Antisemitism and Catholicism in the Interwar Period
The Jesuits in Austria, 1918–1938
Keywords:Austrian Jesuits, antisemitism, Holocaust, anti-Jewish tradition
The paper examines the attitudes of the Austrian Jesuits to antisemitism in the interwar period. This question is highly relevant for the study of antisemitism and the Holocaust, because of the strong influence of Catholicism within Austrian society and the prominent role played by Austrians in the Holocaust. The scientific literature has argued that the Austrian context was of central importance to the formation of both antisemitic and anti-antisemitic views among Catholics. However, the dynamics and internal nuances within high ecclesiastical circles have remained understudied. The present research indicates the permanence of an entrenched anti-Jewish tradition as well as the start of a novel reconsideration of this very tradition within the Jesuit Order in Austria. By analyzing tensions in the positions of the Austrian Jesuits, this research contributes to a better understanding of the continuity and rupture in antisemitism in Austria in the period immediately prior to the Holocaust.
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