by Charles Whitaker
"The destructive questioning of the highest human values by Jewry shows that Jews are already excluded from the ethnic-national life of other nations by virtue of their mode of thought, which flows precisely from their race, and that they should therefore be excluded from the other nations."
—Theodor Veiter, 1938
Last month, we looked at the Roman Pontiff's assertion, "Anti-Semitism is inadmissible. Spiritually, we are all Semites." His comment was rooted in the theology of universal inclusion: God's love is for all; His grace is toward all. Hence, mankind is not empowered to act in any way which excludes anyone from the benefits of His working.
The German government of the 1930s rejected inclusivity as a basis for its racial policies, opting instead for a policy of exclusivity. Theodor Veiter's comment, written in the same year Pius XI condemned anti-Semitism as "inadmissible," argues that some people, notably Jews, could legitimately be "excluded from the other nations."
Veiter—along with the other architects of Nazi racism—subscribed to the doctrine of exclusivity. "Blood and soil" was their jingoistic watchword; selective disenfranchisement based on race was their aim. "Blood and soil" refers to the Nazi teaching that certain people, by virtue of their blood affinity—that is, their racial ancestry—belonged to the soil of Germany, the Fatherland. They categorized all others as foreigners, as interlopers, gatecrashers, and trespassers on German soil. They did not "belong." If these foreigners were allowed to remain in the Fatherland, it was because of certain specific services they offered to it at the time. If they were perceived as inimical or hostile to the aims of the Fatherland, they were expelled or exterminated—the politically correct term today is "ethnic cleansing."
Exclusivity is the bedrock of this thinking: Some racial stocks are deemed worthy to be legitimately excluded from the polity of a larger, host culture. All means taken by the "rightful" owners of the land to the ends of keeping the soil and the blood pure are lawful. This is the ultimate—and appalling—conclusion of the Nazi-devised "law of ethnic groups" (Volksgruppenrecht) propounded by Veiter and other legal theorists in the 1930s. This doctrine explains the fate of the Gypsies and Jews in the late 1930s and early 1940s. The Nazis identified the values and culture of these folk to be decadent and by that virtue a danger to the German nation. They therefore were to be repressed. Later, "exclusion" came to mean the "final solution" of mass murder.
The "Law of Ethnic Groups" Today
The terminology has changed a bit, but the thought-pattern of modern-day Europeans remains the same. Most Americans are unaware of the fact that European integration over the past few decades has taken place through a process of regionalism, the development of a "Europe of the regions." The idea that integration can be brought about through the apparently divisive concept of regions seems contradictory. Nevertheless, regionalism remains the touchstone of European integration to this day.
Comparatively, Europe is a rather small place inhabited by many people; the population is dense. These peoples are linguistically and culturally diverse, and inhabit a number of very old nations. This presents a challenge to effective integration.
In answer to this challenge, the bureaucrats of the European Union (EU), along with a number of collaborators from non-government agencies (NGOs), have resurrected (with some modifications, of course) the German "law of ethnic groups" first set forth in the 1930s.1 It goes something like this:
First, the "law of ethnic groups" recognizes that Europe is made up of a number of old-fashioned—though nominally sovereign—states (such as Italy and Spain), each with its own legitimate national interest and culture. Inhabiting these states are members of a "majority" culture, more properly, a "majority" ethnic group. This "majority" would be the French in France, the Germans in Germany, the Italians in Italy, and so on.
Second, any of these old states (nations) may have residing in it any number of other peoples or "nationalities," sometimes termed "national minorities." Hence, Germany has in it Bavarians, Hessians, and so on. These "national minorities" enjoy the same legitimacy (or rights) as do the national "majorities" because they have lived in the land for a long, long time. (In other words, they have become part of the "soil," to use Nazi terminology.)
Third, this ethnic model is complicated by the geopolitical fact that some peoples span nations. That is, many nations have residing in them "branches" of the "majority" peoples of an adjacent nation, or of other nations. For example, in the nation of Poland, there resides a "branch" of the German people. Europeans view the people of these "branches" as citizens of the state in which they reside. For instance, the "branch" of German people living in Poland has Polish citizenship, not German citizenship.
