The end of the 19th century was the beginning of a "revolution in reading" in Germany. If in 1840

700 WordsApr 23, 20193 Pages
The end of the 19th century was the beginning of a "revolution in reading" in Germany. If in 1840 only 40% of Germans could read, sixty years later, roughly 90% of the population was literate. With this rapid progression of literacy in Germany, authorities hoped to fight anti-Semitism with factual written accounts. But instead it seems that anti-Semitism became even easier to spread beyond German communities. Words became weapons against the Jews. Accusations of Jewish slaughter were now reinforced through newspapers, pamphlets, and books. The written word lent anti-Semitism credibility. It was easy to believe in such accusations precisely because they appeared in supposedly credible media sources. These ritual slaughter fantasies became…show more content…
116). Opposing authors who assured their readers that there was proof of these violent acts created the illusion that this was a contest between two “truths.” Readers had to decide which side to believe and most agreed with writers such as Pawlowski who listed seventy-three “human sacrifices” in his Talmud in Theory and Practice (pg. 117). Lists were created stating when these murders occurred in history that helped harden society's belief in the fabrications. Even writers such as Schudt, who believed that Jews did not need blood in the present, still left open the possibility that the rituals might have occurred in the past. Events such as the Dreyfus Affair further spread widespread public anti-Semitism and split France into two opposing side. Although Alfred Dreyfus was pardoned, a new nationalist and anti-Semitic movement had emerged, and would influence Germany’s anti-Semites, closely reading about the developments. It would also influence the politics of the Third Republic of Germany (pg. 40). By deepening oppositions between right and left and by forcing individuals to choose sides, the case made a lasting impact on both the consciousness of the French nation and Europe. False testimonies became accessible to the public, and people were susceptible with ideas planted by others, believing in what they have read. Many accounts

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