Jan Rathje: “Money rules the world, but who rules the money?” Antisemitism in post-Holocaust Conspiracy Ideologies
¶ 1 Leave a comment on paragraph 1 0 Current conspiracy narratives initially appear to exhibit no connection with anti-Semitism. “1%”, “vaccination-lie”, “chemtrails” or the “flat earth conspiracy” do not overtly invoke the “Jewish world conspiracy”. This study focusses on the relation between antisemitism and conspiracy ideologies under the premise of “detour-communication”. In the first part, it is shown, that antisemitism and conspiracy ideologies share common structures and functions, which impede a clear distinction. This distinction is further complicated by “detour-communication”: An implicit way to express antisemitic statements via codes and ciphers after the Holocaust since overt and explicit expressions of antisemitism were tabooed in western states. The second part focusses on the historical dynamics of the “Jewish world conspiracy” myth from Christian medieval allegations to those of The Protocols of the elders of Zion. In a qualitative analysis of 200 postings from German conspiracy-ideological Facebook-pages, this study demonstrates, how antisemitic codes are used to direct non-antisemitic expressions to the myth of the “Jewish World Conspiracy”. Thereby it is illustrated, that elements of the Protocols are still being used in conspiracy-ideological communications on the internet.
¶ 3 Leave a comment on paragraph 3 0 At the latest since the Islamist terror attacks of September 11, 2001, conspiracy ideologies are clearly discernable. At that time, the available technological possibilities of the internet, regarding production and distribution of information and propaganda, played right into the hands of their dissemination. Since then conspiracy ideologies have increasingly penetrated public discourse, and are even disseminated by heads of states, themselves, such as Donald Trump in the USA or Viktor Orbán in Hungary. Especially the latter case shows that these statements are accompanied by an antisemitic connotation. This is no coincidence.
¶ 4 Leave a comment on paragraph 4 0 This article shall consider the question what kind of relation exists between antisemitism and modern conspiracy ideologies. To this end, on the basis of theoretical reflection, the study shall point out that antisemitism and conspiracy ideologies command the same structures and functions. Thus, they cannot simply be separated from one another. The fact that, since the Holocaust, this relation is concealed via the communicative strategy of detour-communication (“Umwegkommunikation”) in which antisemitic attitudes are no longer expressed explicitly but instead implicitly, by means of codes and ciphers, additionally complicates this matter.
¶ 5 Leave a comment on paragraph 5 0 The second part traces the development history of the myth of “Jewish world conspiracy” in order to illustrate that Jews assume a special role regarding the construction of enemy images. Associated with the Antichrist during Christian medieval times, they became the epitome of enlightenment and modernity since the French Revolution. At the beginning of the 20th century, the myth was eventually condensed into the plagiarism of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion by actors that, as yet, have not been unequivocally identified. This document constitutes a central element for, both, antisemitism and modern conspiracy ideologies that are still being disseminated, despite – or maybe even because of – its early refutation.
¶ 6 Leave a comment on paragraph 6 0 The third part shall trace how the myth of the “Jewish world conspiracy” is disseminated on the internet via the Protocols and under consideration of detour-communication by means of a short qualitative study. For this purpose, 200 posts on Facebook shall be analyzed that were published by the 10 largest German-language conspiracy-ideological sites on the platform.
I. Antisemitism and Conspiracy Ideologies
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To analyze the connection between antisemitism and conspiracy ideologies first of all the field of research and the central terms need to be isolated. The analysis is bound to the time period after the atrocious crime against humanity, the Holocaust, as new manifestations of antisemitism formed in its succession which need to be regarded with special consideration. Antisemitism is understood, following Lars Rensmann,
“[…] as a special, modern, politically and culturally situated form of stereotype-formation, as also […] an ensemble of prejudices, clichés, fixed collective images, binary codes and categorical attributions, and discriminating practices against Jews, which can be condensed into a political ideology and into a worldview. Although criteria for capturing these can be systematically accounted for, antisemitic patterns of prejudice and ideologemes, thus, in the ideology-historical process do not manifest themselves in a rigid and identical manner, but instead, they are to be interpreted as dependent of the political constellation and the political and cultural structure. In the democratic context, they often appear in coded, indirect, and symbolic forms, which aim towards the winking ‘knowledge’ and approval of the addressed electorate […].”
¶ 8 Leave a comment on paragraph 8 0 To define the term conspiracy ideology, I shall refer to the important preliminary works of Armin Pfahl-Traughber. In 2002 he criticized the analytical unsuitability of the term “conspiracy theory” and countered it with the following four terms as alternative. Conspiracies, whose existence he does not deny, are the starting point. They are understood as a secret agreement of a small group, with a relatively short-term horizon for planning to achieve a certain objective. The existence of conspiracies then legitimates the conspiracy hypothesis, hence the assumption, that a certain event is the result of a conspiracy. The conspiracy ideology, on the other hand, is distinguished by Pfahl-Traughber as a hypothesis, immunized against criticism, in which the conspiracy has become a dogmatic basic premise. Whereas a conspiracy ideology is still bound to real groups, like for example Mossad, CIA, and Freemasons, the conspiracy myth, as an ideal-typically distinguished variant of the conspiracy ideology, is directed against fictional, mythical groups, e.g. the “elders of Zion”, the Illuminati or aliens. In accordance with this definition, the following analysis is applied to the relation between antisemitism and conspiracy ideologies and myths.
Structure, Function, and detour-communication
¶ 9 Leave a comment on paragraph 9 0 In her article Verschwörungstheorien (conspiracy theories) of the Handbuch des Antisemitismus (handbook of antisemitism) Juliane Wetzel describes the relation between antisemitism and conspiracy ideologies as follows:
¶ 10 Leave a comment on paragraph 10 0 “Conspiracy theories do not always, but often have an antisemitic connotation, because Jews have become a classical scapegoat throughout past centuries, and there exists a manifold repertoire of stereotypes from which reasons can be construed all too easily, for events and developments that are, in fact, difficult to be explained.”
¶ 11 Leave a comment on paragraph 11 0 To begin with, Wetzel distinguishes between non-antisemitically connotated “conspiracy theories” and those “often” encountered antisemitically connotated ones. In a historical-functional manner, she regards the scapegoat-function of Jews and the existent anti-Jewish stereotypes which possess an explanatory function for those facts that are hard to explain as the reason for the correlation. Furthermore, in his analysis of the current conspiracy-campaign of German right-wing extremism, Samuel Salzborn establishes that “the motive of conspiracy […] is historically and systematically antisemitic”. In accordance with these determinations, the relation between antisemitism and conspiracy ideology can be analyzed from two perspectives, that of antisemitism-research, and that of the studies regarding conspiracy ideologies.
¶ 12 Leave a comment on paragraph 12 0 More recent antisemitism-research, regarding the relation between antisemitism and conspiracy-ideologies, refers to Thomas Haury’s studies which state a structural correlation. As the basis of his analysis of left-wing antisemitism, Haury describes three structural principles of the antisemitic worldview: Personification, Manichaeism, as well as the construction of identitary collectives. Within the structural principle of Personification Jews are understood as the epitome of abstract and mediated processes of modern societies and conceived as the originators of these. These images are united in the myth of the “Jewish world conspiracy” – the conspiracy theory is, therefore, part of the personification. In turn, the second structural principle of Manichaeism is characterized by a radical dualistic division of the world into Good and Evil, the identification of the enemy as something life-threateningly Evil, and an eschatological main feature. Identitary collectives form the last structural principle of antisemitism, which can only analytically be distinguished from Manichaeism. Within this structural principle, not individuals but only collectives are granted a subject status, which are determined by a specific, unalterable – therefor identitary – being.
