30 September, 2010

Mark Twain and the JEWS - USA=DUMB CHRISTiANs

Mark Twain, Harper's Magazine, March, 1898

Concerning The Jews

Some months ago I published a magazine article[1]
descriptive of a remarkable scene in the Imperial
Parliament in Vienna. Since then I have received from
Jews in America several letters of inquiry. They were
difficult letters to answer, for they were not very
definite. But at last I have received a definite one.
It is from a lawyer, and he really asks the questions
which the other writers probably believed they were
asking. By help of this text I will do the best I can
to publicly answer this correspondent, and also the
others--at the same time apologising for having failed
to reply privately. The lawyer's letter reads as

'I have read "Stirring Times in Austria." One point in
particular is of vital import to not a few thousand
people, including myself, being a point about which I
have often wanted to address a question to some
disinterested person. The show of military force in
the Austrian Parliament, which precipitated the riots,
was not introduced by any Jew. No Jew was a member of
that body. No Jewish question was involved in the
Ausgleich or in the language proposition. No Jew was
insulting anybody. In short, no Jew was doing any
mischief toward anybody whatsoever. In fact, the Jews
were the only ones of the nineteen different races in
Austria which did not have a party--they are absolute
non-participants. Yet in your article you say that in
the rioting which followed, all classes of people were
unanimous only on one thing, viz., in being against the
Jews. Now, will you kindly tell me why, in your
judgment, the Jews have thus ever been, and are even
now, in these days of supposed intelligence, the butt
of baseless, vicious animosities? I dare say that for
centuries there has been no more quiet, undisturbing,
and well-behaving citizen, as a class, than that same
Jew. It seems to me that ignorance and fanaticism
cannot alone account for these horrible and unjust

'Tell me, therefore, from your vantage point of cold
view, what in your mind is the cause. Can American Jews
do anything to correct it either in America or abroad?
Will it ever come to an end? Will a Jew be permitted to
live honestly, decently, and peaceably like the rest of
mankind? What has become of the Golden Rule?'

I will begin by saying that if I thought myself
prejudiced against the Jew, I should hold it fairest to
leave this subject to a person not crippled in that
way. But I think I have no such prejudice. A few years
ago a Jew observed to me that there was no uncourteous
reference to his people in my books, and asked how it
happened. It happened because the disposition was
lacking. I am quite sure that (bar one) I have no race
prejudices, and I think I have no colour prejudices
nor caste prejudices nor creed prejudices. Indeed, I
know it. I can stand any society. All that I care to
know is that a man is a human being--that is enough
for me; he can't be any worse. I have no special regard
for Satan; but I can at least claim that I have no
prejudice against him. It may even be that I lean a
little his way, on account of his not having a fair
show. All religions issue Bibles against him, and say
the most injurious things about him, but we never hear
his side. We have none but the evidence for the
prosecution, and yet we have rendered the verdict. To
my mind, this is irregular. It is un-English; it is
un-American; it is French. Without this precedent
Dreyfus could not have been condemned. Of course Satan
has some kind of a case, it goes without saying. It
may be a poor one, but that is nothing; that can be
said about any of us. As soon as I can get at the facts
I will undertake his rehabilitation myself, if I can
find an unpolitic publisher. It is a thing which we
ought to be willing to do for any one who is under a
cloud. We may not pay Satan reverence, for that would
be indiscreet, but we can at least respect his
talents. A person who has during all time maintained
the imposing position of spiritual head of four-fifths
of the human race, and political head of the whole of
it, must be granted the possession of executive
abilities of the loftiest order. In his large presence
the other popes and politicians shrink to midges for
the microscope. I would like to see him. I would rather
see him and shake him by the tail than any other member
of the European Concert. In the present paper I shall
allow myself to use the word Jew as if it stood for
both religion and race. It is handy; and, besides, that
is what the term means to the general world.

In the above letter one notes these points:

