World War II
World War II
A JEWISH HISTORY OF THE SECOND WORLD WAR
Written by Erich Unger before he died in 1950, this 'Jewish History' traces the development and the changing fortunes of the war from its inception. It sets out to present a Jewish perspective. It is not the perspective of the protagonists in that war, as Unger repeatedly emphasises. The reader must judge whether it is a justified perspective.
- Two thousand six hundred years after the prophecy of Isaiah, the Jews lived in the midst of the nations of the world, dispersed in every corner thereof.
- At that time, a war broke out between the nations, between Britain, France, Italy, Serbia, Rumania, Russia, America and Japan, all allied together, against Germany, Austria, Bulgaria and Turkey, also allied together.
- In that war, the Germans, the Austrians, the Bulgarians and the Turks were defeated. Austria was divided up into several small units and the Germans, the Bulgarians and the Turks had to relinquish some of their lands to the victors. The Germans were also obliged to relinquish almost all of their arms.
- When the war was over, Germany dreamt of revenge. Strife divided Germany’s enemies, previously allied by war. Hostility set Britain, France, Italy, Rumania, America and Japan on one side against Russia on the other side.
A man calling himself Hitler made himself the ruler over Germany and he persuaded the nations which had defeated Germany and its allies that he would go to war against Russia. Then the nations which had been the victors permitted Germany to rearm and to prepare for war.
The rulers of Britain and some of its allies did not say why they were permitting Germany to rearm, but Italy and Japan stated it openly and sided with Germany. However, Russia knew well who its enemies were.
The mind of the man who ruled over Germany was darkened, but his friends were not aware of this. Nor were the rulers of the six victorious nations. He accused the Jews of being the enemies of the Germans and of seeking dominion over all the nations of the world. He threatened them with bondage and with annihilation. And he caused many of the Jews in Germany to be imprisoned, to be beaten and tortured; some he caused to be murdered. And he took away their rights and their possessions.
The rulers of every nations other than the German one knew that the Jews did not seek dominion over all nations and that, in each country in which they lived, the Jews were loyal. But the Jews were not important in their eyes. The rulers of the nations did not call upon the ruler of Germany to desist from his villainous deeds against the Jews, because they hoped that he would go to war against Russia.
There were some citizens in every country who felt sympathetic towards Russia. Their number was always far smaller than that of the rest of the population; they were always seen as enemies in their land. In Germany, too, there were a few with feelings of sympathy for Russia. They said: in Russia there are no rich and no poor people.
The ruler of Germany sent out raids to surprise and seize all Germans with feelings of sympathy for Russia. He had them imprisoned and tortured. A number of them he had murdered. However, if they renounced their feelings of sympathy for Russia, he ceased the harassment and they were accepted by those who served him.
Of the Jews who lived among the nations outside of Russia, there was a small number who felt sympathy for Russia. The great majority were loyal to the land in which they lived. They strove to further the greatness and the power of the land in which they lived; some of those who felt sympathy for Russia strove to further the power of Russia. Others there were who sought to establish a state for Jews in the land of Israel. They did not seek dominion over the nations. They did not strive to achieve the dominion which Isaiah had prophecied.
The ruler of Germany did not permit Jews who felt sympathy for Russia to renounce their sympathy. He had them tortured and killed. And he oppressed all the other Jews who lived in Germany; there were far more of those. He had them dragged from their houses and he had their houses of prayer burnt down. He ordered those who served him to beat and torture the innocent and not to spare the old. And many died from the beatings and from exhaustion. Then the Jews began to escape from Germany. And many escaped to the land of Israel.
- A small section of the Jews escaped from Germany, being allowed to take with them only a few possessions and only a small amount of money. They went to France, t Italy, to Holland, to Belgium, to Czechoslovakia, to Switzerland, to Finland, to Turkey, to Britain and to America. Soon after, these nations decided not to allow more Jews to come to their lands They feared that the Jews from Germany would increase the number of poor people in every land. And also Russia did not allow the Jews to come. The ruler of Germany threatened to kill the Jews who did not leave Germany, but he did not allow them to leave until they had convinced his underlings that they had handed over everything they owned. The other nations would not allow the Jews in. And one half of the Jews from Germany, more than two hundred and fifty thousand, were obliged to remain in Germany.
- Those who served the ruler of Germany continued to torment and to harass the Jews who remained. They entered the houses of the Jews who had not yet been evicted and destroyed everything there. Repeatedly demeaning the Jews, they humiliated them in the eyes of all the German people. The threat of beatings and imprisonment hung over every Jew, day and night. And many died or killed themselves to avoid falling into the hands of their torturers. And the rulers of the six once victorious nations said not one word to the ruler of Germany, neither to ask him to spare the Jews nor even to spare the vast majority who felt no sympathy for Russia. And also the ruler of Russia said nothing.
The bloody persecution of the Jews, who were obviously not guilty in any sense, should have made it clear to everyone that the mind of the man called Hitler was darkened. But the rulers of the once victorious nations did not wish to see it. They thought only of the war which he and the Germans would wage against Russia. Compared to this, the matter of the Jews was of little importance in their eyes.