The Riddle of the Jew’s Success
THE JEW’S SUCCESS
Translated from the German by Capel Pownall
HAMMER-VERLAG / LEIPZIG
Theodor Emil Fritsch (October 28, 1852 near Leipzig – September 8, 1933) was a German antijudaist whose views did much to influence popular opposition to Jewish supremacism in Germany during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
A believer in the absolute superiority of the Aryan race, Fritsch was upset by the changes brought on by rapid industrialization and urbanization, and called for a return to the traditional peasant values and customs of the distant past, which he believed exemplified the essence of the Volk.
In 1883 he founded the Hammer Publishing House.
One of Fritsch’s major goals was to unite all Jew-resister political parties under a single banner; he wished for opposition to Jewish supremacism to permeate the agenda of every German social and political organization. This effort proved largely to be a failure, as by 1890 there were over 190 various patriotic parties in Germany. He also had a powerful rival for the leadership of the patriots in Otto Böckel, with whom he had a strong personal rivalry.
In 1893, Fritsch published his most famous work, The Handbook of the Jewish Question also known as the Anti-Semitic Catechism which criticed the Jews and called upon Germans to refrain from intermingling with them. Vastly popular, the book was read by millions and was in its 49th edition by 1944 (330,000 copies). The ideas espoused by the work greatly influenced Hitler and his party during their rise to power after World War I. Fritsch also founded a journal – the Hammer (in 1902) and this became the basis of a movement, the Reichshammerbund, in 1912.
His better known book, The Riddle of the Jew’s Success was published in English in 1927 under the pseudonym F. Roderich-Stoltheim, and dealt with the negative impact that Jewish values and the centralization of the German economy in Jewish hands had on the German people. This book was recently republished by Noontide Press, and was the subject of a media controversy after it was banned by Amazon.com and other online book sellers.
Fritsch held the publication rights to the German edition of Henry Ford’s work The International Jew.
Chapter …………………………………………………………..……………………………………. Page
I Preface ………………………………………………………………………………………………… 5
II Jewish Methods in the Economic Life …………………………………………………. 10
III Particular Business Tactics of the Jew ……………………………………………….. 29
IV The International Connection and Secret League of the Hebrews …….. 39
V The Peculiar Morality of Jewdom ………………………………………………………….. 53
VI An Explanation with Sombart …………………………………………………………….. 68
VII Jewish Successes in Modern Times …………………………………………………… 72
VIII The Stock-Exchange …………………………………………………………………………. 84
IX How Sound Business Methods are Forced Out of the Field by the Jews … 98
X Jewish Trade Specialities ……………………………………………………………………… 111
XI Moral Principles in Trade …………………………………………………………………….. 141
XII The Hebrews as Supporters of Capitalism …………………………………………. 154
XIII Business and Religion ………………………………………………………………………. 183
XIV The Race Problem …………………………………………………………………………….. 200
XV Origin of the Jewish Entity ………………………………………………………………….. 220
XVI The Influence of the Jew Upon Womankind ………………………………………. 242
XVII The Jews and the World-War ……………………………………………………………. 277
Concluding Words …………………………………………………………………………………….. 283
Errata ……………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 290
Origin of the Jewish Entity.
1. Descent of the Jews.
Sombart searches around to discover the origin of the Jewish race, and raises the question: whence does it come, and whither is it proceeding? He does not hesitate to describe the Jews as a kind of freak, as a lower order of humanity, of entirely different blood to the nations amongst whom they live. We add to this: difference in blood means also difference in mind and spirit, for, amongst the most important disclosures of the science of race, must be included the fact that certain mental qualities are firmly and inseparably united with a certain kind of blood. In accordance with general acceptation, Sombart believes that Israel, as well as Judah, originated from a mixture of various oriental peoples. This notion is contradicted by the fact, that all Jews regard themselves as the descendants of a common tribal father (Abraham or Jacob), and that already at a very remote period, the Jews were prohibited by strict laws from mixing with other nations. Actually, one can only begin to speak of Jewdom, from the moment when a particular caste arrayed itself in conscious opposition to the rest of humanity, and declined either to mix with the same or to entertain any feelings in common with it. It is precisely the exclusion of their stock from any consanguinity with the remainder of mankind, which makes Jewdom what it is. That Bedouin, that is to say, Semitic tribes have provided the ground-floor of the structure of Hebrewdom, is universally accepted, and Adolf Wahrmund, in his frequently-quoted work:
“The Law of Nomadism and the present-day domination by the Jews” has provided convincing proof of the spiritual affinity of Hebrewdom with the Semitic desert tribes. Nomadism and changeableness are common to both; the conception of a firmly-founded state is foreign to both, and both seek their salvation in continual wandering and peregrination.
They graze the pastures bare, and then move on to where fresh booty beckons to them. Both practise the sudden method of attack, allow no quarter, and exterminate; both are animated by the spirit of the desert, which leaves a train of burnt-out settlements along its track. Amongst the civilised nations, however, our Hebrews have altered the methods of their predatory expeditions. They no longer slay with the blade of the sword, but throttle their adversary with the golden noose of capitalism.* The surprise and slaughter of the opponent is accomplished, in its modernised form, on the Stock Exchange. There the dice are cast, which determine victory and dominion; there the economic fortunes and the economic freedom of the nations are gambled with; and as Judah plays with loaded dice, it is assured of victory. There the strangler of nations twines the golden snares, in which he entangles, not only the economic, but also the spiritual and political life of the peoples.
