Was Truman an Anti-Semite?

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R.M. Schultz
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Was Truman an Anti-Semite?

Post by R.M. Schultz » 15 Jul 2003 06:26

I just read this in an E-mail:
JULY 11--A newly discovered diary of Harry S. Truman indicates that the former president t may have had a strongly negative opinion of Jews. In the diary, which includes 42 entries written in 1947, Truman recounts a conversation he had with Henry Morgenthau, the Secretary of the Treasury, who had phoned to discuss the fate of Jewish refugees. In criticizing the approach of Morgenthau, who was Jewish, Truman wrote in a July 21 passage, "The Jews, I find are very, very selfish. They care not how many Estonians, Latvians, Finns, Poles, Yugoslavs or Greeks get murdered or mistreated as D[isplaced] P[ersons] as long as the Jews get special treatment. Yet when they have power, physical, financial or political neither Hitler nor Stalin has anything on them for cruelty or mistreatment to the under dog." The diary, found earlier this year by a researcher at the Truman Library in Independence, Missouri, was released yesterday by the National Archives. Although Truman supported recognition of Israel in 1948, he was known to use anti-Semitic language. In a letter written years before he entered the White House, Truman referred to New York City as "Kiketown."
Is this really anti-Semitic? I think not, for the following reasons:

1] Though he identifies a tendency among Jews, he neither says that ALL Jews show this tendency, nor does he condemn Jews for this. It is, instead, a conclusion drawn from experience and subject to revision by further experience, and this is a normal process.

2] This statement actually has predictive value. The passage "…when they have power, physical, financial or political neither Hitler nor Stalin has anything on them for cruelty or mistreatment to the under dog…" while rather extreme, does foreshadow the treatment of the Palistinians.

3] Truman referred to New York City as "Kiketown." Oh, so what? NYC probably was the most Jewish town in the USA at that time and he was probably speaking among friends who knew it wasn't meant derisively. I myself have heard many elderly Jewish women speak of Chicago's Southside as "Schwartzburg" ("Black town") and that never struck me as anything but colloquial hyperbole.

But, for the record, I am not Jewish and I may just be insensitive. Any thoughts on this?

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Post by David Thompson » 15 Jul 2003 06:53

R.M. -- It's an interesting topic, but since it's about Truman's personal attitudes, it doesn't really fit into the subject matter of the H&WC section of the forum. I'm going to move it to the "Enemies of the Third Reich and Neutral States" section at:

http://www.thirdreichforum.com/viewtopic.php?t=26730

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Post by ChristopherPerrien » 15 Jul 2003 08:50

The diary entry that gave me a chuckle was "I gave them the state they asked for, but ther're all still here."

For The Washington Post article on President Truman's Diary see

http://www.fpp.co.uk/History/antisemiti ... onJew.html
Lobscose cut that quote in an identically named topic in the lounge,
It was locked by Marcus , it got out of hand real fast.

However I got a good laugh from""I gave them the state they asked for, but ther're all still here."

Labeling Truman an antisemite is extreme to me. Yes he may not have liked tnem , but to me there has to be an action element for anyone to be labeled an anti-semite or a racist. Like what the nazi's did, there are some real anti-semites.

It's a free world, people dislike people for all kinds of "differences" personally I see nothing wrong with that. You should be able to think however you want. It is when someone takes physical actions on their beliefs/etc. that it becomes a problem.

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Gott
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Post by Gott » 15 Jul 2003 15:28

Even if he really was not an anti-Semite, it was proven that he did joined the KKK for a time.

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Post by David Thompson » 15 Jul 2003 16:23

Gott -- Where was that proven?

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hauptmannn
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truman Jew baiter

Post by hauptmannn » 15 Jul 2003 21:45

Truman WAS an anti-semite and part of the KKK.

Any good recent book on the KKK has a reference to this.

Truman was the most disgusting hypocritical type of Jew hater baiter.

In a suit....

He was by no means the only American President very sympathic to the KKK. So was that moral charlatan Woodrow Wilson. As for anti-semites, les't not bother counting. Truman should have been hauled up at Nuremburg for membership in a criminal organisation and war crimes (the bombings of Japanese cities for a start).

