History of European Ideas 33 (2007) 330–349

What ‘The Father’ had in mind? Arthur Ruppin (1876–1943), cultural identity, weltanschauung and action
Etan Bloom
Simtat Hamaalot, 4, Ramat Hasharon, Israel Available online 17 May 2007

Abstract Arthur Ruppin was the central figure in the Zionist colonization project in Palestine-Land of Israel in the decades preceded the establishment of the state of Israel. Ruppin’s immense contribution gave him in Zionist historiography the title of ‘The Father of Jewish settlement in Palestine.’ Nevertheless, in spite of the title ‘Father’, Zionist historiography actually treats him as a ‘Zionist clerk,’ diminishing his role to an apolitical expert on bureaucracy and the economy. Exploring the reasons for his ambiguous position in Zionist historiography and memory, the historical account in the following article reveals how formative were his activities not only in the establishment of the bureaucratic field of the Yishuv (pre-state of Israel), but also in producing and disseminating the modern Hebrew identity models, consequently the article analyzes the relation of these models to the German-social Darwinist perceptions and practices, which shaped Ruppin’s cultural identity, weltanschauung and actions. r 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Introduction At the end of the 19th century the position of the Jew in Europe was defined increasingly in terms of the emerging paradigm and weltanschauung of social Darwinism, which consequently became a central source of inspiration for the Zionist desire to transform the Jewish body and mind. This urge resulted in part from the Zionists internalization of the projective identification attached to the Jews by Western and particularly German culture. Their ideas for the new Zionist community that they envisioned reflected their aspiration to
E-mail address: 0191-6599/$ - see front matter r 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. doi:10.1016/j.histeuroideas.2007.02.002

E. Bloom / History of European Ideas 33 (2007) 330–349 331

heal the faults and diseases attributed to the Jews by the medical, social and cultural repertoires of modern Europe. Unsurprisingly, then, the qualities promoted by the modern Hebrew repertoire were more or less the symmetrical opposites of all the negative qualities the European repertoire attributed to the Jews from greed and materialism to over mercifulness, anti social behavior and even blackness.1 Researching the meaning of this ambivalent similarity between modern anti-Semitism and the modern Hebrew cultural identity and in particular the practices this relationship brought about in the Zionist social field in Palestine-Land of Israel soon led me to the historical persona of Arthur Ruppin (1876–1943).

Ruppin’s activities: an overview Dr. Arthur Ruppin, was sent to Palestine for the first time in 1907 by the heads of the German [world] Zionist Organization to make a pilot study of the possibilities for colonization. After a few months he presented a concrete operative plan and was then appointed representative of the Zionist movement in Palestine and director of the Palestine Office, which he himself founded (1908). Soon he became the ‘central colonizer’ of the new Zionist colony.2 Between 1908 and 1942, there was hardly any large scale national undertaking in Palestine—economic, juridical, diplomatic or educational—in which Ruppin was not involved at the highest level. From the start he worked to implement his vision of creating a modern Hebrew social field in a model of a state3 Ruppin’s ambition was to create an administrative and cultural autonomy independent of both the authorities and the Arab population. Ruppin’s most important responsibility was to purchase land in Palestine and establish Jewish settlements of all types. Consequently, the distribution of the population within the Jewish enclave, as well as the borders of the partition plans of 1939 and 1949 were determined to a large extent by the policy he dictated to the Palestine Land Development Company4—which he founded—and to the Jewish National Fund of which he was a central member. Historians of education see in him the one who established the system of education of the Yishuv (pre-state of Israel)5 while historians of law claim that his activities during that period systematically prepared the basis for a possible legal system and its institutions, and for the establishment of the Ministry of Justice.6 Ruppin also carried out intensive academic research and was internationally renowned as an expert in the sociology, demography and anthropology of the Jews. His numerous
1 In the German 19th century culture ‘blackness’ was not only racial inferiority but reflected the diseased nature of the Jew. S.L. Gilman. The Jew’s Body. (New York, 1991) 172. 2 Berl Katznelson. ‘On Ruppin’. Arthur Ruppin: Chapters of My Life, Diaries, Letters and Memoirs, 3 vols. Ed. Alex Bein (Heb.). (Tel Aviv, 1968) i, 9–31, 30. Author’s translation of the original term. 3 Central Zionist Archive (CZA), Z 2/631. 4 The Palestine Land Development Company was established in 1909 by Ruppin and Otto Warburg as an instrument for the acquisition and development of land in Palestine. 5 Shur Shimon A. (Heb.). ‘Arthur Ruppin and the Economy of Hebrew Education’. HaZionut 22 (2001) 184–179, 183. R. Elboim-Dror (Heb.). The Hebrew Education in the Land of Israel. (Jerusalem, 1986) 32–36. 6 Sela-Sheffy Rakefet. ‘Integration through Distinction: German-Jewish Immigrants, the Legal Profession and Patterns of Bourgeois Culture in British-ruled Jewish Palestine’. Journal of Historical Sociology 19 (2006).

See also Mitchell B. Identitatsmuster im deutsch-judischen Burgertum und unter ostjudischen Einwanderern ¨ ¨ ¨ ¨ 1871– 1933. 1996) 77). Hart. Identitatsmuster (1997) 112. 1984) 44–57. hand gesticulations and fantastic behavior of his bankrupt peddler father.9 and he is usually depicted as an apolitical expert on bureaucracy and the economy and his persona does not hold any notable significance in the Israeli collective memory. 1993) 13). New York. ‘Redefining Judaism in Imperial Germany: Practices. see Y. Kaplan Marion. (Heb. Uri (Ed. Many historians agree that Ruppin was responsible for the ‘foundation and structure of the settlement in the land from the 1920s until the establishment of the state. Reinharz (Heb. Influenced. in Zionist historiography of ‘The Father of Jewish settlement in Palestine’.7 Ruppin’s immense contribution to the Zionist movement gave him the title. Gilman. in spite of the title ‘Father’. 9). ‘Arthur Ruppin and the Zionist Settlement’. From the beginning of the 19th century. and Poland.). (Nabraska. and capitalism in the German-Jewish context’. he earned the epithets ‘‘the founder of German-Jewish demography’’ (Sander L. in addition to confiscating Polish lands. M. (Hildesheim.11 to a culture which sanctified masculinity and science12 Ruppin differentiated himself from his parents and from Jewishness.10 He identified with the education system of the Prussian state.L. ‘Jews. Bloom / History of European Ideas 33 (2007) 330–349 books and articles are considered the first serious attempt in the modern era to carry out scientific research on the Jews.). the Prussians operated in this space as ‘cultural colonizers’ and. like other Jews. and its heroes served him as substitutes for his Jewish-Polish father. . a small town in the eastern Prussian province of Posen—a vague cultural and geographical area between Germany. Zionism and the Creation of a New Society. tried to establish their dominance by Germanizing the population and rejecting Polish culture and language. and Community’. 9 B. which considered Poznan (its Polish name) part of its historical and national territory. race. Jewish History 19 (2005) 49–63. and presents Ruppin rather as a central Zionist culture planner who reevaluated and revised his plans according to the changing needs of the social field. 12 Y. (Tel Aviv. ‘Max Nordau and Sigmund Freud: The Question of Conversion’. by 7 For these scientific achievements. R. Smart Jews.’8 Nevertheless. The Construction of the Image of Jewish Superior Intelligence. though one progressive in his views’.). (Jerusalm. Rieker. from his Jewish-East EuropeanPolish identity to a modern-German identity. ‘‘the founder of the sociology of the Jews’’ (S. 1903– 1914. from the ‘superstitious’ beliefs of his mother and the embarrassing Yiddish language. Naor. Kindheiten. The Second Aliya. Zionist historiography actually treats him as a ‘Zionist clerk. and as one of the main producers and disseminators of the modern Hebrew identity models and habitus. 8 Shilo Margalit (Heb. 1997) 109. Jewish Social Studies 22 (2002).ARTICLE IN PRESS 332 E. Ruppin’s cultural identity was a clear product of Prussian indoctrination in Posen and like most of the Jews in the region he aspired to be accepted into the German culture. Cultural identity Arthur (Shimon) Ruppin was born (1876) in Rawitsch (Polish: Rawicz). 47. ‘‘the father of Israel’s sociology’’. Southern Humanities Review 27 (1993) 1–25. (Jerusalem. ¨ Mentalities. The Israeli Society: Critical Aspects. ¨ 11 Bein (Ed. The historical account that follows deals with the reasons for his ambiguous position.).). Rieker. Ruppin: Chapters (1968) 155–156. J. With this move. Halpern. 10 Many Jews in this area considered themselves to be pioneers and disseminators of modernization in the Eastern Provinces of Prussia (a self-image that was created partly as result of government manipulation). Zurich. which aspired to intensify its presence there. 2000) 237. Gilman.

