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Preceding -- Following



by Bernard LAZARE

Translated from the French


Chapter Eight



AFTER preliminary discussions, as a result of which any decision on the emancipation of the Jews was adjourned, the Constituent Assembly voted, on September 27, 1791, on a motion by Duport, and thanks to Regnault de Saint-Jean-d'Angely's intervention, the admission of the Jews to the rank of citizens. This decree had been ready for a long time, prepared as it was through the work of the commission assembled by Louis XVI, with Malesherbes in the chair; prepared by the writings of Lessing and Dohm, of Mirabeau and Gregoire. It was the logical outcome of the efforts made for some time by the Jews and the philosophers; in Germany Mendelssohn had been its promoter and most active advocate, and in Berlin Mirabeau drew his inspiration at the side of Dohm in the salons of Henriette de Lemos.

A certain class of Jews had, however, already been emancipated. In Germany the court Jews (Hofjuden) had obtained commercial privileges; even titles of nobility were being conferred upon them for money. In France the Portuguese Marranos returned to Judaism, enjoyed great liberties and prospered under the supervision of their syndics at Bordeaux, very indifferent nevertheless to the fate of their unfortunate brethren, though very influential: one of them, Gradis, failed to secure a nomination as deputy to the States-General. In Alsace even, several Jews obtained important favours, as, e.g., Cerf Berr, purveyor to the armies of Louis XV, who granted him naturalization and the title of Marquis de Tombelaine.

Thanks to all these privileges, there sprang into existence a class of rich Jews which came into contact with the christian society; open-minded, subtle, intelligent, refined, of extreme intellectualism, it had given up, like so many Christians, the letter of religion or of the faith even, and retained nothing but a mystic idealism which, for good or ill, went hand in hand with a liberal rationalism. The fusion between this group of Jews and the elite led by Lessing,[97] was brought about above all in Berlin, a young city and centre of a kingdom which was rising to fame, an easy-going city, with little tradition. Young Germany gathered at the houses of Henrietta de Lemos and Rachel von Varnhagen; with the Jews, German Romanticism ended in impregnating itself with Spinozaism; Schleiermacher and Humboldt were seen visiting there, and it may be said that if the Constituent Assembly decreed the emancipation of the Jews, it was in Germany that it had been prepared.

At any rate, the number of these Jews qualified to mingle with the nations, was extremely limited, the more so because the majority of themlike Mendelsson's daughters, like Boerne and Heine later onended by converting, and thus no longer existed as Israelites. As for the mass of Jews, it was in quite different circumstances.

The decree of 1791 freed these pariahs from a secular servitude; it broke the fetters with which the laws had bound them; it wrested them from all kinds of ghettos where they had been imprisoned; from, as it were, cattle it made them human beings. But if it was within its power to restore them to liberty, if it was possible for it to undo within one day the legislative work of centuries, it could not annul their moral effect, and it was especially impotent to break the chains which the Jews had forged themselves. The Jews were emancipated legally, but not so morally; they kept their manners, customs and prejudicesprejudices which their fellow citizens of other confessions kept, too. They were happy at having escaped their humiliation, but they looked around with diffidence and suspected even their liberators.

For centuries they had looked with disgust and terror at this world which was rejecting them; they had suffered from it, but they still more feared to lose their personality and faith from contact with it. More than one old Jew must have looked with anxiety at the new existence which opened before him; I should not even be surprised if there were some in whose eyes the liberation appeared a misfortune or abomination.

