In 2006, an inebriated Mel Gibson allegedly said this: “The jews are responsible for all the wars in the world.” There followed the predicable storm of anti-anti-Semitism, ad hominem attacks, and various other slanders against Gibson’s character. But virtually no one asked the question: Is he right? Or rather this: To what degree could he be right?
Clearly jews can’t be responsible for all the world’s wars, but might they have had a hand in many wars—at least amongst those countries in which they lived or interacted? Given their undeniable influence in those nations where they exceed even a fraction of a percent of the population, jews must be responsible, to some degree, for at least some of what government does, both good and bad. Jews are often praised as brilliant managers, economists, and strategists, and have been granted seemingly endless awards and honors. But those given credit for their successes must also receive blame for their failures. And there are few greater failures in the lives of nations than war.
To begin to evaluate Gibson’s charge, I will look at the role jews played in the two major wars of world history, World Wars I and II. But first I need to recap some relevant history in order to better understand the context of jewish policy and actions during those calamitous events.
Have jews played a disproportionate role in war and social conflict—a role typically not of peacemakers and reconcilers, but of instigators and profiteers? Let us very briefly review some historical evidence to answer this charge; it provides relevant insight into Jewish influences during both world wars.
As far back as the Book of Genesis, we find stories such as that of Joseph, son of Jacob, sold into slavery in Egypt. Joseph earns the favor of the Pharaoh and is elevated to a position of power. When a famine strikes, Joseph develops and implements a brutal policy of exploitation, leading Egyptian farmers to sell their land, animals, and ultimately themselves in exchange for food. Joseph himself survives unscathed, living out his days in “the land of Goshen,” with a life of luxury and ease—evidently as repayment for a job well done.
Over time, jews continued to build a reputation as rabble-rousers and exploiters. In 41 AD, Roman Emperor Claudius issued his Third Edict, condemning the jews of Alexandria for abuse of privilege and sowing discord; he charged them with “fomenting a general plague which infests the whole world.” Eight years later he expelled them from Rome. As a result, the jews revolted in Jerusalem in the years 66-70, and again in 115 and 132. Of that final uprising, Cassius Dio made the following observation—the first clear indication of jews causing a major war:
jews everywhere were showing signs of hostility to the Romans, partly by secret and partly overt acts… [M]any other nations, too, were joining them through eagerness for gain, and the whole earth, one might almost say, was being stirred up over the matter.
Thus it was not without reason that notable Romans denounced the jews—among these Seneca (“an accursed race”), Quintilian (“a race which is a curse to others”), and Tacitus (a “disease,” a “pernicious superstition,” and “the basest of peoples”). Prominent German historian Theodor Mommsen reaffirmed this view, noting that the jews of Rome were indeed agents of social disruption and decay: “Also in the ancient world, judaism was an effective ferment of cosmopolitanism and of national decomposition.”
Throughout the Middle Ages and into the Renaissance, their negative reputation persisted. John Chrysostom, Thomas Aquinas, and Martin Luther all condemned jewish usury—a lending practice often trading on distress, and a frequent cause of social unrest. In the 1770s, Baron d’Holbach declared that “the jewish people distinguished themselves only by massacres, unjust wars, cruelties, usurpations, and infamies.” He added that they “lived continually in the midst of calamities, and were, more than all other nations, the sport of frightful revolutions.” Voltaire was struck by the danger posed to humanity by the Hebrew tribe; “I would not be in the least bit surprised if these people would not some day become deadly to the human race.” Kant called them a “nation of deceivers,” and Hegel remarked that “the only act Moses reserved for the Israelites was…to borrow with deceit and repay confidence with theft.”
Thus both empirical evidence and learned opinion suggest that jews have, for centuries, had a hand in war, social strife, and economic distress, and have managed to profit thereby. Being a small and formally disempowered minority everywhere, it is striking that they should merit even a mention in such events—or if they did, it should have been as the exploited, and not the exploiters. And yet they seem to have demonstrated a consistent ability to turn social unrest to their advantage. Thus it is not an unreasonable claim that they might even instigate such unrest, anticipating that they could achieve desired ends.
jewish Advance in America and Elsewhere
The long history of jewish involvement in social conflict has a direct bearing on both world wars. Consider their progressive influence in American government. Beginning in the mid-1800s, we find a number of important milestones. In 1845, the first jews were elected to both houses of Congress: Lewis Levin (Pa.) to the House and David Yulee (Fla.) to the Senate. By 1887 they had their first elected governor, Washington Bartlett in California. And in 1889, Solomon Hirsch became the first jewish minister, nominated by President Harrison as ambassador to the Ottoman Empire—which at that time controlled Palestine.
Overseas, trouble was brewing for the jews in Russia. A gang of anarchists, one or two of whom were jewish, succeeded in killing Czar Alexander II in 1881. This unleashed a multi-decade series of periodic pogroms, most minor but some killing multiple hundreds of jews. Further difficulties for them came with the so-called May Laws of 1882, which placed restrictions on jewish business practice and areas of residency within the “Pale of Settlement” in the western portion of the Russian empire. Many jews fled the Pale; of those heading west, Germany was their first stop.
Even prior to the 1880s, jewish influence in Germany was considerable. In the 1840s, both Bruno Bauer and Karl Marx wrote influential essays on Die Judenfrage (The Jewish Question). In 1850, composer Richard Wagner complained that Germans found themselves “in the position of fighting for emancipation from the jews. The jew is, in fact…more than emancipated. He rules…” By 1878, Wagner declared that jewish control of German newspapers was nearly total. A year later Wilhelm Marr decried “the victory of jewry over Germandom”; he believed it self-evident that “without striking a blow…jewry today has become the socio-political dictator of Germany.”
The facts support these views. And with the influx of “Russian” and “Polish” jews in the late 1800s and early 1900s, the situation got demonstrably worse. Sarah Gordon (1984: 10-14) cites the following impressive statistics:
Before the First World War, for example, jews occupied 13 percent of the directorships of joint-stock corporations and 24 percent of the supervisory positions within these corporations. … [D]uring 1904 they comprised 27 percent of all lawyers, 10 percent of all apprenticed lawyers, 5 percent of court clerks, 4 percent of magistrates, and up to 30 percent of all higher ranks of the judiciary. … jews were [also] over represented among university professors and students between 1870 and 1933. For example, in 1909-1910…almost 12 percent of instructors at German universities were jewish… [I]n 1905-1906 jewish students comprised 25 percent of the law and medical students… The percentage of jewish doctors was also quite high, especially in large cities, where they sometimes were a majority. … [I]n Berlin around 1890, 25 percent of all children attending grammar school were jewish…
For all this, jews never exceeded 2% of the German population. The public accepted the foreigners with a remarkable degree of tolerance, and more or less allowed them to dominate certain sectors of German society. There were no legal constraints, and violent attacks were rare. But the Germans would come to regret such liberal policies.
The other important factor at that time was the emergence of Zionism. Formally established by Theodor Herzl in 1897, its basic principles were laid out in his book Der Judenstaat (The Jewish State). He argued that the jews would never be free from persecution as long as they were foreigners everywhere, and thus they needed their own state. A number of locations were discussed, but by the time of the first meeting of the World Zionist Organization in 1897, the movement had settled on Palestine. This, however, was problematic because the region at that time was under control of the Ottoman Empire, and was populated primarily by Muslim and Christian Arabs. Somehow, the Zionist jews would have to wrest control of Palestine away from the Ottoman Turks and then drive out the Arabs. It was a seemingly impossible task.
They immediately understood that this could only be done by force. It would take a condition of global distress—something approaching a world war—in order for the Zionists to manipulate things to their advantage. Their guiding principle of ‘profit through distress’ could work here, but it would require both internal and external pressure. In states where the jews had significant population but little official power, they would foment unrest from within. In states where they had influence, they would use the power of their accumulated wealth to dictate national policy. And in states where they had neither population nor influence, they would apply external pressure to secure support for their purposes.
That the Zionists seriously contemplated this two-pronged, internal/external strategy is no mere speculation; we have the word of Herzl himself. He wrote:
When we sink, we become a revolutionary proletariat, the subordinate officers of the revolutionary party; when we rise, there rises also our terrible power of the purse. (1896/1967: 26)
In fact, Herzl apparently predicted the outbreak of global war. One of the original Zionists, Litman Rosenthal, wrote in his diary of 15 December 1914 his recollection of a conversation with Herzl from 1897. Herzl allegedly said,
It may be that Turkey will refuse or be unable to understand us. This will not discourage us. We will seek other means to accomplish our end. The Orient question is now the question of the day. Sooner or later it will bring about a conflict among the nations. A European war is imminent… The great European war must come. With my watch in hand do I await this terrible moment. After the great European war is ended the Peace Conference will assemble. We must be ready for that time. We will assuredly be called to this great conference of the nations and we must prove to them the urgent importance of a Zionist solution to the Jewish Question.
This was Herzl’s so-called “great war prophecy.” Now, he does not say that the Zionists will cause this war, only that they will “be ready” when it comes, and “will seek other means” than diplomacy to accomplish their end. A striking prediction, if true.
In any case, there was clearly a larger plan at work here. The jews would pursue a policy of revolution in states like Russia in order to bring down hated governments. To the degree possible, they would seek to undermine the Ottoman Turks as well. And in Germany, the UK, and America, they would use “the terrible power of the purse” to dictate an aggressive war-policy in order to realign the global power structure to their favor. This would have a triple benefit: curtailing rampant anti-Semitism; enhancing jewish wealth; and ultimately establishing a jewish state in Palestine, one that could serve as the global center of world jewry. Revolution and war thus became a top priority.
Turkey was in fact an early success for the movement. The Sultan’s system of autocratic rule generated some dissatisfaction, and a group of “Turkish” jews exploited this to their advantage—resulting in the Turkish Revolution of 1908. As Stein explains,
the revolution had been organized from Salonica [present-day Thessaloniki], where the jews, together with the crypto-jews known as Dönmeh, formed a majority of the population. Salonica jews and the Dönmeh had taken an important part in the events associated with the revolution and had provided the Committee of Union and Progress with several of its ablest members. (1961: 35)
This group of revolutionaries, today known as the Young Turks, was able to overthrow the Sultan and exert substantial influence on the succeeding ruler. But in the end they were unable to steer the declining empire in a pro-Zionist direction.
Back in the USA, jewish population was rising even faster than in Germany. In 1880 it had roughly 250,000 jews (0.5%), but by 1900—just 20 years later—the figure was around 1.5 million (1.9%). A census of 1918 showed this number increasing to an astonishing figure of 3 million (2.9%). Their political influence grew commensurately.
For present purposes, significant American influence began with the assassination of President William McKinley in 1901. He was shot by a Polish radical named Leon Czolgosz, who had been heavily influenced by two jewish anarchists, Emma Goldman and Alexander Berkman. The presidency immediately fell to the vice president, Theodore Roosevelt—who, at age 42, was (and remains) the youngest president in history. His role as an army colonel in the 1898 victory in Cuba over the Spaniards had led to widespread publicity, and with the backing of the jewish community, he won the New York governorship later that same year. Thus he was well situated to earn the vice presidential nomination in 1900.
A question of interest: Was Roosevelt jewish? I will examine this issue in detail later with respect to FDR (as to whom there is more to say), but in brief, there is considerable circumstantial evidence that all of the Roosevelts were, at least in part, jewish. In Theodore’s case, the only explicit indication is a claim by former Michigan governor Chase Osborn. In a letter dated 21 March 1935, Osborn said, “President [Franklin] Roosevelt knows well enough that his ancestors were jewish. I heard Theodore Roosevelt state twice that his ancestors were jewish.” But Osborn offers no specifics, and I am not aware of any further claims regarding Theodore himself.
However, there are two other relevant items regarding his jewish connections. Having acceded to the office in 1901, he subsequently won the 1904 election. In late 1906 he appointed the first jew to the presidential cabinet: Oscar Straus, a wealthy New York lawyer and former ambassador to the Ottoman Empire. As Secretary of Labor and Commerce, Straus was in charge of the Bureau of Immigration—at the critical time of accelerating jewish immigration. We can be sure that his office was particularly amenable to incoming jews.
The second event occurred in 1912. Roosevelt had declined to run again in 1908, preferring to nominate his Secretary of War, William Taft—who proceeded to win handily. Taft, however, disappointed many Republicans, and there was a call to bring Roosevelt back. But the party would not oust a sitting president, and so Roosevelt decided to run on a third-party ticket. Hence the peculiar status of the 1912 election: it featured Taft running for reelection, Roosevelt running as a third-party candidate, and Woodrow Wilson running as a first-term Democrat. As the history books like to say, we had a former president and a sitting president running against a future president. Wilson, as we know, would win this race, and go on to serve two consecutive terms—covering the lead-up, duration, and aftermath of World War I.
jewish banker Paul Warburg (1868-1932) at the 1st Pan-American Financial Conference, Washington D.C., May, 1915. By Harris & Ewing [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
But less well known is this fact: For perhaps the first time in US history, all three major candidates had substantial jewish financial backing. Henry Ford’s Dearborn Independent reported on a 1914 Congressional testimony by Paul Warburg, best known as the jewish “father of the Federal Reserve.” Warburg was the prototypical jewish banker, long-time partner at Kuhn, Loeb, and Co., and later head of Wells Fargo in New York. At some point during Taft’s presidency, Warburg decided to get financially involved in politics. By the time of the 1912 election, he and his partners at Kuhn, Loeb were funding all three candidates. Warburg’s testimony, before Senator Joseph Bristow (R-Kan.), is revealing:
JB: “It has been variously reported in the newspapers that you and your partners directly and indirectly contributed very largely to Mr. Wilson’s campaign funds.” PW: “Well, my partners—there is a very peculiar condition—no; I do not think any one of them contributed largely at all; there may have been moderate contributions. My brother, for instance, contributed to Mr. Taft’s campaign.” …
JB: “I understood you to say that you contributed to Mr. Wilson’s campaign.” PW: “No; my letter says that I offered to contribute; but it was too late. I came back to this country only a few days before the campaign closed.” JB: “So that you did not make any contribution?” PW: “I did not make any contribution; no.” JB: “Did any members of your firm make contributions to Mr. Wilson’s campaign?” PW: “I think that is a matter of record. Mr. [Jacob] Schiff contributed. I would not otherwise discuss the contributions of my partners, if it was not a matter of record. I think Mr. Schiff was the only one who contributed in our firm.” JB: “And you stated that your brother had contributed to Mr. Taft’s campaign, as I understand it?” PW: “I did. But again, I do not want to go into a discussion of my partners’ affairs, and I shall stick to that pretty strictly, or we will never get through.” JB: “I understood you also to say that no members of your firm contributed to Mr. Roosevelt’s campaign.” PW: “I did not say that.” JB: “Oh! Did any members of the firm do that?” PW: “My answer would please you probably; but I shall not answer that, but will repeat that I will not discuss my partners’ affairs.” JB: “Yes. I understood you to say Saturday that you were a Republican, but when Mr. Roosevelt became a candidate, you then became a sympathizer with Mr. Wilson and supported him?” PW: “Yes.” JB: “While your brother was supporting Mr. Taft?” PW: “Yes.” JB: “And I was interested to know whether any member of your firm supported Mr. Roosevelt.” PW: “It is a matter of record that there are.” JB: “That there are some of them who did?” PW: “Oh, yes.”
