Alexander Palace Forum

Discussions about Russian History => The Russian Revolution => Topic started by: Ellie on November 13, 2016, 03:18:45 AM

Title: Were the Jews Responsible for the Russian Revolution/Bolsehvik Coup?
Post by: Ellie on November 13, 2016, 03:18:45 AM
Before getting to the heart of the topic, I think a short bio would be in order.
I am a descendent of East European Jews who immigrated to the United States at the beginning of the last century. I currently live in Israel.
I've been reading extensively on the Russian Revolution lately and have been bothered by the  large participation of the Jews in the Bolshevik party and their killing machine. I've even chanced on some sites claiming that the Holocaust was Europe's revenge for this. The memoirs of Pierre Gilliard and Lili Dehn blame the Jews for the revolution and murder of the Imperial Famly. Furthermore, the Nazi justified their persecution of the Jews since they were identified as Bolsheviks.
I myself come from a liberal and anti Bolshevik Jewish family. As a matter of fact, I don't know any Jews - even the most liberal amongst them - who support Bolshevism.
Many of my parents' extended family who did not come to the States perished at the hands of the Nazis and the above allegations about Jewish Bolsheviks have been bothering me, especially those which use them to justify the Holocaust.
I would much appreciate your response.
Title: Re: Were the Jews Responsible for the Russian Revolution/Bolsehvik Coup?
Post by: edubs31 on November 15, 2016, 10:28:51 PM
Hi Ellie.

I guess it's all a matter of perspective. We're there a disproportionate number of Jews among the leftist revolutionaries that toppled the Tsarist regime? Probably. Were the Bolsheviks an arm of radical Judaism ("Judeo-Bolshevism")
or the byproduct of a mass Zionist conspiracy? Certainly not. The two most prominent members...the names that anyone with even the most basic historical knowledge can remember...are Lenin & Stalin. Neither of them Jewish. Marx - the father of socialism - on the other hand was Jewish, but Engles was not.

Demographically if even 10% of the original Bolo party members were Jews - which is probably a lot - I'd say it only makes sense given that A) A greater number of Jews lived in urban areas where the movement started. B) Jews historically have had more socialist & liberal leanings than their Christian neighbors. C) There is a higher concentration of both wealth and intellectualism within Jewish communities making them attractive targets/recruits for communist propaganda. And D) with Jews being historically persecuted by Christian dominated autocratic regimes it stands to reason that they would find a political movement promising them greater security and power attractive.

I also don't believe the Holacaust was revenge in any specific way for the rise of Communism. The Nazis themselves were an idiosyncratic blend of leftist communist and rightist authoritarian elements so it's doubtful they subscribed to such theories.

Subjugating and terrorizing Jews is nothing new, sadly, and laying the blame for the rise of Bolshevism and the Soviet Union at their feet is just another in an endless string of canards advanced by those needing no justification for their hatred. In other words, the Holacaust would have taken place with or without Lenin's movement and any assistance it may have received from the Jews.
Title: Re: Were the Jews Responsible for the Russian Revolution/Bolsehvik Coup?
Post by: Ortino on December 09, 2016, 10:38:21 AM
I generally dislike questions like this, since they attempt to assign blame to one particular person, group or thing. Events in history are shaped by many people and things--some just have a bigger impact than others. Were there Jews who participated in the Revolution? Certainly. Many Russian Jews were still living in the Pale of Settlement though and would not have had the political or financial resources to carry out a coup on a large scale.

A disclaimer should it prove necessary: I'm Jewish.

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The memoirs of Pierre Gilliard and Lili Dehn blame the Jews for the revolution and murder of the Imperial Famly.

I wouldn't put much stock in such accusations--the imperial family itself was anti-Semitic, as indicated by both their writings and actions. Anti-Semitic sentiment was unfortunately rather universal during that period.

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Furthermore, the Nazi justified their persecution of the Jews since they were identified as Bolsheviks.

I haven't really heard this. If anything, the Nazis spent more time pointing at Jews as representatives of the evils of capitalism.

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A) A greater number of Jews lived in urban areas where the movement started.

I wouldn't say that was the case. There were only about 20,000 Jews living in Moscow circa 1905 and similar numbers I imagine in St. Petersburg. Some restrictions were loosened towards the end, but most Jews still lived in the Pale of Settlement or the Russian interior until 1917. Those that did live in cities faced the threat of expulsion--Certain groups of Jews living in Moscow, for example, were expelled during the early 1890s and in 1905. There were also restrictions on how many Jews could enter institutions of higher learning and how many could hold certain professions.

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C) There is a higher concentration of both wealth and intellectualism within Jewish communities making them attractive targets/recruits for communist propaganda.

Intellectualism has always been prevalent among the Jewish community, but most Russian Jews were desperately poor under the czarist regime. One need only watch Fiddler on the Roof to get a sense of that. As I mentioned, there were also restrictions on the number of Jews in certain professions. Were there some wealthy Jews during this period? I'm sure. But the overwhelming majority were not.

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D) with Jews being historically persecuted by Christian dominated autocratic regimes it stands to reason that they would find a political movement promising them greater security and power attractive.

I'm not an expert on the politics and social undercurrents of this period, but I think this would lie closer to the truth. Jews were continually politically, socially, and economically oppressed under Romanov rule, so it makes sense that they would find solidarity with those facing similar hardships.








 
Title: Re: Were the Jews Responsible for the Russian Revolution/Bolsehvik Coup?
Post by: Ortino on December 09, 2016, 10:58:37 AM
I generally dislike questions like this, since they attempt to assign blame to one particular person, group or thing. Events in history are shaped by many people and things--some just have a bigger impact than others. Were there Jews who participated in the Revolution? Certainly. Many Russian Jews were still living in the Pale of Settlement though and would not have had the political or financial resources to carry out a coup on a large scale.

A disclaimer should it prove necessary: I'm Jewish.

Quote
The memoirs of Pierre Gilliard and Lili Dehn blame the Jews for the revolution and murder of the Imperial Famly.

I wouldn't put much stock in such accusations--the imperial family itself was anti-Semitic, as indicated by both their writings and actions. Anti-Semitic sentiment was unfortunately rather universal during that period.

Quote
Furthermore, the Nazi justified their persecution of the Jews since they were identified as Bolsheviks.

I haven't really heard this. If anything, the Nazis spent more time pointing at Jews as representatives of the evils of capitalism.

Quote
A) A greater number of Jews lived in urban areas where the movement started.

I wouldn't say that was the case. There were only about 20,000 Jews living in Moscow circa 1905. Some restrictions were loosened towards the end, but most Jews still lived in the Pale of Settlement or other parts of the Russian interior. Those that did live in large cities faced the threat of expulsion--Certain groups of Jews living in Moscow, for example, were expelled during the early 1890s and in 1905. There were also restrictions on how many Jews could enter institutions of higher learning and how many could hold certain professions.

Quote
C) There is a higher concentration of both wealth and intellectualism within Jewish communities making them attractive targets/recruits for communist propaganda.

Intellectualism has always been prevalent among the Jewish community, but most Russian Jews were desperately poor under the czarist regime. One need only watch Fiddler on the Roof to get a sense of that. As I mentioned, there were also restrictions on the number of Jews in certain professions. Were there some wealthy Jews during this period? I'm sure. But the overwhelming majority were not.

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D) with Jews being historically persecuted by Christian dominated autocratic regimes it stands to reason that they would find a political movement promising them greater security and power attractive.

I'm not an expert on the politics and social undercurrents of this period, but I think this would lie closer to the truth. Jews were continually politically, socially, and economically oppressed under Romanov rule, so it makes sense that they would find solidarity with those facing similar hardships.








 
Title: Re: Were the Jews Responsible for the Russian Revolution/Bolsehvik Coup?
Post by: NicolasG on December 10, 2016, 10:18:52 AM
I would like to discuss this topic seriously.

I do not believe that "the Jews" were responsible for the bolshevik coup or that the revolution was the result of some jewish conspiracy. The Jews who helped the Bolsheviks commit their crimes were a tiny minority of the total Jewish population of the Russian Empire. Neither Lenin nor Dzherzhinsky, the founder of the Cheka, were Jewish.

But Jews were hugely overrepresented among the bolsheviks. To what extent?

"Plehve [Russian Minister of Interior 1902-1904, he was murdered] made no secret of his dislike of Jews, which he justified by blaming them for the revolutionary ferment (he claimed that fully 40 percent of the revolutionaries were Jews)." Richard Pipes, The Russian Revolution, p.11

"By 1900, almost 30 percent of the individuals arrested for politicals crimes were Jews, and while in 1903 only 7,000,000 of the total 136,000,000 inhabitants of the imperial Russia were Jewish, the membership of the revolutionary parties was approximately 50 percent Jewish, in sharp contrast with the more balanced situation in the radical camp in the 1870s." Anna Geifman, Thou Shalt Kill: Revolutionary Terrorism in Russia, 1894-1917, p. 32. Anna Geifman is Jewish and she lives in Israel.

"As he [Lenin] remarked to his sister Anna, Jewish activists constituted about half the number of revolutionaries in the southern regions of the Russian Empire." Robert Service, Lenin, p.28-29

There is not a clear, obvious explanation for that fact.

I would like to comment on several things that have been said above.


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the imperial family itself was anti-Semitic, as indicated by both their writings and actions.

Empress Alexandra:

"7 April 1916 I send you the petition of one of Aunt Olga's  wounded men. He is a Jew. Has lived since 10 years in America. He was wounded and lost his left arm on the Carpathians. The wound had healed well, but he suffers fearfully morally as in August he must leave, and loses the right of living in either the capital or other big town. He is living in town only on the strength of a special permit, which a previous minister of the Interior gave him for one year. I read a letter of his to little Vera's English governesss and Aunt Olga says he is a man with good education, so to speak. 10 years ago he left for the United States to find the opportunity to become a useful member of human society to the fullest extent of his capabilities, as here it is difficult for a Jew who is always hampered by legislative restrictions. Tho' in America, he never forgot Russia and suffered much from homesickness and the moment war broke out he flew here to enlist to defend his country.
Now that he lost his arm serving in our army, got the St George medal, he longs to remain here and have the right to live wherever he pleases in Russia, a right the Jews don't posses. As soon as discharged from the army, as a cripple, he finds things have remained the same as before, and his headlong rush home to fight, and loss of his arm has brought him no gain. One sees the bitterness, and I fully grasp it - surely such a man ought to be treated the same as any other soldier who received such a wound. He was not obliged to fly over here at once. Tho' he is a Jew, one would like him to be justly treated and not different to the others with similar losses of limb.
With his knowledge of English and his learning he could easier gain his bread in a big town of course; and one ought not to let him become more bitter and feel the cruelty of his old country. To me it seems hard upon all - it's so cruel to my mind.
The bad ones can be severely punished. Can you tell me what decision you write on the petition; as Aunt Olga wanted to know."

Nicky to Alix - 7 April - Mogilev

"My own Lovebird,
Only a few lines, because me again has no time, the ministers having sent me hills of papers - probably before Easter.
I wrote on that petition of the wounded Jew - to allow living in any place of Russia and sent it to Sturmer [Minister of Interior]
..."

Source: Andrei Maylunas and Sergei Mironenko, "A Lifelong Passion: Nicholas and Alexandra, p.465


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D) with Jews being historically persecuted by Christian dominated autocratic regimes it stands to reason that they would find a political movement promising them greater security and power attractive.

I'm not an expert on the politics and social undercurrents of this period, but I think this would lie closer to the truth. Jews were continually politically, socially, and economically oppressed under Romanov rule, so it makes sense that they would find solidarity with those facing similar hardships.

"... American Jews played an important role in the Communist Party USA. According to Alfred Kutzik, the chairman of the National Jewish Commission of the Communist Party from 1989 to 1992, during most of the CPUSA's existence, almost half of its membership and a quarter of its leadership were Jewish." Herbert Romerstein, The Venona Secrets, p.391

Jews were not politically, socially or economically opressed in the United States.
Title: Re: Were the Jews Responsible for the Russian Revolution/Bolsehvik Coup?
Post by: Превед on December 10, 2016, 12:28:32 PM
Speaking of the marginalized: In Norway, where the few Jews who settled after 1851 (when the constitutional ban on Jews was lifted) mostly were rather petits-bourgeois immigrants / refugees from Tsarist Russia, the leading Socialist / Labour party (Det norske arbeiderparti) was dominated from ca. 1918 to the 1930s (as an eminence grise) by a farmer's son and house painter, Martin Tranmæl, whose family farm was lost due to his father's drinking, and who was a closeted homosexual who never married, but devoted all his time and energy to the party and the cause and to schooling a circle of young male protégés, taking them on trips to a remote mountain cabin. :-)

I can very well imagine how he hated bourgeois / conservative society, which had denied him both property and love.
Title: Re: Were the Jews Responsible for the Russian Revolution/Bolsehvik Coup?
Post by: Ortino on December 10, 2016, 05:57:39 PM
Quote
Empress Alexandra:

"7 April 1916 I send you the petition of one of Aunt Olga's  wounded men. He is a Jew. Has lived since 10 years in America. He was wounded and lost his left arm on the Carpathians. The wound had healed well, but he suffers fearfully morally as in August he must leave, and loses the right of living in either the capital or other big town. He is living in town only on the strength of a special permit, which a previous minister of the Interior gave him for one year. I read a letter of his to little Vera's English governesss and Aunt Olga says he is a man with good education, so to speak. 10 years ago he left for the United States to find the opportunity to become a useful member of human society to the fullest extent of his capabilities, as here it is difficult for a Jew who is always hampered by legislative restrictions. Tho' in America, he never forgot Russia and suffered much from homesickness and the moment war broke out he flew here to enlist to defend his country.
Now that he lost his arm serving in our army, got the St George medal, he longs to remain here and have the right to live wherever he pleases in Russia, a right the Jews don't posses. As soon as discharged from the army, as a cripple, he finds things have remained the same as before, and his headlong rush home to fight, and loss of his arm has brought him no gain. One sees the bitterness, and I fully grasp it - surely such a man ought to be treated the same as any other soldier who received such a wound. He was not obliged to fly over here at once. Tho' he is a Jew, one would like him to be justly treated and not different to the others with similar losses of limb.
With his knowledge of English and his learning he could easier gain his bread in a big town of course; and one ought not to let him become more bitter and feel the cruelty of his old country. To me it seems hard upon all - it's so cruel to my mind.
The bad ones can be severely punished. Can you tell me what decision you write on the petition; as Aunt Olga wanted to know."

Nicky to Alix - 7 April - Mogilev

"My own Lovebird,
Only a few lines, because me again has no time, the ministers having sent me hills of papers - probably before Easter.
I wrote on that petition of the wounded Jew - to allow living in any place of Russia and sent it to Sturmer [Minister of Interior]
..."

Source: Andrei Maylunas and Sergei Mironenko, "A Lifelong Passion: Nicholas and Alexandra, p.465

These entries refer to a single person, someone the family knew. It is easy enough to sympathize when there is a personal connection. I have seen little evidence to suggest that they cared about the plight of Russian Jews in general. In fact, in 1918, we find these entries in their diaries:

In Alexandra's diary:

Tobolsk 26 March/8 April ...