As the decree of emancipation did not change the Judaic self, the way in which this self manifested itself was not changed either. Economically the Jews remained what they werebe it understood that I speak of the majorityunproductive, i.e., brokers, money-lenders, usurers, and they could not be otherwise, given their habits and conditions under which they had lived. With the excep-[98]tion of an insignificant minority among them, they had no other aptitudes, and even nowadays a great many Jews are in the same plight. They did not fail to apply these aptitudes, and during this period of unrest and disorder they found occasion to apply them more than ever. In France they availed themselves of events, and the events were favourable for them. In Alsace, for instance, they acted as auxiliaries to the peasants, whom they lent the funds necessary for the purchase of national property. Already before the revolution they were the home-bred usurers in this province, and the objects of hatred and contempt, 136 after the Revolution, the very peasants who had erstwhile forged quittances 137 to escape from the clutches of their creditors, now appealed to them. Thanks to the Alsatian Jews, the new ownership continued, but they meant to draw profit from it with a plentiful, usurious hand. The debtors raised a protest; they pretended they would be ruined if no aid were forthcoming, and in this they exaggerated, as they, who previous to 1795 had nothing, had eighteen years later acquired 60,000,000 francs' worth of estates on which they owed the Jews 9,500,000 francs. Nevertheless, Napoleon lent ear to them, and suspended, during one year, judicial decisions in behalf of the Jewish usurers of the Upper Rhine, the Lower Rhine, and the Rhine provinces. His work did not stop at that. In the preambles of the decree of suspension of May 30, 1806, he showed that he did not consider the repressive measures sufficient, but wanted the source of the evil done away with.

"These circumstances," said he, "caused us at the same time to consider how urgent it was to revive among those subjects of our country who profess the Jewish religion, the sentiments of civic morals, which have unfortunately been deadened with a great number of them through the state of humiliation in which they have languished too long, and which is not our intention to maintain and renew."

To revive or rather to give birth to these sentiments, he wanted to bend the Jewish religion to suit his discipline, to hierarchize it as he had hierarchized the rest of the nation, to make it conform to the general plan. When first consul he had neglected to take up the question of the Jewish religion, and so he wanted to make amends for this failure by convoking an Assembly of Notable Jews for the purpose of "considering the means of improving the condition of the Jewish nation and spreading the taste for the useful[99] arts and professions among its members," and of organizing Judaism administratively. A list of questions was sent out among prominent Jews and when the answers had come in, the Emperor called together a Great Sanhedrin vested with the power of bestowing a religious authority upon the responses of the first assembly. The Sanhedrin declared that the Mosaic law contained obligatory religious provisions, and political provisions; the latter concerned the people of Israel when an autonomous nation, and had, therefore, lost their meaning since the Jews had scattered among the nations; it also forbade to make, in the future, any distinctions between Jews and Christians in the matter of loans, and entirely prohibited usury.

These declarations showed that the prominent Jews belonging for the most part to the minority I have mentioned, knew to adapt themselves to the new state of affairs, but could in no way make any presumption upon the dispositions of the mass. It required the candour of Napoleon the legist to believe that a synod could enjoin love for the neighbour, or forbid usury which the social conditions facilitated. The imperial prohibition for Jews against providing substitutes for military servicethis for the purpose of making them better realize the grandeur of their civic dutieswas bound to have the same effect as the prescriptions of the synod. 138 The case was the same with the decree of March 17, 1808, forbidding the Jews to engage in commerce without a personal license issued by the prefect, or to take mortgages without authorization; besides, Jews were forbidden to settle in Alsace and the Rhine provinces, and the Alsatian Jews were forbidden to enter other departments unless to engage in agriculture. 139 These decrees issued for ten years, did not turn a single Jew into a farmer, and if any of them became chauvinists, the obligation of serving in the army had something to do with it. These were the last restrictive laws in France; the legal assimilation was consummated in 1830, when Lafitte had the Jewish creed incorporated in the budget. This meant the final downfall of the "Christian State," though the lay state was not, as yet, completely established. The last trace of the ancient distinctions between Jews and Christians disappeared with the abolition of the oath More Judaico, in 1839. Nor was the moral assimilation complete.

