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1938 Gallup Polls on Jews.

Glenn notes that today is the 70th Anniversary of Kristallnacht.

To remind you of US sentiment at the time, consider these Gallup Poll results from Nov. 22, 1938, nearly two weeks after that night.

Do you approve or disapprove of the Nazi's treatment ... Of Jews in Germany?

5.6% Approve
88.2% Disapprove
6.2% No Opinion

Should we allow a larger number of Jewish exiles from Germany to come to the United States to live?

21.2 Yes
71.8% No
7.0% No Opinion

Though only 6% of the American public approve of German actions, only 21% favor taking in more Jewish exiles.

That may be because of the attitudes toward Jews revealed in this poll from earlier in 1938 (April 27):

Do you think the persecution of the Jews in Europe has been their own fault?

10.9% Entirely
54.0% Partly
35.1% Not at all

(After being asked: "Do you think there is likely to be a widespread campaign against the Jews in this country?"): Would you support such a campaign?

11.7% Yes
88.3% No

So in April 1938, 65% of Americans thought that the persecution of Jews in Europe had been partly or completely their own fault. And 12% would support "a widespread campaign against the Jews in this country."

Source: all polls courtesy of the GallupBrain, subscription required.

Anderson (mail):
Oy.
11.9.2008 9:33pm
frufru:
as a jew, nothing makes me more nervous than the gentile's obsession with jews.
11.9.2008 9:37pm
Grobstein (mail) (www):
I bet the war changed these opinions. Enemy's enemy effect, etc.
11.9.2008 9:37pm
Bama 1L:
I'd love to know the results for this question: “Do you think there is likely to be a widespread campaign against the Jews in this country?”
11.9.2008 9:40pm
J. Aldridge:

Should we allow a larger number of Jewish exiles from Germany to come to the United States to live?
21.2 Yes
71.8% No

Obama will claim this isn't who we are.
11.9.2008 9:43pm
Ricardo (mail):
Niall Ferguson recounts these poll results in his excellent book "The War of the World." To answer Bama 1L, I believe about a third thought it was likely there would be a campaign against Jews in the U.S.

Another result: I'm blanking on the exact wording but it was something to the effect that about half of Americans thought that Jews held too much power and influence in the U.S.
11.9.2008 9:46pm
Anderson (mail):
Obama will claim this isn't who we are.

Good heavens, if you're going to spoil a thread by trying to drag Obama into the Holocaust, do a better job.

Who we were in 1938 is *not* "who we are." Past event ... present tense.
11.9.2008 9:47pm
Reader5000:
Jews: the most discussed and debated 1% of the population ever.
11.9.2008 9:48pm
Anon21:
A distinction I'm sure they'd be glad to be rid of going forward, Reader5000, given the tone and consequences of much of that discussion and debate.
11.9.2008 9:52pm
Dave N (mail):
Jim Lindgren seems to be poaching on David Bernstein's topics--not that there's anything wrong with that.
11.9.2008 9:53pm
Sitnah:
If something similar to Kristallnacht were to happen in Europe today (say in France after a National Front victory with a significantly more radical Le Pen successor) but with regard the Muslim population living there-- I wonder if American responses to the same questions above would be similar? This question could be at least partially answered, I suppose, by looking at polling information regarding US attitudes toward Muslims today.

Of course, I realize that the situation of Muslims in Europe today is quite different from the situation of Jews in Europe in the 1930's. For one thing, they are by and large on the fringe of society (literally and figuratively) far more than the Jews were. For another, their relative share of the population is growing (both by childbirth and continued immigration). For a third, they are a relatively recent arrival in Europe, rather than a group with a long history of persecution.

And of course the Europe of today seems pretty thoroughly cosmopolitan/post-modern/de-militarized (again, literally and figuratively). So my point is not that such a thing could happen in Europe today (the FN has declining support in France recently, for instance). It's that if it did happen, I can see American attitudes toward it being at least somewhat similar to what they were back in the 1930's.
11.9.2008 9:55pm
zippypinhead:
Tragic. Recall that in some parts of the U.S. in the second half of the 1930s there was a fair amount of support for the Nazi apologist German-American Bund, including the Bund's anti-Jewish and anti-New Deal platforms.