1. The Jew is a well-behaved citizen.

2. Can ignorance and fanaticism alone account for his
unjust treatment?

3. Can Jews do anything to improve the situation?

4. The Jews have no party; they are non-participants.

5. Will the persecution ever come to an end?

6. What has become of the Golden Rule?

Point No. 1.--We must grant proposition No. 1, for
several sufficient reasons. The Jew is not a disturber
of the peace of any country. Even his enemies will
concede that. He is not a loafer, he is not a sot, he
is not noisy, he is not a brawler nor a rioter, he is
not quarrelsome. In the statistics of crime his
presence is conspicuously rare--in all countries. With
murder and other crimes of violence he has but little
to do: he is a stranger to the hangman. In the police
court's daily long roll of 'assaults' and 'drunk and
disorderlies' his name seldom appears. That the Jewish
home is a home in the truest sense is a fact which no
one will dispute. The family is knitted together by the
strongest affections; its members show each other every
due respect; and reverence for the elders is an
inviolate law of the house. The Jew is not a burden on
the charities of the state nor of the city; these
could cease from their functions without affecting him.
When he is well enough, he works; when he is
incapacitated, his own people take care of him. And
not in a poor and stingy way, but with a fine and large
benevolence. His race is entitled to be called the most
benevolent of all the races of men. A Jewish beggar is
not impossible, perhaps; such a thing may exist, but
there are few men that can say they have seen that
spectacle. The Jew has been staged in many
uncomplimentary forms, but, so far as I know, no
dramatist has done him the injustice to stage him as a
beggar. Whenever a Jew has real need to beg, his people
save him from the necessity of doing it. The charitable
institutions of the Jews are supported by Jewish money,
and amply. The Jews make no noise about it; it is done
quietly; they do not nag and pester and harass us for
contributions; they give us peace, and set us an
example--an example which he have not found ourselves
able to follow; for by nature we are not free givers,
and have to be patiently and persistently hunted down
in the interest of the unfortunate.

These facts are all on the credit side of the
proposition that the Jew is a good and orderly citizen.
Summed up, they certify that he is quiet, peaceable,
industrious, unaddicted to high crimes and brutal
dispositions; that his family life is commendable;
that he is not a burden upon public charities; that he
is not a beggar; that in benevolence he is above the
reach of competition. These are the very
quintessentials of good citizenship. If you can add
that he is as honest as the average of his
neighbours--But I think that question is affirmatively
answered by the fact that he is a successful business
man. The basis of successful business is honesty; a
business cannot thrive where the parties to it cannot
trust each other. In the matter of numbers the Jew
counts for little in the overwhelming population of
New York; but that his honest counts for much is
guaranteed by the fact that the immense wholesale
business of Broadway, from the Battery to Union Square,
is substantially in his hands.

I suppose that the most picturesque example in history
of a trader's trust in his fellow-trader was one where
it was not Christian trusting Christian, but Christian
trusting Jew. That Hessian Duke who used to sell his
subjects to George III. to fight George Washington
with got rich at it; and by-and-by, when the wars
engendered by the French Revolution made his throne too
warm for him, he was obliged to fly the country. He was
in a hurry, and had to leave his earnings
behind--$9,000,000. He had to risk the money with some
one without security. He did not select a Christian,
but a Jew--a Jew of only modest means, but of high
character; a character so high that it left him
lonesome--Rothschild of Frankfort. Thirty years later,
when Europe had become quiet and safe again, the Duke
came back from overseas, and the Jew returned the
loan, with interest added.[2]

The Jew has his other side. He has some discreditable
ways, though he has not a monopoly of them, because he
cannot get entirely rid of vexatious Christian
competition. We have seen that he seldom transgresses
the laws against crimes of violence. Indeed, his
dealings with courts are almost restricted to matters
connected with commerce. He has a reputation for
various small forms of cheating, and for practising
oppressive usury, and for burning himself out to get
the insurance, and for arranging cunning contracts
which leave him an exit but lock the other man in, and
for smart evasions which find him safe and comfortable
just within the strict letter of the law, when court
and jury know very well that he has violated the spirit
of it. He is a frequent and faithful and capable
officer in the civil service, but he is charged with an
unpatriotic disinclination to stand by the flag as a
soldier--like the Christian Quaker.

Now if you offset these discreditable features by the
creditable ones summarised in a preceding paragraph
beginning with the words, 'These facts are all on the
credit side,' and strike a balance, what must the
verdict be? This, I think: that, the merits and
demerits being fairly weighed and measured on both
sides, the Christian can claim no superiority over the
Jew in the matter of good citizenship.

Yet in all countries, from the dawn of history, the
Jew has been persistently and implacably hated, and
with frequency persecuted.

Point No. 2.--'Can fanaticism alone account for this?'

Years ago I used to think that it was responsible for
nearly all of it, but latterly I have come to think
that this was an error. Indeed, it is now my conviction
that it is responsible for hardly any of it.

In this connection I call to mind Genesis, chapter

We have all thoughtfully--or unthoughtfully--read the
pathetic story of the years of plenty and the years of
famine in Egypt, and how Joseph, with that opportunity,
made a corner in broken hearts, and the crusts of the
poor, and human liberty--a corner whereby he took a
nation's money all away, to the last penny; took a
nation's live stock all away, to the last hoof; took a
nation's land away, to the last acre; then took the
nation itself, buying it for bread, man by man, woman
by woman, child by child, till all were slaves; a
corner which took everything, left nothing; a corner so
stupendous that, by comparison with it, the most
gigantic corners in subsequent history are but baby
things, for it dealt in hundreds of millions of
bushels, and its profits were reckonable by hundreds of
millions of dollars, and it was a disaster so crushing
that its effects have not wholly disappeared from Egypt
to-day, more than three thousand years after the event.