What legitimizes these "minorities" and "branches" are their peoples' "ethnicity." That is, their members have something in common, namely, ancestry. Therefore, the Germans living in Poland are citizens of Poland, but are ethnic Germans because of their family connections—what the Nazis called "blood."
We can be more specific about the mechanism which legitimizes a "national majority," a "national minority," or a "branch." For any such group to be legitimate, it must pass the test of "autochthoneity." The people must be autochthonous to the land. In simple English, that means:
» They must have been living on the "soil" for a long time, such that most people identify that land with them. This is the logical juncture of blood and soil.
» They must be concentrated in the land to some extent, to saturate, as it were, the "soil" with their "blood."
If a people do not pass this test, the "law of ethnic groups" defines them as "allochthonous" rather than "autochthonous." To be an "allochthone" is to be a foreigner.
The "law of ethnic groups" seeks to provide legitimacy for all the "minority" and "branch" groups spread over Europe, for example, the Macedonians in Greece, the Greeks in Cyprus, the Croats in Serbia, and so on. A current example of this law in operation is the plan for the "unification" of Cyprus—to prepare it to join the EU. The plan is a model of this law in action. The stated goal is "reunification" of the island. However, the plan "would in fact guarantee a permanent spatial and institutional segregation of the island's residents within their respective ethnic 'communities.'"2 Greeks, as one ethnic "branch," would live in one area; Turks, as another "branch," in another.
When all is said and done, the effect of this legal doctrine will be to make national borders, which have defined the old nations of Europe for so many years, essentially irrelevant. In some cases, it appears that the aim is to redraw the borders of some states. This is all to say that the geopolitical fact of ethnicity has come, according to this legal theory, to supersede the territorial claims of sovereign states.
Already, the "law of ethnic groups" provides the legal foundation for the European Charter on Minority and Regional Languages as well as the Framework Convention on Minority Rights. Both legal structures, incidentally, were influenced by an NGO called the Federal Union of European Nationalities, whose principal organ, Europa Ethnica, was for years edited by, as one may have guessed, a "reformed" Nazi by the name of Theodor Veiter. He, a primary architect of the Nazi's "law of ethnic groups," was one of several supposedly transformed Nazis who have been pressed into service to rejuvenate the law, to make it fit modern Europe's circumstances.3 Although virtually unknown in the United States, Veiter has been very influential in Europe. An Internet search of his full name yields some 56 pages of links, mostly German websites.
Whither European Anti-Semitism?
Where does this "law of ethnic groups" leave European Jewry? Briefly, Jews (as well as Gypsies and Muslim minorities such as the Turks, Algerians, Pakistanis, etc.) do not pass the test of "autochthoneity." According to the definitions set forth by this law, the Jews fail to pass this test for three reasons:
1. European Jews are scattered, not concentrated enough in a particular territory to justify their being a "national minority" or a "branch." Incidentally, this judgment reflects the old Nazi myth of the "rootless, cosmopolitan" Jew.
2. Today's European Jews lack the population that would qualify them as autochthonous.
3. Finally, the Jews today have not lived long enough in "Old Europe" (Germany, France, Italy, Spain, as distinct from the Baltic states, etc.) to qualify them as a "legitimate" ethnic group. Many of the (estimated) 120,000 Jews currently living in Germany, for example, are relatively recent immigrants from nations of the now defunct Soviet Empire.4
Using these standards, European bureaucrats are increasingly willing to consign the Jews to the class of allochthons (foreigners). Shocking as it may be to Americans, some of whose sons and brothers and husbands died to liberate Europeans from the demonic clutches of racism, the morally bankrupt EU has "conspicuously excluded [these peoples] from the protections laid down by the European conventions on minority rights."5 The "enlightened" EU is developing the legal structure by which Jews (as well as the large numbers of Muslims immigrating to Europe from Pakistan, North Africa, Turkey, etc.) are treated as second-class citizens.
The Three Arteries of Anti-Semitism
Looking more broadly at anti-Semitism as practiced in Europe, we can identify at least three distinct arteries that nourish it.
