Although political antisemitism in Germany reached its nadir with the 1932 electoral victory of National Socialism, even the Nazis referred to 15th century theologian, Martin Luther as their inspiration for the Holocaust. How deeply antisemitism permeated the culture of the West can be judged by the speed with which it entered politics, was reflected in academia and the arts. In his 1850 essay, “Jewishness in Music,” German composer Richard Wagner describes Jews as “alien” and “harmful” to German culture. In the ever-popular 1812 children’s tales of the brothers Grimm the Jews are represented as villains and demons.
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