National Socialism as an Anti-Jewish Group Evolutionary Strategy The National Socialist movement in Germany from 1933–1945 is a departure from Western tendencies toward universalism and muted individualism in the direction of racial nationalism and cohesive collec-tivism. The evidence reviewed below indicates that National Socialism developed in the context of group conflict between Jews and gentiles, and I propose that it may be usefully conceptualized as a group evolu-tionary strategy that was characterized by several key features that mir-rored Judaism as a group evolutionary strategy. Most basically, National Socialism aimed at developing a cohesive group. There was an emphasis on the inculcation of selfless behavior and within-group altruism combined with outgroup hostility (MacDonald 1988a, 298–300). These anti-individualist tendencies can be seen in the Hitler Youth movement (Koch 1976; Rempel 1989). After 1936, mem-bership was compulsory for children after their tenth birthday. A primary emphasis was to mold children to accept a group strategy of within-group altruism combined with hostility and aggression toward outgroups, particularly Jews. Children were taught an ideology of nationalism, the organic unity of the state, blind faith in Hitler, and anti-Semitism. Physi-cal courage, fighting skills, and a warlike mentality were encouraged, but the most important aspect of education was group loyalty: “Faithfulness and loyalty irrespective of the consequences were an article of faith shared among wide sections of Germany’s youth” (Koch 1976, 119). Socialization for group competition was strongly stressed, “all the em-phasis centering on obedience, duty to the group, and helping within the group” (Koch 1976, 128). The ideology of National Socialism viewed the entire society (excluding the Jews) as a large kinship group—a
Separation and Its Discontents “Volksgemeinschaft transcending class and creed” (Rempel 1989, 5). A constant refrain of the literature of the Hitler Youth was the idea of the individual sacrificing himself for the leader: the basic idea is . . . that of a group of heroes inseparably tied to one another by an oath of faithfulness who, surrounded by physically and numerically superior foes, stand their ground. . . . Either the band of heroes is reduced to the last man, who is the leader himself defending the corpses of his followers—the grand finale of the Nibelungenlied—or through its unparalleled heroism brings about some favourable change in its fortune. (Koch 1976, 143) The Hitler Youth was associated with the SS (Schutzstaffel, “protec-tion echelon”)—an elite corps of highly committed and zealous soldiers. Rempel (1989, 256) estimates that 95 percent of German youth main-tained their fidelity to the war effort even after the defeat at Stalingrad. Koch (1976) describes high levels of selfless behavior among Germans during the war both as soldiers and as support personnel in the war effort, and quotes from individual youth clearly indicate that the indoctrination of young people with National Socialist ideology was quite successful and often appears to have been causally responsible for self-sacrificing behavior. Within-group egalitarianism is often an important facilitator of a group evolutionary strategy, because it cements the allegiance of lower-status individuals (see below and PTSDA, Ch. 1). While the National Socialist movement retained traditional hierarchical Western social structure, the internal cohesiveness and altruism characteristic of National Socialism may have been facilitated by a significant degree of egalitarianism. There were real attempts to increase the status and economic prospects of farmers in the Hitler Youth Land Service, and class divisions and social barriers were broken down within the Hitler Youth movement to some extent, with the result that lower and working-class children were able to move into positions of leadership. Moreover, the socialist element of National Socialism was more than merely a deceptive front (Pipes 1993, 260, 276–277). The economy was intensively regulated, and private property was subject to expropriation in order to achieve the goals of the community. Here it is of interest that an important element of the National Socialist ideology and behavior as a group strategy involved discrimination against Jews as a group. Jewish group membership was defined by biological descent (see Dawidowicz 1976, 38ff). As in the case of the limpieza phenomenon of the Inquisition, this biological classification of Jews occurred in a context in which many of even the most overtly
National Socialism as an Anti-Jewish Group Evolutionary Strategy assimilated Jews—those who had officially converted to Christianity—continued Jewish associational and marriage patterns and had in effect become crypto-Jews (see below and Chapter 6). Thus, an act of Septem-ber 1933 prohibited farmers from inheriting land if there was any trace of Jewish ancestry going back to 1800, and the act of April 11, 1933, dis-missing Jews from the civil service applied to any individual with at least one Jewish grandparent. National Socialist extremists advocated the dissolution of mixed marriages and Jewish sterilization, and wanted to consider even individuals with one-eighth Jewish ancestry as full Jews.1From the present perspective, Germany after 1933 was characterized by the presence of two antithetical group strategies. Jews were systemati-cally driven from the German economy in gradual stages between 1933 and 1939. For example, shortly after the National Socialists assumed power, there were restrictions on employment in the civil service, the professions, schools and universities, and trade and professional associa-tions—precisely the areas of the economy in which Jews were dispropor-tionately represented—and there is evidence for widespread public support for these laws (Friedländer 1997; Krausnick 1968, 27ff). Quotas were established for attendance at universities and public schools. An act of September 1933 excluded Jews from faculties in the arts, literature, theater, and film. Eventually Jewish property was expropriated and taxed exorbitantly, and Jews were subjected to a variety of indignities (“No indignity seemed too trivial to legislate” [Gordon 1984, 125]), including prohibitions against owning pets. As has happened so often in periods of relatively intense anti-Semitism, barriers were raised between the groups. Jews were required to wear identifying badges and were prohibited from restaurants and public parks. The Nuremberg Laws of 1935 prevented marriage and all sexual contact between the groups. The laws prohibited Jews from employing German women under the age of forty-five as domestic servants—presumably an attempt to prevent Jewish men in a superior position from having sexual contact with fertile gentile women. The National Socialist authorities were also very concerned about socializing and friendship between Jews and gentiles (Gordon 1984, 179; Krausnick 1968, 31)—a phenomenon that recalls the ancient Jewish wine taboo, intended to prevent Jews from socializing with gentiles. Just as social controls on group members have been important to the Jewish group evolutionary strategy, especially in traditional societies, the National Socialist group strategy punished individuals who violated the various race laws enacted by the Third Reich, failed to cooperate in boycotts against Jewish businesses, or socialized with Jews. For exam-ple, there were approximately four hundred criminal cases per year for
Separation and Its Discontents “race defilement” (i.e., sexual contact between Jews and gentiles) under the Nuremberg Laws. As in the case of Jewish social controls designed to ensure within-group conformity to group interests (see PTSDA, Chs. 4, 6), the National Socialists penalized not only the individual but the family as well: “Any decision to violate Nazi racial regulations, whether premeditated or impulsive, placed a stigma upon oneself and one’s family. Arrest or loss of Nazi party membership, for example, frequently meant loss of one’s job, retaliation against one’s spouse or children, and social exclusion (often compulsory)” (Gordon 1984, 302). GERMAN ANTI-SEMITIC IDEOLOGIES AS IDEOLOGIES OF GROUP COMPETITION “Let us not forget whence we spring. No more talk of ‘Ger-man,’ or of ‘Portuguese’ Jews. Though scattered over the earth we are nevertheless a single people”—Rabbi Salomon Lip-mann-Cerfberr in the opening speech delivered on July 26, 1806, at the meeting preparatory to the Sanhedrin of 1807, convened by Napoleon. (Epigraph from Houston Stewart Chamberlain’s [1899, I, 329] Foundations of the Nineteenth Century at the beginning of the chapter entitled “The Entrance of the Jews into the History of the West”) While popular German anti-Semitism appears to have been largely autonomous and based on real conflicts of interest rather than the result of the manipulation by an exploitative or demagogic elite (Hagen 1996; Harris 1994, 225–227; Pulzer 1988, xviii, 321),2 the intense anti-Semitism characteristic of the NSDAP (National Socialist German Workers’ Party) leadership was not shared by the majority of the popula-tion (see Field 1981, 457; Friedländer 1997, 4).3 If indeed German anti-Semitism was to a considerable extent a “top-down” phenomenon in which the NSDAP and government played an indispensable leadership role, it becomes crucial to probe the beliefs of these National Socialist leaders, and in particular of Hitler himself, for whom anti-Semitism was at the very center of his world view (Dawidowicz 1975; Friedländer 1997, 102; Gordon 1984, 312; Johnson 1988, 489). The point here will be that Hitler viewed both Judaism and National Socialism as group evolutionary strategies. However, the perception of group conflict between Jews and gentiles as a central feature of German society long predates Hitler. The literature on 19th-century German anti-Semitism indicates a perception among gentiles that Jews and gentiles were engaged in group conflict. There are
National Socialism as an Anti-Jewish Group Evolutionary Strategy also detailed proposals for gentile group strategies in opposition to Judaism. German anti-Semitism in the course of the 19th century shifted from demands for Jewish assimilation by intellectuals such as Kant and the young Hegelians in the early part of the century, to an increasing emphasis on the ethnic divide separating Germans and Jews (Wistrich 1990, 35ff). Throughout this period the consistent belief of German liberals combating anti-Semitism was that Judaism would eventually disappear as a result of assimilation and that emancipation would “hasten the trip to the baptismal font” and result in national unity (Schorsch 1972, 99). The predominant attitude among German intellectuals at the beginning of the century was that granting Jews civil rights was contingent on complete Jewish assimilation. Jews would cooperate in becoming com-pletely assimilated in exchange for their political and economic emanci-pation. In the minds of their early 19th-century critics, Jews constituted a nation—an atypical nation to be sure, since it was not confined to a particular territory and its criterion of citizenship was birth by a Jewish mother. But it was a nation nonetheless, and such a conceptualization was entirely congruent with Jewish self-conceptions at least since the Middle Ages and widespread among Zionists later in the century (Katz 1979, 48). Jews would have to give up this condition in order to be Germans. In the event, however, many Germans believed that Jews had not lived up to their end of the bargain, and eventually it became common among anti-Semites to believe that Jews were “by nature incapable of honoring the contract, of becoming good Germans” (Levy 1975, 22). For example, the anti-Semite Paul Förster stated that “emancipation in the true sense of the word means full assimilation into the foreign body politic. Have the Jews really done this? Have they changed from Jews into Germans?” (in Levy 1975, 22). On the other hand, for Jews the main concern was the continued exis-tence of Jewish identity (Schorsch 1972, 100). Concerns about the con-tinuation of Jewish identity became more common later in the century. As Katz (1985) notes, the 19th century began with the official blessing of the Jewish assimilationists at the Parisian Sanhedrin convened by Napo-leon in 1807 and ended with the first Zionist Congress in Zurich in 1897. Assimilation did not occur at any level of the Jewish community, in-cluding the movement of Reform Judaism, and it was never intended by any significant segment of the Jewish community (PTSDA, Ch. 4). The predicament of emancipated Jewry, and ultimately the cause of its tragic end, was rooted not in one or another ideology but in the fact that
Separation and Its Discontents Jewish Emancipation had been tacitly tied to an illusory expectation—the disappearance of the Jewish community of its own volition. When this failed to happen, and the Jews, despite Emancipation and accultura-tion, continued to be conspicuously evident, a certain uneasiness, not to say a sense of outright scandal, was experienced by Gentiles. . . . If gaining civil rights meant an enormous improvement in Jewish pros-pects, at the same time it carried with it a precariously ill-defined status which was bound to elicit antagonism from the Gentile world. (Katz 1983, 43) In addition to a very visible group of Orthodox immigrants from East-ern Europe, Reform Jews generally opposed intermarriage, and secular Jews developed a wide range of institutions that effectively cut them off from socializing with gentiles. “What secular Jews remained attached to was not easy to define, but neither, for the Jews involved, was it easy to let go of: there were family ties, economic interests, and perhaps above all sentiments and habits of mind which could not be measured and could not be eradicated” (Katz 1996, 33). Moreover, a substantial minority of German Jews, especially in rural areas and in certain geographical re-gions (especially Bavaria) remained Orthodox well into the 20th century (Lowenstein 1992, 18). Vestiges of traditional separatist practices, such as Yiddish words, continued throughout this period. Intermarriage between Jews and Germans was negligible in the 19th century. Even though intermarriage increased later, these individuals and their children “almost always” were lost to the Jewish community (Katz 1985, 86; see also Levenson 1989, 321n). “Opposition to intermarriage did constitute the bottom line of Jewish assimilation” (G. Mosse 1985, 9). These patterns of endogamy and within-group association constituted the most obvious signs of continued Jewish group separatism in German society for the entire period prior to the rise of National Socialism. Levenson (1989, 321) notes that Jewish defenses of endogamy during this period “invariably appeared to hostile non-Jews as being misan-thropic and ungrateful,” another indication that Jewish endogamy was an important ingredient of the anti-Semitism of the period.4Moreover, Jewish converts would typically marry other Jewish con-verts and continue to live among and associate with Jews (Levenson 1989, 321n), in effect behaving as crypto-Jews. The importance of genealogy rather than surface religion can also be seen in that, while baptized Jews of the haute bourgeoisie were viewed as acceptable mar-riage partners by the Jewish haute bourgeoisie, gentiles of the haute bourgeoisie were not (Mosse 1989, 335). These patterns may well have fed into the perception among Germans that even overt signs of assimila-