So far we have been speaking of the emancipation of the French Jews, it remains to examine the influence it had on the [100] Jews of Europe. From the moment of the foundation of the Batavian Republic, in 1796, the National Assembly gave the Jews in the Netherlands the rights of citizenship, and their position regulated later by Louis Bonaparte was settled in a decisive way by William I, in 1815. As a matter of fact, the Dutch Jews enjoyed important privileges and quite a deal of liberty since the sixteenth century: the Revolution was but the decisive cause of their total liberation. In Italy and Germany emancipation was brought to the Jews by the armies of the Republic and the Empire. Napoleon became the hero and god of Israel, the awaited liberator, he whose mighty hand was breaking the barriers of the Ghetto. He entered all cities greeted by the acclamations of the Jewswitness the way in which Heinrich Heine extolled himwho felt that their cause was linked with the triumph of the eagles. And for this reason the Jews were the first to feel the effects of the Napoleonic reaction. A return to anti-Judaism went hand in hand with the exaltation of patriotism. The emancipation was a French act; it was, therefore, necessary to prove it bad, besides, it was a revolutionary act, and there was a reaction against the Revolution and the ideas of equality. While the Christian State was being re-established, the Jews were being banished. In Germany in particular this antique religious conception of the State again came to life with a new splendour, and in Germany, especially, anti-Judaism manifested itself more acutely, but the revival of anti-Jewish legislation was general. In Italy legislation had been resumed in 1770; in Germany the Vienna Congress abolished all imperial provisions for Jews, leaving them only the rights granted by the lawful German governments. As a result of the decisions of the Congress, the cities and communities showed themselves harsh toward the Jews. Lubeck and Bremen expelled them; like Rome, Frankfort shut them up anew in their ancient quarters 140 . Naturally, popular movements followed suit of the legal measures. At this moment of overheated patriotism, any restriction of the rights of strangers met with approval; for the Jews were as ever the strangers par excellence, who best represented noxious strangers, and so, about 1820, i.e., the moment when this state of minds reached its paroxysm, the mob fell, in many places, upon the Jews and badly maltreated them, even if it did not massacre them.

The thirty years following the disappearance of Napoleon did not witness any great progress for the Jews. In England where they[101] were, as a matter of fact, treated liberally enough, they were, nevertheless, always considered dissidents, and, like the Catholics, were subject to certain obligations. Little by little only did they see their condition modified, and the history of their emancipation is an episode in the struggle between the House of Commons and the House of the Lords. Not before 1860 were they completely assimilated with the other English citizens.

In Austria they had been partly emancipated by the Toleration edict of Joseph II (1785), but had to undergo the same reaction; the Revolution was too fatal for the Austrian House, that the latter should even put up with this well-nigh equality of the Jews which a democratic and philosophic sovereign had granted. Only in 1848 the Austrian Jews became citizens 141. . At the same time their emancipation was achieved in Germany, 142 Greece, Sweden, and Denmark. Once more they owed their independence to the revolutionary spirit which once again came from France. However, we shall see that they were not strangers to the great movement which agitated all Europe; in some countries, notably in Germany, they aided in preparing it, and they were the advocates of liberty. They also were among the first to benefit thereby, as legal anti-Judaism may be said to have come to an end in the Occident after 1848. Little by little the last obstacles fell, and the last restrictions were abolished. The fall of the temporal power of the Popes, in 1870, did away with the last occidental Ghetto, and the Jews now could become citizens even in St. Peter's city.

Since then anti-Judaism has transformed, it has become purely literary, it has come to be but an opinion, and this opinion has no longer had its effect on laws. But before examining this antisemitism of the pen which in certain countries existed until 1870, side by side with restrictive regulations, we must speak of the Christian States of Eastern Europe, where the anti-Judaism is even now legal and persecutionary, i.e., of Roumania and Russia.

