Chapter 6 – Anti-Semitism – Jews as bearers of the Communist plague
by Peter Cohen
Anti-Semitism has a long and dishonorable history. The chief engine of anti-Semitism in Europe has always been the Christian church, and the chief agents have been Christians, who were defined by the American writer Ambrose Bierce as a sub-tribe of the Hypocrites.
One of the leading anti-Semites in Germany was Martin Luther (1483-1546), the rock upon whom the Swedish church is built. Like the Nazis, the Luther was convinced that Germany should be made judenrein (free of Jews), by driving them out of the country. In reality there was no such country as Germany, so that Luther was referring to German principalities. His view of Jews was decidedly unsympathetic, as cited by Franz Neumann:
They [Jews] are a heavy burden like a plague, pestilence or misfortune in our country… they should be deprived of all their cash and jewels and silver and gold… Their synagogues or schools should be set on fire… their houses broken up and destroyed… they should be put under a roof or stable, like the gypsies… in misery and captivity as they incessantly lament and complain to God about us.
Luther’s use of the words “plague” and “pestilence” in connection with the Jews was echoed in both German and non-German descriptions of Jews in modern times.
From the second half of the 19th century onward, anti-Semitism in Germany and other parts of industrial Europe became transformed into a specific form of anti-Communism. The background to this development comprises several themes which cannot be explained or understood without reference to imperialism.
Imperialism emerges from the development of capitalism within a country. The initial impulse is the need for new markets and reliable sources of raw materials. Capitalists have accumulated more capital than can be profitably invested in their own country, and therefore seek new investment opportunities abroad. Since unlimited growth (cancer) is a prerequisite for a company’s survival in a capitalist economy, expansion of corporate operations beyond national borders is essential. In the second half of the 20th century imperialism also began to involve a search for cheaper labor power world-wide and massive transfers of production from the classical imperialist countries.
The ethnic nation
One of the main elements in the legacy of the French Revolution was the modern concept of the nation, or sovereign state, composed of a people who are unified by citizenship irrespective of their ethnic and/or linguistic backgrounds. The nation has clearly defined geographical borders. All citizens have equal rights and obligations. The apparatus of the state is no longer identified with or dependent on a monarch. It is legitimized by the will of the people. This concept of the nation was closely connected with representative and sometimes participatory democracy, and with popular sovereignty, i.e. the nation is created by and subject to the will of the people.
In practice, of course, many contradictions remained and still remain within the modern nation, such as voting rights based on property qualifications, which lasted in the US until 1842, lack of equal rights for women, or discrimination and segregation of blacks and other minorities in the US and other countries.
The concept of the new nation did not eliminate differences of class. Within modern nations, class conflict increased continuously with the development of industrial capital.
Ethnic citizenship in Germany
In Germany, however, the idea of a nation based on ethnic background was dominant. At the start of the 19th century Germany was a loose federation of states. Citizenship was based on allegiance to a state and its feudal sovereign. As large numbers of agricultural workers migrated to cities and across the borders of these states, it became more difficult to determine their national allegiance, i.e. their citizenship. The principle of physical descent was introduced, stipulating that a child’s citizenship was determined by its father’s, and was included in treaties between the German states.
In 1848-49 a Parliament was held in Frankfurt. Its members were “politically educated”, according to one historian, i.e. they represented the middle and upper classes. They expressed two ambivalent ideas about criteria for citizenship. One was that a German citizen was a person who expressed allegiance to one of the states comprising the “German Empire”. The other criterion was cultural, based on “Germanness” and the family as the bearer of this characteristic, which is not easy to define.
The German states were unified by Bismarck in 1871, and the new Constitution of the German Empire applied to all of them. It defined a confusing set of criteria for citizenship, which was to be granted or denied by municipal or local governments. For example, a citizen had to prove that he could support his family, and that he was accepted by the other members of the municipality. Another criterion was “respectability”, which was so vague that in practice municipal/local officials could apply their own sets of political, moral or economic qualifications. These were not revealed to the public when a decision was made to reject an application for citizenship.
In general, the Prussian model for citizenship was applied. This favored “respectable” people who could speak German and shared the “German character”, whatever that may have been. The Prussian model was openly discriminatory against “undesirable elements” such as Czechs, Poles and Jews.
In 1894 the regional authorities in Alsace-Lorraine (annexed to Germany after a war with France) and Schleswig (annexed after a war with Denmark) attempted to introduce the territorial principle for citizenship. This principle gives citizenship to anyone born within the boundaries of a nation, irrespective of ethnic background. Substantial numbers of French- and Danish-speakers lived in these areas, and applying the principle of territorial citizenship would have made them liable for military conscription.
But the leaders of Prussia were able to maintain the previous rules, based on economic, ethnic and religious qualifications, which gave them the authority to expel “dangerous elements” such as socialists and Jews from Germany. Nevertheless, many Jews succeeded in becoming German citizens and considered themselves to be Germans. Jews served in the German army during World War 1.
