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November 10, 1933     The Jewish Transcript
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November 10, 1933
 

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FAGE SIX THE JEWISH TRANSCRIPT, SEATTLE NOV. 10, 1933 Jacob Wassermann, noted German Jewish writer, who has tortured his soul with endless queries as to where he belongs, has finally written his credo. It will appear in the concluding chapter of the American edition of "My Life As German and Jew," which Coward McCann is bringing out next week. The book, brought up-to-date by the famous novelist, will arouse world-wide attention and The Transcript presents for the first time excerpts from Was- sermann's final chapter.--The Editor. ONE can den)- that justice-- not merely as an abstract idea, as the incarnation of deity, but as a moral command of supremely violent urgency -- con- stltutes the moral and legislative, political and religious {undament of Judaism. Can sixty generations de- lete this mark so deeply branded in the heart and soul of a people? I think not. And is it not logical to suppose that such a command, uttered in loary antiquity--such an idea, operating in the dawn of history--grew out of a long memory of suffering, a tortured path of suffering." More than the result of past suffering, it represented a spiritual bulwark against pre- sensed future agonies beyond which stood he who would deliver them from all wrong, the great equalizer who would bring them compensation: the Messiah. Let us survey the last twenty centuries of Jewish history. Or we could consider only ten, the last ten; that would be enough. It is a road of sorrow and tears unparalleled since human deeds and sufferings have been recorded. People forget this, erase it from their minds. How else could they continue to live? The individual wants no share in the misdeeds of his contemporaries, nor posterity in those of its ancestors. Whether a hundred or a thousand or thrice a hundred thousand men per- ished at the stake or at the hands of murderers instead of dying of old age in their beds may, possibly, make no difference, five centuries later, or even twenty years later. Some derive comfort from the con- sideration that mankind is beyond all cure and help. Yet every occur- rence is preserved in the group and tribal memory and constitutes the experiential nucleus of history and mythology. To this constant confronta- tion with the past, the Jews were more exposed than any other nation, for their entire spiritual life has always had its sphere in the region be- tween law and legend. Now let us visualize these centuries of accumulated criminal fury, ruthless massacre, spiritual and bodily ravishment, malic- ious slander, systematic blood- baiting mitigated by no scrup- les whatsoever, fanatical per- secution to the point of utter exhaustion of the victims, orgies of greed and cruelty under the cloak of religion and with the ulterior motive of removal of business com- petition. Truly, a dullard can live on with- out realizing that this Christian Europe represents a shambles drip- ping with human blood. Of expia- tion and reparation, however, there is not and never was any sign; the miserable alms granted in a brief period of humanization are too in- significant for consideration. The fathomless hatred has never ceased to smoulder; the Jew drew a deep breath when- ever it did not actually scorch him. The means of persecu- tion have become more re- fined. The charges no longer cite well-poisoning and the crucifixion of the Savior but go much farther: they under- mine life itself, human and civil rights as such, and, when they carry the matter to its logical conclusion, extend the anathema to the person of the Savior himself. :\\; sycophantic science serves to perpetuate the lies which even with- out it were ineradicable. They are brought forward in the exultation of military victor?'; they are brought forward when a war is lost. For some one must bear the guilt, and who can bear it better than the Jew? The transgressions of individuals are interpreted as indicating the de- I JACOB WASSERMANN Explains Some Thoughts About Judaism generation of the group: their an- archistic stand, which goes back to their exclusion from the law; their consanguinity and solidarity, which go back to the social barbed wire that bars them off; their preponderant commercial and mercantile interests, which go back to the centuries of prohibitions and special measures that permitted them to act only as money-lenders and as the bankers of princes; their intellectualism, whicl is the fruit of a thousand-year-old pressure, of their total spiritual iso- lation among the nations, their sole salvation having lain in meditating upon the meaninglessness of life while facing death; their conspicu- ousness, their industry and shrewd- ness