Jewish Bolshevism

Jewish Bolshevism

Jewish Bolshevism, Judeo-Bolshevism, Judeo-Communism, or in Polish, Żydokomuna, is a pejorative antisemitic expression based on the notion that Jews are responsible for Bolshevism and Communism.

The expression was the title of a pamphlet, "The Jewish Bolshevism", and became current after the October Revolution (1917) in Russia, and spread worldwide in the 1920s with the publication and circulation of the "The Protocols of the Elders of Zion". It made an issue out of the Jewishness of Bolsheviks (most notably Leon Trotsky) during and after the revolution. Daniel Pipes says that "primarily through "the Protocols of the Elders of Zion", the Whites spread these charges to an international audience." [Daniel Pipes (1997): "Conspiracy: How the Paranoid Style Flourishes and Where It Comes From" (The Free Press - Simon & Shuster) p.93. ISBN 0-684-83131-7] James Webb writes: " [i] t is rare to find an anti-Semitic source after 1917 which does not stand in debt to the White Russian analysis of the Revolution." [James Webb (1976): "Occult Establishment: The Dawn of the New Age and The Occult Establishment", (Open Court Publishing), p.295. ISBN 0-87548-434-4]

The label "Judeo-Bolshevism" was used in Nazi Germany to equate Jews with communists, implying that the communist movement served Jewish interests and/or that all Jews were communists. [Walter Laqueur (1965): "Russia and Germany" (Boston: Little, Brown and Company)] Nowadays, the term is used on numerous antisemitic sites.


Jews had been a persecuted minority in the Russian Empire. They had endured a form of physical segregation in the Pale of Settlement, as well as sporadic persecutions supported by Tsarist governments. More than two millions Russian Jews emigrated (in the period from 1881 to 1920, more than two million Jews left the Russian Empire). [ Political Activity and Emigration.] Beyond the Pale. The History of Jews in Russia. (Exhibition by Friends and Partners Project)] On the eve of the February Revolution, the Bolshevik party had about 10,000 members, [Sergey Kara-Murza, "Soviet Civilization", vol. 1 ( [ The chapter about the growth of Russian political parties during February-October 1917 online] ) ru icon ] of which 364 were ethnic Jews.

In 1924, the US Senate issued a report, titled "Conditions in Russia", in which it reproduced the census results which the Soviet government had published in "Pravda". Those results showed that the majority of Bolsheviks were Russian, with Ukrainians in second place. Nevertheless, no prominent expressions, such as "Russian Bolshevism," or "Ukrainian Bolshevism" had emerged.

Jewish Bolsheviks

A high percentage of ethnic Jews in comparison to the percentage of the total population took an active part in Bolshevik movement and revolutionary leadership before the revolution and for years afterSamson Madiyevsky, "Jews and the Russian Revolution: whether there Was a Choice", an article in "Lechaim" ( [ online] ) ] - see details below. Most of these Jews were hostile to traditional Jewish culture and Jewish political parties, and were eager to prove their loyalty to the Communist Party's atheism and proletarian internationalism, and committed to stamp out any sign of "Jewish cultural particularism".

Of the 21 membrs of the Central Committee (CC) of the Bolshevik party in April 1917 [] , three were of Jewish descent: (Lev Kamenev, Grigory Zinoviev and Yakov Sverdlov. Of the thirteen committee members who, during a historic meeting on October 10, 1917, agreed for the necessity of armed revolution (leading to the October Revolution), six were Jewish (Zinoviev, Kamenev, Leon Trotsky, Moisei Uritsky, Sverdlov, and Grigory Sokolnikov, although Kamenev and Zinoviev opposed the revolution, and Trotsky abstained. [ [ Central Committee Meeting—10 Oct 1917 ] ]

Out of Lenin's 15 Peoples' Commissars (Narkoms) in 1919, six were Jewish (Trotsky, Uritsky, Isaac Steinberg, I. A. Teodorovich, Semyon Dimanstein and Sokolnikov).Fact|date=August 2008 Among the 23 Narkoms between 1923–1930, there were twelve Russians, five Jews, two Georgians (Stalin and Ordzhonikidze), one Pole, one Moldavian, one Latvian, and one Ukrainian. The situation had clearly evolved, within a relatively short time, to the advantage of the Russian majority.Fact|date=August 2008 In the 1930s, there was one person of Jewish descent in the Politburo (Lazar Kaganovich).