The German citizenship law of 1913 was introduced by the leader of the Pan-German League, which openly advocated “German descent” as the main qualification for citizenship. Linguistic and cultural criteria were the most important. The new law aimed at making it easier for Germans who lived abroad to retain citizenship, and harder for other nationals and/or ethnic “non-Germans” living in the German Empire to become citizens. For example, about one-third of the Jews living in Germany at the end of the 1920s had been born and raised there, but could not acquire German citizenship. The new law extended citizenship to German-speaking minorities living in Central European countries, and was also designed as a barrier against “the Slavic menace”.
Denial of the sovereign state
It is obvious that the principle of a state based on ethnic citizenship is contradictory to the concept of the modern sovereign nation-state, which is based on free decisions by free and equal citizens. A nation cannot claim to be a sovereign state without recognizing the sovereignty of other nations. Its boundaries – and thus its jurisdiction – are determined by agreement with other sovereign states.
But the boundaries of an ethnic nation or state are determined by proclamation or force, not by mutual recognition. In principle, the boundaries extend to include everyone who belongs to the ethnic group that defines the nation.
As the citizenship law of 1913 implies, the German government had the right to decide whether people in other countries who shared “the German character” were German citizens and therefore subject to German laws, regulations and decrees. The governments of the states in which these people lived had no voice in the matter.
Since a nation is responsible for the welfare of its citizens, the German government considered that it had the right to take unilateral action in order to ensure the well-being of those of its citizens who lived outside the borders of Germany.
This self-determined right had important implications for Nazi claims to dominion over e.g. the Sudetenland in Czechoslovakia during the 1930s, and over Austria.
The principle of ethnic citizenship also tends to obscure differences within the nation, such as class, and gives the misleading impression that those who are united by the bond of blood share common interests. The citizenship law of 1913 was essentially the basis for the Nazi slogan Ein Volk, ein Reich, ein Führer! (One people, one empire, one leader!).
The principle of the ethnic nation is also applied by the Zionists. In 1970 the Israeli Supreme Court ruled that “There is no Israeli nation separate from the Jewish people” (see Chapter 6).
The master race
The concept of the ethnic nation was to a large extent rooted in the belief that the German people (das Volk) are superior to others. This had been expressed as early as the 18th century by Johann Gottfried von Herder (1744-1803) a German so-called philosopher who had an extremely strong influence on the thinking of the “politically educated”. In “Outlines of a Philosophy of the History of Mankind” he described the Germans as
…a people who by their size and strength of body, their enterprising, bold and persevering spirit in war… have contributed more than any other race (sic!) to the welfare of this quarter of the globe. It was the Germans who defended Christianity against the incessant invasions of Huns, Hungarians, Mongols and Turks.
The image of the Germans as the defenders of European civilization was to become a recurring theme in Nazi propaganda.
At times the proponents of German superiority appear to have been carried away by their admiration for the “race” to which they belonged. An influential 19th-century German historian named Heinrich von Treitschke wrote that history reveals a continuous rise and fall of specific races. He prepared a list of racial characteristics, comparing the Germans with other “races” such as the Dutch, English, Russians, Italians and Americans. Among other things, it turned out that the non-Germans were “inferior in generosity and feeling for beauty”. According to Franz Neumann (Behemoth), Treitschke’s demonstration of the superiority of the German race was a standard component of subsequent German nationalist propaganda.
Friedrich List (1789-1846) was an influential economist whose ideas were adopted by Hitler and expressed in Mein Kampf. List wrote that
There is hardly any doubt that the Germanic race has, by virtue of its nature and character, been preferentially selected by Providence for the solution of the great task – to lead the affairs of the world, to civilize the wild barbaric countries, to populate those that are still uninhabited… and to keep free of the influences of barbaric and semi-barbaric aborigines.
It is not surprising that the idea of German racial superiority developed into anti-Semitism, especially when the propagandists for the “politically educated” came in contact during the second half of the 19th century with the ideas of Houston Stewart Chamberlain, an Englishman who argued that the Teutonic (German) race shapes “the destinies of mankind, whether as builders of the state or as discoverers of new thoughts and of original art… Our whole civilization and culture of today is the work of one definite race of men, the Teutonic”. Chamberlain was also convinced that the Jews were conspiring throughout the world to defeat the German race. He married the daughter of the composer Richard Wagner, who was enthusiastic about Chamberlain’s theories and helped him to establish contacts with intellectuals (propagandists) among the middle- and upper-classes in Germany.
As noted above, Martin Luther had helped to plant anti-Semitism in the mentality of the German middle- and upper-classes. When the West was struck by an economic depression after huge financial crashes in London and New York in 1873, the Jews were blamed for the crisis, not only in Germany but in Tsarist Russia as well.
