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Re : Robert Forbes: I still would say that the 1870's racist discourse and conception is characterized by a new scientific rigour coming from Darwinian - and possibly also as one correspondent has suggested to me - Lamarckian models. May I recommend the books (which are to some degree dissimilar) of A. Kelly and D. Gasman on this subject ? Wagner still remains for me the crux of the issue - he builds on and greatly elaborates a basic moralist antisemitism (based on the ideal of "pure-humanity") to be found in Fichte, Kant, et. as described at rather tedious length in my German Question....). Then Darwin allows him to sea l the escape clauses and resolve some of the cultural / biological contradictions which had permeated racial theory in the late 18th and first half of the 19th centuries. (By the way Wagner did not break with Meyerbeer because of a money problem, but rather because he had believed Meyerbeer had obstructed the Berlin production of Rienzi in 1847, and then on encountering Meyerbeer in Paris in 1849, convinced himself that M personified the whole corruption of German culture by Jewish "money"-mindedness). I would agree with R. Forbes that Fichte's antisemitism prefigures that of such as Heydrich with the latter's invocation to "exterminate the Jews within yourself (you Germans, that is)". But that is the crucial point that I have been trying to make - that the mentality of Nazism is rooted far more deeply in German culture than most people care to admit nowadays. Fichte's moralism is reflected uncannily in that of Heydrich and Hitler. Both are directed at the destruction of "Jewish essence", and even though Fichte was a civilized man, no doubt, his joke about "cutting off Jewish heads" must be understood in the context of the Terror of the year it was written - 1793 - a resonance that would have been heard by all its readers, and which makes his joke no simple jest, but rather a deeply ambivalent expression in the manner of Heydrich's comment).Though aware of the historical problems inolved in these excessively summary remarks, I don't want to pursue them here since it would take an inordinate amount of time and space to try to demonstrate what I believe to be their essential truth. Readers can accept or reject them as they please. Paul Lawrence Rose