and that radicalism, translated into action by their ancient fear and desperation, which runs the gamut from petty impudence and insubor- dination to the destruction of the existing order; their alleged physical cowardice, which, where it is not actual fear and trembling branded into their hearts by the experience of centuries, represents nothing more nor less than a libelous expression of the fact that the Jew shuns vio- lence; and, finally, their inability to become assimilated in a larger com- munity-as if an opportunity for this had ever been offered them sincerely, without intent to humiliate and with- out ignominious stipulations. (Even in Napoleon's negotiations with the! French Sanhedrin the reluctant Emancipation Edict was motivated only by greed for power and ill-con- cealed self-interest). No exception is admitted here. With every other people on the globe a few noble and outstanding individuals are taken as indicative of the merit and culture of the group; only in the case of the Jews are all judged by the basest. This would not let me rest even if I were no Jew; I am sure I would not be able to rid myself of the sting, the reproach, the call of conscience the feeling of a festering wound in the body of the nation. But fate has made me a Jew--that is, a man who will dedicate all his powers, his blood and his soul, his life and his future life, to the reaching of a state of balance; so that it is not surprising that the idea of justice hangs over me like an empyreal flame. One may not insist on one's owr exception from the rule. To do so would rouse the opposition of the "mothers"; and declaration of mem- bership in a community for which on{ is held accountable is a point of honor as long as no reparation has been made for the wrong done that group. Some men hold their own against the world by their spiritual power, others by their character, that is to say, by the wholeness of their being. The spirit as defined and under- stood in the nineteenth century has today been deposed from its throne. Now it can assert itself only as an agent for the development of in- dividual character, with the tacit assumption that the individual is a link in the chain, a responsible and sustaining part of a whole. Not that hearts are not stirred occasionally, or grown contrite and capable of trans- figuration. But the course of the world is not changed at all, nor the hatred, the false- hood, the misunderstanding, themadness and the injustice. When, twelve years ago, I pub- lished "Mein Weg als Deut- BOUCHARD-LARSON CO. 3400 STONE WAY Established 1915 DESIGNERS AND MAKERS OF Fine Furniture Complete Drapery Department Upholstering . . Refinishing Estimates Gladly Given "The Finer Tkings are always Handmade" MElrose 0750 DAY NIGHT or CA pitl 0222 We Offer... PROMPT DELIVERY STANDARD OIL PRODUCTS EFFICIENT REPAIR SERVICE "Centralized Responsibility" DIESEL OIL SALES COMPANY 115 Belmont N. - - - CA pital 0222 ALL ANY OF OUR NEIGHBORHOOD OFFICES FOP. SEP.VICE ..... OR I)OWMTOWN OFFICE.. ..,. 5000 PUGET SOUND POWER  LIGHT COMPANY scher und Jude," wherein I indicated--all too feebly, as I gladly avow--the deleterious effects of this universal his- toric disgrace on my own life. I received letters from every class of German society. Jacob Wassermann Women and glrls, ex-officers and teachers, professors and public of- ficials wrote that they had had no idea of all these things, that I had opened their eyes; and they gave their pledge--some, indeed, very solemnly--that in the future they would do their utmost to change the :ituation. Those were empty words. Everything has grown much worse. In New York, very often, when I walked through the streets of the Bronx, I saw such glaring masses of Jewish misery that the sight was hard to bear. This immense ghetto has a population of close to half a million, of whom about a thousand become well-to-do each year and perhaps a hundred achieve wealth. This minority provides the tinder for the furnace of anti- Semitism, where the millions are then consumed without further reason. The fire con- sumes them, whatever hap- pens. If not actually, then in effigy, which in the eyes of God does not improve matters in the least. At the time of the First Crusade a single monk succeeded in bringing about the massacring or suicide of sixteen thousand Jews in the Rienish provinces. Why can a single in- dividual do so much evil, while one man alone can accomplish almost no good? This is true in great things and in small alike. It destroys our courage'. Evil is much more active by nature: I this may be the reason; iudeed, the I most of what we call action stands II on the border-line between good and Ii evil. Perhaps that explains why thel wisdom of Buddha is so profound and I the Buddhist ideal the furthest re- I moved from action. But I am not a Hindu; I am a European, full to the brim