Adolf Stoecker, by Wikipedia

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Adolf Stoecker, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Sun Jun 10, 2018 4:22 am

Adolf Stoecker
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 6/9/18

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Adolf Stoecker

Adolf Stoecker (December 11, 1835 – February 2, 1909) was the court chaplain to Kaiser Wilhelm I, a politician, and a German Lutheran theologian who founded one of the first Christian Social Gospel political parties in Germany, the Christian Social Party.

Stoecker's position as court chaplain between 1874-90 made him one of the most influential Lutheran clergymen of the entire 19th century, and his extreme popularity gave him tremendous ability to shape public debate in Imperial Germany. Stoecker helped popularize the idea that Jews were a race, not a religion, and emphasized that love for a Jew was inimical to true Christianity. Stoecker's antisemitism influenced German thought well into the 20th century.[1]:98

Early Life and Rise to Courtier

Stoecker was born in Halberstadt, Province of Saxony in the Kingdom of Prussia, to a blacksmith-turned-prison-guard. Despite his working-class background, Stoecker's family was able to send Stoecker to the University of Halberstadt, where he trained to become a Lutheran pastor.[1]:99 As a theology student, Stoecker rapidly distinguished himself as a charismatic polemicist. He soon became known as the "second Luther" due to a brilliant series of essays and speeches defending Lutheranism.[2]:108

After his ordination as a minister, Stoecker joined the Prussian Army as a chaplain.[1]:99 In 1870, following the siege of Metz, Stoecker delivered a sermon, wherein he argued that Prussia's victories over France were the doing of God. The sermon earned Stoecker national attention; writing widely on various social and political issues, Stoecker's charismatic personality rapidly made him one of Germany's best loved and most respected Lutheran clergyman. Four years later, Emperor William I appointed him court chaplain. Because he served at the pleasure of the Emperor, contemporary Germans saw Stoecker's views as expressing William's opinion as well.[2]:108

In 1891 the theologian Reinhold Seeberg called Stoecker "the most powerful church leader for pastors." After his death in 1909, Pastor Johannes Haussleiter wrote "Nobody has so lastingly influenced the rising generation of pastors and has put his mark on them for decades to come as he did."[1]:97

Anti-semitic politics

Stoecker was particularly influenced by On the Jews and their Lies, which he interpreted as condemning literal Jews.[2]:123 As early as 1875, Stoecker began to attack Jews in racial terms in his sermons,[1]:99 and, starting in 1879, Stoecker began to give speeches blaming all of Germany's problems on the Jewish minority.[2]:110 Stoecker's status as a popular court official legitimized German anti-Semitism in a way it never had before. In the words of the American historian Richard Levy, Stoecker's speeches "put antisemitism on the map in Germany."[3]

Many of the tropes Stoecker used would later be recycled by the Nazis. Stoecker's September 1879 speech, "Our Demands on Modern Jewry," blamed Germany's problems on "Jewish capital" and the "Jewish press." Stoecker complained that 45,000 Jews living in Berlin were "too large a figure," and argued that poor Jewish immigrants from the Russian Empire and Romania should be "sunk on the high seas" rather being allowed to settle in Germany.[2]:110-111 In another speech, Stoecker called all Jews "parasites" and "leeches."[4]:197 In a third speech, Stoecker argued that the Jews were themselves at fault for antisemitism, stating: "Already a hatred for the Jews — which the Evangelical Church resists — begins to blaze up here and there. If modern Judaism continues, as it thus far has, to use the force of capital as well the power of the press, to ruin the nation, it will be impossible to avoid a catastrophe in the end."][1]:104

In 1882, Stoecker attended the world's first anti-Semitic international congress in Dresden.
[/b[1]:99

Stoecker's antisemitism became notorious outside Germany as well. In 1883, Stoecker attended a conference of evangelical Protestants in London, where the Lord Mayor forbade the "second Luther" from speaking at the Mansion House under the grounds his speech was going to be a threat to a public order. When Stoecker spoke at an alternative venue, Social Democratic emigres showed up to disturb the speech, forcing Stoecker to flee from the stage and to sneak out via the backdoor, behavior that led many to condemn the "second Luther" as a coward.[2]:114

[b]Judaism as race


Like the subsequent Völkisch movement he inspired, Stoecker treated Judaism as a race. In a speech at the Prussian Landtag in 1879, Stoecker called the Jews an "alien drop in our blood", and claimed that there was a "race against race" battle between Germans and Jews. In defense of this claim, Stoecker explained that the Jews were "a nation unto themselves," linked to Jewish communities around the world as "one mass of exploiters," and having nothing in common with Germans.[4]:197 In another speech, Stoecker said:

"Race is, without a doubt, an important element in the Jewish Question. The Semitic-Punic type is, in all areas, in work as well in profit, in business as well in earnings, in the life of the state as well in worldview, in its spiritual as well as its ethical effects -- so different from the Germanic morals and philosophy of life, that reconciliation or amalgamation is impossible, unless it takes the form of a sincere rebirth from the depths of the conscience from the upright Israelites."[1]:96


Unlike de Gobineau, Stoecker rejected the notion Aryan race was doomed.[1]:95,109 Though Stoecker was very vague about the exact solution to the "Jewish Question" he wanted, in one of his pamphlets, he wrote "the ancient contradiction between Aryans and the Semites...can only end with the extermination of one of them" and it was the responsibility of "the Germanentum...to settle once and for all with the Semites."[5]:163 In other speeches, Stoecker explicitly remarked that he did not call for violence, but implied that violence would be acceptable if the Jews did not begin to "show respect" for the Germans.[3]

As early as 17 October 1879, the Board of Trustees of the Jewish community in Berlin had complained to the Prussian Ministry of the Interior that Stoecker should be silenced as his hate speeches were inciting violence against Jews, but the Ministry refused.[2]:116

