Wilhelm Marr, A Mirror to the Jews, Hamburg , Hamburg 1862 (5th edition)

Source Description

On June 22, 1862, Wilhelm Marr published the first edition of his work, “Der Judenspiegel” [“A Mirror to the Jews”](editions 1-4, 56 pp), with the second through fourth editions appearing within a few weeks. The fifth edition, which will be quoted from here unless otherwise noted, was published in the same year, however with a “different Foreword” and now comprising 58 pages. In this version the two-page Afterword of the earlier editions, as well as the two-page “Addendum,” were dropped. In them Marr explains why he at first hesitated to publish the work and what then prompted him to do so. The book was self-published (printed by Pontt und Döhren). Marr identified his motive for altering the Introduction to the fifth edition as his response to “the guttersnipe ways in which the majority of Hamburg’s leading Jews reacted against my person rather than my writing,” Wilhelm Marr, Der Judenspiegel, Hamburg, 51862, p. 3. thus compelling him to remove the earlier introduction’s “conciliatory conclusion” Wilhelm Marr, Der Judenspiegel, Hamburg, 51862; self-published, Printer: Pontt und Döhr, p. 3. and, instead, mounting a counter-critique against the false judgments of his work.

In 1862 Marr had, at first intended to support Reform Judaism in its controversy with Jewish Orthodoxy with a pro-emancipation piece. The harsh criticism of his June 13, 1862 letter to the “Courier on the Weser” prompted him to hastily rework a manuscript that had been put aside, resulting in the many inconsistencies that Marr himself later described as “immature.” Now he attacked not only the Orthodox but also the Reform Jews as reactionary. The title page carried an epigraph from Heinrich Heine’s topical poem of 1843, “Das neue Israelitische Hospital in Hamburg” (The new Jewish hospital in Hamburg) in which the talk is of Judaism as “a thousand year-old malady” but which also gives expression, in the form of a question, to the hope that “perhaps one day the grandchild [will] recover and be reasonable and happy,” Heinrich Heine, Sämtliche Werke (Düsseldorfer Ausgabe) Bd. 2 Neue Gedichte, bearb. von Elisabeth Genton, Hamburg 1983, pp. 171f.—striking the theme of [Marr’s] book.
Read on >

Recommended Citation

Wilhelm Marr, A Mirror to the Jews, Hamburg , Hamburg 1862 (5th edition) (translated by Richard S. Levy), edited in: Key Documents of German-Jewish History, <https://dx.doi.org/10.23691/jgo:source-102.en.v1> [July 22, 2024].