Blaming the Jews

Commentary by Dr. Ursula A. Falk


Schuld am Elend

Cause of the Misery


Schuld am Elend,  sagt er Schuld am Leid, sagt er Schuld wenn’s regent, sagt er Schuld wenn’s schneit, sagt er Schuld an allem, sagt er voller Wut, sagt er Schuld am allen, sagt er ist der Jud.

This is a proverb that was repeated during the Hitler era in the 1930’s and 1940’s.  The scapegoat for all the misery, the pain, the rain, the snow, the cause and responsibility for all misery is the Jew.

This adage is still repeated in various languages and various parts of the world.  There is much jealousy expressed in this hateful rhyme.  The Arabs hate their Jewish neighbors because of their abilities, their hard labor, their willingness to explore and to learn; the Jewish learning and know-how is envied and denigrated by those who have used their energies to hate and to destroy; the anti-Semites will go to any length to minimize those who are unique or achieve more than they have.  The collectors of welfare payments who are unwilling to do a day's labor hold a grudge against those who have been willing to extend themselves, to labor, and to achieve their goals. 

We see among a comparatively large proportion of the black community members who rob and murder in order to gain what they would like to have. They have to their credit achieved four to six times the white crime rate in the United States.  They use their history of slavery to account for their poverty and their actions.  The remnants of the Jewish people who escaped from Hitler, his criminal regime, in order not to become a part of their six million murdered family members have worked hard to achieve and do not use their indescribable experiences to escape from responsibilities and hard work and have succeeded. 

Rational thought does not enter into the hatred that the anti-Semite expresses.  A famous example is the history of Albert Einstein, the most brilliant human of the twentieth century.  He was an escapee from the Nazis.  He left before the Holocaust.  When people speak of Einstein, they rarely recognize his culture, that he was a Jew.  

When we look closely at the hatred directed at the Jewish people we can compare it in a very minor sense to sibling rivalry.  The child who is jealous of his sibling and who minimizes him/her, attributing unacceptable deeds to his brother or sister, harbors feelings of being inferior, i.e. not as loved or accepted as the older or younger one. 

As Jewish people we must not accept the anger, the hatreds, the blatant lies that are attributed to our people; we must not hide our differences, our similarities, our human failures and achievements.  We must not accept being denigrated or attempt to hide who we are. We also must stand up for our brothers and sisters without fear.  Self hatred should not enter our psyche; we have no reason to adopt the viewpoints of our enemies.  They will not change, we must retain our outlook, our beliefs, our faith in ourselves and our fellow Jewish people, our differences and our similarities to all of humanity.  


 Dr. Ursula A. Falk is a psychotherapist in private practice and the author of several books and articles.

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