Was bedeutet die „Europäisierung des Holocaust“ für antisemitische Einstellungen?


  • Werner Bergmann




Recent years have seen a tendency to Europeanize the Holocaust. Holocaust commemoration has spread all over Europe and many countries have been confronted with their direct and indirect involvement with the Holocaust. So it may figure as a kind of (negative) founding myth for the new Europe. On the basis of survey data, the article develops some empirically based arguments about what this could mean for the attitudes toward Jews?

The answer is twofold: It can be shown that the knowledge about the Holocaust and the willingness to remember it are fairly widespread in the European populations and that the attitude toward the Jews and the Holocaust is seen a kind of litmus-test for a democratic and open political culture. So in the long run the Europeanization of the Holocaust is expected to lead to a decrease in antisemitic attitudes. On the other hand, in all countries a part of the population, especially those with nationalistic leanings, rejects the material and moral consequences of the Holocaust and suspected the Jews to exploit it for their own purposes. So one can expect that, as in Germany and Austria, a „secondary antisemitism“ will develop in other European countries too, basing on the rejection of guilt and responsibility, which is seen as being forced upon the country by the Jews.





Bergmann, W. (2005). Was bedeutet die „Europäisierung des Holocaust“ für antisemitische Einstellungen?. Journal für Konflikt- Und Gewaltforschung, 7(1), 8–27. https://doi.org/10.11576/jkg-5660