You Got Mail - Hate Mail:
Anti-Semetic Picture Postcards 1890-1930, How Easy It Was to Hate

December 2, 2012 at 3 PM

In the early 20th century, picture postcards were the most convenient form of short and quick communication. The telegraph was expensive and used by businesses; the telephone was only in its infancy. Literally, millions of post cards were sent each year, mostly from Europe and America. The picture postcard was the short messaging system of a century ago. Publishers met the demand by printing interesting images on postcards covering every topic imaginable.

Anti-Semitism was one of these subjects reflecting the deep-seated attitudes of society. By studying these postcards, it is clear that Anti-Semitism was not a belief disseminated by political leaders, journalists, scholars and rabble-rousers. In fact, it was accepted by the general population, who eagerly bought and mailed these postcards that were derogatory of Jews. A deeper analysis shows that postcards from Germany were particularly hateful and vile, in contrast to American examples which focused on stereotypical humor.

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