapers selected for this study. Furthermore, I will highlight the way that information on German antisemitism was exchanged across national borders, and how media content was transformed during this process of transfer from Germany to Great Britain and the United States. The Anglo-American press and German antisemitism 1918-1933 The findings presented in this paper derive from the analysis of four quality papers that distinguished themselves with a comprehensive coverage of foreign news. The Times and the Manchester Guardian speak for British, the New York Times and the Chicago Daily Tribune for American opinion. Apart from representing different geographic regions and political spectra, these four newspapers with an illustrious historical past have the additional advan- tage of being easily searchable by keyword through their digital archives - an aspect of considerable importance given the mass of material to be handled.9 The London Times , founded in 1785, was an influential conservative paper renowned in Britain and abroad for its reliability and fullness of coverage. It was generally considered the mouthpiece of the political establishment.10 Despite a fairly small circulation of about 185-190,000 copies per day, its influence was considerable as it was widely read in educated, journalistic and political circles in Great Britain and abroad.11 (In contrast, the daily circula- 9 Adrian Bingham, "The Digitization of Newspaper Archives: Opportunities and Challenges for Historians", Twentieth Century British History 21 (2010): 225-31. 10 Stephen E. Koss, The Rise and Fall of the Political Press in Britain. Vol. 2: The Twentieth Century (London, 1984), 67, 75; Sharf, British Press , 10-11, 217; Selchow, "Weimar Germany", 10-11; Wittek, Auf ewig Feind , 61. See also Oliver Woods and James Bishop, The Story of The Times: Bicentenary Edition 1 785-1 ç8$ (London, 1985). 11 Deutsches Institut für Zeitungskunde, ed., Handbuch der Weltpresse: Eine Darstellung des Zeitungswesens aller Länder (Berlin, 193 1), 224; Karl Börner, ed., collab. with Institut für 78</page><page sequence="5">British and American press comment on German anti-Semitism, 1918-1933 tion in 1930 of tabloids such as the Daily Express and the Daily Mail was 1.5 to 1.7 and 1.8 million respectively.12) The Tintesi attitude towards Jews was not always benevolent; at times it was openly antisemitic. In 19 19-1920 a virtual crusade was waged in the Letters to the Editor section against the so- called "Jewish-bolshevist revolutionaries".13 In 1920, The Times called for a serious examination of the antisemitic forgery The Protocols of the Learned Elders ofZion, thereby triggering a heated debate about the Jews as a "danger to world peace".14 The Manchester Guardian , founded in 1821, was a provincial paper with a liberal, left-of-centre political stance. With only 80,000 copies a day, its cir- culation was even smaller than that of The Times but it was widely read in British industrial and commercial circles and had an excellent reputation in Great Britain and abroad not only for its business news but also for its polit- ical and cultural reportage.15 The paper was always supportive of the Weimar Republic and sought to bring the persecution of Jews, and other minorities, to the attention of the public. It was the British newspaper showing the great- est interest in the Jewish question before and even more so after Hitler's rise to power.16 Charles P. Scott, who edited the paper for more than 57 years from 1872 until 1929, was a friend of the Zionist leader Chaim Weizmann and a supporter of the Zionist movement.17 Like the Manchester Guardian , the New York Times was a liberal (Independent Democratic) paper renowned for its full and reliable coverage, in particular of foreign affairs. (In 1927, the New York Times had the highest Zeitungswissenschaft, Universität Berlin and Aussenpolitisches Amt der NSDAP, Handbuch der Weltpresse: Eine Darstellung des Zeitungswesens aller Länder (Frankfurt-am-Main, 1937), 51-52. 12 Weltpresse (1931), 220-21; Weltpresse (1937), 51-52. 13 See The Times of 21, 22, 25, 26, 27, 28 and 29 Nov. 1919; of 1, 2, 4, 6, 19 and 20 Dec. 1919; and of 12, 14, 16, 17, 19 and 21 Jan. 1920. See also David Cesarani, The Jewish Chronicle and Anglo- Jewry 1841-1991 (Cambridge, 1994), 134-35; Saul Friedländer, The Years of Persecution: Nazi Germany and the Jews 1933-1939 (London, 2007), 95; Léon Poliakov, Geschichte des Antisemitismus. Vol. 8: Am Vorabend des Holocaust (Frankfurt-am-Main, 1988), 80-81; Sharman Kadish, "'Boche, Bolshie and the Jewish Bogey': The Russian Revolution and Press Antisemitism in Britain 1917-21", Patterns of Prejudice 22 (1988): 24-39. 14 "The Jewish Peril", The Times , 8 May 1920, 15; Cesarani, Jewish Chronicle , 135-36; Colin Holmes, Antisemitism in British Society 1876-1939 (London, 1979), 141-60; Kadish, "Boche, Bolshie", 30-32; Keith Wilson, "Hail and Farewell? The Reception in the British Press of the First Publication in English of the Protocols of Zion , 1920-22", Immigrants and Minorities 1 1 (1992): 171-86; Friedländer, Persecution , 95. 15 Wittek, Auf ewig Feind , 64-66; Koss, Rise and Fall , 38-39; Weltpresse (1931), 222; Weltpresse (I937), 49- See also David George Ogilvy Ayerst, The Manchester Guardian: Biography of a Newspaper (Ithaca, NY, 197 1). 16 Sharf, British Press , 1 1-12; Selchow, "Weimar Germany", 14-15, 76. 17 "The Guardian", Wikipedia ,, accessed 20 September 2010. 79</page><page sequence="6">Stephanie Seul percentage, 8.95%, in foreign news of all American dailies.)18 It was mainly read in New York and its surroundings but was considered the most impor- tant and most influential newspaper in and outside the United States.19 With more than 400,000 copies sold during weekdays and 720,000 on Sundays (in i93°/3i)j it had one of the larger circulations of all American papers.20 During the 1920s, the New York Times was the American paper that reported most frequently and in greatest detail on the unfolding of German anti- semitism. One possible reason for its special interest in Jewish affairs may have been the German-Jewish origin of its publisher, Adolph Simon Ochs. Furthermore, the paper had a large Jewish readership: during this period almost half of all American Jews lived in Greater New York.21 In contrast, the Chicago Daily Tribune was the leading conservative paper in Greater Chicago and the Midwest. Around 1930 it had a circulation of about 820,000 during weekdays, and one million on Sundays, making it not only the most read paper in the region but also the daily paper with the largest circulation of any American city. During weekdays 63 per cent of Chicago's population read the Chicago Daily Tribune , at weekends even 68 per cent.22 Under the editorship of Robert McCormick (who also acted as publisher) from 1 9 14 until 1955, its political orientation was pro-Republican and it was strongly nationalist, isolationist and anti-Communist.23 Like the New York Times it had a strong tradition of foreign reporting.24 Foreign newspapers gathered information about German antisemitism from a variety of sources. All four papers had their own correspondents in Germany. They were in contact with a multitude of political institutions and individuals who supplied them with information on the political situation in Germany, including antisemitism. Further research - which is beyond the scope of this article - would be required to examine what kind of sources the foreign corre- spondents tapped and how these shaped their image of German antisemitism and, consequently, its coverage in the papers.25 George E. R. Gedye reported 18 John Maxwell Hamilton , Journalism's Roving Eye: A History of American Foreign Reporting (Baton Rouge, LA, 2009), 127. 19 Müller, Weimar , 50; Leff, Buried , 9-10. See also Meyer Berger, The Story of The New York Times: The First 100 Years 1851-1951 (New York, 1970). 20 Weltpresse ( 1 93 1 ), 20, 3 1 ; Müller, Weimar, 49-50. 21 Leff, Buried , 10-12; Müller, Weimar , 21 1-12. 22 Weltpresse ( 1 93 1 ), 20, 2 5-26; Weltpresse ( 1 937), 428-29. 23 Müller, Weimar , 48-49; Mark R. Wilson, "Chicago Tribune", in Encyclopedia of Chicago ,, accessed 20 Feb. 2012]; "Chicago Tribune", in Encyclopedia Britannica Academic Edition EBchecked/topic/110559/Chicago-Tribune, accessed 20 Feb. 2012. See also Lloyd Wendt, Chicago Tribune: The Rise of a Great American Newspaper (Chicago, 1979). 4 In 1927, 7.92% of the reporting was devoted to foreign news. Hamilton, Roving Eye , 127. 25 For an example of how this research could be undertaken see Frank McDonough, "The Times, Norman Ebbut and the Nazis, 1927-37 Journal of Contemporary History 27 (1992): 407-24. 80</page><page sequence="7">British and American press comment on German anti-Semitism, 1918-1933 as a foreign correspondent from Berlin for The Times from 1922 to 1925.26 He was succeeded by Norman Ebbutt, who served on this post until 1937. 