Mark Twain and the JEWS - USA=DUMB CHRISTiANs

    Mark Twain, Harper's Magazine, March, 1898

    Concerning The Jews

    Some months ago I published a magazine article[1]
    descriptive of a remarkable scene in the Imperial
    Parliament in Vienna. Since then I have received from
    Jews in America several letters of inquiry. They were
    difficult letters to answer, for they were not very
    definite. But at last I have received a definite one.
    It is from a lawyer, and he really asks the questions
    which the other writers probably believed they were
    asking. By help of this text I will do the best I can
    to publicly answer this correspondent, and also the
    others--at the same time apologising for having failed
    to reply privately. The lawyer's letter reads as

    'I have read "Stirring Times in Austria." One point in
    particular is of vital import to not a few thousand
    people, including myself, being a point about which I
    have often wanted to address a question to some
    disinterested person. The show of military force in
    the Austrian Parliament, which precipitated the riots,
    was not introduced by any Jew. No Jew was a member of
    that body. No Jewish question was involved in the
    Ausgleich or in the language proposition. No Jew was
    insulting anybody. In short, no Jew was doing any
    mischief toward anybody whatsoever. In fact, the Jews
    were the only ones of the nineteen different races in
    Austria which did not have a party--they are absolute
    non-participants. Yet in your article you say that in
    the rioting which followed, all classes of people were
    unanimous only on one thing, viz., in being against the
    Jews. Now, will you kindly tell me why, in your
    judgment, the Jews have thus ever been, and are even
    now, in these days of supposed intelligence, the butt
    of baseless, vicious animosities? I dare say that for
    centuries there has been no more quiet, undisturbing,
    and well-behaving citizen, as a class, than that same
    Jew. It seems to me that ignorance and fanaticism
    cannot alone account for these horrible and unjust

    'Tell me, therefore, from your vantage point of cold
    view, what in your mind is the cause. Can American Jews
    do anything to correct it either in America or abroad?
    Will it ever come to an end? Will a Jew be permitted to
    live honestly, decently, and peaceably like the rest of
    mankind? What has become of the Golden Rule?'

    I will begin by saying that if I thought myself
    prejudiced against the Jew, I should hold it fairest to
    leave this subject to a person not crippled in that
    way. But I think I have no such prejudice. A few years
    ago a Jew observed to me that there was no uncourteous
    reference to his people in my books, and asked how it
    happened. It happened because the disposition was
    lacking. I am quite sure that (bar one) I have no race
    prejudices, and I think I have no colour prejudices
    nor caste prejudices nor creed prejudices. Indeed, I
    know it. I can stand any society. All that I care to
    know is that a man is a human being--that is enough
    for me; he can't be any worse. I have no special regard
    for Satan; but I can at least claim that I have no
    prejudice against him. It may even be that I lean a
    little his way, on account of his not having a fair
    show. All religions issue Bibles against him, and say
    the most injurious things about him, but we never hear
    his side. We have none but the evidence for the
    prosecution, and yet we have rendered the verdict. To
    my mind, this is irregular. It is un-English; it is
    un-American; it is French. Without this precedent
    Dreyfus could not have been condemned. Of course Satan
    has some kind of a case, it goes without saying. It
    may be a poor one, but that is nothing; that can be
    said about any of us. As soon as I can get at the facts
    I will undertake his rehabilitation myself, if I can
    find an unpolitic publisher. It is a thing which we
    ought to be willing to do for any one who is under a
    cloud. We may not pay Satan reverence, for that would
    be indiscreet, but we can at least respect his
    talents. A person who has during all time maintained
    the imposing position of spiritual head of four-fifths
    of the human race, and political head of the whole of
    it, must be granted the possession of executive
    abilities of the loftiest order. In his large presence
    the other popes and politicians shrink to midges for
    the microscope. I would like to see him. I would rather
    see him and shake him by the tail than any other member
    of the European Concert. In the present paper I shall
    allow myself to use the word Jew as if it stood for
    both religion and race. It is handy; and, besides, that
    is what the term means to the general world.

    In the above letter one notes these points:

    1. The Jew is a well-behaved citizen.

    2. Can ignorance and fanaticism alone account for his
    unjust treatment?

    3. Can Jews do anything to improve the situation?

    4. The Jews have no party; they are non-participants.

    5. Will the persecution ever come to an end?

    6. What has become of the Golden Rule?

    Point No. 1.--We must grant proposition No. 1, for
    several sufficient reasons. The Jew is not a disturber
    of the peace of any country. Even his enemies will
    concede that. He is not a loafer, he is not a sot, he
    is not noisy, he is not a brawler nor a rioter, he is
    not quarrelsome. In the statistics of crime his
    presence is conspicuously rare--in all countries. With
    murder and other crimes of violence he has but little
    to do: he is a stranger to the hangman. In the police
    court's daily long roll of 'assaults' and 'drunk and
    disorderlies' his name seldom appears. That the Jewish
    home is a home in the truest sense is a fact which no
    one will dispute. The family is knitted together by the
    strongest affections; its members show each other every
    due respect; and reverence for the elders is an
    inviolate law of the house. The Jew is not a burden on
    the charities of the state nor of the city; these
    could cease from their functions without affecting him.
    When he is well enough, he works; when he is
    incapacitated, his own people take care of him. And
    not in a poor and stingy way, but with a fine and large
    benevolence. His race is entitled to be called the most
    benevolent of all the races of men. A Jewish beggar is
    not impossible, perhaps; such a thing may exist, but
    there are few men that can say they have seen that
    spectacle. The Jew has been staged in many
    uncomplimentary forms, but, so far as I know, no
    dramatist has done him the injustice to stage him as a
    beggar. Whenever a Jew has real need to beg, his people
    save him from the necessity of doing it. The charitable
    institutions of the Jews are supported by Jewish money,
    and amply. The Jews make no noise about it; it is done
    quietly; they do not nag and pester and harass us for
    contributions; they give us peace, and set us an
    example--an example which he have not found ourselves
    able to follow; for by nature we are not free givers,
    and have to be patiently and persistently hunted down
    in the interest of the unfortunate.

    These facts are all on the credit side of the
    proposition that the Jew is a good and orderly citizen.
    Summed up, they certify that he is quiet, peaceable,
    industrious, unaddicted to high crimes and brutal
    dispositions; that his family life is commendable;
    that he is not a burden upon public charities; that he
    is not a beggar; that in benevolence he is above the
    reach of competition. These are the very
    quintessentials of good citizenship. If you can add
    that he is as honest as the average of his
    neighbours--But I think that question is affirmatively
    answered by the fact that he is a successful business
    man. The basis of successful business is honesty; a
    business cannot thrive where the parties to it cannot
    trust each other. In the matter of numbers the Jew
    counts for little in the overwhelming population of
    New York; but that his honest counts for much is
    guaranteed by the fact that the immense wholesale
    business of Broadway, from the Battery to Union Square,
    is substantially in his hands.

    I suppose that the most picturesque example in history
    of a trader's trust in his fellow-trader was one where
    it was not Christian trusting Christian, but Christian
    trusting Jew. That Hessian Duke who used to sell his
    subjects to George III. to fight George Washington
    with got rich at it; and by-and-by, when the wars
    engendered by the French Revolution made his throne too
    warm for him, he was obliged to fly the country. He was
    in a hurry, and had to leave his earnings
    behind--$9,000,000. He had to risk the money with some
    one without security. He did not select a Christian,
    but a Jew--a Jew of only modest means, but of high
    character; a character so high that it left him
    lonesome--Rothschild of Frankfort. Thirty years later,
    when Europe had become quiet and safe again, the Duke
    came back from overseas, and the Jew returned the
    loan, with interest added.[2]

    The Jew has his other side. He has some discreditable
    ways, though he has not a monopoly of them, because he
    cannot get entirely rid of vexatious Christian
    competition. We have seen that he seldom transgresses
    the laws against crimes of violence. Indeed, his
    dealings with courts are almost restricted to matters
    connected with commerce. He has a reputation for
    various small forms of cheating, and for practising
    oppressive usury, and for burning himself out to get
    the insurance, and for arranging cunning contracts
    which leave him an exit but lock the other man in, and
    for smart evasions which find him safe and comfortable
    just within the strict letter of the law, when court
    and jury know very well that he has violated the spirit
    of it. He is a frequent and faithful and capable
    officer in the civil service, but he is charged with an
    unpatriotic disinclination to stand by the flag as a
    soldier--like the Christian Quaker.

    Now if you offset these discreditable features by the
    creditable ones summarised in a preceding paragraph
    beginning with the words, 'These facts are all on the
    credit side,' and strike a balance, what must the
    verdict be? This, I think: that, the merits and
    demerits being fairly weighed and measured on both
    sides, the Christian can claim no superiority over the
    Jew in the matter of good citizenship.

    Yet in all countries, from the dawn of history, the
    Jew has been persistently and implacably hated, and
    with frequency persecuted.

    Point No. 2.--'Can fanaticism alone account for this?'

    Years ago I used to think that it was responsible for
    nearly all of it, but latterly I have come to think
    that this was an error. Indeed, it is now my conviction
    that it is responsible for hardly any of it.

    In this connection I call to mind Genesis, chapter

    We have all thoughtfully--or unthoughtfully--read the
    pathetic story of the years of plenty and the years of
    famine in Egypt, and how Joseph, with that opportunity,
    made a corner in broken hearts, and the crusts of the
    poor, and human liberty--a corner whereby he took a
    nation's money all away, to the last penny; took a
    nation's live stock all away, to the last hoof; took a
    nation's land away, to the last acre; then took the
    nation itself, buying it for bread, man by man, woman
    by woman, child by child, till all were slaves; a
    corner which took everything, left nothing; a corner so
    stupendous that, by comparison with it, the most
    gigantic corners in subsequent history are but baby
    things, for it dealt in hundreds of millions of
    bushels, and its profits were reckonable by hundreds of
    millions of dollars, and it was a disaster so crushing
    that its effects have not wholly disappeared from Egypt
    to-day, more than three thousand years after the event.

