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Antisematism in Britain
February 1945

Blunt and addresses the topic
During WW2 Hitler and
friends had just murdered 6
million Jews
There are about 400,000 known Opens with facts about Jews in
Jews in Britain
o Convey the idea that Jews
Mostly employed in the food,
are inferior as they have a
clothing and furniture trade
somewhat different culture
A few of the big monopolies
Thesis: There is no real Jewish
arepartly Jewish-owned
The Jews seemto have failed
Lists antisematic remarks told
to keep up with the modern
to Orwell by your average Joe
tendency towards big
during WW2
o Have different opinions from
different people: a desire to
If you dislike somebody, you
avoid Jews, Jews getting
dislike him, and there is an end
extra goods as merchants
of it
under rationing, Jews getting
extra goods as customers,
The antisemanite thinks of
Jews as pushy and selfish,
himself as a reasonable being
Jews as cowardly and greedy
People always saythey started
or as lazy and intellectual.
out with no anti-Jewish prejudice
First point: dislike of a specific
but were driven into their
person who is Jewish is
present position by mere
commonly confused with
observation of the facts
dislike towards the whole
One of the marks of
Jewish race
antisematism is an ability to
War has encouraged the
believe stories that could not
growth of antisematism
possibly be true [such as
Anti-Semitism had been
blaming a bombing that killed
driven underground by the
over a hundred people on Jews]
war and that the authorities
People will go to remarkable
and media went out of their
lengths to demonstrate that they
way to avoid offending Jews
are not antisemitic
in order to establish their
credentials as not being
We never asked these people to
come to this country. If they
People are unwilling to admit
chose to come here, let them
they are antisemantic
take the consequences
It's the Jewish peoples faults
that people hate them
The feeling that antisematism is
something sinful and disgraceful, People suffer from
something that a civilised person
antisematism and it is
does not suffer from, is
something that even humane
unfavourable to a scientific
and enlightened people are not
approach[people] are
immune to (referring to
frightenedof discovering not
antisematism as a disease)
only that antisematism is
Britain isnt really antisematic

spreading, but that they

themselves are infected by it

Antisematism is less prevalent

in England than it was thirty
years ago
Thirty years agoa Jew was a
figure of fun


I can think of passages which if

written now would be
stigmatized as antisematism, in
the works of Shakespeare,
Smollett, Thackeray
To evaluate and inform

but it totally is
All the great writers were
antisematic suggesting its just
the inteligencias view point

Orwell has identified that

antisematism exists in England
and he has also identified how
people feel about
antisematism and Jews and the
effect of Antisematism on
Jewish people.
His message is not that
antisematism is bad or it needs
to be stopped, its just that
antisematism exists

Egoistic motives
Orwell presents himself as
very intelligent

Background facts which are
already known to any wellinformed person


Politics and the English

Political motive
Talks about a political thing
The common man, but a very
specific common man or a really
broad definition
A well-informed person knows
the facts about it but not the
nature of it
Those in intellectual circles
have a large Jewish influence
Random members of the public
dislike Jews for the heck of it
Famous intellectuals could be
labelled as antisematic
Jewish people dont know the
scale of antisematism
Its difficult to pinpoint exactly who
this essay was for, but I think it
was for everyone
Talks a bit about the way the



Notes on Nationalism

The lion and the unicorn


Privately, however, one heard

very different sentiments
The Jew who grew up in
Whitechapel took it for granted
that he would be assaultedif
he ventured into one of he
Christian slums nearby

media and politicians can

manipulate people into believing
certain things about Jews
Has a common theme of
nationalism, pride for your
country, but antisematism
displays selective nationalism
I dont really understand TLATU
but I think its about British pride
and how great British people are
and if that is correct that is the
Jews in Britain dont really know
the extent to which antisematism
is going on in any given place or
time as antisematic attitudes or
remarks are only expressed
behind their backs