27 Douglas Reed joined him as assistant correspondent from 1927 until 1935 (and became notorious for his antisemitic views).28 The Manchester Guardian's Berlin correspondent for most of the Weimar Republic was Frederick A. Voigt. He served in this capacity from February 1920 until a few weeks before Hitler's accession to power.29 At the New York Times' office there was no such continuity. Throughout the Weimar Republic, more than half a dozen foreign correspondents reported from Berlin: Joseph Herrings (1917-1921), Cyril Brown (1921- 1924), Thomas R. Ybarra (1924-1925) and the experienced Lincoln Eyre from June 1925 onwards. Eyre had to give up the post because of serious illness in early 1928 (he died in December) and was replaced by two interim correspondents. Finally, in December 1929, Guido Enderis became head of the New York Tintesi Berlin office after having worked there as an assistant since March 1929. (According to Laurel Leff, Enderis was openly sympa- thetic to the Hitler regime during the 1930s.) In addition, from 1932 Frederick Thomas Birchall, a highly experienced journalist of British nation- ality, held the post of chief foreign correspondent, in which capacity he trav- elled throughout Europe but concentrated his reporting on Germany.30 The Chicago Daily Tribune's Berlin correspondent at the time of the Weimar Republic was Sigrid Lillian Schultz, the first woman correspondent in Europe, who later gained the reputation of an outstanding foreign corre- spondent. She worked at the Berlin office of the Chicago Daily Tribune from 1 9 19 onwards as an interpreter and typist and as assistant to the foreign cor- respondent George Seldes. In 1926 she was made head of the bureau (again being the first woman in this position) and held the job until 1941 when she left Germany.31 The work of Anglo-American correspondents during the 1920s is described in Wittek, Auf ewig Feind, 99-103, 126-41; Morell Heald, Transatlantic Vistas : American Journalists in Europe , IÇ00-IÇ40 (Kent, OH, 1988), 96-125. 26 Wittek, Auf ewig Feind , 1 10-16; Hugh Greene, "Gedye, (George) Eric Rowe (1890-1970)", in Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (hereafater, ODNB; Oxford, 2004; online edition), accessed 23 Feb. 23, 2012. 27 Weltpresse (1931), 224; Markus Huttner, "Ebbutt, Norman (1894-1968)", in ODNB http:/ /, accessed 23 Feb. 2012; McDonough, "The Times, Norman Ebbut". 28 See Richard Thurlow, "Anti-Nazi Antisemite: The Case of Douglas Reed", Patterns of Prejudice 18(1984): 23-34. 29 Wittek, Auf ewig Feind , 1 16-20; Markus Huttner, "Voigt, Frederick Augustus (1892-1957)", DNB, accessed 23 Feb. 2012. 30 Müller, Weimar , 50-51, 155-57; Leff, Buried , 21, 50-61. 31 Müller, Weimar , 144-54; Heald, Transatlantic Vistas , 47; Catherine Cassara, Schultz, Sigrid Lillian", in American National Biography Online (hereafter AN BO) 8l</page><page sequence="8">Stephanie Seul Other major sources of information for the Anglo-American press were reports from news agencies such as Reuters and the Press Association (in Great Britain), Associated Press and United Press (in the United States)32 or the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, an international wire service for Jewish news. The last was mainly used by the New York Times.33 Furthermore, the papers made reciprocal use of their own news services: both the Chicago Daily Tribune and the New York Times subscribed to the London Times News Service; the Chicago Daily Tribune also made use of the news service of the New York Times 34 However, the most important source of information seems to have been the German daily press. Usually, the foreign correspondents would sift the German press for relevant information and then write a summary for their own paper. The foreign press was well informed about German newspapers and their political orientation.35 British and American papers regularly eval- uated articles from German liberal papers such as the Berliner Tageblatt , the Vossische Zeitung and the Frankfurter Zeitung but also from the political party press and regional papers, for instance Der Vorwärts (Social Democratic Party), Die Freiheit (Independent Social Democratic Party), Die Rote Fahne (German Communist Party), the Deutsche Allgemeine Zeitung (German People's Party, DVP) or the Berliner Lokal-Anzeiger (German National People's Party, DNVP).36 On occasions, nationalistic papers with a clear anti- articles/ 1 6/ 1 6-032 1 8.html, accessed 23 Feb. 2012; "Seldes, George", in The Universal Jewish Encyclopedia in Ten Volumes: An Authoritative and Popular Presentation of Jews and Judaism since the Earliest Times (New York, 1948), vol. 9. 32 Selchow, "Weimar Germany", 9-19; Weltpresse (193 1), 23-24; 219-20; Weltpresse (1937), 45, 426-28. 33 Leff, Buried , 19, 47-48. On the Jewish Telegraphic Agency in Germany see Verena Dohm, "Diplomacy in the Diaspora: The Jewish Telegraphic Agency in Berlin (1922-1933)", Leo Baeck Institute Yearbook 54 (2009): 219-41. 34 Weltpresse (1931), 25-26, 31, 224; Weltpresse (1937)» 5l~52, 429&gt; 432-33- 35 "Through German Eyes: Is Germany Socialist?", The Times , 8 May 1919, 11; "Buying up German Newspapers", ibid., 7 May 1921, 14; "Fateful Day in Berlin", ibid., 31 Aug. 1921, 10; "The German Elections", ibid., 25 Aug. 1930, 11; "Harden Turns on German Republic", New York Times , 22 Dec. 19 19, 1-2; "Herr Hitler's Newspaper", Manchester Guardian , 1 Oct. 1930, H- 36 "Through German Eyes: The Murder of Eisner", The Times , 1 March 19 19, 9; "Bavarian Break Angers Prussia", New York Times , 30 Nov. 1918, 2; "Officers Stir Up German Reaction", ibid., 4 Dec. 1918, i, 3; "Political Riots Sweep Germany", Chicago Daily Tribune , 26 June 1932, 13. The political orientation of the German press is analysed in Hans-Dietrich Fischer, Deutsche Zeitungen des 17. bis 20. Jahrhunderts (Pullach, 1972); Hans-Dietrich Fischer, Handbuch der poli- tischen Presse in Deutschland 1480-1980: Synopse rechtlicher , struktureller und wirtschaftlicher Grundlagen der Tendenzpublizistik im Kommunikationsfeld (Düsseldorf, 1981), 339-440; Kurt Koszyk, Deutsche Presse 1914-194$ (Berlin, 1972), 240-336; Burkhard Asmuss, Republik ohne Chance? Akzeptanz und Legitimation der Weimarer Republik in der deutschen Tagespresse zwischen 1918 und 1923 (Berlin, 1994), 29-32, 39-66; Konrad Dussel, Deutsche Tagespresse im 19. und 20. 82</page><page sequence="9">British and American press comment on German anti-Semitism, 1918-1933 Semitic bias were quoted, such as the Deutsche Tageszeitung, Germania , Kreuz-Zeitung , Tägliche Rundschau or the Münchener (later Völkischer) Beobachter .37 Indeed, even if a foreign press report does not specifically mention the source, one can safely assume that it was based on a close analy- sis of the German press.38 Since foreign papers based their reports to a considerable extent on German press articles, they often absorbed unconsciously or uncritically the German view of antisemitism and even German antisemitic stereotypes. To give an example, during 1918-1919, The Times repeatedly characterized German Jewish revolutionaries as unpopular, foreign elements aiming to import Bolshevism into Germany.39 On 1 March 1919, the paper backed up such arguments with quotations from the Deutsche Allgemeine Zeitung , Germania and Kreuz-Zeitung without, however, informing its readers of their reactionary and antisemitic political orientation. The Germania was quoted with the statement that it had always hoped that the Bavarian democracy would sweep away Kurt Eisner "and his arrogant minority", that is, the Jews. Furthermore, The Times quoted an article from the Kreuz-Zeitung in which Eisner was defamed as "one of the most pernicious representatives of Jewry - this Jewry that has played so significant a part in German history during the last few months. He united in his character in the highest degree two of the most idiosyncratic qualities of his race - its historical internationalism (for Eisner was an alien by birth), and its congenital vanity, which is so opposed to German practical sense."40 Further research will be necessary to determine more precisely to what extent foreign newspapers took over uncritically or unconsciously the anti- semitic prejudice in their sources, as opposed to openly exposing it. Nevertheless, the instances from The Times quoted here indicate that it was not simply a matter of foreign correspondents uncritically absorbing the anti- semitism in their sources. Rather, these articles also reflect the anti-Jewish Jahrhundert (Münster, 2004), 138-58; Bernhard Fulda, Press and Politics in the Weimar Republic (Oxford, 2009), 13-44; Karsten Schilling, Das zerstörte Erbe: Berliner Zeitungen der Weimarer Republik im Porträt (Norderstedt, 201 1). 37 "Through German Eyes. Is Germany Socialist?", The Times , 8 May 1919, 11; "Sedan Orgies Forbidden", ibid., 2 Sept. 1921, 7; "Rule of Hitler is Opened With Riots", Chicago Daily Tribune , i Feb. 1933, i. 38 See "Berlin Without Newspapers", The Times , 3 July 1922, 9. See also "Scores Arrested in Rathenau Plot", New York Times , 30 June 1922, 2; "Senate of Hamburg Atones to Warburg", ibid., 3 July 1922,3. 39 "Berlin Tremors", The Times , 28 Feb. 19 19, 9; "Through German Eyes: The Bolshevist Disorder", ibid., 10 March 1919, 9; "Through German Eyes: Kaiser's War Guilt", ibid., 17 April 1919, 11; "Through German Eyes: Tears for Fallen Monarchy", ibid., 25 April 1919, 11. 40 "Through German Eyes: The Murder of Eisner", ibid., 1 March 1919, 9. See also "Berlin Tremors", ibid., 28 Feb. 1919, 9; "Through German Eyes: Kaiser's War Guilt", ibid., 17 April 1919,11. 