Hîstôry¯a yêhûdît = Jewish history

, Volume 9, Issue 2, pp 93–112 | Cite as

Adolf Stoecker: Anti-Semite with a Christian mission

  • D. A. Jeremy Telman


Christian Mission 
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  1. 1.
    Helmut Berding,Moderner Antisemitismus in Deutschland (Frankfurt a.M., 1988), 90.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Martin Greschat, “Adolf Stoecker und der deutschen Protestantismus,” in Günter Brakelmann, Martin Greschat, and Werner Jochmann (eds.),Protestantismus und Politik: Werk und Wirkung Adolf Stoeckers (Hamburg, 1982), 19–83; idem, “Protestantischer Antisemitismus in Wilhelminischer Zeit. Das Beispiel des Hofpredigers Adolf Stoecker,” in Günter Brakelmann and Martin Rosowski (eds.),Antisemitismus. Von religiöser Judenfeindschaft zur Rassenideologie (Göttingen, 1989), 27–51. Greschat's research has provided me with some useful information, but, as I make clear, I disagree with his conclusions. Greschat, too, sees Stoecker on the whole as a traditional, Christian anti-Semite.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Greschat, “Protestantischer Antisemitismus,” 38. All translations are my own.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    As summarized in Peter Pulzer,The Rise of Political Anti-Semitism in Germany and Austria, rev. ed. (Cambridge, Mass., 1988), xiii–xiv.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Bruce F. Pauley,From Prejudice to Prosecution. A History of Austrian Anti-Semitism (Chapel Hill, 1992), 30.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    George Mosse,The Crisis of German Ideology (New York: 1981), 245.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Karl Kupisch,Adolf Stoecker, Hofprediger und Volkstribun (Berlin: 1970), 43–44.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    For a detailed history of European racism see Mosse'sCrisis of German Ideology and more specifically hisToward the Final Solution. A History of European Racism (New York, 1978). A useful summary can be found in the essay of Werner Conze and Antje Sommer, “Rasse,” in Otto Brunner, Werner Conze and Reinhart Koselleck (eds.)Geschichtliche Grundbegriffe. Historisches Lexikon zur polische-sozialen Sprache in Deutschland (Stuttgart, 1984), Vol. 5, 135–78.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Conze and Sommer, 175.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Arthur de Gobineau'sEssai sur l'inégalité des races humaines (1853–1855), perhaps the most influential nineteenth-century treatment of race, was thoroughly pessimistic, see Mosse,Towards the Final Solution, 51–55; Mosse,Crisis of German Ideology, 90–91; Conze and Sommer, 161–62.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Stoecker,Reden und Aufsätze, edited by Reinhold Seeberg (Leipzig, 1913), 143–44. Stoecker goes on to say that the Jewish question is not solely a racial question and to warn against the dangers of treating it as solely a racial question. Still, this quotation demonstrates clearly that there is a racial component to Stoecker's own anti-Semitism.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Ibid., 144–45.Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Werner Jochmann, “Einleitung,” in Brakelmann, et al, 7–17, espec. 7–9.Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Kupisch, 8.Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Stoecker,Reden und Aufsätze, 97.Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Stoecker,Reden im Reichstag. “Aemtlicher Wortlaut,” edited by Reinhard Mumm (Schwerin, 1914), 166.Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Both quotations are provided in Greschat, “Protestantischer Antisemitismus,” 38.Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Ibid., 39–41.Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Ibid., 41–44.Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Ibid., 39.Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Jochmann, “Einleitung,” 7–8.Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Martin Greschat, “Adolf Stoecker und der deutschen Protestantismus,” 20.Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Ibid., 21.Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Pulzer, 88–89.Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Ibid., 88. I do not know what makes it so clear to Pulzer that Stoecker did not have this intention. His only evidence comes from a German study of anti-Semitic parties dating from 1927. George Mosse similarly argues that anti-Semitism was introduced into Stoecker's political platform only after a dismal result in elections in 1878. Mosse,Toward the Final Solution, 146–47.Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Adolf Stoecker,Christlich-sozial, 2nd ed. (Berlin, 1890), 127. Berding and Pulzer both claim that Stoecker first delivered anti-Semitic speeches in 1879; see Berding, 90; Pulzer, 88.Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    Hans Engelmann,Kirche am Abgrund. Adolf Stoecker und seine antijüdische Bewegung (Berlin, 1984), 71–77.Google Scholar
  28. 29.
    Werner Jochmann, “Stoecker als nationalkonservativer Politiker und antisemitischer Agitator,” in Brakelmann et al., 123–98, spec. 158.Google Scholar
  29. 30.
    Berding, 94–95.Google Scholar
  30. 31.
    This is the conclusion of Jacob Katz,From Prejudice to Destruction. Anti-Semitism, 1700–1933 (Cambridge, Mass., 1980), 262.Google Scholar
  31. 32.
    Berding, 88.Google Scholar
  32. 33.
    Party Program is reproduced in Stoecker,Christlich-sozial, 20–21; See also Kupisch, 34–35.Google Scholar
  33. 34.
    Stoecker,Christlich-sozial, 20.Google Scholar
  34. 35.
    This last issue was something of an idée fixe for Stoecker, seeReden im Reichstag. Stoecker often implied that Germans were forced to work on Sundays because of Jewish influence on German life. In his Reichstag speech of February 9, 1899, for example, Stoecker argued that German workers had to work on Sunday so as not to disturb the Jewish Sabbath by working on Saturday;Reden im Reichstag, 193. Stoecker explained his party's position on women working in factories in a speech he delivered in the Reichstag on January 10, 1882.Reden im Reichstag, 24.Google Scholar
  35. 36.
    Stoecker,Christlich-sozial, 21Google Scholar
  36. 37.
    Kupisch, 30–31.Google Scholar
  37. 38.
    Pulzer, 87.Google Scholar
  38. 39.
    Stoecker,Christlich-sozial, 6–12.Google Scholar
  39. 40.
    Ibid., 8–9.Google Scholar
  40. 41.
    Ibid., 39–48.Google Scholar
  41. 42.
    Ibid., 40.Google Scholar
  42. 43.
    Meinolf Rohleder and Burkhard Treude, “Neue Preussische (Kreuz) Zeitung,” in Heinz-Dietrich Fischer (ed.),Deutsche Zeitungen des 17. bis 20. Jahrhunderts (Pullbach bei München, 1972), 219–20.Google Scholar
  43. 44.
    Stoecker,Christlich-sozial, 44.Google Scholar
  44. 45.
    Ibid., 44.Google Scholar
  45. 46.
    Walter Boehlich, “Nachwort,” in Boehlich (ed),Der Berliner Antisemitismusstreit (Frankfurt a.M. 1965), 237–40, espec. 237–38.Google Scholar
  46. 47.
    Pulzer, 88; Stoecker, “Unsere Forderungen an das moderne Judentum,” in idem,Christlich-sozial, 359–69.Google Scholar
  47. 49.
    According to Kupisch, the circulation of Stoecker's weekly “Sonntäglichen Predigt” never went below 100,000; Kupisch, 91–92.Google Scholar
  48. 50.
    Ibid., 54.Google Scholar
  49. 51.
  50. 52.
    Ibid., 55.Google Scholar
  51. 53.
    Ibid., 56.Google Scholar
  52. 54.
    Ibid., 56.Google Scholar
  53. 55.
    Carl Witte collected a number of letters pertaining to the case and published them inSchneider Grünberg und Hofprediger Stöcker oder Der gefälschte Brief (Berlin, 1896).Google Scholar
