Day: February 7, 2017

The Fake Legends of Adolf Hitler’s “Jewish Grandfather”

https://carolynyeager.net/fake-legends-adolf-hitler%E2%80%99s-%E2%80%9Cjewish-grandfather%E2%80%9D

How and why it got started, and why it’s not true

By Carolyn Yeager, March 2011

copyright 2011 Carolyn Yeager

The rumor that Adolf Hitler was the grandson of a Rothschild seems to have been hatched in the mind of a crypto-Jewish propagandist working in the United States’ first unified intelligence agency, the Office of Strategic Services (OSS). Not long after, a former high Nazi official, waiting for his execution, “confessed” to discovering a “Jewish grandfather” in Hitler’s background. These fabrications have been thoroughly debunked, and the true story of Hitler’s family background is told below.

Background information about Walter Langer and the OSS

The OSS was formed at the request of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, from advice given to him by Canadian/British spymaster William Stephenson, aka “Intrepid,” who had been conducting British intelligence in the western hemisphere since 1939. Roosevelt asked William J. Donovan to draft a plan for an intelligence service. Donovan had functioned as an informal emissary to Britain for Roosevelt during 1940-41, assigned to gauge Britain’s ability to succeed against Germany. In this role, he met with directors of Britain’s intelligence services, and even with Winston Churchill. Donovan was appointed as the “Coordinator of Information” in July 1941. In June 1942, the OSS was established by Presidential military order. Its job was to collect and analyze strategic information required by and useful to the Joint Chiefs, and to conductspecial operations not assigned to other agencies.* Since the FBI, the Army and Navy jealously guarded their areas of responsibility, the reach of the OSS was limited to what it could find in the way of new opportunities for espionage that weren’t already being served by the former-named departments.    *Italics used throughout are my added emphasis – cy

William L. Langer was recruited during the war to work for the new OSS. Taking leave from his position as head of the History Dept. at Harvard Univ., he became head of the Research and Analysis Section of the OSS. He must have had something to do with bringing his brother Walter into his section, since Walter’s main accomplishment was a psychological analysis of Adolf Hitler.  

Walter Langer was a psychoanalyst with a PhD but not an M.D.; he was the first person admitted to the American Psychiatric Association without a medical degree. Imagine that! The brothers were the sons of German immigrants to the U.S. No religion is ever given for either, increasing the likelihood the family was Jewish but did not want to advertise that fact. Langer is a common Ashkanazi Jewish and German name. For instance, there is a Rabbi Samuel Langer, well known on the U.S. east coast who died in 1969, and David Langer, a Jewish soldier in the Polish Army whose picture was taken in 1929.

At the end of the war, William was appointed special assistant for intelligence analysis to the U.S. Secretary of State, James F. Byrnes. In 1950, William Langer organized the office of National Estimates in the newly established Central Intelligence Agency [CIA], the successor of the OSS. He returned to Harvard in the 1950’s, but from 1961 to 1977 he served on the President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board [from the Kennedy through Ford administrations]. In his book Diplomacy of Imperialism [1956], he argued against a “genocide” of the Armenians on the grounds their revolutionary leaders provoked the Turks into it.1

  

Left: William L. Langer   Right: Walter C. Langer in retirement. Look at the schnoz on both these brothers. 

Langer’s “Psychological Profile of Adolf Hitler”

Walter was given the task by Donovan in 1943 of preparing a briefpsychological and psychoanalytical profile of Hitler. But Langer wanted to do something more monumental. Without the opportunity to meet or speak with Hitler himself, Langer turned to disgruntled ex-National Socialists and others who had fallen out with Hitler, and to his tribal animosity for the Third Reich and knowledge of psycho-babble. For example, he wrote in his Preface:

The material available for such an analysis is extremely scant and spotty. Fortunately, we have at our disposal a number of informantswho knew Hitler well and who have been willing to cooperate to the best of their abilities.

Reading this profile, it becomes obvious it can only have been written by a Jew. The peculiar hatred, bias and ridicule are of the type that only Jews express against their enemies. Donovan must have been disappointed and considered the report useless since it was full of inaccuracies and full-blown lies … a work of fantasy and Freudian psycho-speak, liberally layered with overt sexual imagery and speculations. With no basis whatsoever, Langer writes:

 … a number of informants have commented on [Hitler’s] delight in witnessing strip-tease and nude dancing numbers on the stage. On such occasions he can never see enough to satisfy him even though he uses opera glasses in order to observe more closely. Strip-tease artists are frequently invited to the Brown House, in Munich, to perform in private and there is evidence that he often invites girls to Berchtesgaden for the purpose of exhibiting their bodies. On his walls are numerous pictures of obscene nudes which conceal nothing and he takes particular delight in looking through a collection of pornographic pictures which Hoffmann has made for him. […] In addition to the eyes, the anal region has also become highly sexualised and both faeces and buttocks become sexual objects. Due to early toilet training, certain inhibitions have been set up which prevent their direct expression. […] We may, therefore, regard Hitler’s perversion as a compromise between psychotic tendencies to eat faeces and drink urine on the one hand, and to live a normal socially adjusted life on the other. The compromise is not, however, satisfactory to either side of his nature and the struggle between these two diverse tendencies continues to rage unconsciously.

No kidding! And even worse—all from rumor, hearsay and Langer’s own sick Jewish mind. It descends into pornography for many pages, almost half the report. What of any value can have been gained thereby for the OSS?

Showing how Langer went way beyond the task that was assigned to him, the following passage is reminiscent of some other writings from that time [such as Germany Must Perish! by American Jew Theodore Kaufman] that sought to condemn the German nation as a whole for massive evil, and along with it, the entire “civilized world.”

It was not only Hitler, the madman, who created German madness, but German madness which created Hitler. Having created him as its spokesman and leader, it has been carried along by his momentum, perhaps far beyond the point where it was originally prepared to go. Nevertheless, it continues to follow his lead in spite of the fact that it must be obvious to all intelligent people now that his path leads to inevitable destruction. From a scientific point of view, therefore, we are forced to consider Hitler, the Fuehrer, not as a personal devil, wicked as his actions and philosophy may be, but as the expression of a state of mind existing in millions of people, not only in Germany but, to a smaller degree, in all civilized countries. To remove Hitler may be a necessary first step, but it would not be the cure. It would be analogous to curing an ulcer without treating the underlying disease. If similar eruptions are to be prevented in the future, we cannot content ourselves with simply removing the overt manifestations of the disease. On the contrary, we must ferret out and seek to correct the underlying factors which produced the unwelcome phenomenon. We must discover the psychological streams which nourish this destructive state of mind in order that we may divert them into channels which will permit a further evolution of our form of civilization.

Our form of civilization” meaning Jewish-American form of civilization? This is exactly what they know we need to do to Jews in order to save ourselves … to “ferret out the underlying factors” that are bringing about our destruction. In this OSS profile, there was no mention of a Jewish grandfather for Hitler. But the idea must have been forming to Langer, because toward the end of the “psychological analysis” section of his report, he suddenly invents “Jewish Godparents” for Hitler. His tendency to speculate on pet theories is working overtime when he writes:

We know that he had very little money when he left Linz, certainly not enough to live on for almost an entire year while he spent his time in painting. Since the date of his mother’s death has been so universally distorted (? don’t know what he means by this; the date was always Dec. 1907-cy), it would seem that efforts were being made to cover something which happened during this intervening year. My guess would be that he lived with his Jewish godparents 2 who supported him while he was preparing work for the Academy. When he failed to be admitted at the end of a year, they put him out and made him go to work. There is one bit of evidence for this hypothesis. Hanisch 3, in his book, mentions in passing that when they were particularly destitute he went with Hitler to visit a well-to-do Jew whom Hitler said was his father. The wealthy Jew would have nothing to do with him and sent him on his way again. There is scarcely a possibility that Hitler’s father was a Jew, but Hanisch mighteasily have understood him to say father when he said godfather. This would certainly make much more sense and would indicate that Hitler had contact with his godparents before the visit and that they were fed up with him and would help him no further.