But one must certainly not any longer speak of our Jews of to-day as pure Semites; they have also taken up all manner of foreign national elements; and it is truly remarkable to what a complete extent they have assimilated the same. One is entitled to ask whether the Talmudic spirit alone has rendered this complete adaptation possible, or whether a few drops of Jewish blood have sufficed to give an unvarying stamp or impression — at least mentally — to the entire mass. Externally the Jews of to-day present marked differences in their appearance; Negroid and Turanian (Mongolian) types can be discerned amongst them as well as Semitic. Even amongst the Hebrews, who hail from Russian Poland, one not infrequently comes across blond and watery-eyed examples.
* We find here a parallel with the Indian Thags or Thugs (= Robbers), who consider that they can best serve their God by strangling as many victims as possible. Perhaps these Thugs also stand in relation to the old rejected caste of the “Tschandala” (see page 182).
It is practically certain that the people, who were formerly called the Chasaren, and who are regarded as belonging to a Finnish-Tartar stock, and who, about 800 years after Christ, formed a separate empire in the South of what is now Russia, went over to Jewdom and were completely absorbed. The Jews themselves are conscious of this racial distinction, for the western Jews, who have come across Spain, call themselves “Sephardim” (if baptised: Marannen), and have North-African blood in their veins, describe the Eastern Jews as “Aschkenasim”, and look down on the latter with a certain amount of contempt. In spite of this, the Talmudic law embraces them all, and the Rabbinical despotism welds them into a close caste, absolutely united in its hostility to all non-Jewish peoples.
If, therefore, the Jews of today are not to be regarded as a united race from a physical point of view, all Jewry is inspired, nevertheless, with the uniform racial spirit of Hebrewdom. And — one must not forget this — the spiritual entity is of higher importance to the racial idea than the purely physical, which may well play a part in all manner of chance externals without prejudicing the racial ground-work of blood and soul.
If an explanation is required of what is understood by the expression “Race”, it can be formulated on the following lines:
Race denotes a community, which, starting from a common ancestor, is based on blood-relationship and exhibits, for that reason, a number of physical and mental characteristics. One must also reckon with the fact that, with the blood, the attributes of the mind and disposition, of the temperament and character, are inherited equally with the bodily properties. The purer and more united the race is, the more stable and constant is this inheritability. Through admixture with other race-elements, racial peculiarities are partly masked, the external ones more so than the internal, but they assert themselves again, often after generations, with astonishing distinctness. One is therefore entitled to say: a race characterises itself by means of a complex of unvarying, transmissible qualities.
The German people of to-day represent a mixture of Germanic, Slavonic and Romanic (Celtic) — or, according to modern methods of indication, of Northern, Alpine and Mediterranean elements, which have melted into a certain sort of homogeneity after the lapse of centuries, at least to the extent, that scarcely any doubt can exist as to the uniformity of German thought and German feeling. It is only comparatively recently, after distinct signs of degeneration have become visible, that it appears as if these racial constants are about to be resolved into their original elements, and, in the course of this process, to release a multitude of mongrel-products (degeneration-forms) which cannot be classified racially.
If the existence of a separate Jewish race is disputed, as Felix von Luschan, amongst others, attempts to do, the contention may, perhaps, have a certain amount of justification, as there was not an original Jewish race; it appears to me much more likely that the Hebrews arose out of a mixture of the dregs of all kinds of races (compare page 194), a mixture, however, which has been welded by thousands of years of in-breeding into a racial type.
In the meantime, whoever is searching for the anthropological peculiarity of the Jews, will find this rather in the constitution of mind and character than in definite physical relations. It is quite correct that the Sephardim are preponderatingly longheaded, that the Aschkenasim or Chasaren Jews are roundheaded, and that the profile of the face passes through a great variety of gradations. Perhaps, shortness of limb can be regarded as the most noticeable physical feature of the Jewish race. Nearly all Jews possess remarkably short arms and legs and a proportionately long trunk. Whilst the normal European, and especially the German fathoms more than the entire length of his body, in the case of the Hebrew it is the reverse. The inferior development of the arms might certainly be accounted for by the fact that the race in question has never occupied itself with honest manual labour, has employed neither weapon nor oar, and, for these reasons, has failed to develop the arms properly. Other unmistakable physical features include the relation and position of the ear to the nose; amongst the pure Aryans the ear and the nose, on an average, are of equal length and are on the same level; in the case of the Jew, variations and startling irregularities in both of these respects are noticeable.
As a matter of fact, however, the Jewish racial constancy is stronger at the present day than is the case in any other human strain, and this is also confirmed by the declaration of Professor Gans, which has been already quoted on page 204. That the peculiar mental tenacity of the Jewish people was already in evidence in the remotest period, is testified to by the excited references of the ancient prophets to this “stiff-necked and stubborn” people.
