Alarming News

November 27, 2006

We’re the best, just not in that way.

Many forwarded emails tend to take the shape of “we’re so great” and so I frequently get ones about Americans, women, Jews, even redheads specifically. And, I mean honestly, all those groups are pretty great.

My father sends along one about Jews and right away I am suspicious. Alongside the list of possibly true accomplishments and famous Jews, such as “Olivia Newton John’s Jewish grandfather was a Nobel Prize winning physicist”, there’s this: “Joseph Stalin was originally named Joseph David Djugashvili (translating into “son of a Jew”.) As well, all 3 of the women he married were Jewish.”

Even if Stalin was Jewish, which is absurd, there’s no way that would be a net positive for Jews. I speak Russian. Djugashvili does NOT translate to “son of a Jew”. And, I’ve never heard of Stalin himself being Jewish nor of his any of his wive being Jewish. Googling around for it now, I only find references of it on Nazi and White Supremecist websites.

To be honest, though, I barely noticed the Stalin reference. Alongside other supposed “Jews” like Geraldo Rivera, Winston Churchill and the Roosevelts, you can tell this forward was going to be a little wacky. It’s the end that really caught my attention. The email gives 40 “facts” about Jews, pay particular attention to the turn taken right around fact #40:

35. Fact: Dr. Paul “magic bullet” Ehrlich (Jew) – physician, Nobel Prize in 1908 for curing syphilis.

36. Fact: Armand Hammer (Jew) – “Arm & Hammer,” physician &businessman who originated the largest trade between U. S. and Russia .

37. Fact: Louis Santanel (Jew) was the financier who provided the funds for Columbus ‘ voyage to America .

38. Fact: Sherry Lansing (Jew) of Paramount Pictures, became the first woman president of a major Hollywood studio.

39. Fact: Flo Zigfield (Jew) of “Zigfield Follies,” is the creator of American burlesque.

40. Fact: Jews were the brains behind the Confederacy:

41. Maj. Adolph Proskauer led the unit at Gettysburg .

42. Judah P. Benjamin held 4 cabinet positions: Attorney General, February 25 to September 17, 1861; Secretary of War, September 17, 1861, to March 18, 1862; acting Secretary of War, March 18 to 23, 1862; Secretary of State, March 18, 1862, until the end of the war) and was referred to as “the brains of the confederacy.”

43. Rabbi Max Michelbacher was a confidant and spiritual advisor to General Robert E. Lee.

So, we’re the best, we’re curing diseases, originating trade, inventing burlesque and then we’re…fighting for the south in the Civil War? Say what? Again, googling this has produced mostly white supremacist websites, though I don’t know what they say about it as I refuse to click and give them the traffic.

This email has the feel of one passed along unwittingly by people who would be horrified by it if they actually read it. My father said he glanced at it but didn’t really read it before passing it along. And I’ve found the email reprinted on sites that seem to celebrate Judaism, and it doesn’t look like they realize what they are publishing. So, my advice, read stuff before your forward it, especially to me. I will compulsively check if what it says is true (and it often isn’t).

Posted by Karol at 10:40 PM |
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I’m sure Von Bek can fill us in with a tale about some mutton-chopped Jew who rode to glory beneath the Stars and Bars.

Posted by: Marco at November 28, 2006 at 1:09 am

An author by the name of Robert Rosen has written a book called, “The Jewish Confederates.”
You might want to check it out.
Judah Benjamin did serve in Jefferson Davis’ cabinet. Benjamin had been a U.S. Senator from Louisiana, and turned down nominations to the Supreme Court by 2 different presidents.
Major Adolph Proskauer led an Alabama unit at Gettysburg.
And General Lee did correspond with Rabbi Michelbacher of Richmond, VA, but I don’t know that it’s true the Rabbi was his “confidant and spiritual advisor.”

