The Advisory Committee on Arlington National Cemetery has recommended the removal of the 32-foot-tall memorial to Confederate veterans buried there on the grounds that it is “riddled with racist iconography” and perpetuates the Lost Cause narrative. The following letter was sent today to the Committee. — JAB
On March 19, 1841, at the consecration of its new synagogue in Charleston, Rabbi Gustavus Poznanski of the Kahal Kadosh Beth Elohim congregation rose to speak to a throng of temple members and Charlestonians of many faiths who were invited to witness the important occasion. For centuries Jews all over the world had sought a return to the Promised Land, and generations of families had vowed as much at their annual Passover Sedar, “Next year in Jerusalem!” In a remarkable display of chutzpah, Rabbi Poznanski proclaimed, “…this synagogue is our temple, this city our Jerusalem, this happy land our Palestine.” The Jews had finally found a home.
In his book, American Jewry and the Civil War, Rabbi Bertram Korn, the recognized expert in the field, seems quite emphatic that during the antebellum period, Jews experienced a cultural and religious renaissance in the South that was unrivaled. Jews who lived in the region adopted the southern way of life with all its peculiarities, including slavery, because for the first time in modern history, they were treated with dignity and respect, and flourished culturally, politically, and economically on par with their Christian neighbors. Korn concluded, “Nowhere else in America–certainly not in the ante-bellum north—had Jews been accorded such an opportunity to be complete equals as in the old South.”
And while we condemn the evils of slavery then and now all over the world, we cannot pass judgement on our ancestors as viewed through the 21st century lens of equity, diversity, and inclusion. No previous generation of Americans can survive such scrutiny.
Francis Salvador of South Carolina was the first Jew elected to public office in the colonies when chosen for the Provincial Congress in 1774. David Yulee and Judah Benjamin were chosen by their State Legislators, as was the practice then, to represent Florida and Louisiana in the U.S. Senate. They were the only Jewish Senators during that period. After the war, Isaac “Ike” Hermann, a private in the 1st Georgia Infantry proclaimed, “I found in [the South] an ideal and harmonious people; they treated me as one of their own; in fact, for me, it was the land of Canaan where milk and honey flowed.” Southern Jewry, in the antebellum period, had found in the South the haven from prejudice they had been looking for.
No doubt this was on the mind of Moses Ezekiel when he designed and created the memorial at Arlington Cemetery. Arlington Monument is an important piece of American history, Jewish-American history, and a significant work of art. Arlington itself is property originally seized from Confederate General Robert E. Lee’s family, in an act of retribution, a deliberate attempt to prevent Lee or his descendants from ever being able to see their cherished home again. But in an ironic twist, the Lee home place at Arlington has become sacred ground, universally revered by all Americans.
In the aftermath of the terror and hardship of war, Americans greatly desired to be done with the division and bitter sectional strife they had so recently endured. They wanted to reunite the country in a spirit of harmony.
To that noble end, it was appropriate that in 1900, less than 40 years from Lee’s surrender, Congress authorized the interment of the corporeal remains of Confederate soldiers in the hallowed earth of Arlington, and in 1914, permission was gladly given to erect a prominent memorial to the Confederate dead in the midst of Arlington.
This inspiring monument was erected to acknowledge the heroic manhood of Southern men who fought bravely against overwhelming odds, and to acknowledge a former foe in a spirit of renewed friendship and kindred national sentiment.
After all, in just a few years after the dedication of this beautiful monument, America would call on her sons to join the expedition to Europe, to fight in World War I; Americans answered that call, and fought side by side — northerners and southerners together, united in a common purpose.
As President William McKinley offered southerners in 1898: “[We] should share with you in the care of the graves of Confederate soldiers…. Sectional feeling no longer holds back the love we feel for each other. The old flag again waves over us in peace with new glories.”
Have we not seen in so many other places around the world that political disagreements have inflamed into civil wars which have carried on for generations costing many unnecessary lives?
We believe your committee — far removed from the actual conflict — should not assume the role of arbiter in this matter. Now, more than 100 years since it’s unveiling, you make pronouncements with no appreciation or regard for those who came before you and those who will follow. You cannot comprehend the hardships, the misery and the motivations of the men and women, on both sides of the conflict, who lived through this generational tsunami. Why must you call for these symbols of unity and reconciliation to be destroyed? Forever. Why must you insert your personal political ideologies of the moment for the time-honored traditions cultivated by generations of Americans?
We ought to respect the decision of those men who were far closer to the conflict than we are and honor their efforts to set aside the horrors of war in the name of peace.
Regardless of the political considerations, destroying or relocating this beautiful memorial would be the worst kind of vandalism and iconoclasm. Ezekiel is also buried there, and Jewish Law sharply condemns the excavation and removal of corpses from their gravesites even when they will be reburied elsewhere.
