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
Business and Religion.
Sombart speaks mockingly of the “fearful maxims” which Pfefferkorn, Eisenmenger, Rohling, Dr. Justus and others have culled from the religious books of the Jews. It would have been a good thing if he had submitted a sample of these “horrors” to his readers, for, often as these “maxims” have been examined by other conscientious scholars, they — the maxims — have invariably retained the same aspects. And, when the explanatory artifices of the Jews are brought into play, according to the receipt given in chapter V, one is in a position to understand that the Hebrew can interpret entirely different, and far worse meanings out of those doctrines, than the conscientious Christian translator is capable of. The same Sombart, who reported to us some time back, how, owing to the Talmud, the entire Jewish spiritual world had declined into impotence, and how every minute point, every letter, every word had its own important meaning, goes so far as to say light-heartedly a few pages further on:
“naturally in the course of so many centuries these particular doctrines have altered entirely in meaning.”
This is untrue. All that is correct is, that in the Talmud with its commentaries, the most divergent opinions of the Rabbis find utterance, and that the doctrines and expositions contained therein, frequently contradict one another; that, however, is only equivalent to saying that it is open to every faithful Jew to accept as authentic whatever doctrine and exposition may best suit his purpose for the time being. Thus, when one passage reads: “you must not lie to, deceive, or rob the Goi”, and another Rabbi says: “under circumstances you may do so”, more latitude is allowed to the conscience of the Jew who believes in his Talmud. He can act either in this way, or in that, and will still find himself in agreement with the law, will still remain a pious and orthodox Jew.
Out of the mass of inconsistencies and contradictions contained in the Rabbinical writings, arises that cheap form of diversion which the Rabbis have always carried on at the expense of those who do not happen to be Jews. If anyone calls attention to a passage in the Talmud, which states: You may do the Goi an injury, the Rabbi can at once turn up another place where it says: You must not do this. The morality of the Talmud is like a conjurer’s box with a false bottom, from which the moral and the immoral can be produced according to wish. It is therefore, trifling on the part of Sombart when, referring to the serious scientific study which Christian Scholars have made of the Talmud, to speak of the:
“downright silly game, which the Anti-Semites and their Christian or Jewish opponents have been playing ever since the recollection of man”.
The only question is, which side is playing a silly game. Sombart himself is engaged in a game of harassing and mystifying when he says with reference to these matters:
“So far as the religious writings are read by the laity themselves, it seems to me essential that, generally speaking, a settled opinion should be expressed with regard to any particular question. It is a matter of indifference if, at the same time, the contrary opinion is also represented; for the devout man, who has been edified by these writings, is content to accept the view which coincides with his own interests, so that he is thereby in a better position to defend the same.”
According to this logic one might well believe that Sombart had also attended the Talmudic School, for this is a genuine specimen of the Rabbinical expression of opinion: one particular view or manner of understanding suffices if it exactly suits the reader! — capital. But if there happen to be two entirely opposite opinions, the devout man has the opportunity of selecting whichever one pleases him best. And one is bound to admit this is a very empty kind of morality.
“since everything, in this case, is divine revelation, one passage is just as valuable as another.”
Quite correct! here we have the morality with the double bottom — openly defended by a scholar who does not desire to be a Jew!
The Rabbinical writings, which most certainly have been written by the most intellectual amongst the Jewish people, actually prove that, amongst the Jews, the feeling for true morality, for the ethical consciousness, is entirely wanting.
There is no good and evil for them; everything is gauged by momentary advantage. A naive ponderer, like Friedrich Nietzsche, saw with admiration in all this, a “higher form of morality,” and felt tempted to write his “Jenseits von Gut und B-se” (“The other side of Good and Evil”). He had no conception how his action smoothed and prepared the way for unmoral Jewdom. There is no “other side” to good and evil for constructive and productive people, for nations of real culture; these require stern standards and accurate balances to determine what is constructive and what is destructive, and to show what preserves and what demolishes. It is only the Hebrew, who does not construct anything, who can allow himself the luxury of an “other side to Good and Evil.”
Sombart is more honest when he confesses:
“I find in the Jewish Religion the same leading ideas as those which characterize capitalism: I see that the former is filled with the same spirit as the latter.”
