Germany and England
In the last article some explanation was given for the Socialists hostility towards the systems instituted in Italy and Germany, in spite of the fact that in many respects these systems resemble those which they themselves have advocated. But this was not to go to the root of the matter. The real cause de guerre is the policy of the Dictators with regard to the Bolsheviks and the Jews.
Mussolini was long in coming to the conclusion that the Jewish question must be faced, for in Italy the Jews were few and exercised little influence; thus for many years he carefully avoided any appearance of anti-Semitism. It was only when he found that the Jews presented an obstacle to his plans for the reorganisation of labour and for limiting the profits of the middle-man that he realised the necessity for curbing their activities in public life. For this reason and for his forcible suppression of Bolshevism, hatred was stirred up against him to the same extent as against Hitler.
Hitler, however, from the beginning of his public career, proclaimed himself an anti-Semite. But this was no new thing in Germany. From the time of Martin Luther, who, after demanding equal rights for the Jews, found himself obliged to denounce them as arch-liars and the most dangerous enemies of Christianity, and even from before this day, the Jews have almost always been disliked, distrusted, and at times persecuted in large parts of Germany.
As their influence in commerce and other spheres of public life increased during the end of the nineteenth century, feeling against them rose higher and higher; they were resented, boycotted, and precluded from becoming officers in the German Army.
Yet throughout all this period up to the outbreak of the Great War, and again during the years that followed, Germany was regarded with particular sympathy not only by our Socialists, Pacifists and intelligentsia, but also by the Jews themselves. Before the War they had again and again expressed all their passionate loyalty to Germany as the one country on which all their hopes were set.
For although despised and hated, they were able to make money in a country where, as Hitler says, gold was a god, to a larger extent than in any other except perhaps the United States.
They were also allowed to occupy positions in the learned and professional classes out of all proportion to those held by Germans. Though largely barred by society, they were encouraged by the Hohenzollerns, who had always believed in making use of them, from Frederick the Great with his münzenjude to Wilhelm II with his Rathenau at the end of a private telephone wire.
It was thus that during the War so many of the Jews in this country hoped for the final victory of Germany and provided some of her most useful spies and informers.
It was a Jew, Ernst Lissauer, who coined the phrase Got strafe England and composed the Hymn of Hate *against the land which had protected his race, of which the beginning has been translated thus:
French and Russian they matter not,
A blow for a blow and a shot for a shot,
We love them not, we hate them not;
We hold the Weichsel and Vosges gate,
We have but one and only hate;
We love as one, we hate as one,
We have one foe and one alone,
Hate by water and hate by land,
Hate of the head and hate of the hand,
Hate of the hammer and hate of the crown,
Hate of seventy millions, choking down,
We love as one, we hate as one
We have one foe, and one alone
*Published in The Evening News for 10 December, 1937, and headed German Poet dies in exile.
Lissauer on being exiled from Germany by the Nazi Government declared that he was sorry he had written those words and really meant them for Russia; if so it was the most remarkable slip of the pen since he had specifically mentioned Russia as not the foe. No doubt, however, he was sorry; we are all sorry, very sorry, when we find we have backed the wrong horse.
But in the main, it was Russia that the Jews -- including those in England -- regarded as their principal enemy, and it was out of hatred for Russia that they sided with Germany against the Allies.
After Russia had been brought low and a hideous revenge taken on her by the predominantly Jewish Bolsheviks, and the Kaiser had been got rid of, the Jews started Bolshevising Germany, and having got her almost completely under their control they remained pro-German until the rise of Hitler.
It was then that the whole Jewish power was turned against Germany.
The Jews had not minded a certain amount of persecution, which after all mainly affected the humbler classes of their race, as long as they were given power in the State. But this is precisely what Hitler took from them, hence largely the cry of persecution.
Hitler himself had been slow to adopt an attitude of anti-Semitism.
