12 originAL POSTERS ON ANTISEMITISM
Kazerne Dossin is honoured to present to you twelve extraordinary and original poster on antisemitism. Through this selection of posters from the ‘Arthur Langerman Collection’, visitors will discover the different anti-Semitism themes
and conceptions of the ‘30s to ‘40s in Europe.
The catalogue (PDF)
Anti-Semitism is not just a form of ordinary racism. It is hatred of the Jew as a Jew. ‘The Jew’ embodies all the fears, all the fantasies which lurk in the mind of the anti-Semite. He can be at the same time communist or capitalist, rich or poor, religious or secular. This irrational fear and hatred focuses on a multifaceted enemy, and whatever this ‘imaginary Jew’ says or does, he represents abomination.
Anti-Semitism begins with the advance of Christianity and later Islam around the Mediterranean. These monotheistic religions, direct heirs of Judaism, become the rivals of the ‘mother religion’. The first period of anti-Semitism is thus referred to as religious anti-Judaism. In certain periods Jews are tolerated because they were the first to carry the message of a single God. In other periods, they are persecuted because they retain a false religion and refuse to recognise the coming of a prophet. In the Middle Ages, the foundations of anti-Semitism are shed. The Jew is no longer hated as just an adherent of Judaism but instead is hated and feared on assumptions that have no ground in reality: as a defiler of the communion, a child killer, a bearer of the plague, a well poisoner, the murderer of Christ, a tool
By the end of the eighteenth century, under the influence of the French Revolution (1789), the Jews are emancipated. They rush into new or rapidly changing occupational sectors: finance, journalism, the judiciary, the media, film, education, the army... Gradually they obtain the same duties and rights as the rest of the citizenry. Their social success often arouses jealousy. The image of the ‘Jew’ changes to the all-powerful ruler of the world. The manufacture of the Protocols of Elders of Zion by the Russian state illustrates this phenomenon. The myth of a Jewish-Masonic conspiracy first appears. Political anti-Judaism is born as a reaction to the newly acquired citizenship and equality enjoyed by the Jews. The supporters of this ideology advocate a return to the discriminatory status of Jews.
Wilhelm Marr coins the term anti-Semitism in 1879 at the end of the nineteenth century. During this period, anti-Judaism had mutated and morphed into a set of beliefs that no longer defines Jews in terms of their religious faith, or that of their position in society, but instead conceptualises ‘the Jew’ as a separate racial and biological category. Belonging to the ‘Jewish race’ is inescapable and final; one can change ones religious affiliation by converting but one cannot change his genes. The Jewish race is regarded as inferior and impure. Anti-Semitism deprives
the ‘imaginary Jew’ of his humanity. The Jewish race is regarded as parasitical, a disease which must be eradicated. To get rid of ‘the Jew’ means that he should be physically eliminated. Racial anti-Semitism carries within it the seeds of genocide.
Arthur Langerman was born 21 August 1942 in Antwerp. His entire family was arrested on 28 March 1944 by the occupying forces. His mother, Zysla Blajwas, and his father, Salomon Langerman, were transferred immediately to the Dossin Barracks. Arthur was placed in the kindergarten (Pouponnière) of Uccle. This kindergarten was administered by the Jewish Association of Belgium, which was under the control of the Sipo-SD. Arthur’s parents were deported with Transport
XXV on 19 May 1944 to Auschwitz-Birkenau where his father perished. His mother
was transferred from Auschwitz to Ravensbrück, a camp reserved for women.
After her repatriation to Belgium Zysla Blajwas finds her son Arthur. As a heavily traumatised victim she will never speak of her experiences. Arthur is raised in Antwerp amid secrets and silence.
The Eichmann trial (Jerusalem 1961) sparks a keen interest and awareness in the young Arthur and he becomes fascinated with anti- Semitism, its perceived causes and consequences. At the age of thirty, despite his busy business activities, Arthur starts collecting material related to anti-Semitism. At the end of his carrier he is finally able to devote more time to this passion. Today Arthur Langerman is a well-known and respected collector who owns around 7000 original pieces: postcards, pamphlets, caricatures, drawings from the press, art pieces... Kazerne Dossin is honoured to present to you twelve extraordinary and original posters, which were kindly put to our disposal by mister Arthur Langerman.