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Economic antisemitism comprises stereotypes and canards based on the economic status, occupation or economic behavior of Jews. It also includes economic behavior, laws and governmental policies targeting the economic status, occupation or economic behavior of Jews. In some cases, the stereotypes and canards have motivated economic behavior and governmental action targeting Jews; in other cases, the economic behavior, laws and/or governmental policies have fed the propagation of the stereotypes and canards.
- 1 Relationship to religious antisemitism
- 2 Stereotypes and canards
- 3 Motivations
- 4 Historical development
- 4.1 Medieval era
- 4.2 Early modern period
- 4.3 19th-century Europe
- 4.4 19th-century United States
- 4.5 The Protocols of the Elders of Zion
- 4.6 Henry Ford and the Dearborn Independent
- 4.7 Nazi Germany
- 4.8 Occupied Europe
- 4.9 Soviet Union
- 4.10 20th-century United States
- 4.11 Federal Reserve System
- 4.12 Islamic world
- 4.13 Nation of Islam
- 4.14 20th-century populism
- 4.15 White Supremacists
- 4.16 New economic antisemitism
- 5 In literature
- 6 See also
- 7 References
- 8 Sources
Relationship to religious antisemitism
Leon Poliakov writes that economic antisemitism is not a distinct form of antisemitism, but merely a manifestation of theologic antisemitism (because, without the theological causes of the economic antisemitism, there would be no economic antisemitism). In opposition to this argument, Derek Penslar contends that in the modern era, the economic antisemitism is "distinct and nearly constant" but theological antisemitism is "often subdued".
Stereotypes and canards
Derek Penslar describes modern economic antisemitism as a "double helix of intersecting paradigms, the first associating the Jew with paupers and savages and the second conceiving of Jews as conspirators, leaders of a financial cabal seeking global domination." Throughout history, the stereotype of Jews as being connected to greed, money-lending and usury has stoked anti-Jewish sentiments and still to a large extent influences the perception of Jews today. Reuveni and Wobick-segev suggest that we are still haunted by the image of "the mighty, greedy Jew". Allegations regarding the relationship of Jews and money have been characterized as underpinning the most damaging and lasting antisemitic canards.
Antisemitic portrayals of Jews often involve stereotypes portraying them as obsessed with money and involved in international conspiracies. In addition, Jews are contradictorily accused of both controlling and subverting the world order.
Antisemites have often promulgated myths related to money, such as the canard that Jews control the world finances, first promoted in the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, and later repeated by Henry Ford and his Dearborn Independent. In the modern era, many such myths continue to be widespread in the Islamic world, and in books such as The Secret Relationship Between Blacks and Jews published by the Nation of Islam, and on the internet.
Abraham Foxman cites examples of economic antisemitism found around the world, particularly in United Kingdom, Germany, Argentina, and Spain. He also cites many modern instances of money-related antisemitism that are found on the internet.
Gerald Krefetz summarizes the myths as "[Jews] control the banks, the money supply, the economy, and businesses - of the community, of the country, of the world". Krefetz gives, as illustrations, many slurs and proverbs (in several different languages) which suggest that Jews are stingy, or greedy, or miserly, or aggressive bargainers. Krefetz suggests that during the 19th century, most of the myths focused on Jews being "scurrilous, stupid, and tight-fisted", but following the Jewish Emancipation and the rise of Jews to the middle- or upper-class in Europe the myths evolved and began to assert that Jews were "clever, devious, and manipulative financiers out to dominate [world finances]".
Abraham Foxman describes six facets of canards used by proponents of economic antisemitism:
- All Jews are wealthy
- Jews are stingy and greedy
- Powerful Jews control business world
- Jewish religion emphasizes profit and materialism
- It is acceptable for Jews to cheat non-Jews
- Jews use their power to benefit "their own kind"
The Anti Defamation League conducted a poll in Europe in 2007 which asked respondents if they agreed with the statement that "Jews have too much power in international financial markets". Polling data showed that respondents agreed with that statement as follows: 61% in Hungary, 43% in Austria, 40% in Switzerland, 40% in Belgium, 21% in the United Kingdom, and 13% in the Netherlands. Another poll conducted by the ADL in 2009 found that 31% of Europeans surveyed blamed Jews for the global financial crisis that began in 2008.
Allegations of unethical business practices
William Brustein describes popular economic antisemitism in Europe before the 19th century as based on accusations of Jews employing alleged unethical business practices in second-hand trade, petty commerce, and money lending.
During the 17th and 18th centuries, anecdotal remarks from Christian merchants and traders show that there were negative feelings towards Jewish business people, who were sometimes regarded as liars or cheats. Werner Sombart concluded that the perceptions of cheating or dishonesty were simply a manifestation of Christian frustration at innovative commercial practices of Jews, which were contrary to custom and tradition of the Christian merchants, but were otherwise ethical.
Restrictions on occupations and professions
One form of economic antisemitism in the medieval period were legal restrictions imposed on the occupations and professions of Jews. Local rulers and church officials closed many professions to the Jews, pushing them into marginal occupations considered socially inferior, such as tax and rent collecting and moneylending, tolerated then as a "necessary evil". Catholic doctrine of the time held that lending money for interest was a sin, and forbidden to Christians. Not being subject to this restriction, Jews dominated this business. The Torah and later sections of the Hebrew Bible criticize Usury but interpretations of the Biblical prohibition vary. Since few other occupations were open to them, Jews were motivated to take up money lending. This was said to show Jews were usurers, and subsequently led to many negative stereotypes and propaganda. Natural tensions between creditors (typically Jews) and debtors (typically Christians) were added to social, political, religious, and economic strains. Peasants who were forced to pay their taxes to Jews could personify them as the people taking their earnings while remaining loyal to the lords on whose behalf the Jews worked.
Another aspect of economic antisemitism is the assertion that Jews act do not produce anything of value, but instead tend to serve as middlemen, acting as "parasites in the production line" of non-Jews that are doing the real work. Krefetz lists middlemen occupations subject to this canard as distributors, shoppers, wholesalers, brokers, financiers, and retailers and writes that they are "all notably Jewish occupations".
From the medieval period continuing up to the modern era, Diaspora Judaism has been characterized by a real or perceived "inverted occupational pyramid", i.e. Jews in the Diaspora were perceived to be more prevalent in the tertiary sector, working in service jobs such as accounting, finance, medicine, law or commerce than in the secondary and primary sectors. Although Jews were employed in all sectors of the economy, the perception that Jews were more prevalent in certain occupations or in the professions (e.g. medicine or law) has been the target of antisemitic sentiment at different periods in history.
