20th Century Antisemitism

In the 20th century, Europe had moved away from leadership defined by Christianity. Instead, the culture was defined by nationalist identity and sentiment. With this change, a new set of stereotypes against Jews arose. Jews were living in places and working in jobs where they had never been allowed before. As a result, non-Jews felt that they were being replaced. At the same time, a stereotype arose that Jews controlled the media, finances, and politics. This was because of the centuries they had spent confined to working in these professions.

With the boom of tech and scientific knowledge, some thought leaders applied new ideas in a racist way. The theory of “Social Darwinism” said that humanity was not one species. Instead, it said, the population was made of different “races” that struggled against one another for survival. The white race was considered superior to all others. Jews did not count as “white,” or even as a religious group, but as their own “race”. This meant that regardless of conversion, lifestyle, or observance, Jewish traits were in the blood and could not be changed.

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