Studies in Antisemitism Series
Democratization and the Jews explores the ways in which West Germans in Munich responded after 1945 to the Holocaust. Examining the political and religious discourse on the “Jewish Question,” Anthony D. Kauders shows how men and women in the immediate postwar era employed antisemitic images from the Weimar Republic in order to distance themselves from the murderous policies of the Nazi regime. In the late 1950s and early 1960s, many people—and particularly Social Democrats and members of the churches, both Catholic and Protestant—began to repudiate antisemitism altogether, appreciating the connection between liberal democracy, on the one hand, and the rejection of hatred of Jews, on the other. This change was a revolutionary moment in the democratization of the Federal Republic, as the language of liberalism merged with the spirit of democracy.