Psychopathia antisemitica

Reginald Grünenberg
13 min readDec 19, 2023

Anti-Semitism is not an opinion, a belief, or a political attitude; it is a (possibly curable) personality disorder

Jews are strange people. I have to tell you a little story about this. When I moved from Munich to Paris in 1984 to study political science, my father was living there with his girlfriend, Raymonde, a Moroccan Jew with an Israeli passport. She was wealthy because her late husband, called Babba, owner of a successful nightclub and cacique of Tel Aviv — a personality with enough charisma and authority to settle disputes between rival gangsters and entire underworld gangs — had left her a considerable fortune. She had a heart of gold, and there was always something going on in her house; but when she was in a bad mood, she was known to rip the electrical wires out of the wall and send heavy glass ashtrays flying. My father was proud of her bloodline, as she was said to be a direct descendant of Eleazar Ben Ya’ir, the legendary leader of the last Jewish resistance to the Roman invasion. When the invaders stormed the Masada fortress on a table mountain in 73 A.D., Ben Ya’ir led his thousand followers to commit collective suicide. The Romans were shocked, and their historians reported the event with awe. Since then, Masada has been regarded as the most powerful symbol of the Jewish will to freedom.

Raymonde, who played poker or baccarat at the Club des Milliardaires, knew many wealthy Sephardic Jews and regularly hosted dinners for her friends. At the sumptuous table, with lots of silver, crystal, foie gras (kosher), beluga caviar (possibly not kosher, as the sturgeon has fins but no scales, although the fins could be a type of scale — this has been debated since Rabbi Maimonides in the 12th century), Bœuf Stroganoff (not kosher at all), and Lafite-Rothschild wines (not kosher, but Baron Edmond de Rothschild had brought viticulture to Israel after all), there were always two goyim sitting there, namely my father and me.

It was a surreal and at first frightening world for me, because until then I had only known Jews from black-and-white documentaries shown at school. They were emaciated, miserable figures wearing the Jewish star on tattered clothes. Or corpses shoveled into mass graves with excavators after the liberation of the concentration camps. Jean-Paul, instead, sold islands in the Caribbean, Bernard organized the Paris-Dakar rally and Bernadette owned a delicatessen chain with her pretty daughter, Féline. They were always in high spirits, and apart from La bouffe, the eternal…

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Reginald Grünenberg

I am Reggie from Berlin/Germany. Here I write as a novelist, political scientist, philosopher, and astrophysicist.