Framing the Jews.

The Protocols of the Elders of Zion is a document that was forged by Russians to incriminate Jews in a plot to control the world. At the time it was created, the Russian secret services were facing a problem with revolutionaries against the Tsar, and had been forging documents to turn the revolutionaries against each other.

The Protocols used a novel by Maurice Joly on Napoleon III for some of its material, but made the conspiratorial speakers Rabbis instead of Machiavelli, who was the villain of Joly’s book.

Some of the Russian forgeries failed. But the Protocols was a forgery that succeeded in exacerbating hatred toward Jews. For instance, in the pre-Nazi period in Germany, a Jewish writer, B. Segel, attended meetings devoted to the Protocols. He describes them:

The speaker was usually a professor, a teacher, an editor, a lawyer, or someone of that kind. The audience consisted of members of the educated class, civil servants, tradesmen, former officers, ladies, aboe all students… Passions were whipped up to the boiling point. There in front of one, in the flesh, was the cause of all those ills [the Jews], those who made the war [World War I] and brought about the defeat and engineered the revolution..” he adds that the students might have been studying math or law a fews hours earlier, but now their “…eyes flashed, fists clenched, hoarse voices roared applause or vengeance…

The Protocols may have had an effect on British army behavior in Palestine (before Israeli independence) too. In World War I, Britain conquered Palestine, and in 1918 a Zionist leader named Chaim Weizmann went to see the generals who had conquered it. One General, Sir Wyndham Deedes, handed Weizmann some typewritten sheets and said: “You had better read all of it with care. It is going to cause you a great deal of trouble in the future.” It was a copy of the Protocols. All the British officers in Palestine seemed to have it.

Ironically the Russian Tsar was not willing to use the protocols, because even though he was anti-Jewish, he realized the protocols were a forgery.
But there are people today, especially in the Arab world, who do not realize they are a forgery.
It is interesting also that nowadays Russia creates fake people on social media and makes them say fake things, in order to disrupt Western societies. The Russians are still masters of propaganda.

Why the Jews – Dennis Prager and Joseph Telushkin
A History of the Jews – Paul Johnson
The Lie that Wouldn’t Die – Hadassah Ben Ito

The petty torturers who worked for Stalin

In the book “When Einstein Walked With Godel” (2018), author Jim Holt talks about a debate in math – does math correspond to real entities independent of the human mind or not? In Russia, this fed into mystical notions of a trio of Russian Mathematicians, Dmitri Egorov – a religious man, and his student Pavel Florensky, who had trained to be a priest. The third member of the trio was Nikolai Luzin, a student of Egorov’s.

In a Western country, you can be a great scientist and religious, but not in Stalin’s Russia. Egorov was denounced as “a reactionary supporter of religious beliefs, a dangerous influence on students, and a person who mixes mathematics and mysticism.” His accuser was Ernst Kol’man, an impish and sinister Marxist mathematician nicknamed the “dark angel”. Egorov and Florensky were eventually arrested. Egorov starved to death in prison in 1931. Florensky was tortured and sent to a Gulag camp in the Arctic, where he was probably executed in 1937.

Luzin was spared, though several of his former students took part in the campaign against him, among them Andrei Kolmogorov, who is himself rated one of the half a dozen greatest mathematicians of the twentieth century and Pavel Alexandrov. (The latter two were gay, and their favorite activity was swimming vast distances and then doing mathematics together in the nude.)

But the point of this post is that in Stalin’s Russia, if you were too mystical and religious, you ended up either tortured and executed in an Arctic work camp, or starved to death in prison. It didn’t take much to be an “enemy of the people.”

An irony: Kol’man ended up in the Gulag himself, and later defected.