In reality, the conscienceless predatory spirit, which distinguishes modern Capitalism in its worst form — Mammonism — fulfils also the Talmudic Rabbinical doctrine. One must be grateful to Sombart for this admission. He proceeds to say — and this statement must also be approved on account of its honesty — that this religion:
“has not arisen from an irresistible impulse, nor from the deep fervour of the heart of those, whose souls have been mutilated, nor from the religious ecstasy of adoring spirits, but from a premeditated plan like a carefully-considered proposition, resembling a diplomatic problem.”
He designates it as a work of the understanding, calculated to break up and enslave the whole natural world. How strangely does this opinion correspond with the perception of the derided Anti-Semites, who have been saying the same for decades!
Undoubtedly the Jewish doctrine arises from the understanding, warped with vanity, which has lost all touch with the fundamental laws of natural growth or development, and would like to convert life, devoid now of soul and reason, into a sum of arithmetic. The word, Rationalism, which one would like to apply to this particular frame of mind and this mode of regarding life, is not appropriate here. Ratio always means reason, i.e., thought that is in harmony with natural laws; reason is not merely understanding, but is, at all events, understanding united to instinct or feeling, being endowed with a keen sensibility as to the essential nature of things.
Mere understanding is simply arithmetic, without instinct, without feeling. And the Jewish mode of thinking must be placed in this category. If, according to the popular belief, the devil is to be regarded as stupid, then this points out very pertinently the purely intellectual nature of the calculation and scheming which arise out of Evil. For this calculation, devoid of instinct, invariably ends by deceiving itself for the simple reason that no allowance having been made for Nature, the calculation rests on a false basis. When Sombart says:
“Rationalism is the principal trait of Judaism just as it is of Capitalism,”
he means the mere mechanism of the understanding — soulless calculation. And when he goes on to say:
“the Jewish religion does not recognise anything of a mystic nature,”
he might have said still more correctly that it did not recognise idealism, nor true morality, nor anything ethical. When he further maintains that the ancient religions were always ready to attribute any deed, which aroused a sense of shame or remorse, to the Divinity, it is the Jewish doctrine alone that entirely justifies the accusation.
Already, in the time referred to by the Old Testament, all kinds of disgraceful deeds, perpetrated by the people of Judah against other nations, were undertaken, always ostensibly at the bidding of their God Jahwe or Jehovah; and the same diversion is continued in the Talmud. Jahwe not only approves of all manner of evil things, but he himself, as personification of the Jewish entity, tells lies and deceives.
The philosopher, Ludwig Feuerbach, has already designated the so-called Jewish religion as nothing more than a business contract between Judah and its God. Nothing is to be found in these laws and doctrines, which does not hint at some material benefit for the children of Israel. Jahwe demands obedience from his people, and promises them in return: riches and long life.
“Utilitarianism profit — is the predominant principle of Jewdom” says Feuerbach. “The Jews have retained their peculiarity up to the present day: their deity is the most practical principle in the world: egoism, and egoism in the form of religion.” Ernest Renan says the same thing (Hist. des lang. sém.).
Sombart is no different with reference to Jewish doctrine:
“There is no kind of compact or partnership between God and man, which is not consummated in the form that man performs something that is agreeable to God, and is rewarded by God correspondingly.”
But even Jahwe does not do anything for his chosen people except for cash down. He is no God of the self-sacrificing love, but is an out-and-out business man like the Jew himself; and thus, throughout the whole Jewish religion, there is no higher moral guiding star. There is nothing to raise man above himself, no unselfish sacrifice, no inspiration for ideals. Always only:
“A constant weighing-up and comparison of the advantage or disadvantage, which any action or omission to act may entail, a most complicated kind of book-keeping in order to keep the debit side of each individual’s account in order.”
Such is Jewish piety according to Sombart. And, just as according to the Jewish mode of thinking, everything resolves itself into action and reaction, into payment and acquisition, so, in the so-called Jewish religion, is the acquisition of money regarded as the supreme and sole object of life. The Jew introduces the huckster’s spirit even into his divine services, and Sombart reports that these ceremonies have, in many cases, developed into nothing less than formal auctions. Thus, for example, the official posts of the Thora in the Synagogue are sold by auction to the highest bidders (Sombart page 249).