My father grew up in a heavily-German part of Pennsylvania. He told a story from when he was a teenager shortly before the War, when he and some friends got in trouble (and would have gotten beaten up if they hadn't run really fast) when as a prank they unplugged the electric cord powering the loudspeaker during a local Bund chapter rally on the high school football field.
11.9.2008 9:58pm
Crunchy Frog:
...and the results of a 70-year-old public opinion poll are relevant because?

Really, what's the point?
11.9.2008 10:01pm
byomtov (mail):
Obama will claim this isn't who we are.

If so, he will be correct.
11.9.2008 10:06pm
EricH (mail):
...and the results of a 70-year-old public opinion poll are relevant because?

Sorry, are you serious? Don't we study and read history books to learn about our past, about how we got here? We learn about human nature and our understanding of ourselves?

I'm sure you've read history books or accounts and see events today in the shadows, if you will, of those past events?

To learn from the mistakes of our fathers and grandfathers?

I'm sure more literate and better writers can explain it than I can. But it's obvious to me.
11.9.2008 10:12pm
FlimFlamSam:
Wow, maybe I misunderstand this exercise, but those polls are surprisingly liberal in my view.
11.9.2008 10:15pm
Sagar:
if we are bringing in Obama into this thread, I'd rather talk about the news bit in NYT that JAmie Gorelick is being considered for Atty General.

Other than John Edwards (of two americas fame), I can't think of someone more controversial.

(obviously RFK, Jr. has already been discussed)
11.9.2008 10:17pm
unhyphenatedconservative (mail):
Sitnah,

Another big diffrence between Muslims in Modern Europe and Jews in 1938 Europe was the conspicuous lack of Jews blowing up buses, trains and the such. But other than that, your example was super duper deep. You should sell it as an after school special.
11.9.2008 10:22pm
Libertarian1 (mail):
Jews: the most discussed and debated 1% of the population ever.



Because of assimilation and intermarriage the number of Americans who have Jews in their family is significantly larger than your supposition. Every national election I eagerly await the listing of Jewish relatives each of the candidates proudly acknowledges.

To address the exact quote above, it has always been my sense that the number of Jews here is approximately equal to the gay population in the US. Between those 2 groups I would agree that more than 4-6% of discussion and debate revolves around them, either as groups or more significantly as individuals. But conversely their contributions to our society are similarly over 4-6%.
11.9.2008 10:49pm
Anderson (mail):
the conspicuous lack of Jews blowing up buses, trains and the such

Kristallnacht was sold by Goebbels as spontaneous retaliation for Jewish "terrorism," the assassination of a German diplomat by a Jew.

But I see that if Muslims *are* persecuted in modern Europe, a latter-day Goebbels won't be hard to find.
11.9.2008 10:50pm
A.:
@Sitnah: There was also the little difference that Jews hadn't committed terrorist acts that they then justified in part on the basis of their Jewish identity, neither in America nor elsewhere. Also, Jews were never a demographic threat to any European nations' cultural balance.
11.9.2008 10:51pm
A.:
@Anderson: Of course, there is no difference between a single (fabricated? isolated?) assassination of a German official by a Jew and 9/11 (amongst other acts). None at all.


That said, no one suggests doing to European Muslims what the Nazis did to the Jews--that's a silly straw man. It's just that to the extent that there is disparate treatment of Muslims and non-Muslims in Europe now, it is more justified that the treatment of Jews was then.
11.9.2008 10:56pm
Freddy Hill:

Should we allow a larger number of Jewish exiles from Germany to come to the United States to live?


It seems to me that it is impossible to gauge the significance of the answers to this question (21+ yes, 71+ no) without knowing the answers to related questions:

Should we allow a larger number of Mexicans |Cubans | Gypsies | Chinese | Japanese [or fill in your own ethnic group] to come to the United States to live?