In sum: some unknown members of Kuhn, Loeb donated to Roosevelt; Paul’s brother (Felix) gave to Taft; and Schiff donated to Wilson. Cleverly, Paul Warburg himself admitted to no funding, but we can hardly take him at his word here. In any case, there was a jewish hand in all three contestants, and the jews were guaranteed influence with the winner, no matter the outcome. We don’t know the extent of this influence, nor how long it had gone on. To date I have not uncovered evidence of jewish involvement with Roosevelt’s 1904 election, although his appointment of Straus to the cabinet is typical of the kind of political patronage that follows financial support. And the same with Taft: We don’t know the degree of jewish support for his initial run in 1908, but support in 1912 suggests that they were reasonably satisfied with his performance.
But Taft turned out to be a mixed bag for the jews. On the one hand, jewish immigration continued apace. And he did appoint Oscar Straus to the ambassadorship to the Ottoman Empire . However, he was less inclined to act on the international stage than the jews had wished. Of particular concern was the growing problem in Russia, and steady reports of jewish pogroms. For example, there was the “Kishinev massacre” of April 1903; the New York Times reported that “jews were slaughtered like sheep. The dead number 120… The scenes of horror attending this massacre are beyond description. Babes were literally torn to pieces by the frenzied and blood-thirsty mob” (April 28; p. 6). A slight exaggeration—the actual death toll was 47. A second attack in Kishinev in 1905 left 19 dead; regrettable, but hardly a catastrophe. In early 1910 the NYT ran an article, “Russian Jews in Sad Plight.” Their source said, “The condition of Russian [jews] is worse today than at any time since the barbarous massacres and pogroms of 1905 and 1906.” Then on 18 September 1911, the Russian Prime Minister, Pyotr Stolypin, was shot and killed—by a jewish assassin, Mordekhai Gershkovich, aka Dmitri Bogrov. (The reader will recall Herzl’s demand for revolutionary action.) This of course brought even harsher recriminations.
But the last straw, for the American Zionists, was the restriction on “American” jews from entering into Russia. There had been obstacles in place since the turn of the century, but they became much more stringent during Taft’s presidency. The Zionists wanted the US government to take action, but this was forestalled by a long-standing treaty of 1832, one that guaranteed “reciprocal liberty of commerce and navigation” and allowed mutual freedom of entry of citizens on both sides. The Zionists thus took it upon themselves to initiate the abrogation of this treaty as a means of putting external pressure on the Czarist regime. And, despite the wishes of President Taft and the best interests of America at large, they succeeded. This whole incident, thoroughly documented by Cohen (1963), is an astounding and watershed event in jewish influence. As she says,
Credit for this act belongs to a small group which had campaigned publicly during 1911 for the abrogation of the treaty. How a mere handful of men succeeded in arousing American public opinion on a relatively obscure issue to a near “wave of hysteria,” how they forced the hand of an antagonistic administration, and what principal aim lay behind their fight for abrogation constitute an absorbing story of pressure politics. (p. 3)
The “mere handful of men” consisted primarily of jewish lawyer Louis Marshall, the banker Jacob Schiff, and their colleagues at the American Jewish Committee—the ‘AIPAC’ of its day, and still a potent force a century later. They had raised the topic of abrogation as early as 1908, but it did not become a top priority until early 1910. They then approached Taft, knowing that he was preparing to run for reelection the following year. As Cohen (p. 9) says, “The quid pro quo was obvious; the jewish leaders would try to deliver the jewish vote to Taft.” But he was unsympathetic. Taft knew that, for several reasons, it was not in America’s favor: Our commercial interests, our Far East foreign policy, Russian good will, and our international integrity would all be harmed by abrogation. But the jews were pressing; in February 1910 they met with Taft, to “give him one last chance” to support their cause. When he again declined, they decided to go around the president, to Congress and to the American people. They knew how to work Congress. As Cohen (p. 13) explains, “the pattern of jewish petitions to the government…was generally that of secret diplomacy. Wealthy or politically prominent individuals asked favors…but always in the form of discreet pressure and behind-the-scenes bargaining.” But mounting a public campaign was something new.
In January 1911, Marshall “officially opened the public campaign for abrogation.” He immediately appealed not to jewish interest—though that was the sole motive—but rather to allegedly American interests. “It is not the jew who is insulted; it is the American people,” he said. As Shogan (2010: 22) puts it, “a key to the [jewish] strategy was to frame its demand as a plea to protect American interests in general, not just the rights of jews.” The AJC then embarked on a massive propaganda effort. They enlisted jewish support in the media; Samuel Strauss and Adolph Ochs (of the New York Times) helped coordinate a series of articles and op-eds in several major cities. They made the case “in popular emotional terms,” organized petitions and letter-writing programs, and held dedicated, pro-abrogation rallies—one of which included such luminaries as William Hearst and future president Woodrow Wilson. Everything was designed to put maximum pressure on Congress to act.
All the while, Taft remained firm in his opposition. In a private letter he wrote, “I am the President of the whole United States, and the vote of the jews, important as it is, cannot frighten me in this matter” (Cohen, p. 21). Secretary of State Philander Knox, and Ambassador to Russia William Rockhill, both strongly supported him. Rockhill was particularly galled; expressing his thoughts, Cohen asks, “were national interests to be subservient to a small group of individuals?” After all, the actual harm was near microscopic: “Only 28 American jews resided in Russia, and the State Dept knew of only four cases in five years where American jews were denied admission” (p. 16). And yet this “small group of men” was turning the tide in their favor.
By November of 1911, just 11 months after launching their public campaign, the AJC was confident of victory. Schiff was able to predict easy passage for the resolution. That same month an “unofficial delegation” of jews met with Taft regarding his pending annual message, and they convinced him that Congressional action was inevitable, and veto-proof. Taft relented, agreeing to sign the resolution when it reached his desk. Wanting no further delay, the AJC pressed for a vote before the end of year. On December 13 the House approved the measure—by the astounding tally of 301 to 1. A slightly modified version came up for Senate vote on December 19, which was passed unanimously. A reconciled bill was approved the next day, and Taft signed it. So it came to be that, on 20 December 1911, the US government sold its soul to the Jewish Lobby.
The importance of this event can scarcely be overestimated. The interests of “a mere handful of men,” acting on behalf of a small American minority, were able to dictate governmental foreign policy, against the express wishes of the president and his staff, and contrary to the larger interests of the nation.
The Russians, incidentally, were stunned at this decision. They knew of the jewish hand behind it, but could hardly believe that it had the power to carry through on its threat. The NYT again gives a useful report:
In parliamentary circles here [in Russia] the prevailing comment is characterized by astonishment that the American government has responded so readily to the jewish outcry. The opinion is expressed by members of the Duma that in all probability the jews will now attempt to force matters further. (20 Dec 1911; p. 2)
Indeed—the jewish-led Bolshevik revolution was just six years away.
Such was the state of things in America and globally at that time. International jewry had sufficient wealth and influence to steer events at the highest levels, and “American” jews (Zionist and otherwise) had come to permeate the government—and American culture generally. The situation so impressed German economist Werner Sombart that in 1911 he made this observation: “For what we call Americanism is nothing else than the jewish spirit distilled.” From the perspective of a century later, this would seem truer than ever.
Wilson and the “Great War”
All this, then, serves as the context and backdrop for the emergence of Woodrow Wilson, beginning with the election of 1912. If Franklin Roosevelt was “the first great hero of American jews,” then Wilson was the first great understudy. As Henry Ford saw it, “Mr. Wilson, while President, was very close to the jews. His administration, as everyone knows, was predominantly jewish.” Wilson seems to have been the first president to have the full backing of the Jewish Lobby, including multiple major financial donors. And he was the first to fully reward their support.
It’s worthwhile summarizing the main figures in the jewish power structure, as of 1912. Herzl died young in 1904, so he was out of the picture. But a “mere handful” of others came to dominate the movement, and the American scene:
Oscar Straus (age 62), German-born, first jewish cabinet member under T. Roosevelt, and later ambassador to the Ottoman Empire under Taft.
Jacob Schiff (65), head of the Kuhn, Loeb banking firm.
Louis Marshall (56), borderline Zionist, founder of the AJC.
The Warburg brothers: Paul (44) and Felix (41), German-born bankers. A third brother, Max, stayed in Germany (until 1938).
Henry Morgenthau, Sr. (56), German-born lawyer, father of the even more influential Henry, Jr.
Louis Brandeis (56), lawyer, strongly Zionist.
Samuel Untermyer (54), lawyer.
Bernard Baruch (42), Wall Street financier.
Stephen Wise (40), Austrian-born rabbi and fervent Zionist.
Richard Gottheil (50), British-born rabbi and Zionist.
These, to emphasize, were all “Americans.” On the European side there was a different structure, one centered on such figures as Chaim Weizmann and Herbert Samuel in Britain, and Max Nordau in France.
Let me begin with financial backing—which of course has long been the trump card of jewry. Many of the above individuals were prime supporters of Wilson. Cooper (2009: 172) remarks that his “big contributors” included the likes of “Henry Morgenthau, Jacob Schiff, and Samuel Untermyer, as well as a newcomer to their ranks, Bernard Baruch.” Such assistance continued throughout Wilson’s tenure; for his 1916 reelection bid, “financiers such as Henry Morgenthau and Bernard Baruch gave generously” (ibid: 350). As we saw, Schiff’s support was admitted by Warburg in his congressional testimony.
Warburg himself was very evasive, allowing only that his “sympathies went with Mr. Wilson.” Yet we can hardly believe that no money followed. Warburg’s most profound impact was his leading role in the creation of the Federal Reserve in 1913, the year Wilson took office. Seligman (1914: 387) remarks that “it may be stated without fear of contradiction that in its fundamental features the Federal Reserve is the work of Mr. Warburg more than of any other man in the country.” Its basic principles, he said, “were the creation of Mr. Warburg and of Mr. Warburg alone.” In due recognition, Wilson appointed him to the Fed’s first Board of Governors in August 1914.
Morgenthau’s influence began in 1911, when Wilson was still governor of New Jersey. Balakian (2003: 220) notes that it was at this time that the two “bonded,” and that “Morgenthau offered Wilson his ‘unreserved moral and financial support’.” In the run-up to the 1912 Democratic convention, “Morgenthau was giving $5,000 a month to the campaign, and continued to give generously throughout the fall” (ibid.: 221). In fact, says Balakian, only a few of his wealthy Princeton classmates gave more. Ward (1989: 252) confirms this, noting that Morgenthau “had been an important backer of Woodrow Wilson in 1912.” Morgenthau duly received his reward: ambassadorship to Ottoman Turkey, again overseeing Palestine.
Of special importance was Wilson’s association with Louis Brandeis. The two first met back in 1910; Shogan (2010: 64) describes Brandeis’s “friendship with Woodrow Wilson,” noting that he had “worked mightily” for him in the 1912 campaign. In a telling statement, Wilson wrote to his friend after the election, “You were yourself a great part of the victory.” Brandeis would be rewarded by a successful nomination to the Supreme Court in June 1916—the first jew on the court. He would serve a full 23 years, well beyond Wilson’s lifetime, and, despite his formal ‘neutrality’ as a justice, would play a vital role in both world wars.
But perhaps the most significant of all was Bernard Baruch. A millionaire before he was 30, Baruch catapulted out of nowhere, under obscure conditions, to become a leading influence in the Wilson administration. Already in 1915, in the early years of the European war, he was convinced that America would be involved. In Congressional testimony of February 1920, Baruch stated that, in 1915, he “had been very much disturbed by the unprepared condition of this country.” “I had been thinking about it very seriously, and I thought we would be drawn into the war. … I thought a war was coming long before it did.” Through some still-mysterious process, Baruch was named to the Council of National Defense in early 1916. He then came to control a particular subcommittee, the War Industries Board (WIB), which had extraordinary wartime powers. Baruch single-handedly ran it throughout the war years. His testimony before Sen. Albert Jefferis (R-Neb.) summarizes his role:
AJ: “In what lines did this board of 10 have the powers that you mention? BB: “We had the power of priority, which was the greatest power in the war.” AJ: “In other words, you determined what everybody could have?” BB: “Exactly; there is no question about that. I assumed that responsibility, sir, and that final determination rested within me.” AJ: “What?” BB: “That final determination, as the President said, rested within me; the determination of whether the Army or Navy should have it rested with me; the determination of whether the Railroad Administration could have it, or the Allies, or whether General Allenby should have locomotives, or whether they should be used in Russia, or used in France.” AJ: “You had considerable power?” BB: “Indeed I did, sir.” …
AJ: “And all those different lines, really, ultimately, centered in you, so far as power was concerned?” BB: “Yes, sir, it did. I probably had more power than perhaps any other man did in the war; doubtless that is true.”
An astonishing fact: a young, unelected jew with no political experience becomes, in time of crisis, the most powerful man in the US government, after the president himself. And yet all this was just a rehearsal. Baruch would play a similar role in the Second World War under FDR, in his Office of War Mobilization. He was also a friend and confidant of Winston Churchill. No doubt “Barney” Baruch had lots of advice for all parties involved.
World War I began in earnest in August of 1914, when the German army crossed into officially neutral Belgium on its way to France. A series of alliances and treaties triggered a chain reaction in which 10 nations entered the war by the end of that year. Ultimately another 18 would be engaged—though in the case of the US, it would be nearly two and half years later. It’s difficult today, with our present eagerness to engage in warfare around the world, to understand the degree to which Americans then were so strongly anti-interventionist. Neither the public nor the government had any real inclination to get involved in a European war. Publicly, at least, Wilson himself was a pacifist and an isolationist. In a speech of 19 August 1914, just after the outbreak of war, he proclaimed that “every man who really loves America will act and speak in the true spirit of neutrality, which is the spirit of impartiality and fairness and friendliness to all concerned.” We have a duty to be “the one great nation at peace,” and thus “we must be impartial in thought as well as in action.”
And yet, American governmental policy did not fully adhere to these lofty words. Under international law, the United States, as a neutral party, had the right to conduct commerce with all sides. But of course both Britain and Germany sought to restrict trade with the other. A British naval blockade interrupted or seized a substantial portion of our intended shipments to Germany, reducing trade by more than 90%. And yet Wilson hardly objected. On the other hand, when German submarines attacked or threatened our shipments to England, he reacted in the strongest manner. The end result was a near quadrupling of trade with the Allies between 1914 and 1916. In practical terms, we were supporting the Allied war effort, even as we remained officially neutral. Wilson’s government—if not he himself—was decidedly biased against the Germans. Not coincidentally, Wilson’s jewish advisors were, to a man, anti-German.
By the time of the 1916 election, war was churning throughout Europe. Still, Wilson promised to remain unengaged; he ran and won on the slogan, “He kept us out of war.” The American people too had little appetite for armed conflict; as Cooper (2009: 381) writes, “Clearly, the president was not feeling a push for war from Congress or the public.” But like so many campaign promises, this one would be discarded soon afterward—in fact, barely one month after his second inauguration.
So: Why did he do it? Why did Wilson change his mind and, on 2 April 1917, issue his famous call to Congress to declare war on Germany? His official answer: German submarines were relentlessly targeting US military, passenger, and cargo ships, and thus we simply had no choice. But this explanation does not withstand scrutiny. Early in the war the Germans were sinking a number of ships that were trafficking with the Allies, but in September 1915, after urgent demands from Wilson, they suspended submarine attacks. This suspension held for an exceptionally long time—through February 1917. And all throughout that time, we, and other “neutral” nations, were trading with Germany’s enemies, supplying them with material goods, and assisting in a naval blockade. Thus it is unsurprising that the Germans eventually resumed their attacks, on all ships in the war zone.
