About us
Our beliefs
Your first visit?
Contact us
External links
Good books
Visitor essays
Our forum
New essays
Other features
Buy a CD
Vital notes

World religions
 Who is a Christian?
 Shared beliefs
 Handle change
 Bible topics
 Bible inerrancy
 Bible harmony
 Interpret Bible
 Beliefs, creeds
 Da Vinci code
 Revelation 666
Other religions
Cults and NRMs
Comparing religions


About all religions
Main topics
Basic info.
Handling change
Confusing terms
World's end
True religion?
Seasonal events
More info.

Absolute truth

Attaining peace
Relig. tolerance
Relig. freedom
Relig. hatred
Relig. conflict
Relig. violence

"Hot" topics
Very hot topics
10 command.
Assisted suicide
Death penalty
Human rights
Gay marriage
Sex & gender
Spanking kids
Stem cells
Other topics

Laws and news
Religious laws
Religious news



Religious Tolerance logo


Persecution of Jews

Part 1:
Anti-semitism: Racially/Religiously
based persecution of Jews:
1800 to now:

Sponsored link.

The conversion from religiously-based to racially-based persecution:

Prior to 1800 CE: Persecution was directed at followers of Judaism because of their religious beliefs; it has been referred to as anti-Judaism. CE, Jews could escape oppression by converting to Christianity, and being baptized. The Christian church taught in past centuries that all Jews (past, present and future) were responsible for Jesus' death. The Church also believed that some Jews must be allowed to live, because the biblical book of Revelation indicated that they had a role to play in the "end times." They concluded that it was acceptable to make Jews' lives quite miserable.

Since about 1800: "...Nationalism became a dominant value in the Western and Arab worlds...antisemitism increasingly focused on the Jews' peoplehood and nationhood." 15 Persecution became a form of racism, and has generally been called "anti-Semitism" -- a word "created by an antisemite, Wilhelm Marr [in 1879]. Marr's intention was to replace the German word Judenhass (Jew-hatred) with a term that would make Jew-haters sound less vulgar and even somewhat scientific." 15 The word is variously spelled antisemite, anti-Semite and anti-semite. It is not a particularly good choice, because the root word "Semitic" refers to a group of languages, not to a single language or to a race, people or nation. However, it is in near-universal usage.

Anti-semitism: Persecution of Jews along racial lines:

Subsequent attacks against Jews tended to be racially motivated. They were perpetrated primarily by the state. The Jewish people were viewed as a separate people or race.

