Friday, March 29, 2013
I wrote the article now titled, “What Caused the Holocaust?” in the 1990s. In 2006 I was about to embark on a new job in a different country. Consequently, I did not know about a book that came out that year by Yuri Slezkine, called The Jewish Century. It is good. I just bought the paper edition, and on the cover it states that it won the National Jewish Book Award from the Jewish Book Council. I have not yet read it all, but with its stress on Jewish over-representation in the professions in Germany and Eastern Europe before 1933, it reinforces some of the points I made in my holocaust article.
Later, I plan to write a thorough review of Slezkine’s book, but now will mention just a few points. On p. 48, “In 1908-11, in Germany…, Jews made up 0.95% of the population... and 31% of the richest families (with a “ratio” of economic over-representation” of 33, the highest anywhere, according to W. E. Rubenstein.)…” And the Rothschilds were the wealthiest family of the 19th century “by a wide margin.”
When discussing capitalism and the Protestant ethic, Slezkine notes on p. 43, “A Scottish Protestant was not just a pork-eating Jew, as Heine would have it; he was a solitary Jew, a Jew without the people of Israel, the only creature to have been chosen.” This implies that it may not have been mere aptitude of the individuals that propelled Jews to such success. Slezkine adds on p. 50 that by 1900 “In large parts of Eastern Europe, virtually the whole ‘middle class’ was Jewish.”
I do not have time to properly review the book, or even finish reading it now, but later in the year I will return to it.-------Hugh Murray
Friday, March 15, 2013
My Modest Proposal at the AHA
(The American Historical Association) by Hugh Murray
I not only think, I not only write, occasionally, I do. In relation to the last article here posted, I decided to add an account of a personal incident. The following is based on my memory, and though the wording might be slightly different from what happened, the basics are accurate.
I attended the meeting of the American Historical Association in December 2000 held in Chicago. I do not recall all the sessions I attended, but I do know that I wanted to attend the business meeting of the organization. I had just left a massive session at which three historians discussed, gingerly, the then new work of Jared Diamond, Guns, Germs and Steel. Diamond, himself, was also on the dais and defended his work from the minor critiques stemming from the panel. When that session concluded, I looked at the program as to where the business meeting was to be held, and was surprised that it was in a room about the size of a small class room. I doubt if 40 people were there. Seated at the front were a few leaders of the group, including Prof. Leon Fink, and others whose names I have now forgotten. One of the purposes of the meeting was to induct the new president of the AHA, Prof. Eric Foner, whose writings on Reconstruction have won prizes.
At the same session, a woman historian was asked to present her report on the effort to recruit more women historians into the profession. I listened attentively. She stressed that though women were a majority of the population, they were a much smaller percentage of the profession, and the AHA should help to increase the numbers of the under-represented majority, using affirmative action policies and others to achieve the goal so that women historians constitute their fair share of the profession. (In reality, this means that better qualified men might not be considered for positions until many more women were hired.)
I raised my hand from the floor. (I was a member of the AHA.) I stated that I found the woman’s report most interesting. However, there is another problem, quite similar, which the AHA should also tackle. Women are an underrepresented majority, but they are not the only one. Nor are they the most under-represented majority. I noted that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 did not only ban discrimination based on race and sex, it also banned discrimination based on religion. The preferred method to determine discrimination is by using percentages. Because gentiles compose about 97% of the American population, then every effort should be made so they compose 97% of the history profession. As this is clearly not the case, the AHA should encourage use of affirmative action policies in hiring and promotion to increase the number and percentage of gentiles in the history profession. (This could mean than better qualified Jews might not be hired or promoted until gentiles composed 97% of the history profession.)
The newly inducted president of the AHA, Prof. Foner, of Jewish background, did not appear enthusiastic about my suggestion to bring diversity to the profession. Nor did Prof. Fink. Someone moved that my motion be sent to a committee. It so passed. In 2001 I received a letter from that committee informing me that the AHA decided not to implement my proposal. The AHA would not press for affirmative action for gentiles. It would not demand affirmative action to diversity the profession religiously. I wonder why?
Wednesday, March 13, 2013
In the mid 1990s I had written a controversial article, “White Male Privilege? A Social Construct for Political Oppression,” eventually published in the Journal of Libertarian Studies Winter 1998-99. Even prior to publication of that article, I had begun work writing on the article below. Originally, I shaped it as an answer to Heribert Adam’s article in Telos. I submitted my article to that journal and was stunned by the enormous length of the editorial responses. Over 50 pages of single-spaced commentary on my 15-page article! Of all the editors, only one, a woman who taught at a prominent university in the UK, favored publication. She did not necessarily agree with my position, but thought my article should be published to get a hearing on the topic. Other editors demurred. One called my article a “piece of shit.” Another was not only furious with me, he wanted to insure that the British editor might be barred from entering a Middle-Eastern nation! Anger and threats. This from a journal that had generously published several of my controversial pieces. But not this article.
I tried several other journals. I had hoped that the Journal of Libertarian Studies might publish this, as it was a companion piece to my article on white male privilege in the United States. That journal rejected mine, but printed instead a related piece by Steve Farron. Later, Farron was able to publish an even lengthier version of his thesis in South Africa.
