The Riddle of the Jew’s Success
THE JEW’S SUCCESS
Translated from the German by Capel Pownall
HAMMER-VERLAG / LEIPZIG
Theodor Emil Fritsch (October 28, 1852 near Leipzig – September 8, 1933) was a German antijudaist whose views did much to influence popular opposition to Jewish supremacism in Germany during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
A believer in the absolute superiority of the Aryan race, Fritsch was upset by the changes brought on by rapid industrialization and urbanization, and called for a return to the traditional peasant values and customs of the distant past, which he believed exemplified the essence of the Volk.
In 1883 he founded the Hammer Publishing House.
One of Fritsch’s major goals was to unite all Jew-resister political parties under a single banner; he wished for opposition to Jewish supremacism to permeate the agenda of every German social and political organization. This effort proved largely to be a failure, as by 1890 there were over 190 various patriotic parties in Germany. He also had a powerful rival for the leadership of the patriots in Otto Böckel, with whom he had a strong personal rivalry.
In 1893, Fritsch published his most famous work, The Handbook of the Jewish Question also known as the Anti-Semitic Catechism which criticed the Jews and called upon Germans to refrain from intermingling with them. Vastly popular, the book was read by millions and was in its 49th edition by 1944 (330,000 copies). The ideas espoused by the work greatly influenced Hitler and his party during their rise to power after World War I. Fritsch also founded a journal – the Hammer (in 1902) and this became the basis of a movement, the Reichshammerbund, in 1912.
His better known book, The Riddle of the Jew’s Success was published in English in 1927 under the pseudonym F. Roderich-Stoltheim, and dealt with the negative impact that Jewish values and the centralization of the German economy in Jewish hands had on the German people. This book was recently republished by Noontide Press, and was the subject of a media controversy after it was banned by Amazon.com and other online book sellers.
Fritsch held the publication rights to the German edition of Henry Ford’s work The International Jew.
[Note: Clicking on a Chapter heading will take you to that post]
Chapter …………………………………………………………..……………………………………. Page
I Preface ………………………………………………………………………………………………… 5
II Jewish Methods in the Economic Life …………………………………………………. 10
III Particular Business Tactics of the Jew ……………………………………………….. 29
V The Peculiar Morality of Jewdom ………………………………………………………….. 53
VI An Explanation with Sombart …………………………………………………………….. 68
VII Jewish Successes in Modern Times …………………………………………………… 72
VIII The Stock-Exchange …………………………………………………………………………. 84
X Jewish Trade Specialities ……………………………………………………………………… 111
XI Moral Principles in Trade …………………………………………………………………….. 141
XII The Hebrews as Supporters of Capitalism …………………………………………. 154
XIII Business and Religion ……………………………………………………………………… 183
XIV The Race Problem ………………………………………………………………………….. 200
XV Origin of the Jewish Entity ……………………………………………………………….. 220
XVI The Influence of the Jew Upon Womankind …………………………………….. 242
XVII The Jews and the World-War ………………………………………………………….. 277
Concluding Words ………………………………………………………………………… 283
Errata …………………………………………………………………………………………… 290
Jewish Successes In Modern Times.
Sombart points out that when the migration of the Jews took place in the 16th century, a remarkable displacement of the economic centre of Europe became perceptible. The Hebrews, who had been turned out of Spain, migrated, for the most part, (some authorities say 90,000) to European and Asiatic Turkey, where they are known to the present day as “Spanioles.” Another large multitude (25,000) migrated to Holland, Hamburg, and England. The remainder, about 50,000, dispersed themselves amongst the various countries of Europe and America. It is not disputed that, from that time, the economic life of Spain suffered from a severe set-back, whilst, in those places, to which the Jews had directed their foot-steps, there was a sudden access of trade. There is, however, nothing extraordinary in this, and the same thing could have happened if people of another nationality and race had been concerned in these migrations instead of the Hebrews. The immigrations of the Huguenots, for instance, are a distinct proof of this. Every extensive emigration is bound to produce a set-back in the economic life of a country, whilst, on the other hand, every considerable influx of population, irrespective of whatever elements it may be composed, will always enliven the economic life. We experience this, on a small scale, almost every day — the removal of a factory, of a garrison etc —.
In our case it must be taken into consideration that the Hebrews, for the most part, brought capital with them and brought it to countries, which were developing, and thus it would be doubly beneficial from an economic point of view. We have already recognised, earlier in this work, the kind of enlivenment, which the Jew introduces into the economic life. It is the mobilisation of all values and forces, by which he imparts a tremendous stimulus to political economy
But we have also seen how this inflated economic life, which is, at the same time, highly artificial, acts, in its final phases, devastatingly and destructively upon the nations.