As he relates in Mein Kampf, he was at first revolted by the hostility shown towards the Jews which he encountered in Austria and attributed to their religion:
As I thought they were persecuted on that account, my aversion to remarks in their disfavour almost grew into abhorrence. . .
I considered that tone, especially that adopted by the anti-Semitic Press of Vienna, unworthy of cultural traditions of a great nation.
But by degrees he came to the conclusion that the Jewish religion was really a misnomer:
Through his own original being the Jew cannot possess any form of idealism, and therewith belief in the Hereafter is completely foreign to him. One cannot however imagine a religion according to the Aryan conceptions in which the conviction of life after death in some form is lacking.
This statement entirely accords with those made to me by two Jews, quite independently of each other, who assured me with deep regret that the Jews of Western Europe rarely believe in God or the immorality of the soul; their outlook is entirely material.
For this reason it is not surprising that Karl Marx having declared that religion is the opium of the people, Jews should, as Hitler further observed, have become the chief propagandists of Marxism that world pestilence.
He saw them, too, as the oppressors of the working-classes and at the same time the agitators who stir them to revolt, he realised their glibness and their artfulness in lying on which Martin Luther in his treatise Von den Juden and ihren Lügen (Concerning the Jews and their Lies) had expressed himself with far greater violence some four hundred years earlier.
Above all, Hitler saw the fear they are able to inspire in order to drive all rivals or opponents off the field:
anyone with intelligence enough to resist the Jewish lure is broken by intimidation, however determined and intelligent he may be.
Mein Kampf is really an amazing book when one considers that it was written by a young soldier with little education, most of whose life had been spent in the direst poverty or in the trenches. Hitler writes in no spirit of Jew-baiting but as a bacteriologist calmly examining through his microscope the action of certain noxious bacilli on the human body.
He observes the influence exercised by the Jews in the world of art; he sees them as the inspired creators of those hideous inventions for the cinema and the theatre, of those unclean products of artistic life as given to the people.
It was pestilence, spiritual pestilence, worse than the Black Death, with which the nation was being inoculated especially the youth of Germany.
Anyone, he says, who has not lost the capacity for entering into the souls of the young will realize that it must lead to their grave injury.
And elsewhere he adds: The State must declare childhood to be the most precious possession of the nation.
In his strictures on pre-Nazi Germany Hitler is undeniably justified; it was a matter of common knowledge just before and after the War that Berlin became a center of iniquity, its night life worse in some respects than that of Paris; vice of an unspeakable kind was flaunted with impunity, nude midnight orgies took place in the West End of the city a cult that may in fact be said to have originated in Germany; the Jugendbewegung, chaotic and uncontrolled, encouraged license among the young; filthy and blasphemous books poured forth from the German Press.
Whether Hitler is right in attributing all this to the Jews we cannot tell; there are depraved elements of every nation which need no inciting to vice. The fact remains, however, that since Hitler started to purge town life in Germany, pornographic books and pictures have disappeared from the shops, the Youth movements have become clean and healthy, the cult of nudity has been suppressed. And all this has coincided with the expulsion or voluntary departure of a number of Jews from Germany not of Jews in the mass, since thousands still live there in peace, but without the power to influence the public mind which they formerly enjoyed.
Once-Christian England, in welcoming Jewish refugees indiscriminately to her shores, shows surprisingly little concern for the effect some of them may have on the minds and morals of her people, especially on the youth of the country.
We cannot help, moreover, noting, since this influx began, the change that has come over our Press; a once decent popular paper has boomed the nudity movement; another, which a few years ago could have been safely placed in the hands of a child, publishes matter exalting immorality and sneering at virtue; cartoons by artists not of British race, vulgar and not in the least funny, designed to create bad blood between classes and nations, are published with impunity.
Meanwhile the view of those to whom all these things are hateful, of those who crave to see their country restored to its former greatness as a beacon shedding the light of truth and justice on the world, are denied a hearing.
If this is the liberty of the Press enjoyed under democracy, I should prefer the censorship of the Dictators.
Next - Chapter 6 "Hitler and the Jews"