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April 05, 1963 - Image 13

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1963-04-05

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Goethe's Anti-Semitism, Jewish
Attitudes Told in WSU Volumes

Wayne State University Press
has just produced one of its
most impressive works, in a
monumental two-volume edition
of more than 1,500 pages, beau-
tifully bound and in an attrac-
tive text. Entitled "Goethe—A
Psychoanalytic Stud y, 1775-
1786," this scholarly study is
concerned with a decade of sig-
nificance in the life of Goethe,
with his attempt at psychother-
apy, his proto-psychoanalytic ap-
proaches, his search_ for solu-
tion of problems that confront-
ed him.
The author, Dr. K. R. Eissler,
had befriended Prof. John M.
Dorsey in Vienna, and the latter
brought him together with Dr.
Harold Basilius, d i r e c t or of
Wayne State University Press,
with the result that WSU un-
dertook to publish this exten-
sive study. Seymour A. Copstein
assisted the author in checking
the manuscript before the book
went to press.
Dr. Eissler confirms that
Goethe was influenced by anti-
Semitic feelings, and he states
that the noted German author's
anti - Semitism "at times was
quite strong."
It is pointed out by the au.
thor: "I wish to stress that I
only hypothetically suggest that
Goethe's father may have been
circumcized. If this was actually
the case, it would contribute a
great deal to the understanding
of some aspects of Goethe's
psychology, such as the surpris-
ing ease with which he convert-
ed castration fear into feelings
of victory." This may also ex-
plain Goethe's anti-Semitic feel-
ings, the author states.
* * *
Considerable attention is
given by Dr. Eissler to an inci-
dent in Goethe's life "when a
fire broke out in the Jewish
quarter and he organized the
people in their fight against the
flames, drenching his most ele-
gant garments and arousing
laughter among the bystand
ers . . " Dr. Eissler writes:
"Fully to examine the signifi-
cance of the story of the fire
in the Jewish quarter would re-
quire a broad discussion of
Goethe's attitude toward the
Jews . . . Suffice it to say that
his remarks about contemporary
Jews were not always friendly
and that apparently he was not
in favor of full emancipation
for them. His deep feeling about
the Biblical Jew, his desire to
make the Wandering Jew the
topic of epical- poetry, his ad-
miration for Spinoza, his infatu-
lation with the boy Mendels-
sohn, show his profound tie to
Judaic tradition and Judaic cul-
ture and his appreciation of
Jewish talent; yet all this did
not result in a liberal attitude
toward the Jewish question of
his times. His story about the
fire may be interpreted as an
indication of an identification
with the Jews. In it, he behaves
as if he were one of them and
he incurs ridicule, which was
also customarily directed against
the Jews in Frankfurt. Goethe
had already adumbrated this
identification with the degraded
(circumcised?) Jew when he
complained about the pirating
publishers. He tells us that the
first one to offend him in that
way offered him some Berlin
porcelain as a compensation.
`On this occasion,' Goethe con-
tinued, 'it was bound to occur
to me that the Berlin Jews when
they married were compelled to
buy a certain quantity of porce-
lain in order to assure the sales
of the Royal works.' Here
Goethe quite openly records
that he was made to feel like
a Jew when he had to bow help-
lessly to exploitation.
"Thus we have the following
elements in associative connec-
tion with Spinoza: to be exposed
to horror-arousing, supernatural
impulses (the inner genius), to
be exposed to uncontrolled ag-
gression (the pirating publish-

ers), to be exposed to ridicule
because of association with
degraded minority (the fire in
the Jewish quarter) . . . One
finds in association with Spin-
oza a melange of those situa-
tions that are in general un-
alterable, such as the sex to
which we belong, or our group
membership, or the inner force
of drives, passions and appe-
tites. Apparently Goethe had
learned from Spinoza to accept
without rebellion that part of
nature and society that is un-
Biblical similes and episodes
are recorded to illustrate Go-
ethe's views. The David and
Goliath theme and the implor-
ing by Moses to Protect the
Jews (Num. 21:9) are among
the quotations resorted to, as
well as a reference to Day of
Atonement practices.