83</page><page sequence="10">Stephanie Seul bias of the reporters themselves. The case studies below will present more evidence for the argument that the foreign press reports on German anti- semitism at times reflected the anti-Jewish prejudices widespread in Great Britain and the United States during the interwar years. This overview aims to have given an idea of the extent to which informa- tion was transmitted and exchanged across national borders, thereby enabling foreign audiences to form an opinion on German antisemitism. A key role was played by the German daily press. Since German articles were often quoted verbatim or in substance by foreign papers, they contributed consid- erably to the shaping of the public perception of Weimar antisemitism abroad. However, the relationship between the press and antisemitism in the Weimar Republic is a little researched field. We still lack a comprehensive study of the role of the German press in spreading or combating anti- semitism. General studies of the daily press in the Weimar Republic have not paid attention to the issue of antisemitism. Yet the role of the press in spread- ing antisemitism has been studied and there are several regional studies or studies of Semitism in diverse press genres such as the Catholic press, the political party press or popular magazines.41 The German revolution and foundation of the Weimar Republic 1918-1919 Antisemitism was particularly virulent at the time of the November revolu- tion and foundation of the republic. As noted earlier, 1918-1919 witnessed several political murders with an antisemitic background (Rosa Luxemburg, Kurt Eisner, Gustav Landauer, Karl Gareis and Hugo Haase) and waves of antisemitic agitation against the Jewish minority.42 41 For partial studies see e.g. Fulda, Press and Politics, ; Koszyk, Deutsche Presse ; Fischer, Deutsche Zeitungen ; Fischer, Handbuch der politischen Presse; Dussel, Deutsche Tagespresse ; Schilling, Zerstörtes Erbe. On press spreading of antisemitism, see e.g. Walter, Antisemitische Kriminalität and Asmuss, Republik ; Martin Ulmer, Antisemitismus in Stuttgart 1871-1945: Studien zum öffentlichen Diskurs und Alltag (Berlin, 201 1); Olaf Kistenmacher, "'Jüdischer Warenhausbesitzer finanziert Nazipropaganda': Antifaschismus und antisemitische Stereotype in der Tageszeitung der Kommunistischen Partei Deutschlands, der Roten Fahne, am Ende der Weimarer Republik, 1928-1933", in Politik des Hasses: Antisemitismus und radikale Rechte in Europa , eds. Gideon Botsch, Christoph Kopke, Lars Rensmann and Julius H. Schoeps (Hildesheim, 2010), 97-1 12; Walter Hannot, Die Judenfrage in der katholischen Tagespresse Deutschlands und Österreichs 1 923-1 933 ( Mainz, 1990); Julia Schäfer, Vermessen, gezeichnet, verlacht: Judenbilder in populären Zeitschriften 1918-1933 (Frankfurt-am-Main, 2005). 42 Ulrich Wyrwa, "Revolution und Konterrevolution (1918-1923)", in Wolfgang Benz, ed., Handbuch des Antisemitismus. Vol. 4: Ereignisse , Dekrete , Kontroversen (Berlin, 201 1), 334-37; Hecht, Deutsche Juden, 76-77, 138-39; Zilkenat, Holocaust , 8-9; Evans, Third Reich , 150-51; Friedländer, Persecution , 90-94. 84</page><page sequence="11">British and American press comment on German anti-Semitism, 1918-1933 British and American press reports during 1918-1919 showed two distinct lines of argumentation: firstly, the papers argued almost unanimously that the sharp rise of antisemitism was due to the prominent role played by Jews in the revolution and foundation of the republic.43 Furthermore, they main- tained that the (Eastern European) Jewish revolutionaries were disliked because of their unpleasant character traits. Consequently, the reports evoked the impression that it was in part the Jews' own fault that antisemitism was increasing. For example, the British and American papers repeatedly emphasized that the revolutionaries were not Germans but Eastern European Jews.44 The Chicago Daily Tribune and The Times called the Communist leader Rosa Luxemburg a "Jewess of obscure origin" and a "Russian Polish Jewess".45 She was accused of having married a German only for the sake of escaping expulsion.46 Both papers depicted the Jewish revolutionaries as unpopular foreigners who aimed to stir up a Bolshevist revolution in Germany.47 After the murder of Kurt Eisner, the leader of the Bavarian revolution, The Times stressed that he was no German but an East Galician Jew whose real name was Salomon Kusnowsky.48 Furthermore, The Times charged Eisner of being an unsympathetic contemporary: "He was ambitious, vain, and self-opin- ionated, and resented all opposition."49 Likewise, the New York Times stressed that Eisner was resented in Germany because of his Galician origin and his unsympathetic character: "The Berlin press in general condemns him as an obstinate, impractical dreamer. It is declared that Eisner was born in Galicia and that there is some doubt about his German citizenship, and this is intensifying the opposition to him in some quarters."50 Reports such as these were anything but favourable towards the Jewish 43 "Berlin's Nerves", The Times , 20 Aug. 1919, 9; "Jews in Berlin Fear Pogroms From Agitation", Chicago Daily Tribune , 7 July 1919, 4. 44 "Confusion at Berlin", The Times , 3 Dec. 1918, 8; "Berlin Tremors", ibid., 28 Feb. 19 19, 9; "Bavaria Joins Berlin Against Terms of Peace", Chicago Daily Tribune , 17 May 19 19, 3. 45 "The Spartacus Leaders", The Times, 18 Jan. 1919, 7; "Liebknecht and Rosa Luxembourg", ibid., 20 Jan. 1919, 7; "Radical Leaders Shot in Germany", Chicago Daily Tribune , 17 Jan. 1919, i. 46 "The Spartacus Leaders", The Times , 18 Jan. 1919, 7; "Liebknecht and Luxembourg", ibid., 20 Jan. 1919, 7. 47 "Bavarian President Killed", The Times , 22 Feb. 1919, 10; see also "Through German Eyes: Kaiser's War Guilt", ibid., 17 April 1919; "Through German Eyes: Tears for Fallen Monarchy", ibid., 25 April 1919. 48 "Confusion at Berlin", ibid., 3 Dec. 1918, 8. For similar words see "Berlin Tremors", ibid., 28 Feb. 1919,9. 49 "Bavarian President Killed", ibid., 22 Feb 1919, 10. See also the similarly unsympathetic char- acterization of Dr Otto Neurath in "Through German Eyes: The Spartacist Programme", ibid., 2 May iQiQ, il. 50 "Bavarian Break Angers Prussia", New York Times , 30 Nov. 1918, 2. 85</page><page sequence="12">Stephanie Seul revolutionaries and echo the anti-Jewish sentiment and fear of Bolshevism widespread in Britain and America in the years after the First World War.51 However, the reports are at the same time mirror the antisemitism of parts of the German daily press. For Anglo-American papers frequently backed up their arguments with quotations from reactionary and antisemitic German newspapers. Thereby they deliberately or unconsciously absorbed and trans- mitted to their readership German antisemitic prejudices.52 On 17 April 19 19, for instance, The Times reproduced without further comment an article from the arch conservative Deutsche Tageszeitung which accused the Allies of being the henchmen of "international Jewry". The Times wrote: The Deutsche Tageszeitung . . . says that with the exception of Lenin, the leaders of Russian Bolshevism are Jewish, that the Bolshevist propaganda in Germany is conducted by Jews, and that Spartacism is led by Jews. . . . [The] perennial objects of the Jews are revolution and internationalism. Jews have been behind the great revolutions of Europe, for the simple reason that revolution always increases Jewish influence, whereas a settled and aristo- cratic form of government is opposed to them. Internationalism is the natural vice of an outcast and homeless people.53 In addition, the Anglo-American press argued that the prominent role played by Jews in the revolution and foundation of the republic was the cause of the sharp rise of every-day antisemitism in Germany. In August 1919, The Times , quoting an article from the Parlamentarisch-Politische Nachrichten , wrote that in Munich "the tendency towards pogroms against the Jewish population" was increasing and added: "The unpopularity of the Jews in Munich is to a large extent due to the important part played in the councils of the Republic of April last by foreign Jews."54 On 17 May the Chicago Daily Tribune printed an interview with the Bavarian Prime Minister Johannes Hoffmann in which he stressed the prevailing dominance of Jews in the rev- olutionary government (of April 19 19). He complained that "[t]hey all came from outside The previous revolutionary governments were also mostly Jews, particularly Jaffe, the Bohemian Jew, and later Kurt Eisner, the Polish Jew from Berlin, who only recently changed his name to Eisner."55 The New York Times , basing its arguments on an article of the liberal Berliner Tageblatt, wrote on similar lines. It stated that the rapid increase in antisemitism in 51 See Kadish, "Boche, Bolshie"; Matthias Thorns, "Britisches und deutsches Judentum in der Krise (1918-1921)", Zeitschrift fiir Geschichtswissenschaft 53 (2005): 1000-18; Holmes, Anti- semitismy David S. Wyman, "The United States", in The World Reacts to the Holocaust , eds. David S. Wyman and Charles H. Rosenzveig (Baltimore and London, 1996), 695-97. 52 "Through German Eyes: The Murder of Eisner", The Times , 1 March iqiq, q. 53 "Through German Eyes: Kaiser's War Guilt", The Times , 17 April 1919, 11. 54 "Berlin's Nerves", ibid., 20 Aug. 1919, 9. 55 "Bavaria Joins Berlin Against Terms of Peace", Chicago Daily Tribune, 17 May 19 19, 3. 