The real reason 9 hijackers killed almost 3000 Americans in a space of about an hour on 9/11/2001

When 19 Muslim hijackers flew planes full of American passengers into the Pentagon and into New York’s twin towers, Americans wondered who hated them so much. Some thought perhaps that American support for Israel was the cause of the Muslim resentment.
In response to the attack, then president George W. Bush ordered an invasion of Afghanistan. It turns out that this was exactly what the Muslim hijackers wanted him to do. In a book titled “Why We Lost – A General’s Inside Account of the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars“, Daniel Bolger tells the story. In Afghanistan, Osama Bin Laden, a wealthy Saudi jihadi leader, had a revelation that he attributed to Allah.

The Communist Russian superpower had failed, pulled out, and then imploded, all thanks to holy warrioirs in Afghanistan. If al-Qaeda (Bin Laden’s group) could lure the United States to the same killing ground, that might well cripple the far enemy, run them out of the entire region, and clear the way for the wider caliphate. Bin Laden saw a winning formula.

I should say at this point that Bin Laden resented American troops in Saudi Arabia, even though they were there to protect the country. He also didn’t like Israel, but from the book, the desire to create an Islamic caliphate was a primary driver.

Anyway, Bin Laden realized he needed a spectacular attack on the U.S. to draw it into war. It turned out that attacking the U.S. was relatively easy, getting the U.S. to respond was hard.

The first attack, on August 7, 1998, used exploding trucks at two U.S. embassies – one in Nairobi, Kenya, and the other in Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania. A dozen Americans died in Kenya (among the 212 people in the vicinity who were killed). The timing had been chosen to coincide with the eighth anniversary of the arrival of U.S. forces in Saudi Arabia to push the Iraqi invaders out of Kuwait.

The U.S. eventually did retaliate, by firing 66 cruise missiles into two terrorist training camps. Another 13 missiles hit a suspected nerve-gas site in Sudan. But the strikes did little damage.

“Frustrated by the limited U.S. response, searching for a way to attract a large troop deployment into the Afghan rat’s nest, bin Laden tried something bigger.” That became the attack on a U.S. warship which was loading fuel in Yemen.

The U.S. did not retaliate at all!

This was really frustrating to Bin Laden.

Hitting two embassies hadn’t done it. Almost sinking a U.S. Navy destroyer failed to work. At an acrimonious White House meeting, frustrated with the unwillingness of the military to get entangled in a manhunt in landlocked Afghanistan, State Department counterterrorism coordinator Michael Sheehan pointed at those in uniform and said: “Does Al Qaeda have to hit the Pentagon to get [your] attention?” The sarcasm got a few chuckles around the table. On the far side of the world, Osama bin Laden wasn’t laughing. He knew what he had to do next.

Fast forward to now (9/19/2019) as I write this blog – after 18 years of war, the leaders of the U.S. are trying to get us out of Afghanistan, which inevitably will lead to to the Taliban (which had hosted Bin Laden) taking over again, and Iran has used low flying drones and low flying missiles to blow up Saudi oilfields! The Americans don’t want to be drawn into another war in the Middle East, especially after the endless war in Afghanistan, and the negative consequences of the long war in Iraq. On top of that, I’ve heard people arguing that 15 of the hijackers on 9/11 were Saudis, and that Arabian Wahabis preaches a very anti-infidel version of Islam. What do we need to protect them for?

Did Bin Laden’s strategy work?

Was World War I Germany’s fault? Or was there blame to go around?

World War I was a complete disaster for Europe, with over 8 million soldiers dead by the end of it. I knew little about that war, but had the impression that the participants just got entangled into it, and that it was started by an assassination by an anarchist. My impression was also that the French thought they would be safe behind the “Maginot Line” of defenses, and did not foresee that Germany would invade them via the neutral country of Belgium.

To check this out, I bought the Kindle copy of Winston Churchill’s history of that World War. It shows that I was wrong about all of the above.

