THE RAPE OF LAKEWOOD, LONG BRANCH AND ATLANTIC CITY
If I were asked to name the chief social characteristic of my people, I would say that it is the habit to want to be where we have no business to be, and most particularly where we are not wanted. Westchester golf-clubs, exclusive summer and winter resorts, Christian college fraternities, even the most orthodox of the churches, are all beleaguered by Jews straining nerve and sinew to break through. But for our ancient prejudices, Jews would be even more numerous and more frequent churchgoers than their gentile neighbors. Indeed, the most fashionable of America's churches are so solidly frequented by Jews, that to the more conservative elements in Christendom is has become a matter of querulous concern.
I met recently, by pure accident, the spiritual head of one of the more important Fifth Avenue churches, and asked him if it were really true, as I had heard bruited about, that he was favored by a steady patronage of Jews.
"Yes, indeed," he answered. "It is most gratifying."
I realized that he was merely trying to be polite to a Jew, so I did my best to appear skeptical. "I could understand your gratification," I said, "if they came to you as converts. But you do not really look upon them as converts, do you?"
He looked startled. "Certainly not. But I assure you they contribute color and charm to our services. They do even a little more than that. They can really be relied upon to come regularly every Sunday, as if they were charted pew holders. That is much to be grateful for. Have you any idea how it must feel to mount the platform on a Sunday morning, your sermon all prepared and studied, and find yourself looking out upon rows of empty benches? Thanks to the Jews many of us are saved this embarrassment."
Let it not be told in Gath, however. The Jews have only to learn that the churches welcome them, and it will be the last you have seen of them in church. Jews do not go to church out of a religious feeling. If Jews had any need of religion they would pay some attention to their own synagogue which, in America, has become an obsolete institution. The whole point in Jews going to church is that they are really not supposed to be there. Their getting in without being thrown out is one of their most precious social triumphs.
In the colleges, especially the oldest and most traditional, a certain number of Jews, usually the sons of the newly rich, try, once a year, to crash the exclusive fraternities. Invariably they are turned down. Without fail, they cry "Anti-Semites!" and raise a terrific hullabaloo calculated to impeach the democracy of the particular institution they are attending. To all appearances they are very indignant and proudly wrathful. But the following year, having forgotten the snub of the previous year, they go through the same horrible motions all over again.
I remember the time when a rich Jew (and, what is rare among Jews, a sportsman) donated a new building to one of the greatest eastern universities. It was, and it still is, the most glamorous building in that campus. Its library in particular is both rich and commodious. This building had no sooner been dedicated to the best interests of the university, than the Jew students seized upon it as though it had been erected especially for their use, and made it their natural habitat. They streamed through its broad halls and into its reading room at all hours, brought their lunches and dinners with them, and so infested the gracious spaces with newspaper wrappings, banana peels and other forms of picnic garbage that an extra force of attendants had to be hired to keep it clean. As a result of the increasing protests of the gentile students, the university authorities (who only too bitterly know in advance the consequences of any interference with Jews) finally had to intercede. They announced that the university expected in the new hall the same standards of conduct and cleanliness observed throughout the rest of the buildings on the campus. As was to be expected, the Jews on the campus rose on their hind legs and howled. The rabbis denounced the college to the empty benches of their synagogues. But the university authorities had their way.
Five years never elapses when American Jewry does not make some national protest against the limitations set to the number of Jews who are permitted to attend Harvard, Princeton, and Yale in any one year. Harvard, which, as the most exclusive of the eastern American colleges, has borne the brunt of the attack of the Jews, has defended her position with the most unswerving rigidity. Unlike her sister colleges, Harvard has not yielded one inch of sacred ground. And so Harvard is today the only American institution of learning which may be regarded as a unit of culture.
The rest of the colleges of the country rank in importance according to how successfully they have been able to resist this influence of the Jewish student element in their midst. The very lowest degree of culture is, therefore, achieved by the College of the City of New York, ninety percent of whose attendance is Jewish. One never hears of poetry, painting or music having its origins on the campus of this institution. The philosophy of its average student is to get as many facts as possible crammed into him and acquire as quickly as the mechanical passing of the requirements of the curriculum will allow, the precious coveted degree that will entitle him to begin the momentous struggle to get back to Israel from the laps of the goyim the wealth that the Lord Jehovah really intended for Israel.
