With support from the University of Richmond

History News Network

History News Network puts current events into historical perspective. Subscribe to our newsletter for new perspectives on the ways history continues to resonate in the present. Explore our archive of thousands of original op-eds and curated stories from around the web. Join us to learn more about the past, now.

Anti-semitic Letter From Ex-President Taft Up for Auction

Hoping that he would get the vacant Supreme Court seat, Taft made his feelings very clear in the letter. “He (Brandeis) is a muckraker, an emotionalist for his own purposes, a socialist, prompted by jealousy, a hypocrite, a man who has certain high ideals in his imagination, but who is utterly unscrupulous in method of reaching them, a man of infinite cunning, of marked ability in that direction that hardly rises above the dignity of cunning, of great tenacity of purpose, and, in my judgement, of much power for evil.”

Later in the letter, Taft commented on the American-Jewish communities of the United States, his words revealing the continued negativity Judaism was faced with, “…the leading Jews of the country told Wilson that Brandeis was not a representative Jew. Since that time, Brandeis has adopted Zionism, favors the new Jerusalem, and has metaphorically been re-circumcised.” Taft declared, “He has gone all over the country making speeches, arousing the Jewish spirit, even wearing a hat in the Synagogue while making a speech in order to attract those bearded Rabbis whose invitation to the silver wedding in such numbers you promoted. If it were necessary, I am sure he would have grown a beard to convince them that he was a Jew of Jews.”

Read entire article at New Historian