3. JEWS BLAMED FOR THE BLACK DEATH
• IN OCTOBER 1347, A SHIP CAME FROM THE CRIMEA AND DOCKED IN MESSINA, SICILY. ABOARD THE SHIP
WERE NOT ONLY SAILORS BUT RATS. THE RATS BROUGHT WITH THEM THE BLACK DEATH, THE BUBONIC
• EUROPE HAD HEARD OF THE BUBONIC PLAGUE, WHICH HAD RAVISHED CENTRAL ASIA IN THE EARLY 1300S. IT
IS HARD TO HAVE AN ACCURATE DESCRIPTION OF NUMBERS, BECAUSE THROUGHOUT THE MIDDLE AGES
NUMBERS ARE GENERALLY USED POETICALLY RATHER THAN ACCURATELY. NEVERTHELESS, THE REPORTS THAT
CAME TO EUROPE WERE THAT 20 MILLION PEOPLE HAD DIED IN ASIA.
• KNOWING WHAT HAPPENED IN EUROPE, IT WAS PROBABLY AN UNDERESTIMATE, BECAUSE THERE WERE
MORE PEOPLE IN ASIA THAN EUROPE. OUR BEST ESTIMATES NOW ARE THAT AT LEAST 25 MILLION PEOPLE
DIED IN EUROPE OVER A PERIOD OF 50 YEARS (PEAKING BETWEEN 1348 AND 1350). THIS WAS ALMOST
40% OF THE POPULATION (SOME ESTIMATES SAY AS HIGH AS 60%). IT WAS A DISASTER PRACTICALLY
UNEQUALLED IN THE ANNALS OF RECORDED HISTORY AND IT TOOK 150 YEARS FOR EUROPE’S POPULATION
6. • THE CAREER PROFILE OF GERMAN JEWS DIFFERED
MARKEDLY FROM THE GENERAL POPULATION.
HISTORICALLY PROHIBITED FROM MANY PROFESSIONAL
ENDEAVORS, JEWS WERE DISPROPORTIONATELY
REPRESENTED IN SOME AREAS OF THE ECONOMY,
SUCH AS JOURNALISM, LAW, MEDICINE, AND RETAILING.
CONCENTRATED IN A SMALL NUMBER OF PROFESSIONS
(MORE OFTEN THAN NOT IN URBAN AREAS), JEWS
WERE ESPECIALLY VISIBLE TO THE WEIMAR
REPUBLIC’S OFTEN VIOLENT CRITICS.
• WHILE MOST GERMAN JEWS WERE MIDDLE CLASS, A
SIGNIFICANT PROPORTION OF THE JEWS LIVING IN
WEIMAR GERMANY, MANY OF THEM YIDDISH-SPEAKING
REFUGEES FROM EASTERN EUROPE, EKED OUT A
HUMBLE EXISTENCE AS INDUSTRIAL WORKERS,
ARTISANS, OR PEDDLERS.
• THE HYPERINFLATION OF THE EARLY 1920S AND THE
GREAT DEPRESSION (OCCASIONED BY THE AMERICAN
STOCK MARKET CRASH IN 1929) GREATLY
COMPLICATED THE LIVES OF VIRTUALLY ALL GERMAN
7. MAN KNOWN FOR CHANGING THE AUTO INDUSTRY ALSO USED HIS
IMMENSE POWER AND INFLUENCE TO QUASH THE UNIONS,
CONTROL IMMIGRANT WORKERS AND VILIFY JEWISH PEOPLE.
AS A VOCAL ANTISEMITE, HE USED HIS STATUS AS ONE OF
AMERICA'S MOST WELL-KNOWN AND TRUSTED BUSINESS
LEADERS TO SYSTEMATICALLY SPREAD CONSPIRACY THEORIES
ABOUT JEWS. HIS SCREEDS AGAINST JEWISH PEOPLE BECAME
SO WELL-KNOWN AT HOME AND ABROAD THAT HE IS THE ONLY
AMERICAN WHOM ADOLF HITLER COMPLIMENTS BY
NAME IN MEIN KAMPF.
