The Fatherland and the Jews | Granta

  • Published: 21/01/2021
  • ISBN: 9781783786213
  • Granta Books
  • 80 pages

The Fatherland and the Jews

Alfred Wiener

The inaugural title in a collaboration between the Wiener Library and Granta Books.

These two pamphlets, ‘Prelude to Pogroms? Facts for the Thoughtful’ and ‘German Judaism in Political, Economic and Cultural Terms’ mark the first time that Alfred Wiener, the founder of the Wiener Holocaust Library, has been published in English. Together they offer a vital insight into the antisemitic onslaught Germany’s Jews were subjected to as the Nazi Party rose to power, and introduce a sharp and sympathetic thinker and speaker to a contemporary audience. Tackling issues such as the planned rise of antisemitism and the scapegoating of minorities, these pamphlets speak as urgently to the contemporary moment as they provide a window on to the past.

Timely, necessary, eloquent, compelling, human - two remarkable essays, to remind us of the long shadow and resonance of history

Philippe Sands

A revealing, detailed look at how antisemitic propaganda was designed, targeted and distributed in post WWI Germany. Shows once again that hate doesn't just magically appear, isn't the product of one charismatic orator, but is methodically produced and reproduced by a whole system and market. The echoes to today are sadly all too obvious

Peter Pomeranzev

Cannily alert to the manipulation of mass media by cynical politicians, Alfred Wiener analyses the poisoning of Germany in the wake of World War I by a cancerous anti-Semitism that traffics in dreams of mass murder and fantasies of racial purity. Writing as head of the most important Jewish organization of its time, he desperately insists upon a passionate commitment to the German fatherland, even as he clearly senses how hopeless this insistence is rapidly becoming. The recovery of these writings in our own time, with its resurgence of toxic nationalism and religious bigotry, is an important event

Stephen Greenblatt

The Author

Alfred Wiener (1885-1964) was a German Jew who dedicated much of his life to documenting antisemitism and racism in Germany and Europe, and uncovering crimes of Germany’s Nazi government. He trained as an Arabist and spent 1909-1911 in the Middle East. He is best known as founder and long-time director of the Wiener Library.

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