¶ 13 Leave a comment on paragraph 13 0 The analysis of the structural principles of conspiracy ideologies requires further analytical sharpening of the term. Kurt Lenk’s historical-genetical typology extends the Pfahl-Traughberian understanding of conspiracy ideologies. As the starting point of his researches, Lenk states that the “Hochideologien” (high-ranking ideologies) of the 18th and 19th centuries were subjected to a decay process – especially in the 20th century. As a result forms of ideologies emerged which were intended to make those defects of “Hochideologien” bearable, which were becoming more and more obvious. Complementary ideologies acknowledge the contradictory and antagonistic conditions of modern societies. However, they don’t legitimize these on a rational basis as the best of all possible options but deliver explanations for the unpleasant sides of capitalism. Capitalism is not accused of these as being systematically inherent to capitalist societies, but, instead, they are reduced to ontologically determined laws of human existence. This way societal conditions are indirectly affirmed because the societal defect resulting from them is withdrawn from all criticism. Religions are an example of complementary ideologies, but also conservatism. They postulate value bound ideal spheres to compensate for the real defect and, thus, serve their adherents as a kind of counseling. A concealment ideology is what Lenk defines as an imagination-syndrome that may appear on its own or in concert with other ideologies. Its function is – especially in times of crisis – to distract from criticism of societal conditions by providing minority-groups within these as objects of aggression. The antisemitism of the last third of the 19th century, according to Lenk, is to be put as the shaping of concealment ideology: The anti-Jewish stereotypes of the “Jewish banker” or the “Jewish finance capital” conceal the socio-economic conditions of those crises. The last type of the decay ideologies Lenk designates expression ideologies. The structure of expression ideologies is formed by a “conglomerate of myths” that, on a functional level, provides a promise of salvation in mythical communal structures, as opposed to the contradictory conditions of late capitalist societies. A rational reference within the myth conglomerate no longer exists, the emotional addressing of drive-shifts is more important than the argument. In these empirical data and scientific theories are only then of use when they verify the mythological basic assumptions: “At this point arguing and justifying no longer takes place, but it must be believed.” To achieve their objective as soon as possible expression ideologies push towards political action. They utilize, complementary to the community-myth, a Manichaean friend-enemy-thinking, which presets the impact direction of the actions. A (world-) conspiracy ideology, in this sense, is a (world-) conspiracy centered expression ideology.
¶ 14 Leave a comment on paragraph 14 0 A comparison of the structural features of antisemitism according to Haury and the conspiracy ideology following Lenk shows a high level of compliance: Personification of abstract processes of modernization, which are regarded as a global malady, Manichaeism and mythical-identitary images of collectives as promises of salvation. These commonalities can also be observed on the functional level. In their description of the function of antisemitism for German right-wing extremism Rainer Erb and Michael Kohlstruck refer to Pfahl-Traughber’s for conspiracy ideologies: identity, world explanation, manipulation, and legitimization. Within the Manichaean worldview antisemitism and conspiracy ideologies provide an identity as oppressed fighters for all good, and by the means of personification of the evil Jew, they are able to explain all maladies in the world and point out the guilty that need to be fought. Furthermore, both legitimize their own actions.
¶ 15 Leave a comment on paragraph 15 0 Parallels between antisemitism and conspiracy ideologies also become apparent amongst the causes, from the perspective of Critical Theory. In Elements of Antisemitism Max Horkheimer and Theodor W. Adorno invoke the concept of projection from Freudian psychoanalysis. Simplified, Freud describes projection as a defensive behavior, in which repressed individual drives are projected onto other people to be indicted. Antisemitism is ultimately defined by Horkheimer and Adorno as a “pathische Projektion” (pathological projection), which implies a projection without reflection of the Own within the object of consideration; antisemitic conspiracy ideologies and myths are a part of this process. By means of accusing Jews of world conspiracy the desire for power and for a better life of those powerless, who experience this promise of liberalism as a lie and a mockery, becomes apparent: “[…] instead of going into himself in order to record the protocol of the own lust for power, he [the subject] ascribes the protocols of the elders of Zion to the others. “ In The Authoritarian Personality, the pathological projection was operationalized into quantitative and qualitative social-research as a variable of projectivity. In recent social-psychological research of conspiracy ideologies, it ultimately informs – independent from the explicit antisemitic items of the original study – the analysis of a conspiracy mentality, which is considered an individual-psychological cause for conspiracy-thinking.
¶ 16 Leave a comment on paragraph 16 0 One further factor is of relevance for the analysis of the relation between antisemitism and conspiracy ideologies. Since the Holocaust new manifestations of antisemitism can be discerned which are designated “secondary” or Post-Holocaust-Antisemitism. Since the crime against humanity entangles a positive identification of antisemites as good (and German) in contradictions, a defense against memory and guilt takes place within this type of antisemitism, that in extreme cases can result in the denial of the Holocaust – which in some countries is a criminal offense. This also occurs in combination with a perpetrator-victim-reversal, for example when Jews are accused of benefitting from the Holocaust, or when Israel is compared to national socialist Germany. Because explicit antisemitic statements and actions are publicly tabooed and sanctioned, according to Werner Bergmann and Rainer Erb, a detour-communication has taken shape in which latent antisemitism is articulated in another, ostensibly non-problematic manner, e. g. via criticism of Israel. The attribute “Jewish“ is purposely omitted from this communication and the single stereotypes only appear as codes and ciphers, yet, used in the certainty that the informed audience will be able to decode the intended information. “Anti-Jewish contents were and are (with the exception of right-wing extremist spheres) mediated as indirect acts of speech (and realized as ‘detour-communication’ […])”, as Monika Schwarz-Friesel and Jehuda Reinharz establish in their study of the language of Jew-Hatred in the 21st century. The antisemitic implicature must be regarded in the analysis of conspiracy-ideological statements, in order to not mistake the appearance for the essence.
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Tom David Uhlig puts the findings of this paragraph in a nutshell:
“Structurally the conspiracy theory is the expression of antisemitic resentments. Since the breach of civilization of the Shoah hatred towards Jews, in the so-called Western countries, can no longer be articulated in an unchanged manner, if it does not want to risk being excluded from public discourse. On the one hand, detour-communication is enclosed by information on its motives, if one follows the history of antisemitic forms of articulation. To this day many of the antisemitic images are passed on with only a few minor modifications, and can therefore easily be decoded […]. On the other hand, the conspiracy theory reveals its antisemitic descent via the function which it fulfills: the conspiracy-theoretical reductionism complies with the same societal and psychological needs, as the overt hatred towards Jews.”
¶ 18 Leave a comment on paragraph 18 0 In conclusion, the relation between antisemitism and conspiracy ideology seems to be so tight, that a distinction appears difficult – if not even impossible. Antisemitism and conspiracy ideologies permeate each other reciprocally: The conspiracy ideological enables antisemitism to function as a total world explanation; and, by means of the Jewish enemy image, antisemitism provides conspiracy ideology with an extendable “complex stereotype-linkage”, which has been passed on for centuries. The synthesis of both forms the myth of the “Jewish world conspiracy”.
