“The distinctive character of the Jew does not arise solely from his religion. It is true that his race and religion are indissolubly connected, . . . . but whatever be the cause of this junction of the race idea with the religion, it is very certain that the religion alone does not constitute the people. A believer in the Jewish faith does not by reason of that fact become a Jew. On the other hand, however, a Jew by birth remains a Jew, even though he abjures his religion.”
—Leo N. Levi, President of B’nai B’rith 1900-1904.
How many Jews are there in the United States? No Gentile knows. The figures are the exclusive property of the Jewish authorities. The government of the United States can provide statistics on almost every matter pertaining to the population of the country, but whenever it has attempted in a systematic way to get information about the Jews who are constantly entering the country and the number now resident here, the Jewish lobby at Washington steps in and stops it.
For more than 20 years the fight for the right of the United States Government to make a complete census of the people has been going on, and for the same period the Jewish lobby at the Capitol has been strong enough to win.
The alarming increase in Jewish immigration at the present time has brought the question to public attention again. For the first time in the history of the United States a national conviction is forming upon this subject. From Europe came the first news which startled this country. The reports told of vast mobilizations of Jewish people at stated rendezvous in Europe. Great barracks were built for them. Large bodies of trained men went from the United States, under orders of Jewish secret societies here, to expedite “passport work,” as it is termed among those bodies. Immigration into the United States became a business—a strictly Jewish business.
Why is that statement made?—“a strictly Jewish business.” For this reason: there are countries in Europe from which today no Gentile can be admitted to the United States. From Germany, from Russia, from Poland, it is with the utmost difficulty that even one person can be won permission to enter this country. But Jews from Poland, Germany, and Russia by the thousands come in most freely, in utter disregard of the laws, in open contempt of the health regulations—a strictly Jewish business of getting another million Jews into the United States. It is like moving an army, which having done duty in Europe for the subjugation of that continent, is now being transferred to America.
When the conditions overseas were made known in this country and it became apparent that Jewish societies in the United States were the principal aids in this stampede to America, the newspapers for the first time in American history began to comment on a Jewish Question in tones of alarm. This in itself is an indication that the facts are becoming too challenging to be longer ignored.
Even the ordinary immigration officials, who for years have watched the human stream as it flowed over Ellis Island, have this year been startled into attention and action by the sharp change that has come in the character of the stream. And what has startled them?
First, it is composed almost entirely of Jews. Real Ukranians, real Russians, real Germans cannot come in. But Jews can come from anywhere, and are coming from almost everywhere. Why this special privilege?—is being asked.
Second, they do not come as refugees, as people fleeing from hunger and persecution: they come as if they own the country. They arrive as special guests. As on the other side the passport business is “arranged,” so on this side the entrance business is “arranged.” The laws are set aside. Health regulations are ignored. Why should they not behave as if they own the United States? They see officials of Jewish secret societies override officials of the United States Immigration Bureau. Their first glimpse of life here shows a Jewish control as potent and complete as it is in Russia. No wonder then that they literally beat down the walls and gates with all the éclat of a victorious invasion. Is not this America—“The Jews’ Country,” as it is called in the smaller nations of Europe?
Third, there is a perfect organization which overcomes the numerous objections which arise against admission of known revolutionary Jews. European Jews are potential revolutionists. They are the revolutionists of Italy, Germany, Russia and Poland today. They are the Red and I.W.W. leaders of the United States today. When one man whose record is known presents himself at Ellis Island—and of course he is one in a thousand whose records are not known—he is held up. Immediately there start across the country telegrams to Congressmen, editors, state and municipal officials telling them in peremptory tones to “get busy” in behalf of Mr. So-and-So who is detained at Ellis Island. And the same day there start back to Washington telegrams from Congressmen, editors and others of influence, insisting on the spotless character of Mr. So-and-So and demanding his immediate admittance into the United States. Sometimes also the Russian embassy—so-called—is used in this work.
It is an invasion—nothing but an invasion; and it is helped by influences within the United States. It is thinly cloaked with sentiment—“these people are fleeing from persecution.” It is cleverly assisted by photographs showing groups of forlorn looking women and children—never by photographs showing the groups of husky young revolutionists who are just as ready to despoil the United States as they were to despoil Russia.
That, however, is the present situation. What this and a subsequent article propose to do for the reader is to put him in possession of some of the facts concerning the government’s fight on this question during the last quarter century.
The question is not peculiar to America, and it may throw a sidelight on the American phase to note some of the facts developed at the hearings of the British Royal Commission on Alien Immigration which sat in London in 1902, a feature of whose proceedings was the testimony of Theodor Herzl, the great propagandist of Zionism.