8 PM Nicholas read to us.  (Protocols of the freemasons)--

Nicholas wrote in his diary the next day:

"Yesterday I started to read aloud Nilus's book on the Antichrist, to which have been added the 'protocols' of the Jews and Masons - very timely reading matter."

The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, which were published during Nicholas II's reign and have since been attributed to the Cheka, discuss a supposed Jewish plot to take over the world. The fact that they were reading these mere months before they died says enough. And Alix's reference to it as "timely reading matter" clearly suggests that she viewed the Revolution as some Jewish plot. I don't believe in degrees of anti-Semitism--one is either anti-Semitic or one is not.

If you need further proof, read about the series of pogroms that took place at the beginning of the 20th century. Nicholas would have been well aware of them and in some cases, he and his government helped incite them.

Quote
"... American Jews played an important role in the Communist Party USA. According to Alfred Kutzik, the chairman of the National Jewish Commission of the Communist Party from 1989 to 1992, during most of the CPUSA's existence, almost half of its membership and a quarter of its leadership were Jewish." Herbert Romerstein, The Venona Secrets, p.391

Jews were not politically, socially or economically opressed in the United States.

I'm not sure how this relates to my original post. We were talking about the Russian Revolution and I made no reference to American Jews at all. How many Jews were members of the American Communist Party around the turn of the 21st century has no bearing on this discussion.


Title: Re: Were the Jews Responsible for the Russian Revolution/Bolsehvik Coup?
Post by: NicolasG on December 11, 2016, 09:38:12 AM
These entries refer to a single person, someone the family knew. It is easy enough to sympathize when there is a personal connection. I have seen little evidence to suggest that they cared about the plight of Russian Jews in general.

Well, I don't agree. First of all, they did NOT know him. Grand Duchess Olga knew him. Alexandra and Nicholas did not know him. They took their time, in the middle of a war which had produced hundred of thousands of invalids, widows, orphans, refugees... to attend the petition of one man who was Jewish. I think that these "little" things (I suppose that for the wounded man was not so little thing) show where one stands. It is certainly not what could be expected from a Jew hater.

Secondly, I do not think that this has to be considered an exception. Empress Alexandra in that letter is making the case for fairer treatment for the Jews of the Russian Empire: "here it is difficult for a Jew who is always hampered by legislative restrictions", "one would like him to be justly treated and not different to the others". When she writes: "The bad ones can be severely punished", I think that she means that there are two kind of Jews: "bad Jews" - revolutionaries and "good Jews" - the rest. Whereas "bad Jews" should be punished, the good ones deserved to be treated "not different to the others."

On February 14 1917, just two weeks before the Revolution, Sandro (Grand Duke Alexander Mikhailovich, Nicholas' brother-in-law) wrote in a letter to his brother Nikolai Mikhailovich about a conversation with Nicholas and Alexandra:

"In my conversation with A and N, I also touched on two subjects, which have been raised by Protopopov [Minister of Interior, Empress Alexandra's protégé], the expropiation of landowners' land in favour of the peasants and equal rights for the Jews. It´s typical that Alix did not voice any protest on these questions, while he objected to the first and then appeared confused about the second, replying that it was equality only in the sense of widening the Pale of Settlement; I protested as strongly as I could, saying that concessions or new rights for the Jews were unthinkable, that we could not afford to be merciful to a race the Russian people hate even more now because of their negative attitude towards the war and outright treason; it was noticeable that Alix didn't protest, obviously such projects do exist."

Andrei Maylunas and Sergei Mironenko, A Lifelong Passion: Nicholas and Alexandra, p.532
Title: Re: Were the Jews Responsible for the Russian Revolution/Bolsehvik Coup?
Post by: Ortino on December 11, 2016, 10:50:26 AM
Quote
Well, I don't agree. First of all, they did NOT know him. Grand Duchess Olga knew him. Alexandra and Nicholas did not know him. They took their time, in the middle of a war which had produced hundred of thousands of invalids, widows, orphans, refugees... to attend the petition of one man who was Jewish. I think that these "little" things (I suppose that for the wounded man was not so little thing) show where one stands. It is certainly not what could be expected from a Jew hater.

I'm not sure why you're fixating on Nicholas and Alix, since the imperial family consisted of more than just them, but I'll go along with this. They didn't need to know him directly--Grand Duchess Olga knew him and could vouch for him. He had a name and known history and was therefore removed from the larger, more abstract group of people known as "the Jews." That is why they may have felt more inclined to help him. And does petitioning for one man somehow compensate for the thousands of Jews that died in pogroms or suffered due to both longstanding and newly-instituted laws? When you're the most powerful couple in the Empire, capable of instituting major change and improving people's lives on a grand scale, the "little" things as you call them hardly matter. Not to mention that this was during the war, when they needed all of the good, loyal soldiers they could get.

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Secondly, I do not think that this has to be considered an exception. Empress Alexandra in that letter is making the case for fairer treatment for the Jews of the Russian Empire: "here it is difficult for a Jew who is always hampered by legislative restrictions", "one would like him to be justly treated and not different to the others". When she writes: "The bad ones can be severely punished", I think that she means that there are two kind of Jews: "bad Jews" - revolutionaries and "good Jews" - the rest. Whereas "bad Jews" should be punished, the good ones deserved to be treated "not different to the others."

And therein lies the anti-Semitism--there are no "good Jews" and "bad Jews." There are good people and bad people. The religion has nothing to do with it. If you cannot make out the difference, then that tells me all I need to know.

Quote
On February 14 1917, just two weeks before the Revolution, Sandro (Grand Duke Alexander Mikhailovich, Nicholas' brother-in-law) wrote in a letter to his brother Nikolai Mikhailovich about a conversation with Nicholas and Alexandra:

"In my conversation with A and N, I also touched on two subjects, which have been raised by Protopopov [Minister of Interior, Empress Alexandra's protégé], the expropiation of landowners' land in favour of the peasants and equal rights for the Jews. It´s typical that Alix did not voice any protest on these questions, while he objected to the first and then appeared confused about the second, replying that it was equality only in the sense of widening the Pale of Settlement; I protested as strongly as I could, saying that concessions or new rights for the Jews were unthinkable, that we could not afford to be merciful to a race the Russian people hate even more now because of their negative attitude towards the war and outright treason; it was noticeable that Alix didn't protest, obviously such projects do exist."

Andrei Maylunas and Sergei Mironenko, A Lifelong Passion: Nicholas and Alexandra, p.532

Let's examine this more closely, shall we?

This is Nicholas' reaction:

"while he objected to the first and then appeared confused about the second, replying that it was equality only in the sense of widening the Pale of Settlement."

So basically his interpretation of "equality" is expanding the giant ghetto the Jews were forced to live in. A real advocate for Jewish rights there.

This is Sandro's reaction:

"I protested as strongly as I could, saying that concessions or new rights for the Jews were unthinkable, that we could not afford to be merciful to a race the Russian people hate even more now because of their negative attitude towards the war and outright treason."

I think that speaks for itself.

As for Alix? Not protesting is not the same thing as advocating.

Title: Re: Were the Jews Responsible for the Russian Revolution/Bolsehvik Coup?
Post by: NicolasG on December 11, 2016, 11:01:39 AM

In Alexandra's diary:

Tobolsk 26 March/8 April ...

8 PM Nicholas read to us.  (Protocols of the freemasons)--

Nicholas wrote in his diary the next day:

"Yesterday I started to read aloud Nilus's book on the Antichrist, to which have been added the 'protocols' of the Jews and Masons - very timely reading matter."

The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, which were published during Nicholas II's reign and have since been attributed to the Cheka, discuss a supposed Jewish plot to take over the world. The fact that they were reading these mere months before they died says enough. And Alix's reference to it as "timely reading matter" clearly suggests that she viewed the Revolution as some Jewish plot. I don't believe in degrees of anti-Semitism--one is either anti-Semitic or one is not.

If you need further proof, read about the series of pogroms that took place at the beginning of the 20th century. Nicholas would have been well aware of them and in some cases, he and his government helped incite them.

Several things: it's Nicholas, not Alix, who writes about "timely reading". Alexandra writes about "The Protocols of the Freemasons", no mention of Jews.

Was Nicholas II taken in by the Protocols of the Elders of Zion hoax? Probably.
Does it mean that he was a rabid antisemite, a Jew hater? No, it doesn't.

A long quote:

"Previously, Russians have never seen a Jew in position of authority: neither as governor, nor as policeman, nor even as postal employee. Even then, there were, of course, better times and worse times, but the Russian people had lived, worked, and disposed of the fruits of their labor, the Russian nation grew and enriched itself, the Russian name was grand and awe-inspiring. Now the Jew is on every corner and on all rungs of power. The Russian sees him as head of the ancient capital, Moscow, and in charge of the capital on the Neva, and in command of the Red Army, the most perfect mechanism of [national] self-destruction. He sees the Prospect of St Vladimir bear the glorious bane of Nakhimson, the historic Liteinyi Prospect renamed the Prospect of Volodarskii and Pavlovsk become Slutsk. The Russian now sees the Jew as judge and executioner. He meets Jews at every step - nor Communists, but people as hapless as himself, yet issuing orders, working for the Soviet regime; and this regime, after all, is everywhere, one cannot escape it. And this regime, had it emerged from the lowest depths of hell, could not be more malevolent or brazen. Is it any wonder, then, that the Russian, comparing the past with the present, concludes that the present regime is Jewish and therefore so diabolical?"

The author who wrote that was a Jewish contemporary: I. M. Bikerman, Rossiia i Evrei, Berlin, 1924. I have taken the quote from a book written by another Jewish author: Richard Pipes, Russia under the Bolshevik Regime, 1993

Regarding pogroms, the view that they were incited by the tsarist regime to use the Jews as scapegoats was spread by people who had an axe to grind against the tsarist regime and by Soviet historians and it is now as discredited as the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. Some of the historians who debunked it are Jewish.

"Who specifically incited the [Kishinev 1905] pogrom? The standard answer for this and other comparable outbreaks of anti-Jewish violence has been "the tsarist authorities." "The Kishinev pogrom happened," as Judge characterizes the traditional view, "because the Russian government wanted it to happen." Recently, scholars including I. Michael Aronson, Shlomo Lambroza and Hans Rogger, have seriously challenged this approach. Judge stand squarely within this revisionist school... The true culprits in Judge's view were local agitators."
Neil B. Weissman, Slavic Review, vol.53, Nº 1, p.250


"In the aftermath of the [1881] pogroms, the government did take steps to punish those responsible. Altogether 3,675 persons were arrested for participation in pogroms in 1881, of whom 2,359 were tried, giving the lie to the notion that the pogroms were officialy instigated."

"[Kishinev pogrom, 1905] The evidence of orchestation by the Minister of Interior himself has been exposed as bogus. Indeed, Pleve seems to have taken steps to mitigate the situation of the Jews in the Pale in the wake of the Kishinev pogrom, holding meetings with the Zionist leader Theodor Herzl as well as with Lucien Wolf, head of the Joint Foreign Commission for the Aid of the Jews in Eastern Europe."
Niall Ferguson, The War of the World, p.67, 69


The figure of those tried for taken part in pogroms can be compared to those tried for taking part in lynchings in the US (most of the victims being black Americans).

"(From 1895 to 1900) There were 632 deaths by lynching, just 35 more than by legal executions", Charles Noble Gregory, Harvard Law Review, Vol. 15, Nº 2 (February 1902), p.461

"Not in Spain, Russia, or even Turkey, are men burned at the stake by mobs, with or without charges of crime.The American states enjoy a complete monopoly of this distinction." Albert E. Pilsbury, Harvard Law Review, Vol. 15, Nº 9 (May 1902), p. 708

"Tennessee, Kentucky and Texas passed anti-lynching laws in 1897, but from 1897-1903, though 110 lynchings occured, not a single conviction for lynching is recorded." Journal of the American Institute of Criminal Law and Criminology, Vol. 4, Nº 2 (July 1913), p. 177

"When the victim is a colored man, whether black, red, or yellow, his murderer far too frequently escapes even arrest. All over the United States mob violence and lynching go unpunished, and whether in Springfield Illionois, Coatesville Pennsylvania, or in the Southern States, murders attended by atrocities which would disgrace a savage, and which in my early days were believed to be peculiar to the North American Indians, are committed with impunity, and the public opinion of the community sustains the murderers. It has been estimated that no less than 100,000 men have taken part in lynchings of whom not one has been punished." Moorfield Storey, Journal of the American Institute of Criminal Law and Criminology, Vol. 4, Nº 4 (November 1913), p.496
Title: Re: Were the Jews Responsible for the Russian Revolution/Bolsehvik Coup?
Post by: NicolasG on December 11, 2016, 11:09:48 AM

Quote
Secondly, I do not think that this has to be considered an exception. Empress Alexandra in that letter is making the case for fairer treatment for the Jews of the Russian Empire: "here it is difficult for a Jew who is always hampered by legislative restrictions", "one would like him to be justly treated and not different to the others". When she writes: "The bad ones can be severely punished", I think that she means that there are two kind of Jews: "bad Jews" - revolutionaries and "good Jews" - the rest. Whereas "bad Jews" should be punished, the good ones deserved to be treated "not different to the others."

And therein lies the anti-Semitism--there are no "good Jews" and "bad Jews." There are good people and bad people. The religion has nothing to do with it. If you cannot make out the difference, then that tells me all I need to know.


Oh, I see. Nicholas and Alexandra's views do not agree with current views of ethnic equality, so they and their children deserved to be shot and bayoneted in a cellar.

Just a question: How many Jews in 1916 shared your liberal world view, that is, were "ethnic blind" and did not divide the world in "Jews" and "non Jews"?
Title: Re: Were the Jews Responsible for the Russian Revolution/Bolsehvik Coup?
Post by: Ortino on December 11, 2016, 11:20:49 AM
Quote
Several things: it's Nicholas, not Alix, who writes about "timely reading". Alexandra writes about "The Protocols of the Freemasons", no mention of Jews.

A typo on my part then.

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"Previously, Russians have never seen a Jew in position of authority: neither as governor, nor as policeman, nor even as postal employee. Even then, there were, of course, better times and worse times, but the Russian people had lived, worked, and disposed of the fruits of their labor, the Russian people had lived, worked, and disposed of their fruits of their labor, the Russian nation grew and enriched itself, the Russian name was grand and awe-inspiring. Now the Jew is on every corner and on all rungs of power. The Russian sees him as head of the ancient capital, Moscow, and in charge of the capital on the Neva, and in command of the Red Army, the most perfect mechanism of [national] self-destruction. He sees the Prospect of St Vladimir bear the glorious bane of Nakhimson, the historic Liteinyi Prospect renamed the Prospect of Volodarskii and Pavlovsk become Slutsk. The Russian now sees the Jew as judge and executioner. He meets Jews at every step - nor Communists, but people as hapless as himself, yet issuing orders, working for the Soviet regime; and this regime, after all, is everywhere, one cannot escape it. And this regime, had it emerged from the lowest depths of hell, could not be more malevolent or brazen. Is it any wonder, then, that the Russian, comparing the past with the present, concludes that the present regime is Jewish and therefore so diabolical?"

