It wasn’t enough for the Germans to kill six million innocent Jewish bankers and pornographers in a fake shower room by suffocating them with diesel fumes from a Soviet submarine engine. Still not satisfied with the destruction they had wrought, they came to my website with complaints about minor linguistic infringements.
Yesterday, which was a true Thursday, in a crappy filler article, I offhandedly said that anyone named “Shiller” is probably a Jew.
I was informed by these Germans that in fact, “Shiller” or “Schiller” is a regular name for German people of a Christian nature.
There is in fact a famous German philosopher and playwright named “Frederich Schiller.”
This is of course evidently true, and I misspoke.
Of course, in Germany there are also non-Jews named things like Bergsteinwitz and Goldenheimstein.
We have the same issue with Russians and Poles, where people think anyone with an ethnic sounding name must be a Jew. This is because most of the Poles and Germans who came to America came before World War II, when we still required that foreigners coming into our country “Anglicize” their names – i.e., modify them to fit Anglo-Saxon naming traditions.
After the war, of course, we were flooded with Jews from Poland and Russia, none of whom were willing to cooperate with our naming traditions. Now, of course, if a Russian or a Pole – or a German, for that matter – comes to America, no one even requests that he fix his name.
Therefore, more recent non-Jewish immigrants are regularly accused of being Jews.
So, the lesson is: don’t assume that anyone with a foreign-sounding name is Jewish. Just assume that they probably are.
A big part of the problem is that Jews often try to disguise the fact that they are Jewish, so you often can’t directly find this information. They are doing this less the more bold they get, but we still run into situations where we don’t know if someone is Jewish or not.
I don’t agree with outright accusing people of being secretly Jewish without proof or direct admission. However, I do think it is okay to say “he looks Jewish” or “his name is usually Jewish.”