I\’m Too Sexy for My Master\’s Thesis

Jack the Ripper identified

Posted in history by Rae on 17 July 2006

Jack the Ripper identified as a Jew. Contrary to this article, this isn’t a new theory or discovery. This was also a hot topic during the 1880s, as I’ve seen from the Jewish Chronicle’s coverage of this story. Yes, I know my thesis is not on Jack the Ripper or even that time-period, but sometimes I can’t help but look a little bit closer at non-relevant, interesting topics. I came across this 1910 column from the Jewish Chronicle regarding Jack the Ripper the other day:

Before the Ripper crimes took place there came into my hands a book which had been sent to me by the author, whom I had known since he was a little child. The book, if I remember aright, was printed by a provincial printer and was issued anonymously. The young man, whose first effort it was, had always been a strange, weird, dreamy sort of an individual. I confess that when I received it I merely glanced through its pages and wrote the writer something complimentary. I recollect that the story the book told appeared to me then to be mere extravagancies of a highly imaginative character, and seemed to have resulted from the author having dived deeper into the “Gehenna” of modern Babylon than was good for one of his years, especially as the “Gehenna” district he chose to explore was the most sordid and filthy it was possible to find. I put the book aside and though no more of it till the Ripper crimes were setting the town in panic. Then I recollected that its author had prophesied that such crimes would take place and gave details of happenings, in local, in method and in manner, which convinced me could not be accounted to the long arm of coincidence when they actually took place.

The whole column (and, in fact, the whole site) is worth a read, especially the second half of Mentor’s column. The period of the 1880s until after WWI was a very tense time for Jewish/non-Jewish relations in Britain, especially regarding immigrant Jews, of which Kosminski was one. I do not doubt that the police’s treatment of this suspect was a reflection of that. Anyway, my point is that this isn’t really news, but it is interesting.

(via Failed Messiah)


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