The Jews have lived in Roumania, 143 i.e., the Moldau-Valachian lands, since the fourteenth century, but they came there in numbers at the beginning of this century only, and are about 300,000 in all, as a result of Hungarian and Russian emigration. For many long years they lived undisturbed. They naturally depended upon the boyars who hold the power in this country, and they leased the sale of spirits from these noblemen, who held the monopoly therefore. As they were indispensable to the noblemen as tax-collectors, fiscal[102] agents and all sorts of middlemen, the nobles were rather inclined to grant them privileges, and they only had the excess of popular superstitions or passions. The official persecutions of the Jews began only in 1856, when Roumania adopted the representative system and the power thus fell into the hands of the bourgeois class. Thenceforth restrictive measures grew more serious. The Jews could not obtain any rank, they were deprived of the right of permanent domicile in country places, they were forbidden to hold real estateexcept in citiesor lands, or vineyards. They were prohibited to take estates on lease, to keep hotels and taverns outside of cities, to retail spirits, to have Christian domestics, to build new synagogues. Some of these decisions were passed arbitrarily by certain municipalities; in other villages, on the contrary, the Jews were tolerated. This state of affairs lasted till 1867. At this time the minister Jean Bratiano published a circular in which he recalled to mind the fact that the Jews had no right to live in rural communities, or to take there property on lease. As a result of this circular the Jews were expelled from the villages they inhabited, they were condemned like vagabonds, and the expulsions continued till 1877; they were generally called forth by the uprisings in Bucharest, Yassy, Galatz, Tecucin, as well as in other places, and during these uprisings cemeteries were profaned and synagogues burned.

What were, what are still the causes of this special legislation, and of this animosity of the Roumanians towards the Jews? They are not exclusively religious, and despite the persistence of ancestral prejudices, it is not a case of a confessional war. The Roumanian Jews constituted, especially at the moment of the formation of Roumania, agglomerations completely isolated from the bulk of the population in the Moldau-Valachian lands. They wore a special garb, lived in quarters set apart in order to escape contaminations, and spoke a Judaeo-German jargon, which rounded off their marks of distinction. They lived under the domination of their rabbis, narrow-minded, limited, ignorant Talmudists, from whom they received in Jewish schoolshederan education which was conducive to their intellectual abasement and their degradation.

They were the victims of this isolation which was due to their guides, the rabbinists. The patriotic passions were particularly aroused in this land, which was being born, was acquiring a[103] nationality and striving for unity. There has been a pan-Roumanism, just like pan-Germanism or pan-Slavism. There were discussions on the Roumanian race, on its integrity, its purity, the danger threatening it from adulteration. Associations were formed to counteract foreign encroachment, and Jewish encroachment in particular. Schoolmasters, university professors were the soul of these societies; just as in Germany, they were the most active antisemites. They asserted that the Jewish education crippled the brains of those receiving it, that it rendered them unfit for social life, which was but too correct, and yet they were going to shut the Jews out completely from obtaining the education given to Christians, exactly the one that would lift them from their degradation.

But the college-bred were not the sole antisemites in Roumania, and there were economic causes beside patriotic causes. As I have said, antisemitism was born with the advent of the bourgeoisie, because this bourgeois class, composed of merchants and manufacturers, came into competition with the Jews who displayed their activity exclusively in commerce and industry, when not in usury. The bourgeoisie had every interest in the passage of protective laws, which, though nominally directed at strangers and not at the Jews, principally aimed at placing obstacles to the expansion of their formidable rivals. It achieved its point by skillfully fomenting disturbances which gave their representatives in Parliament a chance to propose new regulations. Thus these diverse causes of antisemitism may be reduced to a single onenational protectionismand very clever it is, as simultaneously with denying the Jews all civic rights on the ground that they are strangers, it forces them into military service, which again is a contradiction, as none but a citizen can form a part of a national army.

