Thursday, January 17, 2019

The Untold Story of White Slavery in Europe

Renegade Editor’s Note: This article does not even cover the White slavery in the New World!

The Ottoman penetration into Europe in the 1350s and their capture of Constantinople later in 1453 opened new floodgates for slave-trade from the European front. In their last attempt to overrun Europe in 1683, the Ottoman army, although defeated, returned from the Gates of Vienna with 80,000 captives.874 An immense number of slaves flowed from the Crimea, the Balkans and the steppes of West Asia to Islamic markets. BD Davis laments that the ‘‘Tartars and other Black Sea peoples had sold millions of Ukrainians, Georgians, Circassians, Greeks, Armenians, Bulgarians, Slavs and Turks,’’ which received little notice.875 Crimean Tatars enslaved and sold some 1,750,000 Ukrainians, Poles and Russian between 1468 and 1694. 876 According to another estimate, between 1450 and 1700, the Crimean Tatars exported some 10,000 slaves, including some Circassians, annually—that is, some 2,500,000 slaves in all, to the Ottoman Empire.877 The Tatar slave-raiding Khans returned with 18,000 slaves from Poland (1463), 100,000 from Lvov (1498), 60,000 from South Russia (1515), 50,000–100,000 from Galicia (1516), during the ‘harvesting of the steppe.’ Numbers from Moscow (1521), 800,000 were taken and from Valynia (1676), 400,000 were taken. 800,000 from Moscow (1521), 200,000 from South Russia (1555), 100,000 from Moscow (1571), 50,000 from Poland (1612), 60,000 from South Russia (1646), 100,000 from Poland (1648), 300,000 from Ukraine (1654), 400,000 from Valynia (1676) and thousands from Poland (1694). Besides these major catches, they made countless more Jihad raids during the same period, which yielded a few to tens of thousands of slaves.878 These figures of enslavement must be considered in the context that the population of the Tatar Khanate was only about 400,000 at the time. (1463-1694) while sources are incomplete, conservative tabulation of the slave raids against the Eastern European population indicate that at least 7 Million European people-men, women, children were enslaved by Muslims.

Sources suggest that in the few years between 1436-1442, some 500,000 people were seized in the Balkans. Many of the captives died in forced marches towards Anatolia (Turkey). Contemporary chronicles note that the Ottomans reduced masses of the inhabitants of Greece, Romania, and the Balkans to slavery eg from Moree (1460)-70,000 and Transylvania (1438) – 60,000-70,000 and 300,000-600,000 from Hungary and 10,000 from Mytilene/Mitilini on Lesbos island (1462) (Bulgaru p 567) and so it continued.

Barbary Slavery

Ohio State University history Professor Robert Davis describes the White Slave Trade as minimized by most modern historians in his book Christian Slaves, Muslim Masters: White Slavery in the Mediterranean, the Barbary Coast and Italy, 1500–1800 (Palgrave Macmillan). Davis estimates that 1 million to 1.25 million white Christian Europeans were enslaved in North Africa, from the beginning of the 16th century to the middle of the 18th, by slave traders from Tunis, Algiers, and Tripoli alone (these numbers do not include the European people which were enslaved by Morocco and by other raiders and traders of the Mediterranean Sea coast), 16th- and 17th-century customs statistics suggest that Istanbul’s additional slave import from the Black Sea may have totaled around 2.5 million from 1450 to 1700. The markets declined after the loss of the Barbary Wars and finally ended in the 1830s, when the region was conquered by France.

In 1544, the island of Ischia off Naples was ransacked, taking 4,000 inhabitants prisoners, while some 9,000 inhabitants of Lipari Island off the north coast of Sicily were enslaved.870 Turgut Reis, a Turkish pirate chief, ransacked the coastal settlements of Granada (Spain) in 1663 and carried away 4,000 people as slaves.

The barbaric slave-raiding activities of the Muslim pirates had a telling effect on Europe. France, England, and Spain lost thousands of ships, devastating to their sea-borne trade. Long stretches of the coast in Spain and Italy were almost completely abandoned by their inhabitants until the nineteenth century. The finishing industry was virtually devastated.

Paul Baepler’s White Slaves, African Masters: An Anthology of American Barbary Captivity Narratives lists a collection of essays by nine American captives held in North Africa. According to his book, there were more than 20,000 white Christian slaves by 1620 in Algiers alone; their number swelled to more than 30,000 men and 2,000 women by the 1630s. There were a minimum of 25,000 white slaves at any time in Sultan Moulay Ismail’s palace, records Ahmed ez-Zayyani; Algiers maintained a population of 25,000 white slaves between 1550 and 1730, and their numbers could double at certain times. During the same period, Tunis and Tripoli each maintained a white slave population of about 7,500. The Barbary pirates enslaved some 5,000 Europeans annually over a period of nearly three centuries.

