THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS -- Friday, July 14, 1 96 1
By PHILIP SLOMOVITZ
Rembrandt's Life Depicted in Gladys Schmitt's
Novel and Prof. Landsberger's Analysis of His
Deep Interest in Jews' and in Holy Scriptures
The Iraq-Kuwait Controversy: Who Are the Imperialists?
The Hebrew Union College I but it adds emphasis to Rem-
Rembrandt's genius, as one
of the. world's greatest artists, professor's interesting account brandt's concern in Jewish
gets renewed attention in two of Rembrandt and his interest matters.
Menasseh ben Israel is por-
excellent works — in a novel in Jews and the Bible con-
as "one of the Ashkena-
about his life by Gladys Schmitt,
"In the autumn of 1669 death zim." He is mentioned as op-
published by Random House,
and an historical analysis of overtook the painter himself, posing the making of graven
the artist's interest in Jews and mourned by only a few of his images. But Rembrandt is de-
the Bible by Prof. Franz Lands- contemporaries. Among his per- picted as insisting upon por-
berger of Hebrew Union Col- sonal possessions at the time traying the misery of down-
lege, re-issued by the Jewish of his death but one book is trodden Jews. He insisted upon
Publication Society of America: mentioned — the Bible. This painting Biblical objects and
Landsberger's "Rembrandt — Book had accompanied him characters, and Jews were
Jews and the Bible" first from the days of his childhood linked too closely to the Bible
was published 15 years ago. It until the very end. It had con- for him to ignore them.
SYRIA & 1
Miss Schmitt's "Rembrandt"
has been out of print since, but tinually stirred his imagination
R A N
a truly great novel. It de-
there has been such a great
demand for it that the JPS pictures, and he possessed the serves a place next to the best
has decided to issue another gift of bringing into visual form biographies. It also deals with
edition which now is available the fancies that it stimulated the history of Rembrandt's time.
improved, with in his mind. Never before or Its excellence is certain to
the many art reproductions ap- since Rembrandt wrought his for it a very high place among
pearing in vastly improved great work has there appeared the best sellers.
* * *
fashion because of the improved upon the stage of life an artist
E G Y
whose works provided sueh in-
paper used in this text.
spiring testimony to the con- Art ' by Namenyi
work of art. It includes 66 tent and power of the narra-
PIPE LINES ARABIA BAHRAIN
In 1957 there appeared, in
illustrations, amon g them tives of Holy Writ."
French, as part of the Bibliothe-
Rembrandt's paintings of Jew-
dence that the novel "Rem- que Juive series of the World
ish personalities as well as
brandt" by Gladys Schmitt Jewish Congress an interesting
Israel is a mere particle among the
of Biblical scenes.
should appear simultaneously book, "The Essence of Jewish
Arab countries. It is hardly noticeable among the vast areas of
Among those who appear as with the republication of Art," by Ernest Namenyi.
the Moslem lands.
having been befriended by
This important and well-illus-
The comparative position of • Israel in this rich Arab area Rembrandt is Ephraim Bonus, Prof. Landsberger's JPS
trated book of 92 pages is now
can best be understood by the following figures indicating the thd well known Jewish physi-
created a truly great literary available in an English transla-
areas and populations of the various countries:
cian and poet, and it is con- product. Her novel holds the tion by Edouart Roditi. It has
Per Sq. Mile
jectured that Rabbi Menasseh reader's attention from first been published by Thomas Yose-
ben Israel, who conferred with to last pages. It seems to loff (11 E. 36th, N. Y. 16).
3'7,500 1,636,000 (1959)
Cromwell for the - readmission follow very closely the fac-
The author's preface charges
4,000 1,550,000 (1958) 387
of Jews to England, was be- tual data about Rembrandt's that "those who, during the 19th
6'79,350 1,153,000 (1958)
friended by Rembrandt and sat life, it portrays his devotion century, concerned themselves
1'72,100 10,330,000 (1958)
to art, his love , affairs, his with the study of Judaism, delib-
8'70,000 6,036,000 (1957)
erately ignored the existence of
Landsberger's book is of spe- humanitarianisni.