II. The myth of the “Jewish world conspiracy”
¶ 19 Leave a comment on paragraph 19 0 The emergence of the myth has been reconstructed with respect to various points. Ugo Volli notices anti-Jewish conspiracy accusations already as of the first millennium before 0, for example regarding the conspiracy accusations against the Israelites in Egypt which led to their exodus, or with reference to those made at the Persian court based on the biblical book Esther. Hannes Stein traces the origin of the myth back to the year 200, to a statement made by the poet Lucius Flavius Philostratus, according to which the Jews had conspired against all mankind, what Philostratus considered verified by pointing out the isolation of the Jews. The reference to the myth’s medieval origin is more frequent. To that end, the historiographical applied discourse analysis by historian Johannes Heil (2006) deserves special notice. He clarifies in detail that the narrative of the “Jewish world conspiracy” did not merely originate as a consequence of modern antisemitism and The Protocols of the elders of Zion, but had already been disseminated since the 13th century. Jews were, besides other religiously motivated anti-Jewish stereotypes, depicted as allies of the anti-Christ during the apocalyptic end of time. Although this accusation was also made against other groups, e. g. Tatars, witches, or lepers, the one against the Jews prevailed throughout the passage of centuries – even after the accusations became worldlier, due to the secularization of Christian societies, the narratives along with the actions combined with these, began to change. The process of desacralization had, in many ways, proven problematic for the conspiracy-narratives. The Christian, pre-modern apocalyptic conspiracy-imagination yet beheld a history-theological element: According to this the end of time was immediately followed by the absolution of the Christians and the conversion of the Jews (or their extermination). Without the theological bond to the anti-Christ and apocalypse, the possibility to convert Jews, the power of the Jews limited by the anti-Christ, and the termination of the expected enslavement of the subjugated societies via divine intervention were omitted as a consequence of the process of secularization, as was also the history-theological promise of salvation. In this context the, no longer religiously conceptualized, figure of the “salvator”, assigned with the task to prevent the secularized hell of infinite enslavement by the Jews, became even more important. The conspiracy no longer necessarily led to the gateways of heaven, but, instead, admonished action against the alleged conspirators, in order to evade enslavement. Furthermore, Heil notices that the desacralization of the “Jewish conspiracy” may cover the apocalyptic end of time; however, it has not left it behind itself.
¶ 20 Leave a comment on paragraph 20 0 Johannes Rogalla von Bieberstein thematically follows Heil’s researches in his dissertation text Die These von der Verschwörung 1776 – 1945 (The thesis of the conspiracy 1776 – 1945). Therein the historian researches the counter-revolutionary conspiracy-thesis in the environment of the French Revolution, which, besides philosophers, Freemasons, liberals, and socialists, also identified Jews as conspirators. Rogalla von Bieberstein refers to the socio-economic dimension of anti-Jewish hostility, which occurred as a consequence of forcing Jews into petty trade, money exchange- and lending in the Middle Ages. In this way, the Christian antijudaism was accompanied by a secular counterpart, and both were utilized in the counter-revolutionary conspiracy-accusations against Jews. According to Rogalla von Bieberstein Jews were initially only called “useful tools”. However, their role would continuously solidify, with the result that soon, especially regarding the relation to Freemasonry, no distinction was made anymore, which brought about the very stable narrative of the “Judeo-Masonic world conspiracy”: United in the ostensible struggle against Christianity, promoting enlightenment within the non-French nations, supported by Jewish influence and money.
¶ 21 Leave a comment on paragraph 21 0 “Because ‘the Jews’ could be displayed as symbols of modernity and they, nonetheless, due to the continuous Christian-medieval demonology, were conceived by many as beings with mysterious features, they were in a special way suited for a role in the midst of an anti-modernist and anti-liberal conspiracy-thesis.”
¶ 22 Leave a comment on paragraph 22 0 As of the 19th century Christian counter-revolutionary positions within the world conspiracy narrative, paralleled by the rise of socialist and democratic movements, were accompanied by anti-socialist, anti-pluralist and anti-democratic positions. The banking family Rothschild became a synonym for the anti-capitalist moment within the antisemitic world conspiracy narrative. At the same time, the newspaper was established as a mass medium that, as of the second half of the 19th century, was conceived as a “fourth power”, and perceived as a threat by the conservative governments. The antisemitic stereotype of the “Jewish world conspiracy” was solidified and extended, accordingly, by the notion of control over the media. Regarding the dissemination of the myth, the works of Hermann Goedsche, aka Sir John Retcliffe (1868), deserve special attention. The literary process of solidification culminated in the plagiarism of the Protocols of the elders of Zion, first published around the turn of the 19th/20th century, of which the content was also compiled from Goedsche’s antisemitic novel Biarritz. Regarding the global dissemination of antisemitic conspiracy myths, the protocols play a crucial role. Yehuda Bauer aptly summarizes this:
¶ 23 Leave a comment on paragraph 23 0 „The devil myth, inspired by medieval Christianity, led to another very basic antisemitic stereotype, that of the Jewish world conspiracy, translated into the infamous Protocols of the Elders of Zion at the turn of the nineteenth century.”
¶ 24 Leave a comment on paragraph 24 0 For the moment the Protocols shall serve as a starting point for the following analysis of the relation between conspiracy ideologies and antisemitism on the internet, since they are held true to be “the most significant document for propagating the myth of a Jewish world conspiracy” or “an archetype or ‘ideal type’ of modern, 20th-century anti-Semitism”. Ugo Volli even designates antisemitism itself a “prototypical conspiracy theory“, because of its long tradition and transformability. On the basis of structural, functional, and historical commonalities the question shall be considered if the explicitly antisemitic Protocols – taking into account the concept of detour-communication – are indeed “the prototype of all world conspiracy theories”. Chip Berlet refers to such conspiracy ideologies as “analogs“, that he on the one hand distinguishes into explicit antisemitic conspiracy ideologies, which structurally replicate the Protocols without explicitly mentioning them, and on the other hand into ostensibly non-antisemitic conspiracy ideologies, that operate with codes (e. g. “Rothschild”, “Zionists”). Regarding the USA of the year, 2012 Berlet notices that the most frequent conspiracy ideologies mention other world conspirators, without consciously or overtly mentioning Jews.
III. Antisemitism and post-Holocaust Conspiracy Ideologies on Facebook
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The study is restricted to the “supply-side” of conspiracy ideologies on the internet. It is thusly focused on postings by certain Facebook-pages, not on comments by users or page-administrators/-moderators. This medium has led to a democratization of the means of communication of modern societies, especially since the expansion of publishing possibilities for general users. Also, those discourses excluded in the past due to quality standards became publicly discernable via internet. Social media (Facebook, YouTube, Twitter etc.) that enabled the individual to informally organize and connect her-/himself based on her/his interests also contributed to this development. In respect of antisemitism and conspiracy ideologies, this means that the internet in general, and social media in particular, provide a space, that enables to not undergo a reflection-process of the own ideological and/or delusional worldview but to enforce these reciprocally. As Mark Weitzman described these processes at the beginning of this century:
“A single extremist, who had up until now been isolated, can now connect with similar minded people, in different locations, and thus create the empowering illusion that their movement is indeed international and growing.”
¶ 26 Leave a comment on paragraph 26 0 In order to answer the questions if the Protocols are still present on the internet as “analogs“, and how the relation to antisemitism is expressed in these, a qualitative analysis of postings of German language Facebook-pages which are assigned to the conspiracy-ideological milieu shall be performed. For one thing, this examination is intended to establish if the mediated contents constitute “analogs”, and furthermore to analyze if antisemitism is explicitly or implicitly implied, or not at all. To operationalize the “analogs” Chip Berlet’s compiled accusations against the Jews from the Protocols shall be used, which can be expressed explicitly, however, without referring to the Protocols, or implicitly via codes. Because single Facebook-posts don’t reach the scope of the Protocols, the accusations compiled by Berlet shall be conceptualized as “analog“-elements:
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- Conspirators/Jews are behind a plan for global conquest.
- Conspirators/Jews work through Masonic lodges.
- Conspirators/Jews use liberalism to weaken church and state.
- Conspirators/Jews control the press.
- Conspirators/Jews work through radicals and revolutionaries.
- Conspirators/Jews manipulate the economy, especially through banking monopolies and the power of gold.
- Conspirators/Jews encourage issuing paper currency not tied to the gold standard.
