Commentary Magazine


Unwatered Wine

To the Editor:

As a practicing engineer who spent the past fifteen years in the factories of this country, I was particularly attracted by Warner Bloomberg, Jr.’s, article, “Jew in the Factory” (November 1953). He describes a lunchtime discussion with a young Polish American, Andy, in which he, Bloomberg, tries to explain why Jews are not found in industry “working with their hands.” I was disturbed because Bloomberg was obviously on the defensive, finding it necessary to relate “the long history of oppression and persecutions that drove European Jewry so long ago from the crafts of the land. . . .” The implication here, of course, is that there is something ennobling or virtuous in hard, manual, unskilled labor—a fiction perpetrated, in my opinion, by those who have never made a career of it. Common sense, or if necessary a few years digging ditches, picking peas, or moving steel plate, should convince even the most romantic that far from being ennobling pursuits, they are on the contrary degrading to the dignity of man and the sooner supplanted by the machine the better. . . .

Louis Soltanoff
Salisbury, Maryland

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