In his famous speech to Congress, Wilson said of the lifting of the suspension, “the Imperial German Government…put aside all restraints of law or of humanity, and uses its submarines to sink every vessel [in the war zone].” Sparing no hyperbole, he added, “The present German submarine warfare against commerce is a warfare against mankind. It is a war against all nations.”
But what are the facts? Specifically, how big a threat did Germany pose to the US? In reality, it was not much of a threat at all. From the time of the outbreak of war (August 1914) until Wilson’s declaration in April 1917, a total of three small military ships were lost—one submarine in 1915, one armored cruiser in 1916, and one protected cruiser in early 1917. Additionally, a total of 12 American merchant steamers (freight ships) were sunk in the same period, but with the loss of only 38 individual lives. So the US had lost a grand total of 15 ships to that point. Putting this in perspective: Over the course of the entire war, German U-boats sank roughly 6,600 ships in total. Hence the threat to the US was all but inconsequential. Clearly Wilson was thinking in internationalist terms, and someone or something convinced him that realigning the global order was more important than American public opinion; thus his famous and much-derided phrase: “The world must be made safe for democracy.” Yes—but whose democracy?
A few powerful voices opposed Wilson, including Senators Robert La Follette (R-Wisc.) and George Norris (R-Neb.). Both spoke on April 4, just two days after Wilson’s plea for war. La Follette was outraged at the unilateral action taken by the Wilson administration. In a scathing speech, he said:
I am speaking of a profession of democracy that is linked in action with the most brutal and domineering use of autocratic power. Are the people of this country being so well-represented in this war movement that we need to go abroad to give other people control of their governments? Will the President and the supporters of this war bill submit it to a vote of the people before the declaration of war goes into effect? … Who has registered the knowledge or approval of the American people of the course this Congress is called upon to take in declaring war upon Germany? Submit the question to the people, you who support it. You who support it dare not do it, for you know that by a vote of more than ten to one the American people as a body would register their declaration against it.
Norris had some ideas about the driving forces behind the call to war. He believed that many Americans had been “misled as to the real history and the true facts, by the almost unanimous demand of the great combination of wealth that has a direct financial interest in our participation in the war.” Wall Street bankers loaned millions to the Allies, and naturally wanted it repaid. And then there were the profits to be made from military hardware and ammunition. These same forces also held sway in the media:
[A] large number of the great newspapers and news agencies of the country have been controlled and enlisted in the greatest propaganda that the world has ever known, to manufacture sentiment in favor of war. … [And now] Congress, urged by the President and backed by the artificial sentiment, is about to declare war and engulf our country in the greatest holocaust that the world has ever known…
Indeed—every war is a ‘holocaust.’ Norris then encapsulated his view with a most striking line: “We are going into war upon the command of gold.” And everyone knew who held the gold.
Norris and La Follette both realized they had no chance to change the outcome. Any force that could compel abrogation of the Russian treaty and monopolize a presidential election could manufacture Congressional consent for war. Later that same day, the Senate confirmed it, by a vote of 82 to 6. Two days thereafter, the House concurred, 373 to 50. And so we were at war. American troops would be on the ground in Europe within three months.
Political power is a strange thing; it is one of those rare cases where appearance is reality. If you say you have power, and others say you have power, and if all parties act as if you have power—thenyou have power. Such is the case with the jewish Lobby. Simply because, at that time, they had no army, had internal disagreements, and in no country exceeded one or two percent of the population, we cannot conclude that they were mere helpless pawns, manipulated at will by the great powers. And yet today, modern commentators continue to refer to the ‘illusory’ or ‘misperceived’ power of the jews at that time. This can now be exposed as a weak attempt to whitewash the jewish power play. When a small minority can dictate foreign policy, promote global war, and steer the outcome in their favor, then they have substantial power—no matter what anyone says. It was true in 1911; it was true in the 1912 election; and it would be clearly demonstrated once again in the case of the Balfour Declaration of 1917.
To recap: During Wilson’s first term, jewish “Americans” achieved major political gains. Paul Warburg’s Federal Reserve Act was passed, and he was named to the Board. Henry Morgenthau, Sr. was nominated ambassador to Turkey, watching over Palestine. Brandeis was named to the Supreme Court. And Baruch became the second most powerful man in the land.
Jews also made important strides elsewhere in America during those four years. Two more jewish governors were elected—Alexander in Idaho, and Bamburger in Utah. The motion-picture business witnessed the beginning of jewish domination, with Universal Pictures (Carl Laemmle), Paramount (Zukor, Lasky, Frohmans, and Goldwyn), Fox Films (William Fox), and the early formation of “Warner” Bros. Pictures—in reality, the four Wonskolaser brothers: Hirsz, Aaron, Szmul, and Itzhak. This development would prove useful for wartime propaganda. And the jewish population grew by some 500,000 people.
1917 was the first year of Wilson’s second term. The European war was into its third year, and looking increasingly like a stalemate. With the German resumption of U-boat attacks on shipping to the UK and the American declaration, a true world war was in hand. And it was also a time of revolution in Russia. In fact, two revolutions: the worker’s uprising in February that overthrew Czar Nicholas II, and the Bolshevik revolution in October that put the jewish revolutionaries in power.
Leon Trotsky (1879-1940) born Lev Davidovich Bronstein was a Marxist revolutionary and the founder and first leader of the Red Army. By Isaac McBride (Barbarous Soviet Russia) [Public domain or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
The role of jews in the Russian revolution(s) is a complicated and interesting story. There isn’t space here to elaborate, but in brief, the communist movement had a heavy jewish hand from its inception. Marx, of course, was a “German” jew, and his writings inspired an 18-year-old Vladimir Lenin in 1888. Lenin was himself one-quarter jewish (maternal grandfather: Alexandr Blank). In 1898, Lenin formed a revolutionary group, the Russian Social Democratic Worker’s Party (RSDWP), which was the early precursor to the Soviet Communist Party. Four years later, Lenin was joined by a full-blooded jew, Leon Trotsky—born Lev Bronstein. Internal dissension led to a schism in 1903, at which time the RSDWP split into Bolshevik (‘majority’) and Menshevik (‘minority’) factions. Both factions were disproportionately jewish. In addition to Lenin and Trotsky, leading Bolshevik jews included Grigory Zinoviev, Yakov Sverdlov, Lev Kamenev (aka Rozenfeld), Karl Radek, Leonid Krassin, Alexander Litvinov, and Lazar Kaganovich. Ben-Sasson (1976: 943) observes that these men, and “others of jewish origin…were prominent among the leaders of the Russian Bolshevik revolution.” This was public knowledge, even at the time. As the London Times reported in 1919,
One of the most curious features of the Bolshevist movement is the high percentage of non-Russian elements amongst its leaders. Of the 20 or 30 leaders who provide the central machinery of the Bolshevist movement, not less than 75 percent are jews. … [T]he jews provide the executive officers. (March 29, p. 10)
The article proceeds to list Trotsky and some 17 other individuals by name. Levin (1988: 13) notes that, at the 1907 RSDWP Congress, there were nearly 100 jewish delegates, comprising about one third of the total. About 20% of the Mensheviks were jews, but by 1917 they comprised eight of 17 (47%) of its Central Committee members.
Thus it was that, in the years leading up to the 1917 revolutions, jews were working internally and externally to overthrow the Czar. Stein (1961: 98) quotes a Zionist memo of 1914, promoting “relations with the jews in Eastern Europe and in America, so as to contribute to the overthrow of Czarist Russia and to secure the national autonomy of the jews.” Temperley (1924: 173) noted that, “by 1917, [“Russian” jews] had done much in preparation for that general disintegration of Russian national life, later recognized as the revolution.” Ziff (1938: 56) stated the common view of the time that “jewish influence in Russia was supposed to be considerable. jews were playing a prominent part in the revolution…”
Surprisingly, even Winston Churchill acknowledged this fact. In 1920 he wrote an infamous essay explaining the difference between the “good” (Zionist) jews and the “bad” Bolsheviks. This dichotomy, which was nothing less than a “struggle for the soul of the jewish people,” made it appear almost “as if the gospel of Christ and the gospel of Antichrist were destined to originate among the same people” (1920/2002: 24). The Zionists were “national” jews who sought only a homeland for their beleaguered people. The evil “international jews,” the Bolsheviks, sought revolution, chaos, and even world domination. It was, said Churchill, a “sinister conspiracy.” He continued:
This movement among the jews is not new. From the days of Spartacus-Weishaupt to those of Karl Marx, and down to Trotsky (Russia), Bela Kun (Hungary), Rosa Luxemburg (Germany), and Emma Goldman (United States), this world-wide conspiracy for the overthrow of civilization and for the reconstitution of society on the basis of arrested development, of envious malevolence, and impossible equality, has been steadily growing. … It has been the mainspring of every subversive movement during the Nineteenth Century; and now at last this band of extraordinary personalities from the underworld of the great cities of Europe and America have gripped the Russian people by the hair of their heads and have become practically the undisputed masters of that enormous empire. (p. 25)
“There is no need to exaggerate” the jewish role in the Russian revolution; “It is certainly a very great one. … [T]he majority of the leading figures are jews.” In the Soviet institutions, “the predominance of jews is even more astonishing.” But perhaps the worst aspect was the dominant role of judeo-terrorism. Churchill was clear and explicit:
[T]he prominent, if not indeed the principal, part in the system of terrorism applied by the Extraordinary Commissions for Combating Counter-Revolution has been taken by jews, and in some notable cases by jewesses. The same evil prominence was obtained by Jews in the brief period of terror during which Bela Kun ruled in Hungary. The same phenomenon has been presented in Germany (especially in Bavaria), so far as this madness has been allowed to prey upon the temporary prostration of the German people. … [T]he part played by the [jews] in proportion to their numbers in the population is astonishing. (p. 26)
By this time, Churchill had been working on behalf of Zionist jews for some 15 years. He had long counted on jewish political support, and was rumored to be in the pay of wealthy Zionists.
The Russian revolutions were significant, but the premier event of 1917 was surely the Balfour Declaration of November 2. This short letter from the United Kingdom’s Foreign Secretary Arthur James Balfour to Baron Rothschild was remarkable: it promised to a “mere handful” of British subjects (and indirectly their coreligionists worldwide) a land that the United Kingdom did not possess, and that was part of some other empire. It is enlightening to examine the orthodox account of this event. According to the standard view, it was at this time that Britain was not only mired in the war on the Continent, but also that “British forces were fighting to win Palestine from the Ottoman Empire.” The Brits wanted it “because of its location near the Suez Canal.” (In fact, of course, Palestine is more than 200 km from the Canal, separated by the whole of the Sinai Peninsula.) “The British believed the Balfour Declaration would help gain support of this goal from jewish leaders in the UK, the United States, and other countries.”
So, here are a few relevant questions: Was control of the Canal really the primary objective? Or did the British think that the jews would help them in their broader war aims? The jews?—a beleaguered minority everywhere, with no nation, no army, no “real power”? Could they really help the British Empire? And did they in fact help them? And if so, how?
Nothing in the documentation of the time suggests that the canal was anything more than an incidental concern. But there was clearly a larger goal—to enlist the aid of jews everywhere, in order to help Britain win the war. Schneer (2010: 152) notes that, beginning in early 1916, the British sought to “explore seriously some kind of arrangement with ‘world jewry’ or ‘Great jewry’.” A diplomatic communiqué of March 13 is explicit:
[T]he most influential part of jewry in all the countries would very much appreciate an offer of agreement concerning Palestine… [I]t is clear that by utilizing the Zionist idea, important political results can be achieved. Among them will be the conversion, in favour of the Allies, of jewish elements in the Orient, in the United States, and in other places… The only purpose of [His Majesty’s] Government is to find some arrangement…which might facilitate the conclusion of an agreement ensuring the jewish support. (in Ziff 1938: 56)
Later that year, an advisor to the British government, James Malcolm, pressed this very point: that, by promising Palestine to the Zionists, they would use their influence around the world—and especially in America—to help bring about overall victory. On the face of it, this was a preposterous suggestion: that the downtrodden jewish minority, and in particular the even smaller minority of Zionist jews, could do anything to alter events in a world war.
And yet that quickly became the official view of the British government—particularly so when David Lloyd George became prime minister in December 1916. Lloyd George was, from the Zionist perspective, a nearly ideal leader. He had been working with them since 1903. He strongly believed in their near-mythic influence. And he was a devout Christian Zionist, making him an ideological compatriot. Immediately upon assuming office, Lloyd George directed his staff—in particular, Mark Sykes and Lord Arthur Balfour—to negotiate jewish support. MacMillan explains:
From [early] 1917, with Lloyd George’s encouragement, Sykes met privately with Weizmann and other Zionists. The final, and perhaps most important, factor in swinging British support behind the Zionists was to make propaganda among jews, particularly in the United States, which had not yet come into the war, and in Russia… (2003: 416; my italics)
And as if the stalled war wasn’t motivation enough, rumors were soon flying that the Zionists were also soliciting German support; the jews, it seems, were willing to sell their services to the highest bidder. When these rumors reached London, “the British government moved with speed” (ibid). And with speed they did. With Brandeis’s input, a first draft of the brief statement was completed in July. A second draft appeared in mid-October, and by the end of that month Balfour was ready to make public his Government’s stance: “from a purely diplomatic and political point of view, it was desirable that some declaration favourable to the aspirations of the jewish nationalists should now be made. … If we could make a declaration favourable to such an ideal, we should be able to carry on extremely useful propaganda both in Russia and America.” Three days later, they did.
But most striking was the implication that the “mere handful” of Zionist jews in England could actually be a decisive factor in bringing a reluctant US into the global war. If successful, this would dramatically swing the military balance of power. And via Wilson’s jewish advisors—most notably Baruch and Brandeis—they had the ear of the president. But could they do it?
Unquestionably, the Brits thought they could—and that they did. This is such an astonishing manifestation of jewish power that it is worth reviewing the opinions of several commentators. Speaking after the war, on 4 July 1922, Churchill argued for full implementation of the famous Declaration:
Pledges and promises were made during the War… They were made because it was considered they would be of value to us in our struggle to win the War. It was considered that the support which the jews could give us all over the world, and particularly in the United States, and also in Russia, would be a definite palpable advantage. (in Gilbert 2007: 78-79)
In his monumental six-volume study of the 1919 Paris Peace Conference, British historian Howard Temperley (1924) made this observation:
It was believed that if Great Britain declared for the fulfillment of Zionist aspirations in Palestine under her own pledge, one effect would be to bring “Russian” jewry to the cause of the Entente [Allies]. It was believed, also, that such a declaration would have a potent influence upon world jewry in the same way, and secure for the Entente the aid of jewish financial interests. It was believed, further, that it would greatly influence American opinion in favour of the Allies. Such were the chief considerations which, during the later part of 1916 and the next ten months of 1917, impelled the British Government towards making a contract with jewry. (1924, vol. 6: 173)
We must bear in mind that the Declaration was issued seven months after US entry into the war. But Temperley is unequivocal: the deal was concluded “during the later part of 1916,” well before Wilson’s decision to go to war. Apparently the deal was this: bring the US into the war, and we will promise you your jewish homeland. Such was the “contract with jewry.”
