an essay by
an essay by Richard J. Green
Web Version 1.3.
Holocaust deniers and Nazi-apologists often make some very revealing claims regarding Jews, Bolshevism, and Stalinism. They often claim that Bolshevism was a Jewish movement that resulted in mass murder of Christians on a scale much larger than the Final Solution. The implication is that even though the Holocaust did not happen, the Jews deserved it and/or the fact that Stalinists committed mass murder somehow diminishes the fact that the Nazis and their accomplices committed mass murder. Even if the Holocaust-deniers and Nazi-apologists had their facts straight, one would have to wonder at their reasoning. How does the supposed fact that some Jews committed mass murder justify mass murder of Jews? Notwithstanding, this absurd and inhumane implication we must, as usual call into question the supposed facts.
The crimes of Stalinism are not to be underestimated. That the Stalinist regime committed crimes of unprecedented magnitude and inhumanity is beyond reasonable debate. The forced collectivizations in Kazakhstan, Soviet Central Asia, and, of course the Ukraine1 took a horrendous toll:
The Great Famine of 1932-33 in which 5-10 million lives were lost, was caused in large measure by the chaos of collectivization. Although agricultural production declined in the 1930s, the export of grain increased. Robert Tucker calls forced collectivization a "state-initiated, state-directed, and state-enforced revolution from above."2,3
The brutality of the Stalinist regime is incontrovertible. The Jewish origin of this brutality, on the other hand is a mendacious claim.
In a post to the Usenet group alt.revisionism, Jacob Minsky4 demonstrates in no uncertain terms the absurdity of such a position. First, he quotes Pipes:
The census of the Communist Party conducted in 1922 showed that only 959 Jewish members joined before 1917.5
Minsky then poses the following question to his Nazi-apologist interlocutor:
Why was the Jewish Labor Bund one of only two political parties (the other one was the small and heavily Jewish PSR, a democratic socialist party) to unequivocally condemn in the Congress of Deputies the Bolshevik seizure of power?6
The typical response of the antisemite is to pick out a few prominent Bolsheviks and claim without evidence that they were Jewish. That Trotsky was a Jew is true, but antisemites forget to note that he was one of the early and strongest critics of Stalin and that this criticism cost him his life. Perhaps, a few of the fewer than 1000 Jews who were early members of the Party were indeed in leadership positions, but as Aristotle assures us, "One swallow does not a summer make."
Of course, it is ridiculous to blame a single ethnicity for the crimes of the Bolsheviks. The fact that Stalin was a Georgian does not make all Georgians responsible for the crimes of Stalinism. Some may argue that it is just as unreasonable to blame all Germans for the crimes of the Nazis. This point is valid: guilt should be assigned individually not collectively. Only those Germans who knew about, or should have known about, the Final Solution, participated in its execution, or did nothing to stop it when they could have done so, bear blame for these crimes. Needless to say, young Germans born after the war can only be blameless.
Antisemites blame Jews for Bolshevism by use of a few half-truths. By this method, it could be shown that it was, in fact, Germans who are responsible for Bolshevism. It is perhaps just as (un)reasonable to blame Germans for the rise of Bolshevism as it is to blame Jews. Marx, after all, was a German atheist. Additionally, the political leader of Germany at the time of the Bolshevik Revolution was one of the Bolsheviks greatest sponsors.
Martin Gilbert has the following to say about the German government's support of Bolshevism:
The Bolsheviks had not expected the Austrian and German Governments to be sympathetic to their revolutionary cause, but policy-makers in both Berlin and Vienna were eager to support the spread of Bolshevism in the hope, not all that far fetched, that the Bolsheviks would undermine stable government in Russia and destroy the warmaking powers of the Tsar. On January 7 [1915-RJG] a Bolshevik group in Petrograd distributed leaflets to soldiers, workers, and peasants, calling on them not to pay their monthly rents. That same day in Constantinople, a wealthy Bolshevik Alexander Helphand, approached the German Ambassador to Turkey with the words: 'The interests of the German Government are identical with those of the Russian revolutionaries.' ... Helphand's conversation marked the start of a growing German interest in stimulating revolution in Russia: an interest that was to be intensified by the stalemate on the battlefield, and to find its culmination in facilitating the return of Lenin to Russia, across German soil. Within three months the German government gave money to an Estonian intermediary to give to Lenin, to encourage him to pursue his anti-war activities. In fact, he needed no encouragement.