Should we allow a larger number of foreigners to come to the United States to live?


Were similar questions asked by Gallup at approximately the same time? It might be a very interesting comparison.
11.9.2008 11:02pm
Ricardo (mail):
@Sitnah: There was also the little difference that Jews hadn't committed terrorist acts that they then justified in part on the basis of their Jewish identity, neither in America nor elsewhere. Also, Jews were never a demographic threat to any European nations' cultural balance.

The first point is true but it's not clear it makes much of a difference. The fact that Sikhs found themselves singled out for harassment after 9/11 says something about the level of sophistication of those who engage in retaliatory violence against ethnic or religious groups. If Muslim terrorists justified their terrorism by opposition to capitalist imperialism or Western moral decay without explicit Koranic references, would that change public attitudes toward Muslims? I highly doubt it.
11.9.2008 11:14pm
frufru:
What about the IRA, Red Brigades, Bader Meinhof and etc.
No one remembers the good times between Jewish Bolshevism and Islamofascism.
11.9.2008 11:15pm
Al (mail):
FlimFlamSam: Wow, maybe I misunderstand this exercise, but those polls are surprisingly liberal in my view.

Given the widespread anti-semitism on the left, I don't know if I would use the term "liberal", but I agree with FlimFlamSam: the poll results were actually better than I would have expected.
11.9.2008 11:24pm
John Stephens (mail):
Based on their behavior to date, if there's a Kristalnacht II the Muslims in Europe are more likely to play the part of the Nazis.
11.9.2008 11:30pm
Robert Farrell (mail):
There was also the little difference that Jews hadn't committed terrorist acts that they then justified in part on the basis of their Jewish identity, neither in America nor elsewhere.

Wrong. Absolutely false:

August 26, 1938 24 Arabs were killed by a bomb at a marketplace in Jaffa.
-
February 27, 1939 33 Arabs were killed in multiple attacks, incl. 24 by bomb in Arab market in Suk Quarter of Haifa
and 4 by bomb in Arab vegetable market in Jerusalem. -

May 29, 1939 5 Arabs were killed by a mine detonated at the Rex cinema in Jerusalem. -

On the same day 5 Arabs were shot and killed during a raid on the village of Biyar 'Adas. -

June 2, 1939 5 Arabs were killed by a bomb at the Jaffa Gate in Jerusalem -

June 12, 1939 A post office in Jerusalem was bombed, killing a British bomb expert trying to defuse the bombs. -

June 16, 1939 6 Arabs were killed in several attacks in Jerusalem. -

June 19, 1939 20 Arabs were killed by explosives mounted on a donkey at a marketplace in Haifa. -

June 29, 1939 13 Arabs were killed in multiple shootings during one-hour period. -

June 30, 1939 An Arab was killed at a marketplace in Jerusalem. -

On the same day 2 Arabs were shot and killed in Lifta. -

July 3, 1939 An Arab was killed by a bomb at a marketplace in Haifa. -

July 4, 1939 2 Arabs were killed in two attacks in Jerusalem. -

July 20, 1939 An Arab was killed at a train station in Jaffa. -

On the same day 6 Arabs were killed in several attacks in Tel-Aviv

Partial list. See: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Irgun_attacks_during_the_1930s

Jew committed terrorist attacks in the 30s, Jews justified them with reference to their Judiasm and their rights as Jews. And why not? A Jew is no better than a Muslim, and neither is better than a member of another faith or no faith at all. Both faiths have their terrorists and their fundamentalists -- I would advise you to be very careful of holding up any religion, ethnicity or nation as purer or better than any other. That way lies frank bigotry.
11.9.2008 11:31pm
TGGP (mail) (www):
I would also like to know how many though it was likely. Albert Nock clearly did.

Beyond the assassination of Rath I think many held Jews responsible for the communist uprisings in Germany and other central european countries after WW1, though I doubt anywhere near a majority of the commies putting up barricades were Jewish (contrast with uniformity of religion among today's terrorists which we are supposed to call "the religion of peace").
11.9.2008 11:59pm
A.:
@Robert Farrell: A few problems:

1) There was, as far as I know, no connection even posited between the Irgun and the Holocaust.

