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Usury in Jewish During the Holocaust/Ghettos

Introduction

            Many people believe that Jews spread across Europe before the holocaust was involved in usury; as such, they created many enemies across their communities such that no one was willing to rescue them after the Nazis started to exterminate them. Interestingly, Jews were merchants with their services spread across many countries in Europe. The fact that had huge amounts of cash led them to become moneylenders; however, the Christian community of the medieval times regarded this aspect as immoral and heinous. In essence, Christians believed that the Jews took advantage of those in need to make a profit through the provision of soft loans that drew interests. On the contrary, Jesus Christ was a symbol of poverty, generosity, chastity, and non-materialism (Remember.org, 2015). In that respect, any person who was engaged in the business was viewed as greedy because they could not help those in need in their communities.

Usury in Jews

            Before the 19th century, anti-Semitism targeted Jews only because they were viewed as a distinct religious group that deserved hatred from all other groups. These beliefs were based on their spiritual teachings, which did not agree with the strong catholic teachings of the times. In effect, they experienced sporadic expulsions and persecutions as the people sought to have a world without them. In that effect, some Europeans countries created ghettos, which were exclusive to Jews in order to segregate them from the society. Some of the earliest European ghettos especially in Spain and Portugal date far back as the 14 century. The Jews’ merchant success created enmity with other racial groups because they believed that the Jews were only after material wealth and nothing could stop them to acquire more wealth at the expense of other people in the society.

            On the other hand, discrimination of Jews and fact that they could not own land in any part of Europe meant that they had little ways to make any money. In that respect, they became traders and usurers to sustain their livelihoods because they could not have anywhere to practice farming. Such occurrences created a lasting enmity between the Jews and other dominant religions in Europe such as Islam. They were targeted for any calamity that befell the people despite the fact that most of the accusations were unfounded. The Jews did not have any rights and as a result, they could not sustain their lives without engaging in businesses that were seen as immoral and effects of greed by all the other people in their communities (Remember.org, 2015). The Jews were enormously successful economic wise and thus had vast resources, which they could lend to their neighbors for a fee. The neighbors did not take these actions lightly and engaged in spreading hatred against the Jews.

            Migchels (2014) agrees that capitalism started with the Jews because of their desire to create a rich few at the expense of mass poverty. To enrich themselves, the Jews practiced all forms of trade that could bring profits and amass their wealth without caring for the needs of their neighbors. The Jews never saw anything wrong with usury because it was in terms of a willing seller willing buyer situations. However, their methods to recoup debts from the society were cruel especially for anyone who could not afford to pay their debts in time. Migchels (2014) notes,

“Modern Capitalism was first clearly visible in the Dutch Republic, where Italian Banking, expelled Iberian Jews, the Reformation, naval power and the acquisition of huge trade fortunes came together in the Amsterdam Empire, which would outshine its much bigger Spanish, British and even French competitors until the mid-seventeenth century.”

The Jews are charged with the crime of inventing capitalism because of their involvement in businesses that did not agree with the people of the 19th century. Consequently, all the other communities believed that the Jews were responsible for all the misfortunes that the societies faced.

            The Jews ensured that they kept money scarce in the populace to access cheap labor. Such beliefs did not go down well with other communities because the desired societies that valued equitable distribution of resources. Ideally, usury cannot thrive in communities where all people have access to all basic needs because no one would be willing to take up expensive loans to finance their daily activities. The success of Jews in business ventures ensured that they controlled the economy of the countries that they resided in (Remember.org, 2015).

Conclusion

            Even though Christianity outlawed any form of usury, the Jews lived in free and peaceful ghettos where they practiced any form of trade, which could earn them profit. Jews took up the opportunities because other communities did not have the right to practice such immoral business. According to the Jews, they were doing a public well by providing the less fortunate with loans, which they could use to acquire life’s necessities and repay them later when things improved. In brief, Jews invented capitalism, which is the most common practice in the world today.

 

 

References

Migchels, A. (2014). Capitalism Is Jewish Usury. Real Currencies. Retrieved 23 April 2015, from https://realcurrencies.wordpress.com/2014/06/05/capitalism-is-jewish-usury/

Remember.org. (2015). Who are the Jews? |. Retrieved 23 April 2015, from http://remember.org/guide/facts-root-whoare