Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 65.djvu/436

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Hebrew Immigration.

THE persecution of the Hebrew race finds no parallel in history. Other races have suffered at the hands of the conqueror, but these other persecutions are transient and intermittent compared with the persistent persecution to which the Jew has been subjected for centuries. One thousand years before Strongbow landed in Ireland, Titus destroyed Jerusalem, slaughtered thousands of its brave defenders and carried many thousands more as prisoners to fight the beasts in the arena or serve as slaves in the Roman galleys.

It may be said that persecution of this race has never since ceased. No century of the christian era passed without its record of persecution of the Jew. Adrian, Trajan and their successors kept up the work begun by Titus, and the first real respite from persecution was secured to the Jew by the conquests of that Semitic conqueror, Mahomet. But while the Jew was respected and his work in science and letters encouraged by the Saracens in Asia and Africa, he was being persecuted consistently by christians in Italy, Spain, France, Germany and England. This persecution continued throughout the period of the Crusades and down to the beginning of the nineteenth century.

Napoleon I. was one of the first sovereigns in Europe to cease discriminating against the Jew, and extend to him the rights of citizenship. Since that time other countries, notably England, have removed the ban from the Jew. In Poland the Jew was not persecuted to any extent previous to the partition of Poland, but with the beginning of Russian domination in Poland and Lithuania, one million Jews came under the iron rule of the Czar. Jews had existed in Russia from very early times, but most of the Russian Jews of to-day are descendants of the Jews who lived in Poland and Lithuania before those countries became a part of Russia. When one reads of the history of the Jewish race, with its story of persecution, cruelty and discrimination, a feeling of wonder and admiration must be felt for this remarkable people, which, in spite of almost universal oppression, exists to-day as the purest racial type in the world, and which furnishes the world with more than its share of great men in finance, art, music, science and literature.