I was interested from a religious point of view and also to discover correlations between then and now.
A lot of that exploration resulted in a series, the most relevant to this topic listed here:
- Part 3 - America's Scary New Direction: Jewish Nazis?!
- Part 8-America's Scary New Direction: Clean Green Nazis
- Part 9-America's Scary New Direction: Animal-Loving Jew-Haters
- Part 10-America's Scary New Direction: New-Age Nazis
But I also discovered an English translation of diaries written by a German-Austrian woman between the years 1914-1924 called Blockade: The Diary of an Austrian Middle-Class Woman 1914-1924.
These years followed Word War I, and in these years, the Germans & Austrians suffered deprivations. The Nazi party also rose up during this time, but is not mentioned in her these diaries (at least, not in the English translation).
And despite much ballyhoo about Jews needing to assimilate in order to be more acceptable to whatever society they live in, this diary shows the opposite.
It also indicates another unspoken practical problem with assimilation: Which particular part of society should you strive to emulate?
If you embrace the secular Left (as many unwitting secular American Jews do), then the masses of religious Right-wing start to hate you (as we are starting to see now).
Yet if you embrace the religious Right, the secular Left will start to hate you. (And we see this among secular Left-wing gentile politicians whose sympathy of brutal attacks on religious Jews are merely a veneer to disguise their obvious apathy and hatred.)
From a spiritual point of view, the importance of embracing Torah Judaism is clear.
But from a practical point of view, you might as well embrace your total Jewishness because you won't win any other way anyway.
You're always going to irk a large group of people no matter what you do, so you might as well embrace Torah.
The Record of an Oh-So Genteel Dysfunctional Family
Of course, she portrays herself and her family as oh-so genteel. They are so good and lovely, and innocent victims of everything happening around them.
In what appears to be hindsight, she prefaces her diaries with declarations of "humanity and love" toward all people and strong exhortations against war.
Yet she has a very dysfunctional older son named Karl who displays increasingly unstable and explosive behavior throughout the diaries, which culminates in him shooting his wheelchair-bound brother-in-law to death and also accidentally wounds his mother when he aims to shoot the fiancee of his blind brother (a girl who'd previously been Karl's fiancee).
Karl ends up in a psychiatric hospital for "incurable lunatics."
From the beginning of the diaries to the end, his mother blames Karl's poor behavior on a head injury he received while serving in the ambulance corps (he was a medical student) during World War I.
She also blames it on the influence of a specific group of people, but that accusation is more subtle. (And due to non-sequiturs within the diary, I think some parts were censored out by the translator, especially in light of the genocide that followed.)
Let's take a look.
Golly, Who Could Those People Be?
At that time, she and other Austrians were suffering severe shortages.
Money was refused, for what could anyone buy with money, when everything that is of practical value to us at the present day, such as foodstuffs and clothes, is subject to Government control and only obtainable in exchange for the corresponding sections of ration cards and frequently not even for these?
Galician refugees, mainly Jews, generally afforded one party to these transactions.
Hundreds of thousands of these refugees have sought safety in Vienna, where in all probability they will settle down for good.
She also describes an already overwhelmed native population taking in an overwhelming amount of refugees, and no end in sight, seeing as "they will settle down for good."
Her wayward son, Karl, drifts toward Communism, something his mother deplores.
Karl is openly rude to older military men (very characteristic of Leftists), while his fiancee (whom his mother praised as "a slim fair girl with a pure madonna face" and being a calming influence on Karl's "impetuous nature") is no longer compatible with his new views.
When Karl tries to convince his aghast mother of the validity of his new Communist views, his mother argues with him and blames Karl's new friends for putting "nonsense" into his head (page 17):
"...and I know, too, who has put this nonsense into your head."
"Well, who? So you won't credit me with any ideas of my own."
"No, I don't credit you with such ideas of your own. They come from your friend, Dr. Arenstamm, who since you came back has been visiting the house far too often for my taste. I am not an anti-Semite, but I don't like that muddle-headed fanatic."
