The George Washington University
History 297, Section 18: Antisemitism
Spring 2004

Professor Marc Saperstein

An analysis of articulated hatred toward Jews as a historical force. After treating precursors in the pagan world of antiquity and in classical Christian doctrine, the course will focus on the modern phenomenon crystallizing in 19th-century Europe and reaching its lethal extreme in Nazi ideology, propaganda, and policy. Expressions in the U.S. and in the Arab world, as well as Jewish reactions to antisemitism, will also be studied. Prerequisite: course in modern European history or permission of the instructor.


Required Texts (Available in Bookstore)

Rosemary Ruether, Faith and Fratricide: The Theological Roots of Anti-Semitism. New York: Seabury Press, 1974.

Jacob Katz, From Prejudice to Destruction. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1980.

Richard S. Levy, Antisemitism in the Modern World: An Anthology of Texts. Lexington, MA: D. C. Heath, 1991.

Leonard Dinnerstein, Anti-Semitism in America. New York: Oxford University Press, 1994.

Bernard Lewis, Semites and Antisemites. New York: W. W. Norton, 1986.


The following book is available for interested students through

Henry Ford, The International Jew. Boring, Oregon: CPA Book Publisher (this is probably a publisher that specializes in antisemitic literature).

Antisemitism: An Annotated Bibliography. This multi-volume work has just been purchased by Gelman and will be located in the Reference Collection for use by students.

Books marked with * will be at Gelman Reserve. See Bibliography below.


Course Outline

1. Wednesday, January 14 - Introduction to the Course

2. Wednesday, January 21 - Pagan Antisemitism


Distributed passages from Manetho, Apion, Cicero, and Tacitus from Stern.

Cf. Menetho in [no longer valid]


Ruether, pp. 23- 63.

Additional Bibliography:

Peter Schäfer, Judaeophobia: Attitudes Toward the Jews in the Ancient World. Cambridge, Harvard University Press, 1997.

Menahem Stern, Greek and Latin Authors on Jews and Judaism, 3 vols. Jerusalem: Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities, 1984. See esp. passages from authors noted above, 1:81-83, 197-988, 411-12, 2:24-31.

3. Wednesday, January 28 – New Testament, Church Fathers


New Testament (any translation): Matthew 23; 26:57-27:54; John 5:37-40, 8:37-47; Acts 7:51-53; Gal. 4:21-31; I Thes. 2:13-16; Rom. 9:1-33.

John Chrysostom, Discourses Against Judaizing Christians, Homily 1.

(download, print out, and bring to class)


Ruether, pp. pp. 64-195.

Additional Bibliography:

Jules Isaac, Jesus and Israel. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1971.

Jules Isaac, The Teaching of Contempt: Christian Roots of Anti-Semitism, New York, 1964.

Marcel Simon, Verus Israel. Oxford: Littman Library, 1986, esp. chap. 8.

James Parkes, The Conflict of the Church and the Synagogue. Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society, 1961.

Jeremy Cohen, Living Letters of the Law. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1999,

Report: St. Augustine and the Jews (Cohen, chap. 1; Talmage, Disputation and Dialogue, pp. 28- 32)

4. Wednesday, February 4 – High Middle Ages to Reformation


Agobart of Lyons:

From "The Life and Miracles of St. William of Norwich,"

Martin Luther, selections from "On the Jews and Their Lies,"

(download, print out, and bring to class all of these)

Additional Bibliography:

Langmuir, Gavin, Toward a Definition of Antisemitism. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1990, esp. chaps. 9-12 on ritual murder and blood libel.

Cohen, Jeremy, The Friars and the Jews: The Evolution of Medieval Anti-Judaism. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1982.

Heiko Oberman, The Roots of Anti-Semitism in the Age of the Renaissance and Reformation (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1984).

Report: Luther (Oberman; Linberg in Tainted Greatness)

5. Wednesday, February 11 - Enlightenment, Emancipation, Liberalism, Socialism


Eisenmenger and Voltaire, in Levy, pp. 31-46.

page from Kant, Anthropology

Dohm, Michaelis, Abbe Gregoire, Bauer, Marx from The Jew in the Modern World, pp. 27-34, 36-38, 262-68.


Katz, pp. 13-47; 119-38, 147-74.

Additional Bibliography

Arthur Hertzberg, The French Enlightenment and the Jews: The Origins of Modern Anti-Semitism (New York: Columbia University Press, 1990).

Julius Carlebach, Karl Marx and the Radical Critique of Judaism. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1978.

Report: Jews in the Work of Liberal British Historians: Gibbon (Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, selections from chapters 15, 161: 385-391, 446-48), Paine (The Age of Reason, especially part 2).

6. Wednesday, February 18 - Nationalism


Levi, Part 2 (pp. 49-93)

Wagner in The Jew in the Modern World, pp. 268-71.


Katz, pp. 51-104, 175-220.

Additional Bibliography:

Moshe Zimmerman, Wilhelm Marr: Patriarch of Antisemitism. New York: Oxford University Press, 1986.

Paul Lawrence Rose, German Question Jewish Question: Revolutionary Antisemitism from Kant to Wagner. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1990.

