EZRA POUND: JEW-WISE POET AND POLITICAL PRISONER
BY MUFIDAH KASSALIAS
EZRA POUND was one of the most influential poets of his time. He was also the most outspoken, especially about Jewish bankers and the damaging effects of usury on nations and society.
Pound was well-versed in history and understood that World War II was yet another bankers’ war, with its roots extending back not just to the Treaty of Versailles, but “at least from the founding of the Bank of England at the end of the 17th century, 1694-8.”
For twenty-one years Pound lived in Italy until he was arrested for “treason” in 1945. The charge? The broadcasts on Radio Rome in which he spoke against U.S. involvement in World War II, Roosevelt, and the Jews, naming Jewish bankers as the cause of much distress, whether by usury or deliberately created wars, over the course of the previous two hundred-plus years.
Following his arrest in May 1945, he was taken to the United States Army Disciplinary Training Center, north of Pisa, where he suffered three torturous weeks in a six-foot-square outdoor steel cage with a concrete floor. Apart from the solid roof, the cage offered no protection from the elements and Pound was exposed to blazing heat during the day, with floodlights illuminating his cage at night. After two and a half weeks he, reportedly, began to break under the strain.
At this point, Pound underwent psychiatric analysis and was deemed to be suffering a mental breakdown, thus he was released from the cage and transferred to a tent where he remained for five months until being deported to the United States in November 1945. Due to his condition he was not tried, but incarcerated in St. Elizabeths Hospital for the Mentally Ill in Washington D.C., where he was initially placed in solitary confinement in a windowless room with a heavy steel door. Shortly afterwards, he was moved to a regular ward, where he stayed for the next twelve years.
In 1949 Pound’s wife, Dorothy, introduced him to Eustace Mullins, who was then working at the Institute of Contemporary Arts. They soon became friends, with Mullins being a regular visitor to St. Elizabeths. It was during this period that Pound asked Mullins to research the Federal Reserve at the Library of Congress. Initially, the project held little interest for Mullins, but he quickly realised the importance of his research. Pound encouraged Mullins to “work on it as a detective story”, the results of which were published in 1952, entitled Mullins on the Federal Reserve, and later retitled The Secrets of the Federal Reserve.
For Mullins, his studies of the Federal Reserve furthered his own understanding of Jews throughout history. In New History of the Jews (1968) Mullins writes about Byzantium and the conclusions Pound drew from the relationship between the Byzantines and the Jews:
“Throughout the history of Byzantium, as it was known, by imperial edict, no Jew was allowed to hold any post in the Empire, nor was he allowed to educate the young. The Byzantine Empire finally fell to the Turks after twelve centuries of prosperity, and the Jews have attempted to wipe out all traces of its history.
Yet its edicts against the Jews were not cruel; in fact, the Jews lived unmolested and prosperously in the empire throughout its history, but here alone the vicious cycle of host and parasite did not take place. It was a Christian civilization, and the Jews were not able to exercise any influence. Nor did the Orthodox priests bewilder their congregations with any vicious lies about Christ being a Jew. No wonder the Jews want to eradicate the memory of such a culture. It was Ezra Pound who launched upon a study of Byzantine civilization, and who reminded the world of this happily non-Jewish land. From the Byzantines, Pound derived his no-violent formula for controlling the Jews. “The answer to the Jewish problem is simple,” he said. “Keep them out of banking, out of education, out of government.”
Pound’s extensive body of work included The Cantos, a long poem intended to be 120 sections, but which remained unfinished at 116. Of the finished cantos, Pound viewed Canto XLV “With Usura” to be central to the poem.
While many intelligent people throughout history recognized usury as a crushing weight that provided no benefit, other than to those who profited by preying on greed or desperation, the practice is now so embedded in our society that the majority no longer question its presence. Pound not only questioned usury and those who practised it, but spoke out against it. Often and vociferously. This, along with his grasp of history and anti-communist stance, was a major reason for his being accused of treason.
Pound’s message is as relevant today as it was in the 1930s, 40s and 50s. But since most folk are now trained to cry “fascist” and “anti-Semite”, even when presented with facts and intelligent analysis, his insights are being overshadowed by such programmed reactions. And it would be an unspeakable loss for his critical legacy to be relegated to the memory hole.
Pound was one of the greatest poets and thinkers of all time, and he displayed a rare courage in his stand against Jewish power. May he be remembered not only for his fearless integrity, but also for being a giant amongst his many compliant and complicit peers.
Canto XLV “With Usura”
With usura hath no man a house of good stone
each block cut smooth and well fitting
that delight might cover their face,
hath no man a painted paradise on his church wall
harpes et luthes
or where virgin receiveth message
and halo projects from incision,
seeth no man Gonzaga his heirs and his concubines
no picture is made to endure nor to live with
but it is made to sell and sell quickly
with usura, sin against nature,
is thy bread ever more of stale rags
is thy bread dry as paper,
with no mountain wheat, no strong flour
with usura the line grows thick
with usura is no clear demarcation
and no man can find site for his dwelling.
Stonecutter is kept from his stone
weaver is kept from his loom
wool comes not to market
sheep bringeth no gain with usura
Usura is a murrain, usura
blunteth the needle in the maid’s hand
and stoppeth the spinner’s cunning. Pietro Lombardo
came not by usura
Duccio came not by usura
nor Pier della Francesca; Zuan Bellin’ not by usura
nor was ‘La Calunnia’ painted.
Came not by usura Angelico; came not Ambrogio Praedis,
Came no church of cut stone signed: Adamo me fecit.
Not by usura St. Trophime
Not by usura Saint Hilaire,
Usura rusteth the chisel
It rusteth the craft and the craftsman
It gnaweth the thread in the loom
None learneth to weave gold in her pattern;
Azure hath a canker by usura; cramoisi is unbroidered
Emerald findeth no Memling
Usura slayeth the child in the womb
It stayeth the young man’s courting
It hath brought palsey to bed, lyeth
between the young bride and her bridegroom
They have brought whores for Eleusis
Corpses are set to banquet
at behest of usura.