Speaking My Mind

When an Anglo-Jewish clergyman writes to the press to express disgust that Englishmen still speak with the slightest admiration of modern Germany, he is asking for trouble. When German athletes come over to England to compete in an athletic festival and prove themselves amazingly good sportsmen, even if they travel under the aegis of Hitlerist Germany, Jewish boycoll-calls will only irritate the English people to whom they are addressed.

And when two young German students land in England after completing a particularly daring canoeing feat, English people are not going to stop to think that their passports were made out by a Hitlerist official before they applaud. In the midst of the War British soldiers did not hesitate to praise the intrepid deeds of their foemen. The whole British nation watched with admiration the exploits of the Emden, and British airmen did not disguise their admiration of Richthofen. Even the Jewish boycott organizations have disowned the hooligans who tried to break up a London theatre performance because Werner Krauss appeared in it. And the Manchester Guardian immediately showed up the hypocrisy of the cry that was raised there for British actors. Why didn’t the boycotters discover their “Buy British” slogans before Hitlerism came?

What if British people tell these unwanted “Buy British” propagandists that the breakdown of Anglo-German trade and of Anglo-German relations generally is the last thing in the world they desire, and that it would be a calamity for Britain, if these boycott mongers had had their way. The wise words that Sir Herbert Samuel addressed to the British Government in the House of Commons pointing out the folly of the trade embargo against Russia at the time of the British engineers’ trial apply with even greater force to Germany.

I have an uncomfortable suspicion, too, that a good deal of the boycott propaganda, the picketing, the attempt to break up theatre performances and the like is prompted less by the desire to help German Jews, than by the latent lust for indulging in ranting and hooliganism that exists among a certain type of Jew, the kind of Jew who deliberately goes where he knows he will find Black shirts selling their paper in order to pick a quarrel and start a fight. The kind of Jew who got into trouble with the police the other day in Whitechapel for staging a noisy and offensive anti-Hitler demonstration in the street and shouting “Up with the Soviet!” The kind of Jew who collects at street corners for the “victims of Hitlerism,” in boxes marked “Communist Party.” The kind of Jew who goes to Jewish anti-Hitlerist meetings and delivers a purely Communist propaganda speech and then reports in the Communist paper that the Chairman of the meeting squirmed when he saw how he had been outmanoeuvered. The kind of Jew (or ex-Jew) who in Soviet Russia spoliated the synagogues at the time the church and synagogue treasure were being seized in so unnecessary rude and insulting a manner that Maxim Gorki felt moved to protest and suggest that non-Jewish Communists should be put on the work, because they would behave more decently. And let us not forget the Communists in Germany (Jewish-born as much as the rest) were no more friends of ours than are the Hitlerists. The Communist Party of Germany, militant atheist, polled six million votes and voted with the Hitlerists for the confiscation of Jewish property. It ran the League of Proletarian Freethinkers, the German branch of the Atheist International with headquarters in Moscow. The German League of Freethinkers, officially part of the German Social Democratic Party, had an active membership of 700,000 with 200,000 children attending its atheist schools. I will not make any pact with the devil even if the only alternative is to drown in the deep sea.

Because these people, too, fight Hitler for their own ends, must we join with them? They are not our friends. And the born-Jews among them least of all. I shall not dispute a word of what the Hitlerists and other anti-Semites have to say about them, and about Jewish criminals, Jewish fire-raisers, fraudulent bankrupts, shark-solicitors and the like.

I shall only recall Burke’s dictum that you cannot draw an indictment against a whole people. I shall not defend any skunk simply because he happens to be a Jew. I shall fight him even more than Hitler does. Moses did not hesitate to open the ground under Korah. This Jew-doctrine, this concern with Jews solely because they are Jews is a pernicious doctrine, as pernicious as Hitlerism, an inverted Hitlerism.

The world does not love us Jews so much that it is going to allow itself to be stampeded into anti-Germanism for our sake. It will not do so unless it has its own good reasons for such a course. Above all now, with world trade in a hopeless muddle. Will our hot-heads take the responsibility of a world-war upon themselves for the sake of German Jewry, who will as one man rush to fight in the German army, if they are only allowed to?

These professions that we are not fighting the German people, only their present rulers who misrule them is too reminiscent of wartime mentality. It was Mr. Lloyd George who at the height of the War declared solemnly: “We are not fighting the German people. The German people are under the heel of the Prussian military caste. It will be a day of rejoicing for the German peasant and artisan and trader when the military caste is broken.” This love of the German people over the head of their rulers, like the Zionist love of the poor Arabs oppressed by the rich Arab Effendis does not somehow convince me. The Communists are stirring up all sorts of mischief by that same kind of appeal to the down-trodden proletariat of all countries against their capitalist exploiters.

I remember what an arch-fiend the Kaiser was made out to be when it was necessary to rouse our fighting-blood. The bogey has now become a dear benign old gentleman felling trees at Doorn. And fire-eating Mussolini has turned into the cooing dove of Europe. I am afraid that Hitler may soon be found to be the architect of the new Peace of Europe, if the Powers discover that it suits their book. For the present, France and Poland and the rest will thank us for playing their anti-German game (the Jewish boycott movement against Germany in Poland is admittedly currying favor with the Polish Government), but we shall get little in return from them.

The German events must not blind us to the fact that Russian Jewry and Polish Jewry are having things no better than German Jewry. On the very eve of the Hitlerist assumption of power in Germany, the Jewish Board of Deputies in England was going to send a Commission of Inquiry to Poland, and Jewish assemblies everywhere resounded with denunciations of the anti-Jewish discrimination in Poland that is literally resulting in the starvation of the great masses of Polish Jewry. That policy has not been stopped. The epidemic of suicides because of economic distress in Polish Jewry has not slackened. The Jewish press in Poland still prints harrowing details. And it is a fact that there are Polish Jews who fled from Germany to Poland and have returned to Germany, because things in Poland are worse, and they prefer to be in Germany even under Hitler, rather than in Poland.

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