The Rothschild story appears …

In 1972, Langer published a lengthier, revised version of his profile in book form, titled The Mind of Adolf Hitler: The Secret Wartime Report. It contained a forward by brother William, and an afterword by the “psychoanalytic historian” Robert G.L. Waite. In the book, Langer adds some new allusions to Jewish superiority in speaking of Adolf’s father:

Alois’ intelligence and behavior were beyond what can be expected from an Austrian family of peasants and more suitable to a linage of highly educated Jews.

This is prologue to his theory of a Rothschild paternity, admitting even as he puts it forth that it lacks credibility:

There are some people who seriously doubt that Johann Georg Hiedler was the father of Alois. Thyssen and Koehler, for example, claim that [Austrian] Chancellor Dollfuss had ordered the Austrian police to conduct a thorough investigation into the Hitler family. As a result of this investigation a secret document was prepared that proved that Maria Anna Schicklgruber was living in Vienna at the time she conceived. At that time she was employed as a servant in the home of Baron Rothschild. As soon as the family discovered her pregnancy she was sent back to her home in Spital where Alois was born. If it is true that one of the Rothschilds is the real father of Alois Hitler, it would make Adolf a quarter Jew. According to these sources, Adolf Hitler knew of the existence of this document and the incriminating evidence it contained. In order to obtain it he precipitated events in Austria and initiated the assassination of Dollfuss. According to this story, he failed to obtain the document at that time since Dollfuss had secreted it and had told Schuschnigg of its whereabouts so that in the event of his death the independence of Austria would remain assured. Several stories of this general character are in circulation.4

First, the “secret document” has never been seen, and no doubt never existed. The best one can find on anti-Hitler conspiracy sites is that it is “now in the hands of the British Secret Service.” And, of course, they’re not releasing it.

Second, the political putsch attempt by Austrian National Socialists, not under Hitler’s control in any way, that occurred in Vienna in 1934 was not instigated by Hitler; in fact, he was displeased by the attempt and the bad impression it created.

Third, Dollfuss may have searched into Hitler’s family line, but the Baron Rothschild part is totally unbelievable. There are no records showing Maria Anna Schickelgruber registered as a domestic servant in Vienna, ever, something that was required at the time. Langer admits this is just one of several “stories,” i.e. rumors, in circulation. He concludes that “it is sounder not to base our reconstruction on such slim evidence but to seek firmer foundations.” Yet he repeats these baseless rumors for the very purpose of keeping such rumors alive.

Robert G.L. Waite, who wrote the afterword for Langer’s book, was a Canadian self-styled “psychohistorian,” with a specialty in Adolf Hitler, who authored his own psycho-bio, Adolf Hitler: The Psychopathic God, published in 1977. Waite, who gained his psychiatric ‘insight’ from the extended treatment he received for depression he suffered since his university days, and was known for stubbornness and acting out emotionally in public, found Langer’s theories provocative, even if wrong. He wrote: “But even when Langer is mistaken and his guesses prove incorrect, he is often on the right track.”

Consider his hint that Hitler’s grandfather might have been a Jew. There is no reason to believe the unlikely story told by Langer’s informant that Hitler’s grandmother Maria Anna Schicklgruber, a peasant woman in her forties from the Waldvietral of rural Austria, had had an intimate liason with a Baron Rothschild in Vienna.

Above: Family resemblance? Not a bit, yet some imagine it. This photo comparison is found on Internet sites as evidence of Hitler’s Rothschild lineage!

and the Frankenberger story

In place of Langer’s failed rumors, Waite posits another false story of a different “Jewish grandfather” that had also been “circulating” for years, to wit that Hitler’s paternal grandmother had been working as a cook in the household of a Jewish man named Leopold Frankenberger before she gave birth to Hitler’s father out of wedlock.

But Hitler had worried that he might be blackmailed over a Jewish grandfather and ordered his private lawyer, Hans Frank, to investigate his paternal lineage. Frank told the Fuehrer that his grandmother had become pregnant while working as a domestic servant in a Jewish household in Graz.

The facts of this matter are in dispute – and a very lengthy dispute it has been. The point of overriding psychological and historical importance is not whether it is true that Hitler had a Jewish grandfather, but whether he believed that it might be true.

Waite then lies when he writes: “He did so believe and the fact shaped both his personality and his public policy.”

No, Hitler did not believe it, and in fact Hans Frank’s entire story is false, an invention made up in the mind of a condemned man under pressure to “clear his conscience.” There was no blackmail letter from Hitler’s nephew Patrick and there was no Frankenberger family living in Graz.

The American Jewish psychologist G. M. Gilbert was sent to Europe as a military intelligence officer and was appointed prison psychologist for the German prisoners.  He later wrote in his book Nuremberg Diary on p.19: “He [Hans Frank] and Albert Speer were the only defendants to show any true remorse for their war crimes …” He should also have said they were the only two who spoke ill of Adolf Hitler in retrospect, the former in hopes to clear himself before God, the latter in hopes to clear his reputation before his new earthly rulers.

Above: Hans Frank in confinement, 1945

HITLER’S TRUE GENEALOGY

These are the principal blood relatives of Adolf Hitler:

Maria Schicklgruber, paternal grandmother

Johann Georg Hiedler, presumed, official paternal grandfather

Johann Nepomuk Hüttler, real paternal grandfather and maternal great-grandfather

Johann Baptist Põlzl, maternal grandfather

Klara Hitler, mother

Alois Hitler, father

Paula Hitler, sister

Alois Hitler, Jr., half-brother (by his father’s 2nd wife)

Angela Hitler Raubal, half-sister (by father’s 2nd wife)

Geli Raubal, niece (through his half-sister Angela)

Leo Raubal Jr, nephew (through his half-sister Angela)

William Patrick Hitler, nephew (through his half-brother Alois, Jr)

Below is an accurate genealogic chart from Familypedia.com. The only addition that needs to be made is to link Maria Anna Schicklgruber and Johann Nepomuk Hüttler as having an extra-marital liason which resulted in the child Alois Schicklgruber in 1837 (see Werner Maser, below). But in all other aspects, it conforms to the research done and accepted by all historians and genealogists. There are no Jews or Jewish connections at all.

Werner Maser, a German historian and author of several serious books on Hitler, was described in his obituary in the London Times as “one of the first German historians to treat the Nazi period as a field of academic research.”5

This is borne out in his exceedingly thorough job of tracing Adolf Hitler’s family background and lineage in his book, Hitler: Legend, Myth and Reality, published in German in 1971, in English in 1973. He concludes that Hitler’s paternal grandfather was Johann Nepomuk Hüttler, a German farmer living in Spital, in the Waldviertel region in the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

This book and the information it contains has been available for 40 years, yet conspiracy theorists who want to believe Hitler was a Rothschild or simply a part-Jew ignore it. Maser’s investigation included personal trips to look through church and baptismal records, interviewing relatives, heirs, school-fellows and childhood friends. In the attic of one of Hitler’s cousins, he discovered material which biographers had been seeking for half a century, including large numbers of letter and notes in Hitler’s own hand.

