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Alfred Roth (born 27 April 1879 in Stuttgart - died 9 October 1948 in Hamburg) was a German politician and writer noted for his anti-Semitism. He was sometimes known by his pseudonym Otto Arnim. Away from politics, he was a leading figure in the Commercial Employees Union.[1]

Activism[edit | edit source]

Roth was active in Theodor Fritsch's Reichshammerbund (Imperial Hammer League) before serving as an officer in World War I.[2] After the death of Karl August Hellwig in 1914 he became leader of this group and he used this body to build up the strongly anti-Semitic Deutschvölkischer Schutz und Trutzbund, which he formed in 1919 by fusing the League with other groups.[3] He as leader of the Deutschvölkischer Schutz und Trutzbund he became noted for his propaganda work and was credited with attracting some 200,000 members to the group by the time it was banned in 1922 following the murder of Walther Rathenau.[4] He was especially prone to attacking Zionism and regularly quoted Zionist works as proof that Jews did not belong in Germany.[5]

He subsequently became a member of the German National People's Party (DNVP), briefly sitting in the Reichstag for them in 1924.[6] He faded from the political scene after this and, in keeping with most DNVP politicians, played little role under Nazism.

Writing[edit | edit source]

In 1919 he published a book, The Jew in the Army which claimed that most Jews involved in the war were only involved as profiteers and spies.[2] Roth claimed that his book was the result of the 1916 Judenzählung.[6] He also blamed Jewish officers for imparting a defeatist mentality to their soldiers, with the book thus central to the Stab-in-the-back legend.[6]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Peter G. J. Pulzer, Jews and The German State: The Political History of a Minority, 1848-1933, 2003, p. 190
  2. 2.0 2.1 Richard S. Levy, Antisemitism, 2005, p. 623
  3. Richard S. Levy, Antisemitism, 2005, pp. 344-5
  4. Donald L. Niewyk, The Jews in Weimar Germany, 1980, p. 46
  5. Niewyk, The Jews in Weimar Germany, p. 140
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Richard S. Levy, Antisemitism, 2005, p. 624

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