When my friend, Anthony Flood, established his web site, he was kind enough to include several of my articles. He also included this most controversial, unpublished article. I have lazily copied the article from his site to place it on my blog as well. I have made a few minor changes, and given it a new title. I hope you find it thought-provoking.----------Hugh Murray 10 March 2013
Provoked by Heribert Adam's “Anti-Semitism and Anti-Black Racism: Nazi Germany and Apartheid South Africa,” (Telos 108, Summer 1996), Murray submitted an earlier version of this essay to that radical journal's editor, the late Paul Piccone. Murray had published in Telos three times before, so the latest submission was given careful consideration—and ultimately rejection in the form of a 53-page critique by almost every member of the editorial board! More than one other journal followed suit. I am proud to have rendered all those editorial verdicts null and void since the launching of this site in 2004 by posting a version of this paper that dates from about 2000.
(This note added February 20, 2007)
“. . . the victims may be different, the perpetrators may be different, but the spirit that energized Nazi race laws is clearly evident in the America of today.”
WHAT CAUSED THE HOLOCAUST?
Or: Why Liberals Cannot Understand It
What caused the Holocaust? To liberals, the cause is clear: irrational race prejudice was unleashed by chaotic conditions in Germany following WWI. Defeat, inflation, and later depression, mixed with the unhealthy German obsequiousness before authorities from father, to teacher, to civil servant, to the military, blended economic and psychological elements to produce a national psychosis. The ailing electorate then voted for an expressionist- actor, orator, prompting his rise from failure to Fuehrer. Germans first voted for the fanatic, then followed him into war, and finally committed crimes against humanity unequaled in history. Thus, the Holocaust was the result of Hitler’s, and the Germans’, irrational, psychotic, hatred of Jews. There was something sinister about the Germans that turned them into Hitler’s willing executioners.
Some trace this German anti-Semitism back to Luther and beyond. But others note that venomous anti-Semitism was not exclusively a German trait. It could be found in equal or lesser degrees among the Poles, other Eastern Europeans, Western Europeans, among all Christians, indeed all gentiles. Moreover, some interpretations of the Holocaust maintain that it cannot be fully analyzed or described—it is an event in history but beyond history; it is an occurrence at the center of their religion. The Holocaust is the example of a supernatural evil in history that directs one to the supernatural good outside of history. This is a more religious view of the Holocaust.
By contrast, the orthodox Left saw the mass murders by German fascists as the consequence of capitalist exploitation. If the final stage of capitalism was imperialism, the the final stage of imperialism was Hitlerian barbarism with its “final solutions.” However, the defeat of the Nazis did not destroy the danger because capitalism still thrives. As Brecht quipped, the womb that gave birth to Hitler is still fertile. And because new Hitlers might be funded by capitalism, the Left demands preventive measures.
If free speech and the libertarian culture of Weimar Germany prepared the path for Hitler, then there must be restrictions to prevent the same exploitative class from using the bourgeois democratic process to create new fascist dictators. To foil future fascisms, “hate speech” codes must replace free speech, for free speech resounds down the slippery slope to Auschwitz. In recent decades, the Left has often replaced the demon of the capitalist exploiter with that of the white male oppressor, and both are dangerous (if not synonymous), both must be harnessed. Hate speech laws provide one method of doing so. To forestall a future Holocaust, launched by white male oppressors, the Left demands restrictions on free speech, freedom of the press, freedom to assemble, the right to bear arms. To prevent future extermination camps, the Bill of Rights and the American Constitution must be tossed into history’s dustbin—or “reinterpreted” by Leftist judges until those traditional rights wither away.
I contend that most of the assumptions behind the liberal, religious, and Leftist interpretations of the Holocaust are false. Though there are differences between and among these outlooks, there is also overlap, and these views overwhelmingly dominate both the academic world and the arena of popular culture’s film and television.
I challenge these assumptions. It is our duty to seek to comprehend human history. There is no history “beyond” history to be treated as sacred knowledge; there is no history that cannot be questioned, even if some deem such questioning to be “insensitive.” Furthermore, like Thrasymachus in Plato’s Republic, I contend that much of the discussion on the Holocaust that preceded is evasive and deceptive. The issue is not as complex as scholars imply. The spirit that propelled many Germans, first to anti-Semitism, then to legalized restrictions against the Jews, and finally to exterminating Jews is the same spirit found in America’s courts, Congress, and among Presidents, and most especially in university departments of Women’s Studies, Black Studies, Hispanic Studies, etc. That spirit presupposes the view that justice requires wealth and power be distributed proportionally by groups. Ideas have consequences. When Germans accepted that view of justice, a logic unfolded in reality that in time elicited surprising and gruesome results.
First, review the history of the era from another perspective. Were Germans being “irrational” when they finally voted for the Nazis? Was it “irrational” for many Germans to conclude that Jews, a tiny percentage of their population, were a threat and oppressors? During WWI many Jews fought for theVaterland and its Central Power allies. However, during the war, another alliance was forged between Britain and Zionists that culminated in the Balfour Declaration of 1917 with its promise of a homeland for Jews in the Middle East. To some Germans, international Jewry had joined the war against Germany. Omer Bartov notes the importance of Germany’s “notorious ‘Jew count’ . . . of 1916, an official inquiry aimed at gauging under representation of Jews in the army” in WWI. Many Germans suspected that Jews were using their influence to avoid dangerous duty in the trenches. The survey revealed that Jews were actually slightly over-represented at the front, and because of that, it was not released.