National Socialism as an Anti-Jewish Group Evolutionary Strategy tion were little more than window dressing masking a strong sense of Jewish ethnic identity and a desire for endogamy. Indeed, the general pattern was that complete loss of Jewishness was confined to females from a “handful” of families who had married into the gentile aristocracy (Mosse 1989, 181). Although there were ups and downs in the intensity of anti-Semitism, the general trend over the course of the 19th and early 20th centuries was that calls for assimilation were increasingly replaced by calls for cohe-sive, collectivist gentile groups that would enable Germans to compete with Jews and even exclude them entirely from German economic and social life. Reflecting social identity processes, anti-Semitic beliefs became increasingly important as a means of self-identification among Germans: Professing anti-Semitism became a sign of cultural identity, of one’s belonging to a specific cultural camp. It was a way of communicating an acceptance of a particular set of ideas, and a preference for specific social, political, and moral norms. Contemporaries living and acting in Imperial Germany learned to decode the message. It became part of their language, a familiar and convenient symbol. (Volkov 1978, 34–35) Anti-Semitic rhetoric increasingly emphasized the desirability of a unified German political entity that was above political and religious differences and which would exclude Jews. This is essentially a prescrip-tion for a specifically German group strategy in opposition to Judaism, that is, the development of “a united front against the alleged domination of an ‘alien race’ ” (Wistrich 1990, 38). As Dawidowicz (1975, 47) notes (derisively), “The Germans were in search of a mysterious wholeness that would restore them to primeval happiness.” Commenting on atti-tudes in the period 1900–1914, Field (1981, 313) describes pervasive complaints of a lack of “shared ideals” and dissatisfaction with an intel-lectual life that was “chaotic, spinning off in all directions at once and lacking a common ideological focus.” Even German liberals who ac-tively opposed anti-Semitism desired a society centered around the Christian religion: “Though they repudiated the Conservative’s notion of the Christian state and fought for a separation of church and state, they had every intention of strengthening the exclusively Christian character of Germany” (Schorsch 1972, 100). The influential anti-Semitic historian and political activist Heinrich von Treitschke viewed Germany’s self-conception as a Christian civiliza-tion as a critical component of his overarching goal of producing a politically and culturally unified Germany. Treitschke stated that al-
Separation and Its Discontents though many Germans had ceased being active Christians, “the time will come, and is perhaps not so far off, when necessity will teach us once more to pray. . . . The German Jewish Question will not come to rest . . . before our Hebrew fellow-citizens have become convinced, by our attitude, that we are a Christian people and want to remain one” (in Pulzer 1988, 242). Unity was perceived as necessary for a militarily strong Germany able to compete as a world power with other Western powers—clearly a conception that Germany must develop a cohesive group strategy vis-à-vis other societies. Treitschke therefore strongly opposed what he perceived as “alien” Jewish cultural influence on Ger-man life, because of Jewish tendencies to mock and belittle German nationalistic aspirations. Christianity as a unifying force was also central to another important late- 19th-century anti-Semitic leader, Adolf Stoecker: I found Berlin in the hands of Progressives—who were hostile to the Church—and the Social Democrats—who were hostile to God; Judaism ruled in both parties. The Reich’s capital city was in danger of being de-Christianized and de-Germanized. Christianity was dead as a public force; with it went loyalty to the King and love of the Fatherland. It seemed as if the great war had been fought so that Judaism could rule in Berlin. . . . It was like the end of the world. Unrighteousness had won the upper hand, love had turned cold. (In Telman 1995, 97) National unification was a component of the “Volkische” intellectual tradition. Rather than accepting the pan-national, universalist ideology that characterized the Christian Middle Ages, the Volkische ideal of social cohesion was often combined with nationalistic versions of a peculiarly Germanic form of Christianity, as in the writings of Treitschke, Paul de LaGarde, and Houston Stewart Chamberlain. Thus for Chamberlain, “Christianity was an indispensable cohesive force in a class-torn nation; religious rebirth alone . . . could renew the spiritual basis of society, reaffirming the principles of monarchy, social hierarchy, loyalty, discipline, and race. . . . [R]eligion, not politics, was the basis of a new Germany” (Field 1981, 302). This tradition idealized the Middle Ages as a period of Volksgemein-schaft, a sense of social cohesion, organic unity, cooperation, and hierar-chical harmony among all social classes. This tradition can be traced to Johann Gottfried Herder (1744–1803; see Herder 1774, 189ff), and it attracted the majority of German intellectuals during the period spanning the 19th century to the rise of National Socialism (Mosse 1970, 8). This tradition is exemplified by Richard Wagner’s comment that “the particu-
National Socialism as an Anti-Jewish Group Evolutionary Strategy lar atmosphere which my Lohengrin should produce is that here we see before us an ancient German kingdom in its finest, most ideal aspect. . . . Here there is no despotic pomp with its bodyguards pushing back the people to make way for the high nobility. Simple boys make up the escort for the young woman, and to them everyone yields gladly and quite voluntarily” (in Rose 1992, 28; italics in text). While Volkische ideology could easily be fused with racialist or exclu-sionary thinking regarding minority groups within the society, there was only gradual development in this direction, and it was not until the end of the 19th century that such linkages became common among anti-Semites. The gradual shift in Volkische ideology from an ideology of assimilation of the entire society into a cohesive group to an ideology of racism and exclusion thus paralleled the general shift from assimilationism toward separatism as a solution to the Jewish question. However, even during the Weimar period some Volkische thinkers—by then a distinct minor-ity—advocated the complete assimilation of Jews within German society. This ideal of “hierarchic harmony” and group cohesion apparent among these intellectuals therefore did not originate as an aspect of group conflict between Germans and Jews but predated the escalation of this conflict in the late 19th century.5 In The Culture of Critique I suggest that the ideals of hierarchic harmony and muted individualism are primi-tive features of prototypical Western social organization.6 This Western ideal of hierarchic harmony can be and often has been a powerful force favoring assimilation, and intellectuals advocating hierarchic harmony could also be advocates of Jewish assimilation. For example, Treitschke proposed that Jews become completely assimilated to Germany and that Germany itself be organized as a harmonious hierarchy led by an aristo-cratic elite (Dorpalen 1967, 242–243). Nevertheless, Volkisch ideology can easily be transformed into an ideology of intergroup conflict in the event that parts of the society remain unassimilable. It is noteworthy that German anti-Semitism in no way depended at any time on racial theory (Katz 1983, 41–42). For example, the National Socialists regarded Paul de LaGarde as an important forerunner despite the complete absence of race in his theorizing. Moreover, the National Socialists’ opposition to Jews went well beyond their denigration of other races and their attempts to dominate other racial groups. They focused on the same alleged Jewish traits (“moral insensitivity, acquisi-tiveness, xenophobia, and the like”) that had been characteristic of anti-Semitic attitudes since the beginnings of the diaspora, the only difference being that the traits were now attributed to racial differences. “It could therefore be argued that the notion of race, far from being the source of anti-Semitism, only acquired its force as a political weapon through
Separation and Its Discontents contact with an already existing anti-Semitic tradition” (Katz 1983, 42–43). In the event, Jews remained as an unassimilated outgroup, and certain real differences between Jews and gentiles developed into a variety of negative stereotypes expected on the basis of social identity theory. Indeed, anti-Semitism based on these issues was a broad regional phe-nomenon, occurring throughout much of Eastern Europe, Austria, and France (Friedländer 1997; Hagen 1996). Jews not only continued as an ethnically unassimilated group but were, “in their majority, not carried away by the ‘hurrah patriotism’ of the exuberant nationalists. They inclined, their devotion to Germany notwithstanding, to humanism, reasonableness, moderation, and a measure of internationalism, influ-enced also by the fact of Jewish dispersion across national frontiers” (Mosse 1989, 43–44). Jews were thus less enthusiastic about creating a highly cohesive, unitary German society than were gentile Germans, and this general tendency among Jews would, in the minds of gentiles, be exacerbated by such salient examples as Jewish-owned publishing com-panies that were opposed to German nationalism. The disproportionate, high-profile involvement of Jews in leftist, anti-nationalist revolutionary movements in Germany, Hungary, the Soviet Union, and Poland (e.g., Friedländer 1997, 91–93) would also feed into these stereotypes. The presence of an increasingly prominent movement of Jewish nationalism (i.e., Zionism) would have similar effects, as would the presence of a significant number of foreign-looking Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe. On the basis of social identity theory, given the salience of Jewish-gentile group membership during this period these real group differences would become exaggerated. Gentile Germans would come to define their ingroup as patriotic and loyal, while Jews would be stereo-typed as the opposite. Also tending to exacerbate these social identity processes was the heightened level of resource competition between Germans and Jews as Jewish upward mobility, especially in the period after 1870, resulted in very large Jewish overrepresentation in all of the markers of economic and professional success as well as in the production of culture, the latter viewed as a highly deleterious influence (see Chapter 2; PTSDA, Ch. 5). Indeed, an important component of anti-Semitism in the late 19th century appears to have been the desire of many Germans to participate in a cohesive group in order to compete with Jews economically and socially (Massing 1949, 79). Interestingly, the powerful cohesion of the Jews was viewed as their “most sinister” attribute (Massing 1949, 79; see also Pulzer 1979, 78), a comment that suggests that anti-Semitism was partly a reaction to the perception that the Jews constituted a highly cohesive
National Socialism as an Anti-Jewish Group Evolutionary Strategy group—“a political, social and business alliance for the purpose of exploiting and subjugating the non-Jewish peoples” (from a 19th-century anti-Semitic publication; in Massing [1949, 79]). Many anti-Semitic leaders envisaged uniting the German people in an effective group strategy against the Jews. For example, the Catholic newspaper Germania combined advocacy of economic cooperation among gentiles and gentile credit institutions with admonitions against buying or borrowing from Jews. Theodor Fritsch’s “Ten German Com-mandments of Lawful Self-Defense” (reprinted in Massing 1949, 306) combined exhortations to ethnic pride and within-group cooperation with a program of economic and social boycott of Jews: “Be proud of being a German and strive earnestly and steadily to practice the inherited virtues of our people, courage, faithfulness and veracity.” “Thou shalt be helpful to thy fellow German and further him in all matters not counter to the German conscience, the more so if he be pressed by the Jew” (in Mass-ing 1949, 306–307).7Massing provides several other examples of anti-Semitic programs calling for German group solidarity combined with exclusion of Jews from public life, cessation of all contact with Jews, and boycotts of Jewish economic enterprises. Wilhelm Marr conceptualized Jews as “not a small, weak group, they are a world power! They are much stronger than the Germans” (in Massing 1949, 8). Marr viewed Jews as having superior powers and as engaging in a war on Germans and their culture in which each person must choose sides between clearly demarcated groups. Similarly, the anti-Semite Otto Glegau advocated organization of politically powerless gentile groups of artisans, small entrepreneurs, and merchants “whose livelihood and status were in jeopardy” (p. 10) and who were most affected by Jewish competition. After citing statistics on the percentages of Jews among employers and among students in institu-tions of higher education, Adolf Stoecker stated that “Should Israel grow further in this direction, it will completely overcome us. One should not doubt it; on this ground, race stands against race and carries on—not in the sense of hatred but in the sense of competition—a racial struggle” (in Telman 1995, 107). The view that the Jews were a stronger group than the Germans was common among anti-Semites of the period (see Zim-merman 1986, 100). The perception that Jews themselves were greatly concerned with ra-cial purity was recognized as early as the 1840s by Jews attempting to combat anti-Semitism (Schorsch 1972, 8). The racial anti-Semites of the post-1880 period were greatly concerned with racial purity. Fritsch’s third commandment was “Thou must keep thy blood pure. Consider it a crime to soil the noble Aryan breed of thy people by mingling it with the
Separation and Its Discontents Jewish breed. For thou must know that Jewish blood is everlasting, putting the Jewish stamp on body and soul unto the farthest generations.” Similarly, Wilhelm Marr’s Der Judenspiegel (published in 1862) con-ceptualized Judaism as a racially pure group. Marr emphasized the racial gulf between Germans and Jews and advocated intermarriage as a way of assimilating Germans and Jews (Zimmerman 1986, 47).8This concern with group competition and racial purity is also evident among racialist thinkers who based their ideas on evolutionary thinking. There is evidence for the development in Germany during this period of a conceptualization of human evolution as fundamentally involving group rather than individual competition. Some of the most strident anti-Semites in the twenty years prior to World War I were ultra-nationalist groups “preaching a racially-based integral nationalism and a Social Darwinist view of the world” (Pulzer 1988, xx; Gordon 1984, 25–26). From the present perspective, the important point is the idea that the races were in competition with each other and that they should remain separate in order to maintain racial purity. Houston Stewart Chamberlain is of particular interest in this regard, both because he was a prime influence on Hitler9 and because of his interpretation of Judaism as a group evolutionary strategy. Indeed, Chamberlain, and especially his Foundations of the Nineteenth Century (1899), was highly influential among German educated classes generally (Field 1981, 225ff). Chamberlain notes that this “alien people has be-come precisely in the course of the nineteenth century disproportionately important and in many spheres actually dominant constituent of our life” (Chamberlain 1899, I, 330). Clearly Chamberlain believed that Jews and gentiles were in competition in Germany. Chamberlain exhibits a strong concern with the importance of racial purity, but it is important to note that his exemplar of racial purity is the Jews, and especially the Sephardic Jews. Chamberlain regarded the Jews as having preserved their racial purity over the millennia—a point of view that had been expressed originally by Benjamin Disraeli (see be-low) and later by the French Count Arthur de Gobineau. His reaction to observing Sephardic Jews is nothing less than ecstatic: “This is nobility in the fullest sense of the word, genuine nobility of race. Beautiful fig-ures, noble heads, dignity in speech and bearing” (I, 273). “The Jews deserve admiration, for they have acted with absolute consistency ac-cording to the logic and truth of their own individuality, and never for a moment have they allowed themselves to forget the sacredness of physi-cal laws because of foolish humanitarian day-dreams which they shared only when such a policy was to their advantage” (I, 331).
