Author Topic: Were the Jews Responsible for the Russian Revolution/Bolsehvik Coup?  (Read 13257 times)

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Offline Ellie

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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.
« Last Edit: November 13, 2016, 03:23:21 AM by Ellie »

Offline edubs31

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Re: Were the Jews Responsible for the Russian Revolution/Bolsehvik Coup?
« Reply #1 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.
Once in a while you get shown the light, in the strangest of places if you look at it right...

Offline Ortino

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Re: Were the Jews Responsible for the Russian Revolution/Bolsehvik Coup?
« Reply #2 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.

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 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.

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.

Quote
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.








 
« Last Edit: December 09, 2016, 11:01:03 AM by Ortino »

Offline Ortino

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Re: Were the Jews Responsible for the Russian Revolution/Bolsehvik Coup?
« Reply #3 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.

Quote
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.








 

Offline NicolasG

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Re: Were the Jews Responsible for the Russian Revolution/Bolsehvik Coup?
« Reply #4 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.


Quote
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


Quote
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.

Offline Превед

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Re: Were the Jews Responsible for the Russian Revolution/Bolsehvik Coup?
« Reply #5 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.
« Last Edit: December 10, 2016, 12:38:11 PM by Превед »
Берёзы севера мне милы,—
Их грустный, опущённый вид,
Как речь безмолвная могилы,
Горячку сердца холодит.

(Афанасий Фет: «Ивы и берёзы», 1843 / 1856)

Offline Ortino

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Re: Were the Jews Responsible for the Russian Revolution/Bolsehvik Coup?
« Reply #6 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.


« Last Edit: December 10, 2016, 06:16:40 PM by Ortino »

Offline NicolasG

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Re: Were the Jews Responsible for the Russian Revolution/Bolsehvik Coup?
« Reply #7 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

Offline Ortino

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Re: Were the Jews Responsible for the Russian Revolution/Bolsehvik Coup?
« Reply #8 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.

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.

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.

« Last Edit: December 11, 2016, 10:58:10 AM by Ortino »

Offline NicolasG

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Re: Were the Jews Responsible for the Russian Revolution/Bolsehvik Coup?
« Reply #9 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
« Last Edit: December 11, 2016, 11:17:35 AM by NicolasG »

Offline NicolasG

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Re: Were the Jews Responsible for the Russian Revolution/Bolsehvik Coup?
« Reply #10 on: December 11, 2016, 11:09:48 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.

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"?

Offline Ortino

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Re: Were the Jews Responsible for the Russian Revolution/Bolsehvik Coup?
« Reply #11 on: December 11, 2016, 11:20:49 AM »
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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.
« Last Edit: December 11, 2016, 11:36:09 AM by Ortino »

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Re: Were the Jews Responsible for the Russian Revolution/Bolsehvik Coup?
« Reply #12 on: December 11, 2016, 11:25:57 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.

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.

« Last Edit: December 11, 2016, 11:34:32 AM by Ortino »

Offline NicolasG

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Re: Were the Jews Responsible for the Russian Revolution/Bolsehvik Coup?
« Reply #13 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.
« Last Edit: December 11, 2016, 12:23:50 PM by NicolasG »

Offline Ortino

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Re: Were the Jews Responsible for the Russian Revolution/Bolsehvik Coup?
« Reply #14 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?