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Germany and the Jewish Question Part 1


The Jewish problem in Germany

By Dr Friedrich Karl Wiehe
Published in Berlin, 1938


“I was a Jew before I was an American. I have been an American all of my life, 64 years. But I have been a Jew for 4.000 years.”

– Rabbi Wise in a speech in Cleveland in June 1938.

Ever since the day when the National-Socialists came into power in Germany, thereby placing the solution of the Jewish problem in the forefront of German politics, public opinion the world over has become increasingly interested in that problem. . . .

Germany’s attitude towards the Jewish question can be rightly understood only if we consider it from the standpoint of a philosophy of history based on the conception of the race as fundamental factor of social evolution — i.e. of the philosophy which from the outset has inspired the National-Socialist effort to reconstruct and re-organise the entire life of the German nation. According to this philosophy, the differentiation and variety of the heterogeneous human races, as well as of the peoples who descend from them, constitute an essential element of the Divine creative purpose. Providence has assigned to each people the task of freely and fully developing its own specific characteristic traits. Hence it is contrary to the Divine purpose if a people allows its destiny to be shaped by extraneous forces; and such a people will assuredly perish in the struggle for existence. The question of the intrinsic value of such forces is irrelevant. The sole thing that matters is that they are extraneous — that they have no part in or relation to the hereditary structure, biological and traditional, of the people among whom they operate.

No clearer demonstration of this truth has been furnished in the history of the world than by the downfall of the Roman empire, which was doomed from the moment when the ancient Roman element that formed its nucleus began to be stifled by the inroad of foreign influences. The whole life — political, social, economic, military — of the Roman Empire was finally dominated by alien influences, the result being a racial and cultural syncretism which could not but prove fatal to the Empire in the long run.

The family, as the cell of the social community, is naturally subject to the same law of heredity as the aggregate. Those peoples who are derived from the Germanic race, to cite only this particular example, have a strongly developed family instinct. They know, thanks to instinctive intuition fortified by hereditary experience, that the destiny of every family is determined throughout successive generations by the predominance of certain biological and traditional factors. Hence in all families where the consciousness of this truth has not been obliterated, the greatest possible care is invariably taken that there shall be no admixture of new blood susceptible of adulterating the racial composition or debasing the traditional standard of the family. A number of families illustrious in history have consistently maintained this standard by a rigorous adherence to the principle of consanguinity.

Germany, starting from a philosophy of history based on the principle of racial differentiation, is the first country to have consistently drawn the conclusions resulting from the lessons of the past two thousand years in regard to the Jewish question. Those lessons have taught us the reason why the attempt to solve that question by means of the abortive attempt to assimilate the Jews was pre-doomed to failure. Those lessons have proved to the hilt the utter impossibility of assimilating the Jews, and have shown the inevitability of the periodical recurrence of anti-Semitism in consequence.

The lessons taught by the past two thousand years may be resumed as follows:-

[1] The Jewish question is not a religious, but exclusively a racial, question. The Jews, the overwhelming majority of whom are of Oriental, i.e. Near Eastern descent, have no racial affinity whatever with the peoples of Europe. It should be observed that the attitude of the German government towards the Jewish question is dictated solely by the fact that the Jews are an alien race, without any consideration of the intrinsic value of the specific qualities of that race.

Even in the era of emancipation, during which the Jews were on principle incorporated in the national communities of the Western world, and which was characterised by the “conversion” of millions of Jews to Christianity, it proved impossible to blot out the traces of their ineradicably alien nature. Sufficient evidence of this fact is forthcoming from Jewish sources. In his book Höre, Israel, the late Dr. Walther Rathenau wrote: “In the life of the German national the Jews are a clearly differentiated alien race… In the Marches of Brandenburg they are like unto an Asiatic horde.” The well known Jewish author Jakob Klatzkin ex pressed himself with refreshing can dour in his work Krisis und Entscheidung im Judentum (1921) as follows: “Everywhere we are strangers in the lands in which we live, and it is our inflexible resolve to maintain our racial idiosyncrasy.” Both testimonials were furnished at a time when the emancipation of the Jews in Germany hat reached its culminating point.

[2] For the past 2000 years the Jewish race has been perpetually on the move. The whole world is its home, conformably with the motto ubi bene, ibi patria. True to their destiny, the Jews will never admit being bound by any national ties. The abnormal structure of the Jewish community, in which neither peasants nor handicraftsmen find a place, renders it impossible for the Jews to adapt themselves to the conditions of life in the countries which give them hospitality.

[3] Racial predisposition and historical destiny combine to incline the Jews to certain categories of activity, whose sphere of influence is, by their very nature, international. It is consequently explicable that, during the era of emancipation, the Jews should have successfully sought to obtain control of a) public opinion, b) the stock and share markets, c) wholesale and retail trade, d) certain influential cultural organisations, and — last, but not least — e) political life. At the close of the emancipation era in Germany, the Jews enjoyed a practical monopoly of all the professions exerting intellectual and political influence. This enabled them to stamp their entirely alien features on the whole public life of the country.

[4] One of the results achieved by the policy of “assimilation” during the era of emancipation was the release of the Jews in Eastern Europe from their ghettos, and their emigration to the more liberal-minded States of Western Europe and North America. Between 1890 and 1900, some 200,000 East European Jews found their way into Great Britain. The number of Jews who emigrated to the United States between 1912 and 1935 is computed at upwards of 1,500,000. If the Jewish question has today attained such vital importance, this is to a large extent due to those migrations of Jews, ­ migrations which, on the one hand, demonstrated the illusory nature of the theory of the Jews’ capacity for assimilation, and, on the other, hastened the process of the domination of West European and North American states by Jewish elements.