National Socialism as an Anti-Jewish Group Evolutionary Strategy Chamberlain was thus one of many anti-Semites for whom “the per-ception that Jews maintained their cohesiveness and sense of identity under all conceivable circumstances was a source of both fear and envy. Indeed, for many antisemites this racial perseverance and historical continuity provided a kind of mirror-image model worthy of emulation” (Aschheim 1985, 239). The attitudes of the anti-Semites on racial purity are therefore mirror-images of previously occurring Jewish practices. Evidence in this chapter (see also Chapter 4 and PTSDA, Chs. 2–4) indicates that there is far more than a grain of truth to the idea that the Jews have been concerned to prevent significant influx of gentile genes into the Jewish gene pool. However, Chamberlain goes beyond this to assert that Jews have gone to great lengths to maintain their own racial purity and at the same time have consciously attempted to enter the gentile gene pool. In support of his argument, Chamberlain states (I, 332–333) that in 1807 the Jewish leaders accepted all of Napoleon’s articles aimed at ending Jewish sepa-ratism with the exception of complete freedom of intermarriage with Christians; while accepting marriage of daughters with Christians, they rejected the marriage of sons with Christians (a claim I have not been able to verify). He also asserts that the Rothschilds married daughters to the nobility of Europe but had never married a son into it; also, in an earlier section (I, 274) he states that the Sephardic Jews excluded the bastard offspring of Jewish females from the community. The possibility that an aspect of Judaism as an evolutionary strategy has been to enter the gentile gene pool without admitting gentile genes to their own group is an important empirical proposition, especially given the role of consanguinity and endogamy in facilitating group solidarity and altruism among Jews (see PTSDA, Chs. 6, 8). It may well have been the case in traditional societies that intermarriage was mainly accom-plished by wealthy Jews providing dowries for their daughters to marry gentiles in the nobility rather than by bringing a gentile woman into the family as the future mother of Jewish children and heirs to the estate. I have noted some evidence for this proposition in the material on Spain and Portugal beginning in the medieval period and extending through at least the 15th century, as well as some indication that this was also a concern in the late Roman Empire (see Chs. 3–4). It was indeed common for German aristocratic families to restore their fortunes by accepting wealthy Jewish daughters-in-law in the late 19th century (Massing 1949, 106–107). (One publication listed more than a thousand families where Jewish women had been married into the gentile aristocracy [Pulzer 1964, 281]). As Chamberlain asserted, the marriage policy of the Rothschilds was that “boys must choose other Rothschilds,
Separation and Its Discontents or at least other Jews, for their brides; the girls were sometimes allowed Christian aristocrats” (Morton 1961, 98).10 Moreover, many of the de-scendants of the 18th-century German court Jews converted to Christian-ity but continued to marry among themselves, although daughters were commonly married into the gentile nobility (W. E. Mosse 1987, 37). Such behavior by a nominally converted group of Jews (who are in effect crypto-Jews from the standpoint of the evolutionary strategy) is exactly analogous to the marriage practices of wealthy New Christians discussed in Chapter 4. Traditional Jewish law traces descent through the mother, not the fa-ther. Thus the offspring of a Jewish male and a gentile female would not be considered Jews and would be lost to the Jewish gene pool. However, the offspring of a Jewish female married into the gentile nobility might be technically eligible to be Jews, but if their children then married into the gentile gene pool, as would normally be the case, they too would be lost to the Jewish gene pool. “Jewish women . . . who married Gentiles would join Gentile lines and, Talmudic law notwithstanding, would normally produce ‘Gentile’ offspring. A Jewish woman ‘marrying out’ would almost invariably abandon her formal Jewish identity” (Mosse 1989, 334).11This functional interpretation of tracing Jewish descent through the mother can also be seen in Jewish religious writings. Epstein (1942, 166) notes that Ezra’s racialist motivation can be seen by his exclusive con-cern with Israelite men marrying foreign women because the children of unions with Israelite men would be brought up in the Israelite commu-nity while those of an Israelite female marrying a foreigner would be lost to the community. Moreover, as indicated by The Code of Maimonides (see PTSDA, Ch. 4), despite the concentration on investigating female relatives to assure family purity, the goal was to maintain the purity of the male line, and especially so in the case of priests. Females could marry men of invalid descent, but men could not. This emphasis on the purity of the male line combined with tracing Jewish descent through the mother would then function in practice as Chamberlain suggests: Jewish stem families could remain “racially pure,” while the gene pool of the gentile aristocracy would contain some Jewish admixture. Although not mentioned by Chamberlain, consanguineous marriages among highly visible and immensely wealthy Jewish families may also, via social identity processes, have sharpened gentile perceptions of Jews as highly concerned with racial purity. There was a relatively high level of consanguineous marriage among Jews generally (see PTSDA, Ch. 4, 6, 8), and the highly visible Rothschild family practiced consanguineous marriage even more intensively than Jewish families generally during the
National Socialism as an Anti-Jewish Group Evolutionary Strategy period, including a highly visible example of uncle-niece marriage and a great many first cousin marriages: “No other family was to practise it [consanguinity] to the same extent as the Rothschilds” (Derek Wilson 1988, 81). Consanguineous marriages12 continued to be a prominent trend among the Jewish haute bourgeoisie throughout the 19th century and into the 20th (Mosse 1989, 161ff). Chamberlain (as well as other racialist “Social Darwinist” thinkers—see Krausnick 1968) developed the view that competition between racial groups rather than between individuals was central to human evolution: “The struggle which means destruction of the weak race steels the strong; the same struggle, moreover, by eliminating the weaker elements, tends still further to strengthen the strong” (1899, I, 276). Chamberlain (1899, I, 277) also proposed that the Jews had engaged in artificial selection within their gene pool in order to produce a more competitive group, suggesting that Chamberlain recognized the importance of eugenic practices among Jews. The emphasis on group competition in these writings is striking. Inter-estingly, Darwin (1874) himself believed that altruism and the social emotions, such as sympathy and conscientiousness, were restricted to one’s own group and were quite compatible with hostility directed toward outsiders, indicating that he had a keen sense of the importance of intergroup competition in human evolution. However, for Darwin this intergroup competition was not necessarily competition between ethnic groups, much less races. Instead, Darwin’s perspective appears to be much more compatible with the social identity perspective developed in Chapter 1, that hostility is directed at other groups, whatever their origin, and typically these other groups will be neighboring tribes and therefore of similar racial/ethnic composition. The belief that competition between groups is an important aspect of human evolution has therefore a long history in evolutionary thought. In the hands of these German racial theorists, this thought was transformed in two fundamental ways. First, the competition was conceptualized as occurring between well-defined, genetically segregated racial/ethnic groups; second, the racial/ethnic purity of a group became a critical factor in the success of the group. Both of these points, particularly the latter, are foreign to mainstream Darwinism, and indeed seem to have originated with these thinkers. One might speculate that these German thinkers emphasized these ideas because intrasocietal group-level resource competition between Jews and gentiles was so salient to them, and in addition because the Jews themselves were highly concerned about racial purity. In the Brit-ish-American tradition, where this divisive intrasocietal form of ethni-
Separation and Its Discontents cally based resource competition and concern with ethnic purity by sub-groups were far less salient, the dominant theoretical tradition ultimately rejected entirely the notion of group selection.13 It is interesting in this regard that while in Germany eugenic ideas tended to be bound up with Volkische nationalism and strong currents of anti-individualism (see Gasman 1971), eugenic beliefs in Britain were much less associated with racialist views, were more often held by social radicals with utopian visions,14 and were more often motivated by indi-vidualistic concern that dysgenic practices would result in increasing burdens to society (Kevles 1985, 76, 85).15 Similarly, while racial sci-ence in Germany was deeply concerned with developing ideas on differ-ences between Germans and Jews as distinct races, British race scientists devoted only a “passing and exemplary discussions” to Jews, a phe-nomenon that “mirrored in some respects the unobtrusive character of Anglo-Jewry as a whole and the somewhat lackadaisical English attitude towards the country’s Jewish subjects” (Efron 1994, 45). Jews did not represent a competitive threat in England during this pe-riod. Israel (1985, 242) notes that Jews played a remarkably small role in the economic development of England—amounting to little more than dominating the diamond and coral trades. They also represented only a minute percentage of the population, 0.01 percent in the nineteenth century (Sorkin 1987, 175). Throughout this period England remained an ethnically homogeneous society, without ethnically-based resource conflict. However, even in England there was anti-Semitism, directed both at the “cousinhood” of wealthy Jewish families and, later in the century, Orthodox immigrants from Eastern Europe (Bermant 1971). Such a relativist perspective on the nature of scientific theory devel-opment is highly compatible with Gould’s (1992) perspective on extra-scientific influences on the development of evolutionary theory: He proposes that evolutionary theory is influenced by the beliefs and inter-ests of its practitioners. This, of course, does not imply that these beliefs were not based on reality; in the present case there is in fact evidence that Jews were concerned about racial purity, and also for group-based re-source competition between Jews and gentiles. Chamberlain is viewed as a major influence on Hitler, and indeed it would appear that Hitler’s basic beliefs about Jews are almost exact replicas of Chamberlain’s. Hitler viewed himself as a unique combina-tion of intellectual and politician—a politician with a Weltanschauung (Jäckel 1972, 13). Many historians have dismissed the view that Hitler had a consistent ideology, but I agree with Jäckel (1972), Gordon (1984), and others that in fact Hitler was extraordinarily consistent in his beliefs and in his behavior in pursuit of those beliefs. Anti-Semitism was “the
National Socialism as an Anti-Jewish Group Evolutionary Strategy center of both his personal and his political career” (Jäckel 1972, 53); “[T]he Jewish question [was] the central motivating force of his political mission” (p. 53). The centrality of Jewish issues for Hitler is apparent throughout his career up to the very end (see Maser 1974). The sections of Mein Kampf relevant to anti-Semitism are entirely straightforward and are consistent with an evolutionary perspective in which group strategies are a central notion. Hitler believed that races, including the Jews, are in a struggle for world domination, and he had a very great respect for the ability of Jews to carry on their struggle. In Mein Kampf (1943) he writes that he some-times asked himself “whether inscrutable Destiny . . . did not with eternal and immutable resolve, desire the final victory of this little nation” (p. 64); later he characterizes Jews as “the mightiest counterpart to the Aryan” (p. 300). Hitler had a clear conceptualization of Jews as a strategizing ethnic group in competition with the Germans. Like Chamberlain, Hitler em-phasized the ethnic nature of Judaism. In Mein Kampf he describes his realization that the Jews were “not Germans of a special religion, but a people in themselves” (p. 56). He makes this point very forcefully at the beginning of his comments on Jews and presents it as the instigating factor in his own anti-Semitism. His negative response when first observ-ing a Jew in Vienna reflects the theme of cultural separatism so central to the long history of anti-Semitic writing: “I suddenly encountered an apparition in a black caftan and black hair locks. Is this a Jew? . . . [B]ut the longer I stared at this foreign face, scrutinizing feature for feature, the more my first question assumed a new form: Is this a German?” (p. 56). His attitude that Jews were an ethnic group and not a religion was con-firmed by his discovery that “among them was a great movement . . . which came out sharply in confirmation of the national character of the Jews: this was the Zionists” (p. 56; italics in text). Hitler goes on to remark that although one might suppose that Zionism was characterized by only a subset of Jews and condemned by the great majority, “the so-called liberal Jews did not reject Zionists as non-Jews, but only as Jews with an impractical, perhaps even dangerous, way of publicly avowing their Jewishness. Intrinsically they remained unalterably of one piece” (p. 57). These comments by Hitler indicate the reality of the worst fears of the German Reform movement during this period, that continued existence of Jewish cultural separatism characteristic of Orthodox Jews would result in anti-Semitism because Jews would be viewed as aliens (Asch-heim 1982; Volkov 1985; Wertheimer 1987),16 and that the publicly expressed ethnocentric nationalism of the Zionists would increase anti-
Separation and Its Discontents Semitism because Jews would be perceived not as a religious group but as an ethnic/national entity. As Katz (1986, 149) points out, Zionism, international Jewish organizations such as the Alliance Israélite Uni-verselle, and continued Jewish cultural separatism were important sources of German anti-Semitism beginning in the late 19th century. Further, Hitler, like Chamberlain, believed that Jews were concerned about retaining their own racial purity while consciously attempting to “pollute” that of others. While he seems to overflow with “enlightenment,” “progress,” “free-dom,” “humanity,” etc., he himself practices the severest segregation of his race. To be sure, he sometimes palms off his women on influential Christians, but as a matter of principle he always keeps his male line pure. He poisons the blood of others, but preserves his own. The Jew almost never marries a Christian woman; it is the Christian who marries a Jewess. . . . Especially a part of the high nobility degenerates completely. The Jew . . . systematically carries on this mode of “disarming” the intellectual leader class of his racial adversaries. In order to mask his activity and lull his victims, however, he talks more and more of the equality of all men without regard to race and color. The fools begin to believe him. (pp. 315–316) His ultimate goal is the denationalization, the promiscuous bastardiza-tion of other peoples, the lowering of the racial level of the highest peoples as well as the domination of this racial mishmash through the extirpation of the folkish intelligentsia and its replacement by members of its own people. (p. 84) Hitler, like Chamberlain, emphasized group-level competition and the importance of racial purity in making the group more competitive. Hitler detailed his beliefs regarding the course of Jewish/gentile resource competition over historical time. Within this struggle, purity of blood was of prime importance. Hitler viewed the Germans as a unique, dis-tinctive and superior ethnic group. There was an emphasis on Germanic prehistory and the inculcation of ethnic pride—themes that are clearly present in the Volkische literature of 19th-century Germany—as well as the idea of the Volk as a mystical collective entity which bound its mem-bers into deep association with each other (see Mosse 1964, 1970). Comparisons between the noble, spiritual, inventive Germans and the parasitic, nomadic, materialistic, unassimilable Jews were common in the Volkische literature. Interestingly, Hitler believed that the greatest strength of the “Aryan” race was not in its intelligence but in its willingness to sacrifice individ-
National Socialism as an Anti-Jewish Group Evolutionary Strategy ual interests to group goals—clearly an indication of his belief that the Aryans constituted an altruistic group and undoubtedly a reflection of the National Socialists’ strong emphasis on the inculcation of self-sacrifice and a group orientation in the Hitler Youth. “In [the Aryan] the instinct of self-preservation has reached its noblest form, since he willingly subordinates his own ego to the life of the community and, if the hour demands, even sacrifices it” (p. 297). VOLKISCHE IDEOLOGY AND ATTITUDES OF RACIAL SUPERIORITY AMONG JEWISH INTELLECTUALS IN THE PRE-NATIONAL SOCIALIST PERIOD [The German soul was] determined by the soil and air of this land, determined by the blood and destiny of its people, eter-nally closed to us. We can grasp it faintly, but our productive stock comes from other provinces, is supplied from different depths, watered from different springs. (Comments of a Zionist during the Weimar period; in Niewyk 1980, 129) An important thesis of Chapters 3–5 is that anti-Semitic movements and their enemies come to resemble each other in important ways, so that, for example, in the case of German racial anti-Semitism, a Western anti-Semitic movement developed a strong concern with endogamy, anti-individualism, and racial purity despite general Western tendencies toward exogamy, individualism, and assimilation. In the following, I will explore from this perspective Jewish involvement in Volkische ideologies and attitudes of racial superiority. Like their mirror-image enemies, there is evidence that many Jewish intellectuals in the pre-National Socialist period had a strong racial conceptualization of the Jewish people and believed in the superiority of the Jewish “race.” Such ideologies and attitudes are also important because social identity theory predicts that even a few examples of well-known Jewish theorists who viewed Jews as a superior race would be likely to be very influential in shaping gentile attitudes on how Jews perceived themselves. Given the context of between-group conflict that characterized the period under discussion (roughly 1850 to 1933), gentiles would be likely to suppose that attitudes of Jewish superiority characterized the Jewish community as a whole, either overtly or covertly. It is also easy to see that because of the salience of this type of racialist rhetoric, gentiles would attempt to avoid making a Type II error even if in fact the great majority of Jews refrained from an openly stated racialism: If one knows that a prominent subset of Jews conceptualizes Judaism as a race and places a high value
Separation and Its Discontents on racial purity, and even views Jews as a racially superior group, the best strategy is to assume the worst about most Jews. Gentiles should prevent the error of rejecting the proposition “Jews are an ethnic group and view themselves as an ethnic group, not a religion; they are intent on retaining their racial purity and dominating gentiles by virtue of their superior intellectual abilities,” when it could be true. Therefore, a gentile would assume it is true. These attitudes of gentiles would also be facilitated by the fact that these beliefs were highly compatible with contemporary scientific per-spectives on race—the modern arbiter of intellectual respectability. Moreover, we shall see that racialist comments occurred throughout the spectrum of Jewish identification, from liberal Reform Jews to Zionists, and that as time went on, there was an increasing rapprochement between liberal Jews and Zionists among whom racialist ideas were quite com-mon. This rapprochement may well have contributed to gentiles perceiv-ing Zionist attitudes on Jewish racial separateness and racial superiority as well within the Jewish mainstream. Zionism was highly salient to the National Socialists and other anti-Semites, many of whom agreed with the Zionists’ racial interpretations of Judaism and with their desire for Jews to leave Germany and build a community in Palestine. (Niewyk [1980, 142] points out that Zionists did not expect all Jews to go to Palestine but aimed rather at preparing Jews to live as an unassimilated minority in Germany.) Benjamin Disraeli, although baptized, developed views on the impor-tance of racial purity and the superiority of Jewish heredity, in such works as Coningsby or the New Generation (1844), Tancred, or the New Crusade (1847), and the non-fictional Lord George Bentinck: A Political Biography (1852). As Rather (1990, 141ff; see also Field 1981, 215) points out, Disraeli’s views on the importance of racial purity and the role of racial intermixture in the decline of race and culture antedated the writings of Gobineau and were sufficiently well known to have been quoted approvingly by Chamberlain in his Foundations (I, 271): “Let Disraeli teach us that the whole significance of Judaism lies in its purity of race, that this alone gives it power and duration.” “Disraeli rather than Gobineau—still less Chamberlain—is entitled to be called the father of nineteenth-century racist ideology ” (Rather 1990, 146).17 Disraeli “may have been, both as a writer and even more as a personal symbol, the most influential propagator of the concept of race in the nineteenth century, particularly publicizing the Jews’ alleged taste for power, their sense of superiority, their mysteriousness, their clandestine international connec-tions, and their arrogant pride in being a pure race” (Lindemann 1997, 77).
