Classic Essays

Thomas Edison: “Anti-Semite”

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ISRAEL’S Postal Authority has a real headache. Postal officials had planned to release a new 2-shekel stamp featuring American inventor Thomas Edison at the Hong Kong 97 Stamp Exhibition. Everything was ready to go when an American Jew, Ken Lawrence, a vice-president of the American Philatelic Society, learned of the new Edison stamp and informed the Israelis that Edison was an anti-Semite. (ILLUSTRATION: Henry Ford with Thomas Edison)

Researchers at the Jerusalem Post looked into the matter and decided that Lawrence was correct in his assessment of Edison. They turned up an instance where Edison had hired a man one day and then fired him the next when he discovered that his new employee was a Jew. They also turned up an article in Henry Ford’s newspaper, the Dearborn Independent, quoting Edison in a 1914 statement blaming the outbreak of the First World War on Jewish machinations. Apparently Edison also expressed a less-than-worshipful attitude toward Jews in a number of letters he wrote to his close friend Ford and to the editor of the Dearborn Independent, E.G. Liebold. Finally, they discovered that a portion of Edison’s fortune had been bequeathed, through a grandniece, Jean Edison-Farrel, to a nest of “Holocaust deniers,” the California-based Institute for Historical Review.

These revelations put the Postal Authority in a turmoil. Officials bemoaned the fact that Edison was only the fifth goy chosen for an Israeli stamp in the 49 years of Israel’s existence, and he turned out to be an anti-Semite. Oi, veh! Whom can you trust?

Hey! How about a 30-shekel stamp with Bill Clinton? But wait a minute: with his trousers up or down?

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Source: National Vanguard Magazine — Number 117 (March-April 1997)

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