It is true that the British did not want war. Churchill says this:

All around flowed the busy life of peaceful, unsuspecting, easy-going Britain. The streets were thronged with men and women utterly devoid of any sense of danger from abroad. For nearly a thousand years no foreign army had landed on British soil. For a hundred years the safety of the homeland had never been threatened. They went about their business, their sport, their class and party fights year after year, generation after generation, in perfect confidence and considerable ignorance. All their ideas were derived from conditions of peace. All their arrangements were the result of long peace. Most of them would have been incredulous, many would have been very angry if they had been told that we might be near a tremendous war, and that perhaps within this City of London, which harboured confidingly visitors from every land, resolute foreigners might be aiming a deadly blow at the strength of the one great weapon and shield in which we trusted.


There was the actual visible world with its peaceful activities and cosmopolitan aims; and there was a hypothetical world, a world ‘beneath the threshold,’ as it were, a world at one moment utterly fantastic, at the next seeming about to leap into reality—a world of monstrous shadows moving in convulsive combinations through vistas of fathomless catastrophe.

A few people were aware of the coming danger. Churchill was one. Another was:

General Wilson (afterwards Field-Marshal Sir Henry Wilson)…For years he had been labouring with one object, that if war came we should act immediately on the side of France. He was sure that war would come sooner or later. All the threads of military information were in his hands. The whole wall of his small room was covered by a gigantic map of Belgium, across which every practicable road by which the German armies could march for the invasion of France, was painted clearly. All his holidays he spent [wandering around Belgium] examining these roads and the surrounding country. He could not do much in Germany: the Germans knew him too well.


Standing by his enormous map, specially transported for the purpose, he unfolded, with what proved afterwards to be extreme accuracy, the German plan for attacking France in the event of a war between Germany and Austria on the one hand and France and Russia on the other. It was briefly as follows:— In the first place, the Germans would turn nearly four-fifths of their strength against France and leave only one-fifth to contain Russia. The German armies would draw up on a line from the Swiss frontier to Aix-la-Chapelle. They would then swing their right wing through Belgium, thus turning the line of fortresses by which the eastern frontiers of France were protected. This enormous swinging movement of the German right arm would require every road which led through Belgium from Luxembourg to the Belgian Meuse.

Wilson was not clairvoyant. There was:

Overwhelming detailed evidence was adduced to show that the Germans had made every preparation for marching through Belgium. The great military camps in close proximity to the frontier, the enormous depots, the reticulation of railways, the endless sidings, revealed with the utmost clearness and beyond all doubt their design.

Churchill had a revealing talk with the German ambassador:

One night the German ambassador, still Count Metternich, whom I had known for ten years, asked me to dine with him. We were alone, and a famous hock from the Emperor’s cellars was produced. We had a long talk about Germany and how she had grown great; about Napoleon and the part he had played in uniting her…He said people were trying to ring Germany round and put her in a net, and that she was a strong animal to put in a net….
Count Metternich was a very honourable man, serving his master faithfully but labouring to preserve peace, especially peace between England and Germany. I have heard that on one occasion at Berlin in a throng of generals and princes, someone had said that the British Fleet would one day make a surprise and unprovoked attack upon Germany. Whereupon the Ambassador had replied that he had lived in England for nearly ten years, and he knew that such a thing was absolutely impossible. On this remark being received with obvious incredulity, he had drawn himself up and observed that he made it on the honour of a German officer and that he would answer for its truth with his honour. This for a moment had quelled the company.

The last paragraph is interesting – it shows that the Germans had a misperception of British motives. Perhaps it was also a misperception of Russian motives that gave them an idea of “we will be attacked eventually, therefore we must attack first” (they didn’t say this, I’m guessing) and that is somewhat backed by another conversation of Churchill with a German:

I had met Herr Ballin. He had just arrived from Germany. We sat next to each other, and I asked him what he thought about the situation. With the first few words he spoke, it became clear that he had not come here on any mission of pleasure. He said the situation was grave. ‘I remember,’ he said, ‘old Bismarck telling me the year before he died that one day the great European War would come out of some damned foolish thing in the Balkans.’ These words, he said, might come true. It all depended on the Tsar. What would he do if Austria chastised Serbia? A few years before there would have been no danger, as the Tsar was too frightened for his throne, but now again he was feeling himself more secure upon his throne, and the Russian people besides would feel very hardly anything done against Serbia. Then he said, ‘If Russia marches against Austria, we must march; and if we march, France must march, and what would England do?’ Churchill gave an answer that it would be a mistake for Germany to be sure England would stay out but then Ballin continued: speaking with very great earnestness. ‘Suppose we had to go to war with Russia and France, and suppose we defeated France and yet took nothing from her in Europe, not an inch of her territory, only some colonies to indemnify us. Would that make a difference to England’s attitude? Suppose we gave a guarantee beforehand.’

To me this seems to indicate that the Germans were really worried about a growing Russia, not so much about France.

So could World War I have been avoided?

Churchill does say that Germany’s neighbors were strengthening their militaries, but he says it was in response to fear of Germany. Perhaps from Germany’s point of view its neighbors were preparing that net that Metternich referred to.

Churchill does not seem to think that the first World War could have been avoided:

A will to peace at Berlin and Vienna would have found no difficulties in escaping from the terrible net which was drawing in upon us all hour by hour. But underneath the diplomatic communications and manœuvres, the baffling proposals and counter-proposals, the agitated interventions of Tsar and Kaiser, flowed a deep tide of calculated military purpose.

Russia did try to alleviate the situation:

Austria had accepted the conference, and intimate personal appeals were passing between the Tsar and the Kaiser. It seemed to me, from the order in which I read the series of telegrams, that at the very last moment Sir Edward Grey might succeed in saving the situation. So far no shot had been fired between the Great Powers. I wondered whether armies and fleets could remain mobilized for a space without fighting and then demobilize. I had hardly achieved this thought when another Foreign Office box came in. I opened it and read ‘Germany has declared war on Russia.’ There was no more to be said.

Churchill, Winston S.. The World Crisis, 1911–1914 . RosettaBooks. Kindle Edition.

Two Jewish scientists whose inventions helped their countries opposing armies

In World War I, the a Jewish German named Fritz Haber thought up the use of Chlorine as a poison gas. This weapon was first used at Ypres, where British troops were dug in as were French and Algerians. 150 tons of chlorine formed a greenish cloud, creeping toward the French and Algerians. Perhaps 5000 were killed and 10,000 injured, but that is a guess. Haber’s Jewish wife, Clara, also a chemist, killed herself – she had not become a chemist to kill and maim. Fritz did not change his mind, the day after her suicide he went to the eastern front to plan a gas attack against the Russians.

Fritz had also figured out how to pull nitrogen out of the air and make nitrate, which was essential to German munitions.

On the British side, another Jew, Chaim Weizmann, developed a process that produced acetone from bacterial fermentation, His acetone production method was of great importance in the manufacture of  cordite  explosive propellants for the British war industry.

Haber eventually repented of his invention, after the Nazis came to power in Germany and his status changed from national treasure to despised Jew. He went to England and got a job as a professor there, but was shunned as a war criminal. Soon after, he died.

The story raises interesting issues. Why was Haber (and many other Jews) so patriotic for a country that would soon turn on them? What is the morality of a weapon that turns into hydrochloric acid in the lungs of the enemy, leading to a cruel death? Where is the chivalry of facing an oncoming chemical fog and getting poisoned? It might seem obvious that the weapon is very immoral, but it has had surprising defenders – such as an English Prime Minister, Winston Churchill! Finally why did so many millions of people fight for the German cause in World War I? Were they deceived?