National Socialism as an Anti-Jewish Group Evolutionary Strategy Disraeli noted that Jews have risen quickly to positions of prominence in a wide range of societies despite anti-Semitism. He viewed Jews as a separate race and believed that the key to their superiority was that, unlike the other Caucasian nations, they had retained their racial purity. The inferior races persecute the Jews, but inevitably “the other degraded races wear out and disappear; the Jew remains, as determined, as expert, as persevering, as full of resource and resolution as ever. . . . All which proves, that it is in vain for man to attempt to baffle the inexorable law of nature which has decreed that a superior race shall never by destroyed or absorbed by an inferior” (Disraeli 1852, 490, 495).18Disraeli believed that Jews were responsible for virtually all the ad-vances of civilization, including the moral advances of Christianity as well as the accomplishments of prominent businessmen, philosophers, diplomats, and musicians (including Mozart!). Jews were behind the great European intellectual movements: “You never observe a great intellectual movement in Europe in which the Jews do not greatly par-ticipate. The first Jesuits were Jews; that mysterious Russian Diplomacy which so alarms Western Europe is organized and principally carried on by Jews; that mighty revolution which is at this moment preparing in Germany . . . is entirely developing under the auspices of Jews, who almost monopolize the professorial chairs of Germany” (Disraeli 1844, 232). The Franks, on the other hand, are a “flat-nosed” group (Tancred, 223) descended from a horde of pirates. They are “full of bustle and puffed up with self-conceit (a race spawned perhaps in the morasses of some Northern forest hardly yet cleared)” (Tancred, 223). Heinrich Heine was another baptized Jewish intellectual racialist who conceptualized the Jews as a racial/ethnic group that had made great moral and ethical contributions to European culture. Beginning in the 1840s, Heine developed a biological conception of Judaism, as indicated by his using the German word Stamm (tribe, with the implication of descent from common ancestors) and Rasse (race) to refer to Jews (Prawer 1983, 766–767). Moreover, during this period Heine increas-ingly stressed the “universal validity of Jewish ethics and the universal message of Jewish Messianism,” and he made “repeated assertions that through its absorption of Old Testament ethics and history, modern Europe had become, in a sense, Jewish” (Prawer 1983, 765, 769). Although Disraeli and Heine pioneered views of Jews as an intellectu-ally and morally superior, racially pure ethnic group, Jewish racialist thinking was most closely associated with Zionism. Katz (1986b, 149) makes the important point that Jewish nationalism in the post-Emancipation period, including Zionism, was not a reaction to gentile anti-Semitism.19 Rather, Jewish nationalism provoked anti-Semitism as a
Separation and Its Discontents gentile reaction—a critical example of the reactive anti-Semitism theme of Chapters 3–5: Modern anti-Semitism was itself a reaction to Jewish proto-nationalism, to the incapacity and unwillingness of Jewry to divest itself of all the characteristics of national life except that of religion. True, once anti-Semitism—until then a mere undercurrent—erupted as a full-fledged movement in the 1870s and eighties, it gave a tremendous push to Jewish national aspirations. Yet this was already the second phase of a dialecti-cal process. The starting point of the process was not anti-Semitism, but the perseverance of Jewish qualities. In support of this argument, Katz (1979, 50) notes that in Eastern Europe Jewish nationalism emerged concurrently with the secularization of society and was in no way dependent on the processes of emancipation and cultural assimilation characteristic of the German situation. Eastern European Jewish nationalism, complete with ideological and literary expressions, appeared long before the anti-Semitic pogroms of the 1880s. Important Jewish intellectuals developed Volkische ideologies as well as racialist, exclusivist views, which, like those of their adversaries, were no longer phrased in religious terms but rather in a primitive language of evolutionary biology. These intellectuals had a very clear conception of themselves as racially distinct and as a superior race (intellectually and especially morally), one that had a redemptive mission to the German people and other gentiles. As expected by social identity theory, while the Germans tended to emphasize negative traits of the Jewish outgroup, the Jewish intellectuals often conceptualized their continued separatism in moral and altruistic terms. As indicated in Chapter 7, Jewish self-conceptualizations as a moral and altruistic group with a redemptive mission to gentiles have been the pre-eminent pose of Jewish intellectu-als in the post-Enlightenment intellectual world. The result was that anti-Semites and zealous Jews, including Zionists, often had very similar racialist, nationalist views of Judaism toward the end of the 19th century and thereafter (Katz 1986b, 144). Zionism and anti-Semitism were mirror-images: “in the course of their histories up to the present day it has looked as if they might not only be reacting to one another but be capable of evolving identical objectives and even cooper-ating in their realization” (Katz 1979, 51). Nicosia (1985) provides a long list of German intellectuals and anti-Semitic leaders from the early 19th century through the Weimar period who accepted Zionism as a possible solution to the Jewish question in Germany, including Johann
National Socialism as an Anti-Jewish Group Evolutionary Strategy Gottleib Fichte, Konstantin Frantz, Wilhelm Marr, Adolf Stoecker. All conceptualized Judaism as a nation apart and as a separate “race.” Efron (1994, 126) notes that the idea of essential racial differences between groups pervaded the cultural landscape of fin de siècle Europe, and Jews, including especially the Zionist racial scientists, were no exception to this trend. While the anti-Semites stressed the moral inferi-ority of Jews, the Jewish racial scientists stressed Jewish contributions to civilization and looked forward to a national rebirth of Jewish culture in a Zionist state. The influential proto-Zionist Moses Hess (1862) whose major work, Rome and Jerusalem, was published in 1862, had well-developed racial-ist ideas about Jews. Although his book was published prior to the inten-sification of anti-Semitism consequent to complete Jewish emancipation in 1870, it has strong overtones of racial superiority. Hess believed that the different races had enduring psychological and physiological traits, and that the Indo-European traits (embodied by the ancient Greeks) were fundamentally opposed to the Semitic traits (embodied by the ancient Israelites). Like Disraeli and Chamberlain, Hess believed that history is primarily a struggle between races, not social classes, and like these thinkers, Hess (p. 27) believed that a Jew is a Jew “by virtue of his racial origin, even though his ancestors may have become apostates.” Judaism in that view, is at its essence the nationalistic aspirations of the Jewish “race,” but while other races attempt to gain territory, the role of the Jews is to function as a moral beacon to the rest of humanity. Hess states that Jewish racial characteristics predominate over Indo-Germanic character-istics in intermarriage and that they have survived intact since the so-journ in Egypt (p. 60).20 The racial type comes through even in individuals whose ancestors became apostates (p. 98), and even con-verted Jews retain interest in Jewish affairs and have strong beliefs in the importance of Jewish nationality (p. 98). According to Hess, Jews have what Rose (1990, 332) terms a “primal-racial mission” to the rest of humanity:21 “It is through Judaism that the history of mankind has become a sacred history. I mean by that, that process of unified organic development which has its origin in the love of the family and which will not be completed until the whole of human-ity becomes one family” (Hess 1862, 120). However, this single family of mankind does not imply assimilation. At the end of history, all of the different races will “live on in friendly fashion with one another, but live each for the other, preserving, at the same time, their particular identity” (p. 121; italics in text). Jewish par-ticularism is thus transformed into a genetically mediated messianic universalism in which Judaism will persist as a racial type in a utopian
Separation and Its Discontents world it has altruistically led to universal harmony. In this future world, the German is faulted for desiring to possess their “fatherlands and dominions for himself. He lacks the primary condition of every chemical assimilative process, namely warmth” (p. 78). Hess also castigated the Reform Jew because of “the beautiful phrases about humanity and enlightenment which he employs as a cloak to hide his treason, his fear of being identified with his unfortunate brethren” (p. 75)—an indication that he viewed Reform Jews as attempting to deceive Germans into believing that they had no interest in Jewish nationalism or the fate of Jews in other countries. There were also parallels between the views of the anti-Semite Richard Wagner and the Zionist Ahad Ha-Am (pseudonym of Asher Ginsberg) (Katz 1986b).22 Both developed the idea that Jews could not have their own artistic spirit because they failed to identify completely with the surrounding culture. In an essay originally published in 1889, Ha-Am (1922, 3) claimed Judaism was not merely a religion but a nation bound together with deeply felt emotional bonds. Like many anti-Semites, Ha-Am also had a well-developed anti-individualist perspective, in which Jews must view themselves as a part of the larger corporate group and sacrifice their personal interests for the good of the group: “For the people is one people throughout all its generations, and the individuals who come and go in each generation are but as those minute parts of the living body which change every day, without affecting in any degree the character of that organic unity which is the whole body” (p. 8).23 Racialist views were especially common among what Ragins (1980, 132ff) terms the second generation of Zionists, many of whom came to maturity in the 1890s.24 The Zionist journal Die Welt published several articles with a racialist, Volkische ideology in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. A writer argued that the Jews were a race with distinctive physical features and had retained their racial purity over four thousand years. Another contributor argued that this racial distinctiveness pre-cluded assimilation: “Those who demand assimilation of us either do not yet know that a man cannot get out of his skin . . . or else they know this and then expect of us shameful, daily humiliation, which consists in feigning Aryanism, suppressing our instincts, and squeezing into the skin of the Aryan, which does not fit us at all” (in Ragins 1980, 150). Another author agreed with the racialist writings of Gobineau, who emphasized the high level of racial purity among the Jews and the incompatibility of Jews with other races (Ragins 1980, 151). All of the Zionist racial scientists studied by Efron (1994; see also Endelman 1991, 196), including Elias Auerbach, Aron Sandler, Felix Theilhaber, and Ignaz Zollschan, were motivated by a perceived need to
end Jewish intermarriage and preserve Jewish racial purity.25 Only by creating a Jewish homeland and leaving the assimilatory influences of the diaspora could Jews preserve their unique racial heritage. Thus, for Auerbach, Zionism would return Jews “back into the posi-tion they enjoyed before the nineteenth century—politically autonomous, culturally whole, and racially pure” (Efron 1994, 136). Zollschan, whose book on “the Jewish racial question” went through five editions and was well known to both Jewish and gentile anthropologists (Efron 1994, 155), praised Houston Stewart Chamberlain and advocated Zionism as the only way to retain Jewish racial purity from the threat of mixed marriages and assimilation (Gilman 1993, 109; Nicosia 1985, 18).26 Zollschan’s description of the phenotypic, and by implication genetic commonality of Jews around the world is striking. He notes that the same Jewish faces can be seen throughout the Jewish world among Ashkenazi, Sephardic, and Oriental Jews. He also remarked on the same mix of body types, head shapes, skin, and hair and eye pigmentation in these widely separated groups (see Efron 1994, 158). Arthur Ruppin, the German Zionist and demographer, was an impor-tant historical figure who “represented and symbolized the second era in Zionism” (Bein 1971, xix) and whose writings were sufficiently well known to merit comment by American leaders of the Reform movement (Levenson 1989, 327). (Werner Sombart [1913, 285] cited Ruppin and Elias Auerbach to support his impression that “to-day, so far as I can make out, the . . . view prevails that from the days of Ezra to these the Jews have kept strictly apart” and that as a result they constituted a distinct racial group.) Ruppin consistently advocated the view that there was an ethical imperative to retain Jewish racial purity. Ruppin had a clear conception of the importance of Jewish “racial types” as central to historical Judaism.27 In an argument reminiscent of the long history of conceptualizing Judaism as a “light unto the nations,” Ruppin (1913, 218) stressed that the Jewish intellectual ability was utilized for humanity as a whole, “for the common good.” In Ruppin’s view, Jews have had an immense positive influence on civilization, one that has benefited all humans. But racial admixture would destroy the unique Jewish contribu-tion to civilization—an argument which, apart from its assertion of Jewish ethical altruism vis-à-vis the gentiles, is reminiscent of those presented by many theorists of Aryan racial superiority.28 We can thus accept the high intellectuality of the Jews without reserve, and are justified in desiring to preserve this high human type . . . as a separate entity, unmixed, because this is the only possible way to pre-serve and develop the race-character. Any highly cultivated race deterio-
Separation and Its Discontents rates rapidly when its members mate with a less cultivated race, and the Jew naturally finds his equal and match most easily within the Jewish people. We cannot absolutely assert that the mixture of Jews with other races invariably produces a degenerate posterity. . . . It is certain, how-ever, that by intermarriage the race-character is lost, and the descendants of a mixed marriage are not likely to have any remarkable gifts. . . . Intermarriage being clearly detrimental to the preservation of the high qualities of the race, it follows that it is necessary to try to prevent it and to preserve Jewish separatism. (Ruppin 1913, 227–228) Another noteworthy Jewish racialist thinker was Martin Buber, the prominent Zionist and theologian, who wrote of the Jewish Volkgeist and advocated greater pride in the distinctive Jewish racial features: “A Volk is held together by primary elements: blood, fate—insofar, as it rests upon the development of blood—and culturally creative power—insofar as it is conditioned by the individuality which arises from the blood” (in Ragins 1980, 157). Buber idealized the hyper-collectivist Jewish Hasi-dim as a basis for contemporary Judaism because of their intensely emotional commitment to the group and their mystical love for the Volk (Mosse 1970, 85). “Just as the Germans attempted to root this mystical tradition in their national mystique, so Buber eventually attempted to embody this Mythos in the Jewish Volk, exemplified by the Hasidim” (Mosse 1970, 87). As a result of Buber’s influence, Zionist publications during the Weimar years “were replete with favorable references to ‘the mysticism of blood,’ ‘racial genius,’ and the ‘Jewish people’s soul’ ” (Niewyk 1980, 131).29 This Volkisch idea of a membership in a highly cohesive group was pursued by a great many Jewish youth who, by World War I and thereaf-ter, “found an answer to their Jewishness through a deepening of the experience that bound them together, with their own age and kind, in a meaningful community” by joining the Jewish Bund (Mosse 1970, 98–99). The concurrent German Youth Movement satisfied similar desires for membership in cohesive groups among gentile Germans. Although the German Youth Movement tended to not fuse Volkische thinking with racism and exclusivism even into the Weimar period (Mosse 1970, 20), many Jewish and gentile German youth were in fact members of mirror-image, emotionally compelling, cohesive groups: “Once again one is struck by the common strivings of Jewish and German youth” (Mosse 1970, 99). Interestingly, Franz Oppenheimer decried the racialist tendencies of some of his fellow Zionists, noting that “a racial pride swaggered which was nothing other than the photographic negative of anti-Semitism” (in
