Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Jews, European history and the Nazi Death Camps

shylock by trudeau
shylock, a photo by trudeau on Flickr.

Says Shakespeare's character Shylock in The Merchant of Venice:

"I am a Jew. Hath not a Jew eyes? Hath not a Jew hands, organs, dimensions, senses, affections, passions; fed with the same food, hurt with the same weapons, subject to the same diseases, heal'd by the same means, warm'd and cool'd by the same winter and summer, as a Christian is?

If you prick us, do we not bleed? If you tickle us, do we not laugh? If you poison us, do we not die?

And if you wrong us, do we not revenge? If we are like you in the rest, we will resemble you in that."

The Merchant Of Venice Act 3, scene 1, 58–68.

Shylock's complaint about unfair treatment of Jews by Christians has the ring of truth. Yet Jewish people did not try overly hard to accommodate Christians during the historic era in Europe. Jews remained strongly separated from Christians.

Money-lending, the ghetto, misunderstanding of the Jewish law: there were many issues between the 2 groups.