"Jüdische Schuld" | Die Egoisten
Peter Staudenmaier: „It's the Jews' fault“.


Interestingly, this was sometimes Steiner's position as well, albeit without reference to the holocaust, which occurred after Steiner's death. Steiner blamed the Jews for Christ's death, for example; see Steiner, "Die Völkerseelen und das Mysterium von Golgatha" (1918), in Rudolf Steiner, Erdensterben und Weltenleben (Dornach 1967), pp.
158-9.
Steiner also blamed the Jews for antisemitism, emphasizing that "the Jews have always differentiated themselves from other people" and have thus "caused aversion and antipathy" toward themselves: Steiner, "Vom Wesen des Judentums" (1924), in Rudolf Steiner, Die Geschichte der Menschheit und die Weltanschauungen der Kulturvölker (Dornach 1968), p. 188.

Steiner also entertained a variety of conspiracy theories about Jews, including the standard antisemitic notions that Jews are to blame for wars and that Jews are striving for world supremacy. On occasion Steiner's fantasies along these lines essentially attributed genocidal intentions to the Jews. According to Steiner, for example, the ancient Hebrews believed "that the earth could only become happy if everything else would die off and only the members of this people would fill the whole world." Rudolf Steiner, Der innere Aspekt des sozialen Rätsels (Dornach 1972), p. 56.

Steiner also encouraged, financed, and wrote the Preface to a major antisemitic work by anthroposophist Karl Heise: Heise, Entente-Freimaurerei und Weltkrieg (Basel 1920), which blames World War I on the Jews, as well as on the perfidious democracies, the conniving English and French, the soulless Americans, not to mention the brutish Slavs and so forth.

Steiner's anthroposophist followers often elaborated on these themes. Leading anthroposophist Helga Scheel-Geelmuyden, for instance, described the Jews, who "rejected the Son of the Virgin," as "a scattered people that appears everywhere as the agent of the atomistic elements of our intellectual culture" (Scheel-Geelmuyden, "Die Schöpfung des Menschen im Nordischen Mythos" published in Die Drei, official organ of the Anthroposophical Society in Germany, November 1925, p. 629).

Anthroposophist August Pauli held the Jews responsible for the "disintegrating effects of intellectualism and materialism" (Pauli, Blut und Geist, Stuttgart 1932, p. 29). In Nazi Germany in 1933, prominent anthroposophist Friedrich Rittelmeyer blamed the Jews for "the egoistic-intellectualistic-materialist spirit" that plagued humanity (Rittelmeyer, Rudolf Steiner als Führer zu neuem Christentum, Stuttgart 1933, p. 84).

Anthroposophist Ludwig Thieben developed these themes at length in his book on "the enigma of Jewry" (Thieben, Das Rätsel des Judentums, originally published in 1931 and re-published by Swiss anthroposophists in 1991). Thieben emphasised "the momentous difference between the Aryan and the true Jew" (p. 202) and decried the "manifold harmful influence of the Jewish essence" (p. 174) while describing modern Jewry as "the people which like no other resists Christianity, through the very nature of its blood" (p. 164), and associated the Jews with all of the purported evils of modernity: "The rationalism which pervades all of Jewry is intimately linked to the Jews' basic heteronomous disposition. This yields an essential internal correlation to […] modern natural science, to the capitalist economic forms of contemporary times as well as to communism and its materialistic and intellectualistic ideas." (p. 134)

This, alas, is yet another important aspect of what Steiner has produced.

Peter S.