But eager as may be the Jewish merchant's effort to get his son into an exclusive college his zeal is as nothing compared with his own itch to get into the swanky summer and winter resorts in which he is most definitely not wanted.
There are many reasons why the gentile does not want the Jew in his pet playgrounds. I will enumerate four:
1. The Jew temperamentally knows no dividing line between business and pleasure. Let a Jew edge into a drinking party and he will unfailingly turn it into a business conference.
2. The Jew's general appearance, like that of the negro, the mongolian and the gypsy, is hostile to the peaceful state of mind of the gentile trying to relax and play. The state of the Jew may not be as lowly as that of the negro, and it is probably not as splendid as that of the moneyless but hilariously happy gypsy. Nevertheless, it breeds ill-at-easedness.
3. However good a Jew's intentions are, however soft his heart, his manners are those of a barbarian. I am not unmindful of the fact that there are Jews whose conduct is in consonance with all the laws of good breeding and behavior. Sir Phillip Sassoon, an English Jew, is England's official host to visiting royalty from the continent. I have met Jews like Sir Phillip Sassoon, too, and I wish to report that I find the manners of my own Galician schnorrers infinitely more bearable.
4. The Jew in unclean and he makes unclean any place which he learns to call home - even temporarily.
The latter embodies a very serious charge. I know that I am not the first one to make it. But I am not repeating it in a spirit of malice. It is a conclusion that comes to me out of the limited experience of my own life among Jews.
I happened to be in Parksville, a Jewish  village in the Catskill Mountains, during the fall of 1912. One morning, early in November, I was wandering aimlessly down the yellow road when a neighborhood farmer greeted me from the eminence of the driver's seat of a one-horse runabout, and asked me if I would not exchange the pleasure of my society at his side for a privileged view of the countryside in its change-of-leaf season. His business for the next few hours, he said, would take him as far as Livingston Manor on the crest of the hill opposite us. The Manor, if it run more to stone than to sap, could match the exuberance of the general landscape with a passionate flaring up of the spirit of its mankind in the form of a local, bitterly contested election.
"Of what use is any kind of an election in a foreign country?" I asked, climbing up beside him.
The farmer smiled significantly. "You say that who do not know that elections in Livingston Manor cannot be considered in the category of ordinary elections."
"I say that," I replied, "who find no interest in elections of any kind."
"Have you ever been in Livingston Manor?"
"Well, you're going there now."
I had been trudging the dirt road since the early hours of the morning, without discovering tiredness. But once I sank back in the comparative comfort of the driver's seat, the feeling of relief mingled with the weariness of the morning's pleasantry threw me into a lethargic state of autointoxication. I had barely managed to get into the leisureliness necessary for one to enjoy the bright darkening of the dry shining wings of the earth when I noticed that we were passing through a low white gate, and I knew that we were in Livingston Manor. In a few moments we drew up before a broad expansive white building which I judged to be a hotel. The farmer dropped the reins and leaped down.
"I'll be back in a minute," he cried and disappeared through a doorway.
I looked about me, to discover the secret of so much quiet charm in the noisy Catskills, and I was about to remark to myself the extraordinary neatness of the road and the houses within my view when my eyes encountered a surprising oil-cloth sign, in large heavy lettering, strung across the facade of the hotel:
IF LIVINGSTON MANOR VOTES AGAINST LIQUOR WE'LL TURN OUR HOTELS OVER TO THE JEWS.
"What a remarkable threat!" I thought. I stared and stared at the sign, as though I hoped that the letters would somehow explain themselves, and I was still staring stupidly when the farmer, having finished his business inside, rejoined me.
The farmer grinned broadly at my perplexity. "I thought that would interest you," he chuckled.
We resumed our journey.
"What I can't understand," I said, "is why it should be such a terrible thing to turn a hotel over to the Jews."
He looked at me and stopped laughing. "I must take you through this place," he said drily. And we drove about the several streets which wound themselves about and through the Manor.
Of beauty the village had none whatsoever. But it had a sensitive neatness which is so close to beauty in a town, that it is to be seriously considered as a substitute, especially on a continent which is still without a positive architectural heritage, where care today may become the mother of beauty tomorrow.
As we were emerging through the little gate into the wider road the farmer looked up.
"Well, what do you think of it?"
I shrugged. "What is there to think of it? It's neat, almost a pretty village. But nothing to get excited about."
"How would you say it compares with Parksville?"
"Oh, well. Parksville wouldn't be so bad if it weren't so damn dirty."