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Medical Experimentation at Dachau

They All Did It - Those Who Could, at Least

By John Wear
Published: 2018-12-31

The onset and escalation of World War II provided the rationale for most of Germany’s illegal human medical experimentation. Animal experimentation was known to be a poor substitute for experiments on humans. Since only analogous inferences could be drawn from animal experiments, the use of human experimentation during the war was deemed necessary to help in the German war effort. Applications for medical experimentation on humans were usually approved on the grounds that animal tests had taken the research only so far. Better results could be obtained by using humans in the medical experiments.[1]

Inmates at the Dachau Concentration Camp were subjected to medical experimentation involving malaria, high altitudes, freezing and other experiments. Such has been documented in the so-called Doctors’ Trial at Nuremberg, which opened on December 9, 1946, and ended on July 19, 1947. Also, Dr. Charles P. Larson, an American forensic pathologist, was at Dachau and conducted autopsies, interviews, and a review of the remaining medical records to determine the extent of the medical experimentation at the camp.

Malaria Experiments

The malaria experimentation at Dachau was performed by Dr. Klaus Karl Schilling, who was an internationally famous parasitologist. Dr. Schilling was ordered by Heinrich Himmler in 1936 to conduct medical research at Dachau for the purpose of immunizing individuals specifically against malaria. Dr. Schilling admitted to Dr. Larson that between 1936 and 1945 he inoculated some 2,000 prisoners with malaria. The medical supervisor at Dachau would select the people to be inoculated and then send this list of people to Berlin to be approved by a higher authority. Those who were chosen were then turned over to Dr. Schilling to conduct the medical experimentation.[2]

Dr. Schilling at Trial

At the Doctors’ Trial it was determined that Dr. Schilling’s experiments were directly responsible for the deaths of 10 prisoners.[3] Dr. Charles Larson stated in his report concerning Dr. Schilling:

It was very difficult to know where to draw the line as to whether or not Dr. Schilling was a war criminal. Certainly he fell into that category inasmuch as he had subjected people involuntarily to experimental malaria inoculations, which, even though they did not produce many deaths, could very well have produced serious illness in many of the patients. He defended himself by saying he did all this work by order from higher authority; in fact, Himmler himself.

In my report, I wrote: “In view of all he has told me, this man, in my opinion, should be considered a war criminal, but that he should be permitted to write up the results of his experiments and turn them over to Allied medical personnel for what they are worth. Dr. Schilling is an eminent scientist of world-wide renown who has conducted a most important group of experiments; their value cannot properly be ascertained until he has put them into writing for medical authorities to study. The criminal acts have already been committed, and since they have been committed, if it were possible to derive some new knowledge concerning immunity to malaria from these acts, it would yet be another crime not to permit this man to finish documenting the results of his years of research.”

But my attempt to save Dr. Schilling’s life failed. Our High Command felt it had to make a public example of him – most of the other high-ranking Nazis connected with Dachau had already been executed – and made his wife watch the hanging. I did everything I could to stop it. I implored our military government not to pass sentence on him until he’d had a fair hearing, because I was just beginning to win his confidence, and get through to him. Looking back, I am sure that the execution of Dr. Schilling deprived the world of some very valuable scientific information – no matter how distasteful his research and experimentation may have been.[4]

Dr. Larson concluded in regard to Dr. Schilling: “…Dr. Schilling, who was 72 [actually 74], should have lived. He never tried to run. He stayed in Dachau and made a full statement of his work to me; he cooperated in every way, and was the only one who told the truth…”[5]

The defense in the Doctors’ Trial at Nuremberg submitted evidence of doctors in the United States performing medical experiments on prison inmates and conscientious objectors during the war. The evidence showed that large-scale malaria experiments were performed on 800 American prisoners, many of them black, from federal penitentiaries in Atlanta and state penitentiaries in Illinois and New Jersey. U.S. doctors conducted human experiments with malaria tropica, one of the most dangerous of the malaria strains, to aid the U.S. war effort in Southeast Asia.[6]

Although Dr. Schilling’s malaria experiments were no more dangerous or illegal than the malaria experiments performed by U.S. doctors, Dr. Schilling had to atone for his malaria experiments by being hanged to death while his wife watched. The U.S. doctors who performed malaria experiments on humans were never charged with a crime.

High-Altitude and Hypothermia Experiments

Germany also conducted high-altitude experiments at Dachau. Dr. Sigmund Rascher performed these experiments beginning February 22, 1942 and ending around the beginning of July 1942.[7] The experiments were performed in order to know what happened to air crews after failure of, or ejection from, their pressurized cabins at very high altitudes. In this instance, airmen would be subjected within a few seconds to a drop in pressure and lack of oxygen. The experiments were performed to investigate various possible life-saving methods. To this end a low-pressure chamber was set up at Dachau to observe the reactions of a human being thrown out at extreme altitudes, and to investigate ways of rescuing him.[8] The victims were locked in the chamber, and the pressure in the chamber was then lowered to a level corresponding to very high altitudes. The pressure could be very quickly altered, allowing Dr. Rascher to simulate the conditions which would be experienced by a pilot freefalling from altitude without oxygen.

