Emancipation: How Liberating Europe’s Jews from the Ghetto Led to Revolution and Renaissance by Michael Goldfarb - review by Frederic Raphael

Frederic Raphael

Escape to Liberty

Emancipation: How Liberating Europe’s Jews from the Ghetto Led to Revolution and Renaissance

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In the bestiaries of boobies, brutes, bishops and quite a few bien pensants, the Jews are literally bloody: as age succeeds to age, they are said to have killed Jesus, to make Passover matzos by tapping the blood of kidnapped Gentiles (usually infants) and to be prone to haemorrhoids (and tails). Move into the metaphorical register and they double – duplicity being their prime protean attribute – as capitalist bloodsuckers, revolutionary terrorists, Holocaust-fabricators and Zionist SS men. 

Michael Goldfarb reminds us in Emancipation that 19th-century German slang for being a businessman was to be engaged in Judentums – Jew stuff. Even the philosemitic Lord Byron alleged he was having recourse to the ‘Jews’ when he borrowed money from Scottish usurers. No wonder Karl Marx promoted the catchy

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