bullet1806: A French Jesuit Priest, Abbe Barruel, had written a treatise blaming the Masonic Order for the French Revolution. He later issued a letter alleging that Jews, not the Masons were the guilty party. This triggered a belief in an international Jewish conspiracy in Germany, Poland and some other European countries later in the 19th century.
bullet1819: During the late 18th and early 19th centuries, many European Jews lobbied their governments for emancipation. They sought citizenship as well as the same rights and treatment as were enjoyed by non-Jews. This appears to have provoked sporadic anti-semites to engage in anti-Jewish violence. The rioters cried "Hep! Hep!." The origin(s) of this cry are not clear. Jews and their property were attacked first in Wuerzburg, Germany during 1819-AUG. The rioting spread across Germany and eventually reached as far as Denmark and Poland. 17
bullet1840: A rumor spread in Syria that some Jews were responsible for the ritual killing of a Roman Catholic monk and his servant. As a result of horrendous treatment, some local Jews confessed to a crime that they did not commit. This "Damascus Affair" spurred early Zionist writers like Hess to promote the Zionist cause. 17 More details.
bullet 1846 - 1878: Pope Pius IX restored all of the previous restrictions against the Jews within the Vatican state. All Jews under Papal control were confined to Rome's ghetto -- the last one in Europe until the Nazi era restored the church's practice. On 2000-SEP-3, Pope John Paul II beatified Pius IX; this is the last step before sainthood. He explained: "Beatifying a son of the church does not celebrate particular historic choices that he has made, but rather points him out for imitation and for veneration for his virtue."
bullet1858: Edgardo Mortara was kidnapped, at the age of six, from his Jewish family by Roman Catholic officials after they found out that a maid had secretly baptized him. He was not returned to his family but was raised a Catholic. He eventually became a priest. 
bullet1873: The term "antisemitism" is first used in a pamphlet by Wilhelm Marr called "Jewry's Victory over Teutonism."
bullet1881: Alexander II of Russia was assassinated by radicals. The Jews were blamed. About 200 individual pogroms against the Jews followed. ("Pogrom" is a Russian word meaning "devastation" or "riot." In Russia, a pogrom was typically a mob riot against Jewish individuals, shops, homes or businesses. They were often supported and even organized by the government.) Thousands of Jews became homeless and impoverished. The few who were charged with offenses generally received very light sentences. 1
bullet1893: "...anti-Semitic parties won sixteen seats in the German Reichstag." 2
bullet1894: Captain Alfred Dreyfus, an officer on the French general staff, was convicted of treason. The evidence against him consisted of a piece of paper from his wastebasket with another person's handwriting, and papers forged by antisemitic officers. He received a life sentence on Devil's Island, off the coast of South America. The French government was aware that a Major Esterhazy was actually guilty. 3 The church, government and army united to suppress the truth. Writer Emile Zola and politician Jean Jaur? fought for justice and human rights. After 10 years, the French government fell and Drefus was declared totally innocent. The Dreyfus Affair was world-wide news for years. It motivated Journalist Theodor Herzl to write a book in 1896: "The Jewish State: A Modern Solution to the Jewish Question." The book led to the founding of the Zionist movement which fought for a Jewish Homeland. A half century later, the state of Israel was born.
bullet1903: At Easter, government agents organized an anti-Jewish pogrom in Kishinev, Moldova, Russia. The local newspaper published a series of inflammatory articles. A Christian child was discovered murdered and a young Christian woman at the Jewish Hospital committed suicide. Jews were blamed for the deaths. Violence ensured. The 5,000 soldiers in the town did nothing. When the smoke cleared, 49 Jews had been killed, 500 were injured; 700 homes looted and destroyed, 600 businesses and shops looted, 2,000 families left homeless. Later, it was discovered that the child had been murdered by its relatives and the suicide was unrelated to the Jews. 4
bullet 1905: The Okhrana, the Russian secret police in the reign of Czar Nicholas II, converted an earlier antisemitic novel -- a work of fiction -- into a document called the "Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion." 16 It was published privately in 1897. A Russian Orthodox priest, Sergius Nilus, published them publicly  in 1905. It was promoted as the record of "secret rabbinical conferences whose aim was to subjugate and exterminate the Christians." 5 The Protocols were used by the Okhrana in a propaganda campaign that was associated with massacres of the Jews. These were the Czarist Pogroms of 1905.
bullet1915: 600,000 Jews were forcibly moved from the western borders of Russia towards the interior. About 100,000 died of exposure or starvation.
bullet1917: "In the civil war following the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917, the reactionary White Armies made extensive use of the Protocols to incite widespread slaughters of Jews." 5  Two hundred thousand Jews were murdered in the Ukraine alone.
bullet 1920: The Protocols reach England and the United States. They are exposed as a forgery, but are widely circulated. Henry Ford sponsored a study of international activities of Jews. This led to a series of antisemitic articles in the Dearborn Independent, which were later published in a book, "The International Jew." The Protocols were sold on Wal-Mart's online bookstore until they were removed on 2004-SEP-21.
bullet1920: The defeat of Germany in World War I and the continuing economic difficulties were blamed in that country on the "Jewish influence." One antisemitic poster has been preserved from that era. 6 It shows a German, presumably Christian woman, a male Jew with distorted facial features, a coffin and the word "Deutschland" (Germany).

Sponsored link:


1920's, 1930's: Hitler had published in Mein Kampf in 1925, writing:

"Today I believe that I am acting in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator: by defending myself against the Jew, I am fighting for the work of the Lord."

The Protocols were used by the Nazis  to whip up public hatred of the Jews  in the 1930's. Widespread pogroms occured in Greece, Hungary, Mexico, Poland, Rumania, and the USSR. Radio programs by many conservative American clergy, both Roman Catholic and Protestant, frequently attacked Jews. Reverend Fr. Charles E Coughlin was one of the best known. "In the 1930's, radio audiences heard him rail against the threat of Jews to America's economy and defend Hitler's treatment of Jews as justified in the fight against communism." 12 Other conservative Christian leaders, such as Frank Norris and John Straton supported the Jews. 7

Discrimination against Jews in North America is widespread. Many universities set limits on the maximum number of Jewish students that they would accept. Harvard accepted all students on the basis of merit until after World War I when the percentage of Jewish students approached 15%. At that time they installed an informal quota system. In 1941, Princeton had fewer than 2% Jews in their student body. Jews were routinely barred from country clubs, prestigious neighborhoods, etc. 8