So what exactly are you suggesting here? That the Jews somehow brought this on themselves? As for your sources, I could care less that the authors are Jewish. One source is nearly 100 years old and the other is nearly 25--new perspectives, not to mention information, have emerged since then.

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"Who specifically incited the [Kishinev 1905] pogrom? The standard answer for this and other comparable outbreaks of anti-Jewish violence has been "the tsarist authorities." "The Kishinev pogrom happened," as Judge characterizes the traditional view, "because the Russian government wanted it to happen." Recently, scholars including I. Michael Aronson, Shlomo Lambroza and Hans Rogger, have seriously challenged this approach. Judge stand squarely within this revisionist school... The true culprits in Judge's view were local agitators."
Neil B. Weissman, Slavic Review, vol.53, Nº 1, p.250

Challenging is not debunking. And again, have you nothing more recent?

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The figure of those tried for taken part in pogroms can be compared to those tried for taking part in lynchings in the US (most of the victims being black Americans).

"(From 1895 to 1900) There were 632 deaths by lynching, just 35 more than by legal executions", Charles Noble Gregory, Harvard Law Review, Vol. 15, Nº 2 (February 1902), p.461

"Not in Spain, Russia, or even Turkey, are men burned at the stake by mobs, with or without charges of crime.The American states enjoy a complete monopoly of this distinction." Albert E. Pilsbury, Harvard Law Review, Vol. 15, Nº 9 (May 1902), p. 708

"Tennessee, Kentucky and Texas passed anti-lynching laws in 1897, but from 1897-1903, though 110 lynchings occured, not a single conviction for lynching is recorded." Journal of the American Institute of Criminal Law and Criminology, Vol. 4, Nº 2 (July 1913), p. 177

"When the victim is a colored man, whether black, red, or yellow, his murderer far too frequently escapes even arrest. All over the United States mob violence and lynching go unpunished, and whether in Springfield Illionois, Coatesville Pennsylvania, or in the Southern States, murders attended by atrocities which would disgrace a savage, and which in my early days were believed to be peculiar to the North American Indians, are committed with impunity, and the public opinion of the community sustains the murderers. It has been estimated that no less than 100,000 men have taken part in lynchings of whom not one has been punished." Moorfield Storey, Journal of the American Institute of Criminal Law and Criminology, Vol. 4, Nº 4 (November 1913), p.496

What exactly are you trying to prove with this information? One has nothing to do with the other. That's like using information about the Holocaust to discuss the Rwandan genocide simply because they're both genocides.
Title: Re: Were the Jews Responsible for the Russian Revolution/Bolsehvik Coup?
Post by: Ortino on December 11, 2016, 11:25:57 AM

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Secondly, I do not think that this has to be considered an exception. Empress Alexandra in that letter is making the case for fairer treatment for the Jews of the Russian Empire: "here it is difficult for a Jew who is always hampered by legislative restrictions", "one would like him to be justly treated and not different to the others". When she writes: "The bad ones can be severely punished", I think that she means that there are two kind of Jews: "bad Jews" - revolutionaries and "good Jews" - the rest. Whereas "bad Jews" should be punished, the good ones deserved to be treated "not different to the others."

And therein lies the anti-Semitism--there are no "good Jews" and "bad Jews." There are good people and bad people. The religion has nothing to do with it. If you cannot make out the difference, then that tells me all I need to know.


Oh, I see. Nicholas and Alexandra's views do not agree with current views of ethnic equality, so they and their children deserved to be shot and bayoneted in a cellar.

Wow, you must have reading comprehension and/or interpretation problems. Identify where exactly I said they should be shot? If you actually read what I wrote, you would see that my bone to pick was with your interpretation.

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Just a question: How many Jews in 1916 shared your liberal world view, that is, were "ethnic blind" and did not divide the world in "Jews" and "non Jews"?

Relevance? These off-topic arguments are growing tiresome.

Title: Re: Were the Jews Responsible for the Russian Revolution/Bolsehvik Coup?
Post by: NicolasG on December 11, 2016, 12:21:50 PM
OK, let's try again.

The view that the tsarist regime instigated the pogroms is debunked. No current historian with a minimum of credibility will push it. It is rubbish. It has been thrown to the "dumping site for theories proven wrong" together with the geocentrism, the world Jewish conspiracy and phrenology.
That's the translation of "challenged" in a professional journal for historians. They have to use mild language, in order not to hurt the feelings of those who supported the outdated view.

With the quote from Mr. Bikerman I tried to prove that believing that the Protocols of the Elders of Zion were true before they were debunked does not make someone a rabid antisemite and that, although they were a hoax, the presence of many Jews in the Bolshevik regime lent them some verisimilitude . Mr Bikerman makes the case for that view and unless he is considered a "self-hating Jew" he cannot be dismised as a antisemite.

So, in order to put some order in this debate, let me state some facts. Then, if you want, you can challenge them.

1. Jews were overrepresented among the Bolsheviks.

2. No completely satisfactory explanation has been proposed to explain this fact.

3. One of the reasons of 1) that was mentioned is that the economic, social and legal discrimination pushed the Jews to rebellion against the Russian autocratic regime. This view may be countered by the fact that Jews were also vastly overrepresented among the members of the Communist Party of the United States of America, one of whose aims was the violent overthrow of the American democratic regime, which does not discrimate against the Jews.

4. Nicholas and Alexandra were not rabid antisemites. They may have shared some of the prejudices common in their age, reinforced by the fact that Jews were overrepresented among revolutionaries. But they would take time in the middle of a terrible war to help one Jewish man and Alexandra wished legal equality for the Jews.

5. Pogroms were not instigated by the tsarist regime.

Now, if you do not agree, please produce some reasoned argument.
Title: Re: Were the Jews Responsible for the Russian Revolution/Bolsehvik Coup?
Post by: Ortino on December 11, 2016, 02:21:29 PM
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The view that the tsarist regime instigated the pogroms is debunked. No current historian with a minimum of credibility will push it. It is rubbish. It has been thrown to the "dumping site for theories proven wrong" together with the geocentrism, the world Jewish conspiracy and phrenology.
That's the translation of "challenged" in a professional journal for historians. They have to use mild language, in order not to hurt the feelings of those who supported the outdated view.

Again, you are relying on the interpretations of one group of scholars and calling them irrefutable facts. Not to mention that the sources you are citing either predate or are just after the fall of the Soviet Union. Foreign scholars would have had limited or no access to Russian archives then. As I said, provide something more recent and I'll consider it.

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1. Jews were overrepresented among the Bolsheviks.

2. No completely satisfactory explanation has been proposed to explain this fact.

3. One of the reasons of 1) that was mentioned is that the economic, social and legal discrimination pushed the Jews to rebellion against the Russian autocratic regime. This view may be countered by the fact that Jews were also vastly overrepresented among the members of the Communist Party of the United States of America, one of whose aims was the violent overthrow of the American democratic regime, which does not discrimate against the Jews.

As Stanislaw Krajewski notes, overrepresentation of a group in a political movement does not mean that they dominate that movement or that it primarily serves the interests of that group.

http://www.covenant.idc.ac.il/en/vol1/issue3/jews-communists-and-jewish-communists.html

There were of plenty of non-Jews who subscribed to communist ideals and still do--e.g. the populations of North Korea, China, and Cuba.

I also never said that discrimination was the impetus for Jewish "rebellion" as you call it--I said that their economic, social, and political circumstances would have allowed them to form an affinity with similarly oppressed groups, such as the Russian peasantry.

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4. Nicholas and Alexandra were not rabid antisemites.

Again, this is not a fact, but your opinion. The use of the word "rabid" here only makes that more evident.

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They may have shared some of the prejudices common in their age, reinforced by the fact that Jews were overrepresented among revolutionaries. But they would take time in the middle of a terrible war to help one Jewish man and Alexandra wished legal equality for the Jews.

Ugh, please. You're just presenting the same type of irrational argument people use today: I may use slurs and make derogatory comments freely, but I couldn't possibly be racist/anti-Semitic because I have one black/Asian/Latino/Jewish friend.

Nicholas and Alexandra don't get free passes for sharing prejudices "common to the age." Or should we not identify slave-owners, for example, as racist since they were simply products of their time?
Title: Re: Were the Jews Responsible for the Russian Revolution/Bolsehvik Coup?
Post by: NicolasG on December 11, 2016, 04:46:14 PM
It's funny you are accusing me of using outdated bibliography, when you are not using any bibliography at all to back your claims. Well, you have posted a link to an article written by Mr. Krajewski, I suppose you have found it using Google, because he isn't much known as an scholar in the field of Russian history.

TSARIST (LACK OF) INVOLVEMENT IN POGROMS

1. One of the books I quoted from was first published in 2006: The War of the World, by Niall Ferguson.
"Altogether 3,675 persons were arrested for participation in pogroms in 1881, of whom 2,359 were tried, giving the lie to the notion that the pogroms were officially instigated."
"[Pogroms of 1904-05] The evidence of orchestation by the Minister for the Interior himself has been exposed as bogus. Indeed, Pleve seems to have taken steps to mitigate the situation of the Jews in the Pale in the wake of the Kishinev pogrom...."

2. The article from Slavic Review was published in 1994, that is, almost 3 years after the fall of the Soviet Union. There isn't any "smoking gun" in the Russian archives showing involvement of the tsarist authorities in the pogroms. And the reason is very simple. After the Bolshevik coup, Russia became hell on earth: Civil War, Cheka-Red Terror, famine with 7 million deaths, anti-religious campaign, concentration camps, bands of orphans roaming the country...
The Bolshevik wanted their regime to be recognized by foreign governments, specially the US. They needed positive propaganda, to overcome the repulsion that the rest of the world felt towards them. And one of their "success stories" was the "emancipation of the Jews". If there was any documental proof of tsarist authorities promoting the murder of Jews, they would have published it, translated it into all the languages of the world and spread it with the help of sympathizers in the form of articles in newspapers, books, pamphlets.... As they did, for example, with the secret negotiations between Russia and the Allies with "war aims" that included control for Russia of the Turkish Straits. If they didn't the same with the "secret tsarist plot to murder Jews" is simply because there wasn't such plot.

Title: Re: Were the Jews Responsible for the Russian Revolution/Bolsehvik Coup?
Post by: NicolasG on December 11, 2016, 04:48:27 PM
TSARIST (LACK OF) INVOLVEMENT IN POGROMS II

3. There are contemporary sources, like the Memoirs of Sergey Dmitrievich Urusov, "translated by the Russian and edited by Herman Rosenthal, New York, 1908". Urusov, a man of liberal leanings, was named governor of Bessarabia by Plehve, the Minister of Interior, after the Kishinev pogrom of Easter 1903.

The book was written when Urusov was completely hostile to the tsarist regime: he had become a member of the liberal opposition, the Constitutional Democrats (the Kadets) and was briefly jailed for calling with other Duma members for a general boycott of the government. It is presented by its editor Rosenthal as an exposé of the tsarist authorities: "[Urusov is] an administrator with the rare patriotism and courage to disclose the terrible secrets of the system of which he was part" "As Governor of Bessarabia after the terrible massacre, Prince Urusov inexorably traced the resposability for that crime to the very government he served"... That's the introduction by Mr. Rosenthal. That isn't was Urusov writes in his book.

Plehve, after dismising the previous governor, send Urusov with complete freedom to make any change to avoid a repetition of the violence and to investigate the events. Dismising the governor and replacing him with a new man with liberal views does not seem the obvious thing to do, if the authorities were trying to cover up their involvement in the pogrom.
Title: Re: Were the Jews Responsible for the Russian Revolution/Bolsehvik Coup?
Post by: NicolasG on December 11, 2016, 04:50:36 PM
TSARIST (LACK OF) INVOLVEMENT IN POGROMS III

"Apart from the facts that Plehve insisted before the Emperor on the peremptory dismissal of Raaben [the previous governor], and that the latter remained for a long time in ignorance of his ultimate fate, it seems incredible that the Minister should have recklessly intrusted himself in this matter to a man whose gentleness and uprightness would have precluded the possibility of his carrying into effect so cruel a plan. I do not mean to say by this that I regard the Minister capable of being the initiator of a pogrom. On the contrary, I think that whith all his hatred towards the Jews, Plehve was too shrewd and experienced to adopt such an expedient in his fight against them. Yet if Plehve could consider the Kishinev pogrom injurious to the government in its consequences, Raaben, because of his habits and temperament, could not have assumed the role of the executor and organizer of this slaughter. This is not merely my personal opinion. I am confirmed in my belief in the innocence of my predecessor by the opinion of all his associates and subordinates, and also the opinion of many representatives of the local Jewish community, whose views in this matter are deseving careful consideration."
Urusov, Memoirs of a Russian Governor, p.15

The style (or Mr Rosenthal's translation) is convoluted, but several ideas can be deciphered from that mess of a paragraph:

1.Urusov, a liberal, hated the man who had named him governor of Bessarabia, Plehve, who was a conservative. [Plehve had been murdered in 1904]
2. In spite of hating him, Urusov does not think that Plehve was involved in the pogrom, because in Usurov's opinion, Plehve thought that that kind of violence was against the interest of the Russian government.
3. Urusov does not think that his predecessor, the governor Raaben, was involved in any way in the pogrom.
4. The innocence of the governor is confirmed by the opinion of many representatives of the Jewish community in Kishinev.

So, in one paragraph, Urusov is acquiting both the governor of Bessarabia, where the pogrom took place, and the Minister of Interior.
Title: Re: Were the Jews Responsible for the Russian Revolution/Bolsehvik Coup?
Post by: NicolasG on December 11, 2016, 04:52:15 PM
TSARIST (LACK OF) INVOLVEMENT IN POGROMS IV

Then Urusov gets a telegram from Plehve asking him to take any measure to avoid a pogrom:

"One night I received a long cipher telegram from Plehve, who, as I recollect, for the first time determined to interfere with my activity. In the wording of the telegram his intolerable manner of demand and threats was apparent. He informed me of symptoms indicating preparation for a new pogrom (of which I knew more than he did), demanded that strict measures be taken, and warned me that the least manifestation of anti-Jewish disorders in the province would be considered a want of foresight on my part, and a proof of the unpractical nature of my arrangements." p.55

"I must, therefore, speak of the impressions made upon me by the factors antecedent to the disorders of Easter, 1903, which deprived the Kishinev Jews of forty-two lives, and inflicted on them a loss of at least a million rubles....
First, I must say that in examining, before going to Bessarabia, the secret papers of the Kishinev case in the Central Police Bureau at St Petersburg, I found not a thing to justify the assumption that the Ministry of Interior thought it expedient to permit a Jewish masacre or even an anti-Jewish demonstration in Kishinev." p.77
Title: Re: Were the Jews Responsible for the Russian Revolution/Bolsehvik Coup?
Post by: NicolasG on December 11, 2016, 04:55:03 PM
TSARIST (LACK OF) INVOLVEMENT IN POGROMS V

"Thus in my opinion the central government cannot shake off its moral responsibility for the slaughter and plunder that went on in Kishinev. I consider our government guilty of encouraging the narrow, nationalistic tendencies. It inagurated a short-sighted policy, coarse in its methods, with regard to the frontier country and the non-Slavic populations - a policy fostering distrust and hatred. Finally, the authorities connived at the militant jingoism. Thus are indirectly encouraged those barbarous instincts that vanish the moment the government openly announces that a pogrom founded on race hatred is a crime... Thus I regard the charge of connivance lodged against the government", p.81

Follows wild speculation about possible involvement by the local branch of the Secret Police, using expresions as "It is possible", "to whom rumor attributed", "might well". The idea is that the director of the Secret Police in Kishinev might have thought that, by organizing a pogrom, he was following Plehve's wishes, although he had not received such an order. As Usurov himself says: "I do not care to pass my suppositions for facts", p.82

So, what is the verdict pronunced by an observer that felt extreme hostility towards the tsarist authorities?