Werner Maser

FINDINGS OF WERNER MASER

1. It is undisputed that Adolf Hitler was born to Alois Hitler and Klara Pölzl. Alois, however, was born Schicklgruber because his mother, Maria Anna Schicklgruber was unmarried. [Not an unusual occurrence in Austrian villages at that time.]

2. Maria Anna Schicklgruber was not a poor housemaid who worked for wealthy Jewish families. The daughter of Johann Schicklgruber, aprosperous farmer in possession of a well-appointed farm in the village of Strones, and Theresia Pfseisinger, she was born in 1795 and is described by Maser as a thrifty, reserved and exceptionally shrewd peasant woman. She gives every appearance of having been strong-minded, a trait that was passed down to her son Alois and her grandson, Adolf.

3. Maria Anna Schicklgruber’s brother, Jakob, purchased the family farm from his father for 3000 gulden when the father was only 53 years old. Maria’s mother, Theresia, had just inherited 210 gulden from her father’s total estate of 1054 gulden, so the parents felt prosperous enough to retire. To put the value of 3000 gulden in perspective: a cow at that time could be purchased for 10 to 12 gulden; a brood sow cost 4 gulden; a bed w/bedding was 2 gulden; an inn with stabling could be had for 450 to 500 gulden. As you can see, 3000 gulden was a substantial amount.

4. Maria Anna, at the age of 26, inherited 74.25 gulden at the death of her mother in 1821. She kept this sum in the Orphans’ Fund until 1838, earning 5% interest. By then, it had increased to 165 gulden, over double the original amount. Her son was not born until June 1837 when she was 42 yrs. old.

5. She refused to reveal the name of her child’s father, even though the priest wanted her to do so. Thus, the child could only be given her name. This strong-willed woman did marry, in 1842—five years after the birth of her son—a man named Johann Georg Hiedler of the village of Spital. If he were the father of Alois, Maria Anna would certainly have named him such when they married and legitimized her son, but she did not. That entry was made in the baptismal register at Döllersheim where they married, but not until ten years after her death! The one responsible for it was Hiedler’s younger brother, Johann Nepomuk Hüttler, in whose household young Alois went to live at the age of 5 years, after his mother’s marriage to Hiedler.6

6. So … we have Maria Anna Schicklgruber Heidler’s illegitimate son Alois going to live in the household of his new stepfather’s brother—his ‘uncle.’ Maser explains it this way: Hiedler, at this time 50 years old and never before married, may have resented and/or been irritated by the presence of a young child who was not his. But more likely, Johann Nepomuk, a much younger 35 years old, who was married at the time Alois was conceived, could now welcome his son, as ‘nephew,’ into his family without his wife becoming suspicious.

7. All reports are, according to Maser, that Alois was happy in his ‘uncle’s’ home where he had ‘cousins’ and a more lively family life than he experienced living with his 47-year-old mother and her new husband.

8. Maria Anna Hiedler died in 1847 at the age of only 52. Alois did not, on his own initiative, seek legal legitimacy. His birth status did not hamper his career, in which he rose to what was considered the very respectable position of a Customs official; nor did it appear to trouble him personally. He was known as a tolerant, modern thinker, not particularly religious. His second wife Franziska Matzelsberger had a son born out of wedlock when he married her and he accepted this son in his household. It wasn’t until sometime between 1874 and 1876 that he changed his name to Hitler. Hitler is almost identical in sound to Hüttler.

9. It was in 1876 that Franz Schicklgruber, administrator of his sister Maria Anna’s estate, made over to his nephew Alois 230 gulden. It was now that Alois signed his name “Hitler,” spelling it just slightly differently than Hüttler. Maser comments that the Schicklgruber family was no doubt proud of how well Alois had done for himself and saw to it that he got the bulk of the inheritance of his mother.

10. Rothschild and Frankenberger Jew paternity is ruled out on the grounds of there being no evidence Maria Anna Schicklgruber ever worked for a Jewish family in Graz or Vienna.

11. The Jew Frankenberger story: Hans Frank, who became Govenor General of Poland from 1939 to 1945, is responsible for the false story, with the help of an American army chaplain Sixtus O’Conner, written before Frank was put to death by the Nuremberg IMT [International Military Tribunal]. He concocted a story that Maria Anna Schicklgruber worked as a cook in the household of a Jewish family in Graz, Austria at the time she gave birth to her son. In his ‘report,’ this family had a 19 yr-old son. [Remember, MAS was 42 years old, a fact of which Hans Frank was probably ignorant.] Further, he said the family, named Frankenberger, paid a maintenance allowance to Maria Anna for 14 years [which makes Jews look responsible and honorable]. But the story is false from start to finish. Some of the main reasons are:

A) From the end of the 15th Century until a decade after Maria Anna died, no Jews lived in Graz. They had been expelled by Emperor Maximilian I in 1496 from the province of Styria, which included Graz. In 1781, under Joseph II, they were allowed to re-enter, but only for a few weeks at a time, during Lent and at the Feast of St. Giles to the annual Fairs, after paying a fixed sum. Two years later, these rights were again curtailed, and it remained enforced until 1860 that no Jews whatsoever could even enter the province.

B) No resident by the name of Frankenberger is listed as having lived in Graz at that time.

C) Records from 1821 to 1838 pertaining to Maria Anna’s money in the Orphans’ Fund showed no change of address in 1836 or ’37. Moreover, as a subject of the “Lordship of Ottenstein” she could not have absented herself for any length of time without it being noted.

D) Frank wrote in his report that Adolf Hitler told him in a conversation that he knew there were no Jews in his family because he had talked with his father and grandmother about it. But Hitler could not have said that—his grandmother had been dead since before he was born! This shows that Hans Frank’s story is made up out of whole cloth—including the part about “investigating the matter for Hitler.”

12. The Rothschild in Vienna story: This is debunked for the same reasons. Maria Anna Schicklgruber did not visit or live in Vienna, and there is no record of who these Rothschilds were, their address or other necessary information.

13, Patrick Hitler: Another rumor of an alleged newspaper article in the Paris-Soir in which Hitler’s nephew [by his half-brother Alois, Jr.], Patrick, described his uncle Adolf as the grandson of a Graz Jew called Frankenreither. Maser dug up this issue of that defunct newspaper while on a trip to Paris and found it carried two pages and six illustrations of Patrick Hitler’s story, but no allusion whatsoever to any Jewish antecedents.

COMMENTS AND OTHER FINDINGS BY WERNER MASER

1. Maser feels that Johann Nepomuk Hüttler and Alois decided on the change of name in compliance with the wishes of Maria Anna. The inheritance was given in the same year that Alois wrote his name as Hitler. The baptismal record continues to name Johann Georg Hiedler as Alois’ father, but Alois chose to spell the name as Hitler.

2. Klara Pölzl, Alois 3rd wife, mother of Adolf, was a granddaughter of Johann Nepomuk Hüttler and his wife Eva Maria [Decker], making her the niece of her husband Alois. She was considered his niece because Alois was a Schicklgruber and Klara was a Decker on the maternal side. Hüttler died in 1888, Adolf was born in 1889.

