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This is an auction for THE BUTCHER'S TALE: MURDER & ANTI-SEMITISM IN A GERMAN TOWN, by Helmut Walser Smith. review:

"Two residents out for a stroll in Konitz, Germany, in March 1900, discovered a carefully tied package in a nearby lake. Its contents, the upper torso of a missing youth, set off a chain of events that brought national attention to an unremarkable village on the eastern edge of the Austro-Prussian empire. After weeks in which no suspect or motive was offered, the vacuum began to fill with rumor; the flames were fanned by the arrival on the scene of anti-Semitic journalists, and soon most of Konitz was convinced that the death was a Jewish ritual murder. A police inspector from Berlin suspected the town's Christian butcher; he and his allies in turn accused the Jewish butcher. Mobs began a series of violent acts against Konitz's Jews, and the Prussian army was called in to quell the violence. Smith, who teaches German history at Vanderbilt, does a masterful job exploring the history of the blood libel (the charge that Jews commit ritual murder of Christian children), as well as of community and how people band together to bring about great good or in the case of Konitz genuine evil. Yet, Smith argues that Konitz should be seen as a case study of "process," of how different forces came together to make "latent anti-Semitism manifest," causing peaceful townspeople to turn on their neighbors. Drawing on a remarkably detailed documentary record, Smith analyzes social, class and other factors in the violence the role of the middle vs. working classes, Protestants vs. Catholics and in an original piece of analysis, shows how the townspeople's response was itself a form of ritual murder."
- Publishers Weekly (US)

Very favourable reviews on

Paperback 2002.

270 pages.

Photographs throughout.

Very good condition.

There is of course no charge for shipping if you collect this book from me following the auction.

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  • Seller location: Palmerston North, Manawatu, NZ

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