Do Jews Really Control the Banks?

Posted by Olivier Melnick on May 28, 2024
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The Rothschild family is considered the symbol of Jewish aristocracy by some and the epitome of Jewish greed and financial monopoly by others. Where is the truth? What do we really know about that European Jewish family? What do we know about the Rothschilds and the world's financial takeover?

Mayer Amschel Rothschild–a descendant of Jewish merchants from the Frankfurt ghetto–was born in 1744 and became an orphan at age twelve, with four siblings to take care of and almost no money to help. He had no choice but to go to work very young. He eventually became the apprentice to banker Jacob Wolf Oppenheimer in Hanover and returned to Frankfurt in 1763 to become the personal financial dealer to Crown Prince Wilhelm I. He started to amass his fortune as the French Revolution started in 1789, turned into war in Europe, and allowed him to quickly become the richest Jewish man in Europe. Eventually, he would delegate some of his banking business to each of his five sons across Europe (Germany, England and France.)

The Birth of a Myth and its Growth
The family business quickly grew to become the greatest banking institution in Europe. This undoubtedly gave the Rothschild family some power, especially at a time in history when the Haskalah, or “Jewish enlightenment,” was starting to become a reality for Jews. It also gave them the financial power to lend money to the various nations that had opposed France and been affected by the Napoleonic Wars.

The Rothschild name became synonymous with wealth and philanthropy, but it also became the symbol of modern Jewish capitalism. So much so that Sholem Aleichem’s original Yiddish text for Tevye’s song “If I Were a Rich Man” read “Ven Ikh bin Rothschild” (If I were Rothschild).

What was seen as shrewdness and immense wealth by some was also seen as greed and corruption by jealous others, and it quickly gave antisemites on both sides of the political spectrum more ammunition to accuse all the Jews of the world–as if by proxy–to try to take over and control of the world banking system.

The Rothschilds were also accused of financing both sides of some conflicts during many European wars. The fact was that, they became so spread out within Europe that there was barely any country that they had not loaned money to.

In the early 1880s, cartoons and literature started to emerge, painting the family as money-hungry, greedy, and fat. Play-on words started to appear, such as “Not the King of Jews but the Jew of the Kings.” In 1845, the cartoon Generalpumpe, meaning the “General Pump,” was published and became the catalyst for a myriad of cartoons after that. It depicted Mayer Amschel Rothschild as a mean-looking gold dispenser to world bankers, at the same time taking advantage of the little people.

French author Honoré de Balzac's caricature of Jacob Rothschild in his short story La Maison Nucingen (1837) would become the root of the myth of the greedy French Jew that endures today. The character lived through several of Balzac’s books. To be sure, the original myth of the greedy Jew started well before that.

In 1873, the German economy experienced some difficulties, and the drop in the stock market was blamed on Jewish bankers when, in reality, few Jewish people were involved. The myth of the greedy Jew, which had started during the Middle Ages, took at least half a millennium to take root in the fertile European soil. At that point in history, all financial crises were seen as part of a Jewish web with the Rothschild family at its center.

Words were being spread across Europe that Nathan Rothschild benefited greatly from Napoleon's defeat at the Battle of Waterloo. The fake story was told in Ignatius Balla's The Romance of the Rothschilds in 1913. Henry Ford’s antisemitic newspaper The Dearborn Independent and his 1920 four-volume book The International Jew would further promote it.

In volume II, Ford writes: Rothschild power, as it was once known, has been so broadened by the entry of other banking families into governmental finance, that it must now be known not by the name of one family of Jews, but by the name of the race. Thus, it is spoken of as International Jewish Finance, and its principal figures are described as International Jewish Financiers. …. As a leading student of financial affairs puts it, the world of high finance is largely a Jewish world because of the Jewish financier’s “absence from national or patriotic illusions.”

Ford saw the Rothschild family's financial leadership as the epitome of the Jewish financial world. To Henri Ford, the Rothschild family symbolized Jewish banking control and thirst for wealth.

