ChinazorChinazor Onianwah
In high school, I fancied myself as a playwright, nursing the hope that I will someday be like William Shakespeare whom I appreciated enormously. I read as many Shakespeare plays as I could find in my scanty high school library. Even on one occasion, the drama teacher gave me permission to direct a rehearsal of The Merchant of Venice, and to my chagrin, no one wanted to play the part of Shylock the moneylender, so I, the only Igbo in my high school, at a Yoruba town, had to play a character perceived as villainous, alien, vengeful, greedy, and always loaded with cash. I wondered why? That was how the word Jew connoted with negativity in my mind. Imagine my surprise on arriving in the United States of America in 1987 to find out the representation of Shylock in Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice was just as contentious at it was to me in high school.

When I first went out on a date with an African American classmate, Keisha Shepherd, we took a French class together, I asked her to go see The Merchant of Venice with me but she wanted to see the Dance Theatre of Harlem, so we saw both, one after the other. What struck me as I watched the play was that Shylock came across as a sympathetic, angelic character. He was no longer the villainous and vengeful character I read in the play. I tried to discuss it with my date but she wasn’t into it. Since then, the topic of anti-Semitism, racism and prejudice in America has become preeminent topics of interest to me.

Without a doubt, Jews throughout history have been persecuted because of whom they are, which is primarily enclosed in their faith, Judaism. So too have other different groups of people who practiced a religion that was considered different by the majority in their community. The Romans persecuted Christians until Constantine outlawed it in 313 AD. Christians persecuted Jews during the Crusades and later, Muslims, in order to gain access to the Holy sites in Jerusalem persecuted Jews. Idolaters have persecuted other idolaters. Between the fifteenth and nineteenth century, 500 years to be precise, the Transatlantic slave trade was a holocaust like no other in terms of the magnitude of the number of its victims and the duration. That sordid event was justified by religion. The “Curse of Ham” was justification to enslave and discriminate against people of African ancestry. Yet it would be almost criminal and insane to deny the horrendous act that was unleashed on Jews in Germany under Hitler.

I read it in a satirical website advertising tours to a building somewhere in Austria said to be Adolf Hitler’s birthplace. The promotion said there was a memorial stone in front of the building, and it has the inscription of the horrors Hitler inflicted upon the world during World War II: “For peace, freedom and democracy. Never again fascism, millions of dead remind us.”
Ever since I came across the website, I often wondered why anyone would want to go visit the location of Hitler’s birthplace in Austria. By the time Hitler’s lifeless body was discovered on May 1, 1945, approximately 40 million people, including about 27 million in the Soviet Union, six million Jews in Germany, some homosexuals, and some mentally disabled people had died under his authority.

The Holocaust

Hitler subscribed to Author de Gorbinau’s theory of racial purity. He was perhaps the inventor of racist science. Gorbinau classified the human race into three specific groups – white, black and yellow, and he believed that each race has its own culture and it must not be mixed. He also believed that southern Europeans are not as pure as northern Europeans because they were mixed with Africans and Asians, therefore they were inferior. But because Gorbinau was not anti-Semitic, Hitler relied more on The Passing of the Great Race by Madison Grant for much of his belief about the inferiority of Jews. The Passing of the Great Race was published in two volumes in 1925 and 1926; and it sold 228,000 copies between 1925 and 1932. The book helped Hitler to transform German society into one for the Aryan race by means of genocide, euthanasia, eugenics, and forced transfer of Jews to Palestine under the aegis of “The Havaara Agreement” and a planned forced relocation to Madagascar. Some historians have noted that his hatred for Jews could have stemmed from the fact that the son of a Jewish family his grandmother worked for may be his grandfather, thereby making him a Jew. The “Havaara Agreement” was a continuation of the “Hanotea Agreement,” whereby a Zionist citrus company agreed with the Hitler administration to export German Jews as if they were commodities to Palestine. It was an absurd arrangement in the sense that, the supposed commodities, humans, paid for their own export via transportation. When they landed in Palestine, other investors in the supposed commodities paid their import expense. This may have aided German Jews who wanted to immigrate to Palestine but it also enabled Hitler to get rid of them. In retrospect, I wonder how this could not have affected the image of the Jew as greedy and conniving even with a despicable character as Hitler.

One of Hitler’s central and most controversial ideologies was the concept of what he and his followers termed racial hygiene. On 15 September 1935, he proposed a couple of laws to the German parliament known as the “Nuremberg Laws” which banned marriage between non-Jewish and Jewish Germans, and forbade the employment of non-Jewish women under the age of 45 in Jewish households. The laws also deprived “non-Aryans” of the benefits of German citizenship. What was even worse than the “Nuremberg Laws” was the second proposal or the “Final Solution of the Jewish Question” also known as the Holocaust. Hitler said, “We shall regain our health by eliminating the Jews.” His fear of Jews was revealed in a statement he made saying “If the international Jewish financiers 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 of the Jewish race in Europe!”
What no one seems to want to discuss is why Hitler hated the Jews so much? It couldn’t be simply because of their religion. I really wanted to know and I began to explore the back-story of every news report involving anti-Semitism.

