Streicher's infamous weekly Der Stürmer achieved its decisive success by sexualizing the "Jewish question" in a way that appealed across a deeply divided, increasingly entropic German society. "Race pollution," unforgettably illustrated week after week in the cartoons of Philipp Ruprecht, became a dominant trope for the crisis National Socialism promised to overcome. Germany, especially in its female aspects, was the victim of the Jew. And at the same time Jews were presented as objects of ridicule. Their appearance, their behavior, their speech, were mocked and scorned. On one level this was a way of diminishing fear. On another it was a means of ripping off the mask of civility, of compliance, which the Jew donned the better to deceive and corrupt. German culture incorporated a strong shame element: shaming the Jew simultaneously broke his power and relegated him to the status of outsider, with neither place nor protection, It is not necessary to accept completely Ruault's argument for reconfigured patriarchy as central to National Socialism in order to appreciate his contribution to the movement's concept of a "people's community" "based on masses, not classes"; it heightened the "masses" aspect by mobilizing Germany's social periphery--and not least its appealing
Shofar: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Jewish Studies – Purdue University Press
Published: Sep 13, 2012
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