967,500 11,390,000 (1959) 11.8
Jewish art." The author proceeds
cial value for its review of the
48,300 3,880,000 (1959)
history of the period, of the size the Jewish angle, but like to state:
"It had been admitted irre-
story of European Jewry in Dr. Landsberger she gives
Holland, the freedom they ac- credence to the Rembrandt- vocably that the creative genius
386,200 25,032,000 (1959) 65
quired there after the Spanish Menasseh ben Israel friendship. of the Jews limits itself to
72,230 4,421,000 (1959)
Inquisition and the persecu- She makes Dr. Bonus one of poetry and perhaps also to
60 . _
75,000 - 4,500,000 (1953)
tions in Portugal. .
the characters who played an music, but eschews the plastic
It is explained that Rem- important role in Rembrandt's arts. As the Bible had been
written without any illustra-
'74.0 (Aver.) brandt was not the first life.
tions, Israel _remained a na-
Christian artist to depict
synagogues and Biblical brandt having been shown the tion that has no images, so that
The United Nations Statistical Office is the source for this
themes. But there seemed to rare Hebrew Bible possessed it traditions were commonly
be a special devotion to Jew- by Pastor Sylvius and confirms opposed to those of Greek and
information. While statistical data is, as a rule, unavailable for
Libya, Saudi Arabia and Yemen, the above figures are con- ish themes by Rembrandt, Prof. Landsberger's contention. Roman civilization . . The dis-
who began to study Hebrew that scholars at that time in- covery of the existence of Jew-
sidered fairly accurate.
The map and the quoted figures point to the injustice of in his brief university career cluded Hebrew in their univer- ish art occurred scarcely 60
Arab attacks upon Israel. They disprove the charges of im- and who showed a special in- sity curricula. Rembrandt was years ago. David Kaufmann and
perialism which promptly bounce back upon the Arabs them- terest in the Bible and in_ told that the Pastor must have Julius von Schlosser were the
been taken with him if he first to reveal the treasures of
* * *
Prof. Landsberger states that showed him his favorite He- medieval Jewish art that are
preserved in European libra-
Rembrandt's "artistic output of brew Bible.
Judge Them by Their Form of Government
Miss Schmitt has several in- ries and museums. David Gunz-
Since we are studying the comparative positions of Israel Old Testament incidents" nu-
and her neighbors, let us take a look at their types of govern- merically represent the most teresting references to the good burg and W. W. Strassof subse-
ment. It is by the form of government that a nation can best important portion of the paint- attitudes towards Jews in Am- quently published in 190'7 re-
sterdam in Rembrandt's time. It productions of 10th century
be judged. Using as our sources the Political Handbook of the er's artistic output.
is emphasized in the friendship manuscripts discovered in the
World and the Statesman's Year-Book, we learn the following: 0,
No. of Cabinet
between the artist and Dr. Cairo Geniza."
The author then proceeds to
Independence Form of Government
no female suffrage
1931 • Republic (one-man control)
Rembrandt is quoted to in- tell about the archaeological
dicate his desire to work on findings by the late Prof. E. E.
no female suffrage
Sukenik. He deals at length
no elected gov't
with art findings in the Dura
men must qualify; no female suffrage
Republic (army control)
Art works in Passover Hag-
the Polish Jews who settled in
Holland, their adherence to gadahs, the Menorah as a symbol
male suffrage; women must qualify 29 (1945-58)**
Republic (one-man control)
no elected gov't dietary laws, the differences of Jewish art and art works in
that existed between the Polish synagogues of olden times are
Jews and the Sephardim. It is described by Namenyi to prove
*Polygamy is authorized in all Arab League countries. -
**In Iraq, Kassem's one-man control took over in • July, 1958; in Egypt, Nasser's one-man control took over in 1954 not a vital aspect in the story, his point.