Dr. Rascher received authority to conduct these high-altitude experiments when he wrote to Heinrich Himmler and was told that prisoners would be placed at his disposal. Dr. Rascher stated in his letter that he knew the experiments could have fatal results. According to Walter Neff, the prisoner who gave testimony at the Doctors’ Trial, approximately 180 to 200 prisoners were used in the high-altitude experiments. Approximately 10 of these prisoners were volunteers, and about 40 of the prisoners were men not condemned to death. According to Neff’s testimony, approximately 70 to 80 prisoners died during these experiments.[9] A film showing the complete sequence of an experiment, including the autopsy, was discovered in Dr. Rascher’s house at Dachau after the war.[10]

Dr. Rascher also conducted freezing experiments at Dachau after the high-altitude experiments were concluded. These freezing experiments were conducted from August 1942 to approximately May 1943.[11] The purpose of these experiments was to determine the best way of warming German pilots who had been forced down in the North Sea and suffered hypothermia.

Dr. Rascher's subjects were forced to remain outdoors naked in freezing weather for up to 14 hours, or the victims were kept in a tank of ice water for three hours. Their pulse and internal temperature were measured through a series of electrodes. Warming of the victims was then attempted by different methods, most usually and successfully by immersion in very hot water. It is estimated that these experiments caused the deaths of 80 to 90 prisoners.[12]

Dr. Charles Larson strongly condemned these freezing experiments. Dr. Larson wrote:

A Dr. Raschau [sic] was in charge of this work and…we found the records of his experiments. They were most inept compared to Dr. Schilling’s, much less scientific. What they would do would be to tie up a prisoner and immerse him in cold water until his body temperature reduced to 28 degrees centigrade (82.4 degrees Fahrenheit), when the poor soul would, of course, die. These experiments were started in August, 1942, but Raschau’s [sic] technique improved. By February, 1943 he was able to report that 30 persons were chilled to 27 and 29 degrees centigrade, their hands and feet frozen white, and their bodies “rewarmed” by a hot bath….

They also dressed the subjects in different types of insulated clothing before putting them in freezing water, to see how long it took them to die.[13]

Dr. Rascher and his hypothermia experiments at Dachau were not well regarded by German medical doctors. In a paper titled “Nazi Science – The Dachau Hypothermia Experiments,” Dr. Robert L. Berger wrote:

Rascher was not well regarded in professional circles…and his superiors repeatedly expressed reservations about his performance. In one encounter, Professor Karl Gebhardt, a general in the SS and Himmler’s personal physician, told Rascher in connection with his experiments on hypothermia through exposure to cold air that “the report was unscientific; if a student of the second term dared submit a treatise of the kind [Gebhardt] would throw him out.” Despite Himmler’s strong support, Rascher was rejected for faculty positions at several universities. A book by German scientists on the accomplishments of German aviation medicine during the war devoted an entire chapter to hypothermia but failed to mention Rascher’s name or his work.[14]

Blood-Clotting Experiments

Dr. Rascher also experimented with the effects of Polygal, a substance made from beet and apple pectin, which aided blood clotting. He predicted that the preventive use of Polygal tablets would reduce bleeding from surgery and from gunshot wounds sustained during combat. Subjects were given a Polygal tablet and were either shot through the neck or chest, or their limbs were amputated without anesthesia. Dr. Rascher published an article on his use of Polygal without detailing the nature of the human trials. Dr. Rascher also set up a company staffed by prisoners to manufacture the substance.[15] Dr. Rascher’s nephew, a Hamburg doctor, testified under oath that he knew of four prisoners who died from Dr. Rascher’s testing Polygal at Dachau.[16]

Obviously, Dr. Rascher’s medical experiments constitute major war crimes. Dr. Rascher was arrested and executed in Dachau by German authorities shortly before the end of the war.[17]

Infectious Diseases, Biopsies and Salt-Water Tests

Phlegmons were also induced in inmates at Dachau by intravenous and intramuscular injection of pus during 1942 and 1943. Various natural, allopathic and biochemical remedies were then tried to cure the resulting infections. The phlegmon experiments were apparently an attempt by National Socialist Germany to find an antibiotic similar to penicillin for infection.[18]

All of the doctors who took part in these phlegmon experiments were dead or had disappeared at the time of the Doctors’ Trial. The only information about the number of prisoners used and the number of victims was provided by an inmate nurse, Heinrich Stöhr, who was a political prisoner at Dachau. Stöhr stated that seven out of a group of 10 German subjects died in one experiment, and that in another experiment 12 out of a group of 40 clergy died.[19]

Official documents and personal testimonies indicate that physicians at Dachau performed many liver biopsies when they were not needed. Dr. Rudolf Brachtl performed liver biopsies on healthy people and on people who had diseases of the stomach and gall bladder. While biopsy of the liver is an accepted and frequently used diagnostic procedure, it should only be performed when definite indications exist and other methods fail. Some physicians at Dachau performed liver biopsies simply to gain experience with its techniques. These Dachau biopsies violated professional standards since they were often conducted in the absence of genuine medical indication.[20]

The Luftwaffe had also been concerned since 1941 with the problem of shot-down airmen who had been reduced to drinking salt water. Sea water experiments were performed at Dachau to develop a method of making sea water drinkable through desalinization. Between July and September 1944, 44 inmates at Dachau were used to test the desirability of using two different processes to make sea water drinkable. The subjects were divided into several groups and given different diets using the two different processes.[21] During the experiments one of the groups received no food whatsoever for five to nine days. Many of the subjects became ill from these experiments, suffering from diarrhea, convulsions, foaming at the mouth, and sometimes madness or death.[22]