86</page><page sequence="13">British and American press comment on German anti-Semitism, 1918-1933 Munich was due to the participation in the Bolshevist government of Munich of men such as Gustav Landauer, Edgar Jaffé, Erich Mühsam and Eugen Leviné and added: "Any sensible Jew condemns those scoundrels just as fiercely as any sensible Christian."56 A second line of argumentation was the interpretation of German anti- semi tism as a symptom of political crisis. For German antisemi tism was directed not just against the Jewish community but against democracy as a whole. As mentioned before, a relatively large number of Jews had been involved in the revolution and founding of the republic. Whereas the major- ity of the politically active Jews were members of the liberal and social demo- cratic parties, others played a prominent role during the revolution in the radical parties on the left (Independent Social Democratic Party and Communist Party).57 The involvement of many Jews in the political upheaval and in the first republican government incurred the wrath of the reactionaries. Henceforth they combined their antisemitic agitation with a campaign against the alleged "Jewish Republic" of Weimar. As noted earlier, revolutionaries of Jewish descent were, among others, Rosa Luxemburg, Eugen Leviné, Gustav Landauer and Kurt Eisner. The transitional government of 1918-1919, the Rat der Volksbeauftragten, likewise contained a number of Jewish cabinet min- isters and high officials, for instance Hugo Haase, Otto Landsberg, Hugo Preuss, Joseph Herzfeld, Emanuel Wurm and Oskar Cohn.58 The American and British press carefully monitored the anti-democratic and antisemitic activities of the German reactionaries. In Great Britain, The Times frequently linked antisemitism to the fight of the reactionary forces against the republic.59 On 26 February 1919 it called the murder of Kurt Eisner "the work of a vast reactionary plot, the beginning of a widespread attempt to overthrow the democratic conquests of the revolution and to restore a Conservative régime."60 The commentaries of the Manchester Guardian pointed in the same direction.61 In August 1919, when the news of a new wave of German antisemitism reached Britain,62 it quoted the Berliner Tageblatt as saying that antisemitism was the traditional weapon of the German reaction.63 56 "Report Commune Rules in Munich", New York Times , 12 April 1919, 2. See also "Germany Repudiates Munich's Red Regime", ibid., 9 April 19 19, 3. 57 Niewyk, Jews in Weimar Germany, 25-32; Werner T. Angress, "Juden im politischen Leben der Revolutionszeit", in Mosse and Paucker, Deutsches Judentum, 137-316. 58 Angress, "Juden im politischen Leben", 137-316; Friedländer, Persecution , 91-94. 59 "Through German Eyes: Parties and Policies Analysed", The Times , 24 June 1919,11; "Reaction in Germany", ibid., 17 Sept. 1919, 9. 60 "Spartacist Cause Helped", ibid., 26 Feb. 1919, 10. 61 "Munich under Soviet Rule", Manchester Guardian , 24 Feb. 1919, 5; "The Moral of Munich", ibid., 4. 62 "Berlin's Nerves", The Times , 20 Aug. 19 19, 9. 63 "Antisemitism in Germany", Manchester Guardian , 25 Aug. 19 19, 8. 87</page><page sequence="14">Stephanie Seul The American press argued on similar lines. On 3 December 1918 the New York Times reported on an antisemitic hate campaign in Berlin and quoted the social democratic Vorwärts to the effect that with this desperate campaign the reactionaries hoped to whip up popular opinion against the (Socialist) government: "Millions of pamphlets have been distributed within the last few days, inciting the populace against the alleged Jewish dominance in Government circles and the Socialist Parties of all shades."64 Two weeks later the paper stated that the antisemitic movement originated with reactionary Junkers and irresponsible officers who sought to spread chaos and create difficulties for the government.65 On 18 March 1919 the New York Times ran the page-two heading "Pogroms Threatened by Berlin Agitators. Antisemitism Said to be Fostered by Paid Agents of Secret Societies".66 About a month later the paper quoted the Berliner Tageblatt as saying that reactionary agitators in Munich sought to stir up pogroms against the Jews.67 Similar news was brought in May and June 1919.68 Likewise, the Chicago Daily Tribune argued in July 1919 that the wave of antisemitism sweeping over Berlin was linked to a reactionary campaign against the republic. In the opinion of Berlin Jews, the paper stated, "the movement simply is another form of attack by the Pan-Germans and reac- tionaries against the present socialist government".69 Seen as a whole, the British and American press coverage of German anti- semitism during the revolution of 1918-1919 showed a remarkable unanim- ity. The reports reflected a fear of Bolshevism and a dislike of Eastern European Jews, who were generally regarded as the exponents of revolu- tionary movements and as unsympathetic individuals.70 Now and then the press reports gave the impression that the hostility towards the Jews was almost understandable given their uncongenial character. Although the anti- Jewish bias was more marked in the conservative papers (for instance, they frequently quoted uncritically from the German reactionary and anti-Semitic daily press), even liberal papers such as the Manchester Guardian and the New York Times gave expression to the widespread dislike of Eastern European Jews in Great Britain and the United States. In contrast, all four papers were united in interpreting German antisemitism 64 "Junker Intrigue Rife in Germany", New York Times , 3 Dec. 1918, 1, 6. 65 "Soviet Leaders Gather in Berlin for Convention", ibid., 17 Dec. 1918, 1, 3. See also "Spread of Idleness Alarms Berlin", ibid., 24 Dec. 1918, 2; "Officers Stir Up German Reaction", ibid., 4 Dec. 1918, 1,3. 66 "Pogroms Threatened by Berlin Agitators", ibid., 18 March 1919, 2. 67 "Report Commune Rules in Munich", ibid., 12 April 1919, 2. 68 "Attack on Berlin Jews", ibid., 9 May 1919, 24; "Slur on Berlin Jews", ibid., 7 June 1919, 14. 69 "Jews in Berlin Fear Pogroms From Agitation", Chicago Daily Tribune , 7 July 19 19, 4. See also "Idle Workers in Berlin New Cause of Alarm", ibid., 24 Dec. 1918, 3. 70 Kadish, "Boche, Bolshie", 24, 36-37. 88</page><page sequence="15">British and American press comment on German anti-Semitism, 1918-1933 as a symptom of political crisis and as a propaganda weapon of the reactionar- ies. Yet almost nothing was written about the fate of the Jews who suffered from the antisemitic onslaught. In general, the press reports centred on the repercussions that antisemitism might have on the political stability of the Weimar Republic. Since a noticeable number of democratic politicians were of Jewish descent, reactionary antisemitism was directed at the Jews not only as an ethnic minority but also as the proponents of the despised Weimar Republic. A further example of the kind of argumentation presented here, albeit with slight variations, can be found in the comments on the outbreak of antisemitic riots in Berlin's Jewish quarter in November 1923. The antisemitic riots in Berlin's Jewish quarter, November 1923 Violent antisemitic riots occurred at the end of the crisis year 1923. Belgian and French troops had occupied the Ruhr; hyperinflation and mass unem- ployment impoverished large sections of the population. In addition, sepa- ratist movements and reactionary putsch attempts endangered the inner peace of Germany.71 Antisemitism likewise reached a new climax. In particular, Jews from Eastern Europe were the preferred target of antisemitic defamation and crime. The German right-wing press regularly agitated against them. Even the German liberal press, which was largely in the hands of Jewish propri- etors and editors, regarded the presence of the Eastern Jews as one of the reasons for the increase of antisemitism in Germany, in particular since many Jewish revolutionaries were of Eastern European origin.72 The peak in the agitation and violence against the Eastern Jews was reached on 5 and 6 November 1923, when riots broke out in the Scheunen viertel, Berlin's Jewish quarter. This area, one of the poorer in the capital, was mainly inhabited by Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe. The excesses were precipitated by the sudden rise in the price of bread. Nationalistic agitators exploited the angry mood of the Berlin unemployed and called for reprisals against the "Jewish profiteers". A furious populace 71 Zilkenat, Holocaust , 10-1 1; Ursula Büttner, Weimar: Die überforderte Republik (Bonn, 2008), 164-206. 72 Trude Maurer, Ostjuden in Deutschland igi8-igss (Hamburg, 1986), 479-91, 766-7; Evans, Third Reich , 151; Selchow, "Weimar Germany", 50-58; Winkler, "Deutsche Gesellschaft", 345-46; Zilkenat, Holocaust , 12. See also Jon Gunnar Molstre Simonsen, "'Perfect Targets': Antisemitism and Eastern Jews in Leipzig, 19 19-1923", Leo Baeck Institute Yearbook 51 (2006): 79-101; Anne-Christin Sass, "Ostjudendebatte", in Benz, Handbuch , 261-62. The antisemitic propaganda disseminated by German reactionary and völkisch organizations defaming the Eastern Jews is analysed in Asmuss, Republik , 221-30, 241-44, 299-301. 89</page><page sequence="16">Stephanie Seul thereupon stormed the ghetto, looted and destroyed shops, devastated flats and maltreated Jews on the streets.73 American and British papers reported extensively on the riots but in this case there were marked differences in the tone and substance of the accounts, the dividing line running between conservative and liberal, not between British and American, papers. Whereas the conservative press continued to be prejudiced against Jews from Eastern Europe, the liberal papers were out- spoken in their condemnation of the antisemitic riots. The conservative London Times mentioned the riots on 7 November in an article describing the general situation in Germany. The paper classified them into two distinct kinds - the genuine bread riots all over Berlin and the antisemitic excesses in the Scheunenviertel. The latter seemed to have been "well prepared by Nationalist agitators". This argument was widely held by the German social democratic and liberal press at the time.74 The ensuing description of the event reveals a distinct prejudice against Eastern Jews: the Scheunenviertel was called "unsavoury" and compared with the Jewish ghetto in London's East End. Moreover, the Jewish inhabitants were charged with illegally dealing in dollars.75 In short, the Times article implied that it was in part the Jews' own fault that they had been attacked. (Tony Kushner states that in inter- war Britain the view was widespread that the Jews were provoking antisemitism by their own behaviour, that is, their failure fully to assimilate.)76 In line with this article was a photograph published two days later which showed three policemen guarding damaged premises. The store, however, did not belong to Jews but bore the notice "Christian business".77 The conservative Chicago Daily Tribune likewise put the blame for the riots partly on the Eastern Jews themselves with their alleged distasteful behav- iour. Only one article on the riots appeared in the paper on the front page of 6 November and stressed that merely Polish Jews had fallen victim to the angry populace, whereas "German Jews were protected and untouched". "The crowd", the report went on, "angered by the bread and food prices, went into this quarter, peopled by speculators, small merchants, and 73 Zilkenat, Holocaust, 11-12; Philip Wegehaupt, "Pogrom im Scheunenviertel", in Benz, Handbuch , 299-300. For a detailed account see Maurer, Ostjuden , 329-44 and David Clay Large, "'Out with the Ostjuden': The Scheunenviertel Riots in Berlin, November 1923", in Exclusionary Violence: Antisemitic Riots in Modern German History , eds. Christhard Hoffmann, Werner Bergmann and Helmut Walser Smith (Ann Arbor, 2002), 123-40. 