    Is it presumably that the eye of Egypt was upon Joseph
    the foreign Jew all this time? I think it likely. Was
    it friendly? We must doubt it. Was Joseph establishing
    a character for his race which would survive long in
    Egypt? and in time would his name come to be
    familiarly used to express that character--like
    Shylock's? It is hardly to be doubted. Let us remember
    that this was centuries before the Crucifixion?

    I wish to come down eighteen hundred years later and
    refer to a remark made by one of the Latin historians.
    I read it in a translation many years ago, and it comes
    back to me now with force. It was alluding to a time
    when people were still living who could have seen the
    Saviour in the flesh. Christianity was so new that the
    people of Rome had hardly heard of it, and had but
    confused notions of what it was. The substance of the
    remark was this: Some Christians were persecuted in
    Rome through error, they being 'mistaken for Jews.'

    The meaning seems plain. These pagans had nothing
    against Christians, but they were quite ready to
    persecute Jews. For some reason or other they hated a
    Jew before they even knew what a Christian was. May I
    not assume, then, that the persecution of Jews is a
    thing which antedates Christianity and was not born of
    Christianity? I think so. What was the origin of the

    When I was a boy, in the back settlements of the
    Mississippi Valley, where a gracious and beautiful
    Sunday school simplicity and practicality prevailed,
    the 'Yankee' (citizen of the New England States) was
    hated with a splendid energy. But religion had nothing
    to do with it. In a trade, the Yankee was held to be
    about five times the match of the Westerner. His
    shrewdness, his insight, his judgment, his knowledge,
    his enterprise, and his formidable cleverness in
    applying these forces were frankly confessed, and most
    competently cursed.

    In the cotton States, after the war, the simple and
    ignorant Negroes made the crops for the white planter
    on shares. The Jew came down in force, set up shop on
    the plantation, supplied all the negro's wants on
    credit, and at the end of the season was proprietor of
    the negro's share of the present crop and of part of
    his share of the next one. Before long, the whites
    detested the Jew, and it is doubtful if the negro
    loved him.

    The Jew is begin legislated out of Russia. The reason
    is not concealed. The movement was instituted because
    the Christian peasant and villager stood no chance
    against his commercial abilities. He was always ready
    to lend money on a crop, and sell vodka and other
    necessities of life on credit while the crop was
    growing. When settlement day came he owned the crop;
    and next year or year after he owned the farm, like

    In the dull and ignorant English of John's time
    everybody got into debt to the Jew. He gathered all
    lucrative enterprises into his hands; he was the king
    of commerce; he was ready to be helpful in all
    profitable ways; he even financed crusades for the
    rescue of the Sepulchre. To wipe out his account with
    the nation and restore business to its natural and
    incompetent channels he had to be banished the realm.

    For the like reasons Spain had to banish him four
    hundred years ago, and Austria about a couple of
    centuries later.

    In all the ages Christian Europe has been oblige to
    curtail his activities. If he entered upon a mechanical
    trade, the Christian had to retire from it. If he set
    up as a doctor, he was the best one, and he took the
    business. If he exploited agriculture, the other
    farmers had to get at something else. Since there was
    no way to successfully compete with him in any
    vocation, the law had to step in and save the
    Christian from the poor-house. Trade after trade was
    taken away from the Jew by statute till practically
    none was left. He was forbidden to engage in
    agriculture; he was forbidden to practise law; he was
    forbidden to practise medicine, except among Jews; he
    was forbidden the handicrafts. Even the seats of
    learning and the schools of science had to be closed
    against this tremendous antagonist. Still, almost
    bereft of employments, he found ways to make money,
    even ways to get rich. Also ways to invest his takings
    well, for usury was not denied him. In the hard
    conditions suggested, the Jew without brains could not
    survive, and the Jew with brains had to keep them in
    good training and well sharpened up, or starve. Ages of
    restriction to the one tool which the law was not able
    to take from him--his brain--have made that tool
    singularly competent; ages of compulsory disuse of his
    hands have atrophied them, and he never uses them now.
    This history has a very, very commercial look, a most
    sordid and practical commercial look, the business
    aspect of a Chinese cheap-labour crusade. Religious
    prejudices may account for one part of it, but not for
    the other nine.

    Protestants have persecuted Catholics, but they did
    not take their livelihoods away from them. The
    Catholics have persecuted the Protestants with bloody
    and awful bitterness, but they never closed agriculture
    and the handicrafts against them. Why was that? That
    has the candid look of genuine religious persecution,
    not a trade-union boycott in a religious dispute.

    The Jews are harried and obstructed in Austria and
    Germany, and lately in France; but England and America
    give them an open field and yet survive. Scotland
    offers them an unembarrassed field too, but there are
    not many takers. There are a few Jews in Glasgow, and
    one in Aberdeen; but that is because they can't earn
    enough to get away. The Scotch pay themselves that
    compliment, but it is authentic.

    I feel convinced that the Crucifixion has not much to
    do with the world's attitude toward the Jew; that the
    reasons for it are older than that event, as suggested
    by Egypt's experience and by Rome's regret for having
    persecuted an unknown quantity called a Christian,
    under the mistaken impression that she was merely
    persecuting a Jew. Merely a Jew--a skinned eel who was
    used to it, presumably. I am persuaded that in Russia,
    Austria, and Germany nine-tenths of the hostility to
    the Jew comes from the average Christian's inability to
    compete successfully with the average Jew in
    business--in either straight business or the
    questionable sort.

