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Sunday, 25 November 2012

Orwell on Jews supporting Hitler




George Orwell wrote in his diary October 25, 1940:


The other night examined the crowds sheltering in Chancery Lane, Oxford Circus and Baker Street stations.  Not all Jews, but, I think, a higher proportion of Jews than one would normally see in a crowd of this size.  What is bad about Jews is that they are not only conspicuous, but go out of their way to make themselves so.  A fearful Jewish woman, a regular comic-paper cartoon of a Jewess, fought her way off the train at Oxford Circus, landing blows on anyone who stood in her way.  It took me back to old days on the Paris Métro.

Surprised to find that D., who is distinctly Left in his views, is inclined to share the current feeling about the Jews.  He says that the Jews in business circles are turning pro-Hitler, or preparing to do so.  This sounds almost incredible, but according to D. they will always admire anyone who kicks them.  What I do feel is that any Jew, i.e. European Jew, would prefer Hitler’s kind of social system to ours, if it were not that he happens to persecute them.  Ditto with almost any Central European, e.g. the refugees.  They make use of England as a sanctuary, but they cannot help feeling the profoundest contempt for it.  You can see this in their eyes, even when they don’t say it outright.  The fact is that the insular outlook and the continental outlook are completely incompatible.

According to F.[probably Tosco Fyvel], it is quite true that foreigners are more frightened than English people during the raids.  It is not their war, and therefore they have nothing to sustain them.  I think this might also account for the fact – I am virtually sure it is a fact, though one mustn’t mention it – that working-class people are more frightened than middle-class.

The same feeling of despair over impending events in France, Africa, Syria, Spain – the sense of foreseeing what must happen and being powerless to prevent it, and feeling with absolute certainty that a British government cannot act in such a way as to get its blow in first.

Air raids much milder the last few days.



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