Jews have been the targets of antisemitic criticism for their occupational preferences. For example, Robert von Mohl characterized European Jews of the 19th century as being concentrated in trade and finance with some representation in the artistic and intellectual fields. Perceptions of over-representation of Jews in certain occupations have driven antisemitic sentiment in the Soviet Union. There have been a number of theories advanced as to the reason for the "inverted occupational pyramid". Gerald Krefetz writes that the livelihood of Jews, particularly their business activities, has been influenced by religious, cultural, social, and historical factors. Krefetz asserts that these factors have led to a predisposition for occupations marked by independence, professionalism, and scholarship. Jews have tended to show an "entrepreneurial spirit" and "capacity for risk-taking" that has led then to innovate financial concepts like negotiable instruments of credit, international syndicates, department stores, holding companies, and investment banks. Krefetz suggests that Jews have frequently chosen professions that are "portable" or involve duties as a middle-man, because of their long historical background which was based on trading and "heightened awareness of continual persecution." In a similar vein, Abraham Foxman argues that many Jews in the medieval period were especially well suited for commerce, because the Jewish diaspora caused many Jews to have far-flung networks of friends and family, which facilitated trade.
According to Werner Sombart, one complaint of Christian businesspeople were that Jews did not limit themselves to one particular trade or market, but instead Jews often were "jack of all trades" or were "ubiquitous" and "paid no heed to the demarcation of all economic activities into separate categories" When Jews entered trades or business areas in Europe, this frequently resulted in complaints from Christian competitors that the Jews were depriving them of customers and profit. Sombart analyzed the 17th- and 18th-century Christian views of Jewish merchants, and concluded that they objected to Jewish merchants because the Jew's pursuit of profit was blatant, open, and aggressive, in contrast to the Christian approach which - while willing to seek profit - viewed the aggressive pursuit of profit as unseemly, uncivilized and uncouth. Sombart also asserts another cause of Christian frustration with Jewish businesspeople: Jews imported raw materials, which was considered inappropriate by Christian merchants.
Niewyk and Nicosia describe economic antisemitism as focusing on "excessive" Jewish wealth and power growing out of the Jews' success in commerce, banking, and the professions.
Marvin Perry asserts that much antisemitism in the European commercial world derived from the fact that non-Jewish merchants could not match the "economies of scale and advertising promotions" of Jewish competitors. Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens) wrote "I am persuaded that in Russia, Austria, and Germany nine-tenths of the hostility to the Jew comes from the average Christian's inability to compete success fully with the average Jew in business in either straight business or the questionable sort." Similarly, Abraham Foxman writes that it is likely that non-Jews in Medieval or Renaissance Europe harbored feelings of fear, vulnerability, and hostility towards Jews, because they resented being beholden to Jewish lenders. Foxman claims that money-based antisemitism is a result of resentment and jealousy of Jews. Gerald Krefetz also makes a similar point: that the ability of Jews to make money occasionally stirs jealousy and hate in non-Jews, contributing to a fear that Jews will "ascend too high" in the economic sphere and begin to manipulate and control world finances. Krefetz asserts that anti-Semitism in the United States seems "rooted less in religion or contempt and more in envy, jealously and fear" of Jewish affluence, and of the hidden power of "Jewish money".
In contradiction to these theories, Prager and Telushkin offer a different perspective. Addressing the premise that "the Jews' disproportionate wealth and concentration in business and in the professions is said to provoke anti- Jewish hostility.", they assert that, "while economic factors can and often do exacerbate antisemitism, ... economic factors do not cause Jew-hatred; they only provide opportunities for it to be expressed." As one of the arguments supporting their thesis, Prager and Telushkin point out that "Jews have often suffered the worst antisemitism when they were poor, as was true with the overwhelming majority of Jews in ... Poland and Russia, and have encountered the least amount of antisemitism when affluent as in the United States and Canada today."
Derek Penslar characterizes economic antisemitism as "an extreme form of the antimercantile sentiments that are rooted in pagan antiquity and the early Christian tradition."
Blame for ills of capitalism
In the 19th century, Jews came to be so closely associated with capitalism that some even viewed the Jews as the "creators of capitalism". According to Muller, those that embraced capitalism tended to be sympathetic to Jews, and those that rejected capitalism tended to be hostile to Jews.
Richard Levy writes that, although there were local variations, modern economic antisemitism is primarily defined by "the scapegoating of Jews for capitalism's ills." Similarly, Steven Beller writes that economic antisemitism at the turn of the 20th century was "based on fear and envy at the supposed stranglehold of 'the Jews' over finance and accused Jews of being behind the depredations of capitalism on the traditional economy." Laurel Platt attributes antisemitic attitudes that extend back to medieval times for the tendency to blame Jews for the problems of capitalism and urbanization that arose in the late 19th century.
Scholars have noted the antisemitic attitudes of mid-19th-century French socialists such as Charles Fourier and Pierre-Joseph Proudhon. Fourier vilified the Jews as the "incarnation of commerce: parasitical, deceitful, traitorous and unproductive." Proudhon used even more vehement invective, attacking Jews as the "incarnation of finance capitalism" and characterizing them as anti-producers by temperament. Alphonse Toussenel, a follower of Fourier, wrote finance (meaning the Jews) was dominating and ruining France; similarly, Auguste Blanqui commented in his correspondence on Jews as being usurers and “Shylocks”.
Karl Marx argued that earning a living from collecting interest (or from acting as a middleman) was an unjust and exploitive aspect of capitalism. Because many Jews were employed occupations that Marx considered "non-productive", he singled out Jews for particular criticism and blamed Judaism for the exploitation and alienation of workers. Moses Mendelssohn argued, to the contrary, that commercial activity was just as valid and beneficial as manual labor, writing "Many a merchant, while quietly engaged at is desk in forming commercial speculations ... produces ... more than the most active and noisy mechanic or tradesman."
Derek Penslar writes that Marx did not argue that Jews merely embraced capitalism, but rather that they "embodied" it. Penslar states that Marx claimed that the Jewish religious culture shared many key characteristics of capitalism, such as materialism and egoism.
