By Michael Berkowitz
The Crime of My Very lifestyles investigates a hardly thought of but serious measurement of anti-Semitism that was once instrumental within the belief and perpetration of the Holocaust: the organization of Jews with criminal activity. Drawing from a wealthy physique of documentary proof, together with memoirs and little-studied pictures, Michael Berkowitz strains the myths and realities pertinent to the discourse on "Jewish criminal activity" from the eighteenth century during the Weimar Republic, into the advanced Nazi attack at the Jews, and increasing into postwar Europe.
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Additional resources for The Crime of My Very Existence: Nazism and the Myth of Jewish Criminality (S. Mark Taper Foundation Imprint in Jewish Studies)
He was found innocent of all the other charges. This result is not to be regarded as Barmat’s moral rehabilitation; on the contrary, the court made quite clear that it disapproved of many of his commercial acts. ”77 The belief became commonplace on the right that superwealthy, publicly known Jewish crooks, often in family groups, found fertile ground in the leftist governments following the demise of the Kaiserreich and effortlessly maneuvered the Social Democrats to do their bidding. This notion was concretized through a handful of highly visible Jews, as well as some nonJews whom anti-Semites identified as Jewish, who were thought to be—and in some cases were—guilty of wrongdoing, and subject to public and judicial scrutiny.
But not all the commentary on Jews and crime was of a crude antiSemitic variety. 17 Indeed, the identification of Jews with crime has a long and complex history that is not often recalled, in large part because many scholars would not think to ask. 19 These expressions departed from earlier polemics because their authors tended to present themselves as largely detached from religious motives. ”20 In his attempt to undermine Dohm’s plea to enhance the standing of the Jews, Johann David Michaelis responded that “reports of investigations of thieves” had shown that half the members of gangs of thieves were Jews.
Reproduced by permission of the Bildarchiv Preussischer Kulturbesitz, Nuremberg. that Werthauer was a confidant and helpmate of the notorious Kutisker. Most likely one of Werthauer’s actual roles, in liberalizing abortion legislation, added to his infamy in the eyes of the Nazis. 74 The initial thrust of the right wing’s efforts, however, was to destroy the president of the Republic, Ebert. ” But the anti-Semites on 16 above suspicion? 75 Barmat’s jury trial in Berlin, which dragged on for more than a year, resulted in a meticulous 545-page unraveling of the complex case.