Posted by: BadBoyInASuit at November 28, 2006 at 2:32 am

No fears Marco. I’m here, braving my recent sports related injury (namely from the fact that 19 year olds seem to have gotten quicker and stronger since I was that age and 32 year olds are slower and have less of an attention span than before…..I wonder why Martin Van Buren screwed over William Rives for Richard Johnson…whack…ouch).
There was actually an article at lewrockwell last week about Jewish Confederates though it spent more time on Major Moses, a staff officer, than anything else.
I’ll say in the antebellum South’s defense that it was a bit more tolerant about religion than the North. No convent burnings (and yes there were more than a few Catholics in the South though Florida, Louisiana and the port cities of Charleston and Savannah seemed to have more of them-cheeper to have the Irish dig ditches come fever season than slaves) and a number of Southerners even attended mass on occasion, from the fire eater Edmund Ruffin to Unionist Andy Johnson. While I think the case can be taken too far (and one of my favorite historians of the era, Eugene Genovese, generally does take it too far), I think the closing of the Southern mind on faith generally was a result, to use W.J.Cash’s phrase, “of the frontier the Yankee made.”
Jews…well Benjamin was not as accepted as people seem to think. He was considered to be in the closet (his wife was based in France) and a number of critics of Jeff Davis focused on Benjamin as an easy target. I don’t know if I would say Benjamin was the brains behind the CSA. As AG, he did not do much and his term at the War Department was not very succesful (though he did clean things up from that idiot Leroy Walker). Even at State, while Benjamin did all he could, his main goals of international recognition were not succesful. Still, he rose to power though of course he did so in Louisiana. And once the war ended, he never looked back going to England where he wore the robes and wig of one of the Queen’s barristers.
And a word on the other Jew to serve in the US Senate-David Levy Yulee. He never actually admitted that he had once been a Jew and was baptized into another faith (I think Anglican but I may be mistaken here). Interesting guy though more for his early attempts to build railroads across Florida and bring tourists down even before Flager.
There were some anti-Semites in the CSA and if you read the speeches and diary of Robert Hilton, a Confederate congressman from Florida, you will see ample proof of that. Still, it is hard for me to imagine any leading Confederate besides Hilton who would make the peddler order that Grant did.

Posted by: Von Bek at November 28, 2006 at 9:50 am

That’s very interesting about the Confederate Jews. Is that a positive? Well, I’d rather have them than Stalin.
(Stalin’s name was Georgian, by the way, which is why you couldn’t understand it. I doubt very much he was a Jew, though).
Geraldo’s half-Jewish. I have it on somewhat good authority that when he was young he was known as “Jerry Rivers”.

Posted by: Yaron at November 28, 2006 at 10:33 am

Ask and ye shall receive!

Posted by: Marco at November 28, 2006 at 10:49 am

I should add that Benjamin was extremely well-regarded; as I mentioned, Presidents Fillmore & Pierce each offered him nominations to the Supreme Court prior to the War.
It is also a fact that Judah Benjamin had been given the moniker, “the brains behind the Confederacy.”
What that means, is Jefferson Davis relied on Benjamin heavily for counsel about the new government during its 4 years.
I would also add that it was not a secret that Benjamin was a Jew—rather, it was well-known.
Following Lincoln’s murder, Benjamin burned his personal papers and fled to England where he held citizenship. (His parents were English, and he had been born in the West Indies)
He did so because he feared post-war retribution by the Radical Republicans—in fact, there were rumblings that Benjamin had even helped plot the murder of Lincoln. This, of course, has never been substantiated one iota, and the rumor of his hand was probably borne merely out of his reputation as ‘the brain.’
Once in England, he authored a very influential book about the sale of personal property, and eventually became counsel to the Queen.

Posted by: BadBoyInASuit at November 28, 2006 at 2:00 pm

Here ya go… It’s the secessionist sermon of Rabbi Illowy
http://www.jewish-history.com/Illoway/sermon.html
“But who, for example, can blame our brethren of the South for their being inclined to secede from a society, under whose government those ends cannot be attained, and whose union is kept together, not by the good sense and good feelings of the great masses of the people, but by an ill-regulated balance of power and heavy iron ties of violence and arbitrary force? Who can blame our brethren of the South for seceding from a society whose government can not, or will not, protect the property rights and privileges of a great portion of the Union against the encroachments of a majority misguided by some influential, ambitious aspirants and selfish politicians who, under the color of religion and the disguise of philanthropy, have thrown the country into a general state of confusion, and millions into want and poverty?”