a constant urge to influence reality.16 Ruppin’s identification with the rising German anti-Semitism mainly expressed his disappointment with traditional German Jewish liberalism and its ‘enlightened’ plans for emancipation. which reflected the new popular Darwinist literature that he seems to have felt concealed some kind of ‘truth’ that might lead him to redemption or destruction. These feelings of inferiority accompanied him in his hyper-bildung. Bloom / History of European Ideas 33 (2007) 330–349 333 the anti-Semitic discourse. predisposed by mystical vo ¨lkisch astralism. Tagebuch. This reading of Judentum through Deutschtum adopted a new vocabulary and meaning as a ` result of the alteration in the categories and definitions of the Jew in fin-de-siecle German culture.D. he felt complete identification with the anti-Semitic parties. on Blumenfeld see Ruth Pierson. London. (Berkeley. Nordau and Jabutisnky. (California. he fills his diaries with his aversion to the Jewish physique and appearance. the concept of weltanschauung had a meaning of ‘activation’ (Einschaltung). through conscious identification and ¨ intellectual cultivation. meant that his understanding of it derived from the German repertoire and habitus15—one of the reasons for his ambivalent and fragmented representation in the Israeli historiography. 15 The first time Ruppin studied Hebrew in a formal way (for one semester) was together with his friend Gustav Wyneken (1875–1964)—later to become one of the leaders of the German youth movement—at the Institute for Protestant Theology in Berlin University. There are many examples of this pattern from Herzl to Blumenfeld. Dissertation. Like many Zionist leaders. He taught himself to swim. a long and demanding process of acquiring the body and mentality of the ideal Prussian models. In his late youth and early adulthood. In this context of the struggle against the Ruppin. he arrived at Judaism through Zionism to which he came after many attempts to be accepted by the German culture. (Yale University. Dissertation. Los Angeles. 16 Ruppin. leading him to explore different methods for transforming the Jews. 17 Bein (Ed. 139. the Rise of Heterosexuality and the Invention of the Jewish Man. detached from ‘real life’. The Central European Zionism versus German Ideologies. [24 April 1892] (CZA A107/217). On Herzl see D. and even asked to be accepted by one of them as a ‘German patriot’. Unheroic Conduct. Tagebuch [15 Dezember 1893] (CZA A107). 14 13 . as well as to his own ‘ugliness’. (Tel Aviv University.D. 2001). Weltanschauung It is important to understand Ruppin’s models of perception (including his theories) in the context of the specific meaning of the German concept Weltanschauung. excelled in fencing. Ruppin’s need to define himself in terms of this concept must be understood as his attempt to ‘feel’ the German habitus and to ‘correct’ in himself the prevailing stereotype of the Jew as a passive observer. expressed mainly through mastery of the German language and literature. which he saw as superficial and artificial. In those optimistic days he still believed it possible for even a Jew to become part of the German Volk—‘[y] ich mich voll und ganz als Deutscher fuhle’13—by sheer willpower. In 1893. 1970) 13. Zionism and the Finde-Siecle: Cosmopolitanism and Nationalism from Nordau to Jabotinsky. with regard to Herzl. which Ruppin himself uses in his memoirs.).17 As opposed to ‘theory’. quoted in Joachim Doron (Heb.14 His not perceiving Judaism through direct contact with its traditions or languages (Yiddish or Hebrew). a Ph. see Michael Stanislawski. 1885– 1914. 1997) 125.). German Jewish Identity In The Weimar Republic. a Ph. prior to the Reichstag elections.ARTICLE IN PRESS E. Ruppin: Chapters (1968) i. with which he aspired to ‘unite’. Boyarin. 1977) 139. gymnastics and dancing and practiced cycling and shooting in the forest. Ruppin began to formulate his perceptions of culture in racial terms.

1870–1918.22 Haeckel perceived the principal of natural selection as the gravitational force of human culture.’Ruppin. 215. Gustav ¨ Wyneken (1875–1964). 20 At an early stage of his life. quoted in D. who was depicted by him as a ‘prachtiger Germanentyp. 40. ¨ 52. all forces. ¨ ¨ 22 See B. claiming that his scientific work was no less important for the Zionist movement than his participation in the executive committee: ‘the ideology of Zionism is part of The Sociology of the Jews [1930] which I wrote’. the biologist Ernst Haeckel (1834–1919). which always contained an urge to change the physical and mental reality of the Jews in the modern world. the anthropologist Felix von Luschan (1854–1924).). 44. Bein (Ed. the young Reformpadagoge and one of the future leaders of the German youth movement. and also wrote a doctoral thesis in political-economy (Nationalokonomie). 2005) 25. whom Ruppin admired since his youth. Ruppin. particularly those concerning selection. Ruppin: Chapters (1968) iii. One of the main producers in Germany of this paradigm.J. and its popular repertoire. [26 August 1898]. Tagebuch [December 1. race relations and the survival of the fittest. 1991) 83. was the blond blue eyed biologist Ernst Haeckel. a ‘dramatist. with scientists becoming priests able to solve and the ‘riddles of the world’. Arthur Ruppin. Theophysis.19 The theoretical sources for this sociology can be traced in several schools. The main figures were the cultural historian Houston Stewart Chamberlain (1855–1927). after reading Nordau’s The Conventional Lies of our Civilization. A107/217. he wrote in his diary that he wanted to be someone like Nordau. CZA. Weimar. Erinnerungen.ARTICLE IN PRESS 334 E. Krolik (Ed. Ernst Haeckels Philosophie des Naturganzen. Darwin and Lamarck. Zionism and Technocracy. and viewed the world as a constant struggle for existence. Bloom / History of European Ideas 33 (2007) 330–349 ‘reflective’ (Reflexionisten)18 nature of the Jew—his excess intellectualism—we must realize Ruppin’s special weltanschauung. Tagebuch. 1985) 95. and social reformer. the economist Werner Sombart (1863–1941). 1894]. Briefe. known in the following years as ‘racial hygiene’ (Rassenhygiene) or ‘eugenics’. world-improver. the zoologist August Weismann (1834–1919). and offered an immediate solution to the crisis of German culture following industrialization and urbanization. Haeckel described his weltanschauung as a new ‘natural religion’ which finally made possible a true understanding of the ‘book of nature’. (Koln. These ideas provided a clear and legitimate weltanschauung as a substitute for the declining power of religion. scholars and scientists from the end of the 19th century. 21 S. Tagebucher. The Engineering of Jewish Settlement in Palestine. one of Ruppin’s academic patrons and a central father figure of his weltanschauung. The only Zionist—and the only Jew–who influenced him in the same meaningful way was Max Nordau (1849–1923). his real intellectual curiosity and first academic ¨ success were in the field of the new interdisciplinary paradigm. Kleeberg. the purely physico-chemical as well as the organic and human.’21 In his ¨ monistic interpretation of Goethe. Penslar. In Haeckel’s monistic universe. (Bloomington.). (Konigstein. and his close friend. sprang ultimately from one primal ‘life force’ (Lebenskraft). the philosophers Friedrich Nietzsche (1844–1900) and Hans Vaihinger (1852–1933). 70. Many times he rejected any alleged sign of such reflectiveness in his own personality. The second and more radical step that Haeckel and followers like Ruppin took was to ‘help’ nature enforce on human society what they held to be its laws. 19 18 .20 Although Ruppin had a promising career as a lawyer.