Designed by Moses Ezekiel, America’s first great Jewish sculptor and a veteran himself, the Arlington Confederate Monument is a true masterpiece. To remove, damage, or alter this great achievement by one of America’s noblest sons would be a crime against history, against art, and against the spirit of reunification that led to its creation. Judaism teaches us that loved ones never die if there is someone left to remember them. This monument is a testament to the memory of thousands who died and brings comfort and solace to their descendants.
We would urge you to leave the Arlington Confederate Memorial exactly as our forefathers intended it.
Journey of Souls and Writer
Rabbi Eric B. Wisnia
Author and Writer
Historian and Filmmaker
Chapel Hill, NC
American Philosopher & Historian
This letter is unanswerable. But of course, the Advisory Committee feels no obligation to answer,… the truth. Still, if the Memorial is removed it is even more important that this statement stand for all time as to the truth of what will have been done.
When our history is destroyed we will be no more. We are soon to be forgotten. They won’t even hate us anymore.
Another attempt at widening the cracks in our foundation by and for the inept.
Is there any aspect of our lives that the Jew does not play a part? There may not have been a war between the states if the European Jewish families who own all of the central banks in Gentile nations had not wanted to divide the United States and prevent it from becoming the world’s banker. The Jews were the largest percentage in the south who owned slaves and they owned the slave ships that brought blacks to the west. So I’m sure they were quite happy to live in the south and own slaves. Today Israel is full of former Soviet women who thought they were going to get jobs in Israel and ended up as sex slaves.
It is the international Jew that is behind opening borders in every white nation. We are literally cannon fodder for a Greater Israel while not being allowed to defend our own borders. We’re told that diversity is a good thing and if we insist upon defending our borders we’re white supremacists and racist haters. But Jews claim a right to a state of their own that belongs to Palestinians who evidently don’t have a right to their own state any more than we do. Jews then claim a right to live in everybody’s else’s countries.
Jews own and control all major media and propaganda machines in every white nation. They are behind the continual wars around the world and we are their war machine as innocent, defenseless people are slaughtered by the world’s most powerful military in the control of the Jew.
They use their power to culturally engineer the west and to destroy us. Nobody is allowed to criticize them or even tell the truth about them or else their lives and careers are destroyed. They can bring down people like Kanye who is a billionaire and everyone fears them.
Jews are the engine behind the Great Reset. They have turned Europe Islamic by opening borders. The west is being destroyed. The Jew was allowed back into England by Oliver Cromwell who brought them back so they would fund England’s holocaust against the Irish. http://www.irishholocaust.org/book.html
Jews committed the HOLODOMOR. Now they have planned food shortages around the world and are on the verge of starving us. They control big pharma and are killing people with vaccines.
We no longer have any freedoms left as they steal elections out in the open and put a senile man in our White House. We do not have free speech and are told what we are allowed to say and what we are not allowed to say.
The beautiful southern accents that were once in Georgia, South Carolina and other southern states are no more because Jews never allowed southern accents on tv or in the movies and our children learned to talk like the man on the six o’clock news. Most of the lies that have been told about the south were told by organizations and people controlled by the Jews who own and control all of publishing.
Parasites drain the life out of their hosts. Everywhere the Jew infests the host people are destroyed. They left the Soviet Union unlivable and came here and now the United States is being destroyed. In their Talmud it teaches that if the Jew tells you they are going to do certain things to you and you do nothing to stop them then you consent to what they do. That’s why there are Jews supposedly speaking up for us.
Jews went overboard in response to Whoopi Goldberg for saying that Jews and white people were the same people. They made certain that she understood that we are two different groups of people. They’re interests are not the same as ours and they control events so that we are becoming weak and our nation is sick. Nobody seems to know what to do about any of our problems. Jews should have to live in their own country and leave others alone. It’s not like we don’t have their sordid history or don’t know the facts about them. There is a reason everyone has hated them and driven them out, it’s no great secret. But the propaganda makes it seem that everyone else is simply evil and they are just innocent bystanders. They use psychological warfare to make people fear to tell the truth about them.
We are simply forced to pretend that they are innocent victims. But everyone believes that six million Jews were slaughtered by Hitler even though he never invaded a Jewish country. While nobody knows about the tens of millions starved in the HOLODOMOR in their own country by the Jews. Ukraine.
The fact that they were right at home in the south and not one Jew spoke up to fight to end slavery should make everyone wonder exactly what role they were playing.
You’re a vile human being, a liar, and and ignoramus spouting nothing but the shallow invented Jew-hating canards of every Jew hater. Your “comment” is not worthy of toilet paper and is one that reeks of the easy hatred of today’s racist filth.
So Grayson Esq. If I don’t like jews, I’m a vile human being, a liar, and ignoramus. You certainly have a strong opinion, I’ll bet that your a Southern Baptist Evangelical jerk And Woke at that. Do you hate white people? I see you to be an egalitarian humanist.
Fiddler on the fence !