Jewish peculiarity may also acquire exceptional solidarity from the fact, that this nation, more than any other, possesses a religion entirely suited to its nature, and which occupies itself at the same time, in the most painstaking fashion, with laying down the most detailed precepts for the conduct of ordinary life. Race, religion, nationality, mode of living, and business behaviour are all cast in the same mould as far as the Hebrews are concerned; these are all the uniform expression of the same fundamental nature. The mentality and character of this people, owing to uniform schooling and tense discipline, and owing to the mode of living, which has become strengthened by inbreeding and habitual by the practice of thousands of years, must have established and incorporated itself to an unusual degree so that the Jews are less susceptible to outside influence than any other race of mankind, which is capable of culture and development.
The voluntary segregation of this race, and the consciously fostered aversion to all other peoples, all contributed to maintain Hebrewdom in its singularity. It must be repeated with emphasis: the segregation, so far as the Jews were concerned, was voluntary — just for the preservation of their singularity and their singular rites. Sombart insists that the Jews have not always been “half-citizens” in the strange states, but, on the contrary, in olden times, were frequently actually endowed with peculiar rights and privileges (compare pages 25 and 176).
They held themselves aloof, however, of their own free will, from all participation in civic and state affairs; they did not accept their share of the spiritual and political destiny of the nation; they regarded themselves everywhere merely as visitors and foreigners, and were always ready to fasten up their bundle, so that — laden with gold and silver, after the manner of their forefathers — they could slip over the frontier.
Sombart also confirms the fact that Jewish peculiarity did not first develop out of the Diaspora (Dispersion) like biased Jewish historians endeavour to make us believe, but that the Diaspora itself is a production of this peculiarity. Just as invalid is the contention that the Jewish peculiarities are the fruit of the religion, and of the rabbinical doctrines; far rather has the Jewish religion grown out of the fundamental nature of Jewdom, and is the inevitable product of the Jewish mode of thinking. Yes, it is an indispensable expedient for sustaining the Jewish mode of existence. Without this “immoral morality” the Hebrew could not continue. The rabbinical doctrines are merely the undisguised expression of the real thoughts and feelings of the Jew; if these doctrines had been artificially constructed, and had been forced upon the Jews against their inclination, the whole Jewish mass would have revolted against such views of life. But no one has ever heard of anything of the kind. Rather have the Hebrews gladly adopted these senseless doctrines because the latter suit them to a nicety. Sombart is therefore entitled to say that one may, without hesitation, refer back from the peculiarity of the Jewish religion to the national peculiarity of the Jews. Certainly, when he expresses doubt if one is justified in attributing the dishonest behaviour of Isaac, Jacob and Joseph to a fraudulent trait in the Jewish nature, we must leave it to the reader to form his own opinion upon this point.
The legend, which is always cropping up, that the Jews were originally an agricultural people, is to be accounted for by the excusable failure to distinguish between the two tribes, Israel and Judah.
The extensively held opinion — especially amongst theologians — that Israelites and Jews are identical, is an assumption, which must be challenged, for it is refuted by numerous passages in The Old Testament, in which Israel and Judah are mentioned.* Ancient Israel was a people, composed of honest husbandmen and graziers, which eventually came under the yoke of the intruding Hebrews. The real Jew made his appearance in Palestine, just as in other countries, as the financial political usurper; he came with the gold, which he had abstracted from other countries (as in the case of the excursion from Egypt) into the land, and made the honest population tributary to him by money-lending and usury. And thus the honest agricultural Israelites were enslaved by this alien money bourgeoisie, precisely as many other nations are at the present day. But the detestation of the real Israelites for the new money-lords must have been very pronounced when the Israelitish captain, Abner, answered an unworthy imputation with the indignant words:
“Am I then a scoundrel like a Jew?” (2. Sam. 3. 8.)**
2. Development of the Jews as a commercial nation.
During the subsequent vicissitudes of the people of Judah, there was opportunity and to spare to devote themselves to agricultural occupations; the Hebrews, however, have never availed themselves of the same. They feel little inclination for this burdensome and downright occupation, for it is impossible to make a fool of nature. And already the wisdom of one Talmudic rabbi has said as much in the following words: he who employs one hundred “Sus” in trading, can enjoy meat and wine every day; but, on the contrary, he who expends one hundred “Sus” on tilling the soil, has to be satisfied with salt and cabbage, must sleep on the ground, and endure all manner of hardships.
* Amongst other matters, it is worthy of notice that in the apocryphal story of Susanna and Daniel, a sharp distinction is drawn between Canaan’s stock and not Judah’s on one hand, and the “daughters of Israel” and Susanna as “daughter of Judah”, on the other.
** “Harosch keleb anoki ascher l’jehuda?” Kautsch translates: “Am I then a Jewish scoundrel?” — Compare “Hammer” No. 259: The History of the origin of the Old Testament.
Thus, there is no lack of historians, even amongst the Jews themselves, who openly admit that the Jews are inclined by their very nature to trade, are devoted to it, and are a nation with a very pronounced commercial tendency. Their most ancient scriptures also bear testimony to this fact. The cuneiform documents from Nippur as well, have provided additional evidence that the Hebrews were already wholesale dealers and bankers in ancient Babylon. They cheerfully resigned the dangerous maritime trade to the Phoenicians, for this branch of commerce called for personal courage, and was inseparable from peril to life.
