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Memoria e Ricerca

The Frankfurt School in exile: history of a survey on anti-Semitism in the American working class

di Catherine Collomp
in Memoria e Ricerca n.s. 31 (2009), p. 121

Between July and December 1944 the Institute for social research of Columbia University made known the results of a survey on anti-Semitism in the American working class carried out by the Jewish Labor Committee of New York. The results of the research confirmed the rooting of a few stereotypes and prejudices on Jews in some specific segments of the American working world: more widespread among “blue collars” rather than “white collars” and among the white population rather than the black. This form of anti-Semitism involved, paradoxically, also the workers of factories producing weapons to fight against the Third Reich. A form of anti-Semitism which did not stop with the end of World War II but turned, using the same mechanisms analyzed by migrant German sociologists, into a discrimination against communist militants.