Yes, Truman was really a delightful fellow.

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Andy H
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Post by Andy H » 16 Jul 2003 00:35

Hauptmann wrote:
Truman WAS an anti-semite and part of the KKK.

Any good recent book on the KKK has a reference to this
.

Proof and reference to are very different things, lets not confuse the two. Though the social attitudes were different in Truman's day, I would be shocked if it was proven beyond doubt that he was a member of the KKK and a Anti-Semite, and yet still reached such high office.

Andy H

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Re: truman Jew baiter

Post by Caldric » 16 Jul 2003 00:44

hauptmannn wrote:Truman WAS an anti-semite and part of the KKK.

Any good recent book on the KKK has a reference to this.

Truman was the most disgusting hypocritical type of Jew hater baiter.

In a suit....

He was by no means the only American President very sympathic to the KKK. So was that moral charlatan Woodrow Wilson. As for anti-semites, les't not bother counting. Truman should have been hauled up at Nuremburg for membership in a criminal organisation and war crimes (the bombings of Japanese cities for a start).

Yes, Truman was really a delightful fellow.
You need to start backing some of these allegations up with some historical references of some type. Right now all I see is a bunch of biased opinion and ranting.

Truman was a hard man when the World needed a hard man. Stalin was running most things and needed a counter, Truman was that.

Bombing of cities was not a crime, you can go find one of the hundreds of emotional pleas on this subject around here, what we think and what is fact is often different.

If he was such an Anti-Jewish personage why did Israel get its nation in 1948. Who do you honestly think was behind that.

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Truman

Post by Lobscouse » 16 Jul 2003 00:49

Hauptmann's post tells us more about himself than it does about President Harry Truman. I think he should just take a Prozac and calm down.

As for Truman, he was no more a antisemite than the rest if the gentile world. He was simply judging them as he saw them; indeed, as most people saw them. It is true that any expressions of criticism towards Jews today will certainly result in dire consequences towards the critic, so one no longer hears such talk in an open setting.

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Re: truman Jew baiter

Post by Proton » 16 Jul 2003 01:47

hauptmannn wrote:
He was by no means the only American President very sympathic to the KKK. So was that moral charlatan Woodrow Wilson.
Why do you hate Truman so much? Even Wilson? :roll:

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Post by David C. Clarke » 16 Jul 2003 02:25

Well, Wilson introduced segregation to the White House, so I have no particular love for him.

Truman was a different type of bird though. I have no doubt that he said the things attributed to him or was a membe of the KKK. That was a part of Missouri and Southern culture in the years in which he was raised. One would not expect a Southern politician to last long if he didn't "speak the language of his constituents".

But I think it is unfair historically to judge him as an anti-semite or a racist. Actions speak louder than words. He eliminated segregation in the U.S. Armed Forces, a very unpopular move, and he did support the establishment of Israel. While his motivations may have been political, I think it is a rare thing for a racist and an anti-semite to actually help the people he is supposed to hate.

I suggest that Truman was a far more complicated personality than any series of quotes from him will reveal.
I also suspect that he was a good President and certainly more socially progressive than an Eisenhower, who said little and did nothing about racism and anti-semitism.

Best Regards, David

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hauptmannn
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Take cover! Hauptmannn on the offensive…

Post by hauptmannn » 16 Jul 2003 15:21

Actually I agree with the accusations on the lack of evidence, rambling, hatred etc.

However, I maintain that Truman was an anti-Semite based on his own statements (try saying that publicly) and if not a formal member, then a strong sympathiser of the Klan. What’s the difference anyway. Shall we say he did not go around walking with a Klan membership card but that he DID share their principles.

For a start here are a couple of interesting quotes from an excellent highly praised J. Hopkins University Press study ‘The White Separatist Movement in the United States: White Power, White Pride! by Dobratz and Shanks-Meile:

‘Truman may have joined or nearly joined the Klan in the early 1920’s.’ 39. Nearly joined is bad enough. It shows that he shared their ideas. What is a fact is that he did apply to become a Klansman and what happened afterwards is a matter of controversy. 39

Truman admitted in his words to: ‘a willingness under pressure to sacrifice principle for ambition’. 226.

