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Memorandum from the Ministry of State of the Duchy of Nassau (1822)

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The filthy haggler has ceased. The younger ones distinguish themselves favorably from their elders. I do not say that they have improved completely, but they have progressed, and they will make even more progress if one respects them more and treats them more mildly. If it were decreed that all Jewish children had to attend elementary and grammar school, if the teachers were told to treat them like other children, to leave their religion completely unmentioned, if one were to pay more attention to Jewish schoolteachers, to distinguish those who recommend themselves by their ethical conduct, and not lump them together with the rude haggling Jews, if one let the Jews enjoy the same rights in their civic and private relations and subjected them to the same laws, then the gruffness would certainly wear off them gradually, as is already the case among a few. Without creating general rules connecting the granting of residence permits to family circumstances, a particular occupation, or a fixed number of permits, it would certainly lead to fewer inconveniences and contribute to the ennoblement of the Jews if it were determined merely by [having] a good way of life, the assets necessary for an honest livelihood and its strict accountability, good reports from local superiors and officials, in brief, by personal qualifications. Previously, young people were not directed toward any type of business or farming. To compel them now to one thing or the other is fruitless. To reject them completely because they could not learn this is unjust. Let them therefore pursue a legitimate business, and one can observe them carefully and punish them whenever they cheat, just as every fraud should be punished. The parents should be required to ensure that their children learn a profession. The problem that a Christian master does not want to apprentice a Jew's son, while a Jew's son does not want to apprentice with him, will gradually be resolved of its own accord, for big leaps, after all, do not occur easily. Necessity will conquer the difficulties, just as it does when a Jew has to become a soldier. When young people today know that they can only receive a residence permit if they learn to practice a trade, then surely only a few will want to remain behind. Here, however, new difficulties are going to arise. When the Jews start making shoes, doing tailoring, etc., then Christian craftsmen will yell about being robbed of their businesses, just as small shopkeepers are yelling about how, in the presence of Jews, their prices can no longer be as high as they would like. If the Jew is more diligent, if he seeks to buy raw material less expensively, makes do with less profit, then the consumer profits thereby, and those who are lazy and simple cannot cheat him arbitrarily. That is the real disadvantage here, and there is no intrinsic injustice, because religion alone is no modus acquirendi and does not concern the state.

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