Marx concluded that Judaism was responsible for the alienation of many workers, and this idea became a component of Marx's theory of communism. Marx viewed Judaism as a commercial practice, not a theology. According to Perry, Marx believed that "Jews are the embodiment of capitalism (money-system) in action and the creators of all its evil consequences for humanity."
Jewish Bolshevism is an antisemitic canard based on the claim that Jews have been the driving force behind or are disproportionately involved in the modern Communist movement, or sometimes more specifically Russian Bolshevism.
The expression was the title of a pamphlet, The Jewish Bolshevism, and became current after the 1917 October Revolution in Russia, featuring prominently in the propaganda of the anti-communist "White" forces during the Russian Civil War. It spread worldwide in the 1920s with the publication and circulation of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion. It made an issue out of the Jewishness of some leading Bolsheviks (most notably Leon Trotsky) during and after the October Revolution. Daniel Pipes says that "primarily through the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, the Whites spread these charges to an international audience." James Webb wrote that it is rare to find an antisemitic source after 1917 that "does not stand in debt to the White Russian analysis of the Revolution".
The label "Judeo-Bolshevism" was used in Nazi Germany to equate Jews with communists, implying that the communist movement served Jewish interests and/or that all Jews were communists. Jews and Communists were both blamed for having allegedly betrayed Germany in World War I and resulting in Germany signing The Treaty of Versailles, in what is known as the "stab-in-the-back myth." In Poland before World War II, Żydokomuna was used in the same way to allege that the Jews were conspiring with the USSR to capture Poland. According to André Gerrits, "The myth of Jewish Communism was one of the most popular and widespread political prejudices in the first half of the 20th century, in Eastern Europe in particular." The allegation still sees use in antisemitic publications and websites today.
Jerome Chanes identifies six stages in the historical development of antisemitism:
- Pre-Christian anti-Judaism in ancient Greece and Rome which was primarily ethnic in nature
- Christian anti-semitism in antiquity and the Middle Ages which was religious in nature and has extended into modern times
- Traditional Muslim antisemitism which was - at least in its classical form - nuanced in that Jews were a protected class
- Political, social and economic antisemitism of Enlightenment and post-Enlightenment Europe which laid the groundwork for racial antisemitism
- Racial antisemitism that arose in the 19th century and culminated in Nazism
- Contemporary antisemitism which has been labeled by some as the New Antisemitism
According to Norman Roth, "far more attention has [been] focused on Jewish moneylending than on any other occupation." Roth asserts that general histories of the medieval period, if they mention Jews at all, refer to Jews as moneylenders or as being involved in the slave trade. He assets that there is not a great abundance of research on commercial activity of Jews in the Middle East. He accuses scholars of making "sweeping generalizations that would be "laughable and unthinkable in any other context."
Throughout the Middle Ages, Jews were subjected to a wide range of legal disabilities and restrictions, some of which lasted until the end of the 19th century. At times, even moneylending and peddling were at times forbidden to them. The number of Jews permitted to reside in different places was limited; they were concentrated in ghettos and were not allowed to own land; they were subject to discriminatory taxes on entering cities or districts other than their own and were forced to swear special Jewish Oaths, and they suffered a variety of other measures.
The exclusion of Jews from many trades and craft guilds began following the First Crusade (1096–1099). The exclusion often came at the urging of clergy and local guild members, state and local governments. Jews were excluded in certain places from certain crafts (excluded by the craft guilds), in certain trades, and - indirectly - agriculture due to bans on land-ownership; these exclusions led Jews of often engage in peddling, second-hand goods, pawnbroking, and moneylending. In Southern Europe, Christian competitors of Jews in several occupations - including the moneylending occupation - asked their country's leaders to expel Jews, in order to reduce competition.
The result of these occupational restrictions was to push Jews into marginal roles considered socially inferior, such as tax and rent collecting and moneylending, occupations only tolerated as a "necessary evil". Although Jews had not been particularly associated with moneylending in antiquity, a stereotype of them acting in this capacity was developed beginning in the 11th century. Jonathan Frankel notes that this stereotype, though obviously an exaggeration, had a solid basis in reality. While not all Jews were moneylenders, it does seem to have been true that Jews were disproportionately represented in the trade.
Catholic doctrine at the time held that lending money for interest was a sin, and it was an occupation forbidden to Christians. Not being subject to this restriction, Jews made this business their own, despite possible criticism of usury in the Torah and later sections of the Hebrew Bible. Unfortunately, this led to many negative stereotypes of Jews as insolent, greedy usurers and the understandable tensions between creditors (typically Jews) and debtors (typically Christians) added to social, political, religious, and economic strains. Peasants who were forced to pay their taxes to Jews could see them as personally taking their money while unaware of those on whose behalf these Jews worked.
Howard Sachar writes that the occupations that were left for Jews to engage in were often the occupations that Christians disdained, such as peddling, hawking and moneylending, and he estimates that three fourths of Jews in Central and Western Europe were occupied in these occupations in the 18th century. Sachar states that "[i]n their [Jews] struggle for livelihood, they generated a sizable underclass of beggars, fencers, pimps, even robbers, thereby creating a self-fulfilling gentile scenario of Jews, one that would endlessly invoked by Jew-haters throughout the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries." Similarly, Todeschini writes that the perception of Jews as dishonest and immoral became a self-fulfilling prophecy, because the exclusion from other professions forced them to engage in moneylending and other marginal professions that were regarded as unethical.
One of the reasons that moneylending was open to Jews as a profession was that European Christian culture regarded moneylending as sinful or immoral. This caused Christians to avoid the profession, leaving a vacuum which Jews were free to fill. The Christian abhorrence of moneylending was rooted in the Old Testament laws of Exodus 22:25, Deuteronomy 23:19-20, Leviticus 25:35-37 and Psalms 15:5. These biblical rules were re-emphasized in the Middle Ages in the Lateran councils particularly the Second Lateran Council of 1139 and the Fourth Lateran Council in 1215, however these proclamations of the Catholic Church outlawed excessively high interest rates, not interest in general.
Max Dimont asserts that moneylending, of all professions, was the "most reviled". The occupation of moneylending was considered a "degenerate" profession, in the 14th century by many Christians, including Franciscans in England such as John Peckham who engaged in discussions of usury and debt.
One reason that Christians permitted Jews to engage in moneylending, even though it was considered a sinful activity, was because Jews were already considered to be damned, and so they may as well commit the sin of usury, thus saving the souls of Christians that would otherwise be forced to lend money. Dimont compares this transfer of sinful behavior to the Jewish practice of Sabbath Goy, whereby Jews have non-Jews perform prohibited tasks on the sabbath.
