Wilhelm von Humboldt. Między antysemityzmem a judeofobią
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Wilhelm von Humboldt. Between Antisemitism and Judeophobia
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The article offers a detailed analysis of an official document of 1809 by Wilhelm von Humboldt titled “On the Project of a New Constitution for Jews”, which had a major impact on the process of granting them equal rights in Prussia. This slim document contributed in a direct way to the adoption in 1812 of the most progressive emancipation edict that equaled the rights and obligations of Jews to those of other citizens. Being a momentous manifestation of classic German liberalism it voiced the staunch opposition of a Prussian statesman and philosopher of the law against enlightened absolutism. Humboldt based his arguments on the belief that in the process of creating the rule of law it is indispensable to proclaim an individual’s inalienable rights to freedom and security. The text also mirrors the revolutionary changes that led in the second half of the 18th century to dissolution of the traditional model of Jewish life.
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