Posted by: Ken at November 28, 2006 at 3:05 pm

All of that is true though Benjamin’s reputation dropped considerably as the war went on. Part of that was his loyalty to and from Davis. Perhaps the biggest criticism of Jefferson Davis was his placing loyalty over competence and that’s where a lot of the fire on Benjmain came from. Look at the Davis record: Braxton Bragg, John Pemberton for starters, even the flatterer John Hood. None of them should have been kept as long as they were (and worst of all they all seemed to come back). Benjamin was very competent though he simply was in over his head at the War Department. While Benjamin was an able man, he did have something of an engimatic personality and that probably hurt his public perception to some extent.
I’d add that Benjamin was one of the few competent leaders the CSA had in the executive branch. While John Reagan and Stephen Mallory were both excellent, they had limited roles. George Randolph had some ability but was not there too long and John Breckinridge, a very talented man, only served at the end. Stephens was brilliant but was not poised to be an executive. But look at some of the others-Bob Toombs mortified he was not president, the incompetent Walker, the hapless Christopher Memminger, the colorless Bragg (Braxton’s brother), Run Mad Tom Hunter who went into the Cabinet a giant and left a dwarf-this is a Confederacy of Dunces. I think Benjamin’s reputation was a little inflated due to the lack of stature of much of the leaders in Richmond.

Posted by: Von Bek at November 28, 2006 at 3:14 pm

I think either Benjamin or Levy-Yulee was called “The Hebrew with the heart of a Pharaoh” by political foes (possibly John Quincy Adams).
Stalin was not Jewish; at one point he was a Russian Orthodox seminarian.
Oh, and Armand Hammer was not associated with “Arm&Hammer” baking soda. Armand Hammer was in the oil business (Occidental Petroleum). I think his father Julius founded the business. Curiously, Occidental did a lot of business with nthe Soviets, and Armand Hammer knew every Soviet leader from Lenin to Gorbachev. One family that was a big beneficiary of the Hammer’s largesse was the Gore family of Tennessee (As in Sens. Albert Arnold Gore, Sr. and Jr.)
Arm&Hammer baking soda is actually made by a company called Church and Dwight. I think Armand Hammer did buy some shares in that company just because he was sick of people asking him whether or not he had any relationship with the sodium bicarbonate product.

Posted by: Ron at November 28, 2006 at 3:57 pm

“Joseph Stalin was originally named Joseph David Djugashvili (translating into “son of a Jew”).
Stalin’s name was Georgian,
Yeah, Georgian for “son of a bitch.”

Posted by: jay at November 28, 2006 at 4:17 pm

I think Stalin’s real name went something like Josef Vissarionovich Dzhugashvili.
Speaking of whom, you should see the movie “Children of the Revolution” if you haven’t already. Very dark comedy about what happened when an Australian communist woman wrote fan letters to Stalin.

Posted by: Ron at November 28, 2006 at 9:27 pm

Ron, the fact that someone else has seen that flick makes me happy. I was talking to someone about it a few months ago and she was like “there’s no such film” and I’m like “but it has Saliari in it.”