Sensing the importance, Temperley reiterates the point, to drive it home: “That it is in purpose a definite contract with jewry is beyond question. … In spirit it is a pledge that, in return for services to be rendered by jewry, the British Government would ‘use their best endeavours’ to secure… Palestine.” And in fact, it was a good deal all around. “The Declaration certainly rallied world jewry, as a whole, to the side of the Entente… [T]he services of jewry were not expected in vain, and were…well worth the price which had to be paid” (p. 174). Britain’s price was low: a spit of land far from the home country. True, there would be Arab resistance, but the Brits were used to that. A much higher price would be paid by Germany and the Central Powers, and by America—who would expend hundreds of millions of dollars, and suffer 116,000 war dead.
A Zionist insider, Samuel Landman, wrote a detailed and explicit account of these events in 1936. After noting some preliminary attempts in 1916, he remarks on the significance of Malcolm’s involvement. Malcolm knew that Wilson “always attached the greatest possible importance to the advice of a very prominent Zionist, Mr. Justice Brandeis…” (p. 4). Malcolm was able to convince Sykes and French ambassador Georges Picot that
the best and perhaps the only way…to induce the American President to come into the war was to secure the cooperation of Zionist jews by promising them Palestine, and thus enlist and mobilize the hitherto unsuspectedly powerful forces of the Zionist jews in America and elsewhere in favour of the Allies on a quid pro quo basis.
Granted, Landman was not an unbiased observer, and had good reason to exaggerate Zionist influence. But that was not the case with the British Royal Palestine Commission, which issued a report in 1937. At the critical stage of the war, “it was believed that jewish sympathy or the reverse would make a substantial difference one way or the other to the Allied cause. In particular, jewish sympathy would confirm the support of ‘American’ jewry…” (p. 23). The report then quotes Lloyd George:
The Zionist leaders gave us a definite promise that, if the Allies committed themselves to…a national home for the jews in Palestine, they would do their best to rally jewish sentiment and support throughout the world to the Allied cause. They kept their word.
Two years after this report, in 1939, the British contemplated starting a war with Germany. Churchill wrote a memo for his War Cabinet, reminding them that
it was not for light or sentimental reasons that Lord Balfour and the Government of 1917 made the promises to the Zionists which have been the cause of so much subsequent discussion. The influence of “American” jewry was rated then as a factor of the highest importance, and we did not feel ourselves in such a strong position as to be able to treat it with indifference. (in Gilbert 2007: 165)
The implication, of course, was that the British might once again need jewish help to defeat the Germans. Having been goaded into war in 1939 by Roosevelt and his jewish advisors, the British were becoming desperate once again to draw in the Americans. As David Irving reports, it was in late 1941 that Weizmann and his fellow British Zionists began “promising to use their influence in Washington to bring the United States into the war” (2001: 73). Irving quotes from an amazingly blunt letter from Weizmann to Churchill, promising to do again in this war what they did in the last:
There is only one big ethnic group [in America] which is willing to stand, to a man, for Great Britain, and a policy of ‘all-out aid’ for her: the five million jews. From [Treasury] Secretary Morgenthau [Henry, Jr.], Governor [Herbert] Lehman, Justice Frankfurter, down to the simplest jewish workman or trader… It has been repeatedly acknowledged by British Statesmen that it was the jews who, in the last war, effectively helped to tip the scales in America in favour of Great Britain. They are keen to do it—and may do it—again. (p. 77)
So here we have Weizmann explicitly naming the influential jews with the power to bring Roosevelt and the United States into a war in which it, once again, had no compelling interest. The letter was dated September 10, 1941. Churchill did not have to wait long. Within 90 days, America would be at war.
END PART I
In Part 1 of this article, I provided an account of the jewish role in the events leading up to World War One, with an emphasis on their influence in the UK and United States. Woodrow Wilson was shown to be the first American president elected with the full backing of the jewish lobby, and he responded by placing several jews into leading roles in his administration. They were also seen as having decisive influence at the time of Wilson’s declaration of war in April 1917. On the British side, Prime Minister David Lloyd George was a Christian Zionist and ideological compatriot of the jews, and equally eager to support their aims. Britain leveraged jewish support through the Balfour Declaration of November 1917, which promised the Zionists a homeland in Palestine; it was their reward for their having brought the US into the conflict some seven months earlier.
Such actions were shown to be part of a long-standing historical trend: one of jewish activists and agitators inciting turmoil and even war whenever they stood to benefit. Wars, of course, are not only events of great death and destruction; they provide tremendous opportunity for financial profit, and for dramatic shifts in global power structures. For those in the right position, warfare can yield significant gains in wealth and influence.
Specifically, the events surrounding the First World War brought substantial gains to jews worldwide—in several ways. First, with highly-placed individuals in the Taft and Wilson administrations, the US was very amenable to jewish immigration; in fact their numbers increased dramatically, from 1.5 million to over 3 million between 1905 and 1920—on the way to 4 million by the mid-1920s. Second was the Balfour Declaration, which promised them Palestine. Granted, nothing was immediately delivered as to Palestine, but even so, it was a major concession by a world power. Third, the world order was changed in their favor: the hated and “anti-Semitic” Czarist rule in Russia was replaced by the jewish-led Bolshevik movement, the hated and “anti-Semitic” Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany was replaced by the jewish-friendly Weimar regime, and the jewish-influenced governments of the US and Great Britain reestablished their global dominance.
Finally, and as always, there was money to be made. Running the War Industries Board for Wilson, jewish Financier Bernard Baruch had extraordinary power to direct military spending; we can be sure that his preferred clients benefitted. But perhaps Nebraska Senator George Norris said it best. Speaking in opposition to Wilson’s call for a war declaration, Norris exclaimed that Americans were being deceived “by the almost unanimous demand of the great combination of wealth that has a direct financial interest in our participation in the war.” Furthermore, “a large number of great newspapers and news agencies of the country have been controlled and enlisted in the greatest propaganda that the world has ever known, to manufacture sentiment in favor of war.” Summarizing his case, Norris said this: “We are going into war upon the command of gold.” Finance, media, ‘gold’—jewish interests prospered on many fronts.
But Wilson was evidently unaffected by such matters, or by his pledge to his fellow Americans to “keep us out of war.” His team of jewish backers and advisors—Baruch, but also Henry Morgenthau Sr., Jacob Schiff, Samuel Untermyer, Paul Warburg, Stephen Wise, and Louis Brandeis—wanted war, and war they got. The fact that it would cost America $250 billon (current equivalent), and some 116,000 war dead, did not seem to figure into their calculations.
The main topic of the present essay is World War Two, but its roots lie in the outcome of the First World War. I therefore continue the story from that time.
Before proceeding, we must bear something in mind. The striving of jews for greater influence and political power is to be found on both of the sides of World War I. Russian imperial leaders had long been suspicious of the jews, and largely banished them to the so-called Pale of Settlement that was established in western Russia in the 1790s. Beginning in the 1880s, western media issued exaggerated reports of slaughters, pogroms, and assorted massacres among the “Russian” jews there, whose aggregate numbers of victims were nearly always recorded—astonishingly—as “6 million.”
This naturally generated deep hostility toward the House of Romanov, and many jews sought its demise. Special animosity was reserved for Czar Nicholas II, who assumed power in 1894. In Part 1, I explained the stunningly successful effort of the American jewish lobby to abrogate the long-standing US-Russia treaty in 1911; this was a small punishment aimed at the Czar. The ultimate goal, though, was his overthrow, and thus we can imagine the joy of the global jewish community at his fall in March 1917. As we recall, the Czar and his family were then murdered by jewish Bolsheviks in July of the following year.
It was a somewhat similar story with the German ruler Wilhelm II, who acceded to the throne in 1888. There, however, jews were prosperous and enjoyed a relatively high degree of freedom—despite the Kaiser’s evident personal dislike of them. Previously I cited some impressive statistics by Sarah Gordon regarding their numbers in law, media, business, and academia, all prior to World War I. In the banking sector, they utterly flourished; prominent “German”-jewish banking families included the well-known Rothschilds and Warburgs, but also the Mendelssohns, Bleichroeders, Speyers, Oppenheims, Bambergers, Gutmanns, Goldschmidts, and Wassermanns. But despite their wealth and success, jews had no access to political power, owing to the hereditary monarchy. This, for them, was unacceptable. Thus they had to introduce “democracy”—with all due high-minded values, of course. Only through a democratic system could they exert direct influence on political leadership.
Photograph from the archives of the League of Nations shows a soldier killed in World War I. The war raged for more than four years, from August 1914 to November 1918, and resulted in the deaths of more than nine million combatants. As many as seven million civilians also were killed in the war or died as a consequence of it. [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Consequently, as soon as the Czar fell in Russia, calls came out to repeat the success in Germany. On 19 March 1917, four days after the Czar’s ouster, the New York Times reported on Louis Marshall lauding the event, and adding that “the revolt against autocracy might be expected to spread to Germany.” Two days later, jewish speakers at Madison Square Garden “predict[ed] an uprising in Germany.” As the article explains, “[some] predicted that the revolution of the working classes of Russia was the forerunner of similar revolutions the world over. That the next revolution would be in Germany was predicted by a number of the speakers” (March 21). On March 24, Jacob Schiff took credit for helping to finance the Russian revolution. At the same time, Rabbi Stephen Wise put the blame for the pending American entry into World War I on “German militarism,” adding “I would to God it were possible for us to fight side by side with the German people for the overthrow of Hohenzollernism [i.e., Kaiser Wilhelm].”
Strangely enough, Wise got his wish. Within two weeks, America was in the war. And about 18 months later, Wilhelm would succumb to uprisings in the ranks of his forces and be compelled to abdicate.
The Paris Peace Conference
Having won the war, Wilson’s jewish team was anxious to dictate the peace. “As it turned out,” remarks Robert Shogan (2010: 25), “the war would bring benefits to the Zionist cause, in part because of Brandeis’ role as a trusted advisor [to Wilson].” The victorious nations convened in Paris in January 1919, and the American Jewish Congress was there as its own delegation. Shogan adds that “[Stephen] Wise was in Paris, on assignment from President Wilson to head the Zionist delegation to the peace talks.” (One might reasonably ask: Why do Zionists get their own delegation at all?) Louis Marshall was also prominent there among the “American” jews.
The jewish aim was neither a just implementation of peace, nor fair treatment of Germany, but rather to maximize benefit to the various jewish communities of Europe and the US. “At the beginning of 1919,” says Ben-Sasson (1976: 940), “diplomatic activity in Paris became the main focus of the various attempts to fulfill jewish aspirations.” Fink (1998: 259) concurs: “In March 1919, pro-Zionist and nationalist jewish delegations arrived in Paris.” Nearly every victorious nation, it seems, had its own jewish representatives. Some sought formal and explicit jewish rights in their own nations, and others worked for recognition of a jewish national state. “Polish” jews were notable beneficiaries; they succeeded in achieving explicit mention in the Polish Treaty for Minority Rights.
Writing shortly after the event, Irish philosopher and journalist Emile Dillon saw it this way:
Of all the collectivities whose interests were furthered at the Conference, the jews had perhaps the most resourceful and certainly the most influential exponents. There were jews from Palestine, from Poland, Russia, the Ukraine, Rumania, Greece, Britain, Holland, and Belgium; but the largest and most brilliant contingent was sent by the United States. (1920: 12)
Describing the American side, Fink explains that “the fervent Zionist Julius Mack and the more moderate Louis Marshall quickly overshadowed the leading American anti-nationalists, Henry Morgenthau, Oscar Straus, and Cyrus Adler.”
Though he was predisposed to be sympathetic to the jewish plight, Dillon nonetheless noted that a “religious” or “racial” bias “lay at the root of Mr. Wilson’s policy” (496). It is a fact, he said, “that a considerable number of delegates believed that the real influences behind the Anglo-Saxon peoples were Semitic.” Summarizing prospects for the future, he remarked on the general conclusion by many at Paris: “Henceforth the world will be governed by the Anglo-Saxon peoples, who, in turn, are swayed by their jewish elements.”
Among non-jewish Americans there was a young Herbert Hoover, then-Secretary of the US Food Administration, and of course, future president. He was accompanied by a jewish assistant, the financier Lewis Strauss, who remarked on his boss’s notable inclination to “champion jewish rights,” especially in Poland.[5 ] Strauss would later become instrumental in funding early development of the atomic bomb.
Treatment of the Germans at the conference, as is well known, was brutally harsh. They expected, and were promised, that the conference would be a fair settlement of the legitimate war claims of all belligerents—particularly given the complex and convoluted nature of the outbreak of hostilities. (We recall: the Archduke was assassinated by a Serb in June 1914; the Russian army mobilized and massed on the German border in July; a threatened Germany declared war on Russia in August; a Franco-Russian Pact required a simultaneous declaration against France; and Britain declared war on Germany as soon as Germany’s army crossed into Belgium.) By the time of the Peace Conference, Wilson and his team had decided that Germany alone was responsible for the war, and thus had to bear the full burden of reparations.[6 ] The impossible conditions forced upon them set the stage for the rise of National Socialism and the next great war.
All in all, what emerges from the first war and the subsequent peace conference is a picture of British and American supplication to jewish interests. Indeed, the prime beneficiaries of the war were jews, both in America and in Europe generally. For Germany, it was obviously a disastrous event; it suffered some 2 million military deaths along with thousands of indirect civilian losses, crushing financial debts, and witnessed the end of the 900-year reign of the House of Hohenzollern. This was a tragedy for a nation that, according to Fay (1928: 552), “did not plot a European war, did not want one, and made genuine…efforts to avert one.”
America, which had no legitimate interest in the battles in Europe, was drawn in by Wilson’s compliance with jewish demands. For his part, Wilson comes across as something of an amoral political schemer. MacMillan (2010: 7) describes his close, “possibly romantic,” relationships with several other women during his first marriage. Theodore Roosevelt viewed him “as insincere and cold-blooded an opportunist as we have ever had in the presidency” (ibid: 6). To Lloyd-George, he was “tactless, obstinate, and vain.” Granted, we all have our faults; but for most of us, they do not lead to national catastrophe.
The Jewish Revolutions
With the fall of Czar Nicholas in March 1917, and upon the Bolshevik revolution of October that same year, jewish revolutionaries became particularly active in East and Central Europe. Flush with success in Russia, they hoped to duplicate events in other countries. Ben-Sasson provides a typically understated account:
The new forces that emerged in many countries…opened up new horizons of activity for jewish statesmen of liberal-democratic propensities, particularly those with radical-revolutionary views. … jews were also extremely active in the socialist parties that came to power or attained political importance in many European countries. They were even more prominent in the communist parties that split from the socialists… In short, never before in European history had so many Jews played such an active part in political life and filled such influential roles… (1976: 943)
In other words, jewish anarchists and militant communists (“new forces”) conducted violent insurrection (“new horizons of activity”) aimed at overthrowing the ruling governments, and installing jewish-led regimes. Bermant (1977: 160) confirms this point: “most of the leading revolutionaries who convulsed Europe in the final decades of the last [19th] century and the first decades of [the 20th], stemmed from prosperous jewish families.” This again is in keeping with the longstanding trend of jewish rebellion.
Not that any of this was news; major politicians of the time knew it well. Lord Balfour, for example, once remarked to Wilson’s aide Edward House that “nearly all Bolshevism and disturbances of a like nature, are directly traceable to the jews of the world. They seem determined either to have what they want or to upset present civilization.”
