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35. “Anti-Semitism. Defense through Knowledge”
[after 3 April
Do German Jews still hope to be able to fight anti-Semitism by denying their hu-
man connections to the Jews of the world, and by presenting themselves to the pub-
lic as “German citizens of Mosaic faith”? So it almost seems when one hears the
constantly repeated declarations of these Jews, who claim to differ only from the
rest of their surroundings by their faith. Nevertheless, this peculiar confession
about their own identity appears somewhat comical to a non-Jew. Why is that? The
non-Jew recognizes in the Jew the Jewish man, the son of the Jewish people, and
not someone who professes to be of a religious belief towards which he himself
feels indifferent. The broad designation “German citizen” is particularly embar-
rassing, because almost every man you meet in the streets here is a “German citi-
zen.” What the Jewish citizens intend to achieve with this naive declaration is only
achieved with Jews and only rarely with non-Jews, who cannot be deceived by
mere labeling of the Jewish man. For them, a Jew remains a Jew, regardless under
which pretense he introduces himself. The Mosaic confession is just as Jewish to
anti-Semites as the Jewish nationality οr any other formula that Jews might come
up with to describe their Jewishness.
The psychological root of anti-Semitism lies in the fact that the Jews are a group
of people unto themselves. Their Jewishness is visible in their physical appearance,
and one notices their Jewish heritage in their intellectual works, and one can sense
that there are among them deep connections in their disposition and numerous pos-
sibilities of communicating that are based on the same way of thinking and of feel-
The Jewish child is already aware of these differences as soon as it starts
school. Jewish children feel the resentment that grows out of an instinctive suspi-
cion of their strangeness that naturally is often met with a closing of the ranks.
For the primitive and uneducated, being different is reason enough for hate. The
fact that in Germany today hatred of Jews has taken on such horrible expressions,
that the population is being incited against the Jews, only proves how far removed
from true human education and real culture the non-Jewish world that has been in-
fected with anti-Semitism has become. In Gottfried Keller’s words: “Das Eigene
lieben, aber das Fremde achten” [To love one’s own, but to respect what is differ-
seems to have only been written for a future generation. It should be made
clear that the Jews’ effort to pursue the reasons for anti-Semitism is in vain. The
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[p. 2]
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