8. • JEWISH COMMUNITIES OF PREWAR GERMANY
Before the Nazi takeover of power in 1933,
Germany had a thriving Jewish population
with strong community organizations. Jews
had lived in Germany since Roman times.
They were well integrated into German
society—they spoke the language, identified
with the nationality, and worked alongside
In 1933 Jews represented less than 1%—
approximately 500,000 people—of the total
population of Germany.
The majority of Jews in Germany lived in
major cities, such as Berlin, Frankfurt am
Main, and Hamburg.
Jews participated in many areas of German
life, such as journalism, law, culture, and
9. The Protocols, supposedly the record of secret meetings of Jewish
leaders, describes an alleged conspiracy to dominate the world. The
conspiracy and its leaders, the so-called Elders of Zion, never existed.
Although the Protocols has been proven a fraud on many occasions, it
continues to inspire those who seek to spread hatred of Jews.
French political satirist Maurice Joly writes The Dialogue in Hell Between
Machiavelli and Montesquieu. Joly's book never mentions Jews, but
much of the Protocols would be fabricated based on ideas contained in
Automaker Henry Ford's Dearborn Independent publishes The
International Jew, an Americanized version of the Protocols. The
International Jew is translated into more than one dozen languages.
• IN HIS TREATISE, MEIN KAMPF, ADOLF HITLER WRITES:
• TO WHAT AN EXTENT THE WHOLE EXISTENCE OF THIS PEOPLE IS BASED ON A
CONTINUOUS LIE IS SHOWN BY THE PROTOCOLS OF THE WISE MEN OF ZION, SO
INFINITELY HATED BY THE JEWS. . . . FOR ONCE THIS BOOK HAS BECOME THE
COMMON PROPERTY OF A PEOPLE, THE JEWISH MENACE MAY BE CONSIDERED AS
HENRY FORD ISSUES A PUBLIC APOLOGY FOR PUBLISHING
THE PROTOCOLS, WHICH HE ADMITS ARE “GROSS FORGERIES.” FORD DIRECTS
THAT REMAINING COPIES OF THE INTERNATIONAL JEW BE BURNED, AND HE
ORDERS OVERSEAS PUBLISHERS TO CEASE PUBLISHING THE BOOK. FORD'S
12. SEGREGATION AT FORD
The Ford Sociological Department and the home inspections
disappeared by the early 1920s, at which point the $5 wage was no
longer unique to the Ford company. Around this time, Ford started
hiring more Black Americans, many of whom were moving north
during the Great Migration, looking for economic opportunity.
Ford paid Black and white employees similar wages, but
hired them for different jobs, believing Black people were
inherently inferior and could only advance so far in the
workplace, Anderson says. After Ford opened the River
Rouge Complex in Dearborn, Black employees commonly
labored in its foundry and forge, which were some of the most
dangerous places to work. This, combined with the fact that
Black eemployees couldn’t rise to executive levels, created de facto
segregation within the company.mployees couldn’t rise to executive
levels, created de facto segregation within the company.
13. REASONS FOR JEWS DYING A SMALLER PERCENTAGE
THAN THE REST OF THE POPULATION
Why Jews were Less Affected
In addition to Christian persecution, Jews were also dying from the Black Death. It is hard to tell whether
proportionally more Jews died from the plague or the persecutions. The Christians claimed that the Jews
died at only half the rate. Even if true, it would then be about 20% of the Jewish population who died from
And even if Jews died at a lesser rate, it can be attributed to the sanitary practices Jewish law.
For instance, Jewish law compels one to wash his or her hands many times throughout the day. In the
general medieval world a person could go half his or her life without ever washing his hands. According to
Jewish law, one could not eat food without washing one’s hands, leaving the bathroom and after any sort of
intimate human contact. At least once a week, a Jew bathed for the Sabbath. Furthermore, Jewish law
prevents the Jew from reciting blessings and saying prayers by an open pit at latrines and at places with a
foul odor. The sanitary conditions in the Jewish neighborhood, primitive as it may be by today’s standards,
was always far superior to the general sanitary conditions.