All people have negative thoughts

about Jews/people will blame Jews
Middle-aged office employee: I for anything
generally come to work by bus. It Euphemism: the chosen race
takes longer, but I don't care
Having matches because she is
about using the Underground
Jewish suggests the
from Golders Green nowadays.
tobacconist blames the fact the
There's too many of the Chosen
the other lady is stocked on
Race travelling on that line.
matches on the fact that she is
Tobacconist (woman): No, I've
got no matches for you. I should I do not like JewsIm not
try the lady down the street.
antisematic of course
She's always got matches. One
The man contradicts himself
of the Chosen Race, you see.
without realising because that
Young intellectual, Communist or
is the norm at that time. The
near-Communist: No, I do not
majority didnt like Jews but
like Jews. I've never made any
they refused to be labelled
secret of that. I can't stick them.
under antisemitic
Mind you, I'm not antisemitic, of
Dont call me antisemitic
because really I am antisemitic
Middle-class woman: Well, no
Her dislike seems completely
one could call me antisemitic,
unfounded and unsupported as
but I do think the way these Jews
push[ing] their way to the
behave is too absolutely
head of queues is not a valid
stinking. The way they push their
reason to hate a whole race,
way to the head of queues, and
also suggested that she has
so on. They're so abominably
just accepted antisematism
selfish. I think they're
from those around her and just
responsible for a lot of what
finds her own unsupported
happens to them.
reason to go with the flow and

Milk roundsman: A Jew don't do

no work, not the same as what
an Englishman does. E's too
clever. We work with this 'ere
(flexes his biceps). They work
with that there (taps his
Chartered accountant,
intelligent, left-wing in an
undirected way: These bloody
Yids are all pro-German. They'd
change sides tomorrow if the
Nazis got here. I see a lot of
them in my business. They
admire Hitler at the bottom of
their hearts. They'll always suck
up to anyone who kicks them.
People always say (as Hitler
said in Mein Kampf) that they
started out with no anti-Jewish
prejudice but were driven into
their present position by mere
observation of the facts
I can think of passages which if
written now would be
stigmatized as antisematism, in
the works of Shakespeare,
Smollett, Thackeray
Antisematism comes in a lot of
different types
Hitler-esque hatred
Hatred just cos
Hatred due to menial things
like cutting to the front of a
Outright hatred but the
refusal to be labelled under

dislike Jews
Shows the uneducated are
much more willing to outwardly
display their dislike towards
Jews than the educated
Pro-German=pro-death wish
and it doesnt really make
sense that a Jewish person
would be pro-the-governmentthat-has-just-killed-6-millionJews
They admire Hitler from the
bottom of their hearts makes
literally no sense but because
Germany and Britain were
enemies in ww2 they jump to
that conclusion
Orwell contradicts himself
earlier in the essay saying
facts and statistics is useless
Hitler is the extremeOrwell
may be suggesting to people
that if they do not revaluate
their anti-Jewish prejudice,
they will become like Hitler
Euphemism used for antiJewish because antisematic is
just too strong a word
Everyone was antisematic.
Especially the important
people and other people just
go along with it

Antisematism camouflages
o Antisematism exists very
strongly in British society but
the majority refuse to admit
o People disguise it under
different words to avoid the
o People will just go along with
what they've been told and
not question it
Your opinion on the Jewish
population is affected by your
educational background

Signific There are about 400,000 known
Jews in Britain, and scores of
quotes thousands of Jewish refugees
who have entered the country
from 1934 onwards. The Jewish
population is almost entirely
concentrated in half a dozen big
towns and is mostly employed in
the food, clothing and furniture
trades. A few of the big
monopolies, such as the ICI, one
or two leading newspapers and
at least one big chain of
department stores are Jewishowned or partly Jewish-owned,
but it would be very far from the
truth to say that British business
life is dominated by Jews. The
Jews seem, on the contrary, to
have failed to keep up with the
modern tendency towards big
amalgamations and to have
remained fixed in those trades
which are necessarily carried out
on a small scale and by oldfashioned methods.
Jews are to be found in exactly
those trades which are bound to
incur unpopularity with the
civilian public in war-time.
We need asked these people to
come to this country. If they
choose to come here, let them
take the consequences
A Jewish boy at a public school
almost invariably had a bad
time. He could, of course, live
down his Jewishness if he was
exceptionally charming or
athletic, but it was an initial
disability comparable to a
stammer or a birthmark. Wealthy
Jews tended to disguise
themselves under aristocratic
English or Scottish names, and
to the average person it seemed