‘President Warren Harding was initiated into the Klan in the Green Room of the White House…Harding used the White House Bible to administer the final oath’. p39

‘President Woodrow Wilson had a private screening of The Birth of a Nation’ – which he thoroughly enjoyed - in the White House 39-40

These people are portrayed as great moral examples. For me they’re just hypocrites. (like most politicians) All this is really mild stuff. I don’t have the time to dig the real dirt out.

One word about war crimes. (Truman and Hiroshima).
If the killing of hundred of thousands of innocent men women and children is not a war crime then what in God’s name is. Just the enemy’s crimes and of course NOT US? God forbid. Don’t believe all the crap governments and ideologically motivated ‘experts’ tell you. Just use common sense. This is a sick form of mass manipulation symbolic of how entire societies are conditioned to think a certain way. No, Hirsohima that was not a war crime. Please. Free your mind!

I’m sure those people flying those planes on 9/11 thought what they were doing was just a regular act of war. With a little extra for God.

War is the deliberate targeting of civilians? Its no war crime to target civilians? What kind of sick logic is this? It sounds like some old piece of Soviet propaganda.

Do not take this personally.

As for True-KKK-man,

Gentlemen, I admire your ability to remain calm, composed and refrain from name calling but I find it hard cause frankly its just to much fun to pour a barrel of dung over some historically correct prick –em - I mean person!

Let’s stop worshipping false Gods the state wants us to believe in.

(And don’t go calling me an anarchist now).

In fact as Hauptmannn I have issued special orders that anyone who is not pleased and persists arguing is to be shot on the spot. No exceptions made! And it won’t do any good calling me a war criminal.

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Post by Caldric » 16 Jul 2003 19:45

Well maybe he did hate Jews, but in this country he is greatly appreciated and any issues like that are far over shadowed by the good he did.


One word about war crimes. (Truman and Hiroshima).
If the killing of hundred of thousands of innocent men women and children is not a war crime then what in God’s name is. Just the enemy’s crimes and of course NOT US? God forbid. Don’t believe all the crap governments and ideologically motivated ‘experts’ tell you. Just use common sense. This is a sick form of mass manipulation symbolic of how entire societies are conditioned to think a certain way. No, Hirsohima that was not a war crime. Please. Free your mind!

I’m sure those people flying those planes on 9/11 thought what they were doing was just a regular act of war. With a little extra for God.
Don't preach to me about what propaganda is, do you think we are stupid and a bunch of sheep? You generalize about everything.

If the killing of 140,000 NOT HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS (seems you are the one being force fed propaganda) saved 1 million or more is that acceptable?

Is ending a war that is killing millions by killing 100,000 acceptable?

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hauptmannn
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old fighter

Post by hauptmannn » 16 Jul 2003 22:04

I maintain the figure. It was more than a couple of hundred thousand who died (on the spot and as a result of) the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

A standard figure is 235115.


Any half honest standard book on the end of war shows over and over again that the Japanese were about to quit. If you don't know this but claim some knowledge on the subject then you seem stuck in a 1940's propaganda time warp old fighter.

I'm not getting that for you. Do your own research.

Read this from http://www.peacecouncil.net/Hroshima2002.htm

Significant historical evidence undermines the myth that nuclear bombs saved lives by preventing an invasion of Japan. President Dwight Eisenhower, then supreme commander of the Allied Forces in Europe, said, "I was against it on two counts. First, the Japanese were ready to surrender and it wasn’t necessary to hit them with that awful thing. Second, I hated to see our country be the first to use such a weapon." President Truman’s Chief of Staff Admiral William Leahy, concurred, "In my opinion the use of this barbarous weapons at Hiroshima and Nagasaki was of no material assistance in our war against Japan. The Japanese were already defeated and ready to surrender."


Funny coincidence - nothing from that charming guy Truman.

Now thanks to 'old fighter' we can have a good night's sleep knowing what a fine thing it was that more than two hundred thousand people died.

I believe these differences of opinion and fact are related to deeper differences and visions of the world. I certainly do not share yours old fighter.

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Post by Marcus » 16 Jul 2003 22:09

Let's stay on topic, the discussions on Hiroshima and Nagasaki is for another thread.

/Marcus

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