Sombart must credit us with great simplicity when he tries to represent the notorious robbery of gold and silver by the Jews, on their departure from Egypt, as if these were loans of the Egyptians, which the Hebrews were intercepting. This discloses an astounding lack of any understanding for national psychology. Since the Hebrews, in olden times, scarcely ever carried on any other occupation than those of grain-dealer, cattle dealer, usurer and pawnbroker, it may be taken for granted that they carried on these occupations in Egypt also. I consider it likely that these gold and silver vessels and costly garments, which the Hebrews took with them on the occasion of their exodus from Egypt, were pledges, which the Egyptians had handed over to the Jewish usurers, into whose clutches they had fallen. (Compare Sombart pages 370—372.) To what an extent the Jewish usurer was in demand in olden times, is testified to by the punitive sermon of Nehemiah, and especially by Amos. 8, 4—7.
It is only part and parcel of the Jewish doctrine and view of the world, that the Rabbis, all their lives, have not disdained to participate most actively in all money transactions.
Even Sombart admits, that the Rabbis are, in many cases, the chief money-lenders; there are even passages, which seem to suggest that the Rabbis have a monopoly of usury. Sombart cites an instance out of the Oxford Papyrus, which actually describes a case of Jewish usury on the grand scale, for it is distinctly declared in this document, which is a bond or obligation, that the debt shall be doubled each time that it is not repaid at the appointed term. A true Jewish mode of operation, which we are continually coming across, at all times and in all places. (Compare page 25).
Can it be wondered at that the Hebrews have managed by such practices, throughout the ages, to draw the money of the other nations quickly into their own hands? And thus Sombart remarks, that already in the Hellenic period, and in the time of Imperial Rome, rich Jews were acting as moneylenders to the kings; and much was said in the Roman world concerning Jewish hagglers and usurers. Amongst the Arabs, however, the Hebrew has the reputation of being a born usurer and chafferer. The Jews were likewise the financiers and business-men of the Merovingian kings; and in Spain, where they enjoyed most freedom for their operations, they very soon had the nation in debt to them. Already at the time of the Crusades they were engaged, to an excessive extent, in money transactions, and “bled” the Crusaders mercilessly (compare page 25 et seq.) so that Sombart feels compelled to admit: since we have ascertained something about the Jewish economic life, we see that the loaning of money plays a very prominent part in the same. (Page 375 and following). He adds:
“It is really about time that the fairy-tale disappeared, that the Jews had first been driven into the money-lending business, during the European Middle Ages, because all other occupations were closed to them.
The history of a Jewish loan-traffic, extending over a period of two thousand years before the Middle Ages, ought really to be sufficient proof of the erroneousness of this historical fabrication.”
And even when the path to other occupations lay open to the Jews, they still turned aside to devote themselves, with preference, to the loaning of money against pledges, like Karl Bücher has pointed out in the case of Frankfurt a. M. Indeed, at certain times, the authorities have even offered premiums to induce the Jews to choose other vocations, but all attempts in this direction proved futile. It is characteristic of the Jewish religion, that the Jewish temples, in olden times, were the centres of the money-traffic, and were, to a certain extent, banking-houses. A large quantity of gold was accumulated in the Temple at Jerusalem.
And this alliance between religion and money-traffic is not to be excused on the grounds that other Semitic nations, like the Babylonians, are said to have done the same. At any rate the same reproach cannot be levelled at the Christian Churches. And, although the talents of the usurer are occasionally to be found amongst the other nations, the non-Jewish usurer is, generally speaking, more or less of an amateur; the Hebrews alone have brought usury to an art and a science — have exalted it even to a religion. Sombart also admits, that the Jews have developed the technic of loan-agreements to an uncanny perfection. He says:
“If one reads the fourth and fifth chapters of the Baba Mezia, one gets the impression that one is taking part in a usury-inquisition in Hesse, some twenty or thirty years ago, so multitudinous are the tricks and devices, which are introduced into these loan-contracts.”
It is, therefore, not without full justification, that both Jewish wealth and the Jewish usurer have become a by-word.
Whilst the priests of other nations have to be the guardians of what is ideal, the Hebrew priests are business-folk to their finger-tips, and even usurers. Sombart says:
“It is remarkable what a number of rich and very rich men there are amongst the Talmudists. It is not at all difficult to draw up a list of several dozen Rabbis, all of whom enjoy the reputation of being extremely wealthy.”
But Sombart confesses that all his investigations into the faculty of acquisitiveness, possessed by the Jews, do not satisfactorily account for the phenomenon of Jewish wealth. He has actually forgotten the most important factor, viz that confederation of the Jewish business demeanour, the Chawrusse.
The enormous gains of the Jewish capitalists are also only to be accounted for by the existence of the Chawrusse. The characteristic picture in the fourth section (page 47), drawn from the descriptions of the actuary, Thiele, of the criminal court, forms a typical example of the Jewish organisation for acquisition. The Chawrusse continues, at the present moment, on all sides; on the Stock Exchange, amongst the Banks, in the Press, in the “White Slave” traffic, amongst Jewish pickpockets and burglars, and has its ramifications over the whole world.
There is only one satisfactory explanation for this phenomenal enrichment of the Jewish people; it is the organisation in bands, of Trade, of Usury, of Fraud, and of Theft; and all these again are federated with one another — however vague and shadowy such connection may appear to be.* It is exactly as Herder has already stated:
“The Hebrews are a despicable race of cunning dealers, a race that has never desired honour, home and country. That they can ever have been valiant warriors and honest peasants does not appear credible to us, for the disposition of a nation does not alter so quickly.”