with European destiny, moul- ded by the European spirit. What race and blood make of us is unfathomable, but the inner influence of climate, landscape, language and en- vironment is demonstrable and tangible. Someone might tell me to extricate myself from the vicious circle and to stand alone in the future, to declare myself an exception and thus to become excep- tional; then I might be able to free many others from the same compulsion to conflict-- for often only the formula is needed for a definite shaping of one's life, the necessary forces being there. Tiffs is easily said; but to do it constitutes one of the most difficult of all tasks. What, in the final analysis, does the European spirit mean to the men of Europe? A fiction grown untenable. Today one can hardly venture to think as a European; to write as a European is considered almost treason. Europe has given herself us. How can she sustain us? Not very long ago there was moment when I felt I would be able ,to shake off that mysterious attach- BRAINSTORMS ] (Continued from Page 2) vention held at Chicago when a resolution was adopted de- nouncing Hitler and his per- secution of the German Jews. Louis Kessler, son of "Pop" Kessler, house manager of the Talmud Torah, is the Legion's State Chaplain. The Legion's Ladies Auxiliary also will be represented. Mrs. Viola Silver, president of the Seattle Post Auxiliary and wife of Max A. Silver, former Seattle Post commander, will explain the functions of the Ladies Auxiliary. Stevedores In France Boycott Nazi Ships PARIS (WNS)--Dock workers at all French ports today refused to un- load ships that fly the swastika as a gesture of support for the outlawed German unionists and as part of their pledge to support the anti-German boycott. German ships lie in French harbors for several days before they can discharge their cargoes because the dockers insist that the swastika come down. MoWAITII AND GOLDBLATT 1419-20 Northern Ife Tower IN THE SUPERIOR COURT OF THE STATE OF WASHINGTON, FOR KING C'OUNTY IN PROBATE In the matter of the estate of Hanna Larsen, deceased. No. 57792 Notice to Creditors Notice is hereby given that the un- dersigned has been appointed and has qualified as administrator of the es- tate of Hanna Larsen, deceased; that all persons having claims against said deceased are hereby required to serve the same, duly verified, on said administrator or his attorneys of rec- ord at the address below stated, and file the same with the Clerk of said Court, together with proof o such service within six months after the date of first publication of this not- ice, or the same will be barred. Date of first publication October 27, 1933. SIGURD L. ZLARSEN, Administrator of said Estate 1419-20 Northern Life Tower MeWalter and Goldblatt, Attorneys for Estate, 1419-20 Northern Life Tower, Seattle, Wash. lO-27-3t-ll-lO-a3 HAIFA (WNS)--The great $20,- 000,000 Haifa Port, which will make Palestine the, commercial mecca of the Near East, was opened Tues- day. High Commissioner Wauehope was principal speaker at the open- ing ceremonies. ment which sometimes is more heed- ful of appeals {rom without than of the inner voice. Something in me resists any attempt to pin me down, to judge my work by the views it ex- presses; especially if the critics are my fellows, who frequently denman themselves in much more orthodox fashion than the enemy. I thought I would rise above all this into a reahn I had conquered for nay own, and for an instant reveled in the dream that I would thus set an example and a precedent, as would be natural in a rational and decent world. It proved ixnposslhle. Injustice welds one to those who suffer wrong, and the hatred that darkens the world makes an inner obligation of the external appeal. On one occasion I wrote: "I feel that there is something like jus- tice, perhaps as a binding force in the crystalline abso- lute, but never in human deeds which themselves be- come motive impulses. That crystalline element stands high above us; words can only grope for it awkwardly; if you would grasp it, it becomes error and falsehood; and if you would express it, you must grow as still as a lake on the plains that mirrors the heavens." Does not this say everytblng?-- (Copyright, 1933). WAFFLES BISCUITS COBBLERS TEA RINGS... taste especially good at this season of the year. Make all the different varieties the easy way with Fisher's Biscuit Mix. There are many reasons why your baking will always please you, one being the faet that Fisher's Biscuit Mix is made of the best ingredients we can buy--finer sugar, powdered milk, leavening agents, and vegetable shortening. Tune in Fisher Feature Radio Programs KOMO: "Four Shades of Rhythm" Mondays .... 9:15 P. M. "Musical Manikins" Wednesdays..9:30 P. M. "Fisher's Blend Half Hour" Saturdays...8:30 P. M. KJR: "Northern Lights" Fridays ..... 10:30 P. M.