Jewish Bolshevism, also known as Judeo-Bolshevism, is an antisemitic
and anti-communist canard which alleges that the
Jews were at the
origin of the
Russian Revolution and held the primary power among
Bolsheviks. Similarly, the Jewish
Communism theory implies that Jews
have been dominating the Communist movements in the world. It is
similar to the ZOG conspiracy theory, which asserts that
world politics. The expressions have been used as a catchword for
the assertion that
Communism is a Jewish conspiracy.
In Poland, "Judeo-Bolshevism" was known as "Żydokomuna" and was used
as an antisemitic stereotype.
The expression was the title of a pamphlet, The Jewish Bolshevism, and
became current after the 1917
October Revolution in Russia, featuring
prominently in the propaganda of the anti-communist "White" forces
during the Russian Civil War.
The theory was later propagated by the
Nazi Party and their American
2 Jewish involvement in Russian Communism
3 Nazi Germany
4 Outside Nazi Germany
4.1 Great Britain, 1920s
5 Works propagating the Jewish
5.1 The Jewish Bolshevism
5.2 The Octopus
5.3 Behind Communism
6 Criticism of the Jewish
7 See also
10 Further reading
11 External links
White movement propaganda poster from the
Russian Civil War
Russian Civil War era
(1919), a caricature of Leon Trotsky, who was viewed as a symbol of
The conflation of
Jews and revolution emerged in the atmosphere of
destruction of Russia during World War I. When the revolutions of 1917
crippled Russia's war effort, conspiracy theories grew up - even far
from Berlin and Petrograd, many Britons for example, ascribed the
Russian Revolution to an "apparent conjunction of Bolsheviks, Germans
The worldwide spread of the concept in the 1920s is associated with
the publication and circulation of The Protocols of the Elders of
Zion, a fraudulent document that purported to describe a secret Jewish
conspiracy aimed at world domination. The expression made an issue out
of the Jewishness of some leading
Bolsheviks (most notably Leon
Trotsky) during and after the October Revolution.
Daniel Pipes says
that "primarily through the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, the
Whites spread these charges to an international audience." James
Webb wrote that it is rare to find an antisemitic source after 1917
that ..."does not stand in debt to the White Russian analysis of the
Jewish involvement in Russian Communism
History of the Jews in Russia
History of the Jews in Russia and History of the Jews
in the Soviet Union
Antisemitism in the
Russian Empire existed both culturally and
Jews were restricted to live within the Pale of
Settlement, and suffered pogroms. Between 1881 and 1920,
more than two million
Jews left Russia.
As a result, many
Jews supported gradual or revolutionary changes
within the Russian Empire. Those movements ranged from the far left
(Jewish Anarchism, Bundists, Bolsheviks, Mensheviks) to
moderate left (Trudoviks) and constitutionalist (Constitutional
Democrats) parties. On the eve of the
February Revolution in 1917,
of about 23,000 members of the
Bolshevik party 364 (about 1.6%) were
known to be ethnic Jews. According to the 1922
census, there were 19,564 Jewish Bolsheviks, comprising 5.21% of the
total, and in the 1920s of the 417 members of the Central Executive
Committee, the party Central Committee, the Presidium of the Executive
of the Soviets of the USSR and the Russian Republic, the People's
Commissars, 6% were ethnic Jews. Between 1936 and 1940, during the
Yezhovshchina and after the rapprochement with Nazi
Germany, Stalin had largely eliminated
Jews from senior party,
government, diplomatic, security and military positions.
Some scholars have grossly exaggerated Jewish presence in the Soviet
Communist Party. For example, journalist
David Aaronovitch quotes
Alfred Jensen as saying that in the 1920s "75 per cent of the leading
Bolsheviks" were "of Jewish origin".[better source needed]
According to Aaronovitch, "a cursory examination of membership of the
top committees shows this figure to be an absurd exaggeration".
Vladimir Lenin, Karl Radek, Julius Martov, and Emma Goldman.
Bolshevik leaders from Alfred Rosenberg's The Jewish
Walter Laqueur traces the Jewish-
Bolshevik conspiracy theory to Nazi
ideologue Alfred Rosenberg, for whom
Bolshevism was "the revolt of the
Jewish, Slavic and Mongolian races against the German (Aryan) element
in Russia". Germans, according to Rosenberg, had been responsible for
Russia's historic achievements and had been sidelined by the
Bolsheviks, who did not represent the interests of the Russian people,
but instead those of its ethnic Jewish and Chinese population.
