Clarification

Note of 16 July 2018:

This post has been merged within the book preface of my translation of Deschner’s book (here).

Published in: on July 15, 2017 at 10:28 am  Comments (5)  
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Esau’s Tears

Excerpted from Esau’s Tears: Modern Anti-Semitism and the Rise of the Jews (Cambridge University Press, 2009); a book that could have been subtitled “Jewish takeover (‘rise’) and Gentile reaction (‘anti-Semitism’)”.





Preface

That I have devoted many years of study to anti-Semitism underlines how important I think it has been and is.

Expressing irritation with Jews, as a number of prominent Germans did—and so did prominent figures, including Jews themselves, in nearly every country—is one thing; calling for their systematic murder is quite another. In many accounts (Goldhagen’s is the latest in a long series) such distinctions are blurred; some writers go so far as to condemn the distinctions as morally dubious, thus making any irritation with Jews or criticism of them “anti-Semitic,” a conclusion that takes on extraordinary dimensions when linked to such assertions as “all anti-Semitism is as dangerous as a little bit of cancer.”

I cannot accept such reasoning, which seems to me facile, especially insofar as it implies that Jews, unlike other human groups, cannot provoke legitimate irritation.

Indeed, the opposite position, that Jewish conduct is the main cause for hatred of Jews, has been described by Edward Alexander (disapprovingly) as “an argument of wide and enduring popularity,” which it certainly is. It was even more popular in the nineteenth century when it was almost universally assumed, by both Jews and non-Jews, that Jewish behavior was the all-too-obvious cause of the appearance of modern anti-Semitism.

Chapter 1. Anti-Semitism before the modern period: overview and definition

Esau’s tears: the deepest roots of anti-Semitism

After the fall of the Roman Empire, the Gentile rulers of Jews in Europe generally became classified as “Esau.” Anti-Semites of various stripes have drawn upon the Jacob-Esau tale, that Jacob will always hurt Esau.

The Esau-Jacob story and Jewish commentary on it, however, suggest a number of provocative points in conceptualizing the nature of anti-Semitism. In a central passage of the Hebrew Bible, Esau’s angry tears were presented as perfectly understandable; they were not the result of some mysterious fantasy about a wholly innocent Jacob.

As a reader of the Hebrew Bible must recognize, brutality was hardly an invention of the Other Nations; the biblical Jews committed, and their spokesmen afterwards glorified, unspeakable bestial acts. The inclination to picture Jews as perennially helpless victims, in no sense responsible for the ills that have affected them, has often been part of an unsophisticated and transparently defensive reflex. The popular writer Howard Fast concludes his book The Jews, The Story of a People, with this remark: “Such despair and agony as the Jewish people had to endure over the past thousand years is the result, not of what they are, but of what the Christian world has inflicted upon them.” This is by no means an isolated or unusual comment. Critics have charged that women, workers, or minorities have been portrayed one-dimensionally by some historians, as utterly helpless, uncomprehending, and pitiful victims of history, in no way responsible for their misfortunes (and to assert that they were responsible would be to commit the cardinal sin of blaming the victim).

The sheer horror of the Holocaust has made it understandably suspect or even unconscionable in the opinion of some observers to suggest that Jews themselves may have had a degree of responsibility for that catastrophe. Study of the sufferings of Jews is now advocated mostly as a way of preventing suffering in the future, largely by exposing the sinful or corrupt nature of Gentile society and its responsibility for Jewish suffering and almost never as a means by which Jews could become aware of their own sins. The following pages will provide evidence that anti-Semites were frequently less simple and occasionally less morally corrupt than they have been generally presented.

The Rise of the Jews

Arthur Koestler has stated the matter with characteristic bluntness: “The Jewish religion, unlike any other, is racially discriminatory, nationally segregative, and socially tension-creating.” The same Ruth Wisse who was earlier quoted as describing anti-Semitism as functioning “independent of its object” observes at the same time, without apparently sensing any contradiction, that “the dynamism of the Jews in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries is almost unparalleled.” The rise of the Jews, notes Paul Johnson, was above all the rise of the Jewish intellectual, whose “shattering importance to modern history” can hardly be exaggerated in nearly all realms but perhaps most strikingly in that of the left-wing and revolutionary politics.

