January 26, 2005

Reuchlin remembered

He was in prison at the time, and with a less than stellar library (one imagines--this was Little Tito's Yugoslavia), so perhaps one can forgive Alija Izetbegovic for his oversight in this passage from his notebooks:

Anti-Semitism in Germany is very old. Even at the beginning of the sixteenth century, renowned German humanist Reuchlin (1485-1522) and Urlich Kohn Guter (1488-1523) wrote piercing discussions and pamphlets agaisnt the Jews and advocated an imperial decree for the confiscation and destruction of all Jewish books. ...

Reuchlin, about whose complicated history I wrote here, actually opposed the burning of Jewish books, and, in his capacity as a lawyer, argued the case for the Jews; I don't know anything about Ulrich Kohn Guter, but given the mistake about Reuchlin I suggest we give him the benefit of the doubt until I have some time to check him out, just as we shouldn't be too hard on Izetbegovic for getting it wrong...

Incidentally, I think past Izetbegovic posts can be found here.

Posted by Ideofact at January 26, 2005 11:58 PM