Posted by: Von Bek at November 28, 2006 at 9:47 pm

Von Bek, I’m thoroughly impressed with your encyclopedic knowledge of the Civil War.
However, the CSA’s Secretary of War—no matter who it was—could not personally overcome the fact that the South lacked the North’s troops, food supply, and manufacturing base—ultimately, that was the South’s undoing.
As the war drew on, part of the South’s internal strategy was to intentionally obscure the fact that they were lacking in proper supplies.
Thus, rather than admitting to their own troops—AND the Yankees—that they didn’t HAVE adequate stores of supplies, they chose to give the public impression of ’screwing up’ the execution of plans to have supplies arrive at point X. (Benjamin would then publicly take “the blame” for ’screwing up’ the plans.)
In fact, an extension of the South’s concern for their lack of resources was reflected in Lee’s aggressive plan at Gettysburg.
Lee knew the South lacked the resources to fight a long war of attrition, thus had to have an immediate punitive victory on Yankee soil which would hopefully affect the North’s support for continuing the war.
Gettysburg was an attempt to throw a knock-out punch.
Had Longstreet and Ewell followed Lee’s orders at Gettysburg to ATTACK EARLY, there might have been a different outcome.
I still stand by the high esteem bestowed upon Benjamin.
It’s why he was rumored to have had a hand in plotting the Lincoln murder. After all, it couldn’t have merely been that ACTOR dude and a small circle of marginal thinkers who planned it—could it ?
It’s also why when Benjamin fled to England, he ultimately became the Queen’s Counsel.
That wasn’t a job filled by stumbling, bumbling, bureaucrats.
Interestingly enough, when they were both members of the U.S. Senate prior to the war, Benjamin had challenged Jeff Davis to a DUEL as he felt Davis had insulted him. (A duel never came to fruition.)
At the time of the war’s commencement, Davis hand-picked Benjamin for his cabinet—despite their rough personal history—precisely because he held Benjamin’s competence in such high regard.
They ultimately became close friends.

Posted by: BadBoyInASuit at November 28, 2006 at 10:49 pm

So, yeah, good talk all around. #41 did strike me as a little weird.

Posted by: Shawn at November 28, 2006 at 11:03 pm

I think Trotsky was a jew, and Lenin had a jewish name, but wasn’t one. there were many jews who fought for communism, which was why the Nazis liked to bind them together.

Posted by: bryan at November 29, 2006 at 8:56 pm

I think Randolph was excellent at the War Department and, with all due respect, I think while the North had all the advantages, I think some of the decisions from the Confederate War Department did influence the war; for example the decision to reinforce the Army of Tenn in Sept 1863 by sending Longstreet’s corps from the ANV. I don’t think Chickimagua could have been won without that corps. Benjmain was in a bad spot when he was at War-namely putting up with idiots like Bishop Polk and Henry Wise in NC and trying to make the most out of Albert S. Johnston despite his ties with Davis. Was Benjamin talented ? Yes, very much so but the War Department was beyond his grasp.
And I hope the CSA was behind the Lincoln assination. I have to say David Long’s recent article pretty much convinced that Honest Abe ordered a hit on Davis during the Kilpatrick-Dahlgren raid (before reading it, I was pretty much in agreement with Stephen Sears that Edwin Stanton had ordered it with the aid of a young Dahlgren and an amoral Kilpatrick). While I think assasination should be used in some cases, we have to be careful. Eye for an eye. Order Diem and Castro to be shot, who knows what is waiting for you in Dallas. Ditto ordering a hit on Davis and then off to Ford’s Theather.

Posted by: Von Bek at November 29, 2006 at 10:03 pm

But wait, wasn’t there a hit attempt on Vice President Andrew Johnson the same night Lincoln was shot? And wasn’t Secretary of State William Seward also wounded by an assassination attempt the same night Lincoln was shot? If there was a high-level conspiracy, I still tend to think it was Stanton, not the Confederates. My guess is that Benjamin was spending a whole lot more time fleeing than plotting to kill anyone.
About Lenin: His real name was Ulyanov. He was a minor Russian noble, and not Jewish.
Trotsky’s name was Braunstein. He actually immigrated to America, but then decided to go back to Russia to participate in the Bolshevik Revolution. One of my great-grandfathers knew him, and told him not to go back there.
Another interesting bit of trivia is that Molotov’s real name was Scriabin. He was related to the composer. I think both Molotov and Kaganovich lived into the 1980s.
Ah, yes, F. Murray Abraham, the man who played Stalin in “Children of the Revolution.” Yes, he also played Salieri in “Amadeus.” I work with mostly left-wing types, and precious few found “Children of the Revolution” to be funny.

Posted by: Ron at December 1, 2006 at 9:57 pm
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