Once upon a time an American faculty member of an American university went to Russia on business. He was expert in a very important department of applied science and a keen observer. He entered Russia with the average American’s feeling about the treatment which the government of that people accorded the Jew. He lived there three years, came home for a year, and went back again for a similar period, and upon his second return to America he thought it was time to give the American public accurate information about the Jewish Question in Russia. He prepared a most careful article and sent it to the editor of a magazine of the first class in the Eastern United States. The editor sent for him, spent most of two days with him, and was deeply impressed with all he learned—but he said he could not print the article. The same interest and examination occurred with several other magazine editors of the first rank.
It was not because the professor could not write—these editors gladly bought anything he would write on other subjects. But it was impossible for him to get his article on the Jews accepted or printed in New York.
The Jewish Question, however, has at last broken into a New York magazine. Rather it is a fragment of a shell hurled from the Jewish camp at the Jewish Question to demolish, if possible, the Question and thus make good the assertion that there is no such thing.
Incidentally it is the only kind of article on the Jewish Question that the big magazines, whose mazes of financial controllers make most interesting rummaging, would care to print.
Yet, the general public may learn much about the Question even from the type of article whose purpose is to prove that the Question doesn’t exist.
Mr. William Hard, in the Metropolitan for June, has done as well as could be expected, considering the use he was supposed to make of such material as he had at hand. And doubtless the telegraph and letter brigades, which keep watch over all printed references to the Jews, have duly congratulated the good editors of the Metropolitan for their assistance in soothing the public to further sleep.
It is to be hoped, for the sake of the Question, that Mr. Hard’s effort will have a wide reading, for there is very much to be learned from it—much more than it was anybody’s intention should be learned from it.
It may be learned, first, that the Jewish Question exists. Mr. Hard says it is discussed in the drawing-rooms of London and Paris. Whether the mention of drawing-rooms was a writer’s device to intimate that the matter was unimportant and frivolous, or merely represented the extent of Mr. Hard’s contact with the Question is not clear. He adds, however, that a document relating to the Question has “travelled a good bit in certain official circles in Washington.” He also mentions a cable dispatch to the New York World, concerning the same Question, which that paper published. His article was probably published too early to note the review which the London Times made of the first document referred to. But he has told the reader who is looking for the objective facts in the article that there is a Jewish Question, and that it does not exist among the riff-raff either but principally in those circles where the evidence of Jewish power and control is most abundant. Moreover, the Question is being discussed. Mr. Hard tells us that much. If he does not go further and tell us that it is being discussed with great seriousness in high places and among men of national and international importance, it is probably because of one of two things, either he does not know, or he does not consider it consonant with the purpose of the article to tell.
However, Mr. Hard has already made it clear that there is a Jewish Question, that it is being discussed, that it is being discussed by people who are best situated to observe the matter they are talking about.
The reading of Mr. Hard’s article makes it clear also that the Question always comes to the fore on the note of conspiracy. Of course, Mr. Hard says he does not believe in conspiracies which involve a large number of people, and it is with the utmost ease that his avowal of unbelief is accepted, for there is nothing more ridiculous to the Gentile mind than a mass conspiracy, because there is nothing more impossible to the Gentile himself. Mr. Hard, we take it, is of non-Jewish extraction, and he knows how impossible it would be to band Gentiles together in any considerable number for any length of time in even the noblest conspiracy. Gentiles are not built for it. Their conspiracy, whatever it might be, would fall like a rope of sand. Gentiles have not the basis either in blood or interest that the Jews have to stand together. The Gentile does not naturally suspect conspiracy; he will indeed hardly bring himself to the verge of believing it without the fullest proof.
It is therefore quite easy to understand Mr. Hard’s difficulty with conspiracy; the point is that to write his article at all, he is forced to recognize at almost every step that whenever the Jewish Question is discussed, the idea of conspiracy occupies a large part in it. As a matter of fact, it is the central idea in Mr. Hard’s article, and it completely monopolizes the heading—“Great Jewish Conspiracy.”
The search for basic facts in Mr. Hard’s article will disclose the additional information that there are certain documents in existence which purport to contain the details of the conspiracy, or—to drop a word that is unpleasant and may be misleading and which has not been used in this series—the tendency of Jewish power to achieve complete control. That is about all that the reader learns from Mr. Hard about the documents, except that he describes one as “strange and horrible.” Here is indeed a regrettable gap in the story, for it is to discredit a certain document that Mr. Hard writes, and yet he tells next to nothing about it. Discreditable documents usually discredit themselves. But this document is not permitted to do that. The reader of the article is left to take Mr. Hard’s word for it. The serious student or critic will feel, of course, that the documents themselves would have formed a better basis for an intelligent judgement. But laying that matter aside, Mr. Hard has made public the fact that there are documents.
And then Mr. Hard does another thing, as well as he can with the materials at hand, the purpose of the article being what it was, and that is to show how little the Jews have to do with the control of affairs by showing who are the Jews that do control certain selected groups of affairs. The names are all brought forward by Mr. Hard and he alone is responsible for them, our purpose in referring to them being merely to show what can be learned from him.
Mr. Hard leans heavily on Russian affairs. Sometimes it would almost seem as if the Jewish Question were conceived as the Soviet Question, which it is not, as Mr. Hard very well knows, and although the two have their plain connections, it is nothing less than well-defined propaganda to set up Bolshevist fiction and knock it down by Jewish fact for the purpose of the latter. However, what Mr. Hard offers as fact is very instructive, quite apart from the conclusion which he draws from it.