As we have seen, the old, racial doctrine of exclusivity, albeit wearing new clothes, is ideologically as robust as it was in 1935. European elites have collectively come to see the Jew as a foreigner, not part of Europe's "blood and soil." This perception, if it is allowed to become ensconced into civil law, will leave Jews with few rights.
Anti-Zionism is on the rise among both liberal and conservative Europeans. Anti-Zionism is where anti-Americanism and anti-Semitism converge. It is chic to accuse the American power structure as kowtowing to an over-powerful, malignant (and, of course, mythical) "Jewish lobby" which promotes the interest of the "Zionist" State of Israel. European leaders increasingly demonize the State of Israel, especially in the context of its struggle with the Palestinians. Such characterizations are in fact anti-Semitism by another name.
Despite the incessant hair-splitting over the need to separate anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism, this has in recent decades become a distinction without a meaningful difference. Whatever theoretical contortions one may indulge in, the State of Israel is a Jewish state. Whoever wants to defame or destroy it, openly or through politics that entail nothing else but such destruction, is in effect practicing the Jew-hatred of yesteryear, whatever their self-proclaimed intentions.6
In spite of all the serpentine rationalizations of the enemies of Israel, anti-Zionist rhetoric remains at its core anti-Jewish rhetoric. No matter how it is couched, anti-Zionism is anti-Semitism.
The current rhetoric of anti-globalization, lacking as it does much real substance to back it up with fact, has become a search for scapegoats. What whipping boy can the self-styled pundits of anti-globalization find today on whom to blame the supposed economic inequities and cultural erosion resulting from the spread of globalization? The Jews, long perceived as sinister bogeymen lurking in the mists of international banking intrigue and currency arbitrage, make good candidates indeed! In Europe today, there is no paucity of conspiracy theories which lay the evils of globalization at the feet of a global cabal of internationalists, at the heart of which are secularist, atheistic Jews seeking world domination.
These three arteries feed the growing violence against Jews and their property in Europe. The fact that America's liberal press goes out of its way to under-report these incidents does not diminish their number or their intensity. The fact remains: There are more incidences of anti-Semitism in Germany today than in any other European nation. Because there are so few Jews living in Germany, most anti-Semitic acts are against property—memorials and graveyards. In France, the story is different, where people are often the targets.7 Would we expect anything less from "national majorities" who may feel economically threatened by American globalization and Middle Eastern instability? "Go back to your country! You're not in your land!" Such catcalls hurled at Jews are now commonplace and indicate a resurgence of anti-Semitism that is beyond its inchoate stage.
Haman and Stalin
Haman's criticism of the Jews of ancient Persia is astonishingly reminiscent of Hitler's denigration of the Jews of Europe. The Nazi stereotype saw them as "pestilent," "wandering," "different," and "rootless." Haman tarred them with the same brush. He tells his king:
There is a certain people scattered and dispersed among the people in all the provinces of your kingdom; their laws are different from all other people's, and they do not keep the king's laws. Therefore it is not fitting for the king to let them remain. If it pleases the king, let a decree be written that they be destroyed. . . . (Esther 3:8-9)
There is nothing new under the sun! Haman's view of the Jews and his "final solution" to the "Jewish problem" echoes the Nazis' approach of exclusion—and extermination.
God intervened, not only saving His people of that day, but visiting on Haman the end he had sought for the Jews. His plot "return[ed] on his own head" (Esther 9:25). He died instead of the Jews. Thereafter, the Jews of the Persian realm established Adar 14 and 15 as days that
should be remembered and kept throughout every generation, every family, every province, and every city, that these days of Purim should not fail to be observed among the Jews, and that the memory of them should not perish among their descendants. (Esther 9:28)
Purim was the occasion that God saved His people.
Well more than 2,500 years later, Joseph Stalin also set his jaws against the Jews. Before and during World War II, seeing no political advantage in climbing into the same bed as his archenemies, the Germans, he denounced anti-Semitism as akin to cannibalism.8 After the war, however, Stalin found a new archenemy, the capitalist West, led principally by America. As a result, he reversed his position on anti-Semitism. He found it strategically useful to adapt the bogus Protocols of the Elders of Zion,9 with its inane fantasies of a malignant, global conspiracy of capitalist Jews planning to take over the world. To deal with this grave new threat, new track had to be laid eastward, new gulags opened in the Russian Far East—the permafrost places of Gog and Magog.