Still, for the time being, the glory of enlivening trade and international intercourse may be conceded to the Jews. But, at the same time, one must not forget that they do not stimulate trade out of love for their fellowmen, but in order to make profit for themselves. They produce, in all directions, traffic and exchange, in order to derive the utmost benefits for themselves thereby.
It is enough to take away one’s breath when Sombart endeavours to convince us that modern colonial affairs owe their development chiefly to the Hebrews. Certainly the Jews went out also to the newly opened-up colonies, just as they go anywhere where business prosperity entices them. And, for this reason also, they were certainly amongst the first in the newly opened-up America. Sombart serves up, for our edification, the unproved legend that a number of Jews were present in the ship of Columbus (but scarcely on the original voyage of discovery), and that the first European, to step upon American soil, was the Jew Luis de Torres. Yes, he even maintains that the expeditions of Columbus were fitted out exclusively with Jewish money, and that we have, accordingly, to thank the Jews especially for the discovery of America.
Still more audacious is the conjecture that Columbus himself may have been a Jew, simply because some Columbus-investigator claims to have discovered a family “Colon,” into which a Jewess married. This half-Jewish family Colon is therefore asserted to be identical with the family Colombo.
A genealogical feat, which is not made any the more probable by the fact that the Christian name Christobal occurs in both families.
One can thus see how ready many people are, to assign everything remarkable in the world to the Jews: and Sombart surpasses himself, whilst calling attention to the fact that already in the period 1820—1830 there were numerous Jewish firms in America, by the audacious utterance: “America is, in all respects, a Jewish country.”
He mentions with satisfaction that, at the present moment, New York contains nearly a million Jews, of whom the majority certainly have not yet begun their capitalistic careers; and since all Hebrews, according to his opinion, carry a passport for the territory of the millionaires in their pockets, his exaggerated fancy sees in the America of the future a land where there will only be Slavs and Negroes to act as servants, and Hebrews to lord it as rulers. With the fantastic imagination of an oriental, he calls the Jews, “the golden thread, which runs through the texture of American political economy.”
He utters the following remarkable words with respect to the colonies in general:
“Their economic body must have bled to death, if it had not been fed from outside with a constant blood-stream in the form of precious metal. Jewish commerce, however, directed this blood-stream into the colonies.”*
Here also we meet again the extraordinary idea, either that all the Gold treasure in the world had always belonged to the Jews, or that the Jews had, in some way, produced the Gold themselves. In this respect one must always keep the fact clearly before one’s mind, that the Jew, in general, produces nothing at all — neither goods nor money, but that he possesses an extraordinary knack of attracting the goods and money of others into his hands, in order to pass the same on further, after making a considerable profit for himself. And the simple fact arises of its own accord out of all this: if the Jews had not got the money, other people would have it; and other people would look after what commerce was necessary if the Hebrews were not always at hand to push them aside.
- It is a remarkable fact that no trace of the above is to be found in our colonies. Out of the 35 milliards of German capital, which Jewish trade has, for the most part, directed abroad, little enough has fallen to our colonies, although it was precisely there, where problems of incalculable importance for the development of the lands themselves and for the mother-country, awaited solution. These problems, however, were certainly not those of the money-bag alone.
Therefore again it is a curious kind of exaggeration when the learned man, who pretends to regard matters objectively, states:
“The United States must thank the Jews that they — The United States — exist at all”.
Is it not most peculiar that these Jews, who are supposed to convey riches and life with them in all directions, are never able to exist alone by themselves? That they have never been able to create a self-supporting state, and always required other men on whom to live, and of whom to take advantage? If the Jews were really the great cultural nation, which they are represented to be, they would, for once and all, separate themselves from all other nations, and, established in their own colonial kingdom, would give proof of their power and productivity.
Very probably a Jew was always on the spot wherever there was prospect of business; but certainly not to benefit the commonweal, but rather to utilise the opportunity and to lay claim to the best for himself. Sombart himself has portrayed the process of the colonisation of North America as follows:
“A body of absolutely reliable men and women — say twenty families — advanced into the wilderness, in order to begin life anew there. Amongst these 20 families, 19 would be equipped with plough and scythe, ready to cut down the woods, and to clear the steppe by fire, and, by the work of their hands, to support themselves by cultivating the land. But the twentieth family would open a shop in order to provide their comrades quickly, by means of trade, with the requisite utensils. This twentieth family would then, very soon, busy themselves with the sale of the products, which the 19 other families would have won from the soil. This family would be the one which would first have ready cash at its disposal, and thus would be in the position, in cases of need, to provide the others with loans. In many such cases a ‘rural loan-bank’ would attach itself to the shop etc etc.”