2) Organized violence by Arabs against Jews in the area that became Israel goes back at least as far back as the 1880s, so while the Irgun attack are reprehensible, they should be understood as part of a larger regional struggle not analogous to Muslim terrorism in America and Europe (though analogous to Palestinian terrorism in Israel).

3) All the attacks you cite happened after the above poll was conducted.
11.10.2008 12:10am
Hoosier:
Anderson :
the conspicuous lack of Jews blowing up buses, trains and the such

Kristallnacht was sold by Goebbels as spontaneous retaliation for Jewish "terrorism," the assassination of a German diplomat by a Jew.

But I see that if Muslims *are* persecuted in modern Europe, a latter-day Goebbels won't be hard to find.


Wow! Arrogant, snarky, and irrelevant.

HAT TRICK!
11.10.2008 12:24am
Jerry F:
I wonder how different public opinion would be today if we had the same poll. It is extremely rare that you will ever get more than 90% of the public to agree on anything, even on something that any reasonable person would see as completely uncontroversial.
11.10.2008 12:26am
BGates:
I would advise you to be very careful of holding up any religion, ethnicity or nation as purer or better than any other.
So the Amish are morally equivalent to the Soviet Union, and anyone who says different is a bigot.

Of course, anyone who says the same must be a bigot, otherwise I'd be holding up those who took one stance on that proposition as purer or better than the other.
11.10.2008 12:55am
David Warner:
Jerry F.,

"I wonder how different public opinion would be today if we had the same poll. It is extremely rare that you will ever get more than 90% of the public to agree on anything, even on something that any reasonable person would see as completely uncontroversial."

True, but after this poll Einstein happened. For a lot of regular Americans today, Jews are like our hobbits.

Muslims on the other hand - there's never been a billion Jews, the Golden Age of Muslim science is nearly one thousand years in the past, and Muhammad ain't in the Bible. That hill will be a steeper one to climb.

Then again, grading on a curve, we're off to a decent start.
11.10.2008 1:19am
Latinist:
So the Amish are morally equivalent to the Soviet Union

Well, it's not clear what that means. Does it mean: the average person chosen at random from the USSR, and the average person chosen at random from among the Amish, would be equally morally good? If so, I dunno, give or take.

Does it mean: The leaders of the Amish community are just as virtuous or vicious as the leaders of the USSR? In that case, no, that's unfair to the Amish.

If it means: The Amish community is just as well arranged as the USSR, then that's unfair too, since the Amish don't (as far as I know) violently suppress dissent, invade their neighbors, etc., etc.

On the other hand, I have to say, I'm a little puzzled at the choice of the Amish as an example of a morally good community. I'd say they're a pretty screwed up one, myself: I think it's a good thing to take part in national and global society, and to take advantage of the benefits of modern technology. Of course, I don't know a whole lot about the Amish. And they do sell good produce.
11.10.2008 1:37am
A. Zarkov (mail):
It's a criminal offense in Sweden (and much of the rest of Europe too) to make a derogatory statement about a religion or ethnic group. With the exception of Jews. As reported by EJP
...this year, the Chancellor of Justice*, Goran Lambertz, discontinued his preliminary investigation against the great mosque in Stockholm. Cassette tapes had been sold in the bookshop of the mosque with a violently Anti-Semitic contents... the Stockholm mosque was reported to the police...
...
In his decision to discontinue the preliminary investigation Lambertz wrote that “the lecture at hand contains statements that are strongly degrading to Jews, among other things, they are throughout called brothers of apes and pigs.” Furthermore a curse is expressed over the Jews and “Jihad is called for, to kill the Jews, ...

