Thursday, August 19, 2004

More on Self-Hatred

Writing about Ellen-Katzenbogen brought to mind another instance of self-hatred I recall from reading Victor Klemperer's I Will Bear Witness: A Diary of the Nazi Years 1933-1941. I quote from page 35 of the 1999 edition:

Especially repugnant to us is the behavior of some Jews. They are beginning to submit inwardly and to regard the new ghetto situation atavistically as a legal condition that has to be accepted. Gerstle, the director of the lucrative Fig Coffee Company, brother-in-law by the way of the emigrated Jule Sebba, says Hitler is a genius, and if only the foreign boycott of Germany ceases, then one will be able to live; Blumenfeld thinks one must "not live on illusions" and "face facts"; Kaufmann -- his son in Palestine! -- says something similar, and his wife, forever the silly goose, has got so accustomed to the slogans of the press and radio that she parrots the phrases about the "vanquished system" whose unsoundness had been proven once and for all.
Remarkable - that Blumenfeld character sounds just like a certain non-white "race realist" I have the displeasure of knowing about. This and the preceding post aren't meant to imply that self-hatred is peculiar to Jews of course, as blacks have any number of upstanding representatives of their own on that score; the point is that these were people in about as extreme and unfair a situation as it is possible to get, and yet they chose to identify with the people who were persecuting them, so strong was their need to think of themselves as being on the side of might, and presumably, therefore, right.

As an aside, the following snippet from page 40 of the same book shows how little some things change over the years. Recall that it was written some 70 years ago:
... visited Gusti Wieghardt once. In remembrance of the Gerstle case, Gusti railed against the "dirty Jews" in Palestine, capitalists falling upon the Arabs
This would fit seamlessly into any thread on Indymedia or any speech by the likes of Noam Chomsky and International Answer ...