Not guilty of direct involvement in the pogrom in Kishinev.

The book "The Memoirs of a Russian Governor", by "Prince Serge Dmitriyevich Urussov" is available at archive.org
Title: Re: Were the Jews Responsible for the Russian Revolution/Bolsehvik Coup?
Post by: Ortino on December 12, 2016, 12:19:54 PM
5 posts, eh? Tsk tsk.

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Well, you have posted a link to an article written by Mr. Krajewski, I suppose you have found it using Google, because he isn't much known as an scholar in the field of Russian history.

Actually, all I said was that I agreed with his point on the significance--or lack thereof--of over representation. Boy, you must enjoy misinterpreting everything that I say. I wasn't aware that one had to be well-known to have an opinion--but even so, he's a Polish-Jewish professor at the University of Warsaw, so he seems legitimate enough to me.

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1. One of the books I quoted from was first published in 2006: The War of the World, by Niall Ferguson.
"Altogether 3,675 persons were arrested for participation in pogroms in 1881, of whom 2,359 were tried, giving the lie to the notion that the pogroms were officially instigated."
"[Pogroms of 1904-05] The evidence of orchestation by the Minister for the Interior himself has been exposed as bogus. Indeed, Pleve seems to have taken steps to mitigate the situation of the Jews in the Pale in the wake of the Kishinev pogrom...."

Pogroms in 1881 don't relate to what we're discussing. Different tsar, different reign. And from little of this book that I could preview on Google Books, I can see that your quote about the early-20th century pogroms actually begins with "on the other hand." Care to share the sentences before that?

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"I do not care to pass my suppositions for facts",

The fact that he says this means that you shouldn't view his suppositions as facts. Thank you for proving my point.

Here too I find it interesting what you deliberately left out in order to enhance your position:

"Thus in my opinion the central government cannot shake off its moral responsibility for the slaughter and plunder that went on in Kishinev. I consider our government guilty of encouraging the narrow, nationalistic tendencies. It inaugurated a short-sighted policy, coarse in its methods, with regard to the frontier country and the non-Slavic populations - a policy fostering distrust and hatred. Finally, the authorities connived at the militant jingoism. Thus are indirectly encouraged those barbarous instincts that vanish the moment the government openly announces that a pogrom founded on race hatred is a crime--a crime for which an administration that condones it in any way must be held responsible. Thus I regard the charge of connivance lodged against the government."

And how convenient that you left out the next 2 paragraphs:

"But can one fully exonerate the government of the suspicion that—at least through its secret agents—it did take a direct part in the massacres? And can it be maintained that the immediate cause of the massacres was of a natural, an accidental character, and not the execution of "an order"? During my service at Kishinev, and long after, I did not admit the idea that the pogrom policy had its active adherents and secret inspirers in government circles. The events of 1905-1906; the investigation made by Savich at Homel and by Senator Turau at Kiev; the activity of the " League of True Russians " and the exalted protection given that organization; the response of the Minister of the Interior to the interpellation of the Duma as to the secret printing-office; Makarov's report on the pogrom—activity of Komissarov and Budagovski, officers of the gendarmerie, etc. all these helped to change my original views. Those features of the Kishinev pogrom which, thus far incomprehensible and concealed, had puzzled me, I began to refer to wires pulled by those higher up. It is possible that Lewendal, the head of the Kishinev secret police, to whom rumor attributed the immediate engineering of the April pogrom, played a double part; that, having prepared the pogrom with one hand, with the other he wrote to the Department of State Police the report, which I saw when I looked up the case- at the department, giving warning of possible disorders.

This supposition is all the more admissible because of the fact that Lewendal, as an officer of the gendarmerie on the one hand, was under the orders of the Department of State Police, while on the other he had to report to the commander of the local gendarmerie. This post was then occupied by the well-known General Wahl, formerly Prefect of Police of St. Petersburg. He enjoyed an unenviable reputation, was capable of anything to advance himself in the service, and hated the Jews, who had made him suffer at Wilna when he was governor there."



Title: Re: Were the Jews Responsible for the Russian Revolution/Bolsehvik Coup?
Post by: NicolasG on December 12, 2016, 02:32:11 PM
I will say it again. In the Western legal system, is for the prosecution to prove that the defendant is guilty, not for the defendant to prove his innocence. You have done absolutely nothing to back your claims. The argument you use to prove that the tsarist authorities incited pogroms against the Jewish population in the Russian Empire is "I think so, so it must be true". Maybe for you that's enough, but others might have less faith in your infallibility.

I will take the effort to reply to your previous message.


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1. One of the books I quoted from was first published in 2006: The War of the World, by Niall Ferguson.
"Altogether 3,675 persons were arrested for participation in pogroms in 1881, of whom 2,359 were tried, giving the lie to the notion that the pogroms were officially instigated."
"[Pogroms of 1904-05] The evidence of orchestation by the Minister for the Interior himself has been exposed as bogus. Indeed, Pleve seems to have taken steps to mitigate the situation of the Jews in the Pale in the wake of the Kishinev pogrom...."

Pogroms in 1881 don't relate to what we're discussing. Different tsar, different reign. And from little of this book that I could preview on Google Books, I can see that your quote about the early-20th century pogroms actually begins with "on the other hand." Care to share the sentences before that?

Pogroms in 1881 relate to what we are discussing and, if you actually had read what I posted, you would have seen that the second sentence begins with "Pogroms of 1904-05" between brackets, that is, when Nicholas II was emperor.

"The authorities certainly exaggerated the role played in the Revolution by Jews, who accounted for far less than 90 per cent of Russian socialists. On the other hand, the evidence of orchestration by the Minister for the Interior himself has been exposed as bogus. Indeed, Pleve seems to have taken steps to mitigate the situation of the Jews in the Pale in the wake of Kishinev pogroms, holding meetings with the Zionist leader Theodor Herzl as well as with Lucien Wolf, head of the Joint Foreign Commision for the Aid of the Jews of Eastern Europe."

As regards the percentage of Jews among the revolutionaries, the figure provided by Anna Geifman in her monography Thou Shalt Kill: Revolutionary Terrorism in Russia, 1904-1917 is "about 50 percent" by 1903 (p. 32).
Title: Re: Were the Jews Responsible for the Russian Revolution/Bolsehvik Coup?
Post by: NicolasG on December 12, 2016, 02:35:31 PM
Quote
Here too I find it interesting what you deliberately left out in order to enhance your position:

"Thus in my opinion the central government cannot shake off its moral responsibility for the slaughter and plunder that went on in Kishinev. I consider our government guilty of encouraging the narrow, nationalistic tendencies. It inaugurated a short-sighted policy, coarse in its methods, with regard to the frontier country and the non-Slavic populations - a policy fostering distrust and hatred. Finally, the authorities connived at the militant jingoism. Thus are indirectly encouraged those barbarous instincts that vanish the moment the government openly announces that a pogrom founded on race hatred is a crime--a crime for which an administration that condones it in any way must be held responsible. Thus I regard the charge of connivance lodged against the government."


Was the tsarist administration condoning the pogroms?

From the very same book by Urusov we know that many were arrested after the pogrom in Kishinev:
"I addressed a large group of prisoners, and told them how famous they had become through their heroic deeds." (p. 44)

And half of them were sentenced
"To the best of my recollection, the number of men acquitted was aproximately equal to the number of those convicted. The penalties meted out were, with rare exceptions, very lenient." (p.82)
That means, that several of the defendants (rare exceptions means more than two) received severe penalties.

That is a much better record than the one that the democratic USA can show regarding lynchings.

From 1888 to 1913:

3,300 lynchings (estimate)
100,000 men took part in lynchings (estimate)
0 men were sentenced for taking part in lynching

That might be called "condoning a crime".
Title: Re: Were the Jews Responsible for the Russian Revolution/Bolsehvik Coup?
Post by: NicolasG on December 12, 2016, 02:40:33 PM
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And how convenient that you left out the next 2 paragraphs:

I did not "leave out" 2 paragraphs, I summarized them while providing the information about where the book I was quoting from could be read. I think that's quite fair.

Let's try to understand a little bit the context in which the book was written.

Urusov was a liberal. He was a member of the Constitutional Democrat Party (Kadets). After the first Duma was dissolved the Kadets assembled with other members of the Duma in a town north of Saint Petersburg and called for a national boycott against the government. For this behaviour he was tried, sentenced and sent to prison for several months.

I am not an expert in American law, but I suppose that if the Democrats in the Congress assembled in a blue state, established a parallel Congress and called for a national boycott of the Trump administration (stopping paying taxes and all that), there would be legal consequences.

So, Urusov was no friend of the tsarist regime. He hated it. That is what makes his testimony valuable. He is in no way an apologist. But for the same reason, his testimony has to be handled with care, to separate FACTS from OPINIONS, which will be colored by his hate towards the tsarist authorities.

FACTS:

1. After the Kishinev (Bessarabia) pogrom, the Minister of Interior Plehve fired the local governor and replaced him with a man with liberal views, Urusov.

2.Plehve gave Urusov complete freedom to examine all the information collected by the Secret Police (Okhrana) in Saint Petersburg about the pogrom as well as to speak in Kishinev with members of the Jewish community, staff in the public administration, men arrested after the pogrom... Not what someone would do if he tried to cover up his involvements in the events.

3. Plehve sent Urusov a strongly worded telegram asking him to take strict measures to avoid a new pogrom.

4. Representatives of the Jewish community in Kishinev considered that the previous governor was not involved in any way in the pogrom.

These are FACTS admitted by an enemy of the tsarist authorities.

And the rest, the accusations against the local branch of the Okhrana, is "conspiracy theory" stuff. Like the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, but with a different bias. Urusov wrote: "I do not care to pass my suppositions for facts." What he call his "suppositions" is all the stuff about the head of the Okhrana in Kishinev organizing the pogrom because he thought that it was the wish of Plehve. These are the "suppositions" of an embittered, hostile man and we cannot give them more value than the author himself did.
Title: Re: Were the Jews Responsible for the Russian Revolution/Bolsehvik Coup?
Post by: JGP on December 12, 2016, 04:08:56 PM
NicholasG and Ortino, I really enjoy reading your posts (on multiple threads) but why the animus between the two of you?  You are both knowledgeable and your posts reflect that; please just agree to disagree. 
Title: Re: Were the Jews Responsible for the Russian Revolution/Bolsehvik Coup?
Post by: NicolasG on December 13, 2016, 08:29:32 AM
NicholasG and Ortino, I really enjoy reading your posts (on multiple threads) but why the animus between the two of you?  You are both knowledgeable and your posts reflect that; please just agree to disagree.

I admit that I can be a short-tempered man. The end of the Russian Imperial Family was terrible and completely undeserved. When I come across attempts to smear them, for example making them look like pals of Hitler, I just see red.

Were Nicholas and Alexandra saints, as the Russian Orthodox Church has proclaimed? I don't know, I am not a Russian Orthodox. They were human beings, they committed mistakes, as we all do. But they certainly weren't evil. And the more I read about them, the more sympathy I feel for them, specially for Alexandra. She probably is, with Marie Antoinette, the most calumniated woman in history.

After 100 years, I feel that they deserve to be treated at least with some level of fairness.
Title: Re: Were the Jews Responsible for the Russian Revolution/Bolsehvik Coup?
Post by: edubs31 on December 14, 2016, 02:17:24 AM
Inspiring, if overly feisty, discourse here. Nice to see for a change. I'll offer my opinion on some of the broader concepts being tossed around rather than speak to specifics (such as the positions of von Plehve, or Alexandra's relationship with an ailing Jewish solider, etc.)

Ortino, thank you for corrected me on the Jewish demographics of late-Tsarist Russia. You're definitely correct about the greater concentration of Jews living in the Pale of Settlement rather the urban areas. This of course has changed over time with few Jews in westerner societies living far from the cities. In Russia a century ago their social, political and economic makeup probably wasn't that dissimilar to the country as a whole.

To underline my point, that I think we both agree on, a fringe/minority class of people who feel they are oppressed both currently and historically in a society are more likely to turn to radical solutions for greater security & justice.

In this sense I think it is fair for NicholasG to site the examples and comparisons he has between late-Tsarist Jews and other oppressed people from other societies and time periods. To dismiss with these historical parallels would be to suggest that Jews in Russia during this time period were curiously unique in their behavior, which in turn lends credence to the idea that they may have been a twisted lot of radicals who should be held responsible for the rise of Bolshevism. Something I sure you disagree with.

Otherwise I see them as any other group - past or present - who has suffered injustice. At the very least the attitudes of their oppressors is couched in the same mindset. Be it slaveholders of the American south in the 19th century, the Cavalry with their aims to eliminate Native Americans, or the Nazi death camps decades later and a world away. Xenophobia, racism, nativism, tribalism, religion, classicism, and pure economics and the wicked tools of the oppressor, and this remains unchanged.

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Jews were not politically, socially or economically opressed in the United States.

Certainly not to the extent they were in other areas of the world but I'm not entirely certain, given their small numbers, this should be taken as fact. Hostilities towards blacks in the US were naturally greater in southern states than northern and western states. Jews are prevalent in large and diverse urban areas; New York, LA, Miami, Philly, Boston, etc. - but are barely traceable in many urban areas in the south & west, or rural areas in general. It would have been interesting to see how rural & southern America would have greeted a mass influx of Jews, with their unique customs in tow, into their towns & neighborhoods. So we might not have an adequate sample size to make assumptions on the possible marginalization/oppressive Jews may have faced...I wouldn't know what would happen to me if I walked alone in a rough neighborhood at night but I'm not jumping at the chance to find out, if you catch my drift...

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And therein lies the anti-Semitism--there are no "good Jews" and "bad Jews." There are good people and bad people. The religion has nothing to do with it. If you cannot make out the difference, then that tells me all I need to know.

Ortino I feel like you might be oversimplifying things here a bit or creating a bit of a false dichotomy. Distinctions can sometimes be helpful, or at least acceptable. I agree that the religion itself is not the cause but we still classify each other. Since the population Alexandra ruled over (one she was not even native to I might add) overwhelmingly viewed Jews either with hatred or indifference it would be important to drive home the fact that while there were some bad eggs that the overwhelmingly majority was good. Using broad terms like good & bad "people" probably wouldn't resonate as much since the victims themselves (Jews in this case) are being ignored or lumped in with the masses.

If a wave of antisemitism swept through America would your protest sign read "JewishLivesMatter" or "AllLivesMatter"? Some would suggest the latter is more appropriate...and I think you know where I'm getting this from...but it doesn't really speak to the issue.

