The following bolded texts are quotes from Cat Yronwode, taken from comment threads on facebook yesterday. I haven’t added much, her comments are intact, and they stand on their own. Another friend remarked that Wikipedia seems to be making a consistent, organized effort at holocaust denial, or at least an attempt to “tone it down”.
Try it yourself…I did. People are “born to Jewish parents”, but they’re NOT JEWISH IN WIKIPEDIA. “(Louis B. Mayer) was born Lazar Meir, possibly on July 12, 1884, to a Jewish family in Minsk, Russian Empire…” “Bob Dylan was born Robert Allen Zimmerman (Hebrew name שבתאי זיסל בן אברהם [Shabtai Zisl ben Avraham]) in St. Mary’s Hospital on May 24, 1941, in Duluth, Minnesota, and raised in Hibbing, Minnesota, on the Mesabi Iron Range west of Lake Superior. His paternal grandparents, Zigman and Anna Zimmerman, emigrated from Odessa in the Russian Empire (now Ukraine) to the United States following the anti-Semitic pogroms of 1905. His maternal grandparents, Benjamin and Lybba Edelstein, were Lithuanian Jews who arrived in the United States in 1902. In his autobiography Chronicles: Volume One, Dylan writes that his paternal grandmother’s maiden name was Kirghiz and her family originated from Kağızman in north eastern Turkey. Dylan’s parents, Abram Zimmerman and Beatrice “Beatty” Stone, were part of the area’s small but close-knit Jewish community.” But Dylan himself is NOT JEWISH IN WIKIPEDIA.
Oooooh, here’s a doozy: “Art Spiegelman was born to Polish Jews Władysław (1906–1982) and Andzia (1912–1968) Spiegelman. His father was born Zev Spiegelman, with the Hebrew name Zev ben Avraham. Władysław was his Polish name, and Władek (or Vladek in Russified form) was a diminutive of this name. He was also known as Wilhelm under German occupation, and upon immigration to the U.S. he took the name William. His mother was born Andzia Zylberberg, with the Hebrew name Hannah. She took the name Anna upon her American immigration. In Spiegelman’s Maus, from which they are best known, the names of the two were spelled “Vladek” and “Anja”, as Spiegelman believed those spellings would be easiest for Americans to pronounce accurately. The surname Spiegelman is German for “mirror man”. He had one brother, Rysio (mistakenly spelled “Richieu” in Maus) who died before Art was born, at about the age of five or six. During the Holocaust, he was sent to stay with an aunt, with whom it was believed he would be safe. The aunt poisoned herself, along with Rysio, and two other minor family members kept under her guidance, so that he wouldn’t be taken to the death camps by the Nazis. After the war, his parents, unable to accept that he was dead, searched orphanages all over Europe in the hopes of finding him. Spiegelman talked of having a sort of sibling rivalry with his “ghost brother”—he felt unable to compete with an “ideal” brother who “never threw tantrums or got in any kind of trouble”.” I guess he managed to forget all that, since he’s NOT JEWISH IN WIKIPEDIA.
Cat states that “750 biographies at Wikipedia contain the phrase “born to a Jewish family” and 300 biographies contain the phrase “born to Jewish parents” — and none of these biographies mention that the subject is Jewish! There are too many of these biographies with EXACTLY THE SAME WEASEL WORDING to be accidental or coincidental…Another catch-phrase euphemism is “the son of Jewish parents” — this yields 30 biographies at Wikipedia. The site-specific search is site:en.wikipedia.org “the son of Jewish parents” — and the converse term “daughter of Jewish parents” yield 7 biographies, among them Edith Head, Gilda Radner, and Elaine May. The site-specific search is site:en.wikipedia.org “the daughter of Jewish parents””
“Jewish ancestry” seems to be another, apparently “Curly Howard was born Jerome Lester Horwitz in the Bensonhurst section of the Brooklyn borough of New York City. He was the fifth of the five Horwitz brothers and of Lithuanian Jewish ancestry. Because he was the youngest, his brothers called him “Babe” to tease him. The nickname stuck with him all his life, although when his older brother Shemp married Gertrude Frank, who was also nicknamed “Babe,” the brothers started calling him “Curly” to avoid confusion. His full formal Hebrew name was “Yehudah Lev ben Shlomo Natan ha Levi.” But of course Curly himself is NOT JEWISH IN WIKIPEDIA.
Feel free to share. Cat’s given full permission to quote her on this. And I’m OK with COPYPASTING THE WHOLE THING. I promise not to go running to WordPress with my timestamped blog post, crying plagiarism. Go for it. Get it out there.