Harder still, more miserable than in Roumania, is the condition of the Jews in Russia. Their history in that country, where they arrived in the third century B.C. and founded colonies in Crimea, has been that of the Jews of all Europe. They were banished in the twelfth century never to be recalled. Nevertheless, at present Russia counts 4,500,000 Jews, and to say, as the antisemites maintain, that the Jews have invaded it is nonsense, for Russia has acquired them by seizing White Russia in 1769 and later on the Polish provinces and Crimea, which contained a great number of Jews. At the moment of this conquest it was out of the question[104] to apply the ukase of 1742 which banished the Jews once more. On the one hand, it was not an easy thing to drive out several million individuals into the neighbouring states; on the other, commerce, industry, and particularly the treasury, would have fared ill from such wholesale expulsion. Catherine II then granted the Jews equal rights with her Russian subjects, but the Senate ukases of 1786, 1791 and 1794 curtailed these privileges and confined the Israelites within White Russia and Crimeathenceforth constituting the Jewish territoryand Poland. Only in certain cases and under special conditions were they allowed to leave the limits of this territorial Ghetto.

In Russia all modern antisemitism, which is official antisemitism par excellence, consists in keeping the Jews from escaping the Senate ukases just spoken of. Russia has resigned herself to her Jews, but she wants to leave them where she found them. Still there were favourable or rather less unfavourable times for the Jews. Alexander I permitted them in 1808 to settle in the crown lands on condition of engaging there in agriculture; Nicholas I gave them permission to travel when their business required it, they were allowed to attend the universities; and under Alexander II their position improved still further. 144

After the death of Alexander II the autocratic reaction became monstrous in Russia: an abominable reawakening of absolutism was the answer to the bomb of the nihilists. The national orthodox spirit was overexcited, the liberal and revolutionary movement was charged to foreign influences, and the Jews were made the scapegoats, in order to divert the people from the nihilistic propaganda; hence the massacres of 1881 and 1882, during which the mob burned Jewish houses, robbed and killed the Jews, saying: "Our daddy, the Tsar, wants it."

After these disturbances General Ignatyeff promulgated the "May Laws" of 1882. They read as follows:

1. As a temporary measure and until the general revision of the laws regulating their status, Jews are forbidden to settle hereafter outside of cities and towns. Exception is made with regard to Jewish villages already in existence where the Jews are engaged in agriculture.

2. Until further order all contracts for the mortgaging or renting of real estate situated outside of cities and towns to a Jew, shall be of no effect. Equally void is any power of attorney granted to a[105] Jew for the administration or disposition of property of the above-indicated nature.

3. Jews are forbidden to do business on Sundays and Christian holidays; the laws compelling Christians to close their places of business on those days will be applied to Jewish places of business.

4. The above measures are applicable only in the governments situated within the Jewish pale of settlement.

These laws were enacted as a temporary measure. Accordingly, a commission presided over by Count Pahlen met in 1883 to settle finally the Jewish question. The conclusions of this commission were quite liberal in spirit; it recommended that certain civil rights be given to the Jews. Owing to the influence of Pobyedonostseff, the Procurator of the Holy Synod, the report of the Pahlen Commission was buried, and the May Laws have remained in force. Since that time, and especially from 1890 on, the persecutions redoubled. The "pale" was narrowed by forbidding the Jews to enter certain fortified places, and by creating a frontier belt where the Jews could not reside. The ukase of 1865 of Alexander II, allowing "skilled" artisans to choose a domicile throughout the empire was abrogated. Thus nearly 3,000,000 Jews were crowded into the cities of the pale of settlement, while a million was spread over Poland, and 500,000 privilegedmerchants of the first rank, financiers and studentsall over Russia.

Other measures, besides this systematic crowding, were taken against the Jews. They were shut out of certain occupations and certain professions; those sheltered in hospitals as invalids were sent away; employees of railroads and steamship companies were dismissed; the number of those who could enter universities, colleges and high schools was limited; they were barred from becoming attorneys, physicians, engineers, or at least their opportunities for entering these professions were restricted; even their own schools were closed to them, they are not admitted even to hospitals, they are burdened with special taxes on their rents, inheritances, the animals they kill for meat, the candles they light on Friday evenings, the skull-caps they wear during religious ceremonies, even when these are of a private nature.