Cassirer. ‘Work. The competition (later known as the Krupp Prize) and its subsequent publications mark a turning point in the acceptance of eugenics in Germany. in 23 Conrad was an expert in political economy (Nationalo ¨konomie) and was the editor of the influential Jahrbucher fur Nationalo ¨ ¨ ¨konomie und Statistik from 1870. Kapital und Weltanschuung—Das Kruppsche Preisausschreiben und der Sozialdarwinismus. 123. which was regarded more and more in terms of ‘energy’ and ‘Menschenmaterial. who wished to organize their factories efficiently so as to increase their profits and thwart the rise of independent socialists organizations. ‘Moderne Weltanschauung und Nietzsche’sche Philosophie’. Die Gegenwart (63/10. Darwinismus und Sozialwissenschaft. 1950) 161. promoting the idea that social welfare and education must be combined with a program of eugenics in which invalids and the mentally ill would be encouraged to abstain from childbearing. 24 For more on the significance of Krupp Prize. a concept that indicated the intellectual status of a producer of knowledge. 1992) 182.24 Haeckel and the Monist League which he established in Jena (1906) to disseminate ‘Darwinism as a weltanschauung. Their particular interest was in theories concerning the selection (Selektionstheorie) of the power force.1903) 147ff.ARTICLE IN PRESS E. Zionism and Technocracy.28 It was with the decisiveness of a Weichensteller that. Though he acknowledged the sacrifice that his bio-medical vision inflicted upon the individual.27 The Weichensteller and his ‘modern weltanschauung’ According to Max Weber. (New Haven. (Berkeley. Social History 23/1 (1998) 31–62. ¨ Naturwissenschaft. 1870–1918. linked to the creation of change. Medizinhistorisches Journal 30 (1995) 2ff. 45f. Energy. 56. 28 The political potential of the Weichensteller enables the intellectual to be a model for imitation.23 Ruppin entered and took second prize in a unique academic competition. The Engineering of Jewish Settlement in Palestine.’26 Ruppin’s weltanschauung and his position as a researcher were set then at the crossroads between the social Darwinist eugenicists. 26 On the concept of ‘energy’ in this context see: A. 91f.J.’25 were massively supported by the mega German factory owners such as Krupp in the Ruhr and Stumm in the Saar. a . The Problem of Knowledge. the ideal personality in the German universities at the time. Winning the Krupp prize gave Ruppin an entry into exclusive circles and academic journals. On the connection between the Krupp Prize and the distribution of racial hygiene ideas see: Dennis Sweeney. was that of a Weichensteller (literally. 25 E. Weber’s concept expresses not only a relationship to others but also a disposition and a state of mind. he supported the state and its crucial function and gave it the decisive right to intervene in the life of the individual. 1903) 31. D. and History since Hegel. The Human Motor. Penslar. (Indiana. and the Origins of Modernity. Rabinbach. who wished to implement their theories in social reality and the capital owners. Bloom / History of European Ideas 33 (2007) 330–349 335 With the encouragement of his fellow student Gustav Wyneken and his doctoral professor Johannes Conrad (1839–1915). 36. (Jena. 64. Fatigue. 27 Ruppin Arthur. formulated and supervised by Haeckel that asked for ways of applying Darwinism to the organization of society and state. while the substantial prize money enabled him to continue his researches and to begin his Zionist activities. Ruppin’s essay analyzed the applicability of Darwin’s theory to organizing society and the state and expressed enthusiastic belief in the power of social engineering to elevate man to a new level of morality and freedom. His winning essay was published in 1903 under the title: Darwinismus und Socialwissenschaft (Darwinism and the Social Sciences). a pointsman or switchman). in particular for middle-class students. Race and the Transformation of Industrial Culture in Wilhelmine Germany’. see Klaus-Dieter Thomann & Werner Friedrich Kummel. in other words. Philosophy. who hoped to implement the Darwinist theories in their factories. 1991) 86–87. Science.

was the way he defined the ¨ relation of the Ubermensch to the Mensch as the same as the relation of human beings to animals. 33 Arthur Ruppin. Die Volksmehrung’. Health. 36 Arthur Ruppin. Ruppin expressed his bio-utopian weltanschauung.32 One of the themes which might illuminate his future behavior. 37 Rabinbach.36 In other words. and designated explicitly the Darwinist weltanschauung of the Monist League. Die Gegenwart (LXIII. invoking Nietzsche. No.35 Weismann’s ideas gave Ruppin an important insight into the essence of Unsterblichkeit (immortality). 30 The term ‘moderne weltanschauung’ used many eugenics. he challenged the liberal notion of the supremacy of the individual: ‘Should not changes in the needs of the state entail revisions in morality?’ he asked rhetorically. which will illuminate his actions in Palestine. ¨ 29 Ruppin. see P. in the last article of his Die Gegenwart ¨ bio-social writings Tod und Unsterblichkeit (Death and Immortality). 38 Kleebergd. Die Gegenwart. 1903) 147–149. No.33 In the concluding paragraph. In the first. he revealed to his readers. see also Hart. No.29 In the second article: Moderne Weltanschauung und Nietzsche’sche Philosophie30 (1903). 35 Arthur Ruppin.ARTICLE IN PRESS 336 E. Social Science (2000) 62. This weltanschauung. which is described by Rabinbach as ‘transcendental materialism’ 37or. (Tubingen. 10. he concluded that the quality of individuals was. Die Gegenwart (LXIII. No. 1903) 147–149. Die Gegenwart (LXIII. and. 149. Tod und Unsterblichkeit. of equal or of greater importance to their quantity. 10. the Jew is a Jew because he has a Jewish biology. Ruppin’s forgotten articles in Die Gegenwart reveal his weltanschauung a few years prior to his activity in the Zionist movement. 10. 1903) 197. in the biological material and not in that of the human spirit. ‘Moderne’ Weltanschauung und Nietzsche’sche Philosophie’. ‘theophysis’. (Cambridge. Die Gegenwart (LXIII. a weltanschauung. Die Gegenwart (LXIII. See Elisabeth Albanis. It was clear to him that such a person must be developed–‘like other animals’–only among those who are physically similar to him (nur im Verbande mit Gleichen [y] gleich in Bezug auf korperliche ¨ ¨ Organisation)31. it is embedded. 149. 1870– 1945. ‘Moderne’ Weltanschauung und Nietzsche’sche Philosophie’. Tod und Unsterblichkeit. Bloom / History of European Ideas 33 (2007) 330–349 three articles he published in the journal Die Gegenwart (The Present) in 1902–1903. . 13. 1903) 147–149. 1903) 147–149. 1989) 128. 13. 2002) 39. Die Volksmehrung (1902). 149. ‘Moderne’ Weltanschauung und Nietzsche’sche Philosophie’. Weindling. The Ubermensch has enormous importance for the state since he sets an ideal model for imitation. fitted the ‘modern weltanschauung’ of Haeckel and his likes. 10. Die Gegenwart (LXIII. Theophysis (2005). and must be. Ruppin discussed among other matters the concept of ¨ the Ubermensch. ‘Moderne’ Weltanschauung und Nietzsche’sche Philosophie’. German-Jewish Cultural Identity from 1900 to the Aftermath of the First World War. No. 34 Arthur Ruppin. 47 [22 November] 1902) 321–323.38 Both definitions reflect the paradoxical (footnote continued) specific self-perception and weltanschauung. 32 Arthur Ruppin. Ruppin emphasized that in the ideal state the citizens had to be fully aware of the impact of their sexual activities on the state and subordinate them to the ‘advancement’ (Forderung) and ‘superior formation’ (Hoherbildung) of the race.34 A few months later. as Kleeberg described it recently. No. (XXXI. which he interpreted in a biological sense. thus a change in his biology will change his spirit. The Human Motor (1992) 20. but also physical and biological. No. 1903) 196–197. Race and German politics between national unification and Nazism. he presented a popularwissenschaftliche explanation and reflection of the German zoologist August ¨ Weismann’s theories. which is not only mental. 31 Arthur Ruppin. 149.

(Bloomington and Indianapolis. At the end of 1903. Ruppin: Chapters (1968) i. Warsaw. Vienna.44 The Buro. Klage eines Juden’. At the same time as he reached the peak of his success and fulfilled his academic and personal ambitions beyond all expectation. see Bein (Ed. In his diary. (New Haven. and he gradually came to the conclusion that he did not want to belong to a state that did not want him. established a network of branches in Hamburg. 41 Stepan Nancy Leys and Gilman Sander L. he described the rise of anti-Semitism at that time as an ‘avalanche’. 44 `cle Europe. Odessa. Tomsk and Bern within a year of its founding. imposing progressive and professional methods. 107/950.). 182. Ruppin strongly identified with the victims and their plight. 1993) 170–193.8. in which I was raised and disciplined. In 1903. he began to see positive sides in the Jewish Volk and his relation to it.40 This period of crisis was the background to his move to Zionism.39 ‘Without a homeland that will love me/my heart is so heavy and sad/ my country from childhood. he went to Berlin to accept a post with the newly founded office for Jewish statistics. The first stage of this transvaluation was accompanied by a strong emotional identification with the most rejected group of Jews in the German culture at that time—the group from which he had differentiated himself so passionately in his youth—the Ostjuden.).41 Instead of being ashamed of his Jewishness and rejecting it. The rejection and the beginning of his Zionist activity From 1902 until 1907—the year he came to Palestine for the first time—Ruppin practiced law as a junior barrister (Referendar). Bloom / History of European Ideas 33 (2007) 330–349 337 metaphysical and religious dimensions of Ruppin’s ‘modern weltanschauung’. The aim of the Buro was to curb the ¨ On his experiences in the juridical field. The following years will be stamped by the change in his outlook. 40 39 . Defenders of the Race: Jewish Doctors and Race Science in Fin-de-Sie 1994) 167. 189. Buro fur Statistik der ¨ ¨ Juden (Office of Jewish Statistics in Berlin) and soon became its director. Tagebuch [31. metaphysical or religious but assumed a rigorous scientific fac ade and conviction. he traveled to Galicia to record anthropological observations and amass material for a study of Easter and Central European Jewry.43 In the fall of 1904.1902]. CZA.ARTICLE IN PRESS E. Tagebuch [31 December 1903] CZA. Efron. J. assessor and then State Prosecutor. Harding Sandra (Ed. Lemberg.M. which for him was not at all ideological. Ruppin. he experienced anti-Semitic social rejection in a way that previously he had not. This kind of change of cultural identity is similar to what Stepan and Gilman termed transvaluation. Bein (Ed. 42 There are many indications for that in his diary. as he did during his childhood and youth. A 107/336. In the juridical social field. he wrote that he had decided to dedicate his future studies and writings to Jewish subjects. ‘Appropriating the Idioms of Science: The Rejection of Scientific Racism’. Ruppin: Chapters (1968) i. he also felt the immutability of anti-Semitic rejection and his inability to cope with it any longer. See for example his disturbed comments on the anti-Semitic attacks on Jews. 28. does not love me. 43 Ruppin. founded by Alfred Nossig (1864–1943) ¨ in 1902. a move that was paralleled by the reversal of the set of racial hierarchies and stereotypes that he had internalized in his initiation process into the German culture.42 This period marks the end of his journey as an outsider into the ‘perfect’ dominant group of his imagination. The ‘‘Racial’’ Economy of Science: Toward a Democratic Future. his interaction with the anti-Semitism of the German juridical field shattered his fantasy of acceptance.). Gedicht ‘Kein Vaterland.’ he wrote in his diary poem ‘Without a homeland’ (Kein Vaterland).

