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The Antisemitic German Social Party, Bochum Program (June 11, 1889)

The Antisemitic German Social Party (1889) was a merger of several antisemitic groups that had spent most of the previous decade fighting among themselves and forming independent leagues, associations, and parties. The new party's "principles and demands" were approved by an antisemitic congress that convened in Bochum on June 10-11, 1889. The congress's 283 delegates approved a program that underscored the heterogeneity of the antisemitic movement at the time: espousing both extreme conservative and quasi-socialist goals, it reflects the diverse viewpoints of such antisemitic participants as Max Liebermann von Sonnenberg (1848-1911) and Theodor Fritsch (1852-1933). Otto Böckel (1859-1923), who had been elected to the Reichstag the previous year, walked out of the congress when his proposed name ("Antisemitic Party") was not accepted, while the Christian Social followers of Court Preacher Adolf Stöcker (1835-1909) distanced themselves from the program because it framed the Jewish question explicitly in terms of race. German Jews, we read, are to be placed under the aliens law and stripped of the right to hold public office; Jewish immigration from eastern Europe is also to be halted. At the same time, the program concedes that Social Democratic demands for economic and social equality cannot be dismissed out of hand.

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1. We acknowledge the great significance of the Christian Weltanschauung for the moral development of humanity. We are aware of the interaction between national and religious life, especially in the case of the German people. We acknowledge the Christian church's moral and social calling and therefore would like to see it as free as possible from state influence. We desire complete freedom of worship and conscience. All convictions of conscience, including those of persons outside the religious denominations, have a right to tolerance and state protection, provided they do not infringe upon the law.

2. We demand from all citizens and social associations as well as from the entire state a more moral and ideal view of professions, obligations, and privileges than the view that has spread during the last two decades, in particular, to the great detriment of our people.

3. The Antisemitic German Social Party conforms to the Reich constitution and favors both strong imperial authority and conscientious respect for the rights of the German princes.

4. To safeguard Germany's position of power externally and to protect peaceful development from violent attempts at revolution, we require strong military forces on land and on the seas. We regard our people's army, based on the Germanic principle of universal compulsory military service, as a national educational institution of the first order. Moreover, we do not consider the funds used for it as capital invested unprofitably, provided that the needs of the army in terms of equipment and supplies are procured from the domestic market, whereby the millions spent flow back to the working and producing population.

5. As long as the restructuring of our population into occupational groups has not been carried out, we view the universal, direct, secret suffrage used for Reichstag elections as the best one, relatively speaking. Therefore we deem it necessary to preserve this suffrage in order to prevent the conscience of the propertied and educated classes from falling into slumber – something that could easily happen if each new election did not provide an

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