A work that definitely ought be brought to the attention of all scholars of the Jewish question, and, in general, of those who follow the anti-Semitic debate, is Herman de Vries de Heekelingen’s very recently published book: Israël, son passé, son avenir (Paris: Perrin, 1937). Indeed, few other publications have presented the essence of the Jewish problem with such clarity, such objectivity, and with such wealth of documentation.
It bears no trace of sectarianism or zeal — which is precisely what is needed in order to infuriate the emissaries of the Kahal, who find it extremely convenient to see the ranks of their adversaries made up only of fanatics and confused individuals. The first part of the book, above all, is important, even if only for the excellent material assembled from the most varied sources. With regard to the second aspect of the problem — the future of Israel — if de Vries’ arguments do not, especially for us Italians (and we will see why), seem entirely convincing, that is less the fault of the author than of the matter itself, of the Jewish problem, which, when considered in depth, is a problem as inescapable as it is wanting in positive solutions.
“The Jewish problem is one of the great problems of the world, and no man, be he a writer, politician or diplomat, can be considered mature until he has striven to face it squarely on its merits” — the book begins with this admonition from Henry Wickham Steed [quoted from The Hapsburg Monarchy, Constable & Co., London, 1914].
“For over two thousand years,” de Vries continues, “the Jewish problem has agitated the world: more or less virulent in different ages and nations, anti-Semitism has always existed wherever Jews have constituted a fairly sizeable minority. Efforts have been made to combat Jewry by means of baptism, bloody persecution, expulsion, expropriation, assimilation. What methods have not been attempted in an effort to conquer it or destroy it? And yet, without any lasting results. Jews are more numerous, more powerful, richer than ever.” “Is this race indestructible, then? Must we draw the conclusion that it is, as a whole, invincible?” the Author asks.
Anyone who ponders the last two thousand years of history would have to answer in the affirmative. The following problem, then, forces itself upon us: there are, scattered among the various peoples, fractions of an alien, unassimilable people, of a nation that has world domination as its ideal, its faith and persuasion, and many members of which incessantly foment every kind of revolution and upheaval within the non-Jewish states and civilizations in which they happen to live. The presence and activity of this heterogeneous substance are less noticeable during periods of liberal, internationalist and cosmopolitan decay. However, as soon as national formations emerge, as soon as a new consciousness of race and tradition asserts itself among Aryans, the latent conflict explodes, a clash becomes inevitable. The Jew — who for thirty centuries and despite every kind of disaster has always maintained his own nationhood and law — while unable to directly oppose the Aryan, instead directly and indirectly foments revolutions and subversion of every kind. All of this is inevitable, has happened again and again, and will continue to happen, and today we are faced with this situation in its typical form. Thus, to not pose the Jewish problem today is reckless, if not positively irresponsible. And the problem should from now on be formulated in full knowledge of the enemy we must fight.
It is to this knowledge that de Vries devotes the part of his book entitled: “What separates us.” He precisely discerns the point that must serve as a solid basis for any serious anti-Semitic debate: namely, that the Jewish people and Jewish activity on the one hand, and Jewish law and tradition, on the other, form an indivisible whole. A Jew once wrote that the Israelite “has been formed, not to say manufactured, by his books and his rituals. Just as Adam emerged from the hands of Jehova, he emerged from the hands of his rabbis.”
It is in the Jewish law that the essence of the Jewish peril is to be found. To limit oneself to describe this or that outward and practical aspect of Jewry and Jewish activity in the world, means stopping at details, means missing the meaning of the whole, the central point that bestows upon everything else its true meaning. Now, Jewish law is not merely the Old Testament or Deuteronomy. De Vries is quite right to emphasize the error committed by those who believe that after the Old Testament, and with the emergence of Christianity, Jewish law has remained at a standstill and more or less cut off from the currents of history. That is false. The ancient law, or Torah, was complemented by a tradition that is also Mosaic and intrinsically Jewish, which was transmitted orally from father to son and was fixed in writing at the beginning of the third century AD: the Mishna (repetition, the repeated law).
The Torah and the Mishna then found their further development in the rabbinic literature assembled from the Gemara, which mean precisely “fulfillment” and is commonly called the Talmud. To this was added a properly theological and metaphysical development of the Jewish tradition, contained in the Zohar and, generally, in the Kabbala.
