Research Refutes Anti-semitic Charge Late Isaac M. Wise Slandered Christianity

The allegation of German anti-Semites in their organ “Weltkampf” and other papers, that Isaac M. Wise, founder of American Reform Judaism, had published an article in the “Deborah,” a German edition of the “American Israelite,” of which he was the editor, on the eve of Christmas 1880, making fun of Christianity, is refuted as the result of an investigation made at the request of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency by Adolph S. Oko, librarian of the Hebrew Union College. Mr. Oko conducted a thorough search of the files of the “Deborah,” and he declares that no such article ever appeared.

The “Weltkampf” and other anti-Semitic German publications had asserted that shortly before Christmas, 1880, there appeared in the “Deborah” the following: “We are lucky that the crucified one came into the world… since the Jews have to thank the son of Mary for the greatest profits that they make throughout the year…. It is far better anyway to have Christmas than the small-pox, and if the Virgin had only seen fit to bless us with another child during the Summer so that we should have had two Christmas days, I wouldn’t mind donating the Chinese to her.”

On the basis of this apocryphal article, the German anti-Semitic press had of late launched violent attacks on the Jews for “slandering” Christianity. The Jewish press in Germany had long insisted that this article was a fabrication and the researches in the files of “Deborah” by Mr. Oko in Cincinnati appear to bear this out.

The writer of the anti-Semitic article had also said that Dr. Stephen S. Wise had written the “Deborah” article. Dr. Wise, when informed of this, sent the following statement:

“If the statement were made in 1880 in the ‘Deborah’ I was six years old, and while I was a ‘wunderkind’ I did not write articles for the ‘Deborah’ in 1880.”

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