Sombart makes a last attempt to save the honour of the Jewish nation, and to explain away its peculiarities, by representing the Jews as an oriental people that became mixed up with or dispersed amongst Northern nations, and started a system of culture in conjunction with the latter. Certainly one has every right to refer to the fact, that the penetration of a nation with alien racial-elements can impart a tremendous cultural impulse. Gobineau,** as is well known, has attempted to explain the origin of the ancient cultures, as being the consequence of the penetration of Southern Nations by elements of the Northern race, the blond Aryans, whereby the latter assumed the leadership amongst those, who had been subjugated, and by means of their organising power and heroic mode of thinking, sowed the seeds of future great developments. It is unlikely that anyone will attempt to compare the part, which the Hebrew plays amongst us at the present day, with the above example.
Nowhere can the Hebrew be regarded as the bearer of culture and of a new social order; his entire method of working is of too negative a nature.
* There is a particular association in Russia for the purpose of business and exploitation, called Kahal or Kagal, which embraces the whole Jewish community. Important disclosures concerning this are to be found in Dr. Rich. Andree’s book: “Information about the Jewish nation,” and the “Handbook of the Jewish Question” also contains extracts. 26 t h edition page 293—297.
** Count Gobineau: “Disquisition on the dissimilarity of the Human Races.” Stuttgart 1902.
When Sombart continuously talks about “capitalistic culture”, he is only using a euphemism all the time. We learnt already at the beginning of our examination of the subject, that although the capitalistic economic method can certainly effect a prodigious release of latent forces, the only result is a rapid wasting-away of the nations concerned, and in no case is a constructive culture ever produced.
Justifiably apprehensive of the above fact, Sombart occasionally speaks of “the strange blossom of capitalistic culture.” Far more remarkable is his expressed opinion that this oriental race wastes its best faculties in an environment, which, racially and climatically, is antipathetic to it. On the contrary, it seems to us that it wastes the faculties of others. We can agree with him, however, when he calls the Bedouins itinerant cattle breeders and nomads, and then continues:
“Such a restless and roving tribe of Bedouins were those Hebrews also, who, about the year 1200 B. C., burst into the land of Canaan, pillaging and murdering, in order to compel the native population to work for them.” (Sombart page 405)*
He also admits that the land was subdued, less by martial valour than by financial subjugation, and that the Hebrews had known how to make the greater part of the territory tributary to themselves, and thus to achieve the same result by a loan relationship. He allows — as thoughtful Anti-Semites have always represented — that:
“Considerable numbers of Hebrews resided in the towns, drawing rent and interest, whilst the enslaved population cultivated the soil as if it were a colony or they were free peasants.”
All the idle talk about the Hebrews having been formerly an agricultural people, can, as Sombart also admits, be dismissed as a myth; he says:
“But the spirit of nomadism must have remained active in all tribes, for if it had been otherwise, if Israel (should be Judah) had been an agricultural people, even merely in an oriental sense, we would never be able to understand the origin and first formation of the Jewish system of religion.”
* These ideas of Sombart, however, are not original, for they were already expressed in 1886, in the “Handbook to the Jewish-Question”, which was formerly known as the “Anti-Semitic Catechism” of Theodor Fritsch.
As a matter of fact, an agricultural people is not wont to invent a religion of usury and deceit, and to choose a God who ordains that the destruction of countries and their populations is a sacred duty. Whatever suggestion there might be of honest agriculture, in the history of the ancient Jewish people, must surely refer to the original and permanent population, the Israelites, and not to the tribe of usurers, called Hebrews, who migrated into the country at a later date.* That the Israelitish history has become intermingled with the Jewish, and that, now and again, in the Old Testament, glimpses of a loftier conception of divinity occur side by side with the hate-breathing, revengeful destroyer of nations, Jahwe (Jehovah), is to be ascribed to the influence of the non-Jewish Israelites.** Sombart seems to have some hazy notion that such is the case, when he says, that the Pentateuch has been composed to suit the mind of a nomadic people, and when he continues:
“The God, who maintained his position victoriously against all other false gods, is a god of the wilderness and of the shepherd. And, in the conscious establishment of the cult of Jahwe, all the ancient traditions of nomadism from Esra and Nehemiah are quite distinctly adopted, without any notice having been taken of the intervening agricultural epoch, which, in the case of the Jews themselves perhaps never really happened.”
He then cites Jul. Wellhausen, who corroborates as follows:
“The priestly records reject every reference to settled life in the land of Canaan; they confine themselves to an exposition of the desert migration, and claim to be, in every sense of the word, desert legislation.”
* In number 269 of the “Hammer” W. Scheuermann, in referring to the book of W. Fishberg, an American Jew, traces the legend of agricultural Jews back to the fact, that in olden times, just as at the present day, converts to Judaism from agricultural peoples, were straightway designated Jews.
** Compare Th. Fritsch: “Der falsche Gott” (The False God) (evidence against Jahwe] Ninth Edition. “Hammer” -Verlag, Leipzig.
