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                        Concerning The Jews
                            Mark Twain

Some months ago I published a magazine article ^* 
descriptive of a remarkable scene in the Imperial Parliament in 
Vienna.  Since then I have received from Jews in America several 
letters of inquiry.  They were difficult letters to answer, for 
they were not very definite.  But at last I have received a 
definite one.  It is from a lawyer, and he really asks the 
questions which the other writers probably believed they were 
asking.  By help of this text I will do the best I can to 
publicly answer this correspondent, and also the others - at the 
same time apologizing for having failed to reply privately.  The 
lawyer's letter reads as follows:

[Footnote *: See Harper's Magazine for March, 1898.]

"I have read 'Stirring Times in Austria.' One point in 
particular is of vital import to not a few thousand people, 
including myself, being a point about which I have often wanted 
to address a question to some disinterested person.  The show of 
military force in the Austrian Parliament, which precipitated 
the riots, was not introduced by any Jew.  No Jew was a member 
of that body.  No Jewish question was involved in the Ausgleich 
or in the language proposition.  No Jew was insulting anybody.  
In short, no Jew was doing any mischief toward anybody 
whatsoever.  In fact, the Jews were the only ones of the 
nineteen different races in Austria which did not have a party - 
they are absolutely non-participants.  Yet in your article you 
say that in the rioting which followed, all classes of people 
were unanimous only on one thing, viz., in being against the 
Jews.  Now will you kindly tell me why, in your judgment, the 
Jews have thus ever been, and are even now, in these days of 
supposed intelligence, the butt of baseless, vicious 
animosities?  I dare say that for centuries there has been no 
more quiet, undisturbing, and well-behaving citizen, as a class, 
than that same Jew.  It seems to me that ignorance and 
fanaticism cannot alone account for these horrible and unjust 

"Tell me, therefore, from your vantage-point of cold view, 
what in your mind is the cause.  Can American Jews do anything 
to correct it either in America or abroad?  Will it ever come to 
an end?  Will a Jew be permitted to live honestly, decently, and 
peaceably like the rest of mankind?  What has become of the 
Golden Rule?"

I will begin by saying that if I thought myself prejudiced 
against the Jew, I should hold it fairest to leave this subject 
to a person not crippled in that way.  But I think I have no 
such prejudice.  A few years ago a Jew observed to me that there 
was no uncourteous reference to his people in my books, and 
asked how it happened.  It happened because the disposition was 
lacking.  I am quite sure that (bar one) I have no race 
prejudices, and I think I have no color prejudices nor caste 
prejudices nor creed prejudices. Indeed, I know it.  I can stand 
any society.  All that I care to know is that a man is a human 
being - that is enough for me; he can't be any worse.  I have no 
special regard for Satan; but I can at least claim that I have 
no prejudice against him.  It may even be that I lean a little 
his way, on account of his not having a fair show.  All 
religions issue bibles against him, and say the most injurious 
things about him, but we never hear his side. We have none but 
the evidence for the prosecution, and yet we have rendered the 
verdict.  To my mind, this is irregular.  It is un-English; it 
is un-American; it is French. Without this precedent Dreyfus 
could not have been condemned.  Of course Satan has some kind of 
a case, it goes without saying. It may be a poor one, but that 
is nothing; that can be said about any of us. As soon as I can 
get at the facts I will undertake his rehabilitation myself, if 
I can find an unpolitic publisher.  It is a thing which we ought 
to be willing to do for any one who is under a cloud.  We may 
not pay him reverence, for that would be indiscreet, but we can 
at least respect his talents.  A person who has for untold 
centuries maintained the imposing position of spiritual head of 
four-fifths of the human race, and political head of the whole 
of it, must be granted the possession of executive abilities of 
the loftiest order.  In his large presence the other popes and 
politicians shrink to midges for the microscope. I would like to 
see him. I would rather see him and shake him by the tail than 
any other member of the European Concert.  In the present paper 
I shall allow myself to use the word Jew as if it stood for both 
religion and race.  It is handy; and, besides, that is what the 
term means to the general world.

In the above letter one notes these points:

     1. The Jew is a well-behaved citizen.

     2. Can ignorance and fanaticism alone account for his 
        unjust treatment?

     3. Can Jews do anything to improve the situation?

     4. The Jews have no party; they are non-participants.

     5. Will the persecution ever come to an end?

     6. What has become of the Golden Rule?

Point No. 1.

