2 Jul 2015

Selection on Jews as Rats from Hippler’s Der Ewige Jude [The Eternal Jew]

Corry Shores
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[Boldface and underlining are my own. This replication is made in the context of a study of Art Spiegelman’s Maus, and the emphasis is meant to relate the material to that text and not to suggest any agreement with the sentiments or ideas expressed.]

Selection on Jews as rats from

Fritz Hippler (Dir)

Der Ewige Jude
[The Eternal Jew]


ewige jew poster 2 museum 15222-2301x3200

[Thanks United States Holocaust Museum]


[Art Spiegelman writes of this racist Nazi propaganda film, with regard to its influence on his Maus:

The most shockingly relevant anti-Semitic work I found was The Eternal Jew, a 1940 German “documentary” that portrayed Jews in a ghetto swarming in tight quarters, bearded caftaned creatures, and then a cut to Jews as mice – or rather rats – swarming in a sewer, with a title card that said “Jews are the rats” or the “vermin of mankind.” This made it clear to me that this dehumanization was at the very heart of the killing project.
(Spiegelman, 155)



[The following quotes from the English subtitles.]

Their homelessness, though, is a matter of choice, and in keeping with their entire history. Four thousand years ago, their Hebrew ancestors were already wandering. Out of the Land of Two Rivers, they wandered along the sea to Egypt, where they ran a lucrative grain business for a while.


When the country farmers and other Egyptians... rose against the foreign usurers and speculators, they wandered once more, and plundered their way to the promised land.


They settled there, mercilessly looting culturally-superior rightful inhabitants. Here in the course of centuries, from the Oriental, Far Eastern racial mixture... with Negroid admixture, the ultimate mongrelized Jews developed.


Foreign from us Europeans, born of totally-different racial elements, they differ from us in body and above all in soul. 


We probably would never have been bothered by them had they stayed in their Oriental home. But the cosmopolitan empire of Alexander the Great, reaching from the Near East across half the Mediterranean, and especially the boundless world empire of the Romans, brought about the evolution of the trade and migratory traits of the Jews, who soon spread across the open Mediterranean area.


While some of them settled in the large urban traffic... and the trade centers of the Mediterranean, others wandered relentlessly on across Spain, France, Southern Germany, and England. Everywhere they made themselves unwelcome. In Spain and France the people rose openly against them in the 13th and 14th Centuries, and they wandered on, mainly to Germany.


From there they followed the path of the Aryan culture... creative Germans colonizing the East... till they finally found a gigantic new untapped reservoir... in the Polish and Russian sections of Eastern Europe.


The 19th Century, with its muddled ideas about human equality and freedom, gave the Jews a great lift. From eastern Europe they spread across the entire continent... during the 19th and 20th Centuries, and then across the world.


Parallel to these Jewish wanderings throughout the world is the migration of...  a similarly restless animal: the rat.


Rats have been parasites on mankind from the very beginning.


Their home is Asia, from which they migrated in gigantic hordes...  over Russia and the Balkans into Europe. By the middle of the 18th Century, they'd already spread over all of Europe. 

vlcsnap-2015-07-02-17h28m38s096Toward the end of the 19th Centiry, with growing shipping traffic, they took possession of America as well, and eventually Africa and the Far East.


Wherever rats turn up, they carry destruction to the land... by destroying mankind's goods and nourishment and spreading diseases and plagues... such as cholera, dysentery, leprosy, and typhoid fever.

Ewige Jew Mice 1

They are cunning. cowardly, and cruel, and usually appear in massive hordes. They represent the elements of sneakiness and subterranean destruction among animals, just as the Jews do among mankind.


The parasite nation of Judah is responsible for a large part of international crime.

[The above quoted material comes from from around to 13.30 to around 17.30 of the youtube English subs version, or from around to 13.45 to around 18.00 in the archive.org version]

[Consider for comparison some shots from Leni Riefenstahl’s Triumph of the Will (Triumph des Willens, 1935), which documents some of Adolf Hitler’s speeches before the military. Notice the composition in these shots.]

Triumph Wills 1

Triumph Wills 2

[Here the German soldiers are portrayed as perfectly organized in a geometrically rigid and mechanically interrelated structure. Compare that composition to the image from Der Ewige Jude of the chaotic mess of rats.]

Ewige Jew Mice 1

Movie Poster from:

“Der Ewige Jude (The Eternal or Wandering Jew)”. The United States Holocaust Museum.


Embedded video and subtitles from:

“Der Ewige Jude [ENG SUB].” Uploaded to youtube by Chaîne de LeGuideMoustachu.

Screenshots taken from:

“1940 - Der Ewige Jude (1h 05m, 656x560).”

Other quotation from:

Spiegelman, Art [with Hillary Chute (interviewer)]. MetaMaus. New York: Pantheon/Random House, 2011.


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