Shortly thereafter, it was obvious that Jews were far more over represented in leading radical revolutions in Germany and elsewhere. While many Jews in Poland, Byelorussia, Ukraine, etc., welcomed German occupation troops above those of the Czar, things were in flux. In early 1917 the Czar was overthrown and a democratic, pro-Western, pro-war regime installed. The Kaiser’s forces then aided Lenin who was trapped in neutral Switzerland, surrounded by belligerent nations. The Germans permitted Lenin to travel through Germany in a sealed train so that he could return to Russia in 1917. Within the year, Lenin and his Bolsheviki proceeded to overturn the pro-war regime of Kerenski. Many of the Bolshevik leaders were not typically Russian; a high percentage were Jews like Trotsky; a few came from the provinces, like the Georgian, Stalin. Even Lenin was part Jewish. Eventually the Bolsheviki had to sign a peace treaty with the Kaiser’s representatives, ceding vast territories to become “independent” and/or German satellite states carved from the old Russian Empire. By the spring of 1918, the war on the East Front was over; Germany had won! The Treaty of Brest-Litovsk expanded the Kaiser’s influence deep into the former Czarist realm.
With victory in the East accomplished, Germany had only to smash the West. But, before it could do so, there was rebellion at home. German soviets in the navy and in factories demanded peace and the overthrow of the Kaiser! Suddenly, after all the sacrifice to win the war, after victory in the East, and with German troops still in Belgium, France, Kiev and the Baltic states, treason on the home front by social democrats, soviets, and others crushed Germany’s hopes. In the fall of 1918 Germany sued for peace based upon President Wilson’s 14 Points—self determination of nations, open treaties openly arrived at, etc. The Kaiser fled Germany and a Republic was proclaimed, headed by Social Democrat Friedrich Ebert. With German victory so near, the new, social-democratic republic sought peace—and with it, defeat. (Actually, Ludendorff and the High command knew that the German Army had been defeated, and its unpublicized revelation of that fact to the Kaiser in August 1918 and its demand that he sue for peace had precipitated the crisis. But in the propaganda about the events, the military was unblemished, while the theory of the radical’s “stab in the back” gained ever wider support.)
Turmoil erupted inside Germany. New Years’ 1918-19, the radical Spartacists attempted a coup, but were foiled by soldiers returning from the fronts who formed into new groups, the Freikorps (free corps). They killed the two Spartacist leaders, Karl Liebkencht, and the Jewish Rosa Luxemburg. Elsewhere, events went in the opposite direction. In the large southern German province of Bavaria, a republic was also proclaimed, led by the Jewish journalist Kurt Eisner, then by the Jewish playwright Ernst Toller, and finally by the Jewish Communist Eugen Levine. Apparently, one of the supporters of this radical Left regime was a young corporal, recently released, who had been gassed in the trenches toward war’s end, Adolf Hitler.
So the popular notion that no Nazi could serve under a Jewish President is wrong; after all, Hitler, the future Fuehrer marched in support of the slain Jewish President of the Bavarian Republic. Shortly after, Hitler was elected from his military unit to the local soviet. The Bavarian Leftists requested support from the new Hungarian Soviet government in Budapest, led by the Jewish Bela Kun, but Kun was himself on the defensive and soon defeated.[7b] By the spring of 1918 Levine’s isolated Bolshevik regime in Bavaria was brutally crushed by right-wing troops; the young Hitler quickly switched his allegiance to the Right and denied ever favoring the Jewish-led Soviet Republic of Bavaria. Nevertheless, it is clear that another common assertion is wrong—some Jews not only dreamt of overthrowing German governments before the onset of pogroms, some were quite active in trying to overthrow them, and for short periods actually succeeded in doing so.
The new Weimar Republic sought to solidify support. It also proved instructive for those who believed in the proportional-by-group theory of justice. Not only was Hugo Preuss, a Jew, the chief author of the Constitution of the Weimar Republic, but Jews dominated or were significantly disproportionate in numerous lucrative occupations. To those Americans who support Affirmative Action, if they are honest and consistent, surely they would have judged the Jews as oppressors of Germans, a threat to the German people and nation in the 1920s and early 1930s.
In January 1922 Walther Rathenau was appointed Germany’s Foreign Minister. Rathenau, Jewish, was the son of the founder of AEG, that nation’s equivalent of General Electric. During WWI he had headed the Raw Materials Commission, and had been a kind of economic czar for the Reich, doing much to keep the military machine functioning during the blockade by the Allies. As Foreign Minister Rathenau negotiated the Treaty of Rapallo with the Soviets, an attempt to end the isolation of both “outlaw” nations. But in June 1922 Rathenau was assassinated by anti-Semites.
In 1923 in Bavaria Hitler and General Ludendorff, a leading military figure during WWI, launched their coup against the new Republic. It too failed, and Hitler was tried and imprisoned for his activities. However, his trial was broadcast throughout the nation, and Hitler used the opportunity to place the Weimar Republic in the docket. Many outside of Bavaria were impressed by his indictment of the government.
And what kind of regime was the Weimar Republic? In today’s America one is constantly informed by the media, academia, and government that institutional racism exists as evidenced by statistics that show that white men—a minority—are over represented as CEOs, in medical schools, law schools, the professions, media, government, etc. “White male privilege,” “racism, “sexism,” “black oppression,” are all phrases commonly heard that flow from the statistics. These charges are based on numbers—whites earn about 1.5 times what blacks do; men perhaps 1.3 times what women do. If white men dominate the US and oppress others—as revealed by the statistics—then who dominated Germany during the 1920s? Who oppressed the Germans?