He also confirms that the Rabbis were, for the most part, prominent business people, (compare also page 73) and therefore we are bound to acquiesce when he hints that the Jewish religious system has greatly assisted the capitalistic career of Jewdom. In other words, the so-called Jewish religion is nothing else than the wrapping-up of sharp business practices in a religious garment.
A nation certainly has nothing to be proud of in having invented and retained in favour, even up to the present day, a code of morals which in truth is devoid of all morality. But why should not the Hebrew cling tenaciously to this traditional doctrine; for, thanks to its help, success is on his side! Why should he not cherish his Jahwe, who has been such an excellent adviser to him in all business matters? It is a fatal weakness of the other nations that, up till now, they have not been able to perceive what their real relations to the Jews are, and have not been able to discover the ways and means by which the Jews enrich themselves. So the Jew still retains the fantasy that not only is his intelligence of a higher quality than that of other men, but that his religion is also superior to theirs. He will only become sober-minded when the other nations at last settle accounts with him, and when he discovers that the accountant, Jahwe, unmasked and hurled from his throne, is no longer in a position to help him.
Indeed, there cannot be any more striking contrast than that presented by the intense, unearthly idealism of Christ, which disregards the material world, and the rabbinical spirit which is directed entirely towards material advantage and earthly enjoyment. Sombart says:
“In this respect the Jews stand in the most striking contrast to the Christians, whose religion has endeavoured to its utmost to embitter all joy in this world. Just as often as riches are praised in the Old Testament, are they cursed, and poverty extolled, in the New Testament.”
It is therefore illuminating, why the devout Christian and the pious Jew play such very unequal parts in the acquisitive life.
The Christian seeks to acquire in order to gain his living; the Jew is desirous of heaping up riches in order to control and to enjoy. And, at this juncture, the question arises: Has not the unworldly religion of the Christians perhaps been the unconscious agent to fasten the golden fetters of Jewdom on the Aryan nations? — But while the views taken of life, and the moral obligations of the Aryan nations have, in the course of time, altered and become freer and more humane, the same cannot be said of Jewdom. Its law remains rigid and unchangeable up to the present day: in the course of 3,000 years Jewdom cannot record any moral advance. What stands written, stands written, and is just as valid today as on the first day, when, according to the legend, it was dictated directly by Jahwe to Moses on the summit of Mount Sinai. Jewish law is built up on a faith of sheer and literal acceptation, with exclusion of all common sense and of all unfettered judgement. It reduces its adherents to dumb slaves. Jewdom is, in reality, the religion of servility.
Whenever the fable is repeated that the Jews were our instructors in moral and religious matters, and presented us, as it were, with a religion, the repetition discloses either complete ignorance of the subject, or a deliberate perversion of facts.
The people of Judah were never moral and pious in our sense of these words; they do not possess any faculty of perception in this respect. And whoever regards the blind subservience of the Hebrew to literalness as the highest degree of piety, is incapable of recognising the spiritual and moral nature of the genuine man. The really religious man is he, who untiringly searches for the deepest and most intimate associations between natural and moral occurrences, who is constantly extending his knowledge, who surveys and judges of his own actions according to their effect, and who does not cling blindly and incapable of judgement to mere literal forms. Lagarde says appositely:
“A religion only lives as long as it is cultivated.”
In reality it is only the constant striving for moral perfection and the constant seeking for and deepening of moral insight, which form the essence of true religiousness. Where these are wanting, there is no religion; and they are wanting in Jewdom. The slave to literalness, who conforms to the timeworn doctrine without passing any criticism, and who, at the best, endeavours to thread a way by means of cowardly subtlety between the various precepts of the same, is wanting in nothing so much as in religious consciousness. And thus, from this standpoint, the Jewish doctrine cannot lay any claim to the name of religion.
Sombart says with respect to the “Thora” of Israel:
“The commands and prohibitions of God contained therein must be observed most strictly by the pious man; whether great or small; whether they appear sensible or senseless to him; they are to be fulfilled in the strictest sense of the word, just as they stand, for the simple reason that they are the command of God.”
Thus, common sense and individual reflection, individual moral feeling and conscience are excluded — of necessity — in order to equip Jewdom for the particular task, which has been assigned to it as its world mission: viz. to ruin the other nations morally and physically, and to seize their possessions.
The Jewish nation is the soulless tool of an abstract idea, which has been exalted even to Divinity, and whose ultimate aim is the plundering and annihilation of honest mankind. The driving force in this struggle is the hatred of mankind, a disposition hostile to life, the evil spirit.