“ President Abraham Lincoln – Friend of the Jewish People
The name Abraham Lincoln is known to millions, not just in the United States, as one of America’s greatest presidents. He is famous for having maintained the American union and freed its black slaves. Less known is that he also championed the rights of Jewish Americans, even when it was difficult and unfashionable to do so.
Of President Lincoln’s actions to assist the Jewish people, his most notable and public manifestation was Lincoln’s cancellation of a general order by Union Army Gen. Ulysses S; Grant. On Dec. 17, 1862, Gen. Grant issued a decree which expelled all Jews from the areas under his control, which stretched from northern Mississippi to the southern tip of Illinois, and from the Mississippi to the Tennessee Rivers. A long-time anti-Semite, Grant had come to think of Jews as speculators and war profiteers. The fact that thousands of Jews were heroically serving in the Union Army at the time seemingly did nothing to change his anti-Jewish hatred.
President Abraham Lincoln
Upon learning of the order, Lincoln immediately took steps to cancel Grant’s order. On January 6, 1863, Grant’s headquarters was forced to send out several telegrams notifying those in the areas he controlled that the order expelling Jews was revoked. The day after the order was revoked, a delegation of Jewish leaders travelled to Washington D.C. to thank the President. Lincoln is quoted as having assured his Jewish visitors that he knew “of no distinction between Jews and Gentile” and stressed his revulsion at Gen. Grant’s orders and virulent anti-Semitism. There are many other earlier indications of these special feelings of Lincoln for the Jews.
Lincoln regularly quoted from the Bible in letters, speeches and ordinary conversation. But unlike many American Christians of his time, Lincoln did not focus primarily on the Christian parts of his Bible, and seemed remarkably comfortable with the Torah. Also, unlike many 19th Century American Christians, Lincoln had many Jewish friends, the first of which was Julius Hammerslough. Hammerslough was a young store owner in Springfield, Illinois. When Lincoln was elected to the Illinois State Legislature in 1834, he met Hammerslough, and at a time when Jews were viewed with suspicion, Lincoln treated Hammerslough as an equal. Once Lincoln became president, Hammerslough became a frequent guest at the White House.
Another of Lincoln’s closest friends was Abraham Jonas. Jonas was a merchant, lawyer and politician, who supported and encouraged Lincoln for most of his life. Jonas and Lincoln were both members of the Illinois State Legislature and were active in the anti-slavery Republican Party after its establishment in 1854. Jonas gained a reputation as one of the very first public figures to encourage Lincoln to run for president and was the only person Lincoln ever referred to as “one of my most valued friends”.
As the Civil War initiated, Lincoln recruited military and civilian leaders to help lead the fight. He openly appointed members of the Jewish people, never disparaging them for their religion, as many of his contemporaries constantly did. In addition to Jewish military officers, Lincoln also appointed about dozens of Jews to be quartermasters, overseeing housing, supplies, transportation and clothing for the troops. When Jews began lobbying Congress to allow Jewish chaplains in the army, Lincoln supported their cause, eventually seeing the passage of an 1862 law changing the requirements for becoming a military chaplain, and for the first time in history allowing non-Christians in the post. Lincoln approved the first Jewish military chaplain on Sept. 18, 1862, Rev. Jacob Frankel of Rodef Shalom congregation in Philadelphia.
On April 14, 1865, the Lincolns were watching a play in Washington D.C.’s Ford Theatre when Lincoln was gunned down by John Wilkes Booth, an enraged and unbalanced actor. Later, Mary Todd Lincoln, the president’s wife, said Abraham had just a few minutes earlier said that he hoped one day they could travel to visit the land of Israel together. Among the millions who mourned the 16th President, many Jewish congregations held special services and composed prayers for their beloved president. In Springfield, Illinois, where Lincoln was buried on May 4, 1865, his old friend Julius Hammerslough closed his store and displayed a portrait of Lincoln with a declaration that captured what so many felt: “Millions bless thy name.”
Today, in addition to monuments to Abraham Lincoln in the United States, a street in central Jerusalem is named for Abraham Lincoln, a fitting tribute to the Jewish people’s gratitude to a president who championed and defended America’s Jews.”
Thanks Miss Barbara for sharing your knowledge!
Words will never change their minds, no matter how rational. Those in power are more like the National socialist party of Germany in 1933, determined to erase 246 years of history, culture, language, customs, religion.
What is next , knock down grave markers of our fallen, reopen the civil war trials, lock up fourth generation children or make them disavow their great grand father who fought in the war between the states? They have decided to remove everything sacred to us, and worse we will let them , yes I said let them! A pox on their house!
What is the most queer is a great majority of the men and women buried on Robert E Lee’s estate (Arlington cemetery)are southern who fought and died for the United States, guess they didn’t read the fine print.
Wonder how many southern men will sign up for the next war?
You are indeed correct. Without Southern men, and now women, of every color and faith this country would not have survived a few of its wars.
I hope not a single southerner contributes.
I’d die of laughter if told I had to.