Relationship with the Royal Family

Together with another völkisch leader, the historian Heinrich von Treitschke, Stoecker launched the Antisemitic Petition of 1880 asking that Jewish immigration to Germany be banned, that Jews be forbidden to vote and hold public office, and Jews be forbidden to work as teachers or attend universities. The petition would ultimately be signed by a quarter-million Germans. The Petition provoked a fierce response from the Royal Family; in an 1880 speech, Crown Prince Friedrich attacked anti-Semitism in an 1880 speech as a "shameful blot on our time" and said on behalf of himself and his wife Victoria: "We are ashamed of the Judenhetze which has broken all bounds of decency in Berlin, but which seems to flourish under the protection of court clerics" (emphasis added). In a public letter, Victoria said Stoecker belonged in lunatic asylum because everything he had to said reflected an unbalanced mind; moreover, she was ashamed of her adopted country as men like Stoecker and Treitschke "behave so hatefully towards people of a different faith and another who have become an integral part (and by no means the worse) of our nation!"[4]:198 Frederich later delivered a speech at a Berlin synagogue, where he called Stoecker the "shame of the century" and promised that if he became Emperor he would fire Stoecker as court chaplain. However, Frederich fell ill with laryngeal cancer within a month of ascension to the throne. Faced with strong opposition from Bismarck to Stoecker's removal, the most Frederich could do before his death was order that Stoecker was to avoid speaking on political matters in public.[2]:115

Stoecker's most stalwart defender was ultimately the future-Emperor Wilhelm II. By 1885, Wilhelm I, the current emperor, wanted to fire Stoecker as a liability to the monarchy. But, on 5 August 1885, Wilhelm II wrote him a letter on praising Stoecker, when he claimed had been attacked unjustly by the "Jewish press." In the Prince's view, to dismiss Stoecker would be to strengthen the Social Democratic and the Progressive parties, whom the prince claimed were both controlled by the Jews.[2]:115[4]:200 The Prince wrote that Stoecker was "the most powerful pillar, the bravest, most fearless fighter for Your Monarchy and Your Throne" and the victim of "slanders of the damned Jewish press."[4]:200 Impressed with his grandson's arguments, the Emperor kept Stoecker on.[2]:115 In November 1887 at a Christian Social event at the house of Field Marshal Alfred von Waldersee, Prince Wilhelm stood next to Stoecker, praised him as the "second Luther", declared his support for the CSP as bringing about the spiritual regeneration of Germany, and urged men to vote for the CSP.[4]:201-202

When Stoecker was finally dismissed from his position, it was not for his antisemitism. Stoecker had long attacked the National Liberal Party (NLP) as a "Jewish" party. In 1890, the Emperor Wilhelm II was informed by the leaders of National Liberals that they would only vote for his bills in the Reichstag if he were to sack Stoecker.[2]:116 Needing the NLP's support, Wilhelm II finally dismissed his court chaplain.

The Bleichröder affair

In 1880, Stoecker singled out Gerson von Bleichröder, the Orthodox Jew who served as Otto von Bismarck's banker, as the author of the problem of poverty in Germany. In a speech delivered on 11 June 1880, Stoecker claimed an unnamed Orthodox Jewish banker to powerful people had too much power and wealth. Stoecker stated the solution to poverty was to confiscate the wealth from rich Jews rather having an "impoverished" Church minister to the poor, saying this banker was "...a capitalist with more money than all the evangelical clergy taken together." Bleichröder subsequently complained to Bismarck that Stoecker's attack might lead him to leave Germany for another nation that would be more welcoming to him.[2]:112-113

Stoecker had overstepped: in attacking Bismarck's ally, he had effectively attacked Bismarck himself.
Bismarck considered banning Stoecker from speaking, but declined as Stoecker was too popular and his position as court chaplain made him unassailable as he had the Emperor's support. Bismarck complained that Stoecker "was attacking the wrong Jews, the rich ones committed to the status quo rather than the propertyless Jews...who had nothing to lose and therefore joined every opposition movement." In December 1880, under pressure from Bismarck, Wilhelm I formally admonished Stoecker for his attack on Bleichröder in a letter for having "incited rather than calmed greed, by having drawn attention to big individual fortunes and by proposing reforms that in light of the government's program were too extravagant." The American historian Harold Green noted that Bismarck only seemed to have problem with Stoecker's antisemitism when it was directed against Bleichröder. As long as Stoecker attacked Jews in general, Bismarck had no objections.[2]:112-113,123

Founding the CSP

Besides working as a court chaplain, Stoecker also served as the head of a church mission in downtown Berlin that offered aid to the poorest families of Berlin. Stoecker was shocked by the extent to which the German poor and working classes had become estranged from the Lutheran church, later writing with horror: "During the years 1874-78, eighty percent of all marriages took place outside the church and forty-five percent of all children were not baptized". Furthermore, the staunchly conservative Stoecker was worried about the way that the poor and working class were voting for the "godless" Social Democratic Party (SPD). To Stoecker, it seemed that the capitalist system was alienating workers from the proper, God-intended course and infusing them with a materialistic, atheist worldview. What was needed were a few choice social reforms to hold off a revolution.[2]:108 In another speech, Stoecker linked his Christian work with his political work, saying:

"I found Berlin in the hands of the Progressives -- who were hostile to the Church -- and the Social Democrats -- who were are hostile to God; Judaism ruled in both parties. The Reich's capital city was in danger of being de-Christanized and de-Germanized. Christianity was dead as a public force; with it went loyalty to the King and love of the Fatherland. It seemed as if the great war [with France] had been fought so that Judaism could rule in Berlin...It was like the end of the world. Unrighteousness had won the upper hand; love had turned cold."[1]:97


