“…I am convinced that the persecution of the Jew is not in any large degree due to religious prejudice. No, the Jew is a money-getter…he was at it in Rome. He has been at it ever since. His success has made the whole human race his enemy.”
-Mark Twain from “Concerning the Jews” in Haper’s Monthly Magazine, published September 1899
“No doubt Jews aren’t a lovable people – I don’t care about them myself. But that is not sufficient to explain the Pogrom.”
-British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain, 30 July 1939
At 48 pages, Dave Sim’s recent treatise, in graphical novel format, on the “problem” of the Jew in Judenhass (literally ‘Jew hatred’) is a small book being perhaps 1/8″ thick. The diminutive size of this work conceals its significance. I have always been aware of and sympathetic to the persecution of the Jewish people since what seems the beginning of time but even I didn’t realize how disgustingly wide-spread and open Jew hatred was in the modern world leading up to and around the Holocaust. It’s not unknown about how late Americans got involved in the second World War. What is probably lesser-known is how condoned the actions of the Nazis were, whether in word or deed, by the leaders of the free world.
British, American and Russian citizens and governments in particular were openly chastizing of them as a race and actively seeking to block any Jewish immigration into their/our countries, even in the 1940s. The research that went into this small volume is presented plainly and simply against images of the dead and decomposing ‘residents’ of concentration camps. The information is so revelatory as to how openly Jews have been hated for centuries that one can hardly deny Sim’s claim in the first six pages that the Holocaust was inevitable.
This is an extremely significant work and goes so far to dispel so many lies and misconceptions about the treatment of Jews that I hope it does become required reading, as Sim hopes, and as I was required to read Elie Wiesel’s Night in High School.
That there is so much more written and expressed hatred towards Jewish people and Black people, as compared to any other group in history, cannot go unchecked for upcoming generations. This simple account can go a long ways toward informing and countering so much shared ignorance, both overt and latent.