by Douglas Reed
The Jewish Soul
The very word, chauvinism, means an extravagant emotion; Nicolas Chauvin was the Napoleonic soldier whose bombastic and unbridled fervour for his Emperor brought patriotism into disrepute even at a period of patriotic ardour. Nevertheless, the word is inadequate to describe the effect of Talmudic Zionism on the Jewish soul; no word exists, other than “Talmudism,” for this unique and boundless frenzy.
In 1933 Mr. Bernard J. Brown wrote, “Being consciously Jewish is the lowest kind of chauvinism, for it is the only chauvinism that is based on false premises.” The premises are those of the Talmud-Torah; namely, that God promised a certain tribe supremacy over all enslaved others in this world, and exclusive inheritance of the next world in return for strict observance of a law based on blood sacrifice and the destruction or enslavement of the lesser breeds without this Law. Whether Talmudic chauvinism or Zionist chauvinism (I believe either term is more correct than Mr. Brown's “Jewish chauvinism”) is or is not “the lowest kind” of chauvinism, these fifty years have shown that it is the most violent kind yet known to man.
Its effect on the Jewish soul is reflected in the changed tone of Jewish literature in our time. Before adducing examples of this, an illustration of its effect between one generation and the next may be given by briefly citing the cases of two Jews, father and son.
Mr. Henry Morgenthau senior was a notable Jew of America who became an ambassador. He was the product of Jewish emancipation during the last century; he was what the Jews today might have been, but for Talmudic chauvinism. He said:
“Zionism is the most stupendous fallacy in Jewish history. I assert that it is wrong in principle and sterile in its spiritual ideas. Zionism is a betrayal, an Eastern European proposal, fathered in this country by American Jews … which, if they were to succeed, would cost the Jews of America most of what they have gained of liberty, equality and fraternity. I refuse to allow myself to be called a Zionist. I am an American.”
In the next generation the name of the son, Mr. Henry Morgenthau junior, became inseparably associated with the founding of the Zionist state (his father's “stupendous fallacy”) and with the Talmudic vengeance in
Dr. Weizmann records the great part played by the junior Mr. Morgenthau in the backstage drama in
But for Zionist chauvinism and the Western politicos who served it in the office of “administrators,” the son might have been another such man as the father, and this particular illustration is valid for a great mass of Jews and the change which has been produced in the Jewish soul. When Jews of great name lent themselves to such undertakings, and proved able to command the support of American presidents and British prime ministers, the Jewish masses were bound to follow. This general trend is reflected in the growing literature of Talmudic chauvinism.
Up to the middle of the last century distinctively “Jewish” literature was small and was in the main produced for and read in the closed communities. In the general bookshops Jewish writers held a place roughly proportionate to their numbers in the population, which was the natural thing, and in their works did not in the rule write as “Jews” or dwell on the exclusively Jewish theme. They addressed themselves to the general audience and avoided the chauvinist appeal to Jews, as well as anything that non-Jews might regard as blasphemy, sedition, obscenity or slander.
The transformation that has come about in the last fifty years reflects equally the spread of Talmudic chauvinism and the enforced subordination of the non-Jewish masses to it. Today books by Jews and non-Jews about Jewish things, if they were counted, might be found to form the largest single body of Western literature, outside fiction, and the change in tone and standard is very great.
As it has come about gradually, and critical comment today is in practice virtually forbidden as “anti-semitic,” the change has not been consciously remarked by the mass of people. Its extent may be measured by this comparison;
a good deal of what is contained in the literature of Talmudic chauvinism today (a few examples follow) would not have been published at all fifty years ago, as offensive to the standards then generally accepted. Fear of critical and public anathema would have kept publishers from issuing many of these works, or at all events from including in them the most flagrant passages.
The starting-point of this process, which might be called one of degeneration in Jewry, was possibly the appearance in 1895 of Max Nordau's Degeneration, which struck the keynote for the chorus to come. This book was in effect an epistle to the Gentiles, informing them that they were degenerate, and it enjoyed great vogue with fin de siècle “Liberals,” as the accumulating mass of kindred literature has enjoyed among their kind ever since. Jewish degeneracy was no part of its theme, and the author would have seen Jewish degeneracy only in opposition to Zionism, for he was Herzl's lieutenant, and the man who at the Zionist Congress after Herzl's death foretold the first World War and the part played in it by
After Degeneration followed the full tide and spate of Talmudic-chauvinist literature. An example from our time is a book published in
Germany Must Perish, by a Mr. Theodore N. Kaufmann, proposed the extermination of the German people in the literal sense of the Law of the Talmud-Torah. Mr. Kaufmann proposed that “German extinction” be achieved by sterilizing all Germans of procreation age (males under 60, females under 45) within a period of three years after the war's end, Germany to be sealed off during the process and its territory then to be shared among other people, so that it should disappear from the map together with its people. Mr. Kaufmann calculated that, with births stopped through sterilization, the normal death rate would extinguish the German race within fifty or sixty years.