Béla Kun, leader of the 1919 Hungarian Revolution By Hungarian photographer [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Consider Hungary, for example. There, a “Hungarian” jew named Béla Kun (Kohn) founded and led the local wing of the Russian Communist Party in early 1918 that later became an independent entity. Along with jewish colleagues Matyas Rakosi (Roth/Rosenfeld) and Otto Korvin (Klein), Kun’s party organized numerous strikes and conducted violent and subversive attacks against President Karolyi and the ruling Social Democrats. In March 1919 Karolyi resigned, and the SD Party proposed an alliance of necessity with Kun’s communists, in the hope of leveraging his connections to the Russian Bolsheviks. Kun agreed to the proposal, on the condition that the government reestablish itself as the “Hungarian Soviet Republic,” which it did.
Kun dominated the new government, filling many top seats with jews; as Muller (2010: 153) explains, “Of the government’s 49 commissars, 31 were of jewish origin.” He fended off a coup attempt in June, and then conducted what came to be known as the “Red Terror”; this was a paramilitary group, led by jewish ideologues Georg Lukacs and Tibor Szamuely, that hunted down and killed members of the local opposition. Unfortunately for Kun, ongoing conflicts with neighboring Romania led to an invasion of Hungary, and the promised Russian aid never materialized. Kun and his fellow jews were driven out in August, just 133 days after taking power.
It was not only Russia and Hungary that had problems. “jews had a prominent role in Communist parties elsewhere,” explains Bermant (172). In Poland, for example, “about a quarter of party members and about a third of delegates to party congresses were jews.” The Polish Communists were unable, however, to generate sufficient force to oust the newly-established government of Józef Piłsudski.
It was in Germany, though, that the most significant actions occurred, ones that would have a lasting effect. We need to recall events at the end of World War I. Long a stalemate, the war had essentially become a battle of attrition. American forces on the ground in mid to late 1917 threatened to change things, but for the Germans, the western front generally held up—even to the very end. At no point in time did it ever retreat into German territory. But even though the Germans were able to hold out, their allies could not. Bulgaria and the Ottoman Empire surrendered by the end of October 1918. Austria-Hungary yielded in early November. For the Germans, though, the last straw was their problems at home—with the jews.
Trouble began with a minor naval mutiny in late October and early November 1918 at the ports of Kiel and Wilhelmshaven. A number of sailors, workers, and jews from the Independent Social Democratic Party (USPD) joined forces to conduct a nonviolent rebellion against the Kaiser. The German rebels simply wanted the war to end, whereas the jewish rebels sought power; in this sense it was a natural alliance. The “rebellion”—primarily in the form of a general strike—quickly spread, reaching Munich within a matter of days. In an attempt to cut short this action, the majority Social Democrats (SPD) called on the Kaiser to abdicate, at which time they would form a republican government. On November 9, they prevailed; Wilhelm stepped down and a new “German Republic” was proclaimed. It was this new leadership that signed the armistice agreement on November 11, ending the war.
The USPD rebels, however, had their own plans. On the very same day that the German Republic was created, they declared the formation of a “Free Socialist Republic.” This group had an almost entirely jewish leadership: Rosa Luxemburg, Hugo Haase, Karl Liebknecht (half-jewish), Leo Jogiches, Karl Radek (Sobelsohn), and Alexander Parvus (Gelfand) were the dominant figures. And these were just the activists centered in Berlin. In Munich, other jewish rebels were conducting a separate, simultaneous revolution, aimed at creating a Bavarian communist state. The leading USPD revolutionary there was a jewish journalist, Kurt Eisner. On November 7, he demanded the abdication of the local monarch, King Ludwig III. The king fled on the following day, and Eisner declared himself “Minister-President” of a free Bavarian state.
Kurt Eisner demanded the abdication of King Ludwig III on November 7, 1918. The King fled on the following day, and Eisner declared himself “Minister-President” of a free Bavarian state. Robert Sennecke [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Soon enough, though, Eisner’s luck ran out. On 21 February 1919, he was assassinated by a fellow jew, Anton Arco-Valley. Within a few weeks, other USPD Jews regained power and established a Bavarian Soviet Republic—the third in Europe, behind Russia and Hungary. Its leader was the Jewish playwright Ernst Toller. Among his group were the noted Jewish anarchists Gustav Landauer and Erich Muehsam. Through sheer incompetency, Toller’s government managed to get usurped by yet another Jewish faction, one led by Eugen Levine and the half-Jew Otto Neurath. Levine attempted to institute a true communist system, including its own “Red Army” modeled on the Russians’. But once again, his success was short-lived. Remnants of the old German army quickly intervened, deposing the communists in early May.
Things did not end well for the jewish rebels. Levine was captured and executed, as was Landauer. Toller, Muehsam, Radek, Parvus, and Neurath managed to escape. Luxemburg and Liebknecht were shot by German soldiers in January 1919, and Jogiches died under mysterious circumstances in March. Haase was killed by a deranged worker in November of that same year.
But that was far from the end of their influence in Germany. The USPD was reconstituted as the German Communist Party (KPD), under the leadership of Paul Levi. The ruling SPD had meanwhile joined forces with the moderate German Democratic Party (DDP), convening in January 1919 in the city of Weimar to create a constitutional form of government. Jews were front and center in both of these parties: Otto Landesberg, Eduard Bernstein, and Rudolf Hilferding in the SPD, and Walter Rathenau in the DDP; Rathenau was eventually named as German Foreign Minister. His jewish colleague, Hugo Preuss, wrote the Weimar constitution. This jewish influence was well described by a philo-Semitic and Pulitzer-Prize-winning American journalist, Edgar Mowrer. Writing in 1933, he noted that
a large number of jews entered the Social Democratic Party [SDP] which inherited power as a result of the [November] Revolution. Other jews flocked to the Democratic Party [DDP], a group which certainly overlooked no chance to favor the interests of trade, banking and the stock exchange… (1933: 227)
It is interesting that then, as now, they seem to have covered all the bases: liberal, left-wing jews dominated the SPD, and capitalist, right-wing jews dominated the DDP. Thus, no matter which party emerged with control, jews retained influence. Confirming my earlier statements, Mowrer added that “a number of outspoken revolutionary leaders, Rosa Luxemburg in Berlin, Erich Muehsam and Ernst Toller in Munich, were jews.” He continued:
In post-war politics any number of jews rose to leadership. Both in the Reich and in the Federal States, Jews, particularly Social Democrats, became Cabinet Ministers. In the bureaucracy, the jews rose rapidly to leading positions, and until about 1930 their number seemed on the increase.
Summing up the situation, he observed that, “in short, after the Revolution, the jews came in Germany to play in politics and administration that same considerable part that they had previously won by open competition in business, trade, banking, the Press, the arts, the sciences, and the intellectual and cultural life of the country” (228).
The new Weimar Republic was duly signed into law in August 1919. Unsurprisingly, it was notably friendly to German jews, removing all remnants of legal obstructions, and granting them full access to business, academia, and government—the very process that Mowrer described. As Lavsky (1996: 41) says, “All remaining discrimination was abolished and there were no restrictions on participation in German public life.” The vital role played by Weimar Jews is concisely explained by Walter Laqueur:
Without the jews there would have been no ‘Weimar culture’—to this extent the claims of the antisemites, who detested that culture, were justified. They were in the forefront of every new daring, revolutionary movement. They were prominent among Expressionist poets, among the novelists of the 1920s, among the theatrical producers and, for a while, among the leading figures of the cinema. They owned the leading liberal newspapers such as the Berliner Tageblatt, the Vossische Zeitung and the Frankfurter Zeitung, and many editors were jews too. Many leading liberal and avant-garde publishing houses were in jewish hands (S. Fischer, Kurt Wolff, the Cassirers, Georg Bondi, Erich Reiss, the Malik Verlag). Many leading theatre critics were Jews, and they dominated light entertainment. (1974: 73)
Laqueur, however, does not explain that the celebrated “Weimar culture” was perhaps best known for its licentiousness, promiscuity, and general moral depravity. “They established themselves in the universities, civil service, law, business, banking, and the free professions,” adds Lavsky. “Certain spheres were virtually monopolized by the jews, and their contribution to journalism, literature, theater, music, the plastic arts, and entertainment was considerable.”
It was this very centrality of jews to social upheaval, the November Revolution, and the new Weimar Republic that led three German activists and intellectuals—Anton Drexler, Gottfried Feder, and Dietrich Eckart—to found the Deutsche Arbeiterpartei (DAP) in January 1919. This would be the forerunner to the National Socialist DAP (NSDAP) Party. One of their first recruits was a distraught 30-year-old former soldier, Adolf Hitler.
In Mein Kampf, Hitler describes in painful, personal detail how the young German men went to fight and die on the front lines even as the jewish activists and rebels undermined the imperial government back home. Calling them “hoary criminals,” he adds that, all the while, “these perjured criminals were making preparations for a revolution” (I.5). Upon a medical leave from the front in October 1916, he describes the situation in Munich:
Anger, discontent, complaints met one’s ears wherever one went. … The administrative offices were staffed by jews. Almost every clerk was a jew and every jew was a clerk. … In the business world the situation was even worse. Here the jews had actually become ‘indispensable.’ Like leeches, they were slowly sucking the blood from the pores of the national body. … Hence as early as 1916-1917 practically all production was under the control of Jewish finance. (I.7)
Hitler returned to the front in March 1917, and was struck by a mustard gas attack in October of the following year. The gas severely burned his eyes, sending him to a military hospital for recovery. It was there that he first heard about the revolution. The jewish-Marxist “gang of despicable and depraved criminals” had led the overthrow of the Emperor and were attempting to take direct power themselves. Their revolts would be transitory, but the Jewish-influenced Weimar regime would soon take control of the nation, and this was scarcely any better. It was these events that led Hitler to become politically active.
The Interwar Period and Emergence of FDR
1920 was a year of some importance. The Hitler-led NSDAP was formally established in February. That same month, a 46-year-old Winston Churchill penned his infamous article “Zionism versus Bolshevism,” in which he decried the pernicious role of jewish Marxists such as Trotsky, Kun, Luxemburg, and the American Emma Goldman. And in the US, Henry Ford had just begun his two-year series on the “International Jew.”
The following year, in late 1921, Ford recalled his past efforts to bring a peaceful end to WWI. During that earlier time, he says, “it was the jews themselves that convinced me of the direct relation between the international jew and war.”
[They explained to me] the means by which the jew controlled the war, how they had the money, how they had cornered all the basic materials needed to fight the war… They said…that the jews had started the war; that they would continue it as long as they wished, and that until the jew stopped the war, it could not be stopped. (New York Times, 5 December 1921, p. 33)
This was a recurrent theme in Ford’s “International Jew” series.
Meanwhile across the ocean, Lenin (a quarter-jew) and his jewish Bolshevik colleagues established the Soviet Union in December of 1922. The next year, Hitler and others within the NSDAP launched a failed coup attempt in Bavaria, leading to his 12-month imprisonment and consequent writing of Mein Kampf. In early 1924, both Lenin and Woodrow Wilson died within a month of each other.
Little of note occurred during the mid- to late-1920s. jewish immigration into the US continued to expand, with their numbers surpassing 4.3 million by 1927. Jews made further inroads into Hollywood; Marcus Loew acquired MGM studios, the Cohn brothers took over at Columbia Broadcasting System, and David Sarnoff founded RKO Pictures. In the political sphere, the Republican and Christian Zionist Herbert Hoover won the presidential election of 1928, and a relatively unknown Democrat, Franklin D. Roosevelt, won the governorship of New York.
From the start, FDR had close and persistent ties to “American” jews—ties that would prove decisive to his actions in the Second World War. His running mate in New York was Herbert Lehman, the son of “German” jews. (His Republican opponent, jewish Attorney General Albert Ottinger, failed to draw the jewish vote that FDR did; this says something about the strength of FDR’s connection to that group.) Upon assuming the governorship, Roosevelt “filled a number of key positions from the state’s large jewish population,” according to Shogan (2010: 5). One of his first major appointments was his longtime friend Henry Morgenthau Jr. to the New York State Agriculture Committee. He also named a former speechwriter, Samuel Rosenman, as “counsel to the governor.” Both would play important roles in his presidency.
Franklin D. Roosevelt arm in arm with Henry Morgenthau Jr. U.S. National Archives and Records Administration [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Other jews, though, also had an interest in FDR—notably, Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis and his protégé, Harvard lawyer Felix Frankfurter. Even prior to his gubernatorial win in New York, “Brandeis alerted Frankfurter to his eagerness to connect with the man he believed would someday be the nation’s president” (ibid: 72). And indeed, “for the next four years Brandeis was content to rely on Frankfurter to be his conduit to the governor’s chambers in Albany.”
The same election that put Roosevelt in the governor’s seat placed Hoover in the presidency. As I noted earlier, he had long championed jewish interests. As president, Hoover did his part for the Hebrews, naming Eugene Meyer Fed Chairman in 1930, and appointing the second jewish justice, Benjamin Cardozo, to the Supreme Court in March 1932. But by then the Great Depression was well underway, dooming any chance for reelection.
FDR’s Jewish Ancestry?
Before turning to FDR’s long and historic stint as president, I want to recall a question I raised in Part 1 of the present series: Was Roosevelt jewish? Previously I noted that his fifth cousin Theodore claimed to be jewish, according to former Michigan governor Chase Osborn. I have yet to find any independent confirmation of this assertion, though there seems to be no reason why Osborn would lie about such a thing. Both were good Republicans, after all. But more to the point, Osborn would have much to say about FDR, as I will explain momentarily.
Franklin left many clues to a possible jewish heritage, beginning as far back as 1914. In a letter to a friend upon the birth of his son Franklin Jr., he wrote that he had considered naming him Isaac—a classic jewish name, and one shared by both his grandfather and great-great-grandfather. But the family resisted: “this name is not met with enthusiasm, especially as the baby’s nose is slightly Hebraic and the family have visions of Ikey Rosenvelt, though I insist it is very good New Amsterdam Dutch.” For Shogan this is a sign of latent anti-Semitism, but I find that an unlikely excuse. What true anti-Semite would admit that his newborn son looked jewish? Or would contemplate a jewish name? More likely it was an inside joke, of the kind that people might say to family or close friends about a particular ethnic heritage within one’s own background.
Twenty years later, another clue. In 1934, now-president FDR gave a photo of himself and Henry Morgenthau to Henry’s wife. It bore this inscription: “For Elinor from one of two of a kind.” Yes, but two of what kind? Democrats? Americans? jews? An oddly suggestive remark.
That same year saw the publication of an enlightening interview with Osborn, one that would initiate a prolonged discussion on FDR’s heritage. The 8 February 1934 edition of the St. Petersburg (Fla.) Times carried an interview in which Osborn claimed that the Roosevelts were descended from the Rossacampos, a jewish family expelled from Spain in 1620. That family spread out into Europe and altered their spelling according to the various places where they took root: Rosenberg, Rosenblum, Rosenthal, and in Holland, Rosenvelt. “The Rosenvelts in north Holland finally became Roosevelt,” claimed Osborn—which in fact seems to be true: the family patriarch, Claes van Rosenvelt, immigrated to the US in 1649. His son Nicholas apparently dropped the ‘van’ and changed the spelling to the familiar form.
A small Michigan publication, Civic Echo, picked up and repeated the story soon thereafter. A year later, jewish journalist and publisher Philip Slomovitz came across the Echo story, and decided to write directly to FDR to get his opinion. On 7 March 1935 the president responded:
I am grateful to you for your interesting letter of March fourth. I have no idea as to the source of the story which you say came from my old friend, Chase Osborn. … In the dim distant past they [the Roosevelts] may have been jews or Catholics or Protestants—what I am more interested in is whether they were good citizens and believers in God—I hope they were both. (cited in Slomovitz 1981: 5)
Once again this is a suspiciously circumspect reply by FDR. For him to say that his relatives “may have been jews” sounds very much as if he knows this truth, does not want to openly acknowledge it, but cannot quite bring himself to lie about it.