National Socialism as an Anti-Jewish Group Evolutionary Strategy Ragins 1980, 124)—a comment that reinforces the “mirror-image” theme of this chapter and indicates that for many Jewish Zionists, Jewish racial-ism went beyond merely asserting and shoring up the ethnic basis of Judaism, to embrace the idea of racial superiority. Consistent with the anti-assimilationist thrust of Zionism, very few Zionists intermarried, and those who did, such as Martin Buber, found that their marriages were problematic within the wider Zionist community (Norden 1995). In 1929 the Zionist leaders of the Berlin Jewish community condemned intermar-riage as a threat to the “racial purity of stock” and asserted its belief that “consanguinity of the flesh and solidarity of the soul” were essential for developing a Jewish nation, as was the “will to establish a closed broth-erhood over against all other communities on earth” (in Niewyk 1980, 129–130). Jewish assertions of racial superiority may have been tempered some-what by the anti-Semitic climate of Central Europe. For example, Ignaz Zollschan argued that Jewish intellectual superiority was the result of heredity resulting from eugenic practices within the Jewish community—a view for which there is ample empirical support (PTSDA, Ch. 7): Jews who were not adept at religious study lost out in the “struggle for exis-tence” (see Efron 1994, 106). However, Zollschan’s lauding of Jewish achievements and Jewish racial superiority had a “defensive” ring that Efron (1994, 162) attributes to the anti-Semitic climate surrounding him. On the other hand, Joseph Jacobs, writing in a much less anti-Semitic England, could freely discuss his views on the intellectual and moral superiority of Jews in the most respectable academic circles, including those frequented by his mentor, Sir Francis Galton (Darwin’s cousin and the founder of biometrical genetics and the eugenics movement). Assertions of Zionist racialism continued into the National Socialist period, where they dovetailed with National Socialist attitudes. Joachim Prinz, a German Jew who later became the head of the American Jewish Congress, celebrated Hitler’s ascent to power because it signaled the end of the Enlightenment values which had resulted in assimilation and mixed marriage among Jews: We want assimilation to be replaced by a new law: the declaration of belonging to the Jewish nation and the Jewish race. A state built upon the principle of the purity of nation and race can only be honoured and respected by a Jew who declares his belonging to his own kind. . . . For only he who honours his own breed and his own blood can have an attitude of honour towards the national will of other nations. (From J. Prinz, Wir Juden [We Jews] ; in Shahak 1994, 71–72; italics in text)
Separation and Its Discontents In 1938, Stephen S. Wise, president of the American Jewish Congress and the World Jewish Congress, stated that “I am not an American citizen of the Jewish faith, I am a Jew. . . . Hitler was right in one thing. He calls the Jewish people a race and we are a race.”30The common ground of the racial Zionists and their gentile counter-parts included the exclusion of Jews from the German Volksgemeinschaft (Nicosia 1985, 19). Indeed, shortly after Hitler came to power, the Zion-ist Federation of Germany submitted a memorandum to the German government outlining a solution to the Jewish question and containing the following remarkable statement. The Federation declared that the Enlightenment view that Jews should be absorbed into the nation state discerned only the individual, the single human being freely suspended in space, without regarding the ties of blood and history or spiritual distinctiveness. Accordingly, the liberal state demanded of the Jews assimilation [via baptism and mixed marriage] into the non-Jewish environment. . . . Thus it happened that innumerable persons of Jewish origin had the chance to occupy important positions and to come forward as representatives of German culture and German life, without having their belonging to Jewry become visible. Thus arose a state of affairs which in political discussion today is termed “debasement of German-dom,” or “Jewification.” . . . Zionism has no illusions about the difficulty of the Jewish condition, which consists above all in an abnormal occupa-tional pattern and in the fault of an intellectual and moral posture not rooted in one’s own tradition. (In Dawidowicz 1976, 150–152) Most Jews did not openly espouse racialist views in the period we are discussing—at least partly because they were aware of the ultimate danger of racialist thinking to Judaism (Ragins 1980, 137). Racialist rhetoric by Jews was publicly condemned by some Jewish leaders be-cause of fears of anti-Semitism (Ragins 1980, 137). Recognizing this danger, a major focus of the Zentralverein deutscher Staatsbürger jüdischen Glaubens (Central Association of German Citizens of Jewish Faith)—the main self-defense organ of German liberal Judaism—was to combat what it termed “racial Semitism” (Levy 1975, 156). However, it is quite possible that racialist views were more often ex-pressed privately than publicly. Lindemann (1997, 91) notes that “even within those universalistic convictions were nuances with racist under-tones” and cites the French-Jewish writer Julian Benda who observed that there “were certain magnates, financiers rather than literary men, with whom the belief in the superiority of their race and in the natural subjection of those who did not belong to it, was visibly sovereign.” A
National Socialism as an Anti-Jewish Group Evolutionary Strategy number of Jewish leftist politicians in France “harbored a sense of their special merit or destiny as Jews to be political leaders, what they consid-ered their “right to rule.’ ” There is considerable evidence that German Jews during this period were engaged in deception and self-deception regarding their behavior and motivations (see Chapters 6–8), so it would not be at all surprising to find Jews who sincerely believed Judaism had no ethnic connotations and nevertheless opposed intermarriage and conversion, as well as others who believed it privately but denied it publicly for political reasons. Ragins (1980, 85) notes the tension between the statements of liberal Jews that Judaism was nothing more than a religion and their recognition that traditional Judaism had been far more than that. The claim that Judaism was nothing more than a religion conflicted with the reality that “there was a sense of relatedness and cohesiveness among Jews which seemed to extend beyond the lines drawn by religious factions, uniting Orthodox and Reform” (Ragins 1980, 85). Recognizing this, the Zentral-verein at times acknowledged that Judaism was more than simply a religion and should be defined by a “consciousness of common descent [Abstammung]” (Ragins 1980, 85), or race (p. 86). Thus in 1928 the director of the Zentralverein asserted that Jews had been a race since biblical times and concluded that “extraction remains, that is, the racial characteristics are still present, albeit diminished by the centuries; they are still present in external as well as mental features” (in Friedländer 1997, 119).31The vacillation and ambivalence surrounding racial conceptualizations of Judaism were also present in American Reform circles in the late 19th century: It was not uncommon for a rabbi to make bold pronouncements about his desire for a universalistic society and then, in moments of frustration or doubt, revert to a racial understanding of the Jews. . . . While willing to stretch the definition of Judaism to its limits, it was clear that most Reformers were not willing to break the historical continuity of the Jewish “race.” Even Solomon Schindler, . . . one of the most radical of Reform rabbis, felt compelled to acknowledge the racial aspect of Jewish identity. Despite the high universal task of Judaism, wrote Schindler, “it remains a fact that we spring from a different branch of humanity, that different blood flows in our veins, that our temperament, our tastes, our humor is different from yours; that, in a word, we differ in our views and in our mode of thinking in many cases as much as we differ in our fea-tures.” (Goldstein 1997, 50–51)
Separation and Its Discontents Besides the Zionists and a vacillating body of liberal Jewish opinion, there are several other important Jewish intellectuals who are not associ-ated with Zionism but nevertheless had strongly racialist views. Heinrich Graetz (1817–1891), the prominent historian of Judaism, was enthusias-tic about the proto-Zionist ideas of Moses Hess, whose work, as we have seen, has strong overtones of attitudes of racial superiority. Graetz be-lieved that Jews could solve the world’s problems and “sometimes seemed to think Jews would provide actual world leadership. At others it was to be merely an ethical example. But in either event he presented the Jews as a superior people” (Johnson 1988, 331). Graetz’s sense of Jewish racial superiority was repulsive to gentiles, and there was an exchange with Heinrich von Treitschke in which the latter characterized Graetz as an exemplar of the “boasting spirit which, he alleged, was in the ascen-dant in Jewish circles and was to be regarded as a menace to the German empire” (in Bloch 1898, 77). Graetz’s work provoked a negative reaction not only in Treitschke but the German academic establishment as a whole (Levenson 1989, 329). While intellectuals like Treitschke saw Christianity as a unifying force for the German nation, Graetz wrote to his friend Moses Hess that Christianity was a “religion of death,” and Hess wrote to Graetz of his delight in “scourging Germans.” Graetz perceived Jews as battling to destroy Christian culture: “we must above all work to shatter Christianity” (in Lindemann 1997, 91). These attitudes among prominent Jewish intellectuals exemplify the theme of cultural conflict between Jews and gentiles as a theme of anti-Semitism (p. 50ff). There is a sense of Jewish racial superiority in Graetz’s writings as well as hints that he believed in the importance of racial purity. There were but two nations of creative mind who originated [high] culture and raised humanity from the slough of barbarity and savagery. These two were the Hellenic and the Israelite people. There was no third race of coadjutors. . . . If the modern Roman, German, and Sclavonic nations, both on this side and on the other side of the ocean, could be despoiled of what they received from the Greeks and the Israelites, they would be utterly destitute. (Graetz 1898, VI, 706) However, the Jews have continued as a creative race into the present, while the Greeks gradually merged with the barbarians and lost their distinctiveness—a point remarkably similar to Houston Stewart Cham-berlain’s “chaos of peoples” idea described above, in which the decline of the ancient world is attributed to loss of racial purity:
National Socialism as an Anti-Jewish Group Evolutionary Strategy [The Greeks] despaired of their bright Olympus, and at best only retained sufficient courage to resort to suicide. The Greeks were not gifted with the power of living down their evil fortune, or of remaining true to themselves when dispossessed of their territories; and whether in a foreign country or in their own land they lost their mental balance, and became merged in the medley of barbaric nations.32 The psychoanalytic movement was also characterized by ideas of Jew-ish intellectual superiority, racial consciousness, national pride, and Jewish solidarity (Klein 1981, 143).33 Freud and his colleagues felt a sense of “racial kinship” with their Jewish colleagues and a “racial strangeness” to others (Klein 1981, 142; see also Gilman 1993, 12ff, and The Culture of Critique, Ch. 4). Commenting on Ernest Jones, one of his disciples, Freud wrote that “the racial mixture in our band is very inter-esting to me. He [Jones] is a Celt and hence not quite accessible to us, the Teuton [i.e., C. G. Jung] and the Mediterranean man [himself as a Jew]” (in Gay 1988, 186). Perhaps the clearest indication of Freud’s racialist thinking is his com-ment to a Jewish woman who had previously intended to have a child by C. G. Jung in order to reconcile the Aryan/Jewish split in psychoanalysis at the time. Freud observed “I must confess . . . that your fantasy about the birth of the Savior to a mixed union did not appeal to me at all. The Lord, in that anti-Jewish period, had him born from the superior Jewish race. But I know these are my prejudices” (in Yerushalmi 1991, 45). A year later after the woman had given birth to a child by a Jewish father, Freud wrote, I am, as you know, cured of the last shred of my predilection for the Aryan cause, and would like to take it that if the child turned out to be a boy he will develop into a stalwart Zionist. He or she must be dark in any case, no more towheads. Let us banish all these will-o’-the-wisps! I shall not present my compliments to Jung in Munich. . . . We are and remain Jews. The others will only exploit us and will never understand and appreciate us. (In Yerushalmi 1991, 45) In the following passage from Moses and Monotheism, the Jews are proposed to have fashioned themselves to become a morally and intellec-tually superior people: The preference which through two thousand years the Jews have given to spiritual endeavour has, of course, had its effect; it has helped to build a dike against brutality and the inclination to violence which are usually
Separation and Its Discontents found where athletic development becomes the ideal of the people. The harmonious development of spiritual and bodily activity, as achieved by the Greeks, was denied to the Jews. In this conflict their decision was at least made in favour of what is culturally the more important. (Freud 1939, 147)34 Freud’s attitudes were fully mirrored by non-Jewish theorists (Gilman 1993, 12ff).35 Jung’s ideas on racial archetypes differ from Freud’s views only in the type of traits emphasized as characteristic of the two groups. While Freud emphasized the brutality, violence, and enslavement to the senses of the gentiles versus the spirituality, intellectuality, and moral superiority of the Jews, Jung held the view that the advantage of the “Aryans” was in their energy and untapped potential resulting from their relatively recent rise from barbarism. On the other hand, Jews, required to exist as a minority in a host society, could create no genuine culture of their own. After the National Socialists assumed power, Jung became a prominent spokesman for the view that there were differences between Jewish and Aryan psychology.36 In a 1934 article Jung emphasized that psychoanalysis had developed a very negative conception of the German character: In my opinion it has been a grave error in medical psychology up till now to apply Jewish categories . . . indiscriminately to Germanic and Slavic Christendom. Because of this the most precious secret of the Germanic peoples—their creative and intuitive depth of soul—has been explained by a morass of banal infantilism, while my own warning voice has for decades been suspected of anti-Semitism. (In Yerushalmi 1991, 48–49) Indeed, as elaborated in The Culture of Critique, a central function of Freud’s Totem and Taboo appears to have been to combat “everything that is Aryan-religious” (in Gay 1988, 331), a comment that illustrates the extent to which Freud, like Hess and Graetz, viewed his work as an aspect of competition between ethnic groups. The early psychoanalytic movement self-consciously perceived itself as representing a Jewish intellectual offensive against “Aryan-Christian” culture in which religion and race overlapped entirely. Even in the absence of an explicitly racialist conceptualization of the differences between Germans and Jews, there was a feeling of estrange-ment and of being different peoples on both sides of the ethnic divide. Such attitudes were common in anti-Semitic writings throughout the 19th century (Rose 1990) and continued in the 20th century. In the correspon-dence of the early 1930s between Hannah Arendt and Karl Jaspers,
National Socialism as an Anti-Jewish Group Evolutionary Strategy Arendt fails to identify with Max Weber’s “imposing patriotism.” “For me Germany means my mother tongue, philosophy, and literature” (in Kohler & Saner 1992). Jaspers replies, “I find it odd that you as a Jew want to set yourself apart from what is German. . . . When you speak of mother tongue, philosophy, and literature, all you need add is historical-political destiny, and there is no difference left at all” (in Kohler & Saner 1992). Arendt, however, self-consciously rejects being part of this des-tiny of the German people. The concept of a “historico-political destiny of a people” clearly conceptualizes separate “peoples,” but in Weber’s view membership in the German people is open to Jews. Arendt is reject-ing such membership and implicitly accepting the idea of a single culture but two separate peoples.37 General feelings of peoplehood and thinking in terms of racial es-sences and racial differences were thus part of the Zeitgeist of the pe-riod—characteristic of Jewish as well as gentile intellectuals. The breakdown of the liberal order during the closing decades of the nineteenth century [in Austria] brought back to the surface the opposing assumptions about social integration that had distinguished the Jewish from the non-Jewish sensibility. Annoyed by the parochial attachments of other people, and unreceptive to the idea of a pluralistic state, many non-Jews interpreted the Jewish assertion of pride as a subversion of the “enlightened” or egalitarian state. The Jewish stress on national or racial pride reinforced the non-Jewish perception of the Jew as a disruptive social force. (Klein 1981, 146) CONCLUSION National Socialism and Judaism as Mirror-Image Group Strate-gies From the perspective developed here, the acceptance of the ideology of an anti-Semitic group strategy among the NSDAP elite may well have been caused or at least greatly facilitated by the presence of Judaism as a very salient and successful racially exclusive antithetical group strategy within German society. In 1905, well before the National Socialists came to power, the anti-Semitic racial theorist Curt Michaelis asserted a rela-tionship between Jewish racial pride (Rassenstolz) and anti-Semitism: “The Rassenstolz promoted race hatred in its sharpest form—the conse-quence of which is lasting race war. . . . The Jewish people stands princi-pally in battle against the whole world; naturally, therefore, the whole world [is] against the Jews” (in Efron 1994, 170).