I feel sure that public abhorrence would have deterred any publisher from issuing this work during the First War, and possibly at any previous time since printing was invented. In 1941 it appeared with the commendation of two leading American newspapers (both Jewish-owned or Jewish-controlled). The New York Times described the proposal as “a plan for permanent peace among civilized nations”; the Washington Post called it “a provocative theory, interestingly presented.”
This proposal was more literally Talmudic than anything else I can find, but the spirit that prompted it breathed in many other books. The hatred evinced was not limited to Germans; it extended to Arabs and for a period to the British, as it
had earlier been directed against Spaniards, Russians, Poles and others. It was not a personal thing; being the end-product of Talmudic teaching it ranged impartially over all things non-Judaist, taking first one symbolic enemy and then another from a world where, under the Levitical Law, all were enemies.
The growth and open _expression of this violent feeling, no longer held in bounds by the earlier need to take account of generally-accepted standards in the West, explains the misgivings expressed by Mr. Brown in 1933, by the Rabbi Elmer Berger in the 1940's, and by Mr. Alfred Lilienthal in the present decade. Its reflection in the Jewish published word justified their anxiety. In one book after another Jewish writers with introspective writings examined “the Jewish soul” and at the end came up with expressions of contempt or hatred for somebody or other of non-Jews, couched in chauvinist terms.
Mr. Arthur Koestler, describing his scrutiny of Judaism, wrote, “Most bewildering of all was the discovery that the saga of the ‘Chosen Race' seemed to be taken quite literally by traditionalist Jews. They protested against racial discrimination, and affirmed in the same breath their racial superiority based on Jacob's covenant with God.” The effect of this “bewildering discovery” on this particular Jewish soul was that “the more I found out about Judaism the more distressed I became, and the more fervently Zionist.”
The presumable cause (“reason” cannot be used to describe so illogical a reaction) of this strange effect on Mr. Koestler is indicated by his two hundred pages of complaint about Jews being persecuted in and driven from
The change in the tone and standards of Jewish literature in our time is again shown by the writings of Mr. Ben Hecht, some of which were earlier quoted, including his complaint that if Jesus had only been made into mincemeat, instead of being dignified by crucifixion, Christianity would never have taken shape. I doubt whether newspapers or publishers at any previous period would have given currency to words which patently had only the purpose of offending others.
Mr. Hecht once wrote, “I lived forty years in my country” (
Deep, if not enlightening insight into the development of the Jewish soul during this century is given by the books of a Mr. Meyer Levine; these also contain things which, in my estimation, would not have found print in earlier times. Mr. Levine's In Search shows what Mr. Sylvain Lévi meant when, at the 1919 Peace Conference, he gave warning against the “explosive tendencies” of the Eastern Jews.
Mr. Levine, born in
He tells of half a lifetime of tortured efforts to escape from Jewishness and to immerse himself in Jewishness, alternately. If some Jews believe themselves unchangeably distinct from all other mankind, Mr. Levine gives two glimpses which make the reader feel that this belief is the product of a strained, almost mystic perversity. He says he finds himself constantly asking himself “What am I?” and “What am I doing here?,” and asserts that “Jews everywhere are asking the same questions.” Subsequently he related some of the discoveries to which this self-scrutiny led him.
Describing the Leopold-Loeb murder in Chicago (when two young Jews, of wealthy parents, killed and mutilated a small boy, also a Jew, from motives of extreme morbidity) he says, “I believe that beneath the very real horror that the case inspired, the horror in realizing that human beings carried in them murderous motives beyond the simple motives of lust and greed and hatred, beneath all this was a suppressed sense of pride in the brilliance of these boys, a sympathy for them in being slaves of their intellectual curiosities; a pride that this particular new level of crime, even this should have been reached by Jews. In a confused and awed way, and in the momentary fashionableness of ‘lust for experience,' I felt that I understood them, that I, particularly, being a young intellectual Jew, had a kinship with them.”
