Re: [Cz-L] A Question!

From: Felix Garfunkel <>
Date: Thu, 19 Jun 2014 10:01:14 -0400
To: iosif vaisman <>
Reply-To: Felix Garfunkel <>

I will add my limited info. on the subject.
My father served in WW1 in the Austrian army and was wounded in one of his legs at the Italian front. He was only 18 or 19 years old. No mention of antisemitism to me.
Probably, as someone mentioned, some degree of antisemitism was always, and still is, endemic in Europe


Sent from my iPad

On Jun 18, 2014, at 2:47 PM, iosif vaisman <> wrote:

> Cornell,
> I don't think it is possible to describe issues of antisemitism in the
> Austro-Hungarian army in simplistic black and white colors. There were
> several major dichotomies, including experiences of assimilated vs.
> more traditional Jews, geography and ethnic composition of specific
> units, time period, etc. It is true that many Jewish soldiers and
> officers did not experience much or any antisemitism, particularly in
> the late years of the Empire, but many others did. Even during WWI,
> when there was no overt antisemitism in the Austrian army, there were
> cases of institutionalized discrimination and distrust against Jewish
> soldiers, e.g., they were not allowed to serve as guards in the POW
> camps. It is also important that despite the fact that a lot of Jews
> fought on the frontlines and were overrepresented in the officer corps
> (4% in the population, 8% of all officers), the antisemitism in the
> Austrian society at large during the WWI hugely increased, including
> antisemitism towards Jewish soldiers, who were accused of cowardice,
> profiteering, etc. It is true that antisemitism was supressed in the
> k.u.k. army, but antisemites remained. Among more than 10,000 Nazi
> demonstrators in Vienna's Ringstrasse on August 13 and 17, 1925, who
> shouted "Kill the Jews" and physically attacked Jews on the streets
> and in the coffeehouses, many or even most were army veterans. Clearly
> they did not become antisemites only after being discharged.
> There is also ample anecdotal and literary evidence of antisemitism in
> the army. An example which immediately comes to mind is Dr Max Demant
> from Joseph Roth's "Radetzky March", who is killed in a duel after a
> fellow officer screams at him "Yid". Feldkurat Otto Katz from "The
> good soldier Schweik" is another, although more subtle example.
> Iosif
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Received on 2014-06-20 20:29:18

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