The Jews of Hitler’s Munich

The earliest records of Jewish life in the Bavarian city of Munich date back to the 13th century. The same city was also home to Adolf Hitler in the years just before and just after World War I, and it was there in 1923 that he and his fellow Nazis tried, and failed, to overthrow the German government. Reviewing the historian Michael Brenner’s book In Hitler’s Munich: Jews, the Revolution, and the Rise of Nazism, Tevi Troy writes:

There was even a Jewish premier of Bavaria in the years after World War I, the journalist and revolutionary Kurt Eisner. Eisner was assassinated by an anti-Semite, Count Anton Graf von Arco auf Valley. Arco-Valley, as he is more commonly known, had Jewish ancestry—a reminder of the complicated nature of German-Jewish relationships even before the rise of Nazism. . . . Brenner . . . makes the interesting counterfactual claim that if somehow Eisner had not been assassinated and had helped navigate Germany to a successful post-World War I democratic status, the history books of today might see Germany in a similar light as France.

And yet, as Brenner explains, the Eisner assassination was far from the only anti-Semitic flashpoint of those years. He also explores Germany’s equivalent of the Dreyfus trial: the accusation and unjust conviction of the German-Jewish journalist Felix Fechenbach for treason. As in the Dreyfus affair, the case against Fechenbach had anti-Semitic origins and ended with a pardon.

Things were bad for the Jews in Germany in some ways, but good in other ways. The Jews had a long history there and had success in many important fields. In addition, some of the surrounding nations, such as Russia and Poland, were often far worse to their Jewish populations. The Jews had reasons to think that Germany, while not perfect, might have been the best option for them at the time.

And yet, with the Eisner assassination and the Fechenbach trial, and Jews beaten on the streets of Munich in random fashion—a phenomenon that unfortunately happens all too often in America today—most German Jews decided that staying in Germany was a viable option. Tragically, of course, this was very much not the case.

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Read more at Washington Free Beacon

More about: Adolf Hitler, Anti-Semitism, German Jewry, Germany, Holocaust

Will Tensions Rise between the U.S. and Israel?

Unlike his past many predecessors, President Joe Biden does not have a plan for solving the Israel-Palestinian conflict. Moreover, his administration has indicated its skepticism about renewing the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran. John Bolton nevertheless believes that there could be a collision between the new Benjamin Netanyahu-led Israeli government and the Biden White House:

In possibly his last term, Netanyahu’s top national-security priority will be ending, not simply managing, Iran’s threat. This is infinitely distant from Biden’s Iran policy, which venerates Barrack Obama’s inaugural address: “we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist.”

Tehran’s fist is today otherwise occupied, pummeling its own people. Still, it will continue menacing Israel and America unless and until the internal resistance finds ways to fracture the senior levels of Iran’s regular military and the Revolutionary Guards. Netanyahu undoubtedly sees Iran’s growing domestic turmoil as an opportunity for regime change, which Israel and others can facilitate. Simultaneously, Jerusalem can be preparing its military and intelligence services to attack Tehran’s nuclear program, something the White House simply refuses to contemplate seriously. Biden’s obsession with reviving the disastrous 2015 nuclear deal utterly blinds the White House to the potential for a more significant victory.

To make matters worse, Biden has just created a Washington-based position at the State Department, a “special representative for Palestinian affairs,” that has already drawn criticism in Israel both for the new position itself and for the person named to fill it. Advocated as one more step toward “upgrading” U.S. relations with the Palestinian Authority, the new position looks nearly certain to become the locus not of advancing American interests regarding the failed Authority, but of advancing the Authority’s interests within the Biden administration.

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Read more at 19FortyFive

More about: Benjamin Netanyahu, Iran, Joe Biden, U.S.-Israel relationship