He thus actually portrays, in sleek words, a picture of the part, which the Hebrew plays amongst the working and productive nations; it appears to us, however, that the real cultural work is done by the people with the pick-axe and the spade, with the plough and the scythe, and not by the shopman; and, there is no doubt that if no Hebrew is present to act as shop-keeper, amongst the 20 other families there will certainly be one, ready to act in this capacity as soon as the necessity arises.
For, after all, nothing is so easily learnt as this elementary dealing in produce, and the lending of money; and we experience every day and in every direction how people of mean origin and very mediocre ability can take up this kind of business with complete success. That the Hebrew, with his peculiar talent for this branch of business, and, we may well add, with his ruthless exploitation of the situation, generally has more success than other and more ingenuous men, we are quite willing to admit.
Further, Sombart tries to prove to us nothing less than that the Hebrew has played an important part in the formation of the modern state. He acknowledges that the Jews are, by their very nature, a “non-national” or “unnational” people.
Actually with the exception of the former Jewish kingdom in Palestine, they have never been able to found a state anywhere in the world.* Nevertheless Sombart wishes to assign to leading Jewish politicians an important share in the modern state. It sounds almost like biting irony when he says:
“But even if we do not find any Jews amongst the rulers of the modern state, we can scarcely imagine these rulers, we can scarcely conceive of the modern prince, being without Jews”.
Who, on reading the above, does not recall Talleyrand’s venomous words:
“The Financier supports the state in the same way as the rope supports the man who is hanged!”
And even Sombart, on referring to the conjunction of Prince and Jew, cannot refrain from the ironical observation that if you have a Faust you must also have a Mephistopheles. He continues then:
“I consider that it was they (the Hebrews), before all others, who placed the material means at the disposal of the state, as it came into being, by which it could maintain itself and develop further.”
- Even in this case they did not form, strictly speaking, a separate country, but lived in the midst of the native Edomites, Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Philistines, Galileans, Samaritans, and formed, apparently, only the monied bourgeoisie, while the real cultural work fell to the lot of the others.
He certainly does not disclose to us where the Jews are accustomed to procure these means, namely: if not out of the state treasury, then out of the pockets of the people, who have been fleeced. Also, he does not disclose to us how the Hebrews, before all others, have practised the art of plunging all countries deep into debt, and again, how these state loans are nearly all negotiated and created by Jews, in which process there lies a rich profit for the broker or agent, as the state becomes, so to speak, a cow to be milked for the benefit of the Hebrews. One is entitled to ask the question: Do the Hebrews provide this money out of love for the Prince and the State? — or, do not they rather provide it in order, by this means, to make State and Prince dependent upon them, and to create an economic system, by which they can, as it were, continuously suck the marrow out of the bones of the nation?
One must again and again recall to one’s mind that all the so highly-praised services of the Jews do not arise from the promptings of a humane heart but simply from the mania for profit.
It is equally a matter for amazement when Sombart, with extreme conscientiousness, gathers together all the facts of how the Jews have always acted as army-contractors in times of war, and appears inclined to assign great praise to them for having undertaken a most meritorious service on behalf of the state. The Jews certainly had a strong predilection for army contracts, and it is equally certain that they always enriched themselves immoderately by this means.
In the disclosures about Poland (Page 42) it was shown that the Jews, by means of their widely-extended organisation, held the whole of the grain- and cattle-trade in their hands, and thus there is nothing remarkable, if, in times of war, they are the first on the spot — and are the best able — to undertake army contracts. Nobody should believe that they do this out of self-sacrifice for the state, and that they actually give something away, but it is a specific Jewish tactic to represent sly profiteering as kindly acts undertaken for the good of the community.
The following fact is immediately conceded; the non-Jewish nations, and especially the Germanic people, are somewhat simple and awkward as far as economic matters are concerned.
There are excellent, highly spiritual natures, in whom all matters of money and accounting arouse an inward repugnance. And it is just this weakness — which one is equally justified in regarding as strength, and which certainly has its foundation in a lofty and spiritual constitution — which the Hebrew has always known so well how to exploit. He was always ready to encourage this dislike to all money and commercial transactions, which existed, as one would naturally expect, in aristocratic circles, and offered his services as obsequious assistant and agent. Sombart says of a Court Jew, Moses Elkhan, who lived in Frankfurt a. M. about 1700:
“The industrious man, who procured jewelry for the Princess, cloth for the livery of the head-chamberlain, delicacies for the head-cook, was also quite ready to negotiate loans.”
