Author Topic: Nicholas II and Anti-Semitism.  (Read 135941 times)

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Offline Cody

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Re: Nicholas II and Anti-Semitism.
« Reply #120 on: February 12, 2008, 01:31:47 AM »
Thanks for the information gentlemen.
I would not want anyone to think that any of us were racist or anti Jewish

Asking legitimate questions doesn't make one racist or anti-Jewish.
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Offline HerrKaiser

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Re: Nicholas II and Anti-Semitism.
« Reply #121 on: February 12, 2008, 09:17:49 AM »
Anti-semitism is purely and simply a vile and irrational hatred of a people. It is also connected with the denial of the fact that Jesus Christ was a Jew as was the Virgin Mary and all the disciples. Religion has a lot to answer for doesn't it?

the first part of this comment is generally correct. But 'denial of the fact that Jesus was a jew...?' is fabricated and itself an irrational statement.
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Offline Mexjames

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Re: Nicholas II and Anti-Semitism.
« Reply #122 on: February 12, 2008, 12:41:36 PM »
The only way in which we can all learn is by asking questions!

ferngully

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Re: Nicholas II and Anti-Semitism.
« Reply #123 on: February 16, 2008, 11:14:13 AM »
the talmud is not something you should put your entire trust in IMO (speaking as a jew) becuase although it has some good proverbs etc, the views in there were written by a bunch of rabbis who all had their opinions about subjects and they don't reflect on everyone. historically, the idea of jesus being a bastard etc was the response that jews gave whenever christians would taunt them. who knows if they really believed it back then (some of them did but not all) but being treated the way they were, i personally would understand that response in that situation, even if it wasn't the wisest thing to say

Offline Mexjames

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Re: Nicholas II and Anti-Semitism.
« Reply #124 on: February 16, 2008, 12:00:22 PM »
I did my homework and ask those who know, not only rabbis but someone who is a secular Jew well versed in these matters.  The Talmud never mentions that Jesus was a bastard, nor there are bad references to him.  I don't want to hijack this thread at all, but I feel it is necessary to clarify that there are two Talmuds, the first one written in Jerusalem in ca. third century of the CE and the second and most important one, which is in use still today, is the Babylonian Talmud (the oldest copy of which was found in S. Hussein's archives not too long ago).  The idea of the Talmud was to interpret Jewish law, that is, the Torah or the five books of Moses (Pentateuch), to a new circumstance facing the Jews, that is, they were no longer in Israel but in the Diaspora, and most of them were in Babylon and what became Baghdad as well as other cities.  There were a number of commandments that could no longer take place, such as service in the Holy Temple, so the idea was that without altering the holy text of the Torah, the Jews could still practice their religion and not incur in sin. 

Offline Cody

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Re: Nicholas II and Anti-Semitism.
« Reply #125 on: February 16, 2008, 12:27:53 PM »
I did my homework and ask those who know, not only rabbis but someone who is a secular Jew well versed in these matters.  The Talmud never mentions that Jesus was a bastard, nor there are bad references to him.  I don't want to hijack this thread at all, but I feel it is necessary to clarify that there are two Talmuds, the first one written in Jerusalem in ca. third century of the CE and the second and most important one, which is in use still today, is the Babylonian Talmud (the oldest copy of which was found in S. Hussein's archives not too long ago).  The idea of the Talmud was to interpret Jewish law, that is, the Torah or the five books of Moses (Pentateuch), to a new circumstance facing the Jews, that is, they were no longer in Israel but in the Diaspora, and most of them were in Babylon and what became Baghdad as well as other cities.  There were a number of commandments that could no longer take place, such as service in the Holy Temple, so the idea was that without altering the holy text of the Torah, the Jews could still practice their religion and not incur in sin. 

I don't want to hijack this thread either, but I decided to visit the old Jewish Encyclopedia, which I do not find to be as good as the modern Encyclopedia Judaica, but it does mention three sources that Jews have used to describe Jesus: New Testament apocrypha and Christian polemical works, the Talmund and Midrash, and the Life of Jesus that was written out of the Middle Ages.  The Jewish Encyclopedia states as follows: "It is the tendency of all these sources to be-little the person of Jesus by ascribing to him illegitimate birth, magic, and a shameful death."  And if you want to read more, here's the direct link: http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/view.jsp?artid=254&letter=J&search=Jesus#2

With that being said, if Mexjames or anyone else wants to chat about the subject of Jesus in Judaism--or any other religion--perhaps they should email me personally.
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Offline HerrKaiser