A once despised and legally set-apart group seemed to be prospering more than others, and, more to the point, it seemed to be assuming power over non-Jews. A few scandals or frauds involving Jews, Jewish braggarts, or strutters—and there was no lack of them—set off poisonous spirals of anger, indignation, and envy.

Chapter 2. Modern Times (1700 to the 1870s)

The French Revolution and the Jews

Opponents of Jewish emancipation retorted that Judaic belief, included the belief that Jews were a separate nation, was not then merely a private affair. Jews could not serve in the army because they could not be depended upon to defend the French nation; they were potential enemies of France.

The liberal years of Midcentury

Legal restrictions concerning Jews were lifted, and many Jews became prominent politicians. This period of liberal triumph has been referred to as the “honeymoon years” of Jewish-Gentile relations. [But] honeymoons always end, sometimes with bitter reflections concerning the flawed beliefs and naive expectations upon which the union was initially conceived.

Backward Russia in Ostjuden

Russian Jews throughout the nineteenth century remained a nation most emphatically apart from the dominant Great Russians. Historians now doubt that hundreds of thousands of Jews were killed by Chmielnicki’s forces, as earlier stated.

By the end of the [18th] century Jews had sufficiently recovered economically and demographically that they represented ten percent of Poland’s population.

By the middle of the [19th] century, the Jews of Posen and Galicia were awarded Prussian and Austrian citizenship, including the right of free movement.

Russia’s “Liberal” Experiment

Jews became prosperous industrialists, merchants, bankers, doctors, and lawyers in proportionately much larger numbers than did Great Russians, Byelo-Russians, Poles, or Ukrainians. Jews also entered white-collar employment in sharply disproportionate numbers.

Eastern European Jews were also infamous in the nineteenth century for involvement in activities associated with the saloon, as pimps, or in the language of the time, on “white slavery,” but also in other illegal activities.

Anti-Semites in Russia were inclined to perceive yet another area of Jewish vice, one that emerged from the destructiveness of Jewish character, in the unusual proclivities of Jews to engage in subversive activity.

Revolutionary Agitation and Tsarist Reaction

Arrests and repression followed, and thereafter activists took a more violent and terroristic direction. When Alexander II was assassinated by revolutionary conspirators in 1881, much attention was drawn to the Jews involved in the conspiracy. Following the assassination, popular rioting against the Jews, or pogroms (the word originated in Russia), broke out in many areas.

The May Laws of 1882, not formally repelled until 1917, were designed to bring Russia’s Jews under control; control [of] what was considered the increasingly unscrupulous exploitation by Jews of peasants. Quotas on the number of Jews allowed in higher education were established to reduce and stabilize the numbers of Jews in the universities. The new goal was around ten percent, since by the 1870s the percentage of Jewish university students had grown much beyond that figure in many areas.

The 1880s marked the beginning of a massive Jewish emigration out of the Russian Empire. Now opportunities to get out of Russia opened up as never before, especially for those willing to go to the New World. Jews from eastern Europe arrived in floods.

The Concept of Race

By the middle years of the nineteenth century, the term “race” came to be commonly and unapologetically used by nearly everyone in western Europe. In stark and revealing contrast to the situation by the mid-twentieth century, few questioned that there was a Jewish race.

A Gentile child, adopted by Jews at birth, can never qualify for priestly status. His moral probity or fidelity to the beliefs and rituals of Judaism, no matter how perfect, cannot alter his lower status. Nazis, too, said that one is born a Jew and Jewishness could never be relinquished.

Blood Imagery

In the nineteenth century, the word race began to replace blood. The English politician and writer Benjamin Disraeli (prime minister, 1868), in spite of having converted to Christianity as a child, emphatically insisted that he remained a member of the Jewish race. In his novel Coningby, Disraeli depicted a vast and secret power of Jews, bent on dominating the world. His noble Jewish character, Sidonia, describes race as a supremely important determinant (“all is race; there is no other truth”). He wrote that if the “great Anglo-Saxon republic” (the United States) allowed its white population “to mingle with its negro and coloured populations” it would be the beginning of the end for the new country.