To counter the rise of the SPD, Stoecker decided to found his own party: the Christian Social Party (CSP). The German Chancellor Prince Otto von Bismarck brought the first of the Anti-Socialist Laws later in 1878 with the aim of crushing the SPD, and Stoecker's foray into politics was secretly supported by the government, who hoped that Stoecker might be able to win the working class from the Social Democrats.[2]:110 On 3 January 1878, Stoecker announced the new party, declaring:

"I have in mind a peaceful organization of labor and the workers...It is your misfortune, gentleman, that you only think of your Social State and scornfully reject the hand extended to you for reform and help; that you insist on saying "we will not settle for anything less than the Social State". This way makes you enemies of the other social classes. Yes, gentleman, you hate the Fatherland! Your press shockingly reflects this hatred...you also hate Christianity, you hate the gospel of God's mercy. They [the Social Democrats] teach you not to be believe. They teach you atheism and these false prophets."[2]:109


The CSP was fundamentally a conservative party: Stoecker sought to win workers over to loyalty to "the throne and altar" and remind the working classes that an ordered society with the Junkers in the privileged position was nothing less than divinely ordained. Workers should not fight for higher wages and better working conditions via strikes, but rather should deferentially ask the "throne and altar" to improve working conditions and wages.[2]:108 Moreover, Stoecker saw unions as a potentially source of disloyalty towards the divinely-inspired social structure, requiring state control.[1]:100 However, the German working class by and large wanted a higher standard of living and democracy, not to be told that it was their duty as Christians to accept their lot.[2]:108[3] Stoecker's hostility to unions and strikes limited his appeal to the working class.

Much to Stoecker's fury, a group of Social Democrats led by Johann Most then showed up to hijack the meeting. Most gave a speech denouncing the Lutheran church for being subservient to the state and declared that only the Social Democrats represented the working class, which prompted loud cheers from the audience. Most then led the audience out of the meeting hall, leaving Stoecker fuming.[2]:108-109

American historian Jeffrey Telman notes that Stoecker's speaking style at CSP meetings is, from a modern perspective, "highly ironic." Speeches usually consisted of reading out of context various statements from Social Democratic newspapers, to be followed by statements like "Gentleman, that was a wish for murder!", "Gentleman that was truly murder!", or "That was mass murder!". As the crowd would become more and more angry, Stoecker would present his usual caveat "Don't think I present all this out of hatred. I don't hate anyone!"[1]:101

Only after Stoecker began to the bash the Jews did the meetings of the CSP become well-attended. However, most of Stoeker's followers came from the mittelstand, or traditional lower-middle-class, rather than his intended audience of the working class and poor.[2]:108,110 After Prussia emancipated the Jews in 1869, a large number of poor Jewish families rapidly rose to the middle class. At the same time, the fortunes of the mittelstand had gone into decline. Unwittingly, Stoecker was stoking these latent societal tensions.[3][5]:160 Stoecker encouraged the mittelstand to feel victimized by the Jews; compare a speech from 1879 where he declared:

"If modern Jewry continues to use the power of capital and the power of the press to bring misfortune to the nation, a final catastrophe is unavoidable. Israel must renounce its ambition to become master of Germany. It should renounce its arrogant claim that Judaism is the religion of the future, when it is so clearly of the past...Every sensible person must realize the rule of this Semitic mentality means not only our spiritual, but also our economic impoverishment."[2]:110-111[6]


Other examples include Stoecker's speeches "Our Demands on Modern Jewry" and "The Lousy Press."[6]

Teachers and Army officers were over-represented in the CSP, and in 1881, Stoecker renamed the Christian Social Worker's Party as the Christian Social Party as very few workers had joined his movement, and the Worker's part of the title was off-putting to his mostly lower middle class supporters. Bismarck ended his support for Stoecker in 1881 after the Bleichröder affair and because Stoecker had failed to win the working class from the SPD, instead attracting support only from an already conservative mittelstand.[2]:113

Subsequently, the CSP collapsed. Many of the younger and more radical völkisch leaders from the mittelstand found Stoecker too tame, too Christian (some of the völkisch activists rejected Christianity and wanted to bring back the worship of the old gods) and too deferential to the Junkers. On the other hand, Christian Socialists disgusted with antisemitism joined Friedrich Naumann in the National-Social Association (not related to the National Socialist Party) and thence to more conventional Social-Democratic alternatives.[2]:108

Bäcker case

In 1884, Stoecker sued a Jewish newspaper publisher, Heinrich Bäcker for libel after the latter had run an article entitled "Court Chaplain, Reichstag Candidate and Liar."[2]:114 Because Stoecker was a court chaplain, Bäcker was prosecuted by the Prussian state for libeling a public official.[7]:72 The libel case attracted much media attention, and Bäcker waged such a vigorous defense it effectively inverted the trial.[2]:114[7]:72 Bäcker's lawyers presented example after example of outright lies from several of his speeches, and evidence of perjury in another court case. Stoecker was so humiliated that, despite the fact it was Bäcker who was on trial, the judge accidentally opened a session of the court with the remark: "I hereby reopen the proceedings against the defendant Stoecker," before being hastily corrected.[7]:73-74 Stoecker won the case, under the grounds that the publisher had been persistently attacked by Stoecker, but the judge gave Bäcker the lightest possible sentence of three weeks in prison.[2]:115 Moreover, the convoluted and tortured ruling seemed to suggest that they wanted to acquit Bäcker, but could not risk the political fallout of declaring a symbol of the monarchy to be so dishonest as Bäcker's defense had claimed. Stoecker's reputation was ruined.[7]:76-77