Moneylending became an important occupation for Jews, beginning in the early Middle Ages, and continuing into the modern era. Moneylending was first noted as a significant occupation in the 9th century, and in the 10th century, some Jews were large scale financiers. This prevalence in the field of moneylending has led to scholarly debate which considered the question of why Jews gravitated towards money-related occupations.
Dimont writes that the Jewish role in moneylending was the most important contribution of Jews to medieval society, since the feudal culture might have failed without a flow of capital. Foxman writes that the moneylending profession gave rise, eventually, to the modern financial industries, including banking. Over time, Jews became very skilled at both commerce and moneylending. Some European leaders encouraged Jews to engage in moneylending, because it enhanced economic activity and provided personal benefit to the leaders themselves In addition, leaders benefited from Jewish moneylenders by collecting fees and taxes. Throughout Europe, Jews filled the role of Court Jew for virtually every seat of nobility. In spite of this, some European leaders expelled Jews from their countries (England 1290, France 1306 and 1394) depriving themselves of the economic benefits provided by the moneylenders.
Although most scholars attribute the large number of Jews in the moneylending occupation to the exclusion from other crafts and trades, Werner Sombart, in his book The Jews and Modern Capitalism, asserts that moneylending was an occupation that many Jews preferred, and voluntarily engaged in. As evidence, Sombart cites the fact that Jews were heavily engaged in moneylending before the era when they were excluded from trades and crafts; and also the fact that the religion and culture of Judaism predisposed Jews to commercial and financial endeavors. Because Sombart speculated on anthropological and racial explanations, his work has been described as antisemitic and racist. However, some modern scholars characterize his presentation of the topic as sympathetic and valid. Sombart's work was a watershed in the scholarship of Jewish culture, because it prompted subsequent historians and economists to begin to examine the relationship between Jews and money.
Sombart contends that many of the trade and craft prohibitions were rarely enforced, and thus Jews could have found employment in many of the proscribed occupations, if they desired. However, Sombart writes that Jews were absolutely excluded from government jobs, and that this exclusion was more significant than the putative trade exclusions. He also suggests that exclusion from government jobs had some incidental benefits for Jews, because it freed them from problems associated with political partisanship.
Early modern period
Derek Penslar asserts that, whereas the "more fantastic aspects of medieval antisemitism, which include the demonization of Jews, and accusations of ritual murder and black magic were (incompletely) suppressed, to some extent, by the combined forces of Protestantism and the modern state", economic antisemitism did not share the same fate because "it has fit as well into a rationalized worldview as a magical one, into a secular sensibility as a theological one."
According to Perry and Schweitzer, "Jewish economic endeavors labored under the stigma, variously, of being "unproductive," sterile, parasitic, usurious, dangerous, dishonest, criminal and the like."
Prior to approximately 1820 in Europe, most Jews were peddlers and shopkeepers, but following the Jewish emancipation in the 19th century, Jews were able to migrate to middle- and upper-class and engage in a wider variety of occupations. In 1859 in the Austro-Hungarian empire, guilds were abolished and that opportunity enabled Jews to enter "liberal professions" such as law, journalism, and medicine.
In the middle of the 19th century, a number of German Jews founded investment banking firms which later became mainstays of the industry. Most prominent Jewish banks in the United States were investment banks, rather than commercial banks. Jonathan Knee postulates that Jews were forced to focus on the development of investment banks because they were excluded from the commercial banking sector.
Following legislation supporting the equality of French Jews with other citizens during the French Revolution, similar laws promoting Jewish emancipation were enacted in the early 19th century in those parts of Europe over which France had influence. The old laws restricting them to ghettos, as well as the many laws that limited their property rights, rights of worship and occupation, were rescinded.
Despite the lifting of official economic restrictions against Jews throughout Europe, economic stereotypes and unofficial or semi-official restrictions on the economic activity of Jews continued. Bernard Lazare commented that, "Economic antisemitism to-day is stronger than it ever was, for the reason that to-day, more than ever, the Jew appears powerful and rich. Formerly he was not seen: he remained hidden in his Ghetto, far from Christian eyes. He had but one care, to conceal his wealth, that wealth of which tradition regarded him as the gatherer, and not the proprietor. The day he was freed from his disabilities, the day the restrictions put to his activities fell away, the Jew showed himself in public." Howard Sachar writes that throughout much of the 19th century, popular literature and theatrical performances in the Austrian and German empires were merciless in their caricatures of the Rothschilds as "Jewish cash bags" or "Jews behind the throne". These caricatures evolved from mere political satire to more overt antisemitism at the start of the 20th century. Sachar notes that there is irony in the fact that Jewish proponents of communism, such as Karl Marx were partially responsible for antisemitism targeting the relationship between Jews and capitalism.
One example of economic antisemitism was promulgated in France by Edouard Drumont in his 1879 pamphlet entitled What we Demand of Modern Jewry, in which he contrasted the poverty of the French workers with the wealth of the Jewish bankers and industrialists.
19th-century United States
By the time of the Civil War, tensions over race and immigration, as well as economic competition between Jews and non-Jews, combined to produce the worst American outbreak of anti-Semitism to that date. Americans on both sides of the slavery issue denounced Jews as disloyal war profiteers, and accused them of driving Christians out of business and of aiding and abetting the enemy.
The Jews, as a class violating every regulation of trade established by the Treasury Department and also department orders, are hereby expelled …within twenty-four hours from the receipt of this order.
This order was quickly rescinded by President Abraham Lincoln but not until it had been enforced in a number of towns. According to Jerome Chanes, Lincoln's revocation of Grant's order was based primarily on "constitutional strictures against ...the federal government singling out any group for special treatment." Chanes characterizes General Order No. 11 as "unique in the history of the United States" because it was the only overtly antisemitic official action of the United States government.
Grant later issued an order "that no Jews are to be permitted to travel on the road southward." His aide, Colonel John V. DuBois, ordered "all cotton speculators, Jews, and all vagabonds with no honest means of support", to leave the district. "The Israelites especially should be kept out…they are such an intolerable nuisance."
