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©The Hanover Historical Review 1999.   Used by permission.
Power, Ignorance, and Anti-Semitism:
Henry Ford and His War on Jews
by Jonathan R. Logsdon
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          The articles that began to pour out of Dearborn were, not surprisingly, quite remarkable for their bizarre accusations. According to Ford and his lackeys, the Jews were responsible for everything that was wrong with society. A look at some of the article titles gives a good indication of their content: "The Scope of the Jewish Dictatorship in the U.S.," "When Editors were Independent of Jews," "The Jewish Element in Bootlegging Evil," "Jewish Hot-Beds of Bolshevism in the U.S.," "Jewish Power and America's Money Famine," "Jewish Degradation of American Baseball," "Jew Wires Direct Tammany's Gentile Puppets," "Dr. Levy, a Jew, Admits his People's Error;" "Will Jewish Zionism Bring Armageddon?"

        According to the Independent, Jews concocted "nigger gin" that led to "Negro outbursts and subsequent lynchings."53 It was the Jews who were bootlegging the liquor during the current prohibition. Jewish professors were the ones who corrupted "Anglo-Saxon" minds at college. Jewish film producers saw nothing wrong with making lewd "sex" films: "This Oriental view is essentially different from the Anglo-Saxon, the American view." 54 Jazz, "moron music," was actually derived from Jews: "The mush, the slush, the sly suggestion, the abandoned sensuousness of sliding notes, are of Jewish origin."55 Songwriters such as Irving Berlin were a threat to listening audiences, because "Jews did not create the popular song; they debased it."56 The Jews ruined baseball because "The Jew saw money where the sportsman saw fun and skill."57 Jews themselves were poor in sports because of "physical lethargy"; "It is a Jewish characteristic to avoid, if possible, the pain of contest, just as it is characteristic to avoid unnecessary effort."58 This was proven with the example of boxer Benny Leonard. Leonard had no scars because "he will not let anyone hit him."59 According to the Independent, the Jews were responsible for everything from flashy jewelry and short skirts to rising rents and the manufacture of cigarettes.

        Ford and his paper offered quite an interesting history lesson for a man who thought the American Revolution had occurred in 1812. Christopher Columbus was actually financed and later betrayed by "secret Jews" from the Spanish Court. Benedict Arnold had been "set up" to betray his country by a Jewish aid named David Franks. The World War and the Bolshevik Revolution had both been precipitated and directed by Jews. The Soviet Union was referred to as "the present Jewish government of Russia."

          This Jewish conspiracy against the world flourished, according to the Independent, because people could not see how it could exist. Ford was trying to wake up the "boob Gentiles" in an effort to save America from Jewish domination. In order to prove that these things existed, the paper would precede many of the articles with a "Protocol" similar to what was being described. This proved that the Jews were conspiring to make slaves of Christianity and gain world domination, because it had all been adumbrated by The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion.
The Dearborn Independent articles made a point of slandering individual Jews by name. For example, Bernard M. Baruch was labeled the "Pro-Consul of Judah in America," a "Jew of superpower" who took a leading role in Jewish activities to bring America's downfall. When reporters asked Baruch to comment on the charges, he replied, tongue in cheek, "Now boys, you wouldn't expect me to deny them would you?"60

          Other Jews did not have the opportunity to be as flippant. For example, exArmy Captain Robert Rosenbluth was accused by the Independent of murdering Maj. Alexander Pennington Cronkite in 1918. The army had officially ruled Cronkite's death to have been a tragic accident. Rosenbluth, in the meantime, had gone to work for Hoover's American Relief Administration throughout Europe and Russia. However; when the Independent discovered that Rosenbluth had been present when Cronkite was killed, it labeled him both a "dirty German Jew spy" and, in light of his Russian service, a Bolshevist agent. As a result of a steady stream of articles in Ford's paper; Rosenbluth was put on trial by the Justice Department. He was eventually cleared of all charges, but, in the mean time, had been labeled the "American Dreyfus" by the press.61

          Some Jews responded to the ridiculous charges with legal suits. In February of 1921, theatre producer Morris Gest filed a $5,000,000 damage suit against Ford for an article which had referred to him as "a Russian Jew who has produced the most salacious spectacles ever shown in America," and which accused him of abandoning his Russian parents. Mr. Gest was livid, saying to the press, "I'll make that Peace Ship Henry pay dearly for what he said, and more, I'll make him eat his own words."62 In an official response, Liebold responded simply, "Mr. Gest will be ignored."63 The suit was eventually abandoned.

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End Notes

53. The Dearborn Independent, The International Jew Vol. 4 (1923),29.

54. The Dearborn Independent, The International Jew Vol. 2 (1923), 117.

55. Ford, Henry. The International Jew, 163.

56. Ibid., 165.

57. The Dearborn Independent, The International Jew Vol. 3 (1923), 39.

58. The International Jew Vol. 3, 52.

59. Ibid.

60. Lewis, 139.

61. Gene Smith, "The American Dreyfus," American Heritage (November 1994): 93-94.

62. New York Times, 2 February 1921, 17.

63. New York Times, 3 February 1921, 3.

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