24 sentences about Anti-Semitism in the US during the 1940s
|Scooped by Brandon Rowlett|
This is an article about some of the facts and stories I have found about anti-Semitism in the US in the 1940’s before, during, and after World War 2. Anti-Semitism is- The hostility to or prejudice against Jews. “Judaism is based upon the original 613 commandments given by God in the Torah, as well as laws instituted by the rabbis and long-standing customs and focuses on relationships: the relationship between God and mankind, between God and the Jewish people, between the Jewish people and the land of Israel, and between human beings.” (http://www.jewfaq.org/beliefs.htm) Hostility for the Jews did not start in America. Since before the time of Christ, Jews were expelled from Egypt, Rome, and Italy, or were confined to ghettos within the cities. Leaders expressed Anti-Jewish policy’s that persecuted or massacred Jews, in an attempt at forced conversion to Christianity. Pogroms or violent riots aimed at massacre or persecution of an ethnic or religious group, particularly aimed at Jews, in Russia, Poland, and Germany in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s led up to the violent hatred and genocide of the Jews by Adolf Hitler and his Mien Kampf doctrine. The outbreak of World War 2 in 1939, was the beginning of the Holocaust. Jews who were not killed or gassed, were exiled, deported, or escaped to countries such as Switzerland, France, Africa, Great Britain, and America. Escape was difficult under wartime conditions, and many countries did not want to accept refugees. Sympathetic international Jewish organizations and some non-Jewish people provided assistance to the refugees, even at great personal risk.
Spanish European Jews in the late 17th century fled to the America’s to save themselves from the Spanish Inquisition, followed by German Jews in the late 1700’s looking for religious freedoms. Russian Jews made up the last wave of Jewish immigrants to the United States before the Great wars, in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s, settling in the cities. With the assistance of the early Jewish residents, the new immigrants formed close communities based on their religion, and culture. Many Jewish immigrants worked in the trade industries and built businesses and strove to be in the American middle class. Because of the close religious Jewish community, they were reluctant to show sympathetic gestures to other non-Jewish people. Because of the boom in Jewish created businesses they had the money able to make loans to other people of non-Jewish religious beliefs such as the Christians and Catholic, often charging high interest rates even though it was against Jewish beliefs to hold someone accountable for interest. It was partially because of this practice that people who were not Jewish developed animosity for the Jews, and they were perceived as profiteers. This rhetoric that voiced the fears shared by many Americans, was published in a series of articles that later became The International Jew by Henry Ford of the Ford Motor Co. in which he “attributes all evil to Jews or to the Jewish capitalist.” Ford voiced his fears of the Jewish population in literature along with other famous authors such as F. Scott. Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway. President Franklin. D. Roosevelt established the war refugee board because of oncoming pressure from cabinet secretary’s to come up with a solution to deal with the influx of refugees during World War 2. One form of Anti-Semitism that was present in the United States was Passive Anti-Semitism, “while many Americans would not physically harm a Jew, they still possessed negative feelings towards them and their kind. This was proven in national public opinion polls taken from the mid 1930’s to the late 1940’s, the results showed that over half the American population saw Jews as greedy and dishonest.” (www.history.ucsb.edu/faculty/marcuse/classes/33d/projects/usholo/ LaurenAntisemPage.htm) “Attitudes and behaviors towards Jewish people are changing” according to surveys by the Anti Defamation League; their survey shows that Anti-Semitism is rejected by a clear majority of Americans with 64% crediting Jews’ cultural contributions to the nation. Modern attitudes towards Jews have been influenced by the formation of Israel as a state, and the potential for an independent Palestinian state to exist without further conflict.