This would constitute in itself a meritorious beginning, and would allow the Hebrew to appear as a useful member of society, if he had confined himself to taking a moderate remuneration for the performance of the above duties, and had not mixed himself up in other affairs. But the Hebrew has no time and no inclination for the simple discharge, for a moderate remuneration, of such duties as have been mentioned: for him they are rather the opportunity to make other people dependent upon him, and to acquire a determining influence over affairs. Everywhere he plays the rôle of Joseph in Egypt, whom Potiphar placed in authority over all his property, and who soon lulled his lord and master into such a state of comfortable indolence that it is said of the latter:
“He made everything over into Joseph’s hands, and no longer took interest in anything except eating and drinking.”
This was the first step for Joseph towards the all-powerful position of the Finance-man of Egypt, in which capacity he fleeced country and people to their very shirts. (See I Moses 17, 13—20.)
For the Hebrew does not aim merely at profit; he desires to exploit, to rule and to subjugate. He soon finds out how to place the yoke of compulsion on to his confiding clients, and to keep a tight hand over them. He is not acquainted with the maxim: “Live and let live;” he releases nothing until he has seized all for himself.
But it does not matter what the Hebrews do; Sombart always knows how to direct a ray of sunshine upon their deeds so as to beautify the same. Speaking of our time, he mentions boastfully, that, at the present day, the Court Jew has been done away with, and that the loaning of money (we could also say usury) to princes and states is no longer the business of one individual, but that all opulent Jewdom takes part cooperatively in the business. And Sombart regards this also as a virtue on their part. He says:
“And now again it is the Jews, who have helped to perfect this modern system of loans. It is they, who have made themselves superfluous as monopolizers of money-lending and, by so doing, have contributed so much the more to the founding of the great states.”
What nobility of soul! — might one exclaim. But one really does not know if it is supposed to be praise or blame, when Sombart ascribes the “Commercialisation of the Economic Life” to the Hebrews, understanding thereby, the resolving of all economic occurrences into sheer commercial transactions.
He discerns, as the final accomplishment of capitalism, the “transmutation of political economy into a series of Stock Exchange operations.”* He says:
“First of all a process is completed, which one might call the manufacture of credit, and the materialisation of the same in the shape of paper securities. Closely connected with this is the occurrence, known under the name of ‘Mobilisation’, or, if one prefers a German word, the marketing of these claims.” (Page 60).
- Translator’s note. To convey the exact sense of the word “Verbörsianisierung” one must coin an English equivalent viz “Stock Exchangisation”.
We have accustomed ourselves, in modern times, to understand by the word “Credit” something full of value, and precious in the highest degree; sober-minded people call it in plain English: “Begging for a loan economy”, and one might just as well call the “making objective of claims”, the “conversion of all values into paper form”, that is to say: the transformation of all objects of value into easily transportable Promissory Notes. The creative part, which the Jews play in this transformation of the economic life, we will allow to pass unchallenged; it is quite another question whether this proceeding finally is wholesome for mankind. It is not denied that objects of value, when transformed into paper (shares, mortgage-bonds, bills etc) are a commercial convenience, and facilitate the flow of business on the various markets. But, in this mobilisation of all values lies also a great economic danger.
Let one imagine, for instance, that a millionaire finally acquires the power of buying an unheard-of quantity of such paper securities, including the title-deeds to a considerable portion of our Father-land, which he then sticks into his pocket in order to take up his residence in some foreign country. In every case, everything, including even the land itself, is thus easily made an object for speculation. And in all this, the Hebrew pursues — if not a conscious calculation — then solely his racial instincts. The nomad, in whom the sense of constancy and of a desire for a permanent habitation is wanting, wishes to make everything transportable, so that it may easily be carried with him wherever he goes, just like the silver and golden vessels and utensils were taken out of Egypt.
The forerunner of the paper security, namely the saleable or negotiable promissory note, is already to be found in the Bible, and in the Talmud, as Sombart points out. The loaning of money and commercial business are actually the twin suns, around which the whole essence and being of Jewish life revolve, and so there is nothing to wonder at if these two conceptions find an important place in the religious writings of the Jews. One can learn from a certain passage taken from the Rabbi Schabbatai Cohen, and which Sombart quotes, that the activity of the Rabbis extended also into the business organisation. The passage mentioned speaks of regulations introduced by the Rabbis for the extension of commerce.