- Conspirators/Jews promote financial speculation and use of credit.
- Conspirators/Jews replace traditional educational curriculum to discourage independent thinking.
- Conspirators/Jews encourage immorality among Christian youth.
- Conspirators/Jews use intellectuals to confuse people.
- Conspirators/Jews control “puppet” governments both through secret allies and by blackmailing elected officials.
- Conspirators/Jews weaken laws through liberal interpretations.
- Conspirators/Jews will suspend civil liberties during an emergency and then make the measures permanent.
¶ 28 Leave a comment on paragraph 28 0 The Facebook-pages are selected based on the bachelor thesis of Josef Holnburger and Andreas Hartkamp, dated 2017. In this work, they analyze the network- and user-behavior of 84 conspiracy-ideological Facebook-pages that have over 5000 Likes at their disposal in the German-speaking area. The pages were categorized as conspiracy-ideological due to the fact that in their postings they disseminated the narrative of a secret conspiracy of a small elite, aiming to attain power and to disclose this conspiracy concealed by lies and propaganda. Within the scope of the following research, a sample of 200 postings shall be examined, consisting of the respective 20 posts with the highest level of reader engagement, on the ten most far-reaching German-language conspiracy-ideological Facebook-pages during the time-period from January 1st until June 30th, 2017. The engagement is measured based on the sum of likes, comments, likes of comments and shares. The data was aggregated and extracted with the tool Netvizz, to subsequently be processed by means of the software for qualitative data-analysis, MAXQDA.
¶ 29 Leave a comment on paragraph 29 0 On the basis of their immediate Facebook-contents (post, picture/meme, video, article-link-preview) the 200 posts were assigned to operationalized codes which were drawn from the match with Chip Berlet’s “analogs“-elements. A subsequent examination should, then, determine if the elements of the “analogs“ in the single posts exhibit an explicit, implicit, or even no antisemitic reference at all.
¶ 30 Leave a comment on paragraph 30 0 It can be ascertained that, on the formal level, the posts within the examined samples contain various different text-contents, links, pictures/memes, and videos in different combinations, created specifically for Facebook. The links refer to different Facebook-pages, YouTube, the own website, or certain articles of the “mainstream media“, to underline the own statements. Posts on the Facebook-pages RT Deutsch and COMPACT-Magazin, in most cases, share links to their own website and publish pieces of the linked text as post-content with a minimum of modifications made. The length of the posts varies by comparison of the different pages, but also within the individual pages. It ranges from one post with a linked meme, which consists solely of one emoticon, to long posts with several paragraphs and additional links. In those cases of short posts, for the most part, an affirmative reference to the shared content (picture/meme, video) can be established, which can immediately be consumed on the Facebook-pages.
Frequency of “Analog”-Elements in Number of Postings
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In 78 posts (39%) of the examined sample a total of 123 uses of “analog“-elements could be determined. As illustrated in the image above, the accusations that were made most frequently within these were Conspirators/Jews control the press and Conspirators/Jews control “puppet” governments both through secret allies and by blackmailing elected officials. On that note the Facebook-page Frieden rockt (peace rocks) ended almost all posts, inter alia, with this addition:
“Our principle: Education and knowledge should always be accessible to everyone. Today, more than ever, it is important to form one’s own opinion and to not simply let the media take over this task! Discover further exciting articles & videos on our website […]” (e. g. Frieden rockt, May 7, 2017, 5:21 pm)
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The control of the government is expressed in simple posts,
“Don’t let yourselves be manipulated by the hypocritical politicians!!!“ […]” (Anti Bild, March 14, 2017, 10:52pm)
but can also be formulated in a more complex manner:
¶ 33 Leave a comment on paragraph 33 0 “Qatar threatened by its neighbors! Crisis intensifying!! […] The incredible conditions laid down by the dear Arabic brothers amount to an incapacitation of the government, Qatar would practically lose its sovereignty, these conditions are PURPOSEFULLY designed unacceptably! And if Qatar accepts the conditions THE WAR WILL COME ANYWAY! Because Washington wants to have Iran attacked! Hopefully, Russia and China will get involved- and pledge assistance to Doha. That is the only way to stabilize the situation! Setting the globe on fire must become expensive for Washington.” (Christoph Hörstel, June 23, 2017, 10:17 pm)
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It can, furthermore, be established that most of the posts with “analog“-elements (72; 92%) do not exhibit direct antisemitic contents, as is the case with the examples already mentioned. No post of the examined Facebook-pages exhibits explicit antisemitism. Within the posts, antisemitism is expressed implicitly via codes (6; 8%). Evidence of antisemitism was provided on the basis of the entire contents of posts as antisemitic references are not, in every case, directly oriented towards the “analog“-elements. Stereotypes and codes are not exclusively placed within the post, but in some cases expressed within the linked videos or pictures/memes. In four cases Jewish names (Rothschild, George Soros) were used as antisemitic codes in combination with antisemitic stereotypes to describe conspirators. For example to point out the Jewish influence on French politics:
“Macron before election victory: Bankster-candidate from out of nowhere Unbelievable; the French example shows at what point we have arrived: A former financier of the Rothschild-area becomes the minister of finance – and then takes over the presidential election because all of the cartel-media like him – as ordered by their masters. THAT is the condition of democracy in Europe today. Macron is a disease symptom – no more and no less, his election victory seals our fate. […]” (Christoph Hörstel, May 4, 2017, 6:39 pm)
¶ 35 Leave a comment on paragraph 35 0 In another case, a video montage of two interviews with German cabaret artists concerning the topic of censorship was posted throughout the media. As a cabaret artist speaks of “Rotstift“ (red pen) in order to express censorship, a picture of Jacob Rothschild with the logo “Rotschild [sic]“ is inserted into the video for a few seconds.
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The concluding two cases of implicit antisemitism, on the one hand, concern the use of the caricature “Gangsters“ by the antisemitic illustrator David Dees, in a video on criticism of Barak Obama’s politics that, inter alia, depicts Alan Greenspan as part of the money- and interest-critical FED-conspiracy. On the other hand a post refers positively to the antisemitically connotated accusation of the SPD-chairman (Social-democratic Party of Germany), implying that Israel deprives the Palestinians of water:
“[…] Unlike Merkel and Gabriel Martin Schulz also has positive sides. For instance, his agency against unchecked per diems, and also his criticism of Israel’s water-distribution. […]” (Gegen den Strom, January 27, 2017, 8:40pm)
„Analog“-elements and antisemitism
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The special feature of the implicitly antisemitic posts is not portrayed by its quantity but can be illustrated by its position within the overall context. In line with the function of perception, they operate as the highest conspiracy-ideological category. On a small scale, this can be demonstrated within a post, and, on a large scale, by linking posts to an all-encompassing ideological world-explanatory-system. Very extensive posts, in particular, be it text or video, use antisemitic codes in this function. In such a manner, a longer post initially deals with the end of the 500€ note thematically:
“[…] Does organized crime really need the 500 Euro-note? Every child knows that this is not the case. It also knows that multi-billions that are scammed in an organized manner end up on the accounts of the large providers of financial services. It is the bank money, the digital money, that is used to commit the large capital crimes today.
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Money rules the world but who rules the money?
‘ Give me the control over the currency of a nation, then it doesn’t matter to me who makes the laws.’ – Mayer Amschel Rothschild. […]” (KenFM, January 26, 2017, 8:50pm)
¶ 39 Leave a comment on paragraph 39 0 First of all the “analog”-element Conspirators/Jews encourage issuing paper currency not tied to the gold standard is used in its modernized form in order to draw attention to the quote assigned to Mayer Amschel Rothschild (Conspirators/Jews control “puppet” governments both through secret allies and by blackmailing elected officials) via the systematical integrating of the accusation of having control over money (Conspirators/Jews manipulate the economy, especially through banking monopolies and the power of gold).
