Altneuland- Theodor Herzl's Zionist Utopia
David smiled, but did not reply. He called to the driver at the rear of the car: "Friedrichsheim!"
"That's a familiar face," said Friedrich, as the machine started. "I must have seen it somewhere, but without those gray mutton chop whiskers, and without the eye-glasses."
"Yes, he's from Vienna, too. I've often made him tell me about you. But I did not care to become involved with him just now. Today you belong to me alone. He also was a patron of the Cafe Birkenreis."
Friedrich's memory responded in a flash. "Schiffmann!" he cried laughingly. "So he's here tool" "He and many, many other Jews from all parts of the world," replied Littwak.
Kingscourt, who had been looking curiously in every direction, interposed a question. " Do you mean to say that the Return of the Jews to Palestine is taking place?"
"I certainly do mean to say so."
"Thunder and glory!" shouted the old man. They drove you out of Europe!"
"No," smiled Littwak. "You must not imagine a medieval expulsion. It did not take that form-not, at least, in the more progressive countries. On the whole, it was a bloodless operation. At the end of the nineteenth century and at the beginning of the twentieth, life was made intolerable for us Jews."
"Aha! Spewed you out, did they?"
"The persecutions were social and economic. Jewish merchants were boycotted, Jewish workingmen starved out, Jewish professional men proscribed-not to mention the subtle moral suffering to which a sensitive Jew was exposed at the turn of the century. Jew-hatred employed its newest as well as its oldest devices. The blood myth was revived; and at the same time, the Jews were accused of poisoning the press, as in the Middle Ages they had been accused of poisoning the wells. As workingmen, the Jews were hated by their Christian fellows for undercutting the wage standards. As business men, they were dubbed profiteers. Whether Jews were rich or poor or middle-class, they were hated just the same. They were criticized for enriching themselves, and they were criticized for spending money. They were neither to produce nor to consume. They were forced out of government posts. The law courts were prejudiced against them. They were humiliated everywhere in civil life. It became clear that, in the circumstances, they must either become the deadly enemies of a society that was so unjust to them, or seek out a refuge for themselves. The latter course was taken, and here we are. We have saved ourselves."
"Old-New-Land!" murmured Friedrich.
"Indeed, it is just that," replied Littwak earnestly. He was evidently moved.. "We have set up a New Society on our precious old soil. Our system will be explained to you, gentlemen."
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