Robert Wistrich, leading anti-Semitism scholar, dies at 70


JERUSALEM (JTA) — Robert Wistrich, a leading scholar of anti-Semitism and its history, has died.

Wistrich, the Neuburger Professor of European and Jewish history at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and the head of the university’s Vidal Sassoon International Center for the Study of Anti-Semitism, died of a heart attack on Tuesday evening in Rome. He was 70.

He had been scheduled to speak about the rise in anti-Semitism in Europe in an address to the Italian Senate, the Times of Israel reported.

Wistrich was the author or editor of more than 29 books on the subject of anti-Semitism, including several that won international awards.  His 1992 book “Anti-Semitism, the Longest Hatred” was the basis for a PBS documentary that he scripted and co-edited.

He was born in the Kazakh Soviet Socialist Republic, where his parents had fled from anti-Semitism in Poland. The family returned to Poland after World War II, suffered from more anti-Semitism and moved to France and then England.

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