Business and the Holocaust Research


Business and the Holocaust
Historical Media Reports

Copyright, 1921, by The New York Times Company.
Unedited Full Text. Used by permission.

April 3, 1921; page 43

The New Anti-Semitic Workings;   The New Anti-Semitic Movement

A Review
By Herman Bernstein

THE VOICE OF JERUSALEM. By Israel Zangwill. The Macmillan Company.
THE JEW AND AMERICAN IDEALS. By John spargo, Harper & Brothers.

THE war's aftermath has brought forth a flood of anti-Semitic books and pamphlets in various lands. The monarchists, the reactionaries, the anti-Semites of darkest Russia and of militaristic Prussia, in their quest of a scapegoat, are aiming their old, poisonous weapons against the Jews. They are endeavoring to fix on the Jewish people the blame for the World War, and for the peace. They are describing the Jews as the "Cause of the World Unrest." They are picturing Bolshevism as an exclusively Jewish movement. They are pointing to Russia, Germany and Hungary, and then are warning other countries of the alleged Jewish peril. They have started an organized campaign of propaganda to tell the world that the Jews are conspiring against it, that their aim is to break down Christian civilization and impose a Jewish dictatorship throughout the world. To prove all this anti-Jewish agitators have exhumed a forgotten and discredited Russian book containing the so-called "Protocols of the Wise Men of Zion," by one Sergius Nilus. I have made a thorough investigation of the Nilus "Protocols" and the Black Hundred literature of the period of 1905 in Russia, and found indisputable documentary evidence showing that the so-called "protocols" grew out of a piece of blood-curdling fiction by a discredited German novelist, involved in forgery, and were afterward transformed into fact, changed and elaborated by Prussian and Russian anti-Semites. The documents showing the various stages of this malicious forgery appear in my little book on this subject, entitled "The History of a Lie." The new anti-Semitic "literature" has called forth several books of importance, revealing the causes of anti-Semitic agitation, exposing its unscrupulous methods and explaining the dangers lurking in the un-Christian, anti-Jewish propaganda to the welfare and peace of the nations.

Lucien Wolf, the famous Anglo-Jewish publicist, has written a series of striking essays which have now been published in a book form under the title, "The Myth of the Jewish Menace in World Affairs, or the Truth About the Forged Protocols of the Elders of Zion." In this little volume Mr. Wolf has analyzed with great erudition the forged "protocols" upon which The London Morning Post based its charges against the Jews, and he has proved the falsity of the accusations against the Jews with regard to Bolshevism.

Israel Zangwill devotes a chapter of his new book, "The Voice of Jerusalem," to this subject. This chapter, "The Legend of the Conquering Jew," is a masterpiece. It is quite in the best style of the famous essayist and novelist, who presents the facts in masterly fashion, with scintillating empigrams and cutting satire.

Two recent scurrilous books, "Jewry Ueber Alles" and "The Jewish Peril," carry in their titles this legend of the conquering Jew, (writes Mr. Zangwill). The latter work a mass of mystical nonsense translated from the Russian and published by concerted action in various languages after being peddled in manuscript around the Governments of Europe and America by notorious Russian anti-Semites as though it were a precious secret document, though it had already appeared in print in 1905, prefesses to reveal the secrets of the Sanhedrim; but the tirades against England for drawing upon the support of the "Sanhendrim" in her universal intrigues have been prudently cut out of the English edition, for they would spoil the game. (For cutting out the whole £10,000 were asked!)

There is no Sanhedrim now extant, no "Learned Elders of Zion" exist whose meetings can be recorded in "protocols" and "Nilus" seeming to have discovered this by the time his book reached a third and enlarged edition in 1911, substituted for his original melodramatic mendacities the story that his documents --described in the first edition as stolen from French Freemasonry--were simply the secret reports of the Zionist Congress at Basle in 1897. Unfortunately for "Nilus," I happened to be at all the sittings of that Congress, which was the first, and which I have described in my "Dreamers of the Ghetto." Nothing could be less like the operations of a Jewish Jesuitry than this gathering, which laid the foundations of the Zionist movement, and formulated its program as "the acquisition of a publicly, legally recognized home for the Jewish people in Palestine." As this was an absolutely new movement in Jewry, initiated in spite of great public opposition by a few more or less impecunious publicists, it seems indeed a strange manifestation on the part of the secret Semitic gang that ran-and runs-all the papers, Parliaments and banks of the world, and in whose iconoclastic propaganda Charles Darwin was a prominent puppet!

Mr. Zangwill then reviews the economic condition of the Jews in Europe. He points out that in the beginning of the twentieth century the Jews of Russia, constituting one-half of the Jewish race, had no staple occupation, and the average possession of the Russian Jew was under $5. He quotes Sir Stuart Samuel, who recently made an investigation in Poland and Galicia, to the effect that the large majority of the Jews there are very poor, suffering severely from hunger and privation. He adds that Jerusalem has notoriously been a hotbed of mendicity, where a tenth of a penny sufficed to evoke a beggar's blessing.