The development of anti-Semitism among the middle and upper classes in Germany was spurred by the fact that the writings of Karl Marx, a Jew, had a very strong influence on the German working class as German industrialization began to accelerate after about 1860. Since Marx had identified the capitalists as the oppressors of the working class, a number of propagandists tried to divert the workers’ attention by identifying the Jews with the capitalists. But according to Franz Neumann “The workers’ movement remained immune from it [anti-Semitism]”. Simultaneously, for the benefit of the middle and upper classes the Jews were identified as the creators of Marxism and the leaders of the Communist movement. These contradictory ideas identifyng Jews as both capitalists and the begetters of Marxism recur continuously in Nazi propaganda (see the section below, The Jew as a subversive enemy of society).
The Pan-German League that proposed the citizenship law of 1913 had been formed in 1891. The League demanded a greater German Empire, which would involve German domination of Central Europe, and was openly anti-Semitic.
By the end of the 19th century, the argument that Germany must expand its borders became fused with the themes of German racial superiority and anti-Semitism, for reasons which are fairly obvious.
Accelerated growth of capitalism in Germany
In 1850 the German economy was based on agriculture. Exports consisted mainly of agricultural products and raw materials. Machinery and manufactured goods were imported. By the turn of the century, manufactured goods were Germany’s main exports, while raw materials and agricultural products were imported in large quantities. Germany had been transformed into a leading industrial and commercial power.
This extraordinary growth was reflected in all sectors, including iron- and steel-making, shipbuilding, railways, electric power (the dynamo was invented in Germany) chemicals and pharmaceuticals. Germany had become the world leader in the chemical industry, and in terms of industrial production was on a level with or ahead of the US and the UK. The armaments industry had also shown very strong growth.
The industrialization of Germany differed in an important respect from similar processes that had occurred previously in the UK, France and the US. The banking sector played a much larger role in Germany, financing investment and forming investment trusts. In contrast to the US and UK, the main task of banks in Germany was to finance industry, not to offer credit to the public. In a very short time, the financial sector in Germany was dominated by a few giant central banks.
These banks had very large shareholdings in the companies that they financed. Banks were actively involved in management of the industries they financed, as their representatives were on the boards of directors of their client firms and vice versa. They were instrumental in forming industrial cartels that functioned as de facto monopolies.
The big banks also played a key role in the rapid growth of German trade, especially in terms of exports. Germany was already the world’s fourth largest export nation in 1880, and the second largest in 1900. By this time the banks had expanded and established branches in the Balkans, the Middle East, the UK, the US and Latin America. Profits on the loans they made abroad were repatriated to Germany.
The cumulative result was an enormous accumulation of capital in Germany, concentrated in a relatively limited number of large banks and industrial companies with interlocking directorates.
Development of German imperialism
As noted above, the need to expand is an iron law in the capitalist economy, and expansion is not driven solely by the hunger for profits. Companies that do not grow will either die or be eaten by other companies. The owners of capital therefore search continuously for new investment opportunities, and sooner or later they must go abroad, as they realize that the volume of accumulated capital is much larger than the profitable investment opportunities available within their country. The need for new markets and reliable supplies of raw materials must also be satisfied.
But the capitalists of the new Germany faced a problem. They had arrived rather late at the imperial banquet hall. Great Britain and France had already divided up much of the world. The Spanish and the Portuguese had also feasted. The US regarded Latin America as its own back yard. The Germans did succeed in establishing colonies in Africa and the SamoanIslands, but they needed more.
The British and the French could scarcely be expected to trade their foreign possessions away. There was only one way to secure more colonies – war. It also became clear that there was a natural path for expansion in Central and Eastern Europe, including western Russia, where British, French and American capitalists were already active.
The Communist movement was very influential among German workers, and its demands for solidarity between workers in different countries did not harmonize with the expansionist desires of German capitalists. Nor could the German government announce to the middle class that the country had to go to war to serve the interests of a few thousand capitalists, or to destroy the British and French Empires.
In order to justify and motivate demands for expansion, the propaganda developed in the service of German capitalists was based on a number of themes, including the superiority and preordained destiny of the German race, the bond of blood that united its members, its divine mission to defend Europe and reorganize the world, the conspiracy of the Jews against the Germans, the Jewish-inspired Marxism that threatened to destroy the middle class, and the bestial Slavs who lurked in the East.
After the end of World War 1, when the Germans had been defeated by the imperial forces of Britain and France, these ideas were still boiling in the propaganda that was generated by the “politically educated”.
They were adopted by Adolf Hitler, who added the need for revenge on the victors who had humiliated Germany after World War 1. For popular consumption, he translated the capitalists’ need to expand into the term Lebensraum – the need for the German people to occupy territories outside Germany.
German capitalists understood at an early stage that Hitler’s propaganda served their interests, not least because he promised to once and for all annihilate “Judeo-Bolshevism”. In 1923 they began to finance his party. The first donation came from the Thyssen steel interests, and amounted to 100,000 Reichsmark in gold.