We must grant proposition No. 1 for several sufficient 
reasons.  The Jew is not a disturber of the peace of any 
country.  Even his enemies will concede that.  He is not a 
loafer, he is not a sot, he is not noisy, he is not a brawler 
nor a rioter, he is not quarrelsome.  In the statistics of crime 
his presence is conspicuously rare - in all countries. With 
murder and other crimes of violence he has but little to do: he 
is a stranger to the hangman. In the police court's daily long 
roll of "assaults" and "drunk and disorderlies" his name seldom 
appears.  That the Jewish home is a home in the truest sense is 
a fact which no one will dispute.  The family is knitted 
together by the strongest affections; its members show each 
other every due respect; and reverence for the elders is an 
inviolate law of the house.  The Jew is not a burden on the 
charities of the state nor of the city; these could cease from 
their functions without affecting him.  When he is well enough, 
he works; when he is incapacitated, his own people take care of 
him.  And not in a poor and stingy way, but with a fine and 
large benevolence.  His race is entitled to be called the most 
benevolent of all the races of men.  A Jewish beggar is not 
impossible, perhaps; such a thing may exist, but there are few 
men that can say they have seen that spectacle. The Jew has been 
staged in many uncomplimentary forms, but, so far as I know, no 
dramatist has done him the injustice to stage him as a beggar.  
Whenever a Jew has real need to beg, his people save him from 
the necessity of doing it.  The charitable institutions of the 
Jews are supported by Jewish money, and amply.  The Jews make no 
noise about it; it is done quietly; they do not nag and pester 
and harass us for contributions; they give us peace, and set us 
an example - an example which we have not found ourselves able 
to follow; for by nature we are not free givers, and have to be 
patiently and persistently hunted down in the interest of the 

These facts are all on the credit side of the proposition 
that the Jew is a good and orderly citizen.  Summed up, they 
certify that he is quiet, peaceable, industrious, unaddicted to 
high crimes and brutal dispositions; that his family life is 
commendable; that he is not a burden upon public charities; that 
he is not a beggar; that in benevolence he is above the reach of 
competition.  These are the very quint-essentials of good 
citizenship. If you can add that he is as honest as the average 
of his neighbors - But I think that question is affirmatively 
answered by the fact that he is a successful business man.  The 
basis of successful business is honesty; a business cannot 
thrive where the parties to it cannot trust each other.  In the 
matter of numbers of the Jew counts for little in the 
overwhelming population of New York; but that his honesty counts 
for much is guaranteed by the fact that the immense wholesale 
business houses of Broadway, from the Battery to Union Square, 
is substantially in his hands.

I suppose that the most picturesque example in history of a 
trader's trust in his fellow-trader was one where it was not 
Christian trusting Christian, but Christian trusting Jew.  That 
Hessian Duke who used to sell his subjects to George III. to 
fight George Washington with got rich at it; and by-and-by, when 
the wars engendered by the French Revolution made his throne too 
warm for him, he was obliged to fly the country.  He was in a 
hurry, and had to leave his earnings behind - $9,000,000.  He 
had to risk the money with some one without security.  He did 
not select a Christian, but a Jew - a Jew of only modest means, 
but of high character; a character so high that it left him 
lonesome - Rothschild of Frankfort.  Thirty years later, when 
Europe had become quiet and safe again, the Duke came back from 
overseas, and the Jew returned the loan, with interest added. ^*

[Footnote *: Here is another piece of picturesque history; and 
it reminds us that shabbiness and dishonesty are not the 
monopoly of any race or creed, but are merely human:

"Congress has passed a bill to pay $379.56 to Moses 
Pendergrass, of Libertyville, Missouri.  The story of the reason 
of this liberality is pathetically interesting, and shows the 
sort of pickle that an honest man may get into who undertakes to 
do an honest job of work for Uncle Sam.  In 1886 Moses 
Pendergrass put in a bid for the contract to carry the mail on 
the route from Knob Lick to Libertyville and Coffman, thirty 
miles a day, from July 1, 1887, for one year.  He got the 
postmaster at Knob Lick to write the letter for him, and while 
Moses intended that his bid should be $400, his scribe 
carelessly made it $4.  Moses got the contract, and did not find 
out about the mistake until the end of the first quarter, when 
he got his first pay.  When he found at what rate he was working 
he was sorely cast down, and opened communication with the 
Post-Office Department.  The department informed him that he 
must either carry out his contract or throw it up, and that if 
he threw it up his bondsmen would have to pay the government 
$1459.85 damages. So Moses carried out his contract, walked 
thirty miles every week-day for a year, and carried the mail, 
and received for his labor $4 - or, to be accurate, $6.84; for, 
the route being extended after his bid was accepted, the pay was 
proportionately increased.  Now, after ten years, a bill was 
finally passed to pay to Moses the difference between what he 
earned in that unlucky year and what he received."

