The JEWISH QUESTION was a wide-ranging debate in 19th- and
20th-century European society pertaining to the appropriate status and
Jews in society. The debate was similar to other
so-called "national questions " and dealt with the civil, legal,
national and political status of
Jews as a minority within society,
Europe in the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries.
The debate started within societies, politicians and writers in
western and central
Europe influenced by the
Age of Enlightenment
Age of Enlightenment and
the ideals of the
French Revolution . The issues included the legal
and economic Jewish disabilities (e.g. Jewish quotas and segregation
Jewish assimilation ,
Jewish emancipation and Jewish Enlightenment
The expression has been used by antisemitic movements from the 1880s
onwards, culminating in the
Nazi phrase "the
Final Solution to the
Jewish Question". Similarly, the expression was used by proponents for
and opponents of the establishment of an autonomous
Jewish homeland or
Jewish state .
More recently, white nationalists , members of the alt-right , and
neo-Nazis have used the acronym "JQ" to refer to the Jewish question.
* 1 History of "The Jewish Question"
* 2 Early usage
Bruno Bauer –
The Jewish Question
Karl Marx –
On the Jewish Question
On the Jewish Question
* 5 After Marx
* 6 The
* 6.1 Propaganda
* 7 See also
* 8 Further reading
* 9 References
* 10 External links
HISTORY OF "THE JEWISH QUESTION"
Further information: History of the
The term "Jewish Question" was first used in Great Britain in around
1750. According to Holocaust scholar
Lucy Dawidowicz , the term
"Jewish Question," as introduced in western
Europe , was a neutral
expression for the negative attitude toward the apparent and
persistent singularity of the
Jews as a people against the background
of the rising political nationalisms and new nation-states .
Dawidowicz writes that "the histories of
Jewish emancipation and of
European antisemitism are replete with proffered 'solutions to the
Jewish question.'" The question was next discussed in France ("la
question juive") after the
French Revolution in 1789, before arriving
in Germany via Bruno Bauer's treatise "Die Judenfrage" – The Jewish
From that point hundreds of other tractates, pamphlets, newspaper
articles and books were written on the subject, with many offering
solutions including resettlement, deportation and assimilation of the
Jewish population. Similarly, hundreds of pieces of literature were
written opposing these solutions and have offered solutions such as
re-integration and education. This debate however, could not decide
whether the problem of the Jewish Question had more to do with the
problems posed by the German Jews' opponents or vice versa: the
problem posed by the existence of the German
Jews to their opponents.
From around 1860 the notion took on an increasingly antisemitic
Jews were described under this title as a stumbling block to
the identity and cohesion of the German nation and as enemies within
the Germans' own country. Antisemites such as
Wilhelm Marr , Karl
Eugen Dühring ,
Theodor Fritsch ,
Houston Stewart Chamberlain
Houston Stewart Chamberlain , Paul
de Lagarde and others declared it a racial problem unsolvable through
integration, in order to make their demands for the "de-jewifying" of
the press, education, culture, state and economy, plausible, along
with their demands for the condemnation of inter-marriage between Jews
and non-Jews. They also used this definition to oust the
Jews out of
their supposedly socially dominant positions.
By far the most infamous use of this expression was by the Nazis in
the early- and mid- twentieth century, culminating in the
implementation of their "
Final Solution to the Jewish question" during
World War II
World War II .
An early use of the expression "Jewish question" appeared during the
Jew Bill of 1753 debates in England. According to Otto Dov Kulka of
Hebrew University , the term became widespread in the nineteenth
century when it was used in discussions about
Jewish emancipation in
BRUNO BAUER – THE JEWISH QUESTION
In his book
The Jewish Question , published in 1843, Bauer argued
Jews can achieve political emancipation only if they relinquish
their particular religious consciousness, since political emancipation
requires a secular state , which he assumes does not leave any "space"
for social identities such as religion . According to Bauer, such
religious demands are incompatible with the idea of the "Rights of Man
." True political emancipation, for Bauer, requires the abolition of
KARL MARX – ON THE JEWISH QUESTION
Karl Marx replied to Bauer in his 1844 essay
On the Jewish Question
On the Jewish Question .
