Tributes to Sheldon Seevak

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Posted February 07, 2006 in Anti-Semitism
from Richard Wagner, "Judaism in Music," to the Hamburg Resolutions of the German Social Reform Party

Richard Wagner, “Judaism in Music,” (1850)

The Jew—who, as everyone knows, has a God all to himself—in ordinary life strikes us primarily by his outward appearance, which, no matter to what European nationality we belong, has something disagreeably foreign to that nationality: instinctively we wish to have nothing in common with a man who looks like that….Passing over the moral side, in the effect of this in itself unpleasant freak of Nature, and coming to its bearings upon Art, we here will merely observe that to us this exterior can never be thinkable as a subject for the art of re-presentment.: if plastic art wants to present us with a Jew, it mostly takes its model from sheer fantasy, with a prudent ennobling, or entire omission, of just everything that characterises for us in common life the Jew's appearance….

…The Jew speaks the language of the nation in whose midst he dwells from generation to generation, but he speaks it always as an alien….In the first place, then, the general circumstance that the Jew talks the modern European languages merely as learnt, and not as mother tongues, must necessarily debar him from all capability of therein expressing himself idiomatically, independently, and conformably to his nature…. But the Jew has stood outside the pale of any such community, stood solitarily with his Jehova in a splintered, soilless stock, to which all self-sprung evolution must stay denied, just as even the peculiar (Hebraïc) language of that stock has been preserved for him merely as a thing defunct….Our whole European art and civilisation, however, have remained to the Jew a foreign tongue; for, just as he has taken no part in the evolution of the one...

…From that turning-point in our social evolution where Money, with less and less disguise, was raised to the virtual patent of nobility, the Jews—to whom money-making without actual labour, i.e. Usury, had been left as their only trade—the Jews not merely could no longer be denied the diploma of a new society that needed naught but gold, but they brought it with them in their pockets. Wherefore our modern Culture, accessible to no one but the well-to-do, remained the less a closed book to them, as it had sunk into a venal article of Luxury. Henceforward, then, the cultured Jew appears in our Society; his distinction from the uncultured, the common Jew, we now have closely to observe.

…Alien and apathetic stands the educated Jew in midst of a society he does not understand, with whose tastes and aspirations he does not sympathise, whose history and evolution have always been indifferent to him….

Wilhelm Marr (1818-1904), German journalist who coined the term “anti-semitism,” on the Jews

There is no stopping them... Are there no clear signs that the twilight of the Jews is setting in? No. Jewry's control of society and politics, as well as its practical domination of religious and ecclesiastical thought, is still in the prime of its development, heading towards the realisation of Jehovah's promise; "I will hand all peoples over to thee."

Heinrich von Treitschke, "A Word about our Jews," 1879-1880

What we have to demand of our Israelite fellow citizens is simple: they should become Germans. They should feel themselves, modestly and properly, Germans-and this without prejudicing their faith and their ancient, holy memories, which we all hold in reverence. For we do not want to see millennia of Germanic morality followed by an era of German-Jewish hybrid culture. It would be sinful to forget that a great many Jews, baptized and unbaptized, were German men in the best sense…. But it is equally undeniable that numerous and mighty circles among our Jews simply lack the goodwill to become thoroughly German. It is painful to speak of these things….Nevertheless, I believe that many of my Jewish friends will concede, though with deep regret, that I am right when I assert that in recent times a dangerous spirit of arrogance has arisen in Jewish circles. The influence of Jewry on our national life, which created much good in earlier times, nowadays shows itself in many ways harmful.

… Our Jewish fellow citizens must resolve to be German--without qualification, as so many of them have already done, to our benefit and their own. The task can never be wholly completed. A cleft has always existed between Occidental and Semitic essences.... There will always be Jews who are nothing more than German-speaking Orientals. A specific Jewish civilization will also always flourish, as befits a historically cosmopolitan power. But the conflict will lessen when the Jews, who speak so much of tolerance, really become tolerant and show respect for the faith, customs, and feelings of the German people, who have atoned for the old injustice and bestowed upon them the rights of man and citizen. That this respect is wholly missing in a section of our commercial and literary Jewry is the ultimate basis for the passionate embitterment of today.

It is not a pretty picture-this storming and wrangling, this bubbling and boiling of half-baked ideas in the new Germany. But we are now the most passionate of peoples, even though we often berate ourselves as phlegmatic. New ideas have never established themselves among us without convulsive twitches. May God grant that we emerge from the rashness and ill humor of these restless years with a stricter conception of the state and its duties, a more Powerful national feeling.

Hamburg Resolutions of the German Social Reform Party, 1899

3. Thanks to the development of our modern means of communication, the Jewish question ought to be permitted to become a world question in the course of the twentieth century. As such, it should be solved in common with other nations and result finally in full separation, and if-- self-defense demands-- in final annihilation of the Jewish race. The "true" peace conference will be the one in which the peoples of the globe occupy themselves with the position of the Hebrews. Until then, however, it will be the affair of every individual nation to defend itself against the Jewish plague as best it can.

4. One of the first steps for legislative intervention against the Jewish race must be the legal definition of who shall be considered a Jew. It is racial descent and this alone that determines membership in Jewry.

Category: Anti-Semitism