The process in question had been practically completed in Germany before the advent of National-Socialism to power. An alien race, without roots in German soil and without even the most remote affiliation with the German people, had taken possession of Germany. The poison of an alien spirit, of an alien manner of thinking, had been instilled, cunningly and systematically, into the German mind. Hence the whole German organism necessarily conveyed a totally misleading impression to an observer from outside. National-Socialism was therefore faced by the urgent necessity of solving a problem which vitally affected the very existence of the German nation.

Impartial foreign observers had long since recognised the inevitability of a radical solution of the Jewish question in Germany. Already in December, 1910, the Times, in a review of Houston Stewart Chamberlain’s book “The Foundations of the Nineteenth Century,” remarked that nearly everything in Germany had come under Jewish control – not only business life, but the press, the theatre, the film, etc., in short, everything susceptible of influencing German spiritual life, and that it would be inconceivable that the Germans could tolerate such a slate of affairs in the long run. A clash must sooner or later inevitably occur, in the view of the Times.

Since a solution of the Jewish problem by means of the assimilation of the Jewish race, of its absorption in German national life, had proved wholly impossible, there remained to the National-Socialists but the single alternative of solving the Jewish question by the elimination of that unassimilable race from Germany.

Foreign critics take particular exception to this view. Even objective observers, fully aware of the consequences of Jewish ascendency and of the resulting inevitability of an anti-Semitic reaction, condemn the methods adopted by National-Socialism for the solution of the Jewish question in Germany as inhuman and barbarous when pushed to their only logical conclusion.

Whether considered from a purely psychological, or from a concrete political, point of view, this criticism of Germany’s attitude is bound to exert great influence on Germany’s relations with other countries. It is therefore necessary to carefully examine the grounds on which that criticism is based.

It is incontestable — in fact no attempt has been made to deny or even to minimise the fact — that the policy of the German government towards the Jews has entailed numerous hardships — amounting in certain individual cases to a positive miscarriage of justice. It cannot be denied that a number of Jews affected by recent legislative measures directed against their race honestly felt themselves to be thorough­ going Germans. Such Jews had done their best to render service to the state as functionaries, artists, men of letters, scientists, and — last but not least — as soldiers in the Great War.

In order to understand why Germany has proceeded to such a radical solution of the Jewish problem by means of methods of such relentless severity, it is necessary to make abstraction of individual cases, however interesting they may be intrinsically, and to bear in mind that no legislative measure, nor indeed any farreaching political action, can be conceived which does not inevitably entail more or less numerous individual hardships. It is the same as with surgical operations, when the surgeon, in order to extirpate the germs of disease, must resort to the excision of healthy tissue surrounding the infected parts. Only in this way can he hope to save the sick organism.

But in order to understand the German attitude towards the Jewish question it is necessary to go still farther — to remember (as has already been indicated) that the unceasing encroachment of the Jews on the entire public life of Germany within the last few decades finally resulted in a terrible national catastrophe. The disastrous end of the Great War for Germany, followed as it was by complete political and economic collapse, by cultural and moral deterioration, by unemployment on a colossal scale with its consequent impoverishment of all social classes to a degree hitherto undreamt-of in modern times — this epoch of Germany’s greatest and most cruel humiliation coincided with the final triumph of Jewish emancipation, with the culminating point of Jewish ascendency in Germany, just as the aforementioned writer in the Times had prophesied in 1910.

Already more than a generation ago, one of the most sincere and farsighted minds in international Jewry, the late Zionist leader Theodore Herzl, described this interdependence of general distress and Jewish ascendency in a passage of his Zionistische Schriften (vol. 1, pp. 238/9), which is by no means applicable solely to Germany, but which has, on the contrary, universal validity. Therein Herzl characterised as follows the part played by the Jews:-

“There are among them a few persons who hold in their hands the financial threads that envelop the world. A few persons who absolutely control the shaping of the most vitally important conditions of life of the nations. Every invention and innovation are for their sole benefit, whilst every misfortune increases their power. And to what use do they put this power? Have they ever placed it at the service of any moral ideal — nay, have they ever placed it at the disposal of their own people, who are in dire distress? … Without those persons no war can he waged and no peace be concluded. The credit of states and individual enterprises are alike at the mercy of their rapacious ambition. The inventor must humbly wait at their doors, and in their arrogance they claim to sit in judgment on the requirements of their fellow beings.”

Nothing could be better calculated to clear Germany from the reproach of sinning against the laws of humanity, than a detailed enumeration of the facts which prove to what an appalling degree Germany herself experienced the truth of Herzl’s words — of the facts which incontestably show what immeasurably bitter experiences have forced Germany to seek a radical solution of the Jewish problem, as far as she is concerned, by the ruthless elimination of all Jewish influence in German Life.

The following chapters endeavour to present a resume of the importance of the part played by the Jews at the peak of the era of emancipation–i.e. up to the advent to power of National-Socialism.

Read  Chapter 1 tomorrow

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A colorized photo of Jagdgeschswader 1, the “Flying Circus” that terrorized Allied pilots during 1917’s “Bloody April”.

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