As we have seen in Chapter 3, anti-Communist Jews had no objections to supporting or joining the Fascist movement in Italy. Jewish capitalists with key positions in large German industrial corporations supported Hitler as well. One of them was Carl von Weinberg, who was Deputy Chairman of the Supervisory Board of IG Farben. In 1933 he told visitors from the Du Pont corporation in the US that the Nazi movement “had his full stamp of approval” (cited in Joseph Borkins).
After the Board of IG was purged of Jews in 1937, Weinberg moved to Italy and continued to collect a pension of 80,000 Reichsmark from IG Farben throughout the Nazi period. In addition to being one of the prime suppliers to Hitler’s military machine, the company manufactured Zyklon gas and supplied it to the concentration camps, where it was used to kill inmates.
Nazism in the service of German imperialism
The rag-bag of ideas that is known as Nazi ideology is full of contradictions as well as outright nonsense and could not in its entirety have convinced large masses of people with average endowments of common sense. But Hitler and his followers were clever enough to adapt their messages to suit the audience they were addressing.
Franz Neumann (emphasis added):
The National Socialist doctrine may be called an “ideology” only because it competes in the world market of ideas, as it were, with other ideologies, though it is of course sovereign and single in the domestic market… National Socialism has no theory of society as we understand it, no consistent picture of its operation, structure and development. It has certain aims to carry through and adjusts its ideological pronouncements to a series of ever-changing goals. This absence of a basic theory is one difference between National Socialism and Bolshevism. The National Socialist ideology is constantly shifting. It has certain magical beliefs – leadership adoration, the supremacy of the master race – but its ideology (sic!) is not laid down in a series of categorical and dogmatic pronouncements.
Neumann describes the fundamental goal of Nazism as “…the resolution by imperialistic war of the discrepancy between the potentialities of Germany’s industrial apparatus” and the existing opportunities for profitable investment and profit maximization. The fundamental goal was not the annihilation of the Jews, as claimed by the Forum for Living History and many Western historians and journalists.
Maintaining the unity of the various class fractions required adjusting the party program to match the needs of the audience at hand. For example, small German farmers as well as small businessmen were furious at the high rates of interest charged by the big banks. The Nazis promised to establish a state bank that would lend money at low interest rates. Small and medium-size firms were being forced out of business as large industrial corporations with lower production costs sold products at competitive prices. The Nazis promised to regulate industry in the interest of the smaller firms.
Resentment of the capitalists who owned the big banks and industrial corporations was exploited by the Nazis, as they identified Jews with capitalists when they considered it appropriate.
After Hitler came to power, representatives of farmers’ and small businessmen’s associations expected the Nazis to make good on their promises. They were told by Heinrich Himmler that business would continue as usual, and the dominance of big corporations continued to increase. This is reflected in the letter to the Deutsche Allgemeine Zeitung that is quoted in Chapter 3.
The Jew as subversive enemy of society
Jews had been identified as the subversive enemies of society as early as the end of the 18th century. In Reflections on the Revolution in France (1790), the English ruling-class propagandist Edmund Burke explained that the overthrow of the monarchy in France and the establishment of a republic based on the so-called rights of man was in fact a disgusting plot by a handful of insane intellectuals who had incited a revolt by the “swinish multitude”, which was his term for people without property.
The plotters were aided and abetted by Jews, who by their nature were outsiders and sworn enemies of society. Their views on equality, democracy and voting rights were appalling. For example, Burke complains that a male citizen of the FrenchRepublic who owns no property is nevertheless entitled to vote in elections.
The German translation of Burke’s book was very popular among those who shared his view of the plebeians. The translator was a propagandist named Friedrich von Gentz, who among other things was an assistant to Count Metternich, the chief minister of the Austrian Emperor Franz Josef, a royalist to his finger tips and an early incarnation of the un-indicted war criminal Henry Kissinger. Gentz’ opinion of Jews is worth quoting (cited in Losurdo, Domenico, Le révisionnisme en histoire, 2006).
The mortal sin of the Jews is their intelligence. They are all more or less intelligent; but the Jew has yet to be born in whom there is a spark of love or of true sentiment. The curse that pursues them [for the murder of Christ] until the ten-thousandth generation is that, to their own and everyone else’s torment, they cannot exit from the sphere of intelligence, in the narrow sense of the word… these monsters are in their element wherever this stupid and criminal intelligence claims to reign alone; they are born representatives of atheism, Jacobinism, the Illuminati and so on (see remarks by Winston Churchill below).
This view of the Jews was shared by Josef de Maistre, another influential propagandist who fled France after the Revolution and spent the rest of his life at the court of the Russian Queen Catherine the Great, where he distinguished himself for his endless tirades against the rabble and their revolting dreams of equality. He pointed out on several occasions that the Jews had played a key role in the Revolution, and that subversive Jewish intellectuals received financial support from other members of their “cursed sect”. Taken as a whole the Jews comprised a monster: “if we don’t kill them, they will kill us” (cited in Losurdo).
