ANTI-SEMITISM AND CHURCH

 

 

EUROPEAN ANTI-SEMITISM

 

AND THE INFLUENCE OF THE CHURCH

 

Two millennia of anti-Semitism

 

By Didier Bertin

 

December 29, 2013

 

 

I- INTRODUCTION

 

The European Judaism known as anti-Semitism or anti-Zionism according eras has formed the European spirit over the last two thousand years. The almost total disappearance of the Jewish people in Europe over recent years was not enough to extinguish it as its roots were deeply rooted by the Church in the heart of the European feelings, intellect and imagination. What we call the Church is the Roman Catholic Church which has long reigned alone on Christianity and still remains major and influential.

 

Europeans (Romans) expelled the Jewish people from their land and other Europeans, two thousand years later, have wished to give him back his land when they realized that as hosts, they were only able to impose to Jewish people a constant martyrdom. This desire became only a reality when Europeans reached the highest level of barbarism by making or letting happen or remaining neutral the largest genocide in their History of the people accused of deicide by the Church.  This hatred continues today because it is not so easy to cure two thousand years of poisoning.

 

Anti-Semitism still feed extremist movements that have only changed sometimes their appearance and even European governments working to obfuscate the Holocaust.

 

The Church after alleged efforts to adapt to the modern world with Vatican II refused to question its doctrine, which is the key of its mistakes and finally goes back to his faults. This stubbornness of the church will probably involve its end but not that of anti-Semitism it has inspired.

 

 

II-THE CHURCH AND THE ORIGIN OF ANTISEMITISM

 

The Jewish people made ​​vulnerable

 

The Roman Empire has created fertile ground for the development of anti-Semitism in expelling the Jewish people out of Judea. Roman atrocities against the Jews in Judea could be considered as the first European anti-Semitic acts. In Judea under Roman domination, repression of the Jews was organized by Vespasian and Titus after leading an uprising in AD 70 with the destruction of the Temple of Jerusalem and the fall of Matsada in AD 73. After Bar Kokhba's revolt in 135 Hadrian banished the Jews from Jerusalem and took steps of de-jewification of Judea.

 

 

The Christian religion instrument of anti-Judaism

 

Christianity sourced partially from Judaism has focused since its inception then with its various councils, to flee and hate its roots.

 

Thus the Church has chosen to move away from monotheism to be closer of those it wanted to convert and developed the idea of a God partially anthropomorphic in order to avoid the puzzling intangible.

 

This anthropomorphism made the idea of ​​killing an eternal God easily acceptable for the simple believers in using a simple tautology:

 

The Jews have killed a man, but that man was God so the Jews have killed God. Attention was more drawn to the murder of God than on his alleged voluntary choice of a redemptive sacrifice, which is yet the corner stone of Christianity, in putting aside the responsibility of Rome.

 

The Church was then able to break its roots definitively stating that the Jewish people as a whole was deicide and that the Church was itself the new people of God. Judas was shown as traitor and his name refers advantageously for Christians, to Judaism and Judea. Thus all the conditions were present to create a Christianity whose existential corollary was the anti-Judaism.

 

The concept of the murder of God established by the Church is nevertheless theologically heretical since it questions his eternity and the given explanations are empty o meaning. These contradictions of the Church about the nature of Christ led the Roman Emperor Constantine aware of them, to organize the First Council of Nicaea in 325. The Council worsened the situation by deciding that Jesus was both God and his son and that another third person (hypostasis) would be associated with them: the Holy Spirit separated but consubstantial forming the Trinity.

 

The trinity formed of three persons even consubstantial made ​​Christianity a tritheism and the word consubstantial is only a semantic game that the Church will then became used to utilize. Tritheism is an abandonment of monotheism, a total divorce from Judaism and a great return back to paganism. In addition, the second Council of Nicaea in 787, authorized despite many doubts in the past, the worship of icons. Anthropomorphic representation in the Church was strengthened by the new worship of the Mother of God "Mary, ever Virgin" declared free of "original sin" by the Pope in 1857.

