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I was wondering about this for quite a while:

Antisemitism is something that is quite unbelievable for us nowadays, so: on what was this antisemitism actually based? I also know that there has always been antisemitism in the European countries. Despite, I don't understand how this antisemitism could grow that strong in Germany? Cause I think there are good reasons why antisemitism is restricted to become a strong force in Germany: For example, it is almost impossible to distinguish a Jew from an ordinary German citizen and they are a high developed minority in this country. This is something that is quite extraordinary for racism, I think.

Therefore, I am very sure that there must have been very recent reason why this haitred and anger could grow that strong? Unfortunately, I am not aware of any of them. The only thing I could imagine is that the financial situation in Germany (which was pretty bad after Versailles) was considered to be related to the Jewish people.

I would be interested to know whether any of these accusations were just polemical rubbish or whether even some of them are based on actual facts?

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closed as off-topic by Pieter Geerkens, Rajib, jwenting, Kobunite, Mark C. Wallace Jun 23 at 8:29

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I think a review of the wikipedia page on antisemitism will provide the background. Nationalism didn't really know how to cope with an ethnic group that was not tied to a nation. Demogogues & populists needed a simple villain to explain the complex events that led to the end of WWI (and other events) –  Mark C. Wallace Jun 23 at 0:23
    
M.C.Wallace I bet the word you were looking for is chauvinism not Nationalism, first is bad and latter is actualy good for any country. –  Lukasz 'Severiaan' Grela Jun 25 at 6:41

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Antisemitism is something that is quite unbelievable for us nowadays

You must be living in a cave paradise. Indeed, right after WW2 antisemitism became quite unpopular in Europe, mostly because

  • it was associated with the German aggression, and many peoples and countries suffered from it
  • the atrocious methods of the Nazi genocide appalled "modern sensitivities".

However, antisemitism did not disappear, it is just names its targets differently (Rootless cosmopolitans, Zionists - I wonder how many people will misinterpret this to mean that I consider all anti-Zionists to be antisemites).

The roots of antisemitism are simple - xenophobia is a normal (i.e., common) part of human psyche and it manifests itself in all sorts of bigotries. All minorities suffer from its consequences (e.g., Chinese in California 150 years ago as documented by Mark Twain).

When the hated minority is "invisible" (almost completely assimilated, like the Jews in Germany 100 years ago), the bigotry can feed conspiracy theories and become much more vicious.

The only part of Nazi antisemitism which was unprecedented was the scale, i.e., applying the full power of 20th century industry to the task of exterminating people (Jews, Gypsies, homosexuals &c). The racial laws were not particularly exotic by world standards (cf. Dhimmi).

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