Is it presumably that the eye of Egypt was upon Joseph
the foreign Jew all this time? I think it likely. Was
it friendly? We must doubt it. Was Joseph establishing
a character for his race which would survive long in
Egypt? and in time would his name come to be
familiarly used to express that character--like
Shylock's? It is hardly to be doubted. Let us remember
that this was centuries before the Crucifixion?

I wish to come down eighteen hundred years later and
refer to a remark made by one of the Latin historians.
I read it in a translation many years ago, and it comes
back to me now with force. It was alluding to a time
when people were still living who could have seen the
Saviour in the flesh. Christianity was so new that the
people of Rome had hardly heard of it, and had but
confused notions of what it was. The substance of the
remark was this: Some Christians were persecuted in
Rome through error, they being 'mistaken for Jews.'

The meaning seems plain. These pagans had nothing
against Christians, but they were quite ready to
persecute Jews. For some reason or other they hated a
Jew before they even knew what a Christian was. May I
not assume, then, that the persecution of Jews is a
thing which antedates Christianity and was not born of
Christianity? I think so. What was the origin of the

When I was a boy, in the back settlements of the
Mississippi Valley, where a gracious and beautiful
Sunday school simplicity and practicality prevailed,
the 'Yankee' (citizen of the New England States) was
hated with a splendid energy. But religion had nothing
to do with it. In a trade, the Yankee was held to be
about five times the match of the Westerner. His
shrewdness, his insight, his judgment, his knowledge,
his enterprise, and his formidable cleverness in
applying these forces were frankly confessed, and most
competently cursed.

In the cotton States, after the war, the simple and
ignorant Negroes made the crops for the white planter
on shares. The Jew came down in force, set up shop on
the plantation, supplied all the negro's wants on
credit, and at the end of the season was proprietor of
the negro's share of the present crop and of part of
his share of the next one. Before long, the whites
detested the Jew, and it is doubtful if the negro
loved him.

The Jew is begin legislated out of Russia. The reason
is not concealed. The movement was instituted because
the Christian peasant and villager stood no chance
against his commercial abilities. He was always ready
to lend money on a crop, and sell vodka and other
necessities of life on credit while the crop was
growing. When settlement day came he owned the crop;
and next year or year after he owned the farm, like

In the dull and ignorant English of John's time
everybody got into debt to the Jew. He gathered all
lucrative enterprises into his hands; he was the king
of commerce; he was ready to be helpful in all
profitable ways; he even financed crusades for the
rescue of the Sepulchre. To wipe out his account with
the nation and restore business to its natural and
incompetent channels he had to be banished the realm.

For the like reasons Spain had to banish him four
hundred years ago, and Austria about a couple of
centuries later.

In all the ages Christian Europe has been oblige to
curtail his activities. If he entered upon a mechanical
trade, the Christian had to retire from it. If he set
up as a doctor, he was the best one, and he took the
business. If he exploited agriculture, the other
farmers had to get at something else. Since there was
no way to successfully compete with him in any
vocation, the law had to step in and save the
Christian from the poor-house. Trade after trade was
taken away from the Jew by statute till practically
none was left. He was forbidden to engage in
agriculture; he was forbidden to practise law; he was
forbidden to practise medicine, except among Jews; he
was forbidden the handicrafts. Even the seats of
learning and the schools of science had to be closed
against this tremendous antagonist. Still, almost
bereft of employments, he found ways to make money,
even ways to get rich. Also ways to invest his takings
well, for usury was not denied him. In the hard
conditions suggested, the Jew without brains could not
survive, and the Jew with brains had to keep them in
good training and well sharpened up, or starve. Ages of
restriction to the one tool which the law was not able
to take from him--his brain--have made that tool
singularly competent; ages of compulsory disuse of his
hands have atrophied them, and he never uses them now.
This history has a very, very commercial look, a most
sordid and practical commercial look, the business
aspect of a Chinese cheap-labour crusade. Religious
prejudices may account for one part of it, but not for
the other nine.

Protestants have persecuted Catholics, but they did
not take their livelihoods away from them. The
Catholics have persecuted the Protestants with bloody
and awful bitterness, but they never closed agriculture
and the handicrafts against them. Why was that? That
has the candid look of genuine religious persecution,
not a trade-union boycott in a religious dispute.

The Jews are harried and obstructed in Austria and
Germany, and lately in France; but England and America
give them an open field and yet survive. Scotland
offers them an unembarrassed field too, but there are
not many takers. There are a few Jews in Glasgow, and
one in Aberdeen; but that is because they can't earn
enough to get away. The Scotch pay themselves that
compliment, but it is authentic.

I feel convinced that the Crucifixion has not much to
do with the world's attitude toward the Jew; that the
reasons for it are older than that event, as suggested
by Egypt's experience and by Rome's regret for having
persecuted an unknown quantity called a Christian,
under the mistaken impression that she was merely
persecuting a Jew. Merely a Jew--a skinned eel who was
used to it, presumably. I am persuaded that in Russia,
Austria, and Germany nine-tenths of the hostility to
the Jew comes from the average Christian's inability to
compete successfully with the average Jew in
business--in either straight business or the
questionable sort.

