Page 197 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 46

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Upon this cycle, which he entitled
Der grosse Krieg der weissen
(The Great War o f the White Men), he worked until
the end o f his life. In it, he wanted to paint on a vast scale
the panorama o f the transition from the era o f imperialism to
that o f Socialism.
During Zweig’s military service on the Eastern Front, he came
in contact with Ostjuden and was fascinated by their rejection
o f the assimilationist mirage that entrapped so many Western
Jews and by their strict adherence to traditional Jewish ways.
He depicted them with great eloquence in his long essay,
ostjiidische Antlitz
(The Face o f the East European Jew), 1920.
The painter, Hermann Struck, with whom Zweig formed a long
lasting friendship, enriched the volume with fifty etchings. This
essay was later combined with Zweig’s Zionist essay,
Das neue
(The New Canaan), 1925, under the title
Herkunft und
(Origins and Future), 1928.
Zweig’s contact with the Jewish masses o f Eastern Europe in­
tensified his Zionist faith. Living in Berlin, during the pre- Hit­
ler decade, he came under the influence o f Franz Oppen-
heimer, the sociologist and economist who initiated agricultural
cooperatives in Palestine. Freud, Buber, and Oppenheimer con­
tinued to make a strong impact upon his thinking on Jewish
matters throughout the 1920’s. This thinking was reflected in
his detailed examination o f anti-Semitism in his
and in the articles he wrote for the pro-Zionist organ
is dedicated to Freud and begins with a psychoanalytic
and sociological dissection o f anti-Semitism and the German
contribution to this phenomenon. Zweig accuses the Germans
o f being unable to face up to their own guilt in not preventing
a world war and its disastrous consequences. In the Jews who
lived in their midst, they found a defenseless group that could
serve as a scapegoat for accumulated frustrations. Germans had
been fed negative images o f this group by many myths and
horror tales and by centuries o f Christian condemnations. Ger­
man newspapers accused Jews o f seeking world domination and
o f using capitalists and socialists, western imperialists and Rus­
sian communists as dupes, marionettes manipulated by Wise