[rev. once so solid’. but the last desperate stand of the Jews against annihilation. ¨ 47 Manuscript of Ruppin’s dairy translated into English. ‘The ‘‘Administrative Knight’’—Arthur Ruppin and the Rise of Zionist Statistics’. . 187. ed. Hans Kohn and Hannah Arendt both stressed that Zionism was shaped by the German model of nationalism. (London. Eine Sozialwissenschaftliche Studie (Berlin. LBI Archives. It can be seen as a crucial step in the unification of the Jews as a modern nation represented by the Zionist movement.’ In the last lines of the text. 117. G. which rejected the ‘Western civic ideals’ and the democratic. the notion of Volk is quite different from that of ‘nation’ or ‘people’ in English. Ruppin remained the director of the Buro for only a short time. George L. Volk denotes a specific kind of relationship. all these helped conserve the race as a ‘religious organization admirably adapted for endurance—for the physical and cultural preservation of the Jewish 45 On Rppin’s role in the emergence of Zionist statistics and its importance for the Zionist field of power see Etan Bloom. Unknown translator and date. the dietary laws. in Michael Selzer (Ed. Die Juden der Gegenwart. The data culled by the Buro from publications around the world constituted ¨ the raw material for Ruppin’s demographic work. he stated that throughout their history the Jews succeeded in preserving their racial purity mainly by means of rituals and traditions aimed at preventing assimilation—the prohibition on intermarriage and eating with non-Jews. The Jews of Today. its meaning and significance have become blurred as a result of differing Hebrew and English translation strategies. the sanctity of the Torah. of which Ruppin was the editor. The Crisis of German Ideology. he wrote in the first sentence. 48 Ruppin. 1970) 175–212. See also Hans Kohn.). which became the basis for the sociological researches and the numerous diplomatic and juridical negotiations concerning the Jews in the twentieth century. L. universalistic models of the American and French Revolutions. 1904. (London. Mosse has noted that in the specific context of the German discourse.] (Koln/Leipzig. Conversion and intermarriage are thinning the ranks of Jews in every direction. Strongly influenced by the writings of Chamberlain. 46 Ruppin. 1913). Bloom / History of European Ideas 33 (2007) 330–349 rising rate of assimilation and fight anti-Semitism using statistical data. Mosse. The Buro collected ¨ statistical data concerning the Jews and published them in its Zeitschrift fur Demographie ¨ und Statistik der Juden (Journal of Jewish Demography and Statistics).ARTICLE IN PRESS 338 E. New York. Zionism Reconsidered: The Rejection of Jewish Normalcy.45 Juden der Gegenwart (Jews of the Present) Ruppin’s most influential book Juden der Gegenwart (1904/1913)46 was not only ‘the first scientific exposition of Zionism’ according to Ruppin himself.47 The bottom line of this book is that the Jewish nation is in danger of extinction and the only remedy is Zionism: ‘The structure of Judaism. emphasizing the connection or unification of a group with some kind of transcendent entity as well as a particular land.’48 Ruppin explains the fall of the Jewish Volk49 as due to the collapse of the religious framework which threatened to dissolve its cohesiveness. yet this period was ¨ significant both for his own development as a social scientist and for the organizing of the first bank of data of Jewish statistics and demography. The Tel Aviv University Year Book for German History (XXXV 2007) 183–203. More than a group of people whose members share some sort of connection. (New York. The Jews of Today (1913) 300. 49 Note that though this is the term Ruppin used in most of his writings. ‘is crumbling before our very eyes. but also ‘the theoretical foundation of my practical work [in Palestine]’. 1964) 4f. 1911). he writes: ‘Zionism is not a mere nationalistic or chauvinistic caprice. 115. ‘Zion and the Jewish National Idea’.

g. he suggested here a profound and long process of biological improvement. the way to tackle this excessive ‘mercantile instinct’ (which Ruppin linked to the Semitic element). Bloom / History of European Ideas 33 (2007) 330–349 339 people. American Jewish History 85. E.. 73. ‘Moses the Microbiologist: Judaism and Social Hygiene in the Work of Alfred Nossig’. Jewish Self-Hatred. B. The Jews of Today (1913) 139. and he asserted that in order to produce a culture of their own. The Jews of Today (1913) 265. Moses. 206. would solved by upgrading and preserving the purity of the Jewish racial components and one of the main drives of this eugenic plan was an attempt to achieve the collective suppression of the ‘mercantile instinct’. without mixing it with others.54 The idea of segregation was central to Ruppin’s eugenic planning. Uriel (Heb. because only in such a way would a full restoration of its racial characteristics be possible’ (Heb. he thought. the Rabbis of the Talmud. the Jews had to be concentrated in closed communities.3 (1997) 195–230. in this case. ¨ and other Jewish luminaries. was again by preserving the purity of the Jewish race: racial mixing (Rassenvermischung) was not to be recommended since intermarriage weakened what he called the ‘race-character’: ‘[y] Intermarriage being clearly detrimental to the preservation of the high qualities of the race. Many problems. The Jews of Today (1913) 227–228. the Jews must live separately from any other culture. (London. i. 54 Ruppin. Instead of the superficial change of the emancipation model. Defenders of the Race (1994).: T. Hart Mitchel. Gilman. out of the culture of the East European Jews. and that it was important ‘to preserve this selected human type in the future as well. The idea that Jewish anomaly results from racial mixture was shared among many anti-Semitic writers.). (The Hebrew version of The Jews of Today) 162.51 a position that Ruppin would very soon assume in the newly emerging Jewish Volk. 51 50 .g. see e. 53 Ruppin. Ruppin’s theory in Juden der Gegenwart was the outcome of his long quest for the true way to transform the Jews.ARTICLE IN PRESS E. Rogoff Leonard.’50 In Ruppin’s weltanschauung. 52 Ruppin. Ruppin’s theory concerning the ‘mercantile instinct’ of the Jew was largely based on that of the German economist Werner Sombart who believed that the Jews were biologically. Jewish Social Studies 2:1 (1995) 72–97.e. S. Efron. were first and foremost physicians (Arzte) and administrators—the equivalents of modern medical authorities and sanitation officials—whose task was to preserve the physical and moral health of the Volk. Consequently. ‘Is the Jew White?: The Racial Place of the Southern Jew’. and he even puts the prophet’s prophecies into this biological context: ‘Als Motto fur die Eugenic konnte des Wort von Ezechiel dienen: ‘‘Die Vater aXen saure Trauen und ¨ ¨ ¨ Ruppin. 1986) 7. The Jews of Today (1913) 235. A Study in the Rise of German Totalitarianism.52 Ruppin’s constant aspiration for racial purity in the Jews emerged from within the scientific and medical discourse which praised racial purity. it follows that it is necessary to try to prevent it and to preserve Jewish separatism’. Like with other Jewish flaws. see. As well as among most of the Jewish anthropologists. Christians and Jews in the ‘‘Second Reich’’ (1870–1914). Maimonides.L.). it can only grow out of a living national life. (Jerusalem.’53 In order to prevent assimilation and improve their racial quality. he came to the conclusion that the new Jewish culture could not be based on a widely diverse racial pool: ‘A civilization cannot be put together like a mosaic. 1985).55 Ruppin interpreted Judaism as a constant struggle for the preservation of its racial purity. The Jews of This Time (Odessa. 55 Ruppin emphasized that the segregation of the Jews was crucial not only for the first period. intellectually and morally programmed to capitalism and inclined to undisciplined capitalist behavior. 1914). and perceived the Jewish race as a radical example of a race that violated such an ideal.

