President Nixon and his personal staff talk about the Jewish Problem
June 17, 1971: Nixon, Haldeman, and Ronald Ziegler, 2:42-3:33 P.M., Oval Office Conversation #524-7; cassette #775
Nixon: I hope to God - he's not Jewish is he?
Ziegler: [Laughing] I'm sure he is - Ellsberg?
Nixon: I hope not, I hope not.
Haldeman: [unclear] is Jewish. Why the hell wouldn't he be?
Nixon: Oh yeah, I know, I know, I know, but it's, it's, it's, it's a bad thing for us. It's a bad thing for us. It's a bad thing. Maybe we'll be lucky for once. Many Jews in the Communist conspiracy. . . . Chambers and Hiss were the only non-Jews. . . . Many thought that Hiss was. He could have been a half. . . . Every other one was a Jew - and it raised hell for us. But in this case, I hope to God he's not a Jew.
Haldeman: [Laughing] Well, I suspect he is.
Nixon: You can't tell by the name.
Haldeman: Or Halperin. . . . Gelb is -
Nixon: Gelb's a Jew.
July 2, 1971: Nixon, Haldeman, and Rose Mary Woods, 12:25 P.M., Oval Office Conversation #535-23; cassette #867
Nixon: Halperin was a genius. And so is this son-of-a-bitch who stole the documents - a genius. Everybody says that Ellsberg. . . very bright. Woods: That might be, but I mean, I think, part of it - Hitler was a genius.
Haldeman: Sure was.
Nixon: So was Judas. Woods: Sure.
Nixon: That's right. Woods: But that doesn't make what they do right. . . .
July 3, 1971: Nixon and Haldeman, 10:41 A.M., Oval Office Conversation #536-16; cassette #871
Nixon: Colson, he's a clever bastard. He had his office call the Bureau of Labor Statistics. . . . Goldstein. . . . I said, "Were they all Jews?" He said, "Yes. Every one of them was a Jew." Malek's not Jewish is he?
Nixon: I want to look at any sensitive areas around, where Jews are involved, Bob. See, the Jews are all through the government. And we have got to get in those areas, we've got to get the man in charge, who is not Jewish, to patrol the Jewish -
Nixon: . . . full of Jews. Second, most Jews are [unclear]. You know what I mean? You have Garment and Kissinger.
Haldeman: And thankfully Safire.
Nixon: But by God, they're exceptions. But Bob, generally speaking, you can't trust the bastards. They turn on us.
Haldeman: And their whole orientation is against this administration anyway. . . . And they're smart. They have the ability to do what they want to do. Which is, to hurt us. . . .
Nixon: Henry doesn't have many Jews. Got this one. . . . . . . .
Haldeman: He's got quite a few. . . . He had Halperin.
Nixon: Yeah, I know. But, you know. . . he's got Haig, his secretary is not Jewish. . . . .
Haldeman: None of his aides have ever been Jewish, even Tony Lake who turned on us. . . .
Nixon: That's right.
Haldeman: But his. . . the young guys, that he's always had. . . .
Nixon: Well Tony Lake always seemed Jewish.
Haldeman: I don't think so. I wondered about that.
Nixon: He looked it.
Haldeman: I know.
July 5, 1971: Nixon, Haldeman, and Ziegler, 4:03 P.M., Oval Office Conversation #537-4; cassette #876
Nixon: Jewish families are close, but there's this strange malignancy that seems to creep among them - radicalism. I can imagine how the fact that Ellsberg is in this must really tear a fella like Henry to pieces - or Garment. Just like the Rosenbergs and all that. It just has to kill them. I feel horrible about it.
Ziegler: Could make up an English name.
Haldeman: . . . Rosenstein could change his name. . . . [general laughter]
Ziegler: It is right. It's always an Ellsberg.
Nixon: Every one's a Jew. Ellsberg's a Jew. Halperin's a Jew.
Haldeman: Gelb's a Jew.
Nixon: But there are [unclear] - Hiss was not a Jew. Very interesting thing. So few of those who engage in espionage - are Negroes. . . . In fact, very few of them become Communists. If they do, they like, they get into Angela Davis - they're more the capitalist type. And they throw bombs and this and that. But the Negroes. - have you ever noticed? . . . . Any Negro spies?
Haldeman: Not intellectual enough, not smart enough. . . not smart enough to be spies.
Nixon: The Jews - the Jews are, are born spies. You notice how many of them are just in up to their necks?
Haldeman: A basic deviousness.
Nixon: You can never put, John, any person who is a Jew on a civil rights kind of case, or freedom of the press kind of case, and get even a ten percent chance. . . . Basically, who the hell are these people that stole the papers? It's too bad. I'm sorry. I was hoping one of them would be a gentile. [laughter] [unclear] The three Jews - Gelb - the three suspects. . . . All Jews."
Mitchell: [laughing] Well, at least the Supreme Court yesterday ruled that the Jews couldn't get into a golf club.
Related file on this website:
National Archives, FDR Library, Hyde Park, NY: Papers of Harry L Hopkins: Sherwood Collection. Box 311, file: "Molotov Visit, 1942"; FRUS, 1942, iii, pp. 570-571.