Slomovitz planned to publish the reply in his Detroit Jewish Chronicle. Before he could do so, the New York Times got wind of it and carried the text in their issue of March 15—on page 1.
Slomovitz passed this reply on to Osborn, who repeated his original assertion in a return letter of March 21: “President Roosevelt knows well enough that his ancestors were jewish. I heard Theodore Roosevelt state twice that his ancestors were jewish. Once was to me when I asked him about it after he had made a pleasing euphemistic statement in a speech to a jewish gathering” (ibid: 6-7). Osborn is adamant. And it is important to note that he does not take this jewish heritage as a slur; in fact, quite the opposite. He is evidently a Christian Zionist (and Republican), and thus views it as a redeeming quality. As such, he would likely not cast the Democrat Franklin in this positive light unless he actually believed it to be true. It seems that he was talking from a factual, if unconfirmed, basis.
If Slomovitz was inclined to doubt Osborn’s claim, another letter would soon fortify his belief. On March 27 he received a note from none other than Rabbi Stephen Wise of New York City. Wise had evidently seen the New York Times story, and wrote to confirm it. In his letter he recounts an “almost literal transcript” given to him by his wife, who had previously attended a luncheon with Roosevelt’s wife Eleanor—who said the following: “Often cousin Alice and I say that all the brains in the Roosevelt family comes [sic] from our Jewish great-grandmother” (ibid: 9). She then allegedly added a name, ‘Esther Levy.’ The Alice in question was the oldest child of Theodore; Eleanor’s father Elliot was his brother. Their common great-grandmother would have been either Margaret Barnhill or Martha Stewart—neither of whom appears to be jewish, unfortunately. And we have no record of any Esther Levy in the Roosevelt lineage. A bit of a mystery.
The letter then takes a little twist. Eleanor continued: “Whenever mention is made of our jewish great-grandmother by cousin Alice or myself, Franklin’s mother [Sara Delano] gets very angry and says, ‘You know that is not so. Why do you say it?’” Another puzzling remark, and one that Wise leaves unexplained.
Wise closes the letter with his own assessment: that Roosevelt “knows what I [Wise] have just written to be true, but deems it wiser and more expedient not to make any public mention of it at this time.” The letter, after all, was marked “Strictly private and confidential.” Wise adds that “you [Slomovitz] must not, however, make use of this. I think it is just as well to let the matter die down now.” A strange series of comments, to be sure.
Many years later, a final small clue appeared. From the mid-1920s to mid-1930s, Franklin’s daughter Anna was married to a stockbroker named Curtis Dall. After having two children, they divorced in 1934. Three decades later Dall published a book, FDR: My Exploited Father-in-Law (1968). In it we read this sentence: “As I gathered it, the background of the Franklin Roosevelt family was a composite of English, Dutch, jewish, and French stock” (98). There is no further elaboration.
In the end, many questions remain, but it seems possible that the Roosevelts were at least in part jewish. Perhaps the larger question is this: Does it matter? I believe it does, on two counts. First is the basic matter of historical accuracy; if we did in fact have a partially jewish president, or rather two such presidents, the history books ought to reflect this reality. Likely other relevant evidence exists in the vast presidential archives, and an open admission might bring this to light.
Second and more important is the effect this may have had on FDR’s actions prior to and during World War II. With even a partial jewish heritage, he may have been more sympathetic to the jewish cause, more amenable to jews within his administration, and more likely to sacrifice on behalf of jewish interests. The evidence shows that all these things actually happened—which is precisely why “Franklin Roosevelt was the first great hero of ‘American’ jews” (Shogan 2010: xi). The ‘family connection’ would certainly help to explain such things.
Alternatively, and as is often the case today, it could have been strictly a matter of money—of rewarding those who paved one’s way to the top. But perhaps the strongest case is this: that it was a combination of both. If FDR was predisposed by his heritage to be sympathetic to the jews, and they also stepped forward to fund his campaigns and support him in the media, these would then be powerful incentives to reward them within his administration, and to be swayed by their concerns when it came time to deploy American military power. I examine that case now.
“All the President’s Jews”
The case for a possible jewish hand in World War II could be made, if we could show the following:
an extensive and influential jewish presence in FDR’s administration,
that the US public did not want war,
that influential “American” jews did want war,
that FDR acted surreptitiously on behalf of war,
that jewish-run US media supported war, and
that the US entered the war under false pretenses.
I will provide specific data on the first two points, and then address the remaining ones collectively.
Earlier I showed Roosevelt’s dependence on jewish supporters during his gubernatorial term. When it came time to mount a presidential campaign, his old buddies were there to help. As Scholnick (1990: 193) explains, “A number of wealthy jewish friends contributed to Roosevelt’s prenomination campaign fund: Henry Morgenthau Jr., Lt. Gov. Lehman, Jesse Straus, [and] Laurence Steinhardt.” Once the primaries were out of the way, “Roosevelt’s campaign was heavily underwritten by Bernard Baruch.”
The first rule in politics is to reward those who finance your path to success. Thus it is unsurprising that “[FDR’s] administration contained a higher proportion of jews than any other” (Michael 2005: 178). In the words of Herzstein (1989: 40), “jews were indeed more prominent than ever before in American history.” So who were these leading figures that were so dominant during the Roosevelt years? At the top of the list were the Big 5, the “President’s jews” as Shogan says, who had the largest hand in swaying events within the presidency: Louis Brandeis, Felix Frankfurter, Henry Morgenthau Jr., Sam Rosenman, and Ben Cohen.
Brandeis was of course a sitting Supreme Court justice long before Roosevelt ran for office, having been placed there by his friend Woodrow Wilson in 1916. Even prior to his initial election in 1932, FDR arranged a meeting with Brandeis to discuss policy. According to Shogan (2010), the Justice soon sent Roosevelt “a broad blueprint for the New Deal” (72). Some years later, in 1938, “Brandeis made his first call on FDR on behalf of the jews” (83). Such involvement in government administration by a Supreme Court justice is unusual, to say the least. Others would call it flagrantly unethical. Justices are supposed to rule on constitutional matters, not make policy. He obviously knew this, and thus generally worked through Jewish intermediaries, like Frankfurter and Cohen, to get his message to the president.
On a day-to-day basis, Frankfurter was particularly important. Even by 1933 he had become “probably FDR’s most influential advisor” (ibid: 105). Incensed at the extent of his power, American General Hugh Johnson called him “the most influential single individual in the United States” (86). Frankfurter, he said, “had insinuated his boys into obscure but key positions in every vital department” related to the New Deal. Later, when Europe was on the brink of war, Frankfurter was apparently instrumental in initiating a series of secret correspondences between FDR and Churchill at a very sensitive time—neutral presidents are not supposed to be conducting secret negotiations with leaders of belligerent nations. Frankfurter, as we know, would be well rewarded by Roosevelt for his efforts, with the nomination to the Supreme Court in January 1939.
Moving down the list: Roosevelt “was as close to Henry Morgenthau…as to any man” (ibid: 32). So close, in fact, that Franklin would make him the second jew ever to join a presidential cabinet; he was named Secretary of the Treasury in early 1934, serving right through the end of the war. Henry would later author the notorious “Morgenthau Plan”—a policy for the virtual destruction of postwar Germany. This again was an outrageously out-of-line effort by a treasury secretary, who formally has no business conducting foreign policy. But this evidently did not stop him from trying.
The two youngest members of the Big 5 were Rosenman and Cohen. Though serving as a New York state judge, Rosenman also functioned as “FDR’s chief speechwriter and a leading general advisor” (ibid: 9). Ward (1989: 254) notes that he was “a close aide from 1928 onwards”—that is, even before FDR’s governorship. The lawyer Benjamin Cohen became one of the key drafters of Roosevelt’s vital New Deal legislation, which was his lasting economic legacy. He clearly had the president’s ear; Nasaw (2012: 358) calls him the “unofficial emissary of Justice Brandeis and Felix Frankfurter.”
But more importantly, Cohen was the lead architect and executor of the infamous ‘bases for destroyers’ plan of mid- to late-1940. At that time Britain was well into the war and badly needed military assistance from the US. But as a neutral nation, and by law, the US was unable to help. Cohen then concocted a plan by which America would “loan” 50 warships to the UK in exchange for the use of certain global bases that they held. “Employing hairsplitting technicalities and unprovable assertions about national defense, [Cohen’s] memorandum stretched the law, creating a loophole wide enough for fifty warships to steam through on their way to join the Royal Navy,” says Shogan (152). Seeking legal approval for this blatantly illegal action, Roosevelt turned to…Justice Frankfurter. And to no one’s surprise, the Justice conferred his blessing. The Brits, of course, were elated. For the Germans, this was a veritable act of war by the nominally neutral Americans. Most fatefully, it seems to have been decisive in causing Hitler to sign a mutual-defense pact with Japan in October 1940; it was this agreement that would trigger Germany’s declaration of war on the United States following the attack on Pearl Harbor.
Beyond the Big 5, several other jews played influential roles. Bernard Baruch, another Wilsonian holdover, was a part-time financial advisor and “prominent confidant” of both FDR and Churchill. Jerome Frank was a close aide, as was David Niles. James Warburg, son of Paul, was an early financial advisor. In May of 1934, Eugene Black was named Fed Chairman, and Jesse Straus was appointed ambassador to France—even as his nephew, Nathan Straus Jr., came to head the US Housing Authority. William Bullitt, a quarter-jew, was given two critical ambassadorships: first to the Soviet Union, and then, during the war, to France. Laurence Steinhardt, who had helped so much with campaign funding, was awarded a string of ambassadorships throughout FDR’s tenure. Franklin’s old friend Herbert Lehman was appointed head of the new Office of Foreign Relief and Rehabilitation in 1943. Herbert Feis was an influential economics advisor for the State Department. Abe Fortas served as Undersecretary of the Interior. Charles Wyzanski was solicitor general in the Labor Department. Mordecai Ezekiel was economics advisor to the Agriculture Secretary. David Lilienthal became chairman of the TVA. Other Jews, like Sidney Hillman and Rose Schneiderman, emerged as important advisors on labor matters.
Even some of FDR’s non-jewish team members had Semitic connections. Long-time Secretary of State Cordell Hull’s wife, Frances Witz, was jewish. So too was the spouse of New Deal architect and close confidant Harry Hopkins (Ethel Gross). We can be sure that they were sympathetic to the jewish cause. All in all, one can well understand the motivation of Roosevelt’s critics, who derided his administration as the “jew Deal.”
On the second point, it is uncontroversial that Americans overwhelmingly wanted to avoid the war. In a radio address of 23 April 1941, the leading anti-war advocate, Charles Lindbergh, condemned the course of action “to which more than 80 percent of our citizens are opposed.” In an address the month before, Congressman Hamilton Fish stated that “somewhere between 83 and 90 percent of the people, according to the various Gallop polls, are opposed to our entrance into war unless attacked.”[ 23] The data supported such claims. According to surveys conducted in June and July 1940, between 81 and 86% of respondents preferred to “stay out” of a war, if it were to come up for a vote. Another poll in July 1941 registered a 79% figure. The highest recorded number came somewhat earlier, in a report published in mid-1938; when asked “If another war like the World War [I] develops in Europe, should America take part again?,” fully 95% of the respondents replied “No”. Such figures generally held up right until the attack on Pearl Harbor.
The Path to War
The remaining points become clear, I think, simply by stepping through some key events and observations as they happened chronologically.
As is well known, jews worldwide confronted Hitler as soon as he assumed power in 1933—witness the infamous “Judea Declares War on Germany” headline in the UK’s Daily Express of 24 March 1933. In a sense, this was understandable. Putting an end to a post-World War I Weimar Republic dominated by jews, Hitler quickly banished them from positions of power, and placed immediate restrictions on their movement and business activities. In fact, one may speculate that this was not unrelated to Germany’s amazing economic renaissance.
The UK’s Daily Express of 24 March 1933 runs the infamous headline, “Judea Declares War on Germany” announcing that jews worldwide confronted Hitler as soon as he assumed power. Source: http://sv.metapedia.org/w/Judea_declares_war_on_Germany
But the Western media did not see it this way. As early as April 1933, the New York Times was reporting on the “economic extermination of jews in Germany” (April 6). Two months later we read, simply, that “Hitler’s program is one of extermination” (June 29). In August, we are shocked to learn that “600,000 jews are facing certain extinction” (August 16). Here we can graphically see how the ‘extermination’ myth rapidly evolved, from a plan of economic exclusion.
For the Germans, Western—particularly American—media meant jewish media. As early as 1934, they viewed it as a potential threat. A communiqué by the German ambassador to the US, Hans Luther, observed that America possessed “the strongest jewish propaganda machine in the world.” This comment was made in light of jewish dominance in Hollywood, and the fact that jews owned two of the major American newspapers, the New York Times and the Washington Post. Luther’s impression was held by the German leadership throughout the war. Goebbels, for example, wrote the following in his diary entry of 24 April 1942: “Some statistics are given to me on the proportion of jews in American radio, film, and press. The percentage is truly frightening. jewry controls 100% of the film business, and between 90 and 95% of press and radio.”
By the mid-1930s, Germany was in the midst of their astounding economic recovery, one that was particularly striking given their ruination after World War I, and that it occurred during the Great Depression. Within just his first four years, Hitler had reduced unemployment from 6 million to 1 million; the jobless rate fell from 43.8% when he took office, to effectively zero by the end of 1938. In just four years, he increased GNP by 37%, and oversaw a 400% increase in auto production. In effect, he single-handedly ended the Depression in Germany. Two more years, and the nation would be a world power of the first rank.
Germany thus emerged as a viable competitor to the traditional global powers. Churchill felt particularly threatened. In a congressional testimony, US General Robert Wood recalled a statement by the British politician from 1936: “Germany is getting too strong. We must smash her.” This suggests a belligerence on Churchill’s part long before any aggressions by Hitler. As we know: it was the UK that declared war on Germany, not vice versa.
In October 1937, Roosevelt gave his famous ‘quarantine’ speech. Here we find one of the first indications, albeit indirect, that he anticipates a time when the US would come into direct conflict with Germany, and he subtly propagandizes the public in favor of war. The danger of Hitler is exaggerated; neutrality and isolation are disparaged; baseless assertions and cautiously conditional statements are thrown out—and all in the language of peace. Should Hitler prevail, “let no one imagine that America will escape, … that this Western Hemisphere will not be attacked.” “There is no escape through mere isolation or neutrality,” he said; “international anarchy destroys every foundation for peace.” “We are determined to keep out of war,” said FDR, “yet we cannot insure ourselves against the disastrous effects of war and the dangers of involvement.” Sparing no hyperbole, he added that, if Germany initiates a war, “the storm will rage till every flower of culture is trampled and all human beings are leveled in a vast chaos.” This is difficult to read except as an indication that the path of violent confrontation had already been decided upon, and that the long process had begun to persuade a reluctant public that they must support it.
By this time, jewish lobbies around the world, but especially in the UK and US, began to press hard for military action, to intervene on behalf of their beleaguered coreligionists in National Socialist Germany, and to once again overthrow a hated regime—never mind that the Germans may have had some right to self-determination. One of the first clear pieces of evidence of this came in early 1938, from the Polish ambassador to the US, Jerzy Potocki. He reported back to Warsaw on his observations of the American political scene:
The pressure of the jews on President Roosevelt and on the State Department is becoming ever more powerful… The jews are right now the leaders in creating a war psychosis which would plunge the entire world into war and bring about general catastrophe. This mood is becoming more and more apparent. In their definition of democratic states, the jews have also created real chaos; they have mixed together the idea of democracy and communism, and have above all raised the banner of burning hatred against ‘Nazism.’