 

The worship of the Virgin Mary is called "hyperdulia" in order not to be confused with the worship of God but this is still a time and a semantic boundary since in reality the virgin enjoys a worship from those who prefer her to the father and son; Christianity provides opportunities "a la carte" that allow according the intellectual level of believers to limit to Mary or her son and for those able to approach the intangible without dizziness the father or the Holy Spirit for the pneumatologists  with the reassuring safety net of son and mother; the study of the Holy Spirit is called "pneumatology."

 

"The Church therefore touts words to defend the indefensible."

 

The Council of Trent in 1542 upheld the disputed aspects of the Church by the Reformation and strengthened even more if possible, the divorce with monotheism by the cult of the saints and the "transubstantiation."

 

The transubstantiation is the culmination of the Catholic liturgy that others might call magic. During the Mass the priest celebrated the sacrifice of the Eucharist "actual", i.e. in reality , giving himself to Christ to be " alter Christus " in order to perform the sacrament of the gift of Jesus to his body materialized by the bread and blood materialized by the wine. The Eucharist reproduces the Last Supper of Christ in the Passover (wine and matzah) in the presence of the apostles but the Passover ceremony is restricted to symbols and memories.

 

Transubstantiation means that the bread and wine are transformed into true body and blood of Christ by the "configured" ministry of the priest. By communion, believers therefore ingest the blood (wine) and the body of Christ (bread) and therefore perform an act of theophagy according to their beliefs.

 

Naivety of the believers is thus exploited and the Church demonstrates a total lack of humility by claiming that priests are capable to act as God as "alter Chritus." Still today the Church utilizes exorcist priests whose function was created in the Middle Ages. John Paul II would have made three exorcisms during his pontificate.

 

The interest of such details on the Church gives an idea of the huge distance between the Church and the modern world and its Jewish roots; this distance was enlarged over time by councils and helps to understand how much the two religions are totally opposed and why the Church  inspired anti-Judaism and then anti-Semitism.

 

Jews were killed because they were accused of having broken a host (bread) attempting probably to kill God once again and witnesses even saw blood flowing from the broken host. Jews were even accused of using the blood of Christians to make matzah for Passover. In 1903, 49 Jews were killed for this reason in Kishinev (Russia).

 

 

Decorum

 

Representations of Jesus and Mary override the presence of God in the churches which prefer anthropomorphism to the intangible. The representation of a man tortured and murdered on a cross feeds the feeling of revenge and hatred towards the so called deicide people.

 

 

The thirst for power of the Church and its conqueror spirit

 

With its doctrine facilitating conversions, the Church was able to expand dand became a temporal power. In 313 and 380, the doctrine of the Church was imposed as the sole religion throughout the Roman Empire. The Church followed in the footsteps of the Roman Empire and adopted its organization and language; the dioceses were created on the basis of the Roman provinces governed by the bishops under the authority of the Patriarch of Rome and also Pope. After the fall of Rome in 476, the church exercised a vast campaign of conversion of the barbarians. The conversion of Clovis and of the Franks in 496 was a brilliant start followed by the Visigoths, Anglo -Saxons, Germans, Slavic people, Celts, Vikings ... The Church was able to continue the exercise of a temporal authority by controlling the new Christian kings.

 

The European mind has been influenced for the intellect by a theology aiming to multiply the followers and for the feelings by representations and liturgy combining pain, death and holiness.

 

 

The Crusades and life in the middle Ages

 

 The Crusades (1095-1291) were launched to conquer the Holy Land at the request of several popes. The Crusader spirit appeared and with it the good Christian became the Christian knight. The Crusades led to an increase in massacres, expulsions of Jews who fled to escape the forced baptism or death.

 

 The living conditions of Jews worsened in the middle Ages because of slander spread by the Church such as:

 

• The Jews poison the wells and spread the plague

 

• The Jews conspire against the Church

 

• The Jews murder Christian children during the Passover and this belief remained alive until the early twentieth century.

 

 

 Restriction of activities

 

 Activities Jews were often restricted to loan money deemed unfit for Christians and because it allowed easier seizure of their goods and receivables.

 

For example in 1182 the French king Philippe Auguste seized all Jewish properties and expelled them from France. They were authorized to come back later without recovering their goods.