In his initial statement to the Commission, Herzl made these statements, among others:
“The fact that there is now for the first time since Cromwell a perceptible number of our people in England is the true cause of this Commission being called together. * * * That a serious pressure exists in England, the fact of your Commission sitting is full proof.”
Then the examination proceeded until the following was brought out: (the answers are Herzl’s)
Q. Looking at the question of alien immigration from the standpoint of the United States for a moment, you have referred to the fact that America excludes?
Q. The exclusion is a partial exclusion?
A. Exclusion, as I know, is worked in this way: the immigrant must show a certain amount of money at the moment of his landing.
Q. You are aware that the stream of immigration into the United States is twice as much as the immigration into the United Kingdom?
A. I know that. New York has now the greatest Jewish population of all the towns in the world.
Q. And the actual exclusion is the actual exclusion of a small proportion?
A. Yes; but they go, however, to America. I think it is so easy to evade such a prohibition. For instance, if they joined a small company, it would lend the necessary amount to each immigrant, and the immigrant shows it and comes in, and sends back by post the amount he has borrowed. There are no efficacious measures to prevent that.
Q. I took it that your reference to the United States was an approval of the action of that country as an act of self-preservation.
A little later on in the examination, the question of immigration to the United States was again brought in. The answers are still Dr. Herzl’s—remember that the date is still 1902:
Q. Are you aware whether it is the fact or not that the leading Jews in America have informed their correspondents here that they cannot receive and distribute any more Jewish immigrants?
A. I have heard of difficulties of emigration, and that they are overcrowded with Jews. As to that information I cannot say.
Q. In your opinion would not the stream of emigration to America have been much greater if no such law had existed?
A. I think this law did not alter it much. The prohibition could not change it.
Q. On what grounds do you believe that?
A. It is a question of coasts and harbors. They come in. How will you prevent a man from coming in?
Q. Do you mean they are smuggled in?
A. No, I do not believe that. But they always find means to come in.
Now, discussion of immigration in the United States has never been free. We have talked a great deal about it in general terms, but not in terms of specific races except the Chinese and Japanese. However, Herzl seems to have known that wherever the Jews congregate in noticeable numbers they become a trouble (his words are: “* * * America, where so soon as they form a perceptible number they become a trouble and a burden to the land”) and he also knew that efforts would be made to meet that condition. But more than that, he dropped what must be construed as a warning, that such efforts would be resisted. He said:
“There exists a French proverb, ‘cet animal est tres impatient; il se defend quand on l’attaque.’ If the Jews are attacked, they will defend themselves, and you will get something like internal troubles.”
The time apparently did come in the United States when some far-seeing official began to wonder what the Jewish invasion portended. Already it was too strong to be openly attacked. The Jewish lobby at Washington was powerful even at that time. So, apparently, this official concluded that the best way to set about so momentous a task was to collect the information.
But in order to get the information, Congress had to give its permission; and to get the permission of Congress, hearings had to be ordered. Hearings were ordered, and the records of them, though very scarce, still exist. The reader will be given important extracts from them presently, and he will see for himself how certain American statesmen reacted to the whole matter.
A remark is in order just here, namely, that the Jewish lobby eventually became more skillful in such matters. It now takes very good care that no officials shall be appointed who shall make suggestions which shall precipitate congressional hearings on the Jewish matter. The time is coming, of course, when the whole Jewish Question may be threshed out by the government of the United States, but it will not be because an official precipitated it; it will be because the people will demand it.
Officials are now much too wary to meddle with this Question. They know too well the consequences. During the war many a secret trail of danger led into Jewish quarters, and the secret service man who loyally made his reports was often surprised to find himself lifted completely off that trail. Why? All Jewish trails in this country were powerfully protected by hidden influences during the war.
Well, the time came in the United States, when it was obviously desirable to know what elements were comprising our population; whether we were an Anglo-Saxon nation, Semitic, Latin, or what. The situation was this, and was so stated by government officials at the time:—In the ’80’s, and previously, it could be safely assumed that an immigrant from Ireland was Irish, an immigrant from Norway or Sweden was Scandinavian, an immigrant from Russia was Russian, an immigrant from Germany was German, and so on.
But times changed. Previous to 1880, the entry on a man’s record—“born in Russia”—indicated that he was a Russian. But, says a statement made by a government official with reference to the 10 years following 1880—“So many Hebrews have come from that country to the United States, that ‘born in Russia’ has come in popular opinion to mean a ‘Russian Jew.’” And then the same official goes on to show that during a 10-year period when 666,561 Jews came from Russia, there came also from Russia large numbers of Poles, Finns, Germans and Lithuanians.