Einstein’s War – How Relativity Triumphed Amid The Vicious Nationalism of World War I by Mathew Stanley

Further Reading (really ironic and interesting, on Haber):

Fritz Haber, the Monster Who Made the Modern World Possible

Witnessing the Nazi rise – 3 stories from a Zionist in Austria in the 30’s

The period when Nazism rose in Germany and Austria was witnessed by people who were not caught up in the general enthusiasm, namely the Jews. One account of the period is by an Austrian Jew nameed Benno Weiser, who was a student at the time.

Here are three interesting stories he gives in his book: “Confessions of a Lucky Jew”. Before I summarize them, I should say that he was rescued because he had made the friend of an Ecuadoran, who when the time came, was able to get him out. Benno immigrated to Ecuador and fell in love with the country.

Story #1:

I remember one of them, (fellow high school students) Traxlmayer. I can’t think of his first name; we called him Traxl. Traxl was rather short and slim, but very muscular. He was our best gymnast, excellent on the horizontal bar and the parallel bars. I suppose that his Nazi bent came by way of his membership in the Deutscher Turnverein, the German gymnastic association. Nobody could compete with him in gymnastics. I bested him in shotput and high jump, which merited his grudging recognition. Scholastic achievements could not impress him. He knew Jews were smart. We had no social contact with him, but neither did we have with the other non-Jews. Yet with them we would joke, while he cracked a smile and talked with us only as a last resort. Studying eight years together, it was inevitable that we exchanged now and then a few words, but I don’t remember ever having had a conversation with him, until we met, years later, in completely different circumstances. He never did anything provocative, but his aloofness was a silent accusation: here am I, a thoroughbred Aryan, condemned to spend five hours every day in this Jew school. He was not brilliant, but he was bright. And he was always there, never absent-minded, never caught napping. He had a way of watching everything, everybody, fellow students and teachers. Did he hate us? If so, it was in a non-personal way. He had no favorites. His anti-Semitism, which we took for granted, was abstract. Only once did we see him coming out of his shell. The occasion was a short lecture I was allowed to give in our German class. My subject was a Viennese writer — Theodor Herzl. He listened, as usual, with great attention, and raised his hand when I was through. He asked a question, not precisely addressed to me; it might just as well have been directed to the professor: “Is it an aim of Zionism that all the Jews emigrate to Palestine?”

The professor looked at me. He obviously preferred that I give the answer. I replied that Palestine was too small to take in 16 million Jews. I quoted Herzl: “The Jews who will it, will have their state.” This was one of the rare occasions that we saw him smile. It was half smile, half smirk. I interpreted it at the time as meaning: “I thought so; to believe that all the Jews would leave is too good to be true.” He sat down. There was no follow-up question.

Another Traxl story:

We celebrated our Matura at one of the tradition-laden coffeehouses in the city’s heart. We all dressed up for the occasion. There was a great deal of good-hearted banter, until word came that Professor Heinrich Montzka, our history teacher and director of the school, was arriving. With him came four more of our teachers. Several students spoke, including one named Adler, who said that: “We live in a time of disquieting unrest. I often wonder how much time we have left. Werther? Goethe? Very slow reading. Suggest something more timely, we may devour it.” Director Montzka was not a man of the quick comeback. There was a pause. From the end of the table a strong voice said: “I can suggest something more timely, Adler. But I’m afraid you won’t enjoy it.” We all turned our heads in the direction of the speaker. It was Traxlmayer. The sphynx had broken the silence of years. “The book’s title is Mein Kampf,” Traxl continued. “It should certainly keep all of you spellbound.” Montzka was beside himself. “Traxlmayer!” he shouted, “You can say that? You, whom I have taught history for eight solid years? A student of mine? You have fallen for this trap that a group of madmen has been tending to a whole nation? Gross-Deutschland? I am also in favor of a Great Germany. But what does Great Germany mean? One from Hammerfest to Sicily? Do you measure greatness in square kilometers? Goethe, Schiller, Lessing, Heine — they are Germany’s greatness! Nietzsche, Schopenhauer, Kant, no nation has produced greater minds than those. You have shamed me, Traxlmayer. You have spoiled this get-together. If we were in school I’d order you out of the classroom!” Traxlmayer listened with a smile. Then he got up and replied: “Professor Montzka, I believe in discipline, and accept your order even here, though you obviously have no authority in this coffeehouse. “I just would like to add two remarks: One, historians can only change the past. They can’t change the future. Two, I am not ungrateful for what you have taught me. But if you excuse me, my heart is not with those who teach history, but —” Traxlmayer paused deliberately. And then he finished: “— but with those who make history.” He walked out and left us all stunned. We dispersed in confusion.