The Chancellor raises the question whether the statements “should be judged differently, and be considered allowed, because they are used by one side in a continuing profound conflict, where battle cries and invectives are part of everyday occurrences in the rhetoric that surround the conflict.” Lambertz thought that the “recently mentioned statements in spite of their contents are not to be considered “incitement against an ethnic group according to Swedish law”. His conclusions were that the preliminary investigation should be discontinued because this case of incitement against Jews could be said to originate from the Middle East conflict.
But don't cast the slightest aspersion against Muslims-- that will get you a fine or imprisonment in Sweden.
A local politician in southern Sweden has been fined 18,000 kronor for writing a motion claiming that 95 percent of all heroin brought in to Sweden comes via Kosovo.

The court found against Pettersson, ruling that he was guilty of Agitation Against a National or Ethnic Group. In its ruling, the court said that the law was a limitation on freedom of speech, and every case must be judged in context. Reasoned criticism is not illegal, but Pettersson's motion went beyond what could be considered reasoned.
In our modern politically correct universe some groups are more equal then others.

Shall we worry more about what's happening in Europe today than in 1938.
11.10.2008 1:48am
A. Zarkov (mail):
Whoops. The second link is here.
11.10.2008 1:50am
Tatil:

Another big diffrence between Muslims in Modern Europe and Jews in 1938 Europe was the conspicuous lack of Jews blowing up buses, trains and the such.

I guess if a new Kristallnacht happens and you get asked "Do you think the persecution of the Jews Muslims have been their own fault?" we know what your answer is going to be.

I distinctly remember skinheads in Germany burning down more than a few apartment blocks with Muslim immigrants in them at night and causing many tragic deaths years before 9/11, but of course they must have brought this onto themselves somehow. I guess even if we know history, we are bound to repeat it.
11.10.2008 2:24am
David Warner:
See also.
11.10.2008 2:34am
Ricardo (mail):
contrast with uniformity of religion among today's terrorists which we are supposed to call "the religion of peace"

Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols were Muslims? How about the IRA, ETA or Red Brigades? Shoko Asahara, the leader of Aum Shinrikyo, which was responsible for the sarin gas attacks on the Tokyo Subway, is a Muslim? The families of thousands of Muslims who died at the hands of organized death squads in Gujarat, India would be interested in hearing evidence that their attackers were uniformly Muslim. What nonsense.
11.10.2008 2:39am
Rodger Lodger (mail):
As a matter of fact there was a big campaign against the Jews living in the U.S. I read about it in a book by Philip Roth.
11.10.2008 6:03am
Hoosier:
Rodger--To be fair, I think that was during the time when the Nazis were in control here. I read about that in a book by the eminent historian Philip K. Dick.


Ricardo--

When was the last time a non-Muslim hijacked a airliner? It's true that not all terrorist are Muslims. Is it incorrect, however, to say that all suicide terrorists are?
11.10.2008 7:12am
frufru:
Is it incorrect, however, to say that all suicide terrorists are?

It is incorrect. Most suicide bombers are secularist Tamil Tigers, and most middle eastern suicide bombers aren't even Islamist.
11.10.2008 7:52am
frufru:
I doubt anywhere near a majority of the commies putting up barricades were Jewish

Jews were prominent in the russion revolution. Martov, Trotsky, Sverdlov, Zinoviev, so on and on. Heck, Lenin spoke Yiddish.
11.10.2008 7:58am
Robert Farrell (mail):
A:

The claim was "Jews hadn't committed terrorist acts that they then justified in part on the basis of their Jewish identity, neither in America nor elsewhere." That claim is false, as I showed. The arguments you are responding to are not arguments I made either explicitly or implicitly.

A and BGates: Among Jews and Muslims, then and now, small minorities engage in terrorism while large majorities do not. Smearing a particular faith as terror-prone and drawing broad conclusions about its adherents is not justified.

Now, I did not say that anyone who says something negative about a group is a bigot. In fact, groups can and do socialize their members in different ways, with different results. Groups settle on different goals and different means to achieve them: while the Amish are not extrinsically superior to the Soviet Union, they have not made it their ambition to spread their way of life or their physical presence among unwilling strangers.