From a superficial point of view, that is to say the point of view of all those to whom the essence of true religion is unknown, the Jewish doctrine may certainly appear as a model religion because it concerns itself with the lowest functions of life (for instance, with one’s behaviour in the w.c.), and represents all such precepts as direct commands from God.
Moreover, the Jewish language possesses a peculiar pathos, a fact to which Goethe has already called attention, and readily avails itself of extravagant expressions. But we must not be led astray by the high-sounding words. It is frequently the case in ordinary life that the person, who has the richest vocabulary and the most touching phrases at his disposal, has a cold heart, whilst another, whose soul is almost choked with overpowering emotion, is unable to utter a word.
Both the written and the spoken language of the Jews use occasionally extravagant expressions for what is actually base, worldly, and even immoral, and by this means the semblance of religiousness is aroused, where, in reality, nothing of that nature exists. On the other side, blind obedience raises itself, which slavishly follows the letter of the law, which constitutes the might of the business managers of this “religion,” namely the Rabbis. And thus it is intelligible if the apparent piety of the Jews appears exemplary to priests, who are greedy of power.
In reality, the Hebrews have borrowed many devout words from the religions of older and more deeply-feeling nations, in order to act as a cloak to their selfish and worldly aspirations. When a comparatively honest Hebrew, like Dr. Jacob Fromer, maintains that in Jewdom everything is ethical,* all that he means to say is: everything therein is regarded from a practical point of view: for the conception of morality is foreign to this man also. I should feel inclined to believe that the Hebrew meant Art when he said Ethics, so as to give to all bargains and transactions, even of the lowest description, a decent appearance, and to invest the same with a mantle of piety, although the pretence could not be extended beyond representing that the transaction in question lay within the province of God. For instance, a Hebrew, who was about to rob a man, actually went so far as to clothe his intention in the following words:
“My Lord God, thou hast given thy servant power over the goods of the stranger, and see, I hasten to execute thy divine Will.” —
In this manner the Hebrew has introduced an element of untruthfulness and hypocrisy into the life of mankind, that is devoid of all naturalness and morality, and which is intended to detach the rest of humanity from any dependence on Nature and common sense. And this hostile principle works with amazing results, and is, at this moment, steadily and irresistibly dragging mankind down that stairway of degeneration prepared for it by the Jew.
* See Dr. Jacob Fromer: “Das Wesen des Judentums” (The Essence of Jewdom). The author has been fiercely attacked by many of his co-religionists on account of his frank and frequent criticisms.
One may say: Jewdom is an attempt to tear the existence of mankind apart from Nature, and to mould it into a kind of calculating and exact comprehension. This is what is understood by the much-praised “Intellectuality” of Hebrewdom. To say no more about it, a life without dependence upon Nature cannot continue for any length of time; and just as the Hebrew with his disintegrating intellect has never succeeded in maintaining a state of his own, has never succeeded in creating an independent, self-contained, and self-supporting society and culture, so does he convey the spirit of disintegration into the midst of those nations, who believe in culture. From whatever point he is regarded, the Hebrew displays the features of the parasite. He does not derive his means of existence directly from Nature — from the soil — but only by means of an intermediary system of living, the essential members of which he sucks dry. But it is the custom of the parasite, if not checked, to entirely consume the juices and energy of its host, and then, if it is unable to migrate to a fresh source of sustenance, it perishes together with the host.
Accordingly there is little that can be regarded as rational in the nature of the parasite, but there is, on the contrary, a blind and greedy stupidity, which finally destroys the foundation of the parasite’s own existence. The Jews, therefore, are not, as Sombart is of opinion, “rationalists,” but short-sighted beings, wanting in sensibility, and nothing better than spongers.
His aversion to everything natural does not allow the Hebrew to feel any unfeigned pleasure in the simple expressions of Nature. A lovely flower, the song of a bird, are meaningless to him; he is scarcely aware of them.* Human emotions, such as affection, and sympathy with other beings, which would impede his cold and calculated pursuit of what is advantageous, appear to him mere folly. The Talmudic doctrine has no room for such. Rabbinism is a stern schooling for the Jewish soul, which finds its counterpart, perhaps, only in the arts, principles and practices of the Jesuits.
