The Devil And The Jew Trachtenberg Summary

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The book, The Devil and the Jews: The Medieval Conception of the Jew and Its relation to Modern Anti-Semitism by Joshua Trachtenberg was published in 1943. At a time when anti-Semitism was rampant, Trachtenberg writes about the origins of Christianity’s animosity towards the Jews. Trachtenberg explains the ways the Christians created fear and hatred for the Jews during the medieval ages. The perception of the Jews during that period was never fully cleared and became the basis for modern prejudices. “Antisemitism is not an invention of Hitler’s. But it was born in Germany during the last century, and it has flourished” (Trachtenberg, The Devil and the Jews 5). In order for these feelings of hatred to last centuries, there had to be frequent and severe accusations. Trachtenberg recounts the tales told by the Christians, which led to the stereotypes of the Jew. Included in the book are a series of illustrations likening the Jews to the devil. The author highlights the myths the Christians believed pertaining to the Jews’ dealings with the devil, Jewish sorcery and Jewish heretics. During the Holocaust, a time of renewed hatred for the Jews, Trachtenberg writes about a topic that is extremely important in showing the way…show more content…
The Church built stereotypes off of baseless opinions, “For all the Church’s insistence upon the Jew with heretic in its popular propaganda, the logicians of the Church still could not leap the hurdle of inconsistency involved” (Trachtenberg, 177). The accusations the Christians had did not match up with the facts. Even with the fallacies discovered, the Church did not relent on trying to bring the Jews down. Trachtenberg explains that the hate fueled by the Church did not subside over time and the stereotypes lived on. “Protestant reform made no difference so far as the Jew was concerned; its attitude toward him remained fixed in medieval tradition” (Trachtenberg,
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