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Re: Nicholas II and Anti-Semitism.
« Reply #126 on: February 16, 2008, 12:35:27 PM »
Back to NII as it relates to his being anti semetic....one must also take into account that the rise in anti Jewish sentiments during the mid 19th century was directly related to the series of revolutionary crises that swept Europe and the existing monarchies. Marx, Engels, and the Communicst movement was a largely Jewish endeavor and movement within its leadership. Very important to realize, though, the Jews involved were predominately atheists who maintained a Jewish heritage on an ethnic level. The "international Jewry" and "international communist" labels and entities were significantly overlapped. So, by both a historic anti-Jewish bias among European Christians based on a centuries old religious and cultural divide and a new anger/opposition to the ground swell of revolutionary thinking among the Jewish/communist effort, NII and others were further moved to view the Jewish community with suspicion and fear.
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Offline Mexjames

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Re: Nicholas II and Anti-Semitism.
« Reply #127 on: February 17, 2008, 08:17:36 PM »
Fear of what?  In general the Jewish population in the Empire was not better off than most peasants.  And as you correctly point out, the background of this were centuries of all sorts of discrimination.

Anyway, I think that the Emperor and the Empress were anti-Semites; I agree that at the time this was common but I don't think that the better educated people can be excused in any way, shape or form.  And I think that the role of the so-called international jewery, etc., has been greatly exaggerated over the years and that too constitutes anti-Semitism.

The time of reconciliation has come.  Not one single incident of what happened in this regard should ever be forgotten, but it should be used to build a new understanding among people of different backgrounds all over the world.  From what I've read, during his captitivy the Emperor realized his mistake, an intelligent man as he was, but he wasn't prepared at all to face the challenges he met during his lifetime, and he and his family paid dearly for this. 


Offline HerrKaiser

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Re: Nicholas II and Anti-Semitism.
« Reply #128 on: February 18, 2008, 12:20:11 PM »
Fear of what?  In general the Jewish population in the Empire was not better off than most peasants.  



As I pointed out in the previous post, the intelligencia, especially among revolutionary thinking people, were largely Jewish. That was a source of great fear to leaders like NII who was well aware (although much less aware than he should have been) of the fragility his role as emperor had. It really didn't matter about the peasants, other than the expected ripple effect a leader could have on the masses, which of course, we know did have and still does.
« Last Edit: February 18, 2008, 12:22:04 PM by HerrKaiser »
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Offline Mexjames

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Re: Nicholas II and Anti-Semitism.
« Reply #129 on: February 19, 2008, 02:14:52 PM »
I understand your point, sure enough some of the leaders were of Jewish origin.  From within Judaism we think of them as renegade Jews, especially Trotsky and Dzherzhinsky to name just two.


Offline HerrKaiser

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Re: Nicholas II and Anti-Semitism.
« Reply #130 on: February 19, 2008, 02:37:22 PM »
interesting, never heard of 'renegade Jews'. But, also keep in mind that part of their being 'renegade' was their adoption of atheism. The communist movement was atheistic and the Jews involved were defiinitely so.

When the Kibbutzes were originally begun in palestine during the mid 19th century, they were almost exclusively russian jews were were ethnic jews but atheists and communists. This was also the start of Zionism.

going back to NII's anti semitism, it was not his unrealistic fear or dislike for judaism or Jewish people (any more than the many ethnic groups that made up his empire), rather the concern for the danger the communist/zionist movement posed to the peace and solidarity of his empire.
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Offline Helen_Azar

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Re: Nicholas II and Anti-Semitism.
« Reply #131 on: February 19, 2008, 03:24:22 PM »
among revolutionary thinking people, were largely Jewish.

Well, of course that makes sense, since Jews didn't exactly have a life that was a bowl of cherries under that regime, so more than fair share of Jews were drawn to the revolution. Wouldn't you be? If it were me, I would want change too and wouldn't exactly be crazy about the tsar.... Nothing surprising about that. 

Offline Louis_Charles

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Re: Nicholas II and Anti-Semitism.
« Reply #132 on: February 19, 2008, 05:15:58 PM »
interesting, never heard of 'renegade Jews'. But, also keep in mind that part of their being 'renegade' was their adoption of atheism. The communist movement was atheistic and the Jews involved were defiinitely so.

When the Kibbutzes were originally begun in palestine during the mid 19th century, they were almost exclusively russian jews were were ethnic jews but atheists and communists. This was also the start of Zionism.

going back to NII's anti semitism, it was not his unrealistic fear or dislike for judaism or Jewish people (any more than the many ethnic groups that made up his empire), rather the concern for the danger the communist/zionist movement posed to the peace and solidarity of his empire.

