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Go Back   Casebook Forums > Ripper Discussions > Police Officials and Procedures > Anderson, Sir Robert

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  #1  
Old 09-20-2015, 03:10 PM
Abby Normal Abby Normal is offline
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Default Was Anderson Prejudice?

One of the things that has always bothered me about Anderson and his definitely ascertained fact about the polish Jew suspect, is that it set off a 125 year search for the proverbial crazy Jew.

I sense wiff of prejudice in this proclamation, and I wonder if any one else thinks his ideas on suspect was influenced by his prejudice against Jews and was wondering if there was any other anti Semitic or prejudice against Jews in his back ground?
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  #2  
Old 09-20-2015, 03:22 PM
packers stem packers stem is offline
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Unfortunately Abby i think it was the norm then to be prejudiced for many sections of society.
Prejudice towards anyone dark skinned,foreign,catholic,aethist,poor i think the list was huge.Society was nothing like it is now and the upper and middle classes weren't as well educated as they liked to believe they were
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  #3  
Old 10-25-2015, 11:35 AM
Phil Carter Phil Carter is offline
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Originally Posted by packers stem View Post
Unfortunately Abby i think it was the norm then to be prejudiced for many sections of society.
Prejudice towards anyone dark skinned,foreign,catholic,aethist,poor i think the list was huge.Society was nothing like it is now and the upper and middle classes weren't as well educated as they liked to believe they were

Indeed. If one was educated in the "classics" it was a sign of a good background and breeding. The gap between the haves and the have not was enormous. The middle class was in fact quite a deal smaller than today. Grammar school education was in its infancy and to afford to send a boy to a school with greater educational goals was out of reach for many. The lower classes were just recently getting used to education for every child. Of the 9 siblings in Grans family, she was the youngest born in 1888, the first 3 could neither read nor write properly..If at all... 4 died young and only two attended school. Even then Gran started work at 12. (In 1900).
So yes..There is an enormous difference with the infrastructure of the LVP and even 30 years later. Two of my uncles went to a grammar school in the 20's and 30's. They were still taught classics. .as I was years later.
There was a prejudice that today people simply cannot relate to. In many ways. To me..Anderson was anti semitic in many ways. .religiously a zealot.


Phil
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Old 10-25-2015, 08:06 PM
Rosella Rosella is offline
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^ Grammar school education was hardly 'in its infancy'. Shakespeare is believed to have attended the grammar school at Stratford and many grammar schools had medieval foundations.

To be a bit fair to Anderson though, if he really did believe in Jack the Polish Jew was he not allowed to state it? Isn't that being a little PC at a time when that was unknown? Although Anderson was a deeply religious Christian and so may well have been prejudiced against Jews due to that, I don't really see evidence that he was anti-Semite.
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Old 10-25-2015, 10:45 PM
Mayerling Mayerling is offline
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Originally Posted by Rosella View Post
^ Grammar school education was hardly 'in its infancy'. Shakespeare is believed to have attended the grammar school at Stratford and many grammar schools had medieval foundations.

To be a bit fair to Anderson though, if he really did believe in Jack the Polish Jew was he not allowed to state it? Isn't that being a little PC at a time when that was unknown? Although Anderson was a deeply religious Christian and so may well have been prejudiced against Jews due to that, I don't really see evidence that he was anti-Semite.
It's a very touchy subject, as you can guess. I don't think Anderson would have advocated killing Jews. However, he would not have been opposed to a set of immigration rules to limit them coming to Britain.

He tried to cover himself by specifying that he did not mean upper class Jews or educated or better mannered Jews, but the "dregs". But this still was directed towards Jews. I don't recall him saying this about the Welsh or Scots or Irish or Christian English populations.

Still, while it hurts to see that, I have considered a bit. Given that there were many Jews living in the East End, if the Ripper was Jewish it would not have been such an impossibility. But Anderson suggested the locals protected him from the police investigation (i.e., they knew who he was but did not give him up). Maybe, but it also sounds like a "them against us" mentality working here. More likely, if the locals did "Jack" such a favor, it was from memories of what the police in Tsarist Russia were like, or in other parts of the European continent. Keep in mind, in six years of Whitechapel Captain Alfred Dreyfus would be smeared as a traitor by the French Army establishment and would not be rehabilitated and reinstated until 1906. And France was supposedly the most liberal state on the European continent.

Jeff
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Old 10-26-2015, 06:27 AM
ChrisGeorge ChrisGeorge is offline
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Originally Posted by Mayerling View Post
It's a very touchy subject, as you can guess. I don't think Anderson would have advocated killing Jews. However, he would not have been opposed to a set of immigration rules to limit them coming to Britain.

He tried to cover himself by specifying that he did not mean upper class Jews or educated or better mannered Jews, but the "dregs". But this still was directed towards Jews. I don't recall him saying this about the Welsh or Scots or Irish or Christian English populations.

Still, while it hurts to see that, I have considered a bit. Given that there were many Jews living in the East End, if the Ripper was Jewish it would not have been such an impossibility. But Anderson suggested the locals protected him from the police investigation (i.e., they knew who he was but did not give him up). Maybe, but it also sounds like a "them against us" mentality working here. More likely, if the locals did "Jack" such a favor, it was from memories of what the police in Tsarist Russia were like, or in other parts of the European continent. Keep in mind, in six years of Whitechapel Captain Alfred Dreyfus would be smeared as a traitor by the French Army establishment and would not be rehabilitated and reinstated until 1906. And France was supposedly the most liberal state on the European continent.

