Saturday, 7 January 2012

The Jewish Slave Trade

"Between 1870 and 1939 Jews played a conspicuous role in white slavery, as the prostitution of that era was called. Not only was this partricipation conspicuous, but it was, for the Jews, historically unprecedented, geographically widespread, and ** in an age of pandemic anti-Semitism ** fraught with collective political dangers."

Edward J. Bristow, PROSTITUTION AND PREJUDICE, The Jewish Fight Against White Slavery 1870-1939 - the book's jacket

PROSTITUTION AND PREJUDICE does a superb job of demonstrating the extremely disproportionate Jewish involvement in the worldwide sex slave trade in the period under discussion. Jewish involvement with prostitution began in the old Pale of Settlement in Czarist Russia. Bristow ascribes this phenomenon, with partial validity, to Jewish misery and social disability. Whatever the causes there is no doubt of Jewish control over the sex slave trade in Czarist Russia and Eastern Europe generally. Thus, an internal census of the Russian Empire in 1889 showed that throughout the Pale of Settlement and European Russia Jewesses ran 203 out of 289 licensed houses. In this same year in Warsaw 16 out of 19 houses of prostitution were run by Jewesses. According to Bristow:

"By the 1860s a French visitor to Odessa wrote that Jews there were responsible for a white slavery market in Russian women to Turkey. This is feasible, especially since we know that Jewish brothel-keepers were already in place at the other end in Constantinople. The 1889 census shows that Jewish women ran 30 of 36 licensed brothels in Kherson province, where Odessa was located. In 1908 the American consul there claimed that the whole business of prostitution is almost exclusively in the hands of Jews."

Jewesses were prominent in the practice of prostitution. Thus, of 5127 licensed prostitutes in 1889, 1122 or 22 per cent were Jewish. Prostitution was particularly prevalent in the impoverished Habsburg province of Galicia. According to Rabbi Rosenak of the German Union of Rabbis in 1902:

"In fact I was assured by different doctors that there were between 30 to 50 per cent Jewish prostitutes. If this is terrible, it is even more startling if one speaks of the procurers of prostitutes. It is inconceivable how it could be that the owners of the tolerated houses are Jewish throughout."

Jewish procuring flourished throughout the Austro-Hungarian Empire. One Jewish madam was known as "Lucky Sarah" so named because she was the founder of the Hungarian export trade. Equally famous was Sarah Grossman known as "The Turk" because of her practive of dispatching girls to Constantinople. Two major centers of sex slave exporting were the industrial towns of Czernowitz and Lemberg. In 1892 a very famous mass trial of 27 procurers was held in the latter. All 27 defendants were Galician Jews.

As Bristow notes the trial received so much attention that it marked a turning point in the use of the issue by the anti-Semites. A major device of the procurers was a Jewish ceremony referred to as the stillah chuppah. This included a religious wedding ceremony which had no civil validity. Thus, the soon-to-be abducted female would be misled into believing that she was married with the rights of a wife only to discover later that her legal rights were nil. Innumerable Jewesses found themselves tossed into brothels by this device.

The Jewish sex slave trade was international in scope. When the mass exodus of Jews out of Czarist Russia began in the 1880s the Jewish pimps and procurers soon found greener pastures in South America. A vast transatlantic trade in prostitutes began along the Warsaw to Buenos Aires route.

Adolf Weissman, Sigmund Reicher, Adolf Dickenfaden, the "King of the Traffickers", Noe Traumann, the Goldenbergs, the Springfeder brothers of Warsaw, the Goldstein brothers, Jacob Zabladovitch and his three sons and many, many others, including Israel Meyrowitz plied the transatlantic trade. These Jews eventually established the Zwi Migdal Society which institutionalized the prostitution business in Argentina until its power was broken in the 1930s.

A partial list of Zwi Migdal's formal directorate of 1926 is revealing: Zacharias Zytnitski, president; Felipe Schön, vice-president, Max Salzman, secretaty; Simon Brotkevich, treasurer; Abe Marchik; Jacob Zabladovich; Sally Berman; and Marcus Posnansky.

These Polish and Hungarian Jews were known to police on two continents as they made annual trips back and forth to Eastern Europe to trick, kidnap and recruit fresh faces for their brothels.

Prostitution was not accorded the same legal protection in North America as in the South, but in New York City too the Jewish prostitution and vice business flourished. Rosie Hertz from Hungary was one of the city's earliest and most successful prostitutes. Mortke Goldberg and the Soviner brothers, Max and Louis later came to dominate the New York sex business. As in Argentina, the "New York" pimps and procurers had a self-help and self- promotion organization the "Independent Benevolent Association".