On another occasion he describes his part (he calls it that of “a volunteer aid,” but the-term “agitator” might be fairly applicable) in the Chicago steelworkers strike of 1937, when strikers and police came into conflict and shots were fired, several persons being killed. Mr. Levine, as “a volunteer aid,” had “fallen in alongside” the strikers' procession and he “ran with the others” when the firing began. He was not a steelworker or striker. Subsequently he and others, apparently also volunteer aids, organized a mass meeting. At this he showed slides made from newspaper-pictures from which he had removed the descriptions. He accompanied these pictures with a recital of his own, in words chosen to give the pictures an inflammatory interpretation, different from that of the original captions. He says:
“So strange a roar arose that it seemed to me as though the vast auditorium was a cauldron of rage, overturning upon me … I felt I could never control the
crowd, that they would burst through the doors, rush out and burn the city hall – the impact of the pictures was so enraging … In that instant I experienced the full sense of the danger of power, for I felt that a few words would have unleashed violence beyond what we had seen on Memorial Day … If I had sometimes felt unincluded as a stranger, artist and Jew, I knew that universal action exists … I felt that perhaps one of the reasons for the social reformism of the Jew is the need to melt himself into these movements that engulf his own problem.”
Once again, the words recall Mr. Maurice Samuel's lament or menace, (whichever was intended) of 1924, “We Jews, the destroyers, will remain the destroyers forever.” Only in the incitement of others, Mr. Levine appears to say, could he, the “stranger,” feel himself “included,” or “his problem” engulfed. The incitement of the unreasoning, stupid “mob” is the theme that runs through the “Protocols” of 1905. In the passage quoted Mr. Levine seemed to imply that he could only feel involvement in general mankind when so inciting a mob.
His later travels were made in the same spirit. In his youth Zionism was almost unknown and in 1925, when he was twenty, it was still “a question that had scarcely penetrated to Jews born in America … It was something that occupied the bearded ones from the old country and if an American Jew happened to be dragged to a Zionist meeting he found that the speakers talked with Russian accents, or simply reverted to Yiddish. My own family, indeed, had no interest in the movement.”
As in the case of the Morgenthaus, father and son, one generation saw the change. Mr. Levine's parents, migrants from a country of alleged “persecution,” were content to have found another where they prospered. The son was not content. Soon he was in
Ten years after that he was in
man, was that the presence of the other embarrassed him).
Mr. Levine began his book of 1950, “This is a book about being a Jew.” It and the many like it account for the anxiety expressed by the rare Jewish remonstrants about the development of the last fifty years, for they testify to the degeneration of the Jewish soul under the stress of Talmudic chauvinism. The only thing proved by the book is that at its end Mr. Levine knew as little as at the start of his quest about what “being a Jew” meant (presumably he would not wish the above-quoted passages to be taken as supplying the answer). Hundreds of others on this same elusive and unproductive theme have appeared; so might an electric eel devour its own tail in search of the source of its peculiar sensation, and come to no enlightening conclusion. A book by a Jew on being a human being among other human beings was by the mid-century rare.
The accumulating literature of incitement and hatred, of which a few examples have been given, and the virtual suppression of objection to it as “anti-semitism,” give the 20th century its distinctive character; it is the age of Talmudic chauvinism and Talmudic imperialism. Our present situation was foretold nearly a hundred years ago by a German, Wilhelm Marr.
Marr was a revolutionary and conspirator who helped the Jewish-led “secret societies” (Disraeli) prepare the abortive outbreaks of 1848. His writings of that period are recognizably Talmudic (he was not a Jew); they are violently anti-Christian, atheist and anarchist. Later, like Bakunin (Marr was a similar man) he became aware of the true nature of the revolutionary hierarchy, and in 1879 he wrote:
“The advent of Jewish imperialism, I am firmly convinced, is only a question of time … The empire of the world belongs to the Jews … Woe to the conquered! … I am quite certain that before four generations have passed there will not be a single function in the State, the highest included, which will not be in the hands of the Jews … At the present moment, alone among European states, Russia still holds out against the official recognition of the invading foreigners.
The present state of
for its complete fulfilment. As to that, Marr may have seen too darkly. The history of the world thus far knows no irrevocable decisions, decisive victories, permanent conquests or absolute weapons. The last word, so far, has always proved to lie with the New Testamentary dictum: “The end is not yet.”