Marx contradicted Bauer's view that the nature of the Jewish religion
prevented Judaism's assimilation. Instead he focused on the specific
social and economic role of the Jewish group in
according to him, was lost when capitalism, the material basis for
Judaism, assimilated the European societies as a whole.
Marx uses Bauer's essay as an occasion for his own analysis of
liberal rights. Marx argues that Bauer is mistaken in his assumption
that in a "secular state ", religion will no longer play a prominent
role in social life, and, as an example refers to the pervasiveness of
religion in the
United States , which, unlike Prussia, had no state
religion . In Marx's analysis, the "secular state" is not opposed to
religion, but rather actually requires it. The removal of religious or
property qualifications for citizens does not mean the abolition of
religion or property, but only introduces a way of regarding
individuals in abstraction from them. On this note Marx moves beyond
the question of religious freedom to his real concern with Bauer's
analysis of "political emancipation." Marx concludes that while
individuals can be 'spiritually' and 'politically' free in a secular
state, they can still be bound to material constraints on freedom by
economic inequality, an assumption that would later form the basis of
his critiques of capitalism .
Werner Sombart praised
Jews for their capitalism and presented the
seventeenth–eighteenth century court
Jews as integrated and a model
for integration. By the turn of the twentieth century, the debate was
still widely discussed and raised to prominence by the Dreyfus Affair
in France. Within the religious and political elite, some continued to
favor assimilation and political engagement in
Europe while others,
Theodore Herzl , proposed the advancement of a separate Jewish
state and the
Zionist cause. Between 1880 and 1920, millions of other
Jews sought their own solution for the pogroms of eastern
emigration to other places, such as the
United States and western
THE FINAL SOLUTION
Nazi Germany , the term Jewish Question (in German : Judenfrage)
referred to the sense that the existence of
Jews in Germany posed a
problem for the state. In 1933 two
Nazi theorists, Johann von Leers
Achim Gercke , both proposed that the Jewish Question could be
solved by resettling
Jews in Madagascar or elsewhere in Africa or
South America. Both intellectuals discussed the pros and cons of
supporting the German Zionists as well, but von Leers asserted that
Jewish homeland in British Palestine would create
humanitarian and political problems for the region. Upon achieving
power in 1933, Hitler and the
Nazi state began to implement
increasingly severe measures aimed at segregating and ultimately
removing the Jewish people from Germany and (eventually) all of
Europe. The next stage was persecution of
Jews and the stripping of
Jews of their citizenship through the
Nuremberg Laws . Later, during
World War II
World War II , it became state-sponsored internment in concentration
camps and finally, the systematic extermination of the Jewish people
The Holocaust ), which took place as the so-called
Final Solution to
the Jewish Question.
Nazi propaganda was produced to manipulate the public, most notably
based on writings from people such as
Eugen Fischer ,
Fritz Lenz and
Erwin Baur in the book Foundations of Human Heredity Teaching and
Racial Hygiene. And in the book Die Freigabe der Vernichtung
lebensunwerten Lebens ("Allowing the Destruction of Life Unworthy of
Karl Binding and
Alfred Hoche or in pseudo scholarship
Gerhard Kittel . In occupied France, the collaborationist
regime established its own Institute for studying the Jewish Questions
* "Negro Question "
Lucien Wolf , Notes on the Diplomatic History of the Jewish Question,
Jewish Historical Society of England (1919)
Henry Ford : The International Jew – the World\'s Foremost Problem
, Articles from The Dearborn Independent, (1920)
Elisabeth Roudinesco , Returning to the Jewish Question, London,
Polity Press, December 2013, p. 280
* ^ Kestenbaum, Sam. "White Nationalists Create New Shorthand for
the \'Jewish Question\'".
