LONDON (Jul. 14)
The folly of anti-Semitism is described in a booklet by Sidney Dark and Herbert Sidebotham, two prominent English publicists, published by Hodder and Stoughton.
Anti-Semitism, the authors point out, is not merely a Jewish concern, but the concern of all men who care for justice, decency and kindness; it is the deliberate exaggeration of difference for mean ends. The authors deny the existence of a Jewish anywhere, even in Nazi Germany.
“The character of Nazism, and its development,” they write, “suggest that there is no such thing as a peculiarly Jewish problem. The Jewish problem is part of the problem of a world in the throes of revolutionary change and of the clash of antagonistic ideas. The war against the Jew is not the war against an alien minority but against the freedom of the individual, which is vital both to democracy and to Christian philosophy, as the late Pope insisted in one of his great Encyclicals. Paster Niemoeller soon followed the Jewish rabbis into a concentration camps. As has always been his fate, the Jew is the vanguard of suffering. But he will not suffer alone.
“German anti-Semitism has certain characteristics that might not necessarily be associated with anti-Semitic developments in other countries, since German racialism is the outcome of distinctively German qualities. But contempt for any group of men and women, not because of individual vices or deficiencies, but because of their descent, is foolish and demoralizing and, given untoward circumstances, may always become the prelude to persecution.
“Anti-Semitism has curiously contradictory excuses. In Germany the Jew was resented because he was prosperous and influential. In Poland he is resented because he is poverty-stricken. To Certain critics of capitalism the Jew is the most effective supporter of the tyranny of interest. To the defenders of capitalism he is the power behind international communism. These contradictions are themselves indicative of the folly of an agitation that has to find different excuse according to circumstance and surroundings. And everywhere behind the racial and economic pleadings there is a wealth of opportunity for fully satisfying jealousy, envy, hatred, and all uncharitableness.”