Sunday, July 21, 2013


Circa 1998:
A quiz question while I was in class 5 in the year 1998.
“What word was coined by Elie Wiesel to describe Hitler’s massacre of the Jews?”
   I remember not knowing the answer then. The answer, which my teacher later told us ,was “Holocaust”.
Ever since that day the subject has always mystified me.The world affairs of late 1990s and early 2000s were earmarked by  Israel and Palestine peace talks. Israel was always in news and somehow I always felt it behaved like a “stubborn child refusing to let go”. When I was in class 8th another question popped in a quiz  “Which community has had the highest recipient of Nobel Prizes ?”
  Now  Richard Dawkins would have hated this question.How can intellect intertwine with religious faith? But he would also know that the answer lay  in the Jewish “Selfish Gene”.  
Personally I have always questioned the co-relation of High IQ with being a Jew. Even Albert Einstein and Sigmund Freud were born to Jewish parents,though their religious views were not very orthodox.Also if Anne Frank grew up into a young woman she would have bagged a Nobel Prize too.
   There have been countless studies done on the Jewish intelligence. 
   Jewish rebellion against Roman rule was killed in first century AD. After this Jews fled in all direction to form Diaspora. In the middle ages when they were subjected to legal discrimination,it drove them to money related professions as banking and tax farming which were forbidden by Christians.This along with low levels of intermarriage made them retain their IQ. This isolation however presents itself in terms of the number of diseases that are prevalent in the race as they have had very low levels of intermarriage.Here is another interesting read.

To corroborate further think of the names figuring amongst the top World( Read: USA) business people?
Be it the Bloomberg,Rothschilds, Ben Bernanke,Alan Greenspan,Marcus Goldman,Llyod Blankfein,Tim Geithner,Larry Summers, Sergey Brin, Larry Page, Michael Dell,Larry Ellison and Mark Zuckerberg.
What is common?
Their parents had kosher food on the day of Sabaath.
The current financial success of the Jews has a lot to do with holocaust.  Of the nine million Jews who had resided in Europe before the Holocaust, approximately two-thirds were killed. Over one million Jewish children were killed in the Holocaust, as were approximately two million Jewish women and three million Jewish men. A network of over 40,000 facilities in Germany and German-occupied territory were used to concentrate, hold, and kill Jews and other victims. The horror of the concentration camps and the gas chambers has also been a cornerstone of the 20th century literary culture.Much has been written and adapted into movies. So much so,that the academy awards has always a joke going around, “If you want  an Oscar Award ,make a movie on Holocaust”. Here is the list of some of my favourite Holocaust movies.
1. Schindler's List
2. The Boy in the Striped Pajamas
3.The Pianist
4. The Reader
5.Life is Beautiful
6.Sophie's Choice
These movies are poignant and capture the horror that took place during the extermination.The pogrom made the Jews a closed knit empathizing community .A large chunk migrated from Europe into USA during the 2nd world war . In a bid to start their own livelihood,the migrants started their own business. Many of the Jewish big businesses started really small eg. Levis Strauss and his denims,Singer and his sewing machines.
    Today the number of Jews in USA exceed the number of Jews in Israel,though Israel is a  constitutionally the only Jewish state that officially came into being in the year 1948 after UN declaration and  Jewish lobby . As of now Israel has a very high standard of living. Israel leads in military technology research. I personally find its practice of conscription very noteworthy. It has turned a deserted land into arable food bowl by using drip technology. All this said Israel still remains far from peaceful.
   Anthropology and Humanities stretch for centuries and Jews are a big example of that.
If you are wondering what triggered this post.
For all those nerds who are as curious as I am about Holocaust,here Follow this . It is a great chance to know more through a proper course at Coursera.
And for all those who have found this post too heavy.Take it easy.
Just Youtube Sarah Silverman's Jesus is Magic and watch it under Parental Supervision.

P.S Where would a dumb jew be sent? 
       Ans.  SINagogue


Vrudijones said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Vrudijones said...

Brilliant article. Exactly the inspiration I need to continue reading O Jerusalem. In the first few chapters, I realised that Jews' success in enterprise led them to win Israel. How Haim Slavine and Ehud Avriel together managed to smuggle disassembled arms from the US by covering up as textile machinery and reassembling them in Jerusalem for the Jewish struggle against the Arabs is just one of the many testaments to their ingenuity.

funky-philosopher said...

i've had a long-standing brush with the holocaust in quizzes as well... not taking any sides, the holocaust resulted from a two-sided misunderstanding of the concentration of wealth with Jews (the background already explained in the light of banking profession) and their reluctance to mingle with other communities (again, arising from the discrimination). The holocaust sadly came at a time when the Jews were actually trying to shed their inhibitions and mingle with other communities post-enlightenment. In hidden quarters, Rothchilds have been known to finance trade to European colonies (which also resulted in some degrees of plunder?). The notoriety is never publicized in movies or books. All that said, it gives no licence for any one to kill (the Nazis did think that in the end, all wealth of the world would be controlled by the Jews). The retention of high IQ boils down to the fact that apart from intermarriage, the Jewish norms (kosher eating, Talmud reading) were too strict to be followed by all. those who could not abide, crept out and took to newer religions (such as Christianity). those who remained Jewish had accumulated generations of self-discipline. In fact, the Talmud inculcates the habit of questioning what is written in the Talmud itself. Thus, fostering that spirit of scientific temper and inquiry, leading to the stellar array of Jewish scientists all over. Since Jews were constantly discriminated against, they leveraged it to their advantage: entrepreneurship and exemplary risk-taking abilities to venture into new professions. Joe Flom, the near-father of corporate law is one such example. As for the movies, which also put disproportionate blame on Germans, one cannot overlook the fact that pogroms took place all over Europe, in almost every country. Another interesting fact is that most directors of the movies listed above have Jewish origins, viz Steven Spielberg. One might observe that Ashkenazi Jews (such as Einstein) were the best of the scientific lot. For over 2 months, i took to eating kosher salmon and horseradish while living in Munich (erstwhile HQ of Nazi party) and felt a difference myself. And since Jews are apparently a closed community, that helps in knowledge transfer from Jews to Jews. Nothing wrong with that, though i firmly believe that in a lot of ways, religion has been a scum of the world, especially for disruptive purposes such as the holocausts, crusades, you-name-any-war-based-on-religion. Einstein himself admitted to the biggest mistake of his life being writing a letter to the Prez to take up the Manhattan Project because he apparently thought the Germans would beat them to that. Later on it was found that no such bomb was being made in Germany. I haven't quoted any references, but if interested, one could search out the specific instances. Please report if found contradictory to that stated here. I must applaud Shrill for summing up the fate of Jews in a concise, informative write-up. The bottom line is that since religion seems to be an eternal phenomenon on the earth, its helpful to look at the best practices of all religions and make peace with everyone.

funky-philosopher said...

sorry for the long and followup comment... Its interesting to note that the practice of Conscription was also prevalent in Switzerland

Though there are no evidences of this country being involved in wars. Besides, wandering in the Swiss Alps and lake cities, I was highly curious on my two visits about the military background of Swissland, in contrast with some religion-based states of the world.

Also, no one has made movies on the extensive efforts by several Government in rehabilitating the Jews in the prime localities of many cosmopolitans from where they had been ousted due to the discrimination since many centuries. Its a crucial responsibility for the present generation to abate past misunderstandings and act with high degrees of sensitiveness.

kunal kishore said...

unfortunately, i didnt find anything that i hadnt read earlier.