Sombart is of the opinion, that if nomadic instincts and inclinations had not prevailed to a preponderating extent amongst the broad masses of the Jewish people, this preponderatingly nomadic religion could never have been permanently imposed upon them. And the destiny of the Jewish nation proves that it has remained a nomad-and-desert-race throughout thousands of years.
This is my opinion as well. But all this again is nothing more than what discerning Anti-Semites, who, so far as ethnological matters are concerned, are far in advance of their times, have been insisting upon for decades. But, in order to avoid all points of contact with these intelligent racial-psychologists, Sombart finds it necessary to speak about “anti-Semitic pamphleteers”, who have drawn upon these facts, in a most odious fashion, in order to obtain material to carry on their “campaign of abuse”. He can know very little about those concerned, when he includes Eugen Dhring and Adolph Wahrmund amongst writers of this class, for both of these, and more especially the latter, have only written in a most refined and scholarly manner concerning the Jewish problem. Sombart regards all anti-Semitic utterances as “silly and odious”; but what he has to offer us, although presented in another form, does not differ essentially from the conclusions of those farsighted men, who had comprehended the racial problem long before certain loquacious sciolists had formed even an idea on the subject.
He is justified, however, in his derision of our incorporated professional wisdom, which proceeds crablike, with logical considerations of the following kind:
“In olden times agriculture was carried on in Palestine; at that time the Jews inhabited Palestine; consequently the Jews have been agriculturists.”
Really, one might just as well argue: at the present day the Jews hold a dominating position in Germany, and since the German Nation, which maintains itself for the greater part by agriculture, has reached a high stage of culture, these Jews must be agriculturists, and the creators of the German culture!
3. Dispersion of the Jews over the earth.
Sombart has only irony for the Diaspora, which provides a most acceptable motive for evoking howls of lamentation from the children of Judah, and a whine of sympathy from many other sentimental people.* He is of opinion that if we wish to be honest with ourselves, we are quite unable to form any correct impression of the exile, whether of the departure or of the return. The Jewish account states:
“And Nebucadnezzar led away all the captains and all the soldiers; ten thousand were led away, and all smiths and metal-workers; no one was left except the common people of the country.”
And when it proceeds to state:
“He led away all the nobility of the land from Jerusalem into captivity at Babel”,
the thought occurs to us, that perhaps only the parasitic upper classes were transported, whilst the honest, agricultural population was allowed to remain undisturbed (2 Kings 24, 14—15; 25, 11 — 12). There is obviously a mistake in Luther’s translation of the latter passage. This reads:
“But the rest of the people, who remained in the town, and who sided with the King of Babel, and that other poverty-stricken section of the populace, were led away by Nebusur Adan, the Governor.
This must manifestly mean: — “not away”; — for, later on it reads:
“and the Governor called for peasants and vine-dressers from amongst the lowest in the land;”
and again, later on, in verse 22, that the king had placed “the remainder of the people” under the order of Gedalja.
To the Governor, Nebusur Adan, Sombart gives the title “Chief of the executioners”. — What is then the object of this objectionable translation? Does it not disclose the ancient Jewish hatred for the enemies of Judah? — But Sombart himself, referring to the exiles, speaks in confirmation of the above:
* Amongst other things it is interesting to know that Alexander Dumas, in his play: “The wife of Claudius”, which glorifies the Jews, makes his hero, Daniel say:
“the Diaspora has not scattered us; on the contrary, it has extended us in all directions. In consequence, we enmesh the whole world in a net so to speak”.
“The real country-people were not to be found amongst them. Thus the wisdom of the Assyrian kings obviously recognised the kind of plague, which was afflicting the fruitful land of Canaan, and endeavoured to purify the new province by deporting the parasitic class — the plutocracy — and leaving the honest peasant and working-class undisturbed in the country.”
Excellent! This is exactly the reading which the Anti-Semites adopted 30 years ago. And we are in agreement with Sombart, that these honest people were the remainder of the original native tribes. Thus our author, (Sombart) has adopted the perception of the despised Anti-Semites, in its entirety, when he characterises the dominion of the Jewish nation in Palestine, and the conditions, which they took along with them to Babylon, in the following words:
“Town-bred masters, who are, at the same time, money-lenders, have their land cultivated by non-Jews, who act as tenant-peasants; that, at any rate, is the typical picture, which we obtain from the Babylonian Talmud.”
Sombart allows it to appear, that the exile of the Hebrews in Babylon, was by no means enforced by compulsion, and that the Hebrews, on the contrary, had gone there voluntarily so that they would be able to practise their usury to greater advantage in the centres of culture.
“For”, he says, “we never learn that those self-banished Jews ever returned to their native soil, after they had acquired a small fortune, like emigrant Swiss, Hungarians or Italians do, at the present day. They remained, on the contrary, in the foreign cities, and maintained merely spiritual-religious relations with their native land. At the most — like genuine nomads — they undertook their annual pilgrimage to Jerusalem at the Feast of the Passover.”
The diffusion of Hebrewdom over all lands, open to commercial intercourse, must already at that time have been considerable, for, referring to Strabo (B. C. 63 to A. D. 24)
Josephus writes, that it was not easy to find a single place on the inhabited earth, which was not occupied and dominated by this race. Philo (about 20 B. C to 40 A. D) also reports that the Jews resided in numerous maritime and inland cities of Europe, Asia and Libya. We do not hear, however, of any brutal act of violence, which caused them to be dragged thither against their will; for this reason, the dispersion of the Jews throughout all lands of culture has been manifestly voluntary.