However, the last stage in Marr's forecast, the third act in the 20th Century drama, is evidently at hand, whatever its outcome and whatever its subsequent aftermath, and in preparation for it the Jewish soul has been made captive by Talmudic chauvinism once again. Mr. George Sokolsky, the notable Jewish diarist of New York, observed in January 1956 that, “There was considerable opposition” (to Zionism) “inside world Jewry, but over the years the opposition died down and where it still exists it is so unpopular as generally to be hidden away; in the United States opposition to Israel among Jews is negligible.”
The few warning voices which are still being raised, like Jeremiah's of old, are nearly all those of Jews. The reason is not that non-Jewish writers are worse informed, shorter sighted or less courageous; it has long been the unwritten rule that Jewish objectors may within limits be heard, as they are of “ourselves,” but that objection from non-Jews must not be tolerated. In the condition of the Western press today, in the third quarter of the 20th century, this rule is enforced almost without exception.
On this account the few warnings here quoted are Jewish ones. Mr. Frank Chodorov told the American Government (Human Events, March 10, 1956) that in the Middle East “in reality it is not dealing with the government of Israel but with American Jews … It is a certainty that many good, loyal Americans of the Jewish faith would welcome a showdown, not only to register their loyalty to this country and against world Zionism, but also to loosen the grip the Zionists have on them.”
Similarly, Mr. Alfred Lilienthal (Human Events, September 10, 1955) echoed the despairing plea of the late Mr. James Forrestal eight years before; as the shadow of the 1956 presidential election fell across
two great political parties, when they joined conflict, “to take the Arab-Israeli issue out of domestic politics.” Both these Jewish warnings appeared in a
Other latterday Jewish remonstrants raised the ancient cry of a coming “catastrophe.” In 1933 Mr. Bernard J. Brown had seen disaster coming: “Never in the history of the human race has there ever been a group of people who have enmeshed themselves into so many errors and persisted in refusing to see the truth, as our people have done during the last three hundred years” (the period which saw the emergence of the Talmudic “Eastern Jews” and the victorious Talmudist war against Jewish assimilation).
Fifteen years after that warning Jewish remonstrants were pronouncing the word which it only implied: “catastrophe.” Rabbi Elmer Berger wrote in 1951, “Unless Americans of Jewish faith and a great many Americans of other faiths who have been misguided into supporting Zionism return to the fundamentals both of American life and of Judaism we are headed for something of a catastrophe.”
The foreword to Rabbi Berger's book was written by a non-Jewish authority, Dr. Paul Hutchinson, editor of The Christian Century. He was more explicit: “This claim of the right of American Jews to refuse amalgamation is building towards a crisis which may have lamentable consequences. Already it is becoming clear that every time
These warnings, though clear to Jews, might produce in non-Jewish minds the false impression that “the Jews” are headed towards “a catastrophe” of their own making; that in that event Talmudic chauvinism will recoil on their own heads; and, schliesslich, that they will then only have themselves to thank. The smug and the rancorous, especially, might fall into this delusion.
Delusion it would be. That recurrent phenomenon of history-as-it-is-written, “the Jewish catastrophe,” is invariably the small Jewish share in a general catastrophe, the proportion being, say, around one percent of the total woe. The montrous prevarication of the Second War about the “six million Jews who perished” does not change that enduring truth. The catastrophe which has been brewed in these fifty years will be a general one, and the Jewish share of it will be fractional. It will be depicted as “a Jewish catastrophe,” as the Second War was
so depicted, but that is the false picture shown on the lighted screen to “the mob” in its dark room.
Jews often, and quite genuinely, cannot envisage a calamity involving Jews, and no matter how many more non-Jews, as anything but “a Jewish catastrophe.” This is a mental attitude deriving from the original teaching of the Talmud-Torah, wherein the chosen people alone have true existence and the others are shadows or cattle. Mr. Karl Stern's book, Pillar of Fire, provides an illustration.
