Johann Andreas Eisenmenger (1654-1704)
Anti-Jewish author; born in Mannheim, 1654; died in Heidelberg December 20, 1704.
Having collected from rabbinical literature all that was calculated to bring it into disrepute and to give justification for anti-Jewish prejudices, he published his Entdecktes Judentum (Judaism Unmasked), which has remained the arsenal for detractors of Talmudic literature down to the present day. The work, in two large quarto volumes, appeared in Frankfort in 1700, and the prince elector took great interest in it, appointing Eisenmenger professor of Oriental languages in the University of Heidelberg. The Jews, who feared that the publication of this book would give additional strength to the prejudice against them, denounced it as a malicious libel; and the fact that only a year previously riots against the Jews had occurred in the diocese of Bamberg, and that in the same year (July 21) a mob had sacked the house of the court Jew Samuel Oppenheimer in Vienna, made their opposition all the stronger.
Oppenheimer was chiefly instrumental in procuring an order of confiscation from the emperor, who commanded that the whole edition of 2,000 copies should be placed under lock and key. With him others worked for the same end, including Jospa von Geldern, the great-grandfather of Heinrich Heine's mother. There was also Roman Catholic influence at work, as Eisenmenger was accused of anti-Catholic tendencies.
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