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Schick, A. (1971). The Jew as Sacrificial Victim. Psychoanal. Rev., 58(1):75-89.

(1971). Psychoanalytic Review, 58(1):75-89

The Jew as Sacrificial Victim

Alfred Schick, M.D.

Libraries are filled with volumes on anti-Semitism. Motivations and causes of this prejudice have been examined from all possible angles. These investigations have shown the rationalizations and justifications for anti-Semitism as a maze of fantastic accusations and contradictory assertions. But whatever the particular approach, the whole complex of anti-Semitic rationalizations can be divided roughly into four categories: religious, racial, economic and political. Thus, in medieval times, distorted religious belief was used to stir up hatred leading to persecutions and massacres of Jews. Significantly, the Jew was accused of and persecuted for the murder of Christ; and he was also condemned for the ritual sacrifice of Gentile children. Always, the Jews like other minorities have served as convenient scapegoats during anxiety-filled periods of turbulent socioeconomic change. Finally, the hatred of Jews as state policy in Nazi Germany and elsewhere was associated with the branding of Jews as an inferior race, intent on doing evil to the world. The irrationality of anti-Semitism was pressed into the coldly rational political aims of the state and combined with all the open or hidden emotions of the desire of the masses for material gain, distrust of Jewish cultural differences, aggression, fear, cruelty, envy, jealousy and feelings of inferiority. The anti-Semitic rationalizations met with a generally enthusiastic response.

From time to time, however, there have been intervals of respite and tolerance: e. g.,

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