Together, all of these constitute the true Jewish law. Indeed, it is often said that the forms of later modifications, Talmudic and rabbinic, represent the essence and the true perfection of the law. De Vries cites, in this regard, precise testimonies. The superiority of the rabbinic law, which is the Talmud, with respect to Mosaic law, is established in clear terms by the Orthodox texts:
“He who studies the Bible does good work, but it does not mean much. [Only] those who study the Gemara practice the supreme virtue.”
“The Bible can be compared to water, the Mishna to wine, the Gemara [Talmud] to spiced wine.”
“He who reads the Bible without the Mishna and Gemara is similar to those who have no God.”
And so on.
The Talmud, therefore, is the real source of Jewish law. Here are other rabbinical testimonies:
“For two thousand years the Talmud was, and still is, an object of veneration for the Israelites, of whom is the religious code.”
“What the Jew is and will be a must in large part be due to the Talmud. As long as there are Jews and Jewry, the Talmud will preserve its value, since it has shaped their life and character. You can deny the Talmud its permanent value, but not its permanent influence.”
But it is precisely in this context that an irreconcilable conflict reveals itself. Talmudic law sums up, exacerbates and carries to their extreme consequences those ancient and fanatical Jewish views, as a result of which there cannot be, nor will there ever be, a point of contact between us and the Jews. There is no point in reproducing, here, documents from de Vries which La Vita Italiana has already abundantly and repeatedly made public, showing that the essence of Talmudic law is the radical distinction between Jew and non-Jew, more or less in the same terms as that between a true man and a brute beast, between the elect and slaves; it is the promise, that the universal kingdom of Israel, sooner or later, will come, and all the nations will submit to the scepter of Judah; it is a duty, for the Jew, never to submit, never to recognize in any law, that is not his law, anything but violence and injustice; it is the declaration of a morality of double standards, which limits solidarity to the Jewish race while justifying every lie, every deception, every betrayal in relations between Jews and non-Jews, placing the latter outside of the protection of the law; finally, it is the sanctification of gold and interest as the instruments of Jewish power, to which all the riches of the earth are promised. All this is well enough known, and those who have “a hard time believing” must finally make up their minds to look at the texts themselves. The Talmud goes to the point of saying: “The best among non-Jews (goyim) should be killed” and in Shemoné Esré, the prayer that a Jew should recite every day, we read: “May the apostates lose all hope, may the Nazarenes and the Minim (the Christians) perish suddenly, may they be crossed out from the book of life and not counted among the righteous,” and anyone looking for other “elegances” like that would be faced with an embarrassment of choices.
In this regard, de Vries can claim the merit of having countered a “tactical” argument made by those Jews who, faced with similar texts of their laws, in order to exonerate themselves, say that it is a heinous misunderstanding, that all the Talmudic expressions of hatred and contempt, which refer to the goyim, or akum, do not affect Christians, for these words instead refer to “pagans without faith or law, not yet moralized by the religion of Christ (Jewish hypocrisy goes as far as that!), murderers, committers of incest, worshipers of the stars, etc.” (Simon Levy).
De Vries, referring to the texts, demonstrates the falsity of this argument: the Hebrew texts used the terms goyim, akum even in periods in which “paganism” had no longer existed for centuries, using them to designate as a whole the non-Jewish races among which the exiled “chosen people” found itself living.
Now, since every true Jew considers his law as imperative, immutable, indivisible and absolute, and since the promise contained in it is the secret of the unbelievable toughness that over the centuries has kept the Jew from being defeated and has conserved his identity — tenacious, stubborn, at once proud and cowardly — for this very reason, a priori, doctrinally, the impossibility of any agreement and collaboration is clear. For that to be possible, as we have already stated in refuting Paul Oran’s book, the Jew would have to cease being a Jew. Remaining what he is, it is inevitable and fatally necessary that the Jew, in one way or another, will become involved in every agitation, every subversion, in a ceaseless activity of corrosion, in accordance with the Talmudic precept that considers as violence and injustice every law that is not the pure law of Israel, every civilization that is not that of the ideal of Israel as a “holy lineage and kingdom of priests,” to which, through an unfailing divine promise, world domination and all the riches of the earth rightfully belong.