In Berlin, a few years ago, I read a speech which
frankly urged the expulsion of the Jews from Germany;
and the agitator's reason was as frank as his
proposition. It was this: that eighty-five percent of
the successful lawyers of Berlin were Jews, and that
about the same percentage of the great and lucrative
businesses of all sorts in Germany were in the hands of
the Jewish race! Isn't it an amazing confession? It was
but another way of saying that in a population of
48,000,000, of whom only 500,000 were registered as
Jews, eighty-five per cent of the brains and honesty of
the whole was lodged in the Jews. I must insist upon
the honesty--it is an essential of successful
business, taken by and large. Of course it does not
rule out rascals entirely, even among Christians, but
it is a good working rule, nevertheless. The speaker's
figures may have been inexact, but the motive of
persecution stands out as clear as day.

The man claimed that in Berlin the banks, the
newspapers, the theatres, the great mercantile,
shipping, mining, and manufacturing interests, the big
army and city contracts, the tramways, and pretty much
all other properties of high value, and also the small
businesses, were in the hands of the Jews. He said the
Jew was pushing the Christian to the wall all along the
line; that it was all a Christian could do to scrape
together a living; and that the Jew must be banished,
and soon--there was no other way of saving the
Christian. Here in Vienna, last autumn, an agitator
said that all these disastrous details were true of
Austria-Hungary also; and in fierce language he
demanded the expulsion of the Jews. When politicians
come out without a blush and read the baby act in this
frank way, unrebuked, it is a very good indication
that they have a market back of them, and know where to
fish for votes.

You note the crucial point of the mentioned agitation;
the argument is that the Christian cannot compete with
the Jew, and that hence his very bread is in peril. To
human beings this is a much more hate-inspiring thing
than is any detail connected with religion. With most
people, of a necessity, bread and meat take first rank,
religion second. I am convinced that the persecution of
the Jew is not due in any large degree to religious

No, the Jew is a money-getter; and in getting his
money he is a very serious obstruction to less capable
neighbours who are on the same quest. I think that that
is the trouble. In estimating worldly values the Jew is
not shallow, but deep. With precocious wisdom he found
out in the morning of time that some men worship rank,
some worship heroes, some worship power, some worship
God, and that over these ideals they dispute and cannot
unite--but that they all worship money; so he made it
the end and aim of his life to get it. He was at it in
Egypt thirty-six centuries ago; he was at it in Rome
when that Christian got persecuted by mistake for him;
he has been at it ever since. The cost to him has been
heavy; his success has made the whole human race his
enemy--but it has paid, for it has brought him envy,
and that is the only thing which men will sell both
soul and body to get. He long ago observed that a
millionaire commands respect, a two-millionaire
homage, a multi-millionaire the deepest deeps of
adoration. We all know that feeling; we have seen it
express itself. We have noticed that when the average
man mentions the name of a multi-millionaire he does
it with that mixture in his voice of awe and reverence
and lust which burns in a Frenchman's eye when it falls
on another man's centime.

Point No. 4--'The Jews have no party; they are

Perhaps you have let the secret out and given yourself
away. It seems hardly a credit to the race that it is
able to say that; or to you, sir, that you can say it
without remorse; more, that you should offer it as a
plea against maltreatment, injustice, and oppression.
Who gives the Jew the right, who gives any race the
right, to sit still in a free country, and let somebody
else look after its safety? The oppressed Jew was
entitled to all pity in the former times under brutal
autocracies, for he was weak and friendless, and had no
way to help his case. But he has ways now, and he has
had them for a century, but I do not see that he has
tried to make serious use of then. When the Revolution
set him free in France it was an act of grace--the
grace of other people; he does not appear in it as a
helper. I do not know that he helped when England set
him free. Among the Twelve Sane Men of France who have
stepped forward with great Zola at their head to fight
(and win, I hope and believe[3]) the battle for the
most infamously misused Jew of modern times, do you
find a great or rich or illustrious Jew helping? In
the United States he was created free in the
beginning--he did not need to help, of course. In
Austria and Germany and France he has a vote, but of
what considerable use is it to him? He doesn't seem to
know how to apply it to the best effect. With all his
splendid capacities and all his fat wealth he is to-day
not politically important in any country. In America,
as early as 1854, the ignorant Irish hod-carrier, who
had a spirit of his own and a way of exposing it to the
weather, made it apparent to all that he must be
politically reckoned with; yet fifteen years before
that we hardly knew what an Irishman looked like. As an
intelligent force and numerically, he has always been
away down, but he has governed the country just the
same. It was because he was organised. It made his vote
valuable--in fact, essential.