Leftist scholar Robert Proctor notes that in Germany in 1933, 13% of the medical doctors in the nation were Jews. That meant Jews were represented more than 15 times higher than they should have been (by EEOC-type standards) in the lucrative medical profession. In Berlin, Jews were 60% of the doctors! Some of the leading newspapers were owned by Jews—most important in the days before television and where radio was government controlled. As for the theater, Bernt Engelmann described the Weimar situation thusly, “The pre-Hitler German theater would therefore seem to be a theater of Jews for Jews, with predominantly Jewish authors, directors, actors, musicians, critics, and presumably also mainly Jewish audiences.” Engelmann noted Hitler’s revolution in the Reich’s movie industry: “It could be considered a miracle that any German films continued to be produced at all, after nearly 40 per cent of the stars and starlets had been legally barred from working, along with more than half of all producers and directors.” Georg Iggers, a refugee from Hitler’s Reich, studied German universities. He reported: “Imperial Germany saw the opening of the universities to non-converted Jews. Statistics from the year 1900 reflect both the openness of the Prussian universities and the extent of discrimination.. Taking into consideration all ranks of university teachers, there were 35 Catholics per 1,000,000 population, 106.5 Protestants, and 698.9 Jews -- . . . But the representation of Jews among full professors . . . was considerably smaller, suggesting discriminatory patterns, namely per 1,000,000 16.9 Catholics, 33.5 Protestants, and only 65.5 Jews.” Iggers adds, “If the situation was inconsistent in Imperial Germany, it was even more so in the Weimar Republic. On the positive side, more Jews were able to obtain university positions than before,” but they were confronted with growing anti-Semitism. Of course, the statistics Iggers discloses show such over representation that pro-Affirmative Action groups should call it anti-Aryan discrimination.
Jews, less that 1% of the population (a mere 4/5ths of 1%) in the Weimar era were 16% of the lawyers, over 11% of the doctors; Jews owned 40% of Germany’s wholesale textile firms, nearly 60% of the wholesale and retail clothing business, half the private banks, composed 25% of the wholesales of agricultural products, and their departments stores acquired 79% of that market.
While the German economy staggered and then recovered from the vast inflation of 1923, it soon stumbled into Depression in 1929. Millions were unemployed, and at that time the crisis was undoubtly worse in Germany than in Britain or the United States.
Of course, in America today liberals denounce white male privilege because white men are over represented among CEOs, etc. Whites earn perhaps $1.50 for each $1.00 earned by blacks; men about $1.30 for each $1.00 earned by women. Because of this disparity, in America Affirmative Action edicts legalize institutional discrimination against white men in awarding contracts, hiring, promotion, admission to university, scholarships, etc. (When everyone except white males receives a preference, then white men are being discriminated against.) The justification for such discrimination is to curb white male dominance and oppression in the seats of power and wealth.
But during the Weimar Republic, Jews earned 3.2 RM for every Reichsmark earned by German gentiles! “Aryans” were thus earning a mere 30 Pfennigs for each Reichsmark earned by Jews. And in the Depression! No wonder some demanded that Jews be restricted. When Hitler became Chancellor in 1933, he proceeded to do just that. The result, Germany recovered from Depression. And with the marked economic renaissance, no wonder gentile Germans were jubilant, thanking Der Fuehrer for restoring prosperity. The Germans were no different from Americans who adored Franklin Roosevelt whose New Deal, if it did not create prosperity, at least softened the impact of the slump.
For many average German gentiles the lesson seemed clear: in the 1920s Jews dominated important and lucrative sectors of the economy, and the consequences were devastating for Germany’s gentiles. By the mid-1930s, with Jews ever more restricted, German gentiles thrived. Perhaps the Nazis were right; perhaps the Jews were the enemy of the German people. Moreover, Jews holding disproportionate influence outside Germany, spread propaganda to “slander” the new Germany and engaged in boycotts of the Third Reich.
Many Germans, deducing logically from the proportional-by-group theory of justice, blending with their experience, reached certain conclusions about reality. Perhaps the Nazis were correct that it was because of nature, innate racial reasons that Jews managed to acquire such power in banking, media, academia, law, and medicine. Or, perhaps nurture was the cause of this Jewish problem of over-representation, perhaps it was a consequence of their history, environment, etc. Either way, however, Jews held disproportionate power and were using it to hinder Germany, trying to cripple its new prosperity. And if Jews refused to remain restricted, severer measures, indeed a final solution to the Jewish problem, might be considered. It was not the inevitable outcome, but neither was it irrational if one adheres to the proportion-by-group notion of justice. Some Germans undoubtedly reached such conclusions as they followed logically from their assumptions about group proportions and justice.
Then what happened? For the moment, forget WWII. Consider only the period January 1933 to early November 1938. The Depression eased and then disappeared from Germany. While the New Deal in America staggered from depression to recession and back to depression again, while Britain slogged along with dole and depression-rate unemployment throughout the 1930s, while the Soviets reduced unemployment through gulags, slavery, starvation, and the murder of millions, Nazi Germany seemed to thrive. What about the Jews? Some fled. But many asserted, “It won’t be so bad,” and remained. The 1 April 1933 boycott of Jewish stores was worrisome, but it lasted only a day, and the leading Zionist paper in Germany urged Jews to wear the yellow Jewish designation with honor. True, Jews lost civil service, university, media, and legal posts, but others continued working. (Interestingly, Nazis who believed that German students should not be taught by and could learn nothing from Jewish professors, like Einstein, and therefore the Jews must be fired, are echoed by American Leftists who assert that Blacks can learn only from Blacks, Hispanics from Hispanics, Asians from Asians, and so children in American schools must have racially and ethnically appropriate teachers.)