bullet1933: Hitler took power in Germany. On APR-1, Julius Streicher organized a one-day boycott of all Jewish owned businesses in the country. This was the start of continuous oppression by the Nazis culminating in the Holocaust (a.k.a. Shoah). Jews "were barred from civil service, legal professions and universities, were not allowed to teach in schools and could not be editors of newspapers." 2 Two years later, Jews were no longer considered citizens.
bullet1934: Various laws were enacted in Germany to force Jews out of schools and professions.
bullet1935: The Nazis passed the Nuremberg Laws restricting citizenship to those of "German or related blood." Jews became stateless.
bullet1936: Cardinal Hloud of Poland urged Catholics to boycott Jewish businesses.
bullet1938: On NOV-9, the Nazi government in Germany sent storm troopers, the SS and the Hitler Youth on a pogrom that killed 91 Jews, injured hundreds, burned 177 synagogues and looted 7,500 Jewish stores. Broken glass could be seen everywhere; the glass gave this event its name of Kristallnacht, the Night of Broken Glass. 9
bullet 1938: Hitler brought back century-old church law, ordering all Jews to wear a yellow Star of David as identification. A few hundred thousand Jews are allowed to leave Germany after they gave all of their assets to the government.
bullet 1939: The Holocaust began. This was the systematic extermination by genocide of Jews in Germany, by the Nazi government. The word Holocaust comes from two Greek words "holos" and "kostos" which mean "totally burnt." It is called Shoah by Jews, and the Devouring by the Roma. The process only ended in 1945 with the conclusion of World War II and the liberation of the death camps. Approximately 6 million Jews (1.5 million of them children), 400 thousand Roma (Gypsies) and others were slaughtered. Some were shot by death squads; others were slowly killed in trucks with carbon monoxide; others were gassed in large groups in Auschwitz, Dacau, Sobibor, Treblinka and other extermination camps. Officially, the holocaust was described by the Nazis as subjecting Jews "to special treatment" or as a "solution of the Jewish question." Gold taken from the teeth of the victims was recycled; hair was used in the manufacture of mattresses. In the Buchenwald extermination camp, lampshades were made out of human skin; however, this appears to be an isolated incident. A rumor spread that Jewish corpses were routinely converted into soap. However, the story also appears to be false. 10

1940: The Vichy government of France collaborated with Nazi Germany by freezing about 80,000 Jewish bank accounts. During the next four years, they deported about 76,000 Jews to Nazi death camps; only about 2,500 survived. It was only in 1995 that a French president, Jacques Chirac:

"... was able to admit that the state bore a heavy share of responsibility in the mass round-ups and deportations of Jews, as well as in the property and asset seizures that were carried out with the active help of the Vichy regime." 11

bullet1941: The Holocaust Museum in Washington DC estimates that 13,000 Jews died on 1941-JUN-19 during a pogrom in Bucharest, Romania. It was ordered by the pro-Nazi Romanian regime of Marshal Ion Antonescu. The current government has admitted that this atrocity happened, but most Romanians continue to deny that the Jews were killed on orders from their own government. 12

1941: Polish citizens in Jedwabne in northeastern Poland killed hundreds of Jews, by either beating them to death or burning them alive in a barn. According to the Associated Press:

"The role played by Polish citizens was suppressed for nearly six decades until publication of a book by a Polish emigre historian, Jan Tomasz Gross. After release of the book in 2000, the Polish government launched an investigation. 'The role of the Poles was decisive in conducting the criminal act,' [prosecutor Radoslaw] Ignatiew, said. The book, 'Neighbours,' sparked national soul-searching among Poles, many of whom could not believe that anybody but the Nazis would have committed the atrocity." 13

bullet1942: The Nazi leaders of Germany, at the Wannsee conference, decided on"the final solution of the Jewish question" which was the attempt to exterminate every Jew in Europe. From JUL-28 to 31, almost 18,000 Russian inhabitants of the Minsk ghetto in what is now Belarus were exterminated. This was in addition to 5,000 to 15,000 who had been massacred in earlier pogroms in that city. This was just one of many such pogroms during World War II. 14
bullet1945: The Shoah (Holocaust) ended as the Allied Forces over-ran the Nazi death camps.
bullet1946: Even though World War II ended the year before, antisemitic pogroms continued, particularly in Poland, with the deaths of many Jews.
bullet 2018-MAY: An Anti-Semitism Awareness Act was introduced into Congress. It was opposed by the American Civil Liberties Union because it "risks chilling the free speech of students on college campuses, and is unnecessary to enforce federal law’s prohibition on harassment in education." More details.

2018-OCT: The most serious mass murder of Jews in United States history ocurred in the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, PA on 2018-OCT-27. More details.

A recent study showed that anti-semitism in Russia had fallen to a record low, far less than East European countries. 18


2019-APR: One person was killed, and three were injured at a California synagogue attack in Poway, CA. More details


2019-MAY: Anti-Semitism Awareness Act in Congress hasn't advanced. 2018 Worldwide Report on Antisemitism issued.


2020-JAN-27: This is the date of the annual International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

The commemoration in 2020 is the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, the Naxi extermination camp, during 1945 by the 1st Ukrainian Front of the Red Army.