Michael Kellogg in his Ph.D. thesis argues that the racist ideology of
Nazis was to a significant extent influenced by White emigres in
Germany, many of whom, while being former subjects of the Russian
Empire, were of non-Russian descent: ethnic Germans, residents of
Baltic lands, including Baltic Germans, and Ukrainians. Of particular
role was their Aufbau organization (Aufbau: Wirtschafts-politische
Vereinigung für den Osten (Reconstruction: Economic-Political
Organization for the East). For example, its leader was instrumental
in making the Protocols of The Elders of Zion available in German
language. He argues that early Hitler was rather philosemitic, and
became rabidly anti-Semitic since 1919 under the influence of the
White emigre convictions about the conspiracy of the Jews, an unseen
unity from financial capitalists to Bolsheviks, to conquer the
world. Therefore, his conclusion is that White emigrees were at
the source of the Nazist concept of Jewish Bolshevism. Annemarie
Sammartino argues that this view is contestable. While there is no
doubt that White emigres were instrumental in reinforcing the idea of
'Jewish Bolshevism' among Nazis, the concept is also found in many
German early post–World War I documents. Also, Germany had its own
share of Jewish Communists "to provide fodder for the paranoid
fantasies of German antisemites" without Russian Bolsheviks.
During the 1920s, Hitler declared that the mission of the Nazi
movement was to destroy "Jewish Bolshevism". Hitler asserted that
the "three vices" of "Jewish Marxism" were democracy, pacifism and
internationalism, and that the
Jews were behind Bolshevism,
communism and Marxism.
In Nazi Germany, this concept of Jewish
Bolshevism reflected a common
Communism was a Jewish-inspired and Jewish-led
movement seeking world domination from its origin. The term was
popularized in print in German journalist Dietrich Eckhart's 1924
pamphlet "Der Bolschewismus von
Moses bis Lenin" ("
Moses to Lenin") which depicted
Moses and Lenin as both being
Communists and Jews. This was followed by Alfred Rosenberg's 1923
edition of the
Protocols of the Elders of Zion
Protocols of the Elders of Zion and Hitler's Mein Kampf
in 1925, which saw
Bolshevism as "Jewry's twentieth century effort to
take world dominion unto itself."
According to French spymaster and writer Henri Rollin, "Hitlerism" was
based on "anti-Soviet counter-revolution" promoting the "myth of a
Bolshevik plot", entailing that the First
World War had been instigated by a vast Jewish-Masonic conspiracy to
topple the Russian, German, and Austro-Hungarian Empires and implement
Bolshevism by fomenting liberal ideas.[page needed]
A major source for propaganda about Jewish
Bolshevism in the 1930s and
early 1940s was the pro-Nazi and antisemitic international Welt-Dienst
news agency founded in 1933 by Ulrich Fleischhauer.
Within the German Army, a tendency to see Soviet
Communism as a Jewish
conspiracy had grown since the First World War, something that became
officialised under the Nazis. A 1932 pamphlet by
Ewald Banse of the
Government-financed German National Association for the Military
Sciences described the Soviet leadership as mostly Jewish, dominating
an apathetic and mindless Russian population.
German propaganda antisemitic and anti-Soviet poster, written in
Polish language. The text reads “Death! to Jewish-Bolshevik
pestilence of murdering!"
Propaganda produced in 1935 by the psychological war laboratory of the
German War Ministry described Soviet officials as "mostly filthy Jews"
and called on
Red Army soldiers to rise up and kill their "Jewish
commissars". This material was not used at the time, but served as a
basis for propaganda in the 1940s.
Members of the SS were encouraged to fight against the "Jewish
Bolshevik sub-humans". In the pamphlet The SS as an Anti-Bolshevist
Fighting Organization, published in 1936,
We shall take care that never again in Germany, the heart of Europe,
will the Jewish-Bolshevistic revolution of subhumans be able to be
kindled either from within or through emissaries from without.
In his speech to the Reichstag justifying
Operation Barbarossa in
1941, Hitler said:
For more than two decades the Jewish
Bolshevik regime in Moscow had
tried to set fire not merely to Germany but to all of Europe…The
Bolshevik rulers in Moscow have unswervingly undertaken to
force their domination upon us and the other European nations and that
is not merely spiritually, but also in terms of military power…Now
the time has come to confront the plot of the Anglo-Saxon Jewish
war-mongers and the equally Jewish rulers of the
Bolshevik centre in
Wilhelm Keitel gave an order on 12 September 1941 which
declared: "the struggle against
Bolshevism demands ruthless and
energetic, rigorous action above all against the Jews, the main
carriers of Bolshevism.
