Letters

Letters

On Socialism and the Jews

Editor: George Lichtheim is to be commended for bringing to the attention of your readers certain aspects of the problem of socialism and anti-Semitism (“Socialism and the Jews,” DISSENT, July—August 1968). The more so since he poses the problem of a permanent stain which has flecked the banner of international socialism from its very beginnings. Here is the way he puts it: “That a particular form of socialist anti-Semitism arose in 19th-century Europe may have been due to transitory factors which are no longer operative. On the other hand, it may also reflect a problem permanent enough to warrant some consideration.” Yet, for all his effort, his “remarks,” as he calls them, fall largely into the category of the literature of apologetics on the subject. For what is unique about the “problem” is not that “European socialism in general, and French socialism in particular [finally] shed its anti-Semitic aspects,” but that the socialist movement, all of it, “in every land,” according to Professor Edmund Silberner who is the most distinguished of Lichtheim’s authorities, was rooted in a Jew-hatred so profound as to have left its mark indelibly on its thoughts and actions.

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Lima