History, Imagination, Exile
Edited By Paul Lerner and Frank Stern
9 „Umwerthung aller Werthe“? Heinrich Mann, Das Zwanzigste Jahrhundert und das Judentum (Michaela Enderle-Ristori)
9 „Umwerthung aller Werthe“? Heinrich Mann, Das Zwanzigste Jahrhundert und das Judentum
Heinrich Mann’s writings from the period of his political exile are landmarks of German political journalism and preeminent credentials for his anti-Nazi stances. Yet at the same time they contain alterations and critical revisions of the positions the author represented in his youth. Indeed, Heinrich Mann’s early journalistic works (like his early literary endeavors) were clearly influenced by nationalist-conservative thought, at the basis of which lay an antisemitic disposition. His contributions to the völkisch-nationalistic newspaper Das Zwanzigste Jahrhundert [The Twentieth Century], for which he served as editor from 1895 to 1896, remain a controversial research subject. Now, with the publication of volume 1 (May 1889-August 1904) of the Kritische Gesamtausgabe der Essays und Publizistik [Critical Editions of the Essays and Journalistic Writings], the texts are finally available in complete form and permit an overall appraisal of this early journalistic writing. They yield the view that his anti-semitism should not only be understood as part of an anti-modern discourse but that at the core of Heinrich Mann’s rhetoric stand dichotomous conceptions (“German” vs. “Jew,” “national” vs. “international”) which fed into discourses that excluded and stigmatized the Jews. As Mann subsequently undertook a revision of his system of cultural values between 1896 and 1903, his engagement with the late Nietzsche and Nietzsche’s concept of reevaluating all values played a central role. Henceforth, for Mann “Jewish” and “international” took on positive...
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