by Douglas Reed
by Douglas Reed
Chapter Twenty Four
LONG, LONG TRAIL
Chance had it that when I came to write about the Jews, as I meant to after the criticisms that had been made of Insanity Fair in this respect, I spent much time in places where the wave of anti-Semitism was approaching, and I had opportunity to study them in adversity. I have been in countries on the borders of the anti-Jewish Reich where the Jewish fugitives were gathering, where the native Jews were preparing for the new dispersal. I have seen them in no-man's-land. I have seen them, in thousands, conferring together in hotels and cafés, thronging airline and steamship offices, besieging influential foreigners, newspaper offices and consulates under the banner of Protektion.
I have just read the statement of one of these Jewish emigrants, now comfortably situated in London and writing for anti-Nazi newspapers in several countries, 'Wir Juden sind Stehaufmenschen'.
You know those toys that children play with, the little men with the rounded and weighted base whom you cannot knock over, they always bob up smiling? It is an exact description. While people in England are lamenting the fate of the Jews in Germany, they do not notice that the Jews in England are becoming more powerful than ever before.
Everything I have seen has confirmed the opinions I had formed during eleven years of wandering about the Continent, and I have had these opinions confirmed to me by Jews themselves. Now all these Jews are making plans to go to England, to the British Dominions, to America.
It is not a solution; this new emigration will bring with it the same deterioration of standards in those countries, the same disproportionate and unjustifiable rise in the level of prosperity in the Jews above that of the native population, the same conditions that have played their large part in bringing about the present outburst of anti-Semitism throughout the territories of the German Reich and of the old Austro-Hungarian Empire. These were the promised lands of the Jew, especially Germany, for which all Jews who have lived there hunger to-day. They cannot think to-day of Berlin and Vienna, Frankfurt and Mannheim, without longing and regret creeping into their voices for the countries in which those cities are situated. Were they not largely to blame if they threw away, by immoderate lust for display and wealth and power, the things those lands promised them?
Listen to Benno Israelovitchsky, a rich man who was born in Russia, who lived for ten years in Berlin, for three in Vienna, for eight in Trautenau in the Sudeten German lands, for five in The Hague, for two in Paris, and who, when I talked with him a few hours before writing this, was still a rich man in Prague, preparing now to set out again on the long, long trail of Ahasver and pitch his tent for a while in Reval. Incidentally, he has the passport of a South American Republic, though he has never been there, and this gives him the Protektion of the Legation and Consulate of that state whenever anti-Semitism gets too near him.
Benno Israelovitchsky is one of the few Jews I have ever met who drinks a good deal; ninety-five Jews out of a hundred never drink more than a glass or two, because they think, 'If I get drunk my soberer neighbour will be astuter than I, and in any case why drink beyond the point where I know just how much stimulation and wittiness and good humour I am getting for my money?'
Benno Israelovitchsky, in wine, became expansive beyond his wont. He spoke of Berlin after the war, with me and with a second Jew, also Russian-born, who had made the familiar life's journey from Kieff to Berlin, from Hitlerist Berlin to Vienna, from Hitlerist Vienna to Prague, and was now preparing to quit Prague, before the approach of Hitler, for Paris.
'Ah,' said Benno Israelovitchsky, in the lamenting tone which the Jews to-day use when they talk of the spread of anti-Semitism, the diminishing circle of their activities, 'I am an anti-Semite. Berlin after the war! Ah, what a time, what a life that was! And who was to blame for what happened? Think back' -- he was addressing his fellow-Jew -- 'think back and recall how our young people behaved then. If they had conducted themselves differently we should never have had Hitler. That is what makes me an anti-Semite.'
The other Jew nodded noncommittally. 'Perhaps you are right,' he said.
Benno Israelovitchsky was right. I knew that Berlin, and he was right. I knew Vienna of those earlier days too, and he would have been right to say the same thing about that city.
