Lueger effect in the fin-de-siècle Catholic Poland: the Imaginary Jew, the Viennese Christian Socials and the rise of Catholic anti-Semitism in Eastern Europe, Abstract by Grzegorz Krzywiec
The victory of Karl Lueger into election to the Vienna’s Rathaus in 1895 had an enormous effect whether on the Habsburg Catholic opinion or abroad. For many Catholics from Eastern Europe, a role model for revitalization of ‘Christian’ public scene came neither from Germany, nor from any other European country, but from the Habsburg Austria. Especially in the Habsburg Galicia, ‘Dr Lueger’ served as a bearer of hope and role-model for many indigenous anti-Semitic movements and organization. Even more striking phenomenon was a widespread reception or cultural transfer of popular ‘Luegerism’ into Catholic political imagination in the Russian Poland.
My paper will deal with long durée penetration of anti-Judaic motifs in Catholic public opinion, their absorption into cultural code and then attempts to transform them into modern political message in order to uphold ‘Christian’ principles in public life. In the final part the paper will discuss main currents of Catholic politics in the early 20th Poland up to the 1905 Revolution and shortly afterwards when an open-declared anti-Semitism became one of the major facet of the Polish Catholicism. It seems that this particular fin-de-siècle moment in Central and Eastern European history gives an unique opportunity to grasp main tendencies of Catholic mass politics of the region for at least a half of the century, if not much longer.
Grzegorz Krzywiec is Assistant Professor at the Institute of History (Polish Academy of Sciences), Cooperating with Jewish Historical Institute in Warsaw (among others Coordinator of the Research Group on Problem of Anti-Semitism). At present he is preparing a book on Modern Polish Anti-Semitism in European Context (1880-1914). Author e.g.: Szowinizm po polsku, 1886-1905. Przypadek Romana Dmowskiego, Warszawa 2009, English version: Chauvinism. Polish Style. The Case of Roman Dmowski: Beginnings 1886-1905, Peter Lang 2015). Research interest: Polish and European Anti-Semitism, the Right and Fascism in Poland in Context of Central and Eastern Europe.
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