Only Yesterday . . . Jews in the Limelight
By LEONARD.iN. SIMONS
emancipated, became a power to
Who were the Jews that were the
huge displeasure of a great
making history about 84 years ago',
many persons. . . . The Jews
The answer may be deduced from were
getting too prominent in
an article in the American Hebrew, public
life, . . .• The Mayor of
in 1884. Written by a Gentili% Anna
Berlin was a Jew, so was 'the
L. Dawes of England. it was em
President of the German Parlia-
titled "The Modern Jew: 'llis Pres-
?new. two-thirds of all the Taw-
not and Future.'
yers, all the leading shopkeepers
The author identified the names
and financiers of Berlin were
of 40 Jewish men and women
prominent in their - respective
fields. These it the Jews whose
name and fame GENTILES knew
well. Evidently, most of them were
so famous that Miss Dawes didn't
think it necessary to mention sonic
first names. Some had been dead
for a great many years: Spinoza
(1677) and Moses Mendelssohn
(1786). They probably were in- •
eluded because their hooks were
still "bestsellers" in 1884. Intro-
ducing her list, Miss Dawes wrote:
"The Jews, in their modern era,
have brought forth the leaders of
every art in every land." In the
various categories mentioned were
Sch o la r s:
ENT.-1 t • Er,
FRANZ DELITZSCH, EWALD, HERZ-
FELD, NEAN 0E11.
Masters of Language: O1'PERT, BEN-
NAYS, BENFR EY.
Brilliant Jewesses: NINA MORAIS,
RAHEL VON ENSE, HENRIETTA IIERZ,
Political Economy: RICARDO.
Philosophers: MOSES MENDELSSOHN,
Actors: SARAH BERNHARDT, BRA-
Authors: AUERBACH, HEINE.
Musical Geniuses: JO!AC111,11, RUBIN-
STEIN, OFFENBACH, MEYERBEER,
Famous "Children": ROTHSCH1LDS,
SIR GEORGE JESSEL, JUDAH BENJA-
Miss Dawes noted:
"In statescraft the Jew
done most of all—The leader of
the Liberal Party in Germany
was a Jew, the leader of the Re-
publican Party in France was , a
Jew, the Prime Minister of Eng-
land was a Jew!
"And over against the names of
JULES SIMON. FOULD, CRE-
MIEUX, GAMBETTA. LASKER,
DISRAELI, are the no less dis-.
anguished but erratic leaders of
Jews. . . . They form an insigni.
ficant minority in Germany and
yet they preponderate in the
municipal councils of the largest
cities ill Prussia. They have
taken possession of journalism.
The - place they occupy in the
universities, at the bar, in all
the liberal professions is entirely
disproportzone to their num-
In 1884, Miss Dawes wrote:
There are now 7 million Jews
in the 11' 0 rld-60,000 each in
Great - Britain, Holland,
France-500,000 in Germany-
250,000 in America (25'I in
New York City—Jews of N.Y.C.
support 138 congregations)-
2.50,000 in Turkey-5,000,000 in
Russia and Poland.
To me, these statistics are most
impressive. There is some grim
THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS
Friday, September 19, 1969-11
satisfaction in the knowledge that
while in 1884 there were only
sewn million Jews in the world—
today it is double this number.
And this after the holocaust and
the annihilation of at least t six
million Jews by the Nazis.
Thy seed shall be. multiplied .
like the sand on the shores of
socialism—KARL MARX. FERDI-
NAND LASALLE, JOHANN JA-
"I have by no means exhaust-
ed the list and I have not men-
tioned one of many great names
whose public is confined to their
own people and of ti-hose just
fame the Gentile is deplorably
Were these the Jews best known
among Gentiles in 1884? And is
fame so fleeting that most of the
names were unknown to me and
to a select group of knowledgeable
Jews to whom the list was sub-
mitted? Most of us could not iden-
tify more than about a dozen of
the 40 names.
I tlitn decided to do research
on the unfamiliar names. About
a half dozen could not be found in
any ,Jewish encyclopedia. new or
old. Over half of the men and
women were no longer living at
the time the article was written.
There were at least 3 who were
not of Jewish descent (Delitzsch.
Ewald, Gambetta), and almost halt
of all those listed had abandoned
the Jewish faith by conversion to
Christianity,` and one—Spinoza-
had been excommunicated.
This not only goes to prove that
this .is a sloppily prepared article
but also that, in the eyes of the
Gentiles, Jews born of one or both
Jewish parents continued to be re-
garded as Jews for the rest of their
lives and thereafter in memory,
regardless of having been baptized.
Alnong those listed who were
undeniably Jewish, there were
some truly great men and women
who made outstanding contribu-
tions. Yet some of them are com-
pletely unknown or only faintly
familiar to our generation.
"Thus glory and fame pass
away . . ."
Anna Dawes also gave an omi-
nous report with statistics on some
Of the factors that contributed to
the future events in Germany:
There was a growing move-
ment of Anti-Semitism which be-
gan nearly a dozen years ago .. •
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