Now, to make a census enumeration of these peoples under the heading “Russian” was plainly misleading, and not only misleading but valueless for census purposes. The racial identity would be lost, and our knowledge of the racial make-up of the nation very incomplete. Therefore, the census authorities asked Congress for permission to classify people by “race” as well as by “country of birth.” It seemed perfectly reasonable. Of what possible use is it to classify 3,000,000 Jews as “Russians” when there are very few real Russians in the country, and when the Russian and Jew are so deeply different one from another?
Senator Simon Guggenheim arose in the committee to object. He used the common formula in such cases. He said:
“Personally I object to it, not because I am a Hebrew, but because it is not in place.”
That is the common Jewish formula of objection. The B’nai B’rith says the same thing when it forces Shakespeare’s “Merchant of Venice” out of the public schools. That society’s “anti-defamation circular” always includes the thought:—“We do not base our request on the embarrassment which may be caused to the Jewish students in class, nor is our attitude in this regard based on thin-skinned sensitiveness. Our objection is made because of the effect upon the non-Jewish children who subconsciously will associate in their minds the Jew as Shakespeare portrayed him with the Jew of today.” So Senator Guggenheim, therefore, was playing the game according to the rules made and established in such cases.
At this hearing, Senator LaFollette was chairman. Senator Guggenheim’s contention was that “Jew” was the name of a member of a religious denomination, and not of a race.
Chairman LaFollette—“I can see broad ethnological reasons why some time it would be important to know from what blood and race the man came.”
Senator Guggenheim—“Why not ask his religion?”
Senators McCumber and Bailey came to the support of Senator Guggenheim’s contention, that “Jew” is a religious and not a racial term.
Chairman LaFollette—“I do not just get your objection to this, Senator Guggenheim. What objection can one have to having the race to which he belongs correctly entered?”
Senator Guggenheim—“Because it is not correct when stated that way. The Jews are not a race. * * *”
Later on in the hearing, Senator Cummins entered the discussion in response to a pro-Jewish remark made by Senator Bailey:
Senator Bailey—“If I were a Hebrew and I had been born here and they wanted me to say I was anything but an American, I would have a difference with the enumerator. I perhaps would refuse to answer their questions.”
Senator Cummins—“I would not have any hesitancy in stating from what blood I was.”
Senator Bailey—“No; but in the case that I refer to, it would be a matter of religion.”
Senator Guggenheim—“That is the point; it is a question of religion.”
That was in April, 1909. In December, 1909, Simon Wolf was the chief witness for the pro-Jewish contention. Simon Wolf is a very interesting character. From before the days of President Lincoln, he has been lobbyist for the Jews at the National Capitol, and has been in contact with every President from Lincoln to Wilson. At the hearing where Mr. Wolf testified, Senator Dillingham acted as chairman, and the whole proceeding was enlivened and clarified by the vigorous part which Senator Lodge took in it. Certain extracts, which entirely reproduce the spirit and argument of the hearing, follow:
Mr. Wolf—“The point we make is this: A Jew coming from Russia is a Russian; from Rumania, a Rumanian; from France, a Frenchman; from England, an Englishman; and from Germany, a German; that Hebrew or Jewish is simply a religion.”
Senator Lodge—“Do I understand you to deny that the Jews are a race?”
Senator Lodge—“Do you deny that the word ‘Jew’ is used to express a race?”
Mr. Wolf—“As the representative of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations—which I have been for nearly 30 years—I took up the matter and propounded a series of interrogations to some of the leading Jews of the United States, among others * * * Dr. Cyrus Adler, who was librarian of the Smithsonian * * * and every one of them states that the Jews are not a race.”
Senator Lodge—“That, I think, is an important point. I have always supposed they were. I find in the preface of The Jewish Encyclopedia, which is signed by Cyrus Adler, among others this statement:
‘An even more delicate problem that presented itself at the very outset was the attitude to be observed by the encyclopedia in regard to those Jews who, while born within the Jewish community, have, for one reason or another, abandoned it. As the present work deals with the Jews as a race, it was found impossible to exclude those who were of that race, whatever their religious affiliations might have been.’
“In the same encyclopedia is a statement by Joseph Jacobs, B.A., formerly president of the Jewish Historical Society of England:
‘Anthropologically considered, the Jews are a race of markedly uniform type, due either to unity of race or to similarity of environment.’
