Friday, 12 October 1888
There are not wanting signs of a deliberate attempt to connect the Jews with the Whitechapel murders. A butcher writes to a contemporary to suggest that the character of the incisions is such that they were made by a butcher, and thence he jumps to the conclusion that it was a Jewish butcher, a trade rival exclusively employed by Jews. Now we have made it our business to ascertain whether this could be. Dr. Gordon Browne, the City Divisional Surgeon, to whom the City detectives submitted the body and to whom the knives used by the Jewish slaughterers have also been shown, has authorised us to state that he is thoroughly satisfied that none of the knives have been used. We may add that the Jewish slaughterers are a very small, learned and respectable number of persons whom nobody acquainted with them would suspect. As a make weight the report has been thrown in that the murderer wrote on the wall in a neighbouring street "Shall the Jews be blamed for nothing?" But if this inscription ever existed, if it had reference to the murders, if it was the work of the murderer, it was written to throw the public off the scent, not to put them on. The peculiar horror entertained by Jews of any mutilation of the human body after death is either unknown to, or concealed by, the theorists. To us it seems wrong for respectable newspapers to lend their columns to such suggestions, which are the work of ignorance if not of malice. We observe with satisfaction that the more ably conducted journals refrain from reproducing them.
THE CITY MURDER. - We are authorised by Dr. Gordon Browne, the City Divisional Surgeon, to state, with reference to a suggestion that the City and Whitechapel murders were the work of a Jewish slaughterer, that he has examined the knives used by the Jewish slaughterers, all of which have been submitted to him by the City Detectives, and he is thoroughly satisfied that none of them could have been used.
TO THE EDITOR OF THE "JEWISH CHRONICLE".
Sir, - The time has now arrived when something should be done to ameliorate the condition of the distressed foreign Jews in the East End of London. The amount of immorality daily growing among the women is a blot on our community at large.
This matter ought at once be taken up and thoroughly investigated by the Council of the United Synagogue.
I should suggest that a committee be formed equally of ladies and gentlemen to carry out an enquiry upon the same principle and procedure as in the House of Commons, to make a report and advise the best ways and means to remedy the existing evil. The expense of this Committee to obtain necessary information would, I am sure, be willingly defrayed (if not by the Council) by many city men as anxious as I am to be able to pass though Liverpool Street and other parts of London without witnessing the degradation of their sisters. I would willingly act as Honorary Secretary to such a Committee and give the services of a clerk free of expense.
12, Clifton Gardens, Maida Vale, W.; October 7th, 1888.
Dr. Bloch, Member of the Austrian Reichsrath, in communicating to the Standard correspondent in Vienna certain facts which may throw a new light on the Whitechapel murders, refers incidentally to the Ritter case. Dr. Bloch speaks of an old superstition still rife in parts of Germany, that the light thrown from "thieve's candles" or "soporific candles," which are made from certain organs in the female body, will send those on whom it falls into a deep sleep, and thereby become a valuable instrument for thieves. At the trial of the Ritters in Galicia, the prevalence among thieves of the superstition was alluded to by the Public Prosecutor. But the Court preferred harping on another alleged superstition of a ritual character among the Jews of Galicia, which, however, was shown to be a pure invention of the Judenhetze. Dr. Bloch was for ten years a Chief Rabbi in Galicia, and has made the superstitions of that province his special study.