  54. 56.
    Kupisch, 68.Google Scholar
  55. 57.
    Ibid., 69–70.Google Scholar
  56. 58.
    This incident is narrated by Geoff Eley in “AntiSemitism, Agrarian Mobilization, and the Conservative Party: Radicalism and Containment in the Founding of the Agrarian League, 1890–1893,” in Larry Eugene Jones and James N. Retallack (eds.),Between Reform, Reaction and Resistance: Studies in the History of German Conservatism from 1789 to 1945 (Providence and London, 1993), 187–227; espec. 208–12.Google Scholar
  57. 59.
    Jochmann, “Stoecker as nationalkonservativer Politiker,” 177.Google Scholar
  58. 60.
    Bismarck's association with Jews is well-known. His closest personal advisors included Jews. Bismarck was not an antiSemite, but he tolerated them because he thought he might be able to make use of anti-Semitic parties in his struggles with the more powerful liberals; Pulzer, 192.Google Scholar
  59. 61.
    Jochmann, “Stoecker als nationalkonservativer Politiker,” 181–82.Google Scholar
  60. 62.
    Stoecker,Christlich-sozial, 359.Google Scholar
  61. 63.
    Boehlich, 238.Google Scholar
  62. 64.
    Stoecker,Christlich-sozial, 359.Google Scholar
  63. 65.
    Noted by Boehlich, 239.Google Scholar
  64. 66.
    For an example of this, see “Die Selbstverteidigung des modernen Judentums in dem Geisterkampf der Gegenwart,” in Stoecker,Christlich-sozial, 382–89.Google Scholar
  65. 67.
    Jochmann, “Einleitung,” 16.Google Scholar
  66. 68.
    Ibid., 12.Google Scholar
  67. 69.
    Stoecker,Christlich-sozial, 368.Google Scholar
  68. 70.
    Ibid., 360.Google Scholar
  69. 71.
    Berding, 93.Google Scholar
  70. 72.
    Stoecker,Christlich-sozial, 360.Google Scholar
  71. 73.
    Ibid., 362.Google Scholar
  72. 74.
    As quoted in Greschat, “Protestantischer Antisemitismus,” 29.Google Scholar
  73. 75.
    Stoecker,Christlich-sozial, 362.Google Scholar
  74. 76.
    Greschat, “Protestantischer Antisemitismus,” 34.Google Scholar
  75. 77.
    Stoecker,Christlich-sozial, 360.Google Scholar
  76. 78.
    Ibid., 366.Google Scholar
  77. 79.
    Ibid., 364.Google Scholar
  78. 80.
    Stoecker,Reden und Aufsätze, 151.Google Scholar
  79. 81.
    Stoecker,Christlich-sozial, 367.Google Scholar
  80. 82.
    Ibid., 350. Stoecker's use of the termMitbürger is interesting. In contemporary Germany, this term is used to refer to the non-German “guest workers,” people who live and work in Germany but who do not enjoy the rights of citizenship. According to the government of theKaiserreich Jews wereBürger; according to Stoecker they were onlyMitbürger. This is especially significant since commentators have taken at face value Stoecker's assertions that Jewish emancipation could not be reversed.Google Scholar
  81. 83.
    Jochmann, “Stoecker als nationalkonservativer Politiker,” 152.Google Scholar
  82. 84.
    Stoecker,Christlich-sozial, 381.Google Scholar
  83. 85.
    Ibid., 432, quoted in Berding, 94.Google Scholar
  84. 86.
    Jochmann claims that Stoecker delivered more public lectures than anyone in Germany between 1878 and 1906; fc., Jochmann, “Stoecker als nationalkonservativer Politiker,” 193. I do not know the basis for this claim and cannot imagine that there are reliable statistics on such a phenomenon, though, indeed, Stoecker made a great number of speeches many of which he published in journals with large circulations.Google Scholar
  85. 87.
    Kupisch, 56.Google Scholar
  86. 88.
    Jochmann, “Stoecker als nationalkonservativer Politiker,” 160.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Haifa University Press 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • D. A. Jeremy Telman
    • 1
  1. 1.College of CharlestonUSA

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