    In Berlin, a few years ago, I read a speech which
    frankly urged the expulsion of the Jews from Germany;
    and the agitator's reason was as frank as his
    proposition. It was this: that eighty-five percent of
    the successful lawyers of Berlin were Jews, and that
    about the same percentage of the great and lucrative
    businesses of all sorts in Germany were in the hands of
    the Jewish race! Isn't it an amazing confession? It was
    but another way of saying that in a population of
    48,000,000, of whom only 500,000 were registered as
    Jews, eighty-five per cent of the brains and honesty of
    the whole was lodged in the Jews. I must insist upon
    the honesty--it is an essential of successful
    business, taken by and large. Of course it does not
    rule out rascals entirely, even among Christians, but
    it is a good working rule, nevertheless. The speaker's
    figures may have been inexact, but the motive of
    persecution stands out as clear as day.

    The man claimed that in Berlin the banks, the
    newspapers, the theatres, the great mercantile,
    shipping, mining, and manufacturing interests, the big
    army and city contracts, the tramways, and pretty much
    all other properties of high value, and also the small
    businesses, were in the hands of the Jews. He said the
    Jew was pushing the Christian to the wall all along the
    line; that it was all a Christian could do to scrape
    together a living; and that the Jew must be banished,
    and soon--there was no other way of saving the
    Christian. Here in Vienna, last autumn, an agitator
    said that all these disastrous details were true of
    Austria-Hungary also; and in fierce language he
    demanded the expulsion of the Jews. When politicians
    come out without a blush and read the baby act in this
    frank way, unrebuked, it is a very good indication
    that they have a market back of them, and know where to
    fish for votes.

    You note the crucial point of the mentioned agitation;
    the argument is that the Christian cannot compete with
    the Jew, and that hence his very bread is in peril. To
    human beings this is a much more hate-inspiring thing
    than is any detail connected with religion. With most
    people, of a necessity, bread and meat take first rank,
    religion second. I am convinced that the persecution of
    the Jew is not due in any large degree to religious

    No, the Jew is a money-getter; and in getting his
    money he is a very serious obstruction to less capable
    neighbours who are on the same quest. I think that that
    is the trouble. In estimating worldly values the Jew is
    not shallow, but deep. With precocious wisdom he found
    out in the morning of time that some men worship rank,
    some worship heroes, some worship power, some worship
    God, and that over these ideals they dispute and cannot
    unite--but that they all worship money; so he made it
    the end and aim of his life to get it. He was at it in
    Egypt thirty-six centuries ago; he was at it in Rome
    when that Christian got persecuted by mistake for him;
    he has been at it ever since. The cost to him has been
    heavy; his success has made the whole human race his
    enemy--but it has paid, for it has brought him envy,
    and that is the only thing which men will sell both
    soul and body to get. He long ago observed that a
    millionaire commands respect, a two-millionaire
    homage, a multi-millionaire the deepest deeps of
    adoration. We all know that feeling; we have seen it
    express itself. We have noticed that when the average
    man mentions the name of a multi-millionaire he does
    it with that mixture in his voice of awe and reverence
    and lust which burns in a Frenchman's eye when it falls
    on another man's centime.

    Point No. 4--'The Jews have no party; they are

    Perhaps you have let the secret out and given yourself
    away. It seems hardly a credit to the race that it is
    able to say that; or to you, sir, that you can say it
    without remorse; more, that you should offer it as a
    plea against maltreatment, injustice, and oppression.
    Who gives the Jew the right, who gives any race the
    right, to sit still in a free country, and let somebody
    else look after its safety? The oppressed Jew was
    entitled to all pity in the former times under brutal
    autocracies, for he was weak and friendless, and had no
    way to help his case. But he has ways now, and he has
    had them for a century, but I do not see that he has
    tried to make serious use of then. When the Revolution
    set him free in France it was an act of grace--the
    grace of other people; he does not appear in it as a
    helper. I do not know that he helped when England set
    him free. Among the Twelve Sane Men of France who have
    stepped forward with great Zola at their head to fight
    (and win, I hope and believe[3]) the battle for the
    most infamously misused Jew of modern times, do you
    find a great or rich or illustrious Jew helping? In
    the United States he was created free in the
    beginning--he did not need to help, of course. In
    Austria and Germany and France he has a vote, but of
    what considerable use is it to him? He doesn't seem to
    know how to apply it to the best effect. With all his
    splendid capacities and all his fat wealth he is to-day
    not politically important in any country. In America,
    as early as 1854, the ignorant Irish hod-carrier, who
    had a spirit of his own and a way of exposing it to the
    weather, made it apparent to all that he must be
    politically reckoned with; yet fifteen years before
    that we hardly knew what an Irishman looked like. As an
    intelligent force and numerically, he has always been
    away down, but he has governed the country just the
    same. It was because he was organised. It made his vote
    valuable--in fact, essential.

