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Sensationalizing the Jewish Question

Anti-Semitic Trials and the Press in the Early German Empire

Barnet P. Hartson

Historians have generally assumed that the French Dreyfus Affair had no counterpart in turn-of-the-century Germany. However, while no single anti-Semitic trial in Germany had the social and political impact of the Dreyfus Affair, a series of sensational court cases did have a significant influence on the growth and development of anti-Semitism in Imperial Germany. These trials, which included prominent libel cases and several ritual murder accusations, frequently spurred debates in the German press about the nature of Judaism and the role and influence of Jews in German society. This book examines the nature of these anti-Semitic affairs, assesses their role in German politics, and evaluates their effect on the overall development of German anti-Semitism.