That Jews are evil is of course common knowledge. But when did they become such corrupted? According to modern non-religious motivated anti-Semitic lore. Not when people started to consider them evil, which is another matter. I put the question on a Stormfront’ish board but got no answer. Were the Jews scheming in their evil ways during the Babylonian Captivity? Were they evil when Alexander passed through? Were they evil when they rebelled against Rome? Or did they only become evil at a later time?
I think we need to start with a clarification:
Are you stating that Jews are actually evil and you want to know how they got that way, or are you asking how Jews came to be perceived as evil historically? Because those are two very different threads.
Why, when they killed Jesus, of course.
Hey, just playing along here.
ETA: oh, ‘non-religious-motivated’, sorry. Never mind.
When, according to modern non-religious motivated anti-Semitic lore, they became evil. But why, according to modern non-religious motivated anti-Semitic lore, they became evil is also an interesting question.
Read the op: “according to modern non-religious motivated anti-Semitic lore,”
Although Jews have had it bad throughout history, they really started to get it in the neck in Europe in the Middle Ages.
Consider the whole money-lending thing. From the Wikipedia entry on “usury”:
And of course if you got into debt (especially if you were a lord yourself), nothing solves that problem like stirring up some anti-Semitic fervor by spreading stories of Jews doing horrible things and voila! No more creditor! (Unsurprisingly, the 12th century also saw the rise of blood libel (actual blood libel, not the Sarah Palin version).)
There’s a whole list of gruesome stories here(sorry to mine Wikipedia so heavily but it’s convenient) but it’s just worth mentioning that in more recent times there’s the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, a persistent bit of rather nasty slander which borrows heavily from earlier works, many of which had nothing whatsover to do with the Jews.
The shorter version of all that is that Jews are convenient scapegoats - historically they’ve been a minority who have a strange religion, often look quite different and speak a different language, are a close-knit community that doesn’t invite in outsiders and don’t have any political clout (and accompanying military might). You could blame them for anything and they couldn’t do a damn thing about it.
Ok. But what I’m trying to understand is when in history (& why) according to the Nazi-types the Jews became evil. Not why Christian or Muslim have thought Jews to be evil, or when in actual history persecution started.
Who says that the racists’ view is that the Jews became evil?
Well, I’d think that those who hate Jews on a racial basis would say that Jews have always been evil because their genes have always been evil.
Exactly so. In their eyes, Jews are another race entirely, an evil sub-human race who are both bestial (indulging in cannibalism) and conniving (manipulating society behind the scenes). That these are two essentially contradictory viewpoints doesn’t seem to bother them.
Again: convenient scapegoats. Reason and facts have little to do with it.
I don’t have a cite here, just a vaguely-remembered third-hand claim.
To entice medieval knights to join the Crusades, Church authorities re-interpreted “Thou shat not kill” as “Thou shalt not kill fellow Christians.” This made the dreaded Saracens fair game for knightly bloodlust. But up north in Germany, it had the unintended consequence of making Jews fair game as well, and started a long tradition of overt antisemitism.
More recently, Germany was a smoldering ruin after WWI, and many of the well-to-do Germans of the time were Jews. Coupling this with an old tradition of pogroms, Hebrew perfidy was an easy scapegoat for Germany’s general misery.
Short answer: They’d been despised for nearly a millennium, but in the wake of World War I, it got a lot more personal.
I would trace ‘modern non-religious motivated anti-Semitic lore’ back to the advent of scientific racism which began in the late 1700’s with the classification of humanity into the ‘five races’ - and which we have been trying to discredit since WWII. I think the same process used to dehumanize Africans in the attempt to justify the slave trade was also applied to Jews. The whole concept of ‘sub-human’ originates from that period. I think the original motivations for classifying certain races as ‘evil’ always had (and still have) a religious side, but the works of Carl Linnaeus and Arthur Schopenhauer were used to hide that and give the bigots a ‘sound, rational foundation’ for their preconceptions. Unfortunately, given the state of the art of science at that time, it was considered sound and rational by many who were not religious bigots. It is only through modern genetics and evolutionary theory that the original presumptions have been disproved, yet far too many people (some of this board, but I generally avoid those threads) still believe in the old paradigm.
That’s my hypothesis anyway.
Non-religious (and anti-religious) people are as much products of their environment as religious people. People who grew up in a culture that had scorned Jews since the twelfth century, with incidents of anti-semitism going back to the second century, did not simply cast off their prejudices the moment they cast off their religious beliefs.
When looked at from the perspective of mainstream society, accusations of “clannishness,” even though based on error, would appear equally true to Nazis, atheistic socialists, and Christians. (That such people would choose to include non-observant Jews in their false accusations of clannishness would be simply the nature of xenophobia where, once someone is identified as “other,” all related accusations cling even though any individual may not be participating any any activity that was actually associated with the group.)
I don’t recall any Church re-interpretation of that commandment. (Given the rather bloody history of Europe prior to the Crusades, no actual excuses were needed.) Beyond that, the attacks on Jewish communities that accompanied the First Crusade were not really matters of knightly attacks on non-Christians, but spontaneous assaults by the footsoldiers and the townsmen as they passed through.
I could see the events of the First Crusade rendered as “Thou shalt not kill fellow Christians,” but the way it occurred was more along the lines of “we are going to kill non-Christians and here are some in our midst.” In fact, a number of bishops along the route actually made attempts to prevent the massacres.
A second motive for some of the massacres was probably nothing more than greed. Many Jewish communities were relatively wealthy and it was easier to murder and steal from someone who could be described as “other” (although the First Crusade, particularly, included quite a few events in which the Crusaders attacked or robbed their fellow Christians as they made their way toward Constantinople).
They became evil at the moment of the events recounted in Matthew 27: 24-25. (Before that, they were merely annoying.)
Perhaps he’s thinking of the infamous, “Caedite eos. Novit enim Dominus qui sunt eius,” from Arnau Amalric. a Cistercian monk involved in the sacking of Béziers.
The Church re-interpretation (and its consequences to German Jews) was mentioned in Terry Jones’s The Crusades. I’d need to watch it again to see if he was referring to knights or footsoldiers, though.
No, that was the Albigensian Crusade, against the Cathars in France. I’m thinking of Germans, Jews and the First Crusade.
It’s all the Khazars’ fault. Ok, in real life, the Khazars were this Turkish tribe in the Ukraine whose upper class converted to Judaism because they were bordering the Byzantine and Abbassid empires. Their logic was that they needed to convert to a monotheistic religion in order to be taken seriously by either empire, but if they converted to either Christianity or Islam, that would put them under the sway of a more powerful empire.
So in anti-Semite land, the Khazars then went on to become all the Ashkenazi Jews. So, that’s why modern Jews are evil and Jesus wasn’t. It’s because modern Jews are fake Jews.
I don’t think the attacks on the Jewish ghettos during the Crusades was due to a reinterpretation of doctrine so much as a logical extension of it. The justification given for the Crusades were “The holy places are in danger from the enemies of Christ”. So you had mobs who said, “Why go to Jerusalem to fight the enemies of Christ while we tolerate the enemies of Christ in our midst.”, the aforementioned enemies being the Jews.