* Heinrich Heine’s classification of plants, as those which one eats, and those which one cannot eat, is an excellent instance of the Jewish perception of nature.
Everything is calculated and adapted with the object of making the pupil the hard tool of another’s will. A good heart and a gentle disposition must not be tolerated, because these would prejudice the object and purpose of trade. Sombart calls the Jewish doctrine a:
“Mechanism of means to carry out a purpose.”
Certainly a great deal of what is contained in the Rabbinical Writings sounds very fine and virtuous; especially the unceasing zeal manifested towards unchastity, which even goes so far as to spurn womankind and all natural pleasure derived from the senses:
“Let not thine eyes lust after women, turn a deaf ear to their voice, avert thy gaze from their form. Thou shalt not even look upon the garment of a woman with approval!”
And so it continues in the same strain; but how does all this agree with what is actually practised? From time immemorial up to the present day the Hebrews are known to us as the most shameless pursuers of women. And anyone who undertook to write a history of Jewish unchastity, would have to extend it into countless volumes.
If the Rabbis of the Talmud are so zealous in warning their people against unchastity, the principal cause for this would appear to be fear regarding their own peculiar weakness. Even Sombart admits that, in the case of the Jews, we have to deal with a people strongly disposed towards sexual excesses, whom Tacitus has already described as a “projectissima ad libidinem gens.” Just as the Hebrew is unnatural in everything else, so is he unnatural in this respect; his sexual inclinations and desires exceed all usual bounds and are quite without restraint.
The separation or shutting-off of the Jews.
We will now return to the affinity between the Jewish religion and Capitalism. Sombart also allows that the object of the Jewish doctrine is: to conduct a life, contrary to Nature or alongside nature, in order to develop an economic system, which likewise builds itself up alongside nature and in defiance of it. And, he is of the opinion that the religion of the Jews must be the means of accomplishing this.
“In order that Capitalism could develop, it was first of all necessary that all the bones in the body of the industrious and forceful, but neutral man should be broken, that a specific psychology or mechanism of the soul, equipped solely from the intellect, should be substituted in the place of the original and natural life, and that a subversion, as it were, of all the values of life should be introduced. The ‘homo capitalisticus’ is the artificial and artful creation, which finally emerges from this subversion.”
One is now entitled to ask: what was then the motive for such an extraordinary object? What natural man could entertain the desire to renounce and subvert all his natural inclinations?
Here it is not the case as Sombart thinks, and is generally believed, of the Hebrew being the product of a cunningly thought-out doctrine of life, but rather as follows: the strange doctrine arises from, or is the product of the Hebrew himself, and his attitude towards honourable society. The conjecture holds good that Jewdom originated amongst the expelled elements of the ancient, civilised, oriental nations,* and one must bear in mind the Tschandala of the Indians, composed of the degenerates and criminals excluded from the honourable castes, in order to find an enlightening explanation of the peculiarity of Hebrew mentality. Those who had been expelled, despised by all the other castes, revenged themselves by deriding and reversing all moral conceptions. What was sacred to others, they made a mockery of; they praised, on the contrary, those attributes and dispositions which other people despised.
“Amongst these people everything is profane, which is sacred in our eyes; and, on the other hand, what appears abominable to us is permissible to them”,
thus characterises Tacitus the Jews. In reality the very essence of Jewishness is a subversion of all the views of moral humanity.
Whether it happens unconsciously or is undertaken deliberately, it still remains a fact that the Hebrews, in their nomenclature, reverse the names of many things; thus, for example, those who have been expelled, they call “the chosen”.
* See Fritsch: “Handbuch der Judenfrage” (Handbook of the Jewish Question.) 27th Edition page 236, and “Origin and Essence of Jewdom”, “Jahwe or Jehovah Book”, second edition pages 176—193.
Out of this compulsory segregation — the Tschandala were not allowed to dwell amongst the honourable castes — they established, in the course of time, a voluntary separation; and finally raised their segregation to the status of law, and in their turn — like the gipsies and the wandering people of the Middle Ages — looked down with contempt upon all who stood outside their circle, that is to say, upon all honest people.
