Hannah Arendt Anti Semitism

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Many of us can identify anti-Semitism in the harsh reality of Adolf Hitler’s reign of terror against Jews in the 30s. One can easily identify that these acts against our fellow humans are vile, but how is it that Jewish persecution got to the level of totalitarianism in the first place? Hannah Arendt addresses this question in The Origins of Totalitarianism. She opens up a world of totalitarianism from a perspective that one might not have typically been aware of. Arendt writes in a well-organized manner of the steps that led up to the formulation of full-fledged totalitarianism. What is so interesting is her systematic explanation and description of each aspect that led up to ultimate totalitarianism. Arendt begins with early anti-Semitism…show more content…
Many people would say that Jews were target for their vast influence, which could be seen as a threat to any movement that was after complete control. On the opposing side, Arendt believes that it was the lack of power and vast amount of money. It is money without power that becomes a medium for disconnect and an attraction for attack. “Only wealth without power or aloofness without a policy are felt to be parasitical, useless, revolting, because such conditions cut all the threads which tie men together” (Arendt 5). In other words, Jews had the funds to attain power, but lacked the policy and control to act on that potential. Jews were loyal to the state, so when the state was no longer existent, the Jewish social group was at a loss. Hannah states that the Jews had no political ambition as well (34). Arendt’s firsthand account gives her a certain credibility that we don’t normally see. She has a deeper understanding of what it was like to see the development of anti-Semitism. Imperialism also played a huge role in the progression to totalitarianism. Imperialism stressed expansion whether political or militant. An organized imperialism made for a solid ground for initial…show more content…
Although Arendt brought up some controversial ideas on why the Jews were targeted as a society, her book is a very real and very valid explanation on what totalitarianism actually is. She includes every aspect of where totalitarianism came from in a way that you cannot overlook any aspect of what truly happened. Arendt has set this book up in a way that is very clear, although it may not have been the easiest book for me to focus on. Arendt aims to inform her readers in great detail on how the Jews were chosen as a target and how that progressed into harsh totalitarianism that worked to break down all ethical value and many other aspects of normal human

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