Beginning in the early 1880s, declining farm prices also prompted elements of the Populist movement to blame the perceived evils of capitalism and industrialism on Jews because of their alleged racial/religious inclination for financial exploitation and, more specifically, because of the alleged financial manipulations of Jewish financiers such as the Rothschilds. Although Jews played only a minor role in the nation's commercial banking system, the prominence of Jewish investment bankers such as the Rothschilds in Europe, and Jacob Schiff, of Kuhn, Loeb & Co. in New York City, made the claims of anti-Semites believable to some. In the 1890s, is Mary Elizabeth Lease, an American farming activist and populist from Kansas, frequently blamed the Rothschilds and the "British bankers" as the source of farmers' ills.
The Morgan Bonds scandal injected populist anti-Semitism into the 1896 presidential campaign. It was disclosed that President Grover Cleveland had sold bonds to a syndicate which included J. P. Morgan and the Rothschilds house, bonds which that syndicate was now selling for a profit, the Populists used it as an opportunity to uphold their view of history, and prove to the nation that Washington and Wall Street were in the hands of the international Jewish banking houses.
Another focus of anti-Semitic feeling was the allegation that Jews were at the center of an international conspiracy to fix the currency and thus the economy to a single gold standard.
The Protocols of the Elders of Zion
The Protocols of the Elders of Zion is a fraudulent antisemitic text purporting to describe a Jewish plan to achieve global domination. The Protocols purports to document the minutes of a late 19th-century meeting attended by world Jewish leaders, the "Elders of Zion", who are conspiring to take over the world. The Protocols includes plans to subvert the morals of the non-Jewish world, plans for Jewish bankers to control the world's economies, plans for Jewish control of the press, and - ultimately - plans for the destruction of civilization. The document consists of twenty-four "protocols", which have been analyzed by Steven Jacobs and Mark Weitzman, and they documented several protocols that suggested that Jews would employ control of the worlds banking system to dominate the world. Of the 24 protocols, the ones that focus on economic issues are 2, 3, 4, 21, and 22.
Henry Ford and the Dearborn Independent
Henry Ford was a non-interventionist who opposed World War I, and he believed that Jews were responsible for starting wars in order to profit from them: "International financiers are behind all war. They are what is called the international Jew: German Jews, French Jews, English Jews, American Jews. I believe that in all those countries except our own the Jewish financier is supreme . . . here the Jew is a threat". Ford also shared Marx's view that Jews were responsible for capitalism, and in their role as financiers, they did not contribute anything of value to society.
In 1915, during World War I, Ford blamed Jews for instigating the war, saying "I know who caused the war: German-Jewish bankers." Later, in 1925, Ford said "What I oppose most is the international Jewish money power that is met in every war. That is what I oppose - a power that has no country and that can order the young men of all countries out to death'". According to author Steven Watts, Ford's antisemitism was partially due to a noble desire for world peace.
Ford became aware of the The Protocols of the Elders of Zion and believed it to be a legitimate document, and he published portions of it in his newspaper, The Dearborn Independent. Also, in 1920-21 the Dearborn Independent carried a series of articles expanding on the themes of financial control by Jews, entitled: One of the articles, "Jewish Power and America's Money Famine", asserted that the power exercised by Jews over the nation's supply of money was insidious by helping deprive farmers and others outside the banking coterie of money when they needed it most. The article asked the question: "Where is the American gold supply? ... It may be in the United States but it does not belong to the United States" and it drew the conclusion that Jews controlled the gold supply and, hence, American money. Another of the articles, "Jewish Idea Molded Federal Reserve System" was a reflection of Ford's suspicion of the Federal Reserve System and its proponent, Paul Warburg. Ford believed the Federal Reserve system was secretive and insidious. These articles gave rise to claims of antisemitism against Ford, and in 1929 he signed a statement apologizing for the articles.
Antisemitism and the persecution of Jews represented a central tenet of Nazi ideology. In their 25-point Party Program, published in 1920, Nazi party members publicly declared their intention to segregate Jews from "Aryan" society and to abrogate Jews' political, legal, and civil rights. Nazi leaders began to carry out their pledge to persecute German Jews soon after their assumption of power.
Adolf Hitler's National Socialism party rose to power in Germany during a time of economic depression. Hitler blamed Jews for Germany's economic woes. Hitler's book Mein Kampf (German, My Struggle) included the following passage which was representative of much of the antisemitism in Germany and Europe: "The Jewish train of thought in all this is clear. The Bolshevization of Germany - that is, the extermination of the national folkish Jewish intelligentsia to make possible the sweating of the German working class under the yoke of Jewish world finance - is conceived only as a preliminary to the further extension of this Jewish tendency of world conquest.... If our people and our state become the victim of these blood-thirsty and avaricious Jewish tyrants of nations, the whole earth will sink into the snares of this octopus."
Starting in 1933, repressive laws were passed against Jews, culminating in the Nuremberg Laws which removed most of the rights of citizenship from Jews, using a racial definition based on descent, rather than any religious definition of who was a Jew. Sporadic violence against the Jews became widespread with the Kristallnacht riots, which targeted Jewish homes, businesses and places of worship, killing hundreds across Germany and Austria.
The first major law to curtail the rights of Jewish German citizens was the "Law for the Restoration of the Professional Civil Service" of April 7, 1933, according to which Jewish and "politically unreliable" civil servants and employees were to be excluded from state service.
The new Civil Service Law was the German authorities' first formulation of the so-called Aryan Paragraph, a kind of regulation used to exclude Jews (and often by extension other "non-Aryans") from organizations, professions, and other aspects of public life. In April 1933, German law restricted the number of Jewish students at German schools and universities. In the same month, further legislation sharply curtailed "Jewish activity" in the medical and legal professions. Subsequent laws and decrees restricted reimbursement of Jewish doctors from public (state) health insurance funds.
On April 1, 1933, Jewish doctors, shops, lawyers and stores were boycotted. Only six days later, the Law for the Restoration of the Professional Civil Service was passed, banning Jews from being employed in government. This law meant that Jews were now indirectly and directly dissuaded or banned from privileged and upper-level positions reserved for “Aryan” Germans. From then on, Jews were forced to work at more menial positions, beneath non-Jews, pushing them to more labored positions.
In 1936, Jews were banned from all professional jobs, effectively preventing them from exerting any influence in education, politics, higher education and industry. Because of this, there was nothing to stop the anti-Jewish actions which spread across the Nazi-German economy.