True, there were humiliations. In 1935 Jews lost their citizenship and the right to marry non-Jews, but at least Jews would not become extinct through assimilation and intermarriage. Some, like Revisionist Zionist Georg Kareski, endorsed these Nuremberg Laws. In 1936 during the Olympic Games, visitors at one of Berlin’s leading department stores were struck to see all the flags of the participating nations displayed—all except the German flag. By then, Jews were no longer permitted to fly the German flag (which was changed under Hitler from the Republic’s black, red, and gold, to the Nazi’s swastika). But Jews were allowed to display the blue-white flag of Zionism. The emblem of Zionism was permitted because the Nazis cooperated with the Zionists. And why not: both sought to get the Jews out of Germany. Even in 1933 some Zionists welcomed the accession to power of Hitler as an opportunity for Zionists. During an interview in 1957, Dr. Hans Friedenthal, the former head of the main Zionist organization in Germany, the ZVfD, declared, “The Gestapo did everything in those days to promote emigration, particularly to Palestine. We often received their help when we required anything from other authorities regarding preparations for emigration. This position remained constant and uniform the entire time until the year 1938.” A deal was forged between Zionists and Nazis whereby 50,000 Jews left Germany for Palestine and received imported goods from Germany worth millions of Reichsmarks. While the Left and some Jewish groups boycotted German goods from the beginning in 1933, the Zionists rejected the boycott and negotiated deals to get Jews from Germany to Israel with a sizable portion of their wealth.
There was a major problem for the Zionists in the early 1930s—many Jews did not want to leave their German homeland, even if it was seeking to disown them. What would the German Jews do in Palestine, anyway? Or Austria? Or England? True, thousands were leaving Germany, but, as Proctor writes in amazement, in the mid-1930s several thousand of the Jews who had left, returned to Nazi Germany. Why? As Hitler solved the problem of depression, many Jewish companies not only survived, they thrived. Thus, the decision by thousands of German Jews to return to Nazi Germany might be readily comprehended by recalling Bill Clinton’s 1992 campaign slogan, “It’s the economy, stupid!” And, as Gordon Craig noted, “In the clothing and retail trades, Jewish firms continued to operate profitably until 1938, and in Berlin and Hamburg, in particular, establishments of known reputation and taste continued to attract their old customers despite their ownership by Jews. In the world of finance, no restrictions were placed upon the activities of Jewish firms in the Berlin bourse (stock exchange), and until 1937 the banking firms of Mendelsohn, Bleichroeder, Arnhold, Dreyfuss, Straus, Warburg, Aufhaeuser, and Behrens were still active. Rising waters had raised many boats. For Jews, there might be humiliations in Germany, but if they avoided politics, they might be better off than residing under Stalinist tyranny or in depression-ridden democracies.
Historian Martin Gilbert notes that during the first five years of Hitler’s reign “no more than two hundred Jews had been killed, most of them in the first fourteen months of his rule. The number of Jews, as well as of political opponents, liberals, and churchmen, held in concentration camps, had continually dropped.” Gilbert added, “Even Hitler’s anti-Jewish record over five years was open to positive interpretation.” That was hardly a “holocaust.” There were probably more gays killed in this period than Jews. There were certainly more Aryan Germans sterilized (estimates from 200,000 to 400,000, mostly in the 1930s) or killed because they were physically or mentally handicapped (about 100,000 mostly before the outbreak of World War II). To the average German, it would seem that Hitler’s policies had reinvigorated the nation, created prosperity, achieved international recognition and national pride in diplomacy, in sports, autos, autobahns, medicine, etc. Restricting Jews seemed to free Germany so it could flourish and regain its place in the sun. Goebbels could boast of a German theater, a German film industry, German publishing, etc. The result was the world’s first televised Olympics, the best sports film ever made (Riefenstahl’s Olympia), and the development of the Volkswagen (“the people’s car”). Nazi policy towards Jews from 1933 to October 1938 could easily fall into the category of “rational” racism.
Germany expanded into Austria, Czechoslovakia, and with war in September 1939, into Poland. The number of Jews under Hitler’s dominion multiplied geometrically. Two-thirds of Vienna’s doctors were Jews. A tenth of the Polish population was Jewish, a third of those dwelling in Warsaw. And when Britain declared war on the Reich, there was no hope of sending Jews to Palestine, then ruled by the British. While there might have been other alternatives, the Nazis decided on the “final solution to the Jewish problem,” extermination of the Jews. Was it inevitable? This can be debated. But clearly, it was only with WWII that mass extermination of Jews began. Furthermore, it was hidden from many average Germans. The film, The Fuehrer Gives the Jews a City, sought to portray the concentration barracks of Theresienstadt as a haven for Jews. Euphemisms abounded from “final solution” to “resettlement in the East” to “special handling.” Even when Jews were forced to march through Germany, guards were told not to shoot them in the cities, where it could be observed, but in the countryside. And if Jews looked ill-fed and miserable, Germans by then knew their own homes and cities were being massively fire-bombed in Hamburg, and later, even more devastatingly in Dresden. To many Germans, all people, Germans and Jews, were suffering from the war.
Naturally, not all Germans were sufficiently “knowledgeable,” “understanding,” and “morally courageous” to partake in the enormous undertaking of exterminating Europe’s Jews. This project was for elite units like the SS, which would cleanse the continent of the Jews, the mentally ill, physical misfits, homosexuals, gypsies, and other “low-lifes.”