The major issue, for Englishmen, of our contemporary times needs to be made clear in a vital point. If we are, one day, to fight Germany again, it must not be to put the Jews back on their cushioned pasha's thrones there. If we want to help the Jews we cannot do it by letting the least valuable of them into England, so that they can make London in 1939 look like Berlin in 1929. If we want to help the Jews the only way is to help them to their National Jewish State - but not by giving them machine-guns to kill Arabs.
I contemplated Benno Israelovitchsky. He was a man nearing sixty. In the offing sat his twenty-three-year-old amie, the usual blonde harem-piece in a fur-coat, discovered somewhere in the provinces of Belgium or France or Germany or Austria. I wondered why he had taken such pains to discover that I was in Prague, to make my acquaintance. From curiosity I had agreed to meet him. I had asked him, why? He said he had read something about me and some forecasts I had made in a Czechoslovak newspaper, admired their accuracy. That, I knew, was not all of the truth. A deeper reason existed, somewhere.
As the evening wore on, and the fourth bottle of champagne (gold foil and a popping cork are wonderful things, and Czech champagne costs little more than nothing, so, well, I mean to say) had gone, headless, to join the dead men, I found out. I had saved Benno Israelovitchsky his fortune. I had written my book from very different motives, but this had been one of its results.
Back in the early days of 1938 he was a worried man. Was Hitler about to swallow Austria?, he asked himself day and night. What would happen to the Jews there, and their belongings? What would happen after that, to Czechoslovakia, to the Jews there, to their belongings?
He read newspapers, listened to the radio, asked friends and acquaintances what they thought. But he could not make up his, mind. Then, one day, soon after the end of Austria, he read in a Prague Jewish newspaper that I had in Insanity Fair foretold the end of Austria and foresaw a similar fate for Czechoslovakia.
Benno Israelovitchsky began to convert his holdings into cash, to export them and get them tucked away safely in small neutral countries, to sell his immovable property and withdraw his movable property from the German-speaking districts of Czechoslovakia. Before the autumn crisis came he was all set, his house and furniture sold, his affairs in order, his financial lifebelts waiting in Amsterdam and Zürich and New York; he and amie were living in an hotel, passports visaed and everything regulated.
Around him Jews who had been slower on the draw were wringing their hands. Direktor (as he always called himself) Benno Israelovitchsky walked the streets of Prague, the model of a man who had seen the storm coming and made everything shipshape. 'The only thing I have lost,' he said to me that night, 'is an old typewriter. Hitler can slide down my back.'
The German language only knows one expression more contemptuous than that. It is snook-cocking in words, an invitation one degree less derisive than that habitually proffered by Götz von Berlichingen.
Benno Israelovitchsky, with the fondness of such men for Latin tags, during the evening used more than once the phrase in vino veritas. Now, in wine, he had told me the truth. As he did this I looked at the other Jew, who listened with veiled, expressionless eyes. He never drank. He said that none of the men of his family had drunk since the day, centuries before, when a remote ancestor, a Rabbi, in liquor cursed his wife and, being told of it afterwards, put into his will a clause commanding his male descendants in all perpetuity to shun alcohol, which had for three hundred years been strictly obeyed by them. I don't know if this was true; from my experience of the force of Jewish family laws and relationships I think it may have been.
As I listened to Benno Israelovitchsky, and heard his bitter comments on the young Jews of post-war Berlin, I looked around me and thought, 'If he thinks that, and knows that, and sees that, why does he come here?'
We were in the most expensive dance-bar in Prague. On this Saturday night it was packed. Nine out of ten of the males present were young, expensively dressed Jews. Perhaps three out of ten of the women were Jewesses. The others were harem-pieces, useless, stupid-faced, bleached bedtime accessories of the kind that you could in earlier years see in thousands in the dance-bars of Berlin and Vienna. The only woman in the place who was doing a job for her living was the singer, and she was called Princess Capulet, or something equally romantic, but she was a Jewess from Warsaw, and she sang a curious song, the words of which I could not understand; put down phonetically it sounded like this, 'Dooin te Lambet Vork', and as she sang it all the young Jews and their Partners laughed and did a kind of strut round the room and clapped their hands and patted their knees and cocked their thumbs over their shoulders and shouted '0i'.