“Well, if you ever wondered why I hate Wikipedia, here’s why: Read the Wikipedia article on Jean Goldkette, then read what a real scholar has written here, in Vintage Jazz Mart Magazine: http://www.vjm.biz/new_page_7.htm Notice what’s missing? (Massive head shake.)
“Mention of a person being Jewish is regularly removed from biographies at Wikipedia. The topic is an ongoing issue between warring editors, some of whom require “proof” that a person self-declared as Jewish in a published venue, a step that few of our ancestors felt was a requirement for being a Jew. Without that published self-declaration, these editors re-write biographies of famous Jews into strange and twisted formations, claiming, for instance, that “we cannot know” why a person with a well-known Jewish surname emigrated to America, say, in 1938. I have seen some editors claim it could just be a “coincidence” that the Nazis were imposing restrictions on Jews by then, even going so far as to state that “for all we know, the emigration might have been motivated by a search for a better job, because we have no published self-declaration that this person was a Jew.” It is sheer madness, and an attempt to cover up Jewish identities at Wikipedia. The Jean Goldkette Wikipedia article is an example of this sort of racism in action.
“Example (this is my mother’s first cousin): “Franz Theodor Reizenstein (7 June 1911 – 15 October 1968) was a German-born British composer and concert pianist. He left Germany for sanctuary in Britain in 1934 and went on to have his career there, including teaching at the Royal Northern College of Music and Boston University, as well as performing.” He is not JEWISH, of coure. They removed that. But “he left Germany for sanctuary.” WHAT THE FUCK DOES THAT MEAN? Just, you know, everybody was doing that…?
“Later in the same article, having removed the fact that Franz was Jewish (and thus making NON-sense of his having “left Germany for sanctuary”) they state that “The family was Jewish.” Again, what the fuck? The “family” was Jewish and Franz “left Germany for sanctuary.” Uh…. do these two ideas not go together? Not related in any way? According to Wikipedia, no, they are non-connected ideas in different parts of the article. A young reader would have to know the “secret decoder language” that would allow them to tie together the date of emigration and the random comment about the family.
“Here’s another example, not my writing, but, again, I knew the man. He attended synagogue. This is from the Wikipedia biography of Will Eisner, a comic book writer and artist: “Eisner was born in Brooklyn, New York City, the son of Jewish immigrants.” Also, ” Eisner continued with a string of graphic novels that tell the history of New York’s immigrant communities, particularly Jews.” Again, according to Wikipedia, Eisner himself is not Jewish, but he is the “son of Jewish immigrants” and he wrote about “immigrant communities, particularly Jews.” Will EIsner always spoke openly of being Jewish as part of his self-identification. But as far as Wikipedia is concerned, he is not to be “Jewish.” Only his parents are.
“Here is MY OWN BIOGRAPHY on Wikipedia. For the record, I am Jewish and openly have published and declared that fact in print and on the radio, but according to WIkipedia, “her mother, Liselotte Erlanger, was an Ashkenazi Jewish refugee from Germany.” In other words, according to Wikipedia, I am NOT Jewish, but my mother is!
“Ah, yes, “Carl Laemmle (January 17, 1867 in Laupheim, Germany – September 24, 1939 in Los Angeles, California) was a pioneer in American film making and a founder of one of the original major Hollywood movie studios – Universal. Laemmle produced or was otherwise involved in over four hundred films.” But although “Laemmle was born on the Radstrasse just outside the former Jewish quarter of Laupheim” — guess what? Carl Laemmle is NOT JEWISH IN WIKIPEDIA.
“And look! Peter Lorre! “Peter Lorre (26 June 1904 – 23 March 1964) was a Austrian-American actor.” Of course, he was NOT JEWISH IN WIKIPEDIA (I mean, what did you expect?) Instead we learn that “Lorre was born László Löwenstein on 26 June 1904, as the first child of Jewish couple Alajos Löwenstein and Elvira Freischberger.” Again, his parents were Jewish, but he was not. According to Wikipedia, “When the Nazis came to power in Germany in 1933, Lorre took refuge first in Paris and then London.” I wonder why? Could it be? No … no … no. Absolutely not. Peter Lorre is NOT JEWISH IN WIKIPEDIA.