To rationalize many of the Nazi measures and murders, the proportional-by-group theory of justice was essential. That is the identical notion of justice espoused today in America by the EEOC, the NAACP, NOW, La Raza, and others who lead this nation toward a time when whites will be a minority. Will a similar logic ensue in 2050 by which time a possible final solution to the white male problem may be implemented? (If the question appears absurd, insensitive, or insulting, the question of German extermination of Jews would have seemed equally so if asked in 1920, 1930, 1933, 1937.)
Bartov stresses the importance of the “notorious” Jew count in Germany in 1916. What about the “Jew count” in America of the mid-1960s? It did not occur and that is its significance. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibited discrimination based on race, sex, or religion. However, an official of the EEOC, Alfred Blumrosen, set about to selectively enforce the law. In violation of the Civil Rights Act, Blumrosen’s EEOC sent out official forms to major American corporations demanding a “race count” to determine the proportionality of various races working at the firms. This annual race count should be deemed as notorious as Germany’s Jew count, but it is generally ignored—or applauded—by scholars. Soon thereafter the EEOC also required corporations to submit sex and ethnicity counts, all aimed to force employers to hire a racially, sexually, and ethnically proportional workforce. But Blumrosen ensured that the EEOC never inquired about religion. He was determined to prevent a proportional workforce based on religion—though religion was one of the categories mentioned in the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Instead, Blumrosen selectively enforced the law so there would be goals and timetables (quotas) by race, sex, and ethnicity, but not by religion.
One consequence of the selective enforcement of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was that some Jews complained in 1999 that Princeton University was being unfair in its admission policies because Jews constituted a mere 10% of the incoming freshman class, a decline from 16% in 1985. Jews compose above 2% of the general American population. But some believed Princeton discriminated against Jews when that university was compared to other Ivy League schools like Harvard, where Jews were 21% of the freshmen, or at Yale, 29%. Some Jews were disturbed that they were only 10% at Princeton and claimed they were discriminated against, though they were 4 to 5 times over represented! Jews are about 25% of the freshman class at Stanford and other elite universities. Yet, some complain they are the victims of discrimination!
Blumrosen also helped create the hoax of white male privilege and cleverly deflected hostility toward white men and away from his own, much more over represented group. Blumrosen thus used his influence to impose Nazi-like race laws on Americans while consciously exempting his own group from quotas by selectively enforcing (or more precisely in this case, mis-enforcing) the civil rights law.
Thus, the victims may be different, the perpetrators may be different, but the spirit that energized Nazi race laws is clearly evident in America today. That spirit is summarized in the view that justice requires all groups achieve and received a proportional share of wealth and power. Those groups who overachieve are seen in this theory as oppressors who must be curbed, if not eliminated. This view of justice is what links proponents of Affirmative Action to the Nazis. Thus, one may properly conclude that American liberals have created and enforced the Nazi-like race edicts that pervade America.
1 Daniel Jonah Goldhagen, Hitler’s Willing Executioners: Ordinary Germans and the Holocaust(New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1996).
2 For a discussion of this, see the first and last chapters of Steven E. Aschheim, Culture and Catastrophe: German and Jewish Confrontation with National Socialism and Other Crises (London: Macmillan, 1996, pp. 1-30, 115-35.
3 Though Germany had been a center of Zionism prior to outbreak of WWI, by 1917 the Central Powers simply could not outbid the British on this issue. While the British could offer Palestine as a homeland for the Jews, Palestine was then a part of the Turkish Empire, which was one of the few nations aligned with Germany during that war. The Turks were determined to cede Palestine to neither Zionists nor Arabs, and Germany was unwilling to offend its ally by promising as much to the Zionists as did the British.
4 Omer Bartov, “Defining Enemies, Making Victims: Germans, Jews, and the Holocaust,” American Historical Review, June 1998, pp. 776-77.
5 Though many on the Left have dismissed the assertion as anti-Semitic and anti-Communist propaganda, Lenin himself was partly of Jewish heritage. Dimitri Volkogonov states in his revealing biography of Lenin, “In her letter to Stalin, Anna [Yelizarova, an elder sister of Lenin who had studied the family’s background] wrote: ‘It’s probably no secret for you that the research on our grandfather shows that he came from a poor Jewish family, that he was, as his baptismal certificate says, the son of “Zhitomir Meshchanin Moishe Blank”.’ She went on to suggest that ‘this fact could serve to help combat anti-semitism.’ Paradoxically for a Marxist . . . ,she also asserted the dubious proposition that Lenin’s Jewish origins ‘are further confirmation of the exceptional abilities of the Semitic tribe, . . . ’ . . . Anna’s sister Maria handed the letter to Stalin and waited while he read it carefully. His response was categorical and fierce: ‘Absolutely not one word about this letter!’ . . . But Stalin, the Russified Georgian, could not allow it to be known that Lenin had Jewish roots, and his strict prohibition remained firmly in place.” Dimitri Volkogonov, Lenin: A New Biography, tr. And ed. By Harold Shukman (New York, etc.: The Free Press, 1994, pp. 8-9. The revelations from the former Soviet archives simply demonstrate how often the Left has accepted and defended Communist propaganda as fact. Chaim Bermant adds to the discussion in his The Jews (London: Weidenfeld and Nicholson, 1977) Not counting Lenin, of the seven members of the early Politburo, four were Jews—Trotsky, Zinoviev, Kamenev, and Sverdlov. Furthermore, after Lenin’s death, the triumverate that assumed power in 1924 to block Trotsky consisted of Zinoviev, Kamenev, and Stalin. Only Stalin was a gentile, and he was married to a Jew. Sarah Gordon recognized that one of the “genuine and objective reasons for increased anti-Semitism during and after WWI” was the impression among ordinary Germans that Jews were linked to socialism, communism, and revolution. See Sarah Gordon, Hitler, Germans, and the “Jewish Question”(Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1984, p. 23.