Most Deaths from Natural Causes

Dr. Charles Larson’s forensic work at Dachau indicated that only a small percentage of the deaths at Dachau were due to medical experimentation on humans. His autopsies showed that most of the victims died from natural causes; that is, of disease brought on by malnutrition and filth caused by wartime conditions. In his depositions to Army lawyers, Dr. Larson made it clear that one could not indict the whole German people for the National Socialist medical crimes. Dr. Larson sincerely believed that although Dachau was only a short ride from Munich, most of the people in Munich had no idea what was going on inside Dachau.[23]

Dr. Larson’s conclusions are reinforced by the book Dachau, 1933-1945: The Official History by Paul Berben. This book states that the total number of people who passed through Dachau during its existence is well in excess of 200,000.[24] The author concludes that while no one will ever know the exact number of deaths at Dachau, the number of deaths is probably several thousand more than the quoted number of 31,951.[25] This book documents that approximately 66% of all deaths at Dachau occurred during the final seven months of the war. 

The increase in deaths at Dachau was caused primarily by a devastating typhus epidemic which, in spite of the efforts made by the medical staff, continued to spread throughout Dachau during the final seven months of the war. The number of deaths at Dachau also includes 2,226 people who died in May 1945 after the Allies had liberated the camp, as well as the deaths of 223 prisoners in March 1944 from Allied aerial attacks on work parties.[26] Thus, while illegal medical experiments were conducted on prisoners at Dachau, Berben’s book clearly shows that the overwhelming majority of deaths of prisoners at Dachau were from natural causes.

Allied Medical Experimentation

Dr. Karl Brandt and the other defendants were infuriated during the Doctors’ Trial at the moral high ground taken by the U.S. prosecution. Evidence showed that the Allies had been engaged in illegal medical experimentation, including poison experiments on condemned prisoners in other countries, and cholera and plague experiments on children.[27]

Dr. Bettina Blome, the wife of the defendant Dr. Kurt Blome, meticulously researched experiments that were conducted by the U.S. Office of Scientific Research and Development (OSRD) during the war. In addition to malaria experiments on Terre Haute Federal Prison inmates, she also uncovered Dr. Walter Reed’s 19th-century yellow fever research for the U.S. Army, in which volunteer human test subjects had died. Blome’s research was entered into evidence at the Doctors’ Trial.[28]

Defense attorney Dr. Robert Servatius expanded on the theme of U.S. Army human experimentation. American journalist Annie Jacobsen writes:

Servatius had located a Life magazine article, published in June of 1945, that described how OSRD conducted experiments on 800 U.S. prisoners during the war. Servatius read the entire article, word for word, in the courtroom. None of the American judges was familiar with the article, nor were most members of the prosecution, and its presentation in court clearly caught the Americans off guard. Because the article specifically discussed U.S. Army wartime experiments on prisoners, it was incredibly damaging for the prosecution. “Prison life is ideal for controlled laboratory work with humans,” Servatius read, quoting American doctors who had been interviewed by Life reporters. The idea that extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures, and that both nations had used human test subjects during war, was unsettling. It pushed the core Nazi concept of the Untermenschen to the side. The Nuremberg prosecutors were left looking like hypocrites.[29] 

The U.S. prosecution flew in Dr. Andrew Ivy to explain the differences in medical ethics between German and U.S. medical experiments. Interestingly, Dr. Ivy himself had been involved in malaria experiments on inmates at the Illinois State Penitentiary. When Dr. Ivy mentioned that the United States had specific research standards for medical experimentation on humans, it turned out that these principles were first published on December 28, 1946. Dr. Ivy had to admit that the U.S. principles on medical ethics in human experimentation had been made in anticipation of Dr. Ivy’s testimony at the Doctors’ Trial.[30]


1] Kater, Michael H., Doctors under Hitler, Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 1989, p. 226.

[2] McCallum, John Dennis, Crime Doctor, Mercer Island, Wash.: The Writing Works, Inc., 1978, pp. 64-65.

[3] Berben, Paul, Dachau, 1933-1945, The Official History, London: The Norfolk Press, 1975, p. 125.

[4] McCallum, John Dennis, Crime Doctor, Mercer Island, Wash.: The Writing Works, Inc., 1978, pp. 66-67.

[5] Ibid., p. 68.

[6] Schmidt, Ulf, Karl Brandt: The Nazi Doctor, New York: Continuum Books, 2007, p. 376.

[7] Spitz, Vivien, Doctors from Hell: The Horrific Account of Nazi Experiments on Humans, Boulder, Colo.: Sentient Publications, 2005, p. 74.

[8] Berben, Paul, Dachau, 1933-1945, The Official History, London: The Norfolk Press, 1975, p. 126.

[9] Ibid., pp. 127-128.

[10] Ibid., p. 130.

[11] Spitz, Vivien, Doctors from Hell: The Horrific Account of Nazi Experiments on Humans, Boulder, Colo.: Sentient Publications, 2005, p. 85.

[12] Berben, Paul, Dachau, 1933-1945, The Official History, London: The Norfolk Press, 1975, p. 133.

[13] McCallum, John Dennis, Crime Doctor, Mercer Island, Wash.: The Writing Works, Inc., 1978, pp. 67-68.