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The systematical connection through several posts of the page is revealed by the following example. The Facebook-page Christoph Hörstel initially describes the media as being controlled by a cartel,
“HYPE over the SPD-candidate for the chancellorship?!? – sure: in cartel-media!” (Christoph Hörstel, April 12, 2017, 7:02pm)
which, in another post, was already determined as a cartel of banks:
“‘All banks worldwide form ONE cartel.’ Quick: Who said that? – The Left? – Hörstel? – University study (answer below) Fact is: One who doesn’t want to reform our interest- and tuition-system, cannot bring anything new into the world. […]” (Christoph Hörstel, April 5, 10:54 pm)
¶ 42 Leave a comment on paragraph 42 0 This analysis was restricted to the use of “analog”-elements by certain Facebook-pages within a certain time-period. However, it is to be expected that the function of perception also proves to be efficient beyond the analyzed area. The pages link to a network of other pages and platforms where antisemitism needs not to be expressed implicitly. Websites or videos that disseminate the myth of the Jewish world-conspiracy can be reached with only a few clicks.
Leave a comment on paragraph 43 0
The function of world explanation of antisemitism can also be activated in another way. Decoding of the antisemitic potential of a post by users on Facebook in the comments is an aspect that was not illuminated in this study. Further studies are necessary to trace the decoding process on the side of the recipients. On that note, two users made the following comments under an article of Compact Magazin in which George Soros was called the “puppet master behind various colorful revolutions“ in an article-preview:
“Rockefeller and Rothschild also need to be disposed of.” (February 21, 2017, 4:43pm)
“Those are but two of the many others that also need to be disposed of. Those two mentioned are merely the most prominent.” (February 21, 2017, 10:09pm)
¶ 44 Leave a comment on paragraph 44 0 As pointed out, a structural and a functional correlation exists between antisemitism and conspiracy ideologies. Under consideration of the possibility of detour-communication, the short qualitative study illustrated how conspiracy-ideological contents – regarding the “analog”-elements of the Protocols or not – can be traced back to the old myth of the “Jewish world conspiracy” via antisemitic codes. The passed on stock of knowledge of the myth facilitates the implementation of “Jews” as the highest category of knowledge within conspiracy-ideological contexts.
Leave a comment on paragraph 45 0
However, the result of the study merely illuminates one aspect of the correlation between antisemitism and conspiracy ideologies – that of the explanation of the world. This can be considered a starting point for further research. A further analysis of those identity constructions inherent to the posts, but also and especially to the comments would greatly promote the state of knowledge, regarding, for example, the expression of guilt- and memory-resistance by trivialization of national socialism in the context of conspiracy ideologies. One example made this clear:
“The largest pharma-conspiracy of all times is uncovered. […] Rockefeller discredited all medicine by prohibiting colloidal silver (nano-silver) with unjust methods. […] Hence, every year millions of human-beings die because of Rockefeller who murders more human-beings in just one year than Hitler did during the entire Second World War.” (Freie Medien, February 16, 2017, 08:00 am; posting no longer publicly accessible since November 2017)
Leave a comment on paragraph 46 0
Finally, we can conclude that the Protocols, as “analogs“, are still relevant for conspiracy-ideological discourses. On this matter Deborah Lipstadt’s assessments are also valid for the German context, especially regarding the international internet-based network of the milieu:
“In truth, with the growth of the Internet, it is difficult and somewhat anachronistic to speak of national borders. The words of an imam in Cairo or a preacher in Idaho can be heard in real time in Dearborn or Dubai, as well as in an array of other places. […] I would argue that, while the conspiracy theories promulgated by the Protocols have had but a limited impact in the United States, we who worry about such things must remain alert not so much for the Protocols itself as for what Chip Berlet calls their analogs. It is too easy for people to have their weltanschauung colored by these myths.”
¶ 47 Leave a comment on paragraph 47 0 Adorno, T. W. “Beitrag zur Ideologienlehre.” In Gesammelte Schriften. Vol. 8. Edited by R. Tiedemann. 20 vols., 457–77. Digitale Bibliothek 97. Berlin: Directmedia Publ, 2003.
¶ 49 Leave a comment on paragraph 49 0 ———. “Zur Bekämpfung des Antisemitismus heute.” In Gesammelte Schriften. Vol. 20.1. Edited by R. Tiedemann. 20 vols., 361–83. Digitale Bibliothek 97. Berlin: Directmedia Publ, 2003.
¶ 51 Leave a comment on paragraph 51 0 Bauer, Y. “Antisemitism and Anti-Zionism – New and Old.” In Anti-zionism and Antisemitism in the Contemporary World. Edited by R. S. Wistrich, 195-207. Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire, London: Palgrave Macmillan, 1990.
¶ 52 Leave a comment on paragraph 52 0 Bayer, L., and Larry Cohler-Esses. “Evil Soros: Dog Whistling Anti-Semitism In Viktor Orbán’s Hungary.” Forward, May 30, 2017. Accessed November 30, 2017. https://forward.com/news/world/373162/evil-soros-dog-whistling-anti-semitism-in-viktor-orbans-hungary/.
¶ 53 Leave a comment on paragraph 53 0 Benz, W. “Die mächtigste aller Lügen.” ZEIT Geschichte, October 24, 2017. 3. http://www.zeit.de/zeit-geschichte/2017/03/protokolle-weisen-zion-antisemitismus-faelschung/komplettansicht.
¶ 55 Leave a comment on paragraph 55 0 Bergmann, W., and Rainer Erb. “Kommunikationslatenz, Moral und öffentliche Meinung: Theoretische Überlegungen zum Antisemitismus in der Bundesrepublik Deutschland.” Kölner Zeitschrift für Soziologie und Sozialpsychologie 38., no. 2 (1986): 223–46.
¶ 56 Leave a comment on paragraph 56 0 Berlet, C. “Protocols to the Left, Protocols to the Right: Conspiracism in American Political Discourse at the Turn of the Second Millennium.” In Landes; Katz, The Paranoid Apocalypse, 186–216.
¶ 57 Leave a comment on paragraph 57 0 Cohen, R. “Trump clings to conspiracy theories — and strengthens the case for his removal.” The Washington Post, November 29, 2017. Accessed November 30, 2017. https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-partisan/wp/2017/11/29/trump-clings-to-conspiracy-theories-and-strengthens-the-case-for-his-removal/.
¶ 60 Leave a comment on paragraph 60 0 Erb, R., and Michael Kohlstruck. “Die Funktionen von Antisemitismus und Fremdenfeindschaft für die rechtsextreme Bewegung.” In Strategien der extremen Rechten: Hintergründe – Analysen – Antworten. Edited by S. Braun, A. Geisler and M. Gerster, 229-256. Wiesbaden: Springer Fachmedien Wiesbaden, 2016.
¶ 61 Leave a comment on paragraph 61 0 Friedrich, K.-P. “Johannes Rogalla von Bieberstein, “Jüdischer Bolschewismus”. Mythos und Realität.” Zeitschrift für Ostmitteleuropa-Forschung, 52/3 (2003): 425–26.
¶ 62 Leave a comment on paragraph 62 0 Hagemeister, M. “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion: Between History and Fiction.” New German Critique 35, no. 103 (2008): 83–95. doi:10.1215/0094033X-2007-020.
¶ 63 Leave a comment on paragraph 63 0 ———. “Protokolle der Weisen von Zion.” In Handbuch des Antisemitismus: Ereignisse, Dekrete, Kontroversen. Edited by W. Benz. 7 vols., 321–24. Berlin: De Gruyter Saur, 2011.
