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Anti-Semitism an old European problem Four millenniums old, the Jewish people faced the hostility of some Ancient

t civilizations: Egyptians, Babylonians, Persians, Greeks and Romans. However, their most serious problems were precisely amongst them: the division of the kingdom in the period of the first Temple; then, the internal rivalries of the last few days of the second Temple led to the destruction of Jerusalem and the longest exile of the Jewish history. In the Middle Ages, the religious persecutions in the European Occident produced a deep injury to the Jews. The Jewish communities, with their own structures and jurisdictions, maintained a state of suspicion and accentuated the differences from the populations amongst which they lived. A limited number of activities were carried out in those communities, an own language was spoken Yiddish or Hebrew a specific religion and culture was cultivated. The activities such as usury, trade, loans on pawns, as well as the unusual and hidden character of the Jewish beliefs and rituals were discredited, disapproved and criticized, attracting merciless persecutions from the Catholic Church through the Inquisition amongst the Christian majoritarian societies. The French Revolution and the proclamation of the Declaration of Human and Citizen Rights in France launched the concept of religious liberty, but not the equality in civil and politic rights for the Jews. The arrival of Napoleon was gazed upon with hope by the Jews, who were allowed to publically affirm the constitution of the Great Sanhedrin the supreme religious forum. In 1807, the forum accepted the civil and religious submission to the French state. After Napoleons defeat, the anti-Semite attitudes in Germany, Austria and Russia were of political inspiration, but literature also insinuated a negative profile of the miser and anti-Christian Jew. After the Revolutions of 1848 in Europe, the Jews are more and more frequently perceived as economic opponents, usurpers of the national interest who suck the peoples blood and impoverish it. The industrialization threw the Jews in competition with Christians. The increasing fortunes of the Jewish people exasperated the craftsmen, traders and peasants struggling in poverty. The Jews became, especially from the second half of the 19th century, the nouveau riches, awakening the resentment of the middle class and generating profound social frustrations that increased the anti-Semitism of the end of the 19th century in Europe. The access of Jews in administration, education and army encountered resistance in all the states of the Occidental Europe. The presence of Jews in the political life was not positively gazed upon due to their refusal of vowing on the Gospel. Persecuted or banished from the Occident, many Jews found refuge in Central and Eastern Europe. The tendencies of assimilating the small nations in the Tsarist and Austro-Hungarian Empires created a hostile reaction amongst the Jewish people and their leaders. Assimilation meant the loss of the Jewish identity and this was unacceptable for them. Obviously, this decision had ill-fated consequences especially since Jews were not only perceived as of another religion, but also of another race: the Semite race term inaugurated by a Berliner journalist in

1879. The Christian anti-Semitism was alimented with the new national and racial motivations, becoming an escalated matter for some ideologies and groups; the media and literature encouraged the antipathy and hostility towards Jews. Anti-Semitism was also alimented by nationalist ideologies doing xenophobe propaganda. Starting with 1880, Russia witnessed genocides encouraged by the authorities, having as purpose the silencing of the Jewish communities through crime and terror. In Germany and Austria, anti-Semitism developed slowly, but surely; and France is shaken by the Dreyfus Affair which held the front pages between 1894 and 1906 and divided the French society. At the end of the 19th the first anti-Semite party is founded. The paroxysm of anti-Semitism was seen in the interwar period, through Hitlers Nazi regime. The racial policy of Nazi Germany encouraged measures of protection of the race, encouragement of natality amongst true Aryans and eugenicist measures opening the path for genocide: the sterilizing of the mentally-ill, the elimination of the incurables and helpless elderly. A racial legislation is adopted, mainly appointing to the Jewish people who were considered responsible for all the evil of the German nation. Started with a general boycott against Jewish shops, accompanied by robberies and violence, the persecution will have diverse shapes, culminating with the Laws of Nuremberg which eliminated Jews from commerce, banks, publishing houses, medical and juridical professions, public functions and army. They lose the German citizenship and are submitted to humiliating measures: wearing of the yellow star and exclusion from public life. Starting with 1938, the regime starts a physical elimination policy culminating with the Final Solution in the extermination camps where approximately 6 million Jews were killed. The tragedy bears the name of Holocaust. After the fall of communism, the idea of Jewish communism is launched an important source of anti-Semitism. The fact that Jews occupied official positions in Poland, Hungary, Romania, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Lithuania after 1945, created the clich according to which all communists are Jews fact that does not correspond to the historical truth. This way, the postcommunist anti-Semitism accused the Jews for participating in the communist terror system. Anti-Semitism still constitutes a problem the European states have not entirely solved yet. In the European Union, the first step made was the incrimination of those who deny the Holocaust and the bringing to justice of those refusing to admit the dimensions of the tragedy. Also, displaying Nazi symbols in public places is a severely punished crime. However, there are still many actions to be taken in the political, socially juridical and educational fields, so that the merits and role of the Jewish people in history of humankind will be acknowledged and appreciated at their just value.