In 1922, of the 44,148 members of the Bolshevik party that had joined before 1917 (the Old Guard, as Lenin referred to them) 7.1% were Jewish (65% were Russian).Fact|date=August 2008

The number of Jews in top administrative positions began to decline soon after 1917.Fact|date=August 2008 It continued to shrink heavily in the 1930s when Stalin had his old comrades Kamenev and Zinoviev executed while in prison, after a rigged trial in 1936. Kamenev and Zinoviev had previously been expelled, in 1926 and 1927, from the top positions they shared with Stalin in the Soviet ruling elite. Leon Trotsky had concurrently been expelled from the Soviet Union in 1927 and was then assassinated in Mexico City in 1940, by Soviet agent Ramón Mercader. Thus by the year 1940, and after his rapprochement with Hitler's Germany, Stalin had eliminated virtually all Jews from very high level government positions inside the Soviet Union.

Walter Laqueur states in his book "The Changing Face of Antisemitism: From Ancient Times to the Present Day":

To what extent did the presence of many Jews among the Communist leadership contribute to antisemitism? It certainly played an important role in antisemitic propaganda, and it is certainly true that during the 1920s Jews were heavily overrepresented in the ranks of party and state officials. With the rise of Stalin, Jews were removed from key positions and very often "liquidated." The fact that other minorities were also disproportionately highly represented did not greatly matter - there was no tradition of anti-Latvianism in Russia, nor were Latvians found in the very top positions. Nor did it matter that Jews were equally strongly represented among other anti-Communist parties of the left such as the Mensheviks and the Social Revolutionaries, or that the anti-Stalinist opposition was to a considerable extent of Jewish extraction.Walter Laqueur. "The Changing Face of Antisemitism: From Ancient Times to the Present Day". Oxford University Press, 2006 ISBN 0-19-530429-2 p.105]

In his 1938 book "The Protocols of the Elders of Zion: A Proved Forgery", based on his testimony at the Berne Trial, Vladimir Burtsev wrote:

"Antisemites... refused to acknowledge the important and indisputable fact that the Jews who participated in the Socialist and Anarchist movements around the world, including the Russian Jews in particular, were renegades of the Jewish nation who had no connection with Jewish history nor with Jewish religion nor with Jewish masses, but were rather exclusively internationalists, promoting the ideas shared by Socialists of other ethnicities, and were hostile to the Jewish nation in general." [ru icon [ "The Protocols of the Elders of Zion: A Proved Forgery"] (Ch. 3) by Vladimir Burtsev]


Jews were among the members of the Soviet secret police. Of the 12 members of the Cheka Counter-revolutionary department in 1918, 6 were Jewish. Of the 42 Cheka prosecutors in September, 1918, at the height of Red Terror, a mere 8 were Jewish. The rest were 14 Latvians, 13 Russians and 7 Poles. Only 3.7% of the rank-and-file Cheka agents were Jewish at that time.

In the mid-1930s, under the leadership of Genrikh Yagoda, the Jewish presence in the secret police was 39%Sever Plocker: [,7340,L-3342999,00.html Stalin's Jews] . In ynet 21 December 2006.] and only 30 % Russian. The immediate predecessors to Yagoda in that same position were also Jewish: Iosif Unschlicht and Meier Trilisser. [] Genrikh Yagoda's secret police oversaw the execution of both Zinoviev and Kamenev, but fell victim to Stalin's next round of purges: Yagoda was replaced by Nikolai Yezhov, who was not of Jewish descent, in September 1936, then Yezhov too was arrested and executed in March 1937. Under Yezhov, the number of Jews fell precipitously (to just 6 people) while the number of ethnic Russians among the leadership of the secret police, NKVD rose to 102 people (67 %) and the purges, at Stalin's instigation, entered their bloodiest period (1937–1938) (see Great Purge).