The Sun, which tells the above story, says that bills were 
introduced in three or four Congresses for Moses' relief, and 
that committees repeatedly investigated his claim.

It took six Congresses, containing in their persons the 
compressed virtues of 70,000,000 of people, and cautiously and 
carefully giving expression to those virtues in the fear of God 
and the next election, eleven years to find out some way to 
cheat a fellow-Christian out of about $13 on his honestly 
executed contract, and out of nearly $300 due him on its 
enlarged terms.  And they succeeded.  During the same time they 
paid out $1,000,000,000 in pensions - a third of it unearned and 
undeserved.  This indicates a splendid all-around competency in 
theft, for it starts with farthings, and works its industries 
all the way up to ship-loads.  It may be possible that the Jews 
can beat this, but the man that bets on it is taking chances.]

The Jew has his other side.  He has some discreditable 
ways, though he has not a monopoly of them, because he cannot 
get entirely rid of vexatious Christian competition.  We have 
seen that he seldom transgresses the laws against crimes of 
violence.  Indeed, his dealings with courts are almost 
restricted to matters connected with commerce.  He has a 
reputation for various small forms of cheating, and for 
practising oppressive usury, and for burning himself out to get 
the insurance, and for arranging cunning contracts which leave 
him an exit but lock the other man in, and for smart evasions 
which find him safe and comfortable just within the strict 
letter of the law, when court and jury know very well that he 
has violated the spirit of it. He is a frequent and faithful and 
capable officer in the civil service, but he is charged with an 
unpatriotic disinclination to stand by the flag as a soldier - 
like the Christian Quaker.

Now if you offset these discreditable features by the 
creditable ones summarized in a preceding paragraph beginning 
with the words, "These facts are all on the credit side," and 
strike a balance, what must the verdict be? This, I think: that, 
the merits and demerits being fairly weighed and measured on 
both sides, the Christian can claim no superiority over the Jew 
in the matter of good citizenship.

Yet in all countries, from the dawn of history, the Jew has 
been persistently and implacably hated, and with frequency 

Point No. 2.

"Can fanaticism alone account for this?"

Years ago I used to think that it was responsible for 
nearly all of it, but latterly I have come to think that this 
was an error.  Indeed, it is now my conviction that it is 
responsible for hardly any of it.

In this connection I call to mind Genesis, chapter xlvii.

We have all thoughtfully - or unthoughtfully - read the 
pathetic story of the years of plenty and the years of famine in 
Egypt, and how Joseph, with that opportunity, made a corner in 
broken hearts, and the crusts of the poor, and human liberty - a 
corner whereby he took a nation's money all away, to the last 
penny; took a nation's livestock all away, to the last hoof; 
took a nation's land away, to the last acre; then took the 
nation itself, buying it for bread, man by man, woman by woman, 
child by child, till all were slaves; a corner which took 
everything, left nothing; a corner so stupendous that, by 
comparison with it, the most gigantic corners in subsequent 
history are but baby things, for it dealt in hundreds of 
millions of bushels, and its profits were reckonable by hundreds 
of millions of dollars, and it was a disaster so crushing that 
its effects have not wholly disappeared from Egypt to-day, more 
than three thousand years after the event.

Is it presumable that the eye of Egypt was upon Joseph the 
foreign Jew all this time?  I think it likely.  Was it 
friendly?  We must doubt it.  Was Joseph establishing a 
character for his race which would survive long in Egypt?  and 
in time would his name come to be familiarly used to express 
that character - like Shylock's?  It is hardly to be doubted.  
Let us remember that this was centuries before the crucifixion.

I wish to come down eighteen hundred years later and refer 
to a remark made by one of the Latin historians.  I read it in a 
translation many years ago, and it comes back to me now with 
force.  It was alluding to a time when people were still living 
who could have seen the Savior in the flesh. Christianity was so 
new that the people of Rome had hardly heard of it, and had but 
confused notions of what it was.  The substance of the remark 
was this: Some Christians were persecuted in Rome through error, 
they being "mistaken for Jews."

The meaning seems plain.  These pagans had nothing against 
Christians, but they were quite ready to persecute Jews.  For 
some reason or other they hated a Jew before they even knew what 
a Christian was.  May I not assume, then, that the persecution 
of Jews is a thing which antedates Christianity and was not born 
of Christianity?  I think so.  What was the origin of the 

When I was a boy, in the back settlements of the 
Mississippi Valley, where a gracious and beautiful Sunday-school 
simplicity and unpracticality prevailed, the "Yankee" (citizen 
of the New England States) was hated with a splendid energy.  
But religion had nothing to do with it.  In a trade, the Yankee 
was held to be about five times the match of the Westerner.  His 
shrewdness, his insight, his judgment, his knowledge, his 
enterprise, and his formidable cleverness in applying these 
forces were frankly confessed, and most competently cursed.

