A note on ‘The Jewish Question’


The Star of David is a generally recognized symbol of Judaism. ( Alex Proimos /Flickr)

The Star of David is a generally recognized symbol of Judaism. (Alex Proimos/Flickr)

In a book published in 1940 as a Nazi citizen’s manual, Max Eichler listed some of the methods the Reich used to solve the ‘Jewish question’ in Germany. He informed the reader that Jews were not allowed to teach, learn a trade, learn medicine, learn law, work for the government, go to the movies, drive or own property. Because the subject of mass murder is uncomfortable, Eichler left the Jews their lives. Most Nazis hesitated to suggest that genocide was a proper answer to the Jewish question, but not the Fuhrer. In a speech he gave before German Parliament on Jan. 30, 1939, Adolf Hitler said, “Europe cannot settle down until the Jewish question is cleared up … If the international Jewish financiers in and outside Europe should succeed in plunging the nations once more into a world war, then the result will not be the bolshevization of the earth, and this the victory of Jewry, but the annihilation of the Jewish race in Europe.” 

This was one of the more regrettable parts of the 20th century, to put it mildly. And yet, the Jewish question is still a favorite topic of discussion in certain corners of the internet. Most of the people who mention the “JQ” these days do it in the YouTube comments section after changing their account name to “Moishe Shekelberg” and uploading a caricature of a crafty, bearded Jew for their profile picture. But some of the people concerned with the Jewish question have significant followings. Take Nicholas Fuentes, for example. He is a 19-year old YouTuber and podcaster with about 23,000 followers on Twitter.  Fuentes is about as far to the right as one can be (his political philosophy can mostly be summed up with the meaningless phrase “Make America Great Again”), but he resents being grouped in with Nazis. “I’m not a white supremacist, I don’t hold any views about race or anything of the sort. It’s all about ideas with me, I’m an individualist at heart.” Fuentes is the type of individualist who cares about “Jewish influence in media and Jewish overrepresentation.” He also thinks interracial dating is “degenerate.” 

Well, it is hard to argue with degeneracy. Once a person looks at things in such a way, they have already begun to twist reality so it conforms with their ideology. Those on the far-right like Fuentes talk seriously about overrepresentation of Jews in politics and media, but also become infuriated when someone complains about the overrepresentation of straight white Christian men in politics and media. It is a beautiful thing to see a conservative explain why hostility to the rich and successful is moronic before foaming at the mouth over Jewish success in the United States. They think the Bolsheviks were controlled by Jews and that the Jews are therefore guilty for the Holodomor. Yes, the same people who comment, “Oi vey, my six gorillion, goy!” want to talk seriously about culpability for a European genocide committed in the 20th century.

According to internet NazisJews are responsible for the chemical attacks in Syria, race-mixing, the Cold War, Communism, the First World War, the Holodomor and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. It is almost as though those who talk about the JQ have to deform world history to fit an unruly narrative about Jewish influence. I once wrote an article for The Daily Campus which also dealt with the themes of neo-Nazism and anti-Semitism. I was surprised by the posts in the comments section. A few of them addressed the points I made, but most people just wrote “(((Alex Klein)))” in the comments. The parentheses are used to distinguish the names of Jews. I do not have any power in media or politics, so the commenters must have assumed that calling me a Jew (or a kike, in one case) constituted a suitable counterargument even though I am just a half-Jewish opinion writer for a college newspaper. Perhaps the Jewish question is about something more than Jewish overrepresentation in media. Perhaps those talking about the JQ are interested in a vision more like Eichler’s or Hitler’s.

Alex Klein is a staff columnist for the Daily Campus and can be reached via email at alex.klein@uconn.edu.

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