From a discussion I am in on Academia: If the 1920s European Jewish Community had listened to suggestions similar to mine then one hopes the Holocaust would not have happened.
I’m trying hard to think of what European Jews could have done in the 1920’s to stave off the wave of antisemitism that occurred 10-20 years later, the causes of which continue to mystify me to this very day.
It’s not wealth. Polish Jews were poor as dirt, and Jews in the USSR hadn’t much. On the other hand, in 1932, Jews had 1% of the population of Germany and 32% of the wealth. They may well have gotten most of that wealth fair and square and simply out-competed Gentiles as they tend to do, but there are not a whole lot of people who will put up with a tiny minority monopolizing that much income. But what were the German Jews to do? Give all their money away? Keep in mind that in addition to being grasping capitalists, Jews were also called Communist enemies of capitalism. German antisemitism wasn’t very coherent.
It wasn’t Zionism. Most European Jews rejected Zionism at that time.
Granted, Jews were prominent in the depravity of Weimar, but they were only 1% of the population. Weimar depravity involved a lot of the other 99% too.
It wasn’t Jewish (((standoffishness, general assholery, and being unfriendly to mean towards Gentiles))). The German Jews were the most assimilated Jews in history, and the above behavior tends to be associated with the Orthodox.
It wasn’t Communism. Jews were 3% of the USSR. It took a lot more than 3% to create the USSR and the Soviet Jews were so un-Jewish that they may as well have been Gentiles. Trotsky refused to identify as a Jew. There were a few Jews in the German Communist revolution, but it petered out pretty quick. Yes, the Hungarian Communist revolution was led by Jew Bela Kun, whose crimes are much exaggerated. Anyway, that didn’t last long either.
Also, there had been a short-lived Communist revolution in the south of Germany in 1920. Yes, it was led by some Jews, but they needed a lot of Gentile support to seize power. Well, they lost. And after that, the German middle class became very worried about Communism spreading to Germany, as the middle classes always worry about this, seeing that they stand to lose property, income, and prestige with the advent of Communism. Hence, Jews were scapegoated as Communists. Hitler’s war was explicitly against “Jewish Bolshevism.” They were one and the same and he was out to destroy both of them.
The Jews were scapegoated as having “stabbed Germany in the back in WW1.” It’s not true. As the war wore on, the German public, like the Russian one, got more and more tired of war and wanted to just end the war by any means. A lot of anti-war liberal types started writing columns and issuing statements. A few Jewish show biz types also called out to end the war. The Germans were losing anyway. And the antiwar crowd was overwhelmingly Gentile. However, some prominent Jews did stick out.
The truth is that Germany was defeated on the battlefield, not at home. War only hastened the inevitable. Instead of admitting they lost, many, including the war veterans in the reactionary Freikorps, blamed the antiwar crowd at home for “stabbing Germany in the back” and causing its defeat. It’s a bad argument like the similar rightwing argument against the Vietnam War protestors regarding the Vietnam War.
Instead of scapegoating the antiwar crowd, Jews were scapegoated. However, at this time Germany, the general population was wildly anti-Semitic. I remember Goering was the only Gentile at his university who would even converse with Jewish students. God knows why they were hated. But widely despised minorities make easy scapegoats whenever something bad happens. I hate to say the Jews were scapegoated because that is the typical Jewish (((“We Dindu Nuffin”))) line, but in that case, clearly the German Gentiles scapegoated the German Jews.