The seclusion of the Jews from the rest of humanity, to which it is customary to refer as if it were the result of some cruel despotism, has always been voluntary; they were not driven into the Ghetto, but united of their own free will to form it, in order to practise their own peculiar customs without interruption, and also because their law forbids contact with the rest of mankind. It was therefore an advance on the part of the public authorities, when they allowed the Hebrews to erect separate quarters for the Jews. Many Jewish historians admit this frankly, and also the proved fact that it is precisely the Ghetto life, which is mainly responsible for preserving the Jewish national existence. Sombart says:
“The Jews themselves created the Ghetto, which originally, from the non-Jewish point of view, was to be regarded as a concession or privilege, and not the consequence of a hostile attitude. They wished to live apart because they regarded themselves as superior to the common people surrounding them; because they felt themselves the chosen — the priestly people Their disposition, which is hostile to every foreign element, their tendency towards seclusion, extend far back into the ages.”
Already, at a very remote period, they were forbidden to contract mixed marriages with other nations; and the Old Testament is full of outbursts of contempt for the surrounding nations — Edom and the Canaanites. The reproach, so often raised by people prone to sentimentality, that the Jews have become what they are, in consequence of the scorn and exclusion which they have experienced from the other nations, is thus quite beside the mark. It was far more a case of the Jews excluding themselves from other nations; they regarded, themselves as a peculiarity, high above all other peoples upon whom they looked down disdainfully.
“The Jews desired and were obliged to live thus in accordance with their destiny, which was their religion,” is the opinion of Sombart.
The economic nations have often approached the Jews with goodwill and trust: they — the Jews — enjoyed, during the Middle Ages, not only all rights, but often actual privileges, particularly under the government of the crosier (compare page 20 and following). A bishop, named Hausmann, built a well-fortified town, especially for the Jews, at Speyer in the 11th century, from which they used to undertake veritable pillaging excursions into the surrounding country, without anyone being able to intercept them. They were not obliged to restore any stolen property, which might be found amongst them, or could, at any rate, charge any price which they liked to set upon the same.
“The important consequence of this segregation and concentration of the Jewish population, which were effected by religion, as far as the economic life was concerned, was just that foreignness of which we have already recognised the importance: namely that all traffic of the Jews, as soon as they emerged from the Ghetto, was a traffic with foreigners.”
In such a strain writes Sombart. Foreigners or strangers, are, as we have learned from our examination of the Talmudic writings (Section V), outlaws, beasts, fit material for exploitation. In the case of such strangers, usury was not only allowed, but ordered to take precedence of every thing else, and if there are perhaps passages in the Talmudic writings, which seem to teach the contrary, these are only variegations customary in Rabbinical Jewdom, which are intended to obscure the real sense. Even Sombart concedes this much:
“I am inclined to think that a great part of these discussions serve the exclusive purpose of obscuring, by all kinds of sophistry, the extraordinarily clearly defined situation, which has been created by the Thora.”
Thus, according to the Jewish doctrine, you may practise usury at the expense of the foreigner (5 Moses 23, 20); and plainly stated, the larger the amount of undeserved wealth, which the Hebrew amasses during his life, the greater the complacency with which he looks back on that past life; for, by so doing, he has rendered his God supreme service — that God, Jahwe, who so ardently desires the spoliation and extirpation of all the other nations of the world.
“Whilst the pious Christian”, continues Sombart, “who has practised usury, is seized with agonies of remorse on his death-bed, and is ready, before the end comes, to divest himself of all his property because he, at this moment, regards it as unjustly acquired, and it weighs upon his soul; the pious Jew, on the contrary, in the evening of his life, surveys with gratification the well-filled trunks and chests, crammed with Zechins, which he has succeeded, throughout his long life, in squeezing out of the wretched Christians. This is a spectacle upon which his pious heart can regale itself with the utmost satisfaction, for every groschen which lies there is, as it were, an offering laid before his God.” (Sombart page 287).
Sombart is of the opinion that only ignorance or malice could deny that the position of the foreigner, as far as Jewish justice is concerned, is an exceptional position, and that the obligations and responsibilities of the Jew refer always and only to the “neighbour” i.e., to the Jewish racial companion.
And he adds:
“But the fundamental idea, that you should have less consideration for the stranger than for the racial companion, has not altered from the time of the Thora until the present day.”
This is a most important admission, and can always be brought forward as a challenge to those people, who are of the opinion that the Jewish doctrine is, at the present day, no longer efficacious, and that the Talmud contains views, which have been overcome. By these very words, Sombart at the same time, contradicts his opinion expressed above, that the Talmud doctrine has altered in the course of the centuries.
