4 Nov 201412:00pm - 4:00pmBeves Room, Kings College, Cambridge

Description

A series of talks and discussion with Dr Michael Hagemeister (Ruhr-Universität Bochum), Dr Claus Oberhauser (Universität Innsbruck) and Dr Reinhard Markner (Universität Innsbruck) surrounding the study of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion together with members of the Leverhulme-funded Conspiracy and Democracy research project (based at CRASSH). 

12-12:15pm – Introductions/ Welcome to the event
12:15-1pm – Session 1:  Simonini's Letter and the Construction of an Anti-Semitic Myth, by  Dr. Claus Oberhauser (Universität Innsbruck) 

1-2pm – Lunch to be served at Kings

2pm – 2:45pm – Session 2: “Müller von Hausen and Ludendorff: From the Protocols to Anti-Masonry”, by Dr Reinhard Markner (Universität Innsbruck) 
2:45 – 3:45pm  – Session 3: tbc/ discussion
3:45pm – Thanks/ Closing
4pm – End

Booking is required. Lunch will be provided.

 

Abstract

Session 1 – Simonini's Letter and the Construction of an Anti-Semitic Myth, by  Dr. Claus Oberhauser (Universität Innsbruck) 

In the research devoted to the “Protocols of the Elders of Zion” Simonini's letter has the status of a precursor. Remakably the letter which was written in 1806 was only published for the first time in 1878 in a French journal. Furthermore, the context in which the letter was written has hardly even been subjected to scholarly scrutiny. The conspiracy theorist Augustin Barruel (1741-1820) received the letter from an army captain Giovanni Battista Simonini. Barruel had achieved fame as a result of his work “Mémoires pour servir à l'histoire du Jacobinism” (London 1797-98) in which he traced the outbreak of the French Revolution back to a conspiracy instigated by radical philosophers, freemasons and Illuminati. In his letter Simonini attempted to convince Barruel that this coaltion was led by Jews. Using new archival evidence, this talk aims to shed light on Barruel's reaction to Simonini's letter. It will also show how anti-Semites have used Simonini's letter and also Barruel to construct an anti-Semitic myth.

 Dr. Claus Oberhauser has been based at the Institut for Historical Study and European Ethnology at the University of Innsbruck since 2009. His research into the Enlightenment, Counter-Enlightenment and conspiracy theories has taken him to Washington, Vanves / Paris, London, Edinburgh and Gotha. In 2013 he published “Das verschwörungstheoretische Trias: Barruel – Robison – Starck,” a path-breaking work uncovering the networks of mutual influence and reception linking the three most important conspiracy theorists at the end of the eighteenth century.

Session 2  – “Müller von Hausen and Ludendorff: From the Protocols to Anti-Masonry”, by Dr Reinhard Markner (Universität Innsbruck) 

Not only was Ludwig Müller von Hausen, founder of the antisemitic Verband gegen die Überhebung des Judentums, instrumental in publishing the first German edition of the 'Protocols', thereby greatly contributing to their worldwide dissemination in the early 1920s, he also was the first to direct Erich Ludendorff's attention to the supposedly nefarious influence of the freemasons. The paper will explore this nexus and, on the basis of hitherto untapped sources, shed some light on the contacts between German freemasonry and the retired warlord in the postwar years, i.e. prior to his anti-masonic campaign (beginning with the publication of 'Vernichtung der Freimaurerei durch Enthüllung ihrer Geheimnisse', Munich 1927).

Reinhard Markner MA is a German historian and philologist. An expert in early modern secret societies, he is the chief editor of 'Die Korrespondenz des Illuminatenordens' (2 vols, 2005/13) and of the forthcoming translation of the degree system of the Illuminati ('The Secret School of Wisdom', 2014). He is a member of the Gotha Research Centre at the University of Erfurt and works as a researcher at the University of Innsbruck.

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