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Was Nicholas II taken in by the Protocols of the Elders of Zion hoax? Probably. Does it mean that he was a rabid antisemite, a Jew hater? No, it doesn't.

I agree, and I think we also might find a bit of compromise in this argument - as it relates to the Imperial Family - by suggesting Nicholas & Alexandra weren't the most enlightened or intellectually gifted of world leaders and required a bit of a greater learning curve.

By use the strictest of definitions it's easy to consider anyone who "looks away" an anti-semite. Yet what were their reasons for doing so in the first place? Did she simply not care about the plight of the Jews or - given her limited experience and enlightenment - was she merely ignorant? And what if she did fully understand? Would taking what many would believe to be radical measures to change the fabric of Russian society been wise?

I know you seem to bristle at historical parallels but was Lincoln as racist because he waited to emancipate the slaves or push for the 13th amendment only once it became necessary and politically expedient to do so? Is every politician who doesn't recognize the validity of same-sex marriage (which was pretty much all of them until quite recently) a homophobe?
Title: Re: Were the Jews Responsible for the Russian Revolution/Bolsehvik Coup?
Post by: edubs31 on December 14, 2016, 02:17:35 AM
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What exactly are you trying to prove with this information? One has nothing to do with the other. That's like using information about the Holocaust to discuss the Rwandan genocide simply because they're both genocides.

All depends on the point you're trying to make. If one suggests that what happened in Rwanda is anyway linked to the Holocaust in Europe 50-years earlier that would be silly.  But as a psychological study of the how & why genocides occur in the first place? Sure! People are people, some good some bad, right Ortino? Therefore the reasoning involved in a brutal extermination of a rival tribe in a virtual third-world country shouldn't be much different than the reasoning involved in a ethnic/religious cleansing by a highly sophisticated political movement.

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I also never said that discrimination was the impetus for Jewish "rebellion" as you call it--I said that their economic, social, and political circumstances would have allowed them to form an affinity with similarly oppressed groups, such as the Russian peasantry.

We definitely agree here. And to this point there were also a disproportionate number of Jews involved in the support of African-Americans during the Civil Rights struggle of the 50s and 60s (one of them even ran for President this year). The initial aims that many of these Russian Jews subscribed to were not violent in nature. There is plenty of negatives things that can be said about Kerensky's government in particular but few would have argued that Russian transitioning into a functioning representational democracy was a bad thing...either in 1917 or today. That the elimination of Tsarist rule led directly to the overthrow of the Provisional Government which led directly to the Civil War and eventual Bolshevik victory is a case of connected the dots. Easy for us to do retrospect. Harder for the casual supporter of the revolution in March of 1917.

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Nicholas and Alexandra don't get free passes for sharing prejudices "common to the age." Or should we not identify slave-owners, for example, as racist since they were simply products of their time?

Well perhaps not a free pass, but what sort of historical judgement is acceptable? The argument that they should be characterized as villains worthy of punishment is fair only if you consider Nicholas & Alexandra to be the equivalent of a slave holder. And to that end are all slave holders to be measured equally?

George Washington & Thomas Jefferson both owned slaves. Are they the same as Calvin Candy? And is the fact that a John Adams or Alexander Hamilton didn't have slaves a testament to their egalitarian principles or simply a product of their upbringing, in mostly anti-slavery northern states?

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I admit that I can be a short-tempered man. The end of the Russian Imperial Family was terrible and completely undeserved. When I come across attempts to smear them, for example making them look like pals of Hitler, I just see red.

Were Nicholas and Alexandra saints, as the Russian Orthodox Church has proclaimed? I don't know, I am not a Russian Orthodox. They were human beings, they committed mistakes, as we all do. But they certainly weren't evil. And the more I read about them, the more sympathy I feel for them, specially for Alexandra. She probably is, with Marie Antoinette, the most calumniated woman in history.

After 100 years, I feel that they deserve to be treated at least with some level of fairness.

Amen to that! I too learn heavily in this directly as I've made no secrets about in the past.

I would also say that Ortino disclosing his Judaism at the very beginning of his first post, less we discern any sort bias on his behalf, was impressive as well. Not that taking a strong position on antisemitism requires such a disclosure or requires one to be Jewish in the first place...it's just nice to hear the honesty up front.
Title: Re: Were the Jews Responsible for the Russian Revolution/Bolsehvik Coup?
Post by: NicolasG on December 14, 2016, 08:09:07 AM

To underline my point, that I think we both agree on, a fringe/minority class of people who feel they are oppressed both currently and historically in a society are more likely to turn to radical solutions for greater security & justice.


That isn't always the case. According to orthodox marxism, opressed social classes/ nations/ minorities... will realize their situation and become marxists to overcome the opression. That's, like their inevitable victory with the dawn of a new classless society, is a marxist exercise on wishful thinking.

For example, black Americans. I think that we can agree that, in general, they have had it harder in the USA than Jews from 1776 to 2016. If there were a direct correlation between social and economic discrimination and political radicalism, we should expect them to have been a substantial part of the members of the Communist Party of the USA since it was founded. They weren't. And it wasn't for lack of efforts by the Komintern, the Communist bosses in Moscow: they printed pamphlets on the "negro question", granted scholarships to black Americans to study in Moscow, told their men in USA to promote black Americans to the high ranks of the party... and still black Americans did not become interested in marxism-leninism, neither flocked to the ranks of the Communist Party of the United States. The Communists got Paul Robeson, whom they used as a posterboy, as that was it.

And Spanish gypsies, who have suffered social discrimination since the Middle Age. During the Civil War, Spain became a repository for every kind of left radicalism. And the gypsies did not feel attracted to it. They tried to stay away from the fight and the few who took side (or were forced to take side) were evenly divided between right-wing "Nationals" and left-wing "Republicans". Gypsies were (are) natural anarchists, who feel a deep dislike towards all manifestations of the State: registries, documents, compulsory schooling, taxes, conscription.... and at the same time they are social conservatives, with strong family binds and a hierarchical structure in which the elders ("patriarcas") play the main role. So neither political Anarchism nor Communism fit in their traditional culture. And therefore, they rejected them.

And I think that's the clue: culture.

Historians usually avoid explanations that include references to culture. First of all, they think that someone might think that "culture" is a euphemism or a disguise for "race" and they might be labelled racist. Secondly, culture is something elusive, not easy to define, and which cannot be subject of statistics, and they think that by talking about culture they are throwing away their "scientific", "academic" credentials.

So, let's try to define culture by saying what culture is not.

1. Culture is not race. People from different races can belong to one culture, people from one race can belong to different cultures. Culture might be inherited, like race, but it requires a conscious assent - a person can embrace or reject the culture in which they grew up.

2. Culture is not religion. When I was younger, some American missionaries I met asked me what my religion was. I told them and they concluded that I was a "cultural Catholic". Religion and culture are different things: most religions aspire to universalism, and therefore they embrace people from very different cultures. But at the same time, religion provides a common worldview, rest of which will remain even when faith grows weak in the form of shared values and cherished traditions.

3. Culture is not politics, but sometimes it is related to them. I might have an idea about how taxes should be distributed among members of society and an opinion about which candidate is more or less trustworthy. This might influence my vote, but it is not a fundamental part of my worldview. At the same time, there are other issues that touch me more deeply like what marriage is or when should human life be protected. These issues also define the culture I belong to.
Title: Re: Were the Jews Responsible for the Russian Revolution/Bolsehvik Coup?
Post by: NicolasG on December 14, 2016, 08:30:11 AM
I will quote from a book who provides a possible cultural explanation for the overrepresentation of Jews among the Bolsheviks.

Thou Shalt Kill: Revolutionary Terrorism in Russia, 1894-1917, Anna Geifman, Princeton, 1993

"In their writings on Jewish involvement in the Russian revolutionary movement, several thinkers, foremost among them Nikolai Berdiaev, noted that the Jewish radicals had emerged from an environment dominated by the profound, centuries-old pride and spiritual burden of being the chosen people. These writers sought to trace the roots of Jewish radicalism to a concept that lies at the heart of the Jewish national and religious identity - the messianic ideal. Connected with the dream of a Jewish homeland and the quest to overcome the tremendous catastrophe of the diaspora and the associated misfortunes and injustices that have befallen the Jews throughout history, the messianic tradition emcompasses the belief that salvation and glory will ultimately be attained by the entire Jewish nation on earth, rather than by selected individuals following death. That Judaic thought is consistently directed to the future realization of these goals can be seen as the key to understanding the Jewish mentality and its inner drives, even in individuals who have renounced their religious faith and turned to atheism.

Indeed, having on the surface broken all ties with religion, Jewish radicals merely reshaped and restated the traditional messianic outlook to conform to the new historical situation and intellectual concepts. The old beliefs verbalized in a new and slightly altered form are particularly notable in the teachings of Karl Marx, whom Berdaiev called "a very typical Jew". A materialist who denied any higher principles, Marx transformed the idea of a messiah leading the Israeli people to ultimate paradise on earth into a theory envisioning the eventual redemption of the world from oppresion and injustice by the new chosen people - the proletariat. This adaption of familiar assumptions to the atheist perception of reality (which included Marx's emphasis on class, rather than individuals, as the only active agent in the historical process) proved extremely attractive to many Russian Jews, who began to participate in radical politics in large numbers directly proportionate with the degree of dissemination of Marxism in the empire late in the nineteenth century." pp. 32-33


Title: Re: Were the Jews Responsible for the Russian Revolution/Bolsehvik Coup?
Post by: edubs31 on December 15, 2016, 01:16:51 AM
NicholasG I can get behind a good deal of what you present here. "Culture" is certainly a important distinction that often gets overlooked or intentionally ignored for some of the reasons you've stated.

Culture also likely explains why black Americans weren't, by-and-large, coerced into aligning with communist movements in the 20th century. But of course why would they? History shows us that while Jews have often chosen the path of assimilation into the majority gentile society they live, blacks have usually opted to form their own cultural niche and aggressively reject assimilation (Of course skin color makes it easier for Jews to assimilate in the first place).

But that doesn't mean African-Americans have taken oppression sitting down...just the opposite. The Civil Rights movement certainly hasn't been quiet or devoid of energy and, at times, violence.

I think a lot of blacks make a conscious effort to distance themselves from mainstream white dominated society. At the risk of getting off track here I think of the music example. African Americans have made incredible contributions to nearky all genres of music...finding a huge amount of artistic and commercial success through the decades. Hip-Hop and its explosion in the early-80s, as many will tell you, is the direct result of music they once called their own - soul, blues, rock & roll, funk, disco, etc. - getting compromised by the predominantly white masses. In search of something different. Something unique, liberating and quintessentially "black" they created Rap. The perfect (for the time) anti-establishment outlet for self/cultural expression.

You mention the Communists, despite their efforts, failing to draw large numbers of blacks into their inner-circle. True, but again the anti-assimilation stance of many in the black community would seem to make a political movement born in Europe and led by white intellectuals a difficult sell, yes? And speaking of the proletariat socialists who many working-class blacks could probably find common ground with under ideal circumstances, I think the problem you have there is racism and nativism. How many factory workers in the US during the roughly 75-years post-Civil War and pre-WW2 were excited over the prospects of a mass influx of blacks into their urban neighborhoods and a threat to their jobs and livelihood?

Communism failed but certainly Islam didn't. The Black Muslims were powerful cultural and political movements in the 60s and they still have many adherents today. About as noisy and anti-establishment as it gets.
Title: Re: Were the Jews Responsible for the Russian Revolution/Bolsehvik Coup?
Post by: Превед on December 16, 2016, 09:56:57 PM
Interesting exposé from both sides, and especially from NicolasG, of an old question.

My two cents: Wasn't the Pale of Settlement a very strange environment? I'm thinking especially of the parallell paths of the Yiddish-speaking, discriminated Jews in their shtetls with their higher than Russian-average literacy rate (?) and their Messianic beliefs in salvation and a new homeland - and the old, native, Catholic, Polish-speaking gentry in the same area, who seem to have resented, resisted and outright rebelled against their Russian oppressors (Piłsudski and Dzerzhinsky), mixing anarchist and Socialist ideas with Messianic nationalism in an even stranger mix than many Jews. While the Lithuanian (and especially) Belarusian and Ukrainian peasants just went about their daily business, it seems, their Jewish neighbours and Polish landlords were very busy planning to topple the existing world order and creating a new one.

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"...It is possible that Lewendal, the head of the Kishinev secret police, to whom rumor attributed the immediate engineering of the April pogrom, played a double part; that, having prepared the pogrom with one hand, with the other he wrote to the Department of State Police the report, which I saw when I looked up the case- at the department, giving warning of possible disorders...."
Thank you, for enlightening me about the continued existence of the once royal Danish morganauts Danneskiold-Løvendahl in the Russian Empire! And what a fascinatingly sinister role that last Løvendahl in Tsarist service played!

Speaking of which: In all my readings about Tsarist officials and especially foreigners like Germans, Baltic Germans, Finlanders etc. it has struck me that in contrast to the overwhelming amount of Tsarist chinovniks with German backgrounds, there is rather far between the Poles. Unlike the Jews, they could become state officials, but it does seem like they actively resisted, despite making up one of the largest populations and elites of the empire besides the Russians. At least they resisted doing much in Russian service outside their old Polish-Lithuanian comfort zone. Which begets the question: Why did the Jews become focused on Russia as a whole (and changing the regime in Russia) instead of dreaming of seceding from the Empire, like the Poles? It was obvious that the Russians did not like Jews, so Poland was historically the more tolerant alternative. A more westward-oriented reunited Poland with large German minorities would also linguistically harmonize better with the Yiddish-speaking Jews.

Not stepping down from my Danish hobby horse quite yet!
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And is the fact that a John Adams or Alexander Hamilton didn't have slaves a testament to their egalitarian principles or simply a product of their upbringing, in mostly anti-slavery northern states?
Alexander Hamilton's childhood was spent in the Carribean: On the British island Nevis and in the Danish West Indies (today: US Virgin Islands), where slavery wasn't abolished untill 1834 and 1848. Perhaps a certain knowledge of negerhollandsk (= Negro Dutch, the slave creole in the Danish West Indies) endeared him to his Knickerbocker-Dutch Schuyler bride? :-)
Title: Re: Were the Jews Responsible for the Russian Revolution/Bolsehvik Coup?
Post by: JamesAPrattIII on December 19, 2016, 05:49:31 PM
I have some comments and errata on this subject;

The Kishinev Pogrom of 1903 the governor Von Raben who was either friendly to Jews as in the book "Easter in Kishinev" or anti-Semitic as in "Pogrom" . "Easter in Kishinev" has him not realizing a pogrom was going on and not doing anything about it until it was too late. Von Raben was fired and was not given a pension.

After this Pleve sent out a "Nastygram" to all govenors to prevent such out breaks. Later on in this year there was a Pogrom in Gomel where fewer people died. This is because the police chief realized that a Pogrom was going to happen and a regiment of Infantry arrived quickly and put a stop to it. Also the local jews had armed themselves and were able to hold the Pogromists off until help arrived.

Aunt Olga is Olga K Queen of Greece not Olga A the Tsar's sister.