Book: Russia and Germany, A Century of Conflict

Walter Laqueur, in his work, "Russia and Germany, A Century of Conflict", traces this conspiracy theory to the most important Nazi ideologue and Baltic German, Alfred Rosenberg:

Laqueur asserts that the identification of Bolshevism with Jewry was perhaps the only truly original contribution which Nazism made to the study of Bolshevism or Communism.

Nazi Germany

In Nazi Germany, this term expressed the common perception that Communism was a Jewish-inspired and Jewish-led movement seeking world domination from its very origin: Karl Marx. The term was popularized in print by German journalist Dietrich Eckhart, who authored the pamphlet "Der Bolschewismus von Moses bis Lenin" in the early 1920s, thereby tying Moses and Lenin as both Communists and Jews. Alfred Rosenberg's 1923 edition of the "Protocols" "gave a forgery a huge boost".Daniel Pipes (1997): "Conspiracy: How the Paranoid Style Flourishes and Where It Comes From" (The Free Press - Simon & Shuster) p.95. ISBN 0-684-83131-7] This was followed by Hitler's highly inflammatory statement in "Mein Kampf" (1924): "In Russian Bolshevism we must see Jewry's twentieth century effort to take world dominion unto itself."

According to Michael Kellogg, the author of "The Russian Roots of Nazism. White Émigrés and the Making of National Socialism, 1917–1945":

In his groundbreaking 1939 book, "L’Apocalypse de notre temps: Les dessous de la propagande allemande d’après des documents inédits" (The Apocalypse of Our Times: The Hidden Side of German Propaganda According to Unpublished Documents), Henri Rollin stressed that "Hitlerism" represented a form of "anti-Soviet counter-revolution" which employed the "myth of a mysterious Jewish-Masonic-Bolshevik plot." Rollin investigated the National Socialist belief, which was taken primarily from White émigré views, that a vast Jewish-Masonic conspiracy had provoked World War Ⅰ, toppled the Russian, German, and Austro-Hungarian Empires, and unleashed Bolshevism after undermining the existing order through the insidious spread of liberal ideas. German forces promptly destroyed Rollin’s work in 1940 after they occupied France, and the book has remained in obscurity ever since. [ [ The Russian Roots of Nazism. White Émigrés and the Making of National Socialism, 1917–1945] by Michael Kellogg (excerpt)]

United States and Great Britain, 1920s

The American ambassador to Russia, David Francis, wrote in January 1918 that most of the Bolshevik leaders were Jewish. [Francis, David R. "Russia From the American Embassy". New York: C. Scribner's & Sons, 1921. p. 214.] A report by British Intelligence, "A Monthly Review of the Progress of Revolutionary Movements Abroad", states in the first paragraph that international Communism is controlled by Jews. [U.S. National Archives. Dept. of State Decimal File, 1910–1929, file 861.00/5067.] Capt. Montgomery Schuyler, a military intelligence officer in Russia, reported regularly to the chief of staff of U.S. Army Intelligence, who relayed the reports to the US president. In one of these reports, declassified in 1958, Schuyler states: "It is probably unwise to say this loudly in the United States, but the Bolshevik movement is and has been since its beginning, guided and controlled by Russian Jews of the greasiest type..."U.S. National Archives. Record group 120: Records of the American Expeditionary Forces, June 9, 1919.] In another report on June 9, 1919, Schuyler wrote the following, which the historical record shows to be mostly inaccurate:Fact|date=February 2007

"A table made up in 1918, by Robert Wilton, correspondent of the "London Times" in Russia, shows at that time there were 384 commissars including 2 Negroes, 13 Russians, 15 Chinamen, 22 Armenians and more than 300 Jews. Of the latter number, 264 had come from the United States since the downfall of the Imperial Government."