Ah, Joe Kubert, comic book artist. According to Wikipedia, “Joseph Kubert (/ˈkjuːbərt/; September 18, 1926 – August 12, 2012) was an American comic book artist, art teacher and founder of The Kubert School.” and you MIGHT think he was Jewish if you had known him, but not so! Although, of course, his parents were Jewish. “Kubert was born September 18, 1926 to a Jewish family in a shtetl called Yzeran (Jezierzany), in southeast Poland (now Ukraine). He was the son of Etta (née Reisenberg) and Jacob Kubert. He emigrated to Brooklyn, New York City, United States, at age two months with his parents and his two-and-a-half-year-old sister Ida. Raised in the East New York neighborhood, the son of a kosher butcher, Kubert started drawing at an early age, encouraged by his parents.” So, his parents were Jewish, as is the custom in Wikipedia, but Joe Kubert was NOT JEWISH IN WIKIPEDIA. I think this would have surprised him.
“Another example: Mort Weisinger: “Mortimer Weisinger (April 25, 1915 – May 7, 1978) was an American magazine and comic book editor best known for editing DC Comics’ Superman during the mid-1950s to 1960s, in the Silver Age of comic books.” Sure, you probably thought he was Jewish (and I think he thought so too), but according to Wikipedia, he was not. His parents were: “Weisinger was born in the Washington Heights section of New York City, New York and raised in the Bronx as the son of a Jewish businessman in the garment trade.” And so it goes. Another person I know well to have been Jewish is NOT JEWISH IN WIKIPEDIA.
“Another example. Here we have the famous Marx Brothers comedy team. Jewish, right? NO! Acccording to Wikipedia, they are NOT Jewish. “Born in New York City, the Marx Brothers were the sons of Jewish immigrants from Germany and France.” They are the “sons of Jewish immigrants.” They themselves are NOT JEWISH IN WIKIPEDIA.
“Mel Blanc the voice actor is NOT JEWISH IN WIKIPEDIA.. I love this one! First we learn that “Melvin Jerome “Mel” Blanc (May 30, 1908 – July 10, 1989) was an American voice actor and comedian. Although he began his nearly six-decade-long career performing in radio commercials, Blanc is best remembered for his work with Warner Bros. as the voices of Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Porky Pig, Tweety Bird, Sylvester the Cat, Yosemite Sam, Foghorn Leghorn, Marvin the Martian, Pepé Le Pew, Speedy Gonzales, the Tasmanian Devil and many of the other characters from the Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies theatrical cartoons,” And then we get the obligatory statement that his parents were Jewish: “Blanc was born Melvin Jerome Blank in San Francisco, California, to Jewish parents Frederick and Eva Blank.” NOT JEWISH IN WIKIPEDIA himself, Blanc gets the last laugh on the racism of effacement. His tombstone is shown in his biography at Wikipedia. There’s a HUGE Star of David (that’s a Mogen David to all you wine-loving goyim) right on the tombstone! But Mel Blanc is NOT JEWISH IN WIKIPEDIA. It is to laugh. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Mel_Blanc_4-15-05.JPG
“Here’s another example: Albert Einstein, well known physicist, and you probably thought he was Jewish, right? Nope. he is NOT JEWISH IN WIKIPEDIA. Here is what is said: “He was visiting the United States when Adolf Hitler came to power in 1933, and did not go back to Germany, where he had been a professor at the Berlin Academy of Sciences.” HUH? What? Oh, later in the article we learn about his PARENTS again — not him, just his family: “The Einsteins were non-observant Jews.” But Albert, no, not him. He is NOT JEWISH IN WIKIPEDIA — just a guy who took a vacation to the United States.
“Here’s another example, a relative of my family: “Heinrich Bernhard Oppenheim (July 20, 1819, Frankfurt – March 29, 1880 in Berlin) was a German publicist and philosopher concerned with the ideas of liberalism, free trade and international law. Oppenheim was son of a Jewish family of bankers in Frankfurt.” He was NOT JEWISH IN WIKIPEDIA. His parents were … but he was not. (Except, of course, that he was.)
“And look, again, here’s Eddie Cantor, the comedic singer: “Eddie Cantor (January 31, 1892 – October 10, 1964), born Edward Israel Iskowitz, was an American “illustrated song” performer, comedian, dancer, singer, actor and songwriter.” Well, we all know the drill by now. His parents were Jewish (and with a name like Iskowitz, this comes as no shock!) We llearn from WIkipedia that “Cantor was born in New York City, the son of Russian-Jewish immigrants, Meta and Mechel Iskowitz. His mother died in childbirth one year after his birth, and his father died of pneumonia when Eddie was two, leaving him to be raised by his beloved grandmother, Esther Kantrowitz. As a child, he attended Surprise Lake Camp. A misunderstanding when signing her grandson for school gave him her last name of Kantrowitz (shortened by the clerk to Kanter).” Interesting information — but that’s his mom and dad and granny. THEY were Jewish; Eddie Cantor is NOT JEWISH IN WIKIPEDIA.