In 1937 and 1938, German authorities again stepped up legislative persecution of German Jews. The government set out to impoverish Jews and remove them from the German economy by requiring them to register their property. Even before the Olympics, the Nazi government had initiated the practice of "Aryanizing" Jewish businesses. "Aryanization" meant the dismissal of Jewish workers and managers of a company and/or the takeover of Jewish-owned businesses by non-Jewish Germans who bought them at bargain prices fixed by government or Nazi party officials. IAs of March 1, 1938, government contracts could no longer be awarded to Jewish businesses. On September 30, the government forbade Jewish doctors to treat non-Jews, and revoked the licenses of Jewish lawyers to practice law.
Following the Kristallnacht (commonly known as "Night of Broken Glass") pogrom of November 9–10, 1938, Nazi leaders stepped up "Aryanization" efforts and enforced measures that succeeded increasingly in physically isolating and segregating Jews from their fellow Germans. Jews were barred from all public schools and universities, as well as from cinemas, theaters, and sports facilities. In many cities, Jews were forbidden to enter designated "Aryan" zones. German decrees and ordinances expanded the ban on Jews in professional life. By September 1938, for instance, Jewish physicians were effectively banned from treating "Aryan" patients.
By April 1939, nearly all Jewish companies had either collapsed under financial pressure and declining profits, or had been forced to sell out to the Nazi German government. This further reduced Jews’ rights as human beings; they were in many ways officially separated from the German populace.
Antisemitism was particularly virulent in Vichy France during World War II. The antisemitic demands of right-wing groups were implemented under the collaborating Vichy regime of Marshal Philippe Pétain, following the defeat of the French by the German army in 1940. A Statut des Juifs of that year, followed by another in 1941, purged Jews from employment in administrative, civil service and judicial posts, from most professions and even from the entertainment industry –restricting them, mostly, to menial jobs.
William Korey describes a 1977 Academy of Sciences of the USSR report titledInternational Zionism: History and Politics alleging that "Jewish bourgeoisie", using Zionism as a cover, sought "the expansion of their positions in the economy of the largest capitalist states ... and in the economic system of world capitalism as a whole". The report specifically mentioned six Wall Street investment firms: Lazard Brothers, Lehman Brothers, Kuhn, Loeb & Co., Loeb Rhoades, Bache & Co., and Goldman-Sachs. The report also expounded on the "clannish" theory that Jewish financial firms around the world were related by family-ties and collaborated unethically.
20th-century United States
In 1922, educational discrimination became a national issue when Harvard announced it was considering a quota system for Jewish students. Although it was eventually dropped, the quota was enforced in many colleges through underhanded techniques (as late as 1945 Dartmouth openly admitted and defended a quota system against Jewish students). To limit the growing number of Jewish students, a number of private liberal arts universities and medical and dental schools instituted a quota system referred to as Numerus clausus. These included Harvard University, Columbia University, Cornell University, and Boston University. In 1925 Yale University, which already had such admissions preferences as "character", "solidity", and "physical characteristics" added a program of legacy preference admission spots for children of Yale alumni, in an explicit attempt to put the brakes on the rising percentage of Jews in the student body. This was soon copied by other Ivy League and other schools, and admissions of Jews were kept down to 10% through the 1950s. Such policies were for the most part discarded during the early 1960s although the last vestiges were not eliminated at Yale University until 1970.
Jews encountered resistance when they tried to move into white-collar and professional positions. Banking, insurance, public utilities, medical schools, hospitals, large law firms and faculty positions, restricted the entrance of Jews. This era of “polite” antisemitism through social discrimination, underwent an ideological escalation in the 1930s
Federal Reserve System
The Anti Defamation League documented one of the more common aspects of money-related antisemitism: the claim that the United States' Federal Reserve System was created by Jews and is run by them for their own financial benefit. The ADL gives examples of this myth repeated by Aryan Nations, Louis Farrakhan, Sheldon Emry, and Wickliffe Vennard. Another example cited by the ADL is Bo Gritz, the 1992 Presidential candidate of the Populist Party, in his book Called to Serve.
Abraham Foxman rebuts the Federal Reserve myth in his book Jews and Money, by explaining that the Federal Reserve system is a quasi-public entity that was created and is controlled by the United States Congress.
Various incarnations of money-related antisemitism have been documented in the Islamic world. In a 1968 conference at the University of Cairo, a speaker proclaimed that "money-worship [is among the] inherent qualities in them [the Jews]. ... They are characterized by avarice and many other vices, which arose from selfishness, love of worldly life, and envy...".
Osama bin Laden, in his 2002 Letter to America, wrote "You [United States] are the nation that permits usury, which has been forbidden by all religions. yet you build your economy and investments on Usury. As a result of all this, in all its different forms and guises, the Jews have taken control of your economy, through which they have taken control of your media, and now control all aspects of your life making you their servants and achieving aims at their expense."
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, president of Iran, told the United Nations General Assembly in 2008 that the Zionists  "have been dominating an important portion of the financial and monetary centers ... in a deceitful, complex, and furtive manner".
Abraham Foxman also identifies editorials, cartoons, and news stories throughout the Middle East as sources that repeat money-related antisemitic myths.
Nation of Islam
The Nation of Islam has promulgated some money-based antisemtic myths, particularly in their book The Secret Relationship Between Blacks and Jews. Volume 1 of the book claims that Jews played a major role in the Atlantic slave trade, and profited from black slavery. Volume 2 of the book alleges that Jews in America exploited black labor and innovation, for instance in cotton, textiles, music, and banking. The book also asserts that Jews have promoted a myth of black racial inferiority.
Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan has also elaborated on these concepts in speeches, making statements such as "The Federal Reserve is the synagogue of Satan, … the House of Rothschild …", and "The Black man and woman have always been looked upon as the 'property' of White America, and particularly, members of the Jewish community …".
Activist Kieth Shive, of the Farmers Liberation Army in the United States, published a position paper in the 1980s which promoted agricultural activism and listed as goals "(1) Get rid of the privately held Federal Reserve System ... and its phony money; (2) Adopt a sane US monetary policy which eliminates interest payments to the International Bankers …". Author Daniel Levitas interprets this as a veiled antisemitic statement, because Shive also repeated a fictitious quote attributed to Mayer Amschel Rothschild "Let me issue and control the money of a country and I care not who passes the laws" which Shive contended applied to the United States Federal Reserve System.