[14] Michalczyk, John J., Medicine, Ethics, and the Third Reich: Historical and Contemporary Issues, Kansas City, Mo.: Sheed & Ward, 1994, p. 96.

[15] Ibid.

[16] Berben, Paul, Dachau, 1933-1945, The Official History, London: The Norfolk Press, 1975, pp. 133-134.

[17] Ibid., p. 134. See also Michalczyk, John J., Medicine, Ethics, and the Third Reich: Historical and Contemporary Issues, Kansas City, Mo.: Sheed & Ward, 1994, p. 97.

[18] Pasternak, Alfred, Inhuman Research: Medical Experiments in German Concentration Camps, Budapest, Hungary: Akadémiai Kiadó, 2006, p. 149.

[19] Ibid., pp. 134-135.

[20] Ibid., p. 227.

[21] Berben, Paul, Dachau, 1933-1945, The Official History, London: The Norfolk Press, 1975, pp. 136-137.

[22] Spitz, Vivien, Doctors from Hell: The Horrific Account of Nazi Experiments on Humans, Boulder, Colo.: Sentient Publications, 2005, p. 173.

[23] McCallum, John Dennis, Crime Doctor, Mercer Island, Wash.: The Writing Works, Inc., 1978, p. 69.

[24] Berben, Paul, Dachau, 1933-1945, The Official History, London: The Norfolk Press, 1975, p. 19.

[25] Ibid., p. 202.

[26] Ibid., pp. 95, 281.

[27] Schmidt, Ulf, Karl Brandt: The Nazi Doctor, New York: Continuum Books, 2007, p. 376.

[28] Jacobsen, Annie, Operation Paperclip: The Secret Intelligence Program that Brought Nazi Scientists to America, New York: Little, Brown and Company, 2014, pp. 273-274.

[29] Ibid., p. 274.

[30] Schmidt, Ulf, Karl Brandt: The Nazi Doctor, New York: Continuum Books, 2007, pp. 376-377.

Sunday, January 6, 2019

Jewish Racism and Intolerance

By Savitri Devi (1976)

Jewish “racism” has been much discussed. And the doctrine of the “chosen people” is often regarded as an expression of this “racism.” Yet in reality the Jews of Antiquity (I mean, of course, orthodox Jews) believed that membership in their race, that is, in the “family of Abraham,” had value only if it were combined with exclusive service to the “jealous God” Jehovah, Israel’s exclusive protector. According to the Bible, Moabites and Ammonites, though enemies of Israel, were closely connected racially to the Jews. Did not the former descend from Moab, son of Lot and his eldest daughter, and the latter from Ben-Ammi, son of Lot and his youngest daughter? (Genesis 19.36-38) Now, Lot, son of Haran, was the nephew of Abraham (Genesis 11.27). Evidently genealogical kinship did not facilitate relations between these peoples and the children of Israel. If blood joined them together, their respective cults nevertheless separated them. Chemosh, god of Moabites, and Milcom, god of the Ammonites, were in the eyes of the Jews “abominations” – as were all the gods of the earth, save their own God – and their worshippers, enemies to be exterminated.

Jewish racism, independent of religion – the attitude which consists in accepting as a Jew and treating accordingly anyone born Jewish, whatever his religious beliefs might be – is apparently a much more recent phenomenon, dating at the earliest from the eighteenth or the seventeenth century, that is, from the time when masonic lodges of Israelite inspiration began to play a role in determining the politics of Western nations. It was perhaps a product of the influence of Western rationalism on the Jews – in spite of themselves. It found its most striking expression at the end of the nineteenth century and during the twentieth in Zionism, which could be called an innovative, avant-garde Jewish nationalism. The Zionist movement does respect, certainly, the religious tradition of the Talmud and the Bible, but without in any way being identified with it. Its political faith is “national,” but could not be compared with that of modern Greece, since the latter is so inseparable from the official state religion. But I shall call Zionism a nationalism rather than a “racism,” because it implies the exaltation of the Jewish people as such, without any enthusiastic consciousness of a blood solidarity uniting all the various desert peoples customarily called “Semitic.”

Although modern in its expression, this Jewish nationalism is not in its essence different from the solidarity which, after the introduction of the Mosaic law, existed among all the children of Israel from the thirteenth century before the Christian era. The religion of Jehovah played a paramount role then. But its role consisted precisely in forming a feeling in all Jews, from the most powerful to the most humble, that they were the chosen people, the privileged people, different from other people, including those closest to them in blood, and exalted above them all. The Jews have felt that more and more in modern times, without the aid of a national religion; hence the decreasing importance of this religion among them, except in a few permanent centers of Jewish orthodoxy.

In other words, the Jews, who for centuries had been an unimportant Middle Eastern tribe among so many others, a tribe quite close to others in language and religion before Abraham and especially before the Mosaic reform, gradually became, under the influence of Moses and his successors, Joshua and Caleb, and then under the influence of the prophets, a people completely filled with the self-image they had manufactured; having nothing but contempt for men of the same race who surrounded them and, with greater reason, for people of other races; seeing only “abominations” in all their gods; even repudiating, as the prophet Ezra commanded after they returned from their long Babylonian captivity, those of their kinsmen who, having remained in Palestine, had married Canaanite women, under the pretext that the latter would loosen the link that bound them and their families to Jehovah and thus weaken their consciousness that they were a “chosen people,” a people unlike others.

