“Because words are not deeds”

Antisemitic Practice and Nationality Policies in Upper Hungary around 1900

ABSTRACT

The study deals with the processes of transformation within political antisemitism in Hungary around 1900. It mainly investigates the extent to which the crisis of Hungarian political antisemitism in the early 1890s fostered antisemitic practice, namely, the social and economic boycott of rural Jews in particular through the establishment of cooperatives and credit unions. It is to be assumed that antisemitic practice was not restricted to a strictly antisemitic milieu, but propagated and executed by diverse anti-liberal actors such as political Catholicism, the agrarian lobby and the Slovak nationalists. The study illuminates antisemitic practice in the multi-ethnic Kingdom of Hungary in the context of agrarian and nationality policies. In the rural parts of Upper Hungary this practise was accompanied by propaganda against “usury” as a way of legitimizing cooperatives and credit unions. The study will elaborate to what extent the Hungarian campaigns against the Jewish money-lenders united ethnically diverse, non-Jewish actors, such as Hungarian conservatives and Slovak nationalists.

issue 03 / July 2012 by Miloslav Szabo