BISMARCK, OTTO VON° (1815–1898), Prussian statesman and from 1871 first chancellor of the German Empire. His attitude to Jews and Judaism was ambivalent. In 1847, when he was simply a conservative Eastelbian deputy in the Prussian "Vereinigte Landtag," he strongly opposed opening senior governmental positions to Jews. Later he was attacked by antisemites for "being duped by Jewish financiers" (their main target being G. von Bleichroeder ), and for passing the laws of 1869 and 1871 which abolished restrictions based on religious differences, first in the "Norddeutsche Bund," later in the newly founded Deutsche Reich. This legislation, however, was mainly directed by political expediency, while Bismarck's relations with Bleichroeder were financially beneficial to both men. The Jewish Liberal parliamentarians E. Lasker and L. Bamberger supported Bismarck in the early years, but when he turned to the Conservatives after 1878 they became his bitter adversaries. Although Bismarck regarded the rabidly antisemitic court preacher adolph stoecker with disdain, he appreciated Stoecker's services in opposing socialism. In 1878, during the congress of berlin , Bismarck generally supported a policy favorable to the Jews, which resulted in the incorporation of written guarantees in the peace treaties assuring their equality in the Balkan states, in particular in romania . A petition (bearing 250,000 signatures) demanding the dismissal of Jews from all government positions (1881) was ignored by Bismarck, who was suspicious of all popular manifestations. However, only apostates were allowed to reach the upper echelons, while the careers of the few Jews employed by the state were severely restricted. In 1885–86, Bismarck supported the expulsion from Prussia of thousands of Russian and Austrian citizens, including around 9,000 Jews. Bismarck, who was contemptuous of all things Polish, despised the East European Jews and adopted the prejudices against Ostjuden current even among the Jewish community in Germany. He was also suspicious of the connection between jewish reform in religion and political radicalism, and had a higher opinion of jewish orthodoxy . In the early years of his political career, Bismarck had the support of the vast majority of German Jewry, but he gradually lost it later, as Jews in Germany increasingly turned toward radical liberalism. Concerning his own religious attitudes, Bismarck cultivated strong pietist attitudes, so that he had a vast knowledge of Old Testament. -BIBLIOGRAPHY: O. Joehlinger, Bismarck und die Juden… (1921); H. Neubach, Die Ausweisungen von Polen und Juden aus Preussen, 188586… (1967), index; E. Hamburger, in: YLBI, 9 (1964), 216, 220–2; N.M. Gelber, ibid., 5 (1960), 221–48; D.S. Landes, ibid., 5 (1960), 201–20; ADD. BIBLIOGRAPHY: F. Stern, Gold and Iron (1978); O. Pflanze, Bismarck, 2 (1990), 70–85 and 318–320; Wehler, Deutsche Gesellschaftsgeschichte, 3 (1995), 961–964; A. Hopp, Otto von Bismarck aus der Sicht des juedischen Buergertums (1999). (Henry Wasserman / Marcus Pyka (2nd ed.)

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Bismarck, Otto von —   Am 1. April 1815 auf dem elterlichen Gut Schönhausen in der Altmark geboren, studierte Otto von Bismarck in Göttingen und Berlin Jura. Nach der Referendarzeit in Aachen und Potsdam (1836 1839) quittierte er den Staatsdienst und bewirtschaftete… …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Bismarck, Otto von — ▪ German chancellor and prime minister Introduction in full  Otto Eduard Leopold, Fürst (prince) von Bismarck, Graf (count) von Bismarck Schönhausen, Herzog (duke) von Lauenburg  born April 1, 1815, Schönhausen, Altmark, Prussia [Germany] died… …   Universalium

  • Bismarck, Otto von — (1815 1898)    Germany. Politician. In 1886, as newly appointed chancellor of the Second German Empire, Bismarck sent a letter to all the states comprising the empire to unify, at least in practice, the various valid decrees against Gypsies.… …   Historical dictionary of the Gypsies

  • Bismarck, Otto von — ► (1815 98) Canciller alemán y ministro del rey de Prusia Guillermo I (1862). Despojó a Dinamarca de los ducados de Schleswig y Holstein (1864). Declarada la guerra contra Francia (1870), en 1871 se proclamó en Versalles el Segundo Imperio Alemán …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • BISMARCK (O. von) — S’il est un homme à qui l’on peut sans conteste appliquer l’expression allemande Menschen, die die Geschichte machen , «les hommes qui font l’histoire», c’est bien le prince de Bismarck. Sa forte personnalité a marqué profondément l’histoire de… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Otto von Bismarck — Otto von Bismarck, 1890 Otto Eduard Leopold von Bismarck Schönhausen (seit 1865 Graf, seit 1871 Fürst von Bismarck, seit 1890 Herzog zu Lauenburg[1]; * 1. April 1815 in Schönhausen; † 30. Juli …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Otto von Bismarck — Otto Eduard Leopold von Bismarck Retrato de Otto von Bismarck 1875 …   Wikipedia Español

  • Otto von bismarck — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Bismarck. Otto von Bismarck …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Otto von Bismarck (CDU) — Otto von Bismarck bei seiner Hochzeit Otto Christian Archibald Fürst von Bismarck (* 25. September 1897 in Schönhausen; † 24. Dezember 1975 in Friedrichsruh) war ein deutscher Politiker (DNVP …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Otto von Bismarck — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Bismarck. Otto von Bismarck …   Wikipédia en Français

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.