You will say the Jew is everywhere numerically feeble.
That is nothing to the point--with the Irishman's
history for an object-lesson. But I am coming to your
numerical feebleness presently. In all parliamentary
countries you could no doubt elect Jews to the
legislatures--and even one member in such a body is
sometimes a force which counts. How deeply have you
concerned yourselves about this in Austria, France,
and Germany? Or even in America, for that matter? You
remark that the Jews were not to blame for the riots in
this Reichsrath here, and you add with satisfaction
that there wasn't one in that body. That is not
strictly correct; if it were, would it not be in order
for you to explain it and apologise for it, not try to
make a merit of it? But I think that the Jew was by no
means in as large force there as he ought to have
been, with his chances. Austria opens the suffrage to
him on fairly liberal terms, and it must surely be his
own fault that he is so much in the background

As to your numerical weakness. I mentioned some
figures awhile ago --500,00--as the Jewish population
of Germany. I will add some more --6,000,000 in Russia,
5,000,000 in Austria, 250,000 in the United States. I
take them from memory; I read them in the
'Encyclopaedia Brittannica' ten or twelve years ago.
Still, I am entirely sure of them. If those statistics
are correct, my argument is not as strong as it ought
to be as concerns America, but it still has strength.
It is plenty strong enough as concerns Austria, for ten
years ago 5,000,000 was nine per cent of the empire's
population. The Irish would govern the Kingdom of
Heaven if they had a strength there like that.

I have some suspicions; I got them at second-hand, but
they have remained with me these ten or twelve years.
When I read in the 'E.B.' that the Jewish population of
the United States was 250,000 I wrote the editor, and
explained to him that I was personally acquainted with
more Jews than that in my country, and that his figures
were without a doubt a misprint for 25,000,000. I also
added that I was personally acquainted with that many
there; but that was only to raise his confidence in
me, for it was not true. His answer miscarried, and I
never got it; but I went around talking about the
matter, and people told me they had reason to suspect
that for business reasons many Jews whose dealings
were mainly with the Christians did not report
themselves as Jews in the census. It looked plausible;
it looks plausible yet. Look at the city of New York;
and look at Boston, and Philadelphia, and New Orleans,
and Chicago, and Cincinnati, and San Francisco--how
your race swarms in those places!--and everywhere else
in America, down to the least little village. Read the
signs on the marts of commerce and on the shops;
Goldstein (gold stone), Edelstein (precious stone),
Blumenthal (flower-vale), Rosenthal (rose-vale),
Veilchenduft (violent odour), Singvogel (song-bird),
Rosenzweig (rose branch), and all the amazing list of
beautiful and enviable names which Prussia and Austria
glorified you with so long ago. It is another instance
of Europe's coarse and cruel persecution of your race;
not that it was coarse and cruel to outfit it with
pretty and poetical names like those, but it was coarse
and cruel to make it pay for them or else take such
hideous and often indecent names that to-day their
owners never use them; or, if they do, only on
official papers. And it was the many, not the few, who
got the odious names, they being too poor to bribe the
officials to grant them better ones.

Now why was the race renamed? I have been told that in
Prussia it was given to using fictitious names, and
often changing them, so as to beat the tax-gatherer,
escape military service, and so on; and that finally
the idea was hit upon of furnishing all the inmates of
a house with one and the same surname, and then holding
the house responsible right along for those inmates,
and accountable for any disappearances that might
occur; it made the Jews keep track of each other, for
self-interest's sake, and saved the Government the

If that explanation of how the Jews of Prussia came to
be renamed is correct, if it is true that they
fictitiously registered themselves to gain certain
advantages, it may possible be true that in America
they refrain from registered themselves as Jews to fend
off the damaging prejudices of the Christian customer.
I have no way of knowing whether this notion is well
founded or not. There may be other and better ways of
explaining why only that poor little 250,000 of our
Jews got into the 'Encyclopaedia'. I may, of course, be
mistaken, but I am strongly of the opinion that we have
an immense Jewish population in America.

Point No. 3--'Can Jews do anything to improve the

I think so. If I may make a suggestion without seeming
to be trying to teach my grandmother to suck eggs, I
will offer it. In our days we have learned the value of
combination. We apply it everywhere--in railway
systems, in trusts, in trade unions, in Salvation
Armies, in minor politics, in major politics, in
European Concerts. Whatever our strength may be, big or
little, we organise it. We have found out that that is
the only way to get the most out of it that is in it.
We know the weakness of individual sticks, and the
strength of the concentrated faggot. Suppose you try a
scheme like this, for instance. In England and America
put every Jew on the census-book as a Jew (in case you
have not been doing that). Get up volunteer regiments
composed of Jews solely, and when the drum beats, fall
in and go to the front, so as to remove the reproach
that you have few Massenas among you, and that you feed
on a country but don't like to fight for it. Next, in
politics, organise your strength, band together, and
deliver the casting-vote where you can, and, where you
can't, compel as good terms as possible. You huddle to
yourselves already in all countries, but you huddle to
no sufficient purpose, politically speaking. You do not
seem to be organised, except for your charities. There
you are omnipotent; there you compel your due of
recognition--you do not have to beg for it. It shows
what you can do when you band together for a definite