Additional Quotes

• "The Jewish Question, insofar as it is a religious question, belongs to science and the missionaries; as a racial question, it belongs to anthropology and history. In the form of which this question appears before our eyes in public life, it is highly complicated social-ethical, political-economic phenomena...This question has arisen and developed -- under the influence of religion and race -- differently in the Middle Ages from how it is today, different also in contemporary Russia from how it is with us. But the Jewish Question -- always and everywhere -- has to do with economic exploitation and the ethical disruption of the peoples among who the Jews have lived."[1]:96
• After the Kaiser agreed to receive Stoecker and other leaders of the Berlin movement in 1882: "His Imperial Majesty, the Kaiser agreed to receive delegates from the Berlin movement on the eve of his birthday, something that had never happened before in the case of a political party. I had the honor to deliver a speech...[after the address] the Kaiser aptly replied that there had been very strange developments during the past year; that both the most autocratic monarch in the world, the Russian Emperor and the least authoritarian President of a Republic, the American Chief of State had been assassinated, that authority was in terrible danger everywhere and it necessary to be fully aware of this."[2]:113-114

See also

• Berlin movement
• Evangelical Social Congress

References

1. Telman, D. A. Jeffrey (Fall 1995). "Adolf Stoecker: Anti-Semite with a Christian Mission". Jewish History. 9 (2): 93–112. doi:10.1007/BF01668991 – via SpringerLink.
2. Green, Harold (March 2003). "Adolf Stoecker: Portrait of a Demagogue". Politics and Policy. 31 (1): 106–129.
3. Levy, Richard "Our Demands on Modern Jewry" pages 525-526 from Antisemitism: A Historical Encyclopedia of Prejudice and Persecution, Volume 1 edited by Richard Levy, Santa Monica: ABC-Clio, 2005 page 525.
4. Röhl, John (1994). The Kaiser and his court: Wilhelm II and the government of Germany. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
5. James, Pierre (2001). The Murderous Paradise: German Nationalism and the Holocaust. Westport: Greenwood Publishing Group.
6. Levy, Richard "Our Demands on Modern Jewry" pages 525-526 from Antisemitism: A Historical Encyclopedia of Prejudice and Persecution, Volume 1 edited by Richard Levy, Santa Monica: ABC-Clio, 2005 page 526.
7. Hartston, Barnet Peretz (2005). Sensationalizing the Jewish Question: Anti-Semitic Trials and the Press in the Early German Empire. Leiden: Brill.

Further reading

• Harold M. Green (2003). "Adolf Stoecker: Portrait of a Demagogue". Politics & Policy. 31 (1): 106–129.
• D. A. Jeremy Telman (1995). "Adolf Stoecker: Anti-Semite with a Christian mission". Jewish History. 9 (2): 93–112. doi:10.1007/BF01668991.

External links

• Collection of Pamphlets by and about Adolf Stoecker, and Antisemitism in Prussia
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Re: Adolf Stoecker, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Sun Jun 10, 2018 5:00 am

What We Demand of Modern Jewry
by Adolf Stoecker
Stoecker, Adolf: Christlich-Sozial, Reden end Aufsatze, loc cit., pp. 143 ff.
Speech delivered at the Christian Social Workers' Party rally of September 19, 1879.

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For a long time the Jewish problem has been a burning question, but in the last few months it has burst out into an open conflagration. It is not fed by religious fanaticism nor by political passion. The orthodox and the freethinkers, conservatives and liberals, all talk and write about it with the same vehemence. All alike consider the Jewish problem not a question of contending religious beliefs but a disturbing social problem. "The social problem is the Jewish problem," writes Glagau. "Don't vote for a Jew" exclaims W. Marr, in his third pamphlet. "The end of Germany has come," he concludes his passionate appeal to our people.

Well, we do not believe the end of the German spirit to be so near. Peoples as well as individuals can be reborn. Germany, and Berlin too, will recover and rid themselves of the foreign spirit. But there are symptoms of the presence of a disease: our national body is plagued by social abuses, and social hostility never exists without reason. Christians as well as Jews should be seriously concerned lest this enmity turn into hatred. For the rumbling of a far-off thunderstorm can already be heard. It is strange indeed that the Jewish liberal press does not have the courage to answer the charges of its attackers. Usually it invents a scandal, even if there is none. It sharpens its poisonous pen by writing about the sermons in our churches and the discussions in our church meetings; but it hushes up the Jewish question and does everything to prevent its readers from hearing even a whisper from these unpleasant voices. It pretends to despise its enemies and to consider them unworthy of an answer. It would be better to learn from the enemy, to recognize one's own defects, and work together toward the social reconciliation which we need so badly. It is in this light that I intend to deal with the Jewish question, in the spirit of Christian love, but also with complete social truthfulness.

Occasional comments of mine on this topic at Christian Social meetings have been disseminated in the general public, often for partisan purposes, and always in distorted, exaggerated, poisoned form. The reporters of certain papers, a disgrace to this city of the intelligentsia, are as ignorant as they are untruthful. They misrepresent a great deal from ignorance, but mostly from sheer spite.

An incident which happened last year is quite instructive and typical. During my absence there was more talk about Jews in our meetings than there should have been. The Jewish press wrote that the Christian Social movement was filled with hatred of the Jews and itched to persecute them. When I returned, I took the opportunity to declare publicly and solemnly: We hate no one, not even the Jews; we respect them as our fellow citizens and love them as the people of the prophets and apostles that brought forth our Savior. But when Jewish papers assail our faith and the Jewish spirit of Mammon corrupts our nation, our love should not prevent us from pointing out this danger. This statement, too, has been distorted. I am supposed to have said that all Germany's misery has been brought about by the Jews. I was flooded with letters. A Berlin Jew whose name is known to me wrote that his people were God's favorites and when Christians professed their love for the chosen people, it was the same as when courtesans—I prefer to use this more decent expression—gave their hearts to noblemen. Another sent me a pamphlet in which an unbelieving baptized writer describes and exaggerates the role of the Jews in the field of medieval science. The dedication reads: "To the Jew-baiter, with contempt." A third one from Frankfurt am Main, who signs himself "Unfortunately a Jew," congratulated me on revealing the German plight so frankly.