3. Adolf Hitler’s maternal grandfather was Johann Baptist Põlzl, a farmer living in Spital. His paternal grandfather was Johann Nepomuk Hüttler, also a Spital farmer. Maser says that there is a distinct family resemblance between all the relations in Spital who are descended from Hüttler, and some of them bear a strong resemblance to Adolf Hitler. Hitler visited Spital in 1905, 1906 and 1908, and several times when on leave during the First World War. He knew his relatives and a great deal about his family history.

Endnotes

1. http://www.tallarmeniantale.com/shaw-hovannisian.htm

The methods used by the Armenian nationalist groups to secure foreign intervention at this time were very well documented by the distinguished Harvard University diplomatic historian, the late William L. Langer, in Diplomacy of Imperialism (2d ed.; New York, 1956), on the basis of Armenian as well as Western reports, and without any use of Turkish sources. Thus he found in the British Parliamentary Papers (Turkey No. 10, 1879, nos. 45 and 62 and Turkey No. 7, 1880, no. 3) statements from the British ambassador in June and July, 1879, such as ‘The same intrigues are now being carried on in Asia Minor to establish an Armenian nationality and to bring about a state of things which may give rise to a Christian outcry and European interference’ (p. 153).

Langer reports (p. 157) that Revolutionary placards were being posted in the cities, and there were not a few cases of the blackmailing of wealthy Armenians, who were forced to contribute to the cause. Europeans in Turkey were agreed that the immediate aim of the agitators was to incite disorder, bring about inhuman reprisals, and so provoke the intervention of the powers. For that reason, it was said, they operated by preference in areas where the Armenians were in a hopeless minority, so that the reprisals would be certain.

Langer concluded (p. 163) that ‘Enough has been said above to make unnecessary any further reference here to the Hentchak and its program and methods. The leaders were quite prepared to have thousands of their fellow-countrymen massacred in order to force intervention by the European powers and in order to raise from the ruins of the Ottoman Empire a new Armenian socialist state.’

Langer states: “Mr. Herbert, the British chargé, appreciated the provocation to the Turks. Mr. Hume-Beaman, an expert on things oriental, roundly declared that every member of the Armenian committees should be hanged, and that the responsibilities for the massacres rested divided between these cowardly committees and the ‘braggart and ineffectual intervention of Europe’.” (Langer, pp. 324-325]

2. This is the first mention of “Jewish godparents.” They appear out of the blue as a “guess” by Langer. The intention is clearly to show Jews as good, compassionate and upstanding people who “saw through” the good-for-nothing Hitler—placing Jews in the superior position morally, financially and educationally.

3. One of Langer’s “informants” who was employed by Hitler in Vienna as an agent for selling his paintings. Their business relationship lasted for 8 months. At that time, Hitler took Hanisch to court for not turning over the money he owed Hitler. Hanisch was found guilty and spent a very short time in jail.

4. Walter C. Langer, The Mind of Adolf Hitler, Basic Books, 1972, pg.111-113.

5. In his book on the Nuremberg Tribunals, Trial of a Nation, Maser alleged that Hitler’s architect, Albert Speer, who was given only a prison sentence by the tribunal, made a secret deal with the chief American prosecutor Robert H. Jackson.

6. The father of Johann Georg Hiedler, born 1792 and Johann Nepomuk Hüttler, born 1807 was Martin Hiedler, born 1762. Johann Nepomuk chose to spell the name Hüttler, or perhaps it was an error by a priest or cleric.

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Heavy lifting, shift work could harm women’s fertility, study shows

(CNN) – Jobs that involve heavy lifting on a regular basis could reduce a woman’s fertility, particularly among overweight and obese women, a new study shows.

The research, published Monday in the journal Occupational and Environmental Medicine, also found that working antisocial hours (in the evenings or night) or rotating shifts, may also impact female fertility.

Though the underlying cause is not known and more research is needed to further verify the findings, the team at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health believes that women in their reproductive years may need to consider this when trying to conceive.

“Our study suggests that women who are planning pregnancy should be cognizant of the potential negative impacts that non-day shift and heavy lifting could have on their reproductive health,” said Lidia Mínguez-Alarcón, a research fellow in the Department of Environmental Health and lead author of the study, in a statement.

Recent studies have shown potential associations between physically demanding jobs or shift work and reduced fertility, but this new study explored direct biomarkers for fertility in the body, such as egg numbers and hormone levels, to suggest possible mechanisms behind the change.

Reduced egg count

The team of researchers studied more than 470 women having fertility treatment and compared the physical demands and schedules of their jobs against four biomarkers — genes or characteristics in the body — known to be linked to their ability to reproduce, also called fecundity.

The biomarkers were numbers of antral follicles, indicative of the number of immature eggs remaining in the body; levels of follicle-stimulating hormone that regulated reproductive processes; estrogen levels; and numbers of mature eggs capable of developing into healthy embryos.

The heavier the lifting or moving of objects the women reported doing in their jobs, the lower the number of antral follicles and mature egg: Women reporting heavy lifting and moving had 8.8% fewer total eggs and 14.1% fewer mature eggs compared with women who never lifted or moved heavy objects at work.

“These occupational exposures are affecting egg production and quality,” said Audrey Gaskins, an epidemiologist at the Harvard T.H. Chan School and senior author on the paper told CNN.

This reduction in mature eggs was even greater in women who were also overweight, obese or over the age of 37.

“We saw this same association in an entirely different cohort,” Gaskins said of a recent study by her team that also saw a link between obesity and reduced fertility. “We speculate it could be due to a disrupted stress-response system. Obesity affects the body’s ability to handle stress.”

People who worked nights or rotating shifts in the new study also saw a reduction in the number of mature eggs.

No association, however, was seen between these aspects of the women’s occupation and their levels of follicle-stimulating hormone or estrogen.

Theories on differences

The mechanisms explaining this link to reduced fertility are not known, but the researchers would like to explore further, as well as looking at whether this impact on fertility could be improved, reduced or avoided.

“(We want) to look at whether a woman is able to change her schedule or lifting and whether we see a change in fecundity,” Gaskins said, adding that this would determine whether the effect is short- or long-term. If stopping these exposures leads to an improvement, the team can make recommendations for policies.

“It’s perhaps not surprising that people under more physical stress might have poorer fertility, but the big question is, why?” Channa Jayasena, a reproductive endocrinologist at Imperial College London who was not involved in the study, told CNN.

He cited previous studies showing that women who are malnourished or do extreme amounts of exercise, putting strain on their bodies, see adverse fertility effects. “It’s possible this is an extension of that,” he said.

But Jayasena added that although this study was interesting and insightful, greater sample sizes than the less than 500 in this study are needed to truly account for differences such as socioeconomic status.

“I think this tells us a limited amount,” he said. “You need a study in the thousands.”

Gaskins highlighted that the women were probably all of fairly high socioeconomic status, given that they were able to afford fertility treatment.

Another factor not accounted for was testosterone.

“In the study, no effort was made to address confounding by testosterone levels in those women. A physically stronger woman is more likely to undertake heavy lifting but would also be implicitly less fertile,” said Alastair Sutcliffe, professor of pediatrics at University College London in the UK. “The typical and consistent differential between the sexes of strength is 10% to 15%, and this (is) accounted for by testosterone. Women also produce testosterone, albeit at a lower level than men.”

One possible theory for the differences of shift work is disruption to a woman’s circadian rhythm. Here, the researchers and Jayasena agree.

“It’s certainly a very plausible mechanism,” he said. “Each part of the body has its own circadian rhythm, including the ovaries.”