¶ 67 Leave a comment on paragraph 67 0 Holnburger, J., and Andreas Hartkamp. “Verschwörungstheorien und soziale Netzwerke: Gegenöffentlichkeit 2.0?” Bachelor thesis, Universität Hamburg, 2017. Accessed October 10, 2017. http://holnburger.com/Bachelorarbeit-Verschwoerungstheorien_und_soziale_Netzwerke.pdf.
¶ 69 Leave a comment on paragraph 69 0 Horn, E. “Das Gespenst der Arkana: Verschwörungsfiktion und Textstruktur der “Protokolle der Weisen von Zion”.” In Horn; Hagemeister, Die Fiktion von der jüdischen Weltverschwörung, 1–25.
¶ 70 Leave a comment on paragraph 70 0 Horn, Eva and Michael Hagemeister, eds. Die Fiktion von der jüdischen Weltverschwörung: Zu Text und Kontext der “Protokolle der Weisen von Zion”. Göttingen: Wallstein Verlag GmbH, 2012.
¶ 71 Leave a comment on paragraph 71 0 Imhoff, R. “Beyond (right-wing) authoritarianism: Conspiracy mentality as an incremental predictor of prejudice.” In The psychology of conspiracy: A Festschrift for Miroslaw Kofta. Edited by M. Bilewicz et al., 122-141. London: Routledge, 2015.
¶ 72 Leave a comment on paragraph 72 0 Imhoff, R., and Martin Bruder. “Speaking (Un-)Truth to Power: Conspiracy Mentality as a Generalised Political Attitude.” European Journal of Personality 28, no. 1 (2014): 25–43. doi:10.1002/per.1930.
¶ 75 Leave a comment on paragraph 75 0 Kuzmick, and Marlon. “Protocols of the Elders of Zion.” In Conspiracy theories in American history: An encyclopedia. Edited by P. Knight, 595-597. Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO, 2003.
¶ 76 Leave a comment on paragraph 76 0 Landes, Richard Allen and Steven T. Katz, eds. The Paranoid Apocalypse: A hundred-year retrospective on the Protocols of the elders of Zion. New York: New York University Press, 2012.
¶ 78 Leave a comment on paragraph 78 0 Levy, R. S. “Die “Protokolle der Weisen von Zion” und ihre Entlarvung: Ein vergebliches Unterfangen?” In Horn; Hagemeister, Die Fiktion von der jüdischen Weltverschwörung, 208–30.
¶ 79 Leave a comment on paragraph 79 0 Lipstadt, D. “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion on the Contemporary American Scene: Historical Artifact or Current Threat?” In Landes; Katz, The Paranoid Apocalypse, 172–85.
¶ 81 Leave a comment on paragraph 81 0 Munnes, S., Nora Lege, and Corinna Harsch. “Zum Antisemitismus in der neuen Friedensbewegung: Eine Weltanschauungsanalyse der ersten bundesweiten Mahnwachen für den Frieden.” In Jahrbuch für Antisemitismusforschung 25. Edited by S. Schüler-Springorum, 217–40. Berlin: Metropol-Verlag, 2016.
¶ 82 Leave a comment on paragraph 82 0 Newman, M. “Netanyahu: EU Parliament head has ‘selective hearing’.” Times of Israel, February 12, 2017. Accessed November 25, 2017. https://www.timesofisrael.com/netanyahu-eu-parliament-head-has-selective-hearing/.
¶ 83 Leave a comment on paragraph 83 0 Pfahl-Traughber, A. “”Bausteine” zu einer Theorie über “Verschwörungstheorien”: Definitionen, Erscheinungsformen, Funktionen und Ursachen.” In Verschwörungstheorien: Theorie – Geschichte – Wirkung. Edited by H. Reinalter, 30–44. Innsbruck: Studien-Verl., 2002.
¶ 86 Leave a comment on paragraph 86 0 Piper, E. “Achtes Bild: “Die jüdische Weltverschwörung”.” In Antisemitismus: Vorurteile und Mythen. Edited by J. H. Schoeps and J. Schlör. 2nd ed., 127–35. München u.a: Piper, 1996.
¶ 88 Leave a comment on paragraph 88 0 Rensmann, Lars. Demokratie und Judenbild: Antisemitismus in der politischen Kultur der Bundesrepublik Deutschland. Wiesbaden: VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften, 2005.
¶ 90 Leave a comment on paragraph 90 0 Rogalla von Bieberstein, Johannes. Die These von der Verschwörung 1776 – 1945: Philosophen, Freimaurer, Juden, Liberale und Sozialisten als Verschwörer gegen die Sozialordnung. Flensburg: Flensburger-Hefte-Verl., 1992.
¶ 93 Leave a comment on paragraph 93 0 Salzborn, S. “Vom rechten Wahn: “Lügenpresse”, “USrael”, “Die da oben” und “Überfremdung”.” In Stolz und Vorurteile. Edited by M. Bauer, K. Malowitz and S. Mörchen, 76–96. Hamburg: Hamburger Edition HIS, 2016.
¶ 97 Leave a comment on paragraph 97 0 Uhlig, T. D. “Abgründe der Aufklärung: Über Verschwörungstheorien als antisemitisches Zerrbild der Ideologiekritik.” In Populismus, Paranoia, Pogrom: Affektherrschaften des Nationalsozialismus. Edited by K. Grünberg, W. Leuschner and Initiative 9. November, 199-172. Frankfurt a. M.: Brandes & Apsel, 2017.
¶ 98 Leave a comment on paragraph 98 0 Volli, U. “Anti-Semitism (and Now Anti-Zionism) as Prototype of Conspiracy Theory: A Theoretical and Textual Approach.” Lexia. Journal of Semiotics, 23-24: 19–34.
¶ 99 Leave a comment on paragraph 99 0 Weitzman, M. “”The Internet is our Sword”: Aspects of Online Antisemitism.” In Remembering for the future: The Holocaust in an age of genocide. Edited by J. K. Roth and E. Maxwell, 911–25. Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire, New York: Palgrave, 2001.
¶ 100 Leave a comment on paragraph 100 0 Wetzel, J. “Verschwörungstheorien.” In Handbuch des Antisemitismus: Begriffe, Theorien, Ideologien. Edited by W. Benz. 7 vols., 334–37. Berlin: De Gruyter Saur, 2010.
¶ 102 Leave a comment on paragraph 102 0  See e. g. Richard Cohen, “Trump clings to conspiracy theories — and strengthens the case for his removal,” The Washington Post, November 29, 2017, accessed November 30, 2017, https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-partisan/wp/2017/11/29/trump-clings-to-conspiracy-theories-and-strengthens-the-case-for-his-removal/; Lili Bayer and Larry Cohler-Esses, “Evil Soros: Dog Whistling Anti-Semitism In Viktor Orbán’s Hungary,” Forward, May 30, 2017, accessed November 30, 2017, https://forward.com/news/world/373162/evil-soros-dog-whistling-anti-semitism-in-viktor-orbans-hungary/.
¶ 103 Leave a comment on paragraph 103 0  Scans of original editions of the Protocols besides antisemitic-conspiracy-ideological reinterpretations and commentaries, for example, can be found in the digital library of the project Internet Archive, archive.org.
¶ 104 Leave a comment on paragraph 104 0  Lars Rensmann, Demokratie und Judenbild: Antisemitismus in der politischen Kultur der Bundesrepublik Deutschland (Wiesbaden: VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften, 2005), 20.
¶ 105 Leave a comment on paragraph 105 0  Armin Pfahl-Traughber, “”Bausteine” zu einer Theorie über “Verschwörungstheorien”: Definitionen, Erscheinungsformen, Funktionen und Ursachen,” in Verschwörungstheorien: Theorie – Geschichte – Wirkung, ed. Helmut Reinalter, Reihe Quellen und Darstellungen zur europäischen Freimaurerei 3 (Innsbruck: Studien-Verl., 2002), 31f.
