Africa's Murderous Professors

In his much-praised History of the Jews, Paul Johnson reminds us that through the ages European "anti-Semitism was fueled not just by vulgar rumor but by the deliberate propaganda of intellectuals."

Issue: Winter 1996-1997

In his much-praised History of the Jews, Paul Johnson reminds us that through the ages European "anti-Semitism was fueled not just by vulgar rumor but by the deliberate propaganda of intellectuals." This was a pattern that reached its apogee in the murderous mind of the Nazis, whose genocidal impulse was amply decorated and abetted by a phalanx of "scientific" and intellectual justification. Indeed, this is one of the reasons that the Holocaust still exerts a dark fascination over us, for it represented a "civilized" barbarity on a scale that had hitherto been thought impossible.

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