top of page

Jordan's and Antisemitism

In his writings and research,​ David Starr Jordan promoted antisemitic theories of race science, echoing many antisemitic tropes of his period.

In his 1912 Unseen Empire, Jordan posited that contemporary wars in Europe were due to a hidden cabal of Jewish financiers. As he put it in a speech given to Stanford students, "the Rothschilds have been the actual rulers of Europe."








When Jewish organizations and publications called out this antisemitic claim, Jordan turned to race science in his response. After clarifying that he did not believe in a secret Jewish cabal, Jordan defended his claim by arguing that cunning and good observation were "racial traits" of Jewish people. It was thus this racial quality which led Jewish financiers to rule Europe, according to Jordan.

Unsurprisingly, Jordan's writings on the subject inspired antisemitism in others. Henry Ford, notable antisemite who worked alongside Jordan on peace-keeping missions, was said to be deeply influenced by Jordan's Unseen Empire, which contributed to Ford's own theories about Jewish conspiracies

Jordan hinted at vast Jewish conspiracies and promoted a scientific racist understanding of Judaism in his own work. Furthermore, organizations he founded, such as the Human Betterment Foundation, supplied eugenic statistics to Nazi Germany, inspiring one of the greatest horrors in human history: the Holocaust. 



An image of a newspaper headline. It read: "Rothschild Rule Europe: Declares Dr. Jordan, who says Financial Intrigues Prevent War."
bottom of page