¶ 106 Leave a comment on paragraph 106 0  Juliane Wetzel, “Verschwörungstheorien,” in Handbuch des Antisemitismus: Begriffe, Theorien, Ideologien, ed. Wolfgang Benz, 7 vols., Handbuch des Antisemitismus 3 (Berlin: De Gruyter Saur, 2010), 335.
¶ 107 Leave a comment on paragraph 107 0  Samuel Salzborn, “Vom rechten Wahn: “Lügenpresse”, “USrael”, “Die da oben” und “Überfremdung”,” in Stolz und Vorurteile, ed. Martin Bauer, Karsten Malowitz and Stefan Mörchen, Mittelweg 36 25.2016,6 (Hamburg: Hamburger Edition HIS, 2016), 83. See also Tom D. Uhlig, “Abgründe der Aufklärung: Über Verschwörungstheorien als antisemitisches Zerrbild der Ideologiekritik,” in Populismus, Paranoia, Pogrom: Affektherrschaften des Nationalsozialismus, ed. Kurt Grünberg, Wolfgang Leuschner and Initiative 9. November (Frankfurt a. M.: Brandes & Apsel, 2017), 156.
¶ 108 Leave a comment on paragraph 108 0  See e.g. Stefan Munnes, Nora Lege, and Corinna Harsch, “Zum Antisemitismus in der neuen Friedensbewegung: Eine Weltanschauungsanalyse der ersten bundesweiten Mahnwachen für den Frieden,” in Jahrbuch für Antisemitismusforschung 25, ed. Stefanie Schüler-Springorum (Berlin: Metropol-Verlag, 2016), 222f.
¶ 110 Leave a comment on paragraph 110 0  In his studies, Lenk considered the question if national socialism can even be designated an ideology. In his 1954 article Theodor W. Adorno initially refuted this due to lack of rationality and consistency, but, then, in later publications did assign it this quality. See Theodor W. Adorno, “Beitrag zur Ideologienlehre,” in Gesammelte Schriften, ed. Rolf Tiedemann, 20 vols., Digitale Bibliothek 97 (Berlin: Directmedia Publ, 2003), 8. Lenk considered national socialism as a possible shaping of an expression ideology.
¶ 114 Leave a comment on paragraph 114 0  The relation to anti-Americanism also becomes apparent by means of the structural principles. As such Tobias Jaecker identifies: dualism, projection, self-appreciation and conspiracy-thinking. However, Jaecker points out that these parallels merely exist on the discoursive level. In practice antisemitism is singular. See Tobias Jaecker, Hass, Neid, Wahn: Antiamerikanismus in den deutschen Medien (Frankfurt am Main: Campus-Verlag, 2014), 363f.
¶ 115 Leave a comment on paragraph 115 0  See Pfahl-Traughber, “”Bausteine” zu einer Theorie über “Verschwörungstheorien”,” 36–39; Rainer Erb and Michael Kohlstruck, “Die Funktionen von Antisemitismus und Fremdenfeindschaft für die rechtsextreme Bewegung,” in Strategien der extremen Rechten: Hintergründe – Analysen – Antworten, ed. Stephan Braun, Alexander Geisler and Martin Gerster (Wiesbaden: Springer Fachmedien Wiesbaden, 2016), 244f.
¶ 116 Leave a comment on paragraph 116 0  Eva Horn also identifies these three functions in her structural analysis of “conspiracy-theoretical thinking” of the 19th century; see Eva Horn, “Das Gespenst der Arkana: Verschwörungsfiktion und Textstruktur der “Protokolle der Weisen von Zion”,” in Horn; Hagemeister, Die Fiktion von der jüdischen Weltverschwörung, 7f.
¶ 119 Leave a comment on paragraph 119 0  See Serge Moscovici, “The Conspiracy Mentality,” in Changing conceptions of conspiracy, ed. Carl F. Graumann, Springer series in social psychology (New York: Springer, 1987).
¶ 120 Leave a comment on paragraph 120 0  See Pfahl-Traughber, “”Bausteine” zu einer Theorie über “Verschwörungstheorien””; Roland Imhoff and Martin Bruder, “Speaking (Un-)Truth to Power: Conspiracy Mentality as a Generalised Political Attitude,” European Journal of Personality 28, no. 1 (2014), doi:10.1002/per.1930; Roland Imhoff, “Beyond (right-wing) authoritarianism: Conspiracy mentality as an incremental predictor of prejudice,” in The psychology of conspiracy: A Festschrift for Miroslaw Kofta, ed. Michal Bilewicz et al. (London: Routledge, 2015).
¶ 121 Leave a comment on paragraph 121 0  See Theodor W. Adorno, “Zur Bekämpfung des Antisemitismus heute,” in Gesammelte Schriften, ed. Rolf Tiedemann, 20 vols., Digitale Bibliothek 97 (Berlin: Directmedia Publ, 2003), 20.1; Monika Schwarz-Friesel and Jehuda Reinharz, Die Sprache der Judenfeindschaft im 21. Jahrhundert (Berlin: De Gruyter, 2013). doi:10.1515/9783110277722, 26.
¶ 122 Leave a comment on paragraph 122 0  See Werner Bergmann and Rainer Erb, “Kommunikationslatenz, Moral und öffentliche Meinung: Theoretische Überlegungen zum Antisemitismus in der Bundesrepublik Deutschland,” Kölner Zeitschrift für Soziologie und Sozialpsychologie 38., no. 2 (1986): 231.
¶ 126 Leave a comment on paragraph 126 0  This may be due to the fact that the first analyses of conspiracy ideologies emerged from the fields of antisemitism- and right-wing extremism research (Horkheimer, Adorno) or highlighted the anti-modern ideological core.
¶ 129 Leave a comment on paragraph 129 0  See e.g. Ernst Piper, “Achtes Bild: “Die jüdische Weltverschwörung”,” in Antisemitismus: Vorurteile und Mythen, ed. Julius H. Schoeps and Joachim Schlör, 2nd ed. (München u.a: Piper, 1996).
¶ 130 Leave a comment on paragraph 130 0  See Ugo Volli, “Anti-Semitism (and Now Anti-Zionism) as Prototype of Conspiracy Theory: A Theoretical and Textual Approach,” Lexia. Journal of Semiotics, 23-24.
¶ 131 Leave a comment on paragraph 131 0  See Hannes Stein, “Hoch die Weisen von Zion!,” in Verschwörungstheorien, ed. Gundolf S. Freyermuth and Ingrid Karsunke, Kursbuch 124 (Berlin: Rowohlt, 1996), 36.
¶ 132 Leave a comment on paragraph 132 0  See e.g. Norman Cohn, Warrant for genocide: The myth of the Jewish world conspiracy and the “Protocols of the Elders of Zion” (London: Serif, 1996); Armin Pfahl-Traughber, Der antisemitisch-antifreimaurerische Verschwörungsmythos in der Weimarer Republik und im NS-Staat (Wien: Braumüller, 1993), 9; Piper, “Achtes Bild: “Die jüdische Weltverschwörung”,” 127; Daniel Pipes, Conspiracy: How the paranoid style flourishes and where it comes from (New York: Free Press, 1997); Armin Pfahl-Traughber, Antisemitismus in der deutschen Geschichte (Opladen: Leske und Budrich; VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften, 2002). doi:10.1007/978-3-322-91380-7, 31; Tobias Jaecker, Antisemitische Verschwörungstheorien nach dem 11. September: Neue Varianten eines alten Deutungsmusters, 2nd ed. (Münster: Lit, 2005), 43; Wolfgang Wippermann, Agenten des Bösen: Verschwörungstheorien von Luther bis heute (Berlin: be.bra-Verl., 2007), 20–32.