Another milestone in Jewish history was connected to the Rothschild family in England. Lionel Rothschild served on the Zionist Federation, and it was to this very “Lord Rothschild” that Lord Balfour addressed his short but powerful 1917 letter known as the “Balfour Declaration,” which was instrumental in the process of the re-birth of Israel as a modern State for the Jewish people.

The Rothschilds had less involvement in American finance than the conspiracy theories would like us to believe. They were involved in trying to rescue the economy after the 1929 US stock market crash, but they weren’t successful. Nevertheless, their connection provided Adolf Hitler with more of the fuel he needed to go after the Jews.

Possible Reasons for the Conspiracy Theories Against the Rothschilds.
• Wilhelm Marr, the very man who coined the word antisemitismus in 1879, had worked with a family close to the Rothschilds and had been turned down in 1841 for a promotion that was given to a “less deserving Jew.” In one of his memoirs, he recalled that “the goi had to bear the consequences of the economic crisis.

• People started to hate the Rothschilds early on, but one of the major conspiracy theories was that of the aftermath of the Battle of Waterloo (June 18, 1815) when Nathan Rothschild was said to have rushed to the coast of Belgium to cross the English Channel at a very high price and arrive in London a day before the news of Napoleon’s defeat. The story goes on, claiming that the Rothschilds profit from the Waterloo debacle was 135 million pounds. The story was a hoax, as Nathan Rothschild was nowhere in the Waterloo region at that time.

• Baron Edmond de Rothschild (France) became a strong supporter and proponent of Zionism. Over the course of his life, “the Known Benefactor” and the Palestine Jewish Colonization Association (PICA, founded in 1923) purchased a total of more than 125,000 acres in Palestine. He started investing in Palestine as early as 1882 and was instrumental in the building and developing of many wineries, factories, and hospitals throughout the land. These massive land purchases gave credence to the antisemitic claims that Jews controlled the banks and wanted to control the world.

• As late as 2023, continuing to spread the conspiracy theories, the claim was made that the Rothschild family owned many of the world’s central banks, when in reality, these banks are publicly owned.

The family name “Rothschild” has become synonymous with all Jews active in the financial world. In a sense, all Jews and all Rothschilds have become mutually responsible for the claimed financial world takeover by the Jews. This is a false generalization that is not founded in the history of the Rothschild family.

The Truth About the Rothschilds
Undoubtedly, the Rothschild family built a financial empire in Europe over several centuries. They became very influential with many kings and leaders in many countries and even helped finance wars and recovery efforts. At times, they found themselves on both sides of a conflict, having to make choices about who to finance, and they didn’t always make the best decisions.

In the eyes of many, money buys power and large fortunes would buy great power in many fields. The Rothschilds were very rich and influential and undoubtedly not squeaky clean in every decision they made, but when they used poor judgment or even greed, they happened to be fallen sinners in need of redemption first and Jewish second. The irrational claim that their greed, desire to control the banks and the world would be based on their Jewish roots is no more valid than a claim that all Germans are Nazis or all Muslims are terrorists.

The Bible sees us ALL as sinners regardless of origins, and that is the root of the problem. Jewish identity has absolutely nothing to do with it.

Ecclesiastes 7:20 Indeed, there is not a righteous man on earth who continually does good and who never sins.

Psalm 14:1 The fool has said in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, they have committed abominable deeds; There is no one who does good.

Jeremiah 33:20 Indeed the sons of Israel and the sons of Judah have been doing only evil in My sight from their youth; for the sons of Israel have been only provoking Me to anger by the work of their hands,” declares the Lord.

Romans 3:23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

1 John 3:8 The one who practices sin is of the devil; for the devil has sinned from the beginning. The Son of God appeared for this purpose, to destroy the works of the devil.

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One comment on “Do Jews Really Control the Banks?”

  1. Thank you for this article. Until I began reading I had not realised that I had swallowed the 'popular' narrative/myth. As a youth I read several books on the Holocaust and determined then I would do everything I could to help the Jews should it become necessary again. That hasn't changed but I am ashamed that I didn't know how easily I could be 'managed' by ignorance of this global attitude.

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