    You will say the Jew is everywhere numerically feeble.
    That is nothing to the point--with the Irishman's
    history for an object-lesson. But I am coming to your
    numerical feebleness presently. In all parliamentary
    countries you could no doubt elect Jews to the
    legislatures--and even one member in such a body is
    sometimes a force which counts. How deeply have you
    concerned yourselves about this in Austria, France,
    and Germany? Or even in America, for that matter? You
    remark that the Jews were not to blame for the riots in
    this Reichsrath here, and you add with satisfaction
    that there wasn't one in that body. That is not
    strictly correct; if it were, would it not be in order
    for you to explain it and apologise for it, not try to
    make a merit of it? But I think that the Jew was by no
    means in as large force there as he ought to have
    been, with his chances. Austria opens the suffrage to
    him on fairly liberal terms, and it must surely be his
    own fault that he is so much in the background

    As to your numerical weakness. I mentioned some
    figures awhile ago --500,00--as the Jewish population
    of Germany. I will add some more --6,000,000 in Russia,
    5,000,000 in Austria, 250,000 in the United States. I
    take them from memory; I read them in the
    'Encyclopaedia Brittannica' ten or twelve years ago.
    Still, I am entirely sure of them. If those statistics
    are correct, my argument is not as strong as it ought
    to be as concerns America, but it still has strength.
    It is plenty strong enough as concerns Austria, for ten
    years ago 5,000,000 was nine per cent of the empire's
    population. The Irish would govern the Kingdom of
    Heaven if they had a strength there like that.

    I have some suspicions; I got them at second-hand, but
    they have remained with me these ten or twelve years.
    When I read in the 'E.B.' that the Jewish population of
    the United States was 250,000 I wrote the editor, and
    explained to him that I was personally acquainted with
    more Jews than that in my country, and that his figures
    were without a doubt a misprint for 25,000,000. I also
    added that I was personally acquainted with that many
    there; but that was only to raise his confidence in
    me, for it was not true. His answer miscarried, and I
    never got it; but I went around talking about the
    matter, and people told me they had reason to suspect
    that for business reasons many Jews whose dealings
    were mainly with the Christians did not report
    themselves as Jews in the census. It looked plausible;
    it looks plausible yet. Look at the city of New York;
    and look at Boston, and Philadelphia, and New Orleans,
    and Chicago, and Cincinnati, and San Francisco--how
    your race swarms in those places!--and everywhere else
    in America, down to the least little village. Read the
    signs on the marts of commerce and on the shops;
    Goldstein (gold stone), Edelstein (precious stone),
    Blumenthal (flower-vale), Rosenthal (rose-vale),
    Veilchenduft (violent odour), Singvogel (song-bird),
    Rosenzweig (rose branch), and all the amazing list of
    beautiful and enviable names which Prussia and Austria
    glorified you with so long ago. It is another instance
    of Europe's coarse and cruel persecution of your race;
    not that it was coarse and cruel to outfit it with
    pretty and poetical names like those, but it was coarse
    and cruel to make it pay for them or else take such
    hideous and often indecent names that to-day their
    owners never use them; or, if they do, only on
    official papers. And it was the many, not the few, who
    got the odious names, they being too poor to bribe the
    officials to grant them better ones.

    Now why was the race renamed? I have been told that in
    Prussia it was given to using fictitious names, and
    often changing them, so as to beat the tax-gatherer,
    escape military service, and so on; and that finally
    the idea was hit upon of furnishing all the inmates of
    a house with one and the same surname, and then holding
    the house responsible right along for those inmates,
    and accountable for any disappearances that might
    occur; it made the Jews keep track of each other, for
    self-interest's sake, and saved the Government the

    If that explanation of how the Jews of Prussia came to
    be renamed is correct, if it is true that they
    fictitiously registered themselves to gain certain
    advantages, it may possible be true that in America
    they refrain from registered themselves as Jews to fend
    off the damaging prejudices of the Christian customer.
    I have no way of knowing whether this notion is well
    founded or not. There may be other and better ways of
    explaining why only that poor little 250,000 of our
    Jews got into the 'Encyclopaedia'. I may, of course, be
    mistaken, but I am strongly of the opinion that we have
    an immense Jewish population in America.

    Point No. 3--'Can Jews do anything to improve the

    I think so. If I may make a suggestion without seeming
    to be trying to teach my grandmother to suck eggs, I
    will offer it. In our days we have learned the value of
    combination. We apply it everywhere--in railway
    systems, in trusts, in trade unions, in Salvation
    Armies, in minor politics, in major politics, in
    European Concerts. Whatever our strength may be, big or
    little, we organise it. We have found out that that is
    the only way to get the most out of it that is in it.
    We know the weakness of individual sticks, and the
    strength of the concentrated faggot. Suppose you try a
    scheme like this, for instance. In England and America
    put every Jew on the census-book as a Jew (in case you
    have not been doing that). Get up volunteer regiments
    composed of Jews solely, and when the drum beats, fall
    in and go to the front, so as to remove the reproach
    that you have few Massenas among you, and that you feed
    on a country but don't like to fight for it. Next, in
    politics, organise your strength, band together, and
    deliver the casting-vote where you can, and, where you
    can't, compel as good terms as possible. You huddle to
    yourselves already in all countries, but you huddle to
    no sufficient purpose, politically speaking. You do not
    seem to be organised, except for your charities. There
    you are omnipotent; there you compel your due of
    recognition--you do not have to beg for it. It shows
    what you can do when you band together for a definite