The German historian Heinrich Leo (1799 –1878) was a friend of King Frederick William IV of Prussia, one of the feudal bastions of Europe. Leo was very active in public political debates, which gave him an opportunity to comment on the dangerous Jews:
The Jewish nation (sic!) is obviously distinguished from all other nations of this world by the fact that it possesses a spirit that is particularly apt for corrosion and decomposition. In the same way that there are fountains which petrify an object that falls into them, the Jews have since the beginning of time transformed everything that has fallen into the orbit of their activity into generally abstract concepts (cited in Losurdo).
The image of the Jew as the enemy of society was reinforced by the widely read so-called philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, who may have been the first to underline the resentment of the Jews against society. He called the Jews the epitome of resentment. According to him, the dialectical method applied by such enemies of society as Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels was a “form of plebeian vengeance” that is typically Jewish.
The theme of the Jew as a rootless anti-social intellectual who thinks in abstract terms remained part of the general political discourse in Germany and elsewhere, as expressed by Werner Sombart (1863–1941), a German economist and sociologist, one of the leading – read well-known – Continental European social scientists during the first quarter of the 20th century.
The spirit of the Jew is rational and abstract. He lacks plasticity and sensitivity for the real (concrete). This makes the Jew a born doctrinaire and designer who prefers to think in systems, and in terms of practical applications believes it both possible and desirable to make concrete reality conform to logical systems… For the Jew there are only abstract individuals and an abstract humanity… The constriction of his thought corresponds to a capacity for criticism so developed that in specific circumstances it easily leads to a basically revolutionary attitude (cited in Losurdo).
Sombart echoes Burke’s description of the French revolutionaries as insane schemers who tried to make reality fit their abstract visions. Sombart’s denunciation of the Jew as abstract intellectual and social experimenter – read revolutionary – was echoed by the influential German historian Oswald Spengler.
It was obviously not an accident that the Bolsheviks who spearheaded the establishment of Soviet Russia were also described as a small band of lunatics under the perverse influence of the Jews.
Speaking in the House of Commons on 5 November 1919, Winston Churchill reminded his colleagues that the Germans had allowed Lenin to transit their country and enter Russia, where he set about implementing his nefarious plans. Churchill compared this to dropping “a vial containing a culture of typhus or cholera in the water supply of a big city”. The source of the contagion was incarnate in the personality of Lenin, whom Churchill called “the grand master” of “a sect, the world’s most formidable sect”, which was engaged in the “destruction of all religious faith” for which would be substituted “the international soviets of the Russian and Polish Jews”. It was not a coincidence that the new Soviet regime promoted the interests of the Jewish cult. (Cited in Losurdo)
The descendants of the Jews whose schemes had destroyed French society had done it again. As Henry Ford said, “the origin of the Russian revolution is racial, not political”. Nor was Churchill’s metaphor of plague a new element. In the mid-19th century the French historian Alexis de Tocqueville had diagnosed “a new and unknown virus” as the cause of the deranged revolutionary movements in Europe.
Nazi propaganda was a distillate of the tradition that identifies revolutionaries, intellectuals and Jews as the bearers of a virus that threatens European civilization. Hitler:
…the combat in which we are now engaged is of the same character as the one that Pasteur and Koch [discoverer of a cure for syphilis] conducted in the last century… We will never regain our health until the Jew is eliminated. (Cited in Losurdo)
The Jew was again described as innately subversive in a conversation with Hitler recorded by Martin Bormann, a leading Nazi who was a confidant of the Führer (29/30 November 1944):
The Jews have everywhere incited the plebeians against the ruling class. They have everywhere incited discontent with the established power… They have everywhere stimulated feelings of hate between people of the same blood. It is they who have invented the theory of class struggle. (Cited in Losurdo, emphasis added).
This is in line with the German historian Ernst Nolte’s observation that German anti-Semitism was a special form of anti-Communism.
Identification of the Jew with Communism, or Bolshevism, was the dominant element in Hitler’s propaganda and was repeated ad nauseam. It was clearly demonstrated by the speeches of the Nazi leadership at the Congress of the Nazi Party on September 10-16, 1935, also known as the “Congress of Freedom”. It was during this conference that the laws depriving Jews of civil rights were announced. (The English translations below are from Arno Mayer.)
The Congress of the Communist International (Comintern) held in Moscow during the summer of 1935 declared that the Nazis “strive for the hegemony of German imperialism in Europe”, identified them as the main threat to world peace, and adopted a policy of cooperating with Western governments and political parties who were willing to take a stand against Germany.
The reaction of the Nazi leadership to the Comintern Congress was intense, to say the least. Hitler opened the “Congress of Freedom” by stating that its purpose was
to announce “the struggle of the National Socialist movement against the Jewish world revolutionaries” in the Comintern. He told his listeners that the Congress speaks for “all of Europe…and for European culture”. According to Hitler, the Comintern considered Nazi Germany “the chief obstacle to the expansion and realization of Bolshevik designs in Europe…In Moscow the Bolshevik Jew is once again threatening the world with destruction”.
