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Ernst Henrici Addresses Berlin Antisemites in the Reichshall Meeting: A Report in the Tribune (December 1880)

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out!) Herr Virchow says we should mix with the Jews (Loud laughter) so that the differences will even out. (Shouting: Never!) In my opinion, a people that has now been completely emancipated for 32 years and has adapted so little to the German national spirit is not capable of emancipation. It’s not just the Jews who are to blame for their vices and crimes, but also the ones who have granted them emancipation. In the interests of the Jews, who have no moral footing and must not be unleashed, lest they fall victim to vice and crime, it is necessary to abolish Jewish emancipation and pass strict laws against the Jews. (Thunderous applause.) This is essential not just in the interests of the Christians but also of the Jews themselves. (Applause.) Apart from that, it is necessary to isolate the Jews socially. So I call on you: Do away with the Jewish newspapers! (Thunderous applause.) Do not buy from any Jews and do not vote for any Jew or Jewish crony (thunderous applause), for the liberal parties are closely connected with the Jews. The Progressive and National Liberal Parties are under Jewish influence. It won’t be long before the Progressive Party will be toppled in Berlin. (Thunderous applause and racket.) The Altenburg election only came about because of the well-known Jewish fund. In 1848 a Jew lad by the name of Straßmann stood on the barricades, but when the bullets started to fly, he crawled away to hide in a woman’s bed. (Thunderous applause and racket.) Today this same Straßmann is head of the Berlin City Council. (Shouting: Sad enough!) Finally, the speaker called for the passing of the following resolution: “The assembly shares the conviction that if the liberal parties identify any further with the Jews, the majority of the population will inevitably draw closer to the Conservatives. We voice our protest against this shameless coquetry carried out by German men with the Jews; and we are convinced that the only way to prevent this lack of orientation among our citizenry is to found a liberal party independent of Judaism.” (Thunderous, prolonged applause and repeated cheers for Henrici, who responds with a cheer to the Emperor.)

After some brief remarks by Commissioner Demmler, the resolution was passed with only seven votes in opposition.

Eventually, the crowd flocked out of the hall, singing, “Throw him out, the Jew Itzig, because he takes whatever he sees.”

Source: Die Tribüne [The Tribune], no. 298, December 19, 1880.

Original German text reprinted in Karsten Krieger, ed., Der „Berliner Antisemitismusstreit“ 1879-1881. Eine Kontroverse um die Zugehörigkeit der deutschen Juden zur Nation. Kommentierte Quellenedition [The “Berlin Antisemitism Conflict” 1879-1881. A Controversy Over Whether German Jews Belong to the Nation. Annotated Source Edition], 2 parts. Munich: K.G. Saur, 2003, part 2, pp. 774-81.

Translation: Erwin Fink

For additional materials on the history of Antisemitism, please visit the following website: There you will find information on K.G. Saur's new internet database, "National Socialism, Holocaust, Resistance and Exile 1933-1945."

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