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Toussenel, Alphonse°

TOUSSENEL, ALPHONSE°

TOUSSENEL, ALPHONSE ° (1803–1885), French antisemitic publicist and disciple of *Fourier. From 1839 to 1843 Toussenel coedited Phalange and later participated in the foundation of the Démocratie pacifique, both Fourierist publications. His two-volume work, Les Juifs, rois de l'époque; histoire de la féodalité financière, was one of the most resounding attacks on the Jews published in France (1845) before the appearance of *Drumont's La France Juive. An even more virulent second edition of Les Juifs … was published in 1847 and reprinted in 1886 and 1888. To some degree Toussenel influenced Drumont. He also helped to inspire a conservative, rural antisemitism, which later found its political expression in L'*Action Française. Toussenel did not make a formal attack on the Jewish people as such, but tried rather to show what he believed was commonly meant by "Jew". He wrote, "I wish to point out to the reader that this word will generally be used here in the popular sense of Jew: banker, usurer."

Toussenel's antisemitism was not limited to his conception of a Jew-dominated 19th century. Reaching back into history, he affirmed his sympathy for the persecutions inflicted upon the Jews by the Romans, Christians, and Muslims. Adding another dimension to his antisemitism, Toussenel also declared, "Who says Jew says Protestant." Accordingly, the Protestant nations of Europe – the English, the Dutch, and the Swiss, in particular – were, like the Jews, "merchants and birds of prey." Toussenel's embittered antisemitic, anti-foreign, and anti-Protestant tirades later provided ample inspiration for the anti-Dreyfusards.

bibliography:

R.F. Byrnes, Anti-semitism in Modern France, 1 (1950), index; E. Silberner, Sozialisten zur Judenfrage (1962), index; L. Thomas, Alphonse-Toussenel, socialistenational, antisémite (1941); Z. Szajkowski, in: jss, 9 (1947), 33–47.

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