Page 102 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 4

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JEWISH BOOK ANNUAL
90
to the economic element in Jewish life that Dr. Engelman has the tend-
ency to over-emphasize it. He expresses this tendency when he says
on p. 5: “Political changes grow out of changes in economic conditions
and not vice versa.”
— R
a b b i
H
a r r y
J.
B
r e v i s
i n
The New Palestine
The Germans and the Jews.
B y
F. R.
B
i e n e n f e l d
.
Translated from
the German
b y
R.
H
e r dm a n
P
e n d e r
.
New York,
F
r e d e r i c k
U
n g a r
,
1944. 265 pages.
$2.50.
Whoever F. R. Bienenfeld is, his work reveals in him a calm and un-
ruffled perception of the essential data and the ability to deduce from
them essential conclusions. His book is built chiefly upon the theme of
the Jew in Germany, in and for himself, and his significance and value
in the German, and necessarily Nazi, idea of the German’s place in the
world. Mr. Bienenfeld reveals the clearness of a long-range vision which
has gone to a good school in penetrating to the fundamentals of his
matter.
The author’s penetration lies in his analysis of the basic flaw in the
philosophy of blood and soil, which, reversing the successful westward
direction of Germanic peaceful penetration in commerce and industry
and ignoring earlier failures with the plow in eastward colonization, pre-
pares to lose heroically and at great cost the very ground it has already
won for the satisfaction of an entrance into Valhalla.
The German hate of the thing he needs, the creation of a menace where
none existed, so that he can work out upon it the paroxysms of his rage
of inferiority, the turning of a friend into an enemy and the driving of
a potential ally into eternal opposition, the deliberate self-blinding to
self-interest and immediate and remote advantage — all these things the
author analyzes in the German spirit, grotesqueries which Hitlerism has
only made manifest.
— H
a r r y
S
a l p e t e r
i n
Congress Weekly
Germany's Stepchildren.
By
S
olomon
L
i p t z i n
.
Philadelphia,
T
h e
J
ew i s h
P
u b l i c a t io n
S
oc i e t y
,
1944. 298 pages. $3.00.
Mr. Liptzin, who has on numerous occasions written of modern German
literature with insight and authority, now surveys the work of Jewish
writers who during the century which followed emancipation strove to
blend the cultural heritage of ancient Israel with the intellectual and
artistic life of Germany. He also considers the broader question of whether
assimilation has been proved a deadend street, or whether the right way
will not lead the Jew back to himself and the group, national or religious,
to which he is fated to belong. This question is of course given tragic
pertinence by the Nazi assault upon Judaism, and by all the perfidy,
suffering and ignominy which have been endured as a result. One is not
wholly certain of the nature of Dr. Liptzin’s conclusions. He seems com-
mitted to Zionism but nevertheless he finds in the work of Richard Beer-
Hoffman, who after all, writes in the German tradition, a kind of ex-
emplar. At any rate, his own scholarship and philosophic calm are wholly