The farmer laughed. "That's all the hotel keepers in Livingston Manor imply in their sign. If the voters outlaw liquor and force them to give up their business they will sell out their holdings to the Jews who may be trusted to pile up in Livingston Manor a state of dirtiness very much like what you can behold, anytime you wish to, in our own dear village."
"You're cynical," I protested. Parksville is dirty, of course. But that is because it is Parksville. If the Jews ever take over Livingston Manor they will keep it clean if not cleaner, because it happens to be Livingston Manor."
The farmer chuckled deeply. "The Zionist in you was bound to come out. Not content with keeping us Jews, you would also have us become clean. Let me tell you this. You will have to be contented with our being Jews. As for cleanliness it will remain perforce the goyim's nextling to godliness. But we don't have to really be clean. And, as a matter of fact, if we had to be clean, we would not know how. Unfortunately there is no way to prove such an argument. But some day the Jews will take over Livingston Manor and you will be able to see with your own eyes what they will make of it."
I happened to be passing through Livingston Manor twelve years later, and the substance of this gay conversation was forcibly brought back to the surface of my consciousness by what I saw, by the decadence into which the houses, the streets and even the sky of this peaceful village had fallen. The whole landscape seemed to have been chocked up by some indefinable anarchic re-arrangement of the fibers of the universe about it. But I understood, without asking, what had brought this change about.
I am told, as I write this, that the last bank in Lakewood, New Jersey, has been closed down. If you have never lived east of the Alleghenies this will mean nothing to you. To those who know what Lakewood was once, the news spell tragedy. Don't misunderstand me. Lakewood was never one of the really great pleasure resorts of the world. No one would think of comparing it with Nice in Europe or even with Atlantic City in the United States. But that is half of what constituted the charm of Lakewood. A place of amusement to which you took your family for the winter holidays, it was as quiet and as unostentatious as if it were your own winter cottage somewhere in the trackless wilderness. Lakewood offered the choicest of amusements with a promise of rest not to be dreamed of elsewhere.
Up to about twenty years ago Lakewood was closed to Jews. Now and then, by giving a Christian name and registering as a Protestant, a Jew would manage to "crash" the hotels. But usually he was quickly discovered, quietly snubbed, and life was made so uncomfortable for him that he might continue to boast of the conquest for many years, but for no consideration would he be tempted to repeat it. One day a Jewish king of finance - and otherwise a man of the most unusual human qualities - appeared at the desk of a prominent Lakewood hotel. He had wired for reservations. He knew of the existing prejudice. But he was certain that his great name would pull him through.
The clerk was polite. "Sorry, sir, but we're all filled."
"But I wired for reservations."
"And we wired you our regrets. It's a pity you did not receive our wire. We're sorry you have been put to so much needless trouble."
"Sorry hell. You know damn well you're being rude to me because I'm a Jew. You have more rooms vacant in this hotel now than is comfortable for you."
The clerk maintained a respectful silence.
"Alright then," said the great Jew. "Keep your rooms. I'll go on to Atlantic city. But I'll show you that you can't keep me or any Jew who can afford to pay for good service out of Lakewood."
The Jew kept both threats. He went to Atlantic City. And he built a hotel for Jews in Lakewood.
To get the land for his project in Lakewood, the Jew had to pay for it practically three times what it was worth. When work on the new house had been begun, one of the leading Lakewood realtors sought him out in his office on lower Broadway. For the ease of this narrative we will call the rich Jew Brown and the Lakewood realtor Chandler. Something like the following conversation took place between these two:
Chandler: I have come to offer to buy back from you the land you are building on in Lakewood.
Brown: Sell it after all the trouble I had getting hold of it? Besides, I have signed building contracts.
Chandler: I have seen your building contracts. They are good. I am prepared to take those over, too. You'll find that I'm a thoroughly responsible person.
Brown: I remember you very well. I tried to buy your hotel from you - the one that refused me reservations.
Chandler: Please believe me, but I am really sorry about that. Clerks, as you probably have found for yourself, know only one way of obeying orders. If I had been there when you came, I assure you I would have extended to you every courtesy at my command. I really have no objection to a Jew of your caliber being a guest in my hotel.
Brown: It's very kind of you to say that. But suppose you had let me in? Your guest would have been crueler than your clerk.
Chandler: But that, you see, would be quite beyond my control.