“This completely vague perception: that you are not committing any sin, and that it is permissible in the course of business with a stranger to tell him that odd is even, became firmly established wherever that formal Rabbinism developed out of a study of the Talmud, which was the case in many districts of Eastern Europe. (Sombart page 289).”
Even the Jewish historian, Graetz, who otherwise certainly cannot be regarded as impartial, confesses that:
“Distortion and perversion, the trickiness of the lawyer, affectation of wit and precipitate rejection of whatever might not be included in his range of vision, are the essential features of the Polish Jew. Honesty, and a sound mode of thinking have deserted him, as well as simplicity, and a desire for and an appreciation of truth.”
We certainly are of opinion that, so far as moral negligence in the case of the Jew is concerned, it is not a question of the loss and disappearance of moral qualities, but is, on the contrary, to be attributed to a primitive and hereditary defect; for we discover this trait, not merely since the origin of the Talmud, but already even in The Old Testament. One need only call attention to the treacherous behaviour of the sons of Jacob, who persuaded the honest Hevites to undergo circumcision, and then attacked and slew them while suffering from the effects of the operation. (1. Moses 34).
It is worthy of note how the Rabbis in their Talmudic writings concern themselves in a most intimate manner with all kinds of business practices; and again, it is only in accordance with the principles of the Talmud, that warnings should be issued ostensibly against immoral business practices, whilst later on, the prohibitions are withdrawn and the selfsame practices are declared permissible. Rabbi Jehuda speaks thus in one and the same breath:
“The grocer shall not present the children with cakes and nuts, for, by so doing he attracts them to his shop — the Sages, however, allow it. Further, one must not cut the price — the Sages, however, are of the opinion: the precept is worthy of remembrance (i.e., it would be a praiseworthy habit). Abba Saul has decided that the split beans are not to be picked out — the Sages, on the contrary, allow it.”
Here we find the contradictory and discordant morality of the Talmud expressed in the sleekest manner — apparently without consciousness that it is a doctrine of nonsense and immorality. That is to say: everything is forbidden and everything is allowed; see which suits you best. However, the compilers of the Shulchan aruch, without any attempt at concealment, have made this question perfectly clear; they say in Chochen hammischpat 228,18:
“The shopkeeper is permitted to make presents of nuts and suchlike to the children who buy from him, in order to attract them to him; he is also in the position to sell more cheaply than the market-price, and the people on the market are unable to raise any objection.”
Unrestricted license in underbidding and competition form the very life-breath of the Jewish existence, everything is permitted, which makes business easy; everything is allowed, which puts the Jew in a position to over-reach and fleece others. For this reason, Sombart says at the conclusion of this chapter:
“God (i.e., Jahwe — English Jehovah) desires free-trade, God desires freedom of industry! What a motive to make the same effective in the economic life.”
The references of Sombart to the accordance of English Puritanism with Judaism are interesting, and Heine, in his time, made fun of this association by calling the Puritans “pork eating Jews”. A fact, which Sombart lays stress upon, is that the Jews in England, especially among the Puritans, enjoyed during the 17th century a respect and reverence, which are only to be described as fanatical, and many writers of the period vied with one another to prove that the English were direct descendants of the Jews. At all events, certain pietistic circles in England were at great pains to copy the Jews in their mode of living, nomenclature and other externals. This symbolism was carried so far, that the Christian clergy and even the Christian laity studied the Rabbinical literature for preference.
Sombart refers to a “droll little book”, which appeared in 1608, under the title of the “Calvinistic Mirror of the Jews”, and which, amongst other things, treated of the relations subsisting between Puritanism (Calvinism) and Judaism. The following quotation out of this book is worthy of note:
“the Jews penetrate into every country to cheat the inhabitants.”
In the Netherland and German pietistic circles also, (Wupperthal, Swabia etc.) one encounters reminders of the English Puritanism in the form of nomenclature, intense veneration of the Sabbath, and so forth. These form, without doubt, the strongest props of that fateful validity which the Old Testament possesses in the German Protestant Church. There are even Protestant clergy, who are ready to represent the Jews as the pattern of religiousness, and — perhaps unconsciously — to work more for the cause of Jewdom than for that of Christianity.
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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