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jews jewish hostility religious

Anti-Semitism, systematic hostility to Jews. Until the 19th century, anti-Jewish prejudice was basically religious in nature, stemming from the claim that the Jews were responsible for Christ's death. In the late 1800s, particularly in eastern Europe, religious hostility acquired a racist rationale, based on the idea that Jews were a distinct, and evil, race. In Tsarist Russia the Jewish population was subjected to brutal physical attacks (pogroms). Anti-Semitism became a cornerstone of the ideology of Nazi Germany under Adolf Hitler, culminating in the murder of some 6 million Jews during World War II.

See also: Concentration camp; Holocaust; Jews; Racism.

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