In reality, the Soviet Union was not threatening the world. But it had become the chief obstacle to the expansion and realization of German imperialist designs in the east.
When Hitler had finished, propaganda minister Josef Goebbels informed the Congress that the Comintern was “an apparatus for the destruction of all European peoples and states”. The Nazi party was leading the battle against “the Bolshevization of the world”, thus serving Germany’s interests and engaging in “a world mission”. The Nazis were saving Western culture from “the abyss of total destruction”.
The theme of Germany as the defender of European civilization is obviously aligned with the upper-class propaganda that had developed during the 19th century in Germany.
Goebbels proceeded to explain why the Nazis were implacably opposed to Jews. National Socialism was “uncompromising in its struggle against Jewry” because “the Bolshevist International is in reality a Jewish international”. Marxism was invented by the Jews, he said, and they are determined to “exploit the basest human instincts” to promote their own interests (see quote from US Secretary of State Lansing below). The Nazis had built a dam to contain “the flood of Asiatic-Jewish filth” that was Bolshevism.
Alfred Rosenberg, a leading Nazi ideologue who was born in Estonia and hanged in Nuremberg, was not to be outdone by Goebbels. He stated that “Bolshevism is the culmination of Jewish penetration of European culture and politics”. He repeated that Germany was the vanguard of the European struggle against Judeo-Bolshevism. Although the Nazis had eradicated Communism in Germany, he insisted that Jewish influence on German economic and public life still had to be eliminated.
It is admittedly difficult to understand how anyone could accept the proposition that the Jewish owner of a tobacco shop in Warsaw or Berlin could be a “bearer of the Bolshevik plague”. But the Nazis were telling their middle-class listeners what they wanted to hear, providing them with an object that they could blame for their unsatisfactory lives and economic situations.
Nazis not alone in the West
As indicated above, the Nazis were not alone in condemning the Jews as bearers of
the Bolshevist plague. The following was written in 1920 by a leading representative of the British ruling class:
Zionism versus Bolshevism. A Struggle for the Soul of the Jewish People.
Some people like Jews and some do not; but no thoughtful man can doubt the fact that they are beyond all question the most formidable and the most remarkable race (sic!) which has ever appeared in the world.
Disraeli, the Jewish Prime Minister of England and Leader of the Conservative Party, who was always true to his race and proud of his origin, said on a well-known occasion: The Lord deals with the nations as the nations deal with the Jews. Certainly when we look at the miserable state of Russia, where of all countries in the world the Jews were the most cruelly treated, and contrast it with the fortunes of our own country, which seems to have been so providentially preserved amid the awful perils of these times, we must admit that nothing that has happened in the history of the world has falsified the truth of Disraeli’s confident assertion.
Good and bad Jews
The conflict between good and evil which proceeds unceasingly in the breast of man nowhere reaches such an intensity as in the Jewish race. The dual nature of mankind is nowhere more strongly or more terribly exemplified. We owe to the Jews in the Christian revelation a system of ethics which, even if it were entirely separated from the supernatural, would be incomparably the most precious possession of mankind, worth in fact the fruits of all other wisdom and learning put together. On that system and by that faith there has been built out of the wreck of the Roman Empire the whole of our existing civilization.
And it may well be that this same astounding race may at the present time be in the actual process of producing another system of morals and philosophy, as malevolent as Christianity was benevolent, which, if not arrested would shatter irretrievably all that Christianity has rendered possible. It would almost seem as if the gospel of Christ and the gospel of Antichrist were destined to originate among the same people; and that this mystic and mysterious race had been chosen for the supreme manifestations, both of the divine and the diabolical.
There can be no greater mistake than to attribute to each individual a recognizable share in the qualities which make up the national character. There are all sorts of men – good, bad and, for the most part indifferent – in every country and in every race. Nothing is more wrong than to deny to an individual, on account of race or religion, his right to be judged on his personal merits and conduct. In a people of peculiar genius like the Jews, contrasts are more vivid, the extremes are more widely separated, the resulting consequences are more decisive.
At the present fateful period there are three main lines of political conception among the Jews, two of which are helpful and hopeful in a very high degree to humanity, and the third absolutely destructive.
First, there are the Jews who, dwelling in every country throughout the world, identify themselves with that country, enter into its national life, and, while adhering faithfully to their own religion, regard themselves as citizens in the fullest sense of the State which has received them. Such a Jew living in England would say, I am an Englishman practicing the Jewish faith. This is a worthy conception, and useful in the highest degree. We in Great Britain well know that during the great struggle the influence of what may be called the National Jews in many lands was preponderatingly (sic!) on the side of the Allies; and in our own Army Jewish soldiers have played a most distinguished part, some rising to the command of armies, others wining the Victoria Cross for valour.