Mr. Stern (a Jew who grew up in
In this passage the truth appears in an obvious, corrective afterthought, which would not occur to or be expressed by the run of Jewish writers. Mr. Stern's is an exceptional case, and when he had written the words “the great Jewish catastrophe” he saw their untruth and qualified them; nevertheless, even he left the original statement to stand. The influence of his heredity and upbringing were still strong enough in him, a Catholic in North America, to form his first thought in those terms: the ordeal of 350,000,000 souls in
In a different case Mr. Stern would be the first to object to such a presentation. Indeed, he relates that he was offended by reading in a Catholic paper the statement that so-many members of the crew of a sunken British submarine were “Catholics.” He was affronted because one group of the victims was singled out in this way; “I do not understand why anyone would care for such statistics.” And yet: “the great Jewish catastrophe …”
The “catastrophe,” involving all, which has been prepared in these fifty years, will not be distinctively Jewish in the predominance of Jewish suffering, but in its domination, once again, by “the Jewish question,” by the effort to subordinate all the energy generated to aims represented to be Jewish, and in the use of the Jewish masses to help detonate it. The Jewish mass, or mob, is in one respect different from any other mob, or mass: it is more prone to surrender itself to chauvinist incitement, and more frenzied in this surrender. The Jewish Encyclopaedia, in a small section devoted to the subject of hysteria among Jews, affirms that their tendency towards it is higher than average. As a layman, I would hazard the guess that this is the result of the centuries of close confinement in the ghettoes and of Talmudic absolutism in them (for today we have to do almost exclusively with the “Eastern Jews” who but yesterday lived in those confines).
I have given some examples of this rising wave of chauvinist hysteria from literature accessible to the general reader. This shows the results, but not the root cause. To locate that the reader needs to do something more difficult; namely, attentively to follow the Yiddish and Hebrew press, in the original or in translation. Then he will receive the picture of an almost demoniac scourging of the Jewish soul so that it shall never find rest and he might conclude that nowhere outside Jewry is anything so anti-Jewish to be found as in some of these utterances, which show a scientific mastery of methods of implanting and fostering fear.
Before studying the examples which follow the reader might consider that the great mass of “explosive Eastern Jews” is now in
Mr. Willian Zukerman, one of the most notable Jewish diarists of
At that time (1950) Mr. Zukerman wrote with only an undertone of foreboding. He quoted Mr. Sholem Niger, “dean of Yiddish literary critics and essayists,” as attacking, not “the campaign for emigration of American Jews to Israel,” but “the manner in which it is being presented to American Jews …” This, said Mr. Niger, was entirely negative, being anti-all others rather than pro-Israel: “the nationalists conduct a campaign of negation, vilification and destruction of everything Jewish outside Israel. Jewish life in the
Another favourite technique in selling Chalutziot to American Jews (the article continued) “is to undermine Jewish morale, faith and hope in their American home; to keep Jews constantly on edge with the scare of anti-semitism; not to let
them forget the Hitler horrors and to spread doubts, fear and despair about the future of Jews in America. Every manifestation of anti-semitism is being seized upon and exaggerated to create an impression that American Jews, like the Germans under Hitler, stand on the brink of a catastrophe, and that sooner or later they, too, will have to run for safety.”
“Upon us, Zionists, now lies the old responsibility of constantly raising the hair of the Jewish people; not to let them rest; to keep them forever on the edge of a precipice and make them aware of the dangers facing them. We must not wait until after the ‘catastrophe' because if we do, where will we take the hundreds of thousands of Jews needed to build up our State? … Not in the future, but right now is the time for Jews to save themselves …”
The reader will see: the “catastrophe” is a political necessity, or an inevitability; and from these extracts he may begin to understand why the Jewish Encyclopaedia records a tendency towards hysteria among Jews. Mr. Zukerman said that this “extreme form of Chalutziot propaganda is the most prevalent one in
The effect of this “propaganda” carried by Zionist emissaries from
These forebodings of 1950 and 1951 were justified in the next five years, when “the campaign” and “the emissaries” from Israel succeeded in injecting “the nationalistic theory,” as above expounded, into the minds of the Jewish masses in America. Thus in 1955, Mr. William Zukerman, who in 1950 had been but faintly
alarmed, was greatly so. He wrote (Jewish Newsletter, November 1955, reprinted in Time Magazine of New York, November 28):
“There cannot be the slightest doubt that a state of mind very much like that of
“There is only one important difference between the Israeli and the American Jews. In
These two quotations, separated by five years, again portray the degeneration of the Jewish soul under the tutelage of Talmudic Zionism. They also bring this tale of three wars to the eve of the third one, if “eve” is the apt word. In fact the third war began when the fighting in the Second War ended and has been in unbroken progress, somewhere or other in the world, ever since. It needs only a puff from any bellows to ignite it into another general war.
The process could have been, and possibly still could be halted by two responsible statesmen, one on either side of the
Afterwards, as the world obviously will not accept the Talmud, the Jews would at last have to accept the world as it is.