Other things you have to look at when looking at Pogroms are the social, economic, political ect problems that were effecting the Russian Empire during this period. They were huge and no one in the Russian government could really understand them.
Title: Re: Were the Jews Responsible for the Russian Revolution/Bolsehvik Coup?
Post by: JamesAPrattIII on December 19, 2016, 06:18:45 PM
Nicholas II and anti-Semitism is a complicated subject. He was somewhat anti-sematic but most all Russian men of his era were. I would say he was less of a Anti-Semite than your average Russian. After he read the books by Ivan Bliokh, A Jew on what a blood bath a major European war would be and he predicted it accurately. Nicholas called the Hague peace conference and was in the running for the Nobel peace prize. Nicholas hired Moisei Ginsberg, A Jew to supply the Russian Baltic Fleet on its epic and nightmarish voyage to the Far east where it was destroyed by the Japanese. Then there is Dmitri Rubinstein. He was Alexandra's fiscal advisor. managed Grand duke Kiril Vs esate and gave a number of other Grand Dukes fiscal advise. Nicholas made this man a "Actual State Councilor" equal to the army rank of Major General. He and his fellow Jewish banker I Manus were good friends with Rasputin who spoke out in the defense of jews and other minorities.
 As for Protecols when it came out Nicholas had the Gendarmes check it out and they reported it was a forgery. Nicholas wrote "Drop Protocols
one cannot defend a pure cause by dirty methods" The copy he was reading in 1918 was sent to Alexandra by a friend. Why he was reading it when he knew it was a forgery I don't know. It could be he just could not understand how Russia fell apart like it did and how a group of people like Lenin and the Bolsheviks got into power. Note : Nicholas reguarded them, as a group of German agents. May be he thought he could get some insites from reading this book. Or it could be he was bored and read this book because he needed something to read.
 I should also point out that most/all the major Russian newspapers of the period if they printed anything about Jews it was usually bad.
Title: Re: Were the Jews Responsible for the Russian Revolution/Bolsehvik Coup?
Post by: JamesAPrattIII on December 20, 2016, 06:35:50 PM
Soon after he became Minister of the Interior Protopopov and was given the power to run the goverment by Nicholas and Alexandra one of the first things he did was call for the abolishment of the Pale settlement and the anti-Semtic laws in Russia. It should be pointed out that the Russian army rounded up and deported millions of people including many Jews into the Russian interior. If these people hated the Russian goverment before they sure despised it after this. It also left the Russian goverment with over 6 million refugees to care for which greatly contributed to the breakdown of the goverment during the winter of 1916/1917. So you can say the Russian generals played a major role in destroying their own goverment  and country and we should not keep  blaming Alexandra and Rasputin for this. It should be pointed out that many Russians were in favor of the Anti-Semtic laws on the books and some thought them to weak. I should also point out that doing away with these laws was part of the Progressive block of the Duma's agenda. In reading what Sandro wrote on this Nicholas seemed confused about what was going on. granted Nicholas was one very tired man at this point and may not have realized what was going on. Or it could be a case of Protopopov thought he had the approval to do this. We may never know the full story because all three who knew this Nicholas, Alexandra and Protopopov ended up geting murdered.
Title: Re: Were the Jews Responsible for the Russian Revolution/Bolsehvik Coup?
Post by: NicolasG on December 21, 2016, 01:17:29 PM
As for Protecols when it came out Nicholas had the Gendarmes check it out and they reported it was a forgery. Nicholas wrote "Drop Protocols
one cannot defend a pure cause by dirty methods" The copy he was reading in 1918 was sent to Alexandra by a friend.

Could you please cite the source for this and for Protopopov's intention of granting legal equality to Russian Jews? I would like to find some books which focused on the final years before the revolution without extreme anti-tsarist bias.
Title: Re: Were the Jews Responsible for the Russian Revolution/Bolsehvik Coup?
Post by: JamesAPrattIII on December 21, 2016, 04:07:13 PM
Nicholas on Protocols being a forgery is from Ron Moe's book on Rasputin.

Protopopov's intentions of doing away with the anti-semtic laws is from the book "The Russian Revolution" R Pipes. There is another book I believe mentions this but I can't remember the title.
Title: Re: Were the Jews Responsible for the Russian Revolution/Bolsehvik Coup?
Post by: Ellie on December 22, 2016, 12:15:58 AM
I really wish the Jews hadn't been mixed up with the Bolsheviks at all. I'm now in the middle of Princess Paley's Memories of Russia where she never failed to point out the Semitic types amongst the Bolsheviks.
Upon describing how the brutes opened up her bank vault with her jewelry, her description is as follows:

He [Colonel Petrokow] saw the eyes of the covetous Israelites sparkle at the sight of these splendours which shone forth in all their splendour from out of their ancient caskets.

And then continued the imagery:

Nevertheless, on this occasion they were all put away properly, Colonel Petrokow was given the keys of the two safes, but the Commissaries with the long, black, curly locks did not forget where the treasure was kept! . . .


Title: Re: Were the Jews Responsible for the Russian Revolution/Bolsehvik Coup?
Post by: Ellie on December 22, 2016, 01:10:20 AM
Upon being called to appear before Petrograd Extraordinary Commission, it was decided that Vladimir, not baring the name of Romanov, should remain at home. Princess Paley thus stated:

But we counted without the hateful cleverness of the Jews and their extraordinary methods of getting together information.
Title: Re: Were the Jews Responsible for the Russian Revolution/Bolsehvik Coup?
Post by: Ellie on December 22, 2016, 01:30:36 AM
I would just like to add that however understandable the antipathy of the Jews towards the Tsarist regime, their participation in the Bolshevik movement is, I feel, a stain on the Jewish heritage. Moreover, their behavior therein is out of keeping with all Jewish morals foremost of which is "Thou shalt not kill".
Title: Re: Were the Jews Responsible for the Russian Revolution/Bolsehvik Coup?
Post by: NicolasG on December 22, 2016, 08:30:52 AM
Nicholas on Protocols being a forgery is from Ron Moe's book on Rasputin.

Protopopov's intentions of doing away with the anti-semtic laws is from the book "The Russian Revolution" R Pipes. There is another book I believe mentions this but I can't remember the title.

"On assuming office, Protopopov drew up a liberal reform program, centered on the abolition of the Pale of Settlement and the other Jewish disabilities - a long overdue move, but hardly at the heart of Russia's converns, the more so that the mass expulsions of Jews from the front zone had the effect of lifting the Pale. The proposal, meant to meet one of the demands of the Progressive Bloc, was inspired by Rasputin, who favored equality for Jews... He neither thought out nor pursued any of these plans. A few weeks after taking over the ministry, he met with the opposition in the hope of agreeing on a joint course of actions, but this endeavor, too, had no result."
Richard Pipes, The Russian Revolution, p.249

The problem is that Pipes is relying here in Soviet secundary sources: Chermenskii's IV Duma (Moscow, 1976) and Diakin's Russkaia burzhuaziia (Leningrad, 1967). Soviet historians had to follow the Party line (the Communist Party, no adjective needed, it was the only one). Without access to the books, I do not know what the spin is, but certainly there is spin.

On the other hand, Pipes seems to be admitting that by that time (late 1916) the liberal opposition (the main heroes in Pipes' book) had chosen a path of direct confrontation with the tsarist government, instead of cooperation to solve the problems created by the war. So they were  unwilling to discuss with the tsarist authorities even how to implement points of their own program. The aptitude and the ability of those Russian liberals to control forces they have helped unleash became clear after the February revolution. 
Title: Re: Were the Jews Responsible for the Russian Revolution/Bolsehvik Coup?
Post by: NicolasG on December 22, 2016, 08:50:36 AM
I would just like to add that however understandable the antipathy of the Jews towards the Tsarist regime, their participation in the Bolshevik movement is, I feel, a stain on the Jewish heritage. Moreover, their behavior therein is out of keeping with all Jewish morals foremost of which is "Thou shalt not kill".

Many Jews took part in the bolshevist crimes. That is a fact. But that does not mean that THE Jews who lived in Russia or anywhere else in the world around 1917 were responsible for those crimes or that the Jews who live today in Russia or anywhere in the world are responsible for those crimes. We are talking about thousands of Jews among a population of several millions.

In the same way, we cannot accuse THE Germans of being responsible for the Holocaust, the current Germans or those who lived in Gemany from 1933-1945. Even the millions who voted for Hitler in 1932 did not want a world war and death camps. Thousands of Germans took part in the exterminations of Jews, gypsies and people the Nazis decided that did not deserve to live, others knew about it and approved it; others knew about it, did not approve it but did nothing to stop it out of fear about what might happen to them or their families; other Germans risked their lifes to oppose the Nazi atrocities: Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Sophie Scholl and many others.

So we cannot speak about German collective guilt and it is wrong to use the Holocaust as a stick to beat the Germans every time we disagree with them about something, be it the Euro or the refugee crisis. In the same way, we cannot speak of "Jewish bolshevism".
Title: Re: Were the Jews Responsible for the Russian Revolution/Bolsehvik Coup?
Post by: NicolasG on December 22, 2016, 10:17:02 AM
I am going to translate a fragment from a book written by a Austrian Jewish writer, Joseph Roth, Tarabas. Ein Gast auf dieser Erde. It is much better in the original: neither German nor English are my mother tongues.

"Among those pitiful Jews was the caretaker of the synagogue Schemarjah, who was the unluckiest of all of them. Everyboy knew his woe. He had become a widower many years ago and he had only one son. Yes, he had! He could no longer call his child his son , since he - still during the war - had spat on his father and had announced the intention of becoming a revolutionist. Certainly it was Schermarjah's, the father's, fault: he had saved some two hundred rubles, so his son could study. The foolish caretaker of the synagogue of Koropta had wished once to see his son a cultured man, a doctor in Medicine or Law. What had the result of this vain venture been? A rebellious schoolchild, who slapped a teacher and was expelled from school, became an apprentice with a watchmaker, established a revolutionary "circle" in Koropta, rejected God, read books and proclaimed the dominance of the proletariat. Although he was feeble, like his father, and the soldiers did not want him, he enlisted himself as a volunteer during the war, not in order to defend the tsar, but, as he proclaimed, to "get rid of the powerful". In addition he claimed that he did not believe in God, that God was only an invention of the Tsar and the rabbis. "But you are a Jew?", asked the old Schermarjah, "No, father", replied the terrible son, "I am not a Jew!".
He left the house, went to the army and wrote, after the first revolution had broken out, a last letter to his old father. He let his father know that he would never come back. He could consider him as dead and buried.
Schemarjah considered him as dead, kept mourning seven days, as it is written, and was no longer a father."

I have translated this fragment from a German edition, but the book is available in English with the title Tarabas: A Guest on Earth.
Title: Re: Were the Jews Responsible for the Russian Revolution/Bolsehvik Coup?
Post by: Ellie on December 22, 2016, 03:43:08 PM

Why did the Jews become focused on Russia as a whole (and changing the regime in Russia) instead of dreaming of seceding from the Empire, like the Poles? It was obvious that the Russians did not like Jews, so Poland was historically the more tolerant alternative. A more westward-oriented reunited Poland with large German minorities would also linguistically harmonize better with the Yiddish-speaking Jews.

This has also been puzzling me. Why were the Jews so focused on redeeming Russia where they didn't seem to be very welcome? In Witte's memoirs, he mentions a Polish gentleman complaining about the Jews coming to Poland after the Kishenev programs claiming that the Russian Jews were corrupting the well behaved Polish Jews with revolutionary ideas.
For my 2 cents, why didn't they just pack up and leave and go to America where they could live a freer life; or, for the more idealistically passionate contingent, the Palestine option was there by the end of the 19th Century. 
Title: Re: Were the Jews Responsible for the Russian Revolution/Bolsehvik Coup?
Post by: NicolasG on December 22, 2016, 05:40:55 PM

Why did the Jews become focused on Russia as a whole (and changing the regime in Russia) instead of dreaming of seceding from the Empire, like the Poles? It was obvious that the Russians did not like Jews, so Poland was historically the more tolerant alternative. A more westward-oriented reunited Poland with large German minorities would also linguistically harmonize better with the Yiddish-speaking Jews.

This has also been puzzling me. Why were the Jews so focused on redeeming Russia where they didn't seem to be very welcome? In Witte's memoirs, he mentions a Polish gentleman complaining about the Jews coming to Poland after the Kishenev programs claiming that the Russian Jews were corrupting the well behaved Polish Jews with revolutionary ideas.
For my 2 cents, why didn't they just pack up and leave and go to America where they could live a freer life; or, for the more idealistically passionate contingent, the Palestine option was there by the end of the 19th Century.

First, many Russian Jews did go to America, that is the origin of the Jewish community in New York, for example.

Palestine was not much of an option, it was part of the Turkish Empire and the Turkish authorities would not be too willing to allow the arrival of millions of Jews, which might clash with the local arab population and try to create an state of their own (as they did afterwards, under the British administration).

One of the alternatives was emigration to Argentina, a sparsely populated country that received many European inmigrants before WWI. Theodor Herzl, the founder of Zionism, considered this option for a Jewish homeland but only a small minority of the Russian Jews were farmers and the idea of living like pioneers in a wild frontier did not attract many of them.
Title: Re: Were the Jews Responsible for the Russian Revolution/Bolsehvik Coup?
Post by: edubs31 on December 23, 2016, 09:16:36 PM
Why didn't all black Americans flee the south after the Civil War (or at least after Reconstruction ended)? Why don't all homeless people in the US live in Miami or San Diego?

Familiar surroundings - even when relatively undesirable - are a powerful cultural factor. And migrating elsewhere is particularly difficult when you're aware that your new destination isn't exactly welcoming you with open arms.

As the saying goes...The devil you know...
Title: Re: Were the Jews Responsible for the Russian Revolution/Bolsehvik Coup?
Post by: JamesAPrattIII on January 03, 2017, 09:49:13 PM
In reply 7 has Alexandra not protesting about the Jews and land. While she earlier on defended the autocracy according to Sandro. It could because Alexandra felt Nicholas knew more on this subject then she did. One must point out Alexandra did not show much interest in politics pre WWI except when it involved Rasputin. Also Alexandra had little or nothing to do with the day to day running of the Russian Empire. Nicholas was the one who had to do a small mountain of paperwork every day. Alexandra as far as I can tell did not handle any of this.
Title: Re: Were the Jews Responsible for the Russian Revolution/Bolsehvik Coup?
Post by: JamesAPrattIII on January 05, 2017, 05:10:52 PM
A lso I to reply 7 A major complaint the rest of the Romanovs had towards Nicholas in the years leading up to WW I was him selling crown lands to the peasants. Even his mother the DE Maria Fed was upset to put it mildly over this. The Minister of Agriculture Krivoshein who did most of the work carrying out the Stolypin  land reforms was one of the better Russian ministers of the late Tsarist period and did much good work. he even I believe spent time explaining the land reforms to Alexandra who liked him. I think one bio of Nicholas calls Nicholas and Alexandra "Imperial populists"
Title: Re: Were the Jews Responsible for the Russian Revolution/Bolsehvik Coup?
Post by: NicolasG on January 05, 2017, 05:27:55 PM
A lso I to reply 7 A major complaint the rest of the Romanovs had towards Nicholas in the years leading up to WW I was him selling crown lands to the peasants. Even his mother the DE Maria Fed was upset to put it mildly over this. The Minister of Agriculture Krivoshein who did most of the work carrying out the Stolypin  land reforms was one of the better Russian ministers of the late Tsarist period and did much good work. he even I believe spent time explaining the land reforms to Alexandra who liked him. I think one bio of Nicholas calls Nicholas and Alexandra "Imperial populists"

Krivoshein was one of the hawks that pushed Russia towards war with Germany. Sean McMeekin calls him "a temperamental Germanophobe", "France's favourite Russian" and "the leader of the war party" in his book "July 1914". Cristopher Clark in "The Sleepwalkers" agrees in a more restrained way:
"Belligerent views gained ground, not just because the Tsar (intermittently) and senior military and naval commanders supported them, but also because they were also espoused by an influential coterie of civilian ministers, of whom the most important was the minister of agriculture, Alexander Krivoshein".
Title: Re: Were the Jews Responsible for the Russian Revolution/Bolsehvik Coup?
Post by: JamesAPrattIII on January 12, 2017, 04:38:49 PM
I have read that Krivoshein was a major player in the 1914-15 Russian Government right behind the Prime Minister. Note the rest of the cabinet supported going to war in 1914.

