Jew-hatred thinly disguised as prompt, brittle criticism of Israelis is what repeatedly gave me the gags. For example, at a professional meeting, this young woman pointedly vented to me, a new acquaintance, about the behavior of that Israeli man when (A) there was no reason to vent same to me, unless to establish something; (B) the man’s behavior was perfectly polite, although it inadvertantly inconvenienced her for a few heartbeats of time, and (C) this man was her professional colleague. He was senior to her and he was Dr. So-and-So. Ah, but no and no! that Israeli man!
She had no idea she was trying to establish cred with an ethnic Slav of the Slaviest, longest-memoried sort! Too bad I was and am at the same time a naive American, easily taken aback and slow with the snappy comebacks.
You can judge a man pretty accurately by noticing whether he walks into a room talking, versus with a collected, mannerly demeanor. This is scaleable, I found. A little mob of 4 or 5 big men shouting to each other as they burst throught the doors of a little restaurant in Bohemia, scanning the room and commandeering the best table? A bigger mob getting off a bus in Cesky Krumlov, immediately forming up and singing some German song at the castle towers? The opposite sort of behavior is incumbent on them in Czechia, or any place they invaded and did murder not at all long ago.
They call the postwar German generation the “White Generation,” and good relations have been enjoyed between many of their members and the children of the Allies and of the survivors. I suspect, though, that that generation is split down the middle - which can happen, right? - and that a great many of them have absorbed from their forbears certain habits of mind, such as those described by Sebastian Haffner in his memoir describing the taking up and indoctrination of an entire generation of youth in the 1930s.
Thanks, I guess, for reminding me about Madison Grant and his lovely book. When in college I had an idyllic getaway vacation in State of Maine, at the seaside home of the family of a friend. There in the little guest cabin, with the sound of the waves breaking on the shore, the seabirds wheeling overhead, the crystal glints reflecting off the Atlantic waves, spirits of Yankee sailormen all about me, the sea breezes comporting well with the the bowl of blueberries at hand, I stretched out on my little bunk in the cabin and looked up on the bookshelf to find, conveniently to hand for bedtime reading, Madison Grant and Margaret Sanger. Always a shock to find a serpent in the garden.