Anti-Semitism in Britain
by George Orwell, 1945

...It is generally admitted that anti-Semitism is on the increase, that it has been greatly exacerbated by the war, and that humane and enlightened people are not immune to it. It does not take violent forms (English people are almost invariably gentle and law-abiding), but it is ill-natured enough, and in favourable circumstances it could have political results...

After 1934 the Jew joke disappeared as though by magic from postcards, periodicals and the music-hall stage, and to put an unsympathetic Jewish character into a novel or short story came to be regarded as anti-Semitism. On the Palestine issue, too, it was de rigueur among enlightened people to accept the Jewish case as proved and avoid examining the claims of the Arabs — a decision which might be correct on its own merits, but which was adopted primarily because the Jews were in trouble and it was felt that one must not criticise them. Thanks to Hitler, therefore, you had a situation in which the press was in effect censored in favour of the Jews while in private anti-Semitism was on the up-grade, even, to some extent, among sensitive and intelligent people....

Wealthy Jews tended to disguise themselves under aristocratic English or Scottish names, and to the average person it seemed quite natural that they should do this, just as it seems natural for a criminal to change his identity if possible....

There has been a perceptible anti-Semitic strain in English literature from Chaucer onwards, and without even getting up from this table to consult a book I can think of passages which if written now would be stigmatised as anti-Semitism, in the works of Shakespeare, Smollett, Thackeray, Bernard Shaw, H. G. Wells, T. S. Eliot, Aldous Huxley and various others. Offhand, the only English writers I can think of who, before the days of Hitler, made a definite effort to stick up for Jews are Dickens and Charles Reade. And however little the average intellectual may have agreed with the opinions of Belloc and Chesterton, he did not acutely disapprove of them. Chesterton's endless tirades against Jews, which he thrust into stories and essays upon the flimsiest pretexts, never got him into trouble — indeed Chesterton was one of the most generally respected figures in English literary life. Anyone who wrote in that strain now would bring down a storm of abuse upon himself, or more probably would find it impossible to get his writings published....

SvengaliHypnotize SVENGALIAN ANTI-SEMITISM (book review of George du Maurier's novel Trilby, by George Orwell)

ORWELL VIEWS ON JEWS? (reader asks about Orwell's essay on anti-semitism in Britain)

Jews first arrived in Britain with William the Conqueror in 1066, but were expelled in 1290 following increasing persecution. (Hence plays such as The Jew of Malta and The Merchant of Venice were written when England was essentially devoid of Jews.) Jews were readmitted in 1656 by Oliver Cromwell, and emancipation took place in 1858. In the late 19th century there was mass Jewish immigration from anti-semitic Russia, and the 1930s saw an influx of refugees from Nazism. The Jewish population peaked at 450,000, but has since declined due to low birth rate, intermarriage and emigration. The current population according to the 2001 Census is around 240,000 (though many experts consider this an underestimate), most of whom live in London...

Orwell4volumes MeinKampfHitler OrwellMeinKampf MeinKampfReview2 Mein Kampf, by Adolf Hitler, Review by George Orwell, The Collected Essays, Journalism & Letters of George Orwell, Volume II, My Country Right or Left, 1940-1943

Orwell reviews Hitler's Mein Kampf (wants it put on record never been able to dislike Hitler), New English Weekly, Mar 21, 1940

The art of fiction: George Orwell (an Orwell review of Mein Kampf)
by David Blackburn, Spectator, May 25, 2012
...In a review of Mein Kampf, which Orwell published in March 1940, he wrote: "When one compares his [Hitler’s] utterances of a year or so ago with those made fifteen years earlier, a thing that strikes one is the rigidity of his mind, the way in which his world-view doesn’t develop. It is the fixed vision of a monomaniac and not likely to be much affected by the temporary manoeuvres of power politics. I should like to put it on record that I have never been able to dislike Hitler. Ever since he came to power — till then, like nearly everyone, I had been deceived into thinking that he did not matter — I have reflected that I would certainly kill him if I could get within reach of him, but that I could feel no personal animosity. The fact is that there is something deeply appealing about him. One feels it again when one sees his photographs — and I recommend especially the photograph at the beginning of Hurst and Blackett’s edition, which shows Hitler in his early Brownshirt days. It is a pathetic, dog-like face, the face of a man suffering under intolerable wrongs. In a rather more manly way it reproduces the expression of innumerable pictures of Christ crucified, and there is little doubt that that is how Hitler sees himself. The initial personal cause of his grievance against the universe can only be guessed at; but at any rate the grievance is there. He is the martyr, the victim. Prometheus chained to the rock, the self-sacrificing hero who fights single-handed against impossible odds. If he were killing a mouse he would know how to make it seem like a dragon. One feels, as with Napoleon, that he is fighting against destiny, that he can’t win, and yet that he somehow deserves to. The attraction of such a pose is of course enormous; half the films that one sees turn upon some such theme."...

Austria arrests British Holocaust denier (said Auschwitz gas chambers a hoax; Jews died from typhus not gas) & David Irving an acclaimed historian (accused of anti-semitism for saying Jews are enemies of free speech). CBC/BBC, Nov 23, 2005

HOLOCAUST DENIER DEPORTED ('Canada is a country where dissidents can be imprisoned for years without ever knowing why, just like in Stalin's days'). Canada East, Feb 28, 2005. Go to TERROR BILL IS TERROR


Anti-Semitism in Britain, by George Orwell, 1945

20.Thought Police and 21.Crimestop and 27.Goodthink and 17.Falisfication of Past and 16.Ministry of Truth and 10.Rulers

Jackie Jura
~ an independent researcher monitoring local, national and international events ~

email: orwelltoday@gmail.com
website: www.orwelltoday.com