Moderated by Tahera Ameer
The fear of a loss of culture and identity has taken a central place in social, political, and cultural debates. The result is a particularization into friend-foe antagonisms and an emotionalization of politics. The idea of a universalistic society seems to be an obsolete model. An increase in antisemitic rhetoric and stereotyping shows how cultivated and established antisemitism and its codes are. These “Continuities of Antisemitism” are the reason behind this series of events organized by the Forum for Democratic Culture and Contemporary Art.
The oldest preserved “Judensau” has been hanging in Brandenburg Cathedral since 1230. The church relief is supposed to depict the impurity of the Jews. Another has been hanging at the south-east gate of Cologne Cathedral since 1280. In the thirteenth century, the myth of ritual murder also found its way from England to Germany. It was claimed that Jews kill Christian children and drink their blood as part of magical and medicinal rituals during the festival of Passover. Martin Luther also used this myth to insinuate that all Jews secretly wanted to kill Christians.
This centuries-old myth of ritual murder has been revived recently due to QAnon, the latest popular conspiracy theory. Its adherents claim that elites—liberal globalists and Jewish bankers—want to prolong their own lives with the blood of kidnapped children obtained during satanic rituals. However, the deep antisemitism underlying this ideology is only marginally addressed. In the USA there are already QAnon followers in Donald J. Trump’s cabinet. The Higher Regional Court of Nuremberg ruled that Xavier Naidoo, Germany’s most prominent QAnon supporter, is not to be called an antisemite because the damage to Naidoo’s reputation from the stigma of antisemitism outweighs the danger posed by his statements.
This is by no means an isolated case or merely a phenomenon belonging to the antisemitic realm of conspiracy theories. In the cultural sector, too, debates about antisemitism constantly morph into asking whether the incident in question is really about antisemitism and what antisemitism actually is. Those affected by antisemitism thus find themselves in the paradoxical situation of having to justify their experiences and opinions instead of being able to talk about them openly. So, just as the “Judensau” has been kept out of the debates about representative statues and their historical context, the reflexive refusal to come to terms with antisemitism has also been omnipresent in every major societal debate of recent years. In this panel discussion and subsequent audience discussion the participants will reflect on the significance of antisemitism in current political and cultural debates.
The event is part of the [Action Weeks against Anti-Semitism](http://www.amadeu-antonio-stiftung.de/projekte/aktionswochen-gegen-antisemitismus/).
Anetta Kahane is an author and chair of the Amadeu Antonio Foundation.
Dr. Patrice Poutrus is a historian. He is a teacher and researcher at the University of Erfurt.
Düzen Tekkal is a journalist, filmmaker, and founder of the human rights organisation Hawar.help.
Tahera Ameer is head of the antisemitism and racism department of the Amadeu Antonio Foundation.