And then from America and England you can encourage
your race in Austria, France, and Germany, and
materially help it. It was a pathetic tale that was
told by a poor Jew a fortnight ago during the riots,
after he had been raided by the Christian peasantry and
despoiled of everything he had. He said his vote was of
no value to him, and he wished he could be excused from
casting it, for indeed, casting it was a sure damage
to him, since, no matter which party he voted for, the
other party would come straight and take its revenge
out of him. Nine per cent of the population, these
Jews, and apparently they cannot put a plank into any
candidate's platform! If you will send our Irish lads
over here I think they will organise your race and
change the aspect of the Reichsrath.

You seem to think that the Jews take no hand in
politics here, that they are 'absolutely
non-participants.' I am assured by men competent to
speak that this is a very large error, that the Jews
are exceedingly active in politics all over the empire,
but that they scatter their work and their votes among
the numerous parties, and thus lose the advantages to
be had by concentration. I think that in America they
scatter too, but you know more about that than I do.

Speaking of concentration, Dr. Herzl has a clear
insight into the value of that. Have you heard of his
plan? He wishes to gather the Jews of the world
together in Palestine, with a government of their
own--under the suzerainty of the Sultan, I suppose. At
the Convention of Berne, last year, there were
delegates from everywhere, and the proposal was
received with decided favour. I am not the Sultan, and
I am not objecting; but if that concentration of the
cunningest brains in the world were going to be made in
a free country (bar Scotland), I think it would be
politic to stop it. It will not be well to let that
race find out its strength. If the horses knew theirs,
we should not ride any more.

Point No. 5.--'Will the persecution of the Jews ever
come to an end?'

On the score of religion, I think it has already come
to an end. On the score of race prejudice and trade, I
have the idea that it will continue. That is, here and
there in spots about the world, where a barbarous
ignorance and a sort of mere animal civilisation
prevail; but I do not think that elsewhere the Jew need
now stand in any fear of being robbed and raided. Among
the high civilisations he seems to be very comfortably
situated indeed, and to have more than his
proportionate share of the prosperities going. It has
that look in Vienna. I suppose the race prejudice
cannot be removed; but he can stand that; it is no
particular matter. By his make and ways he is
substantially a foreigner wherever he may be, and even
the angels dislike a foreigner. I am using this world
foreigner in the German sense--stranger. Nearly all of
us have an antipathy to a stranger, even of our own
nationality. We pile grip-sacks in a vacant seat to
keep him from getting it; and a dog goes further, and
does as a savage would--challenges him on the spot.
The German dictionary seems to make no distinction
between a stranger and a foreigner; in its view a
stranger is a foreigner--a sound position, I think. You
will always be by ways and habits and predilections
substantially strangers--foreigners--wherever you are,
and that will probably keep the race prejudice against
you alive.

But you were the favourites of Heaven originally, and
your manifold and unfair prosperities convince me that
you have crowded back into that snug place again. Here
is an incident that is significant. Last week in Vienna
a hailstorm struck the prodigious Central Cemetery and
made wasteful destruction there. In the Christian part
of it, according to the official figures, 621
window-panes were broken; more than 900 singing-birds
were killed; five great trees and many small ones were
torn to shreds and the shreds scattered far and wide by
the wind; the ornamental plants and other decorations
of the graces were ruined, and more than a hundred
tomb-lanterns shattered; and it took the cemetery's
whole force of 300 labourers more than three days to
clear away the storm's wreckage. In the report occurs
this remark--and in its italics you can hear it grit
its Christian teeth: '...lediglich die israelitische
Abtheilung des Friedhofes vom Hagelwetter ganzlich
verschont worden war.' Not a hailstone hit the Jewish
reservation! Such nepotism makes me tired.

Point No. 6.--'What has become of the Golden Rule?'

It exists, it continues to sparkle, and is well taken
care of. It is Exhibit A in the Church's assets, and we
pull it out every Sunday and give it an airing. But you
are not permitted to try to smuggle it into this
discussion, where it is irrelevant and would not feel
at home. It is strictly religious furniture, like an
acolyte, or a contribution-plate, or any of those
things. It has never intruded into business; and Jewish
persecution is not a religious passion, it is a
business passion.