In the 1970s, the White Supremacist movement in the United States adopted the position that Jews are "parasites and vultures" and are attempting to enslave Aryans through domination of world banking and media. White supremacists such as William L. Pierce have repeated money-based antisemitic myths.
The militia movement in the United States is also a source of money-based antisemitism, including leaders Bo Gritz, who alleges that the Federal Reserve System is controlled by Jews, and John Trochman who believes that the nation's problems are the fault of a Jewish "banking elite".
New economic antisemitism
According to Rosensaft and Bauer, the international Arab boycott constitutes a "new economic antisemitism". Irwin Cotler elaborates that the new economic antisemitism involves the "extra-territorial application by Arab countries of an international restrictive covenant against corporations conditioning their trade with Arab countries on their agreement to:
- refrain from doing business with Israel (secondary boycott)
- refrain from doing business with another corporation which may be doing business with Israel (tertiary boycott)
- refrain from hiring nor promoting Jews within the corporation.
The character Shylock in William Shakespeare's play The Merchant of Venice is a Jewish moneylender who is portrayed in unscrupulous and avaricious. Derek Penslar asserts that Shylock is a metaphor for the Jewish "otherness" and that he represents the "inseparability of Jewish religious, social, and economic distinctiveness". Gerald Krefetz calls Shylock a "classic image" which has haunted Jews ever since it first appeared, since it made Jews a scapegoat.
The character Fagin in Charles Dickens' novel Oliver Twist is depicted as avaricious and has served to support antisemitic stereotypes. Dickens claims he held Jews in high regard, and that the depiction of Fagin was simply a caricature that was based upon actual persons, and - in an apparent demonstration of remorse - Dickens removed many occurrences of the word "Jew" from later editions of the work.
Poet Ezra Pound mentions Jewish attitudes towards money in his poem The Cantos, which has as primary themes economics and governance. In the poem, Jews are implicated in sinister manipulations of the money supply. Abraham Foxman asserts that The Cantoss include a "vicious diatribe against interest-paying finance" and that those sections include antisemitic passages. In Canto 52, Pound wrote "Stinkschuld's [Rothschilds] sin drawing vengeance, poor yitts paying for / Stinkschuld [Rothschilds] / paying for a few big jews' vendetta on goyim", but the name Rothschilds was replaced by "Stinkschulds" at the insistence of Pound's publisher.
- Penslar, Derek Jonathan (2001). Shylock's children: economics and Jewish identity in modern Europe. University of California Press. p. 12.
- Penslar, Derek Jonathan (2001). Shylock's children: economics and Jewish identity in modern Europe. University of California Press. p. 13.
- Reuveni, Gideon; Wobick-segev, Sarah (2010). The Economy in Jewish History: New Perspectives on the Interrelationship Between Ethnicity and Economic Life. Berghahn Books. p. 8.
- "Jews & Money - The story of a stereotype". Retrieved 2011-04-18.
- Foxman, p 164-175
- Krefetz, p 45
- Krefetz, p 6-7
- Krefetz, p 47
- Foxman, p 84
- Foxman, p 89
- Foxman, p 93
- Foxman, p 98
- Foxman, p 102
- Foxman, p 105
- "ADL Press Release".
- "European Attitudes Survey July 2007 - Raw Data" (PDF).
- "31% of Europeans blame Jews for global financial crisis". Retrieved 2011-06-21.
- Friedman, Jonathan C. (2011). The Routledge History of the Holocaust. Taylor & Francis. p. 22.
- Sombart p 118-120
- "Why were [Jews] able to become such keen competitors of the Christian traders?".. Let us refer to contemporary opinion [of Christian merchants who made complaints in the 17th and 18th c, who unanimously said] the Jews were more successful because of their dishonest dealing. [Sombart quotes several merchants] 'Jews ... have one law and custom... it is called lying and cheating' ... 'Jews are cheats' ... '[Jews] make their living by robbing and cheating, which, in their opinion, are no crimes' ... 'The Jews ... are supposed not to be able to carry [business] on with strict honesty and trustworthiness'. What do these accusations amount to? Even if the term 'cheating' is to be given a very wide connotation, the commercial practices of many Jews hardly came within its scope. When it was asserted that Jews were cheats, that was only an epithet to describe the fact that Jews in their commercial dealings did not always pay regard to the existing laws or customs of trade. Jewish merchants offended in neglecting certain traditions of their Christian [peers], in (now and again) breaking the law, but above all, in paying no heed to commercial etiquette. ... the conflict between Jewish and Christian merchants was a struggle between two outlooks, between two radically differing - nay, opposite - views on economic life."
- Krefetz, p 70
- Stern, M. (1988). The Jewish people in the first century. Uitgeverij Van Gorcum. p. 704.
- Katz, Jacob (1980). From prejudice to destruction: anti-Semitism, 1700-1933. Harvard University Press. p. 208.
- Krieger, Joël; Crahan, Margaret E. (2001). The Oxford companion to politics of the world. Oxford University Press US. p. 33.
- Krefetz, p 11
- Krefetz, p 12
- Foxman, p 58
- "This [commerce] was a business to which the Jews were well suited for historical reasons ... many Jews had friends and family members spread out over a large part of the then-known world, which became the basis of trading networks ..."
- Sombart p 134
- Sombart p 116
- Sombart p 133
- Sombart p 136
- Niewyk, Donald L.; Nicosia, Francis R. (2003). The Columbia Guide to the Holocaust. Columbia University Press. p. 215.
- Perry p 141
- *Twain, Mark, "Concerning the Jews", Harper's Magazine, March, 1898*Twain is quoted in Perry, p 119
- Foxman, p 65
- Foxman, p 81
- Krefetz p 31
- Krefetz, 1985
- Prager, Dennis; Telushkin, Joseph (2003). Why the Jews?: the reason for antisemitism. Simon and Schuster. pp. 59–60.
- Penslar, Derek Jonathan (2001). Shylock's children: economics and Jewish identity in modern Europe. University of California Press. p. 14.
- Krefetz, pp 41-44
- Muller, p 12
- Levy, Richard S. (2005). Antisemitism: a historical encyclopedia of prejudice and persecution, Volume 1. ABC-CLIO,. p. 55.
- Beller, Steven (2007). Antisemitism. Oxford University Press US.
- Plapp, Laurel (2008). Zionism and revolution in European-Jewish literature. Taylor & Francis. p. 20.