“Mel Brooks? NOT JEWISH IN WIKIPEDIA. “Mel Brooks (born Melvin James Kaminsky; June 28, 1926) is an American film director, screenwriter, composer, lyricist, comedian, actor and producer.” As is common, his parents were Jewish: “His father’s family were German Jews from the Baltic Sea port of Danzig (the modern Polish port of Gdansk); his mother’s family were Ukrainian Jews from Kiev.” But Mel Brooks? NOT JEWISH IN WIKIPEDIA.
“Carl Reiner– same deal as Mel Brooks.”Carl Reiner (born March 20, 1922) is an American actor, film director, producer, writer, and comedian” whose “parents were Jewish immigrants.” But he’s NOT JEWISH IN WIKIPEDIA.
“Here’s another:”Larry Simon Gelbart (February 25, 1928 – September 11, 2009) was an American television writer, playwright, screenwriter and author” and, as usual, “Gelbart was born in Chicago to Jewish immigrants Harry Gelbart (“a barber since his half of a childhood in Latvia”) and Frieda Sturner, who migrated to America from Dombrowa, [disambiguation needed] Poland.” But Larry Gelbart is NOT JEWISH IN WIKIPEDIA.
“Laughing my ass off now.Here’s Stephen Sondheim: “Stephen Joshua Sondheim (pron.: /ˈsɒnd.haɪm/; born March 22, 1930) is an American composer and lyricist known for his contributions to musical theatre. ” and the semi-obligatory, “Sondheim was born to a Jewish family in New York City, Etta Janet “Foxy” (née Fox) and Herbert Sondheim.” — but he himself is NOT JEWISH IN WIKIPEDIA.
“Benjamin David “Benny” Goodman (May 30, 1909 – June 13, 1986) was an American jazz and swing musician, clarinetist and bandleader; known as the “King of Swing” — but he is NOT JEWISH IN WIKIPEDIA. His parents, well, that’s another story, because, “Goodman was born in Chicago, the ninth of twelve children of poor Jewish immigrants from the Russian Empire, who lived in the Maxwell Street neighborhood.”
“Henry “Henny” Youngman (original Russian surname Yungman; March 16, 1906 – February 24, 1998) was a British-American comedian and violinist famous for “one-liners”, short, simple jokes usually delivered rapid-fire. His best known one-liner was “Take my wife—please.”” — buy, oy vey, when we get to his parents, the oddities begin: “Youngman was born to a Jewish family in Liverpool,[dubious – discuss] England.” “Dubious-discuss”? Really? Well, in any case, he’s NOT JEWISH IN WIKIPEDIA.
“Leonard Bernstein (Listeni/ˈbɜrnstaɪn/ US dict: bûrn′·stīn; August 25, 1918 – October 14, 1990) was an American composer, conductor, author, music lecturer, and pianist.” And yes, “He was born Louis Bernstein in Lawrence, Massachusetts, the son of Ukrainian Jewish parents Jennie (née Resnick) and Samuel Joseph Bernstein, a hair-dressing supplies wholesaler originating from Rovno (now Ukraine).” But Leonard Bernstein, NOT JEWISH IN WIKIPEDIA.
“Sidney Joseph Perelman, almost always known as S. J. Perelman, (February 1, 1904 – October 17, 1979) was an American humorist, author, and screenwriter” — but he didn’t even have “Jewish parents” or “aJewish family,”according to Wikipedia. He wrote scripts for the Marx Brothers, who, like Perelman were NOT JEWISH IN WIKIPEDIA.
“Joseph Heller (May 1, 1923 – December 12, 1999) was an American satirical novelist, short story writer, and playwright.” and yes, “Joseph Heller was born in Coney Island in Brooklyn, New York, the son of poor Jewish parents, Lena and Isaac Donald Heller, from Russia.” But he got over it, i guess, because Joseph Heller is NOT JEWISH IN WIKIPEDIA.
“Adam Richard Sandler (born September 9, 1966) is an American actor, comedian, screenwriter, musician, and film producer.” Of course, “Sandler was born in Brooklyn, New York, to Jewish parents, Stanley, an electrical engineer, and Judy Sandler, a nursery school teacher.” but he himself is NOT JEWISH IN WIKIPEDIA.