I said that when you lose sight of the fact that groups are composed of people, and people are not, on average, better or worse than one another, but rather tend to respond similarly to similar circumstances, you are headed for a misreading of history and politics which justifies prejudice.

Once you lose sight of the fact that a Jew can blow up a bus or a Muslim can be unfairly targeted for their religion, you are, as I said, not necessarily a bigot but definitely heading in that direction.
11.10.2008 8:43am
JosephSlater (mail):
Quite a weird thread. Since we're all tossing in facts entirely irrelevant to the actual posting, I'll just say, hey, how 'bout that percentage of Jews who voted for Obama? Seventy-eight percent, up from the seventy-four percent who voted for Kerry.
11.10.2008 9:06am
Anderson (mail):
I guess if a new Kristallnacht happens and you get asked "Do you think the persecution of the Jews Muslims have been their own fault?" we know what your answer is going to be.

This is my point. Sorry that Hoosier couldn't quite grasp it.

Terror is terror. Attacking ethnic groups in general for the alleged misdeeds of some of their members? Terror. Not justice, not deserved.

I can well imagine that Iraqi civilians whose family members have been (say) gunned down at U.S. checkpoints might resent the U.S. considerably, but I wouldn't believe that justified them in attacks against Americans in general.
11.10.2008 9:48am
Ken Arromdee:
I distinctly remember skinheads in Germany burning down more than a few apartment blocks with Muslim immigrants in them at night and causing many tragic deaths years before 9/11, but of course they must have brought this onto themselves somehow. I guess even if we know history, we are bound to repeat it.

I'm sure that you'd be the first to admit that Muslims have some legitimate grievances against the West, and that while these grievances don't justify terrorism and don't mean every Westerner is evil, they create an environment which makes it easier for terrorism to take root.

Legitimate grievances against Muslims are a lot like legitimate grievances by them; not every one is to blame, and it doesn't justify burning their house down, but there is a connection, and in the absence of those grievances there would be fewer attacks on them.
11.10.2008 10:24am
Tom S (mail):
Those revisionists who condemn the Roosevelt administration's relative inaction in making it easier for Jews to enter the United States would do well to bear the results of this poll in mind.
11.10.2008 10:31am
Blue:
Um, why would anyone be surprised at the American population being opposed to increased immigration--from any source or for any reason--during the depths of a long-term Depression?
11.10.2008 11:00am
lonetown (mail):
As a neocon who was willing to go to the mat for Israel, I now recognize the impossiblilty of helping them with our country so divided.

We'll just have to let them go.
11.10.2008 11:18am
einhverfr (mail) (www):
Thanks. However, this needs to be seen within the larger world scene too. I am not sure the views of Hitler by Jews was entirely monolithic at the time either.

Avraham Stern (a self-described terrorist working towards Israeli independence) said that Hitler was harmless and only claimed to hate Jews while Churchill was the real enemy of the Jewish people ;-) Stern went so far as to praise Hitler's rounding up of te Jews into the Ghettos because he felt that this was essentially a nascent Jewish state. His organization later sought an alliance with the Nazis asking for forced expulsion of the Jews from Europe to Israel in exchange for military help against the British.
11.10.2008 11:24am
trytoremember (mail):

When was the last time a non-Muslim hijacked a airliner?


From Wikipedia List of Cuban Hijackings:
September 19, 2000 An Antonov An-2 crashes into the sea west of Cuba. Cuban authorities said the plane was hijacked after take-off from Pinar del Rio.

July 31, 2001 John Milo Reese steals a plane from Marathon airport in the Florida Keys with the reported intention of delivering a pizza to Fidel Castro in an attempt to kidnap the Cuban leader. After crash-landing on a Cuban beach, he was returned to the United States, where he was convicted of transporting a stolen aircraft, and was sentenced to six months in jail. In a later interview, he admitted to being slightly intoxicated and having lost his bearings in the air.

August 14, 2001 An elderly couple attempts to hijack a plane and force the pilot to fly to Cuba. In the ensuing scuffle the plane crashed into the sea near Florida and the couple drowned.

