The Jews of Germany
The Invisible Wall
is the name of a new book by W. Michael Blumenthal, former Secretary of the Treasury of the U.S. Blumenthal does not discuss his career in this country. Instead, this 444 page book deals with his life in Germany, where he was born, and with his ancestors, also German Jews all the way back to 1712.
Blumenthal is a Ph.D. economist and was professor of economics at Princeton before entering the business world, where he became CEO of several large corporations, both before and after holding the cabinet position of treasury secretary. His name appeared on all the paper money at that time.
Blumenthal shows that the history of the German Jews was not even three hundred years old when it came to an end in 1941. This is true although the first Jews to set foot on German soil came with the Romans in the first century and lived in Agrippina Colonia, or the colony of Agrippina, the emperor’s wife. Today the city is called Cologne or Kőln.
Blumenthal was born in Potsdam near Berlin, then the capital of Prussia. He lived there until he fled Germany in 1939. He quotes a number of German potentates concerning Jews, including Prussian king William I, who said: “Jews are the country’s locust… you must chase them away.” A German music critic wrote of the great composer Giacomo Meyerbeer: “Meyerbeer - a Jewish composer … bribes the theater to produce his mediocre operas.” In 1880 the German journalist and founder of the League of anti-Semites wrote: “Our German fatherland must be protected from socio-political Judaizaton.” In 1879, the “great” German historian Heinrich von Treitschke claimed that: “The Jews are our misfortune” (Die Juden sind unser Unglűck). That slogan was printed in all the German newspapers every day during the Nazi years. In 1893, the Pan-German League, which excluded Jews, used as its motto: “Our desire is for race to become homogenous and to expel foreign (Jewish) elements.”
Hitler, an avid reader, had seen these and many other anti-Jewish canards and declared in 1933: “Bear in mind the devastation which Jewish bastardization visits on our nation each day.” Hitler was not a German. He remained a citizen of Austria until after he became dictator.
These and other quotes from Germans who lived long before Hitler, such as Martin Luther (1483-1546) demonstrate that Germans were never happy to have Jews live in their midst. In fact, even now, over 70 years since the collapse of the Third Reich, public opinion polls indicate that the German population is still anti-Jewish and blames Israel, not the Arab terrorists, for all the pain in the Middle East.
The importance of Blumenthal’s book lies in the description of each of his ancestors’ lives as lived in Germany. He describes the Kristallnacht in a vivid manner. He shows how Jewish businesses were bombed, Jewish department stores torched and Jews were publicly humiliated in the streets as Jews had to scrub the sidewalks on their hands and feet while a screaming crowd shouted insults.
The book explains the Nazi racial laws and the manner by which so many Jewish homes were invaded and the Jews beaten and slaughtered.
There is also a description of the personal violence inflicted on individual Jews by local neighbors and greedy people who gladly denounced Jews to the so-called “authorities” in order to share in the money and goods confiscated when a Jew was deported.
In short, Sec. Blumenthal shows that the Holocaust did not come from Hitler alone, but that there was no time when German Jews where treated as equals. That has not changed. How strange that 100,000 Russian Jews have moved there.
Our president, George W. Bush, has repeatedly assured the Jewish community that he wants Russian Jews to come to this country. He has also indicated repeatedly that he is a strong supporter of Israel, as are Republicans generally.
Since Franklin D. Roosevelt opposed every effort to rescue the Jewish community here and in Israel, that has been the stance of Democrats all these years. So if you believe that Israel should survive, vote Republican, so that Jimmy Carter, the arch enemy of the Jewish people, will not gain influence and promote the view that Israel should receive no assistance but needs to be dismantled.
Dr. Gerhard Falk is the author of numerous publications, including The Restoration of Israel (2006).