An hour from Prague lay the new German frontier. The glow of burning synagogues in the sky, a few nights before, could almost have been seen from Prague. Jews were being driven across the frontier. The outer world was receiving every day a withers-wringing tale of Jewish misery. Here, in Prague, I saw once again the picture that I had seen so often before - in Berlin even for some time after Hitler came to power, in Vienna until a day or two before he arrived there, in Budapest, in Bucharest, in Belgrade.
In the weeks that followed, my English newspapers, every day, were filled with outraged cries about the maltreatment of the Jews, with appeals to help them. You would have thought, to read these papers, that Jews everywhere were on the run, being beaten up, robbed, murdered. Here in Prague, an hour from Hitler, I saw them every day and every night, dancing in the more expensive bars, lolling in the arm-chairs of the more expensive hotels, thronging the cafés, enjoying life, no wit less aggressive, monopolistic, loudly self-important, than they had ever been. Is London different? It was not when I was there.
The contrast between these two pictures, the one I saw with my own eyes and the one my newspapers gave me, was very great. My English newspapers hardly spared a crumb of compassion for the Czech and German refugees from the Sudeten lands, whose numbers were twenty times as great as those of the Jews, and showed little concern for the continued murder of women and children in Spain and China.
I began to suspect the motives for the outcry about the Jews. Here, it seemed to me, was the fellow-feeling of privileged classes at work again. I was glad when, as one still small voice in all this deafening chorus of generous but ill-apportioned indignation, The Times published a letter from a man who had been its Special Correspondent in China under the heading 'Brutality and Suffering - The Inconsistencies of Compassion'.
This letter said that the German Government's measures against the Jews had 'revolted the world'. This time, added the letter, the world, so often revolted, had expressed its feelings in action - for once. The British Government was finding territorial asylum for refugees, the American Government had recalled its Ambassador from Berlin, and so on and so on.
But, said the letter, this made it difficult for people who looked farther afield than Europe to keep a sense of proportion. The sufferings which Hitler had inflicted on half a million people were terrible; but they were negligible compared with the sufferings which the Japanese army was inflicting on the Chinese people. In China nearly a million men had been killed or disabled -- killed or disabled, nearly a million men -- and the Japanese had butchered several tens of thousands of civilians, and had rendered destitute and homeless some 30,000,000 more. It would be surprising if 2,000,000 or 3,000,000, mostly old people and children, did not die in the winter of 1938-39. The cases of rape and beating were scarcely worth mentioning in this holocaust.
The obligations of the British Government, by the written word and in the name of humanity, were the same in the one case as the other, said the writer, and he found the world's conscience 'a puzzling organism'.
That is the question asked by this man, who knew his subject, on behalf of millions of Chinese, and it is the question I ask on behalf of hundreds of thousands of Czechs, Germans, and Spaniards.
Just as the Jews tend to monopolize the callings and professions into which they penetrate, when there is no anti-Semitism, so did I find them monopolizing compassion and succour when there was anti-Semitism, and as their numbers are small compared with the great mass of non-Jews who are suffering from brutality and persecution in our times, I thought this to be the old evil, the squeeze-out of non-Jews, breaking out in a new place.
The organized Jewish communities in the countries where anti-Semitism exists, or which it is approaching, have complete command of the technique of enlisting foreign help and sympathy. They understand it; this looking across the frontiers is in their blood. If a group of twenty Jews is put into no-man's-land, the British and American Legations and Consulates in the nearest capital are stormed, the British newspaper offices too, the next day the entire British and American Press rings with the story, photographs appear, bishops write letters, committees get busy, soon the Jews are released and are on their way to a new land.
