Tuesday, June 27, 2006

B'nai B'rith: Wilhelm Marr - "The Patriarch of Antisemitism" - is a Jewish renegade

"Russia is the last defence against the Jews, and its surrender is only a matter of time. The elastic spirit of Jewish intrigue will crush Russia in a revolution, such as the world has never seen the like. When it has overthrown Russia, it will have nothing to fear from any quarter; when it has seized in Russia all the offices of state as it has done with us, then the Jews will openly undertake the destruction of western civilization, and this "last hour" of condemned Europe will strike within a hundred or a hundred and fifty years at the latest, since the march of events moves more rapidly in our era than in preceding centuries."

Wilhelm Marr
Der Sieg des Judentums ├╝ber das Christentum (or Germanism or something)

Wilhelm Marr coined the word "anti-semitism" circa 1879 in the pamphlet from the which the above quote was extracted, assuming that it's an accurate quote (if it is, it's almost prophetic). He was given the sobriquet "The Patriarch of Antisemitism" by Israeli historian Moshe Zimmermann in Zimmerman's 1980's biography of Marr. The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) of B'nai B'rith calls him an "anti-Jewish German journalist" who "helped push "the Jewish question" to the center of German politics." Marr was also the founder of the League of Anti-Semites in Germany.

We can see that Marr probably isn't too popular at some garden parties. Even Karl Marx couldn't stand him.

Do a search on the internet for Wilhelm Marr. He was apparently so much an unperson that his writings in English are non-existent on the web, except for the above short excerpt. As stated, that's assuming that it's accurate. When it comes to the Wilhelm Marr story, it seems there are always a couple or a few different versions from the same source. Compare this ADL snippet to the above ADL snippet:

"The term anti-Semitism was first used in 1873 by Wilhelm Marr, a German politician."

ADL, An Abridged History of Anti-Semitism

So according to the ADL, Marr was either a journalist or a politician that really ticked Jewish groups off in either 1873 or 1879.

There also seems to exist no English translation of this particular pamphlet, according to at least one librarian in the US and one in Israel, both having a hard time tracking down one of the more influential writings of the past 150 years judging by the minimum daily requirement of the use of the word in some literary diets.

Date: Fri, 06 Mar 1998 15:09:13 -0600
From: Public Staff Terminal
To: stumpers-l@crf.cuis.edu
Subject: ?Der Sieg der Judentums...

Greetings Stumper Friends,

A patron needs to know if there is a English translation of a book
(or pamphlet) called "Der Sieg der Judentums u(oomlaut)ber das
Germanentum" Bern, 1879.

He needs it for a paper he is writing.


Jeff Imparato
Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library

Date: Mon, 09 Mar 1998 10:39:32 +0200 (IST)
From: Tsviya Polani
To: Public Staff Terminal
Cc: stumpers-l@crf.cuis.edu
Subject: Re: %Der Sieg der Judentums...


I had to verify the author's name before I could start checking this. The author is Wilhelm Marr and apparently there is some controversy about when the pamphlet was first published. That said, I can find no listing for an English translation. I've checked a number of anti-semitism bibliographies, the Israeli university union catalog and the book Zimmermann, Mosche. Wilhelm Marr, the patriarch of antisemitism, 1982, which does include translations of three other of Marr's pamphlets. I have not been able to access the Library of Congress for several days now but would advise checking their catalog. Be aware that the Israeli union catalog does not necessarily cover old material; but my feeling is that if there is an English translation it is relatively new. I would also recommend checking the Index Translationum (for which we don't have a complete run) and the Essay and General Literature Index. Sorry I can't pursue this further, but I've just been given a massive project with a short deadline; and I have to start working on it. Maybe our Holocaust museum Womb*t can continue the search. (If I can sneak out any more time and find anything, I'll let you know.)


Tsviya Polani
Reference Librarian
Aranne Library
Ben-Gurion University of the Negev
Be'er Sheva, Israel

(The Stumpers list is a place for librarians (and others) to discuss reference questions which they are unable to answer using available resources, including the Internet and local interlibrary loan capabilities.}

Another librarian confirms it:

WorldCat shows only the German version.


Recap: This work of Marr's is near impossible to find (though "Mein Kampf" is as easy to find as a Harlequin romance), there's not a whole lot of information on him (we know all about Hitler from TV), no one's really sure if it was ever translated into English (Hitler's tome has been translated into every major language). He was a politician or a journalist or something. And Marx didn't like him.

Why does Wilhelm Marr need to be hidden away? Now the quagmire gets quaggier.

According to B'nai B'rith, he was a "Jewish renegade", sharing the same label thrown on Spinoza, Alfred M. Lilienthal all other manner of unmentioned Jewish unpersons:

At this time, a Hamburg journalist, Wilhelm Marr, issued a sensational pamphlet, "The Victory of Judaism over Germanism" (1879), calling for the defense of the "vanquished" against their "conquerors." It is through the writings of this Jewish renegade that the term anti-Semitism was coined, "expressing antagonism to the social and political equality of Jews." The pamphlet of this otherwise obscure writer fell on fruitful soil. It harmonized with the raging national jingoism that had mounted skyhigh with the unification of Germany and that had aimed at the creation of a unified racial and religious body of German citizens.

Source: Jewish Reference Book: B'nai B'rith Manual
Edited by Samuel S. Cohon
Cincinnati, Ohio
pp. 287-88

The possible truth of Marr's having gone "renegade" is his virtual obscurity compared to the biggest marketing campaign of the 20th century using Adolph's face and the swastika as the logo. Maybe Marr, the Jewish renegade, is saying something that's even more uncomfortable for some people than Hitler's ideas?

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