Tuesday, August 07, 2012

'Ostjuden' Preceded "Jew-Washing"

My comment at Emily Hauser's attempt to confront NGO-Monitor at Open Zion:-

Semantically, the contextual intent of the phrase "jew-washing" has been around for a while.  Long ago, I learned the phrase "ostjuden" which meant, historically, "it's not me [as spoken by the cultured Western and Central European Jew] but it's them [referring to the supposed dirty, smelly and uncouth Jews from Galicia].  In other words, "don't blame me, it's their fault".  As noted: Stefan Zweig’s father was a rich textile manufacturer. He spent his young adulthood among the aesthete glitterati, scarcely aware that he was a Jew; for years he presided over a salon at Salzburg. The critic Joan Acocella remarks on “his willingness to disassociate himself from the poor, despised Ostjuden, who [in the early 20th Century] were pouring into Western Europe in flight from the Russian pogroms.” See her Introduction to the NYRB edition of Beware of Pity xv (2006).

Our liberal Jews who grace this blog and other platforms seek to distance themselves from Jewish nationalism and the use of Jewish power and so play into the hands of the real anti-Semites, cognizantly or otherwise.  Terrible.

And here from this book, that the phrase originated with Nathna Birnbaum as explained:

And I found this:

The symbol of East European Jewry was an important tool of German-Jewish self-definition.  Were these so-called Ostjuden foreign or family?  Did they represent a tradition from which German Jews would have to dissociate in order to secure their civic equality as Germans, or were they fellow members of a single Jewish nation?  The stereotypes that German Jews attached to East European Jews reflect their own evolving self-perception and conflicting national aspirations.  The long and difficult path toward emancipation during the nineteenth century led German Jews to reject traditional notions of Jewish nationhood and to refashion themselves as "German citizens of the Mosaic faith."  In their efforts to assimilate, they deliberately adopted German middle-class gentility, politeness, and aesthetic refinement, and contrasted these traits with a crude stereotype of East European Jewish life.  They created a caricature of the ghetto, which signified not only a confined space but also a self-segregating worldview.  German Kultur was viewed as the path out of the ghetto of traditional society into the modern nation-state.

Substitute "progressive humanist liberalism" for German Kultur.


See now this.


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