A Revealing story:

Some time in 1931, the Pan-European Youth Movement organized an evening of discussions. The theme was: “Pan-Europe — Youth, Can You Help?” The meeting took place in Vienna’s Old Town Hall, and youth movements of all ideological shadings were invited to send one speaker each. I was a founding member of VZM, the Verband Zionistischer Mittelschüler (Association of Zionist Gymnasium Students). VZM was selected to nominate the Zionist speaker; VZM delegated me.

An excerpt:

“… Rapaport, who had spoken for a juvenile chess association, was visibly relieved. He stepped down to the rhythmic handclapping of the Nazis who shouted: “Moishe, go home! The matzoh soup is waiting!” Smolka announced the next speaker, a Mr. Epstein, who would speak for the Esperantists. As soon as he reached the rostrum, someone shouted: “Again a Jew!” The balcony shook with laughter. There are those who claim that there is no such a thing as a Jewish race, that it is the invention of Streicher, Rosenberg, and Goebbels, that there are at best several Jewish races. Whoever has seen a group of blond, blue-eyed sabra children in a kibbutz may tend to agree with this theory. Unfortunately, Epstein looked exactly like the stereotype of the Jew as depicted in Der Stürmer. He had heavy lips, a hooked nose, and kinky black hair. He started out in Esperanto, which provoked great hilarity in the balcony. One girl shouted: “Speak German, Jew! You’re not in Palestine!” Epstein tried to ignore the catcalls. He read from a prepared text in a steady, monotonous voice. It might have been difficult to understand him at best; but with the Nazi sound effects, it was hopeless.

Jews are catalysts. They stir things up anywhere. They certainly did in Vienna. The majority of the speakers turned out to be Jews; the spokesmen of the socialists, communists, Boy Scouts, the liberal dueling fraternities, the vegetarians, and even a group that advocated barefoot walking. ..the organizer, Smolka, ran out of Gentiles. The pacifist, the freethinker, and the spokesman for a writers’ club were Jews. At last, Smolka banged his gavel and announced: “And now, for the Zionist youth organizations of Austria, Mr. Benno Weiser.” This announcement brought the house down. The other speakers had been given the benefit of the doubt. There always was a moment of suspense: was he or wasn’t he? But there could be no doubt about the Zionist spokesman. The Nazis were laughing; this time good-naturedly, almost without malice. After all those crypto-Jews, they were now to listen to an obvious Jew. I slowly made my way to the speaker’s stand and made a supreme effort to look cheerful. I had had ample time to compose the opening sentence. I thrust my tongue against my front teeth and wetted my mouth. And then I said loudly and distinctly: “Mr. Chairman, ladies and gentlemen, and you too, up in the balcony!” There were a few laughs, but this time from the front rows. The Nazis were quiet, perhaps surprised. I was the first speaker to acknowledge their presence. “My first words go to you,” I continued, “up there, having such a wonderful time. You’re right: I am, of course, also a Jew. But there is one thing that distinguishes me from the other Jews you have heard, or shouted down, this evening. I come to you not as a liberal, nor as a socialist, a Mason, Rotarian, vegetarian, or barefooter — but as a Jew, one who is proud of being one, who doesn’t pretend to be anything else and who couldn’t care less about not being an Aryan.” Life sprang into the audience filling the lower part of the hall. Some got up, some applauded furiously, some shouted, “Bravo, bravo!” They had come to applaud their fellow Pan-Europeans, liberals, socialists, and so on. They had been sitting there the whole evening, frustrated, unhappy, listening to the abuse and to their speakers who had tried to ignore it.

