The Roots of Antisemitism in South Africa
Although South Africa is universally regarded as a metaphor for racism and bigotry, there has been surprisingly little scholarly focus on antisemitism in that society. Historians of South African Jewry have depicted antisemitism in the 1930s and early 1940s as an essentially alien phenomenon, a product of Nazi propaganda at a time of great social and economic trauma. Milton Shain argues that antisemitism was an important element in South African society long befor 1930. Using previously unmined sources, such as novels, plays, caricatures, and even jokes, he demonstrates that the roots of anti-Jewish outbursts of the 1930s and early 1940s are to be found in a widely shared negative stereotype of the Jew that had evolved from the late ninteenth century.