Aronsfeld writes about the treatment and experiences of Jewish people during the first world war. He details that German Jews living in England suffered during the war and were treated poorly. He notes that having a British citizenship did not protect those of alien birth.
The Times newspaper was also printing anti-Semitic propaganda and used the word “Jew” in a derogatory manner. As well as this, they used the words “German” and “Jew” as interchangeable terms. Antisemitic views were spreading through Britain fast.
Aronsfeld Further notes that Jewish M.Ps and people of power were discriminated against. For example, Mr Arthur Strauss, the conservative M.P for North Paddington was asked to resign because he was a native German. It did not matter that he was naturalized, only that he came from Germany. This Highlights that nobody was safe from anti-Semitic views and opinions during the war. if an individual was German or Jewish, they would be discriminated against. He also notes that Edgar Speyer was requested to resign from the chairmanship of the hospital that he worked at because of threats of large withdraws of subscribers if he remained on the board. His wife was also asked to remove their daughters from the school that they attended in London, in fear that English people would take their daughters away and enrol them in different schools.
Additionally, After the sinking of the Lusitania Sir Arthur Pinero, the playwright suggested that the Jewish community band together and express their detestation of Germanys welfare. However, the Jewish community did not think it was necessary to confirm their loyalty to Britain when they had lived there for so long, but a frenzy of public opinion forced them to do so. Aronsfeld highlights that there were consequences for the Jewish community if they did not affirm their loyalty to Britain. If they kept silent it may have led to suspicion of them “sitting on the gate”. Many members of the Jewish community felt humiliated that they were forced to show their loyalty to Britain through writing, as they had been showing their loyalty for many years through their deeds.
Aronsfeld concluded his chapter by noting that the Jewish community had been boycotted and abandoned from their adopted country. A country that they had proven their loyalty to many times had now shunned them because they were by law “aliens”.