Not far away 300 or 400 non-Jewish refugees may be starving in a hut. They have no organized community to care for them, to raid the Legations and newspaper offices on their behalf, nobody visits them, nobody knows that they are there or cares about them. They may rot.
I have seen a great deal of the 250,000 refugees in Czechoslovakia, of whom about 15,000 are Jews, and have been dismayed by the way the small Jewish group, containing a fair proportion of comfortably situated people, contrived almost to monopolize foreign attention, while the outer world never heard a word about the young non-Jews, skilled workers and craftsmen, whom I would have paid to go to our colonies, but who were stagnating in hopeless desperation, without any prospect of emigration to a new country or chance of beginning a new life.
I thought of these things on the evening I spent with Benno Israelovitchsky, in that dance-bar where all the young Jews were enjoying themselves. A very strange thing happened there. These young men were of the type which, as Benno Israelovitchsky had said, had helped to cause anti-Semitism in Berlin. Because he had said that, I wondered that he himself spent so much time and money in these places, behaved so ostentatiously. Was he any different, I thought?
By chance I was able to answer that question. Benno Israelovitchsky, having a little drink taken, was in high good humour, danced with his friend, and, as he passed the violinist, slipped into his hand what seemed to be money, a twenty or fifty kronen note. The man bowed his thanks, unrolled it - and found a blank piece of paper. It was Benno Israelovitchsky's little joke. As he came waltzing round again the young man said quietly to him, 'Only a Jew would do that'.
Immediately there was a fierce altercation. The manager came and separated the two men. Benno Israelovitchsky went off with him to his office. When he returned he said triumphantly, 'I'll show him. His contract is going to be terminated at the end of the month. "Only a Jew would do that." And how often have I given that fiddler fifty crowns?'
With the synagogues burning an hour away!
Benno Israelovitchsky often telephoned to me after that. I was never at home. He may have wondered why.
A few days later I went to L., a Czechoslovak town hard against the new German frontier, to see the refugees from the area seized by Germany. On my many expeditions to the refugees, most miserable of human beings, I always noticed the same thing. As you approached the area an implacable funnel took hold of you and led you straight to the Jewish refugees.
On this occasion I was led at once to the Jewish refugees. There were thirteen of them. They were in a miserable plight, but their number was thirteen. In that same town were thousands of Czech, hundreds of German refugees. Their plight was in many cases worse, because nobody cared about them. Nobody ever went to see them. No foreign newspapers raised a clamour of protest and appeal in their behalf. No bishops prayed for them. They and their children were left to almost-starvation, to tuberculosis and scrofula, to death. Only with diligence and perseverance did I succeed in finding them.
Listen to my talk with Pan Julius Malychek, the head of the Jewish community in the district.
Julius Malychek told me of the lot of the Jewish emigrants. On the evening of the synagogue-burning day a group of twenty had been dumped down in no-man's-land, between the provisional new frontiers, that peace-time no-man's-land, with its hunted and fear-haunted human beings, which is the achievement of peace-with-honour at Munich and of our shining contemporary civilization.
As soon as word came that they were there, the Jewish organization in the neighbouring town sprang to life like a well-tended motor when you step on the starter. Tents, straw, blankets and provisions were sent out to them and Julius Malychek spent every moment of his waking day in his efforts on their behalf. He contrived to gain German permission for their return to their homes and relatives. A few days later a second group of about twenty was dumped down at the frontier. The Germans were implacable and would not take them back. Julius Malychek, tireless in his efforts, succeeded in gaining the permission of the Czechoslovak authorities for them to be brought in across the frontier and be given a few days' asylum in Czechoslovakia until Germany allowed them readmittance or they could be sent to some other country. When the term of their asylum was up, and no solution had been found, they suddenly disappeared one night, and are now somewhere in Czechoslovakia, unnoticed aliens. 'Am I a policeman?' asked Julius Malychek of me, spreading his hands.
Then came the third group. This time the Czechoslovak authorities -- the local Police Commissioner, whose humanity had been invoked to get the second group that temporary respite, was about to lose his post and pension because of the disappearance of the second group -- refused to let them in. Julius Malychek was bitter about this inhumanity.
