William Norman Ewer was a British journalist, remembered mostly now for a few lines of verse. He was known as William or Norman, and by the nickname Trilby. He was prominent writing on foreign affairs for the London Daily Herald. It is now increasingly well established that he spied for the Soviet Union during the 1920s.
Often quoted is
This is from Five Souls, being repeated at the end of each stanza.
Also attributed to him is the epigram
This is often taken, perhaps with some justification, to be anti-Semitic in intent, though it would have passed at the time as wit. It provoked at least three capping replies.
is attributed to Leo Rosten.
is given as Cecil Brown's or Ogden Nash's.
Another runs, "Not so odd / The Jews chose God."
Even more effective is the anonymous
Then again, there is Jim Sleeper's riposte:
"Moses, Jesus, Marx, Einstein, and Freud; No wonder the goyim are annoyed."
Ewer was writing in support of guild socialism and the National Guilds League during World War I. He became a Fabian socialist, and then apparently a communist, shortly. From 1919 he was writing in the Daily Herald.
There is evidence to show that he was an active and well-connected Soviet agent from the early 1920s, and that this was well known to MI5, who kept him under surveillance. He has been mentioned in connection with Clare Frewen Sheridan, writer and sculptor, who passed on comments of Winston Churchill, her relative. Archival material is becoming available, documenting Ewer's success in running an infiltration operation in the United Kingdom.