The Spatial Spread of Antisemitism in Germany before the "Final Solution": Evidence from Children's Stories

Robert Braun, University of California, Berkeley

Existing subnational statistical analyses of popular antisemitism in Germany before the Final Solution" often rely on systematic counts of pogroms or electoral data. These data sources have several shortcomings as they conflate mobilization and xenophobic sentiments. In this paper I will therefore exploit fine-grained data on antisemitic themes in children stories collected by folklorists. This source taps both latent and less extreme forms of popular antisemitism and allows us to systematically explore the evolution of anti-Jewish fear through time and space. A spatial statistical analysis of the data reveals that antisemitism is both ancient and modern as classic antisemitic themes interacted with contemporary social configurations unrelated to Jews to produce hatred towards Jewish outsiders, right before Hitler came to power.

No extended abstract or paper available

 Presented in Session 2. Quantifying anti-Semitic Persecutions, from the 1930s to the Holocaust