“jews Are Different,” Writes Waldo Frank in Saturday Evening Post

Every Jew, whether he be assimilationist, Zionist, or somewhere in between, is nevertheless the successor to an ancient tradition that makes him different from the rest of the population in the United States, declares Waldo Frank, novelist and essayist in an article, “The Jews Are Different,” appearing in the current issue of the Saturday Evening Post.

Frank’s article, which is an answer to one by Judge Jerome Frank appearing in a previous issue of the Post, makes the point that the average man’s “intuition” that the Jew is somewhat “different” is valid and to deny this, as Judge Frank does, is to play into the hands of the Fascists. This “difference,” Waldo Frank states, is the democratic tradition developed in the long history of the Jews; a tradition that “more than 2,000 years before America was discovered was the American promise and the American purpose. And as a result of this tradition, the Jews have “a particular stake in America …. in a land whose fathers, from Roger Williams to Abraham Lincoln, were nurtured by their fathers,” Frank holds.

Those Jews who are assimilationists, he emphasizes, have a right to such belief and “only an obstructionist, a Fascist or a fool” would try to make them change. But the American Jew who denies or ignores the validity of his tradition, nevertheless, “does the contrary of what he supposes; he weakens his claim on America.” “Most emphatically, it is not true that Jews become better Americans as they become less Jewish,” Frank stresses, because “the man who thinks to benefit our country in its hour of need by wiping out the loyal differences between us, ignores the meaning of democracy, and – whether he knows it or not – is tainted by the false doctrine of our foes.”

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