Today e-mail, Facebook, and Twitter are sometimes used to spread
hateful messages and slurs masking as humor. In the late nineteenth
and early twentieth centuries postcards served this purpose. The
images collected in this volume make it painfully clear that
anti-Semitic propaganda did not simply begin with the Nazis. Nor
was it the sole province of politicians, journalists, and
rabble-rousers. One of the most virulent forms of anti-Semitism
during this time was spread by quite ordinary people through
postcards. Of the millions of postcards exchanged during their
heyday of 1890 through 1920, a considerable percentage carried the
anti-Semitic images that publishers churned out to meet public
demand, reflecting deep-seated attitudes of society.
Over 250 examples of such postcards, largely from the
pre-Holocaust era, are reproduced here for the first
time--selected, translated, and historically contextualized by one
of the world's foremost postcard collectors. Although representing
but a small sample of the many thousands that were in print, these
examples nonetheless offer a disturbing glimpse--one shocking to
the modern sensibility--into the many permutations of anti-Semitism
eagerly circulated by millions of people. In so doing, they help us
to better understand a phenomenon still pervasive today.
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