Search JTA's historical archive dating back to 1923

Old Testament De-judaized and Germanized

April 6, 1923
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

The Old Testament has been revarnished a bit, the Jewish names exchanged for one hundred per cent Teutonic ones and the Jewish Scriptures can now be read by even a Bavarian anti-Semite without danger of Jewish infection. All of this has been accomplished by the German national author Heinrich Lhotzky, who has just published a book in which the Old Testament is rewritten in Old Germanic terms. The books of the Bible are renamed according to old German mythology “Wihinei”, “Urd”, “Werdandi” “Skult”.

According to Lhotzky, Urd is Abraham. Under Verdandi, the history of Rebecca and the combat between Esau and Jacob is told. Under Skult, the story of Joseph is related. In a similar way, the whole of the Old Testament has been retold.

Max Maurenbrecher, chief editor of the German national organ “Deutsche Zeitung” welcomes the book as an attempt to de-Judaize and its place Germanize the Old Testament.

“Many German Nationals” he writes “will regard the book as a solution of their present difficulty, inasmuch as we must reject the Holy Scriptures in so far as they are the Scriptures of the Jewish people. The difficulty is solved when we realize that the Old Testament is greater than Judaism, that it is the revelation of a vast power which was not really understood by the Jews and which Judaism has brought to degeneration. Many clergymen after reading this book will again have the courage to preach from Old Testament texts. All National teachers to whom the Biblical stories have hitherto been a difficulty will find in this book now to tell the Old Testament stories to Germans and make them live.”

Recommended from JTA