Richard J. Evans
Richard J. Evans wrote that Wehrmacht officers regarded the
Russians as "sub-human", and were from the time of the invasion of
Poland in 1939 telling their troops the war was caused by "Jewish
vermin", explaining to the troops that the war against the Soviet
Union was a war to wipe out what were variously described as "Jewish
Bolshevik subhumans", the "Mongol hordes", the "Asiatic flood" and the
"red beast", language clearly intended to produce war crimes by
reducing the enemy to something less than human.
Joseph Goebbels published an article in 1942 called "the so-called
Russian soul" in which he claimed that
Bolshevism was exploiting the
Slavs and that the battle of the Soviet Union determined whether
Europe would become under complete control by international Jewry.
Nazi propaganda presented Barbarossa as an ideological-racial war
between German National Socialism and "Judeo-Bolshevism", dehumanising
the Soviet enemy as a force of Slavic
Untermensch (sub-humans) and
"Asiatic" savages engaging in "barbaric Asiatic fighting methods"
commanded by evil Jewish commissars whom German troops were to grant
no mercy. The vast majority of the Wehrmacht officers and soldiers
tended to regard the war in Nazi terms, seeing their Soviet opponents
While National Socialism brought about a new version and formulation
of European culture,
Bolshevism is the declaration of war by
Jewish-led international subhumans against culture itself. It is not
only anti-bourgeois, it is anti-cultural. It means, in the final
consequence, the absolute destruction of all economic, social, state,
cultural, and civilizing advances made by western civilization for the
benefit of a rootless and nomadic international clique of
conspirators, who have found their representation in Jewry.
— Joseph Goebbels,
Nazi Party Congress in Nuremberg, September
Outside Nazi Germany
Great Britain, 1920s
In the early 1920s, a leading British antisemite, Henry Hamilton
Beamish, stated that
Bolshevism was the same thing as Judaism. In
the same decade, future wartime Prime Minister Winston Churchill
penned an editorial entitled "
Zionism versus Bolshevism," which was
published in the Illustrated Sunday Herald. In the article, which
Bolshevism were engaged in a "struggle for
the soul of the Jewish people", he called on
Jews to repudiate "the
Bolshevik conspiracy" and make clear that "the
Bolshevik movement is
not a Jewish movement" but stated that:
[Bolshevism] among the
Jews is nothing new. From the days of
Spartacus-Weishaupt to those of Karl Marx, and down to Trotsky
Bela Kun (Hungary),
Rosa Luxemburg (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.
Gisela C. Lebzelter noted that Churchill's analysis failed to
analyze the role that Russian oppression of
Jews had played in their
joining various revolutionary movements, but instead "to inherent
inclinations rooted in Jewish character and religion."
Works propagating the Jewish
The Jewish Bolshevism
Bolshevism is a 31- or 32-page antisemitic pamphlet
published in London in 1922 and 1923 by the Britons Publishing
Society. It included a foreword by the German Nazi leader Alfred
Rosenberg who promulgated the concept of "Jewish Bolshevism".
This relatively obscure publication embodies the Nazi doctrine that
Bolshevism are the same; or that
Jewish, whether everything Jewish is included within Bolshevism. The
methodology used consists of identifying
Bolsheviks as Jews; by birth,
or by name or by demographics.
According to Singerman, The Jewish Bolshevism, which he dubs as item
"0121" in his Bibliography, is "Identical in content to item "0120",
the pamphlet The Grave Diggers of Russia, which was published in 1921
in Germany, by Dr. E. Boepple. In 1922, historian Gisela C. Lebzelter
wrote: "The Britons published a brochure entitled Jewish Bolshevism,
which featured drawings of Russian leaders supplemented by brief
comments on their Jewish descent and affiliation. This booklet, which
was prefaced by Alfred Rosenberg, had previously been published in
English by völkisch Deutscher Volksverlag."
The Octopus is a 256-page book self-published in 1940 by Elizabeth
Dilling under the pseudonym "Rev. Frank Woodruff Johnson". In it she
describe her theories of Jewish Bolshevism.
Frank L. Britton, editor of The American Nationalist published a book,
Behind Communism, in 1952 which disseminated the myth that Communism
was a Jewish conspiracy originating in Palestine.
Criticism of the Jewish
Researchers in the topic, such as Polish philosopher Stanisław
Krajewski " or André Gerrits,  denounce the concept of Jewish
Bolshevism as a prejudice. Law professor
Ilya Somin agrees, and
compares Jewish involvement in other communist countries.
"Overrepresentation of a group in a political movement does not prove
either that the movement was "dominated" by that group or that it
primarily serves that group’s interests. The idea that communist
oppression was somehow Jewish in nature is belied by the record of
communist regimes in countries like China, North Korea, and Cambodia,
where the Jewish presence was and is minuscule."
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