They could have remained so indefinitely, isolated from the rest of the world by a national pride as incommensurable as it was unjustified, for even in Antiquity they were already rather mixed-race hybrids, if only because of their prolonged sojourn in Egypt. Had the Jews remained in their self-imposed isolation, the world would certainly have suffered no great loss – quite the contrary. But they did not, because the idea of a “single, living God” – the “true” God, in contrast to “false” gods, to local gods whose power was limited to other peoples – could only imply, sooner or later, the idea of universal truth and human community. A God who alone “lives,” while all others are merely insensate matter, at most inhabited by impure forces, can only be, logically, the true God of all possible worshippers, that is, of all men. To refuse to admit it would have required that they ascribe life, truth and benevolence to other peoples’ gods as well, in other words, that they cease seeing them only as “abominations.” And that the Jews refused to accept, after the sermons and threats of their prophets. The One God could indeed prefer a single people. But it was necessary that he be, by necessity, the God of all peoples – the one whom they, in their insane folly, were unaware of, whereas the “chosen people” alone paid him homage.

The first attitude of the Jews, as conquerors of Palestine, toward peoples who worshipped gods other than Jehovah was to hate and exterminate them. Their second attitude – after Canaanite resistance in Palestine had long ended, and especially after the Jews had lost most of what little international significance they had ever possessed, being reduced to mere subjects of Greek kings, Alexander’s successors, and later of Roman emperors – was to throw into the spiritual pasture of a declining world not only the idea of the futile emptiness of all gods (except their own), but also the false concept of “man,” independent of and distinct from peoples; of “man,” a nationless citizen of the world (and “created in the image of God”) whom Israel, the chosen people, the people of Revelation, had the mission of instructing and guiding to true “happiness.” This was the attitude of those Jews, more or less conspicuously daubed with Hellenism, who from the fourth century AD until the Arab conquest in the seventh century formed an increasingly influential proportion of the population in Alexandria, as well as in all capitals of the Hellenistic world, which would later become the Roman world. It is also the attitude of the Jews of our own era – an attitude which, precisely, makes them a people unlike others, a dangerous people: the “ferment of decomposition” of other peoples.

It is worth tracing the history of this attitude.

Its seeds, as I have suggested, already existed in the fanaticism of the servants and prophets of the “sole” and “living God,” from Samuel to the redactors of the Cabala. An important fact that should not be forgotten, if one wants to try to understand it, is that the “sole God” of the Jews is a transcendent god, but not immanent. He is outside of Nature, which he created from nothingness by an act of will, and in his essence is different from it, different not only from its sensible manifestations, but also from everything that could, in a permanent way, underlie them. He is not that Soul of the Universe in which the Greeks and all other Indo-European peoples believed, and in which Brahmanism still sees the supreme Reality. He made the world as an artisan manufactures a marvelous machine: from the outside. And he imposed upon it whatever laws he wanted, laws that could have been different, if he had wanted them different. He gave man dominion over all other creatures. And he “chose” the Jewish people from among other men not for their intrinsic value – that is clearly specified in the Bible – but arbitrarily, because of a promise made once and for all to Abraham.

From this metaphysical perspective, it was impossible to consider the gods of other peoples as “aspects” or “expressions” of the sole God, and all the less so since these gods represented, for the most part, natural forces or celestial bodies. It was also impossible to emphasize less the indeterminate variety of men and the irrefutable inequality that has always existed among the various human races and even among people more or less of the same race. “Man,” whatever that might be, had to possess, alone of created beings, an immense intrinsic value, since the Creator had formed him “in his own image” and had placed him, for that very reason, above all other living creatures. The Cabala states the matter clearly: “There exists the uncreated Being, who creates: God; the created being, who creates: man; and … the remainder: the entirety of created beings – animals, plants, minerals – which do not create.” This is the most absolute anthropocentrism, and a false philosophy from the outset, since it is obvious that “all men” are not creators (far from it!) and that some animals can in fact be creators.

But that is not all. From this new humanist perspective, not only did Jewry maintain its position as the “chosen people” – the “holy nation,” as the Bible says – destined to bear unique Revelation to the world, but everything that other peoples had produced or thought had value only insofar as it was consistent with this Revelation, or insofar as it could be interpreted in that sense. Unable to deny the enormous Greek contributions to science and philosophy, the Jews of Alexandria, Greek in culture (and sometimes with Greek names, like Aristobulus in the third century BC), did not hesitate to write that all of the most substantial products of Greek thought – the works of Pythagoras, of Plato, of Aristotle – were only due, in the final analysis, to the influence of Jewish thought, having their source in Moses and the prophets! Others, such as the famous Philo of Alexandria, whose influence on Christian apologetics was considerable, did not dare deny the obvious originality of Hellenic genius, but only retained, of the ideas they elaborated, those which they could, by altering or even by deforming them completely, bring into “concord” with the Mosaic conception of “God” and the world. Their work is that hybrid product which in the history of ideas bears the name “Judeo-Alexandrian philosophy” – an ingenious collection of interrelated concepts drawn more or less directly from Plato, though not always in the spirit of Plato, mixed together with old Jewish ideas like the transcendence of the sole God and the creation of man “in his image.” All of this was undoubtedly a superfluous scaffolding in the eyes of orthodox Jews, for whom the Mosaic Law was sufficient, but it was a marvelous instrument for seizing spiritual control over the Gentiles, in the service of Jews (orthodox or not) eager to wrest from other peoples the direction of Western (and later, global) thought.