Racism and anti-Semitism

It is significant that racism in its nineteenth-century form had no single theorist whom most racists recognized, in the way that Marx was recognized by socialists or J.S. Mill was recognized by liberals. Racism did not become a movement in the way that socialism and liberalism did, nor did racists–even specific kinds of racists, such as anti-Semites–form coherent, durable parties comparable to socialist and liberal parties.

There seems little question that increasingly systematic observations about various human societies had important implications for the growth of racism in the nineteenth century.

The Evolution of the Vocabulary of Race

Johann Gottfried von Herder (1744-1803) developed the concept of Volkgeist. He presented himself as the outspoken friend [of the Jews], yet he rejected Jewish emancipation in Germany, at least in the near future, and termed Jews “parasites.” He wrote that Jews “belong to Palestine and not Europe. Since Israel and its prayers despise all other peoples from which it is set apart, how can it be otherwise than that it is itself despised by other nations?”

A number of influential European anti-Semites arrived at Zionist conclusions: The Jewish problem in Europe could be solved if the Jews would go to Palestine, where they belonged.

Racist Ideas among Jews

There were many Jewish racists in the nineteenth century. As noted, Disraeli was probably more influential in spreading certain general notions about the Jewish race than any of the theorists of race described in the preceding sections. He despised what he termed “that pernicious doctrine of modern times, the natural equality of man.”

Moses Hess (1812-1875), who had worked closely for a time with Karl Marx, later affirmed that the “race struggle is primary, the class struggle secondary.” Judaism would become the spiritual guide of humankind, whereas Christianity, “a religion of death,” would wither. He was a good friend of Graetz, who wrote him of his delight in “scourging” Germans. Graetz added that “we must above all work to shatter Christianity.”

_____________________________________

See the rest of my typed excerpts here
(and excuse me for the typos:
these texts are direct typing
from Lindemann’s book for WDH).

The fall of Rome

“But the advances made by Jewish theology were more dangerous than the disorder of the streets and the robber.”

—Theodor Mommsen, in Provinces of the
Roman Empire, from Caesar to Diocletian


1.

Constantine the Great, also Saint Constantine (Emperor from 306 to 337 C.E.) has been described as a monster even for the standards of the ancient world. Catholic historian Paul Johnson wrote about him: “Constantine had no respect for human life, and as emperor he executed his eldest son, his own second wife, his favorite sister’s husband.”

The Roman Emperor inaugurated the Christianization of public life. He sanctioned with death penalty, instead of the traditional exile, those who published anonymous libels. His dispositions for death penalty were extremely severe, and I would like to know if it is true what I have read in a book: that under Constantine tortures such as pouring molten lead into the mouths of some women who had violated certain laws accompanied death penalty.

In 330 Constantine condemned the Neoplatonic School. Sopater of Apamea, a distinguished Neoplatonist philosopher was one of many who were put to death by Constantine.

Under Constantine’s reign pagans were referred to as “foolish,” “people without morals,” and their religion “a hotbed of discord,” “a fatal error,” “empire of darkness,” and “madness that has ruined whole nations.” However, while Julian said that Constantine was a “destroyer of ancient and venerable constitutions,” throughout the centuries Constantine has been much praised by Christian apologists.

Constantine was the first Roman Emperor who ordered the destruction of the intellectual work of Porphyry, the best mind of his age, whose work I briefly discussed in a recent entry. During his campaign of looting of the sculptures and shrines, Constantine did not even respect the famous tripods for the pythia of the sanctuary of Apollo at Delphi. The historian Kornemann notes that this was “a larceny of works of art never seen in Greece before.”

After Constantine’s death, his sons Constans and Constantius shared the empire of their father for some time, and only aggravated the all-out, state-sponsored assault on the Hellenic culture.

Under Constans the first destructions, not only loots, of the temples themselves were perpetrated, albeit sporadically. Under Constantius, who appears well described in Gore Vidal’s novel, the most fanatic Christians attacked the altars and temples. The deacon Cyril of Heliopolis, for example, became famous with his actions. The Arethusa in Syria, the priest Marco demolished an ancient shrine. At Caesarea in Cappadocia, the Christian community razed a temple of Zeus, the patron of the city, and another of Apollo.

