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November 8: The Eternal Jew

November 8, 2013
eternal-jew-exhibitionThe Nazis opened an exhibit entitled “The Eternal Jew” in Munich on this date in 1937, as part of a series of shows about “degenerate art.” On display for three months before going on tour, “The Eternal Jew” attracted 412,300 visitors to the Deutsches Museum, where special performances by the Bavarian State Theater accompanied the exhibition. The title was also used for an anti-Semitic book of photographs published by the Nazi press that year, and a 1940 propaganda film that included footage from the Nazi conquest of Poland. According to David B. Green in Haaretz, the show “was accompanied by a lecture series which attracted overflow crowds. The talks dealt with such topics as the Talmud, the Jews and capitalism, and the Jewish influence on German philosophy. The lectures and the museum show were just two examples of an ongoing onslaught by the various organs of the Nazi Party to familiarize the German people with the ‘academic’ research being carried out by German scholars about the Jewish threat.” “‘Der ewige Jude’ was intended to provide Germans with a comprehensive depiction of the invidious Otherness of the Jew, through pseudo-scientific descriptions of Jews’ business practices, their personal morals, their dress, their external physiological characteristics, even the nature of Hebrew typography.” —David B. Green