Ruppin. detached the Jews from nature. even before bringing the Jews back to their soil in order to decide on their adaptability to it. which immunized the Ashkenazi Jews. and thus distorted the principle of racial preservation. Ruppin (Heb. i. especially the one he defined as the Bedouin (Beduinentypus) or ¨ ‘Oriental type’.. Bloom / History of European Ideas 33 (2007) 330–349 den Sohnen werden die Zahne stumpf.). 59 Ruppin. the first mission of the Zionist movement was to locate the group of ‘original Jews’. it is the Semites. in their ‘life force’ or their Lebenszahigkeit the ‘powerful struggle for life’—–this bio-mystic force—which enables the ¨ Volk and the individual to survive in the struggle for existence (Daseinskampf). 3 vols. 29.61 and. They showed none of the signs for eugenic regeneration found in at least some East European Jews and there was clear evidence of their being in a process of biological degeneration. he declared.’’56 But what are the ‘sour grapes’ that the fathers ¨ ¨ ate according to Ruppin’s bio-medical interpretation of the prophet Ezekiel? Why are the children’s teeth set on edge? The answer to this question is formulated only indirectly in Ruppin’s writings but a careful reading reveals that for him. (Heb. 201. This force. 61 E. How were they to be assembled? Since his vo ¨lkisch perception asserted a biological connection between the Volk and the soil. enabled him to distance the Jews from the Semitic race and accept European race theories concerning its inferiority.62 Ruppin’s theory.g. (Tel Aviv.). especially. 1931) ii.60.59 Nevertheless. Die Juden der Gegenwart (1911) 283. which held up the process of purification of the Indo-Germanic race that would eventually produce a superior Aryan race. 29. 62 Ruppin. which defined Judaism in terms of race and saw the Ashkenazim as its Ur (original) and vital element in the modern era.ARTICLE IN PRESS 340 E. The Semitic element. Soziologie der Juden (Berlin. The Oriental and Sephardic Jews. which began at some point to mingle with the Semitic tribes. (Heb.57 Ruppin’s plan aspired then to weed out or to reduce the Semitic elements within the Jewish race and to restore its desirable racial balance. Soziologie (1930) i. 2 vols. It is not the Jews who are avaricious. Ruppin takes an important decision. 60 Ruppin. Uriel (Heb. the reason for the deterioration of the ‘original Jewish’ (Urjude) Volk was the increase of the Semitic element in the Jewish Volkskorper.) Sociology (1933) ii. 78. The Jews of Today (1914) 214.58 Thus. The Sociology of the Jews. 1930).. the main group of ‘pure race’ Jews must come from among the eastern European Jews. were not suitable since they carried Semitic dysgenic elements. Ruppin explicitly stressed the superiority of the Ashkenazi Jews over the Sephardic-Oriental Jews in all fields. and that the superior Jewish elements were related to the IndoGermanic family rather than the Semitic. the original Jews actually belonged to non-Semitic Indo-Germanic tribes. 58 The source for this idea was probably Chamberlain who claimed that the most important thing for Germany was to get rid of the Semitic elements. Such distinctions and speculations led Ruppin to conclude that the Semitic element in the Jewish Volk was declining. . which gradually gained dominance. Ruppin. from their native soil and from their productive agricultural way of life and thus developed in them–even prior to the first exile–their uncontrollable mercantile instinct. did not exist in the Sephardic-Oriental Jews. those who had a direct biological link to the ancient Hebrews. 22. Sociology (1931) i. In all his writings. Soziologie (1930) i. the biological transformation of the Jew had to take place in contact with his original land. 57 See e.) Christians and Jews in the ‘‘Second Reich’’ (1985) 230. If the Semitic element is dysgenic. 59–60. 56 Ruppin. among whom it will be easier to locate non-Semitic ‘elements’.g.

104. 64 Ruppin (Heb. 1936) 63. Furthermore. C.65At the same time he and his Office did everything they could to prevent the penetration of negative or rather dysgenic ‘elements. did not the conversion of Europe to Christianity represent a form of Semitization? Gradually. a warrior race that swept down from the mountains of Asia to conquer Europe. Racial Anthropology and Genetics in the Dialectic of Volk.). Zabutinski. 68 He continued with this approach in the 1920s and 1930s as well. Israel’s Racial Origin and Migration. reviewing Ruppin’s particular weltanschauung reveals how fundamental the concept of race was in the Zionist leadership’s perception.H.ARTICLE IN PRESS E. (Cambridge. Galton). (Jerusalem 2004) 173.63 This ‘Aryanization of the Jew’ enabled Chamberlain.68 According to new data of Gur Alroey. (Ruppin’s speech at the 11th Zionist Congress. Action I told myself: in the beginning was the action.). In this regard Ruppin is typical and not an anomaly. ¨ 66 Krolik (Ed. For if Jesus was a Jew.) Immigrants. (Jerusalem. 65 Ruppin. Thirty Years of Building in the Land of Israel.). between 1912 and 1914 the Office implemented Ruppin’s explicit selective policy and rejected about 80% of those who aspired to immigrate to Palestine69and that he made substantial efforts to foster healthy W. Lectures and Articles. 52. What we sow ¨ today.’66 Ruppin’s demand for ‘quality immigration’ was repeated in many forums and emphasized that ‘in the selection of the human material [y] lies the structure of the Jewish population of the Land of Israel in the future. While for Chamberlain most Jews were Semites. Die Auslese des Menschenmaterials fur Palaestina’. we will reap in the future.’67 Historical research shows that Ruppin operated a program of selection both in Palestine and in Europe. to undertake a practical implementation of his ideas. the racial discourse provided an answer which located an alternative racial origin for Jesus in the lost Aryans. Bloom / History of European Ideas 33 (2007) 330–349 341 This fantasy of the existence of an ancient Jewish-Aryan group achieved a growing resonance in Germany at this time. (London. Fasken. 63 . Race and the Third Reich.64 Since its initial stage the Palestine Office was looking for high-quality Menschenmaterial to serve as a basis for the healthy Volksko ¨rper Ruppin aspired to create. Hutton. 1934) 32. I decided to use the means of the PLDC and to establish a farm on the land of the JNF.) (Heb. 69 G.). Haeckel and many others to accept the desirable qualities of the Judeo-Christian tradition while eliminating from them the Semitic elements of the ‘actual Jews’ of Europe. Alroey. 2004) 14. for Ruppin. what makes Ruppin unique is that he was able. Ruppin perhaps unconsciously adopted this kind of explanation. I do not share this belief.M. 1913). At the end of the 19th century there was not a major thinker in any movement (from socialism to Zionism) who did not use at least Darwinian or biological arguments and often eugenic ones. 2005) 88. like only few other eugenicists (e. Ruppin (Heb.‘The Selection of the Human Material’ (1919). See D.’ In his lecture to the 15th Zionist Congress (1927) he explained his policy in sober words: ‘some believe that in Palestine a higher type of human being (hoherer Menschentyp) will develop by itself. Nevertheless. Nevertheless. Ruppin. Linguistics. The National Farms and their Contribution to the New Settlement. and the name of that action was: Kineret. Karpi (Ed. (Heb. most of them were not. 67 Ruppin (Heb. Letters 1930– 1931 (Jerusalem. Jewish Immigration to Palestine in the Early Twentieth Century. Der Jude 3 (1919) 373–383.).g. Erinnerungen (1985) 181.

