Was the Bol­she­vik Revo­lu­tion a Jewish plot?

The Jerusalem Post - - FRONTLINES - • By AMOTZ ASA-EL (Wikipedia)

oses led the Jews out of Egypt, Stalin led them out of the Polit­buro,” whis­pered vet­er­ans of the Bol­she­vik Revo­lu­tion, as win­ter 1927 ap­proached the Moscow River’s banks.

The revo­lu­tion that erupted 100 years ago this week was turn­ing on its heroes, as Joseph Stalin was purg­ing the late Vladimir Lenin’s pro­tégés, con­fi­dants and aides. The ex­pul­sion those days of Leon Trot­sky from the Com­mu­nist Party was but the be­gin­ning of an anti-Jewish as­sault that would con­tinue in­ter­mit­tently un­til Stalin’s death.

The revo­lu­tion’s Jewish lead­ers would van­ish much sooner than the com­mu­nism for which they fought, but many Rus­sians – to this day – still see the revo­lu­tion as a Jewish plot.

Lenin’s deputies Lev Kamenev (orig­i­nally Rozen­feld) and Grig­ory Zi­noviev (born Hirsch Apfel­baum) and his trea­surer Grig­ori Sokol­nikov (Girsh Yankele­vich Bril­liant) were all Jews, as were Karl Radek (So­bel­sohn), co-writer of the Soviet Con­sti­tu­tion, Maxim Litvi­nov (Meir Henoch Wal­lach-Finkel­stein), for­eign min­is­ter of the USSR un­til his re­moval so Stalin could pact with Hitler.

This is, of course, be­sides Trot­sky him­self, builder of the Red Army and the only Soviet who served as both for­eign and de­fense min­is­ter. Most prover­bially, a Jew – Yakov Sverdlov – over­saw the night­time ex­e­cu­tion of Czar Niko­lai, Em­press Alexan­dra, and their five chil­dren.

Jewish rev­o­lu­tion­ar­ies were prom­i­nent be­yond Rus­sia as well.

In Ger­many, philoso­pher-econ­o­mist Rosa Lux­em­burg led an abortive revo­lu­tion in 1919 be­fore be­ing caught, clubbed, shot dead and dumped in a canal. In Hun­gary, Bela Kun – orig­i­nally Kohn – led a short-lived com­mu­nist coup sev­eral months after Lux­em­burg’s mur­der.

In Ro­ma­nia, Ana Pauker – orig­i­nally He­brew teacher Han­nah Rabin­sohn, and later the world’s first woman for­eign min­is­ter – ef­fec­tively ran the coun­try for Stalin, be­fore fall­ing from grace and spend­ing her last years un­der house ar­rest. In Cze­choslo­vakia, Ru­dolf Slan­sky was the sec­ond-most pow­er­ful fig­ure be­fore his pub­lic trial and ex­e­cu­tion along­side 11 other se­nior Jewish com­mu­nists. In Poland, two of the three Stal­in­ists who led its tran­si­tion to com­mu­nism – Hi­lary Minc, who col­lec­tivized its econ­omy, and Jakub Berman, who headed its se­cret po­lice – were Jews.

The revo­lu­tion, in short, was so crowded with Jews that one had to won­der whether “the Jews” were in­her­ently rev­o­lu­tion­ary.

A cen­tury on, it is clear they were not. TO­DAY’S JEWS are a con­ser­va­tive lot.

Jews are now over­whelm­ingly aca­demics, bankers, busi­ness­peo­ple, lawyers, doc­tors, jour­nal­ists, literati and politi­cians, who do not en­cour­age their chil­dren to join the pro­le­tariat. Yes, many Jews give the poor much char­ity and also back as­sorted so­cial-demo­cratic po­lit­i­cal for­ma­tions, but on the whole the Jews are now in the busi­ness of pre­serv­ing the so­cial-po­lit­i­cal or­der, rather than turn­ing it on its head.

In Is­rael, an un­abashedly bour­geois so­ci­ety that once was de­voutly so­cial­ist is wor­ship­ing pri­vate en­ter­prise, in­di­vid­u­al­ism and he­do­nism, as the prime min­is­ter the peo­ple keep re­elect­ing smokes cigars and prides him­self in hav­ing slashed so­cial spend­ing, sold pub­lic com­pa­nies, and set the mar­ket forces loose.

Jews have not been seen chal­leng­ing the mon­eyed elite since revo­lu­tion’s re­turn in 1968 as a car­i­ca­ture, when Mark Rudd (Rud­nit­sky) and David Shapiro starred in the stu­dent takeover of Columbia Univer­sity’s Low Li­brary while Daniel “the Red” Cohn-Ben­dit led stu­dent un­rest in France.

Why, then, were the Jews of 1917 so un­set­tled, and why are to­day’s so se­date? Very sim­ple. Un­til 1917 Rus­sian Jewry was abused. All the lands to their west had abol­ished all anti-Jewish laws, poli­cies and di­rec­tives, but the czars con­tin­ued to cage the Jews in the Pale of Set­tle­ment, limit their ac­cess to higher ed­u­ca­tion, block their free­dom of travel, as­so­ci­a­tion and speech, and oc­ca­sion­ally also en­cour­age pogroms. The Jews were pro­voked, and the revo­lu­tion was their coun­ter­at­tack.

Rev­o­lu­tion­ary Jews wanted to be­long, and some of them wanted to make ev­ery­one be­long – ev­ery­where and im­me­di­ately. It was a utopian urge that makes one sus­pect Trot­sky et al. re­mained in­fected by the mes­sianic bug of the Ju­daism they had vowed to shed.

What­ever its cause, that urge is gone. THERE WAS, of course, an al­ter­na­tive idea, one that promised to make the Jews be­long in a dif­fer­ent way, an idea that in 1920 was jux­ta­posed with Bol­she­vism by none other than a typ­i­cally in­sight­ful and vi­sion­ary Win­ston Churchill: the Zion­ist idea.

“The strug­gle which is now be­gin­ning be­tween the Zion­ist and Bol­she­vik Jews is lit­tle less than a strug­gle for the soul of the Jewish peo­ple,” he wrote in the Il­lus­trated Sun­day Her­ald, after not­ing “the part played in the cre­ation of Bol­she­vism and in the ac­tual bring­ing about of the Rus­sian Revo­lu­tion by th­ese in­ter­na­tional and for the most part athe­is­ti­cal Jews,” a role that “prob­a­bly out­weighs all oth­ers.”

“If, as may well hap­pen, there should be cre­ated in our own life­time by the banks of the Jor­dan a Jewish State... which might com­prise three or four mil­lions of Jews,” he now as­sessed, “an event would have oc­curred in the his­tory of the world which would, from ev­ery point of view, be ben­e­fi­cial.”

It was cer­tainly ben­e­fi­cial for Rus­sia’s Jews, whose de­scen­dants even­tu­ally flocked in droves to the Jewish state, so much so that Jerusalem alone is to­day home to more Jews than all of Rus­sia.

Rus­sian Jewry went to the Jewish state be­cause here they would be free to study what they wish, live where they please, rise as high as they could climb, and even be­come de­fense min­is­ter, speaker of the Knes­set and chair­man of the Jewish Agency. They knew they would be­long.

The Jews who set out to re­deem not their na­tion but all mankind ended up clubbed like Rosa Lux­em­burg, hanged like Ru­dolf Slan­sky, stabbed with an icepick like Trot­sky, or shot by a fir­ing squad like Bela Kun. Much as they re­fused to ad­mit this to the bit­ter end – they did not be­long.


FROM LEFT, Joseph Stalin, Vladimir Lenin and Leon Trot­sky.

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