Author: Max Wallace
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press, New York, N.Y.
What turned these two American heroes into anti-Semites and enemies of Jews?
That is a question that Wallace’s book fails to deal with because he researched their history only as recorded in the archives of The Ford Motor Company and other public sources.
At least part of the answer lies with nascent hostility against a people whose customs and beliefs engender prejudicial attitudes among those who don’t understand them.
In Europe, from the time of the Enlightenment, it had been Jewish practice to blend in, intermarry and “not make waves.” This was somewhat true in America as well, but Jews in major population centers such as New York stood out and achieved for themselves the “American Dream” of freedom of worship at the same time as economic, political and
To some extent, Jews have always used their proficiency in learning and education for group
advancement, but in America there was also unprecedented access to the political system – even Jefferson Davis selected a Jew, Judah Benjamin, to be vice president of the Confederacy.
Henry Ford was certainly not America’s first anti-Semite. According to Wallace, in 1862, a year before Ford was born, President Abraham Lincoln declared anti-Semitism to be against U.S. government policy after (future President) General Ulysses S. Grant issued orders prohibiting Jewish peddlers from selling merchandise to Union soldiers, at the instigation of competing merchants. Sephardic, and then German Jewish immigration, consisted of a
relatively educated class of people, but new immigration from Eastern Europe, especially Russia, brought “unwashed masses” who were less welcome.
Caricatures of Jews as crook-nosed moneylenders appeared in satirical magazines, and
since most Americans had never met a Jew, a prejudicial attitude began to be inculcated in the
minds of many who looked askance at anyone with a foreign accent and unusual exotic beliefs. Into this milieu enter the Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion, ostensibly a document setting forth a doctrine of world manipulation by evil Jewish forces set out “to destroy the white Gentile race” so that Jews could seize power for themselves and rule the world as kings
enslaving everyone else.
In fact, this forgery was plagiarized from an obscure nineteenth-century satire on Napoleon III
called A Dialogue in Hell Between Montesquieu and Machiavelli, written by a Frenchman, Maurice Joly, and from Biarritz, an 1868 novel by the German anti-Semite Hermann Doedsche. In prior iterations it had surfaced in Vienna and Paris following the First Zionist Conference, and in czarist Russia, where it caused many pogroms.
It was a former czarist agent, Boris Brasol, who arranged for an English translation to be forwarded to Henry Ford’s newspaper, The Dearborn Independent, which was under the general management of Ernest Gustav Liebold, born to German immigrants in 1884. It provided the evidence that Ford was seeking to prove that Jews were engaged in a sinister conspiracy to take over the world. As soon as the first installments were printed in this newspaper, which was being distributed through every one of Henry Ford’s network of automobile dealerships throughout the country, the American Jewish community became
alarmed. Louis Marshall, director of the American Jewish Committee, complained to Henry Ford, but Ford, despite being labeled an ignoramus by most major American newspapers, was undeterred from spreading the news that Jews were behind every imaginable evil, including Communism.
Week after week and month after month, Ford’s Independent stridently ranted about the evil Jewish influence. Then the ideas originally contained in The Protocols were condensed and transposed, and a pamphlet, “The International Jew,” was published by Ford and distributed almost worldwide. Adolph Hitler credits this book as his seminal experience for future
anti-Semitic policies. Henry Ford himself blamed “the Jews” for every ill that Germany was experiencing.
Following his lionization for spanning the Atlantic Ocean in a small airplane, The Spirit of St.
Louis, on May 21st, 1927, Charles Lindbergh became involved in Hitler’s desire to revitalize Germany’s place in the community of nations.
Hitler rearmed Germany and restored German military superiority, which had been broken in World War I, and through the “Nazi Olympics” in 1936 and other means worked to alter world opinion of his dictatorial and anti-Semitic government. The vainglorious and naïve aviator perfectly met his needs.
There is hardly evidence that Lindbergh was actually and knowingly anti-Semitic, but The
American Axis does make clear his complicity which, together with that of Ford, helped Hitler’s cause prior to and during World War II. And as we see today, in the current complicity of the Ford Foundation with the forces of anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism, feigned
“ignorance” is often a smokescreen for collusion.
Wallace writes in his conclusion: “…men who were once revered as two of America’s greatest heroes, then reviled as traitors, are once again widely admired.” In other words ? how soon we forget.
Wallace continues that current historians portray these as “character flaws,” and asserts that
the failure of each man to assume moral responsibility for his actions despite exemplary careers had, and continues to have, a devastating impact that should not be ignored. He ends by quoting U.S. Congressman James Moran, who told his constituents on the eve of the 2003 Iraq war, in a speech that was reminiscent of Lindbergh’s Des Moines address 62 years ago, that “American Jews are responsible for pushing the country to war with Iraq.” “They” never learn, and we must remain eternally vigilant.
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