Separation and Its Discontents There is an eerie sense in which National Socialist ideology was a mir-ror image of traditional Jewish ideology. As in the case of Judaism, there was a strong emphasis on racial purity and on the primacy of group ethnic interests rather than individual interests. Like the Jews, the Na-tional Socialists were greatly concerned with eugenics. Like the Jews, there was a powerful concern with socializing group members into accepting group goals and with the importance of within-group altruism and cooperation in attaining these goals. Both groups had very powerful internal social controls that punished individuals who violated group goals or attempted to exploit the group by freeloading. The National Socialists enacted a broad range of meas-ures against Jews as a group, including laws against intermarriage and sexual contact, as well as laws preventing socialization between groups and restricting the economic and political opportunities of Jews. These laws were analogous to the elaborate social controls within the Jewish community to prevent social contact with gentiles and to produce high levels of economic and political cooperation. Corresponding to the religious obligation to reproduce and multiply enshrined in the Tanakh, the National Socialists placed a strong emphasis on fertility and enacted laws that restricted abortion and discouraged birth control. In a manner analogous to the traditional Jewish religious obligation to provide dowries for poor girls, the National Socialists enacted laws that enabled needy young couples to marry by providing them loans repayable by having children. As in the society depicted in the Tanakh and throughout Jewish his-tory, the National Socialists regarded people who could not prove the genetic purity of their ancestry as aliens with fewer rights than Germans, with the result that the position of Jews in National Socialist society was analogous to the position of the Nethinim or the Samaritans in ancient Israelite society, or converts in historical Jewish societies, or the Pales-tinians in contemporary Israel.38 As with Israel, the state had become the embodiment of an exclusivist ethnic group. Both groups had a well-developed ideology of historical struggle in-volving the group. Jewish resistance during the period “was founded on militant movements for Zionism, socialism, or Communism—movements that had always provided their members with a strong sense of historical struggle and an identification with group goals rather than individual satisfaction” (Kren & Rappaport 1980, 114)—clearly a state-ment that could apply not only to Zionism but to traditional Judaism as a whole. We have seen that the National Socialists had a similar ideology of historical struggle and self-sacrifice. Gordon (1984, 114) states that “it
National Socialism as an Anti-Jewish Group Evolutionary Strategy was clearly Hitler’s conception that he was working for group goals—those of the ‘Aryan people’ and that his individual fate mattered little.” In this regard, Hitler’s attitude that death was the only honorable fate for himself and his followers was entirely similar to that of the Jewish resistors of the period (Gordon 1984, 115). Kren and Rappaport (1980, 217) describe a situation in which “the youth—the best, the most beauti-ful, the finest that the Jewish people possessed—spoke and thought only about an honorable death . . . befitting an ancient people with a history stretching back over several thousand years.” Common Threads in Western Anti-Semitism The most important common thread of Western anti-Semitism is the development of cohesive groups that mimic in critical ways the features of Judaism as a group evolutionary strategy. A related common thread has been that there is a tendency to shift away from attempts at complete cultural and genetic assimilation of Jews in the early states of group conflict, followed eventually by the rise of collectivist, authoritarian anti-Semitic group strategies aimed at exclusion, expulsion, or genocide when it is clear that efforts at assimilation have failed. I have noted this phe-nomenon in the case of Germany during the 19th century, and this cer-tainly appears to have been the case in Spain prior to the expulsion of 1492, following the failure of the forced conversions of 1391 and the consequent turmoil of the 15th century. In 12th–13th-century France there was a shift from a policy of toleration combined with attempts to convert Jews under Louis IX to a policy of “convert or depart” during the reign of Philip IV, and finally the expulsion of Jews in 1306 (Jordan 1989, 180). The final expulsion order is also a last plea for Jewish as-similation: “Every Jew must leave my land, taking none of his posses-sions with him; or, let him choose a new God for himself, and we will become One People” (in Jordan 1989, 214; italics in text). As expected by an evolutionist, a third common thread has been that each Western anti-Semitic movement shows indications of a concern with one-way gene flow from the Jewish to the gentile population. Anti-Jewish writers have often emphasized Jewish males exploiting gentile females (see, e.g., pp. 49, 80n.21, 228). As an elite group, Jewish males in the absence of social controls would tend to have access to gentile females as concubines. There was deep concern in the ancient world regarding Jewish ownership of gentile female slaves. In areas where polygyny and concubinage were legal, there were typically restrictions on Jews being able to have concubines from the dominant religious or ethnic group (e.g., restrictions in Muslim areas preventing Jews from
Separation and Its Discontents having Muslim but not Christian concubines). Concern about Jewish males exploiting gentile females also figures in laws dating from the period of the Inquisition (see pp. 237–238). In the medieval and early modern world, extending into the 20th century, there was concern in widely separated times and places about Jews employing Christian female domestics. And in late medieval Spain and 19th- and 20th-century Germany there was also concern that elite Jews were marrying their daughters into the gentile nobility while nevertheless retaining the genetic purity of their stem families. In all of these cases, Jewish stem families were able to retain genetic segregation. The fact that Western societies have typically attempted to convert and assimilate Jews before excluding them indicates that Western societies, unlike prototypical Jewish cultures, do not have a primitive concern with racial purity. Rather, concern about racial purity emerges only in the late stages of Jewish-gentile group conflict and only in the context of a concern about the asymmetrical gene flow from the Jewish to the gentile gene pool. On the other hand, despite a great deal of commonality among West-ern anti-Semitic movements, there was a great difference between the universalistic, assimilatory tendencies of traditional Western Christianity and the exclusivistic, racialist program of National Socialism. Indeed, we have seen that beginning in the 19th century an important aspect of German anti-Semitic ideology was a criticism of Western universalism and the development of peculiarly Germanic conceptions of Christianity. A critical component of official National Socialist ideology, as repre-sented in the thought of Alfred Rosenberg, was the idea that “the twin forces of disintegration, namely universalism and individualism, act in perpetual conflict with the Germanic concept of race” (Cecil 1972, 89). In this regard, National Socialism was indeed profoundly anti-Western. In rejecting both universalism and individualism, National Socialism resembled, much more closely than did medieval Western collectivist Christianity, its mirror image rival, Judaism. Lack of Group-Based Competition as a Necessary Condition for Western Individualism While intra-societal conflict between Jews and gentiles tends to be associated with the development of anti-individualist Western societies, the absence of conflict between powerful and impermeable ethnic groups may be a necessary condition for the development of the relatively individualistic Western societies of the post-Enlightenment world. This
National Socialism as an Anti-Jewish Group Evolutionary Strategy proposal is highly congruent with the social identity perspective of group conflict: as societies become structured around competing groups, people form strong group allegiances incompatible with individualism. Such a society is incompatible with the notion of individual rights because group interests become paramount: Within the ingroup, individual rights and interests must be sharply curtailed in the interests of group cohesion and the attainment of group interests. The context of between-group competition results in group membership rather than individual behavior or merit becoming the most important criterion of personal assessment. A Manichean morality of ingroup favoritism and outgroup hostility devel-ops that is completely incompatible with individualism. This hypothesis is consistent with the fact that the Enlightenment and the reemergence of individualism in Western Europe occurred most prominently in England and France, from which Jews had been almost completely excluded, while “the basic fact about German history since the eighteenth century has been the failure of the Enlightenment to take root” (Mosse 1964, 21–22). It was a failure that was undoubtedly made the more likely by the fact that throughout the entire era, liberal political views were strongly sup-ported by Jews and were perceived as benefiting Jews—a fact that the opponents of these ideas never failed to emphasize. Indeed, a social identity perspective would expect that initially minor differences be-tween the groups (e.g., Jews tending toward liberal internationalism, gentiles toward conservative nationalism) would become increasingly polarized as group conflict escalated. Personal identity would eventually become increasingly demarcated not only by ethnicity but also by politi-cal attitudes, with the result that the political beliefs of the opposition become an important, negatively evaluated marker of outgroup member-ship. For a German, to be a liberal would eventually be tantamount to favoring a negatively perceived outgroup. Political liberalism was the antithesis of the strong desire of many Germans to develop a powerful, highly cohesive nation. For many anti-Semites, most notably the anti-Semitic Volkische intellectuals, such as Paul de LaGarde, negative attitudes toward Jews were intimately inter-twined with a loathing of liberalism and unrestrained, irresponsible capitalism, combined with a strong desire for a powerful sense of com-munity (Stern 1961, 64, 66).39 Indeed, late-19th-century Zionists com-monly believed that an important source of opposition to liberalism among gentiles stemmed from the perception that liberalism benefited Jews in competition with gentiles; thus Theodor Herzl believed that “emancipation had placed an intolerably heavy strain on Austrian liber-
Separation and Its Discontents als, who had to defend an economic system that eased the way for recent outsiders into positions of prominence” (Kornberg 1993, 180). The hypothesis that individualism is incompatible with group-based conflict is also consistent with Américo Castro’s (1954, 497; see also Castro 1971) perspective that the Enlightenment could not develop in a Spain fraught with competition between ethnic groups: “From such premises it was impossible that there should be derived any kind of modern state, the sequel, after all, of the Middle Ages’ hierarchic har-mony.” Similarly, Grayzel (1933, 83) comments that the exclusion of Jews from Christian society, which was the focus of ecclesiastical policy in the 13th century, might have occurred even in the absence of the Church’s actions; another factor besides religious difference that he argues might have led to exclusion was racial: “The Jews persistently refused to mingle their blood with that of their gentile neighbors at a time when racial intermingling was laying the foundations of the modern national state.” The implication is that the Western tradition of muted individualism and its concomitant democratic and republican political institutions are unlikely to survive the escalation of intrasocietal group-based competi-tion for resources that is such a prominent theme of contemporary American society. I have previously quoted Pulzer’s (1964, 327) com-ment, “The Jew could flourish only in the sort of classical Liberal society that existed in Western Europe and that the late nineteenth century had introduced to Central Europe.” While Judaism flourishes in a classical liberal, individualist society, ultimately Judaism is incompatible with such a society, since it unleashes powerful group-based competition for resources within the society, which in turn lead to highly collectivist gentile movements incompatible with individualism. It is also notewor-thy that the 19th-century liberal critics of Judaism typically assumed that it would disappear as a result of complete cultural and genetic assimila-tion—a sort of tacit understanding that a liberal society required a fairly high degree of cultural uniformity. My view, which I elaborate in The Culture of Critique, is that Western societies have a tendency to seek an equilibrium state of hierarchic harmony among the social classes in which there are powerful controls on extreme individualism among the elite classes. This tendency toward hierarchic harmony—a paradigmatic feature of the Christian Middle Ages—combined with assimilationism and individualism has been a powerful force in breaking down barriers within society. The difficulty for a group strategy like Judaism is that, if assimilation fails, the Western tendencies toward universalism and individualism are abandoned. From this perspective, it is no accident that the National Socialist theorist
National Socialism as an Anti-Jewish Group Evolutionary Strategy Alfred Rosenberg regarded the Western concepts of universalism and individualism as anathema: Both concepts were incompatible with Na-tional Socialism as a closed ethnic group strategy. It is in this sense that the individualist, universalist strands of Western culture are indeed incompatible with Judaism. Finally, given the Western tendency toward “muted individualism” and hierarchic harmony, there is the suggestion that in the absence of a hated and feared outgroup such as the Jews, there would be a tendency toward decomposition of collectivist, authoritarian social structures in the West. From this perspective, the apparently primitive Western ten-dency toward a significant degree of individualism, possibly deriving ultimately from a unique ancestral environment (see PTSDA, Ch. 8), results in an inertial tendency toward assimilatory, reproductively egali-tarian, and moderately individualistic societies. However, these tenden-cies may be altered in the direction of authoritarian collectivism under conditions of perceived intrasocietal group-based competition, as dis-cussed throughout this and the previous two chapters. Egalitarianism and Western Group Strategies It has been noted that National Socialism was characterized by a sig-nificant degree of within-group egalitarianism. This tendency toward within-group egalitarianism can also be seen in the conscious attempt to portray Hitler as an idealistic, ascetic hero who tirelessly pursued group interests rather than his own interests. This portrayal of Hitler had some basis in reality well before he came to power, and it later became a prominent feature of National Socialist propaganda (Bracher 1970, 66). Clearly, a fundamental feature of National Socialism was the belief that within the group there would be significant reciprocity, cooperation, even altruism, and that differences in rank would not be closely tied to variation in the markers of reproductive success. From an evolutionary perspective under conditions of exogamy, the appeal of a group strategy is likely to be increased by the belief that other members of the group, and especially the leaders, are personally ascetic. In a despotic situation, lower-status males are more likely to perceive themselves as exploited by upper-status males and as benefiting little from cooperation or altruism. Self-sacrifice and voluntary cooperation in such a situation are expected to be minimal because the benefits of such behavior are more likely to accrue to the despot while the costs are borne by the lower-status males. At the extreme, if the lower-status male is a slave, cooperation and self-sacrifice are expected to only occur as the result of coercion (see also PTSDA, Ch. 1).