Two of its founders were Martin Engel and Max Hochstim. The Jewish sex slave trade was so infuriating to real Americans that in 1910 Congress passed the Mann Act which made it a felony to procure for prostitution across state lines. The Mann Act had been preceded in 1907 by a famous essay by G. K. Turner "Daughters of the Poor" in McClure's Magazine (No. 34, 1908). Although Bristow insists that Turner was wrong to label New York City as the center of the world wide sex slave trade many of his charges against Jews did have a basis infact.

As noted earlier in discussing Odessa, the Jewish sex slave trade flourished in Constantinople under the Ottoman Sultanate. Although Bristow does not mention it Jews were strongly entrenched in Ottoman society from the time of the expulsions from Spain in 1492. Large numbers of Jews migrated to Turkey where they replicated their positions as tax collectors and financial advisors.

This privileged position was certainly an asset to those Jews who wanted to go into the prostitution business. The Jewish pimps and procurers were further aided by general Ottoman tolerance of prostitution and servitude in general. Writes Bristow:

"Nothing was more disturbing to the Jewish opponents of white slavery than the state of affairs at Constantinople on the eve of the First World War. The existence of a thriving community of Jewish traffickers and brothel keepers was confirmed over and over again by pained observers from the B'nai B'rith, ... ICA, Hilfsverein der Deutschen Juden (Relief Organization of German Jews), Jüdischer Frauenbund (League of Jewish Women) and other interested organisations."

In 1915 the Turkish government finally decided to clean up the thriving prostitution business. Osman Bedri Bey, the prefect of police rounded up 176 suspects of whom all but a handful were Jewish. Hungarian and Rumanian Jews predominated in the Turkish sex slave trade along with the Odessan Jews. Two the most famous Hungarian Jews were Julie and Anton Hirshfeld, whom Bristow labels "probably the most prosecuted couple in the annals of white slavery". The Romanian city of Galatz on the Danube river served as one of the principal launching points for the Constantinople traffic. There was even an Argentinian link through the infamous David Felken. The road from Constantinople led further East. In Alexandria in Egypt police statistics in 1903 showed that "between 70 and 80 per cent of the prostitutes in tolerated houses there were Jewish women from Galicia, Bukovina, and Romania". A certain number of Jewish prostitutes followed the British Raj into India following the opening of the Suez Canal in 1869. The Jewish prostitutes also followed the American military into the Philippines following the Spanish-American War of 1898. According to an interesting statement of the celebrated Rabbi Stephen Wise in 1902:

"According to the statement of my informant, a large number of Jewish women in Manila are to be found in the ranks of prostitution ... at one time the number reached 200, but ... now the number is less than 100, thanks to the measures of the American Government. These women are mainly of Galician, Russian or Rumanian birth. It is almost too shaking to put to paper, but according to Mr. Rubenstein, the statement of a man that he is a Jew is followed invariably by the question 'Have you any nice women to sell ?' ..."

From London the infamous Joe Silver moved to South Africa and established a thriving prostitution business.

These facts and many others conclusively establish the existence of a thriving, international and interconnected Jewish sex slave trade. What was the Jewish response to this horrible business? PROSTITUTION AND PREJUDICE makes very clear that Jews of the day were at least as concerned about the use anti-Semites were making of the issue as they were about the sex slave trade itself. For instance, Der Israelit, the German orthodox newspaper wrote the following against the Jewish liberals who insisted on airing the problem:

"First they commit a folly ... second they commit a chillul-hashem against God. Third their communities confront them with the words, 'You've given our enemies a sword to smite us with'."

The Jewish fight against white slavery, such as it was, consisted mainly of organising societies for the protection of women and children, establishing international coordination and exchange of information, watching docks and ports for suspicious characters and holding international conferences. This activity took place mainly in England and Germany. One early such society was founded in 1896 and named the Jewish Association for the Protection of Girls and Women. (Interestingly, several members of the Jewish Board of Deputies who were later to become prominent in the fight against the Balfour Declaration, such as David Aleksander, were involved in this work.)

In Germany, relations between the Jewish and non-Jewish members of these anti-white slavery leagues were less than cordial. German Jews were taking the heat for the Ostjuden and their activities. Bertha Pappenheim, the famous German-Jewish feminist, complained about this popular attitude long and bitterly.