74 "German Appeals for Unity", The Times , 7 Nov. 1923, 14. See Large, "Out with the Ostjuden", 1 34-3 5, who, however, challenges this view. 75 "German Appeals for Unity", The Times , 7 Nov. 1923, 14. The alleged illegal dealings were also discussed in the German press: see Asmuss, Republik , 472, 477, 490-93, 497-98, 507-09; Kushner, Liberal Imagination , 37-39. 76 Kushner, Liberal Imagination , 37-39. 77 "Paris Autumn Salon" (Picture Gallery), The Times , 9 Nov. 1923, 16. 90</page><page sequence="17">British and American press comment on German anti-Semitism, 1918-1933 exchange brokers, to get revenge." According to the report, several hundred unemployed attempted later to storm the bourse, calling the stockbrokers "dirty schiebers" and stripping several Jewish brokers of their clothes.78 Like The Times , the Chicago Daily Tribune was passing on in this article anti- semitic stereotypes and vocabulary. For instance, during the Weimar Republic the term Schieber was widely used in a derogative way to denounce Jews as black marketeers and profiteers. The term originates in the nine- teenth century and denominates someone doing dishonest and/ or illegal business. After the First World War it acquired a strongly antisemitic con- notation and was widely used to accuse Jews, in particular from Eastern Europe, of dealing in scarce goods in order to make profit.79 The article thus gave the impression that the populace storming the Scheunenviertel was in some way understandable in view of the illegal activities of its inhabitants. In contrast, liberal papers published much fuller and more critical accounts and they emphasized the antisemitic character of the riots. The New York Times printed reports from several news agencies, including the Jewish Telegraphic Agency. In line with critical comments in the German liberal and Social Democratic press, the New York Times , in its first report of 6 November, stressed the antisemitic character of the riots. This had not been a spontaneous response to the sudden increase in the price of bread but was the result of systematic propaganda among the Berlin unemployed by reac- tionary and antisemitic agitators. "[F]or the first time", the paper deplored, "a pogrom spirit manifested itself in the brutal treatment of Jews and others who looked like Jews."80 A day later a dispatch from the Jewish Telegraphic Agency underlined the organized character and antisemitic nature of the riots: The disorders yesterday marked the culmination of the agitation carried on against the Jews by the German nationalists. A mob of 30,000 invaded the Jewish sections of the city and no Jew was safe on the streets. Passers-by were stopped at every turn and were searched, maltreated, robbed of their posses- sions and in some cases stripped of their clothes. Jewish homes were searched for food and money, and the owners offering the least resistance were severely beaten The newspapers this morning ascribe the responsibility for the rioting to the determined propaganda carried on for months among the unemployed. The 78 "Storm Berlin Bourse", Chicago Daily Tribune, 6 Nov. 1923, 1. 79 See Friedrich Kluge, Ethymologisches Wörterbuch der deutschen Sprache (Berlin, 25th edition, 201 1 ); Gerhard Wahrig et al., Brockhaus-Wahrig: Deutsches Wörterbuch in sechs Bänden , vol. 5 (Wiesbaden, 1983); Werner Bergmann, Geschichte des Antisemitismus (Munich, 2nd edition, 2004), 68; Na'ama Sheffi, "Jud Süss", in Deutsche Erinnerungsorte , eds. Etienne François and Hagen Schulze, vol. 1 (Munich, 2009), 430. 80 "Berlin Food Rioters Attack and Beat Jews", Nem York Times , 6 Nov. 1923, 2. 91</page><page sequence="18">Stephanie Seul Tageblatt and the Lokal Anzeiger remark it is significant that the attack was not sporadic, but broke out simultaneously in the principal Jewish sections.81 Like the New York Times , the Manchester Guardian published full reports. It emphasized that the attacks seemed to have been carefully pre-arranged by the German nationalists, as they had been directed against Jewish premises and Jewish-looking individuals only: "Shops owned by Jews were looted. Jewish quarters were raided. Jews were robbed and beaten. In many streets lying outside the Jewish quarter every passer-by was held up by groups of youthful roughs, and if he was at all Jewish in appearance he was severely beaten."82 The paper added that by way of blatant antisemitic agitation, the conservative and reactionary press had prepared the atmosphere for the onslaught on the Jews. Furthermore, the German reactionary press had uti- lized the incident for their antisemitic propaganda by describing the rioting as though it were a revolt of starving Germans outraged by Jewish exploita- tion, profiteering and displaying of luxury.83 The Manchester Guardian con- cluded that the incident was "deeply disquieting not so much as a piece of rowdyism . . . but as a symptom". It was "a deliberate and carefully planned antisemitic offensive".84 As in the first case study, the American and British press tended to inter- pret German antisemitism primarily as a symptom of the political, social and economic crises in Germany and as a propaganda instrument of the reac- tionaries. None of the papers took the incident as an opportunity to investi- gate the desperate position of the Eastern European Jews in Germany who had been the primary target of the antisemitic assault. In contrast to the pre- vious case, however, this time one can discern prejudices against Eastern European Jews only in the conservative Times and Chicago Daily Tribune . They are evidence of the continuing anti-Jewish sentiments in conservative circles in Great Britain and the United States.85 On the whole, however, anti- semitism decreased after 1921, the year when the Protocols of the Elders ofZion had been exposed as a forgery.86 81 "Berlin Rioting Resumed", ibid., 7 Nov. 1923, 5. 82 "Anti-Jewish Riots in Berlin", Manchester Guardian , 7 Nov. 1923, 9. 83 Ibid.; "The Rebel Plan in Germany", ibid., 8 Nov. 1923, 9. 84 "Anti-Jewish Riots in Berlin", ibid., 7 Nov. 1923, 9. 85 Selchow, "Weimar Germany", 5-6; David Cesarani, "Great Britain", in Wyman and Rosenzveig, World Reacts to the Holocaust , 599-641; Wyman, "United States", in ibid., 693-748; Poliakov, Antisemitismus , 58-90; Tony Kushner, "The Impact of British Antisemitism, 1918-1945", in The Making of Modern Anglo-Jewry , ed. David Cesarani (Oxford, 1990), 191-208; Holmes, Antisemitismy Gisela Lebzelter, Political Antisemitism in England , 1Q18-1939 (London and Basingstoke, 1978). 86 Matthias Thorns, "Britisches und deutsches Judentum in der Krise: Antisemitismus und Zionismus als Bedrohung und Herausforderung für die jüdischen Gemeinschaften in Deutschland und Grossbritannien in der Nachkriegszeit des Ersten Weltkrieges 1918-1921" 92</page><page sequence="19">British and American press comment on German anti-Semitism, 1918-1933 Nazi antisemitism during the final years of the Weimar Republic 1 930-1 933 The last case study focuses on Nazi antisemitism during the final years of the Weimar Republic. From the foundation of the National Socialist German Workers' Party (NSDAP) in 1920, a radical racial antisemitism had been a central element of its political programme. The Nazis promoted Jew-hatred all over the country in speeches, songs, printed propaganda material and newspapers (including the party's paper Völkischer Beobachter) and they reg- ularly staged riots at universities and on the streets and boycotts against Jewish businesses. During the final years of the Weimar Republic, anti- semitism became a virtual monopoly of the Nazis.87 Although they made no secret of their Jew-hatred (the NSDAP programme of 1920 called for denat- uralizing the Jews and expelling "foreigners"), the Nazis used antisemitism in an opportunist way, playing it up and down when it suited their political needs of the day. Whereas Nazi anti-Jewish defamation and violent excesses were frequent, the party's election programmes contained hardly any antise- mitic references. To the German and foreign public, the Nazi's antisemitic programme therefore remained vague in that no one could determine what they wanted to do with the Jews. In any case, Nazi antisemitism was neither new nor did it seem to be much different from that of other radically völkisch and antisemitic organizations at that time.88 British and American papers monitored carefully the anti-Jewish out- bursts of a party that after 1930 was always likely to take over power in Germany. The coverage shifted distinctly during this period, showing no more an occasional anti-Jewish bias but a serious concern about the implica- tions of Nazi antisemitism for German democracy and for the Jewish minor- ity. As in previous years, the foreign press identified Nazi antisemitism with the fight of the reactionary political movement against the Weimar Republic. (ESH Working Paper 7, University of Hannover, 2004), 8: http://www.europa.uni- html?