Separation and Its Discontents The appeal of asceticism among leaders would be expected to increase dramatically in a situation where the group as a whole has relatively little genetic cohesiveness. I propose that because of the low degree of genetic relatedness within the society, cohesive and anti-individualistic Western group strategies tend to be characterized by leaders who accept asceti-cism, celibacy, or in general do not have relatively high reproductive success compared to the others in the movement. As indicated in PTSDA (Chs. 6, 8), the high levels of endogamy and consanguinity of Jewish groups are an important aspect of Judaism as a group evolutionary strat-egy, because they result in individual fitness being correlated with group success. Individual Jews are therefore expected to be much more tolerant of large differences in resources and reproductive success within the Jewish community and more tolerant of the authoritarian political struc-ture of the traditional Jewish community; this is the case not only be-cause they benefit from Jewish charity, but also because they benefit genetically to a considerable extent when other Jews succeed. However, in an exogamous, assimilative Western society, lower-status individuals benefit less from the success of upper status individuals. A significant degree of personal asceticism in leaders may therefore be necessary in order to obtain the allegiance of the lower orders. The suggestion, then, is that ultimately exogamy and genetic assimilationism are the reasons that reproductive egalitarianism tends to be characteristic of Western collectivist movements. As reviewed in MacDonald (1995b), there has indeed been a strong trend toward reproductive leveling in Western societies beginning in the Middle Ages. The Franciscan and Dominican friars who spearheaded the anti-Semitism and collectivist tendencies of the medieval period also led ascetic lives despite their origins in the middle and upper-middle classes. Their activities appear to have been critical to the development of the intense religious fervor and commitment characteristic of all levels of medieval society—an integral component of the societas Christiana. For example, Lawrence (1994, 126) notes that “the voluntary poverty and self-imposed destitution that identified the early Mendicants with the humblest and most deprived sections of the population, in loud contrast to the careerism and ostenta-tion of the secular clergy and the corporate wealth and exclusiveness of the monasteries, moved the conscience and touched the generosity of commercial communities.” St. Francis and St. Dominic . . . gave to the Church a new form of reli-gious life, which had an immense and permanent appeal, and one which both attracted a new type of recruit and in its turn inspired an apostalate to the laity, to the heretic and to the heathen. Not only did the appearance of the friars rescue the western church from its drift toward heresy and
National Socialism as an Anti-Jewish Group Evolutionary Strategy schism, but the new warmth of devotional life, the preaching, the con-fessing and the daily counsel of the friars gave a new strength to the lower level of Christian society and indirectly acted as a powerful agent of spiritual growth and social union, thus inevitably compensating for the growing power of legalism and political motives at the higher levels of church life. (Knowles & Obolensky 1968, 345) Moreover, while Western medieval reproductive altruism occurred as an aspect of commitment to a collectivist group, reproductive leveling continued after the collapse of the medieval church (MacDonald 1995b) and continues in contemporary individualistic and democratic Western societies. Thus the sex lives of the presidents of the United States are closely scrutinized for suggestions that they have not been monogamous. And even if public figures engage in non-monogamous sex, they do it clandestinely, since it would be political suicide to publicize the fact and take pride in it. As in the case of Judaism, therefore, but for somewhat different rea-sons, the group must be viewed as an important level of adaptation in conceptualizing historical Western societies. The foregoing suggests a theoretical association between exogamy and egalitarianism that transcends the individualism/collectivism dichotomy which has been central to my treatment. Political coalition building in exogamous societies tends to result in attempts at egalitarian social controls on the leadership, because lower-status males have a powerful interest in controlling the reproductive behavior of the elite. Such at-tempts may not succeed, so that a despotism is always a possibility. Nevertheless, exogamy implies that lower-status individuals do not benefit from the reproductive success of the elite, and as a result popular support of either individualist or collectivist political entities is facilitated by reproductive egalitarianism. NOTES 1. According to the First Decree of the Reich citizenship law of November 14, 1935, a Jew was defined as an individual with at least three Jewish grand-parents “who are fully Jewish as regards race” (in Dawidowicz 1976, 45–47). However, a person was considered to be a “Jewish Mischling” and therefore classified as a Jew if he or she had two Jewish grandparents who belonged to the Jewish religious community as of September 15, 1935, or thereafter, or was the offspring of a marriage concluded by a Jew, or was married to a Jew on that date or later, or who was the result of extramarital relations between a Jew and a
Separation and Its Discontents gentile. Apart from individuals married to a Jew, individuals who were one-eighth Jewish or less were considered Germans. 2. Harris (1994, 227) notes that propagandists like Stoecker “made the anti-Semitism of the common man intelligible to the educated, not vice versa. Their anti-Semitic activities show the gradual acceptance of anti-Semitism by polite society rather than the injection of those ideas into mass culture by either fanatic zealots or Machiavellian politicians.” Indeed, it was the educated elites who were most supportive of Jewish emancipation (p. 230)—a finding that is highly compatible with the general tendency throughout Jewish history for Jewish alliances with gentile elites in the context of popular anti-Semitism (see Chapter 2 and PTSDA, Ch. 5). Nevertheless, Field (1981, 227) notes that aristocrats “hard pressed by declining land revenues and higher property taxes, resentful of the purchase of Berlin’s sumptuous palaces by Jews, and eager to share the Kaiser’s new fads” familiarized themselves with the writings of Houston Stew-art Chamberlain. 3. Harris (1994, 227) notes the high degree of personal popularity of Hitler and the substantial support for the NSDAP and its highly salient anti-Semitism in the elections of 1932. He makes the interesting point that the National Social-ists were the only party to draw substantial support from all social classes—suggesting that National Socialism transcended class divisions and was per-ceived as the political embodiment of the ideal of hierarchical harmony long held as an ideal in the Volkische intellectual tradition. 4. The data provided by Lowenstein (1992, 24) indicate that in 1901–1905 in Germany 8.8 percent of Jewish men and 7.6 percent of Jewish women intermar-ried. These percentages increased in the following years so that by 1926–1930, 25.6 percent of Jewish men and 16.6 percent of Jewish women had intermarried. These figures include Jews who married other secular and converted Jews and who remained part of the Jewish community and hence are useless for concep-tualizing the extent to which Judaism had continued as a genetically closed group evolutionary strategy. Moreover, defections from Judaism, as measured by conversions to Christianity, remained low. Lowenstein (1992, 24) finds that conversions averaged 168 per year in the period from 1800 to 1924 and 256 per year in the period from 1880 to 1899. These figures are also overestimates of true defection, however, since many of these conversions were conversions of convenience by individuals who continued to identify as Jews and continued their associations with the Jewish community (see also Chapter 6). Patai and Patai (1989) note that intermarried couples in Germany during this period, at least in the earlier surveys, tended to have fewer children and not to raise them as Jews with the result that only 4.05 percent of the children born to Jewish mothers were children of intermarried couples who raised their children as Jews or were children born out of wedlock to Jewish women with Christian fathers. 5. The phrase “hierarchic harmony” comes from Américo Castro’s (1954, 497) description of the social structure of the Western Middle Ages. Not coinci-dentally, many Volkische thinkers idealized the Middle Ages.
National Socialism as an Anti-Jewish Group Evolutionary Strategy 6. Volkische ideology was compatible with a strong but muted role for indi-vidualism. The anti-Semite Paul de LaGarde emphasized that individuals should be able to maximize their unique potentials within the cohesive group (Stern 1961, 28). On the other hand, he was greatly concerned that the working classes had become alienated from German society because of the individualistic behavior of capitalists. 7. The tract also contains the following exhortations: “Thou shalt have no social intercourse with the Jew”; “Thou shalt have no business relations with the Jew”; “Thou shalt not entrust thy rights to a Jewish lawyer, nor thy body to a Jewish physician, nor thy children to a Jewish teacher. . . .”; “Keep away all Jewish writings from the German home and hearth lest their lingering poison may unnerve and corrupt thyself and thy family” (in Massing 1949, 306–307). 8. Marr later repudiated the idea of genetic assimilation via intermarriage in his 1879 book The Victory of Judaism over Germanism. 9. See Krausnick (1968, 10); Field (1981, 447). Beginning in 1923, Chamber-lain’s and Hitler’s circles increasingly intersected. Chamberlain met Hitler on more than one occasion, and there was a mutual admiration between the two, including highly laudatory letters from Chamberlain to Hitler which Hitler greatly appreciated (Field 1981, 436–438). By the end of Chamberlain’s life, Hitler seems to have developed a great deal of affection for him, and he person-ally attended his funeral. Another high-ranking National Socialist closely associated with Chamberlain was Alfred Rosenberg. Rosenberg was ecstatic about Chamberlain’s Foundations when he first read it in 1909 as a seventeen-year-old, and he became a fervent disciple (Cecil 1972, 12–14; Field 1981, 232). Other National Socialists who had read Chamberlain and claimed to be influ-enced by him include Hess, Geobbels, Eckart, Himmler, and von Shirach (Field 1981, 452). Geobbels met Chamberlain and declared that Chamberlain was “the pathbreaker,” “the preparer of our way,” “the father of our spirit” (in Reuth 1993, 53). 10. See also Derek Wilson (1988, 286). It is interesting that the marriage of the only child of Salomon and Adele Rothschild (of the French branch of the family) to a Christian resulted in a complete excision of the daughter from her mother’s life, without any inheritance. This is compatible with supposing that only-daughters were in a different category than daughters with brothers, quite possibly because the marriage of the only-daughter outside the group would, in practical effect if not according to Jewish law, place all of the family’s descen-dants outside the Jewish community. The consequences of a male attempting to marry outside the group were severe: When a male in the Austrian branch of the family fell passionately in love with the daughter of an American boardinghouse keeper, his father was inflexible in his opposition, and the son, in despair, committed suicide in 1909 (Derek Wilson 1988, 276). 11. Moreover, it is worth noting that there was considerable doubt expressed in the Palestinian Talmud (Y. Qidd. 3.12) about the status of the offspring of an Israelite female married to a gentile, with some authorities pronouncing the offspring mamzers (bastards) following the (non-Israelite) status of the father. It
Separation and Its Discontents is therefore highly doubtful that such individuals would have been welcomed in the Jewish community even had they attempted to remain. 12. Consanguinity often overlapped with economic interests among these families. Mosse (1989, 97) notes that a “distinctive form of economic co-operation involving close kinship links was that between members of allied families, the Ellingers, Mertons, and Hochschilds in the Frankfurt Metallgesell-schaft, for example, the Oppenheims, Warschauers, and Mendelssohn-Bartholdys in the AG für Anilinfabrikation (Agfa) in Treptow, or the Ganses and Weinbergs in Leopold Cassella. In all, the cases of joint economic activity by close kin are so numerous that the family rather than the individual could almost be regarded as the typical Jewish entrepreneur.” 13. As discussed in several sections of PTSDA, group selection has made a resurgence in evolutionary thinking, most notably as a result of the work of David S. Wilson (see Wilson & Sober 1994). 14. Degler (1991, 46) notes that despite the opposition of socialist newspa-pers, four of five socialist representatives in the Wisconsin legislature voted for a eugenic law mandating sterilization of certain criminals, and Edward A. Ross, the prominent progressive sociologist from the University of Wisconsin, testi-fied in favor of the law. Such laws were much more characteristic of the reform-ist North and West than the conservative South. 15. Neither Francis Galton nor Karl Pearson, the guiding lights of British eugenics, emphasized race as a variable in their publications on eugenics. During the 1880s Pearson became attracted to German ideas and became a strong advocate of the idea that eugenic practices should be a component of competition among groups rather than among individuals, but he conceptualized the group as the nation, not a race (Kevles 1985, 23). Earlier, Alfred Russel Wallace and W. R. Greg (but not Darwin) emphasized the need for eugenic practices to make the group more competitive, but again, the group was concep-tualized as the nation (Farrall 1985, 17). Nevertheless, the beliefs that eugenics would improve the ability of the race and that Caucasians were a superior race were probably common among British eugenicists, including Galton and Pear-son (Farrall 1985, 51). During the 1920s, Pearson opposed Jewish immigration on the grounds that Jewish girls were inferior and Jewish boys did not possess “markedly superior” intelligence compared to the native English (Pearson & Moul 1925, 126). This is a group-based argument, but it is certainly not the type of argument based on competition between well-defined racial groups that Chamberlain would have made. Pearson and Moul also wrote of Jews that “for men with no special ability—above all for such men as religion, social habits, or language keep as a caste apart, there should be no place. They will not be absorbed by, and at the same time strengthen the existing population; they will develop into a parasitic race, a position neither tending to the welfare of their host, nor wholesome for themselves” (pp. 124–125). The argument, then, is that if Jews did have markedly higher IQs, there would be no objection to immigra-tion. Clearly Pearson is not casting his argument in a racialist manner.
National Socialism as an Anti-Jewish Group Evolutionary Strategy 16. Despite their dislike of the Ostjuden and their concerns that the Ostjuden increased anti-Semitism, the German Jewish community provided aid to the immigrants and strongly opposed official discrimination against them, especially after 1890. Moreover, Volkov (1985, 211) notes that many Westjuden eventu-ally developed positive attitudes toward their highly observant coreligionists from the East—an aspect of the increasing sense of Jewish identification among them. 17. The quotation from Rather is completed as follows: “ . . . if we are foolish enough to bestow such titles on people who are merely repeating what they take to be the wisdom of their own fathers. Sidonia [the hero of Tancred] was in fact repeating the post-exilic doctrines of Ezra and Ezekiel when he warned against racial intermarriage, and these same doctrines gave biblical authority to Old Testament Christians in North America and South Africa to pursue their policies of segregation and apartheid, respectively.” Rose (1992, 234) states that Rather’s book “verges on veiled antisemitism,” but, minimally, I see no reason to question Rather’s scholarship on Disraeli. As Rather notes, the racialism of Disraeli and Moses Hess have been severely downplayed by Jewish scholars attempting to link National Socialism with gentile racialist thinkers of the 19th century such as Gobineau and Chamberlain. (Similarly, Lindemann [1997, 77n.76] notes that George Mosse “devotes only a few lines in a single paragraph to Disraeli, yet he devotes pages of dense description and analysis to scores of anti-Semitic writers and theorists, many of whom attracted a limited readership and obviously exercised little influence on their contemporaries.”) As noted below (see note 21 below), Rose has been a prominent apologist for 19th-century Jewish racialist thought. 18. Disraeli’s assertions of Jewish superiority were quite unsettling to Rich-ard Wagner, especially since Disraeli was the prime minister of England. After reading Tancred, Wagner referred to himself as a “tatooed savage,” presumably a reference to Disraeli’s low estimation of the Franks in Tancred. Disraeli’s views were well known in England and were the subject of a negative contem-porary commentary by George Eliot (although she appears to have approved eventually of Jewish racialism, as indicated by her novel Daniel Deronda). Disraeli’s views were ridiculed by Thackeray and in the satirical journal Punch. In his satirical novel Codlingsby, Thackeray derided Disraeli’s tendency in Coningsby to suppose that everyone of genius was a Jew, including Mozart and Rossini. In 1915, the prime minister of England, Herbert Asquith, recalled Disraeli’s words in his reaction to a proposal to turn Palestine into a Jewish state: “It reads almost like a new edition of Tancred brought up to date . . . , a curious illustration of Dizzy’s favourite maxim that ‘race is everything,’ etc.” (in Rather 1986, 122). Disraeli’s comments on the importance of race for understanding history were also quoted extensively by German racialist writers in the 1920s (Mosse 1970, 56; Rather 1986, 122). See also Johnson (1987, 323ff) and Salbstein (1982, 97ff) for discussions of Disraeli’s racialist views. Salbstein terms Disraeli a “Marrano Englishman,” because of evidence that Disraeli had a strong Jewish identity.