In the cotton States, after the war, the simple and 
ignorant negroes made the crops for the white planter on 
shares.  The Jew came down in force, set up shop on the 
plantation, supplied all the negro's wants on credit, and at the 
end of the season was proprietor of the negro's share of the 
present crop and of part of his share of the next one.  Before 
long, the whites detested the Jew, and it is doubtful if the 
negro loved him.

The Jew is being legislated out of Russia.  The reason is 
not concealed. The movement was instituted because the Christian 
peasant and villager stood no chance against his commercial 
abilities.  He was always ready to lend money on a crop, and 
sell vodka and other necessaries of life on credit while the 
crop was growing.  When settlement day came he owned the crop; 
and next year or year after he owned the farm, like Joseph.

In the dull and ignorant England of John's time everybody 
got into debt to the Jew.  He gathered all lucrative enterprises 
into his hands; he was the king of commerce; he was ready to be 
helpful in all profitable ways; he even financed crusades for 
the rescue of the Sepulchre.  To wipe out his account with the 
nation and restore business to its natural and incompetent 
channels he had to be banished the realm.

For the like reasons Spain had to banish him four hundred 
years ago, and Austria about a couple of centuries later.

In all the ages Christian Europe has been obliged to 
curtail his activities.  If he entered upon a mechanical trade, 
the Christian had to retire from it.  If he set up as a doctor, 
he was the best one, and he took the business.  If he exploited 
agriculture, the other farmers had to get at something else.  
Since there was no way to successfully compete with him in any 
vocation, the law had to step in and save the Christian from the 
poor-house.  Trade after trade was taken away from the Jew by 
statute till practically none was left.  He was forbidden to 
engage in agriculture; he was forbidden to practise law; he was 
forbidden to practise medicine, except among Jews; he was 
forbidden the handicrafts.  Even the seats of learning and the 
schools of science had to be closed against this tremendous 
antagonist. Still, almost bereft of employments, he found ways 
to make money, even ways to get rich.  Also ways to invest his 
takings well, for usury was not denied him.  In the hard 
conditions suggested, the Jew without brains could not survive, 
and the Jew with brains had to keep them in good training and 
well sharpened up, or starve.  Ages of restriction to the one 
tool which the law was not able to take from him - his brain - 
have made that tool singularly competent; ages of compulsory 
disuse of his hands have atrophied them, and he never uses them 
now.  This history has a very, very commercial look, a most 
sordid and practical commercial look, the business aspect of a 
Chinese cheap-labor crusade.  Religious prejudices may account 
for one part of it, but not for the other nine.

Protestants have persecuted Catholics, but they did not 
take their livelihoods away from them.  The Catholics have 
persecuted the Protestants with bloody and awful bitterness, but 
they never closed agriculture and the handicrafts against them.  
Why was that?  That has the candid look of genuine religious 
persecution, not a trade-union boycott in a religious disguise.

The Jews are harried and obstructed in Austria and Germany, 
and lately in France; but England and America give them an open 
field and yet survive. Scotland offers them an unembarrassed 
field too, but there are not many takers.  There are a few Jews 
in Glasgow, and one in Aberdeen; but that is because they can't 
earn enough to get away.  The Scotch pay themselves that 
compliment, but it is authentic.

I feel convinced that the Crucifixion has not much to do 
with the world's attitude towards the Jew; that the reasons for 
it are older than that event, as suggested by Egypt's experience 
and by Rome's regret for having persecuted an unknown quantity 
called a Christian, under the mistaken impression that she was 
merely persecuting a Jew.  Merely a Jew - a skinned eel who was 
used to it, presumably.  I am persuaded that in Russia, Austria, 
and Germany nine-tenths of the hostility to the Jew comes from 
the average Christian's inability to compete successfully with 
the average Jew in business - in either straight business or the 
questionable sort.

In Berlin, a few years ago, I read a speech which frankly 
urged the expulsion of the Jews from Germany; and the agitator's 
reason was as frank as his proposition.  It was this: that 
eighty-five per cent. of the successful lawyers of Berlin were 
Jews, and that about the same percentage of the great and 
lucrative businesses of all sorts in Germany were in the hands 
of the Jewish race!  Isn't it an amazing confession?  It was but 
another way of saying that in a population of 48,000,000, of 
whom only 500,000 were registered as Jews, eight-five per cent. 
of the brains and honesty of the whole was lodged in the Jews.  
I must insist upon the honesty - it is an essential of 
successful business, taken by and large.  Of course it does not 
rule out rascals entirely, even among Christians, but it is a 
good working rule, nevertheless.  The speaker's figures may have 
been inexact, but the motive of persecution stands out as clear 
as day.

