Adorno, in a 1959 lecture titled "Was bedeutet: Aufarbeitung der Vergangenheit" (published in his 1963 book "Eingriffe. Neun kritische Modelle.") addressed the fallacy of the broad German post-war tendency to associate and simultaneously causally link Jews with the Holocaust. According to Adorno's critique, an opinion had been readily accepted in Germany, according to which the Jewish people were culpable in the crimes against them. Jewish guilt was assumed to varying extents, depending on the varying incarnations of that antisemitic notion, one of which is the idea that Jews were (and are) exploiting German guilt over the Holocaust.
"Sometimes the victors are declared to be the cause of what the defeated have done when they were still in charge, and for the crimes of Hitler those are declared guilty who acquiesced his rise to power, and not those who hailed him. The idiocy in all this is in fact an indication of something mentally uncoped-with, of a wound, although the thought of wounds should be dedicated to the victims."
Initially, members of the Frankfurt School called this "guilt-defensiveness anti-Semitism", an antisemitism motivated by a deflection of guilt.
One aspect involved in the formation of secondary antisemitism appears to be the rehabilitation of many lower- and even several higher-ranking Third Reich officials and officers regardless of and in fact deliberately ignoring their partly considerable individual contributions to Nazi Germany's crimes. Several controversies ensued early in post-World War II Germany, e.g. when Konrad Adenauer favoured Hans Globke as secretary of state although the latter had formulated the emergency legislation that gave Hitler unlimited dictatorial powers and had been one of the leading legal commentators on the Nuremberg race laws of 1935. However, according to Adorno, parts of the German public never acknowledged these events and instead formed the notion of Jewish guilt in the Holocaust.