"I'll see that you don't meet him."
...Karl's face wore a sullen expression as he said: "Arenstamm is my friend and one of the most brilliant political thinkers that I know."
Her declaration came out of nowhere.
All of the sudden, out of nowhere, she feels the need to declare her lack of bigotry when criticizing a person for his political beliefs.
What's the connection?
Why does she need to emphasize that it's not his Jewish identity she dislikes, but his "muddle-headed" fanaticism?
So at this point, she has taken a strong dislike to a Jew who is obviously not so Jewish. He's quite assimilated and dedicated to his surrounding society, desperately trying to change it in a way he feels is better. And as a Communist, he is clearly anti-religious, probably an atheist too.
Later, Karl starts hankering after a fellow Communist, a young woman described as having a "not ill-looking but brutal and sensual face" and very crass, angry manners.
The mother notes that Karl calls this undesirable young woman by "her Christian name" – implying that she has a non-Christian name and that this Christian name is a new addition.
In addition, the oh-so genteel yet impoverished mother describes this new young woman as having "small black eyes with...dark lashes," "full lips beneath a rather massive nose," a "square chin," and "an unmistakably foreign accent."
All this reads like Nazi eugenicist propaganda.
Interestingly, while Karl's increasingly volatile behavior is dismissed as a mental illness that is worsened by his Commie friends, thereby making Karl an innocent victim of his actions, his Commie friends are held fully responsible for their behavior, including the equally volatile crass young woman.
On New Years Eve of 1920, the woman and her adult children manage to celebrate at a "lively cafe."
She and her family note with dismay that this once "traditional, respectable cafe" in which "all classes of Vienna used to sit "sociably and quietly, enjoying a good glass of wine" was now filled with loud, drunk people whom her paraplegic son-in-law notes are "All war profiteers and speculators!"
Her son, Erni, who was blinded during World War I and is now engaged to his brother's madonna-like fiancee, notes with surprise the variety of languages he perceives as they sit round a table together.
Yes, there are so many languages spoken among this new clientele.
But which particular language does the diarist focus on?
Close to our recess sat a large party of people who were taking pains to talk good Viennese, but who constantly relapsed into what was evidently their more familiar tongue, Yiddish.
Again, these are not Orthodox Jews. These are obviously extremely assimilated Jews who are doing their best to assimilate even more.
She goes on to describe how insensitive & greedy these "constantly" relapsing Yiddish-speakers are:
Among them, as though to mock us in these hungry times, there were some overfed women of the trading class.
Together with their husbands, who were already the worse for wine, they ostentatiously consumed the sausages they had brought with them, as though expecting that all would envy them this wealth.
These people were obviously in the provision trade, for, at the present day, the provision trade is the most lucrative of all.
Maybe it's nothing personal; maybe they're just oblivious.
Or maybe everyone else there is doing the same, but it only bothers her that this troupe is doing so too.
I don't even believe her.
It sounds like everyone is there eating and getting drunk and having way too much fun. As she said, there are many languages spoken there, many different types of people.
Yet whom does she focus on?
Then her blind son gets the cafe singer to sing a lovely song to the madonna-like fiancee, at which point Karl suddenly shows up and punches the singer in the ear. Karl tries to attack the owner too, but is dragged away by experienced waiters while Karl screams, "Bloodsuckers! Capitalists!"
The Karl's new Commie "much powdered and rouged" girlfriend shows up "showily dressed" in "ultra-fashionable" clothes and drives away with Karl, whom the family remarks has also suddenly been dressing so much more fashionably lately.
Again, the oh-so genteel Austrian diarist merely feels sorry for Karl. After all, he suffers from a head wound and is being brainwashed by these Jewish Commies who keep relapsing into Yiddish – not that she's antisemitic or anything.
The mother notes other changes, which we find familiar today. Politically correct language becomes socially mandatory.