The book "Fall of the Romanovs" has parts of an article by Vasily Yakovlev the man who transported Nicholas, Alexandra and Maria on their last trip from Tobolsk to Ekaterinburg  After he made a comment on religion he has Nicholas saying " I hold the same point of view! I also recognize complete freedom of conscience!"
Title: Re: Were the Jews Responsible for the Russian Revolution/Bolsehvik Coup?
Post by: JamesAPrattIII on January 12, 2017, 08:59:14 PM
Two men who were born Jewish who with out them the Bolshevik seizure of power and winning the Russian Civil war would not have been possible.

Alexander Helphand Parvus without him Lenin would probably not been able to get back to Russia.

Leon Trotsky he was the Red Commissar for war. The man who created the Red army. He did so by recruiting former Tsarist army officers who provided the leadership ect for the Red army to win the Russian Civil War. Just about all other members of the Bolshevik government were opposed to this. Sadly for Russia and the world Trotsky prevailed.

If anyone wonders why didn't the French jail Trotsky while he was in France in WW I? Answer the French Minister of the Interior Louis Malvy was a Radical and from his point of view there  were " no enemies on the left" malvy let other left wingers publish and distribute anti-war propaganda to the army and country which helped cause the 1917 mutinies in the French army. Note some of these people were being paid by the Germans to do so!?
Title: Re: Were the Jews Responsible for the Russian Revolution/Bolsehvik Coup?
Post by: JamesAPrattIII on January 30, 2017, 06:23:10 PM
I believe Jews made up have the senior leader in the Soviet Secret police in 1938 when Stalin purged a lot of them.
Title: Re: Were the Jews Responsible for the Russian Revolution/Bolsehvik Coup?
Post by: Ellie on January 30, 2017, 10:52:58 PM
Who is "them" you are referring to? The senior Jewish police? Were they the ones you believe Stalin purged? So, if so, was this a turning point in the Soviet pro Jewish attitude?
Title: Re: Were the Jews Responsible for the Russian Revolution/Bolsehvik Coup?
Post by: NicolasG on January 31, 2017, 03:28:11 PM
Paul R. Gregory gives these figures in his book Terror by Quota. The source is the book Kto rukovodil NKVD (Who headed the NKVD), by Petrov and Skorkin (1999)

Nationality of Top NKVD Leaders, 1934-1940

In 1934 the head of the NKVD was Yagoda (Jewish). Stalin had him shot, after replacing him with Yezhov (Russian). Then Stalin had Yezhov shot, after replacing him with Beria (Georgian), who was shot after Stalin's death. 

According to the 1937 census, Russians made up 58,1% of the population of the Soviet Union, Ukrainians 16.3 %, Germans 7,1%, Jews 1.7 % and Georgian 1.2 %.

With Yagoda in 1934, 38.5% of top NKVD leaders were Jewish, 31.3% Russian, 5.2% Ukrainian, 3.1% Georgian and 2.1% German.
With Yezhov in 1937, 31.9% of top NKVD leaders were Jewish, 33.6% Russian, 4.4% Ukrainain, 3.5% Georgian and 1.7% German.
Then Stalin carried out the Great Purge.
With Beria in 1940, 3.5% of top NKVD leaders were Jewish, 64.5% Russian, 16.9% Ukrainian, 6.6% Georgian. None were German.

So, there was a replacement of Jews, but also of other nationalities (Poles, Germans, Latvians) with Russians, Ukrainians and Georgians. By 1940, Russians and Georgians were overrepresented, Ukrainians were represented in their proportion of the population of the USSR (16.9% of NKVD leaders, 16.3% of the population). Jews were still overrepresented, but only by a factor of 2, not by a factor of 22, as they were in 1934.

Stalin wanted to get rid of "old bolshevists" (many of whom were Jewish) and anyone who might be tainted by association with them and replace them with new men, who owed loyalty only to Stalin. The final national structure of the top NKVD leaders was closer to the national structure of the Soviet Union, with the exclusion of nationalities which Stalin considered "suspicious": Germans, Poles, Latvians (Total of 13.6 top NKVD leaders in 1934, 0.0% in 1940).
Title: Re: Were the Jews Responsible for the Russian Revolution/Bolsehvik Coup?
Post by: Ellie on January 31, 2017, 09:28:40 PM
Thanks Nicholas. That confirmed what I have thought - namely, gradually, Jewish Soviet representation in power declined. I just didn't have the sources. I don't think Stalin was an anti Semite in the traditional sense. He was probably equal opportunity regarding getting rid of undesirables and it was just a matter of time before the Jews, their Bolshevik activism notwithstanding, were disposed due to their association with the Old Bolsheviks. So much for the Jewish zealous belief that the Soviet Union was the new hope for the Jews.
Title: Re: Were the Jews Responsible for the Russian Revolution/Bolsehvik Coup?
Post by: NicolasG on February 01, 2017, 03:10:00 PM
TSARIST (LACK OF) INVOLVEMENT IN POGROMS -II

"Both the causes and the effects of the 1881-4 pogroms have been the subject of considerable controversy. Contemporary conspiracy theories, according to which tsarist officials instigated the violence to deflect popular discontent from an incompetent regime, or revolutionaries organised the riots as a prelude to a broader uprising, have now been laid to rest. Even the most common contemporary explanation - that the pogroms were the bitter harvest of Jewish exploitation of the peasantry- has failed to withstand scrutiny, given that little seems to have changed in relations between Jews and peasants that could account for the sudden outbursts of violence, and in any event the pogroms were almost exclusively urban. In fact, historians have yet to provide a satisfaying explanation of the events beyond the undeniable but vague fact of widespread social and economic dislocation in the wake of the emancipation of the serfs and other Great Reforms".

Benjamin Nathans, The Jews in The Cambridge History of Russia. Volume II: Imperial Russia 1689-1917, Cambridge, 2006.
Title: Re: Were the Jews Responsible for the Russian Revolution/Bolsehvik Coup?
Post by: Ellie on February 01, 2017, 09:45:54 PM
Thanks Nicholas for the sources of reference. I still fail to understand the often expressed fear of the Old Regime to give equal rights to the Jews. Even Witte expressed this fear - namely, that granting equal rights to the Jews would disturb the delicate social equilibrium.

I've just order Benjamin Nathan's book "Beyond the Pale: The Jewish Encounter with Late Imperial Russia". Based on the Amazon reviews I think it might offer me the explanation I've been seeking regarding the Jewish role in the Russian Revolution. Thanks for the pointer.
Title: Re: Were the Jews Responsible for the Russian Revolution/Bolsehvik Coup?
Post by: Forum Admin on February 02, 2017, 01:13:28 PM
I have posted this before, but it seems to be on point to quote this again. From  Spiridovitch  "Last Days of the Court at Tsarskoe Selo" Payot Paris, 1927. Vol 2 Ch. 19 (my personal translation from the original French)

That time the Prince had prepared for the audience with a great unease.  He noted down on a small piece of paper all of the points he wanted to mention to the Emperor. As number 8 on the list was the question of the Jews and number 9 was external politics, Bourdukov asked him:
   "Why are you going to ask these questions as the last ones?"
   "It is because they are the most serious ones" the Prince replied, "I am going to everything possible to tell the Emperor my thoughts, and my opinions. But at the same time I am afraid that the Emperor will be displeased that I have ventured into the forbidden circle.  You know well that every time I have tried to touch on the question of the Jews, the Emperor has become angry and for some time afterward would change the tone of his letters written to me. But, I have very little time left to live, and I must tell my beloved Tsar the truth one last time.  I greatly love our Minster of the Interior, Maklakov, but he is quite wrong on that matter.  He is very young and quite presumptuous, and I will speak out this time against him.  I will warn him.  His obstinance is harmful to the Emperor.  Many measures against the Jews must be eliminated as useless, fictitious, unreasonable and quite harmful to the Supreme Power."
   At six o'clock, the Prince, in a Chamberlain's uniform with the cross of St. Vladimir around his throat, took his place in his friend's automobile.  The Prince had been given the rank of Chamberlain when he was only 26 years old, and the cross of St. Vladimir was the only order he ever got, 3 years earlier, for his birthday.
   The automobile broke down twice on the way, which the Prince took to be the most evil omen, and said that he would never succeed before the Emperor.  At 7 o'clock he arrived at Peterhof at the home of their friend Admiral Nilov.  The handsome Court carriage already waited for the Prince and several minutes later, he left for the Alexander Palace.
   It was 8:30 when the Prince returned to Admiral Nilov's home.  He was emotional, excited and nervous as he had never been.  His face was red, his eyes feverish, his front covered in sweat.  Breathing heavily, the Prince abandoned his cloak to the lackey and fell heavily into an armchair.
   "You are tired Vladimir Petrovitch" Nilov said.
   "Not tired, but I do not feel well. I seem to have a fever…and I was quite agitated during my meeting with the Emperor…" the Prince responded.
   "It is time to die" he then said, after a small pause, "I am tired of living…Do you understand what I wish to say? Life itself weighs heavy on me.  It is time for me to go…for me to rest…."
   The dinner was gloomy.  Conversation languished.  After dinner, the Prince embraced the Admiral, kissed the hand of the Admiral's wife and invited Nilov to his home in Tsarskoie Selo, and then left with Bourdukov.
   In the car, alone with just his friend, the Prince sighed profoundly.
   "You don't know, my friend, how difficult it was to speak to the Emperor…Even thinking about that reception is painful for me...I spoke about the Jewish question. The Emperor listened to me without interrupting me and with great attention.  From time to time, in his kind face, I saw the shadow of displeasure.  I did everything I could to force him to respond to me.  But he kept silent.  Knowing well his intelligence, the fineness of his spirit, I was wounded that he did not want to face the evidence.  When I had finished with the Jewish question, the Emperor thought for several minutes, looked me fixed in the eyes and slowly smiled as if he wanted to soften his response, said to me: 'Excuse me, my old friend, but I am not in agreement with you.  I thank you very much for the advice which you have given me and which has been dictated by your devotion to me, by the love for our Mother Russia, but…you know that it is often that I do not wish to follow your advice.  I must take into consideration many other circumstances which you do not know about, which escape your attention…My responsibility towards Russia is so great that I do not have the right to consider a question of such great importance to the State on just one side alone, although I should find it personally desireable. You do not know all of these circumstances which I do, which I do not have the right to ignore, and which, quite to the contrary, I must take into consideration…"
   And the prince continued to convey to his friend his opinions on this question which was so serious and so complicated.
   On the subject of external politics, the Prince recounted:
"I had told the Emperor the idea that Russia must take its proper and definitive position in Europe, and in the Balkans without becoming enmeshed in the conflicts in Europe, although this must be dictated by humanitarian interests.  The external politics of Russia must be less sentimental, more independent and more self centered in the point of view of Russia itself and of personal interests.  I told the Emperor that Europe desires only the blood of Russia, that Europe wants only to weaken Russia, and I begged the Emperor to not become involved in the Balkan matters.  The Russian-Turkish war had cost a million Russian lives and all we had received in compensation was the ingratitude of one, the treason of others, and ill will.  I recalled the attitude of Europe at San Stefano, and in Berlin, and I begged the Emperor to put a good end to this lesson of history.
   "The Emperor listened to me as he always listened to everyone he received.  At moments, it seemed to me that he was ready to speak his agreement…But in vain…When I had finished, he have me his hand, embraced me as always, and said to me:
   'And all the same, I must think about all of this.  It is too serious, that I should give you a response immediately, I hope that we are going to meet again soon and as soon as I have the opportunity to free up several moments in my affairs for my old friend, I will do so. Good bye."
   The Prince was desolate.  The audience had ended without result.
   Being unwell during the springtime, and becoming then more weak, he was because of his ill health, stricken with pneumonia, and his health had become hopeless.  Two days before he died, the Prince refused to take medication. That evening he asked for pen and paper. 
Title: Re: Were the Jews Responsible for the Russian Revolution/Bolsehvik Coup?
Post by: Ellie on February 02, 2017, 10:26:30 PM
Thanks for posting this. Spiridirovich's memoirs have finally been translated into English and I am expected my copy towards spring.
The Tsar was obviously overburdened, which explains his indecisiveness. The above passage also touches on the two issues which proved fatal to his reign - his attitude to the Jews and involvement in the Balkans. He also let himself be weighted down by too many conflicting opinions and his own want of clear cut position.
Who was this prince?
Title: Re: Were the Jews Responsible for the Russian Revolution/Bolsehvik Coup?
Post by: Forum Admin on February 02, 2017, 10:47:17 PM
Spiridovitch:
Prince Vladimir Petrovitch Metchersksi, Chamberlain of His Majesty's Court, owner and editor in chief of the newspaper "Grazdanyin" ("The Citizen" weekly monarchist newspaper in Petersburg, pretending to be reactionary) Prince Metcherski loved Emperor Nicholas II as both the monarch and the son of Alexander III, with whom he had had a great friendship since his youth, starting when Alexander Alexandrovitch was still Tsarevitch.
   In the Prince's office one could see a portrait photograph of Tsar Alexander III with the following dedication: "In memory of past years and of our evenings. Your devoted, Alexander."
And on the photograph of Emperor Nicholas II, given to the Prince on January 14, 1910, was inscribed:
"To the indefatigable combatant for the maintenance of the historical foundations necessary for the continuing development of the Russian State."
   The Emperor respected the Prince as a friend of his father, great patriot and personal friend.  He often desired to know the Prince's opinions on political matters, but always guarded his independence.  The Emperor called him once "the Minister without a portfolio." However, there were two matters which the Emperor prohibited the Prince from touching: the Jewish question and external politics. There were what the Prince himself called "the forbidden circle."