How closely packed they were, for example, in Rome, during the early period of the Empire, is testified to by various authorities. An embassy from the Jewish King Herod to Augustus, were accompanied by about 8,000 members of their faith, who were domiciled in Rome, and in the year 19 A. D. 4,000 men of military age, who had been released, and were “infected with Egyptian and Jewish superstition,” were sentenced to be deported to Sardinia (Page 430; according to Tacitus, Suetonius and Josephus; the last-named is said to have been a favourite of Vespasian).
Sombart goes on to speak about the very considerable immigration into the German Empire, and shows, by means of figures, how the Hebrews are streaming from the East of the Empire to the West, and especially to Berlin. It certainly sounds more than strange when he speaks of “a people hunted from place to place.” We, for our part, are of the opinion, that if the Jews move from Birnbaum and Meseritz to Berlin, they do so because they can do better business and procure more pleasure in the metropolis, and not because someone has hunted them thither. At the present moment, actually more than half of the Jews in Germany reside in the large cities, feeling more in their element there, because the brisker business-life, as well as the pleasures and noise of a large city, are more in accordance with their taste. It is also apposite, when Sombart, in another passage, compares the great modern cities to the desert, indicating thereby, that the spirit of the nomad and of the desert has a close affinity to that of the modern cities, and that the great modern city acts devastatingly on the national life.
“Desert and Forest,” says he, “are the great contrasts, around which the distinctive natures of countries and of mankind group themselves.”
The forest is actually the real birth-place and home of the German, and it was on this account that Germania or ancient Germany appeared so gloomy and abhorrent to the Romans, who disliked forests.
At the present day, the real German can prosper only in the field, and in the forest; and, as forest and desert are contrasts, so also are the two extreme contrasts of mankind to be found in all that pertains to the German, on one hand, and to the Hebrew, on the other. It is a firmly established fact, that agriculture has, at all times, been the most important institution of the Germanic races, and was never entirely unknown at any epoch of early Indo-Germanic history. By living and working continually in the presence of Nature, as peasantry must of necessity do, the essential and true nature of the German is formed, as indeed is that of all really-constructive, cultural peoples. The estranged attitude towards Nature is the hall-mark of the Semitic race, concerning whose tribal father, Cain, the murderer of the gentle and peaceful husbandman, Abel, it stands written:
“A fugitive and vagabond shalt thou be upon earth! Let thy hand be against everyone, and everyone’s hand against thee!”
Sombart betrays his prepossession for Jewdom, by commending what a 16th century Jewish physician in Spain has excogitated, to account for the “high-spiritual” nature of the Jew. He — the physician — is of opinion that the dry, pure air of the desert, the “clear water”, and the “delicate food of Manna” have produced a marvellous spiritual refinement in the Jew. The ridiculousness of this perception is obvious.
Must not correspondingly all Bedouins also have refined spiritual natures? And how will Sombart explain away the fact, that the Arab, strangely enough, who must certainly be regarded as a true son of the desert, feels himself separated by a yawning chasm from the Jew? There is scarcely any other nation, which fosters such abhorrence for the Jews, as the Arab. Arabian authors have expressed their contempt for the Hebrew in the most biting terms. Already in the year 545 A. D. Abd al Oâdir a-Ilani wrote as follows:
“The Jews, who live scattered throughout the entire world and, in spite of this, hold firmly together, are cunning, misanthropic and dangerous beings, and must be treated just as one treats a poisonous snake, namely, by stamping on its head immediately it approaches; for, if one allows it to raise the head for one moment, it will infallibly bite, and the bite is fatal.”
And when Sombart makes a further attempt to account for the peculiar disposition of the Hebrew, by ascribing it to his former life in the desert, one is entitled to meet him with the question: why then have not the Arabs become Jews? — why have they preserved a disposition, which can be regarded as aristocratic and heroic in comparison with that of the Jew?
Sombart attempts to explain away the malevolent attitude, assumed by the Jews towards the Northern nations, by attributing it to the “wet-cold” manner of the natives of the North.* But this attempt at defence is also doomed to failure, for we see how the Hebrew, in southern countries such as Egypt and Morocco, behaves in exactly the same way and becomes usurer, just as he does in the North. And when it is finally brought forward in excuse of the Jew, that his bad character must be attributed wholly to the circumstance that, for thousands of years, he has been the appointed custodian of the monies of the various nations, we then ask: who appointed him? Did he not choose this rôle himself? — With regard to this particular aspect of the Jewish question, there is a favourite perversion or distortion of facts, which is repeated to satiety, and which is in conflict with all history, especially with the spirit of the Old Testament. It must be included amongst the clumsiest subterfuges, employed by Jewry, but unfortunately belongs also to those, which impose most easily on the idealists amongst our fellow-countrymen. The Jew is always represented as having had his particular rôle forced upon him, against his will, while, in reality, he has chosen this rôle of his own free will, in order to create conditions around him, which are congenial to his nature. When Sombart says:
“They became the lords of money, and by means of money, which they made subject to themselves, lords of the world”,
these words amount to a confession that the Hebrews made themselves masters of money in order to dominate.