Now, take his Russian line-up first. He says that in the cabinet of Soviet Russia there is only one Jew. But he is Trotsky. There are others in the government, of course, but Mr. Hard is speaking about the cabinet now. He is not speaking about the commissars, who are the real rulers of Russia, nor about the executive troops, who are the real strength of the Trotsky-Lenin régime. No, just the cabinet. Of course, there was only one Jew prominent in Hungary, too, but he was Bela Kun. Mr. Hard does not ask us to believe, however, that it is simply because of Trotsky and Kun that all Europe believes that Bolshevism has a strong Jewish element. Else the stupid credibility of the Gentiles would be more impossible of conception than the idea of a Jewish conspiracy is to Mr. Hard’s mind. Why should it be easier to believe that Gentiles are dunces than that Jews are clever?
However, it is not too much to say that Trotsky is way up at the top, sharing the utmost summit of Bolshevism with Lenin, and Trotsky is a Jew—nobody ever denied that, not even Mr. Braunstein himself (the latter being Trotsky’s St. Louis, U.S.A., name).
But then, says Mr. Hard, the Mensheviks are led by Jews, too! That is a fact worth putting down beside the others. Trotsky at the head of the Bolsheviks; at the head of the Mensheviks during their opposition of the Bolsheviks were Leiber, Martov and Dan—“all Jews,” says Mr. Hard.
There is, however, a middle party between these extremes, the Cadets, which, Mr. Hard says, are or were the strongest bourgeois political party in Russia. “They now have their headquarters in Paris. Their chairman is Vinaver—a Jew.”
There are the facts as stated by Mr. Hard. He says that Jews, whose names he gives, head the three great divisions of political opinion in Russia.
And then he cries, look how the Jews are divided! How can there be conspiracy among people who thus fight themselves?
But another, looking at the same situation may say, look how the Jews control every phase of political opinion in Russia! Doesn’t there seem to be some ground for the feeling that they are desirous of ruling everywhere?
The facts are there. What significance does it bring to the average mind that the three great parties of Russia are led by Jews?
But that does not exhaust the information which the matter-of-fact reader may find in Mr. Hard’s article. He turns to the United States and makes several interesting statements.
“There is Otto Kahn,” he says. Well, sometimes Otto Kahn is there, and sometimes he is in Paris on important international matters, and sometimes he is in London advocating certain alliances between British and American capital which have to do in a large way with European political conditions. Mr. Kahn is rated as a conservative, and that may mean anything. A man is conservative or not according to the angle from which he is viewed. The most conservative men in America are really the most radical; their motives and methods go to the very roots of certain matters; they are radicals in their own field. The men who controlled the last Republican Convention—if not the last, the most recent—are styled conservatives by those whose vision is circumscribed by certain limited economic interests; but they are the most radical of radicals, they have passed the red stage and are white with it. If it were known what is in the back of Mr. Kahn’s mind, if he should display a chart of what he is doing and aiming to do, the term which would then most aptly describe him might be quite different. Anyway, we have it from Mr. Hard, “There is Mr. Kahn.”
“On the other hand,” says Mr. Hard, “there is Rose Pastor Stokes.” He adds the name of Morris Hillquit. They are, in Mr. Hard’s classification, radicals. And to offset these names he adds the names of two Gentiles, Eugene V. Debs and Bill Haywood and intimates that they are much more powerful leaders than the first two. Students of modern influences, of which Mr. Hard has long appeared as one, do not think so. Neither Debs nor Haywood ever generated in all their lives a fraction of the intellectual power which Mrs. Stokes and Mr. Hillquit have generated. Both Debs and Haywood live by the others. To every informed person, as to Mr. Hard in this article, come the Jewish names to mind when the social tendencies of the United States are passed under reflection.
This is most instructive indeed, that in naming the leaders of so-called conservatism and radicalism, Mr. Hard is driven to use Jewish names. On his showing the reader is entitled to say that Jews lead both divisions here in the United States.
But Mr. Hard is not through. “The man who does more than any other man—the man who does more than any regiment of other men—to keep American labor anti-radical is a Jew—Samuel Gompers.” That is a fact which the reader will place in his list—American labor is led by a Jew.
Well, then, “the strongest anti-Gompers trade union in the country—The Amalgamated Clothing Workers—and very strong indeed, and very large—is led by a Jew—Sidney Hillman.”
It is the Russian situation over again. Both ends of the movements, and the movement which operate within the movement, are under the leadership of Jews. This, whatever the construction put upon it, is a fact which Mr. Hard is compelled by the very nature of his task to acknowledge.
And the middle movement, “the Liberal Middle” as Mr. Hard calls it, which catches all between, produces in this article the names of Mr. Justice Brandeis, Judge Mack and Felix Frankfurter, gentlemen whose activities since Armistice Day would make a very interesting story.
For good measure, Mr. Hard produces two other names, “Baron Gunzberg—a Jew” who is “a faithful official” of the Russian Embassy of Ambassador Bakhmetev, a repesentative of the modified old regime, while the Russian Information Bureau, whose literary output appears in many of our newspapers is conducted by another Jew, so Mr. Hard calls him, whose name is familiar to newspaper readers, Mr. A. J. Sack.
It is not a complete list by any means, but it is quite impressive. It seems to reflect importance on the documents which Mr. Hard endeavors to minimize to a position of ridiculous unimportance. And it leads to the thought that perhaps the documents are scrutinized as carefully as they are because the readers of them have observed not only the facts which Mr. Hard admits but other and more astonishing ones, and have discovered that the documents confirm and explain the observations. Other readers who have not had the privilege of learning all that the documents contain are entitled to have satisfaction given to the interest thus aroused.
The documents did not create the Jewish Question. If there were nothing but the documents, Mr. Hard would not have written nor would the Metropolitan Magazine have printed the article here discussed.
What Mr. Hard has done is to bring confirmation in a most unexpected place that the Question exists and is pressing for discussion. Someone felt the pressure when “The Great Jewish Conspiracy” was ordered and written.