Essay on Jews and Society: Social Anti-Semitism

Essay on Jews and Society: Social Anti-Semitism

Length: 980 words (2.8 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

In Hanna Arendt’s “Jews and Society”, she argues that the existence of anti-Semitism in Germany, prior to the rise of Hitler and after the defeat in World War I, was not solely the result of political pressure exerted by the Nazi party and its accomplices; but instead the result of a social construction of what it meant to be Jewish. This social anti-Semitism was present long before Hitler came into power and instituted his radical and merciless ideas about dealing with Jews in Europe. The difference between what Arendt saw as harmless social discrimination and the mass extermination of a cultural group was the involvement of politics in mediating these cultural biases. As a result of the division in Germany between Jews and non-Jew Germans, Arendt’s figures of the “Pariah and “Parvenu” were a reaction to the way of thinking that confused Jewish individualism with preconceived connotations. Although stereotypes are still present in every society, to Arendt they are harmless without political interference. Terror and unforeseen events occur when political discrimination, or political anti-Semitism in this case, interfere to achieve a defined goal. Nazi Germany is a prime example where “natural” combined with “political” anti-Semitism escalated the problem to the point where the Holocaust became possible.

Even before Hitler came into power in 1933, there was a tension in Germany that distinguished Germans and Jews disregarding their citizenship. There were perceived characteristics, both physically and mentally, that defined it meant to be Jewish. According to the Arendt, German society judged any Jew to have certain mannerism, thought, malice and behavior that were different, and to an extent inferior, to their own. Arendt ex...


... middle of paper ...


...s, beliefs and tendencies toward social structure. Personally, Arendt claims that this reality of being different than “real” Germans never “made [her] feel inferior, [and] that was just how it was”(PHA, 8). She explains that members in her family and to an extent Jews in general felt the same manner. However, an inferiority complex was developed among Jews, and especially in Arendt’s case as a result of being the “other”. This conclusion is based on the division that she makes within her “own” people by classifying them into two groups: Pariahs and Parvenus. Connecting to her expressed beliefs, she was also discriminating the Jews into another determined and preconceived group. This shows that not only were Nazis able to put stereotypes on Jews; they were also doing the same to themselves which was, according to Arendt, a natural consequence of society living.


Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Anti Semitism, A Hatred Of Jews Essay

- Anti-Semitism, a hatred of Jews, has been present for centuries in many places. However, the term ‘Anti-Semitism’ itself only came into use in the nineteenth century, and along with it came an ideology which fuelled this deep psychological hatred to develop into a political movement which culminated in Nazism. Throughout history, the reasons for Anti-Semitism have differed and in Imperial Germany, it was a combination of religious, racial and political factors which led to such hostility toward Jews....   [tags: Antisemitism, Jews, Judaism, Germany]

Better Essays
1763 words (5 pages)

Hitler and Anti-Semitism Analysis Essay

- Throughout the centuries, there has been a strong and persistent hatred towards Jews. The origins of this loathing have arose from factors such as religious beliefs, economic factors, nationalism, and beliefs about race and biology. One of the most prominent anti-sematic figures in history was Adolf Hitler, who had numerous reasons to detest the Jews. Hitler had a vision that Germany would one day have the perfect race; the Aryan race and that was Hitler’s primary focus. Hitler gained his anti-sematic views as a young man while he lived in the capitol city, Vienna....   [tags: hitler, anti semitism, jews]

Better Essays
857 words (2.4 pages)

How we got anti-Semitism and how it Lead to Hitler choosing the Jews Essay

- Anti- Semitism didn’t started when Hitler came to power. Anti- Semitism has lasted for more than 2,000 years (AntiSemitism: The Longest Hatred). Christians and Jews have fought for years because Christians think that Jews only think of themselves and do what betters them. Since anti-Semitism already exist it posed as an effortless target for Hitler. The most extreme case of Anti- Semitism is the Holocaust (Anti-Semitism). “Anti semitism exist not because of the Jew alone, nor because of his neighbors alone, but because of social conditions (Lazare).” Lazare said “Ignorant of the real cause of their sentiments, those who profess antisemitism, justify their opinion by accusations against the...   [tags: World history, hate, Hitler, Jews]

Better Essays
2043 words (5.8 pages)

