THE RUSSIAN AGONY
IN 1563 Ivan the Terrible conquered Polotzk, and for the first time the Russian Government was confronted by the fact of the existence of the Jewish nationality. The Czar’s advisers were somewhat perplexed, and asked him what to do with these newly acquired subjects. Ivan the Terrible answered unhesitatingly: ‘Baptize them or drown them in the river’. They were drowned.
P. MILYUKOV, 1916.
IN THE NINETEENTH CENTURY
FEW facts in the nineteenth century have been so well calculated to disenchant the believers in perpetual progress with their creed as the anti-Semite movement, which in a few years has swept like an angry wave over the greater part of Europe.
The recent movement for proscribing, under pretence of preventing cruelty to animals, the mode of killing animals for food which is enjoined in the Jewish ritual, is certainly at least as much due to dislike to the Jews as to consideration for cattle. It appears to have arisen among the German anti-Semites, especially in Saxony....
The Russian persecution stands in some degree apart from the other forms of the anti-Semite movement, both on account of its unparalleled magnitude and ferocity, and also because it is the direct act of a Government deliberately, systematically, remorselessly seeking to reduce to utter misery millions of its own subjects.
An evil chance had placed upon the throne an absolute ruler who combined with much private virtue and very limited faculties all the genuine fanaticism of the great persecutors of the past, and who found a new Torquemada at his side. He reigned over an administration which is among the most despotic, and probably, without exception, the most corrupt and the most cruel in Europe.
W. E. H. LECKY, 1896.
IN THE TWENTIETH CENTURY
TO lock people like wild beasts in a cage, to surround them with disgraceful laws, as in an immense circus, for the sole revolting purpose to let loose the murderous mob upon them whenever practicable for St. Petersburg—terrible, terrible!
Anti-Semitism is a mad passion, akin to the lowest perversities of diseased human nature. It is the will to hate.
The Emperor Hadrian was an honest anti-Semite. One day, the Talmud records, on his journey in the East, a Jew passed the Imperial train and saluted the Emperor. He was beside himself with rage. ‘You, a Jew, dare to greet the Emperor! You shall pay for this with your life.’ In the course of the same day another Jew passed him, and, warned by example, he did not greet Hadrian. ‘You, a Jew, dare to pass the Emperor without a greeting!’ he angrily exclaimed. ‘You have forfeited your life.’ To his astonished courtiers he replied: ‘I hate the Jews. Whatever they do, I find intolerable. I therefore make use of any pretext to destroy them.’
So are all anti-Semites.
LEO TOLSTOY, 1904.
THE study of the history of Europe during the past centuries teaches us one uniform lesson: That the nations which have received and in any way dealt fairly and mercifully with the Jew have prospered; and that the nations that have tortured and oppressed him have written out their own curse.
OLIVE SCHREINER, 1906.
Excerpt From A Book of Jewish Thoughts By Dr. J H. Hertz