Separation and Its Discontents 19. There was disagreement among Zionists as to whether anti-Semitism caused Jewish nationalism or Jewish nationalism was intrinsic to the nature of Judaism. Theodor Herzl took the former position, while Ahad Ha-Am took the latter point of view (Simon 1960, 103). 20. As discussed in PTSDA (Ch. 8), one theory of the evolution of recessive genes in northern Caucasian populations is Salter’s (1996) “blank slate hypothe-sis” in which recessive genes act as an individualist anti-cuckoldry mechanism. Because of the commonness among the “Aryans” of recessive genes affecting physical appearance, the offspring of Jews and non-Jews in Germany therefore would tend to resemble the Jewish partner, thus leading to beliefs on both sides of the “indelibility” of the Jewish character. 21. Rose terms the racialist views of Hess as “positive and humane” (1990, 321) (apparently because of Hess’s stated belief that the Jews had originated as a racially mixed group) while condemning the racialist views of 19th-century German anti-Semites. In a bit of self-deception, Rose notes the parallels be-tween Hess’s and Wagner’s racialist views, “but how opposed were their ethics! Wagner insisted that his racial idea was based on love. But that was merely idealistic garb for the instinct of racial domination that Hess so bitingly descried everywhere in German revolutionary thought. Wagner ran true to revolutionary form in excluding the Jews from the festival of redemption; they could only be redeemed by destruction. Hess, on the other hand, cast them in the role of protagonists in the drama of cosmic redemption” (1990, 335). Klein (1981, 147–149) makes a similar argument regarding the racialism of the psychoanalytic movement. The idea that Judaism has a genetically based, altruistic role to play in human evolution may be more ethical. However, it would appear to be equally plausi-ble to suppose that Hess’s and Klein’s comments are also an “idealistic garb” for self-serving rationalization of the type that has been common in Jewish intellectual history (see Chapter 7); that is, they legitimize Jewish ethnocentrism as motivated by the loftiest of moral goals and ignore real conflicts of interest between Germans and Jews that were at least partly the result of Jewish ethno-centrism while condemning the ethnocentrism of the Germans. Rose also illustrates the tendency of many theorists of anti-Semitism to view the phenomenon as a fundamentally irrational construction of gentiles—a major theme of Jewish theories of anti-Semitism discussed extensively in The Culture of Critique. Rose repeatedly condemns as immoral the attitudes of anti-Semites that Jews were an ethnically distinct and unassimilable group within German society, that they hated gentiles, and that they were bent on the economic and cultural domination of gentiles, and he does so without ever considering the evidence for or against these propositions. Because of his complete lack of interest in actual Jewish behavior, one infers that Rose believes that data on the actual behavior of Jews are irrelevant to the rationality of these attitudes. 22. Wagner believed that the Jewish spirit was able to dominate the German spirit in art because Jewish influence in Germany had begun before the nation had a well-developed culture of its own—the result of political fragmentation
National Socialism as an Anti-Jewish Group Evolutionary Strategy since the Thirty Years’ War. According to the diary of Cosima Wagner, Wagner stated in 1878 that “if ever I were to write again about the Jews, I should say I have nothing against them, it is just that they descended on us Germans too soon, we were not yet steady enough to absorb them” (see Rather 1990, 212). 23. Ha-Am (in Simon 1960, 102) condemned “enlightened” Western Jews who had “sold their souls” for civil rights: “I can proclaim my feeling of kinship with my fellow-Jews, wherever they may be, without having to defend it by far-fetched and unsatisfactory excuses”—an implicit rebuke of the Reform project of rejecting the language of kinship and nationalism in developing elaborate rationales for continued Jewish group cohesion in the post-Enlightenment world. Like the German Volkische thinkers, Ha-Am believed that each nation, like each person, has a unique character and personality. Moreover, he had pronounced ideas on what constituted the national spirit of his people and believed that it was profoundly different from the German spirit. 24. Similarly, in the United States Zionists raised a “storm of protest” when Judge Julian Mack of the American Jewish Committee testified before the Dillingham Commission on immigration in 1909 that Jews were not a race (Cohen 1972, 47). Szajowski (1967, 7) cites the following statement by Lucien Wolf, secretary of the Conjoint Foreign Committee of the Board of Deputies and the Anglo-Jewish Association, as typical of Jewish leaders of the period, including Jacob Schiff of the American Jewish Committee and Dr. Paul Nathan, leader of the German Hilfsverein der deutschen Juden: “I, too, am for assimila-tion, but I want it mechanical and not chemical. I want the race preserved but the spirit merged.” Goldstein (1997) shows that American Jews in the late 19th century commonly identified themselves as a racial group, at least partly as an image-management strategy (see Chapter 7). 25. Theilhaber is interesting because of his deep concern with Jewish fertility and at the same time with developing organizations that would facilitate abor-tion and birth control among gentile Germans. Theilhaber was very concerned about the declining Jewish birth rate and was politically active in attempting to increase Jewish fertility (going so far as to propose to tax “child-poor” families to support “child-rich” families). At the same time, he was also instrumental in creation of the Gesellschaft für Sexualreform, whose aims were to legalize abortion and make contraceptives available to the German public (Efron 1994, 142, 144, 152). As indicated below, the National Socialists encouraged fertility and enacted laws that restricted abortion and discouraged birth control. 26. Zollschan comments on the light pigmentation to be found in all Jewish groups despite the predominance of dark pigmentation. The fin de siécle race scientists made some interesting speculations on the origins of blond hair and blue eyes among Jews. The German Felix von Luschan proposed that the ancient Jews had intermarried with the non-Semitic Hittites and the blond Amorites. The Jewish racial scientist Elias Auerbach rejected this idea because it conflicted with the abhorrence of exogamy that is so apparent in the Tanakh. He proposed that when Jews settled in lands with a high percentage of blondes they have an unconscious preference to marry blondes in their own group, so
Separation and Its Discontents that there is selection in the diaspora environment for phenotypic resemblance to the non-Jewish population (see Efron 1994, 139–140). The German Fritz Lenz (1931, 667–668) (a professor of “racial hygiene” in the National Socialist era) made a proposal similar to that of Auerbach. 27. In Jews in the Modern World, Ruppin (1934) asserts that Jews are not a racially pure group, because of widespread intermarriage and illicit sexual relationships in the diaspora. Nevertheless, he describes three “racial types” of Jews, one (the Oriental Jews) genetically identical to the ancient Jews, and two others (Sephardic and Ashkenazic) resulting from an influx of gentile genes in the diaspora. Although these racial types are not racially pure, because they originated as a result of cross-breeding, they represent racial types because they have been genetically isolated for centuries in particular areas. Ruppin therefore conceptualizes the Ashkenazic and Sephardic Jewish populations as originating from a high level of cross-breeding followed by prolonged periods of genetic isolation, with the result that contemporary Jewish populations have a high degree of genetic homogeneity and phenotypic resemblance. In a section entitled “Disruptive Forces in Jewry,” Ruppin decries the assimi-lative forces of modern societies, including the decline of religious belief and family ties, and the weakening of a sense of common fate among Jews. Intermarriage marks the end of Judaism. Mixed marriage is regarded as destruc-tive of Judaism even where the non-Jewish side adopts the Jewish religion, for it is understood, be it merely subconsciously, that Judaism is something more than a religion—a common descent and a common fate. Were it only a religious communion, assimilated Jews would actually have to welcome a mixed mar-riage which gains a proselyte for Judaism, but even among them this view is conspicuously absent. (p. 318) Ruppin also regretted that “the feeling of unity resulting from consanguinity is being lost” (p. 277). Ruppin himself married his first cousin, suggesting he also placed a high value on the common Jewish practice of consanguineous marriage, which has resulted in relatively high levels of genetic relatedness within historical Jewish societies (see PTSDA, Ch. 4). 28. While Ruppin stated that “other nations may have points of superiority” (1913, 217), he countenanced rather negative views of Germans. In his intro-duction to Ruppin’s (1934) book, the prominent historian Sir Louis B. Namier (1934, xx–xxi) presented the following view of Germans: “The German is methodical, crude, constructive mainly in the mechanical sense, extremely submissive to authority, a rebel or a fighter only by order from above; he gladly remains all his life a tiny cog in a machine.” He goes on to refer to German “political and social ineptitude.” As expected by social identity theory, positive attributions regarding one’s ingroup tend to be associated with negative evalua-tions of the outgroup. 29. Buber’s close friend Gustav Landauer developed similar ideas, in which “the individual . . . rediscovers the community to which he is linked through his blood and learns that he is merely an ‘electric spark’ in a larger unity” (Mosse 1970, 91). Nevertheless, the Jewish God was the God of all humanity, implying
National Socialism as an Anti-Jewish Group Evolutionary Strategy some sort of coexistence of different peoples. As noted in Chapter 7, Buber and Landauer argued that Jewish pursuit of their ethnic interests was in the service of all mankind. As Mosse (1970, 89) notes in his comments on Buber and another Jewish Volkische thinker, Robert Weltsch, “only by first becoming a member of the Volk could the individual Jew truly become part of humanity.” Mosse comments that it is not at all clear how this Jewish Volkische ideology would be compatible with the idea that all of humanity would “flow together,” but the attitude was typical of many Zionists of the period. In my terms, such ideologies are examples of rationalization, deception and/or self-deception that have been typical of Jewish theories of Judaism throughout history (see Chap-ters 7 and 8). 30. “Dr. Wise Urges Jews to Declare Selves as Such,” New York Herald Tribune, June 13, 1938, 12. 31. Niewyk also includes among the liberal Jewish voices the novelists Georg Hermann and Kurt Münzer, both of whom believed that racial differences divided Jews and Germans. In attempting to understand Jewish uniqueness, another liberal, Rabbi Caesar Seligmann of Frankfurt-am-Main, attributed it to “Jewish sentiment, the instinctive, call it what you will, call it the community of blood, call it tribal consciousness, call it the ethnic soul, but best of all call it: the Jewish heart” (in Niewyk 1980, 106). 32. Graetz’s work is replete with ingroup glorification and denigration of outgroups. While other nations had sunk into debauchery and violence, the Jews had remained true to their historical mission: “In the midst of a debauched and sinful world and amid vices with which, in its beginnings, the Jews were also infected, they yet freed themselves, they raised on high an exalted standard of moral purity, and thus formed a striking contrast to other nations” (Graetz 1898, VI, 706). Their allegiance to high moral standards required them to separate themselves entirely from the “heathen world” (p. 721)—a common rationalization for Jewish separatism (see Chapter 7). 33. This Jewish intellectual racialism among psychoanalysts was highly com-patible with a firm commitment to Jewish group continuity. Indeed, Klein (1981) notes that Freud passionately implored his associate Max Graf not to abandon his Jewish commitment by baptizing his son. A theme of The Culture of Critique is that a major component of Jewish intellectual movements in the 20th century has been a commitment to messianic universalist movements, which propose to lead humanity to a higher moral plane while nevertheless retaining Jewish group continuity. These movements are thus compatible with continued genetic segregation between Jews and gentiles and continued group-based resource competition between Jews and gentiles. 34. Before their rupture, Jung is described as a “strong independent personal-ity, as a Teuton” (in Gay 1988, 201). After Jung was made head of the Interna-tional Psychoanalytic Association, a colleague of Freud was concerned because, “taken as a race,” Jung and his gentile colleagues were “completely different from us Viennese” (in Gay 1988, 219). In 1908 Freud wrote a letter to the psychoanalyst Karl Abraham in which Abraham is described as keen, while
Separation and Its Discontents Jung is described as having a great deal of élan—which, as Yerushalmi (1991, 43) notes, indicates a tendency to stereotype individuals on the basis of group membership (the intellectually sharp Jew and the energetic Aryan). Freud’s sense of Jewish superiority can also be seen in his statement that “ruthless egoism” is more characteristic of gentiles than of Jews, while Jewish family life and intellectual life are superior. Freud pointed to Jewish achieve-ment in the arts and sciences to support his claim that Jews were superior (see Cuddihy 1974, 36). Further, Freud viewed these differences as unchangeable. In a 1933 letter Freud decried the upsurge in anti-Semitism, stating that “my judgment of human nature, especially the Christian-Aryan variety, has had little reason to change” (in Yerushalmi 1991, 48). Nor, in Freud’s opinion, would the Jewish character change. In Moses and Monotheism, Freud (1939, 51n) states that “it is histori-cally certain that the Jewish type was finally fixed as a result of the reforms of Ezra and Nehemiah in the fifth century before Christ.” As Yerushalmi (1991, 52) notes, “Freud was thoroughly convinced that once the Jewish character was created in ancient times it had remained constant, immutable, its quintessential qualities indelible.” Viewed in this manner the obvious racialism and the clear statement of Jew-ish ethical, spiritual, and intellectual superiority contained in Freud’s last work, Moses and Monotheism, must be seen not as an aberration of Freud’s thinking but as central to his attitudes, if not his published work, dating from a much earlier period. These issues are discussed more fully in The Culture of Critique. Here they merely serve as an indication of the deeply held racialist views of individuals on both sides of the ethnic divide during the period. 35. As discussed by Yerushalmi (1991, 46), in 1921 Wilhelm Dolles pub-lished a book Das Jüdische als Geistesrichtung [The Jewish and the Christian as Spiritual Direction] which argued that Jews were attracted to psychoanalysis because they had a “hysterical” character because they had striven throughout their history for unattainable goals. Dolles did not reject psychoanalysis but advocated a different form of psychoanalysis for Christians, such as that of Jung, more attuned to the morally superior Christian character. 36. Yerushalmi (1991, 54) also notes that Ernest Jones, a self described “Shabbes-goy among the Viennese” and someone whose worshipful compliance made him very useful to psychoanalysis as a Jewish ethnic movement, also had the view that Jews had certain physical features that caused gentiles to have unconscious hostility toward them. 37. After becoming a refugee, Arendt lived her life in an almost exclusively Jewish milieu, working for a Jewish refugee relief organization, for Jewish Cultural Reconstruction, Inc., and for a publisher of Judaica, Schocken Books. Her theory of anti-Semitism, as expressed in The Origins of Totalitarianism, like many other theories of anti-Semitism developed by Jewish intellectuals such as those discussed in The Culture of Critique, provides no role for resource competition between impermeable ethnic groups. Katz (1983, 83) presents
National Socialism as an Anti-Jewish Group Evolutionary Strategy Arendt as an example of a theorist of anti-Semitism who unrealistically and apologetically ignores the contribution of Jewish behavior to anti-Semitism. 38. The Nethinim were members of a foreign ethnic group living as slaves in ancient Israelite society and thought to be descendants of the peoples displaced by the Israelites in the post-Exodus conquest. As indicated in PTSDA (Chs. 3 and 4), the Samaritans were excluded by the Israelites in the post-Exilic period because of their doubtful racial purity. 39. Interestingly, when de LaGarde visited England in the 1850s, he was very favorably impressed by the unity of the people, the popularity of the monarchy, and the responsible behavior of the aristocracy (Stern 1961, 54). Whether or not he was correct in his judgment, it may well be the case that the muted forms of individualism that have characterized several proto-typical Western societies depend for their success on high levels of social consensus and on social or legal constraints on the individualistic behavior of elites.