During 2019-FEB, PEW Research conducted a survey among a random sampling of about 11,000 U.S. adults. They found:

  • Over 80% knew that the term, "Holocaust" is related to the mass murder of Jews, or of death camps, or Nazis, etc.
  • 70% are aware that it happened between 1930 and 1950.
  • 45% correctly believed that about 6 million Jews were killed.
  • Only 43% were aware of one very important historical fact: that Hitler became Chancellor of Germany via a democratic political process. Knowing that is very important, particularly in the U.S. today.
  • 90% of non-Jewish respondents to the survey expressed neutral or warm feelings toward Jews generally. 19

Time magazine reported in 2019 that more Jewish persons worldwide had been killed as a result of anti-semitism during that year than in years during multiple prevous decades. France, which has the third largest Jewish population in the wolrd had an 74% increase in anti-semtici murders between 2017 and 2018.

Olivia Waxman, writing for Time, said that a study released on JAN-22:

",,, commissioned by the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany (the Claims Conference) and conducted by Schoen Consulting, found that one quarter of French millennials and Gen Zers surveyed have never heard of, or do not think they have heard of, the word Shoah, the term the French commonly use for the Holocaust. ..."

"Meanwhile, a majority of French respondents — 52% — believe that 'something like the Holocaust could happen in other European countries today'." 20

Similar studies have been conducted by the Claims Conference h the U.S., Canada and Austria.


  1. "The Pale of Settlement and the pogroms of 1881 in Russia," at:
  2. Fritz B. Voll, "A Short Review of a Troubled History," at: http://www.jcrelations.com/res/incidents.htm#protokols1
  3. "The Dreyfus Affair," http://holocaust.miningco.com/msub15.htm
  4. "The Kishinev Pogrom of 1903," at: http://www.netwiz.net/~mchavez/familytales/pogrom.htm
  5. "Protocols of the Elders of Zion," article. See: http://www.us-israel.org/jsource/anti-semitism/protocols.html
  6. Antisemitic poster from 1920 Germany at: http://holocaust.miningco.com/msub15.htm
  7. G.M. Marsden, "Fundamentalism and American Culture," Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK (1980)
  8. G.M. Marsden, "Religion and American Culture," Harcourt, San Diego, CA, (1990), Page 220.
  9. Robert Fulford, "Historian recalls life as a Jew among the Nazis", Article, Globe and Mail, Toronto ON, 1998-OCT-31.
  10. "A Picture Tells a Thousand Words," http://www.primenet.com/~rvolk/english/antiprop/jewish_soap/
  11. Jon Henley, "France faces up to wartime role," The Guardian, reprinted in the Toronto Star, 2001-JAN-11, Page A28
  12. "Survivors mark Romania pogrom: First memorial to 1941 victims," Associated Press, 2000-DEC-6.
  13. "Poles close probe into Jewish wartime massacre," Associated Press. Published in the Toronto Star, Toronto ON, 2002-JUL-9. at: http://www.thestar.com/NASApp/cs/
  14. "Pogrom," Vecherny Minsk newspaper, Minsk, Belarus, 1967-NOV. See:
  15. J. Telushkin, "Jewish Literacy: The Most Important Things to Know About the Jewish Religion, Its People and Its History; Item 241: Antisemitism" William Morrow, (1991). Read reviews or order this book safely from Amazon.com online book store
  16. Victor Marsden, translator, "The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion," Liberty Bell Publications, (2004). Read reviews or order this hate propaganda safely from Amazon.com online book store
  17. Jonathan Frankel, "The Damascus Affair : 'Ritual Murder', Politics, and the Jews in 1840," Cambridge University Press, (1997). Read reviews or order this book
  18. Amie Ferris-Rotman, "In a strange twist of fate, now it’s Russian Jews praying for American Jews," Washington Post, 2018-OCT-31, at: https://www.washingtonpost.com/
  19. "What Americans Know about the Holocaust," Pew Research Center, 2019-JAN-22, at: https://www.pewforum.org/
  20. Olivia Waxman, "A Surprisingly Large Percentage of Young French People Don't Know About the Holocaust, Study Finds," Time, 2020-JAN-22, at: https://time.com/

Site navigation

 Home page > Laws & religion Genocide > Jewish persecution > here

or: Home page > Hatred & intolerance > Genocide > Jewish persecution > here

or: Home page > World religions >   Judaism > Jewish persecution > here

or: Home page > Christianity > Christian relations > Jewish persecution > here

Copyright © 1997 to 2020 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Latest update: 2020-JAN-26
Author: B.A. Robinson

line.gif (538 bytes)
Sponsored link:

Go to the previous page, or go to the Jewish Persecution menu, or choose:

Go to home page  We would really appreciate your help

E-mail us about errors, etc.  Purchase a CD of this web site

FreeFind search, lists of new essays...  Having problems printing our essays?

Twitter link

Facebook icon

Google Page Translator:

This page translator works on Firefox,
Opera, Chrome, and Safari browsers only

After translating, click on the "show
original" button at the top of this
page to restore page to English.


Sponsored link: