Friday, 4 March 1910
AN ASPERSION UPON JEWS.
POLICE "THEORY" AGAIN.
Sir Robert Anderson, the late head of the Criminal Investigation Department at Scotland Yard, has been contributing to Blackwood's a series of articles on Crime and Criminals. In the course of his last contribution, Sir Robert tells his readers that the fearful crimes committed in the East End some years ago, and known as "Jack the Ripper" crimes, were the work of a Jew. Of course, whoever was responsible for the series of foul murders was not mentally responsible, and this Sir Robert admits. But I fail to see - at least, from his article in Blackwood's - upon what evidence worthy of the name he ventures to cast the odium for this infamy upon one of our people. It will be recollected that the criminal, whoever he was, baffled the keenest search not alone on the part of the police, but on the part of an infuriated and panic-stricken populace. Notwithstanding the utmost vigilance, the man, repeating again and again his demoniacal work, again and again escaped. Scotland Yard was nonplussed, and then, according to Sir Robert Anderson, the police "formed a theory" - usually the first essential to some blundering injustice. In this case, the police came to the conclusion that "Jack the Ripper" was a "low-class" Jew, and they so decided, Sir Robert says, because they believe "it is a remarkable fact that people of that class in the East End will not give up one of their number to Gentile justice". Was anything more nonsensical in the way of a theory ever conceived even in the brain of a policeman? Here was a whole neighbourhood, largely composed of Jews, in constant terror lest their womenfolk, whom Jewish men hold in particular regard - even "low-class" Jew do that - should be slain by some murderer who was stalking the district undiscovered. So terrified were many of the people - non-Jews as well as Jews - that they hastily moved away. And yet Sir Robert would have us believe that there were Jews who knew the person who was committing the abominable crimes and yet carefully shielded him from the police. A more wicked assertion to put into print, without the shadow of evidence, I have seldom seen. The man whom Scotland Yard "suspected," subsequently, says Sir Robert, "was caged in an asylum." He was never brought to trial - nothing except his lunacy was proved against him. This lunatic presumably was a Jew, and because he was "suspected," as a result of the police "theory" I have mentioned, Sir Robert ventures to tell the story he does, as if he were stating facts, forgetting that such a case as that of Adolph Beck was ever heard of.
But now listen to the "proof" that Sir Robert Anderson gives of his theories. When the lunatic, who presumably was a Jew and who was suspected by Scotland Yard, was seen by a Jew - "the only person who ever had a good view of the murderer" - Sir Robert tells us he at once identified him, "but when he learned that the suspect was a fellow-Jew he declined to swear to him." This is Scotland Yard's idea of "proof" positive of their "theory"! What more natural than the man's hesitancy to identify another as Jack the Ripper so soon as he knew he was a Jew? What more natural than for that fact at once to cause doubts in his mind? The crimes identified with "Jack the Ripper" were of a nature that it would be difficult for any Jew - "low-class" or any class - to imagine the work of a Jew. Their callous brutality was foreign to Jewish nature, which, when it turns criminal, goes into quite a different channel. I confess that however sure I might have been of the identity of a person, when I was told he had been committing "Jack the Ripper" crimes, and was a Jew, I should hesitate about the certainty of my identification, especially as anyone - outside Scotland Yard - knows how prone to mistake the cleverest-headed and most careful of people are when venturing to identify anyone else. It is a matter of regret and surprise that so able a man as Sir Robert Anderson should, upon the wholly erroneous and ridiculous "theory" that Jews would shield a raving murderer because he was a Jew, rather than yield him up to "Gentile justice," build up the series of statements that he has. There is no real proof that the lunatic who was "caged" was a Jew - there is absolutely no proof that he was responsible for the "Jack the Ripper" crimes, and hence it appears to me wholly gratuitous on the part of Sir Robert to fasten the wretched creature - whoever he was - upon our people.