The Rabbi in question regrets that the trade in promissory notes cannot be very large on account of the amount of detail involved in a transaction of this kind, boasts, on the other hand, that in his time (in the 17th century) the turnover in note-of-hand or paper acknowledgments was considerably greater than in actual property, and states therefore that the decrees of the Rabbis for the extension of trade deserve the closest consideration.
One can see from this that the rôle of the Rabbi in Jewdom is something quite different from that of a Christian pastor or clergyman. The Rabbi is not only priest and guardian of the soul, but he is also adviser on business matters,* and — as we shall learn later on — political organiser and leader of his congregation.
The conversion of all economic values into paper arises, in the case of the Hebrew, still more from the mania for creating continuously fresh material for trade; for trade appears to him to be a purpose in itself —as the real object of life, and all his thoughts are concentrated on the extension of trade.
To us, trade is only a necessary kind of evil, a servant, as it were, to production and consumption; the Hebrew, however, regards the world as having been created for the sole purpose of being turned into a huge shop full of goods. Whilst we regard each promissory note, each paper security, simply as representing a receipt for a loan or value received, the Hebrew makes “trade-material” out of the same. Sombart says:
“The effect (Paper Security) is intended by its very nature for traffic, and it has failed to perform its function if it is not traded with.”
This is a specific Jewish perception, which is not clear to us without further explanation, but we hear at once that it is grounded upon the nomadic view of the world:
“Any peculiarity, which our economic life experiences from the perfectionment of the paper security, is derived exclusively from the mobility of the same, which makes it extraordinarily well adapted for quick transfer.”
- This is made manifest by the fact that the Stock-Exchange prices from Berlin are announced by telephone to the Rabbis in the provinces at the same time as they are announced to the banking businesses in the same places.
We ask: is then quick change of possession a necessity for a healthy condition of political economy? Is it indispensable for a settled and productive nation? Is anything of a positive nature accomplished by the continual “shoving-about” of values in all directions? Sound, economically productive circles have no interest in such a constant change of proprietors; steadiness and certainty of duration must appeal to them as far more desirable objects. But the Hebrew combines with this easy saleableness of values yet another purpose; the traffic in paper securities, owing to the perpetual shifting in values on the Stock Exchange, means to him constant opportunity for profit-making; and we shall learn later on, how this profiteering is carried on at the expense of the honest and productive section of the community.
During the perception of such matters the contrast between two views of the world unconsciously reveals itself. The settled man desires continuance and steadiness, the nomad sudden change and mobilisation. Sombart admits that this strange principle of easy change of proprietorship, and of constant alteration of values, was foreign to the German, and also to the Roman Law, and that it, in all probability, had its origin in Jewish mentality.* Quite comprehensible, for the law of mobilisation is the law of sudden change and revolution.
Sombart calls the Jewish Law “traffic-friendly”: that is only a circumlocution for the idea of mobilisation and the shifting of values. While we should like to see trade confined to what is necessary, the Jew strives to extend it beyond all limits, and into every conceivable domain. The constant endeavour of the Hebrews is to procure for trade the utmost freedom from restriction. Under the expression “Protection for the market”, they demand an unconditional recognition of, and sanction for all trade customs.
- Compare Richard Schröder: “Deutsche Rechtsgeschichte” (History of German Law.)
They go so far as to demand that stolen articles, which are found in the hands of Jewish “receivers”, shall not be reclaimed by the lawful owner. This principle has already been enunciated in the Talmud, and it has been repeatedly corroborated, especially in the Middle Ages, by the privileges given to the Jews. According to Jewish perception, the right to buy ranks higher than the right to own, and the relative legislation aims almost at giving privileges to receivers of stolen goods!
Click to go to >> The Riddle of the Jew’s Success: I – Preface
Click to go to >> The Riddle of the Jew’s Success: V – The Peculiar Morality of Jewdom
Click to go to >> The Riddle of the Jew’s Success: VI – An Explanation with Sombart
Click to go to >> The Riddle of the Jew’s Success: VII – Jewish Successes in Modern Times
Click to go to >> The Riddle of the Jew’s Success: VIII – The Stock-Exchange
Click to go to >> The Riddle of the Jew’s Success: X – Jewish Trade Specialities
Click to go to >> The Riddle of the Jew’s Success: XI – Moral Principles in Trade
Click to go to >> The Riddle of the Jew’s Success: XIII – Business and Religion
Click to go to >> The Riddle of the Jew’s Success: XIV – The Race Problem
Click to go to >> The Riddle of the Jew’s Success: XV – Origin of the Jewish Entity
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