&amp;L= i . 87 Selchow, "Weimar Germany", 2-3, 59-61; Evans, Third Reich , 38-39, 152-53, 174-75; Friedländer, Persecution , 95-105; Oded Heilbronner, "The Role of Nazi Antisemitism in the Nazi Party's Activity and Propaganda: A Regional Historiographical Study", Leo Baeck Institute Yearbook 35 (1990): 397-439; Oded Heilbronner, "Where Did Nazi Antisemitism Disappear to? Antisemitic Propaganda and Ideology of the Nazi Party, 1 929-1 933: A Historiographical Study", Y ad Vashen Studies 21 (1991): 263-86; Hannah Ahlheim, " Deutsche , kauft nicht bei Juden!" Antisemitismus und politischer Boykott in Deutschland 1Ç24 bis 1935 (Göttingen, 201 1). 88 Donald Niewyk, "Solving the 'Jewish Problem': Continuity and Change in German Antisemitism, 1871-1945", Leo Baeck Institute Yearbook 35 (1990): 368-69; Niewyk, Jews in Weimar Germany , 52-55, 79-81. Heilbronner, "Where Did Nazi Antisemitism Disappear to?", 284-86, stresses the urgent need for a comprehensive study of Nazi antisemitism prior to 1933. 93</page><page sequence="20">Stephanie Seul However, at first there was no consensus in the reports as to whether the Nazis intended to transform their Jew-hatred into real politics or whether they intended it primarily for propagandistic purposes. Whereas American papers from the 1930 elections onwards clearly condemned Nazi anti- semitism, the British press was at first too optimistic in its appreciation of the political situation created by the Nazi victory. However, it soon joined the chorus of warning voices. Here I shall focus on three aspects of Nazi antisemitism and their discus- sion in the foreign press: firstly, the landslide victory of the NSDAP in the Reichstag elections of 1930; secondly, the representation of Nazi anti-Semitic street violence; and thirdly, the prospects of Hitler taking over power and the consequences this would entail for the German Jews. On 14 September 1930, the NSDAP had unexpectedly emerged as the second-strongest party from the elections to the Reichstag, Germany's national parliament. Winning a total of 18.3 per cent of the votes, the Nazis increased their seats from 12 to 107. 89 This put Hitler's party, its political programme and antisemitism suddenly in the centre of the public interest abroad. American and British papers reported extensively on the NSDAP and its political aspirations, pointing out to their readers that Jew-hatred was an intrinsic part of this anti-democratic party.90 On 31 August 1930, the Chicago Daily Tribune , in a survey of the parties standing for the Reichstag elections, stated that the German Fascisti wanted "to overthrow the government to establish a dictatorship of 'truly Germanic men'. They are antisemitic, occasionally they threaten pogroms against Jews and their friends or other 'alien elements in Germany'."91 After the smash- ing victory of the Nazis, the paper ran the headline "Republic's Foes Make Big Gains in German Vote. Dictatorship Party Wins 103 [sic] Seats". The article stressed again that Hitler's party was openly favouring a dictatorship, thus endangering the existence of the twelve-year-old German republic.92 On 21 September 1930, the New York Times devoted an entire article to Nazi antisemitism, emphasizing that Hitler's party was responsible "for having projected antisemitism into a post-war political arena in Germany". The paper continued: "With 107 accredited Deputies in a modern democratic Parliament pledged to antisemitism, the Hitler party's representation on the new Reichstag makes it the largest single group definitely sworn to antisemitic policies in European parliamentary history for the past fifty years."93 How the party would put its ideology into practical politics remained to be seen, yet the 89 Evans, Third Reich, 259-65; Büttner, Weimar, 418-20. 90 Selchow, "Weimar Germany", 61-65; Clemens, Herr Hitler, 160-68; Granzow, Mirror , 125. 91 "Many Parties Ask Support of German Voters", Chicago Daily Tribune , 31 Aug. 1930, Di. 92 "Republic's Foes Make Big Gains in German Vote", ibid., 1 5 Sept. 1930, 1, 6. 93 "Antisemitic Fight Looms in Reichstag", New York Times , 21 Sept. 1930, E3. 94</page><page sequence="21">British and American press comment on German anti-Semitism, 1918-1933 New York Times doubted that the Nazis would suppress their antisemitism now that they had increased their political influence. British papers were at first inclined to treat Nazi antisemitism as superfi- cial and a propaganda show to rouse the support of the discontented.94 Before and after the elections, The Times and the Manchester Guardian reported extensively on the aims of the NSDAP, including its blatant Jew-hatred, but did not seriously believe that Hitler would be able to turn his antisemitism into practical politics.95 In a somewhat ironic tone, the Manchester Guardian at first stated that "the great majority of Germans could have nothiñg but dislike for the hysterical nonsense of Herr Hitler . . . who blames impartially the French, the Russians, and the Jews for all his country's ills."96 After the elections, the paper held to the view that it would be a mistake to take the Fascists too seriously: "Perhaps they will now learn wisdom after the event. Not all the Fascist votes were given for the official antisemitism and rowdy- ism of the party's leaders; many, no doubt, were intended as a protest against the futility of the 'respectable' Conservative groups."97 At the end of September and the beginning of October, the paper published a series of arti- cles on the Nazi movement, including a report on the antisemitism of "Hitler's newspaper", the Völkischer Beobachter , in which it expressed its disgust for the antisemitic side of the movement.98 However, this did not prevent it from reassuring its readers that a share in political responsibility would have a sobering effect on the Nazis. Apparently, the Manchester Guardian doubted that the party could maintain its political success in the long run if it did not adjust its programme.99 Similarly, The Times was inclined to give Hitler the benefit of the doubt. On 25 August it stressed the antisemitic programme of the Nazi party in its reports prior to the Reichstag elections: "[The Nazis] despise the State, would denounce the peace treaties, and are violently antisemitic."100 Yet, after the elections The Times hoped that Hitler's revolutionary movement would develop into something constructive. On 18 September it commented: "Nobody knows whether . . . [the Nazis] may develop into a constructive force. . . . [Hitler's] words suggest that he is going to guide [the revolution- ary spirit of his party] into useful channels."101 94 Selchow, "Weimar Germany", 94-95; Clemens, Herr Hitler, 83-84, 272. 95 Selchow, "Weimar Germany", 61-65. 96 "New Movements in German Politics", Manchester Guardian , 23 Aug. 1930, 10. 97 "Germany's Verdict", ibid., 16 Sept. 1930, 10. 98 "The German Elections", ibid., 23 Sept. 1930, 12; "State Action Against Hitler", ibid., 24 Sept. 1930, 9; "German Democracy", ibid., 25 Sept. 1930, 12; "Herr Hitler's Newspaper", ibid., 1 Oct. 1930, 14; Selchow, "Weimar Germany", 62. 99 "German Democracy", Manchester Guardian , 25 Sept. 1930, 12; Selchow, "Weimar Germany", 62-63. 100 "The German Elections", The Times , 25 Aug. 1930, 11. 101 "The Rise of the Nazis", ibid., 18 Sept. 1930, 11. See also Granzow, Mirror , 125. 95</page><page sequence="22">Stephanie Seul However, such hopes were over-optimistic, and the British press soon took on a decidedly critical stance towards the Nazis. The opening of the new Reichstag on 13 October 1930 was accompanied by an orgy of antisemitic vio- lence. As the New York Times reported, gangs of young Nazi rioters stormed through downtown Berlin, crying "Down with the Jews" and smashing windows of Jewish-owned shops and cafés.102 On 15 October, the paper reproduced a lengthy interview of Hitler with foreign correspondents in which he declared that his movement disapproved of violent antisemitism and would have nothing to do with pogroms. Hitler had furthermore stated that the riots on the previous day had been provoked by the Communists and had escalated due to a lack of moderation shown by the police.103 A similar report of Hitler's interview and his references to Jews was also published by The Times .104 The New York Times , however, remained sceptical. Two days later it drew attention to the fact that, "despite Herr Hitler's repeated asser- tions that antisemitism is no real part of the Fascist program, the Party's Parliamentary demands single out the Jews for special mention and Herr Hitler's official organ, The Voelkische Beobachter of Munich, does not cease to stir up hatred along every other line."105 Smaller outbreaks of Nazi antisemitic violence and discrimination contin- ued throughout 1 930-1 932 and were reported by one or another foreign paper.106 However, an incident that provoked the unanimous condemnation of the foreign press was the anti-Jewish riots of 12 September 1 931 on the Kurfürstendamm. The Ku'damm, as it was nicknamed, was a long boulevard in the western district of Berlin full of popular shops, restaurants and the- atres. For the Nazis it was the prime symbol of Jewish decadence.107 As the foreign press reported, 1000 Nazis gathered there in the evening of the Jewish New Year; they attacked and beat Jews and Jewish-looking persons, smashed windows and destroyed popular cafés.108 The police were reported to have 102 "Hitlerites in Riots, Stone Jewish Shops as Reichstag Opens", New York Times , 14 Oct. 1930, i, 16. 103 "Hitler Hints Reds Led Riot in Berlin", ibid., 1 5 Oct. 1930, 14. 