Altneuland- Theodor Herzl's Zionist Utopia
"Ha! Ha! Ha! Very good!" neighed Schiffmann. The others joined in the merriment. Only then did Friedrich realize that his remark had been construed as one of the rude jests common in this set. Gruen, accustomed as he was to worse treatment, did not, take it amiss, But, the rival jester, grinningly followed up the persecution. "Gruen could make even the people here anti-Semitic."
"Your jokes are stale, Mr. Blau," interposed Dr. Walter. "Thank God, anti-Semitism has ceased to exist."
"If I could be sure of that," retorted Blau, "I should go into the business myself."
Kingscourt leaned over toward the Professor, and whispered, "Seems to me you couldn't tell these people anything about your project for the Negroes. They'd laugh at you."
"Proves nothing against it," rejoined Steineck in the same undertone. "They also ridiculed the Jewish nationalist idea in the old days. They are the last people to whom one could speak of something big."
Friedrich reverted to the remark of Dr. Walter. "Is it true," he asked, "that Jew-hatred has declined?"
"Declined, you say!" cried Schlesinger. "It's disappeared."
"No one," struck in Blau saucily, "can give you better information on that subject than Dr. Veiglstock. He behaved like a captain...the last to leave the ship."
The lawyer was vexed. "I shall have to pull you up by the ears, Mr. Blau, and tell you my name. It is Walter, once and for all. Just note that. Now, I've never been ashamed of my father's honest name. Everyone knows that. But formerly one had to make concessions to the prejudices of his environment in order to escape unpleasantness."
"And now it's no longer necessary?" probed Friedrich.
"No. But, for once, what Mr. Blau tried to say in his would-be humorous way is true. I came here to settle only recently. That, however, proves that I was not forced to do so by necessity, but obeyed my own impulses."
"Once a Jew, always a Jew!" bleated Gruen in support of the declaration. But Blau in an undertone inaudible to the lawyer muttered something about a dwindling clientele.
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