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The social bases and dynamics of exterminatory antisemitism

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Chapter Summary

This chapter reveals the underlying social dynamics that drove workers to embrace, or reject, the Nazi program of exterminating Jews. Perhaps the most pressing question was and remains: what factors are most decisive in contributing to or diminishing antisemitic hatred of the most extreme kind? The Institute of Social Research (ISR) examined gender, age, education, religious identification, national origin, and occupational group as variables in contributing to or diminishing violent antisemitism. In addition to these six variables CIO membership was also considered. Apart from the general typology of workers and their levels of or opposition to antisemitism, the Institute generated a second system of classification centered specifically on responses to what workers thought about Nazi extermination of Jews. Of all the variables examined by the Institute, the three most decisive forces that determined attitudes toward Jews were gender, age, and educational attainment.

Keywords: age; CIO membership; education; exterminating Jews; gender; Institute of Social Research (ISR); Nazi program; social dynamics; violent anti-Semitism



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