Then he says:

The Jewish proletariat is not a money success, though he succeeds in living where others would die, because it has had for so long to fight artificial disabilities as well as natural. And the power of surviving among hostile conditions means the power of prospering when the conditions are ameliorated. It is in America that we find the greatest aggregation of Jewish well-being, for here conditions have been peculiarly favorable, though even here there are no Hebrew names vying in magnificence with those of Rockefeller, Carnegie, Astor or Pierpont Morgan. The manufacture of millionaires from nobodies, which is a feature of American life, has been due to the boundless field of enterprise and to the conditions of social equality which prevail in the States * * *

Discussing Jewish solidarity, Mr. Zangwill remarks:

I suppose nobody is in a better position than I to give the lie to the charge of Jewish solidarity; I, whose life has been half wasted in the effort to bring it about, who for twenty years toiled to unite the Jewish millionaires in the quest for a Jewish State, and whose supremest triumph lay in assembling three of them, a British, a Russian and an American, in one committee room to promote emigration from a Jewish centre!

Undoubtedly there are Rothschilds in London, in Paris and in Vienna, and perhaps still in Frankfort. But the fantastic idea that this concatenation of cousins holds the purse strings of the world and is ready to plunge it into war without a qualm so that it may finance the whirlwind and capitalize the storm, is only to be taken seriously because its effects are serious. One would hve imagined that the discovery in the Kaiser's archives of a letter from the late Alfred de Rothschild pleading desperately for the peace of Europe would have given the quietus to this myth. I well remember how astonished Dr. Herzl was at discovering-when he tried to engage them in Zionism--within what a rigid ambit the Rothschilds dared move of their own initiative, how circumsribed they felt themselves by the will of the powers, how chauvinistically each branch of the cousinship responded to its local jingoism.

Another charge against the Jews in the "protocols" is that they have conspired to secure control of the entire press of the world. Of this Mr. Zangwill says:

As for the press being in the hands of the Jews, let us bring this question, too, into the open. There comes to my mind a recollection of a conversation with the late Leopold de Rothschild at a moment when The London Times was in low water and in the market and had been offered to New Court. There is no organ which it would be more important to have in Jewish hands, whether for the mythical aggressive or for purely defensive purposes. * * *

The Rothschilds with open eyes allowed the most influential organ in the world to go to Lord Northcliffe, and thus ultimately to fall into the hands of an anti-Semitic editor. A quaint way indeed of conducting a world plot! I know only two daily papers in London of Jewish editorship or proprietorship, The Daily Express and The Daily Telegraph, and it is difficult to decide which is more radically British.

Dr. Herzl was one of the editors of the Neue Freie Presse of Vienna and its most brilliant feuillentonist, yet never while he lived was a word about the Zionist movement allowed to appear in this powerful organ, which was soon alone in boycotting the theme.

Ten thousand European papers owned and edited by Jews would not make a Jewish press, for they would have nothing in common unless it was their anti-Jewishness.

Discussing Bolshevism as a Jewish movement, Mr. Zangwill writes:

The red road is not the path of Zion. Nor has it been cut out by Jews in particular. Its inhumanly rigid straightness is the work of the Russian ideologue, Lenin. And if there is an excessive percentage of Jews among the commissaries it is due partly to the disproportion of Jewish figures in everything and anything, but more to the general illiteracy of Russia, the vast majority of whose population is analphabetic. Jewry produces great revolutionary leaders as it produces great mathematicians or great actors; but its proletariat is the least revolutionary of all the proletariats, as is proved by its meekness in accepting revolutions imposed by the environment.

He then points out that the first generator of Bolshevism was the fleet at Kronstadt, into which not a single Jew was admitted. Of Bolshevist leadership he says:

The only piece of luck in the business is that the head and front of the offense is a Slav. All Israel should set up a statue to Lenin for not being a Jew.

John Spargo's book, The Jew and American Ideals," is a powerful denunciation of anti-Semitism which is being transplanted to this country by agents of foreign reaction and the dead autocracies. Mr. Spargo explains that he decided to write the book because he had noticed that some of his personal friends were inclined to take the "protocols" seriously and that they believed Bolshevism was a Jewish movement. His brief foreward follows:

This little book was written without the knowledge of any Jew. It is not a defense of the Jew. It is not a pro-Jewish argument. It is a defense of American ideals and institutions against anti-Semitism; a plea for Christian civilization.

Mr. Spargo starts by depicting Henry Ford, the "pacifist who turned anti-Semite," and by protesting against his anti-Jewish progaganda:

Believing as I do that Mr. Ford is primarily responsible for a propaganda which is subversive of the best traditions and institutions of this Republic, and which has everywhere and at all times resulted in shameful crimes against humanity and in resistance to every progressive and humane movement, I feel that it is my right and duty to utter solemn remonstrance and protest.

