Despite of his staunch criticism of Judaism and in particular Christianity, does Friedrich Nietzsche qualify as anti-Semitic by today’s standards?
By: Ringo Bones
In terms of the rules of late 20th Century political correctness where supposedly only gay comedians are allowed to do stand up routines criticizing themselves, one can safely say that Friedrich Nietzsche is indeed anti Semitic by today’s standards. And yet there are a number of Jewish scholars – like Robert Holub author of Nietzsche’s Jewish Problem and Benjamin Silver - who had reached a consensus that goes “Friedrich Nietzsche has many faults, but anti-Semitism isn’t one of them”. But why does the name Friedrich Nietzsche seems to have become synonymous to anti Semitism, especially to those college students of whom their rather “right-leaning conservative” philosophy professor skirt through Nietzsche at an alarming pace only to give the impression to their students that humanity’s greatest philosopher is for all intents and purposes anti-Semitic/
In terms of historical accuracy, Friedrich Nietzsche is very critical of what we now know as “Abrahamic Theology” – particularly Christianity on which Nietzsche blames its rise on the Jews. A surprisingly very little known weird fact is that much of the Nazis’ alleged affinity for Nietzsche’s works was not when he was still in full creative control but only after his sister Elisabeth tried to cash in on his work after he became an invalid, especially after Elisabeth met Adolf Hitler and tried to promote her dead brother’s writings.
Most importantly, Friedrich Nietzsche despised anti-Semitism, especially the institutionalized one that musician Richard Wagner embraced that often got tied in with German nationalism during the 1880s. His sister and her husband both hated Jews and shared visions of a pure race. Nietzsche’s sister and her husband even developed a colony in Paraguay to realize their dream, which later failed - which is quite in contrast to the mindset of Nietzsche during the height of his creative period. In one book - Beyond Good and Evil – Nietzsche proposed that we “expel that anti Semitic squallers out of the country.” In a letter to his sister, he wrote, “Your association with an anti Semitic chief expresses a foreignness to my whole way of life which fills me ever again with ire or melancholy.” Might it be that Friedrich Nietzsche’s anti Semitism might be a case of his sister’s “criminal manipulation” in order to cash in on his works?