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Antisemitism in Post-Communist Eastern Europe: A Marginal or Central Issue?


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Surveys on present trends of post-Communist antisemitism in Eastern Europe reveal contradictory images of the weight and significance of current anti-Jewish manifestations and rhetoric. An evaluation of the main themes of the present antisemitic discourse points to the predominance of irrational myths -- the“Jewish (or Israeli) conspiracy” and world-wide “Jewish power.” In addition, the public debate on the Holocaust and collectiveresponsibility for crimes against the local Jewish population has had a significant impact on public discourse. Questions of national identity, a tendency towards historical distortion and mystification, and the propagandistic accusation of “Jewish guilt” for the former repressive communist regimes form another area of contention which leads to anti-Jewish manifestations.The reproduction and spread of antisemitic motifs is found mainly in political discourse. In order to understand whether antisemitic political groups are central or marginal, it is necessary to consider the degree of their acceptance or support bymainstream political forces, direct or insidious forms of legitimation for them, as well as the force of the antisemitic tradition,and the amplitude of public or official reactions against either the vulgar or the sophisticated expressions of antisemitism



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Volovici, Leon Antisemitism in Post-Communist Eastern Europe: A Marginal or Central Issue?. Vidal Sassoon International Center for the Study of Antisemitism, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. 1994:  https://archive.jpr.org.uk/object-889