This is the background of Julius Malychek's reflections about the Jewish problem, which are the really important thing. After he had described these events to me I saw on his table an illustrated booklet about the progress made by the Jews in building a modern Jewish settlement at Tel Aviv, in Palestine. I turned the leaves over, admired the pictures of healthy and happy young Jews hard at work building a brave new world, and asked him, 'What do you think about that?'
At once he was all enthusiasm. 'Ah', he said, 'if only the men who have the power to solve the problem would realize that this is the only solution. We could settle from seven to eight million Jews there, if a way could be found to placate the Arabs, satisfy their grievances, open the land to us. There are at the outside twenty million Jews in the world' -- this is the figure he gave; I think it an under-estimate -- 'and the problem would exist no longer. Those who wanted to stay in the countries where they then were might be allowed to, on condition that they took its citizenship and the full duties of citizens.
'Their number would then be too small for the evil to rise again. Such a number would be assimilable. Those who felt the pull of Jewish cohesion strong within them and preferred to become avowed citizens of the Jewish National State, Judea, or whatever you like to call it, could go there. The wealthy Jews of the world should be made to help in financing this.
'But the present position is impossible. The Jew is neither assimilable, nor can he go anywhere that belongs to him. His family may live for centuries in this country or that, but suddenly one day he wakes up and finds that he is not a Czech or a Slovak or a German or an Austrian or a Pole - but a Jew, and a Jew with no home. Assimilation is impossible, for all the Jews. What you are doing to-day, once more, is only to plaster over a wound that needs a surgical operation. I myself assert that I am a Czech' -- he did not say 'I am a Czech', as I noticed -- 'for my family has lived here for a hundred and fifty years, I fought in the war first with the Austro-Hungarian armies, then with the Czech Legions in Russia against Germany and Austro-Hungary, for the freedom of the Czech nation. I can understand now that anti-Jewish feeling is rising among the Czechs. How could it not, after all that they have been through? As long as they were free they gave us everything. Now they are no longer free themselves, hatred and bitterness against everything is fomenting within them.'
This was a cry from the heart. On this basis I could have given my hand to Julius Malychek and said 'Sir, you are my friend and brother, go and live peacefully within the borders of your Jewish state and I should like to think that you would be among the allies of my own country, to fight as a volunteer in your army if some predatory successor of the Turk attacks you. But here, at this moment, you are doing everything you can to monopolize the compassion and contributions and help of the Christian outer world in the interest of your fellow-Jews while a far larger number of non-Jews, within the confines of this your home-town, are in far worse plight. You say you have nowhere to go, but this is not quite true, because the Jew in adversity can always count on the immediate and abundant help of Jews in a neighbouring country, as you yourself are proving at this moment. The non-Jew, in like case, is the most pitiable of creatures, hunted from concentration camp to prison and to destitutes' home, and with not one single soul in all that outer world who cares the faintest damn about him, and I have just been seeing this with my own eyes.'
I did ask Julius Malychek about the non-Jewish refugees in that town, but he immediately lost interest, said he now had to go and renew his efforts to melt the hearts of the local authorities, and looked after me with some irritation as he saw that I went away, to visit some more of those destitute Czechs and Germans, in the company of a widow, a most Christian soul, who gave all her time to them. Yet he had asserted that he was a Czech.
Alas and alack, I see no man or men great enough to realize, accept and boldly state these truths and put an end to what Julius Malychek, in his little Czech town, in a despairing cry, called 'dieses Ahasvertum' - the wandering of the Jews, and the destruction of Gentile ideals which it brings with it.
Hitler could do it, and become the idol of the Jews and turn the tables on those muddle-headed and not really compassionate people in the world who feed their self-esteem, varnish their tarnished reputations for humanity, with loud outcry about the persecution of the Jews. But I don't think he is great enough to see the opportunity or grasp it. His present greatness, as it seems to me, is only the sum of the littleness of the men who, in many countries, happened to be cast for the other leading parts when he advanced to the front of the world stage.
