Still, by the middle of the last century people were aware that it was absolutely necessary to follow the occupational development of Jewry. Graf von Arnim, then the Prussian Minister of the Interior, made the following declaration on 21 October 1843:
“It is not yet clear what the results of legislative deliberations about Jewish civil activities will have. But there is a clear need for the administration to gather material on occupational matters, in particular the extent to which peddling and junk dealing are still dominated by them, with the resulting effects on the social development of these subjects.”
The minister’s decree resulted in a survey of the occupations of the Jewish population in Prussia, which produced the following results:
|I. Doctors, teachers, scientific||1,666||2.7|
|II. Retirees and Pensioners||1,687||2.7|
|IIIa. Independent shopkeepers||21,739||35|
|IIIb. Workers in commerce||5,029||8.1|
|IIIc. All in the trades||26,738||43.1|
|IV. Restaurants and taverns||2,898||4.7|
|Va. Independent tradesmen and craftsmen||8,420||13.5|
|Vb. Workers in the trades||3,636||5.8|
|Vc. All tradesmen and craftsmen||12,056||19.3|
|VII. Other professions||1,364||2.2|
|VIII. Workers in IIIb and Vb||—||—|
|IX. Lower level town jobs||790||1.3|
|X. Day laborers||2,636||4.2|
|XI. Domestic servants||6,296||10.1|
|XII. Supported by various charities||2,356||3.8|
|XIII. No fixed employment or begging||3,029||4.9|
Now let us turn to the present.
Nothing shows the differences between our people and the Jews more clearly than their likes and dislikes for certain occupations. In some occupations, particularly those that are most important for the nation as a whole, the foreign influence on German life has reached an intolerable extent not seen elsewhere in Europe. The preference for certain occupations also gives us an interesting insight into the spiritual nature of Jewry.
The following figures show how much critical occupations in Germany have been infiltrated.
112,188 Jews, or 58.8%, far more than half, are employed in the area of “commerce and transportation, including restaurants and taverns,” but only 17.11% (3,248,145) of the population as a whole. In the area of “industry and craft work, including mining and construction,” 19,318 Jews (25.85%) were employed, including 31.82% of foreigners. For the population as a whole, the figure was 40.94% (7,771,799).
The figures in the field of “public administration, the judiciary, the army and navy, churches, legal professionals and the independent professions.” 11,324 Jews were employed there, or 5.94% , over against 921,048 (4.85%) in the general population. The Jews are over-represented by 1% in these very important areas when compared to the overall Prussian population. The contrast is even crasser when one factors out the 5.13% of Jews who are foreigners. The percentage of eligible Jews is then 6.12% over against 4.85% for the general population.
The percentage of the Jewish population in Area D over against the general population is as high as it is because this area includes not only those in public service, the army and the navy, but also the “independent professions.” If one separates the independent professions from public service, the results are as follows:
In 1925, 0.81% of Jews were active as civil servants or in the army and navy, as opposed to 2.3% of the general population. In the church, religious occupations, the legal system and the other independent professions, the Jewish percentage is 4.3% as opposed to 2% of the general population. This shows that the Jews are over-represented when compared to the general population, particularly in the independent professions.
The percentage of the Jewish population in government positions may seem less than that of the general population, but the difference is not as great as the figures first suggest. The most recent figures, not yet entirely complete, suggest that a not insignificant number of them are baptized Jews or dissidents formerly of the Jewish faith who denied their Jewishness to gain an official position.
4.35% of Jews are employed in the medical and health care system, including welfare, and 2.0% of foreign Jews. The figure for the general population is 1.88%. The Jewish percentage is thus 2 1/2 times as high as that of the general population.
In summary, Jewish occupational patterns differ from those of the rest of the population. Jewry seems to have an aversion to agricultural work, industrial labor and crafts. They are greatly over-represented in commerce and transportation, including the entire banking system. They are also over-represented in the independent professions and the health care system. These figures alone demonstrate a clear difference between the native German population and alien Jewry.
Very similar conditions prevail in all Western European nations and also in North America, since Jews have spread throughout the world in areas with growing industry and in cities that are centers of economic and financial power. It is not true, as is often claimed, that the Jew was systematically forced into commerce by the laws of the various nations; rather, commerce particularly suits the Jew’s nature. This is supported by Dr. Arthur Ruppin, a scholar respected by the Jews. He writes in his book The Jews of the Present (2nd edition, Cologne and Leipzig, 1911, p. 45):
“Thanks to their significant commercial gifts (!), the Jews soon enjoyed great success in commerce and industry. For 2000 years they have seemed predestined to work in commerce. It is false to claim, as some do, that Jews became merchants primarily because the Christians denied them other occupations during the Middle Ages. The Jews did not become merchants in Europe, rather they entered the profession in growing numbers ever since the Babylonian Captivity in Syria, Egypt and Babylon [because they dislike labor and prefer to have others work for them! The Editor]. In Palestine until the dispersion they did live primarily by agriculture. In the Diaspora, there was hardly anywhere that the Jews lived by agriculture. The Middle Ages did not make them into merchants. It only affirmed legally that which history had already established. It is after all the rule that economic laws generally do not create new conditions, but only legalize and regulate that which already exists. The law would never have limited the Jews to commerce in Europe if they had not already immigrated primarily as merchants…”
Nearly all national economists agree that the Jews owe their role as merchants not to chance, but to their excellent abilities as merchants. As W. Sombart wrote: “The Jewish race is by nature the incarnation of the capitalism-mercantile spirit.” (Der moderne Kapitalismus, Vol. 2, p. 349. Leipzig, 1902). Many others agree.