"It's difficult to admit the obvious"
political world

The Jews of Eastern Europe (Kindle Edition)Two Sides to the Anti-Semitism in Eastern Europe

jan peczkis|Tuesday, November 22, 2016

My review is based on the original 1921 edition. The author, John Howard Adeney, had much firsthand experience with the Jews of Romania.



Nowadays, the subject of Jews in eastern Europe is almost always presented as a dialectic: The intolerant Christian and the Jewish victim. When it comes to Polish-Jewish relations, the dialectic consists of the malevolent Pole and the perpetually-innocent Jew.

In contrast, the author of this book, while evaluating anti-Semitism and how to end it, finds fault with both sides. He frequently inveighs against the Church for its habitual hostility towards Jews (e. g, pp. 72-73), but also points to objectionable Jewish attitudes and conduct. He also assigns blame to both Poles and Jews for the negativism in their relationship. (p. 37).

I focus on a few themes. The following, except for the titles, are direct quotes:

-------------------

POLISH ANTISEMITISM--FROM JEWISH COZINESS WITH THE PARTITIONING POWERS RULING OVER POLAND

Attracted by German culture, the Jews became the supporters of the Government [of the German Empire], and assisted them in their efforts to Germanize the Polish land. They thereby made themselves thoroughly hated by the Poles. (p. 18).

ANTISEMITISM--SPAWNED BY A JEWISH SENSE OF ELITISM

The Jew, living among Christians who make much display of images and eikons [icons], is firmly convinced that they, too, are idolaters, and therefore on a par with the Canaanites of old, while he as a pure monotheist stands on an infinitely higher plane. And Talmudic teaching has accentuated this point of view. Hence he consciously or unconsciously despises the non-Jews, and cultivates a real pride in himself and a contempt for all that is non-Jewish. This line of conduct naturally irritates the non-Jew. (pp. 42-43).

ANTISEMITISM--SPAWNED BY DUBIOUS JEWISH RELIGIOUS PRACTICES

On the other hand, he will run a wire from house to house and street to street, and call it a wall, and do within it things which the Law forbids on a Sabbath outside of a house. He will deposit food at a point in preparation for the Sabbath, and declare it to be his dwelling-place for the time being, so as to be able to do a double journey on the Sabbath. He will even do a stroke of business provided that someone else does the necessary writing for him. By such casuistry, he deceives himself, and builds up a character which can do crooked things without seeing the wrong in them. (p. 53).

ANTISEMITISM--SPAWNED BY JEWISH BUSINESS HABITS, INCLUDING THE PROPINACJA (LIQUOR TRADE)

His Talmudic training has assisted in sharpening his wits to an extraordinary degree. In dealing with an uneducated peasantry he easily gains the upper hand. (p. 43).

To go out and drive a bargain with the ignorant peasant is often the ideal of his existence. (p. 50).

Economically they were far in advance of the Pole, and many a Polish landowner became hopelessly in debt to the Jew, and finally had to part with his estates to him. This naturally added to the ill-feeling against the Jews. (p. 18).

The very fact, too, that he has a language of his own [Yiddish], which he often uses as a means of doing a better business deal, excites suspicion against him. (p. 44).

ANTISEMITISM--SPAWNED BY THE JEWISH OCCUPATIONAL STRUCTURE

Such are some of the effects of the Talmud training as seen in a purely Jewish village…It makes him inclined to grasp at any means which offers an easy way of making money. He will, if he can, be no man’s servant, and so he multiplies shop on shop till unhealthy competition produces poverty and shifty methods. (p. 54).

ANTISEMITISM--SPAWNED BY JEWISH PROMINENCE IN DISREPUTABLE AND EXPLOITATIVE PRACTICES

It is also sadly true that he is all too ready to pander to the vices of the weaker elements, while largely keeping free from them himself. There are all too many Jewish vendors of strong drink, and yet the Jew himself is seldom a drunkard. His interest in the white slave trade is very considerable, and yet he himself is comparatively moral. His broken and ruined victims are apt to turn on one who has pandered to their weakness. (p. 44).

WHY ANTI-SEMITISM CAN SURVIVE JEWISH EMANCIPATION AND ASSIMILATION

The great difficulty which is presented may be summed up in the statement that is so often made by the non-Jews, “The Jew, being more intelligent and less scrupulous, will soon rule us instead of our ruling him.” (p. 46).

The Jew, with his great intellectual gifts, will be tempted to interfere in the affairs of other nations, and may readily dream of world domination. This can only create trouble for the Jews themselves and fresh difficulties for the world. (p. 69).

THE SELF-ATHEIZATION OF POLAND’S JEWS

In the larger towns the picture is very different. There general education has had a disintegrating effect on the Ghetto life. A large number still maintain the old orthodox life, while others throw of all restraint and banish religion and superstition altogether. (p. 54).

This results in a strong wave of infidelity and speculative unbelief, which rejects Judaism and Christianity alike. (pp. 86-87).

TRADITION-REJECTING JEWS ARE PRONE TO COMMUNISM

He [the Jew] is at the same time open to all the latest influences. He has a natural bent for speculative reasoning, and Socialism appeals strongly to him. He becomes therefore the born leader of any revolutionary movement which may be on hand. (p. 43).

They… simply throw over faith along with superstition, and strive to satisfy themselves with the latest philosophy of the day. They are the recruiting ground for the extreme Socialist, the Communist, and the anarchist. (p. 65).

They dream of the world Republic of the Proletariat, whatever that may mean. They have usually thrown of all faith, and are outspoken atheists or pantheists, or what not. Restless and energetic, quick to grasp an idea and eloquent to clothe it in captivating speech, with a talent for organizing, they rapidly rise to the top of any such movement. (p. 70).
Copyright © 2009 www.internationalresearchcenter.org
Strony Internetowe webweave.pl