I waited until the noise had ended and continued: “I had prepared a little speech on Pan-Europe. But you will agree with me — all of you will agree with me — that this is not the place for it. Our friends up there would be bored to tears if I were to speak about Pan-Europe. They are only interested in Jews. And this being the case, I trust they will excuse me if I address myself to the Jews in this hall.”

It was amazing how quiet the audience was. The Nazis actually let me speak! I had managed to make them curious. “The problem of Pan-Europe will have to be decided by economists, statesmen, politicians. It’s not a problem for a young Jew in Austria. But there does exist — and this evening proves it once more — a Jewish problem in Austria. I must confess that I, too, was a bit astonished about this tremendous array of young Jews who seem to worry about everything, from Rotarianism to health food, from prevention of alcoholism to the prevention of corns on their toes, as if they had nothing else to worry about! “I have the highest respect for ideologists who dedicate themselves to causes. But I invite you all, and this includes the distinguished chairman of this meeting, to search in your souls whether all these worthy causes you embrace are not vehicles of escape from the inescapable fact that you are Jews!

Final story:

After the aborted meeting (a different one, not the one above), the Nazis grouped on the street and marched off in formation, shouting their well-known slogan, “Deutschland erwache, Juda verrecke!” (Awake, Germany, perish the Jews!) The translation does not transmit the phonetic brutality of that war cry. Verrecken means literally to croak. But the vulgarity of its sound is charged with more violence than any English equivalent. I was among the few people who boarded a three-car trolley in the direction of the city center. Most of the non-Nazis were still lingering inside the hall, excitedly discussing the sabotaged meeting and giving vent to their anger. The trolley consisted of two regular cars and one with open front and rear platforms. After a few hundred meters the trolley overtook the column of the marching Nazis. Standing on the open front platform of the last car, I estimated their number at two hundred. Just as the trolley passed them, they shouted again, “Deutschland erwache, Juda verrecke!” Whereupon a loud voice answered: “Hitler in Oarsch!” To my dismay, the voice was mine. Neither the shout, nor the choice of words, was premeditated. It was a reflex reaction to the scandalous slogan heard from so close. The shout meant: “Hitler into the asshole,” the German word Arsch pronounced in Viennese dialect that intensified the vulgarity. A roar came from the marching column. And suddenly four hundred feet started to run after the trolley. Whatever went on in my mind when I shouted the obscenity, I suppose that I must have relied on the speed of the trolley, because I certainly had no suicidal streak in me. Only when I saw the whole column running did I become aware of the tremendous stupidity of what I had done. I had lost my mind. But now that I saw the danger, it functioned again. I had to prevent by all means any of those running Nazis from jumping onto the moving trolley. There were three of them who outdistanced the pack and were closing in on the rear platform. I rushed through the interior of the trolley car, noticing in the few seconds the frightened faces of the handful of passengers, and posted myself on the rear platform, raising one leg to kick anybody who tried to jump onto the three steps. The combination of speed and the threat of a kick made the sprinters fall back. I thought I was saved, when a triumphant shout came from the column, now some two hundred meters behind. I had not noticed, but they had: the trolley had started to slow down. We were approaching a stop.

