Reading with Götz Aly “Europe against the Jews”

On Tuesday, October 16, 2018, the historian, political scientist and journalist Götz Aly, who lives in Berlin, read from his book “Europe against the Jews” in Stralsund City Hall in front of about 80 guests. According to his witty and stimulating account, anti-Semitism was a pan-European phenomenon that emerged with modern capitalism.

Basically, the sudden rise of anti-Semitism and thus ultimately the Holocaust was based on envy in view of the success of the Jews. Götz Aly skillfully strings together sources and observations that support his social envy thesis and portray the murder and expulsion of the Jews as a consensual action by the elites of several European states. As early as 2005, Aly’s book Hitlers Volksstaat (Hitler’s People’s State) showed National Socialism as a dictatorship in which large sections of the German people profited from the dispossession of Jews and thus became deeply involved in the mass murder that followed. His ideas, which are decidedly disturbing against a background of increasingly open anti-Semitism, are not uncontroversial in their exaggeration, but are definitely worth hearing and considering.

The reading was the prominent start of the series “Stralsund remembers – 80 years Reichspogromnacht“. The November pogroms of 1938, directed by the National Socialist regime, are regarded as the transition from discrimination and dispossession to the systematic persecution and murder of the Jews in Europe, the Holocaust.

The event was organized by S.Fischer Verlag and the Förderverein Historische Warenhäuser Wertheim und Tietz in Stralsund e. V., which was founded in May 2011 as an initiative of Stralsund citizens.

With the support of the Cultural Foundation of the Hanseatic City of Stralsund.