    And then from America and England you can encourage
    your race in Austria, France, and Germany, and
    materially help it. It was a pathetic tale that was
    told by a poor Jew a fortnight ago during the riots,
    after he had been raided by the Christian peasantry and
    despoiled of everything he had. He said his vote was of
    no value to him, and he wished he could be excused from
    casting it, for indeed, casting it was a sure damage
    to him, since, no matter which party he voted for, the
    other party would come straight and take its revenge
    out of him. Nine per cent of the population, these
    Jews, and apparently they cannot put a plank into any
    candidate's platform! If you will send our Irish lads
    over here I think they will organise your race and
    change the aspect of the Reichsrath.

    You seem to think that the Jews take no hand in
    politics here, that they are 'absolutely
    non-participants.' I am assured by men competent to
    speak that this is a very large error, that the Jews
    are exceedingly active in politics all over the empire,
    but that they scatter their work and their votes among
    the numerous parties, and thus lose the advantages to
    be had by concentration. I think that in America they
    scatter too, but you know more about that than I do.

    Speaking of concentration, Dr. Herzl has a clear
    insight into the value of that. Have you heard of his
    plan? He wishes to gather the Jews of the world
    together in Palestine, with a government of their
    own--under the suzerainty of the Sultan, I suppose. At
    the Convention of Berne, last year, there were
    delegates from everywhere, and the proposal was
    received with decided favour. I am not the Sultan, and
    I am not objecting; but if that concentration of the
    cunningest brains in the world were going to be made in
    a free country (bar Scotland), I think it would be
    politic to stop it. It will not be well to let that
    race find out its strength. If the horses knew theirs,
    we should not ride any more.

    Point No. 5.--'Will the persecution of the Jews ever
    come to an end?'

    On the score of religion, I think it has already come
    to an end. On the score of race prejudice and trade, I
    have the idea that it will continue. That is, here and
    there in spots about the world, where a barbarous
    ignorance and a sort of mere animal civilisation
    prevail; but I do not think that elsewhere the Jew need
    now stand in any fear of being robbed and raided. Among
    the high civilisations he seems to be very comfortably
    situated indeed, and to have more than his
    proportionate share of the prosperities going. It has
    that look in Vienna. I suppose the race prejudice
    cannot be removed; but he can stand that; it is no
    particular matter. By his make and ways he is
    substantially a foreigner wherever he may be, and even
    the angels dislike a foreigner. I am using this world
    foreigner in the German sense--stranger. Nearly all of
    us have an antipathy to a stranger, even of our own
    nationality. We pile grip-sacks in a vacant seat to
    keep him from getting it; and a dog goes further, and
    does as a savage would--challenges him on the spot.
    The German dictionary seems to make no distinction
    between a stranger and a foreigner; in its view a
    stranger is a foreigner--a sound position, I think. You
    will always be by ways and habits and predilections
    substantially strangers--foreigners--wherever you are,
    and that will probably keep the race prejudice against
    you alive.

    But you were the favourites of Heaven originally, and
    your manifold and unfair prosperities convince me that
    you have crowded back into that snug place again. Here
    is an incident that is significant. Last week in Vienna
    a hailstorm struck the prodigious Central Cemetery and
    made wasteful destruction there. In the Christian part
    of it, according to the official figures, 621
    window-panes were broken; more than 900 singing-birds
    were killed; five great trees and many small ones were
    torn to shreds and the shreds scattered far and wide by
    the wind; the ornamental plants and other decorations
    of the graces were ruined, and more than a hundred
    tomb-lanterns shattered; and it took the cemetery's
    whole force of 300 labourers more than three days to
    clear away the storm's wreckage. In the report occurs
    this remark--and in its italics you can hear it grit
    its Christian teeth: '...lediglich die israelitische
    Abtheilung des Friedhofes vom Hagelwetter ganzlich
    verschont worden war.' Not a hailstone hit the Jewish
    reservation! Such nepotism makes me tired.

    Point No. 6.--'What has become of the Golden Rule?'

    It exists, it continues to sparkle, and is well taken
    care of. It is Exhibit A in the Church's assets, and we
    pull it out every Sunday and give it an airing. But you
    are not permitted to try to smuggle it into this
    discussion, where it is irrelevant and would not feel
    at home. It is strictly religious furniture, like an
    acolyte, or a contribution-plate, or any of those
    things. It has never intruded into business; and Jewish
    persecution is not a religious passion, it is a
    business passion.

