In the Words of an Awakened Jew – The Real Reasons for Hostility Toward Jews

In his 1934 book, “Jews Must Live,”jewish publisher & pornographer, Samuel Roth (1893 – 1974) shares his thoughts about the reasons for hostility toward Jews. You can read this important book here

Below are several significant extracts:


“Here I merely wish to reaffirm the fact that anti-Semitism is so instinctive that it may quite simply be called one of the primal instincts of mankind, one of the important instincts by which the race helps to preserve itself against total destruction. I cannot emphasize the matter too strongly. Anti- Semitism is not, as Jews have tried to make the world believe, an active prejudice. It is a deeply hidden instinct with which every man is born. He remains unconscious of it, as of all other instincts of self preservation, until something happens to awaken it. Just as when something flies in the direction of your eyes, the eyelids close instantly and of their own accord. So swiftly and surely is the instinct of anti-Semitism awakened in man.

If it were true, as the Jews claim, that the gentiles lay violent hands on them purely out of prejudice against their religion, out of envy of their superior commercial genius, how would the Jews ever get into a civilized country to begin with? Have not Jews been admitted from time immemorial, freely, kindly, almost happily by every nation at whose gate they have knocked for admittance? The story of the Jews, as they have themselves written it out , has always gone out ahead of them, to spread through the foreign people and evoke in their minds curiosity and pity. Have the Jews ever had to petition a country for admission — the first time?

Read for yourself the story of the progress of Jewry through Europe and America. Wherever they come they are welcomed, permitted to settle down, and join in the general business of the community. But one by one the industries of the country close to them because of unfair practices — until, it being impossible to longer hold n check the wrath of a betrayed people, there is violence and, invariably, an ignominious ejection of the whole race from the land. There is not a single instance when the Jews have not fully deserved the bitter fruit of the fury of their persecutors. Except possibly what is happening in Germany today. But I shall take up this matter in its proper place.

My earliest knowledge of the Jewish attitude towards their gentile neighbors came from listening at our Inn to the stories of Jewish travelers (who stopped with us for a drink or a night’s lodging) about their business with the goyim. To my innocent brain it appeared that the whole purpose of the Jew in business was to get the best of the goy. When the goy had been cheated business was good. When the Jew had come out even, business was very bad, indeed. For the greater the harm he had done in a business transaction with a goy, the deeper appeared the narrative delight of the Jew to whom I was listening. I could not help feeling towards the goyim some of the pity I had felt for Esau when he let out that bitter cry on discovering the duplicity of Jacob.

The reader, and especially the incensed Jew, may here get the impression that I am currying favor with the gentile or his religion or both. Nothing can possibly be further from what is the real state of my mind and my heart. I don’t think I ever shared the Jewish contempt for the goyim, which is part and parcel of all Jewish psychology. But for thirty-nine years I have watched the violence of the goyim against a people I loved. The hands they laid on the Jews were lain on me. The bruises which Christendom inflicted on the body of Israel are living bruises on my body. It does not matter that my heart has turned against the Jews. I am, because of that, no more friendly to their tormentors; and I am not the kind of Jew who is ever likely to kiss the rod with which he was once smitten. Luckily for me, it is not necessary, in my country and my age, to make a choice of religion. If, as would have been true in the Middle Ages, I had to make a choice between Judaism and Christianity, I would simply have to cut my throat. I am trying to tell an honest, unbiased story. That was the state of affairs between the Jews and gentiles in (N)ustcha, the village in which I was born. I have no reason to believe that things were any different in any other village in the world at that time.

The Jews formed only a fraction of the population of Zborow. But by virtue of their sensitiveness to their inherent worth, they regarded themselves as its natural masters. Concerning their superiority over the rest of the population of the town, there could be no question in their minds. It was all very simple. They were Jews. And the goyim were only goyim. Superiority, come to think of it, is not exactly the word with which to explain the precedence which the Jews of Zborow felt over their neighbors. The numerical superiority of the goyim was an accident unworthy of being given a second thought. Their superiority in legal possessions — ah, that was the real rub! What the goyim had was only a temporary possession which the stupid law of the gentiles was attempting to make permanent. Were not they, the Jews, God’s chosen? Did not God mean in the very beginning that all the good things of the world should belong to his favorites? It was a Jew’s business to remember this at all times, especially in his dealings with goyim. It was practically a moral obligation on the part of every conscientious Jew to fool and cheat the goy wherever and whenever possible. The impression this arrangement made on me at the time was that the world had been created by God for the habitation and prosperity of Israel. The rest of Creation — cows, horse, nettles, oaktrees, dung and goyim — were placed there for our, the Jews’, convenience or inconvenience, depending on God’s good humor for the time being. Just then, I understood, God’s attitude towards his chosen ones was, and for many centuries had been, one of stern disapproval. That was the reason why the goyim had everything and we had practically nothing. If we went to synagogue regularly (especially on the Sabbaths and Yom Kippur, the Sabbath of Sabbaths) God would eventually relent and let us fool back from the uncouth laps of the goyim all the divine favors which really were intended for us.

The Jews pride themselves on their reluctance to proselytize. They explain that this is a sign not only of religious exclusiveness, but of their good will towards the rest of the religions. It is nothing of the sort. The Jews do not proselytize because they are firmly convinced that they will eventually inherit the earth, and they want as few claimants as possible to this windfall. I have referred to the “festive, strangely joyous prayer-meetings before the screened Ark of the Covenant.” The Jews of Zborow belonged to a sect of mystics, then the most popular in Eastern Europe, known as the Chassidim. The whole philosophy of the chussid (as a Chassidic Jew is referred to) was to be happy in adversity because the kingdom of God was terribly near at hand. The morning, noon and evening rounds at the synagogue were cycles of breathless singing and crazy dancing before the screened Ark of the Covenant. We had a sort of secret understanding with the Torah, our bride, and God’s representative on earth. On holy days we lingered over kissing the Torah, as though we hoped to overhear her reveal the exact day of the confusion of the benighted goyim. We despised the goy, and we hated his religion.

So you see, I have been what in my estimation is even worse than a priest or a rabbi. I have been a missionary. But it was not really my fault. It was the fault of the rabbis who so grossly misrepresented Christianity to me. The Jewish answer to this is that the Jews of Poland are carrying out a policy of retaliation. It is true that the Polish children in the neighboring cloisters were led to believe much more grotesque things about Jews. Without first giving them any idea of historic background Poles teach their children to believe that the Jews killed their Savior. The children go out into the world with the belief that the very Jews they are about to meet in the streets, in offices, in restaurants, are the killers of Christ. The result is that when the little shkutzim becomes big goyim they look upon the Jews they meet with vague hatred and an eerie suspiciousness. But there is a noteworthy difference in the working out of these two programs of misrepresentation. All that the priests promote in the Poles is a little occasional violence which the goy permits himself to carry only occasionally to an extreme which hurts. But what of the little Jews who are told that they are the salt of the earth, that what they see before them really belongs to them, and is only to be won away with the superior brain with which God had endowed his chosen ones! Each of them, when he grows up, becomes an agency of cunning to defeat the civil law. The Polish Jew does not remain in Poland. He migrates. Eventually he finds himself a rich nest in England, in France, in Germany, in America, or in one of the South American countries. To each of the countries of his invasion, the Jew brings the whole bag of commercial tricks and statutory maneuvers with which he poisons the arteries of the civilized world.”