 

 

Segregation

 

In 1215 during the 4th Lateran Council, Pope Innocent III decided to force the Jews to be visibly distinguished from Christians. Jews were forced to wear a round piece of yellow cloth round "the rouelle" and after the Council of Vienna in 1267 a pointy hat. In France the king Louis IX, i.e. Saint Louis after his canonization, forced the Jews to wear a yellow symbol on the chest and also in the back.

 

The yellow color represents the betrayal of Judas and the round that of the coins that he might have received in payment thereof. Jews were confined to particular neighborhoods; in 1516, the area of ​​Venice where Jews were confined was called "ghetto" and this name became common.

 

 

Massacres and expulsions

 

Among the many massacres and expulsions of Jews, we may note for example the following in France and Germany:

 

In 1289, Charles of Anjou (France), brother of Louis IX and also crusader, expelled the Jews from the French provinces of Maine and Anjou.

 

In 1298 major massacres of Jews took place in Rintfleisch in the German province of Franconia.

 

On September 17, 1394, Charles VI expelled again all Jews from France.

 

  

 

RECONQUISTA

 

Spain and Portugal together called "Al Andalus" formed a Muslim territory conquered from 711 to 732. In 1063 Pope Alexander II asked the Crusaders to reconquer theses territories by promising "indulgences" for volunteers. An indulgence is a letter signed by the Pope to facilitate access of the beneficiary in paradise.

 

The Reconquista was completed on January 2, 1492 when the Muslim kingdom of Granada surrendered. After the conquest of Granada, a decree expelling all unconverted Jews of Spain was enacted on March 31, 1492. Approximately 120,000 people were expelled. With the advance of the Reconquista, the Jews were locked in "Aljamas." Jews who did not want to flee had to convert to Christianity and were called Marranos which means "pig" in Spanish (" Marrano"), while the Muslims were called Moriscos.

 

Marranos and Moriscos were accused of secretly practicing their original religion and a new law was applied called "Liempieza de Sangre" or "purity of blood". The law of purity of blood announced the future racist rules of the nineteenth and twentieth century. For example none was authorized to be a public servant if he was not able to prove his Christian descent for at least five generations. From 1483 to 1498, the increasing violence of the Church through the Inquisition forced most Marranos to flee.

 

 

VATICAN II: MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING

 

Vatican II is the second Vatican ecumenical Council opened on October 11, 1962 by John XXIII and closed on December 8, 1965 by Paul VI because of the death of John XXIII on June 3, 1963.

 

Major reforms were expected of this council which should have marked the opening of the Church to the modern world, its renovation and restoration of Christian unity.

 

The Church was under the monarchical authority of the Pope, the bishops being only his representatives, so it was decided that the bishops were not only "vicars" of the Roman Pontiff but have their own power. Paul VI created a synod of bishops in order to listen to them more often than before but in fact the Pope kept intact his dominant central authority.

 

The only significant decisions were the celebration of the Mass in the vernacular languages and the statement Nostra Aetate that says inter alia:

 

"Even though the Jewish authorities with their supporters pressed for the death of Christ, what was committed cannot be attributed without distinction to all the Jews then living, or against the Jews of our time. While the Church is the new people of God, the Jews should not, however, be presented as rejected by God or accursed ... the Church inspired by the religious charity of the Gospel, decries hatred , persecutions which were directed against the Jews and the demonstrations of anti-Semitism , whatever their era and their authors,. "

 

The Church does not completely abandon the prosecution of the Jews while the power was held by the Romans and the death of Christ sentenced by Pontius Pilate. The Church does not call into question the theological and liturgical aspects that have shaped the spirit of the anti-Jewish hatred and took this opportunity to proclaim itself still the "New People of God." In 1965 the Church condemns the persecution of the Jews in the sole name of charity without questioning its own nature. 

 

In his opening speech of the council John XXIII had specified that the doctrine of the Church is immutable and must be faithfully observed, the task of the council being to present it "in a way that meets the requirements of our time." It is therefore once again for the Church to play with the form without questioning its content. Without changing the doctrine there cannot be progress in reality and consequently the anti-Judaism of the Church cannot end either.

