1920s Silent Film Predicted the Rise of Antisemitism

by Leah Rosenberg

You can’t argue the fact that there has been a rise in antisemitism even today still. And this film predicted it before WWII.

Predicting the Rise of Antisemitism

This silent film was based off of a novel by Jewish-Austrian writer Hugo Bettauer. He wanted to combat what was happening in Vienna post World War I – the growing intolerance towards Jews. The novel and subsequent adaptation of it into a film was warning of the dangers of intolerance and hatred. The film was released in 1924. And what happened? Just one year later, Hugo Bettauer was murdered – by none other than a Nazi. Bettauer tried warning about the rise of antisemitism. Not enough people listened.

What is so terrifying is how relevant this video still is today. The world has not learned the lesson. The hatred has not stopped. Even after the murder of 6 million innocent Jewish men, women, and children, there are still those in the world who hate with a deep passion. There are still those in the world who side with Hitler and want to murder more Jews.

It has been almost 100 years since the release of this film. Where is the world holding today regarding its hatred of Jews? Sadly, it is still on the rise. Antisemitism has not disappeared and is continuing to grow.

It is eerie that a film from so long ago predicted so much of what has happened and what is continuing to happen. How many people took the film seriously back then? And what about now?

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