A criminal passion. Jean-Paul Sartre e l’antisemitismo

La “Soluzione finale” del Nazismo durante la Seconda guerra mondiale spinse nel 1946 il filosofo esistenzialista francese Jean-Paul Sartre a definire l’antisemitismo “una passione criminale“. 

The cataclysmic impact of the Nazi Final Solution prompted the founder of postwar French existentialist philosophy, Jean-Paul Sartre, to describe anti-Semitism in 1946 as a “criminal passion” rather than as a mere opinion.
Jean-Paul Sartre
Jean-Paul Sartre

Sartre’s striking portrait of the anti-Semite would, for several decades, exercise a great influence on liberal intellectuals in the West, especially in France. His writings contain passages that, even today, sound remarkably prescient, as if Sartre had uncannily anticipated the paranoid universe of radical Islamist anti-Semites sixty years later. One example was Sartre’s cool observation that ( in the mind of the anti-Semite) “the Jew is assimilated to the spirit of evil,” to Satan himself-blamed for all that is bad in society (crises, wars, famines, upheavals, and revolts).  The anti-Semite “localizes all the evil of the universe in the Jew. “ He imagines him constantly manipulating oppressive governments, or controlling international capitalism, “the imperialism of the trusts and munition makers; but the Jew is also the hook-nosed agitator and demagogue, the piratical Bolshevik with a knife between his teeth, intent on seducing the workers.
 Nel capitolo “Frenchmen, arabs and Jews”, Wistrich scrive ancora:

After the Allied liberation, the “Jewish question” was partly suppressed in postwar France but hardly disappeared. The philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre noted in his Réflexions sur la Question Juive (1946) the silence and malaise of his compatriots concerning the Jews at the end of the war: “Now all France rejoicesand fraternizes in the streets….Do we sayanything about the Jews? Do we give a thought to those who died in the gas chambers at Lublin? No a word. Not a line in the newspapers.That is because we must not irritate the anti-Semites.” 

Holocaust Jewish Star in ghetto Lodz-Litzmannstadt, Poland


Robert Wistrich, A Lethal Obsession. Anti-Semitism from Antiquity to the Global Jihad

Wistrich A Lethal Obsession

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