Rose, Wagner: Race and Revolution, New Haven: Yale University Press, 1992.

Report: Wilhelm Marr and the term "antisemitism" (Zimmermann above)

7. Wednesday, February 25 - Antisemitism and Politics: Germany and Austria


Levi, pp. 97-103, 113-44.


Katz, 245-291.

Additional Bibliography

Pulzer, Peter, The Rise of Political Anti-Semitism in Germany and Austria. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1988.

Report: Historical Writing and Antisemitism in Germany: von Treitschke vs. Graetz (M. Meyer, "Great Debate on Antisemitism," in Leo Baeck Institute Yearbook 11 (1966): 137- 169.

8. Wednesday, March 3 – Antisemitism in France


Levi, pp. 104-12, 224-34


Katz, 107-44, 292-300

Additional Bibliography

Stephen Wilson, Ideology and Experience: Antisemitism in France at the Time of the Dreyfus Affair. Rutherford: NJ: Fairleigh Dickenson University Press, 1982.

Pierre Birnbaum, The Anti-Semitic Moment: A Tour of France in 1898. Hill and Wang, 2003.

Michel Winock, Nationalism, Anti-Semitism, and Fascism in France. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1998.

Frederick Busi, The Pope of Antisemitism [Drumont]. University Press of America, 1986.

Report: Popular expressions of antisemitism in 1890s (Michael Marrus, "Popular Anti-Semitism," from The Dreyfus Affair, ed. Norman Kleeblatt, pp. 50-62; Birnbaum)

9. Wednesday, March 10 – The Protocols, World Jewish Conspiracy, Henry Ford:

(NB: Paper Topic with Preliminary Bibliography and Tentative Outline to be Handed in at class).


Levi, pp. 147-65


Leo Ribuffo, "Henry Ford and the International Jew," American Jewish History 69 (1980): 437- 77.

Dinnerstein, p. 81-83, 102

Additional Bibliography

Norman Cohn, Warrant for Genocide: The Myth of the Jewish World-Conspiracy and the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. Chico, CA: Scholars Press, 1981.

Binjamin Segal, A Lie and a Libel: The History of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. Lincoln" University of Nebraska Press, 1995 (transl. of 1926 German work).

Neil Baldwin, Henry Ford and the Jews: The Mass Production of Hate. New York: PublicAffairs, 2001.

Report: Henry Ford: The International Jew (Boring, Oregon, , 1995); see above

10. Wednesday, March 24 – Antisemitism in America, guest: Prof. Ribuffo


Dinnerstein, pp. 58-149

Additional Bibliography:

Jeansonne, Glen, Gerald L. K. Smith: Minister of Hate. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1997.

Max Wallace, The American Axis,: Henry Ford, Charles Lindbergh and the Rise of the Third Reich. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2003.

Frederick J. Simonelli, American Fuehrer: George Lincoln Rockwell and the American Nazi Party, Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 1999

11. Wednesday, March 31 - Hitler and Nazism


Levi, pp. 203-223


Pulzer, pp. 285-323

Katz, pp. 303-17

Additional Bibliography:

Randall Bytwerk, Julius Streicher. New York: Stein and Day, 1983.

Dennis E. Showalter, Little Man, What Now? Der Stürmer in the Weimar Republic. Archon Books, 1982.

Report: Julius Streicher and Der Stürmer (Bytwerk)

12. Wednesday, April 7 [this is the second day of Pesach and the meeting will be rescheduled for some time later in the week] - Antisemitism in the Arab World


(check out at least two of the documents)


Lewis, Semites and Antisemites (entire book)

Report: an assessment of the MEMRI material in light of Lewis and the previous course readings

13. Wednesday, April 14: Discussion of contemporary issues, based on internet sites -- any student who has not already done a report will report on one of the following:

Neo-Nazi – (National Alliance)

Nation of Islam -

Christian Identity –

White Power - (Ku Klux Klan) – note Links

Miscellaneous - ,


Dinnerstein, pp. 197-227

14. Wednesday, April 21 and Wednesday April 28: Reports on Final Papers

[April 22: Conference on Passion Play]

Seminar Papers are Due on Friday, April 30, by 5:00 at 2142 G Street.


Requirements for the Course:

  1. Regular Attendance and Participation in Meetings (10%)
  2. Oral Report in class on one of topics indicated above, with one page of source material to be shared with class and brief annotated bibliography (ca. 20 minutes) (20%)
  3. Oral Report on current antisemitism based on internet site, April 14. (10%)
  4. Seminar Paper (approximately 20–25 pages), due Wednesday, April 28. (Statement of Proposed Paper Topic with Preliminary Bibliography and Tentative Outline, to be submitted by Wednesday, March 10. Students should meet with the instructor individually at least once to discuss progress on the topic.) – (60%)


Prof. Saperstein’s Office Hours are Wednesdays, 4-5:30 in and Thursdays, 3:30–5:00 in 2142 G. Street.

Students are encouraged to take advantage of this opportunity to discuss with the instructors any issues arising from the course. Other meeting times may be arranged by appointment.

In order to receive accommodations on the basis of disability, students with special needs must give notice and provide proper documentation to the Office of Disability Support Services, Marvin Center 436, 994-8250.