Saturday, September 06, 2003


A reader has pointed out some interesting historical facts: "People say that Martin Luther was an antisemite, and that a "uniquely German form of antisemitism" was brought forth from his teachings. But Adolf Hitler, Heinrich Himmler, and other top Nazis were brought up in the Roman Catholic faith! So, they were at least as likely to have gotten their ideas about Jews from the Catholic rather than the Lutheran Church. Even more ironically, though Karl Marx's parents were Jewish, and he was born a Jew, his father tried to bring him up to be a good Lutheran! And in his essay "The Jewish Question", Marx wrote a tirade that if anyone nowadays were to write, he would be branded a Neo Nazi". So the Catholic-origin chief Nazi and the Lutheran-origin chief Communist were both racists! What to make of that?

There is a heap of research evidence to show that racism of some form is universal so the important thing is not to try to pin it on any one group but to ask under what circumstances it becomes harmful. That patriotic British conservatives who had not the slightest doubt of British superiority made a Jew (Disraeli) their Prime Minister at the height of the British empire shows that not all racism is dangerous. Both Marx and Hitler, by contrast, were socialists.


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