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Visions of Hate: Jews and Jesuits in the European Feuilleton

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Chapter Summary

This chapter explores the fact that Jews and Jesuits were already linked in the popular imagination as groups. Jesuit greed and casuistry in their quest for world power is matched by a Jewish drive to control the destiny of Europe's royal houses and advance revolutions. Anticlerical fiction writers borrowed and then refashioned both history and legend to suit their ideological purposes, easily transferring the evil attributed to Jews to Jesuits as it suited their political purposes. Any account of the transmission of hate in West European fiction invariably leads back to the anti-Jesuit Monita secreta and forward to the anti-Semitic Protocols of the Elders of Zion. The fear of the Jew and the fear of the Jesuit, as the Belgian Jesuit Pierre Charles astutely noted in his deconstruction of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion in 1921, are in many ways analogous hysterical obsessions.

Keywords: Belgian Jesuit Pierre Charles; Jesuits; Jews; Monita secreta; Protocols of the Elders of Zion; West European fiction



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