The man claimed that in Berlin the banks, the newspapers, 
the theatres, the great mercantile, shipping, mining, and 
manufacturing interests, the big army and city contracts, the 
tramways, and pretty much all other properties of high value, 
and also the small businesses, were in the hands of the Jews. He 
said the Jew was pushing the Christian to the wall all along the 
line; that it was all a Christian could do to scrape together a 
living; and that the Jew must be banished, and soon - there was 
no other way of saving the Christian. Here in Vienna, last 
autumn, an agitator said that all these disastrous details were 
true of Austria-Hungary also; and in fierce language he demanded 
the expulsion of the Jews.  When politicians come out without a 
blush and read the baby act in this frank way, unrebuked, it is 
a very good indication that they have a market back of them, and 
know where to fish for votes.

You note the crucial point of the mentioned agitation; the 
argument is that the Christian cannot compete with the Jew, and 
that hence his very bread is in peril.  To human beings this is 
a much more hate-inspiring thing than is any detail connected 
with religion.  With most people, of a necessity, bread and meat 
take first rank, religion second.  I am convinced that the 
persecution of the Jew is not due in any large degree to 
religious prejudice.

No, the Jew is a money-getter; and in getting his money he 
is a very serious obstruction to less capable neighbors who are 
on the same quest.  I think that that is the trouble.  In 
estimating worldly values the Jew is not shallow, but deep.  
With precocious wisdom he found out in the morning of time that 
some men worship rank, some worship heroes, some worship power, 
some worship God, and that over these ideals they dispute and 
cannot unite - but that they all worship money; so he made it 
the end and aim of his life to get it.  He was at it in Egypt 
thirty-six centuries ago; he was at it in Rome when that 
Christian got persecuted by mistake for him; he has been at it 
ever since.  The cost to him has been heavy; his success has 
made the whole human race his enemy - but it has paid, for it 
has brought him envy, and that is the only thing which men will 
sell both soul and body to get. He long ago observed that a 
millionaire commands respect, a two-millionaire homage, a 
multi-millionaire the deepest deeps of adoration.  We all know 
that feeling; we have seen it express itself.  We have noticed 
that when the average man mentions the name of a 
multi-millionaire he does it with that mixture in his voice of 
awe and reverence and lust which burns in a Frenchman's eye when 
it falls on another man's centime.

Point No. 4.

"The Jews have no party; they are non-participants."

Perhaps you have let the secret out and given yourself 
away.  It seems hardly a credit to the race that it is able to 
say that; or to you, sir, that you can say it without remorse; 
more than you should offer it as a plea against maltreatment, 
injustice, and oppression.  Who gives the Jew the right, who 
gives any race the right, to sit still, in a free country, and 
let somebody else look after its safety?  The oppressed Jew was 
entitled to all pity in the former times under brutal 
autocracies, for he was weak and friendless, and had no way to 
help his case.  But he has ways now, and he has had them for a 
century, but I do not see that he has tried to make serious use 
of them.  When the Revolution set him free in France it was an 
act of grace - the grace of other people; he does not appear in 
it as a helper.  I do not know that he helped when England set 
him free.  Among the Twelve Sane Men of France who have stepped 
forward with great Zola at their head to fight (and win, I hope 
and believe ^*) the battle for the most infamously misused Jew 
of modern times, do you find a great or rich or illustrious Jew 
helping? In the United States he was created free in the 
beginning - he did not need to help, of course.  In Austria and 
Germany and France he has a vote, but of what considerable use 
is it to him?  He doesn't seem to know how to apply it to the 
best effect.  With all his splendid capacities and all his fat 
wealth he is to-day not politically important in any country.  
In America, as early as 1854, the ignorant Irish hod-carrier, 
who had a spirit of his own and a way of exposing it to the 
weather, made it apparent to all that he must be politically 
reckoned with; yet fifteen years before that we hardly knew what 
an Irishman looked like.  As an intelligent force and 
numerically, he has always been away down, but he has governed 
the country just the same.  It was because he was organized.  It 
made his vote valuable - in fact, essential.

[Footnote *: The article was written in the summer of 1898. - Ed.]