Judeo-Alexandrian philosophy and religion, increasingly permeated with the symbolism of Egypt, Syria, Anatolia and so forth, and professed by the ever more racially debased people of the Hellenistic world, constitute the backdrop against which Christian orthodoxy gradually emerged in the writings of Paul of Tarsus and the first Christian apologists, eventually taking shape during a succession of Church Councils. As Gilbert Murray remarks of the latter: “it is a strange experience … to study these obscure assemblies, whose members, proletarians of the Levant, superstitious, dominated by charlatans and desperately ignorant, still believed that God can procreate children in the womb of mortal mothers, misunderstood ‘Word,’ ‘Spirit’ and ‘divine Wisdom’ as persons bearing those names, and transformed the notion of the soul’s immortality into the ‘resurrection of the dead,’ and then to think that it was these men who followed the main road, leading to the greatest religion of the Western world.”

In this Christianity of the first centuries, preached in Greek (the international language of the Near East) by Jewish and later by Greek missionaries to raceless urban masses – so inferior, from any point of view, to the free men of the ancient Hellenic polis – there were undoubtedly more non-Jewish elements than Jewish. What dominated was a common religious subject I dare not call “Greek” but rather “Aegean” or “Mediterranean pre-Hellenic” – or even Near Eastern pre-Hellenic, for the people of Asia Minor, Syria and Mesopotamia all more or less exemplified it in their primeval cults. It was the myth of the young god cruelly put to death – Osiris, Adonis, Tammuz, Attis, Dionysus – whose flesh (wheat) and blood (grape juice) became food and drink for men, and who came back to life in glory every year in Spring. This subject had never ceased to be present in the mysteries of Greece, as much in the classical era as before. Transfigured and “spiritualized” by the allegorical meanings attached to the most primitive rites, it manifested itself in the international “salvation” religions, namely in the cults of Mithra and of Cybele and Attis, Christianity’s rivals in the Roman Empire. As Nietzsche saw so clearly, the genius of Paul of Tarsus consisted in “giving a new meaning to the ancient mysteries,” taking hold of the old prehistoric myth, revivifying it, interpreting it in such way that, in perpetuity, all those who accepted his interpretation would also accept Jewry’s prophetic role and its status as “chosen people,” bearer of unique revelation.

Historically next to nothing is known about the person of Jesus of Nazareth, so little about his origins and the first thirty years of his life that some serious authors have even doubted his existence. According to the canonical gospels, he was raised in the Jewish religion. But was he Jewish by blood? Several scriptural passages tend to make one believe that he was not. It has been said, moreover, that the Galileans formed a small island of Indo-European population within Palestine. At any rate, what is important, as the source of the historical turning point that Christianity represents, is that, Jewish or not, Jesus was presented as such, and what is more, was presented as the Jewish people’s expected Messiah, by Paul of Tarsus, the true founder of Christianity, and by all the Christian apologists who followed over the centuries. What is important is that he was, thanks to them, integrated into the Jewish tradition, forming the link between it and the old Mediterranean myth of the young vegetation god who died and rose again, a myth the Jews had never accepted. He became the Messiah, acquiring the essential attributes of Osiris, Tammuz, Adonis, Dionysus and all the other dead gods who triumphed over Death, pushing them all into the shade for his own profit, and that of his people, with an intransigence that none of them knew, the typically Jewish intransigence of Paul of Tarsus, his teacher Gamaliel, and all the servants of the “jealous God,” Jehovah. Not only was “new meaning” given to the ancient mysteries, but this meaning was proclaimed the sole good and the sole truth, the rites and the myths of pagan antiquity, from the most remote times, having only “prepared” and “prefigured” it, just as ancient philosophy had only sensitized souls to receive the supreme revelation. And this revelation was, for Paul as for the Jews of the Judeo-Alexandrian school before him, and for all the Christian apologists that followed – Justin, Clement of Alexandria, Ireneus, Origen – given to the Jews by the God “of all mankind.”

Jewish intolerance, until then confined to a single people (and to a despised people, whom no one dreamed of imitating) extended itself, with Christianity and later with Islam – that reaction against the Hellenisation of Christian theology – to half the globe. And, moreover, it is that very intolerance that accounts for the success of the religions linked with the tradition of Israel.

I have mentioned the salvation religions, in particular the cults of Mithra and of Cybele and her lover Attis, which flourished in the Roman Empire when Christianity was still young. At first sight, each of them had as much chance of attracting to itself the restless masses for whom Roman order was not sufficient, or was no longer sufficient, and who, increasingly bastardized, felt alienated from any national cult, whatever it might be. Each of them offered to the average individual all that the religion of crucified Jesus promised, and with rites all the more able to assure his adhesion, since they were more barbarous.

