The notorious “Protocols of the Elders of Zion” forgery is a forgery. A Swiss court has formally handed down a verdict to that effect. It is to be commended for its justice and wisdom in attesting the obvious. Scenting the rose and gilding the lily are logical employments compared to exposing these Protocol frauds which stand self-exposed and have been repeatedly exposed anew. Yet the judicial job was well worth doing, if only to make the Nazis squirm a little.
But we must face the truth that this latest annihilation of the Protocols does not end them. Their veracity or falsehood never had much significance anyhow. They symbolize one of the major anti-Semitic premises. A symbol does not have to be real to be effective. Minds which could accept such fantastic fictions in the first place are too far gone in putrefaction to be cured by mere court verdicts and logical demonstrations.
An opinion based on proof or reasoning may easily be dislodged. We need only show clearly that the proofs and the reasoning are phony. But beliefs that rest only upon prejudice and hatreds are indestructible, as indestructible as the soil in which they flourish.
Despite Berne, the Protocols are sure to be with us. They will grow or diminish in stature in proportion to the blind race hatreds which conjured them into being.
And now Julius Streicher exhorts all good and true Nazis to fore-swear medicine and the benefits there of as the devils’ brew of Jewish minds and to depend instead on “natural cures.” Jewish physicians the world over will read the news in embarrassed pride. They have been well aware of the great Jewish contributions to medical progress, but never did they claim exclusive credit for all medical achievement. In his over-zealous compliment to the Jews Herr Streicher does a grave injustice to the galaxy of non-Jewish doctors, from Hippocrates down, who helped the process along. They must forgive the Nazi prophetâ€”it is not that he loves them less but that he loves Jews more.
A contributor to the American Medical Journal last year cited a long list of medical preparations, diagnostic methods, and the like which are the products of Jewish minds and which consistent Nazis ought to boycott. In effect it would deprive them of the benefits of a few centuries of medical advancement and leave them a helpless prey to a variety of curable diseases.
If the Streichers carry their attitude to its appropriate conclusion they will likewise have to boycott innumerable engineering processes, machines, artistic techniques, etc. which sprang directly or indirectly from Jewish minds.
There is no telling where this type of logic will lead the Nazis. Already they are turning against Christianity because of its Jewish origins. In the end they will have to give up time and spaceâ€”since Prof. Einstein has had so much to do with regulating those thingsâ€”and when they do there will be few to mourn. Meanwhile, they are more than welcome to all the diseases which Jewish doctors have helped eradicate.
A curious sidelight on the extreme Left psychology. Communists easily forgive those who write for capitalist publications. Some of their most decorative supporters among the intelligentsia write regularly for out-and-out bourgeois publications and do not thereby lose political caste in their eyes. I even know one who works for Hearst, and, his heart being in the right place, he is not utterly outcast.
But no such tenderness is shown to anyone who writes for Socialist or the more conservative labor publications. Contributing to the New York Times or The New Republic or other bourgeois organs is not nearly as shameful a crime, in Communist eyes, as contributing, let us say, to the New Leader or an A.F. of L. journal.
The one thing that is even more heinous than writing for Socialist papers, of course, is writing for unorthodox, nonconformist. Communist publications. If a piece in the Socialist New Leader merits political purgatory, a contribution to a Trotskyist or Lovestonite paper condemns you straight off to the lowest Gehenna.
Thus, the narrower the political gap between factions, the wider the psychological gap. It is not the outright infidel who is the most hated, but the nonconformist. And in large measure it works both ways. Communists and Socialists hate each other more than they hate capitalists. In fact, they expend so much of their venom on their own kind that they have too little left for other purposes.
Apropos of nothing at all: My definition of a supreme optimist is a fellow crossing Times Square reading a newspaper.