The National Russian Jews, in spite of the disabilities under which they have suffered, have managed to play an honourable and successful part in the national life even of Russia. As bankers and industrialists they have strenuously promoted the development of Russia’s economic resources, and they were foremost in the creation of those remarkable organizations, the Russian Cooperative Societies. In politics their support has been given, for the most part, to liberal and progressive movements, and they have been among the staunchest upholders of friendship with France and Great Britain.
In violent opposition to all this sphere of Jewish effort rise the schemes of the International Jews. The adherents of this sinister confederacy are mostly men reared up (sic!) among the unhappy populations of countries where Jews are persecuted on account of their race. Most, if not all, of them have forsaken the faith of their forefathers, and divorced from their minds all spiritual hopes of the next world.
This movement among the Jews is not new. From the days of Spartacus-Weishaupt to those of Karl Marx, and down to Trotsky (Russia), Bela Kun (Hungary), Rosa Luxembourg (Germany), and Emma Goldman (United States), this world-wide conspiracy for the overthrow of civilisation and for the reconstitution of society on the basis of arrested development, of envious malevolence, and impossible equality, has been steadily growing. It played, as a modern writer, Mrs. Webster, has so ably shown, a definitely recognisable part in the tragedy of the French Revolution. It has been the mainspring of every subversive movement during the Nineteenth Century; and now at last this band of extraordinary personalities from the underworld of the great cities of Europe and America have gripped the Russian people by the hair of their heads and have become practically the undisputed masters of that enormous empire.
There is no need to exaggerate the part played in the creation of Bolshevism and the actual bringing about of the Russian Revolution: by these international and for the most part atheistical Jews. It is certainly a very great one; it probably outweighs all others. With the notable exception of Lenin, the majority of the leading figures are Jews. Moreover, the principal inspiration and driving power comes from the Jewish leaders. Thus Tchitcherin, a pure Russian, is eclipsed by his nominal subordinate Litvinoff, and the influence of Russians like Bukharin or Lunacharski cannot be compared with the power of Trotsky, or of Zinovieff, the Dictator of the Red Citadel (Petrograd), or of Krassin or Radek – all Jews. In the Soviet institutions the predominance of Jews is even more astonishing. And the prominent, if not indeed the principal, part in the system of terrorism applied by the Extraordinary Commissions for Combating Counter-Revolution has been taken by Jews, and in some notable cases by Jewesses.
The same evil prominence was obtained by Jews in the brief period of terror during which Bela Kun ruled in Hungary. The same phenomenon has been presented in Germany (especially in Bavaria), so far as this madness has been allowed to prey upon the temporary prostration of the German people. Although in all these countries there are many non-Jews every whit as bad as the worst of the Jewish revolutionaries, the part played by the latter in proportion to their numbers in the population is astonishing.
Protector of the Jews
Needless to say, the most intense passions of revenge have been excited in the breasts of the Russian people. Wherever General Denikin’s authority could reach, protection was always accorded to the Jewish population, and strenuous efforts were made by his officers to prevent reprisals and to punish those guilty of them. So much was this the case that the Petliurist propaganda (see Chapter 3) against General Denikin denounced him as the Protector of the Jews. The Misses Healy, nieces of Mr. Tim Healy, relating their personal experiences in Kieff, have declared that to their knowledge on more than one occasion officers who committed offences against Jews were reduced to the ranks and sent out of the city to the front.
But the hordes of brigands by whom the whole vast expanse of the Russian Empire is becoming infested do not hesitate to gratify their lust for blood and for revenge at the expense of the innocent Jewish population whenever an opportunity occurs. The brigand Makhno, the hordes of Petliura and of Gregorieff, who signalised their every success by the most brutal massacres, everywhere found among the half-stupefied, half-infuriated population an eager response to anti-Semitism in its worst and foulest forms.
The fact that in many cases Jewish interests and Jewish places of worship are excepted by the Bolsheviks from their universal hostility has tended more and more to associate the Jewish race in Russia with the villainies which are now being perpetrated. This is an injustice on (sic!) millions of helpless people, most of whom are themselves sufferers from the revolutionary regime. It becomes, therefore, specially important to foster and develop any strongly-marked Jewish movement which leads directly away from these fatal associations. And it is here that Zionism has such a deep significance for the whole world at the present time.
A Home for the Jews
Zionism offers the third sphere to the political conceptions of the Jewish race. In violent contrast to international communism, it presents to the Jew a national idea of a commanding character. It has fallen to the British Government, as a result of the conquest of Palestine, to have the opportunity and the responsibility of securing for the Jewish race all over the world a home and a center of national life. The statesmanship and historic sense of Mr. Balfour [an anti-Semite] were prompt to seize this opportunity. Declarations have been made which have irrevocably decided the policy of Great Britain. The fiery energies of Dr. Weissmann (Weizmann), the leader, for practical purposes, of the Zionist project, backed by many of the most prominent British Jews, and supported by the full authority of Lord Allenby, are all directed to achieving the success of this inspiring movement.