I knew that if they caught me, they would beat me into a pulp. I raced through the trolley car towards the front platform, climbed over its railing on the side which I hoped was out of sight, jumped off, fell, got up, ran forward under the cover of the two first trolley cars, tore my flaming red necktie off and threw it away — it was my most conspicuous give-away — and reached the front of the trolley, jogging along until it came to a halt. As I wanted to walk around the front of the car to board it from the other side, I was intercepted by a uniformed man who handed me a jacket. Only after I put it on did I realize it was that of a fare collector. Noises came from the back of the train. The conductor clanked the signal and drove on. He motioned me to stand next to him. As the trolley gained speed, he whispered: “What you did was not very smart, it could have cost you your life.” But there was no reproach in his voice. He was a Strassenbahner, a trolley conductor, unionized by Vienna’s “red” municipality, a “Sotzie,” a Social Democrat. He certainly did not like the Nazis any more than I did. I never found out what happened in the rear of the train. I expected the Nazis to search the front car, too. But they didn’t. There were no passages between the cars. They would not have recognized me anyway. I had shouted a fraction of a second after the trolley had passed the column. It was dark. I had disposed of my tie and wore a collector’s uniform. I thanked the conductor and changed trolleys. As I walked the few blocks to my parental home, I could not suppress a surge of triumph.


Weiser Varon, Benno. Professions of a Lucky Jew . Plunkett Lake Press. Kindle Edition.

The cause of a Jewish army that failed.

While the holocaust was going on in Europe, a Jewish screenwriter in the U.S. named Ben Hecht was persuaded to join the cause of having a separate Jewish army to fight alongside the allies. The British, who were governing Palestine, saw the army as a possible threat that would turn against them when the war was won. Hecht tried to persuade Hollywood producers to give money to the cause, but the general reaction was “If Jews wanted to fight, they could fight as Americans or Englishmen.”

Finally Hecht tried David Selznick, who had produced “Gone With The Wind”, which had been a very successful movie. Selznick argued against the idea, saying:

“I don’t want anything to do with your cause, for the simple reason that it’s a Jewish political cause…I’m an American and not a Jew.”

Hecht asked: “If I can prove you are a Jew, David, will you sign the telegram [for a rally for a Jewish army] as cosponsor with me?”

“How are you going to prove it?” he asked.

“I’ll call up any three people you name,” said Hecht, “and ask them the following question–What would you call David O. Selznick, an American or a Jew? If any of the three answers that he’d call you an American, you win. Otherwise, you sign the telegram.”

David agreed to the test and picked out three names.

Hecht called them with David eavesdropping on the extension.

Martin Quigley, publisher of the Motion Picture Exhibitors’ Herald answered the question promptly. “I’d say David Selznick was a Jew,” he said.

Nunnaly Johnson hemmed a few moments but finally offered the same reply. Leland Hayward answered, “For God’s sake, what’s the matter with David? He’s a Jew and he knows it.”

David Selznick added his name to the telegram, and his name carried such weight that other acceptances poured in.

The rally took place on a spring night in 1941. One of the speakers was John Henry Patterson, a Colonel in the British army who had commanded the Jewish Legion of World War I. He got a standing ovation to begin with, but when he cited various instances of British anti-Semitism in Palestine, and added that the British had no intention of honoring their pledge to make Palestine a Jewish homeland, he greatly disturbed the members of his audience, Jewish or not. After all, they thought, wasn’t Britain at that moment undergoing its finest hour holding off the power of Nazi Germany? Suddenly there were boos. Samuel Goldwyn rose and told Patterson to “sit down!”

Despite the stunned response, there were more speakers and money was promised, though in the end, only nine thousand dollars actually came through.

Truth was, that Britain was keeping Jews out of Palestine, and lives could have been saved if they had not. For instance, in 1939, the British made it known that after the admission of 75,000 Jews during the next five years, the gates of Palestine would be closed to Jews for good. The British used their army, navy and air force against Jewish refugees, and the first person killed by a British bullet in World War II was Hans Schneider, a Jewish refugee on a refugee ship!

Churchill did support the creation of a Jewish army, but it didn’t come into being until the end of the war partly due to British bureaucratic resistance, and partly for other reasons ( the story is told in the N.Y. Post here: )


The Rest of Us: by Stephen Birmingham published 1984

The Four Front War by William Perl (1978)