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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter May 24, 2007

Houston Stewart Chamberlain und Leo Spitzer – ein Linguist wehrt sich / Houston Stewart Chamberlain and Leo Spitzer – a linguist defends himself

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In the year 1918, Leo Spitzer presented a lecture in the Viennese Urania, a lecture he also published during that same year, entitled: “Anti-Chamberlain”, or, more precisely: “Anti-Chamberlain: Reflections by a linguist on Houston Stewart Chamberlain's ‘War Essays’ and a general linguistic assessment by Dr. Leo Spitzer”. It is well know that Chamberlain was the prophet of racial anti-Semitism during the waning years of the 19th century, and that his writings, published in editions running well into the hundreds of thousands, influenced not only the intellectual middle class but also, in a very particular way, Hitler and the nationalistic radical movement. For a Professor to present a lecture against this man and against his writings suggests a direct intervention of an academic discipline in the public discourse-a discourse that was shaped, to be sure, by war weariness but also by a presentable and tolerated anti-Semitism.

Published Online: 2007-05-24
Published in Print: 2006-06-20

© Walter de Gruyter

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