Wrongfully Accused: Jews and Bolshevism

I wrote recently  about the hostility that the Nazis had for Christians and wrote again about Christian opposition to Nazism.  My point was to demonstrate that people of the Judeo-Christian faith are fundamentally different from people outside the Judeo-Christian faith. 

It was important to demonstrate that the supposed Christian influence on the rise of Nazism was not just a myth, but a conscious rewriting of history by those who hate Christians.  The same is true about the rise of Bolshevism.  It has become an article of faith for some people who hate the Judeo-Christian faith to accuse Jews of causing Bolshevism.  How true is this? 

Did the Jewish people inflict Bolshevism upon the world?  One Russian rabbi put it best when he said:  "The Trotskys made the revolution and the Bronsteins paid the bill." (Bronstein was the real name of the anti-Judaic Jew, Trotsky.)  The Bolsheviks overthrew the democratically elected government which had tossed the Tsars out of power in 1917, and many Bolsheviks were Jewish, but the democratically elected leader of Russia that they overthrew, Aleksandr Kerensky, was Jewish too. He would later be one of the most vocal critics of the Bolsheviks.

Hitler made great hay from the fact that Kamenev, Zinoview and other early Bolshevik leaders were Jewish, but  Hitler not only condemned Bolshevism as a Jewish conspiracy (like he considered Christianity to be a Jewish conspiracy), but he also considered "Finance Capitalism" to be identical to "Bolshevism" and lumped the two together as part of one vast Jewish conspiracy.  He casually ignored the fact that Jews who were prominent in the early Bolshevik governments were weeded out, made to confess at show trials in Moscow, and either murdered or removed permanently from power. 

Although the purges of Stalin were in some respects random, it is fairly clear that the Vozd intended to minimize the number of Jews in the Soviet government.  Some Jews survived, like Lazar Kagaonvich, but by the end of the Second World War, Jews in the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Communist Party and it other equally high state or party positions were drastically fewer than in 1922.  And these Jews were anti-Judaic. 

Pope Pius XII could not prevent Hitler, a nominal Catholic, from doing what he wished.  Good Jews could not prevent a few bad Jews from doing what they wished. Bolsheviks, including Jewish Bolsheviks, were hostile to Judaism.  From December 1918 to August 1919, the teaching of Hebrew was banned, religious instruction in Judaism was forbidden, the Kehillot (an umbrella organization of Jewish communists) was suppressed and the leaders of those organizations were rounded up and imprisoned. 

In the next decade, anti-Semitism began to appear in Communist Party propaganda, with references by the Vozd against "Talmudists."  During this period trials against Jews that would "put the trials of Dreyfus and Beilis in the shade."

Even in the early years of Hitler, when Nazism was supposedly the mortal enemy of Bolshevism, the Bolsheviks agreed with the Nazis that Jews were exploiters of the working class in Germany.  As Walter Laqueur writes in his 1959 book, The Soviet Union and the Middle East:

"With the stimulus to Zionism given by the rise of Hitler, the Soviet and Comintern organs intensified their attacks on Zionism.  Hitler's anti-Semitism was regarded skeptically; commenting on the April, 1933, boycott in Germany, it was said ‘In a few days you will find that all the big Jewish stores still exist, that Jewish bankers, capitalists and stock jobbers are still carrying on their businesses, and that no Jewish industrialist has suffered any damage.'"
So, while the Christian democracies were deploring Kristallnacht and despicable acts of the Nazis toward the Jews, the Bolsheviks (supposedly controlled by the Jews) pretended that the Nazis and Jews were actually in league -- it is hard to imagine clearer evidence that those Jews who had died with the Bolsheviks (and so repudiated Judaism) were pawns of the Bolsheviks, not the controllers of Bolshevism.

The Soviets supported Arab riots against Jews in Palestine both in August 1929 and also supported the Arabs in the much more violent riots against Jews in 1936.  What was the position of the Bolsheviks, who Hitler and others thought were controlled by Jews?  The Bolshevik position was that the Jews were a privileged minority in Palestine and that the Jews had destroyed practically all Arab industries.  The cause of the Arabs, even as early as 1936, was described as a "heroic struggle."