Edward Bristow admits that despite laudable efforts by more enlightened western Jews the sex slave problem gradually faded because of considerations extraneous to organized attempts to fight the evil. The slowing down of the great Jewish migrations out of Czarist Russia, the equalizing of sex ratios in frontier parts of the world, the growth ofupward mobility all played a far greater role in eventually reducing the sex slave trade than all official and coordinated efforts.

PROSTITUTION AND PREJUDICE: The Jewish Fight Against White Slavery 1870-1939, is a thoroughly researched and documented study of a problem of major importance. But as the very title of the volume indicates, it is written from an inherently flawed and self-serving perspective. Bristow argues that Jews were the "good guys," even as he abundantly proves that they were not. Throughout his study prevails the attitude that it was and still is illegitimate for anti-Semites to make use of the sex slavery issue. In Bristow's own words (referring to the political effect of Jewish anti-white slavery activism):

"Did the work do anything to deny the issue to the anti-Semites ? After the war the argument that trafficking in Christian women was inherent in Jewish genes was resorted to even more insistently than before. In the relatively innocent years before 1914 one can understand how Montefiore, Maretsky, Pappenheim, and the others could place hope in a reasoned response. Their 'rationalist fallacy' was a product of their times. As difficult as the situation was, they had no way of knowing what was to come."

PROSTITUTION AND PREJUDICE makes no attempt to examine possible causes for Jewish predominance in the prostitution racket beyond the misery and suffering of the Pale of Settlement. Thus, there is no Israel Shahak-style examination of the Talmudic passages which teach that all non-Jewesses are whores or that the Jew may do with the non-Jewess what he will.

Nor is there any discussion of the general Talmudic injunctions to cheat, steal from or lie to non-Jews. These principles, followed literally in the real world, may have had much more to do with why Eastern European Jews played such a large role in the worldwide sex slave trade than general social conditions.

Bristow ends his account on a sour note by noting the political capital the Nazis made of the issue. He says nothing about the massive sex slave trade in kidnapped Ukrainian girls being shipped to Israeli brothels which is flourishing right now. As he says in his concluding paragraph "defending the good name of the Jews" is a worthy endeavour, whatever the facts might be.


*** According to the Israeli daily newspaper quoted below, before the Nazi Third Reich in Germany plotted to create a Master Race from the European gene pool, Zionists had already established a racial purification program to create the perfect Jewish bloodline. ***

A shocking new study reveals how key figures in the pre-state Zionist establishment proposed castrating the mentally ill, sterilizing the poor and doing everything possible to ensure reproduction only among the `best of people.'

Castrating the mentally ill, encouraging reproduction among families "numbered among the intelligentsia" and limiting the size of "families of Eastern origin" and "preventing ... lives that are lacking in purpose" - these proposals are not from some program of the Third Reich but rather were brought up by key figures in the Zionist establishment of the Land of Israel during the period of the British Mandate. It turns out there was a great deal of enthusiasm here for the improvement of the hereditary characteristics of a particular race (eugenics). This support, which has been kept under wraps for many years, is revealed in a study that examines the ideological and intellectual roots at the basis of the establishment of the health system in Israel.

In the Yishuv (pre-state Jewish community) in the 1930s there were "consultation stations" operating on a Viennese model of advice centers for couples that wished to marry and become parents. In Austria, with the Nazis' rise to power, they served for forced treatment. Here the stations were aimed at "giving advice on matters of sex and marriage, especially in the matter of preventing pregnancy in certain cases." They distributed birth-control devices for free to the penniless and at reduced prices to those of limited means. In Tel Aviv the advice stations were opened in centers of immigrant populations: Ajami in Jaffa, the Hatikvah Quarter and Neveh Sha'anan.

These are some of the findings of a doctoral thesis written by Sachlav Stoler-Liss about the history of the health services in the 1950s, under the supervision of Prof. Shifra Shvarts, head of the department of health system management at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. They were presented at the annual conference of the Israel Anthropological Association at Ben-Gurion College.

The father of the theory of eugenics was British scholar Francis Galton. It was he who coined the term - which literally means "well-born" - at the end of the 19th century. The aim of the eugenics movement was to better the human race. Galton proposed a plan to encourage reproduction among "the best people" in society and to prevent reproduction among "the worst elements."

