#34 / Editorial


In Marseille, slogans have recently been posted on the walls against anti-Semitism, the oppression of Jewish women, and the comparison between the health pass and the yellow star. One of them proclaims “Jewish and Proud,” thanks to a young collective of Jewish women billposters whose portrait is presented here by Yoram Melloul. Religious and feminist, of the left but not afraid of denouncing the silence which frequently reigns on anti-Semitism, these activists of a new kind, as well as their challenges, are related by the journalist.

“The Germans will never forgive the Jews for Auschwitz.” The phrase by Israeli psychiatrist Zvi Rex sums up the complex notion of “secondary anti-Semitism” well enough. Bruno Quelennec clarifies the contours of this notion, which is entwined with a puzzling fact: how the Shoah could, paradoxically, give a new reason to hate Jews? Characterized by an inability to recognize any form of collective responsibility, by the denial or relativization of the extermination, by a rejection of its commemoration, and by a tendency to reverse the roles of executioner and victim, secondary anti-Semitism is deafeningly present in public discourse, especially in Germany, and it was time for K to return to it.

The Appointment, Katharina Volckmer’s first novel, already a hit for critics and English-speaking audiences, has just been published in France. Born in Germany, which she left to settle in London, the narrator opens up while being examined by her gynecologist, Dr. Seligman. She talks about her homeland and the Jews, about her dreams of Hitler, and about her desire to change her sex – to give herself a “Jewish Cock.” Why such an idea? Julia Christ offers her reading of this satirical and provocative parable over which the shadow of Philip Roth, Woody Allen and Thomas Bernhardt hangs.

In Marseille, feminist activists are taking over the walls of the city to spread messages about antisemitism and the situation of Jewish women. The movement, which is attracting attention via an Instagram account, seems surprising in Europe’s third-largest Jewish community, known for its conservatism. Yoram Melloul portrays some of these billposters, who often find themselves caught between their traditional environment and their activism.

The plethora of charges made against Jews requires a constant reworking of the concepts used to characterize these phenomena. In recent years, the notion of “secondary anti-Semitism” or “guilt-rejecting anti-Semitism” has thus been invoked to characterize new forms of anti-Jewish hostility that relate to the Holocaust in order to deny it, relativize it, reverse the responsibility for it, etc.

Born in Germany, from which she fled to London, the narrator of “The Appointment” pours out her heart while being examined by her gynecologist, Dr. Seligman. Resolutely provocative, mixing sexual fantasies about Hitler with sharp insights into our contemporary society, the novel is a satirical parable over which the shadow of Philip Roth, Woody Allen and Thomas Bernhardt hovers.

With the support of:

Thanks to the Paris office of the Heinrich Böll Foundation for their cooperation in the design of the magazine’s website.