Shift work has been proven to have a range of negative consequences on health, including increased risk of heart disease and obesity.

“Shift work is not a biologically good way to work,” said Sutcliffe. “So what does this study mean? If trying to optimize fertility, stick to the day job and leave the lifting to their partner.”

Fish-scale gecko in Madagascar evades predators by getting naked

Talk about escaping by the skin of your teeth! Scientists have discovered a new type of gecko — an evasive little lizard who can escape predators’ grip not just by dropping its tail, but by shedding the scales on its skin.

The new species Geckolepis megalepis, described in the journal PeerJ, has big, fish-like scales, larger than any of the other gecko species in its genus. It’s also the first new Geckolepis species to be described in 75 years, and the first currently recognized species in 123 years.

G. megalepis lives in northern Madagascar, where it appears to be found only around the limestone karst of the Ankarana massif. While other geckos do have scales that can slip off passively, Geckolepis seems to have a certain amount of control over the process.

This has created problems for scientists trying to study the genus Geckolepis; capturing the lizards without losing their scales in the process has been a total pain for more than 120 years.

“Indeed, the process of collection often damages even the most intact specimens,” the study authors wrote. “Voeltzkow (1893) captured his specimens with bundles of cotton (‘Wattebäuschen’), and even this was not sufficient to prevent some scale loss.”

Among its scale-shedding brethren, however, G. megalepis’s scales are king. The oversized scales seem to come off at the slightest perturbation, leaving smooth, pink skin beneath.

These scales can be torn off so easily partly because of their size, the scientists said. Bigger scales have much more surface area relative to the edge where they’re attached to the skin than smaller scales do, which makes it easier for the bigger scales to be ripped away.

But the scientists think there’s also a control mechanism at play, in which the gecko contracts a layer of connective tissue beneath the skin to help release the scales, and the skin’s uppermost blood vessels are squeezed to prevent bleeding.

A partly naked gecko looks kind of like a half-picked scab, but at least the look doesn’t last forever.

“The scarless regeneration of the whole integument occurs within a few weeks, apparently starting from stem cells of the deeper layers of the connecting tissue and is considered as unique among vertebrates,” the study authors wrote.

That stem-cell-fueled regenerative power could be of interest to scientists studying applications in human medicine.

Scientists think that these scales are meant as a defensive measure, but they’ve only documented their use as a means of escape a handful of times in the literature: from a scorpion (Grosphus flavopiceus), a bird (Dicrurus forficatus) and a large nocturnal Blaesodactylus gecko. For that last case, the G. megalepis lizard actually slipped out of the predator’s mouth about 30 seconds after it had been caught.

Perhaps these slippery little lizards could teach Houdini a thing or two. In the meantime, scientists say they hope to keep studying how this remarkable gecko skin works.

“Further studies on the role of dermolytic scale autotomy by Geckolepis are clearly needed, in order to understand its functionality with a range of predators (its function against snakes, for instance, has not yet been observed), and to understand the pressures driving the evolution of greater scale size in this particular lineage of Geckolepis,” the authors wrote.

Ravens reportedly tried to trade entire draft class to get Matt Ryan in 2008

In 2007, the Ravens went 5-11 and that, coupled with the lack of development from 2003 first-round pick Kyle Boller, had a lot to do with the team’s decision to fire Brian Billick. In Atlanta, first-year coach Bobby Petrino quit after 13 games and the Falconslimped to a 4-12 record. Joey Harrington, Chris Redman and Byron Leftwich all started games that season.

Both teams headed into the 2008 NFL Draft desperately in search of a franchise quarterback. The Falcons had the No. 3 pick while the Ravens were No. 8. It was no great secret that Atlanta had designs on Matt Ryan, who had starred at Boston College, but Baltimore wasn’t going to let him go without a fight.

According to NFL.com‘s Ian Rapoport, the Ravens talked with the Rams, who had the second-overall pick, about swapping places so they could leapfrog the Falcons in the race to Ryan. So what was on the table?

Rapoport says the Ravens offered their entire draft class to the Rams, adding that “The trade nearly happened, but the Rams asked for more — they also wanted Baltimore’s second-round pick from 2009 to clinch the deal.”

That was the deal-breaker, apparently, and instead the Ravens traded down to the No. 26 pick (with the Jaguars) and then back up to No. 18 (with the Texans) where they selected Joe Flacco.

As BaltimoreBeatdown.com points out, the Ravens ended up with a strong class:

Rd. 1 Pick 18: QB Joe Flacco
Rd. 2 Pick 55: RB Ray Rice
Rd. 3 Pick 71: LB Tavares Gooden
Rd. 3 Pick 86: S Tom Zbikowski
Rd. 4 Pick 106: WR Marcus Smith

And that 2009 second-rounder turned into another good player, pass rusher Paul Kruger.

Plus, it’s not like Flacco has been a stiff; he caught fire in the playoffs following the 2012 season and had everything to do with the Ravens’ win over the 49ers in Super Bowl XLVII (Flacco was named Super Bowl MVP).

Ryan has been more efficient over the course of his regular-season career, according to Football Outsiders’ metrics. Here’s how the two quarterbacks ranked in value per play in each of their first nine seasons:

Year Ryan Flacco
2008 4th 22nd
2009 15th 7th
2010 7th 15th
2011 7th 18th
2012 8th 17th
2013 9th 35th
2014 9th 8th
2015 18th 26th
2016 1st 29th

Ryan’s numbers are also better in the postseason — in seven games he’s completed 68 percent of his passes with 16 touchdowns and seven interceptions, and a QB rating of 98.8. But the Falcons are 3-4 in those games. Flacco, meanwhile, sports a 10-5 record in the postseason — including the aforementioned Lombardi Trophy — where he’s thrown 25 touchdowns and 10 interceptions, but completed just 57 percent of his throws with a QB rating of 88.6.

The takeaway: Quarterback wins are overrated. But you already knew that. The bigger story is that the Ravens have been successful for much of Flacco’s nine-year career because they were able to surround him with really good players. Ryan might be the better quarterback but there’s no guarantee he would have had Flacco’s success in Baltimore without inferior talent around him.

Leaks Suggest Trump’s Own Team Is Alarmed By His Conduct

WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump was confused about the dollar: Was it a strong one that’s good for the economy? Or a weak one?

So he made a call ― except not to any of the business leaders Trump brought into his administration or even to an old friend from his days in real estate. Instead, he called his national security adviser, retired Lt. Gen. Mike Flynn, according to two sources familiar with Flynn’s accounts of the incident.

Flynn has a long record in counterintelligence but not in macroeconomics. And he told Trump he didn’t know, that it wasn’t his area of expertise, that, perhaps, Trump should ask an economist instead.

Trump was not thrilled with that response ― but that may have been a function of the time of day. Trump had placed the call at 3 a.m., according to one of Flynn’s retellings ― although neither the White House nor Flynn’s office responded to requests for confirmation about that detail.

For Americans who based their impression of Trump on the competent and decisive tycoon he portrayed on his “Apprentice” TV reality shows, the portrait from these and many other tidbits emerging from his administration may seem a shock: an impulsive, sometimes petty chief executive more concerned with the adulation of the nation than the details of his own policies ― and quick to assign blame when things do not go his way.

Unsurprisingly, Trump’s volatile behavior has created an environment ripe for leaks from his executive agencies and even within his White House. And while leaks typically involve staffers sabotaging each other to improve their own standing or trying to scuttle policy ideas they find genuinely problematic, Trump’s 2-week-old administration has a third category: leaks from White House and agency officials alarmed by the president’s conduct.