“Do you mean to deny—I want to understand your position—that the word ‘Jew’ is a racial term?”
Mr. Wolf—“I have made my statement, and my opinions are in this pamphlet.”
Senator Lodge—“Let me get at it. How would you classify Benjamin Disraeli? Was he a Jew?”
Mr. Wolf—“He was born a Jew.”
Senator Lodge—“He was baptized as a Christian. He then ceased to be a Jew?”
Mr. Wolf—“Yes; religiously he ceased to be a Jew.”
Senator Lodge—“Ah! Religiously. He was very proud of the fact that he was a Jew, and always spoke of himself in that way. Did the fact that he changed his religion alter his race?”
Mr. Wolf—“It did not change the fact that he was born a Jew; not at all; and I know the Jewish people throughout the world have claimed him, Heine, and Borne, and others who were born of their blood, as being Jews, when they speak of persons who have accomplished something wonderful in the world. But they ceased to be Jews from the standpoint of religion—”
Senator Lodge—“Undoubtedly. What I want to get at is whether the word ‘Jew’ or ‘Hebrew’ is not a correct racial term?”
Mr. Wolf—“If you will pardon me, you will find a letter from Dr. Cyrus Adler right at the close of the pamphlet, which perhaps you might read for the benefit of the committee.”
Senator Lodge—(after reading the letter referred to) “I do not think that answers anything.”
* * *
Senator Lodge—“It never occurred to me until I heard you were coming here that the classification as made by the immigration authorities had anything to do with religion. I supposed it was a race classification. It is important, very important, to get the race classification as nearly as we can.”
* * *
Mr. Wolf—“You are aware that the Census Bureau some time ago attempted to classify in the same manner and it was prohibited from doing so.”
Senator Lodge—“The word ‘race’ was stricken out of the census bill. I think it was a great mistake. It makes the returns almost valueless.”
Mr. Wolf—“I can simply repeat what I have said—that I am voicing the opinions of those whom I represent—the Union of American Hebrew Congregations, and the Order of B’nai B’rith. They are opposed to the classification as made in the last few years and as contemplated, so far as I am informed, in the report of the commission.”
The hearings continued, Julian W. Mack later appearing for the Jewish contention.
From the extracts given in this article, four matters become very clear:
First, the Jew is opposed to any restrictive legislation against his entrance into a country.
Second, the Jew is opposed to any racial classification of himself after he has entered a country.
Third, the Jewish argument to the Gentile authorities is that the Jew represents religion and not race.
Fourth, that at least one indication has appeared in which the Jew has one view to present to the Gentiles, and another which he cherishes among his own people, on this question of Race.
Another point might be made, as this: when the authorities disregard as untenable the argument of “religion, not race,” the Jewish spokesmen fall back on the fact that their organizations don’t want certain things and won’t have certain things—argument or no argument, commission or no commission.
The Jewish lobbyists had their way. There is no enumeration of Jews in the United States. There are 46 other classifications, but none for the Jew. The Northern Italians are distinguished in the records from the Southern Italians; the Moravians are distinguished from the Bohemians; the Scotch from the English; the Spanish-American from the Spanish-European; the West Indians from the Mexicans—but the Jew is not distinguished at all.
None of the other races made objection. On this point the report of the commission reads:
“As far as ascertained by the commission, the practice of classifying the foreign-born by race or people, rather than by country of birth, is acceptable to the people of the United States with one exception.
The officials, who were endeavoring to have the Census Report show with scientific accuracy the actual racial components of the population of the United States, were compelled to see their recommendation eliminated.
What is the result? If you ask the government of the United States how many Frenchmen there are in the country, it can give you the figures. If you ask for the number of Poles, it is there. If you ask for the number of Africans, it is known. On down a long list you may make your inquiries, and you will find that the government knows.
But ask the government of the United States how many Jews are in the country—and it cannot tell; there are no records. If you want information upon that point, you will have to go to the officials or representatives of the Jewish Government in the United States.
Of course, if “Jew” is a religious term, like Baptist, Catholic, Christian Scientist or Quaker, then there is merit in the argument that religious questions are not proper for the government to ask unless the religion comes in conflict with, or is a menace to, the ideals of the Republic. But if “Jew” is a racial term, or a national term, then the government is properly interested in making record of all the inhabitants of this land who bear it.
Like all questions pertaining to the Jews, this can be settled by their own words. What the Jews teach the Jews on this matter should be the determining point. In the next article we shall see what Jews themselves have to say about “race or religion?”
[THE DEARBORN INDEPENDENT, issue of 9 October 1920]