After the non-aggression pact with the Nazis, the Bolsheviks sent hundreds of Jewish communists from the Soviet Union to Nazi Germany (and certain death) and also launched campaigns against "The Jewish National Counterrevolution." The Soviet government scrupulously avoided mentioning anything about Nazi persecution of Jews (in stark contrast to Britain, America, France, Switzerland, Sweden and other democracies which condemned the obvious racialism and hate of the Nazis toward the Jews.) 

Even after victory over the hated "German Fascists," no less a Soviet historian than Roy Medvedev wrote that not a single lesson or lecture was devoted to anti-Semitism, its role in Nazi policy, or the Nazi murder of almost the entire Jewish population of Europe.  The Soviet Union into the 1980s denied the Shoah.  Soviet students did not learn that the Nazis, often aided by national groups in conquered lands, murdered Jews en masse.  They only learned that Jews, like other Soviet citizens, died at the hands of the Germans.  Walter Laqueur observes in his book about suppression of the Holocaust, The Last Secret, that the Soviets deliberately downplayed the Holocaust and denied that Jews were treated differently than other Soviet citizens during the Nazi invasion of Russia. 

Worse, Stalin clearly intended a second holocaust against Jews in his campaign against "rootless cosmopolitanism" and the so-called "Doctors' Plot" against him.  Was this just Stalin?  Or was it something more fundamental in Bolshevism?  The whole record of Bolshevism and Jewishness strongly indicates that Bolsheviks, like Fascists, used gullible and deluded Jews, the minority of Jews to be sure, to dig their own graves, sign their own death warrants, and confess to non-existent crimes. 

How bad did it get for Jews in the Soviet Union?  Consider that by the 1970s, there was a new name used to describe some Jews, "Refusniks," who were persecuted Jews demanding the right to emigrate to Israel.  This demand was not something safely and comfortably made in a vast police state with huge apparatus of terrorism and repression. It must have required extraordinary hardships to push otherwise average Soviet citizens to risk their lives and safety, as well as the lives and safety of their families, in becoming a "Refusnik." 

What happened in the Soviet Union is only part of the error in assuming that, somehow, the Jewish people are responsible for Bolshevism.  People eager to embrace that falsehood often note that Karl Marx was "Jewish."  That is not true:  Marx was half Jewish and half Christian.  His family converted to Christianity, but Marx rejected both Judaism and Christianity.  Marx was a rabid German nationalist who had very little sympathy for the Jewish people.  In 1844 Marx published a hateful pamphlet about Jews and Judaism entitled On the Jewish Question.  Again, no rabbi can change the fact that Marx had some Jewish blood in his veins, but sincere people can, and should, note that this Jewish blood did not "produce" his Marxist nightmare.  A few lines from his notorious work are sufficient: 

"What is the secular basis of Judaism?  Practical need and self-interest.  What is the worldly religion of the Jew?  Hucksterism.  What is the worldly God?  Money.  An organization of society which would abolish the preconditions of huckstering, and therefore the possibility of huckstering, would make the Jew impossible.  His religious consciousness would be dissipated like a thin haze in the real, vital air of society." 
Marxism is clearly very hostile to Jews and to Judaism, and the attitude of Marxists is almost identical to the attitude of their sibling Sinisterists, Nazis.

Were there Jews among the Communists in the western democracies?  Certainly, but that is only half the story.  Jews were also some of the most effective and passionate anti-communists.  The intellectual argument against Marxism was very effectively made by Jews like Ayn Rand, Milton Friedman and Arthur Koestler.  The political anti-communist movement often was led by Jews converted to Christianity like Barry Goldwater and Dr. Schwartz.  Cold War heroes inlcude Admiral Hyman G. Rickover, whose patriotic tenacity single-handedly created the nuclear submarine force, which was the strongest part of America's triad strategic response, and Morris Childs (and his wife), nominally the number two man in the Communist Party USA, but actually a super-secret FBI agent whose incredibly courageous work provided Washington with priceless intelligence from within the Kremlin. 

The myth of Christian indifference to the Holocaust is one bookend to the grand lie about Christians and Jews.  The myth of Communism being the product of Jewish machinations is the other bookend of that grand lie.  Serious Christians and devout Jews are not the cause of the problem of evil in this world:  they are, instead, the only cure.

Bruce Walker is author of the book Sinisterism: Secular Religion of the Lie.