He then analyzes the "Great Jewish Conspiracy" of which the Jews are accused by the sponsors of the "protocols," and describes the "Mystery of the Protocols" and the various conflicting versions regarding their origin given by the "Russian mystic," Sergius Nilus, who introduced a Russian adaptation of German anti-Semitic fiction as a Jewish plot for world dominion.

Mr. Spargo says:

In closing this chapter it is perhaps well that some record should be made of these alleged protocols during the World War. Not long after the United States had begun active participation in the war against Germany it came to my attention that typewritten manuscripts purporting to prove that the war was part of a great conspiracy of international Jews were being circulated. On at least three different occasions, early in 1918, I was asked about this charge. I was told then that the British and American Governments were in a special sense the agents of this Jewish conspiracy. * * *

The "protocols" have been changed many times, from fiction into fact, and then modified and elaborated to suit every new occasion. The anti-Semitic agents of reaction and their dupes have endeavored to prove the authenticity of the so-called "protocols" by pointing to Bolshevism as a Jewish movement and as the fulfillment of the "protocols." The anonymous author of "The Cause of the World Unrest," the anonymous writer of anti-Jewish articles in The Dearborn Independent, and the agents of the Russian Black Hundreds, the Russian National Society and the Association Unity of Russia have published lists of "Jewish" names of Bolshevist Commissaries to show that Russia is now ruled by the Jews. Many of the people mentioned in those lists are not Jewish, and many are not Bolsheviki. Kerensky is to them a Jew, and The Dearborn Independent says that Lenin's children speak Yiddish. The absurdities to which the anti-Semites and their dupes resort in their effort to discredit the Jews are so obvious that they defeat their own ends.

Mr. Spargo has amde a thorough investigation of the question of Jewish participation in the Bolshevist movement, and his chapter dealing with this point is illuminating and authoritative. He says:

I have followed very closely the accounts of the proceedings of the Bolshevist movement and of the Communist Party, as reported in the official press, and have paid special attention to the activity of the Jews. Up to the rpesent my list of Jews holding prominent positions in either the Soviet Government or the Communist Party contains less than twenty names, yet I believe it is fairly complete. It includes the names of Trotzky, Steklov, Zineviev, Kamenev, Uritzky, Volodarsky, Sverdlov, Ganetsky, Helfandt (Parvus), Riazanov, Radek, Litvinov, Joffe and Larin. It will be rather difficult, I think, to name any important omissions. As against this meagre list of Jews, a very hastily compiled list of non-Jews who are prominent in the Government or in the Communist Party contains seventy-five names. In this list I do not include any of the many former Generals of the Czar's army now holding important positions in the Red Army and various departments of the Soviet Government. With entire confidence I submit these incontestable facts to my readers in reply to The Dearborn Independent.

When it was pointed out that Jews were conspicuously indentified with the anti-Bolshevist forces, The Dearborn Independent abandoned the charge of Bolshevism and insinuated another charge. It said: "Look how the Jews control every phase of political opinion in Russia! Doesn't there seem to be some ground for the feeling that they are desirous of ruling everywhere?"

I venture to say, writes Mr. Spargo, that when the history of this tragic episode in the life of Russia is authoritatively written, it will be found that Jews have not been responsible for the most objectionable features of Bolshevism. Not even Trotzky need be excluded from this generalization, for, while it is true that his genius made Bolshevism the formidable military power it became, the brutal excesses of the Red Terror must be charged against such men as Peters, the Lett, and Dzerzhinsky, the Pole. * * *

I am not here and now concerned to defend the Jew. My concern is the defense of Christian civilization, of American ideals and institutions, of the noblest Anglo-Saxon traditions. These things are our greatest wealth; they are the heritage of our children. When, therefore, this hateful propaganda imperils these things, it is both my duty and my privilege to defend them. Anti-Semitism has no place in Christian civilization; its spirit and its language are both alien and hostile to our Republic and to the genius of the race of Milton and Lincoln. * * *

Wherever and whenever there has been an organized propaganda of anti-Semitism it has invariably been closely intertwined with every other contemptible force. * * *

I am opposed to anti-Semitism, not alone for humanitarian reasons, but as a matter of loyalty to America. Anti-Semitism is treason to the American ideal. * * *

Into the motives of Henry Ford I do not care to enter. I suspect that they are pathological in their origin. * * * My pity for the man is as profound as my contempt for the propaganda with which he has chosen to associate himself. To be capable of deliberately inciting and fostering race hatred at any time is to cease to be capable of enjoying the fellowship of decent and just men and women; to incite such hatred now, in the midst of such unprecendented suffering and the universal need of fellowship and healing, is a pitiful self-degradation.

For America's safety and honor I plead for unity against this sinister foe lurking within the gates, as against all other foes, no matter under what flag they may be marshaled.

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