- Professor at the University of California’s Santa Barbara campus
- Believes that Jews themselves have been largely responsible for creating the hatreds aimed at them throughout history and around the world
Albert Lindemann is a history professor at the University of California at Santa Barbara. He is the author of several books about anti-Semitism. These include The Jew Accused: Three Anti-Semitic Affairs (1991); Esau’s Tears: Modern Anti-Semitism and the Rise of the Jews (1997); and Anti-Semitism Before the Holocaust (2000).
In Lindemann’s view, political anti-Semitism, from its inception in the nineteenth century, has been in large part the responsibility of Jews themselves. He argues not merely that Jews had “social interactions” with their persecutors, but that they were responsible for the hatreds that eventually consumed them in Europe; that anti-Semitism was, wherever and whenever it flared up, a response to Jewish misbehavior.
According to Lindemann, the Romanians had been subjected to “mean-spirited denigration” of their country by Jews, and so it was reasonable for Romania’s elite to conclude that “making life difficult” for the country’s Jewish inhabitants, “legally or otherwise,” was a “justifiable policy.” He also contends that whatever anti-Semitism existed in Russia, it was “hardly a hatred without palpable or understandable cause.” The 1903 Kishinev pogrom, Lindemann acknowledges, did occur; but he contends that it was a relatively minor affair in terms of the numbers killed and wounded – which he claims the Jews, with typical “hyperbole and mendacity,” exaggerated in order to attract sympathy and money. In Germany, says Lindemann, Jews (especially the historian Heinrich Graetz), were guilty of a “steady stream of insults and withering criticism . . . directed at Germans”; by contrast, he claims that Hitler (who published Mein Kampf in 1925) was a “moderate” on the Jewish question prior to the mid-1930s. Moreover, says Lindemann, “nearly everywhere Hitler looked at the end of the war, there were Jews who corresponded to anti-Semitic imagery.” In addition to being degenerate, ugly, dirty, tribalist, racist, crooked, and sexually immoral, the Jews, as depicted by Lindemann, further infuriated their Gentile neighbors by speaking Yiddish: “a nasal, whining, and crippled ghetto tongue.”