Thus, de Vries goes on to document, in his book, the subversive activity of Jewry, especially from the French Revolution up to our days, and here, too, he shows a sense of what is essential, recognizing that if throughout history the Jewish spirit has always been revolutionary and subversive, it was with the secret intention of a reconstruction, over the ruins of every non-Jewish civilization. Beyond the destructive activity of international Jewry, its ultimate ideal always betrays itself, that of the Regnum, the aspiration — sometimes still semi-religious, sometimes completely secularized and materialized — to global domination. Since the Great War, Jewry seems indeed to have been engaged in activity on a large scale in this regard. It acts in the streets, among the proletarian masses seduced by myths forged, mainly, by Jews — masses it steers in whatever direction it wishes; through internationaI finance and through capitalism, which may be considered a masterpiece of Jewish thought (Sombart); through liberal regimes and Masonic lodges, the members of which obey its orders; through supranational formations, including the League of Nations. De Vries rightly says:
We are entering a dark and tragic period. We must abandon all illusions and give up facile optimism. If the world wants to recover at the brink of an abyss, one must have the courage to face reality. One must understand that Jewish successes are not accidental victories, due to fortuitous events, but that Jews have patiently and meticulously prepared the triumph of their millennial dream.
And he adds even more aptly:
We do not at all reproach the Jews for working for the greatness of their race. We even admire the tenacity with which they pursue the realization of their purpose. What we cannot understand is only the blindness of so many non-Jews, who, when it comes to the defense of their most sacred interests, do not show the same enthusiasm and the same tenacity.
What, then, must be done?
Conversion? Out of the question. A Japanese or a Negro, converted or baptized, is still a Japanese or a Negro. In the same way, a baptized Jew remains a Jew. It is a matter of race. But behind the Jewish race, there is a force acting sometimes unconsciously and atavistically, sometimes in a shrewd and serpentine manner: the Jewish law, the Talmudic spirit, in short, an inescapable way of being. Heinrich Heine literally stated that baptism “is only an entry ticket that opens the doors of the European culture. ”
“No,” de Vries says, “whether they have converted sincerely or without conviction, baptized Jews remain Jews, and continue to feel that they are Jews, and continue to be regarded as Jews by their former co-religionists.”
The Christian sacrament does not break the unity of Israel.
Emancipation? An act of generosity which non-Jews have shown themselves capable of, but which has remained fruitless, wherever it has not actually produced the opposite result. The emancipated Jew is a Jew who sees himself as having received carte blanche to pursue his goals: once he has obtained equality and freedom, experience has shown us that he has used it not to achieve those ideals of universal equality and brotherhood that — for good reason — he sang such touching hymns, but to crush those who freed him and whom he will never be able to consider, without betraying his Law, as “his equals.”
Assimilation? Another serious misconception, and for the same reason. The Talmud tells us that a non-Jew, having said to the rabbi Tanchum: “Come now, let us at last become one people,” received the calm reply: “Fine. Unfortunately we, being circumcised, cannot become like the rest of you. Therefore be ye also circumcised, and we will all be equal.”
De Vries adds:
Today, no one demands physical circumcision anymore, but they want to impose spiritual circumcision on us, which is much worse. […] The religious de-judaization of a part of the Jews has had the improbable result of the judaization of our Christian institutions. We have not, therefore, assimilated the Jews, but the Jews are on their way to assimilating and subjugating us.
It is a sad fact, that the life force, the tenacity with which our civilization works to preserve its own life, having been undermined and corroded by so many factors, are far inferior to those of Jewry.
The cultural emancipation of the Jew has to a large extent been accomplished automatically, through the judaization of our culture. The plague of capitalism, for example, and of mammonism, is a real triumph of the Ghetto. Through all the varieties of Jewish or judaized literature, art, philosophy or science — from Freud to Wassermann and Bergson, from Stravinsky and Schoenberg to Lombroso, from Einstein to Reinach, from Ludwig to Karl Marx, Nordau, Stirner, Weininger and so on — which cannot be touched without immediately raising a cry of indignation against “barbarians” and “fanatical racists,” our culture is infected with the Jewish virus on a vast scale, to the point that in many cases it would be difficult to say what, in it, remains truly “ours.” All the while, the Jewish substance continues to exist and wants to continue to exist — Einstein himself has declared: “The Jewish national sentiment must be galvanized wherever there are Jews. I have always felt the mania of assimilation of some of my colleagues to be disgraceful.”
And another exponent of Jewry adds: “No, there is an inheritance, a blood, a tradition, something innate, organic and, above all, a spiritual bond spanning thousands of years that prevents us from merging with an alien civilization.”
The Jewish substance, we were saying, continues to exist and wants to continue existing — while we are dissolving and being judaized. That is the practical result of “assimilation.”
Since all of these solutions have proven to be dead ends, the author is forced to consider the final possibility, the Zionist solution. Purge the land of Jews, gather them all together, deposit them all in a piece of some continent, so that the Jews may govern themselves, do what they want, practice their law and preserve their race, but if they seriously intend to realize the promise of a universal Regnum, let them try, and, as a nation, openly take up the fight with other countries — this, naturally, in its simplicity, would seem the only viable way. The Jewish peril would then vanish, and with it, anti-Semitism, the day when all the Jews would live in their own country and just mind their own business.
