Mark Twain's 1899 Harper's Article "Concerning The Jews"

This article was written in 1899 when anti-Semitism was widespread in the United States. Large companies did not hire Jews, Universities either didn't admit Jews or limited their numbers with strict quotas. "Respectable" people like Ford and Edison expressed their anti-Jewish feelings openly. Mark Twain had an answer for them:

Written by Mark Twain in Harper's Magazine, September 1899

If the statistics are right, the Jews constitute but one percent of the human race. It suggests a nebulous dim puff of stardust lost in the blaze of the Milky Way.

Properly the Jew ought hardly to be heard of, but he is heard of, has always been heard of.

He is as prominent on the planet as any other people and his commercial importance is extravagantly out of proportion to the smallness of his bulk.

His contributions to the world's list of great names in literature, science, art, music, finance, medicine, and obtuse learning are also way out of proportion to the weakness of his numbers.

He has made a marvelous fight in this world in all the ages and has done it with his hands tied behind him.

He could be vain of himself and be excused for it. The Egyptians, the Babylonians and the Persians rose, filled the planet with sound and splendor, and faded to dream stuff and passed away.

The Greeks and the Romans followed and made a vast noise and they are gone.

Other peoples have sprung up and held their torch high for a time. But it burned out, and they sit in twilight now or have vanished.

The Jew saw them all. Beat them all, and is now what he always was, exhibiting no decadence, no infirmities of age, no weakening of his parts, no slowing of his energies, no dulling of his alert and aggressive mind. All things are mortal but the Jew. All other forces pass, but he remains.

Courtesy of: Charles Ross


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