Die Welle als Muster. Sechs Thesen zur anhaltenden Bedeutung der „antisemitischen Welle“ 1959/1960
On Christmas eve of 1959, the newly consecrated synagogue of
Cologne was daubed with antisemitic slogans and swastikas. While
this act was strongly denounced throughout the political spectrum, it
triggered a wave of anti-Semitic incidents in Germany and beyond
during the beginning of the following year. The article argues that
the sociopolitical discussions on anti-Semitism conducted 60 years
ago established patterns of debate that still shape present discussions.
Fundamental contradictions of post-fascist society become visible
within these patterns of debate. We outline six aspects: the contradiction
between the legacy of National Socialism on the one hand and
the acknowledgment of Jewish life within Germany on the other; the authoritarian handling of expressions of anti-Semitism; the inferiorization of the perpetrators; the pedagogization of societal contradictions; the dethematization of anti-Semitism; and protest against anti-Semitism as a medium for the critique of society.
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