Between the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th, Galton drew many followers and his ideas spread rapidly to other countries in Europe (among them Germany, France, Italy, Denmark, Sweden and Belgium), to the United States and to some countries in South America. In various countries laws were passed that allowed for the forced sterilization of "hereditary paupers, criminals, the feeble-minded, tuberculous, shiftless and ne'er-do-wells." In the United States, up until 1935, about 20,000 people - "insane," "feeble-minded," immigrants, members of ethnic minorities and people with low IQs - were forcibly sterilized; most of them in California. The Californian law was revoked only in 1979. According to Dr. Philip Reilly, a doctor and executive director of the Shriver Center for Mental Retardation, in 1985 at least 19 states in the United States had laws that allowed the sterilization of people with mental retardation, (among them Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, Minnesota, Mississippi, North and South Carolina, Vermont, Utah and Montana).

"Eugenics is considered to be something that only happened in Germany," says Stoler-Liss. "Germany was indeed the most murderous manifestation of eugenics, but in fact it was a movement that attracted many followers. In every place it took on a unique, local aspect. It is interesting to note that both in GERMA|NY and in ISRAEL a link was made between eugenics, health and nationalism."

Stoler-Liss first encountered the eugenics texts of doctors from the Yishuv when looking for instruction books for parents for a research project for her master's degree.
"I presented a text at a thesis seminar and then the instructor of the workshop said to me, `But why aren't you saying that this is a translated text?' I replied: `No, no, the text isn't translated.' `In Israel,' he said, `there are no such things.'"

She decided to look into whether there was only anecdotal and non- representative evidence, doctors and public figures here and there who supported eugenics - and she found many publications that promoted eugenics. Supporters of the idea were key figures in the emerging medical establishment in Palestine; the people who managed and created the Israeli health system.

One of the most prominent eugenicists of the Mandatory period was Dr. Joseph Meir, a well-known doctor who acquired his education in Vienna, served for about 30 years as the head of the Kupat Holim Clalit health maintenance organization, and after whom the Meir Hospital in Kfar Sava is named.
"From his position at the very heart of the Zionist medical establishment in the land of Israel in the mid-1930s, he brought young mothers the gospel of eugenics, warned them about degeneracy and transmitted the message to them about their obligation and responsibility for bearing only healthy children," says Stoler-Liss.

Thus, for example, in 1934 Dr. Meir published the following text on the first page of "Mother and Child," a guide for parents that he edited for publication by Kupat Holim:

"Who is entitled to give birth to children? The correct answer is sought by eugenics, the science of improving the race and preserving it from degeneration. This science is still young, but its positive results are already great and important - These cases [referring to marriages of people with hereditary disorders - T.T.] are not at all rare in all nations and in particular in the Hebrew nation that has lived a life of exile for 1,800 years. And now our nation has returned to be reborn, to a natural life in the land of the Patriarchs. Is it not our obligation to see to it that we have whole and healthy children in body and soul? For us, eugenics as a whole, and the prevention of the transmission of hereditary disorders in particular, even greater value than for all other nations! ... Doctors, people involved in sport and the national leaders must make broad propaganda for the idea: Do not have children if you are not certain that they will be healthy in body and soul!"

In its full version, the article, which was published in the "Health Guard" section of the now defunct labor Zionist newspaper Davar, the doctor proposed castrating the mentally ill. Stoler-Liss found many more examples in the "Mother and Child" books that were published in 1934 and 1935 and in journals like Eitanim, which was edited by Dr. Meir.

"The support of Dr. Meir and other senior people in the health system for these ideas has been kept under wraps for many years," claims Stoler-Liss.
No one today talks about this chapter in the history of the Yishuv. In the mid-1950s Dr. Meir's articles were collected into a book that came out in his memory. The article mentioned above was not included in it. Stoler-Liss found a card file with notes scribbled by the editors of the volume. They defined the article as "problematic and dangerous." "Now, after Nazi eugenics," wrote one of the editors, "it is dangerous to publish this article."

During the latter part of the 1930s, adds Stoler-Liss, when word came out about the horrors that eugenics in its extreme form is likely to cause, they stopped using this word, which was attributed to the Nazis. Overnight eugenics organizations and journals changed their names and tried to shake off any signs of this theory. Dr. Meir, however, during all the years he was active, continued to promote the ideas of eugenics. At the beginning of the 1950s he published an article in which he harshly criticized the reproduction prize of 100 lirot that David Ben-Gurion promised to every mother who gave birth to 10 children.
"We have no interest in the 10th child or even in the seventh in poor families from the East ... In today's reality we should pray frequently for a second child in a family that is a part of the intelligentsia. The poor classes of the population must not be instructed to have many children, but rather restricted."

"I'm not making a value judgment," says Stoler-Liss.
"Zionism arose at a certain period, in a certain ideological atmosphere - there were all kinds of ideas in the air and there were also eugenicist Zionists. Some of the doctors were educated in Europe, and at that time the medical schools taught not only medicine but also the theory of eugenics."

