Friday, February 26, 2010
How to manage Jews?
I think the most phenomenal success of the Jewish mind in my generation was the atomic bomb, which was developed almost paralelly in the USA and in the Soviet Union. In both cases, it was done by Jews but not for the Jews.
America in the late forties faced the problem of how to get a large group of Jewish geniuses in maths and physics, most of them foreign born and of rather dubious loyalty, much more intelligent and cultured than the loyal native American manpower that the Goverement had, to build a nuclear weapon for the American military. And fast. If one thinks of it, it was a very difficult management problem of creative human resources.
The Americans took them all to Los Alamos in the remotest desert. They choose as project leader an American Jewish physicist, Oppenheimer, supplied them with unlimited resources and let them work. Nominally, the project was controlled by a stolid carreer soldier (Lt Cnel Leslie Groves, pic) and the camp was guarded by soldiers. Soon the main entertainment of the creative talents was to write complicated letters that the censure couldnt understand, they invented fake Communist conspiracies, they organized "illegal" tours in the neighborhood, Richard Feynman took to break in to top secret safes just for the sport of it, in short, they found it innocent and funny to subvert military discipline - they were ungovernable. To Groves, son of a military chaplain, the behaviour of whole bunch must have been absolutely disgusting. Yet he managed the project to its successful completion, there was no sabotage and all the Jews came out in one piece and full of fame and money, and the bomb won the war.
Years after the details are coming out and there we know that there had been several Communist circles inside the camp, that they were conspiracies and rivalries, that secrets were leaked to the Russians. All was known to the military managers, yet they let them work and conspire.
The Russians managed the same problem in a different way. According to Sacharov, they built TWO science cities in the far Siberian nowhere, and they provided all the resources (while the country was suffering famine) and they put all under the civilian secret police. One of the teams was predominantly Jewish, the other one native Russian, The NKDV created an environment of secrecy, fear and terror, people was arrested at midnight and accused of sabotaging the project, and the politically dubious ones disappeared. Details from the Manhattan Project were acquired by Russian spies and were forwarded in a very controlled way. No one knew what the other team was doing. Yet the Jewish team succeeded in completing the project in only two or three years after the Americans.
But no fame nor money awaited the Russian Jews. The legend tells that when Ghengis Khan died, a thousand Mongols dammed a river to bury him in the river bed with his gold, weapons, concubines, servants and horses, and then destroyed the dam so no one will ever find the grave. Returning from the ceremony, the thousand were entrapped and slaughtered, so the secret would never be revealed. In the same way, Stalin made sure that no one of the creators of the Russian bomb would return to civilization. Once I met an old Russian immigrant, an intelligent hunchback like Mendelsohn with many medals from WWII, who lived alone in Israel. His only son had had something to do with the Russian nuclear program and would never be allowed to leave Russia.
No doubt, America is a better country for Jews that Russia.