Of course, Palestine is far too small to accommodate more than a fraction of the Jewish race, nor do the majority of national Jews wish to go there. But if as well may happen, there could be created in our lifetime by the banks of the Jordan a Jewish State under the protection of the British Crown, which might comprise three or four millions of Jews, an event would have occurred in the history of the world which would, from every point of view, be beneficial, and would be especially in harmony with the truest interests of the British empire. (Emphasis added.)
Zionism has already become a factor in the political convulsions of Russia, as a powerful competing influence in Bolshevik circles with the international communistic system. Nothing could be more significant than the fury with which Trotsky has attacked the Zionists generally, and Dr. Weissmann in particular. The cruel penetration of his [Trotsky’s] mind leaves him in no doubt that his schemes of a world-wide communistic State under Jewish domination are directly thwarted and hindered by this new ideal, which directs the energies and the hopes of Jews in every land towards a simpler, a truer, and a far more attainable goal. The struggle which is now beginning between the Zionist and Bolshevik Jews is little less than a struggle for the soul of the Jewish people.
Duty of Loyal Jews
It is particularly important in these circumstances that the National Jews in every country who are loyal to the land of their adoption should come forward on every occasion, as many of them in England have already done, and take a prominent part in every measure for combating the Bolshevik conspiracy. In this way they will be able to vindicate the honor of the Jewish name and make it clear to all the world that the Bolshevik movement is not a Jewish movement, but is repudiated vehemently by the great mass of the Jewish race (sic!).
But a negative resistance to Bolshevism in any field is not enough. Positive and practicable alternatives are needed in the moral as well as in the social sphere, and in building up with the utmost possible rapidity a Jewish national center in Palestine which may become not only a refuge to the oppressed from the unhappy lands of Central Europe, but which will also be a symbol of Jewish unity and the temple of Jewish glory, a task is presented on which many blessings rest.
The above was written by the Rt. Hon. Winston S. Churchill and appeared in the Illustrated Sunday Herald on 8 February 1920. “Spartacus-Weishaupt” refers to a Jewish Freemason who in the late 18th century was co-founder of a group called the Illuminati.
There are several points of interest in this semi-hysterical text. First, Churchill explains that there are basically two types of Jews – good ones and bad ones. The good ones include God-fearing “bankers and industrialists”, i.e. capitalists who want to preserve European class society and help Western capitalists exploit the workers and the resources of Russia.
The bad Jews are the ones who aim at disrupting the established capitalist order. They are atheistic and malevolent. These twisted people want to “reconstitute society” and displace the present rulers from their seats of power.
The bad Jews “have gripped the Russian people by the hair of their heads”, which is the key to Churchill’s diatribe. He clearly implies that without these awful International Jews the people of Russia would never have revolted against the Tsarist regime. They were satisfied with their lives and wanted nothing else than to continue being of service.
Similar arguments have been heard since the mid-19th century from slave-owners in the American south and their descendants. The line was usually that “Our niggers don’t have no complaints. They just get uppity when them rabble-rousers from the North come down here and stir things up”. As late as the 1940s and 1950s, the refrain of “those goddam Jew Red Communist Wall Street bankers” could be heard from the representatives of civilized Dixie. The parallel with Nazi propaganda is obvious.
Churchill also identifies the bad “international” “atheist” Jews as terrorists. The only concrete example he gives is “terrorism applied by the Extraordinary Commissions for Combating Counter-Revolution”. He is referring to the response of the new Soviet government to the terrorism used against it.
Another important point in Churchill’s text is that the establishment of a Jewish state in Palestine “would, from every point of view, be beneficial, and would be especially in harmony with the truest interests of the British empire”. Churchill’s words were prophetic. Israel Shahak pointed out in Jewish History, Jewish Religion (2008) that
The state of Israel now fulfils toward the oppressed peasants of many countries – not only in the Middle East but far beyond it – a role not unlike that of the Jews in pre-1795 Poland; that of a bailiff to the imperial oppressor.
Israel Shahak (1933-2001) was born in the Warsaw ghetto and at the age of 10 lay dying in the Bergen-Belsen camp when it was liberated. He and his mother found a home in Israel, where he was a professor of chemistry, an anti-Zionist and a defender of the rights of the Palestinians.
Churchill was correct in perceiving the significance of Zionists as anti-Communists. This is one of the reasons why Zionists in Germany and elsewhere not only escaped the fury of Hitler’s propaganda but also collaborated with the Fascist Party in Italy and the Nazis in Germany (see following chapter).
The Right Hon. W. Churchill did not seem to realize that the Zionists were not among the Jews who “dwelling in every country throughout the world, identify themselves with that country, enter into its national life, and, while adhering faithfully to their own religion, regard themselves as citizens in the fullest sense of the State which has received them”. On the contrary, the Zionists regarded such Jews as renegades, as we shall see in the next chapter.