 

It was planned to reduce the excessive worship of the Virgin Mary that shocked the Protestants, but the council could not reach this target and instead stated that the place of the Virgin Mary was with the Church. It is also indicated that the restoration of unity among all Christians was one of the main goals of Vatican II, but the only progress in this direction was the removal of the reciprocal excommunications by the Pope and the Patriarch of Constantinople.

 

On August 6, 2000, Cardinal Ratzinger (later Pope Benedict XVI) said with the approval of Pope John Paul II, that in the eyes of its Magisterium, the Catholic Church is "the sole Church of Christ" and that the churches of the Reform" are not Churches in the proper sense of the word . "We thus see that for the Catholic Church, ecumenism and tolerance are empty words.

 

John Paul II also attempted in 1988 an approach of the fanatical movement Lefebvrist whose actions ultimately had provoked excommunications and tried again to approach this movement at the end of his pontificate. Marcel Lefebvre, the founder of this movement was a supporter of Charles Maurras (notorious anti-Semite) and an opponent of all the reforms of Vatican II. 

 

In December 2005 Benedict XVI opposed to the vision of Vatican II as a break with tradition. He revalued in 2007 the Tridentate Mass or the pre-Vatican II Mass so again to move closer of the Lefebvrist fanatics. In 2009 he even cancelled the excommunications of the Lefebvrist Bishops which marked a net backward of the Church.

 

We see that in reality that is far from the nice rhetoric of John Paul II or Pope Francis, a one step back of the Church as compared to the very small progresses made in Vatican II and its inability to question its doctrine that will lead inevitably to its disappearance as a result of world progress in the field of education.

 

 

 

III- LIVING CONDITIONS OF JEWS IN THE MAJOR CHRISTIAN COUNTRIES

 

 

RUSSIAN EMPIRE AND POLAND

 

Jewish populations were present in Poland before and during the Crusades, but the king Casimir III the Great encouraged them to come during his reign from 1333 to 1370. Poland welcomed the Jews from 1333 to 1572 and was a refuge of those who were expelled from Western Europe. Poland became the only European haven for Jews and was called "Paradisus Judaeorum." With moments more or less favorable, Poland remained a center where Jews were welcomed by many dynasties until 1572 as compared to their fate in western countries but the polish people did not always share the view of their rulers. The fate of Polish Jews changed forever with the massacres instigated by the Cossacks led by Bohdan Khmelnitsky and subsequently by the conflict between Swedish and Polish during which they were accused of treason by both sides. 

 

The fate of Polish Jews became similar to that of those of Russia when a large part of Poland and Lithuania came under the control of the Russian Empire in 1793 and 1795. The Russian Empire controlling Poland and Lithuania inherited the largest European Jewish population. In 1897 (census date), "5.2 million" Jews lived in the Russian Empire or under its control.

 

From 1791 Russian Jews were forced to live in the restricted areas of the          "Pale." These areas consisted primarily of a portion of the coast of the Baltic and the Black Sea (Odessa), Belarus, Ukraine and the Caucasus. Jews were kept out of the territory of Holy Russia; they were not allowed to own land and to move freely. In 1897, 93 % of Russia's Jewish population lived within the boundaries of the Pale.

 

The fate of the Jews of Russia and Poland depended on the need of them with restrictions related to the idea of ​​deicide people built by the church.

 

The reign of Alexander II (1855-1881)

 

Alexander II (1818-1881) was the Tsar of Russia from March 3, 1855 and also King of Poland and Grand Duke of Finland; he was the liberator of the serfs in 1861. Gradually, Alexander II relaxes the constraints of Jewish life; Jews were allowed to own land and property and to travel freely throughout Russia. Jews began to integrate Russian society but unfortunately Alexander II was assassinated in 1881.

