I read Woody—The Biography by David Evanier (St. Martin’s Press—New York 2015) and I came across this interesting dialogue on page 20, from one of Mr. Allen’s movies entitled, Anything Else (2003):
“Coming out of a comedy club with Falk, he tells Falk that a couple of men looked at them and one said, “Jews start all wars.” We live in perilous times. You got to stay alert to these things. You don’t want to wind up as black and white newsreel footage scored by a cello in a minor key. He urges Falk to purchase a gun and a survival kit. He has a gun in every room in his apartment. “The day will come when you need a weapon,” he says. Jerry asks why. “Why?” Dobel replies. “So they don’t put you in a box car.”
Jerry Falk: “Dobel, you’re a madman.”
David Dobel: “That’s what they said in Germany. There were actually groups called ‘Jews for Hitler.’ They thought he would actually be good for the country…. You are a member of one of the most persecuted minorities in history.”
I was shocked.
This 73 years old man, who had studied the Holocaust since his bar mitzvah, had never heard of a group called, ‘Jews for Hitler.’
So I googled it.
And here’s what I learned:
The group was called, the Association of German National Jews (AGNA);
It was founded in 1921;
It was anti-Zionist;
It favored the expulsion of Eastern European Jews from Germany;
One of its goals was for the self-eradication of the Jewish identity;
It fought against the Jewish boycott of German goods;
It issued a manifesto that stated that the Jews were being treated fairly in Nazi Germany;
It’s magazine had a circulation of 6,000 in 1927;
Wow! 6,000 copies sold to German Jews;
The AGNA “greeted” the results of the 1933 election in which Hitler became Chancellor of Germany;
The Nazis declared the AGNA illegal and it dissolved in November of 1935.
And then it hit me like a silver Nazi coin bouncing off of my thick skull.
How little had changed since 1927 and 1935 and 2003 and 2015.
We still have Jews:
Who refuse to stay alert to the threat of anti-Semitism;
Who have no understanding of who the enemy is;
Who don’t understand we live in perilous times;
Who haven’t purchased a gun;
Who don’t know that they are a members of one of the most persecuted minorities in history;
Who never heard of a German group called, ‘Jews for Hitler.’