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New Book on Spinoza Published in Germany

(Jewish Telegraphic Agency)

A new book on Spinoza by Professor Alfred Klaar was issued by the publishing house, Ulstein, here.

A special chapter in the book is devoted to the origin and environment of Baruch Spinoza. The author states that three influences were visible in the forming of Spinoza’s mind: the Jewish, the Spanish and the Dutch. Spinoza’s parents belonged to the Marrano type, who practiced Judaism secretly. As a result of the persecutions against the Marranos during the Inquisition they moved to Amsterdam, commonly known to Spanish Jews of that time as the to Spanish Jews of that time as the New Jerusalem. The family was known in Spain and Holland as Espinoza or d’Espinoza. The methods adopted against the Marranos by the Catholic inquisition had been impressed in the minds of the Amsterdam Jewish community which consisted mainly of former Marranos. Unconsciously, the Amsterdam Jews applied the same methods to the dissenters as were applied against them by the Catholic Inquisition.

It Spinoza suffered much because of the methods of the Amsterdam Jews and because of his expulsion from the Amsterdam community, he had, the author says, much to be thankful for in this environment. It was in this environment that he obtained the beginnings of his knowledge. The knowledge which Spinoza obtained while still a child enabled him to reach, in his later years, the high degree of development in the field of philosophy which other learned men of his epoch did not achieve. The culture which was instilled in Spinoza in his young years had the strongest influence on his maturing mind, the author says.

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