 

The reign of Alexander III (1881-1894)

 

Although he was the son of Alexander II, Alexander III (1845-1894) applied a policy in opposition to that of his father and plunged Russia into the darkness during his reign from 1881 to 1894. Alexander III was anti-Jewish. Jews were accused by the Russian government of having murdered Alexander II, their own benefactor. This was the beginning of large-scale massacres of Jews and destruction of their properties. These massacres were called "POGROMS" and took place in 166 cities. "POGROM" consists of the words "PO" which means "completely" and "GROMMET" which means "destroy."In the single year 1881 and 1882 a hundred pogroms took place, the worst in Elizabethgrad, Kiev, Odessa, Warsaw and Balta. In 1882, an English newspaper used the word "Pogrom" for the first time outside of Russia.

 

Authorities, representatives of the Church and the agents of the secret police of the Tsar called "Okhrana Otdeleniye" (Security Section) or more briefly "Okhrana," led the mob to commit abuses against the Jews. Jews were sometimes kept in places smaller than the Pale, were banished from rural areas and their access to education was limited. In 1886 the Jews were expelled from Kiev and in 1891 from Moscow in and then from St. Petersburg and Kharkov.

 

Alexander III often said: "The Jews have crucified our Master and have shed his precious blood." Russian policy towards Jews was then called policy of the three thirds: one third to convert, one third to expel and one third to kill.

 

The "Okhrana" wrote: "The Protocols of the Elders of Zion" in 1901 in which twenty-four members of a Jewish international secret and imaginary government explained in twenty four chapters their plan for world domination. This book of the Okhrana was of course fueling anti-Semitism. In 1924, Hitler wrote in "Mein Kampf ": "The Protocols of the Elders of Zion showed how the whole existence of this people was based on the permanent lie, the "Frankfurter Zeitung" tried to persuade the world that this book was not authentic. This book clearly states what many Jews may do unconsciously. "

 

A wave of deadly pogroms took place from 1903 to 1906, the most important were those of Kishinev in Bessarabia and Odessa; they increased after the failure of the Russian Revolution of 1905. From 1881 to 1914, many Jews fled pogroms and about two million of them immigrated to America. In 1917, the number of Jewish orphans amounted to more than 300,000 children.

 

 

SPECIAL CASE OF THE USSR

 

The USSR promoted atheism and the Russian Revolution of 1917 gave the Jews the same rights as those of other Soviet citizens, which did not exempt them of the serious problems, suffered all Soviet citizens.

 

White Russian armies of Tsarist Generals Denikin and Kolchak massacred 60,000 Jews in Ukraine in 1917. From 1917 to 1920, more than 1,000 pogroms were perpetrated by opponents of the Revolution, during which 30,000 people died. Jewish workers Unions "Bund" and "Poale Zion" joined the revolutionary movement.

 

Jews were recognized as a nation and not as a religion, and received from Stalin in 1928 a small Oblast on the Chinese border: Birobidzhan, which became an autonomous Jewish region in 1934; this was a failure due to the lack of cultural ties with this place and its remoteness with traditionally regions inhabited by Jews.

 

However, the USSR alone knew to defeat Nazi Germany and put an end to the extermination of Jews in Europe. In 2012 Israel launched a monument in memory of the victory of the Red Army over Nazi Germany whose commentary is as follows: " The State of Israel and the Jewish people owe a debt of gratitude to the Russian people, the peoples of the former Soviet Union and the Red Army fighters whose sacrifice and heroism led to victory over Nazi Germany during World War II and to the end of the Holocaust of the Jewish people ..."

 

The USSR supported Israel's independence in 1947 hoping probably its alliance with the socialist bloc. In 1947 , Andrei Gromiko , Minister of Foreign Affairs of the USSR accused " rightly " in his speech at the UN, the Western world to have been unable to ensure the safety of Jews. Czechoslovakia provided weapons to Israel until 1949, while the United States organized an embargo.

 

Jews, like other Soviet citizens were not spared by the paranoid madness of the Dictator Stalin

 

Stalin wanted to exercise a totalitarian power and suspected many people and groups of wanting to overthrow him and among others the Jews. He shot many Jewish intellectuals and political leaders. In 1951 he shot prominent Jewish political leaders of Czechoslovakia suspected of conspiracy. In 1952 he suspected the Jewish doctors to threat the life of leaders of the USSR. His death ended his paranoia on March 5, 1953.