Mithra the Bull-Slayer

In the third century AD, the worship of Mithra – the old Indo-European solar god, contemplated through the thousand deforming mirrors that the races and traditions of his new worshippers represented – seemed destined to become dominant … provided that no decisive factor should intervene in favor of one of his rivals. The god was popular among Roman legionaries and their officers. Emperors had believed it worthwhile to receive initiation into his mysteries, under a shower of the Bull’s hot, redemptive blood. A growing number of common people followed the movement. One can say with complete confidence that the world dominated by Rome just barely failed to become Mithraic, instead of Christian, for some twenty centuries. One can say with no less certainty that, though it did not become Mithraic, this failure was due neither to any “superiority” of the Christian doctrine of salvation over the teachings of the priests of Mithra, nor to the absence of sanguinary rites among Christians, but rather to the protection granted to the religion of the Crucified by the emperor Constantine, and not to any other factor. Indeed it was Christianity’s very intolerance – especially, perhaps even exclusively – that procured the preference of the master of the Roman world.

What the emperor wanted above all was to give to this immense world, populated by people of diverse traditions and ethnicities, the most solid unity possible, without which it would be difficult to resist for long the external pressures of the so-called barbarians. Unity of worship was certainly the only kind of unity that he could hope to impose on his empire, on condition that it could be achieved quickly. Among the popular religions of salvation, Mithraism undoubtedly counted the greatest number of faithful. But it did not seem capable of being spread rapidly enough, first and foremost because it did not claim to be the only Way and the only Truth. It risked allowing its rivals to survive, and the unity that Constantine so much desired would therefore not be accomplished – or would take centuries – whereas the interest of the empire demanded that it be done within a few decades.

One could say as much of the old cult of Cybele and Attis: its priests did not proclaim, following the example of the Jews, that they alone possessed the truth; on the contrary, they believed, as did all men of Antiquity (except the Jews), that truth has innumerable facets, and that each cult helps its faithful grasp an aspect of it. They, too, would have allowed rival religions to flourish in complete liberty.

Fourth-century Christianity, although penetrated with ideas and symbols borrowed from neo-Platonism, or from the old Aegean mystical substrate, or from still more remote forms of the eternal Tradition, had itself inherited the spirit of intolerance from Judaism. Even its most enlightened apologists, the most richly nurtured in traditional Greek culture – such as a St. Clement of Alexandria or an Origen who, far from rejecting ancient wisdom, regarded it as a preparation for that of the gospels – did not put the two wisdoms on the same plane. There was, they believed, “progress” from the former to the latter, and the Jewish “revelation” retained its priority over the distant echo of the sole God’s voice which one could detect in the pagan philosophers. As for the great mass of Christians, they dismissed as “abominations” – or “demons” – all the gods of the earth, except that One who had been revealed to men of all races through the Old Testament prophets – Jewish prophets – and through Jesus and his posthumous disciple, Paul of Tarsus, the latter entirely Jewish, the former regarded by the Church as a Jew, a “son of David,” though in fact his true origins are unknown and even his historicity could be questioned.

The profound link that attaches Christianity (and in particular the “Holy Sacrifice of the Mass”) to the ancient mysteries ensured its survival down to our own era. And it was, for Paul of Tarsus, a stroke of (political) genius to have given to the oldest myths of the Mediterranean world an interpretation that ensured to his own people an indefinite spiritual domination over that world and over all the peoples it was destined to influence during the centuries that followed. It was, for the emperor Constantine, a stroke of genius (also political), to have chosen to encourage a religion which would, by its rapid diffusion, give to the ethnic chaos that the Roman world then represented the only unity to which it could still aspire. And it was, for the German tribal chief Clodwig, known in French history as Clovis, again a stroke of genius (political, in his case also) to have felt that nothing would better ensure him permanent domination over his rivals, other German leaders, than his own adhesion (and that of his warriors) to Christianity, in a world then already three-quarters Christian, where bishops represented a power to be sought out as allies. Political genius, not religious – and still less philosophical – because in each case it aimed at power, personal or national, at material stability, at success, but not at truth in the full sense of the word, that is, accord with the Eternal. It involved mundane human ambitions, not a thirst for knowledge of the Laws of Being, nor a thirst for union with the Essence of all things – the Soul, at once transcendent and immanent, of the Cosmos.

For if it had been different, there would have been no reason for the religion of the Nazarene to have triumphed for so many centuries: its rivals were its equals. Christianity had only one practical “advantage” over them: its fanaticism, its infantile intolerance inherited from the Jews – a fanaticism, an intolerance, which, during the early days of the Church, cultivated Romans or Greeks could only find laughable, and which Germans, nurtured in their own beautiful religion, simultaneously cosmic and warlike, could rightly find absurd, but which would give to Christianity a militant character, which it alone possessed, since orthodox Judaism remained – and would remain – the faith of a single people.

Christianity could henceforth be combated only by another religion with equally universal pretensions, just as intolerant as it.

The preceding text is from Chapter III of Savitri Devi’s Souvenirs et réflexions d’une Aryenne (Calcutta: Savitri Devi Mukherji, 1976).