In Vienna, the Rothschilds Are Getting Their Due

Dec. 24 2021

In a 2018 Facebook post, Marjory Taylor Greene—who subsequently became a congresswoman from Georgia—speculated about the role of the “Rothschild Inc. international investment-banking firm” in causing wildfires in California by means of “space solar generators.” In the same year, a Washington, DC councilman blamed a snowstorm on “a model based off the Rothschilds” that involves “controlling the climate to create natural disasters.” Of course, the real Rothschild family—whose name comes from the red shield logo of their pawnshop in the Frankfurt ghetto—has little to do with such fantasies. Its fascinating history is the subject of a new exhibition at Vienna’s Jewish museum, reviewed by Liam Hoare:

The family’s Austrian branch can trace its roots back to Salomon Mayer von Rothschild, born in Frankfurt in September 1774, the third child of the great banker Mayer Amschel Rothschild. In Vienna, Rothschild fils established the banking enterprise S.M. von Rothschild in Vienna in 1820, was the personal banker to Chancellor Klemens von Metternich, and financed the construction of the railway network that connected Vienna to points northward in the Austrian land empire in Bohemia, Moravia, and Galicia.

The Vienna Rothschilds were a Jewish success story. They entered the ranks of the country’s nobility. . . . The Rothschilds were also a philanthropic family, donating to Vienna’s Jewish community its hospital. Salomon’s grandson, Nathaniel Meyer von Rothschild, established a foundation in his will whose proceeds would be used to found two neurological hospitals in the Austrian capital.

The Rothschilds’ downfall occurred in two stages. The first happened in the 1920s when the family bank, the Creditanstalt, became a victim of the turbulent Austrian and world economies. The bank was forced to declare bankruptcy in 1931; bailed out by the state, it was de-facto government property by 1934. The second occurred after the Anschluss of March 1938. The Nazi regime held Louis Nathaniel de Rothschild for ransom, in essence, while his family’s possessions—its homes, its businesses, its paintings—were seized and “Aryanized” without compensation. After 1938, the Rothschilds left Austria—never to return.

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Read more at Vienna Briefing

More about: Anti-Semitism, Art, Jewish museums, Rothschilds, Vienna

 

Salman Rushdie and the Western Apologists for Those Who Wish Him Dead

Aug. 17 2022

Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the founder and supreme leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran, issued a fatwa (religious ruling) in 1989 calling for believers to murder the novelist Salman Rushdie due to the content of his novel, The Satanic Verses. Over the years, two of the book’s translators have been stabbed—one fatally—and numerous others have been injured or killed in attempts to follow the ayatollah’s writ. Last week, an American Shiite Muslim came closer than his many predecessors to killing Rushdie, stabbing him multiple times and leaving him in critical condition. Graeme Wood comments on those intellectuals in the West who have exuded sympathy for the stabbers:

In 1989, the reaction to the fatwa was split three ways: some supported it; some opposed it; and some opposed it, to be sure, but still wanted everyone to know how bad Rushdie and his novel were. This last faction, Team To Be Sure, took the West to task for elevating this troublesome man and his insulting book, whose devilry could have been averted had others been more attuned to the sensibilities of the offended.

The fumes are still rising off of this last group. The former president Jimmy Carter was, at the time of the original fatwa, the most prominent American to suggest that the crime of murder should be balanced against Rushdie’s crime of blasphemy. The ayatollah’s death sentence “caused writers and public officials in Western nations to become almost exclusively preoccupied with the author’s rights,” Carter wrote in an op-ed for the New York Times. Well, yes. Carter did not only say that many Muslims were offended and wished violence on Rushdie; that was simply a matter of fact, reported frequently in the news pages. He took to the op-ed page to add his view that these fanatics had a point. “While Rushdie’s First Amendment freedoms are important,” he wrote, “we have tended to promote him and his book with little acknowledgment that it is a direct insult to those millions of Moslems whose sacred beliefs have been violated.” Never mind that millions of Muslims take no offense at all, and are insulted by the implication that they should.

Over the past two decades, our culture has been Carterized. We have conceded moral authority to howling mobs, and the louder the howls, the more we have agreed that the howls were worth heeding. The novelist Hanif Kureishi has said that “nobody would have the [courage]” to write The Satanic Verses today. More precisely, nobody would publish it, because sensitivity readers would notice the theological delicacy of the book’s title and plot. The ayatollahs have trained them well, and social-media disasters of recent years have reinforced the lesson: don’t publish books that get you criticized, either by semiliterate fanatics on the other side of the world or by semiliterate fanatics on this one.

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Read more at Atlantic

More about: Ayatollah Khomeini, Freedom of Speech, Iran, Islamism, Jimmy Carter