You will say the Jew is everywhere numerically feeble.  
That is nothing to the point - with the Irishman's history for 
an object-lesson.  But I am coming to your numerical feebleness 
presently.  In all parliamentary countries you could no doubt 
elect Jews to the legislatures - and even one member in such a 
body is sometimes a force which counts.  How deeply have you 
concerned yourselves about this in Austria, France, and 
Germany?  Or even in America, for that matter?  You remark that 
the Jews were not to blame for the riots in this Reichsrath 
here, and you add with satisfaction that there wasn't one in 
that body.  That is not strictly correct; if it were, would it 
not be in order for you to explain it and apologize for it, not 
try to make a merit of it? But I think that the Jew was by no 
means in as large force there as he ought to have been, with his 
chances.  Austria opens the suffrage to him on fairly liberal 
terms, and it must surely be his own fault that he is so much in 
the background politically.

As to your numerical weakness.  I mentioned some figures 
awhile ago - 500,000 - as the Jewish population of Germany.  I 
will add some more - 6,000,000 in Russia, 5,000,000 in Austria, 
250,000 in the United States.  I take them from memory; I read 
them in the Cyclopaedia Britannica ten or twelve years ago.  
Still, I am entirely sure of them.  If those statistics are 
correct, my argument is not as strong as it ought to be as 
concerns America, but it still has strength.  It is plenty 
strong enough as concerns Austria, for ten years ago 5,000,000 
was nine per cent. of the empire's population. The Irish would 
govern the Kingdom of Heaven if they had a strength there like 

I have some suspicions; I got them at second-hand, but they 
have remained with me these ten or twelve years.  When I read in 
the C. B. that the Jewish population of the United States was 
250,000, I wrote the editor, and explained to him that I was 
personally acquainted with more Jews than that in my country, 
and that his figures were without a doubt a misprint for 
25,000,000. I also added that I was personally acquainted with 
that many there; but that was only to raise his confidence in 
me, for it was not true. His answer miscarried, and I never got 
it; but I went around talking about the matter, and people told 
me they had reason to suspect that for business reasons many 
Jews whose dealings were mainly with the Christians did not 
report themselves as Jews in the census.  It looked plausible; 
it looks plausible yet.  Look at the city of New York; and look 
at Boston, and Philadelphia, and New Orleans, and Chicago, and 
Cincinnati, and San Francisco - how your race swarms in those 
places! - and everywhere else in America, down to the least 
little village. Read the signs on the marts of commerce and on 
the shops; Goldstein (gold stone), Edelstein (precious stone), 
Blumenthal (flower-vale), Rosenthal (rose-vale), Veilchenduft 
(violet odor), Singvogel (song-bird), Rosenzweig (rose branch), 
and all the amazing list of beautiful and enviable names which 
Prussia and Austria glorified you with so long ago.  It is 
another instance of Europe's coarse and cruel persecution of 
your race; not that it was coarse and cruel to outfit it with 
pretty and poetical names like those, but that it was coarse and 
cruel to make it pay for them or else take such hideous and 
often indecent names that to-day their owners never use them; 
or, if they do, only on official papers.  And it was the many, 
not the few, who got the odious names, they being too poor to 
bribe the officials to grant them better ones.

Now why was the race renamed?  I have been told that in 
Prussia it was given to using fictitious names, and often 
changing them, so as to beat the tax-gatherer, escape military 
service, and so on; and that finally the idea was hit upon of 
furnishing all the inmates of a house with one and the same 
surname, and then holding the house responsible right along for 
those inmates, and accountable for any disappearances that might 
occur; it made the Jews keep track of each other, for 
self-interest's sake, and saved the government the trouble. ^*

[Footnote *: In Austria the renaming was merely done because the 
Jews in some newly acquired regions had no surnames, but were 
mostly named Abraham and Moses, and therefore the tax-gatherer 
could not tell t'other from which, and was likely to lose his 
reason over the matter.  The renaming was put into the hands of 
the War Department, and a charming mess the graceless young 
lieutenants made of it.  To them a Jew was of no sort of 
consequence, and they labelled the race in a way to make the 
angels weep.  As an example, take these two: Abraham Bellyache 
and Schmul Godbedamned. - Culled from "Namens Studien," by Karl 
Emil Franzos.]

If that explanation of how the Jews of Prussia came to be 
renamed is correct, if it is true that they fictitiously 
registered themselves to gain certain advantages, it may 
possibly be true that in America they refrain from registering 
themselves as Jews to fend off the damaging prejudices of the 
Christian customer.  I have no way of knowing whether this 
notion is well founded or not.  There may be other and better 
ways of explaining why only that poor little 250,000 of our Jews 
got into the Cyclopaedia.  I may, of course, be mistaken, but I 
am strongly of the opinion that we have an immense Jewish 
population in America.

Point No. 3.