- Green, Nancy (1985). "Socialist Anti-Semitism, Defense of a Bourgeois Jew and Discovery of the Jewish Proletariat". International Review of Social History 30: 374–399. doi:10.1017/s0020859000111666.
- Perry, pp 153-156
- Perry, pp 153-6
- Muller, p 112
- Muller quotes from Moses Mendelssohn, "Response to Dohm" (1782), in Mendes-Flohr, Jews in the Modern World, Oxford University Press US, 1995, p 46
- Penslar, Derek Jonathan (2001). Shylock's children: economics and Jewish identity in modern Europe. University of California Press. p. 44.
Marx [in his On the Jewish Question] did not argue that Jews engendered capitalism but rather than they embodied it. That is, whereas other antisemites of his generation saw Jews as particularly shrewd and successful traders, Marx claimed that the essence of commercial capitalism bore all the characteristics that had long typified Jewish religious culture: egoism, materialism, and a cold, instrumental view of nature.
- Perry, p 156
- "Because of Judaism, money has become [quoting Marx] 'the essence of man's life and work, which have become alienated from him. This alien monster rules him and he worships it.... Only then [under the rule of Judaized Christianity] could Jewry become universally dominant and turn alienated man and alienated nature into alienable, salable objects, subject to the serfdom of egotistical needs and to usury. Sale is the practice of alienation'. Jews are the embodiment of capitalism (money-system) in action and the creators of all its evil consequences for humanity. Judaism is not a theology but the commercial and industrial practice of a money-system."
- Perry, p 156
- Muller, p 36
- Perry p 153-155
- "[Marx believes] that Jews lack a sense of 'higher values', are materialistic and thus are devoted only to material survival... [Bruno] Bauer and Marx.. make egoism the essence of Judaism and who denounced Judaism of imparting a loathsome lust for gain to Christianity... .In his essay 'On the Jewish Question' published in 1844, Marx saw zeal for money as the essential feature of historic Judaism and the Jew of his day: '... What is the Jew's foundation in our world? Material necessity, private advantage. What is the object of the Jew's worship in this world? Usury/huckstering. What is his worldly god? Money?'."
- Perry, p 145
- Krefetz, p 33
- Foxman, p 38
- Geisst, Charles R., Wheels of Fortune: The History of Speculation from Scandal to Respectability, John Wiley and Sons, 2003, pp 66-68
- Krzysztof Szwagrzyk, Żydzi w kierownictwie UB. Stereotyp czy rzeczywistość?, Biuletyn IPN (11/2005), p. 37-42
- Alderman, G. (1983): The Jewish Community in British Politics. Clarendon Press, Oxford.
- Pipes, Daniel (1997): Conspiracy: How the Paranoid Style Flourishes and Where It Comes From (The Free Press - Simon & Schuster) p. 93. ISBN 0-684-83131-7
- Webb, James (1976): Occult Establishment: The Dawn of the New Age and The Occult Establishment, (Open Court Publishing), p.295. ISBN 0-87548-434-4
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- Kahan, p 257
- Penslar, Derek Jonathan (2001). Shylock's children: economics and Jewish identity in modern Europe. University of California Press. p. 16.
- Perry, p 125
- Foxman, p 57-8
- ".. the gradual exclusions, beginning in medieval times, of Jews from most traditional professions. By the 13th century Jews were forbidden to own land in virtually all of Europe, which meant, in practice, that they were forbidden to take part in agriculture (which had been their chief occupation in Biblical times). They were also increasingly barred from participation in crafts and manufacturing.... These restrictions left only a handful of occupations in which Jews could earn a living, ... One of these was commerce - the buying and selling of goods,"
- Frankel, Jonathan (1997). The fate of the European Jews, 1939-1945: continuity or contingency?. Oxford University Press US. p. 16.
- Todeschini, p 111
- Foxman p 59
- Perry, p 123
- Penslar, p 17
- Todeschini, p 111
- "[Archbishop of Canterbury] John Peckham's [14th century] treatise is a very interesting segment of the complex Franciscan ethical-economic structure. The text is explicitly about the connection existing for the Franciscan writer between Jews and usury: the Jews are generally usurarii manifeti and it can be presumed that all their wealth would have originated from lending on interest. This statement, a heritage of the twelfth-century polemic, is now becoming [in the 14th century] a paradox: Jews must be compelled to do honest labor, but all the jobs that could associate them with Christians - surgery, commerce, domestic service - are prohibited. The result is that the degenerate business, usury, is proscribed but remains the only practicable one for Jews.... It is very important to understand that in John Peckham's response ... just as in the Summa astesana, usury becomes, more than a standard vicious economic contract, the sign of the economic activity of Jews as infidels, and at the same time their unique, as well as forbidden, possibility of earning and living...."
- Penslar, Derek Jonathan (2001). Shylock's children: economics and Jewish identity in modern Europe. University of California Press. p. 18.
- Dimont, p 269
- Dimont, p 269
- "Why were Jews the only ones engaged in this moneylending? .. The answers hinge on a definition. The Church called the lending of money not 'banking' but 'usury'. To modern man, 'usury' means the lending of money at exorbitant rates, in medieval times it simply meant the lending of money at interest, no matter how low. ... How then could it [the Church] permit Christians to lend money if that meant that their souls would go to hell? With Jews it was another story. As the Jews were not Christians and in the eyes of the Church were headed for hell anyhow, one more sin - that is, moneylending - could not add much to the punishment they would receive in the hereafter. One could suggest that the Church keep the Jews as 'bankers' in the same way Jews kept Christians as 'Sabbath-goys' to perform functions for them which they were not allowed to perform for themselves."
- Dimont, p 268
- Foxman, p 58
- Perry, p 126
- Sombart, p 300-301
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- Penslar, Derek Jonathan (2001). Shylock's children: economics and Jewish identity in modern Europe. University of California Press. p. 165.
- Perry, p 158-163
- Dimont, p 263
- Krefetz, p 42. Krefetz calls Sombarts ideas "philo-Semitic" and writes: "Sombart put the Jewish contribution to finance and business development in a new light [extending Marx & Weber]. It was the first generally positive statement about Jews and money for hundreds of years- and the first in the 20th century."
- Penslar, Derek Jonathan (2001). Shylock's children: economics and Jewish identity in modern Europe. University of California Press. p. 163.
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By the 1890s anti-Semitic feeling had crystallized around the suspicion that the Jews were responsible for an international conspiracy to base the economy on the single gold standard.
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