For example, she explains how that there are no longer any "servant girls" or "mistresses," but only "domestic helps" or "employees and employers."
You had to say "domestic help." If you said "servant girl," that was really bad.
In addition, workers' rights and new hours take precedence and are religiously enforced.
In fact, workers rights now supersede the rights of non-workers.
As the diarist recalls when her own "domestic help" named Kathi was visited by socialist reps on page 51:
Kathi was also visited by representatives of the socialistic organisation of "domestic helps," who questioned her as to the treatment she received from me and informed her of her new rights.
As Kathi gave me a splendid testimonial, I was not troubled any more.
But one question I should like to address to these very praiseworthy protectors of the servant class: Who is going to secure an 8-hour day for the poor, harassed Vienna housewives, with their exhausting and responsible duties?
Striking All the Wrong Notes, As Usual
In an act symbolic of how her presence (and those of her fellows) appears to the diarist throughout, the Commie girl flounces in uninvited and with a "mocking grin which showed her strong white teeth" (the better to eat you with, Little Red Riding Hood!), Commie-girl seats herself at the piano (which blind Erni had just been playing with such lovely sweetness) and begins "to strum an old street ditty, striking many wrong notes."
This symbolizes everything the Austrian diarist feels about these Jews assimilating into Austrian society: They just can't seem to stop striking the wrong notes.
Commie-girl's musical technique is described as "thumping on the piano with vicious insolence."
Her piano-playing is so horrible that blind Erni springs up "in horror" and slaps his hands over his ears.
"What is happening?" he asks angrily.
Throughout all these years, saintly blind sensitive Erni never showed any anger. It's only when the heavily made-up, showily dressed Commie girl with the small black eyes and an unmistakably foreign accent starts thumping the piano that Erni can no longer control himself.
Even when his brother Karl shoots up the family a minute later ("under the spell" of Commie-girl and killing his paraplegic brother-in-law and wounding his mother), Erni isn't angry, only grieved that his poor brother has been driven into madness by his head injury and the sausage-eating Commies.
Note: Her deep self-pity for herself and her fellow Austrians, regardless of behavior (i.e., "We're always the victim!") played a massive role in the upcoming genocide. I don't know much about Amalek, aside from how it attacks Jews and its innate nature to fight Hashem's Unity, but it seems that profound self-pity is an aspect. One of this blog's earliest posts discusses how Nazi Germany's "Poor me!" attitude played that role: How Ingratitude Leads to Genocide.)
It's Always the Same, Just Wearing Different Clothes & Sporting Different Names
And because she was a traditionalist, she found all their radical politics and burning desire to change society (for the better, in their eyes) especially offensive.
And despite the fact that her son behaved more violently than did his Communist friends, she always saw him as the victim of these people whom she clearly saw as mostly Jewish.
Their behavior is described in the worst terms, but Karl's behavior is always described with such sympathy and Karl is always pitied, despite the fact that he randomly commits murder in the end, while they do not.
Karl – the murderer of his nice, helpless, legless brother-in-law – is the victim.
I think that sets the stage for what came after the diaries ended in 1924.
The attitudes are all in place: the oh-so genteel veneer, the warped sense of right and wrong, the warped perception of victim and criminal – it's all there.
Yes, the diary represents the views of only one person, but we see how things went later on.
Throughout these 10 years, she never mentions Judaism or religious Jews (unless that was left out of the English translation).
Her outrage and revulsion are only ever directed at assimilated Jews who have made deep headway into Austrian society and are trying to assimilate in every way possible, including:
- adopting the latest styles in European clothing & makeup
- adopting Christian names
- and trying their best to speak perfect Viennese even when they're among each other and speaking Yiddish is clearly more comfortable.
Clothing. Names. Language.
These have been important factors for the Jewish people ever since our torturous bondage in Egypt.
Anyway, I think history validates the Torah view of Jew-hatred. This is just one example.
It's not something that needs to be examined or solved outside of authentic Torah sources.
Therefore, we need to look inside for the solutions.