Meanwhile the new dispersal is in progress. The Jews are straining every nerve to get from the countries where anti-Semitism is rising to those where it does not now exist or is only latent. Do not think that they have any greater love in their hearts for those countries, or that they will love them when they get there.
Czechoslovakia, as long as it was free, gave them the most liberal sanctuary. I have not found among them feelings of love or thankfulness for Czechoslovakia. They feel that the time is now come to leave Czechoslovakia and go somewhere else, but somewhere else lies in a world which in its entirety is potentially anti-Jewish, where the same things may happen one day that happened in friendly and lovely and tolerant Germany and Austria. To make hay in those other countries as long as the sun of tolerance shines, but never to forget that the night of anti-Jewish repression will follow, that your hosts of to-day are your potential foes of to-morrow, is the innermost feeling of men who have years and generations of wander, wander, wander in their blood. The one place where they could go, when tired of wandering, and settle for ever, and know certainly that they were at home there and that no enmity to them would ever arise - this one place is denied them.
All kinds are needed to make a world, but the English world, as it seems to me, has too many of one kind -- the under-nourished, unemployed, underpaid, under-housed, unfit and uncared-for -- and is for these reasons lopsided. You will not improve this world by allowing hordes of people from abroad to come in, without any safeguard against their activities in your country. If you are really humane and compassionate, as you pretend, mend these conditions first, of which I have nothing further to say for the moment save that they are monstrous, criminal, revolting, and, in the richest country in the world, a bloodstained scandal.
Or perhaps, as my own language is apt to be timid, colourless and inadequate, I may borrow the words of a correspondent of Hitler's paper, the Völkischer Beobachter, who said, in writing about England:
That is the truth about the richest country in the world.
I would complete the picture by saying: 'In England the contrasts between vociferous protestations of humane feeling and cold-blooded inhumanity are greater than in any other European land, without exception.'
If you want to check that, look at any mid-December issue of The Times, read in one column the tearful appeals for the Jews, in another the appeals of the 'genuine humanitarians' for the Spanish war to be quickly ended by starving out the Spanish Republicans, who have fought against two Great Powers and an army of Moors for nearly three years, and by compelling their submission to the Generalissimo who has threatened mass reprisals when he has them in his power.
Is it wrong, is it anti-Semitism, for an Englishman, in these times, to think these things? Decide for yourself.
This inhumanity of Englishmen to Englishmen makes me perplexed when I look at England and see the great outburst of indignation, the mass meetings of protest, against the treatment of the Jews in Germany, the appeals for money to succour them, the opening of our doors to their children.
What is the missing link in this chain of humanity? Why are English people being led once more up the same old garden path? We were told that we must sacrifice Abyssinia, to appease Italy; no compassion for Abyssinians. We were told that we must sacrifice Czechoslovakia, to placate Germany; no compassion for Czechs. We are receiving broad hints that we must sacrifice Spain, to satisfy Germany and Italy; no compassion for Spaniards.
Then why compassion for Jews? After the anti-Jewish outbreak in Germany that followed the murder of vom Rath in Paris by the young Grynzspan four members of the British Cabinet, of that same Cabinet which had abandoned Abyssinia and Czechoslovakia and had implicitly accepted Mussolini's warning 'that he will not allow the defeat of General Franco in Spain', these four British Ministers spoke in a quite different tone. One, Lord De La Warr, said, 'There is a deep and growing feeling that there is nothing we can do that can satisfy the Germans'. Sir John Simon said, 'the world has been deeply shocked and stirred'. Lord Zetland said he had cherished the hope -- inexplicable to anyone with knowledge of foreign affairs -- 'that the conference of Munich marked the opening of a new chapter in human history, but now I am obliged to confess that my hope has been rudely shaken by the events in Germany of the past week'. Sir Thomas Inskip said, 'The Prime Minister's effort has undoubtedly met with a sad check ... I find it difficult to believe that the German people approve the appalling treatment of innocent persons.'