November 11 2002 A Cuban An-2 aircraft, registration No. CU-C1086, is hijacked. The plane landed at the Pinar del Rio airport before flying to Key West in Florida.

March 19 2003 Six men, some armed with knives, take control of a Cuban state airline plane as it heads to Havana from Cuba's Isle of Youth. US Air Force fighter jets intercepted the DC-3 plane, run by Cuban state airline Aerotaxi, shortly before it reached Florida late on Wednesday evening. The US jets then escorted the plane to Key West's airport, where the suspects surrendered without incident.

March 31 2003 A Cuban airliner is successfully hijacked to Key West with 32 people on board.

April 1, 2003 A man carrying two grenades hijacks a Cuban domestic airliner demanding that it fly to the United States; it landed in Havana due to insufficient fuel.

May 3, 2007 Two army recruits hijack a plane destined for Miami at José Martí International Airport in Havana. The men kill a hostage before being arrested prior to takeoff.

----

Please, don't be a dumbass. Try to remember.

The PLO loved hijacking because hijackings are exciting and spectacular and brought a lot of attention to the Palestinian movement. Other Muslims around the world have picked up on this very effective tactic. And many hijackings are done out of purely personal reasons.

Remember Hakan Ekinci, the Christian hijacker in 2006? Of course you don't. Please try to remember.
11.10.2008 12:07pm
kurt9 (mail):
At the time (mid to late 30's), not only were we mildly anti-jewish, I don't think people here had any idea that the Nazis were planning to physically exterminate all of the Jewish people in Germany and the conquered territories. I think people just assumed that Kristallnacht was the opening of just another "regular" pogram against Jews.

This is the reason why Eisenhower had all of the film crews come in and film everything they could when the Allied forces found and opened the extermination camps. Eisenhower wanted to document everything the Allied troops found. He believed without this photographic evidence, that no one would believe that something like the holocaust ever took place. Even today there are many people who claim that the holocaust is just a "myth".

I think the poll results of the question Do you think there is likely to be a widespread campaign against the Jews in this country? were not included because a large number of respondents answered "Yes" to the question.

I honestly do not know the root of "jew-hatred". I grew up on the West coast and lived half of my adult life in Asia. So, I have personally known only 3-4 Jewish people, all of them being decent people. I have met Jewish people from NYC and have found them to be quite irritating. However, I have also met non-Jewish people from NYC and have found them to be quite irritating as well. So, I think its more of a NYC thing than a Jewish thing.
11.10.2008 1:08pm
einhverfr (mail) (www):

I honestly do not know the root of "jew-hatred"


My own opinion (I will get a lot of flak for this):

Judaism is a nationalistic religion and not internationalist in the way, say Christianity and Islam are. By this I mean that the Jews see Judaism as a religion for ethnic Jews and not really applicable beyond that. They see this as their tradition, their ways, etc.

Now, if we look back to the past and the conversions of Europe to Christianity, the closest parallels to this attitude of nationalist religion was from the Pagans, whom Christianity had to convert. Many people there tried to cling to their ways and their traditions, and the only real successes in the early Middle Ages were in Scandinavia and the Slavic areas. Christianity, though being an internationalist religion seeks to be applicable across ethnic boundaries (a habit I believe they picked up from Rome).

In this view, the Jews would have been initially seen as a bad example. Aside from the idea that they were the ones who killed Christ (pretty poor justification if you ask me since according to the same people Christ was supposed to die for our sins anyway), the real issue is just that they refused to convert. As time went on, this became institutionalized, etc.

In short Judaism and paganism both represented ethic religions and traditions which Christianity sought to replace. Since the Jews held out, they were seen as bad. On the positive side, as a Norse neopagan with substantial Jewish heritage, I value the lessons that they have taught regarding perseverance of culture in the face of prosecution.
11.10.2008 2:35pm
einhverfr (mail) (www):

in the face of prosecution.

Should read "in the face of persecution."
11.10.2008 2:36pm
David Warner:
kurt9,

"I honestly do not know the root of "jew-hatred"."