This incident, insignificant in itself, is a clear example of the lies, the arrogance, and the hatred which confuse the issue as soon as the Jewish question comes up for discussion. People who are in the habit of pouring out the most biting criticism of State and Church, men and events, become highly incensed when anyone takes the liberty of directing even so much as a searching glance at Jewry. They themselves hatefully and sneeringly assail any non-Jewish endeavor. But as soon as a mild word of truth is uttered about them and their doings, they put on an act of injured innocence, of outraged tolerance, of being the martyrs of world history. Nevertheless I shall dare to speak up openly and candidly about modern Jewry tonight. And I am quite prepared for the distorted reports that will come back.

I do indeed consider modern Jewry a great danger to German national life. By this I mean neither the religion of the orthodox nor the enlightenment of the reformed. Orthodox Judaism, this ossification of the Law, the Old Testament without a temple, without priests, without sacrifice, without a Messiah, is neither attractive nor dangerous to the children of the nineteenth century. It is a form of religion which is dead at its very core, a low form of revelation, an outlived spirit, still venerable but set at nought by Christ and no longer holding any truth for the present. Reformed Judaism is of even less religious significance. It is neither Judaism nor Christianity, but a pitiful remnant of the age of enlightenment. Its ideas did not originate on Jewish soil but in a wretched period of the Christian church, a period long since overcome by the church itself. Both factions boast, of course, that the Jews are the bearers of the loftiest religious and moral ideals for mankind and the world and that it is the mission of Jewry, now and in the future, to maintain those ideals, to develop and spread them. On this point the Jewish press, from right to left, stands united.

The incense which the Jews lavish on themselves in the synagogues of both schools is quite overpowering. When recently the centenary of the noble Moses Mendelssohn was celebrated, the solemn gathering was confronted with the slogan: "From Moses to Moses there is none to compare" (Von Moses his Moses ist niemand wie dieser). The gracious personality of Moses Mendelssohn can hardly be said to have exercised an overwhelming influence on the development of mankind. Yet he is now being invoked in a peculiar way. At the commemoration of the anniversary of his death in 1870 the Landesrabbiner Dr. Adler uttered these glowing words: "The Jewish State has perished, but Jewry lives on and carries on its mission. Its existence is an important factor in the history of mankind, in the progressive culture of man. Our mission has been, is, and will be: the victory of the progressive spirit of man, the victory of humanity. Even the vanished Jewish State is not dead to us. What perished was only the shell of a life everlasting, of a people vested with a great mission of historic importance."

Here you see that mankind is actually only a pedestal for the imperishable tribe of the Jews. This is the way of almost all Israelites who meditate about their people. Philippson sees the great mission of Israel in the spreading of monotheism, in the exchange of international communication, in the achievement of religious equality and freedom. He writes as follows: "Struggle in every field assures Jewry a great future. This is true of professing Jews as well as for all mankind in its gropings. It is Judaism alone that in the midst of chaos offers thoughts and ideas which accord with the history of mankind, with reason and emotion." And in complete agreement with this notion the orthodox Israelite says: "The Jew is the incarnation of mankind. Any progress within mankind is progress for Israel; any discovery, any advance—they all take place, first of all, for the benefit of our people."

"It is Israel's mission," they say in the Jewish orthodox camp, "to bring salvation to the world, and the time is near, for the cross is disintegrating, the crescent is going down, and the pagan peoples of Asia and Africa no longer care for their traditional idols!"

"The day the temple was destroyed Messiah was born; on that day began Israel's enlightened progress as the savior of the world from delusion and error," Rabbi Levin preached naively in Nürnberg at the consecration of a synagogue, before Christian representatives of the town. Spreading his arms he cried out to the gathering: "This kiss to the whole world." That is going a little far.

S. Meyer, editor of the Judische Presse writes: "We cannot permit the indisputable fact to be challenged that Judaism is the source of all the lofty ideas on which the moral order of the world is based, which form the intellectual content even of modern culture and civilization and the basis of true charity." And again: "Nothing that is good in the Gospels is new, but stems from Judaism, and all that is new is not good."

Dr. Adler writes in a similar vein: "Israel's religion is the eternal inexorable truth; Christianity and Islam are preliminary stages which had to be attained before the whole truth could be revealed." The Reformed Rabbi Nascher joins the chorus: "It is Israel's mission and endowment to be a beacon on the sea of mankind's ideas. You are called upon," so this vain man told his vain listeners in a sermon, "to shine like the stars to your fellow men." Lest anyone believe these are exaggerations on the part of individuals, let him read the resolutions of the Augsburg synod of 1871 which state among other things: "The spirit of true awareness of the divine and of ethical purity more and more pervades the consciousness of the peoples. Jewry joyfully recognizes this as a step toward the goals which it has striven for throughout its historic development."

Here we wish to make our first request. We ask: please, be a little more modest!
We do not deny that Israel carried the knowledge of the one and only God through ancient times like a sacred flame until Christ came and brought the more perfect faith, the richer conception of God, and the higher truth. But it is a historic fact that the people of Israel time and again relapsed into the grossest idolatry, that God was able to suppress apostasy for short periods only by sending outstanding personalities. It is God's grace rather than Israel's merit that the doctrine of the one God has been preserved for mankind. It is just as indubitable that the ideas of freedom of religion, of tolerance in the modern sense, do not fit into the character of the Old Testament. Whoever violated the sabbath was stoned; the priests of Baal were slaughtered. This was inherent in the Jewish legal institutions and we are far from blaming the Old Testament for it.