“I’ve been in this town for 26 years. I have never seen anything like this,” said Eliot Cohen, a senior State Department official under President George W. Bush and a member of his National Security Council. “I genuinely do not think this is a mentally healthy president.”

I’ve been in this town for 26 years. I have never seen anything like this. I genuinely do not think this is a mentally healthy president.Eliot Cohen, former State Department official under George W. Bush

There is the matter of Trump’s briefing materials, for example. The commander in chief doesn’t like to read long memos, a White House aide who asked to remain unnamed told The Huffington Post. So preferably they must be no more than a single page. They must have bullet points but not more than nine per page.

Small things can provide him great joy or generate intense irritation. Trump told The New York Times that he’s fascinated with the phone system inside the White House. At the same time, he’s registered a complaint about the hand towels aboard Air Force One, the White House aide said, because they are not soft enough.

He’s been particularly obsessed with the performance of his aides on cable television. Past presidents typically didn’t make time to watch their press secretary’s daily briefings with reporters, but Trump appears to have made it part of his routine. “Saturday Night Live’s” weekly skewering of his administration is similarly on his must-watch list ― with his reaction ranging from unamused to seething.

Information about Trump’s personal interactions and the inner workings of his administration has come to HuffPost from individuals in executive agencies and in the White House itself. They spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of losing their jobs.

While some of the leaks are based on opposition to his policies – the travel ban on all refugees and on visitors from seven predominantly Muslim nations, for instance – many appear motivated by a belief that Trump’s words, deeds and tweets pose a genuine threat.

When Trump tweeted about North Korea’s missile technology three weeks before he took office, for example, it scrambled then-President Barack Obama’s national security apparatus, which saw a risk in provoking an unstable young dictator who possessed nuclear weapons.

Richard Nephew, a State Department expert on Iran sanctions under Obama, said some of the leaks from the agencies are likely efforts to let the public know that their advice has not been followed, in the event something bad happens down the road. “This, I think, is about making it clear that these folks have tried to do the right thing and there is only so much they can do with a hostile administration,” Nephew said.

Perhaps along those lines, The Associated Press reported the details of a phone call Jan. 27 between Trump and Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, noting that Trump said Mexico had “bad hombres” and that he might need to send U.S. troops to take care of things. (The White House later said Trump had been joking around.)The Washington Post detailed a Jan. 28 conversation between Trump and Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull in which Trump angrily denounced an agreement to resettle refugees held by Australia in the United States.

The New York Times, meanwhile, painted a portrait of a brooding commander in chief, wandering the White House alone in a bathrobe at night, watching too much cable television and venting his frustrations through angry tweets.

“I think it’s a cry for help,” said Elizabeth Rosenberg, a counterterrorism expert at the Treasury Department under Obama. She said many staffers still working in the national security agencies under Trump see what’s happening and are driven by a simple motive: “Incredulity, and the need to share it.”

There’s always leaks. Every president in history has said the press hates me, and there’s too many leaks.Ron Kaufman, former White House staffer under George H.W. Bush

The White House has denied many of these accounts, including the idea that Trump owns (let alone wears) a bathrobe. Others dispute the premise that Trump staffers undermining his competence is unusual. Ron Kaufman, who worked in George H.W. Bush’s White House in the late 1980s and early 1990s, argued that the Trump administration’s leaks are par for the course for a young administration. “There’s always leaks,” Kaufman said. “Every president in history has said the press hates me and there’s too many leaks.”

And Republican National Committee member Randy Evans, a veteran of Newt Gingrich’s leak-prone House speaker’s suite in the 1990s, said he doesn’t “get that sense” that Trump’s staffers are questioning his fitness for the job.

“Not yet, anyway,” Evans said. “We’re just too early in the process…. I think you see a lot of political jockeying going on and a lot of self-importance going on.”

The idea that Trump is temperamentally ill-suited for the presidency is nothing new. It was the main argument against him during both the GOP primaries a year ago and the general election last summer and fall. At times, Trump seemed to embrace the characterization, wearing it as a badge of honor for his status as an anti-establishment “outsider.”

But what were only hypothetical concerns on the campaign trail are now life-and-death decisions inside the White House – as evidenced by the death of a Navy commando in a botched raid in Yemen on Jan. 29. Trump approved that raid following a dinner meeting that included his top political adviser, former Breitbart News Chairman Stephen Bannon, whose permanent membership in the National Security Council was itself the basis of widespread leaks and warnings from the national security establishment.

“The intelligence community is desperately looking for a way to get some leverage in altering dangerous policies away from a catastrophic vector,” said Rick Wilson, a former Pentagon official familiar with intelligence issues who has become a vocal Trump critic.

Evans said at some point the White House will have to get serious about harmful leaks if they want to control their message, just as Gingrich’s office had to two decades ago. He described the method of intentionally releasing tidbits to various staffers to see what turned up in print. “If the administration gets serious about leaks, they’ll do the blue-dye test and find them,” Evans said.

But to Cohen, who now teaches at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies, the problem is not the leakers. It’s the president. Because Trump has shown no true affection or respect for anyone outside his immediate family, Cohen said, he cannot expect that of his staff. “This is what happens when you have a narcissist as president.”

Republicans vote to rebuke Elizabeth Warren (White Feminist), saying she impugned Sessions’s character

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/powerpost/wp/2017/02/07/republicans-vote-to-rebuke-elizabeth-warren-for-impugning-sessionss-character/?utm_term=.76e89849e751

 

 

Senate Republicans passed a party-line rebuke Tuesday night of Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) for a speech opposing attorney general nominee Jeff Sessions, striking down her words for impugning the Alabama senator’s character.

In an extraordinarily rare move, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) interrupted Warren’s speech, in a near-empty chamber as debate on Sessions’s nomination heads toward a Wednesday evening vote, and said that she had breached Senate rules by reading past statements against Sessions from figures such as the late senator Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.) and the late Coretta Scott King.

“The senator has impugned the motives and conduct of our colleague from Alabama,” McConnell said, then setting up a series of roll-call votes on Warren’s conduct.

It was the latest clash in the increasingly hostile debate over confirming President Trump’s Cabinet, during which Democrats have accused Republicans of trying to force through nominees without proper vetting. Democrats, unable to stop the confirmations that require simple majorities, have countered by using extreme delay tactics that have dragged out the process longer than any in history for a new president’s Cabinet.

The Democratic moves, including boycotting committee room votes on nominees last week and a round-the-clock debate Monday night before Tuesday’s confirmation of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, reached a boiling point during the debate over Sessions — which Democrats are vowing to continue overnight.

In setting up the votes to rebuke Warren, McConnell specifically cited portions of a letter that King, the widow of slain civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr., wrote to the Senate Judiciary Committee in opposition to Sessions’s 1986 nomination to be a federal judge.

[Trump’s pick for attorney general is shadowed by race and history]

“Mr. Sessions has used the awesome power of his office to chill the free exercise of the vote by black citizens,” King wrote, referencing controversial prosecutions at the time that Sessions served as the U.S. attorney for Alabama. Earlier, Warren read from the 1986 statement of Kennedy, a senior member of the Judiciary Committee who led the opposition then against Sessions, including the Massachusetts Democrat’s concluding line: “He is, I believe, a disgrace to the Justice Department and he should withdraw his nomination and resign his position.”