Yes, Stalin knew how to deal with the Soviet Union's own "Jewish problem." The gulag!10 "Stalin was of course a secular utopian and materialist, . . . [and there is] no evidence that he ever had any moral scruples or hesitations about the Gulag."11 In spite of all anecdotal and statistical evidence to the contrary, he had convinced himself that the mass consignment of peoples to forced labor was an efficient means of ensuring high productivity.12 He lacked any doubts whatsoever that the wholesale deportation of problematic folk—along with their families—was an effective way of checking political troubles and of resolving social malaise.
In 1930, probably about 179,000 unfortunates were incarcerated in his system of concentration camps. By 1940, the number jumped by an order of magnitude to about two million in a vastly expanded complex of labor camps. By 1950, the number had swollen to about 2.5 million inmates.13 To Stalin, the more the merrier!
There were no bounds to his brutality. In the winter of 1944, he moved the totality of the Chechen nation, upwards to 400,000 people, to eastern Siberia. As many as 78,000 persons died in transit.14 In all, about 28.7 million individuals—men, women and children—were interned in the Gulags during the fifty years between 1930 and 1980. It is estimated that 2.7 million people died in these camps.15
Stalin, indeed, was well-experienced in implementing forced migrations on par with those we generally associate with the ancient Assyrians. According to his plan, hatched after his difficulties with Czechoslovakia in the early 1950s, Soviet Jews by the millions would ride the rails to Mirnyy, Yakutsk, and Magadan.
Healthy, still vigorous, the long-time Soviet dictator probably smelled success. After all, he had his personal strength and the vigor of the Soviet Empire—not to mention the experience of its bureaucracy—to back him up. He could not fail. God had other ideas: Stalin died unexpectedly in his sleep on March 5, 1953. He died on Purim.
The post-Stalinist Soviet government almost immediately drew down his plans to "exclude" the Jews. For a while, European Jewry was safe. Yet, again today, the storm gathers over Europe. What Winston Churchill described as the "long night of barbarism" is not far away, when unspeakable tribulation will fall on all Israel, worldwide. At that time, God will be just as capable of saving His people as He was in Haman's day, just as resourceful as He was in Stalin's.
Before the dawn of that "day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness" (Joel 2:2), God will have taught His people: "Whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved" (Joel 2:32). A remnant will call.
1 Rosenthal, John, "Anti-Semitism and Ethnicity in Europe," Policy Review, October/November 2003, p. 17.
2 Ibid., p. 36.
3 Ibid., p.38.
4 Ibid., p.28-29. Before the unification of East and West Germany, there were "somewhat less than 30,000 Jews in Germany." Interestingly, however, a poll conducted in the late 1990s indicated that "about a third of Germans surveyed imagined them to number in the millions."
5 Ibid., p. 37. Rosenthal cites a granular study of Europe's ethnic groups authored by Christoph Pan and Beate Pfeil (Die Volksgruppen in Europa: Ein Handbuch, Vienna: Branmüller, 2000). He concludes, "As a result of this sort of exercise, 'Jews' are set apart from the populations among which they live as being somehow significantly different and furthermore, to the extent that they are 'allochthonous,' as 'not belonging.'"
6 Wistrich, Robert, "The Old-New Anti-Semitism," The National Interest, Summer 2003, p. 65.
7 Ibid., p. 19-30.
8 Ibid., p.65.
10 Many think that gulag is the Russian word for prison. This is not so. GULAG is an acronym which stands for Glavnoe Upravlenie Lagerei, meaning "Main Administration of Camps."
11 Uzzell, Lawrence, "Remembering the Gulag," First Things, November 2003, p. 38. Mr. Uzzell is president of International Religious Freedom Watch and has specialized in religious freedom in Russia.
12 Ibid., p. 42.
13 Ibid., p. 40.
14 Ibid., p. 38.
15 Ibid., p. 40.