* In former times, the attitude of the Germans towards the Jews, as such, was by no means hostile (compare page 25). But the Jews have abused the great patience of the Germans, beyond endurance, and have thereby incurred the lasting hatred of their hosts.
To anyone, who looks more deeply into the matter, the question certainly occurs as to whether the actual existence of money does not introduce such a dangerously deceptive and unnatural factor of power into human life, that the deceitful spirit of the Hebrew is thereby accorded the utmost license to develop its sinister activity. It is quite possible that the nations will not be freed from the Jewish plague, until they can get rid of the ban of money — that kind of money, the value of which rests on a fiction, and which introduces a demoniacal element into culture, or, until — according to Lagarde’s plan — the State takes the entire money-business into its own hands. The Hebrews did not invent money, nor have they dug the glittering gold out of the bowels of the earth; but they may well have devised that misuse of money, which, in the shape of loan-capital, loads the honest, productive nations with fetters of interest to all eternity. For, the strange mystery connected with money, lies not so much in the money itself as in the notion or conception of capital, which is derived from money, and in the further notion or conception, which is inseparably connected with the former, of unnatural, “everlasting interest.” It is unnatural to demand for a loan of money, so long as it is not repaid, a continuous, unchanging rate of interest for hundreds and thousands of years. It is here where the source of the distress of the honest, productive nations lies; here we find the cause of the unlimited growth of Jewish capital and Jewish dominion.* Sombart is therefore right when he says:
“money places in the hands of the Jew the means to exercise power without being strong.”
In very truth, the feeblest and most cowardly nation in the world, by a misuse of the glittering gold, have arrogated to themselves, the demeanour and position of lords and rulers.
* Theodor Fritsch has already proposed in 1892, that it should be made obligatory and legal, to include, in every loan-contract, provision for the reduction of the debt (so-called sinking-fund) so that the debt could be paid off within a conceivable time. — Compare “Land-usury and Stock Exchange”, Leipzig 1892.
It is amusing to read Sombart’s account of how hateful the German-Polish Jews, the so-called Aschkenasim, are to the Sephardim, their western brethren-in-faith from Spain and Portugal (compare page 221). At Bordeaux, in the year 1761, the Portuguese Jews brought about a drastic order, that all foreign Jews should leave Bordeaux within 14 days. They called the eastern Jews “vagabonds”, and took the utmost pains to get rid of them as soon as possible. Now if the more “aristocratic” Jews themselves harboured a detestation for the lower-class Hebrews, the Aschkenasim, how can anyone take it amiss when we feel this aversion in an enhanced degree?
For the Sephardim and Aschkenasim are, to say the least of it, closely united by the ties of religion, morals, and their conjoint view of life; how then, shall these abhorrent beings not be doubly repulsive and hateful to us, to whom their feelings, mode of thinking, and entire nature are completely alien?
The spiritual and spiritual-moral difference between these two sections of Jews cannot well be great; for they are both steeped in the atmosphere of the Talmud. And even Sombart admits, that the habits of those of Jewish blood, however low in the social scale they may be, acquire a remarkable fixity: for instance, inclination for petty deception, obtrusiveness, lack of self-respect, lack of tact etc.
These selections from Sombart’s writings should suffice to convince anyone who is visibly anxious to regard the Hebrew in as favourable a light as possible, but who is, at the same time, unable to close his eyes to a number of serious faults and failings in the Jewish disposition, in themselves of sufficient warranty for regarding the Jews, in the midst of the cultured nations, as a highly undesirable, and entirely alien element, that the aversion and dislike, felt by the moral nations for the Jews, has been thoroughly deserved by the latter.
It is most valuable, when a man, who repudiates the slightest tendency to anti-Semitism, and who collects carefully every word said in praise of the Jews, makes such important admissions.
It is for this reason, that so many passages from Sombart have been quoted and criticised, although the same contain little that is new for anyone, versed in the Jewish question. It is evident that Sombart has learnt much from the Anti-Semites, but he employs the tactic, which, though it may be ingenious, is certainly not noble, of repudiating the source of his instruction. It is to be hoped that our German countrymen will be ready to believe certain facts when stated by a person, who refuses to be regarded as an Anti-Semite, although they would flatly decline to accept these same statements when made by a declared Anti-Semite.
Click to go to >> The Riddle of the Jew’s Success: I – Preface
Click to go to >> The Riddle of the Jew’s Success: V – The Peculiar Morality of Jewdom
Click to go to >> The Riddle of the Jew’s Success: VI – An Explanation with Sombart
Click to go to >> The Riddle of the Jew’s Success: VII – Jewish Successes in Modern Times
Click to go to >> The Riddle of the Jew’s Success: VIII – The Stock-Exchange
Click to go to >> The Riddle of the Jew’s Success: X – Jewish Trade Specialities
Click to go to >> The Riddle of the Jew’s Success: XI – Moral Principles in Trade
Click to go to >> The Riddle of the Jew’s Success: XIII – Business and Religion
Click to go to >> The Riddle of the Jew’s Success: XIV – The Race Problem
Click to go to >> The Riddle of the Jew’s Success: XV – Origin of the Jewish Entity
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