Besides these official taxes imposed by the government, the Jews are under the exploitation of the Russian administration and police, the basest, the most corrupt and venal in all Europe. Half the income of the middle class Jews, says Weber and Kempster, and [106] Harold Frederic, goes to the police. Every Jew in easy circumstances is the victim of constant extortion. As for those (and they are the majority), who are too poor to be able to pay, they are subjected to the most loathsome, most inhuman treatment, forced to bow to all the whims of brutal policemen who domineer and martyrize them, as they martyrize also the nihilists and the suspects of liberalism whom the horrible autocracy of the Tsar places in their power. 145

We shall not deal with the frauds with which Jewish business men are charged, as exactly these business men occupy a privileged position; as for the lawlessness of a part of the miserable mass, those of whom it is made up "would not have food if they did not rob," and so they are in the same position with a great number of orthodox Russians whom the social and economic condition of Russia forces to resort to unscrupulous methods, in order to make a living.

What are then the real causes of antisemitism? They are political and religious. Antisemitism is by no means a popular movement in Russia; it is purely official. The Russian people, laden with misery, crushed under taxes, groaning under the most atrocious of tyrannies, embittered by administrative violence and governmental abuse of power, burdened with suffering and humiliation is in an unbearable condition. Generally resigned, they are liable to yield to passions; their uprisings and revolts are formidable; antisemitic riots are the proper thing to divert popular anger, and that is why the government encouraged them and often provoked them. As to the peasants and workingmen, they fell upon the Jews because, they said, "the Jew and the nobleman are of a pair, only it is easy to thrash the Jew." 146 Thus is explained the plundering of rich Jewish merchants, of wealthy money-lenders, often of poor Jewish workmen, and it is heart-rending to see these disinherited fall upon one another instead of uniting against the oppressive tsarism.

The possibility of a union between these two camps of misery is, perhaps, foreseen by those whose interest it is to engender and keep their antagonism and who actually saw the rioters burn many Christian houses during the riots of 1881 and 1882. After Alexander II's death it became urgent to blot out of the moujik's and proletarians' memories the nihilists' attempts at liberation. The revolution was more than ever the frightful hydra and dragon, against which Holy Russia was to be protected. To accomplish it a return [107] to orthodox ideas was thought necessary. All evil, it was said, comes from the foreign, the heretical, that which pollutes the sacred soil.

The religious origin of the official antisemitism has often been denied; yet it cannot be denied, and the Russians will yet probably give up even Panslavism in order to arrive at religious unity, a unity which to some of them, at least, seems indispensable for the unity of the State. The national and the religious question are but one in Russia, the Tsar being simultaneously the temporal and spiritual head, Caesar and Pope; but to faith more importance is attached than to race, and the proof is that a Jew who is willing to be converted is not persecuted. On the contrary, the Jew is encouraged to embrace orthodoxy.

Thus we may say that in eastern Europe where the actual condition of the Jews fairly well represents what had been their condition in the Middle Ages, the causes of antisemitism are twofold: social causes, and religious causes combined with patriotic ones. It now remains for us to see what are the causes that maintain antisemitism in the countries where it has become antisemitism of the pen instead of legal antisemitism, and, first of all, to examine this transformation and the phenomena to which it has given rise.


136 Mention must be made that, as in the Middle ages, the Alsatian Jews were the "dummies" and intermediaries of the Christian usurers (Cf. Halphen, Recueil des lois et decrets concernant les Israelites (Paris, 1851), and the Petition des Juifs etablis en France addressee a l'Assemblee nationale le 28 janvier 1790).

137 On the Alsatian Jews before and after the Revolution, consult: Gregoire, Essai sur la Regeneration des Juifs; Dohm, De la Reforme politique des Juifs; Paul Fauchille, La Question Juive en France Sous le premier Empire (Paris, 1884).