The war was a catalyst of

Fact establishes text type as
expositional essay
Known Jews connotates that
there are Jews hiding their
Jewishness [link: all the Jews I
had known till then were
people who were ashamed of
being Jews, or at any rate
preferred not to talk about
their ancestry, and if forced to
do so tended to use the word
Orwell is telling facts but he
says scores of thousands to
describe refuge arrivals. Scores
of thousands is not a factual,
numerical value and shows
Orwell attempting to inflate the
number [link to Politics and the
English Language with
language being used to change
o Orwell is a master of
language and therefor he
must be knowledgeable that
scores of thousands is not a
true description. He used
that term to manipulate his
audience and get them on
his side
Employed in food, clothing
and furniture trades
connotates lower level jobs
that do not require intelligence
thus negatively shining on the
Jewish people
Big monopolies connotates
that even when Jewish people
are successful, its just a game
Failed to keep up with the
modern tendency towards big
o Just kinda sheds a negative
light. Similar to the
characterisation of the
Burmese in a
hanging/shooting an

quite natural that they should do

this, just as it seems natural for
a criminal to change his identity
if possible.

By beginning the essay like

this, Orwell asks the reader to
be on his side and sets the
tone for the rest of the essay

However little the average

Orwell basically suggests that
intellectual may have agreed
Jews ask to hated
with the opinions of Belloc and
o It's a ridiculous idea that a
Chesterton, he did not actually
person would ask to be
disapprove of them. Chestertons
hated and it really gives he
endless tirades against Jews
impression the Jewish people
never got him in trouble
keep drawing the short straw
British nationalism, i.e.
If youre Jew, youre screwed.
nationalism of an intellectual
Unless you have another talent
kind, may revive, and probably
then its possible to live down
will revive, if Britain comes out of
your Jewness
the present war greatly
o Shows that being Jewish is
like being targeted from
birth to be worse than
anyone else. It's the least
desirable position to be in
and if its possible you
should try and get rid of it.

e of

Orwell sees intellectuals as not

thinking for themselves but
rather rinse and repeating
what intellectuals before them
have said and done
As long as you are the majority
and you are beating down the
minority, its ok!!!
Orwell points out that
intellectuals might not have
agreed signifying the
compliance people feel to
those in command
o Intellectuals to well
known intellectuals
o German army to Hitler
Infers nationalism in Britain
right now is not intellectual and
that's supported with the
examples from the essay
The essay reads a lot like a
discussion. It does not seem to
have one specific point it is
trying to convey but will
discuss one idea, come to a


There are about 400,000 known

Jews in Britain

conclusion about it then have a

twist and start a new, opposing
Formal, long sentences, frank
Facts establish text type
(expositional, article kinda
Orwell comes of as highly
educated and correct. He is
also really persuasive.
Uses quotes from a lot of
different people to add
Open with fact

Euphemisms/rhetoric devices
Chosen race
Disliking Jews

People dont want to admit to

being racist

contradicting almost everything

he says

Shows the murkiness and

confusion about how
antisematism does/doesnt exist

o this feeling that
antisemitism is something
sinful and disgraceful,
something that a civilized
person does not suffer
from, is unfavourable to a
scientific approach, and
indeed many people will
admit that they are
frightened of probing too
deeply into the subject
o it seems to me a safe
assumption that the
disease loosely called
nationalism is now almost
universal. Antisemitism is
only one manifestation of
nationalism, and not
everyone will have the
disease in that particular
o But that antisemitism will
be definitively cured,
without curing the larger
disease of nationalism, I do