Brown: That's why I'm glad I'm building the new hotel. Lakewood is America's most beautiful winter resort. Why should a half witted prejudice keep my people from enjoying it?
Chandler: I know very little about the nature of the prejudice, Mr. Brown. Sometimes I suspect that we live by it. I sincerely wish it were possible for you and your people to share Lakewood with us. But surely you wouldn't want to destroy Lakewood just for the pleasure of seeing Jews living in it?
Brown: No. But who talks about destroying Lakewood? We Jews do not destroy. Wherever we come we build. The coming of the Jews to Lakewood will probably mean a new prosperity to you - a prosperity you don't deserve.
Chandler: I know you well enough, Mr. Brown, to realize that you really mean what you say. I have no doubt that if you did not think your hotel would benefit Lakewood you would not build it. That is why I must convince you of the very contrary. Have a little patience with me. Do you happen to know where Lakewood derives its patronage from?
Brown: The surrounding states, I presume.
Chandler: Yes, from New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland and Washington D.C. States with a combined population of about twenty million people. How many Jews would you say there are in these states?
Brown: Probably two million.
Chandler: I need not tell you that everybody cannot come to holiday in Lakewood. One must have the money and the leisure. Also an inclination for the sort of quiet which Lakewood offers in a garish world. At present twenty million people produce just enough patronage for Lakewood, to keep us going. Do you think your two million Jews are so superior to the other eighteen millions that they will be able to replace this power of patronage?
Brown: Is it your opinion that non-Jews will stop coming to Lakewood as soon as the Jews get in?
Chandler: I don't think it's fair to put it that way. But there are so many other resorts, exclusive ones, to which they can turn to.
Brown: From the way you talk one would imagine that Jews are a plague. On the exchange I find more non-Jews about me than Jews.
Chandler: Forgive me Mr. Brown. That's on the Exchange.
Brown: Plenty of them invite me to their homes, too. I cannot accept half the invitations extended to me.
Chandler: Why shouldn't people invite you to their homes, Mr. Brown? You're a very interesting and charming man. But a home is not a public place.
Brown: I see. You gentiles are more sensitive about what you do in public than what you do at home.
Chandler: Put it that way, if you like.
Brown: And the moment I get into Lakewood, non-Jews will run out. Is that your point?
Chandler: Unfortunately it is so.
Brown: Suppose what you say is true. Did it ever occurred to you that Jews alone might be able to do more for Lakewood that is now being done for it by the rest of the neighboring states?
Chandler: They might - if they all came to Lakewood. In that respect I appear to know your people better than you do. Jews now clamor to come to Lakewood because it is forbidden them. Just show them that it is only like any other resort to which they are admitted, and it will have no further attraction for them.
Brown: Sorry, Mr. Chandler. I don't believe that. Nor do I believe that the gentiles will get out of Lakewood as soon as I get in.
Chandler: Don't you? Well, I'll prove it to you. How much did your broker offer me for my hotel?
Brown: Two hundred and forty thousand dollars.
Chandler: I refused to accept, didn't I?
Chandler: Well, when you have opened your new hotel, you can have mine for fifty thousand dollars in cold cash. Think it over Mr. Brown.
The Jew thought it over and decided that he was in the right. He saw his new enterprise rise out of the frozen ground and rear the Jewish star of David over its imposing front gate. And as Chandler had predicted the rest of the hotels in Lakewood, with the exception of two or three, were immediately announced for sale - at rates that made people rub their eyes with surprise. But there were no bargains consummated. For the gentiles left Lakewood, and all the joy of the resort went along with them.
I mean here, by joy, Lakewood's desirability as a winter resort. Mr. Chandler seemed to have been right in everything. The Jews had been attracted to Lakewood not by prettiness of its winter landscape but because of its exclusiveness. It lost all of its magic for Jews the moment it lost its power to keep them out. The value of Lakewood property deteriorated more and more. The conduct of the community became shabbier and shabbier. Its business thoroughfares began to look like Grand Street and ended up by looking like Rivington Street. For almost every maple tree in Lakewood a garbage can sprung up as if by magic.
Lakewood having been conquered, the Jews moved on to Long Branch where even greater havoc was wrought. Lakewood has, to this day, some old and exclusive hotels - reminders of her pristine glory. But Long Branch has been so completely Judaised that an old resident would find great difficulty recognizing it.