"Can Jews do anything to improve the situation?"

I think so.  If I may make a suggestion without seeming to 
be trying to teach my grandmother how to suck eggs, I will offer 
it.  In our days we have learned the value of combination.  We 
apply it everywhere - in railway systems, in trusts, in trade 
unions, in Salvation Armies, in minor politics, in major 
politics, in European Concerts.  Whatever our strength may be, 
big or little, we organize it.  We have found out that that is 
the only way to get the most out of it that is in it.  We know 
the weakness of individual sticks, and the strength of the 
concentrated fagot.  Suppose you try a scheme like this, for 
instance.  In England and America put every Jew on the 
census-book as a Jew (in case you have not been doing that).  
Get up volunteer regiments composed of Jews solely, and, when 
the drum beats, fall in and go to the front, so as to remove the 
reproach that you have few Massenas among you, and that you feed 
on a country but don't like to fight for it.  Next, in politics, 
organize you strength, band together, and deliver the casting 
vote where you can, and, where you can't, compel as good terms 
as possible. You huddle to yourselves already in all countries, 
but you huddle to no sufficient purpose, politically speaking.  
You do not seem to be organized, except for your charities.  
There you are omnipotent; there you compel your due of 
recognition - you do not have to beg for it.  It shows what you 
can do when you band together for a definite purpose.

And then from America and England you can encourage your 
race in Austria, France, and Germany, and materially help it.  
It was a pathetic tale that was told by a poor Jew in Galicia a 
fortnight ago during the riots, after he had been raided by the 
Christian peasantry and despoiled of everything he had.  He said 
his vote was of no value to him, and he wished he could be 
excused from casting it, for, indeed, casting it was a sure 
damage to him, since no matter which party he voted for, the 
other party would come straight and take its revenge out of 
him.  Nine per cent. of the population of the empire, these 
Jews, and apparently they cannot put a plank into any 
candidate's platform! If you will send our Irish lads over here 
I think they will organize your race and change the aspect of 
the Reichsrath.

You seem to think that the Jews take no hand in politics 
here, that they are "absolutely non-participants." I am assured 
by men competent to speak that this is a very large error, that 
the Jews are exceedingly active in politics all over the empire, 
but that they scatter their work and their votes among the 
numerous parties, and thus lose the advantages to be had by 
concentration. I think that in America they scatter too, but you 
know more about that than I do.

Speaking of concentration, Dr. Herzl has a clear insight 
into the value of that.  Have you heard of his plan?  He wishes 
to gather the Jews of the world together in Palestine, with a 
government of their own - under the suzerainty of the Sultan, I 
suppose.  At the Convention of Berne, last year, there were 
delegates from everywhere, and the proposal was received with 
decided favor.  I am not the Sultan, and I am not objecting; but 
if that concentration of the cunningest brains in the world were 
going to be made in a free country (bar Scotland), I think it 
would be politic to stop it.  It will not be well to let the 
race find out its strength.  If the horses knew theirs, we 
should not ride any more.

Point No. 5.

"Will the persecution of the Jews ever come to an end?"

On the score of religion, I think it has already come to an 
end.  On the score of race prejudice and trade, I have the idea 
that it will continue. That is, here and there in spots about 
the world, where a barbarous ignorance and a sort of mere animal 
civilization prevail; but I do not think that elsewhere the Jew 
need now stand in any fear of being robbed and raided. Among the 
high civilizations he seems to be very comfortably situated 
indeed, and to have more than his proportionate share of the 
prosperities going.  It has that look in Vienna.  I suppose the 
race prejudice cannot be removed; but he can stand that; it is 
no particular matter.  By his make and ways he is substantially 
a foreigner wherever he may be, and even the angels dislike a 
foreigner.  I am using this word foreigner in the German sense - 
stranger. Nearly all of us have an antipathy to a stranger, even 
of our own nationality.  We pile gripsacks in a vacant seat to 
keep him from getting it; and a dog goes further, and does as a 
savage would - challenges him on the spot.  The German 
dictionary seems to make no distinction between a stranger and a 
foreigner; in its view a stranger is a foreigner - a sound 
position, I think.  You will always be by ways and habits and 
predilections substantially strangers - foreigners - wherever 
you are, and that will probably keep the race prejudice against 
you alive.