104 "Nazi Policy", The Times , 15 Oct. 1930, 12. 105 "Demand Peace Pact's End", New York Times , 17 Oct. 1930, 16. 106 "Convict Three German Officers in Treason Plot", Chicago Daily Tribune , 5 Oct. 1930, 17; "German Fascists Smash Windows in Anti-Jew Riot", ibid., 20 Dec. 1930, 6; "Political Riots Sweep Germany", ibid., 26 June 1932, 13; "Antisemitism in Germany", Manchester Guardian , 7 Oct, 1930, 6. 107 Philip Wegehaupt, "Kurfürstendammkrawalle", in Benz, Handbuch , 228-29; Hecht, Deutsche Juden , 236-68. 108 "Attack on Jews in Berlin", The Times , 14 Sept. 193 1, 12; "Antisemitic Riot in Berlin", Manchester Guardian , 14 Sept. 1931, 12; "1,000 Fascists Attack Jews in Berlin Riot", Chicago Daily Tribune , 13 Sept. 1931, 22; "Berlin Courts Act to Crush Rioting", New York Times , 17 Sept. 1931,15- 96</page><page sequence="23">British and American press comment on German anti-Semitism, 1918-1933 arrived late, whereas the witnessing crowd had obviously tolerated, if not approved of, the action.109 Both The Times and the Manchester Guardian stressed that this had not been a spontaneous outbreak of anti-Jewish violence but a "display of organised Nazi hooliganism almost incredible in a city like Berlin".110 As The Times wrote: "One has the evidence of one's eyes that all this was done to plan. The Nazis had a system of messengers and connecting superiors who were distinguished by black arm bands and men who appeared to be ringleaders stood at street corners inciting their followers to disorders." The paper was particularly dismayed at the reaction of the people witnessing the outrages: "Numbers of citizens who stood about appeared to approve the activities of the Nazis and solid citizens sitting aside the restaurants seemed to view the disorders tolerantly."111 For the Manchester Guardian the riots were "the worst antisemitic excesses there have yet been in Germany"; it crit- icized the German conservative press for minimizing what had happened.112 The foreign press also paid careful attention to the aftermath of the anti- semitic riots. Less than two weeks after the incident, 27 rioters, all of them Nazis, were sentenced to imprisonment varying from 9 to 21 months.113 However, the masterminds of the excesses, the antisemite and leader of the Nazi storm troops, Count Helldorf, and his companion Ernst, were merely tried and sentenced as "disturbers" of the peace for six months: "The court decided that the disorders were not 'planned' by the Nazi command", wrote The Times .114 This provoked a sharp comment from the Manchester Guardian. It stated, with great disillusion, that too many judges in Germany nowadays sympathized with the Nazis.115 In general, although during 1930 to early 1933 the British and American press repeatedly debated the possibility of Hitler taking over power in Germany, it rarely discussed the implications for German Jews if that hap- pened. The New York Times was notable in drawing the attention of its readers to the implications of Nazi Jew-hatred. Quoting from a New York 109 Selchow, "Weimar Germany", 66; Granzow, Mirror, 1 54-55. 110 "Attack on Jews in Berlin", The Times , 14 Sept. 1931, 12. 1 1 1 Ibid.; Granzow, Mirror , 155. 112 "Antisemitic Riot in Berlin", Manchester Guardian , 14 Sept. 1931, 12; Selchow, "Weimar Germany", 66. 113 "Nazis Sentenced in Berlin", The Times , 24 Sept. 193 1, 11; "Sentences on Nazi Hooligans", Manchester Guardian , 24 Sept. 1931, 4; "Thirty 'Nazi' Rioters Are Held For Trial", New York Times, 19 Sept. 1931, 8; "Hitlerite Rioters Punished Severely", ibid., 24 Sept. 1931, 15; "Win Point in Berlin Riots", ibid., 13 Oct. 193 1, 8; "'Nazi' Storm Leaders Sentenced For Riots", ibid. ,8 Nov. 1931, 14. 114 "Anti-Jewish Excesses in Berlin", The Times , 9 Nov. 193 1, 11; "Nazi Attack on Berlin Jews", Manchester Guardian , 9 Nov. 193 1, 4. See also "Antisemitic Leaders Are Fined in Berlin", New York Times , 10 Feb. 1932, 8. 115 "Political Crime in Germany", Manchester Guardian , 26 Nov. 1931, 4; Selchow, "Weimar Germany", 67-68; Granzow, Mirror , 155. 97</page><page sequence="24">Stephanie Seul speech by the Zionist leader Louis Lipsky under the headline "A Menace to Jews Seen If Hitler Wins", the paper stated on 13 December 1931 that the possibility of Hitler assuming power in Germany should be of great concern to American Jews, as antisemitism was an integral part of his political pro- gramme.116 In September 1932, the paper printed a report by an American businessman on his visit to Germany. He pointed out that, after conversa- tions with German Jewish organizations, he had been impressed with their belief "that, despite the public protestations of the National Socialist leaders of all-around fairness, should they attain power in Germany there is sub- stantial ground for fear that the movement itself might get out of control, pro- ducing racial excesses with the worst results."117 Likewise, the Chicago Daily Tribune showed alarm at the prospect of a Nazi-led government. In November 1931 it quoted Dr Severing, the Prussian minister of the interior, to the effect that the Nazis were planning to deprive all Jews of food cards and compel them to leave Germany should they assume power in Germany.118 Two days after Hitler's seizure of power in January 1933, the paper wrote that the Völkischer Beobachter was predict- ing an exodus of the Jews from Germany; the Chicago paper quoted Wilhelm Frick, the new Nazi minister of the interior, to the effect that the emigration of Jews from Germany would be welcomed by the new government.119 In Great Britain, the newspaper that paid closest attention to the conse- quences of Nazi antisemitism for the Jews during both the Weimar Republic and the Third Reich was the Manchester Guardian .120 After initial doubts about whether the Nazis meant their antisemitism seriously, it reported more fully than any other British newspaper on Nazi antisemitism during 1930-1933 and raised the issue of Jewish safety in Germany at a relatively early date. After the Nazi excesses on the Kurfürstendamm in September 1 93 1, for instance, it wrote: "It has now become difficult to give any assur- ance that Germany is a country safe for Jews."121 How little faith the Manchester Guardian had in Hitler's designs is also evidenced in a comment on Hitler's appointment to the chancellorship on 3 1 January 1933. Referring to the exploitation of antisemitism for the Nazis' political purposes, the paper asked: "What is to be expected of this Government of which Hitler is the Chancellor and in which the Nazis hold several 'key' positions? . . . Will he drive the Jews out of Germany and distribute the profits and property of cap- italism among the impoverished middle class?"122 116 "A Menace to Jews Seen If Hitler Wins", New York Times , 13 Dec. 193 1. 117 "Hitlerism Doomed, Lamport Declares", ibid., 9 Sept. 1932, 8. 118 "Prussian Chief Exposes 'Terror Plan' of Hitler", Chicago Daily Tribune , 26 Nov. 193 1, 25. 119 "Rule of Hitler is Opened With Riots", ibid., 1 Feb. 1933, 1. 120 See Selchow, "Weimar Germany", 76; Sharf, "British Press", 170-71. 121 "Antisemitic Riot in Berlin", Manchester Guardian , 14 Sept. 193 1, 12. "Hitler", ibid., 31 Jan. 1933, 8; Selchow, "Weimar Germany", 76. 98</page><page sequence="25">British and American press comment on German anti-Semitism, 1918-1933 However, these were lonely voices of warning. During 1930-1933, although the American and British press reported almost every antisemitic incident involving the Nazis and acknowledged that antisemitism was a key component of Hitler's political programme, there was no in-depth discussion of the roots of German antisemitism or of the possibility that Germans might vote for the Nazis especially because they were antisemitic. (Oded Heilbronner noted in 199 1 the need for further research regarding the role of antisemitism in Nazi propaganda to rouse the support of the masses.)123 It appears that foreign papers did not take Hitler's antisemitic propaganda seri- ously; they doubted whether he would turn it into a policy.124 The events in the spring of 1933, however, proved them wrong. After a massive antisemitic campaign during March, the Nazis proclaimed a one-day nationwide boycott of Jewish businesses on 1 April. This boycott, repre- sented in public as an act of self-defence of the German nation in response to foreign Jewish atrocity propaganda, marked the beginning of the state-organ- ized persecution of the Jews and the legalization of antisemitism in Germany. On 7 April, the government passed a law prohibiting the employment of Jews in the civil service. 125 The extent and fierceness of Nazi antisemitism came as a shock to the international public. For no one had seriously believed that the Nazis would put into practice the antisemitic propaganda that they had been pronouncing for more than a decade. British and American papers had paid attention to the outbursts of violent Nazi antisemitism the moment they happened but had quickly closed their eyes when the riots were over. It seems obvious that they did not want to realize that a civilized nation could regard antisemitism as an acceptable or even attractive political stance.126 Consequently, the American and British press at first doubted the verac- ity of stories of Nazi violence against the Jews on the ground that they might be exaggerated accounts along the lines of the atrocity propaganda during the Great War, spread deliberately by critics of the new regime to discredit Germany abroad. It was indeed the tactics of the new German government 123 Niewyk, "Solving the 'Jewish Problem'", 369; Heilbronner, "Where Did Antisemitism Disappear to?", 264-66, 284-86. 124 Selchow, "Weimar Germany", 64; Granzow, Mirror , 125. 