Edited By Geraldine Horan, Felicity Rash and Daniel Wildman
Simone Borgstede Dr Ernst Henrici: Just a ‘well-known arsonist’ of the German Kaiserreich
Simone beate Borgstede Dr Ernst Henrici: Just a ‘well-known arsonist’1 of the German Kaiserreich or Foreman in the Production of an Aryan ‘Volksgemeinschaft’? Though it is widely recognized that the incendiary speeches of the German anti-Semite Dr Ernst Henrici led to the burning of the synagogue in Neu- Stettin in 1881, Henrici’s anti-Semitism has not received much attention except for Gerd Hof fmann’s account of it.2 Henrici was not, however, only an aggressive racial anti-Semite, but also a nationalist with a social vision based on colonial expansion and exploitation. In this paper I argue that Henrici’s anti-Semitism was part of a social vision based on his idea of the superiority of his gender, his class, culture, nation and race. He pleaded for social justice for the working classes and their inclusion as part of the nation, while demanding the exclusion of the ‘unproductive’ and ‘exploita- tive’ Jews, and the extension of the German Reich through the coloniza- tion of Africa. 1 Thanks to the editors for all their helpful suggestions. All translations are by the author. Henrici in a letter to Wilhelm Marr, 14 March 1881 (Staatsarchiv Hamburg. Nachlass Wilhelm Marr – A99) quoted in G. Hof fmann, Der Prozeß um den Brand der Synagoge in Neustettin. Antisemitismus in Deutschland ausgangs des 19. Jahrhunderts (Schif ferstadt: Gerd Hof fmann Verlag, 1998), 28. 2 See Hof fmann, Der Prozeß um den Brand der Synagoge in Neustettin. I draw here on his biography of Henrici, 7–47 and 247–271. For Henrici as...
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