In an article in the "Illustrated Sunday Herald" on February 8 1920, Winston Churchill asserted::

"There is no need to exaggerate the part played in the creation of Bolshevism and in the actual bringing about of the Russian Revolution by these international and for the most part atheistic 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." [Churchill, Winston. "Zionism versus Bolshevism: A Struggle for the Soul of the Jewish People." "Illustrated Sunday Herald". 8 February 1920.]
Churchill declared that Bolshevism must be "strangled in its cradle.". [ [ Cover Story: Churchill's Greatness.] Interview with Jeffrey Wallin. (The Churchill Centre)]

Such attitudes were not uncommon in the UK at the time of the allied intervention in the Russian Civil War. The British court of inquiry, appointed to investigate the Arab 1920 Palestine riots, associated Zionism with Bolshevism and identified Ze'ev Jabotinsky with a Labor Zionist party Poale Zion, which the court called "a definite Bolshevist institution."Tom Segev, "One Palestine, Complete", Metropolitan Books, 1999. p.141] In reality he was a right-wing leader. In the early 1920s, a leading British antisemite, Henry Hamilton Beamish, announced that "Bolshevism was Judaism." [James Webb (1976): "Occult Establishment: The Dawn of the New Age and The Occult Establishment", (Open Court Publishing), p.130. ISBN 0-87548-434-4]

Iran, 2006

The allegation was revived in a December 28, 2006 interview by Iranian Presidential Advisor Mohammad Ali Ramin who was appointed secretary-general of the new "World Foundation for Holocaust Studies" established at the International Conference to Review the Global Vision of the Holocaust:

"The Bolshevik Soviet government in Lenin's time, and later, in Stalin's - both of whom were Jewish, though they presented themselves as Marxists and atheists... - was one of the forces that, until the Second World War, cooperated with Hitler in promoting the idea of establishing the State of Israel." [ [ Mohammad Ali Ramin, Advisor to Iranian President Ahmadinejad: 'Hitler Was Jewish'] (MEMRI Special Dispatch Series No.1408) January 3, 2007]


Further reading

* Mikhail Agursky: "The Third Rome: National Bolshevism in the USSR", 1987, Westview Press, ISBN 08133-0139-4
* Michael Kellogg: "The Russian Roots of Nazism: White Émigrés and the Making of National Socialism, 1917-1945", 2005, Cambridge University Press, ISBN 0521845122
* Richard Pipes: "Russia under the Bolshevik regime", 1993, Alfred A.Knopf, New York, ISBN 0-394-50242-6
* Yuri Slezkine: "The Jewish Century", 2004, Princeton University Press, ISBN 0-691-11995-3
* Arkady Vaksberg: "Stalin against the Jews", 1994, Vintage Books (a division of Random House, New York), ISBN 0-679-42207-2
* Robert Wistrich: "Revolutionary Jews from Marx to Trotsky", 1976, Harrap, London, ISBN 0-245-52785-0
* Alexandre Soljenitsyne: "Deux Siecles Ensemble. Tome 2. 1917-1972. Juifs et Russes pendant la periode Sovietique.1917-1972", 2003, Fayard, Paris. ISBN 2-213-61518-7

External links

* [ Jews,Communism,and the Jewish Communists]
* [ Stalin and the Jews] by Stephen Schwartz (
* [ The Truth & Facts about mostly NON Jewish Communism in Non-Jewish J. Stalin's Crimes]
* [,7340,L-3342999,00.html Stalin's Jews] by Israeli journalist Sever Plocker (
* [,2506,L-3450203,00.html Stalin's Jewish affair] by Israeli journalist Dmitri Prokofiev (
* [ From Anti-Westernism to Anti-Semitism] by Konstantin Azadovskii and Boris Egorov (

See also

*History of the Jews in Russia and Soviet Union
*History of antisemitism
*Jewish Autonomous Oblast
*Jewish Communist Party (Poalei Zion)
*Jewish Communist Union (Poalei Zion)
*Judaism and Communism
*Poale Zion
*Jewish left

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