Dr. Meir was not the first Zionist leader who supported eugenics. According to studies by Dr. Rapahel Falk, a geneticist and historian of science and medicine at Hebrew University, other major Zionist thinkers - among them Dr. Max Nordau, Theodor Herzl's colleague, a doctor and a publicist, and Dr. Arthur Ruppin, the head of the World Zionist Organization office in the Land of Israel - presented the ideas of eugenics as one of the aims of the Jewish movement for national renewal and the settlement of the land.

Prof. Meira Weiss, an anthropologist of medicine at Hebrew University, describes in her book "The Chosen Body" how the settlement of the land and work on the land were perceived by these Zionist thinkers as the "cure" that would restore the health of the Jewish body that had degenerated in the Diaspora. In Nordau's terms, a "Judaism of muscle" would replace "the Jew of the coffee house: the pale, skinny, Diaspora Jew. "At a time when many Europeans are calling for a policy of eugenics, the Jews have never taken part in the `cleansing' of their race but rather allowed every child, be it the sickest, to grow up and marry and have children like himself. Even the mentally retarded, the blind and the deaf were allowed to marry," wrote Ruppin in his book "The Sociology of the Jews." "In order to preserve the purity of our race, such Jews [with signs of degeneracy - T.T.] must refrain from having children."

"Many people dealt with eugenics as a theoretical issue," says Stoler-Liss. "They even set up a Nordau Club with the aim of researching the racial aspects of the Jewish people and ways of improving it. What was special about Dr. Meir and the group that joined him was that for them eugenics was a very practical matter."
They wanted to pursue applied eugenics.

The main institution was the advice station. The first station was opened in 1931 in Beit Strauss on Balfour Street in Tel Aviv. The aim was to work in "pleasant ways," through persuasion and choice. As Stoler-Liss explains:
"Why should people work against their personal interests? It is here that the connection to the national interest comes in. If I understand that by having a baby I will harm the national interest, the building of the land, the `new Jew,' I will refrain from giving birth. But just to make certain, Meir told the doctors, in the event that a woman comes to you who is `a risk' for giving birth to a sick baby, it is your obligation to make certain that she has an abortion."

"Gynecologist Miriam Aharonova also wrote extensively on the subject of eugenics," adds Stoler-Liss.
"In articles for parents under headings such as `The Hygiene of Marriage' she gives a list of eugenic instructions for parents - from the recommended age for giving birth (between 20 and 25), to the recommended difference in age between the father and the mother (the reason for which is the betterment of the race) to a list of diseases that could infect the spouse or "be transmitted through heredity to their descendents after them."

In the diseases, she mentions "syphilis, gonorrhea, tuberculosis, alcoholism, narcotics addiction (fondness for morphine, cocaine, etc.) and diseases of the mind and the nerves." In the volume of "Mother and Child" published in 1935, says Stoler-Liss, the publication and discussions by doctors who supported eugenics was greatly expanded. Why, in fact, did they not use force? The establishment had a great deal of power over immigrants and refugees.

"The medical establishment's power was limited at that time. This was an establishment that developed hand in hand with the system it was supposed to strengthen and suffered from constant shortages: a shortage of doctors, a shortage of nurses and a shortage of equipment. It had to examine, treat, inoculate and so on. We are talking about the period of the British Mandate. When at long last there was a state, eugenics theory declined. My explanation is the change of generations: that generation had come to an end professionally, and a new generation with more national motivation came along that was not educated at the European universities during that period. They had already seen what the Nazis had done with it and the ideological identification was lower. The ideas themselves seeped in but they're not using the same rhetoric."

The eugenic chapter in the history of Western culture has been closed, but have eugenics really disappeared?

"Eugenic thinking is alive and well today," asserts Stoler-Liss.
"It is expressed mainly in the very high rate of pre-natal tests and genetic filtering [of genetically deviant fetuses]. Mothers are very highly motivated to give birth only to healthy children and the attitude toward the exceptional, the different and the handicapped in Israeli society is problematic."

At hospitals today future parents are offered a plethora of genetic tests that diagnose the fetus before birth. Some of them are aimed at identifying serious disorders, like Tay-Sachs disease, a degenerative disease that causes a painful death in infancy. Others, however, are aimed at screening fetuses with conditions like deafness and sterility, the bearers of which can lead full and satisfying lives.

SOURCE: Haaretz, "`Do not have children if they won't be healthy!'", By Tamara Traubmann, 11 June 2004.
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