 

 

UNITED KINGDOM

 

In 1905, Prime Minister Lord Arthur Balfour passed the "Alien Act" in order to prevent the Jews from Russia and Poland who wanted to escape the worst pogroms, to come in the UK. It seemed that for the United Kingdom, the solution to the persecution of European Jews had to be found outside Europe. We might thus think that the meaning of the statement of Lord Arthur Balfour, then Foreign Secretary in the government of David Lloyd George, of November 2, 1917 on the establishment of a Jewish homeland in Palestine, is partly the expression of such a wish (illustrated by the 1905 Act), and of a geopolitical calculation as much as the result of efforts of Chaïm Weizmann.

 

The fact that many Jews joined the Russian revolutionary movement that opposed among other pogroms was unacceptable to the British government. In 1917, the "London Times" wrote that Lenin and his followers had the German- Jewish blood and worked for the Germans. The UK was mandated to achieve the partition of Palestine including a Jewish homeland, in 1920; the wording of the mandate was approved by the League of Nations in 1922 and started in 1923. The creation of a Jewish homeland in Palestine gradually opposed to the interests of the British who had designed a new geopolitical strategy including among others the oil. The United Kingdom failed in its mission after 24 years of administration of Palestine and its partition was decided in 1947 by the UNO.

 

 

GERMANY

 

With the nineteenth and twentieth century the world opened for Sciences and it became necessary to give the Christian anti-Judaism the aspect of the pseudo-scientific new racist theories and renamed it as "anti-Semitism." Religious hatred was reinforced by its racist expression. Thus the alleged crimes that Jews had committed for religious reasons would have come on top from their assumed race and thus their defects became incorrigible. The target of this policy is utterly predictable since the word Semite applies only to Jews and to no other population. The word "anti-Semitic" was used for the first time in 1879 by the German pastor and theologian Adolf Stöcker (1835-1909) which attracted many Protestants to its anti-Jewish ideas.

 

In 1880, the anti-Semitic books "Noch einige Bemerkungen zur Judenfrage" by Heinrich von Treitschke Gotthard and "Die Frage der als Judenfrage Racenschaedlichkeit" by Eugen Dühring became "Best Sellers" in showing that the problems caused by the Jews may be explained by their race. Moreover, the traditional medieval Christian anti-Jewish belief in "the ritual murders of Christian children by Jews " continued and culminated with the outrageous court cases of Xanten in 1892 and Könitz in 1900.

 

Hitler adopted the racist and antisemitic theories as a key element of his Pan-German program and found in the doctrine of the Church a good support for his own conscience, as indicated at the end of the second chapter of "Mein Kampf": "Years of study and suffering in Vienna: Nature takes revenge when we transgress his commandments; so I think to act in the spirit of the Almighty, our creator, because in defending myself against the Jew , I am fighting to protect the work of the Lord."

 

In September 1939, Germany invaded Poland and France and the United Kingdom did not intervene "in acts" and did not comply with their commitments as they already did for Czechoslovakia in 1938. The USSR was not authorized to protect the Czechoslovak Sudetenland because of the Polish veto and the unwillingness of France and the United Kingdom.

 

Poland was reconstituted in 1918 and previously obtained extensive territories controlled by Prussia, Austria- Hungary and Russia which were extended in 1922 after the war against the USSR. The independence of Poland began with major Pogroms condemned only by English and American parliaments. As a result of these territorial reorganizations, Poland gathered in 1939 the largest European Jewish population (3.3 million people), out of which 61% under German control in 1939 and all of them in 1941. In controlling the east of Poland following the German invasion, the Red Army enabled many Polish Jews to flee to Russia and escaped the Holocaust.

 

 

 

FRANCE

 

 

The Revolution

 

In 1789, about 50,000 Jews lived in France from which 25 000 in Alsace where many anti-Jewish riots took place. With the Revolution all Jews became French citizens in 1790 and 1792. Napoleon emancipated the Jews status in all European countries he conquered.

 

After the fall of the Empire in 1815, the Austrian Chancellor Metternich convinced the Europeans countries to cancel the emancipation of the Jewish status based on the French revolutionary ideas propagated by Napoleon. The Netherlands and France were the only countries which maintained the rights granted to the Jews.