But you were the favorites of Heaven originally, and your 
manifold and unfair prosperities convince me that you have 
crowded back into that snug place again.  Here is an incident 
that is significant.  Last week in Vienna a hailstorm struck the 
prodigious Central Cemetery and made wasteful destruction 
there.  In the Christian part of it, according to the official 
figures, 621 window-panes were broken; more than 900 
singing-birds were killed; five great trees and many small ones 
were torn to shreds and the shreds scattered far and wide by the 
wind; the ornamental plants and other decorations of the graves 
were ruined, and more than a hundred tomb-lanterns shattered; 
and it took the cemetery's whole force of 300 laborers more than 
three days to clear away the storm's wreckage.  In the report 
occurs this remark - and in its italics you can hear it grit its 
Christian teeth ". . . lediglich die israelitische Abtheilung 
des Friedhofes vom Hagelwetter ganzlich verschont worden war." 
Not a hailstone hit the Jewish reservation! Such nepotism makes 
me tired.

Point No. 6.

"What has become of the Golden Rule?"

It exists, it continues to sparkle, and is well taken care 
of.  It is Exhibit A in the Church's assets, and we pull it out 
every Sunday and give it an airing.  But you are not permitted 
to try to smuggle it into this discussion, where it is 
irrelevant and would not feel at home.  It is strictly religious 
furniture, like an acolyte, or a contribution-plate, or any of 
those things.  It has never been intruded into business; and 
Jewish persecution is not a religious passion, it is a business 

To conclude. - If the statistics are right, the Jews 
constitute but one per cent. of the human race.  It suggests a 
nebulous dim puff of star-dust lost in the blaze of the Milky 
Way.  Properly the Jew ought hardly to be heard of; but he is 
heard of, has always been heard of.  He is as prominent on the 
planet as any other people, and his commercial importance is 
extravagantly out of proportion to the smallness of his bulk.  
His contributions to the world's list of great names in 
literature, science, art, music, finance, medicine, and abstruse 
learning are also away out of proportion to the weakness of his 
numbers.  He has made a marvellous fight in this world, in all 
the ages; and has done it with his hands tied behind him.  He 
could be vain of himself, and be excused for it.  The Egyptian, 
the Babylonian, and the Persian rose, filled the planet with 
sound and splendor, then faded to dream-stuff and passed away; 
the Greek and the Roman followed, and made a vast noise, and 
they are gone; other peoples have sprung up and held their torch 
high for a time, but it burned out, and they sit in twilight 
now, or have vanished.  The Jew saw them all, beat them all, and 
is now what he always was, exhibiting no decadence, no 
infirmities of age, no weakening of his parts, no slowing of his 
energies, no dulling of his alert and aggressive mind.  All 
things are mortal but the Jew; all other forces pass, but he 
remains.  What is the secret of his immortality?

                     The Jew As Soldier

When I published the above article in Harper's Monthly, I 
was ignorant - like the rest of the Christian world - of the 
fact that the Jew had a record as a soldier.  I have since seen 
the official statistics, and I find that he furnished soldiers 
and high officers to the Revolution, the War of 1812, and the 
Mexican War.  In the Civil War he was represented in the armies 
and navies of both the North and the South by 10 per cent. of 
his numerical strength - the same percentage that was furnished 
by the Christian populations of the two sections.  This large 
fact means more than it seems to mean; for it means that the 
Jew's patriotism was not merely level with the Christian's, but 
overpassed it.  When the Christian volunteer arrived in camp he 
got a welcome and applause, but as a rule the Jew got a snub.  
His company was not desired, and he was made to feel it.  That 
he nevertheless conquered his wounded pride and sacrificed both 
that and his blood for his flag raises the average and quality 
of his patriotism above the Christian's.  His record for 
capacity, for fidelity, and for gallant soldiership in the field 
is as good as any one's. This is true of the Jewish private 
soldiers and the Jewish generals alike. Major-General O. O. 
Howard speaks of one of his Jewish staff-officers as being "of 
the bravest and best"; of another - killed at Chancellorsville - 
as being "a true friend and a brave officer"; he highly praises 
two of his Jewish brigadier-generals; finally, he uses these 
strong words: "Intrinsically there are no more patriotic men to 
be found in the country than those who claim to be of Hebrew 
descent, and who served with me in parallel commands or more 
directly under my instructions."

Fourteen Jewish Confederate and Union families contributed, 
between them, fifty-one soldiers to the war.  Among these, a 
father and three sons; and another, a father and four sons.

In the above article I was not able to endorse the common 
reproach that the Jew is willing to feed upon a country but not 
to fight for it, because I did not know whether it was true or 
false.  I supposed it to be true, but it is not allowable to 
endorse wandering maxims upon supposition - except when one is 
trying to make out a case.  That slur upon the Jew cannot hold 
up its head in presence of the figures of the War Department.  
It has done its work, and done it long and faithfully, and with 
high approval: it ought to be pensioned off now, and retired 
from active service. 

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