Assimilation of Jews in the Interwar Period Essay

- During the interwar period of the twentieth century, Jewish immigrants and American born Jews faced increasing ant-Semitism and discrimination. The external pressure of anti-Semitism and discrimination led to many Jews facing internal anxieties and conflicts about being Jewish and fitting into American society. Assimilation during this period meant fitting into the white gentile majority’s standard of appearance, mannerisms, and middle class ideals. Common stereotypical images from the time depict Jews with large noses and curly hair, women were often portrayed as dominant over their Jewish husbands, and Jews were often seen as manipulative, controlling, and money grubbing....   [tags: discrimination, anti-semitism, conflicts, society]

Better Essays
1384 words (4 pages)

Anti-Semitism in the Modern World Essay

- Currently people know what anti-Semitism is and how it affected our history in events such as the Holocaust and Inquisition, but how many people know if anti-Semitism exists in the modern world. Even if people do know this, can they answer where and why. Why do people often avoid learning about other people’s cultures and beliefs. According to Merriam-Webster online dictionary anti-Semitism is, “Hostility toward or discrimination against Jews as a religious, ethnic, or racial group.” Anti-Semitism has existed in the world since the time of the ancient Roman Empire, and has been evident in events such as the Inquisition and Holocaust....   [tags: Jews, Jewish]

Better Essays
2020 words (5.8 pages)

Anti-Semitism and How it Led to Hitler Choosing the Jews Essay

- Anti- Semitism didn’t start when Hitler came to power. Anti- Semitism has lasted for more than 2,000 years (AntiSemitism: The Longest Hatred). Christians and Jews have fought for years because Christians think that Jews only think of themselves and do what betters them. Since anti-Semitism already exist it posed as an effortless target for Hitler. The most extreme case of Anti- Semitism is the Holocaust (Anti-Semitism). “Anti semitism exist not because of the Jew alone, nor because of his neighbors alone, but because of social conditions (Lazare).” Lazare said “Ignorant of the real cause of their sentiments...Charges racial, charges religious, charges political and economic, none of these...   [tags: Holocaust, German History]

Better Essays
1884 words (5.4 pages)

German Citizens and Jews Essay

- The German citizens helped create a devastating act against the Jews by becoming bystanders after being brainwashed into believing Jews were evil. Because of anti Semitism, Nazi Propaganda, and the rise of Hitler’s message, the citizens of Germany embraced the Nazi Regime believing the allegations against the “unwanted Jews;” therefore, they were bystanders to the Holocaust by yielding the party power to move forward and annihilate the Jews. The German citizens made Jews their scapegoat for their complications....   [tags: anti-semitism, Nazi propaganda]

Better Essays
1580 words (4.5 pages)

Anti Semitism Is A Serious Enough Problem Essay

- Jewish communities, regardless of denomination, are facing various questions in relation to society at large. Arguably, the most prominent of these questions, is a contemporary and fundamental issue: anti-Semitism. In the present day, Jewish marginalization is often ignored, meaning that individuals do not consider anti-Semitism as a serious enough problem. Media apathy is thriving in regards to this issue as the notion that anti-Semitism is over is one which is being absorbed. In order to overcome this, Jewish communities and individuals are attempting to reinforce positive virtues found in the Tanakh as a way to express their interest in human rights for society at large....   [tags: Judaism, Jews, The Holocaust, Antisemitism]

Better Essays
1194 words (3.4 pages)

Essay about The Butcher 's Tale : Murder And Anti Semitism

- Throughout The Butcher’s Tale: Murder and Anti-Semitism in a German Town, the murder of Ernst Winter in Konitz is very much a reflection of the overall attitudes of many Europeans during the early 20th century. It was clear that once the anti-Semitic attitudes started to become prominent in society, they spiraled out of control and started to take over entire communities. The Jewish people were blamed for crimes they did not commit, were excluded from society, and suffered from acts of violence and hate speech....   [tags: Antisemitism, Jews, Judaism, Persian Jews]

Better Essays
1026 words (2.9 pages)

The Role of Jews in American Politics Essay

- Since our country was established, immigrants from all over the world have come to America seeking a better life. As they progressively become more acquainted with the American life style they tend to become more involved in the daily interest of their new country. Specifically, Jews have been in the United States for centuries, but for a long time anti-Semitism and discrimination have made it very difficult for them to participate in politics. Jews have become a more active part of American politics due to Senator Lieberman’s candidacy for Vice President....   [tags: Jews in Politics, 2015]

Better Essays
1677 words (4.8 pages)