No, Nicholas didn't like Jews qua Jews. He was shocked by the fact that his wife's uncle received them socially at the English court. I doubt he was any more rabidly anti-semitic than usual, but it is cutting Nicholas II too much slack to assume that his dislike was purely political. Furthermore, and I realize that others have a higher opinion of his native intelligence than I, I truly doubt that he was capable of the kind of subtle distinction you imply in regard to Jews and Zionists. In fact, the Jews --- ALL Jews --- were treated far worse under Tsarist rule than, say, Moslems.

He had many good qualities, but freedom from prejudice in this regard was not one of them.
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Offline HerrKaiser

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Re: Nicholas II and Anti-Semitism.
« Reply #133 on: February 19, 2008, 06:28:24 PM »
interesting, never heard of 'renegade Jews'. But, also keep in mind that part of their being 'renegade' was their adoption of atheism. The communist movement was atheistic and the Jews involved were defiinitely so.

When the Kibbutzes were originally begun in palestine during the mid 19th century, they were almost exclusively russian jews were were ethnic jews but atheists and communists. This was also the start of Zionism.

going back to NII's anti semitism, it was not his unrealistic fear or dislike for judaism or Jewish people (any more than the many ethnic groups that made up his empire), rather the concern for the danger the communist/zionist movement posed to the peace and solidarity of his empire.

No, Nicholas didn't like Jews qua Jews. He was shocked by the fact that his wife's uncle received them socially at the English court. I doubt he was any more rabidly anti-semitic than usual, but it is cutting Nicholas II too much slack to assume that his dislike was purely political. Furthermore, and I realize that others have a higher opinion of his native intelligence than I, I truly doubt that he was capable of the kind of subtle distinction you imply in regard to Jews and Zionists. In fact, the Jews --- ALL Jews --- were treated far worse under Tsarist rule than, say, Moslems.

He had many good qualities, but freedom from prejudice in this regard was not one of them.

I was not making assumptions that his attitudes were purely political. It is generally considered that most prejudice is irrational and emotional; I was pointing out reasons why he would have had concerns about the political nature of mid 19th century revolutions and the ongoing concern to his power. And as such, would have to disagree that he was incapable of distinguishing between the political threats and emotional ones.

Were moslem groups or other ethnic/religious groups in Russia during his reign organizing reactionary political inititatives? I'm not aware, but could be. Let us know! thanks!
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Alixz

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Re: Nicholas II and Anti-Semitism.
« Reply #134 on: February 20, 2008, 08:43:44 AM »


The fact that European monarchs and the people in general were anti-Semites, as they had been for centuries, doesn't justify that the Emperor and the Empress followed that line of thought


I agree with a lot of what you said above, but I wanted to comment on this point.  The way that we are looking at the world that Nicholas II lived in now would not have existed back in the early 20th century.  Let me give you an example, in the later part of the 20th century there has been a great deal of friendship among the various religions of the world (Jewish, Christian, Muslim, etc...).  This friendship was brought on by the ecumenical movement, which began in the 1940s, and really exploded in the 1960s after the Catholic Church's Second Vatican Council.  But before this time, such friendliness would not have existed.  Therefore, it's hard for us to put our standards in a time when such standards did not exist.

Oh Cody - Cody -  You can't imagine how many times I have said the same thing and been soundly "trounced".  You have been much more eloquent that I, but that message was so badly received in another thread, (perhaps the original of this one) that I had to leave the forum for a while as I was accused of being an anti-Semite and as I tried to explain my thought in more detail, I became (to those who didn't agree with me) not only an anti-Semite but a racist as well.

I do agree that Nicholas, as a well educated (for his time) Tsar, should  have seen what was going on and been more open to acceptance and tolerance.  But Alexander III had taken up the work of his Grandfather Nicholas I in the Russification of the peoples of the empire and Nicholas continued on.

According to Lambton in Elizabeth and Alexandra, the Jews were expelled from Moscow by Governor General Serge Alexandrovich in the thousands. (30,000 to be exact)

Now this book reads like a novel and Lambton doesn't footnote anything, but here is what it says, "...within three days of the original proclamation nearly nine thousand Jews had been, often separated from their families packed into trains and carried off to different districts of the Pale.
While another ten thousand poor Jews had gone into hiding - many of them to gain a few days in which to sell their businesses and get some money to take away - the authorities had granted exemption orders to another ten thousand of the richest families.  One of Serge's aides explained the anomaly quite simply: "The rich can stay and pay, the poor must go."   page 136