Sander Gilman argued that the consensus of nineteenth century ethnography was that the Jews “were ‘black’ or, at least, ‘swarthy.’ ” In fact, there was no such consensus. Monogenist ethnographers had to show that European Jews were white in order to be able to show that black Jews had changed from white as a result of climate determinism. The increased racialization of Jews and blacks around the time of the American Civil War was accompanied by a renewal of the idea that the Jews and blacks had much in common, including color. Robert Knox was one of the first anthropologists to argue that the Jews were negroid. He was followed by many others, most of them polygenists. Other conflations of Jews and blacks included features such as smell, ears, eyes, hair, sexuality, etc. Jews were constructed as negroes, and at the same time blacks were constructed as Jews. They were both considered to be uniquely ugly. The ugliest Africans were the so-called Hottentots, who themselves had been deemed to be of Jewish origin. African tribes throughout the continent were constructed as Jews. The founder of political antisemitism, Wilhelm Marr, came to his hatred of Jews through a hatred of blacks in America. He thought Jews had negroid features and antecedents. From the time of the German Enlightenment Jews were inserted into the category of black slaves. For the influential racial theorist Houston Stewart Chamberlain, black blood flowed in the veins of Jews. The same goes for the important theorist Friedrich Ratzel. In the Americas, out-and-out anti-black racists were often equally anti-Jewish.
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