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English and German Nationalist and Anti-Semitic Discourse, 1871-1945


Edited By Geraldine Horan, Felicity Rash and Daniel Wildman

This volume contains selected papers from an international conference of the same name held at Queen Mary, University of London, on 10-11 November 2010. The contributions from scholars working in the fields of modern political and cultural history, political science, modern European literature and linguistics provide interdisciplinary perspectives on nationalism and anti-Semitism in English- and German- language contexts from the beginning of the German Second Reich (1871) to the end of World War II (1945). Some articles examine critically theoretical constructs used to justify and defend anti-Semitism in Germany, focusing on the realms of science, music, the press and film. Others discuss the role of anti-Semitism in constructing völkisch-nationalist notions of ‘German’ identity, as well as discourses of German colonialism. As a counterpart to German perspectives, several articles chart contemporary British reactions to German anti-Semitism and radical nationalism.


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Ulrich Charpa Anti-Semitism as Mental Mechanism: A Model Suggested by Some Similarities


between Nineteenth-Century Anti-Semitisms in Music and Science1 Preliminaries In 1781 William (Wilhelm Friedrich) Herschel discovered Uranus and became one of the most famous scientists of his time. A year later he left his post as organist of a Bath chapel. By this step Herschel ended his pro- fessional life as musician, which had included the composition of eight- een symphonies, countless sonatas, concerti, etc., of which some are still performed today.2 Herschel’s family background was Jewish, but he never considered this an issue. By 1863, when Helmholtz, the leading figure of German nineteenth-century science, wrote about scientific aspects of music, the situation had dramatically changed: anti-Semitism had become ram- pant. As for music and science, Helmholtz was troubled by the fact that ‘der naturwissenschaftliche […und] der künstlerische Gesichtskreis’ [the horizons 1 This article is part of the project: Jews in German-speaking Academia (Leo Baeck Institute, London, in cooperation with U. Deichmann, Leo Baeck Institute and Ben Gurion University, Beer Sheva, and A. S. Travis, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem). Apart from this it has been inspired by discussions with A. von Massow (Musikhochschule Franz Liszt, Weimar) and his doctoral candidate M. Kleinschmidt, whose dissertation thesis: ‘Der hebräische Kunstgeschmack’. Das Authentizitätsproblem in der deutsch-jüdischen Musikgeschichte, is forthcoming (Köln: Böhlau, 2013). 2 Cf. C. L. Cudworth, ‘Herschel, (Sir) William (Wilhelm Friedrich)’, in F. Blume (ed.), Musik in Geschichte und Gegenwart, vol. 6 (Kassel: Bärenreiter, 1986), 280–284. 22 Ulrich Charpa of physics, philosophy and...

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