125 Friedländer, Persecution , 19-21, 27-31; Evans, Third Reich , 431-34, 437-38; Angelika Königseder, "Boykott-Tag, i. April 1933", in Benz, Handbuch, 61-62; Wolfgang Benz, "Gesetz zur Wiederherstellung des Berufsbeamtentums", in ibid., 146-47; Müller, Weimar , 374-82; Selchow, "Weimar Germany", 76-92; Lipstadt, "American Press", 29-39; Sharf, "British Press", 169-74; Frank Bosch, "Medien im Nationalsozialismus: Transnationale Perspektiven', Geschichte in Wissenschaft und Unterricht 62 (201 1): 522-23; Sharon Gewirtz, "Anglo-Jewish Responses to Nazi Germany 1933-39: The Anti-Nazi Boycott and the Board of Deputies of British Jews", Journal of Contemporary History 26 (1991): 255-76. 126 Granzow, Mirror, 1 57-58. 99</page><page sequence="26">Stephanie Seul to deny the foreign press reports on atrocities against the Jews and instead to blame the "international Jewish press" for spreading such stories in order to discredit Germany.127 Furthermore, British and American government and press circles believed - or rather hoped - that the persecution of the Jews would be temporary and ebb away once Hitler had firmly established power. It was believed that the Nazis were using antisemitism as a propaganda instrument to distract domestic opinion from economic and social problems by picking on the Jews as the traditional scapegoats. Some adhered to this view even until Kristallnacht in 1938. 128 Therefore, the Anglo-American press coverage of the Nazi persecution of the Jews after Hitler's seizure of power has to be seen as a continuation of the prior reporting on German antisemitism during the Weimar Republic. Unlike the Weimar years, however, this story has been told.129 Conclusion This paper has analysed how German antisemitism was publicly debated abroad long before the Nazis came to power and aroused universal contempt for their systematic persecution of the Jews. Despite occasional differences along national and/ or ideological dividing lines, the Anglo-American press coverage showed remarkable similarities. Firstly, German antisemitism was treated as evidence of a deep-rooted political and social crisis in the Weimar Republic. The press attributed the rise of antisemitism to disappointed sections of German society in search of scapegoats for military defeat, a humiliating peace treaty and economic misery. Moreover, antisemitism was linked to the anti-democratic activities of the German reactionaries, who used antisemitic propaganda to incite the hate of the population against the Republican government.130 Secondly, scant attention was paid to the Jews themselves as the victims of antisemitism. The fate of individual Jews was only discussed in the case of famous Jews such as the physicist and winner of the Nobel Prize, Albert Einstein; the publicists Maximilian Harden and Theodor Wolff or the Hamburg banker Max Warburg.131 Foreign papers did not take antisemitic 127 Lipstadt, "American Press", 30-31; Friedländer, Persecution , 19; Michaela Hoenicke Moore, Know Your Enemy: The American Debate on Nazism, 1 933-1 Q45 (Cambridge and New York, 2009), 31-32; Colin Shindler, "The 'Thunderer' and the Coming of the Shoah: The Times of London, 1933-1942", in Shapiro, Why Didn't the Press Shout, 154-57. 128 Lipstadt, "American Press", 34; Sharf, British Press , 27-29, 193; Clemens, Herr Hitler, 272-81 . 129 Shapiro, Why Didn V the Press Shout?; Leff, Buried ; Lipstadt, Beyond Belief, Sharf, British Press ; Kushner, Liberal Imagination ; Kushner, Politics of Marginality. - Clemens, Herr Hitler, 82, 84, 272. 131 "Campaign Against Dr. Einstein", The Times, 28 Aug. 1920, 9; "Imperial and Foreign News 100</page><page sequence="27">British and American press comment on German anti-Semitism, 1918-1933 incidents as a starting point to investigate the position of the Jews - in par- ticular of those from Eastern Europe - in Germany. Nor was there a discus- sion of the social roots of German antisemitism, for instance of the possibility that Germans might vote for the Nazis because of their antisemitism.132 Thirdly, American and British press reports at times showed a dis- turbingly negative bias against (Eastern European) Jews, who were com- monly regarded as exponents of Bolshevism and unsympathetic individuals. This bias was particularly marked at the time of the German revolution of 1918-1919 and still noticeable in 1923. By the time of the rise of the Nazis in 1930-1933, however, it had largely disappeared. Fourthly, the British and American press underestimated the radical nature of Hitler's antisemitism. Although all papers reported frequently on Nazi antisemitism, and some also discussed the consequences for German Jews should Hitler take power in Germany, few seriously expected the Nazis to put their antisemitic propaganda into practice. The extent of the Nazi assault on Jews in the spring of 1933 therefore came as a surprise to the American and British publics. How to explain the particular way these papers represented Germany, the German Jews and antisemitism? A number of factors seem to have been influen- tial in shaping the perception by the foreign press of Weimar antisemitism. Firstly, foreign correspondents did not simply recount events in Germany in a neutral way. On the one hand, they absorbed more or less unconsciously the antisemitic bias occasionally contained in their sources. As the case studies have shown, foreign papers now and then quoted from reactionary or antisemitic German newspapers, thus transmitting a decidedly negative image of German Jewry to the foreign public. On the other hand, these press reports also reflected the antisemitism prevalent in Britain and the United States during the 1920s. For instance, the predisposition in particular of con- servative papers, such as The Times and the Chicago Daily Tribune , to play down the antisemitic character of incidents in Germany, or to attribute neg- ative character traits to Jews, echoes the anti-Jewish feeling and fear of Bolshevism widespread in British and American society at that time. These feelings were particularly widespread in the years between the Russian Revolution of 19 17 and the publication of the Protocols of the Elders ofZion in 1920, the latter stirring up fears of a Jewish world conspiracy.133 Items", ibid., 9 Sept. 1920, 7; "A Hamburg Plot", ibid., 30 June 1922, 9; "The Attempt to Murder Herr Harden", Manchester Guardian , 5 July 1922, 8; "German Plots Laid to Slay Leading Jews", New York Times , 1 July 1922, 12; "Senate of Hamburg Atones to Warburg", ibid., 3 July 1922, 3; "Pan-German Laughter May Exile Albert Einstein", Chicago Daily Tribune , 29 Aug. 1920, 3; "Editor Harden, Kaiser's Critic in War, Stabbed", ibid., 4 July 1922, 1. 132 Selchow, "Weimar Germany", 50, 58, 94; Granzow, Mirror, 125. 133 See Kadish, "Boche, Bolshie". 101</page><page sequence="28">Stephanie Seul Secondly, whether or not the British and American press gave appropri- ate publicity to Weimar antisemitism has to be judged in the light of European antisemitism during the inter-war period as a whole. Especially during 1918-1923, German Jew-hatred did not seem particularly alarming in view of the wave of violent anti-Semitic pogroms sweeping over Eastern Europe in the aftermath of the First World War. Consequently, the foreign press paid even more attention to Eastern European antisemitism than to its German counterpart. In particular during 19 19-1920, American and British papers were filled with detailed reports about antisemitic excesses in Poland, Russia, the Baltic States, the Ukraine and Hungary. Considerable attention was also paid to the efforts of the Paris Peace Conference to solve the minor- ity issue - which was to a considerable extent a Jewish question - in Eastern Europe.134 Thirdly, it seems that in evaluating the political significance of Nazi anti- semitism, the American and British papers were preconditioned by their own liberal democratic stance. They were unable to imagine that for Hitler anti- semitism was more than propaganda, namely, a paranoid ideological frame- work and a political end in itself.135 They did not expect the Nazis to transform their race hatred into a policy of Jewish persecution. Nor did they believe that decent Germans could regard Jew-hatred as something attrac- tive and support - or at least tolerate - the Nazis' anti-Semitic policies.136 Even less did they consider it politically feasibile that Hitler and his cohort would persecute and exterminate the Jews under the eyes of international public opinion. 137 A New York Times article of April 193 1 is revealing in this respect. In commenting on Hitler's excessive antisemitism, the article reas- sured its readers that the German people would not go on tolerating this for long, as it would severely damage Germany's reputation abroad.138 Ultimately, it thus looks as if the American and British journalists fell victim to their own liberal political outlook, with its scepticism about para- noid ideologies and its strong belief in the rationality of politics and the power of public opinion. 134 For a good overview of this Eastern European problem see Wyman and Rosenzveig, The World Reacts to the Holocaust, 81-382; Wolfgang Benz, ed., Handbuch des Antisemitismus: Judenfeind- schaft in Geschichte und Gegenwart. Vol. 1: Länder und Regionen (Munich, 2008), 109-12, 207-12, 217-21, 276-83, 290-98, 337-44, 379-94, 415-21. 135 Selchow, "Weimar Germany", 95. On paranoid antisemitism in Nazi ideology see Jeffrey Herf, The Jewish Enemy: Nazi Propaganda During World War II and the Holocaust (Cambridge, Mass., 2006). 136 Granzow, Mirror , 1 57-60. 137 Selchow, "Weimar Germany", 95. 138 'Hitler's Ebb Tide', New York Times , 3 April 193 1. 102</page></plain_text>

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