This hatred has become a frenzy. It is propagated everywhere and by every means: in theaters, in the cinema, and in the press. The Germans are portrayed as a nation living under the arrogance of Hitler which wants to conquer the whole world and drown all of humanity in an ocean of blood. In conversations with jewish press representatives, I have repeatedly come up against the inexorable and convinced view that war is inevitable. This international jewry exploits every means of propaganda to oppose any tendency towards any kind of consolidation and understanding between nations. In this way, the conviction is growing steadily but surely in public opinion here that the Germans and their satellites, in the form of fascism, are enemies who must be subdued by the ‘democratic world.’ (February 9)
Such a view is confirmed in a letter by Senator Hiram Johnson (R-Cal.), written to his son that same year. The pro- and anti-war camps were clear: “all the jews [are] on one side, wildly enthusiastic for the President, and willing to fight to the last American.” Though sympathetic, Johnson had no interest in fighting a war on their behalf. He and other like-minded politicians wanted to speak out, “but everybody is afraid—I confess I shrink from it—of offending the jews.” The situation has hardly changed in 75 years.
For his part, Bernie Baruch was certainly itching for a fight. Speaking to General George Marshall, he said “We are going to lick that fellow Hitler. He isn’t going to get away with it.” One wonders how he would know this, in 1938. Actually, it’s not much of a mystery: Churchill apparently told him so. As Sherwood (1948: 111) recounts, Churchill—then still First Lord of the Admiralty—said this to Baruch: “War is coming very soon. We will be in it and you (the United States) will be in it. You (Baruch) will be running the show over there, but I will be on the sidelines over here.” This is an astonishing claim; how would Churchill know such a thing, in 1938? The Anschluss with Austria had been completed in March that year, and Germany annexed the Sudetenland in October, but the Munich Accord was signed in September, nominally preserving a kind of tenuous peace. So what could have convinced Churchill that war was inevitable, and that the Americans would be running the show? Kristallnacht, perhaps? Was that the last straw, for the global jewish lobby?
Apparently Lord Beaverbrook thought so. Writing to Frank Gannett in December 1938, he made this striking statement:
The jews are after [Prime Minister] Chamberlain. He is being terribly harassed by them… All the jews are against him… They have got a big position in the press here [in the UK]… I am shaken. The jews may drive us into war [and] their political influence is moving us in that direction. (cited in Nasaw 2012: 357-358)
Beaverbrook was a prominent and influential media executive and politician, rather like the Rupert Murdoch of his day. He was well positioned to make such a claim.
The year 1939 opened with FDR’s State of the Union speech—and more veiled threats. “We have learned that God-fearing democracies of the world…cannot safely be indifferent to international lawlessness anywhere. They cannot forever let pass, without effective protest, acts of aggression against sister nations.” He consequently called for an unprecedented peacetime allocation of $2 billion for national defense. A message to Hitler—and to all those Americans who might oppose intervention in European affairs.
Hitler, incidentally, was giving his own speeches, most infamously to the Reichstag on January 30. It included this memorable warning:
If the international jewish financiers in and outside Europe should succeed in plunging the nations once more into a world war, then the result will not be the Bolshevization of the earth, and thus the victory of jewry, but the annihilation [Vernichtung] of the jewish race in Europe!
Two quick comments: The German word ‘Vernichtung’ has multiple meanings, and in no way requires the killing of any persons in question. The literal meaning is “to bring to nothing.” More broadly it means to completely remove or eliminate the presence, role, or influence of something. And there are many ways to do this short of murder. But more to the point, Hitler’s alleged program of physical extermination was supposedly a great secret. He cannot possibly have told the world, in the most public of venues, of his ‘secret’ plan to kill all the jews—in early 1939. Clearly he was referring to their displacement from Europe, and to an elimination of their previously dominant role there. But this was no secret at all—he had been doing that in Germany for some six years already.
Back in Washington, Ambassador Potocki sent two more revealing reports to Warsaw. A short statement on January 9 included this: “The American public is subject to an ever more alarming propaganda, which is under jewish influence and continuously conjures up the specter of the danger of war. Because of this, the Americans have strongly altered their views on foreign policy problems, in comparison with last year.” Three days later came the longest and perhaps most insightful report:
The feeling now prevailing in the United States is marked by a growing hatred of Fascism and, above all, of Chancellor Hitler and everything connected with Nazism. Propaganda is mostly in the hands of the jews, who control almost 100 percent radio, film, daily and periodical press. Although this propaganda is extremely coarse and presents Germany as black as possible—above all religious persecution and concentration camps are exploited—this propaganda is nevertheless extremely effective, since the public here is completely ignorant and knows nothing of the situation in Europe. …
The prevalent hatred against everything which is in any way connected with German Nazism is further kindled by the brutal policy against the jews in Germany and by the émigré problem. In this action, various jewish intellectuals participated: for instance, Bernard Baruch; the Governor of New York State, Lehman; the newly appointed judge of the Supreme Court, Felix Frankfurter; Secretary of the Treasury Morgenthau; and others who are personal friends of President Roosevelt. They want the President to become the champion of human rights, freedom of religion and speech, and the man who in the future will punish trouble-makers. These groups of people, who occupy the highest positions in the American government and want to pose as representatives of ‘true Americanism’ and ‘defenders of democracy,’ are, in the last analysis, connected by unbreakable ties with international Jewry.
For this jewish international, which above all is concerned with the interests of its race, to portray the President of the United States as the ‘idealist’ champion on human rights was a very clever move. In this manner they have created a dangerous hotbed for hatred and hostility in this hemisphere, and divided the world into two hostile camps. The entire issue is worked out in a masterly manner. Roosevelt has been given the foundation for activating American foreign policy, and simultaneously has been procuring enormous military stocks for the coming war, for which the jews are striving very consciously.
If Potocki were correct, it would mean that war had effectively been decided upon by the Allied powers. And in fact, that’s exactly what Bullitt said to American journalist Karl von Wiegand: “War in Europe has been decided upon. Poland had an assurance of the support of Britain and France, and would yield to no demands from Germany. America would be in the war after Britain and France entered it.” Bullitt obviously had inside access to a well-developed plan, one that was proceeding apace.
In July, Potocki was back in Warsaw, speaking with a foreign ministry undersecretary named Jan Szembek. In his diary, Szembek recorded Potocki as stating the following: “In the West, there are all kinds of elements openly pushing for war: jews, big capitalists, arms dealers. Now they are all ready for some excellent business… They want to do business at our expense. They are indifferent to the destruction of our country.” This is notable, if only as confirmation of the legitimacy of the earlier reports.
Around that same time, the American ambassador to Great Britain began to cause a stir. He was a member of the Boston-area Irish Catholic set, a successful businessman…and father of a future president. Joseph Kennedy contributed to Roosevelt’s 1932 presidential campaign, and was rewarded with the chairmanship of the SEC. He left that office in 1935, and was appointed ambassador to the UK in January 1938.
Photo of Joseph Kennedy in New York, 1 November 1940. At the time, Kennedy was the United States Ambassador to Great Britain. By Photographer: Larry Gordon [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
By mid-1939, Kennedy evidently began to have concerns about the jewish role in the push toward war—and he began to speak openly to his colleagues in London. Somehow word of this got out to a local periodical, The Week, which found its way over the ocean to Washington D.C. and into the hands of the Secretary of the Interior, Harold Ickes. Convening with the president in early July, Ickes raised his concern: “This [story] was to the effect that Kennedy was privately telling his English friends in the Cliveden set that the jews were running the United States and that the President would fall in 1940. It also charged that ‘[Kennedy believes] that the democratic policy of the United States is a jewish production’.”
Amazingly, the president was unfazed. “It is true,” he said. Ickes provides no further information on the incident, and thus it is hard to know how to take this blunt response. Was FDR joking? A half-joke? An outright, straight-faced admission? We simply do not know. What was undoubtedly true, though, was that Kennedy had deep concerns about jewish influence.
He was not the only diplomat with such worries. A month later, reports Taylor (1961: 267), British ambassador to Germany Nevile Henderson told Hitler that “the hostile attitude in Great Britain was the work of jews and enemies of the Nazis.” Here again we see a parallel action on both sides of the Atlantic, and possibly coordinated. This would be consistent with Baruch’s role as a “prominent confidant” of both Roosevelt and Churchill.
A few weeks later, on September 2, the German army crossed into Poland. What began as part of a long-standing border conflict between two neighboring countries became, two days later, a European war, when England and France declared war on Germany.
England Stands Alone
On September 3, Roosevelt broadcast another of his many fireside chats to the American public. It contained the usual combination of exaggeration, propaganda, and misrepresentation. “When peace has been broken anywhere,” he said, “the peace of all countries everywhere is in danger.” Even one who strives for neutrality “cannot be asked to close his mind or his conscience.” His ending was again cloaked in the hypocritical language of peace:
I hate war. I say that again and again. I hope the United States will keep out of this war. I believe that it will. And I give you assurance and reassurance that every effort of your government will be directed toward that end. As long as it remains within my power to prevent, there will be no black-out of peace in the United States.
Here Roosevelt clearly reveals himself as a dissembler and a liar. Qualifications, conditionals, half-truths—all evidently designed to manipulate public opinion in favor of war. Jews inside and outside his administration had been pressing for intervention for years; now with actual combat underway, the pressure would rapidly escalate. Roosevelt knew this, but said nothing. After all, he was facing another election the following year, and had to publicly maintain an anti-war stance or risk losing to the Republicans. But he also had to keep his jewish financiers happy. The fact that the vast majority of the American people were still strongly against the war apparently had no effect upon him—so much for democracy.
Kennedy could see what was happening. He strongly opposed American entry into the war, both on principle and because he had three sons who would likely be drawn in—and indeed, his eldest son, Joe Jr., would be killed during a bombing run in 1944. Speaking to his colleague Jay Moffat, Kennedy said, “Churchill…wants us there as soon as he can get us there. He is ruthless and scheming”—unsurprising, given that the Brits found themselves in a war that they were ill-prepared to fight. But Churchill knew whom to go to: “He is also in touch with groups in America which have the same idea, notably, certain strong Jewish leaders.”
Not that this was a secret. In a December 1939 memo to the British cabinet, Churchill recalled the vital role played by the jews back in World War One—to draw in the Americans, against their wishes, against their desires, and against their national interests. “It was not for light or sentimental reasons,” wrote Churchill, that Balfour issued his famous promise of Palestine to the Zionists. “The influence of American jewry was rated then as a factor of the highest importance…” “Now,” he added, “I should have thought it was more necessary, even than in November 1917, to conciliate “American” jewry and enlist their aid in combating isolationist and indeed anti-British tendencies in the United States.”
Here we have an amazingly bald-faced admission. Churchill has utter contempt for the “tendencies” (read: democratic principles) of the Americans. His sole concern is to leverage jewish power to draw a neutral nation into yet another major war, to save his skin and to aid his Zionist friends. Kennedy was naturally appalled—both that Churchill would do such a thing, and that it seemed to be working. “I don’t trust him,” he wrote in his diary; “He always impressed me that he was willing to blow up the American Embassy and say it was the Germans if it would get the United States in.” No doubt that was true—just as FDR would be willing to sacrifice some 2,400 American lives at Pearl Harbor for precisely that end.
Into 1940, Hitler ran off an impressive string of victories, culminating in the capture of Paris in June. Chamberlain resigned as prime minister, to be replaced by Churchill, who immediately initiated the ‘bases for destroyers’ plan with the US (see above).
As the year wore on, Roosevelt continued to lie to the American public. His campaign address in Boston on October 30 contained the same deceptive falsehoods of his earlier speeches. “Your government has acquired new naval and air bases in British territory in the Atlantic Ocean”—but no mention of the extralegal 50 destroyers that he gave them in return. He boasted of doubling the size of the army within the past year, and of letting out $8 billion in defense contracts. But not to worry, fellow Americans—“I give you one more assurance. I have said this before, but I shall say it again and again and again: Your boys are not going to be sent into any foreign wars.” An utter lie, and he knew it.
One is perhaps tempted to make excuses for FDR: that he was morally torn, that he could see a larger danger that the public could not see, that he had to lie to us ‘for our own good.’ None of these withstands scrutiny. The ethics of warfare are fairly well established, at least for nominal democracies. They would include, at a minimum: proportionality, mutuality, direct threat, and public support. That is, (a) any aggressions should be responded to only with equivalent force, (b) rules for one party hold for all, (c) force is justified only in the face of a direct and imminent threat, and (d) the public must be given an honest appraisal of the situation, and its wishes respected. Suffice it to say that none of these conditions would hold. One wonders: If the public had known of the ultimate cost—some 420,000 American deaths, and roughly $4.2 trillion (present-day equivalent)—would they have embraced war, even after Pearl Harbor? Or would they perhaps have put FDR and his jewish supporters on trial, for fraud, treason, and war crimes?
By October, Joe Kennedy had enough; he resigned his post. But he continued to comment on the role of the jews, both to friends and in his private writings. On December 15, for example, he made this diary entry:
[Justice Frankfurter] is supposed directly and indirectly to influence Roosevelt on foreign policy over [Secretary of State] Hull’s and [Undersecretary of State] Welles’s heads, [and] whose cohort of young lawyers are in practically every government department, all aiding the cause of Jewish refugees getting into America… It looks to me as if the English sympathizers were tying their cause in with the jews because they figure they’ve got all the influence in US. (cited in Nasaw 2012: 507)
Jewish population in the US, incidentally, was soon to reach 5 million. Frankfurter’s boys were doing a good job.
As before, Kennedy was not alone in his concern. Another Supreme Court Justice, Frank Murphy, confided to him that “it was Frankfurter and Ben Cohen who wrote the Attorney General’s opinion on destroyers and bases.” Kennedy added: “Murphy regards the Jewish influence as most dangerous. He said that after all, [Harry] Hopkins’s wife was a jew; Hull’s wife is a jew; and Frankfurter and Cohen and that group are all Jews.” For his part, Welles privately referred to Frankfurter as “dangerous” and “a jew chiseler.”
One of the most revealing remarks by Kennedy comes from the diary of James Forrestal, who at the time was Secretary of the Navy. In the entry from 27 December 1945, we read this:
Played golf today with Joe Kennedy…. He said Chamberlain’s position in 1938 was that England had nothing with which to fight, and that she could not risk going to war with Hitler. Kennedy’s view: That Hitler would have fought Russia without any later conflict with England, if it had not been for Bullitt’s urging on Roosevelt in the summer of 1939 that the Germans must be faced down about Poland; neither the French nor the British would have made Poland a cause of war, if it had not been for the constant needling from Washington…. Chamberlain, he says, stated that America and the world jews had forced England into the war. (Forrestal 1951: 121-122)
So, we must ask: Why was the partly jewish Bullitt—a mere diplomat—“urging” the president of the United States to face down Hitler? And why were Bullitt and Roosevelt “constantly needling” England and France to fight a war that they themselves did not see as necessary or winnable? And why did these nations succumb to American pressure? And why did Chamberlain ultimately link together America and “the world jews” as the driving force for war? We need not look very hard to see a jewish hand at work.