Zionism. monitoring and meticulous statistics.74 The ‘Stumm system’ combined far-reaching and disciplinary work rules with an extensive array of social provisions in order to attract a loyal core of workers (Arbeiterstamm) who would curb independent labor organizations. e. Contemporary Judaism. Race’ (1998) 40. ‘Work. 75 Sweeney. are distinct examples of the ‘Stumm system. The Human Motor (1992) 189–195. The Journal for Israeli History 5 (1982) 93–115. Shapira. Rabinbach.). In this context the workers associated ‘productive’ work with moral qualities and attributes. Work was considered a ‘means of improvement’ and charged with such values as orderliness and moderation. The State of Israel and the Diaspora. The War of the Jews for their Existence. 110. . (Jerusalem and Haifa. was accepted by all the major factories. after its most consistent and powerful advocate. 71 Ruppin. too. (Heb. and which was loyal to him as 70 Margalit Meir (Heb. the ‘good’ Menschenmaterial that would eventually become the dominant racial element in the old-new Jewish species he termed ‘the Maccabean type. (Tel Aviv. 1940) 287. steel industrialist and conservative politician. His overall approach to the Second Aliya (1903–1914)76 immigrants. was very similar to the ‘Stumm system’ model. Among the workers there was an internal selection conducted mostly by the workers themselves. which was inspired by the new ‘science of work’ (Arbeitwissenschaft) that had emerged in Germany in the 1890s. which gave him the image and nickname of ‘The Father’.70 Ruppin’s practices were part of his larger plan: to establish a network of training farms and agricultural settlements that would enable him both to control the lands owned by the Zionist movement and to consolidate. The Human Motor (1992) 189–202. through selection. Policy and Practice’. Ruppin’s attitude to the workers as his ‘sons’.g. and his emphasis on charging their work with a significance beyond mere economic calculations. 36–56. 195–202. 74 Karl Ferdinand von Stumm. the cradle of the Kibbutzim) was not an ad-hoc solution emerging from ‘reality itself’ as most history books would have it72 unless we recognize that this reality emerged to a large extent from Ruppin’s intensive culture planning.75 However.ARTICLE IN PRESS 342 E. 1999) 243–280. ‘the actual state of affairs in Palestine [led to the creation of the first Group]’. ‘Work. the group of young immigrants whom Ruppin aspired to develop as the ‘pure racial’ group. Race and the Transformation of Industrial Culture in Wilhelmine Germany’. 76 Second wave of immigration. Bloom / History of European Ideas 33 (2007) 330–349 ‘elements’ and weed out the weak and the ill. The Hebrew term (Aliya) refer to Jewish immigrants to the Land of IsraelPalestine means ‘ascent’ and ‘advancement’ and had religious connotations of purification. Dennis Sweeney. 13. the company’s social welfare services were not simply part of the wage nexus. and the workers as dependents (or children) in the larger factory ‘family’ (Arbeiterfamilie). Social History 23/1 (1998) 31–62.). often referred to as the ‘Stumm system’. 72 See. Shapira Anita. based on planning.’ The way he managed the training farms and settlement groups. his constant call to make them partners in the creation (merely nominally in the early stages). they were inspired by a wider ambition towards cultural refinement and the moral and intellectual elevation of the workers’ estate.’71 The establishment of the first training farm in Kineret (1908) on the banks of the Sea of Galilee. 248–251. 218–219. ‘The Origins of ‘‘Jewish Labor’’ Ideology’.73 This new field of ‘science’—which served mainly the employers—presented ways of molding the working class through a new system of connotative codes designed to give meaning to the workers’ lives.. Clearly. The new system of labor relations in Germany. 73 Rabinbach. The system identified the employer as the ‘provider’ (or father-figure) (Brotgeber). followed by a network of small communal settlement groups (kvutzot. ‘The Question of the Classification of the Immigrants [olim] in the first Period of the Mandate—Ideology. A. and his focus on the worker’s body and its productivity are also part of this repertoire.

he will. All of them begun their career as agricultural workers in the training farms and settlements Ruppin supervised. Bloom / History of European Ideas 33 (2007) 330–349 343 a father-figure. Ruppin presented the group to the plant owners as a tool for molding productive workers: ‘in Hulda [one of the groups] I saw how the group rejected the lazy [workers]’ he reported to them. by mobilizing them for ‘national missions’ rather than the ‘utopian’ ones of radical socialism). was similar to the Stumm system’s core workers’ group. This group was actually the milieu from which the ruling labor movement leadership emerged. In a lecture he delivered to the plant owners in 1914 we can hear how he transferred the ‘Stumm system’ into the Zionist-Palestinian social field: The strikes now are not such a burden as they used to be. 1914).. (Jerusalem. L2/70. a few dunams etc.) Arthur Ruppin—His Life and his Work. at around the age of 30.78 From his first days in the Office Ruppin mediated as an ‘administrative knight’ (the figure in vo ¨lkisch mythology that carries out the aspirations of the Volk)79 between the capital owners–both private and national—and the workers.81 Three years before. 1914). The workers who arrive now are experienced in agricultural work [y] you can achieve understanding with them. . 2 years as a worker with private farmers in the towns. The Office made a full list of the unemployed workers and was responsible for supplying them with work. Hapoel Hatzair. Thus the worker. the ‘work tribe’ (Arbeiterstamm). and if he wants to be entirely a farmer. 80 (Heb. ‘The Question of the Land Workers in the Land of Israel’. 78 Almost all the names of people whom he mentions in his diary as being close to him can be found on the internet site of the Knesset (the Israeli parliament) where they appear as members of Knesset. In one of the gatherings I expressed to the workers my opinion [y] that it is necessary to establish an institution that will include both the employers and the workers in order to find a compromise in cases of conflict.ARTICLE IN PRESS E. the groups] (or. usually depicted as a knight. [y] the radical views of the workers do not make me despair: in due time they will die out. The Office paid an additional sum to the salaries the workers received from the employers.). 82 Ruppin (Heb. 81 (Heb. Lecture of Ruppin to the Farmers (CZA. A detailed list of the employers and the employees can be found in the CZA. I still hold this view. after that: 1–2 years as an apprentice on one of the training farms.77 Ruppin’s core group had a crucial role in instilling his repertoire into the young immigrants and organizing them according to the aims of the Office (e. The Crisis (1964) 204–210. Ruppin presented plans to the young immigrants formulated according to the Stumm incentive system: The desirable age for immigration to the Land of Israel is 17.g.B. ministers. my translation E. my translation E. at least 10 years).) Lecture of Ruppin to the Farmers (CZA L2/70. if he is satisfied with limited independence (owning an apartment. prime ministers and presidents of the state.B. 5 years as a worker within the associations [e. 2005) 290.).82 77 A large part from the budget of the American Jewish community in 1912 to the Palestine Office was earmarked for that plan. The Young Worker).) at the age of 25. achieve his purpose and be able to maintain a family. whose actions and ideas are determined by the immediate interests of the Volk. The employers should not fear such an institution. in an article in the major workers’ journal Hapoel Hatzair (Heb.80 In the same lecture. This system of compensation enabled the Office to organize the workers under its umbrella.g. Goren Yaakov (Heb. On that concept see Mosse. 5th Year (1911) 5–6. if the worker wants to go on straight to the farmer class. 79 Mosse described the emergence of volkish hero.

(Cambridge. The clearest and most distinct example of how Ruppin’s perception of the bio-mental inferiority of the Oriental Jews was put into practice is the case of the Yemenite Jewish immigration to Palestine. No. Ruppin’s planning was similar to the ‘Stumm system’ also in its ability to offer the immigrants ‘meaning in their lives’. Those who wished to immigrate to Palestine addressed their letters to Ruppin personally and not to the Palestine Office. in the town Rehovot. Immigrants (2004). 84 Ruppin (Heb. This immigration. e. 87 Shemuel Yavneli (Varshavski) was the Office’s envoy to Yemen. which led eventually to their mental and physical collapse. . Persia. the many letters presented in Alroey.) ‘The Question of the Land Workers’ (1911) 5.88 Most historians describe the extreme sufferings that the Yemenite Jews experienced upon their arrival. PalestinianZionism differentiated between the immigrants from East Europe and the Oriental Jews. 86 Ruppin (Heb. because they are used to the climate of the Mediterranean and the eastern way of life [y] As opposed to the worker from East Europe the Oriental Jew is satisfied with his salary as a worker.ARTICLE IN PRESS 344 E. when he presents the group to the young immigrants he is relating to the partnership between employer and employee: ‘This form [the group in Degania] raises the workers’ feeling of responsibility to a higher level [y] it is also the most suitable form for the mentality of the young freedom loving Jews from Russia. 89 E. for example. 1882–1914.’87 was in its essence—at least from the point of view of the Office and the plant owners—a colonialist act for the ‘importation of cheap labor’.. making the salary gaps 83 The identification of Ruppin and the Palestine Office was common at least until the end of the First World War. following Ruppin’s eugenic plan. Bloom / History of European Ideas 33 (2007) 330–349 This text reveals how the social field in Palestine was organized from above by the culture planning of Ruppin’s Office83 and not through a form of organization which emerged from below as in the common Zionist narrative. 5–6 (1911) 5. Thus.’84 His empathetic approach and understanding of the workers’ state of mind and his ability to give them the feeling that there was a deep interest in making them full partners in the Zionist enterprise. the workers’ press developed a discourse which marked the Yemenites as ‘quantity’ and the Ashkenazim as ‘quality’. Shafir.) ‘The Question of the Land Workers in the Land of Israel’. Land. North Syria) whose standard of life85 is lower. Labor and the Origins of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict. out of 237 Yemenites 101 died. initiated and carried out by the Office in the years prior to the First World War. The differentiation of the Eastern (Oriental) Jews At the end of his article On the Question of the Land Workers quoted above.g. 1989) 106. designated in Zionist historiography as ‘Aliyat Yavneli. among them 76 children (Ibid. 106). 88 G. 85 The English idiom ‘standard of life’ appears in the German and Hebrew versions.89 During and after the First World War. the death rate of the Yemenites who arrived Palestine between the years 1912 and 1918 is estimated as between 30% and 40% (in some towns it reached almost 50%). were among the most important reasons for Ruppin’s enormous and rapid popularity among the young workers.. See.g.86 This early article demonstrates how. in a short passage titled ‘the Oriental Jews’ Ruppin explained that the plan he suggested to the workers from East Europe: yneeds changes for the Oriental Jews (Yemen. as Gershon Shafir puts it.

