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Title: Ressentiment, Conflict, destruction/extermination. Stereotypes of Poles
Other Titles: Ressentiment, Konflikt, Vernichtung. Fremdbilder von Polen und die Folgen
Authors: Kuhn, Bärbel
Fenske, Uta
Guse, Klaus-Michael
Heck, Volker
Keywords: MIH
digital module
módulo digital
Issue Date: 2011
Publisher: Siegen University
Abstract: The use of negative images and stereotypes is part of the major policy instruments of populist politicians. Therefore large parts of the population tend to believe in them and the stereotypes lay the ground for exclusion, persecution, pogroms and genocide. The history of the 20th century has been called an “age of extremes” (E. Hobsbawm) because a myriad of such persecutions and exterminations took place. In 1919, after the end of World War I, a lot of these negative images and stereotypes existed in Germany, p.e. against the Social Democrats who were called “unpatriotic” because they allegedly had fallen the undefeated army in the back, against the Jews who were pictured as “world conspirators” that had pushed Germany and (optionally all other countries) into the war but also against the German neighbors who fought on the Allied side. Anglophobe tirades were part of the rhetoric of every politician who followed imperialist objectives, especially since Wilhelm II started to build the naval fleet; since the liberation wars against Napoleon the French were called “hereditary enemies” of Germany; and the stereotype of the “Polish economy” (meaning chaos, mismanagement and crime) was created in the 18th century.
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