But it is quite out of order when Jews claim as their own ideas which were historically altogether unknown to their religion. And furthermore they are quite aware of the fact that they had a caste of priests—certainly the opposite of equality; that they had slavery—certainly the opposite of freedom; that they indulged in polygamy—certainly the opposite of ideal family life. Only Teutonic-Christian life put an end to these abuses. It is true, Israel had an enlightened economic legislation; social forms of property ownership, the prohibition of usury, and the greatest charity toward the poor. But we have only to mention these things to realize the fearful chasm between the Old Testament and modern Jewry. It was German law alone that protected the concept of common property, the Christian church alone that decreed the prohibition of usury; it is precisely here that the faults and sins of modern Jewry are plainly revealed.

Even if we presume for once that this lofty mission really is Israel's permanent task, who, then, are those thinkers and poets, who, inspired by the divine spirit, preach, praise and honor the living God? Perhaps the editors of the Tageblatt? Or the scholars of the Kladderadatsch? Where is the school of the prophets of the Holy Spirit which trains young men for their world mission? Where are the missionary posts? Where are the missionaries? Perhaps at the stock exchanges of Berlin, Vienna and Paris? Alas, the Jews should not be told such foolishness. For it is their ominous fate that, having failed Christ, they have lost their divine course, have abandoned their sublime mission. Confronted with the Lord's sharp-edged alternative: 'Thou canst not serve both God and Mammon," they now worship the idol of gold, having forsaken the path of God.

The old prayers in which the Jews yearn for God and Zion are moving. "Because of our sins we have been driven from our country and exiled from our soil; we cannot fulfill our duties in your chosen dwelling and in your great and sacred temple in which your name is invoked. . . . Let us gather together from the far ends of the world. Lead us to Zion, your city, with rejoicing, and to Jerusalem, your sacred temple, with everlasting jubilation." But those who play a role in modem Jewry know nothing of this; they prefer to live in the Jerusalemerstrasse rather than in the streets of Jerusalem. A devout Christian once pitied a Jewish brother for not having a high priest and a temple. Oh, was the reply, our temple is the synagogue and our high priest is the Herr Oberrabbiner.

The religion of the Old Testament requires worship by sacrifices and services in the temple. Without them Judaism is a dry well and a withered tree. And barren it is, indeed, nothing but the shadow of the Christian church within whose sphere it is located: in Germany enlightened and torn apart in factions; in the Latin countries split between strictest Talmudism and unbelief; in the Slav nations petrified in formulas and again in the grip of wild frenzy; under the Crescent devoid of spirit and rotting like Islam itself. This is the picture of Judaism on earth. Lacking any creative religious force, it lives on nothing but its fantasies.

Occasionally, a ray of insight into the full extent of their own misery falls upon Jewish writers. You may read them in their magazines: "Religious fervor is declining in the elder as in the younger generation. Let us not be deceived by the symptoms of active participation in the interests of Jewry and Judaism, for it is not always religious conviction that inspires those men; they strive for external things rather than for the improvement of the spiritual life."

In Vienna a noble Jew complains: "The modern system of credit creates deep unrest, ethical frivolity, religious indifference; the teachers and spokesmen of our religion lack the courage to call these things by their right name!" In their sober moments even men like Philippson will say: "The younger generation is overcome by doubts that man can attain any firm convictions. All ideals have evaporated and nothing seems worth striving for save that which promises material benefits and wealth, honor, power, and pleasure. . . . Hence this mad spirit of speculation and this striving to become rich quickly, at the expense of others. There is an ebb tide in all the domains of art. We have neither poets, painters, sculptors, musicians, nor actors of original and lasting importance; those few who are left are gradually dying out without being replaced. Where are they to come from in a materialistic world deprived of any spiritual impetus? These are the consequences of atheism and materialism, as proved beyond any doubt by history and experience."

Even the reformed Israelitic weekly considers it worth while to present its readers with the following verse:

Uberall wo es gilt zu sehn und zu hören,
Scheint die Zahl der Juden sich taglich zu mebren
In Promenaden, Theatern, Konzerten and Bällen
Siehst du meist Juden in allen Fallen.
Willst du wo mehr Christen als Juden sehn,
Musst du Freitag abend in die neue Synagoge gelm.

(Wherever there is something to be seen and heard,
The number of Jews seems to increase every day;
On promenades, in theaters, at concerts and balls
You are certain to see mostly Jews.
But if you want to see more Christians than Jews,
You'd better go to the new synagogue on a Friday night.)


"It is quite certain that in Berlin less than a quarter, probably hardly more than one tenth of all Jewish Gymnasiasten und Realschüler (high school pupils) over 13 ever hear a word of religious instruction." "Morality is limited to this precept: Whatever the criminal law does not forbid or whatever is beyond the reach of the judge in a criminal court is permissible, useful, shrewd." These Jewish voices date back to 1871; things have grown much worse in the meantime. The Jews fight our religion, but they know very well that man cannot live without religion. "A repulsive generation is being raised," says one of the reformers. "Even in its swaddling clothes it greedily craves pleasure and money, money and pleasure, and from adolescence on worships only the golden calf. Its only God is Mammon. The name and memory of Israel are thus delivered up to scorn, a scorn and hatred well deserved. Go on raising Jews without Judaism, and you will have Jews to whom that meaning of the word fully applies which fanatical hatred attributes to it."

