Wilhelm Marr

The Victory of Judaism over Germany - Viewed from a Nonreligious Point of View (1879)

Translated by Gerhard Rohringer

The Victory of Judaism over Germany - Viewed from a Nonreligious Point of View (1879) by Wilhelm Marr

Foreword by the Translator

In the following pages, the reader will find a translation of an often mentioned but very hard to find pamphlet by Wilhelm Marr, a German journalist and cultural historian from the late 19th century with the title The Victory of Judaism over Germanism (Sieg des Judenthums über das Germanenthum).

Wilhelm Marr’s work is highly controversial. As a journalist, he became known for his sharply critical attitude towards Judaism’s role in the Western world. Today he is considered one of the most important exponents of modern anti-Semitism.

Just how important a role he may have played is described in a book by Prof. Moshe Zimmermann of Hebrew University of Jerusalem with the title Wilhelm Marr, the Patriarch of Anti-Semitism.In this book, M. Zimmermann devotes a long chapter to The Victory of Judaism over Germanism. He describes Marr’s personal circumstances at the time this work was created. While much space is devoted to document the events surrounding its composition, Marr’s own words receive little attention. Instead M. Zimmermann states “I will not expand upon the content of this notorious essay here.”

a) A very brief exposition of some of the actual contents of Marr’s pamphlet appears in an annotated anthology of modern Jewish history by Prof. Paul Mendes-Flohr and Prof. J. Reinharz. It consists of the translation of several paragraphs selected from chapter 5 of Marr’s pamphlet.

b) The absence of any comprehensive translation of this pamphlet confronts the reader, who is interested in Marr’s own words, with a difficult task. He must find a copy of the pamphlet and he must read it in the original German. Finding a printed copy has been difficult. The Libraries Worldwide Catalog (World Cat.) at the University of California’s Melvyl library system lists only 29 copies worldwide. Only since the advent of the world wide web an electronic copy of Marr’s pamphlet has become available at www.archive.org/details/texts

For these reasons I have translated the entire pamphlet and provided annotations for names and concepts which may not be familiar to today’s reader. This will enable the researcher to obtain a first hand impression of Marr’s historical-cultural view of The Victory of Judaism over Germanism.

It is a significant fact that Marr never recanted the views he expressed in his pamphlet. However, he later expressed regret for having joined and assisted a certain anti-Semitic movement which he came to recognize as having just been a business, the “business of anti-Semitism”. Details regarding Marr’s later view of his pamphlet and of the type of anti- Semitism which he regretted joining after its publication, can be found in the translation of Marr’s The Testament of an Antisemite prepared by M. Zimmermann and included in his book as a separate chapter.

c) Also significant is, that in some of the secondary literature the present pamphlet is quoted as the one in which Marr first coined the expression anti-Semitism. That this is not so is easily verified, since the present pamphlet does not contain this term.

a) M. Zimmermann, Wilhelm Marr, the Patriarch of Anti-Semitism, Oxford University Press, 1986, p. 79.
b) Paul R. Mendes-Flohr and J. Reinharz, The Jew in the Modern World: A Documentary History, Oxford University Press, 1995, pp. 331, 332.
c) M. Zimmermann, ibid., p. 133 to155, particularly pp. 137,138. 

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