Be careful of the modern Australian translation. The original French uses many 19th century idioms and terms which require contextual translation. Having read the recent translation, I found it lacking, sloppy  and unfamiliar with the contemporary idioms, vocabulary and contextual usages of the text. It is only a vague guide and misses the details
Title: Re: Were the Jews Responsible for the Russian Revolution/Bolsehvik Coup?
Post by: Ellie on February 02, 2017, 10:58:52 PM
Thanks for your input.
Regarding the English translation, I'm afraid I have no other choice since I don't know French, but I'll keep aware of your comments while reading.
Title: Re: Were the Jews Responsible for the Russian Revolution/Bolsehvik Coup?
Post by: JamesAPrattIII on February 06, 2017, 04:01:47 PM
It's been awhile but I believe I read that the bookstores in the last decades of the USSR were full of anti-Semitic literature. These stores did not sell books that were not cleared by a censor. Also in this period if you were a really smart Jew and wanted to be a scientist you could pretty much forget it in the USSR. The powers that be would stop you and unlike tsarist Russia going to a foreign university was out of the question. This hurt the USSR technology wise ect.

Correction I should have said about half the generals in the NKVD in 1936 were Jewish. Source my notes from the book "Bloodlands"
Title: Re: Were the Jews Responsible for the Russian Revolution/Bolsehvik Coup?
Post by: JamesAPrattIII on March 17, 2017, 05:09:19 PM
Another Jew that played a major role in enabling the Bolsheviks to seize and hold on to power was Olof Aschberg according to the book "History's Greatest Heist"  he was the Bolsheviks banker. One also must point out the book "Wall Street and the Bolshevik Revolution" points out some Wall Streeters also helped the Bolsheviks out fiscally. The book "The Russian Revolution" R Pipes points out that in 1918 the German generals wanted to get rid of Lenin but wealthy German industrialists and bankers with the German foreign ministry stopped them. Note:As far as I can tell none of the people mentioned in the later two books who helped the Bolsheviks were Jewish.
Title: Re: Were the Jews Responsible for the Russian Revolution/Bolsehvik Coup?
Post by: Ellie on March 18, 2017, 12:27:13 AM
I think the American Jewish banker Jacob Schiff also assisted the Bolsheviks. Earlier on he also assisted the Japanese against Tsarist Russia.
Title: Re: Were the Jews Responsible for the Russian Revolution/Bolsehvik Coup?
Post by: JamesAPrattIII on March 18, 2017, 06:08:16 PM
I think the book "wall Street and the Bolshevik Revolution" says Schiff did not help the Bolsheviks he did help the Japanese get loans during the Russo-Japanese War.
Title: Re: Were the Jews Responsible for the Russian Revolution/Bolsehvik Coup?
Post by: Ellie on March 18, 2017, 11:45:37 PM
The Tsars' negative attitude to the Jews didn't do them any good. Both Witte and Stolypin, I believe, warned Nicholas II about that, but his mind was closed and completely taken in by the anti-Semite reactionaries.
Title: Re: Were the Jews Responsible for the Russian Revolution/Bolsehvik Coup?
Post by: Forum Admin on March 19, 2017, 01:24:02 AM
"Les Derniers Années de la Cour de Tzarskoe Selo" Gen. Alexandre Spiridovitch, Payot Paris.  Vol. 2, Ch. 19
Prince Vladimir Petrovitch Metchersksi, Chamberlain of His Majesty's Court, owner and editor in chief of the newspaper "Grazdanyin" ("The Citizen" weekly monarchist newspaper in Petersburg, pretending to be reactionary) was dead.
   The Prince had lived in the country house of Nicholas F. Bourdukov, Equerry to the Court, who had been his great and loyal friend.
   The death of the Prince was an event.  With his passing a man disappeared who, thanks to his exclusive position, could freely criticize, by means of his famous newspaper, any  he wished of the high functionaries of the State and their actions, including the Ministers.  It was a well known fact in Russia that the Emperor himself was a longstanding reader of the "Grazdanyin".
   The Prince was a great man of politics, a great person under the last two Emperors.  He died at the age of 77.
   Prince Metcherski loved Emperor Nicholas II as both the monarch and the son of Alexander III, with whom he had had a great friendship since his youth, starting when Alexander Alexandrovitch was still Tsarevitch.
   In the Prince's office one could see a portrait photograph of Tsar Alexander III with the following dedication: "In memory of past years and of our evenings. Your devoted, Alexander."
   And on the photograph of Emperor Nicholas II, given to the Prince on January 14, 1910, was inscribed:
"To the indefatigable combatant for the maintenance of the historical foundations necessary for the continuing development of the Russian State."
   The Emperor respected the Prince as a friend of his father, great patriot and personal friend.  He often desired to know the Prince's opinions on political matters, but always guarded his independence.  The Emperor called him once "the Minister without a portfolio." However, there were two matters which the Emperor prohibited the Prince from touching: the Jewish question and external politics

"Why are you going to ask these questions as the last ones?"
   "It is because they are the most serious ones" the Prince replied, "I am going to everything possible to tell the Emperor my thoughts, and my opinions. But at the same time I am afraid that the Emperor will be displeased that I have ventured into the forbidden circle.  You know well that every time I have tried to touch on the question of the Jews, the Emperor has become angry and for some time afterward would change the tone of his letters written to me. But, I have very little time left to live, and I must tell my beloved Tsar the truth one last time.  I greatly love our Minster of the Interior, Maklakov, but he is quite wrong on that matter.  He is very young and quite presumptuous, and I will speak out this time against him.  I will warn him.  His obstinance is harmful to the Emperor.  Many measures against the Jews must be eliminated as useless, fictitious, unreasonable and quite harmful to the Supreme Power." ....
In the car, alone with just his friend, the Prince sighed profoundly.
   "You don't know, my friend, how difficult it was to speak to the Emperor…Even thinking about that reception is painful for me...I spoke about the Jewish question. The Emperor listened to me without interrupting me and with great attention.  From time to time, in his kind face, I saw the shadow of displeasure.  I did everything I could to force him to respond to me.  But he kept silent.  Knowing well his intelligence, the fineness of his spirit, I was wounded that he did not want to face the evidence.  When I had finished with the Jewish question, the Emperor thought for several minutes, looked me fixed in the eyes and slowly smiled as if he wanted to soften his response, said to me: 'Excuse me, my old friend, but I am not in agreement with you.  I thank you very much for the advice which you have given me and which has been dictated by your devotion to me, by the love for our Mother Russia, but…you know that it is often that I do not wish to follow your advice.  I must take into consideration many other circumstances which you do not know about, which escape your attention…My responsibility towards Russia is so great that I do not have the right to consider a question of such great importance to the State on just one side alone, although I should find it personally desireable. You do not know all of these circumstances which I do, which I do not have the right to ignore, and which, quite to the contrary, I must take into consideration…"



.
Title: Re: Were the Jews Responsible for the Russian Revolution/Bolsehvik Coup?
Post by: JamesAPrattIII on April 12, 2017, 05:10:50 PM
Here are some more examples of Russian anti-Semitism ect

The book Prologue to the Revolution Michael Chernivsky minutes of the council of minsters these men are shocked by the Pogroms committed by the Russian army but then go on to say that Jews control the world banking system ect!? One must point out that the Russian army wasn't the only army behaving badly in Poland. The Austrian army also behaved rather badly as well.  The book Nationalizing the Russian Empire in discussing the 1915 Pogroms in Poland  mentions the Cossacks were the worst offenders but it also mentions time where citizens, police, soldiers and even on a few occations Cossacks intervened to stop them.

Alexander III in the book Pogrom was sad and disturbed that soldiers preferred to attack Jews instead of the Pogromists. Was shocked to hear of an officer taking part in a Pogrom. When he read that military court were too indulgent towards Pogromists he wrote "This is unforgivable!"

Title: Re: Were the Jews Responsible for the Russian Revolution/Bolsehvik Coup?
Post by: Ellie on June 20, 2017, 10:46:40 PM
I was about to begin a new topic on what I'm about to say, but thought that it could well fit in here.

Mind you, this is a very sensitive issue since I have known many survivors of the Holocaust. I therefore find it difficult to contend with the knowledge that Jewish people participated in so many acts of brutality.

I've just completed the thread on Soviet Atrocities, which expresses much anger felt by many that the Holocaust seems to overshadow many other horrors not any less brutal, such as those perpetrated by the likes of Lenin and Stalin.

Without trying to make excuses for anyone, I would just like to draw your attention to the fact that many of the later Soviet dissidents were Jews  - i.e. Anatoly Sheranski and Ida Nudal (sp?) who suffered greatly for their beliefs under the totalitarian Soviet Government. Moreover, a number of distinguished writers who currently expose the horrors of the Soviet Union are Jewish such as Richard Pipes and, if I'm not mistaken, Orlando Figes.

I'm in a rush right now for work, but just had to get this. The Atrocities thread has kept me up thinking all night
Title: Re: Were the Jews Responsible for the Russian Revolution/Bolsehvik Coup?
Post by: Nictionary on September 16, 2017, 07:30:12 PM
I recently read a quote in Lucien Wolf's The Myth of the Jewish Menace in World Affairs (1921) which deals with this issue:

"...I find a notorious German anti-Semitic book quoting... Wilton, of the Times, as its authority for the statement that 'of 384 People's Commissars who constitute the Government only 13 are Russians, while 300 are Jews.' What are the facts? The only officials in Soviet Russia who are authorised to hold the rank of People's Commissars are the members of the Cabinet. These number 17, and of them 16 are indisputably Gentiles, while only one – Trotsky – is Jewish by birth... The other so-called Jewish Commissars are all men of the second and lower ranks of officials belonging exclusively either to the Civil Service or the Soviet analogue of our municipal life. They are probably fairly numerous, but in what may be called the second rank they do not number more than ten at the outside. The others may or may not be convinced Bolsheviks. They are servants of the State who may have many other motives for serving the Soviets than an enthusiasm for Lenin's politics...Trotsky has in his War Office and Corps of Officers probably as many ex-Tsarist officers – including sixteen Generals – as there are 'Jewish Commissars' in the whole Soviet Administration. And yet nobody dreams of describing the Red Legions as a Tsarist Army. These officers are probably not even Bolsheviks. If we could know their motives we should probably find that they were not very widely different from those which actuate the 'Jewish Commissars.'   
   "All this is not to say that there are no professing Jews in the Bolshevist ranks, or that the number of indifferent and apostate Jews who have thrown in their lot with the Soviets is quite negligible. What is contended is that normally the Jew is intensely antipathetic to Bolshevism, and that at the beginning of the Revolution relatively very few Jews – even of those who were Jews by race only – rallied to the call of Lenin. That this situation has changed during the last year is not improbable. But with whom does the blame rest? If Jews have reluctantly turned toward Bolshevism, it is because they have been forced into it by the anti-Bolsheviks. They cannot but be alarmed by the persistancy and passion with which the charge of Bolshevism is levelled against them, and the threats which come from all sides to avenge in their persons the sins of Lenin and Trotsky."

It is worth pointing out that while Trotsky's family was of Jewish extraction, they were not religious and the languages spoken at home were Russian and Ukrainian, not Yiddish.  Trotsky and most other ethnically Jewish Bolsheviks were professed atheists, and in fact in September 1918 the Rabbinical Council of Odessa declared herem (excommunication) on Zinoviev, Trotsky and several other Jewish members of the Bolshevik movement.

Marx dismissed Judaism as a reflection of the money-lending era of capitalism.  When the revolution came it was doomed to disappear: there would be no such person as a "Jew".  Consequently, Trotsky and other Jewish Marxists, such as Martov, Axelrod, Luxemburg and Otto Bauer, felt obliged to reject self-determination Jews while advocating it for everyone else.  Robert Service writes that Trotsky followed an orthodox Marxist line on matters of nationality and religion: “In his own eyes, he had ceased to be a Jew in any important sense because Marxism had burned out the fortuitous residues of his origins.”  Trotsky felt as Marx that "religion is the opium of the people. Whoever fails to struggle against religion is unworthy of bearing the name of a revolutionary." In a letter written less than six months before his assassination he stated that "for forty-three years of my life I have remained a revolutionary. I shall die a proletarian revolutionary, a Marxist, a dialectical materialist, and consequently an irreconcilable atheist."

When Trotsky was head of the Red Army, Moscow’s chief rabbi, Jacob Mazeh, asked Trotsky to use the army to protect the Jews from pogrom attacks. Trotsky reportedly responded, “Why do you come to me? I am not a Jew,” to which Mazeh answered: “That’s the tragedy. It’s the Trotskys who make revolutions, and it’s the Bronsteins who pay the price.”
Title: Re: Were the Jews Responsible for the Russian Revolution/Bolsehvik Coup?
Post by: Nictionary on September 16, 2017, 10:25:02 PM
Plehve's meeting with Herzl is not evidence against his anti-Semitism.  On the contrary, Herzl wrote in his diary that Plehve told him, "You don't have to justify your movement to me.  You are preaching to a convert…we would very much like to see the creation of an independent Jewish state capable of absorbing several million Jews. Of course we would not like to lose all our Jews. We should like to keep the very intelligent ones, those of which you, Dr Herzl, are the best example. But we should like to rid ourselves of the weak-minded and those with little property."  In other words, Plehve supported Zionism because it would get rid of "his" Jews.  In the same vein the Kaiser told Herzl, "I am all in favour of the kikes going to Palestine. The sooner they take off the better."  Then there is Plehve's infamous saying, "We must drown the revolution in Jewish blood."  After the Kishinev Pogrom only two men were sentenced to seven or five years respectively and twenty-two were sentenced for one or two years.
Title: Re: Were the Jews Responsible for the Russian Revolution/Bolsehvik Coup?
Post by: Ellie on October 24, 2017, 04:03:55 PM
Thanks for your reply Nictionary. I took a look at Wilton's book on Amazon, and I wasn't only upset at what was written there, but also the various responses to his book, which went along the lines that it's refreshing to get at the truth about the Jews.
Title: Re: Were the Jews Responsible for the Russian Revolution/Bolsehvik Coup?
Post by: Ortino on November 16, 2017, 10:25:18 AM
Quote
I would also say that Ortino disclosing his Judaism at the very beginning of his first post, less we discern any sort bias on his behalf, was impressive as well. Not that taking a strong position on antisemitism requires such a disclosure or requires one to be Jewish in the first place...it's just nice to hear the honesty up front.

I'm actually a woman, but you're welcome I suppose.

I was about to begin a new topic on what I'm about to say, but thought that it could well fit in here.

Mind you, this is a very sensitive issue since I have known many survivors of the Holocaust. I therefore find it difficult to contend with the knowledge that Jewish people participated in so many acts of brutality.

The Bolshevik Revolution occurred a number of years before the Holocaust, so why should that not square with what happened in the 1930s-1940s? Also, talk about a moral double standard--just because Jews have a history of persecution doesn't mean that isn't possible for them to commit crimes. Is there a particular reason you hold them to a higher moral standard than the rest of the world's population?

Title: Re: Were the Jews Responsible for the Russian Revolution/Bolsehvik Coup?
Post by: Ellie on November 17, 2017, 07:44:07 PM
Jews are no better or worse than anyone else. However, Jewish law puts human life above all and a bit in me hopes that Jewish value for the sanctity of life would inhibit them from acts of such brutality.
I've learned that I am wrong. This is the cause of my strong reaction to Jewish behavior during that time.