Lakewood attracted the rich powerful Jew like the Mr. Brown we described. These Jews are a fairly civilized people. Having attained a certain standard of wealth and power they begin to disgorge and soften. Having become conquerors, they begin to imitate the ways of the conquered. The tragedy of Long Branch was that she attracted the middle class Jew, the Jew with a going business and several savings accounts aggregating ten or fifteen thousand dollars.
There is still banking being done in Long Branch. But the heart of Long Branch has been stone a long time.
Let us not, in the meantime, lose track of Mr. Brown. He moved on, in accordance with his threat, from Lakewood to Atlantic City. He went to Atlantic City to holiday, and remained to proselytize.
Now Atlantic City never really excluded Jews - or any other nationality or race. It was never Atlantic City's ambition to be exclusive. The ambition of Atlantic City was a much greater one. Atlantic City has always advertised herself as the playground of America. America meant everybody, blacks as well as whites, Jews as well as gentiles.
To that end the Jews had been allowed to settle a part of the Boardwalk, the lower part, with the Breakers Hotel as a sort of local capitol. Jews had been quite satisfied with this arrangement. At any rate there had never been any symptoms of dissatisfaction. The hotels might have prejudices. But the Boardwalk belonged to the whole nation. There was no doubt about that, and the Jews were kept pleased.
As usual, Mr. Brown had his mail forwarded to him to the hotel, that winter. One morning he noticed an application for the renewal of the mortgage of one of biggest Atlantic City's hotels on the other end of the Boardwalk. Mr. Brown, I should had, was the president of one of the most powerful banks in America. The finances of this particular hotel, as Mr. Brown knew, were in very good shape. Ordinarily, he would have approved the application without a second thought. But, as I have already mentioned, Mr. Brown was in a proselytizing mood. He pressed a button at his side. To the clerk who appeared he said: "Get Mr. Martin on the telephone. Tell him I want to see him here at once."
"If he asks me what it's about, what shall I say?"
"Sound anxious. Say nothing."
One o'clock that afternoon Mr. Martin, his hat in his perspiring hands, was facing the genial Mr. Brown. "There is something wrong, Mr. Brown?" he asks genially.
"Of course not," smiling.
"And the mortgage?"
"I have already approved a renewal. Here it is."
"But you wanted to see me about something?"
"Didn't my secretary tell you? How stupid of him! My wanting to see you was purely personal. Your predecessor at the hotel set a precedent which makes it practically impossible for me to be a guest of yours."
"But I assure you, you would be most welcome, Mr. Brown."
"I know, Mr. Martin, and I appreciate it. But I cannot afford to go to a hotel in which Jews are not admitted. Why don't you forget that stupid prejudice? I'm pretty sure it keeps some very profitable patronage from your hotel."
"I may loose some good patronage, too, Mr. Brown."
"I am not responsible for it, Mr. Brown, but you must know that the prejudice against your people in resorts is a pretty powerful one."
"I know, Mr. Martin. But I am sure you will do much better to disregard it. I want to be friendly with you. And oh, yes. I meant to point out to you before. I am renewing your mortgage for only one year. Don't it let it alarm you. When it falls due next year I may be able to work out a plan for another ten years."
"I understand, Mr. Brown."
There were many things Mr. Martin could have done about it. But Mr. Martin was a very amiable man, and he did the easiest thing under the circumstances. He acquiesced. Once they realized that the Jews had been let loose in the hotel, his best gentile clients deserted him. The Jews, finding this hotel patronized only by Jews, decided that since it was now practically a Jewish hotel they might as well give their patronage to a Jew, and moved back to the Breakers.
In this fashion the hotels were one by one taken over by the Jews - and broken. Until, as I write this, practically the whole of Atlantic City is bankrupt. The difference between being the playground of America and being the playground of American Jewry is the difference between being patronized by a hundred and thirty million people and being patronized by four million Jews.
Before the Jews seized it, Atlantic City was one of the world's most envied communities. Today, under a Jewish mayor, it is broke and criminally involved in an issue of "scripp" which has neither moral nor metallic foundation. Real American money is practically never handled by its thousands of merchants.
What is there to say to all this except that a Jew may be a king of men in a manger but, when he forces himself into a society which does not want him, he unfailingly makes a damn pig of himself?
 The majority of the farmers in Parksville are really gentile. But Jews have to constitute no more than twenty percent of any community to thoroughly Judaise it. I have shown how it was in (N)utscha. And what is true on the influence of Jews in Russia and Poland is also true in the United States.