138 Halphen, Recueil des lois et decrets.

139 Halphen, loc. cit.

140 At this moment the Jews entered suit against the city of Frankfort to contest the legality of the city's decisions. This suit was the occasion of violent anti-Jewish polemics.

141 The constitution of March 4, 1849, proclaimed the equality before the law. But as this constitution was abolished in 1851, an ordinance of July 29, 1853, restored the old legislation against the Jews. Successive Amendments were added to it, and the Constitution of 1867 finally restored equality before the law and liberated the Jews.

In Hungary the law emancipating the Jews was also voted in 1867 by the Chamber of Deputies, on motion by the Government. (Cf. Wolf, Geschichte der Juden in Wien, Vienna, 1876; Kaim, Ein Jahrhundert der Judenemancipation. Leipzig, 1869.)

142 The German Constituent Assembly voted the equality of all citizens before the law, on May 20, 1848. The Parliament of Frankfort did likewise, and the principle of this equality was incorporated in the German constitution of 1849. At any rate many States retained the restrictions against the Jews till the time of the Law of the Northern Federation of July 3, 1869, which abolished all the "restrictions of civil and political rights that still existed and were based on difference in religion." (Cf. Kaim, loc. cit. and Allegemeine Zeitung des Judenthums for the years 1837, 1849, 1856, 1867, 1869). After the Franco-German war, this way was forced upon those States like Bavaria, e.g., which had not adopted it before the organization of the Empire.

143 Desjardins, Les Juifs de Moldavie (Paris, 1867). -- Isidore Loeb, La Situation des Israelites en Turquie, en Serbie et en Roumanie (Paris 1877).

144 N. de Gradovski, La Situation legale des Israelites en Russie (Paris, 1891). -- Tikhomirov, La Russie politique et sociale (Paris, 1888). -- Les Juifs de Russie (Paris, 1891). -- Prince Demidoff-San-Donato, La question juive en Russie (Bruxelles, 1884). -- Anatole Leroy-Beaulieu, L'Empire des Tzars et les Russes (Paris, 1881-82-89). [English translation, London and New York, 1894]. -- Weber et Kempster, La Situation des Juifs en Russie (Resume of a report to the United States Government by its delegates). -- Leo Errera, Les Juifs russes (Bruxelles, 1893). -- Harold Frederic, The New Exodus (1892).

145 The condition of the Jews in Russia, compared with that of the native people, is absolutely the same as in the Middle Ages. The Russian peasant and the workingman are pretty nearly as wretched as the Jew. They, too, are subjected to annoyances and arbitrary rule, but they are not persecuted, and have, to a certain degree the right of migrating.

146 Tikhomirov, loc. cit.


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This text is chapter 8 of the English translation of L'Antisémitisme, son histoire et ses causes, by Bernard LAZARE (real name: Lazare BERNARD), first published in Paris in 1894, several times republished, lastly by the publishing house La Vieille Taupe (= the Old Mole) in 1982, reprinted in 1985, ISBN 2-903279-09-8. The book is still on sale and may be ordered from the publisher, BP 98, 75224 Paris cedex 05, France. We believe it costs 80 F (around 15 US$) This republication triggered a controversy which is documented in a booklet later published by Les Editions de la Différence, Contre l'antisémitisme, Histoire d'une polémque, Paris, 1983, 127 p. This material will be displayed with the French text of Lazare.

WARNING An English translation, under the title Antisemitism, Ist History and Causes, appeared in London in 1967, by Britons Publishing Company. No name is given for the translator. In fact, this is more an adaptation than a proper translation. Paragraphs are quite often abridged and sometimes altogether suppressed. Serious students should refer to the French original text. Nevertheless, as this book provides a glimpse into an epochal reflexion on antisemtism, we follow this text and do not interfere with the translation itself. A US edition was later done on this English publication: University of Nebraska Press, Lincoln, Nebraska, 1995, 208 pages. pbk $10.

We thank the Australian friend who lent us this rare and deeply thought book.

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