Under the reigns of both Constantius and Constans, Firmicus Maternus preached the looting: “Out of all pagan temples ornaments! The mint and the crucible with the metal of the idolatrous statues, melt them in the heat of the flames!” In one of his pamphlets Firmicus incited extermination of the pagan cults, including those of Dionysus-Bacchus and Aphrodite.

But most of the temples of the classical world were still upright. The Christian agitator declaimed: “Take away without fear the ornaments of the temples! Melt the figures of gods and coin your money! The Lord has called to the task of annihilate all temples!” Always invoking the god of the Jews, this Sicilian lawyer from upper nobility claimed being an heir of biblical hecatombs as no Christian had done before.

In a subsequent post we shall see what happened to our civilization after this war of cultural extermination inspired by the cult that repudiated the Greco-Roman Gods, and adored instead the zealous, “no other gods before me” god of the Jews.

(Source: Kriminalgeschichte des Christentums, Vol. I, 1986, by Karlheinz Deschner)

2.

“In discussing Barbarism and Christianity I have actually been discussing the Fall of Rome.”

—Edward Gibbon

All Roman emperors after Julian would be Christians. Theodosius “the Great” and the subsequent emperors only completed the destruction of the Greco-Roman spirit that had started with Constantine and his sons. Not only the magnificent temples of worship of antiquity were destroyed almost everywhere, irreplaceable buildings of artistic value that transmitted like nothing else the soul of Hellenic culture, but even until the tenth century the fanatical worshipers of the god of the Jews continued smashing the statues that depicted the divinity of Man like no other art before.

But the most tremendous destruction occurred in the field of education. From the time of St. Paul at Ephesus, church censorship was devoted to the burning of books. After Julian the flourishing book trade disappeared in antiquity, whilst the activity of the monasteries was purely receptive. In the universities the hypertrophy of Aristotelianism aborted any possibility of independent research. In the Middle Ages what I call “real history” was completely unknown, and the sciences were drowned.

With this knowledge I venture to answer a question that has perplexed historians since the Enlightenment: What caused the fall of Rome?

German professor Alexander Demandt published a collection of two hundred theories on why Rome fell. Everything has been postulated—from lead poisoning and environmental degradation to Toynbee and many others’ diverse economic explanations—except the most obvious explanation. The simple truth is that the spirit of an alien, Semitic god undermined the soul of Classical Antiquity. After all, Gibbon himself assigned a major portion of the responsibility for the loss of civic virtue in Rome, and the ensuing decay of the Roman Empire, to the influence of Christianity. I would go further and claim that those unfamiliar with this work, which remains a literary landmark, lack the framework to understand why the Jew-god worshipers and their secular offspring are responsible for the ongoing Fall of the West. (Yes: I am blaming the Christians and the secular Christians who tolerate the Jews far more than I blame the Jews themselves.)

It is true that Rome’s eastern half survived almost a thousand years, until the Muslim conquests. But it was already a thoroughly petrogenic culture under the Medusan spell of Christian dogma. In fact, with its mongrelized citizens the population looked very different from the Latin Rome of the Republic.

3.

“The Skin of our Teeth” was the very first chapter of Kenneth Clark’s 1969 Civilisation. About the loss of historical consciousness, in the first chapter of Civilisation, Clark said:

Civilized man, or so it seems to me, must feel that he belongs somewhere in space and time; that he consciously looks forward and looks back. And for this purpose it is a great convenience to be able to read and write.

For over five hundred years this achievement was rare in Western Europe. It is a shock to realise that during all this time practically no lay person, from kings and emperors downwards, could read or write.

St. Gregory, who looks so intensely devoted to scholarship on a tenth century ivory, is credited with having destroyed many volumes of classical literature, even whole libraries, lest they seduced men’s minds away from the study of holy writ. And in this he was certainly not alone. What with prejudice and destruction, it’s surprising that the literature of pre-Christian antiquity was preserved at all. And in fact it only just squeaked through. In so far as we are the heirs of Greece and Rome, we got through by the skin of our teeth.

(Page 17 of the printed, Harper & Row book.)