¶ 133 Leave a comment on paragraph 133 0  See Johannes Heil, “Gottesfeinde” – “Menschenfeinde”: Die Vorstellung von jüdischer Weltverschwörung (13. bis 16. Jahrhundert) (Essen: Klartext-Verl., 2006).
¶ 135 Leave a comment on paragraph 135 0  See Johannes Rogalla von Bieberstein, Die These von der Verschwörung 1776 – 1945: Philosophen, Freimaurer, Juden, Liberale und Sozialisten als Verschwörer gegen die Sozialordnung (Flensburg: Flensburger-Hefte-Verl., 1992). Rogalla von Bieberstein’s relation to Judaism must be examined critically. In the year 2002, he published the book “Jewish Bolshevism. Myth and Reality” in the “new-right” publishing house Antaios. Therein he regards the actions of those communists identified as Jews as a material foundation for “conspirator theories”. However, he ignores the societal contexts of national, antisemitic formations of identity, that were decisive for the socialist and communist engagement of Jews. See Johannes Rogalla von Bieberstein, “Jüdischer Bolschewismus” – Mythos und Realität, 4th ed. (Schnellroda: Ed. Antaios, 2004); criticism on the topic by Klaus-Peter Friedrich, “Johannes Rogalla von Bieberstein, “Jüdischer Bolschewismus”. Mythos und Realität.” Zeitschrift für Ostmitteleuropa-Forschung, 52/3 (2003).
¶ 141 Leave a comment on paragraph 141 0  See ibid., 129; detailed John David Seidler, Die Verschwörung der Massenmedien: Eine Kulturgeschichte vom Buchhändler-Komplott bis zur Lügenpresse (Bielefeld: transcript, 2016), 233–37.
¶ 142 Leave a comment on paragraph 142 0  For the history of origin see e.g. Cohn, Warrant for genocide; Jeffrey L. Sammons, Die Protokolle der Weisen von Zion: Die Grundlage des modernen Antisemitismus – eine Fälschung (Wallstein, 1998), Text und Kommentar; Michael Hagemeister, “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion: Between History and Fiction,” New German Critique 35, no. 103 (2008), doi:10.1215/0094033X-2007-020; Wolfgang Benz, Die Protokolle der Weisen von Zion: Die Legende von der jüdischen Weltverschwörung, 2nd ed. (München: Beck, 2011).
¶ 143 Leave a comment on paragraph 143 0  See Pfahl-Traughber, Der antisemitisch-antifreimaurerische Verschwörungsmythos in der Weimarer Republik und im NS-Staat, 11, 35; Benz, Die Protokolle der Weisen von Zion, 7f.; Michael Hagemeister, “Protokolle der Weisen von Zion,” in Handbuch des Antisemitismus: Ereignisse, Dekrete, Kontroversen, ed. Wolfgang Benz, 7 vols., Handbuch des Antisemitismus 4 (Berlin: De Gruyter Saur, 2011).
¶ 144 Leave a comment on paragraph 144 0  Yehuda Bauer, “Antisemitism and Anti-Zionism – New and Old,” in Anti-zionism and Antisemitism in the Contemporary World, ed. Robert S. Wistrich (Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire, London: Palgrave Macmillan, 1990), 197.
¶ 148 Leave a comment on paragraph 148 0  Wolfgang Benz, “Die mächtigste aller Lügen,” ZEIT Geschichte, October 24, 2017, 3, http://www.zeit.de/zeit-geschichte/2017/03/protokolle-weisen-zion-antisemitismus-faelschung/komplettansicht. However, the questions, if the Protocols constituted a Warrant for genocide, and if the content of the Protocols were only interpreted as antisemitic because of their paratexts and therefore merely a “pure projection surface”, shall not be considered at this point. See for the debate on the link of the Protocols and Holocaust Cohn, Warrant for genocide; Kuzmick and Marlon, “Protocols of the Elders of Zion,” in Conspiracy theories in American history: An encyclopedia, ed. Peter Knight (Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO, 2003); critical perspectives on the other hand by Richard S. Levy, “Die “Protokolle der Weisen von Zion” und ihre Entlarvung: Ein vergebliches Unterfangen?,” in Horn; Hagemeister, Die Fiktion von der jüdischen Weltverschwörung; as an argument for the pure projection surface see Eva Horn, “Das Gespenst der Arkana: Verschwörungsfiktion und Textstruktur der “Protokolle der Weisen von Zion”,” in Horn; Hagemeister, Die Fiktion von der jüdischen Weltverschwörung.
¶ 149 Leave a comment on paragraph 149 0  The term was originally used by Stephen Eric Bronner. See Chip Berlet, “Protocols to the Left, Protocols to the Right: Conspiracism in American Political Discourse at the Turn of the Second Millennium,” in Landes; Katz, The Paranoid Apocalypse, 189.
¶ 152 Leave a comment on paragraph 152 0  Mark Weitzman, “”The Internet is our Sword”: Aspects of Online Antisemitism,” in Remembering for the future: The Holocaust in an age of genocide, ed. John K. Roth and Elisabeth Maxwell (Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire, New York: Palgrave, 2001), 912.
¶ 153 Leave a comment on paragraph 153 0  See Chip Berlet, “Protocols to the Left, Protocols to the Right: Conspiracism in American Political Discourse at the Turn of the Second Millennium,” in Landes; Katz, The Paranoid Apocalypse, 188.
¶ 154 Leave a comment on paragraph 154 0  See Josef Holnburger and Andreas Hartkamp, “Verschwörungstheorien und soziale Netzwerke: Gegenöffentlichkeit 2.0?” (Bachelor thesis, Universität Hamburg, 2017), accessed October 10, 2017, http://holnburger.com/Bachelorarbeit-Verschwoerungstheorien_und_soziale_Netzwerke.pdf, 19-23, 33-37.
¶ 155 Leave a comment on paragraph 155 0  The analyzed Facebook-pages are Killuminati, KenFM, RT Deutsch (Russia Today German), Freie Medien (Free Media, not publicly accessible any more after November 2017), Zentrum der Gesundheit (Center for Health), Der Wächter (The Guardian), Gegen den Strom (Countercurrent), Anti BILD, Frieden rockt (peace rocks) and Christoph Hörstel (leader of a German conspiracy ideologically party, Deutsche Mitte/German Center). Since the page Zentrum der Gesundheit posted no content except links to their website, the eleventh Facebook-page from the Holnburger/Hartkamp ranking, COMPACT-Magazin, had been added additionally.
¶ 157 Leave a comment on paragraph 157 0  Only the accusation; Conspirators/Jews encourage issuing paper currency not tied to the gold standard has experienced modernization, that is now directed against the abolition of cash, in favor of electronic means of payment.
¶ 158 Leave a comment on paragraph 158 0  These posts, accordingly, exhibit conspiracy-ideological narratives, which either vaguely state the allegation of manipulation of politics and media, pretend to be critical of capitalism, or, in essence, are anti-American or positioned against “the West“.
¶ 161 Leave a comment on paragraph 161 0  On Schulz’s remarks see Marissa Newman, “Netanyahu: EU Parliament head has ‘selective hearing’,” Times of Israel, February 12, 2017, accessed November 25, 2017, https://www.timesofisrael.com/netanyahu-eu-parliament-head-has-selective-hearing/
¶ 163 Leave a comment on paragraph 163 0  Deborah Lipstadt, “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion on the Contemporary American Scene: Historical Artifact or Current Threat?,” in Landes; Katz, The Paranoid Apocalypse, 183.