Only with a feeling of humiliation is this absurdity mentioned, but Hitler and his followers are still using it as a sort of Nazi Bible; and in Australia recently some of our own brethren have been troubled by reading or hearing of them.
The genesis of the work in brief is this. They were a plagiarism of a work in 1864 by a Paris advocate named Maurice Joly: “Dialogue in Hell Between Machiavelli and Montesquieu,” which was directed against Napoleon III. By a little adaptation of a German version, it was used by Russian anti-Semites as the supposed minutes of an alleged Zionist Conference plotting the means of world dominion. The author of this book not only shows once more how this notorious forgery got into circulation, but goes further and demonstrates that the very ideas credited to the Jews were adopted by Hitler and Rosenberg as the basis of their political philosophy. Joly, in other words, had made clever use of Machiavellian concepts, and these, in some cases almost textually, have crept into Hitler’s and Rosenberg’s pronouncements. The boot is thus transferred to another foot. The author’s bibliography is not as complete as it might be. There is no reference, for example, to Lucien Wolf’s work in exposing the origin of the Protocols, though he cites Herman Bernstein’s analysis of the novel by Goedsche, who preceded the Russian monk Nilus in making use of the Joly “Dialogue” for anti-Semitic purposes. Stein’s book carries the miserable story a little further than other commentators.
This summary is from a recent review of the notorious forgery in the Jewish Chronicle.
- The Christadelphian, February 1st, 1937
A correspondent suggests that we have not seen the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, and are perhaps mistaken in speaking of them as forgeries, relying only upon Jewish representations. As to the first suggestion we may say that the book, a thick pamphlet of 95 pages, has been before us since 1920. And as to the second, here is an extract from an Italian periodical called Affari Esteri (Foreign Affairs) and a recent issue:--
It seems almost impossible that at the present day any public debate on the comic pamphlet of the “Protocols of the Elders of Zion” can be possible. This pamphlet is too idiotic even for the brains of diseased fantasy-mongers, but a number of gentlemen like Feder, Rosenberg and others, take this forgery seriously and use it to carry out anti-Semitic propaganda in Germany. The moral prestige which the “Protocols” still enjoy in certain circles has lost its power and can no longer be restored.” The article concludes: “After the verdict of the Berne Court, this stupid pamphlet has lost its importance even as a means of anti-Jewish propaganda.”
- The Christadelphian, April 1st, 1937
Jesus in Germany If Jesus lived in Germany And plied His craft to-day, Doing His honest carpentry In His own perfect way; Oh! would He find His workshop wrecked By some mad Nordic crew, His windows labelled: “Men, beware! Within there works a Jew”?
- The Christadelphian, February 1st, 1937
A German Jewess Speaks
The Jewish Chronicle has published three articles by a German Jewess in Berlin. She is a woman of culture and gives a “faithful and unexaggerated picture of the daily domestic life of Jews under the cold pogrom of Nazi oppression.” The headings of the articles give an epitome of the contents of the whole. (1) Poverty and Degradation. (2) Trying to be Invisible. (3) The Future of the Children. She deprecates the published impressions of foreigners who are allowed to see what the authorities permit. Even the questioning of Jews is valueless, for they are afraid to answer truthfully and take refuge in silence or noncommittal responses.
“Our expulsion from Germany’s intellectual life,” she says, “has long been a fact. The expulsion from the economic life is being carried out with the same thoroughness. True, it has not been achieved so quickly—not out of consideration for the Jews—but because too rigorous measures would imperil economic life.”
Hopelessness affects their whole lives, they do not expect improvement but increasing misery and have become enervated by the persecution of the last few years.
The mortality rate of the German Jews has increased rapidly and exceeds the number of births. This is not surprising when the distribution of age groups in what is left of the Community is taken into consideration. The individual’s power of resistance has diminished because most of us have become morbid through experience of the past and fear of the future. The exact number of Jewish suicides is not recorded, but, in fact, there is a “suicide mania,” the victims often being the finest of our people, who find no other way out of their hopelessness. Apart from this, the number of deaths from “angina pectoris” has increased to such an extent that this disease is now known as the “Jewish Disease.”
Poverty induces over-crowding and three families will share one flat to save rent.
The writer gives the following typical instance of public insult, which to an educated sensitive soul is worse than violence that spends its force and passes.
Jews are no longer pestered in the street, but the following case is an example of many incidents no foreigner will notice: I go into a large store, still existing in spite of all theories. It is probably open because it is now definitely and completely “Aryanised.” A shop assistant does not serve me, although I frequently ask her to do so. I go up to a manageress. She only shrugs her shoulders. “A shop assistant is not compelled to serve a Jewess if she does not want to.”
“The door bell rings incessantly,” she says, “and on the doorstep stand hawkers of all manner of household oddments. These salesmen are business or professional men striving to earn a living for themselves and often for families too. We cannot buy from all. It is heartbreaking.”
The future of the children is the greatest trouble.
Many parents have sent their children abroad at an early age to give them a chance to learn something. For training in handicrafts brings great difficulties for our youth. But lately, it has become almost impossible to send our children abroad, on account of currency difficulties. As far as possible, we are preparing them for a life in Palestine. Recent events, however, have cast a cloud over these hopes.
Parents who cannot bear to part with their children are doing them a disservice. Only the children of parents who still own a business into which they can take them have any chance of earning a living in Germany. But for how long will the parents own their businesses?”
In closing this Jewish woman says that one good thing has come out of the persecution. Judaism has been strengthened.
In all Jewish families in Germany, interest in Jewish matters has considerably increased. Deep interest is taken, after decades of laxity, in the richness of the Jewish religion, in Jewish history, Jewish problems. Synagogues are well attended. The new spirit of comradeship and helpfulness is built on a firm foundation.
From our consciousness of being one people and from our common faith a new Jewish pride has grown up, the pride of being a Jew. It has formed one of the deepest and most sacred sources from which hundreds of thousands have drawn a strength they did not possess at the beginning of the persecutions, alienated from Judaism as they had been for many decades.