Anti-Jewish Knick-knack
Popular Images of the Jews and Contemporary Conspiracy Theories. The Finkelstein Collection and its ContextOctober 16, 2005 – May 28, 2006 (extended by 3 months)

After 1945 many believed that the anti-Jewish traditions of Europe had been discredited once for all. But the contrary seems to be the case. In front of the horizon of globalization, migration and the search for fixed identities, be it in Europe or the so called Oriental world, in the realm of Christianity or the Islam, popular images of the “Jew” and wild conspiracy theories flourish again, even where no Jews live.
On the surface this seems to be a result of conflicts about Israel and Palestine. But maybe, its just the other way around. Negative and positive fantasies about Jews and everything “Jewish” dramatize the real issues of the conflict into a symbolic battle about the fate of the world. It’s time to examine these fantasies anew.

For 15 years Gideon Finkelstein collected anti-Jewish objects and images from many centuries. Knick-knacks and fair ground attractions, shooting galleries, beer glasses and walking sticks, ash trays and caricatures, porcelain figures and paintings that “helped” people in Europe to express their fantasies about the Jews. Some of them appear ridiculous and outdated today – some of the we find again in contemporary propaganda against globalization, Israel, the US or blankly – against Jews. The desire for easy explanations of conflicts in the world and utopias of redemption flourish.
The Jewish Museum Hohenems encourages discussion about this disturbing renaissance of multiple facets of Anti-Semitism and Philo-Semitism, a persistent and ambivalent fascination. Images of “the Jew”.

The exhibition is accompanied by a catalog and a volume with essays:

Falk Wiesemann, Antijüdischer Nippes und populäre Judenbilder. Die Sammlung Finkelstein. Essen: Klartext Verlag, 2005, 255 pages, big format, numerous colour illustrations, € 30,80, ISBN 3-89861-502-2.

Hanno Loewy (Ed.), Gerüchte über die Juden. Antisemitismus, Philosemitismus und aktuelle Verschwörungstheorien.
Essays by Richard Bartholomew, Dan Diner, Werner Dreier, Monique Eckmann, Bernd Fechler, Holger Gehle, Kurt Greussing, Ruth Gruber, Thomas Haury, Yves Kugelmann, Hanno Loewy, Astrid Messerschmidt, Zafer Senocak, Frank Stern, Juliane Wetzel and Moshe Zuckermann. Essen: Klartext Verlag, 2005, 368 pages, € 23,60, ISBN 3-89861-501-4

Hanno Loewy (Hohenems)
Falk Wiesemann (Düsseldorf)
Emile Schrijver (Amsterdam)
Johannes Inama (Hohenems)
Editor of the catalog:
Falk Wiesemann (Düsseldorf)
Editor of the volume of essays:
Hanno Loewy
Stecher id (Götzis)
Roland Stecher und Thomas Matt
Public relations / organization:
Birgit Sohler (Hohenems)
Museum education:
Helmut Schlatter (Hohenems)
Renate Kleiser (Hohenems)