Knesset Urges ActiOn
to. Absorb Immigrants
from South America

ment's economic committee
urged that the plans of the gov-
ernment and the Jewish Agency
to facilitate absorption of South
American immigrants be "swiftly
The committee recommended
that a central institution be set
up for the absorption of self-
employed newcomers and that
special attention be given to the
neds of such immigrant's bring-
ing small and medium amounts
of capital with them.
A total of 6,000 immigrants
from Latin America are, ex-
pected to arrive in Israel this
year, it was reported here by
the Latin American Immigrants
Association. A spokesman for
the Association noted that 300
have already arrived in the
country and an additional 600
were enroute.
N.Y. Drive Starts
Since the establishment of Is-
rael, a total of 12,000 Jews from
with $7,500,000
Latin America have immigrated
NEW YORK, (JTA)—Pledges to this country. The spokesman
of $7,500,000 to the 1963 United noted that 70 per cent of the
Jewish Appeal were announced immigrants from Latin American
at a dinner here of the United countries were under 35 years of
Jewish Appeal of Greater New age and most belong to the pro-
]fessional group. • Some 40 per
Gov. Nelson A. Rockefeller cent of the newcomers have thus
and Israel Ambassador Avra- 'far settled in kibbutzim.
ham Harman were the principal
guest speakers.
Want ads get quick results!

Career Officer Bernard Waterman r,
Is Promoted to Brigadier General *.3


Col. Bernard S. Waterman is shown getting star of briga-
dier general from Gen. John F. Ruggles, commandant of -Ft.
Riley, Kansas, and of First Infantry Division, as. Mrs. Water-
man looks on. General Waterman, who was a member of the
National Jewish Welfare Board's Rocky Mountain Zonal
Armed Services Council while serving at Fort Carson, Colo.,
has had a distinguished military career since he entered West
Point in 1931. A native of Boston, he commanded an artillery
battalion at Saipan, Tinian and Leyte and led the 419th Field
Artillery Group through the Okinawa campaign. After serving
with the Logistics Division of the General Staff of the U.S.
Army and the Industrial College of the Armed Forces, he had
assignments at Operations, Headquarters U.S. Army, Europe;
Logistics Management Center at Fort Lee, Va.; Korea , and
Fort Carson. Since February, 1962, he has been artillery corn.
mander of the 5th Infantry Division. His youngest son is in
the confirmation class conducted for children of military per-
sonnel by Chaplain Shelly Waldenberg, Jewish chaplain at Fort

••• • ** * - '

©1963 P Lorillard Co.

The Great Yiddish Journalist

When Abraham Cahan died in 1951 at the
age of ninety-one, it marked the end of an
era in the history of Jewish life in the United
States. Today, with Jewish immigration a
mere trickle, Cahan's stories about Jewish
life on the East Side of New York may be
read with antiquary relish. But at the turn
of the century, Cahan was a trail blazer in
interpreting Jewish life to America.
Cahan's two great passions were the
labor movement and literature. The former
made him a lifelong opponent of commu-
nism. It also caused him to devote himself
to the organization of the most underpriv-
ileged group among Jewish immigrants—
the sweatshop workers. The latter made
him the foremost Jewish journalist in the
United States. As editor of the Forward,
Cahan built it into the largest foreign lan-
guage newspaper in the country. To corn-

municate with the Jewish people, Cahan
used the Yiddish language. But he was a
skillful writer in English as well, selling
stories and articles to the Atlantic Monthly,
Scribner's, Harper's and other publica-
tions. Through his work America came to
know about the life of the Jewish immi-
grant. And through his journalism in the
Forward, the Jewish_ immigrant came to
know about American life.
Cahan wrote a "History of the United
States" in Yiddish to educate his Jewish
readers. And he wrote what is still perhaps
the best known novel of immigrant life on
the East Side, "The Rise of David Levin-
sky," in English to inform the American
public. As a. mediator between two cul-
tures,. Cahan infused the one with the
other, helping to create, in a manner of First with the Finest Cigarettes
speaking, a. Jewish-American culture.
through Lorillard research

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