 

 

Anti-Semitic France

 

The newspaper "La Croix"(the cross) created in 1883 by the Christian priests of the Assumption indicated from 1889 under its title to be the most anti-Jewish newspaper of France. In 1886, the publication of the book: "Jewish France" by the far-rightist Édouard Drumont was a success. Édouard Drumont introduced in France the German term "anti-Semitism." In his  book the Christian anti-Judaism is amplified by the anti-Semitic vision as this can be seen from the following excerpt: "The Jews have the famous curved nose, eyes blinking , clenched teeth , protruding ears, square nails, a too long torso, round knees, very prominent ankles and the soft and smooth hand of the hypocrite and traitor. They often have an arm shorter than the other. "

 

Christian anti-Judaism has always contained anti-Semitism by the hideous depictions of Jews in the illustrations that it spread. Finally the difference was that the Church did not pretend to have built a racist theory but has comparable results through its doctrine and its depictions. Christian anti-Judaism has generated the anti-Semitism and in practice the difference is impalpable.

 

National League Semitic France, a far right organization was created in 1889. Antisemitic newspaper "La Libre Parole" (free word) was created in 1892 by Édouard Drumont.

 

 

 The Dreyfus Affair: 1894 - 1906

 

Alfred Dreyfus, a Jewish captain in the French army born in Alsace (under German occupation), was sentenced to life prison in 1894 for spying for Germany on the basis of forged documents. The fact that he was a Jew from Alsace made ​​him the perfect villain for the traditionally Christian and anti-Jewish French military authorities. On January 13, 1898 Émile Zola published in the newspaper "L'Aurore" his famous denunciation as an open letter to the President of the French Republic and starting with "J'accuse..." (I accuse). The right wing and the Church declared that the Dreyfus affair was a conspiracy of Jews and Freemasons against France and the French army. The French politician Maurice Barres made ​​the following statement: "I believe that Dreyfus is capable of betraying, I deduct it from his race." In 1899, the author of forgeries, Colonel Henry was identified and committed suicide and the real spy Major Walin Esterhazy fled to London. It was not until 1906 that the Court of Cassation declared Dreyfus innocent. The Dreyfus Affair showed that on the eve of the twentieth century that anti-Semitism was deeply rooted even in the country of Human Rights and that the Jews could not hope to truly live safely in Europe. This was the starting point for the organization of modern Zionism by Theodor Herzl who followed the Dreyfus affair in Paris as a journalist.

 

 

1939-1945

 

In 1939, the French government closed the borders to prevent German Jews fleeing the Nazi regime. In 1940, after its defeat, France was divided into two parts in a first step: one part under German occupation and another free but both under the authority of Marshal Pétain a close ally of Germany. Marshal Petain an anti-Jewish Christian decided personally to implement anti-Jewish laws in October 1940 restricting the professional activities of Jews.

 

On July 10, 1940, the Republic, through its parliament, had put up a dictatorship in granting full powers to Marshal Petain, who enjoyed immense popular support and was also widely supported by the Church. On November 19, 1940, Cardinal Gerlier (Archbishop of Lyon and Primas Gallorum from 1937 to 1965) said "... Pétain is France and France ... is Petain. "In 1941, the assembly of cardinals and archbishops of France gave Petain their strong support.

 

In March 1941 Pétain created a special authority for Jewish Affairs in charge of their census, theft of their property and anti-Semitic French propaganda. From March 1941, the French police began arresting Jews for deportation. In November 1942, France was entirely occupied by German troops and police chief of Pétain, René Bousquet was responsible for the arrest of Jews throughout the territory.

 

 

1967-1989

 

In 1967 , General de Gaulle then President of the Republic made ​​an official statement in which he used an old cliché as in the " Protocols of the Elders of Zion" , he said: "The Jews are an elite people, sure of himself and domineering."

 

In the eighties, France discovered that the President of the Republic, François Mitterrand was in a relation with René Bousquet. In 1989, the Association of Sons and Daughters of Jews deported from France, the National Federation of Deportees and Internees resistant and patriots and the League of the Rights of Men filed a complaint against René Bousquet for crimes against humanity.