1932) 436–438.91 Medical care was almost out of reach.). would become a productive Jewish-Yemenite type able to serve the evolving new nation. and for an Ashkenazi laborer 12. given proper eugenic treatment. 93 Michel Foucault. Bloom / History of European Ideas 33 (2007) 330–349 345 between the two groups seem reasonable. empathetic relations with the Ashkenazi workers. 20. Y.). 98 Ruppin (Heb. Ruppin. As opposed to his warm.96 and ‘an exceptional school for the identification (Identifizierung) and selection (Aussonderung) of the unfit (Ungeeigenten). 436. leading to the division of the land into private units. 96 Quoted in M. 95 Fritz Lenz. to all intents and purposes. Ruppin could do no more than preach repeatedly that they had to work hard and accept that that was what they ‘were created for’. Sharet (Ed. 94 For a description of that meeting see the letter of Berl Katznelson to David Ben Gurion [2 June 1920]. 1988) 203.20-8 piastres. 1961) 99.90 The Yemenites were paid what was. 92 Goren. was only temporary and that in the near future they would have to adapt to a new social structure. The Letters of Berl Katznelson (1900– 1914). Author’s translation. His attitude towards them was a clear case of ‘pathological stereotyping’. each group (or other cooperative association established by the Office) might disintegrate within 10–15 years.’97 In his initial plans he assumed that the social form of the group and later of the Kibbutz.93 In one of the few meetings he held directly with their representatives. including Ashkenazi immigrants who did not fit his Menschenmaterial standards.). a starvation wage. ‘Governmentality’. ‘they were the last in the line. Ruppin’s culture planning was devised in such a way as to ‘purify’ the Yemenites through a eugenic process of selection that would ensure the survival only of those who had the qualities for hard physical work. The Palestine Office 1908– 1914.40 piastres. (Jerusalem. .’92 and they were rejected by the political parties and the workers’ and guards’ organizations and kept at arms’ length from all the activity of the ‘cooperative’ settlement. 103–104. Ruppin kept his distance from the Yemenites.). 104. There can be no doubt that if Ruppin wrote what he really thought and acted according to what he wrote. Ibid.94 The settlement groups as a selection system It is important to emphasize that Ruppin’s treatment of the Yemenites was an extreme case of his policy towards the bulk of the immigrants. 91 Ibid. Prices were high as was the rent for even substandard accommodations such as stables.und Gesellschafts-Biologie 26 ¨ (Munich. (Jerusalem.95 the training farms and groups were a ‘laboratory experiment directed at the future’. [review of Ruppin’s Soziologie der Juden]. Lectures and Articles.ARTICLE IN PRESS E. (Tel Aviv.) (Heb.. For the ambitious social scientist who perceived himself as the ‘geistige[r[ Fuhrer des Zionismus’ as he was described by the ¨ German eugenist Fritz Lenz. 1936) 127.. He estimated that as a result of disagreement between its members. refusing to take any responsibility for their poor conditions. of seeing ‘people as datum’. 97 Krolik (Ed. Ideology and Consciousness 6 (1979) 5–21.98 Ruppin and his Office supervised the social and economic development of the groups through a ‘magnifying glass’ as Tal puts 90 The average daily wage for an Arab laborer was between 5 and 7 piastres or a Yemenite 6. Shilo (Heb. Archiv fur Rassen. Experiments in Settlements. Ruppin—His Life (2005) 210. he considered the Yemenites low quality Menschenmaterial that. Thirty Years of Building in the Land of Israel. Erinnerungen (1985) 135.

The book of the Group. as indeed he did in a few cases.100 The rigid rules for the groups’ daily life led to a high degree of friction. unsympathetic.). explicitly advance a new Zionist martyriology.R. Chapters in the Development and Design of the Kibbutz Dining Hall: 1926–1935. 424. ‘The Yizkor Book of 1911’. who was accepted by the Merhavia group only after her third attempt (!). Essential Papers on Zionism (New York. 100 Ruppin (Heb. ‘Work. The repertoire which dominated the groups placed in its center an ideal type of productive man who was satisfied with minimal possessions. described this intrusion into their personal space as the main reason for the departure of ‘thousands. (Jerusalem.102 Ruppin and his literary agents such as Yaakov Tahon (1880–1950) and R’ Benjamin (J. architectural and economic planning. The Group (Jerusalem. Y. The young immigrants were subconsciously under pressure to prove their suitability to belong to the ‘desired elements’. 102 These ideas were promoted by the Saar industry spokesmen Tille. the respect he receives. the symmetrical opposite of the European image of the Jew as parasitical and greedy. ‘the gravity of his personality. he emphasized that though the movement had poor resources ‘we are rich in people who are capable of sacrifice. Reinhartz and A. the extent to which his ideas and wishes are taken into consideration—are all a kind of prize which is given to Tal Imanuel (Heb. The Office funded everyday activities. Frenkel. 1910) 3 vols.’101 It seems that the embryonic social field that Ruppin created in the first stages derived from the Stumm system’s bio-medical weltanschauung. Although Ruppin’s selection plan included medical and psychological examinations by physicians and other officials at the ports of departure and entry. 103 Y. It was merciless. At the Vienna congress (1913).). 104 Bein (Ed. Die Berufsstandspolitik des Handel und Gewerbestandes (Berlin.ARTICLE IN PRESS 346 E.). Conversations among the members were penetrating and intrusive. 1919.’104 The source for this martyriology was not only in the nationalist repertoire. but also in the eugenic models that were distributed by the Office. the main endeavor of the Office was to create an atmosphere in which the workers’ ‘productive will’ would never cease.). Shapira (Eds. (Heb. 1925) (without a title of an editor) 8–9. one of the main points he emphasized in his plan was that the main role in the selection process would be played by members of the groups themselves (like in the Stumm system). Feldman) (1880–1958) who were his most senior secretaries. Like in the ‘Stumm system’. and Ruppin could fire them according to his own judgment.99 The young workers—‘the pioneers’—were actually employees of the Office. one regulation asserted that ‘any privacy disturbs the common work’.. i. social.103 that was crucial for the success of his selection plans. in Ruppin. The attitude of the group to the individual was dependent almost exclusively on his reputation as a worker: ‘[y] the position of the individual in the group’ wrote Landshot.). paid salaries and provided professional advice on every aspect of administrative. The Association of the Hebrew Workers. Meir (Heb. it recognized only force and not opinions and it knew only the innate ‘aptitude’ or lack of ‘aptitude’ of the individual. 1996) 422–453. 99 . Thirty Years (1936). 1944/2000) 56–58. For example. 22. making tea in private rooms was forbidden (to encourage gathering in the dining room) and any group having chairs instead of benches around the table risked boycott. 101 G. Kathedra 1 (1994) 134–160. Bloom / History of European Ideas 33 (2007) 330–349 it. Ruppin: Chapters (1968) ii. the Office reproduced this model of settlement. Race’ (1998) 57. 1975) 75. The Selection of the Human Material.). My Life (Tel Aviv. 173–174. see Tille. After the success of the first group in Degania. Landshot. Z. quoted in Sweeney. Everything was the property of the collective including the individual’s thoughts. hard and cruel. 138. Golda Meir. in which the productive space of the workers mirrored conditions in the animal world.

ARTICLE IN PRESS E. Socialism. 110 This perception has been partly changed during the 1980s in researches like those of Y. (Tel Aviv. while the crucial impact of German culture—through the Office—on the formation of the society in the second and the third Aliya receives minor attention. 1989). German 106 105 . with no calculated culture planning. Bloom / History of European Ideas 33 (2007) 330–349 347 the industrious worker. Ruppin: Chapters (1968) iii. as long as these did not oppose the Office’s eugenic and culture planning lines. Perceptions of Jewish History.). The assertion was that the ‘new Hebrew’ culture evolved through the ideological agents of political activity—especially those of the worker parties. Nationalism and the Rassian Jewries. He finds also that many of the elite members were relatively young. a core group of loyal workers. The Office offered incentives to capable workers in the form of higher positions in administration or land enabling them to become independent farmers. The Group (1944/2000) 63. his history causes a crack to appear in the Zionist national ‘cover stories’. The Book of the Group (1925) 5. (Tel Aviv. Immigrants (2004). even in these works the European impact is researched mainly in regard to East Europe. 108 On the ‘as if philosophy’ in Zionism see A. Nevertheless.107 The Office used the group members as a reservoir for high-quality Menschenmaterial and systematically appointed the prominent members of the groups to the many positions needed in the expanding administrative field. promotion was rapidly achieved in the institutions established and run by the Office.). Part of the reason for this is that. Ruppin109 As noted in the opening of this essay.’105 Nevertheless. (Tel Aviv. 109 Bein (Ed. 1981) 36–37. Frenkel (Heb. that pre-Israeli society ‘sprouted’ of itself. Prophecy and Politics. which became fixed as selfevident. ‘The Yizkor Book’ (1996) and recently Alroey. in many ways. A significant number of group members had political and administrative ambitions. almost no attention was paid to the impact (or the transference) of European (in particular German) culture on the creation of the Hebrew social field.). Like the ‘Stumm system’ directors. the common Zionist narrative placed Ruppin’s historical persona in an ambivalent position and suppressed his formative heritage.). 1991) 167. 1862– 1917. The Elites of the Jewish Community in Palestine. In accordance with this perception. M.110 This obliviousness resulted from the perception. A productive worker increased his chances of promotion and future prosperity. the culture planning which determined the conditions in the field was totally different from the way most of the immigrants perceived their actions and experiences. 107 Moshe Lisak writes that 55% of the elite personnel in the period before the establishment of Israel arrived in the Second and Third Aliyot. Nevertheless.108 Conclusion A life without a plan—is not to my taste. The young workers of the Second and Third Aliyot (1903–1923) were scrutinized in a highly selective field. he was recompensed materially as well. Ruppin recognized the importance of Vaihinger’s ‘as if philosophy’ (als ob Philosophy) in human culture. doctors and clerks specially constructed to select and create a new dominant group. the ‘prize’ of the productive worker was not merely symbolic. administered by a bureaucracy of experts. The Israeli historiography and collective memory of pre-Israeli society (the Yishuv) in most cases emphasized Zionist ideology as the main factor which shaped the new social field.106 and after a period ranging from few months to a few years. More frequently. Landshot. 243. Lissak (Heb. and he encouraged the workers to develop a national repertoire and social ideologies. Funkenstein (Heb.