Jeff
Hi Jeff, Abby, Phil, et al

Sir Robert Anderson was a member of the upper crust of British society. He was a scholar and a student of the Bible. He would have held the same prejudices as many in the upper crust and yes he would have had a low view of immigrant Jews which partly explains his expressed concerns that the poor Polish Jews would not have given up one of their own. At the same time, he probably would have seen himself as treating the problem with fairness and equanimity but from our viewpoint we can see that was not quite the case.

I am shortly going to make an announcement in the Baltimore RipperCon thread that our opening speaker at our April 8-10, 2016 conference will be Martin Fido speaking on "Ripperology and Anti-Semitism." No doubt Martin will touch upon Anderson and his attitudes but the intent is to talk more broadly about Ripperology and anti-Semitism up to this day. I don't think he would mind me sharing this explanation that he wrote in an email to explain the thrust of the talk:

"I really mean the Ripper-linked anti-Semitism that has occurred since Kosminski and Cohen were publicized as serious suspects. (This has led to some vandalism in East End Jewish cemeteries and the withdrawal of at least one valuable researcher from Ripperology among other things). But the lead-in would certainly include explaining why the Jewish connection was actually important in the case from the outset."

Best regards

Chris
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Old 10-26-2015, 10:58 AM
Scott Nelson Scott Nelson is offline
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"I really mean the Ripper-linked anti-Semitism that has occurred since Kosminski and Cohen were publicized as serious suspects. (This has led to some vandalism in East End Jewish cemeteries and the withdrawal of at least one valuable researcher from Ripperology among other things). - Martin Fido
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Old 10-26-2015, 11:27 AM
Pcdunn Pcdunn is offline
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Originally Posted by Rosella View Post
^ Grammar school education was hardly 'in its infancy'. Shakespeare is believed to have attended the grammar school at Stratford and many grammar schools had medieval foundations.

To be a bit fair to Anderson though, if he really did believe in Jack the Polish Jew was he not allowed to state it? Isn't that being a little PC at a time when that was unknown? Although Anderson was a deeply religious Christian and so may well have been prejudiced against Jews due to that, I don't really see evidence that he was anti-Semite.
Shakespeare's grammar school taught Latin, I've read, and one observer said an education in a sixteenth-century English grammar school could be better than a nineteenth-century American high school education. I think the term "grammar school" for the youngest children may be of more recent usage.

Has it been determined if Anderson was really a Freemason? The reason I ask is that they are supposed to be remarkably tolerant of all religions, or so I understand. If so, he probably wasn't much more prejudiced against Jews than the average upper-class Englishman (possibly less).
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Old 10-26-2015, 11:44 AM
curious4 curious4 is offline
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After the GSG Swanson stated that its purpose was to throw blame on the Jews, implying that he didn't believe a Jew was responsible. I wonder when and why he changed his mind?

Best wishes
C4
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Old 10-26-2015, 04:10 PM
Mayerling Mayerling is offline
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Originally Posted by ChrisGeorge View Post
Hi Jeff, Abby, Phil, et al

Sir Robert Anderson was a member of the upper crust of British society. He was a scholar and a student of the Bible. He would have held the same prejudices as many in the upper crust and yes he would have had a low view of immigrant Jews which partly explains his expressed concerns that the poor Polish Jews would not have given up one of their own. At the same time, he probably would have seen himself as treating the problem with fairness and equanimity but from our viewpoint we can see that was not quite the case.

I am shortly going to make an announcement in the Baltimore RipperCon thread that our opening speaker at our April 8-10, 2016 conference will be Martin Fido speaking on "Ripperology and Anti-Semitism." No doubt Martin will touch upon Anderson and his attitudes but the intent is to talk more broadly about Ripperology and anti-Semitism up to this day. I don't think he would mind me sharing this explanation that he wrote in an email to explain the thrust of the talk:

"I really mean the Ripper-linked anti-Semitism that has occurred since Kosminski and Cohen were publicized as serious suspects. (This has led to some vandalism in East End Jewish cemeteries and the withdrawal of at least one valuable researcher from Ripperology among other things). But the lead-in would certainly include explaining why the Jewish connection was actually important in the case from the outset."

Best regards

Chris
Thanks Chris for the tip on Mr. Fido and the subject of the meeting.

It was a weird subject for that time. Somebody who might be greatly admired like the linguist and explorer Sir Richard Burton, who appreciated Islamic and Hindu and African peoples, was totally hostile towards Jews and wrote pamphlets against them regarding the old canard of "ritual murder". But people who we'd consider anti-Semitic were actually equally pushing for religious acceptance of Jews. Theodore Roosevelt, as U. S. President, put the first Jewish - American in his cabinet. But he liked jokes that had anti-Semitic stereotypes. This was not unusual. All the leading people in our history grew up in the period before they became prominent, and so they had to be taught by their parents, who would pass on their own prejudices. One has to read of this with regret but calm acceptance due to when they lived.

Jeff

Jeff

Last edited by Mayerling : 10-26-2015 at 04:19 PM.
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