Jewish-run media was becoming very active by this time. The newspapers, for example, had found much disagreement with Washington on domestic issues, but “Roosevelt’s standing with the press on foreign policy matters was much stronger,” according to Cole (1983: 478). Apart from the Chicago Tribune and the Hearst papers, most dailies backed intervention. Unsurprisingly, “the more prestigious and influential news publications strongly supported the president.” These included the New York Times, the New York Herald Tribune, the Chicago Daily News, and Time Magazine.
The motion picture industry certainly did its part to get America into war. Given that it took at least a year to get a motion picture from conception to theater, and that efforts to produce pro-war films did not start in earnest until 1937, it was well into 1939 before they began to appear. Early efforts like Confessions of a Nazi Spy and Beasts of Berlin came out that year, and set the stage for a flood of films over the next three years. In 1940, Hollywood released graphic and high-impact films like Escape and Mortal Storm; Hitchcock’s Foreign Correspondent came out that year, as did Chaplin’s The Great Dictator. In May, two major studio heads, Jack and Harry Warner—more accurately known as Itzhak and Hirsz Wonskolaser—wrote to Roosevelt, assuring him that they would “do all in our power within the motion picture industry…to show the American people the worthiness of the cause for which the free peoples of Europe are making such tremendous sacrifices.” It’s nice to see such unselfish, high-minded public service amongst corporate executives.
By early 1941, jewish filmmakers and producers were working subtle, pro-war themes into many of their films. The anti-war group America First argued that belligerent propaganda was becoming widespread; “films that have nothing to do with the European war are now loaded with lies and ideas which bring about an interventionist reaction” (in Cole: 474). In August of that year—just one month before Pearl Harbor—Senator Gerald Nye (R-N. Dak.) delivered a stinging radio address, arguing that the Hollywood studios “had become the most gigantic engines of propaganda in existence, to rouse the war fever in America and plunge this nation to her destruction” (in ibid: 475). By that time, nearly three dozen major pro-war films had been released.
In the end, more than 60 explicitly ‘patriotic,’ pro-war films were produced, along with dozens of ordinary films that incorporated subtle pro-war messages. There were a few classics—Casablanca, Sergeant York, To Be or Not to Be—and many duds. Hitler’s Children and Nazi Agent, for example, won’t be making any Top 10 lists.
In March of 1941, under pressure from the jewish lobby, Congress passed the Lend-Lease Act; this allowed shipment of armaments and military supplies to Britain and the other Allied nations. The vote was 260-165 in the House, and 59-30 in the Senate. Public opinion was narrowly in favor of the Act, but only as a defensive measure; a strong majority still wished to stay out of the war. FDR could arm the Allies but not join the fighting.
Roosevelt made a major radio address in May, declaring an “unlimited national emergency.” It was filled with more war hyperbole, most notably regarding the Germans’ alleged striving toward “world domination.” Over and over came the words: “Nazi book of world conquest”; “Hitler’s plan of world domination”; “a Hitler-dominated world.” Suffice to say that no evidence of such a plan has ever come forth. Deploying the most facile, us-or-them language, FDR struggled to persuade reluctant Americans that they should fight and die: “Today the whole world is divided between human slavery and human freedom—between pagan brutality and Christian ideal.” He even hinted at the essentials of his strategy, namely, to provoke an ‘incident’ that would allow him to declare war: “We are placing our armed forces in strategic military position. We will not hesitate to use our armed forces to repel attack.”
In June, convinced of the Bolshevist threat posed by Stalin, Hitler invaded the Soviet Union. In August, the US placed military forces in Iceland, effectively occupying that country. And on 11 September 1941—60 years to the day before that other 9/11—Charles Lindbergh gave his most famous speech, at Des Moines, Iowa. There he called out for the first time the three main groups that were driving the US toward war: the British, the Roosevelt administration, and the jews. Of this latter group, Lindbergh acknowledged their plight under the National Socialists, and their hatred of Hitler. But instead of inciting America to war, they should be working to halt it; “for they will be among the first to feel its consequences”—presumably meaning both in Germany and in the US, where anti-Semitism would surely be inflamed. In one of the more notable lines of the speech, he said that “[The jews’] greatest danger in this country lies in their large ownership and influence in our motion pictures, our press, our radio, and our government.” Lindbergh thus ran afoul of the first rule of wartime: Thou shalt never speak the truth.
Indeed: If jewish influence in “our government” was part of the danger, then naming the “Roosevelt administration” was redundant. The true danger was Jews in media, jews in Hollywood, and Jews in the government—along with those non-jews who worked on their behalf. And even to name the British—Churchill and his Zionist backers—was, in effect, to name yet more jews. On all fronts, it was powerful and influential jews driving peaceful people toward war, simply to destroy the hated National Socialist regime.
British Zionist and future President of Israel, Chaim Weizmann vowed jewish support for the Second World War. Photo: 26 March 1949 By http://www.flickr.com/people/69061470@N05 [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
There is no doubt that Lindbergh was right—that “British” jews were pushing the US toward war, and that they were succeeding. In a strange coincidence, just one day before Lindbergh’s Des Moines speech, leading British Zionist Chaim Weizmann delivered this notorious letter to Churchill:
There is only one big ethnic group [in America] which is willing to stand, to a man, for Great Britain, and a policy of “all-out aid” for her: the five million jews. From Secretary Morgenthau, Governor Lehman, Justice Frankfurter, down to the simplest Jewish workman or trader, they are conscious of all that this struggle against Hitler implies.
It has been repeatedly acknowledged by British Statesmen that it was the jews who, in the last war, effectively helped to tip the scales in America in favour of Great Britain. They are keen to do it—and may do it—again. (cited in Irving 2001: 77)
A most explicit admission: “American” jews, working in conjunction with “British” jews, hold the key to war. They are “keen to do it.” Virtually upon command, they can “tip the scales”—again—and drive the Americans into another war that they desperately want to avoid.
The Pearl Harbor “Incident”
With American opposition to war still hovering near 80%, FDR and his jewish team were evidently becoming desperate. Dramatic action was increasingly necessary. At that point, only a direct attack on American soil could alter public opinion. For a good two years, Roosevelt had been harassing the Germans. But they refused to bite. What to do?
History is full of “false flag” operations in which governments or other actors conduct a fake attack, blame the enemy, and then use the event as a pretext for military action. By some accounts, the earliest was in 47 BC, when Julius Caesar arranged and paid for insurgent ‘rebel’ actions in Rome prior to his taking of the city. A more recent instance occurred in 1846, when President James Polk sent an army detachment into a disputed area along the Texas-Mexico border. When the Mexicans responded, he declared it an attack on “American soil,” and promptly began the US-Mexico War. For centuries, military commanders have understood the benefits of false flags; Roosevelt’s team was no different.
Though I cannot elaborate here, there is ample evidence that the Pearl Harbor attack was effectively a false flag event. While obviously not directly conducting the attack, Roosevelt did everything possible to encourage and allow the Japanese to strike—and then to feign shock when it actually happened. Below are the key elements of that story.
The earliest explicit indication that some such plan was in the works comes from October 1940, in the so-called McCollum Memorandum. Lt. Commander Arthur McCollum was director of the Office of Naval Intelligence’s Far East Asia section when he issued a five-page letter to two of his superiors. The memo describes a situation in which a neutral US is surrounded by hostile nations across two oceans, and notes that “Germany and Italy have lately concluded a military alliance with Japan directed against the United States.” This was a mutual-defense pact, such that an attack against Japan would be considered by Germany to be an act of war. This gave FDR two paths to war: attack by Germany, or attack by Japan. Germany was scrupulously eschewing conflict, but perhaps Japan could be engaged.
This was evidently well understood within the military establishment. As McCollum explained, “It is not believed that in the present state of political opinion, the US government is capable of declaring war against Japan without more ado; and it is barely possible that vigorous action on our part might lead the Japanese to modify their attitude”—clever language that essentially means: Japan does not really want war either, but perhaps we could provoke them enough (“more ado”) that they would launch a first strike (“modify their attitude”). McCollum then suggested an eight-point action plan, anticipating conflict with Japan. Item Six includes this: “Keep the main strength of the US fleet now in the Pacific in the vicinity of the Hawaiian Islands.” The memo concludes with this striking sentence: “If by these means Japan could be led to commit an overt act of war, so much the better.” The plan could hardly be clearer.
On 19 August 1941, Churchill told his war cabinet that FDR was doing all he could to provoke an attack by the Axis powers—information which came to light only in 1972. Churchill said:
[Roosevelt] was obviously determined that they [the US] should come in. … The president said to me that he would wage war but not declare it, and that he would become more and more provocative. If the Germans did not like it, they could attack American forces. … Everything was being done to force an ‘incident.’ The president has made it clear that he would look for an ‘incident’ which could justify him in opening hostilities.
Further comment is unnecessary.
Lindbergh essentially understood what was going on. In his September 1941 speech, he laid out FDR’s three-part plan: (1) prepare for war in the guise of defense, (2) incrementally involve the US in conflict situations, and (3) “create a series of incidents which would force us into actual conflict.” Near the end of his speech he added that “The war groups have succeeded in the first two of their three major steps into war. … Only the creation of sufficient ‘incidents’ yet remains.” An amazing prognosis, given that the Pearl Harbor attack was just three months away.
On 25 November 1941, 12 days before the attack, Roosevelt held a War Cabinet meeting at the White House. Secretary of War Henry Stimson wrote the following in his diary of that day:
[Roosevelt] brought up the event that we were likely to be attacked perhaps next Monday [December 1], for the Japanese are notorious for making an attack without warning, and the question was how we should maneuver them into the position of firing the first shot without allowing too much danger to ourselves. It was a difficult proposition.
This is Stimson’s infamous “maneuver” remark; once again, it is clear and explicit.
The following day, November 26, Secretary of State Hull presented a letter to the Japanese ambassador, demanding that they withdraw from China and French Indochina (section II, point #3). Though couched in the language of peace, it was effectively an ultimatum, and it was thusly perceived by the Japanese prime minister.
On December 4, the anti-war paper Chicago Daily Tribune ran a huge headline: “FDR’s War Plans!” It detailed a plan for a 10-million-man military force, half of whom would be dedicated to fighting Germany. It even mentioned a specific date—1 July 1943—as the day for the “final supreme effort by American land forces to defeat the mighty German army in Europe.” This was incredibly accurate; the Allied invasion of Sicily, the first direct assault on European territory, occurred on 9 July 1943. Clearly FDR’s secrets were quickly unraveling.
At 4:00 pm on Saturday, December 6, a decoded Japanese communiqué was delivered to Roosevelt. It indicated that Japan was not going to accept any portion of America’s ultimatum, and that they were compelled to respond to its on-going belligerence. “This means war,” said the president. If war was inevitable, said Harry Hopkins, it was too bad that we couldn’t strike first. “No, we can’t do that,” said Roosevelt, hypocritically; “We are a democracy of a peaceful people. We have a good record. We must stand on it.” Pearl Harbor was not explicitly mentioned, but the president took no action to forewarn any of his commanders in the Pacific theater, thus rendering them defenseless before the oncoming assault.
Eight years after the attack, the president’s administrative assistant, Jonathan Daniels, recalled events of that time. “There was a mass of warning before Pearl Harbor,” he wrote (1949: 490). “As a matter of fact, warning had been clear for many months before Pearl Harbor. The increasing menace had been understood and accepted. Of course, even Senators can now read to precise clarity—to the place and the hour—the warnings we possessed.” At the time, though, Roosevelt was surprised: “Of course, he was surprised. But he had deliberately taken the chance of surprise, as he had won the strategy of successful militant delay. The blow was heavier than he had hoped it would necessarily be.” Indeed—2,400 Americans killed in one day.
Or perhaps it was no “surprise” at all. In 1989, a 90-year-old British naval intelligence officer named Eric Nave came forth with a stunning assertion: that the Brits had detailed foreknowledge of the attack, days before the event. As reported in the Times of London (June 1), Nave’s decoding of Japanese battle commands made “clear their intention to attack several days before the raid took place.” “His revelations challenge the view that the Americans were taken by surprise, and support evidence that Churchill, and probably Roosevelt, allowed the attack to go ahead unchallenged as means to bring America into the Second World War.” Nave added this: “We never had any doubt about Pearl Harbor itself. It should never have happened. We knew days, even a week before.” His account is detailed in his book Betrayal at Pearl Harbor (1991). Nave died in 1993.
On 19 August 1941, Churchill told his war cabinet that Roosevelt was doing all he could to provoke an attack by the Axis powers. Photo: August 1941. [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Some Concluding Thoughts
This essay has been a study in history. But we must never forget: History is suffused with lessons for the present. What, then, can we conclude from this long and tragic story?
First: Wars are complex events, and all complex events have multiple causes. They are generally the result of an accumulation of tensions and conflicts over several years. It would be all but impossible for any one group, no matter how influential, to precipitate war if the conditions were not already favorable. But a small group can certainly heighten existing tensions, or serve as a trigger, or exacerbate an ongoing conflict. [Ed. The jews entirely hold responsibility for both World Wars.]
It would be misleading to say that jews “caused” World War I, or the Russian Revolution, or World War II—though they certainly had a significant influence on all these events, and arguably a decisive influence. Clearly they are not the sole cause of the wars under review. It is not as if, were there no jews at all, fighting in Europe would never have occurred. There were, for example, many non-jewish belligerents on all sides during World War II, including Lord Halifax in England, and Stimson among the Americans. Military men always have an inclination to fight; after all, their very positions and prestige depend upon it.
Counterfactuals are notoriously difficult to apply to historical events: What if jewish rebels and Weimar reconstructionists had not dominated post-World War I Germany? What if Roosevelt had not relied upon jewish money to finance his campaigns? What if Churchill had not been a Zionist? What if Ben Cohen’s “bases-for-destroyers” plan had failed? We obviously can never know these things; but it is clear that jews were active and instrumental at several critical junctures on the path to war. And indeed, this is one of the most striking facts: that jews were so active, at so many points along the way, that we can scarcely avoid attributing to them a significant portion of blame for the world wars and accompanying revolutions.
Second: FDR comes off, rather like Wilson, as an amoral, opportunistic, war-mongering dupe. His own Secretary of War, Henry Stimson, wrote that “his mind does not follow easily a consecutive chain of thought, but he is full of stories and incidents, and hops about in his discussions from suggestion to suggestion, and it is very much like chasing a vagrant beam of sunshine around a vacant room.” Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes famously declared him “a second-class intellect” in 1933. His close advisor Frankfurter once wrote, “I know his limitations. Most of them derive, I believe, from a lack of incisive intellect…” British ambassador to the US Sir Ronald Lindsay considered FDR “an amiable and impressionable lightweight,” one who could not keep a secret from the American press. Even his wife Eleanor did not know “whether FDR had a hidden center to his personality or only shifting peripheries.”
His lies were persistent, malicious, and criminal. His more knowledgeable opponents could see through them, even if the public could not. Lindbergh certainly knew the truth, and was appalled at the ability of our executive-in-chief to baldly lie to the people. In late 1944, with hostilities nearing an end, Congresswoman Clare Boothe Luce (R-Con.) loudly and publicly declared that Roosevelt “lied us into war.” “The shame of Pearl Harbor,” she added, “was Mr. Roosevelt’s shame.”
Thus we see something of a long-term trend: Unethical, unprincipled, deceptive American presidents, who are “swayed by their jewish elements” (Dillon), to lead an unwilling nation into battle against sovereign countries that are deemed to be enemies of the jews. The parallels to the past 25 years are striking.