Ahlwardt, Hermann°

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AHLWARDT, HERMANN ° (1846–1914), German publicist and anti-semitic politician. In 1893, when headmaster of a primary school in Berlin, Ahlwardt was dismissed for embezzling money collected from the pupils. He made anti-semitism his profession and used it as a political springboard. His first work, Der Verzweiflungskampf der arischen Voelker mit dem Judentum ("The Last Stand of the Aryan Peoples against Judaism," 1890–92), described an alleged Jewish world conspiracy. Its second part, "The Oath of a Jew" (Der Eid eines Judens), included slander against G. von *Bleichroeder, a leading Jewish banker. Prosecution followed and Ahlwardt was sentenced to four months' imprisonment. He was hardly out of prison when he published another defamatory leaflet Judenflinten ("Jewish Rifles"), claiming that the guns supplied to the German Army by a Jewish manufacturer were defective. However, Ahlwardt was saved from serving a second sentence by parliamentary immunity, as he had been elected in 1892 to the Reichstag as member for Arnswalde-Friedeberg (Brandenburg) on the platform propounded to the peasants there that their misery was due to "the Jews and the Junkers." His pamphlets (no less than ten of which appeared in 1892) were assisted by the press and Roman Catholic clergy, with the result that anti-semitic rioting, the burning of the synagogue at Neustettin, and the revival of ritual murder accusations ensued. To the embarrassment of his own party, the Conservatives, Ahlwardt occupied the time of the Reichstag with his slanderous "revelations" about the Jews. He continued to hold his seat there until the Reichstag was dissolved in 1893 when he was immediately imprisoned for libel. In spite of this and the opposition of the Conservatives he was reelected by the same constituencies and held his seat until 1902. He was sentenced for blackmail in 1909 and died unnoticed.

add. bibliography:

P. Pulzer, The Rise of Political Anti-Semitism in Germany and Austria (19882); C. Jahr, in: lbiyb, 48 (2003), 67–85.