Saturday 11 August 2007

“Anti-Semites will only listen to their hatred and jealousy; their lowest instincts.”, Theodor Mommsen

“A few years before his death, German historian Theodor Mommsen (1817-1903), who was a specialist in Latin Antiquity, and one of the few major scholars in his country to take exception to anti-Semitism, wrote of his embittered weariness at the hopelessness of such a fight. “You are mistaken if you think that reason will prevail in any way”, he warned in a letter. “Previously, I too used to believe that it could, and continued to protest against anti-Semitism which is a monstrous baseness. But it is pointless, absolutely pointless. Irrespective of what I or other people will tell you, in the final analysis, arguments based on reason and moral will always be used; and plainly no anti-Semite is sensitive to them. Anti-Semites will only listen to their hatred and jealousy; their lowest instincts. Nothing else counts for them. They are deaf to the voice of reason, law and moral. One cannot influence them … . Like cholera, it is a dangerous epidemic and it is impossible to explain or cure it. One can only wait patiently for the venom to consume itself and lose its virulence.”
Quoted in Europe, une passion génocidaire, essai d'histoire culturelle, by Georges Bensoussan, Mille et une nuits
Translated by Philosemite

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