Why characterise antisematism as

a disease? A disease is hard to get
rid of and sometimes the cure is
worse than the disease. A disease
acts differently on different people
and the effects and causes can
vary. With Antisemitism, or the
expulsion of antisemitism (and
thus nationalism) the effects and
consequences are unknownit
could be dangerous, it could be
very peaceful, but it will definitely
be difficult and a small strain of
the disease will continue to exist
and may grow over time then
bam Ebola


not believe.
[antisemitism is caused by]
economic causes, and a legacy
from the Middle Ages
antisemitism is part of the
larger problem of nationalism,
which has not yet been seriously
examined, and that the Jew is
evidently a scapegoat, though
for what he is a scapegoat we do
not yet know
There is more antisemitism in
England than we care to admit,
and the war has accentuated it,
but it is not certain that it is on
the increaseIt does not at
present lead to open
persecution, but it has the effect
of making people callous to the
sufferings of Jews in other
countriesIt is at bottom quite
irrational and will not yield to
argument.The persecutions in
Germany have caused much
concealment of antisemitic
feeling and thus obscured the
whole pictureThe subject
needs serious investigation
[antisemitism is hard to study
because] ones own interests or
emotions are involvedWhat
vitiates nearly all that is written
about antisemitism is the
assumption in the writers mind
that he himself is immune to it
the disease loosely called
nationalism is now almost
universal. Antisemitism is only
one manifestation of
nationalism, and not everyone
will have the disease in that
particular form.
A Jew, for example, would not
be antisemitic: but then many
Zionist Jews seem to me to be
merely antisemites turned
upside-down, just as many
Indians and Negroes display the
normal colour prejudices in an
inverted form. The point is that
something, some psychological

Orwell is a freakin ass and he

writes this stupid long essay
contradicting himself about 20
times when really I would be less
confused if he just used his
conclusion (which is still like 2
pages) as the whole essay
because seriously Orwell r u
kidding me this essay was bullshit
literally the whole thing was
antisematism exists in Britain
thank you I got that from the title
but then there is no Jewish
problem in England like ???????
then but wait here have
23865109 examples of how
antisematism does exist!! But no
its not a problem because it's the
Jewish peoples fault that their
being persecuted.
Antisematism is a problem in
England but not really
[see two red parts because Im
linking them for this idea]
causes of hatred according to
Orwell: economic causes (i.e.
war), a legacy from the middle
ages (???) and a psychological
vitamin [note: Orwell is british
so he would pronounce it as
vih-ta-myn and now so must
o economic causes may be
the cause for some hatred
(like Hitlers persecution of
Jews is what started the
war so now the whole world
is at war) but a legacy from
the middle ages and a
psychological vih-ta-myn
would not possibly be the
cause of hatred. This is like
Orwell using euphanisms to
not say antisematismhe
is avoiding the real causes
which are lack of knowedge
and understanding. Orwell
is clever, he knows this but

vitamin, is lacking in modern

civilization, and as a result we
are all more or less subject to
this lunacy of believing that
whole races or nations are
mysteriously good or
mysteriously evil.
antisemitism will be definitively
cured, without curing the larger
disease of nationalism, I do not

this is not what his

audience wants to hear. His
audience wants to hear
that it is psychologically
normal to hate people
because of a legacy from
the middle ages
antisematism is part of the
problem of nationalismOrwell
is hoping that nationalism of
the intellectual kind will
come around and maybe that
will change something. Orwell
also mentions that nationalism
happens everywhere and
hatred towards another race
for whatever reason will
happen everywhere. This is
him reassuring his audience
again its ok to hate because
everyone else does it which is
disturbingly true to some
the last statement makes the
audience question, is he
advocating for the stop of
antisemitism and nationalism,
or the stop of neither because
it is described here as a one
goes the other has to go