And in spite of this truth, in spite of their utter lack of religious creativeness, they stick to their delusion of being a religious power. The truth is that modern Jewry is most certainly a power against religion; a power which bitterly fights Christianity everywhere, uproots Christian faith as well as national feeling in the people, in their stead offering them nothing but the idolatrous admiration of Jewry such as it is, with no other content but its self-admiration. Berthold Auerbach said quite correctly in his novel Waldfried: "The educated Jews are non-Christians rather than Jews." That is why they are fond of affecting free thought. Their credo is written on the empty page between the Old and the New Testament. But they never dream of openly conceding their poverty. They fashion a regal mantle from the rags of unbelief and manage to impress the undiscriminating mass of readers. For even today the Jew must pose as being vested with a task of historic importance. Even the most liberal reformer wants to remain a Jew. "May our Judaism become for us and remain for our children and our children's children what it was to our forefathers, a beloved, precious jewel. Every day anew we should be proud and happy to be Jews, followers of a religion that includes the origin and the final goal of humanity." This is what the leader of the congregation in Dresden wrote to the Jewish communities years ago.

They persist in remaining Jews. Yet it is obviously incongruous to refuse to believe in anything Jewish and at the same time remain a Jew, or to be a Jew in the narrowest sense of the word and at the same time to throw about utopian ideas of universal happiness (Menschheitsbegluckungsideen). The initiate everywhere cannot fail to notice how ridiculous these doings are. It becomes downright absurd, for instance, when a Dr. Berliner during the French war looks at world history through Jewish glasses. "I consider the last quarter of the fifteenth century to be the termination of the Middle Ages. It was then that the Jewish press started to operate, and a Jew, Tipsiles, of Augsburg, was said to have invented gun powder, with which, at last, the powerful fortresses of the Middle Ages could be breached." Did anyone of you know that Tipsiles invented gun powder? Does anybody really believe that it was the Jewish press rather than the renaissance, the discovery of America, and the reformation which initiated the modern age? Indeed, once this standpoint is adopted, it is easy to understand why they hold similar beliefs with regard to the future, culminating finally in the opinion that the world belong to the Jews. Cremieux said at a meeting of the Israelitic Association in Paris: "A new Messianic empire, a new Jerusalem, must arise in place of the emperors and popes." And a certain Dr. Rosenzweig recently suggested quite seriously that circumcision be made generally obligatory.

All this may have contributed to make the Jews, especially the Jewish newspaper boys, intolerant to such a degree as to become quite intolerable. We really mean it if we address our second request to the Jewish press: please, be a little more tolerant! Unlike many others who have dealt with this topic, we shall not quote the Talmud with its contempt for foreign peoples and its hatred for human rights. We do not feel that present-day Jewry in its totality can be made responsible for books which were written thousands of years ago. Otherwise we should also have to hold the Catholics responsible for the persecutions of heretics and the trials of the inquisition which no pope has ever disavowed. And a change in this respect has really occurred. The strict Jews still accept the Talmud as infallible, like the law. Some of them quite unreasonably declare that the whole Talmud, including all the vengeful and savage passages, is sacred to them. But it appears, nevertheless, that many years of living together with Christians and maintaining business relations with them, and the kinder spirit of modern times have caused the hatred of Christians to decline greatly in the synagogue.

The official hatred has ceased; the first Jewish synod even passed the following decision: "In the new prayers (Gebetsstucke) and in those which remain to be revised, all utterances which might be interpreted as expressions of bitterness or vindictiveness should be avoided." Yet the Jewish press exhales a hatred against everything Christian that is loathsome indeed. Articles are not signed in our papers and journals, and thus the objection may be raised that there is no way of knowing whether the anti-Christian articles have really been written by Jews. We even know that there are enough baptized scribblers on the editorial staffs of the papers to carry out the sorry task of reviling their church. But it is a fact that the worst Berlin papers are in the hands of Jews and that the Jewish element completely dominates the editorial staffs. The most convincing evidence, however, is the fact that religious disputes among the Jewish factions are scarcely ever mentioned, that the rigors of Jewish orthodoxy are never touched upon, and that literary attacks against Jews are not to be found. Orthodox Jewry is never criticized: let it reject the nondenominational (konfessionslose) school and threaten unwed couples with excommunication—no liberal paper ever takes notice. But let such a thing happen in Christian meetings and the bloodhounds of the press are out in full cry. Our sacred institutions are constantly dragged into the dust; the synagogue is protected by the tacit agreement of all liberal newspapermen. Show us in the liberal press one single article which treats the day of atonement or the Talmud Associations as ignobly as the Tageblatt derides this year's Day of Repentance, one of our holiest days, or as the Berlin Jew press ridiculed our August conference. Christianity alone has to put up with such indignities. The Jewish chairman of the City Council of Berlin recently made a public statement on church matters which do not concern him at all and spoke in this connection about "real inquisitors who ardently desire to burn heretics at the stake." Who gives him the right to sow discord and incite hatred in the Christian population? This intolerance is unbearable.

As early as 1873 the paper of the reformers wrote: "The Jewish press is regrettably marred by bad taste and venom. A slanderous, bitter and aggressive tone sounds from every page. This has corrupted the public which has now developed a taste for spicy little stories." And how much worse the Jewish press has grown since! Where, in the Protestant, in the conservative press, would you ever find a trace of such ruthlessness? Whoever dared ridicule a Jewish holiday, the Jewish dietary and purification laws? The most elementary sense of decency should forbid desecrating what is sacred to a people. It is these continuous attempts at undermining the very foundation of a people's faith, morals, and national honor that are criminal and vile. The Social Democratic press has occasionally been more obscene; but some publications which are among the most widely read in Berlin are even more dangerous because they are less crude and much more venomous. Unless these wells of poison are cleaned out, the situation cannot improve. Benzenburg wrote as early as 1816: "Germany's splendor may perish with the Jews." If the Christians continue to expose themselves constantly to the influence of the Jewish spirit which deprives them of their German and Christian character this prophecy will certainly come true. But perhaps—and this is our hope—Germany's splendor will arise with new life after this period of decline. We should be indeed a nation without honor if we did not break these chains of a foreign mentality, if we really became Judaized.