 

 

IV- CONCLUSION

 

The first major act of the European anti-Judaism was the organization of the Diaspora by the Romans which put the Jewish people in a highly vulnerable situation. The original doctrine of the Church strengthened by the different councils seem to have been oriented in order to attract a big number of new followers and opened for that purpose  to the heresies that have dug a huge ditch with Judaism and more generally with monotheism. The Church thought to be able to fill this ditch by semantic manipulations. It is likely that the vertigo of intangible could not satisfy the immediate expectations, practices and superstition of new followers still under the influence of their former beliefs. Dominance in the facts of the anthropomorphic aspect of the main representation of the Christian God was strengthened by the addition of the cult of Mary. This thirst for tangibility and anthropomorphism made ​​ of course more palpable the assumed redemptive sacrifice of the God of  Christians but unfortunately also the idea of ​​the murder of a man who having been also considered as God himself involved the concept of deicide opposed to that of eternity of God.

 

Their God is sometimes more God or more man according to the needs of the Christian theologians, but the result of this behavior was the charge of a whole people of deicide in front of the world. The exemption of any responsibility of Rome which pronounced and executed the decision of death may be due to the fact that it was a high potential of future conversions.

 

The Church has invaded European spirit both in terms of intellect by the art of theology, but also feelings through representations and liturgy and it brought hatred and revenge against the Jewish people charged of deicide.

 

This anchoring of anti-Judaism in Christian minds contained all the seed of anti-Semitism which is only is the Christian anti-Judaism expressed in a new language and in a new frame, those of the racist theories of the nineteenth and twentieth century. In fact the Church was anti-Semitic before the word was created. Christian anti-Judaism has always contained anti-Semitism by the hideous depictions of Jews that it spread. The Church did not claim to have built a racist theory but got similar results through hatred and depictions. Christian anti-Judaism has generated anti-Semitism and in practice the difference between the two is impalpable.

 

Anti-Semitism is ideally suited for anti-Jewish expression of extremist organizations of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries which could survive the Church. Anti-Judaism and anti-Semitism are a particular phenomenon since it continues even in the absence of Jews simply because universal hatred needs of existing or virtual targets. As a living body the anti-Judaism can adapt in the form of anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism which have the same generative mechanisms.

 

Jewish life in Europe became difficult before the Holocaust since in 1922 the League of Nations mandated the UK to create a Jewish homeland in Palestine from where the Jews were expelled two thousand years ago. From 1940 to 1945, 62.5% of the European Jewish population was annihilated. In 1880 about 70% of the Jewish population lived in Europe and this figure was reduced to 10.4% in 2007 due to the Holocaust and the wide flight of survivors outside Europe.

 

The reason for the disappearance of the Jewish people in Europe was rightly depicted in the speech to the UN in 1947 of Andrei Gromiko, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the USSR: "The Western world has been unable to host and ensure the security of the Jews..."

 

Following the Second World War, the church became aware of its total anachronism and has attempted to reform "in vain" in the Vatican II because it is completely unable to change its doctrine and is satisfied with innovative discourses which badly hide its deep immobility.

 

Nostra Aetate statement is even is disappointing as it continues to mention the responsibility of leaders of Judaism and their supporters at the time of the crucifixion and ignores the heavier one of Rome. Nostra Aetate statement regrets the anti-Jewish slaughters, including because of simple charity but does not question its doctrine which is their key driver. The truth is far from the nice rhetoric of Pope John Paul II and Francis and we are seeing a step back before Vatican II of the Church with the Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI.

 

Anti-Semitism in its anti-Zionist form aims to put the Jewish people in his former situation of high vulnerability; so he will depend on the good will of the host countries and on the mood of their leaders, in submission to his accusers without any other recourse. The anti-Zionists pretend not to understand the loyalty of the Jews of the Diaspora to their country of citizenship and to Israel while the History of the last two thousand years has revealed that the host countries could not or would not provide them safety. The recent attacks by national or supranational authorities and extremist movements against Judaism, the reconsideration of the historical narrative to open to revisionist versions of double genocide and of Holocaust obfuscation are all worrying alert signals in Europe.