To conclude.--If the statistics are right, the Jews
constitute but one per cent of the human race. It
suggests a nebulous dim puff of star-dust lost in the
blaze of the Milky Way. Properly the Jew ought hardly
to be heard of; but he is heard of, has always been
heard of. He is as prominent on the planet as any other
people, and his commercial importance is extravagantly
out of proportion to the smallness of his bulk. His
contributions to the world's list of great names in
literature, science, art, music, finance, medicine,
and abstruse learning are also away out of proportion
to the weakness of his numbers. He has made a
marvellous fight in this world, in all the ages; and
has done it with his hands tied behind him. He could be
vain of himself, and be excused for it. The Egyptian,
the Babylonian, and the Persian rose, filled the planet
with sound and splendour, then faded to dream-stuff
and passed away; the Greek and the Roman followed, and
made a vast noise, and they are gone; other peoples
have sprung up and held their torch high for a time,
but it burned out, and they sit in twilight now, or
have vanished. The Jew saw them all, beat them all, and
is now what he always was, exhibiting no decadence, no
infirmities of age, no weakening of his parts, no
slowing of his energies, no dulling of his alert and
aggressive mind. All things are mortal to the Jew; all
other forces pass, but he remains. What is the secret
of his immortality?


When I published the above article in 'Harper's
Monthly,' I was ignorant --like the rest of the
Christian world--of the fact that the Jew had a record
as a soldier. I have since seen the official
statistics, and I find that he furnished soldiers and
high officers to the Revolution, the War of 1812, and
the Mexican War. In the Civil War he was represented
in the armies and navies of both the North and the
South by 10 per cent of his numerical strength--the
same percentage that was furnished by the Christian
populations of the two sections. This large fact means
more than it seems to mean; for it means that the Jew's
patriotism was not merely level with the Christian's,
but overpassed it. When the Christian volunteer arrived
in camp he got a welcome and applause, but as a rule
the Jew got a snub. His company was not desired, and
he was made to feel it. That he nevertheless conquered
his wounded pride and sacrificed both that and his
blood for his flag raises the average and quality of
his patriotism above the Christian's. His record for
capacity, for fidelity, and for gallant soldiership in
the field is as good as any one's. This is true of the
Jewish private soldiers and of the Jewish generals
alike. Major-General O. O. Howard speaks of one of his
Jewish staff officers as being 'of the bravest and
best;' of another--killed at Chancellorsville --as
being 'a true friend and a brave officer;' he highly
praises two of his Jewish brigadier-generals; finally,
he uses these strong words: 'Intrinsically there are no
more patriotic men to be found in the country than
those who claim to be of Hebrew descent, and who
served with me in parallel commands or more directly
under my instructions.'

Fourteen Jewish Confederate and Union families
contributed, between them, fifty-one soldiers to the
war. Among these, a father and three sons; and another,
a father and four sons.

In the above article I was neither able to endorse nor
repel the common approach that the Jew is willing to
feed upon a country but not to fight for it, because I
did not know whether it was true or false. I supposed
it to be true, but it is not allowable to endorse
wandering maxims upon supposition--except when one is
trying to make out a case. That slur upon the Jew
cannot hold up its head in presence of the figures of
the War Department. It has done its work, and done it
long and faithfully, and with high approval: it ought
to be pensioned off now, and retired from active

[1] See 'Stirring Times in Austria,' in this volume.

[2] Here is another piece of picturesque history; and
it reminds us that shabbiness and dishonesty are not
the monopoly of any race or creed, but are merely

'Congress has passed a bill to pay $379.56 to Moses
Pendergrass, of Libertyville, Missouri. The story of
the reason of this liberality is pathetically
interesting, and shows the sort of pickle that an
honest man may get into who undertakes to do an honest
job of work for Uncle Sam. In 1886 Moses Pendergrass
put in a bid for the contract to carry the mail on the
route from Knob Lick to Libertyville and Coffman,
thirty miles a day, from July 1, 1887, for one years.
He got the postmaster at Knob Lick to write the letter
for him, and while Moses intended that his bid should
be $400, his scribe carelessly made it $4. Moses got
the contract, and did not find out about the mistake
until the end of the first quarter, when he got his
first pay. When he found at what rate he was working he
was sorely cast down, and opened communication with
the Post Office Department. The department informed his
that he must either carry out his contract or throw it
up, and that if he threw it up his bondsman would have
the pay the Government $1,459.85 damages. So Moses
carried out his contract, walked thirty miles every
week-day for a year, and carried the mail, and received
for his labour $4, or, to be accurate, $6.84; for, the
route being extended after his bid was accepted, his
pay was proportionately increased. Now, after ten
years, a bill was finally passed to pay to Moses the
difference between what he earned in that unlucky year
and what he received.'

The 'Sun,' which tells the above story, says that
bills were introduced in three or four Congresses for
Moses' relief, and that committees repeatedly
investigated his claim.

It took six Congresses, containing in their persons
the compressed virtues of 70,000,000 of people, and
cautiously and carefully giving expression to those
virtues in the fear of God and the next election,
eleven years to find out some way to cheat a fellow
Christian out of about $13 on his honestly executed
contract, and out of nearly $300 due him on its
enlarged terms. And they succeeded. During the same
time they paid out $1,000,000,000 in pensions--a third
of it unearned and undeserved. This indicates a
splendid all-round competency in theft, for it starts
with farthings, and works its industries all the way
up to ship-loads. It may be possible that the Jews can
beat this, but the man that bets on it is taking

[3] The article was written in the summer of 1898.

