Page 35 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 38

Basic HTML Version

KARP / EAST EUROPEAN JEWISH IMMIGRANT
25
the Russian Jew, the east European imm igrant Jew was depicted
by his fellow Jews in language reminiscent o f that used in the
bigoted stereotype cited at the beginn ing o f this essay.
Eugene F. Baldwin and Maurice Eisenberg collaborated in
publishing their
Doctor Cavallo
in Peoria, Illinois, in 1895. T h e
hero is all virtue and a Jew so assimilated that his non-Jewish
friends think him a Christian. T h e r e are heroes and villains, but
in the characterization o f a Russian immigrant Jew, Mr. Kinofsky,
we find the stereotype o f a member o f that “ barbarous sect.”
H e was a thin, wild look ing man with a short figu re , a
haggard face, black hair, a pair o f restless eyes and a beard
that ran out straight from his pointed chin. His huge nose,
hooked like a parro t ’s beak, and his narrow forehead with its
heavy crop o f coarse black h a i r . . . . H e started as a pedd ler,
and from having a pack he had now risen to the dign ity o f
two horses and a c a r t . . . began to tra ffic in rags, in old iron,
and in all the wastes to the city. H e became the leader o f the
Russian Jews. . . .27
Mr. Kinofsky is jo in ed by a fellow Russian Jew, Abramowitz, both
speaking a parody o f the English language. T h ey antagonize their
civilized brethren, Herman Tobias, and Cavallo, who bitterly
complains:
An d this is the sort o f men by whom we are judged . These
noisy, disagreeable, screeching fools, stamp the name Jew
with opprobrium , and make us a taunt, a byword and a
reproach in the eyes o f the w o r ld !28
D OUB LE IM A G E
W e meet the “ two kinds o f Jew” depiction again in a novel by
A .H . Frankel,
In Gold We Trust,
published three years later.
Nathaniel Disraeli and Myrtle Maimon are two lovely young
peop le being united in matrimony. T h e groom is handsome, the
bride beautiful, and both are idealistic young American Jews.
Th en there is their contemporary, the east European Jew, W o l f
Zamzumowsky:
27
Dr. Cavallo,
p. 133.
28
Ibid.,
p. 141.