Gustav Gundlach Tries to Define Difference Between "Good" & "Bad" Anti-Semitism

Gustav Gundlach Tries to Define Difference Between "Good" & "Bad" Anti-Semitism

Achille Ratti, Pope Pius XI
Source: Wikipedia

Gustav Gundlach, one of the authors of the eventual "Hidden Encyclical" against racism and anti-Semitism for Pope Pius XI (Unitas Humani Generis) writes the article "Anti-Semitism" for the German book Lexikon für Theologie und Kirche (Lexicon for Theology and Church). Gundlach attempts to draw a distinction between "bad" anti-Semitism and "good" Christian anti-Semitism.

According to Gustav Gundlach:

"The first type of anti-Semitism is not Christian, because it is contrary to brotherly love to oppose men solely because of the difference in their nationality, rather than because of their actions. This type necessarily also turns against Christianity, on account of its internal link with the religion of the Jewish people formerly chosen by God.

...The second type of anti-Semitism is permissible when it combats, by moral and legal means, a truly harmful influence of the Jewish segment of the population in the areas of economy, politics, theater, cinema, the press, science, and art [liberal-libertine tendencies]. Here we must reject exceptional laws directed against Jewish citizens qua Jews, and do so from the point of view of the modern legal state.

The positive means are: impregnating social life with the Christian spirit, fighting against not only Semitic but also "Aryan" vermin, reinforcing positive, moral and religious factors within Judaism against the liberal, "assimilated" Jews who, being for the most part given to moral nihilism and without any national or religious ties, operate within the camp of world plutocracy as well as within that of international Bolshevism, thus unleashing the darker traits of the soul of the Jewish people expelled from its Fatherland."

Gundlach goes on to praise the "anti-Semitism of Adolf Stoecker's party in Berlin," the first anti-Semitic political party in Germany. There are several important things to note about this passage. First, there is the fact that one of the alleged problems with the bad anti-Semitism is that it ends up being anti-Christian. This almost always appears in Christian condemnations of anti-Semitism, almost as if the Christians can't condemn harm to other people unless it also ultimately impacts Christians as well. Second, note how every attack on anti-Semitism is joined with a promotion of traditional anti-Semitic stereotypes - for example, all of the allegedly bad things about modernity are attributed to the influence of Jews.

Finally, note how internally confused and contradictory this is - how, for example, are people supposed to use the law to fight the harmful influences of the Jews without using exceptional laws that focus on Jews? Why is race-based anti-Semitism bad when the "harmful influence" of Jews stems from "darker traits of the Jewish soul"?

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