Jews continued to invest in and propagate alcohol, a product they themselvesrecognized was harmful and were disinclined to use themselves (short of ritualwine uses). By the late nineteenth century perhaps the largest brewery in Europe,Schultheiss-Patzenhofer, “was a ‘Jewish firm’ (in terms of management, Boardmembership, and financial links).” [Mosse, p. 12-13] In the Ukraine, by 1872, afterthe feudal system had passed into history, wealthy Jews owned about 90% of Ukraine’s distilleries, as well as 56% of its sawmills, 48% of its tobaccoproduction, and 33% of the sugar refineries. [Subtleny, p. 277] In the Russianprovince of Zhitomir, 73.7% of the Jews living there made their living by leasingdistilleries and selling alcohol at taverns. [Lindemann,
Tears, p. 152] Evenin the Polish town of Oswiecim (renamed and known infamously as the Nazi sitefor the concentration camp Auschwitz) Jakob Haberfeld, a Jewish “liquormagnate” owned (up to the World War II era) the most beautiful building in thearea — a 40-room mansion. [Goldman, A., 1998, p. A1]Hayim Zhitlowsky was from the Jewish village of Uschah in what laterbecame part of the Soviet Union. He was, as one Jewish historian puts it, “theoutstanding thinker of the Jewish cultural renaissance in the Yiddish language inthe twentieth century.” He was not some prejudicial, peasant anti-Semite; he was alover of his own Jewish people, and influential in his community. But Zhitlowskywas deeply troubled by the omnipresent Jewish exploitation of their surroundingnon-Jewish peasant neighbors. In 1883 he wrote:“The Jewish businessman Samuel Solomovich Poliakov built railroads forRussia. Those railroads were, according to Nekrasov’s famous poem, builton the skeletons of the Russian peasantry. My uncle Michael in the [Jewishtown of] Uschach distilled vodka for the Russian people and made a fortuneon the liquor tax. My cousin sold vodka to the peasants. The whole townhired them to cut down Russian woods which he bought from the greatestexploiter of the Russian peasants, the Russian landowner.... Wherever Iturned my eyes to ordinary, day-to-day Jewish life, I saw only one thing, thatwhich anti-Semites were agitating about; the injurious effect of Jewishmerchantry on Russian peasantry.” [In Cuddihy, p. 138]Ber Borochov, a Jew, a socialist, and a Zionist, explained Jewishexploitation of non-Jews this way: “The vast majority of non-Jews gain theirlivelihood from nature ... whereas the majority of Jews earn their living directlyfrom other men. In Russia and Galicia 70-80% of non-Jews earn their livelihoodfrom nature; a similar percentage of the Jews earn theirs from men.” [Borochov,Ber.
Nationalism and the Class Struggle. A Marxist Approach to the Jewish