Arab leaders, searching for an excuse for their antagonism
to Israel, have resorted to many fantastic charges, not least
among them being the claim that Israel is imperialistic, that
the Israelis are aiming at acquiring Arab territory, that the
Jews are dispossessing them.
While these accusations were being hurled, Arab countries
have constantly sought to rob each other of possessions. One of
the most blatant acts is the latest attempt by Iraq to acquire
It would do well for those who often fall prey to Arab
charges against Israel to study this map:
.k. __.. .
and in Syria in February, 1958.
These facts are self-explanatory. But there are other factors
that need to be taken into _consideration. In Arab lands today,
propagandists are applaudirig Adolph Eichmann who is being
given editorial encouragement in the Arab press. It is by no
means a surprising phenomenon, because the Nazis had the
former Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin el-Husseini, as a col-
laborator, and because, with the exception only of Jordan, Arabs
either supported the Germans in the last war or saw fit to de-
clare war upon Germany when it suited their purpose—when
the war was just about over. Here are the facts:
Declared War on Allies
Joined Allies in 1943.
Declared War on Germany 1939.
Joined Allies February 1945.
Italian Colony During War.
Joined Allies March 1945.
ARAB REPUBLIC Joined Allies February 1945.
Joined Allies February 1945.
Neutral During War.
43,000 Palestinian Jews served
with British forces 1939-1945.
(Israel established 1-948).
It is most deporable that it should even be necessary to
refer to these oppressive facts. In a peaceful atmosphere, all
peoples could benefit from mutual cooperation in the Middle
East. The illiteracy, poverty and disease that dominates in most
of the Arab countries could be eliminated. The status of the
Brazil Invokes Anti-Racist Law for Hate Peddler
RIO DE JANEIRO, (JTA)-- was announced by Prosecutor
A 20-year-old student held re- Sabastio Barreto.
The law was enacted two
sponsible for dissemination of
anti-Semitic leaflets, last Spring, years ago, after it had been in-
at the time the Adolf Eichmann troduced in Parliament by the
trial got under way in Jerusa- then Sen. Alfonso Arinos, now
lem, will be prosecuted under Brazilian Minister of Justice. It
a law calling for five years' im- forbids the dissemination of
prisonment upon conviction, it race-hatred materials, on pen-
Arabs could be improved, and Israel and her neighbors can and
should live peacefully, side by side, in a spirit of amity.
We wonder, however, whether the Arabs themselves are
aware of the facts just quoted. There is reason to believe that
if the people in the countries antagonistic to Israel were fully
informed about the basic truths in the existing situation, there
might be an end to the state of war. But it evidently suits the
purpose of their leaders to perpetuate the animosities, else they
might be,out of power. That is why peace in the area remains
The facts and figures quoted here should serve also to refute
the biased arguments of Prof. Arnold Toynbee, whose position is
tantamount to that of the anti-Semites. The learned historian would
do well to study the facts so that he may know how harmful he
has been to Israel by spreading his prejudiced views against the
alty of five years' imprisonment.
Last spring, police arrested
two Brazilian students who had
tossed anti-Semitic leaflets into
the garden adjoining the Jewish
Center at Sao Paulo. The stu-
dents said their action was "just
a prank," and told police the
leaflets had been given to them
by another student, Walter
Piepke, 20. The two students
were released with reprimands,
but Piepke was arrested.
In announcing that Piepke
will be proSecuted under the
two - year - old anti - racist law
Prosecutor Barreto said: "Piep-
ke is of German extraction. Had
he been of Brazilian extraction,
I would have believed him, as I
believed the two other students,
that he was engaged in 'a
prank.' But since he is a Ger-
man and used Brazilian stu-
dents to spread the leaflets, I
shall prosecute him."