Hatred claims to be rooted in grievance. It's more primal than that. Defenselessness draws hatred like vultures to a carcass. Jews have been largely (physically) defenseless for the better part of 3,000 years. Their only defense has been the civilization they've engendered and/or nurtured everywhere they've been.

Attacks on civilization are direct attacks on Jews.
11.10.2008 3:26pm
einhverfr (mail) (www):
David Werner wrote:

Jews have been largely (physically) defenseless for the better part of 3,000 years. Their only defense has been the civilization they've engendered and/or nurtured everywhere they've been.

Attacks on civilization are direct attacks on Jews.


If only it were that simple. During the Middle Ages, many in Europe's educated classes looked back to the classical world as the source of all good things. You can see this in Geoffrey of Monmouth's "Historia Regenum Brittanum" and Snorri Sterlusson's "Edda." Both of these largely adopt "We are Trojans" from the Annead. The Church itself largely was seen as a continuation of the Roman tradition of civilization.

The other thing that one has to look at was the fact that Christianization largely continued what the Roman Empire started, in the move from small political units to large ones, but all dominated under the political power of Rome.

The thing about this is, the Church was in a position to monopolize writing and all things related to writing as a way of securing their role in managing kingdoms. The only credible competition until after the Black Death came from the Jews. One can see this play out in the roles occupied by the Church in, say, Charlemagne's court compared to, say, Alfonso X of Spain. My own thinking is that the Alhambra Decree (expelling Jews from Spain) was a reaction against the role the Sephardim had in Alfonso X's court. The audacity of Alfonso to hire Jews and Muslims may have also caused his issues with the Papacy which lead to them not recognizing his rulership over Germany.

But aside from this... Christians and Muslims were both seeking to centralize power, and create larger political units under their domains. This depended in large part of getting people to give up their indigenous traditions and join the club. Those that did not were generally labelled as bad examples to the rest and this included the Jews.

So in both cases, I think a conflict of ideology and a competition of role caused a lot of heavy Anti-Semitism to be institutionalized and deeply ingrained in the culture.
11.10.2008 3:58pm
Hoosier:
But aside from this... Christians and Muslims were both seeking to centralize power, and create larger political units under their domains. This depended in large part of getting people to give up their indigenous traditions and join the club.

Interesting post. Now you are going to force me to think. I'd just ask, with regard to the quote I've clipped and pasted above, wouldn't you say that the centralizing drive was only part of the story in the Christian world? Thus the conflict, most significantly, between Emperor and Pope at various times. The Holy Roman Empire was such an odd, diffuse sort of thing that supporting the Emperor was actually a way of defending particularism.

Also, you have completely left the Schmalkaldic War out of your analysis. Which is understandable, since it isn't really relevant. But I try to slip it in whenever possible, since I like saying "Schmalkaldic War."

Try it. It's fun.
11.10.2008 4:50pm
einhverfr (mail) (www):

Now you are going to force me to think. I'd just ask, with regard to the quote I've clipped and pasted above, wouldn't you say that the centralizing drive was only part of the story in the Christian world? Thus the conflict, most significantly, between Emperor and Pope at various times.


Sure. Or for that matter Alfonso X and the Pope (who refused to recognize his election as King of the Germans probably because he employed Jews in his court).

There are many players, but the major issue is that the Church would give help to the kings, etc. and expect a quid quo pro. The major thing the church could do was maintain records, provide history scholars and advisors, and provide organs of social control which would be helpful for the monarch. The monarch would then defend Christianity on this bases, but this doesn't mean that the monarchs didn't have their own ambitions. For example, you don't see England breaking away until the Church's hold on writing was weakened and what resulted was a long and bloody time.
11.10.2008 5:13pm
einhverfr (mail) (www):
Hoosier: By the time of the Schmalkaldic War and the Diet of Worms, Antisemitism was pretty-well ingrained in Europe. It was only really among a small elite of the Renaissance that Judaism wasn't heavily despised.

Hah! Got your phrase and the Diet of Worms together where they should be!
11.10.2008 6:30pm