The Senate voted, 49 to 43, strictly on party lines, to uphold the ruling that Warren violated Rule 19 of the Senate that says senators are not allowed to “directly or indirectly, by any form of words impute to another Senator or to other Senators any conduct or motive unworthy or unbecoming a Senator.” Pursuant to that rule, Warren was ordered to sit down and forbidden from speaking during the remainder of the debate on the nomination of Sessions.

“I am surprised that the words of Coretta Scott King are not suitable for debate in the United States Senate,” Warren said after McConnell’s motion.

Sen. Steve Daines (R-Mont.), a freshman who was presiding over the Senate at the time, issued a warning to Warren at that point, singling out Kennedy’s “disgrace” comment, and 25 minutes later McConnell came to the floor and set in motion the battle, citing the comments in the King letter as crossing the line.

Warren’s speech ended with a simple admonition from Daines: “The senator will take her seat.”

Later, McConnell defended his decision.

“Sen. Warren was giving a lengthy speech. She had appeared to violate the rule. She was warned. She was given an explanation,” he said. “Nevertheless, she persisted.”

Other Democrats later came to her defense and tried to have King’s letter placed into the Senate record. But Republican senators quickly objected. They did so again when Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), the chamber’s only African American woman, asked that Warren be allowed to resume participation in the debate.

Warren, a liberal firebrand with a devoted national following whom some activists want to run for president in 2020, quickly took to social media and the airwaves to attack McConnell and Republicans for shutting down her speech.

I will not be silent about a nominee for AG who has made derogatory & racist comments that have no place in our justice system.

Banned from reading King’s letter on the Senate floor, Warren instead went to a nearby room and read it aloud on Facebook Live.

Sen. Warren reads Coretta Scott King’s letter about Jeff Sessions outside the Senate

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After Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) struck down Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s (D-Mass.) attempt to read a letter from Coretta Scott King on the floor of the Senate during the debate on attorney general nominee Jeff Sessions, Warren read the letter outside the doors of the Senate and streamed it live. (Facebook/Sen. Elizabeth Warren)

In a brief telephone interview with MSNBC’s “The Rachel Maddow Show,” a program watched loyally by many Warren devotees, she explained that “I’ve been red- carded on Sen. Sessions, I’m out of the game of the Senate floor. I don’t get to speak at all.”

Public reaction quickly intensified online. RedBubble.com, an online clothing website for independent designers, began selling a “She Persisted” T-shirt or sweatshirt — seizing on McConnell’s admonition of Warren. Democrats began using #LetLizSpeak on Twitter and posted copies of King’s letter on Facebook to draw more attention to Warren’s speech.

At least one other Democrat, Sen. Christopher Murphy (Conn.), hinted that he might try to pick up where Warren left off at some point overnight, saying on Twitter, “Go ahead and rule me out of order.”

This is unreal. Senate Republicans have ruled that any Democrat that criticizes Sessions’ record will be stripped of the right to speak. https://twitter.com/senwarren/status/829140005432000512 

I am speaking later tonight. I will be talking about Sessions’ record. With gusto. Go ahead and rule me out of order. https://twitter.com/samsteinhp/status/829149775605805057 

Bannon and the Jews: A conditional kind of love

(JTA) — Reports that White House Svengali Steve Bannon once referred to the American Jewish community as enablers of Islamist jihad revived accusations that the former Breitbart News publisher is an anti-Semite.

On its face the accusation, like the oft-repeated charge that Breitbart itself is an anti-Semitic news site, is weak. Bannon’s point about jihad’s “enablers” is not that Jews share an ideology with the jihadists but the opposite: As a largely liberal community, American Jews support civil liberties and immigrants’ rights — creating a climate, so goes the argument, that even with the best of intentions supposedly allows terrorists to thrive.

Breitbart is a reliably pro-Israel site, well to the right of most American Jewish publications. In the rare instance where one of its correspondents has slipped into explicit anti-Jewish territory — as when an article declared about a Washington Post reporter that “hell hath no fury like a Polish, Jewish, American elitist scorned” — “Jewish” is synonymous with “liberal.” Spend some time on Breitbart and what emerges is contempt for the Secular American Jewish Liberal and admiration for the Religious Nationalist Jewish Conservative.

I don’t know if that makes the average Jew feel any better — that if you’re the right (and I do mean right) kind of Jew, then you’re OK. But it’s essential to acknowledge the distinction if we are to understand the ways public discourse is changing in the Trump area. Anti-Semitism is alive and well on the fringes of the movements that helped elect Trump, but it remains taboo the closer you get to the inner circle, which includes Trump’s Orthodox daughter and son-in-law. Where Jews might have cause to worry, however, is in the tendency of Trump’s insiders to cleave the Jews into two unreconcilable communities — blues and reds, Republicans and Democrats, doves and hawks, Hillary supporters and Trump voters.

The White House tapes revealed Richard Nixon as an unrepentant anti-Semite who whispered with aide Bob Haldeman about the Jewish “bastards” who can’t be trusted and “turn on you.” But his apologists have long argued that his animus wasn’t aroused by Jews per se but by their politics. They point to the Jews in his inner circle — Henry Kissinger, William Safire and Leonard Garment, to name a few (although there’s a long conversation in which Nixon and Haldeman discuss Kissinger’s Jewish “insecurity”). The tapes also suggest that Nixon thought better of Israeli Jews than American Jews.

In one sense, Nixon was right: Then, as now, Jews tended to vote Democratic and were overrepresented among the politicians, activists and academics who opposed him. But there is already a name for such people: liberals. “Jew” doesn’t add much to the formula except to tar a people — a historically persecuted people to boot — with the brush of bigotry.

(And the argument that it was liberals not Jews who raised Nixon’s hackles is undermined by Nixonisms like this one: “The Jews are just a very aggressive and abrasive and obnoxious personality.”)

Breitbart, a sort of farm team for the White House staff, never dips into that kind of invective (even if its readers often do). But they also imagine two very different kinds of Jews. Israeli Jews and their supporters on the right are the good kind, strong and stalwart when they aren’t the innocent and nearly helpless victims of a fierce Arab enemy and their Western enablers. They have a lot to teach the West about security and standing up to Islamist terror.

American Jews, especially the Democratic-voting majority and the organizations that represent them, tend to show up in Breitbart only when they occasionally agree with a conservative position or are criticized by right-leaning Jews for disagreeing with a right-wing position. That was the point of the article by right-wing activist David Horowitz, titled “Bill Kristol: Republican Spoiler, Renegade Jew,” that is usually labeled Exhibit A in describing Breitbart as anti-Semitic. As Horowitz himself explained in a follow-up, he called Kristol a “renegade Jew” because he felt the conservative pundit, in opposing Trump, had “betrayed the Jews.” Horowitz’s overheated article was a defense of right-wing Jewish interests and an attack on a Jew who would undermine them.

Trump bought into the good Jews-bad Jews view of the world in picking David Friedman as his ambassador to Israel. Most American Jews weren’t surprised that Trump would pick an envoy (and personal lawyer) who shared his and Bannon’s (and, in most ways, Benjamin Netanyahu’s) right-leaning, nationalist version of pro-Israel politics. But after getting over Friedman’s dearth of diplomatic credentials, they were shocked by his stated disdain for Jews on the other side of the argument. Writing for the pro-settler Arutz Sheva news site, Friedman labeled the left-wing pro-Israel group J Street as “not Jewish” and “worse than” the Jewish “kapos” who collaborated with the Nazis.

