GERMANS AND JEWS IN THE NINETEENTH CENTURY
The Gotz Aly book brings attention to certain matters that to my knowledge have never been specifically dealt with. Let us take the case of educational institutions. Of the peoples of Northern Europe with which after the expulsion of the Jews from Spain the Jews are more especially associated we have five distinct nationalities to consider: The English, French, Germans, Russians and the Jews. The Jews were an autonomous people with their own institutions in the Pale of Settlement.
Let us consider the higher educational institutions in each nation. All four European nations had highly developed university systems with outstanding schools each that turned out spectacular scholars who plumbed the depths of nature through the sixteenth to nineteenth centuries. The Jews of the Pale- the Baltic States, Poland, Byelorussia and the Ukraine- being an autonomous people in possession of that inestimable treasure of Jewish knowledge, the Talmud, had every opportunity to establish a great university staffed by brilliant Jewish scholars and an entirely Jewish student body.. Did they do so? No. They created the Yeshiva that completely rejected Western Science turning out instead a steady stream of useless Rabbis who adjudicated bloody eggs, spouting some inane ‘Jewish knowledge’ of the Talmud and its voluminous commentaries.
While undoubtedly an outstanding education for Jewish purposes it ill prepared the Jews to compete with the European universities to acquire useful knowledge. At present there is a Jewish organization in Europe named after the ancient Greek educational system, Paideia, whose goal is to legally impose their useless Talmudic tripe on an equal footing with European Science. Its sponsors want Talmudic superstition made compulsory study by Europeans.
Now, while all Jews could aspire to a university education in England, France, Germany and Russia the native nationals except for the upper classes were entirely excluded, none need apply. The serfs of Russia and Germany were discriminated against much more harshly than any Jew.
Was it envy then that caused resentment of the Jews or a fully justified grievance? I opt for the latter. Class differences that defined place for the peasant and working class nationals did not apply to the Jews who were essentially free agents outside the national class structures.
Thus when the Jews from the countries to the east of Germany flooded into Germany they had the advantage over 90% of the Germans while competing with some fatuous aristocrats who looked down on commerce, on money making, and spurned the Jews with their foot, as it were. But as money was more important in this emerging Brave New World than land, many aristocrats were forced into Jewish marriages in the attempt to rescue their impoverished, but landed, estates with Jewish money.
Supposed Jewish superiority however had nothing to do with it. A societal sea change had taken place that Jews as outsiders grasped but German aristocrats disdained. The bulk of the German nationals were given no consideration.