Page 154 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 38

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JEW ISH BOOK ANNUAL
panacea o f his friend T h eodo r Herzl no r did he envisage any
o ther realistic solution o f the complicated Jewish problem . He felt
tha t it was absurd fo r a Jew, who was everywhere a member o f a
minority group , to in te rfe re in his coun try ’s political squabbles. In
the field o f ar t o r science, a Jew may hope to earn the highest
laurels and to con tribu te to hum an welfare. In the field o f politics,
however, he will be made to feel at every tu rn tha t he is a stranger ,
still a stranger, ever a stranger in the land o f his domicile, even
though his ancestors may have sojourned the re for innum erab le
generations.
No amoun t o f Jewish or Christian sentimentality will eradicate
the deep-rooted feeling o f difference between Jews and the ir
neighbors. Each individual Jew will have to adjust himself as best
he can, avoiding persecu tion-man ia , on the one h and , and
security-mania, on the o ther hand . Zionism will not make anti-
Semitism d isappear no r is the disappearance o f millions o f Jewish
individuals by assimilation to majority populations a possibility
within foreseeable generations or centuries, even if it were a
desirability. However, it would be wise fo r Jews to be ever con­
scious o f the unstable condition in which they find themselves
and to be ever aware tha t in the eyes o f the ir neighbors they are
somehow held responsible for every fault and every e r ro r com­
mitted by a fellow-Jew. A lthough the differences between Jews
and non-Jews canno t be wholly eradicated, efforts at a be tter
understand ing o f these differences should be continued. T h en
perhaps mutual d istrust will be somewhat lessened and life will be
somewhat easier fo r all concerned.
HIS OUTLOOK
For the later Schnitzler, conversation had primarily atmos­
pheric value since he held tha t after a certain maturity the re was
no th ing vital which a person could possibly communicate to an ­
o ther. He himself d istrusted all dogmas. In analyzing g en e r ­
alizations and abstractions, he broke down the boundaries be­
tween reality and fiction, tru th and illusion, waking life and
dream life, necessity and freedom , earnestness and play, good
and evil, love and hate. He was o f the opinion tha t the illusion
conjured up by an artist might contain more tru th s than were
contained in actual facts tha t were o r are. Memory fails us, hope
deceives us, mystery envelops us. Every n igh t we descend into a