As my colleague Ron Kampeas pointed out, one traditional job of the U.S. ambassador to Israel is to serve as an envoy between and among American Jews — if not to agree with them, at least to assure them that they will be heard. Dan Shapiro, Obama’s ambassador to Israel from 2011 to 2017, was highly regarded on both sides for performing this function: Representing an administration that was often unpopular with much of the activist class, Shapiro respected, and earned the respect, of the other side.

Jews have done a good job all by themselves in dividing up their community into warring camps — and, perhaps worse, camps that barely talk with each other. The right-left divide, the schism between Orthodox and non-Orthodox — Jews didn’t need any help in creating these categories. But they also understood that Jewish influence would be diminished and Jewish security compromised if those on the outside were able to splinter an already splintered and tiny community into smaller and smaller pieces. That was the mantra of pro-Israel advocacy going back to the era of Max Fisher, a Jewish Republican who enjoyed good relations with Nixon.

In drawing up his enemies list, Nixon could barely distinguish between liberals and Jews, and decided he despised both. In drawing up its own list of friends, Bannon and Breitbart are happy to distinguish between the right sort of Jews and the wrong sort of Jews.

Trump isn’t one to reach out to those who disagree with him, to say the least. Divide and conquer was pretty much his campaign strategy. And so far his efforts at Jewish inclusion — like the polarizing International Holocaust Remembrance Day statement — have been dead on arrival.

The evidence is weak that Breitbart or Bannon are anti-Semitic. And Breitbart’s eager pro-Israel stance, like Trump’s, is unmistakable.

But what troubles so many Jews, including some Jewish Republicans, is the deeply conditional nature of a support that says “If you’re with me, I’m with you.” It’s the flip side of Nixonian mania. It’s also the ideological version of two of the weakest defenses in the accused bigot’s arsenal: “Some of my best friends are Jewish” and “I have Jewish grandchildren.”

Cambridge U Jewish student leaders ‘deeply concerned’ about recent campus anti-Semitism

(JTA) — Jewish student leaders at Cambridge University in England said they were “deeply concerned” about recent anti-Semitic activities at the school.

Jewish Society Co-Presidents Adam Goott and Alex Szlezinger told the student newspaper, the Varsity, they were in touch with campus police and Britain’s Community Security Trust following the appearance over the weekend of two swastikas drawn on a campus map and fliers supporting convicted Holocaust denier David Irving.

“We are deeply concerned by the recent escalation in the number of anti-Semitic incidents and CUJS will be in touch with the relevant authorities,” Goott and Szlezinger said.

“Cambridge University Jewish Society firmly condemns all forms of anti-Semitism, including the recent dissemination of flyers advertising abhorrent ideas of Holocaust denial, and swastika graffiti appearing on signs at Jesus Green,” they said.

Betsy DeVos narrowly confirmed as education secretary in historic vote

(JTA) — Betsy DeVos was confirmed as secretary of education, with Vice President Mike Pence casting the tie-breaker in a historic 51-50 vote.

DeVos, a Michigan billionaire whose advocacy for school choice has led to sweeping changes in the educational landscape in her home state, provoked divergent opinions in the Jewish community.

Both the haredi Orthodox Agudath Israel of America and the Orthodox Union issued congratulations within minutes of the vote. It marked the first time a vice president broke a tie for a Cabinet confirmation.

In a letter to the Senate Education Committee last month, Agudath Israel of America expressed its support for DeVos, saying it had worked closely with her for years to change state laws that would make it easier to use vouchers for private schools, including religious schools.

“Mrs. DeVos will be an education secretary who is focused on the needs of each individual student and not on where he or she attends school,” the letter said.

In a separate letter to the committee, the Orthodox Union said DeVos “has a long history of advocating for and supporting” reforms favored by the group, though it stopped short of issuing an outright endorsement.

The Reform movement’s rabbinical arm, the Central Conference of American Rabbis, was opposed to the nomination, as were the National Council of Jewish Women and Jewish Women International.

DeVos’ support for school choice raised concerns among advocates of church-state separation, who oppose the diversion of public funds to religious institutions.

In a statement outlining questions it had for various nominees, the Reform movement asked the senators to ask DeVos about “the use of taxpayer dollars for sectarian education.”

“A central principle of the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause is that members of particular faiths, and not the government, should fund religious institutions,” the statement said. “When vouchers are used towards expenses related to religious school education, they become an indirect government funding of sectarian institutions.”

CAN TRUMP STOMACH THE ISRAELI RIGHT’S APPETITE FOR SETTLEMENTS?

Despite annual warnings, thousands of people are admitted to emergency rooms in Muslim countries during the month of Ramadan every year because of overeating at traditional Iftar meals, during which the fast is broken daily.

Burjeel Hospital in Abu Dhabi treats at least 50 patients a day for gastroenteritis, vomiting, diarrhea and acute stomach pain and inflammation caused by eating too much, too quickly after the fast.

“Don’t break the fast with a feast,” Dr. Magdi Muhammad, an emergency medicine specialist at Burjeel, told the Abu Dhabi English newspaper The National.

Rightly or wrongly, the Israeli Right believes that during the eight years that Barack Obama was president of the United States, they might not have been starving, but they were severely limited in their intake.

There was a right-wing leader in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and a right-wing coalition, but their hands were tied in Washington.

Despite regular US condemnation, which helped Netanyahu by making him look like a settlement construction champion to his right-wing voters, he built less over the Green Line than his predecessors Ehud Olmert, Ariel Sharon and certainly Ehud Barak, who built three times as much.

Now it’s sundown in the West Bank, and like overeager Muslims at the Iftar, the residents of Judea and Samaria and their representatives in the Knesset want to take advantage of their newfound consumption capability.

Yes, Barack Obama is gone. But has US President Donald Trump arrived? And if so, which Trump? The one who made clear that he does not believe settlements are an obstacle to peace, or the one whose administration warned Israel on Thursday to cease settlement announcements that are “unilateral” and “undermining” his effort to forge Middle East peace, as a senior administration official told The Jerusalem Post?

Perhaps we will know next Wednesday, when Netanyahu and Trump meet in Washington. Maybe it will take more time for the new administration to meet all the relevant parties and decide.

No one really knows yet, which makes the Right want to take action immediately, before they find that they are not getting the Trump they hoped for. The Bayit Yehudi faction met Monday to draft a series of demands ranging from annexation, to the cabinet accepting a report that settlements are legal, to taking action against the Supreme Court.

A political cartoon in Yediot Aharonot Tuesday depicted Bayit Yehudi leader Naftali Bennett dragging Netanyahu away from his meeting in London with British Prime Minister Theresa May to vote on the controversial settlements regulation bill.

“Wait a second – let me finish my tea!” an exasperated Netanyahu says in the cartoon.

Even though relations with Trump are already exponentially better for Netanyahu than they were with Obama, he also does not yet know which Trump he is getting. This means he must be careful, but not nearly as careful as he had to be before.

Call it strategic hesitation.

Before boarding his plane to London, Netanyahu said he had to coordinate the vote with the Trump administration so there would be no surprises. But he did not say it had to be postponed.

He warned Bennett he would not give into pressure. But then he let the vote pass.

Netanyahu told the cabinet he would pass the historic bill, but then made no real effort to ensure he would take part in the vote. He left it with the support of 60 MKs, not 61, which could make it even more vulnerable to disqualification by the High Court.

So while those sitting at the table to the Right of Netanyahu are ready to eat as much as they can, Netanyahu is testing what he – and Trump – can stomach.

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