Zur ¨ ¨ Grundung des Lehrstuhls fur Sozialanthropologie an der Universitat Jena’. Thus. (MAPAI ¼ acronym for Party of Eretz Israel Workers).’ it reveals how they were based on a number of common assumptions that cannot be ignored when researching the roots of modern Hebrew cultural identity. According to Zeev Zachor. Mosse 1919–1999: An Appreciation’. and especially not the ones responsible for cultural identity. ‘Die Jenaer Jahre des ‘Rasse-Gunther’ von 1930–1935. Hutton. for a detailed presentation of Gunther’s theory see Uwe HoXfeld. These links became blurred also because of the prevailing characterization of the Central European Zionists–and Ruppin among them–as ‘ultra liberals’ continuing the German Jewish humanist tradition.K. whose first models were formed at the end of the 1920s (mainly by the leaders of the worker parties: David Ben Gurion. and even corresponded and discussed cordially with some of them.L. 112 As Derek Penslar’s works demonstrates. including the notorious racial scientist Hans Gunther (Rasse-Gunther).). Ruppin’s weltanschauung clearly demonstrates the conceptual links between the German Sonderweg. Ruppin’s history gives a good answer to the question of the ‘blind spot’ in Second Aliya historiography: ‘Who created the creators?’ It reveals that the myth of the new Yishuv ‘sprouting of itself’ repressed the fact that the appearance of the ‘creators’ was due to massive economic and informational capital within the context of a highly calculated culture plan. but not cultural models. . Gunther ¨ (Rasse-Gunther). 113 For such explicit view see G. Eine Lebensskizze des Hans F. it should not surprise us that in his writings Ruppin enthusiastically quoted the words of many who are regarded in Holocaust historiography as ‘the Nazi scientists’ or ‘experts’. Tel Aviv University. Mosse. 111 Zachor Zeeve (Heb. 2005. this was part of their attempt to accumulate symbolic capital towards the establishment of MAPAI. Gunther ¨ played an important role in identifying and promoting the racial question in the public domain. Medizinhistorzsches Journal 34 (1999) ¨ ¨ ¨ 47–103. Contrary to the common narrative. This culture plan transferred from German to modern Hebrew culture not only economic. Judaism 45:2 (Spring 1996) 134–143) for an appraisal of Mosse in that connection see Anson Rabinbach ‘George L. Race and the Third Reich ¨ ¨ (2005) 35–63. Bloom / History of European Ideas 33 (2007) 330–349 The historical description of the Second Aliya period. but is clearly the outcome of a congruent weltanschauung. A lecture delivered in The Conference on Mapai. Zionism and Technocracy (1991).113 Ruppin’s case shows how Zionism coincided with the weltanschauung of some Nazi party members and supporters at least until the mid-1930s. ‘Central European Intellectuals in Palestine’. which dismissed such links as merely ‘instrumental’ or ‘pragmatic. Berl Katznelson and Yitzhak Tabenkin) emphasized the motif of ‘anu bemo yadenu’ (Heb: we with our own hands).111 To paraphrase Bourdieu’s well-known article. technological and administrative models112 but also models of cultural identity. Rosenberg formally honored Gunther presenting him with the ‘Goethe Medal’ and ¨ declared that his work ‘has been of the utmost importance for the safeguarding and development of the National Socialist Weltanschauung’ (reported in the Nazi newspaper Vo ¨lkischer Beobachter [16 February 1941]). i. In this regard it is important to put in mind—as many historian emphasized—that the attempt to annihilate the Jewish race in (footnote continued) culture is presented as providing material and administrative means.e. Penslar.114 Ruppin’s interaction with the Nazis cannot be dismissed as stemming from mere economic or instrumental interests. a member of the Nazi party from 1929 and one of the ¨ ¨ predominant agents of the Nazis weltanschauung. with all its proto-Nazi vo ¨lkisch ideas–and Palestinian-Zionism. ‘The Sources of the Second Aliya’. HoXfeld’ ‘‘Er war Paul Schultze-Naumburgs bester Freund’’. the originality. 114 In February 1941. Schriftenreihe Werkstatten Heft 3 (2001) 43–61. Central European History 32:3 (1999) 331–336. the dominant party in the decades before and after the establishment of Israel. the exclusiveness and the creativity of the worker parties’ leaders.ARTICLE IN PRESS 348 E.

I heard on the wireless Hitler’s speech in the Reichstag. 219. ¨ Bein (Ed. Ruppin: Chapters (1968) iii. fascinating. he described enthusiastically his impression in his diary: ‘Two days ago. even Hitler himself didn’t ‘split’ Ruppin’s ear. ‘Biological Science and the Roots of Nazism’. as the vehicle of the Jewish imagined biological past. The Jewish body—the obstacle to ¨ be overcome by both Zionists and anti-Semites—was perceived in Zionist-Palestine as the heart of the new Hebrew tradition. Ruppin had sketched in The Modern Weltanschauung and Nietzsche’s Philosophy what probably seemed to him a similar biomedical vision. (1968) iii. Thirty years before. On Ruppin’s meeting with Gunther in 1933 see Bein (Ed. This makes it difficult to define antiSemitism in essentialistic terms as if it existed only among non-Jews. Above all.ARTICLE IN PRESS E. Bloom / History of European Ideas 33 (2007) 330–349 349 Europe was improvised and crystallized its monstrosity methods only after the beginning of the Second World War. 223.).’ Ruppin’s kind of Zionism and many Nazis had much in common. American Scientist 76:1 (1988) 50–58.115 Thus. the research on ‘the father of Jewish settlement in the land of Israel’ demonstrates how Palestine-Zionism generated a repertoire of perceptions and practices which reduced Judaism to racial and volkisch categories. murder in death camps was not imagined by most of the Nazis at the time Ruppin interact with them. he could perceive Hitler as the first politician to work Haeckel’s recognition that: ‘politics is applied biology’ into world history. 117 A quote used also by Nazi propagandists. Ruppin’s comprehensive theory concerning the Sephardic-Oriental Jews and its practical application exposes the roots of the discrimination against the Oriental Jews and hints. Ruppin: Chapters. as well as for many other eugenicists who fantasized about a state that applied eugenic practices. (London. a weltanschauung that limited pluralistic and multidimensional Jewish history. too.’116 For Ruppin. 1995) 17. Their mutual perception—which served their mutual interest—was that the Jews must be excluded from German culture and eventually expelled from Germany.117 Long before the ‘Final Solution.). Killing operations were only the most radical. final stage of exclusion. Friedlander. The Origins of Nazi Genocide: From Euthanasia to the Final Solution. interesting. at internal Jewish racism and the anti-Semitic aspect of modern Hebrew culture. It was a much better speech than all his election speeches—full of content. 116 115 . Apart from the problems that Ruppin’s story raises in regard to the prevailing ‘black and white’ perception of the Nazi-Zionist relationship.’118 They did not see that the Nazi exclusion might easily lead to pathological hatred and murder and certainly not to the holocaust. See Stein George. the pre—mass-murderer Hitler seemed a refreshing politician. tradition and free spirit. 118 H. Ruppin and many others Zionists and Nazis alike did not realize the outcome of their Weltanschauung as we comprehend it today: ‘exclusion stood at the center of the Nazi utopia. and after listening to his first speeches in 1933.

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