Why? What of the appalling treatment of innocent persons in Spain, who are hundreds of miles from Germany, who have never done anything to Germany? Why does that not 'deeply shock and stir the world'? Why, if we are to placate the grab-dictatorships by delivering up to them the Abyssinians, the Czechs and the Spaniards, all for the sake of peace, why are we not to placate them by ignoring what they do to the Jews? Why not make a gentleman's agreement about it?
I think that English people have a right to know the answer to this question.
Especially at this time, for at this very moment, when England is ringing with the cry of compassion for the Jews and their children, England, as it seems to me, may be moving towards another piece of inhumanity so monstrous, so discordant with this chorus of humane indignation, that the whole picture of England, contemplated from afar, again becomes blurred and inexplicable, save by the basest of motives.
The democratic Governments, unless their public opinion at last bestirs itself, will unite to deprive the Spanish children of their last hope of life. No compassion for Juanito. No compassion for the hundreds of thousands of Spanish children in like case. No compassion for the two-weeks-old baby that I saw in a Czechoslovak refugee camp. No compassion for English children in the slums. Starve the Spaniards into submission. Another peace with honour.
But 'save the Jewish children'. While this maddening tragedy of inhumanity was going on in Spain your Press was monopolized by the clamour for compassion for the Jews. No great British leader arose to plead the cause of those children in Spain. They are Reds. Let them rot, like the children in your own slums. Once some Spanish children were brought to England, away from that Spanish hell, by a committee of English people. Immediately another committee was formed, to get them sent back. An endless and infuriating wrangle arose. What eventually happened to them, I don't know.
But now arrangements were made to bring '50,000 Jewish children' to England. 50,000! Lord Baldwin, in a national broadcast, said that those 50,000 Jewish children must be got to England. The first hundreds or thousands have already arrived. You saw their pictures, in the newspapers. These were no starving orphans, with months of bomb-explosions ringing in their ears. These were the children of well-to-do parents, well-fed, well-tended.
These children will in the next few years grow to manhood and womanhood. If a new war comes, they will not be liable for military service. They will get jobs, open businesses, in England, while Englishmen are at the front. When the Englishmen come back the Jews will be as paramount in England as they were in Germany after the last war. The squeeze-out will be on. They will not be living in the English slums.
Some Jews themselves recognize that if they make room in their offices and businesses for foreign Jewish refugees by dismissing English employees, they will in the long run be raising a wave of Anti-Semitism in England against themselves and the very people they are trying to assist.
To get a seat in an aeroplane going from Prague to London you had to book weeks in advance: even there, the squeeze-out was on. They had no feeling for England, they had no hope or wish to become 'Englishmen'; they wanted, above all things on this earth, 'a British passport'. You have to travel about Europe a great deal to realize the enormous importance of this piece of pasteboard and paper; the passport is much more important than the man. A waster with a British passport has the whole world open to him, all countries are free for him, he may go where he will, trade as he wishes, call on the protection of the British Embassy if he be in trouble. An honest, hard-working, useful citizen without a passport is the lowest creature on God's earth, hunted from frontier to frontier, dragged from prison to prison, denied any legal existence; he is not a human being. How often have I heard, from despairing refugees, this cry: 'We are no longer human beings, we are less than dogs.'
That England, which will not care for its own people, which in the last six years has with fair and holy words betrayed the cause of humanity and justice in one foreign country after another, should now throw open wide her gates to this one particular class of suffering humanity, and only to this one, is sinister and menacing.
Among the people I have seen leaving Czechoslovakia for England since the dismemberment the majority were Jews, a large minority Germans, hardly any were Czechs. They carry with them grave dangers, for England and English people.