6 The television program “The Rise and Fall of Adolf Hitler: [Part] I, The Private Man,” contains some revealing sequences. I quote from the narration: “With the defeat [of Germany in 1918], revolution broke out across Germany. In Bavaria a revolutionary government was set up. The socialist president Kurt Eisner was shot on the street in February 1919. The people turned out to say farewell. Hitler had returned to his Munich regiment, his only foothold, his only home. He was threatened with demobilization and a return to the hostel. A fellow soldier later remembered that Hitler seemed like a stray dog, searching for a new master. In the funeral procession for the Jewish Socialist Eisner was a detachment from Hitler’s regiment wearing both red armbands and black armbands. The film clip shows a lance corporal marching with the officers—Adolf Hitler. Contrary to his legend about himself—he is wearing the red cloth of the soviets; he sympathizes with the German Socialist Party, a hanger on with no political home. After the murder of Eisner, Munich was shaken by revolution. The Bolsheviks forced their way into power and for the month of April 1919 set up a Soviet Republic. The Bolsheviks’ leaders demanded loyalty from the soldiers, including Hitler’s regiment. Spokesmen were being elected; Hitler stood as a candidate. With 19 votes he won a seat on the soldier’s council, or soviet, becoming a servant of the forces which shortly after he said he had always hated. In early May troops of the Reich’s central government captured Munich and crushed the soviet dictatorship.” Only then did Hitler change sides and later cover his past in supporting a Jewish led soviet government in Bavaria. The film was produced by ZDF in association with ARTE and the History Channel. Executive Producer: Guido Knopp. Written and produced by Guido Knopp and Maurice Philip Remy, 1997. The film shows one who appears to be Hitler in the funeral procession, and displays documents about Hitler’s election to the soldier’s soviet.
7b Concerning the leadership in Kun’s revolutionary government—“ . . . of 48 Peoples’ Commissars . . . 30 were Jewish, as were 161 of its 202 highest officials.” W. D. Rubinstein, “Jews in the Economic Elites of Western Nations and Antisemitism,” Jewish Journal of Sociology, xlii, #1 & 2 of 2000, p. 19.
8 The percentage of Jews had declined since German unification in 1871. Monika Richarz presents the statistics showing the decline from 1871 when Jews were 1.25%, to 1900 with 1.04%, in 1910 with 0.95%, in 1925 with 0.90%, to 1933 with only 0.76% after perhaps 25,000 had immigrated because of Nazi rule. In raw numbers, Jews were 564,379 in 1925, while only 502,799 in 1933. See Monika Richarz (ed.)Jewish Life in Germany: Memoirs from Three Centuries, tr. Stella P. Rosenfeld and Sidney Rosenfeld, sponsored by the Leo Baeck Institute (Bloomington & Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, 1991, p. 6. Similarly, Saul Friedlaender estimates the number of Jews as 535,000 in 1933, in Saul Friedlaender, Nazi Germany and the Jews, v. I, The Years of Persecution, 1933-1939 (New York: Harper Collins Publishers, 1997, p. 15. The total population of Germany in 1925 was just over 63 million, by 1933, just over 66 million.
9 Robert Proctor, Racial Hygiene: Medicine Under the Nazis (Cambridge, Mass. And London: Harvard University Press, 1988), p. 153.
10 See Bernt Engelmann, Germany Without Jews,tr. D. J. Beer (Munich: Wilhelm Godman Verlag, c1979; New York, etc: Bantam Books, 1984). His quotation about the theater appears on p. 72, about the films, p. 67. The entire book is a discussion of Jewish over representation in the culture, science, and professions of Germany. Sarah Gordon writes on the same subject, “ . . . in 1931, 50 percent of the 234 theater directors in Germany were Jewish, and in Berlin the number was 80 percent; 75 percent of the plays produced in 1930 were written by Jews; and the leading critics were Jewish, and a large number of prominent actresses and actors were Jewish.” Sarah Gordon, Hitler, Germans, and the “Jewish Question,”p. 14.
11 Georg Iggers, “Academic Anti-Semitism in Germany 1870-1933 from a Comparative International Perspective,” paper delivered at the International Conference “Rethinking German Anti-Semitism” at Hebrew University in Jerusalem, 26-28 November 1996, p. 17.