As early as the 4th century, the vast majority of Jews migrated to Germany from Rome and the southern regions of Europe. European Jews, the Ashkenazim, claim their Jewry as descendants of Ashkenaz, grandson of Japheth, one of the three sons of Noah. In 4th century Germany, there was no distinguishing factor in the life of Jews and their fellow Europeans. In fact, they enjoyed a cultural and religious revival under successive sovereigns. Under Charlemagne, also Charles the Great (c. 742 – 28 January 814) especially, there could not have been a better patron of Jews. Under him, Jews were appointed to prominent positions all across Western Europe. However, what really gave European Jews the greatest reward also drew towards them the greatest scorn. The Church in Rome had forbidden Christians from engaging in Usury, an extreme form of money lending in which the borrower could forfeit his entire livelihood if he fails to pay the lender. The best illustration of Usury was The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare. Jesus Christ, himself a Jew had condemned this practice of the Jews in the temples during the premedieval ages. However, under Emperor Charlemagne, they enjoyed unprecedented monopoly of money lending. With their excess cash flow accruing from money lending, they controlled almost every entrepreneur and wielded tremendous influence over government officials. This enabled them to consolidate and create financial institutions (banks) where money lending can be carried out. And to facilitate complex financial transactions across borders, they developed and issued bank notes (checks), which other Jewish moneylenders would honor therefore, avoiding risks of losing large sums of cash. This unique position of Jews engendered a mixed reaction of people; on one hand, they were sought after everywhere as well as avoided. But to any potential business investor, their capital was indispensable while their business was viewed as disreputable. This peculiar circumstance was not only beneficial to the Jewish lender and the borrower who prospered with their capital; their investments became a source of revenue for the state because they paid more in taxes than anybody else. And the state saw to it that they enjoyed protection. Even the Church, which forbade their congregation from engaging in Usury, saw an increase in contributions to church funds. Jews parlayed their influence beyond Europe, and they built cultural, and academic institutions that were largely unencumbered until the 1930s.
If Hitler was not so rabidly anti-Semitic, but had gone to war with her neighbors as a way to extricate Germany from the sanctions of the “Treaty of Versailles,” that was imposed after World War I, chances are, he would been spoken of in endearing terms as a German patriot.





Moe HassenFollow

The Genocide of the Herero People of Africa By Germans

A lot of people think slavery ended and black people were left free to fend for themselves in peace on an equal playing field with white people(foolish people I know). But black people were subject to cruelty and were wiped out all across the world. Even put into concentration camps in America and in Africa. Learn the history of your people and continue to fight to reclaim Africa and fight for the independence of black people worldwide. History repeats itself and know this stuff is still happening today. And it won’t stop unless we learn from the past and make sure it doesn’t keep happening. How long will black people allow to be treated like second class citizens and how long will we stay at the bottom?

0 Comments Add Yours ↓

  1. 1

    I don’t base my dislike if Israel on things that happened in the past.

  2. Cecil #

    Does Chinazor have a point here? We got history and more history. Left out was the fact that Kings and nobles would borrow silver plate to carry on a war and then start a pogrom against the Jews to keep from paying back money owed. These pogroms would have an effect after while on the general public’s feelings, since they were largely illiterate. So…withal this history in mind tell me in Enlish what Chinazor has against 2 million people who stand in defiance of 1.5 billion Muslims that seek genocide. Are you a Muslim , Mr, Chinazo?

  3. chinazor Onianwah #

    Cecil, I am not a Muslim. I am Messianic Jew. This is part 1 of 3 parts. I did mention in the article that what drew people to the Jews was also what drew their scorn for the Jews – Usury – it has now taking on a new dimention. Usury is occupying the US Congress to get them to grant Israel $3b aid annually for ten years, use the money to buy weapons to kill Arabs, imprison the Arabs with a fense around their land, and bribe US congressmen to thwart the effort of POTUS in securing a nuclear deal with Iran and then, just like Oliver Twist, ask for more aid to the tune of $10b annually for ten years just because the current aid package is about to expire. That is Usury.

  4. theaveeditor #

    WTF .. you are not as a messianic Jew. Do you even believe in in the magical image of a crucified deity comng back to be LORD of the world?

  5. chinazor Onianwah #

    If you believe the Red Sea was parted by God, you should believe he can reborn himself in a female virgin

  6. Cecil #

    That said and well. So usury is all the reason that you are disgusted.? This was my question however simpleton was my first missal. I trip over my own words at times.

  7. theaveeditor #

    Usury was part of the antisemitism in the Christian Bible. Thes tory of Jesus and the money chnagers is actually about Romans who had taken over the Temlke andsppointed priests. These gonifem collected fees for their duties and used the Temple forecourt to control financial transactions. Jesus’ actions, if they happened, were a violent push vs the Romans.

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