Jews of Europe Syllabus
STUDY QUESTIONS FOR WEEK 12
Lindemann, Esau's Tears, Chapters 12-Conclusions (pp.387-545)
Introduction to Part Four
According to Lindemann, how did Germany's Jews respond to the outbreak of WWI? Explain. How did the start of the war effect German government policy towards Jews and the anti-Semitic parties? And was there a similar phenomenon in France and in Russia?
Why, according to Lindemann, did the Russian government and army adopt anti-Jewish policies by 1915? And what does he have to say about German policy toward Jews in occupied territories by 1915? About the attitude of Russian Jews toward the war by 1915?
How does Lindemann explain the rise of anti-Semitic hostilities in England and in Germany by 1917? And how does he explain the negative stereotype in Germany that Jews avoided military service?
Some Jews were prominent among anti-war activists in Germany--was this true of the majority of German Jews by 1917? Explain.
What role did Jews play in Germany's war economy (as owners, managers, and workers), and what is Lindemann's point about this? And about the impact of wartime economic hardships on Jewish-Gentile relations in Germany?
According to Lindemann, what was the impact of the war on German conservatives' view of Jews? Explain.
According to Lindemann, where was anti-Semitism most intense after the war, and why does he consider that noteworthy?
What is Lindemann's main point about the impact of the Versailles Peace on anti-Semitism, and how does his argument compare to Vital's?
According to Lindemann, why did anti-Semitism rise in Hungary after the war? What is his point about the "Minority Treaties"? What role does he say Jews had in shaping these treaties, and what were the results?
Lindemann bases this section of his book (and most of the book in general) on secondary sources--how does his analysis differ from that of Vital, who examined primary sources (and especially archival documents) on the peace process?
How does Lindemann explain the origins of the Balfour Declaration, and how does his interpretation differ from that of Vital? For instance, what role does Lindemann attribute to the Zionists in this matter? And how does Lindemann's interpretation of Arab anti-Semitism differ from that of Vital?
According to Lindemann, how did the Russian revolution effect the perception that Jews dominated the revolutionary movement and why?
Does he think that Jews were naturally revolutionary or naturally conservative? Explain.
According to Lindemann, why did the anti-Bolsheviks consider Lenin and other non-Jewish Bolsheviks to be Jews?
How was the charge that Bolshevism was "Jewish" used outside of Russia and what impact did it have on the spread of anti-Semitism?
What impact does Lindemann claim the fall of Tsarism had on Jewish-Gentile relations in Russia, and what is his evidence?
According to Lindemann, why did the Whites consider the Red Terror to be "Jewish Terror"?
What is Lindemann' spoint about Trotsky's view of Jews during the Civil War? About the Evsektskiia (Yevsektsiia)?--how does this compare to Vital's view?
Besides the Party and the Cheka, what other Soviet institution was allegedly run by Jews? What is Lindemann's point about Trotsky's "Jewishness"?
What is Lindemann's point about the role the "Jewishness" played in the conflict between Trotsky and Stalin? Does he think that Stalin was an anti-Semite? Explain.
How does Lindemann's point in this chapter relate to his over-all point in the book?
Introduction to Part Five
Does Lindemann argue that anti-Semitism was central to fascism across Europe? Explain. Does he see anti-Semitism as central to the rise of fascism? Explain. Does he say it was unimportant? Explain!
What is Lindemann's point about the definition of fascism?
What does he say most characterized the views of Mussolini and the early Italian fascist movement? Was anti-Semitism an important element of Mussolini's fascism?
What is Lindemann's point about Mussolini's relationships with Jews up to 1938? And how does he explain the support that many Italian Jews showed to the fascists?
How does the historical status and situation of Jews in Italy help Lindemann explain their stance on fascism? And how does it undermine some of the commonplaces about anti-Semitism?
Does Lindemann think that Mussolini had firm control over the fascist movement in the 1920s and 1930s? Explain. And how does this supposedly help us understand the shift in policy toward Jews in 1938?
How does Lindemann explain the merging of anti-Republican and anti-Semitic hostility in post-war Germany?
How does he explain the link between Hitler's personality and the development of Hitler's anti-Semitism? Does he think that Hitler's childhood and family life were important factors? His youth in Vienna? What about the war--how does Lindemann say it shaped Hitler's views? According to Lindemann, what was perhaps most important in the development of Hitler's anti-Semitism?
What do historians of the Nazi era mean when they use the terms "Intentionalist" and "Functionalist," and how do these two approaches differ? Does Lindeman seem to support one over the other?
Is Lindemann's point that Hitler was a heartless monster? Explain.
Why does Lindemann refer to Hitler as a "weak dictator"?
Epilogue and Conclusions
What does Lindemann mean by the 'indeterminancy of events" in German history? Does this mean that he thinks the Holocaust was accidental? Explain.
What is his point about the historian's need for "sympathy"?
Does Lindemann think that Hitler's charisma and iron will explain why the Nazis came to power? Explain.
Did Nazi voters in 1932-33 necessarily agree with Hitler's anti-Semitism? Explain.
How does Lindemann explain Hanna Arendt's thesis about the cause of the Holocaust? Does he agree? Explain.
Is Lindemann's interpretation in this chapter Intentionalist or Functionalist?
According to Lindemann, why didn't Hitler endorse a more radical anti-Semitic policy in his first year in power? Does he think that anti-Semitism was central to the Nazis' political appeal in 1933-34? Explain.
How does Lindemann explain the origins of the Nuremburg Laws, and what is his point about these laws in general?
What does he see as Hitler's main goals in the mid-1930s? What is Volsgemeinschaft? Lebensraum? What did these have to do with Jews?
How does Lindemann explain the causes of Kristallnacht? And who does he say was in charge of Nazi policy in 1938?
What is Lindemann's main point about Hitler's role in the "Final Solution"? About the relationship between the Holocaust and anti-Semitism?
According to Lindermann, what causes modern anti-Semitism and what must be done if Esau's tears are to dry? Why does he imply that Jews must "master their own past"? And what does he mean when he says that anti-Semitism is "parasitic"? Is it fair to say that Lindemann considers Jewishness and anti-Semitism to be "co-dependent?" Explain.
Some reviewers have called this book anti-Semitic and have described Lindemann as a self-hating Jew--do you consider such criticisms to be accurate? Explain.
You have now read two major (and very long) studies of modern European Jewish history that are often in sharp contrast with one another--what do you see as the major points of disagreement between Lindemann and Vital? Which book do you consider to be "better scholarship" and why?
Jews of Europe Syllabus