12 Donald L. Niewyk, in The Jews in Weimar Germany (Baton Rouge & London: Louisiana State University Press, 1980) writes: “ The role of Jews in the economy and, indeed, in the culture of Weimar Germany has been exaggerated . . . And yet, there can be no question that Jews contributed in some aspect of German life between 1919 and 1933 in numbers disproportionate to their representation in the population. Almost three-quarters of them [Jews] made their living from trade, commerce, banking, and the professions, especially medicine and law . . . Although professed Jews made up at most 0.9 percent of the German population . . . In 1930, Jews owned four thousand of Germany’s wholesale textile firms, or 40 percent of the total, and nearly 60 percent of all wholesale and retail clothing businesses were in Jewish hands, . . . Around a quarter of all wholesalers of agricultural products were Jewish, . . . Jews were also important in the wholesale metal trades and retail grocery business . . . Jews were highly visible as owners of great department stores and chain stores. In 1932 department stores owned by Jews accounted for 79 percent of all business done by such enterprises . . . Jews were similarly prominent as bankers . . . Almost half of all private banks, . . . ,were owned by . . . famous Jewish banking families . . . Jews were less prominent in the leadership of German industry, although they were well represented in a few fields . . . Only in the publishing industry were Jews unquestionably leaders. The two largest publishing houses in Germany, . . . , Jewish journalists were notable across almost the entire spectrum of the liberal and left-wing press . . . In 1933 they made up 11 percent of Germany’s doctors, more than 16 percent of its lawyers and notaries public, and around 13 percent of its patent attorneys.” Pp. 12-15. Sarah Gordon wrote, “Jews were very active in the stock market, particularly in Berlin, where in 1928 they comprised 80 percent of the leading members of the stock exchange. By 1933, when the Nazis began eliminating Jews from prominent positions, 85 percent of the brokers on the Berlin stock exchange were dismissed because of “race.” Sarah Gordon,Hitler, Germans and the “Jewish Question,” p. 12. It was not only in Germany where Jews had a disproportionate share of the wealth. Rubinstein reports that in Hungary in1887 some 62.3% of the top business taxpayers were Jewish. Around 1914 it was estimated that 35% of Russia’s mercantile class was Jewish. And in 1929 in Poland 45% of the highest income earners outside of agriculture were Jewish. See Rubinstein, “Jews in the Economic Elites,” Jewish Journal of Sociology, xlii, #1 & 2, p. 6.
13 Niewyk, Jews in Weimar Germany, p. 16.
14 Francis R. Nicosia, The Third Reich and the Palestine Question (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1985), p. 56.
15 Ibid., p. 57.
16 Ibid. See also my review of Nicosia’s book inNew German Critique, Fall 1987, pp. 176-80.
17 Proctor, Racial Hygiene, p. 374, note 77, reports that in 1935 some 90,000 Jews left Germany, but 9,000 returned.
18 Gordon Craig, Germany: 1866-1945 (New York: Oxford University Press, 1978), p. 633.
19 Martin Gilbert, The Holocaust: A History of the Jews of Europe during the Second World War (New York: Holt, Rinehart, and Winston, 1985), p. 57.
20 Robert Jay Lifton, The Nazi Doctors: Medical Killing and the Psychology of Genocide (New York: Basic Books, 1986) p. 27 reports 200,000 to 350,000 sterilized; Proctor, Racial Hygiene, p. 108, sets the number at 400,00. On the euthanasia program, Proctor states 70,000 had been killed by August 1941, pp. 191-92; Lifton presents numbers killed in this program, which extended through the war years and into the post-war era of occupation as 100,000. James Glass, “Life Unworthy of Life”: Racial Phobia and Mass Murder in Hitler’s Germany (New York: Basic Books, 1997) states, “Between 1934 and 1945, at least 1 percent of the German population was sterilized.” P. 39.
21 Proctor, Racial Hygiene, p. 374, note 85.
22 For an account of this see, “The Letter from Dr. Nash,” by Bill Luedens in Milwaukee’s Shepherd Express, 14 November 1996, pp. 9-11. The newspaper, Milwaukee’s equivalent of New York’sVillage Voice, introduced the article in this manner: “When Erwin Knoll died on Nov. 2, 1994, he was perhaps the nation’s best-known proponent of radical ideas, a national spokesman for the political Left. Knoll, for 21 years the editor of The Progressive . . . ” was not a native American. “ . . . Knoll’s formative years were spent fleeing the Nazis in Austria. A letter from his uncle, Eric Nash, who was captured, told his family what they missed.” On the question of whether the holocaust was rational, see a series of my writings: “Nazi Science,” Polity, Spring 1990, pp. 545-556; “Science, Reason, and the German Utopia,”Journal of Unconventional History, Fall 1989, pp. 33-51; the critique of that article and my reply, Ibid., Spring 1990, pp. 5-12; and my review of Zygmund Bauman’s Modernity and the Holocaust in German Politics & Society (published at Harvard), Spring 1991, pp. 82-86. Though his conclusions differ from mine, James Glass, Ibid., includes some supportive observations. For example, he writes on p. 120, “[Georg] Mosse’s analysis of culture is correct as far as it goes; it does not however, give adequate weight to the role of science in forging professional precepts ( . . . ) critical to understanding the Holocaust.” On the book cover’s inside flap, this is stated, “Glass, a leading scholar of political psychology and political theory, argues that the answers [of why the Final Solution] lie in the rise of a particular ethos of public health and sanitation that emerged from the German medical establishment and filtered down to the common people."
23 Hugh Davis Graham, The Civil Rights Era: Origins and Development of National Policy, 1960-1972 (New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1990), pp. 118-52, 177-221. For further elaboration on the religious side of this topic, see my “White Male Privi-lege? A Social Construct for Political Oppression,”Journal of Libertarian Studies, Winter 1998-99, pp. 135-50.
24 “Note Book,” Chronicle of Higher Education, 7 May 1999, p. A49, and Ben Gose, “Princeton Tries to Explain a Drop in Jewish Enrollment, “ Ibid., 14 May 1999, pp. A47-48.
25 Murray, “White Male Privilege?,” Ibid.