    To conclude.--If the statistics are right, the Jews
    constitute but one per cent of the human race. It
    suggests a nebulous dim puff of star-dust lost in the
    blaze of the Milky Way. Properly the Jew ought hardly
    to be heard of; but he is heard of, has always been
    heard of. He is as prominent on the planet as any other
    people, and his commercial importance is extravagantly
    out of proportion to the smallness of his bulk. His
    contributions to the world's list of great names in
    literature, science, art, music, finance, medicine,
    and abstruse learning are also away out of proportion
    to the weakness of his numbers. He has made a
    marvellous fight in this world, in all the ages; and
    has done it with his hands tied behind him. He could be
    vain of himself, and be excused for it. The Egyptian,
    the Babylonian, and the Persian rose, filled the planet
    with sound and splendour, then faded to dream-stuff
    and passed away; the Greek and the Roman followed, and
    made a vast noise, and they are gone; other peoples
    have sprung up and held their torch high for a time,
    but it burned out, and they sit in twilight now, or
    have vanished. The Jew saw them all, beat them all, and
    is now what he always was, exhibiting no decadence, no
    infirmities of age, no weakening of his parts, no
    slowing of his energies, no dulling of his alert and
    aggressive mind. All things are mortal to the Jew; all
    other forces pass, but he remains. What is the secret
    of his immortality?

    Postscript--THE JEW AS SOLDIER

    When I published the above article in 'Harper's
    Monthly,' I was ignorant --like the rest of the
    Christian world--of the fact that the Jew had a record
    as a soldier. I have since seen the official
    statistics, and I find that he furnished soldiers and
    high officers to the Revolution, the War of 1812, and
    the Mexican War. In the Civil War he was represented
    in the armies and navies of both the North and the
    South by 10 per cent of his numerical strength--the
    same percentage that was furnished by the Christian
    populations of the two sections. This large fact means
    more than it seems to mean; for it means that the Jew's
    patriotism was not merely level with the Christian's,
    but overpassed it. When the Christian volunteer arrived
    in camp he got a welcome and applause, but as a rule
    the Jew got a snub. His company was not desired, and
    he was made to feel it. That he nevertheless conquered
    his wounded pride and sacrificed both that and his
    blood for his flag raises the average and quality of
    his patriotism above the Christian's. His record for
    capacity, for fidelity, and for gallant soldiership in
    the field is as good as any one's. This is true of the
    Jewish private soldiers and of the Jewish generals
    alike. Major-General O. O. Howard speaks of one of his
    Jewish staff officers as being 'of the bravest and
    best;' of another--killed at Chancellorsville --as
    being 'a true friend and a brave officer;' he highly
    praises two of his Jewish brigadier-generals; finally,
    he uses these strong words: 'Intrinsically there are no
    more patriotic men to be found in the country than
    those who claim to be of Hebrew descent, and who
    served with me in parallel commands or more directly
    under my instructions.'

    Fourteen Jewish Confederate and Union families
    contributed, between them, fifty-one soldiers to the
    war. Among these, a father and three sons; and another,
    a father and four sons.

    In the above article I was neither able to endorse nor
    repel the common approach that the Jew is willing to
    feed upon a country but not to fight for it, because I
    did not know whether it was true or false. I supposed
    it to be true, but it is not allowable to endorse
    wandering maxims upon supposition--except when one is
    trying to make out a case. That slur upon the Jew
    cannot hold up its head in presence of the figures of
    the War Department. It has done its work, and done it
    long and faithfully, and with high approval: it ought
    to be pensioned off now, and retired from active

    [1] See 'Stirring Times in Austria,' in this volume.

    [2] Here is another piece of picturesque history; and
    it reminds us that shabbiness and dishonesty are not
    the monopoly of any race or creed, but are merely

    'Congress has passed a bill to pay $379.56 to Moses
    Pendergrass, of Libertyville, Missouri. The story of
    the reason of this liberality is pathetically
    interesting, and shows the sort of pickle that an
    honest man may get into who undertakes to do an honest
    job of work for Uncle Sam. In 1886 Moses Pendergrass
    put in a bid for the contract to carry the mail on the
    route from Knob Lick to Libertyville and Coffman,
    thirty miles a day, from July 1, 1887, for one years.
    He got the postmaster at Knob Lick to write the letter
    for him, and while Moses intended that his bid should
    be $400, his scribe carelessly made it $4. Moses got
    the contract, and did not find out about the mistake
    until the end of the first quarter, when he got his
    first pay. When he found at what rate he was working he
    was sorely cast down, and opened communication with
    the Post Office Department. The department informed his
    that he must either carry out his contract or throw it
    up, and that if he threw it up his bondsman would have
    the pay the Government $1,459.85 damages. So Moses
    carried out his contract, walked thirty miles every
    week-day for a year, and carried the mail, and received
    for his labour $4, or, to be accurate, $6.84; for, the
    route being extended after his bid was accepted, his
    pay was proportionately increased. Now, after ten
    years, a bill was finally passed to pay to Moses the
    difference between what he earned in that unlucky year
    and what he received.'

    The 'Sun,' which tells the above story, says that
    bills were introduced in three or four Congresses for
    Moses' relief, and that committees repeatedly
    investigated his claim.

    It took six Congresses, containing in their persons
    the compressed virtues of 70,000,000 of people, and
    cautiously and carefully giving expression to those
    virtues in the fear of God and the next election,
    eleven years to find out some way to cheat a fellow
    Christian out of about $13 on his honestly executed
    contract, and out of nearly $300 due him on its
    enlarged terms. And they succeeded. During the same
    time they paid out $1,000,000,000 in pensions--a third
    of it unearned and undeserved. This indicates a
    splendid all-round competency in theft, for it starts
    with farthings, and works its industries all the way
    up to ship-loads. It may be possible that the Jews can
    beat this, but the man that bets on it is taking

    [3] The article was written in the summer of 1898.

