Vienna's 'respectable' antisemites

A study of the Christian Social movement

By Michael Carter-Sinclair

Vienna's 'respectable' antisemites


  • eBook

Book Information

  • Format: Hardcover
  • ISBN: 978-1-5261-4486-7
  • Pages: 280
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £85.00
  • Published Date: January 2021
  • BIC Category: Modern History, European history: medieval period, middle ages, HISTORY / Modern / 20th Century, HISTORY / Modern / 19th Century, Humanities / European history, HISTORY / Europe / Austria & Hungary, Austria, Humanities / 20th century history: c 1900 to c 2000, Humanities / Modern history to 20th century: c 1700 to c 1900, History


Vienna's 'respectable' antisemites offers a radical challenge to conventional accounts of one of the darkest periods in the city's history: the rise of organised, politically directed antisemitism between the late-nineteenth and mid-twentieth centuries. Drawing on original research into the Christian Social movement, the book analyses how issues such as nationalism, mass poverty and social unrest enabled the gestation in 'respectable' society of antisemitism, an ideology that seemed to be dying in the 1860s, but which was given new strength from the 1880s. It delivers a riposte to portrayals of the lower clergy as a marginalised group that was driven to defend itself from liberal attacks by turning to anti-liberal, antisemitic action, as well as exposing the nurturing role played by senior clergy. As the book reveals, the Church in Vienna as a whole was determined to counter liberalism, to the point of welcoming any authoritarian regime that would do so.


'Michael Carter-Sinclair's meticulously researched and very readable monograph is a political history of the Christian Social Party (CSP) and its relationship with the Church. the author immediately challenges received wisdom about the perceived persecution of the Church and its members by a triumphalist liberal elite... [and shows that] long before the political crisis of 1927, Ignaz Seipel, the 'prelate without mercy', was preaching the virtues of a superior "true democracy", that rejected both political pluralism and cultural inclusivity.'
Timothy Kirk, English Historical Review

'This is a fine book.. The author has used church documents to prove how antisemitic stereotypes were used systematically by the clergy to keep the old anti-Jewish hatred alive.. The basic arguments Carter-Sinclair presents here are covered in studies by John Boyer, Bruce Pauley, and Peter Pulzer.. However, the book uses new evidence, including formerly overlooked materials like parish newsletters, to demonstrate how central antisemitism was to the thinking and feeling of rank-and-file members of Austrian Catholicism.'
Anton Pelinka, Antisemitism Studies


1 Before the rise of the antisemites
2 Antisemites begin to organise, 1873-89
3 To the brink of power, 1889-95
4 A Christian, socially engaged movement? 1896-1914
5 A German movement? 1896-1914
6 War and the end of empire, 1914-18
7 An unloved republic? 1919-26
8 The right asserts itself, 1927-33
9 Building a Christian and German Austria? 1934-8
10 An end to Austria?
11 Principal conclusions and further questions


Michael Carter-Sinclair is a Visiting Research Fellow in the Department of History at King's College London

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