The Jewish question, misunderstood as it is in England, clouds what would otherwise be a fairly clear issue for English people. The great influence that organized Jewish communities in England, France and America have over the Press in those countries helps further to cloud it. You must not forget that when you read in your newspapers outbursts of indignation about the treatment of Jews you are sometimes, and not infrequently, reading material inspired by Jews, whose innermost thought is that you should fight Germany, not for your own sake, but to exterminate anti-Semitism. This is an intolerable muddling of issues and you need to be awake to it.
I was in Budapest during the great September crisis of 1938 and I do not forget how the Jews there bought up foodstuffs so that some of the shops in the districts where I was living looked as if a cloud of locusts had passed through them. I myself saw one woman spend over 200 pengös, which is a large sum for a Budapest suburb, with my local grocer, who happened to be a Jew. My humble and hard-working charwoman could not get butter or sugar for her husband's supper. I heard similar accounts from an acquaintance who lives in Ireland and travelled at that time in a ship going to Ireland which had many Jews among its passengers, all of them laden with provisions.
During that September crisis I knew several Jews who were elated at the thought that war was coming, though they themselves would not have fought in it. They intended, as my Jewish acquaintance in Budapest told me, 'to survive', to reap the subsequent harvest of a peace planted on the grave of anti-Semitism. This, to me, was a very grave and disturbing thought. It makes me read with the greatest scepticism all comment on the international dog-fight which I know or suspect to come from Jewish sources.
You should bear this in mind when you read books on the contemporary struggle in Europe, and not forget that those authors who are presented to you as Germans, Austrians, Swiss, Americans or what-not are in the majority of cases Jews, who are arguing the case, though this fact is concealed from you, from their own standpoint and not from yours. There is no limit to the methods they use to whip up international opinion against anti-Semitic Fascism, but if you want to fight anti-Semitic Fascism you should do so for your own sake, in your own interest, not for theirs.
The question of to-day is, are you going to let this thing drag on, from waves of Jewish oppression to waves of Jewish domination, or are you going to solve it? If you choose the second way you ought to found the Jewish National State, though not at the cost of Arab suffering, and strictly limit the number of Jews who live outside it. The Jews themselves know it. 'Polish Jew' was the term of supreme contempt and dislike in the mouth of a German Jew whose family had long been established in Germany. But the successive waves of migration wash out all the good that the long-established communities of resident Jews have done.
Soon you are going to see anti-Semitism in Czechoslovakia, in Hungary, in Rumania, possibly farther field. The problem grows, it does not get smaller. The pressure of Jewish immigration in England will increase and increase. And these are, in the majority, just the people you don't want, and cannot afford to have. Everywhere I have seen them they have been the presagers of bad times for the native population.
'Anti-Semitism is one of the things that have rather upset the balance of his judgment', said, of me, a writer who knew nothing of this subject.
This was valuable to me as showing how the standards of literary criticism remain stable through the ages. I believe a contemporary of Chaucer reproached that Englishman with anti-Semitism after the publication of 'The Prioress's Tale'. By a rare chance, also, I have among my treasures a fragment of parchment on which is inscribed the opinion of a dramatic critic who attended the first performance of Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice, and he, antagonized by the portrayal of Shylock, wrote, 'Master Wm. Shakespeare hath suffered his judgments to be warped by His unlove off the Jews'. Then again, I have a yellow clipping from a number of the Morning Mercury, published many years ago, in which a critic wrote of Charles Dickens's Oliver Twist, 'We much regret that Mr. Dickens, in conjuring from the gallery of his imagination the repulsive character of Fagin, has allowed his distaste for the Jews to tilt the scales of that nice judgment which in all other respects, we confide, will find universal commendation.'
Chaucer, Shakespeare, Dickens. Reds, anti-Semites, all three of them, unbalanced and biased scribblers, men without 'judgment', men whose hearts were filled with inhumanity. Thank God we don't produce Englishmen of that kind any longer. To-day we are full of the Christian virtue of toleration. We tolerate everything, but particularly slums, derelict areas, starvation, the use of coloured troops against Spanish working people, China, Czechoslovakia - everything.