The author presents a wealth of interesting information. For instance, we learn that, “Until the last century, art played no role in Judaism and the Jews had no painting or sculpture.” (p. 76). On another subject, author Nahum Goldmann describes the effort of Joel Brand, one of the leaders of the Hungarian Jewish community, to strike a deal with Eichmann for ten thousand trucks in exchange for 100,000 emancipated Jews. (pp. 148-149).
JEWS AS THE PERPETUAL “OTHER”, IN SELF-IMPOSED APARTHEID
Ironic to Poles getting berated for thinking of their Jews as the “other” and as perpetual foreigners, it was the Jews that had always been excluding themselves from the nations in which they have lived.
Goldmann comments, “The Jews are the most separatist people in the world. Their belief in the notion of the chosen people is the basis of their entire religion. All down the centuries the Jews have intensified their separation from the non-Jewish world; they have rejected, and still do reject [up to very recent times] mixed marriages; they have put up one wall after another to protect their existence as a people apart, and have built their ghettos with their own hands, from the SHTETL of Eastern Europe to the MELLAH of Morocco.” (p. 8).
JEWISH SELF-SEGREGATION HAD LONG PRECEDED COMPULSORY GHETTOIZATION
The author wants to “…stress that the ghetto is historically a Jewish invention. It is wrong to say that the GOYIM forced the Jews to separate themselves from other societies. When the Christians defined the ghetto limited, Jews lived there already.” (p. 66).
JEWISH ELITISM; JEWISH CONTEMPT FOR OTHERS: THE ROOTS OF POLONOPHOBIA
Goldmann writes, “Lastly, while it is true that the Jewish people has always believed in its own superiority (expressed in the classic formulation, ‘the chosen people’), I do not know any other community so fiercely self-critical…” (p. 8). [This can hardly be generalized. Very few Jews have spoken out against Holocaust supremacism, the Holocaust Industry, and Jewish Polonophobia, and, moreover, these few courageous Jews have been roundly attacked by their fellow Jews.]
Jews have always looked down on Poles and other Eastern Europeans. In describing his earlier life in Visznevo, Lithuania, Goldmann quips, “In the little township of Visznevo we lived in a rural setting, and most of my grandfather’s patients were peasants. Every Jew felt ten or a hundred times the superior of these lowly tillers of the soil: he was cultured, learned Hebrew, knew the Bible, studied the Talmud—in other words he knew that he stood head and shoulders above these illiterates.” (p. 13).
DRAFT DODGING: A CREATIVE EVASION OF MILITARY SERVICE
The author describes a subterfuge used by Jews to avoid serving in the tsarist Russian army. He noted that the authorities were “…exempting only sons from military service, and in Jewish communities it was the rabbi who kept the birth register. So when a father had three sons they were each entered under a different name; in my family my grandfather was called Leibmann, my father Goldmann, and my uncle Szalkowitz!” (pp. 15-16).
JEWS IN WEIMAR GERMANY
Nazis (and not only Nazis) had complained about what they called the Judaization of Weimar Germany. Without going to such extremes, the reader can still appreciate the magnitude of Jewish influence that had developed. Goldmann sheds light on this.
The author remarks, “Twenty years ago [that is, 1958] the Jews played hardly any part in American literary life and now they are promising to regain the importance they had in Germany under the Weimar Republic.” (p. 154).
After spending the early part of his life in Lithuania, Goldmann lived in Frankfurt, Germany. He writes, “Frankfurt was a free town, independent and proud of it, and very much influenced by Jews; its biggest newspaper, the FRANKFURTER ZEITUNG, was founded by a Jew.” (p. 16).
- Source: GoodReads.com , August 28, 2018
Published with the author’s permission.
Title image: Front of Tenement Building in Jewish Getto, New York City c. 1905-1910. Photo Source: Pinterest / selected by wg.pco