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Antisemitism in Europe

            In the 1890's, antisemitism in Europe took the form of violent oppression in Eastern Europe. It was a political movement in western Europe, and eventually because of a deplorable economic situation, reached its peak of brutality in the form of Nazism. In Eastern Europe, Jews were seen as outcasts and this sentiment was capitalized upon by rulers. In western Europe, Jews were typically unaccepted members of society and politicians used this overall consensus to further their political goals. After World War I, Germany slumped into a devastating economic depression, which allowed anti-Semitism to reach its most vicious point. .
             In western Europe, Jews had made progress and were often well-established members of society. However, the Dreyfus Affair revealed that the Jews in Europe were still, in many ways, outsiders. Theodore Herzl, who was chosen to observe the hearings, reached this conclusion and it inspired him to write his book Der Judenstat that advocated the need for a Jewish homeland outside of Europe. Many Europeans took the title of an anti-Semite and took a popular stance of defending the public against the Jews. Politically, Jews became scapegoats for all of society's ills. A socialist anti-Semite would cast them as ruthless, money-grabbing capitalists, and a conservative would brand them as begging leaches who live off of the populace. For a long time, the mayor of Vienna was an anti-Semite. .
             In Eastern Europe, Jews were openly hated and discriminated against in a way that the average Western European Jewish person could not even begin to imagine. In Western Europe, Jews became educated and often owned lands and businesses like the Rothschild banking family. In Eastern Europe, Jews were allowed to own no land and were forced to live in the western-most part of the Russian Empire known as the Pale. The Tsarist power used Jews as scapegoats much like the politicians in Western Europe.

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