Gilbert adds a footnote:
The sum paid over to Lenin was between 200, 000 and 250, 000 Marks, worth at that time between $50, 000 and $62, 000 dollars. When the Bolsheviks came to pay it back in 1923, the inflation of the Mark was such that it was worth less than $1.7
Will our antisemitic "friends" blame the Germans for the origins of Bolshevism as readily as they blame the Jews? To blame either group would, in my view, be ludicrous. I mean only to point out the hypocrisy of our "friends" who will no doubt continue to blame the Jews for the Bolshevik Revolution as well as capitalist exploitation, the ozone hole and the heat death of the universe.
In examining the question of whether Stalin was a Jew exterminating Christians, it might be relevent to examine how he treated Jews.
In our context, developments in the Soviet Union, especially after 1948 -the year of Zhdanov's mysterious death and the "Leningrad affair"- are of greater importance. For the first time after the Great Purge, Stalin had a great number of high and highest officials executed, and we know for certain that this was planned as the beginning of another nationwide purge. This would have been touched off by the "Doctor's plot" had Stalin's death not intervened. A group of mostly Jewish physicians were accused of having plotted "to wipe out the leading cadres of the USSR."30 ...Moreover, the very content of the absurd accusation against the physicians, that they would kill off people in leading positions all over the country, must have filled with fearful forebodings all those who were acquainted with Stalin's method of accusing a fictitious enemy of the crime he himself was about to commit. (The best known example is of course his accusation that Tukhachevski conspired with Germany at the very moment when Stalin was contemplating an alliance with the Nazis.) ...
The most dramatic new element in this last purge, which Stalin planned in the last years of his life, was a decisive shift in ideology, the introduction of a Jewish world conspiracy. For years, the ground for this change had been carefully laid in a number of trials in the satellite countries -the Rajk trial in Hungary, the Ana Pauker affair in Rumania, and, in 1952, the Slansky trial in Czechoslovakia. In these preparatory measures, high party officials were singled out because of their "Jewish bourgeois" origins and accused of Zionism; this accusation was gradually changed to implicate notoriously non-Zionist agencies (especially the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee), in order to indicate that all Jews were Zionists, and all Zionist groups "hirelings of American Imperialism."32 There was of course nothing new in the "crime" of Zionism, but as the campaign progressed and began to center on Jews in the Soviet Union, another significant change took place: Jews now stood accused of "cosmopolitanism" rather than Zionism, and the pattern of accusations that developed out of this slogan followed ever more closely the Nazi pattern of a Jewish world conspiracy in the sense of the Elders of Zion. It now became startlingly clear how deep an impression this mainstay of Nazi ideology must have made on Stalin -the first indications of this had been in evidence ever since the Hitler-Stalin pact- partly, to be sure, because of its obvious propaganda value in Russia as in all of the satellite countries, where anti-Jewish feeling was widespread and anti-Jewish propaganda had always enjoyed great popularity, but partly also because this type of a fictitious world conspiracy provided an ideologically more suitable background for totalitarian claims to world rule than Wall Street, capitalism, and imperialism. The open, unashamed adoption of what had become to the whole world the most prominent sign of Nazism was the last compliment Stalin paid to his late colleague and rival in total domination with whom, much to his chagrin, he had not been able to come to a lasting agreement.8
Thus, it is clear that not only is the claim that Bolshevism was a Jewish plot to commit genocide against Christians a canard, but the number one culprit of Soviet mass murder was himself an antisemite and might have tried to finish what our Nazi-apologists' hero started, viz.the total annihilation of the Jewish people in Europe.