The Forward . Retrieved 25 May 2017.
* ^ A B C "Essay based on the introduction to The \'Jewish
Question\' in German Speaking Countries, 1848–1914, A Bibliography,
in The Felix Posen Bibliographic Project on Antisemitism (Jerusalem:
Hebrew University, 1994); retrieved 25 March 2008". Archived from the
original on 25 November 2005.
* ^ Lucy Dawidowicz, The War Against the Jews, 1933-1945 (New York,
1975), pp. xxi-xxiii.
* ^ A B Stig Hornshoj-Moller (1998-10-24). "Hitler\'s speech to the
Reichstag of January 30, 1939".
The Holocaust History Project.
Archived from the original on March 14, 2008. Retrieved 2008-03-25.
* ^ Furet, François . Unanswered Questions:
Nazi Germany and the
Genocide of the Jews. Schocken Books (1989), p. 182; ISBN
* ^ As of 2008 Otto Dov Kulka's works are out of print, but the
following may be useful and is available on microfilm: Reminiscences
of Otto Dov Kulka (Glen Rock, New Jersey: Microfilming Corp. of
America, 1975), ISBN 0-88455-598-4 and 9780884555988, OCLC 5326379.
Karl Marx (February 1844). "On the Jewish Question".
Deutsch-Französische Jahrbücher. Retrieved 2008-03-25.
* ^ Marx 1844:
he political annulment of private property not only fails to abolish
private property but even presupposes it. The state abolishes, in its
own way, distinctions of birth, social rank, education, occupation,
when it declares that birth, social rank, education, occupation, are
non-political distinctions, when it proclaims, without regard to these
distinctions, that every member of the nation is an equal participant
in national sovereignty, when it treats all elements of the real life
of the nation from the standpoint of the state. Nevertheless, the
state allows private property, education, occupation, to act in their
way – i.e., as private property, as education, as occupation, and to
exert the influence of their special nature. Far from abolishing these
real distinctions, the state only exists on the presupposition of
their existence; it feels itself to be a political state and asserts
its universality only in opposition to these elements of its being.
Werner Sombart (1911) . The
Jews and Modern
Batoche Books. Retrieved 2008-03-25.
Theodor Herzl (1896). Der Judenstaat: Versuch einer modernen
Lösung der Judenfrage (in German). M. Breitenstein's
Verlags-Buchhandlung. Retrieved 2008-03-25.
* ^ Dr. Achim Gercke. "Solving the Jewish Question".
* ^ David M. Crowe. The Holocaust: Roots, History, and Aftermath.
Westview Press, 2008.
Adolf Hitler ;
Wilhelm Frick ;
Franz Gürtner ; Rudolf Hess
(1935-09-15). "Nuremberg Law for the Protection of German Blood and
German Honor". Archived from the original on 2008-03-19. Retrieved
* ^ Adolf Hitler;
Wilhelm Frick (1935-09-15). "Reich Citizenship
Law". Archived from the original on 2008-03-21. Retrieved 2008-03-25.
* ^ Doris Bergen (2004–2005). "Germany and the Camp System".
Auschwitz: Inside the
Nazi State. Community Television of Southern
California. Retrieved 2008-03-25.
* ^ Niewyk, Donald L. The Columbia Guide to the Holocaust, Columbia
University Press , 2000, p.45: "
The Holocaust is commonly defined as
the murder of more than 5,000,000
Jews by the Germans in World War
II." Also see "The Holocaust," Encyclopædia Britannica, 2007: "the
systematic state-sponsored killing of six million Jewish men, women
and children, and millions of others, by
Nazi Germany and its
collaborators during World War II. The Germans called this "the final
solution to the Jewish question."
* ^ Gord McFee (1999-01-02). "When did Hitler decide on the Final
The Holocaust History Project. Archived from the original
on 2015-06-02. Retrieved 2008-03-25.
* ^ For some extra depth, the interested reader might read Wannsee
Conference as well.