A flyer that was distributed in a tram in Cologne asked the rhetorical questions “Do we really only have a Corona problem? Or don’t we actually have predominantly a Jew-problem?” while listing Angela Merkel as a Jewess of Polish origin connected to B’nai B’rith, Jens Spahn as “gay Jew” connected to the Bilderberg conference, Heiko Maas as a Jew and leading censor and Christian Drosten as pro-government virologist and Jew “according to his phenotype”. It closes with the words that “the more Jews in politics and media, the worse the conditions”.
The infamous antisemitic fabrication The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, a text claiming to have exposed a Jewish plan for global domination, first appeared in print in Russia in 1903. It was translated into Greek in 1920, but it remained “unexploited” in the archive of the Greek Foreign Ministry. The Protocols started gaining publicity in 1925, thanks to the work of Dr. Andronikos, an Athenian pseudointellectual, whose medical authority and adherence to nationalism, fascism and anticommunism made him an ideal propagandist of the Protocols through the press. In early 1928 the dailies To Fos and Makedonia in Thessaloniki − the city where more than 50,000 out of 70,000 Greek Jews dwelled − published a Greek translation of the Protocols. Thereafter, the antisemitic focus of Makedonia intensified. In June 1931, members of the fascist organization “Ethniki Enosis Ellas” (“EEE”, National Union Hellas), acting upon allegations of anti-national behavior of local Jews published in Makedonia, launched a pogrom against the poor Jewish neighborhood of Campbell.
The Internet and social networks have promoted the spread and radicalization of antisemitism − across the board, all facets of antisemitism can be found.
As soon as “the Jews” are assigned the role of the guilty ones by many mutually reinforcing digital users − be it with regard to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the 2007 financial and economic crisis, global warming, or the 2015 arrival of refugees − this can have fatal consequences. The apppeal of antisemitic worldviews increases especially in times of crisis, when collective fears and feelings of powerlessness (re)activate the need for simple explanatory models and scapegoats.
This antisemitic event took place in the market square of Wroclaw in 2016, during a protest by the far-right and nationalist organization ONR (Odrodzenie Narodowe Polski – National Rebirth of Poland). The protest was targeted against the flow of refugees from the Middle East into the European Union. The main organizer of the protest, Piotr Rybak, claimed the whole “process of accepting Islamists to Europe” is financed by George Soros. Since the aforementioned alleged financier has Jewish roots, the puppet set on fire served as a stereotypical representation of a Jew.
“And the Hebrew, sly and craven, Round of shoulder, nose, and knee, Slinks to the Exchange, unshaven And intent on usury” – Wilhelm Busch (1872). This English translation of a verse in Wilhelm Busch’s “Helen Who Couldn’t Help It” reflects a common trope in German antisemitism: the Geldjude, or the equation of Jews with money and usury, greed and parasitic financial capitalism. In his work Busch puts this opinion in the context of the worldview of a pious uncle who wants to save his niece from the depravity of the big city.