In each human society, there are social prejudices against certain groups which suffer a more or less discriminating treatment by the other parts of the population. Sometimes the discrimination becomes aggressive. Group defamation and actions of persecution are the consequences. German scholars agree with American sociologists that social prejudices and discriminations are not connected as cause and effect, but as interdependent factors. The origins of a social prejudice are traced by sociologists to an aggressive attitude because of personal or group conflicts or shortcomings. It is difficult, however, for sociologists to explain why the prejudice is directed against just this or that group. Generally, they can only refer to the historical events and circumstances. Hence, a glance into recent German history is unavoidable to determine the principal aims and causation of social prejudices and discriminations in general, and of group defamation in particular.
Manfred Zuleeg, Group Defamation in West Germany, 13 Clev.-Marshall L. Rev. 52 (1964)