“Here’s another example, another relative of mine: “Maximillian Oppenheimer (6 May 1902, in Saarbrücken, Germany – 26 March 1957, in Hamburg, Germany) – known as Max Ophüls – was an influential German-born film director who worked in Germany (1931–33), France (1933–40), the United States (1947–50), and France again (1950–57).” Well, isn’t it interesting how he moved around from 1933 – 1950? But is he Jewish? Nope. He is NOT JEWISH IN WIKIPEDIA. His parents, of course, are Jewish in Wikipedia: “Max Ophüls was the son of Leopold Oppenheimer, a Jewish textile manufacturer from Saarbrücken and owner of several textile shops in Germany, and his wife Helen.” But Max himself? Jewish? No-no-no! He is NOT JEWISH IN WIKIPEDIA. Just another German guy who took an extended vacation in the 1930s and never returned home to Germany.
“And another: “Jerome David Kern (January 27, 1885 – November 11, 1945) was an American composer of musical theatre and popular music,” says WIkipedia, noting that “His parents were Henry Kern (1842–1908), a Jewish German immigrant, and Fannie Kern née Kakeles (1852–1907), who was an American Jew of Bohemian parentage.” Jewish parents, again, but Kern himself? Nope. NOT JEWISH IN WIKIPEDIA.
“Here’s another example, from the Wikipedia biography of Erich Salomon: “Erich Salomon (28 April 1886 – 7 July 1944) was a German-born news photographer known for his pictures in the diplomatic and legal professions and the innovative methods he used to acquire them.” He is NOT JEWISH IN WIKIPEDIA. There is a hint of trouble (not JEWISH trouble, God forbid!) in this line from his biography at Wikipedia: “After Adolf Hitler came to power in Germany, Salomon fled to the Netherlands with his wife and continued his photographic career in The Hague. Salomon declined an invitation from Life Magazine to move to the United States.” Hmmm… wonder why he “fled” from Germany? Let’s read on! According to Wikipedia, “He and his family were trapped in the Low Countries after Germany invaded in 1940. Salomon and his family were held in the Westerbork Transit Camp, then for almost five months in Theresienstadt concentration camp and were deported from there to the Theresienstadt Family Camp in May 1944. He died in Auschwitz on 7 July 1944.” Gee, that’s too bad. Hey, I wonder what he died of! Okay, reviewing our biography, we now know that we have learned the life-history of a man named Erich Salomon. He “fled” Germany at some point in time for unknown reasons, he was “trapped in the Low Countries after Germany invaded” there, and he died in some place called … hmmm, what was it? … oh, yes, “Auschwitz” … of unknown causes. Too bad for him, but not really our concern, it was just some “German thing,” I guess, because Erich Salomon was NOT JEWISH IN WIKIPEDIA.
“Here’s another: “Fritz Löhner-Beda (24 June 1883 – 4 December 1942), born Friedrich Löwy, was an Austrian librettist, lyricist and writer.” How surprising to learn that “In mid-March 1938 Fritz Löhner-Beda was arrested and deported to the Dachau concentration camp on 1 April 1938. On 23 September 1938 he was displaced to the Buchenwald concentration camp.” Why? Was it because he was Jewish? Not according to Wikipedia. NO EXPLANATION IS GIVEN. Then, later in the article, it is stated that “On 17 October 1942 he was deported to the Monowitz concentration camp near Auschwitz” and there he was beaten to death. But … no mention that he was Jewish. None at all. According to WIkipedia, he is just another person who somehow, inexplicably died at Auschwitz. He is NOT JEWISH IN WIKIPEDIA.
“Now, to be fair to Wikipedia, here is a counter-example: At Wikipedia we learn about Pavel Haas: “Pavel Haas (21 June 1899 – 17 October 1944) was a Czech composer who was murdered during the Holocaust.” Of course, lots of folks were “murdered during the Holocaust,” including gypsies, Catholics, and political activists. Was Pavel Haas Jewish? Well, his parents were, it seems, for, according to Wikipedia, “Haas was born in Brno, into a Jewish family. His father, Zikmund, a shoemaker by trade, was from the Moravian region; while his mother, Olga (née Epstein), was born in Odessa.” So his parents and possibly some other relations (such as my own Epstein and Haas relatives, no doubt!) were Jewish, and, eventually the truth comes out in this statement: “In 1941, Haas was deported to the Theresienstadt concentration camp (Terezín). He was one of several Czech-Jewish composers there, including Viktor Ullmann, Gideon Klein and Hans Krása.” So … Pavel Haas IS JEWISH IN WIKIPEDIA. At least for now.”