GOEBBELS GLOATS OVER ANTISEMITISM IN THE HOUSE OF COMMONS
[ 6 March 1942 ]
On 6 March 1942, Hitler’s Minister of Propaganda, Jozef Goebbels, noted gleefully in his diary that ‘a frontal attack on black markets was made in the (British) House of Commons. No bones are made about the fact that Jews were chiefly implicated in profiteering in the food market. Heading the procession were the Jewish immigrants who went from Germany to England.’1
Three days earlier Beverley Baxter, Conservative MP for Wood Green, had claimed in the Commons that ‘there are British born Jews in this to far too great an extent. I don’t want to go further than that. ‘ He added that he was appealing to the Jewish community to ‘bring every pressure to bear rather than to bring upon themselves those things which are bad for them and unworthy of this nation.’2
Britain was supposedly fighting a war against Nazism and fascism, but much of the British elite, media and public retained strong anti-Semitic views and readily believed rumours that Jews were profiteering from shortages in food supplies. In February 1945, the English novelist George Orwell, noted that ‘it is generally admitted that antisemitism is on the increase, that it has been greatly exacerbated by the war, and that humane and enlightened people are not immune to it.’3
- Jozef Goebbels quoted in Bernard Wasserstein, Britain and the Jews of Europe: 1939-1945, Oxford University Press, Oxford University Press, 1988 p. 119.
- Beverley Baxter quoted in ‘Appeal to Jews,” The Daily Record, 4 March 1942, p. 6.
- Goerge Orwell quoted in Bernard Wasserstein, Britain and the Jews of Europe: 1939-1945, Oxford University Press, Oxford University Press, 1988 p. 119.
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