Antisemitism, into what it has become today. Most of

 Antisemitism, the prejudice against or hatred
of Jews, did not begin during the Holocaust. Although the Holocaust is the most
notable case of anti-Semitism in Europe it is surely not the only case. As
early as 70 CE, you see negative attitudes towards Jews.  Jews have a long history of being oppressed
and are still battling ongoing persecution today. In this essay, I will explore
the roots of anti-Semitism and how it transitioned into what it has become
today.  

            Most
of the early anti-Jewish beliefs stemmed from religion. Although Christianity
emerged from Judaism there were many misconceptions about Jews by Christians.
Because of the general Jewish belief that Jesus was not the Messiah, Christians
believed that the Jews were to blame for the death of Jesus. They were
considered the killers of the son of God. The early Christian church showed
Jews as “unwilling to accept the word of God.” This portrayal of Jews caused
some church leaders to believe that Jews worked for the devil.  The Roman Catholics even went as far to
destroy the Jewish temple in Jerusalem, causing many Jews to be exiled and
other to flee out of the area. Jews were occasionally welcomed in some
countries. But, as religion was the main form of self-identification of the
time, Jews were shown more and more as a minority

We Will Write a Custom Essay Specifically
For You For Only $13.90/page!


order now

            As
the prominent religion in Europe transitioned into Christianity, many states
were passing laws that prevented Jews from doing things such as owning land and
holding public office. Due to their religion, Christians were not encouraged to
work with money so, this became an empty void for Jews to fill. Because Jews
were not allowed in most profession they ended up filling these positions
becoming involved in trade, commerce, and lending. This also led to negative
views of Jews as people felt they were constantly being ripped off by the Jews.

Attributing to
this negative view of Jews was the many misconceptions that people had about
them. As I stated before, the misconceptions started with the thought that the
Jews were to blame for the violent murder of Jesus of Nazareth. Another notable
misconception was that Jews were involved in blood libel. Blood libel is the
idea that Jewish people were using the blood of Christian children for ritual
purposes. Christians genuinely believed that Jews were taking their children
and taking their blood for use in religious practices. One of the most far out
misconceptions of the time was the Jewish people caused the black plague. These
misconceptions were the popular thought of the time and highly contributed to
the widespread oppression of Jews all throughout Europe.

With the reformation
of the Catholic church in 1517 lead by Martin Luther, Jews were pressured to
convert Protestantism. When the Jews were still not willing to convert they
were hated by Luther.  Luther Is quoted
saying “What then shall we Christians do with this rejected and condemned
people, the Jews? Their synagogues should be set on fire, and what does not
burn must be covered over with earth so that no man will ever see stone or
cinder of them again.  Their houses also
should be razed and destroyed and all their prayer books should be taken from
them.”