    [4] In Austria the renaming was merely done because
    the Jews in some newly-acquired regions had no
    surnames, but were mostly named Abraham and Moses, and
    therefore the tax-gatherer could tell t'other from
    which, and was likely to lose his reason over the
    matter. The renaming was put into the hands of the War
    Department, and a charming mess the graceless young
    lieutenants made of it. To them a Jew was of no sort
    of consequence, and they labelled the race in a way to
    make the angels weep. As an example, take these two:
    Abraham Bellyache and Schmul Godbedamned--Culled from
    'Namens Studien,' by Karl Emil Fransos.
    Devil worship bush 43

    A bunch of Know-Nothings

    America has failed its religion quiz.

    The Pew Forum asked 3400 Americans 32 mostly basic religious questions, such as whether "do unto others as you would have others do unto you" is in the Ten Commandments -- it's not -- and the overall score was a pathetic 50%.

    And the headline?

    "Groups that did best overall were athiests and agnostics, Jews and Mormons."

    Yes -- "Atheists Score highest on Religion Test." But why should THAT surprise anybody? The questionnaire covered a range of religions - and Atheists tend to study a range of religions. They're searching.

    Whereas religious people figure they've found the answer so they only need to know their own religion. Although that doesn't explain why 45% of Catholics didn't know that the bread and wine, once consecrated, are the actual body and blood of Jesus. Or that more than half the Protestants couldn't identify Martin Luther. Or that 40% of Jews didn't know that Maimonides was Jewsih.

    But ultimately, surveying people about religion tells you nothing useful.

    If religion was about knowing facts, it would be called "God science," and we would know for sure whose side God was on in wars and football games.

    Religion is something we want to define for ourselves.

    Some people may think it's important to know what communion is, or who Maimonides or Luther was. For others, as long as the Virgin Mary can appear on a piece of toast, and as long as the Ten Commandments include the right to keep and bear arms, we're cool.

    How do you score?

    Pew Forum Religious Knowledge Questions

    What is the first book of the Bible? (Open-ended) What are the names of the first four books of the New Testament, that is, the four Gospels? (Open-ended) Where, according to the Bible, was Jesus born? Bethlehem, Jerusalem, Nazareth or Jericho?

    Which of these is NOT in the Ten Commandments? Do unto others…, no adultery, no stealing, keep Sabbath?

    Which figure is associated with remaining obedient to God despite suffering? Job, Elijah, Moses or Abraham?

    Which figure is associated with leading the exodus from Egypt? Moses, Job, Elijah or Abraham?

    Which figure is associated with willingness to sacrifice his son for God? Abraham, Job, Moses or Elijah?

    What is Catholic teaching about bread and wine in Communion? They become body and blood, or are symbols?

    Which group traditionally teaches that salvation is through faith alone? Protestants, Catholics, both or neither?

    Was Mother Teresa Catholic, Jewish, Buddhist, Hindu or Mormon?

    What is the name of the person whose writings and actions inspired the Reformation? Luther, Aquinas or Wesley?

    Who was a preacher during the First Great Awakening? Jonathan Edwards, Charles Finney or Billy Graham?

    When does the Jewish Sabbath begin? Friday, Saturday or Sunday?

    Was Maimonides Jewish, Catholic, Buddhist, Hindu or Mormon?

    When was the Mormon religion founded? After 1800, between 1200 and 1800, or before 1200 A.D.?

    The Book of Mormon tells of Jesus appearing to people in what area? The Americas, Middle East or Asia?

    Was Joseph Smith Mormon, Catholic, Jewish, Buddhist or Hindu?

    Is Ramadan the Islamic holy month, the Hindu festival of lights or a Jewish day of atonement?

    Do you happen to know the name of the holy book of Islam? (Open-ended) Which religion aims at nirvana, the state of being free from suffering? Buddhism, Hinduism or Islam?

    Is the Dalai Lama Buddhist, Hindu, Jewish, Catholic or Mormon?
    In which religion are Vishnu and Shiva central figures? Hinduism, Islam or Taoism?

    What is the religion of most people in India? Hindu, Buddhist, Muslim or Christian?

    What is the religion of most people in Pakistan? Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist or Christian?

    What is the religion of most people in Indonesia? Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist or Christian?

    Who is the king of Gods in Greek mythology? Zeus, Mars or Apollo?

    Is an atheist someone who does NOT believe in God, believes in God, or is unsure whether God exists?

    Is an agnostic someone who is unsure whether God exists, does NOT believe in God, or believes in God?

    What does Constitution say about religion? Separation of church and state, emphasize Christianity, or nothing?

    According to the Supreme Court, can a public school teacher lead a class in prayer?

    According to the Supreme Court, can a public school teacher read from the Bible as an example of literature?

    According to the Supreme Court, can a public school teacher offer a class comparing the world's religions?

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