Thursday, June 11, 2009

Thought for the Day: Rachel Varnhagen on Roots of Anti-Semitism in German Culture

These [anti-Semitic] words, so easily spoken . . . are the bows from which my whole life through, the most painful and poisonous arrows have been discharged. No art enables me to escape them—no reflection, no exertion, no industry, no submission . . . . When I think I must be a queen or a mother, I discover that I am nothing! No daughter, no sister, no lover, no wife, not even a citizen.

Rachel Varnhagen, The Life of a Jewish Woman (as cited in Gordon A. Craig, The Germans [NY: Putnam’s, 1982], p. 132.