Is that practically possible? And if so, on what basis? The land of Palestine, it is said, is not sufficient to contain all the Jews of the world. De Vries argues that Transjordan could be added to it, and with that you would have a territory already capable of absorbing 50%-70% of all Jews around the world. And the Arab resistance? We would have to deal with it. For de Vries, it is an opposition dictated less by practical and economic considerations than by feelings. The interests of the Arabs can be sacrificed for the sake of the interest all nations have in freeing themselves from the Jewish virus, and this unwanted guest. If necessary, the Arab populations can be transported elsewhere and given other land.
This solution, then, does not seem to be an impossibility.
It is indispensable that the Jews stop saying one thing and doing another. If they resign themselves to being a nation among others, it will certainly be possible to find a way to satisfy their national aspirations. But if they continue to harbor thoughts of world domination, we will just have to fight them to the very end.
Israel must choose:
either full-fledged and sincere Zionism, renouncing revolutionary and hegemonist intrigue, or the struggle against the Aryan forces that are awakening and striving to organize themselves on the international arena. In the latter case, we will oppose the Jewish International with the Aryan International.
De Vries notes in particular that the Jew will have to give up the tactic of simultaneously making a claim of belonging to his people while demanding the right to be incorporated into another nation. It is precisely in these terms that the Jewish peril manifests itself today, and it is from this point of view that the solution proposed by de Vries is not overly persuasive.
Given the positions occupied today by the Jew, prior to a real defeat, it is very unlikely that Israel will become resigned to giving up its tactic, which is that of duplicity, of shamelessly taking advantage of the benefits that come with new concessions, while simultaneously continuing to develop his underground, international destructive activity. It is enough to have a sense of the part that Jews have in international finance, to realize how naive it is to believe that they will bend over backwards to leave and find themselves, along with their immense capital (which would immediately be bound to their borders), on a scrap of Asian land: when they, from the center of the metropolises, without moving, still dictate laws to governments, make states arm themselves, control world markets. Someone wrote that the Jew today could proudly display the map of the world, pointing to his masterpieces (among which some — Disraeli, for instance — include Christianity itself). It is therefore highly unlikely that the Jewish international, now of all times, would sound the retreat; but that is precisely what Zionism, as proposed by de Vries, would mean.
Second, de Vries neglects a fundamental point, which is that we must not only deal with Judaism in its pure form, but also with Jewish mixtures, ethnic and cultural. As regards ethnic mixtures, if you count half-Jews — whose activity is very often far more dangerous than that of pure, identifiable Jews –statistically, we would be faced with figures so large, as to make the Zionist solution, in the form promoted by de Vries, an absurdity. Furthermore, there is not only the blood tainted by Jewish blood, there is also Judaized and Judaizing culture, a Judaized and Judaizing mentality, the result of the reverse assimilation alluded to earlier. And it is on this level, through this mentality, that the Jewish international essentially works and achieves, almost always by stealth, the greatest results. Who can ever prevent those men of government and those Judaized intellectuals, who feel the desire to do so, from submitting to the yoke of the Jew, or at least from aiding him in his game? France is a typical example, and a criticism of de Vries’ book, published in Univers Israélite, is extremely instructive, regarding a certain tactic: this magazine, in the face of this “infamous book,” appeals to a revolt of the “French spirit” and the French tradition of liberty against these barbaric ideas from beyond the Rhine . . .
Furthermore, Zionism, as a movement aiming for the creation of a real powerful Jewish state in the Mediterranean, is a means more than an end: it is merely a pawn in the game of the Jewish-Masonic forces behind Great Britain, who have a vested interest in creating, as someone said, a kind of second Malta and second Gibraltar in the Mediterranean to stem the dangerous Italian influence: a pawn, among others, in a game that aims much further . . .
And many other such considerations could be made, showing that, as regards its positive solutions, de Vries’ book demonstrates — with all due respect — a certain naivety. This does not, however, stop if from being really excellent in other respects, so as to represent a valuable contribution to the anti-Semitic front of resistance. And we believe that, of the two possibilities that de Vries has considered with regard to the conduct of the Jew, the one that requires the creation of an international Aryan front will prevail, that the force of centuries-old processes will ensure that not “peace,” but “war” is, in this respect, the watchword of the future.
First published in La Vita Italiana, August 1937