[4] In Austria the renaming was merely done because
the Jews in some newly-acquired regions had no
surnames, but were mostly named Abraham and Moses, and
therefore the tax-gatherer could tell t'other from
which, and was likely to lose his reason over the
matter. The renaming was put into the hands of the War
Department, and a charming mess the graceless young
lieutenants made of it. To them a Jew was of no sort
of consequence, and they labelled the race in a way to
make the angels weep. As an example, take these two:
Abraham Bellyache and Schmul Godbedamned--Culled from
'Namens Studien,' by Karl Emil Fransos.

Devil worship bush 43

A bunch of Know-Nothings

America has failed its religion quiz.

The Pew Forum asked 3400 Americans 32 mostly basic religious questions, such as whether "do unto others as you would have others do unto you" is in the Ten Commandments -- it's not -- and the overall score was a pathetic 50%.

And the headline?

"Groups that did best overall were athiests and agnostics, Jews and Mormons."

Yes -- "Atheists Score highest on Religion Test." But why should THAT surprise anybody? The questionnaire covered a range of religions - and Atheists tend to study a range of religions. They're searching.

Whereas religious people figure they've found the answer so they only need to know their own religion. Although that doesn't explain why 45% of Catholics didn't know that the bread and wine, once consecrated, are the actual body and blood of Jesus. Or that more than half the Protestants couldn't identify Martin Luther. Or that 40% of Jews didn't know that Maimonides was Jewsih.

But ultimately, surveying people about religion tells you nothing useful.

If religion was about knowing facts, it would be called "God science," and we would know for sure whose side God was on in wars and football games.

Religion is something we want to define for ourselves.

Some people may think it's important to know what communion is, or who Maimonides or Luther was. For others, as long as the Virgin Mary can appear on a piece of toast, and as long as the Ten Commandments include the right to keep and bear arms, we're cool.


How do you score?

Pew Forum Religious Knowledge Questions

What is the first book of the Bible? (Open-ended) What are the names of the first four books of the New Testament, that is, the four Gospels? (Open-ended) Where, according to the Bible, was Jesus born? Bethlehem, Jerusalem, Nazareth or Jericho?

Which of these is NOT in the Ten Commandments? Do unto others…, no adultery, no stealing, keep Sabbath?

Which figure is associated with remaining obedient to God despite suffering? Job, Elijah, Moses or Abraham?

Which figure is associated with leading the exodus from Egypt? Moses, Job, Elijah or Abraham?

Which figure is associated with willingness to sacrifice his son for God? Abraham, Job, Moses or Elijah?

What is Catholic teaching about bread and wine in Communion? They become body and blood, or are symbols?

Which group traditionally teaches that salvation is through faith alone? Protestants, Catholics, both or neither?

Was Mother Teresa Catholic, Jewish, Buddhist, Hindu or Mormon?

What is the name of the person whose writings and actions inspired the Reformation? Luther, Aquinas or Wesley?

Who was a preacher during the First Great Awakening? Jonathan Edwards, Charles Finney or Billy Graham?

When does the Jewish Sabbath begin? Friday, Saturday or Sunday?


Was Maimonides Jewish, Catholic, Buddhist, Hindu or Mormon?

When was the Mormon religion founded? After 1800, between 1200 and 1800, or before 1200 A.D.?

The Book of Mormon tells of Jesus appearing to people in what area? The Americas, Middle East or Asia?

Was Joseph Smith Mormon, Catholic, Jewish, Buddhist or Hindu?

Is Ramadan the Islamic holy month, the Hindu festival of lights or a Jewish day of atonement?

Do you happen to know the name of the holy book of Islam? (Open-ended) Which religion aims at nirvana, the state of being free from suffering? Buddhism, Hinduism or Islam?

Is the Dalai Lama Buddhist, Hindu, Jewish, Catholic or Mormon?
In which religion are Vishnu and Shiva central figures? Hinduism, Islam or Taoism?

What is the religion of most people in India? Hindu, Buddhist, Muslim or Christian?

What is the religion of most people in Pakistan? Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist or Christian?

What is the religion of most people in Indonesia? Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist or Christian?

Who is the king of Gods in Greek mythology? Zeus, Mars or Apollo?

Is an atheist someone who does NOT believe in God, believes in God, or is unsure whether God exists?

Is an agnostic someone who is unsure whether God exists, does NOT believe in God, or believes in God?

What does Constitution say about religion? Separation of church and state, emphasize Christianity, or nothing?

According to the Supreme Court, can a public school teacher lead a class in prayer?

According to the Supreme Court, can a public school teacher read from the Bible as an example of literature?

According to the Supreme Court, can a public school teacher offer a class comparing the world's religions?

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posted by u2r2h at Thursday, September 30, 2010


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