Every sensible person must realize that the rule of the Semitic mentality means not only our spiritual but also our economic impoverishment. The German is a great idealist; for a time he will stand for others exploiting his love of ideas to their own profit. But in the end the figure of Nathan der Weise whom Lessing created out of Christian humanitarianism is bound to disappear behind that of Shylock, and the warning judgment of the Jews voiced by our best men—Kant, Fichte, Herder—will prove its validity.

The Jews are and remain a people within a people, a state within a state, a separate tribe within a foreign race. All immigrants are eventually absorbed by the people among whom they live—all save the Jews. They pit their Unbroken Semitic character against Teutonic nature, their rigid cult of law or their hatred of Christians against Christianity. We cannot condemn them for this; as long as they are Jews, they are bound to act in this way. But we must, in all candor, state the necessity of protecting ourselves against the dangers of such an intermingling. There are 45,000 Jews in Berlin alone, as many as there are in all of France, in all of England. That is too many. If they had a real bond with us, there would be nothing wrong with this figure. But this half of a hundred thousand lives by itself, in easy circumstances, with increasing power, equipped with a very profitable mind, and without any concern for our Christian-German interests. Therein lies the real danger.

We are approaching the Polish ratio in the Christian-Jewish population, save for the fact that the Berlin Jews are much richer, much more clever and influential than the Polish Israelites. They control the arteries of money, banking, and trade; they dominate the press and they are flooding the institutions of higher learning. The latter is certainly a beautiful trait; it has often moved me deeply to see how poor Jews sacrificed all they had to give their children an education. But this development is ominous. We are moving toward the point when public opinion will be completely dominated and labor completely exploited by the Jews. The process of disintegration is under way; nothing will stop it, unless we turn about and make the Jews turn about too. And this is where we make our third request. Modern Jewry must take part in productive work: a little more equality, please!

It used to be said that emancipation would push the Jews into other occupations. Now they are emancipated, but the opposite has happened. More than ever, they cultivate those trades where they can get rich quickly and easily. Lately they have been trying to squeeze into the judiciary, a matter that has not reacted well upon justice. They take almost no part at all in handicraft and little in industrial labor. That means that they do not enjoy work and that they do not believe in the German concept of the dignity of labor. To a great extent we have to thank them for the slogan "cheap and shoddy." They are to be found wherever misery and the instinct of gambling can be exploited. The launching of shady enterprises (Grundungen) and usury are undeniably their favorite occupations. They love to reap where they have not sown.
If the big social question is that of a just division between wages and profits (Arbeits- und Kapitalsertrag), then those who systematically and immoderately exploit labor in the interest of capital represent the worst element in this question. It is true, the Jews, through Marx and Lassalle, have seen to it that they have their friends in the ranks of the Social Democrats as well; the nihilists in Russia are partly Jews. Nevertheless, their one-sided financial interests entail dangers for them too. For me the Jewish problem centers in the question as to whether the Jews who live in our midst will learn to participate in all aspects of German labor, including the hard toil of artisans, factory workers, and peasants. We should ask nothing more of them.

Even the general press of Jewry has not been able to forego some warnings in this respect. "It must be admitted that there are a number of Jews among the stock jobbers and swindlers, and more than the ratio of the population would warrant." "The inclination to learn a trade is disappearing more and more and even the youth in grammar schools and orphanages want almost exclusively to go into business. Many persecutions in the Middle Ages," they cannot help but admit, "were brought about because princes, nobility, and burghers were indebted to Jews, and tried to rid themselves of their obligations by exterminating all Jews, at least those who lived in their districts." One even finds the advice that "the tide of hatred of the Jews would recede more quickly, if the Jews learned the lessons of the past better and struggled to work and build on solid ground."

The question is: what shall be done? We believe that Jews and Christians must try to establish a proper relationship with each other. There is no other way. Hatred of the Jews is already flaring up here and there, and this is repugnant to the Gospels. If modern Jewry continues to use the power of capital and the power of the press to bring misfortune to the nation, a final catastrophe is unavoidable. Israel must renounce its ambition to become the master of Germany. It should renounce its arrogant claim that Judaism is the religion of the future, when it is so clearly that of the past. Let not foolish Christians continue to strengthen the self-conceit of this people. Jewish orthodoxy with its circumcision is decrepit, while reformed Judaism is not a Jewish religion at all. Once Israel has realized this, it will quietly forget its alleged mission and stop trying to rob of their Christianity people who offer it hospitality and civil rights. The Jewish press must become more tolerant—that is the first prerequisite for improving the situation. The social abuses which are caused by Jewry must be eradicated by wise legislation. It will not be easy to curb Jewish capital. Only thoroughgoing legislation can bring it about. The mortgage system in real estate should be abolished and property should be inalienable and unmortgageable; the credit system should be reorganized to protect the businessman against the arbitrary power of big capital. There must be new stock and stock-exchange regulations; reintroduction of the denominational census so as to find out the disproportion between Jewish capital and Christian labor; limitation of appointments of Jewish judges in proportion to the size of the population; removal of Jewish teachers from our grammar schools, and in addition the strengthening of the Christian-Germanic spirit—these are the means to put a stop to the encroachment of Jewry on Germanic life, this worst kind of usury.* [Untranslatable play on the words überwuchern and wuchern.]

Either we succeed in this and Germany will rise again, or the cancer from which we suffer will spread further. In that event our whole future is threatened and the German spirit will become Judaized. The German economy will become impoverished. These are our slogans: A return to a Germanic rule in law and business, a return to the Christian faith. May every man do his duty, and God will help us.
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