Ruehs, Christian Friedrich°

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RUEHS, CHRISTIAN FRIEDRICH ° (1781–1820), nationalist professor of history and Scandinavian studies in Berlin. After the Congress of *Vienna, he opposed Jewish emancipation in a pamphlet entitled Ueber die Ansprueche der Juden an das deutsche Buergerrecht, which was answered by Michael *Hess, Saul *Ascher, and others. In this work, Ruehs maintains that Jewry already constitutes a nation complete with laws and aristocracy (rabbis) and therefore cannot be granted citizenship in a Christian state. An unbridgeable gap exists between Germans and Jews, stemming from their inherently opposing natures. Jews may be tolerated only as a subject nation and the medieval restrictions must be reapplied. The basic characteristics of Judaism being arrogance, authoritarianism, and abhorrence of work, only full conversion makes a Jew fit for equality. While Ruehs believed himself to be objective and free of prejudice, he took pride in never having had any social contact whatsoever with Jews. J.F. *Fries published a favorable review of his work.

add. bibliography:

G. Hubmann, "Voelkischer Nationalismus und Antisemitismus im frühen 19. Jahrhundert. Die Schriften von Ruehs und Fries zur Judenfrage," in: R. Heuer and R.-R. Wuthenow (eds.), Antisemitismus, Zionismus, Antizionismus 1850–1940, (1997), 10–34; E. Sterling, Judenhaß. Die Anfänge des politischen Antisemitismus in Deutschland 1815–1850 (1969); J. Katz, From Prejudice to Destruction. Anti-Semitism 1700–1933 (1980).