Protocols of Zion

Question:

I read that the "Protocols of Zion" was a forgery. I actually read part of the Protocols and knew right off it was a fictional document. I couldn't get myself to read the rest. This below is part of an ongoing discussion on alt.illumaniti and alt.conspiracy newsgroups as of now. This doctor claims the Protocols are real and a blueprint for the New World Order. I'm inclined to believe historical researchers as time can sometimes prove the facts. But my question is... If the "...Protocols of Zion" was a forgery. What was the original document and did the author intend to embarrass the original writers of this original document or just make up reasons for killing or suppressing Jews? Did the originator of the original document, too, have ill will to the Jews.

Harry W. Mazal OBE Responds:

Thank you for your question addressed to the Holocaust History Project.

I am one of the volunteers that responds to questions from our readers. It is possible that you will receive other responses from my colleagues.

You might wish to look at the article written by Mr. Fisher on this subject. There is no question that the so-called Protocols were patterned after an earlier pamphlet entitled "Dialogues in Hell Between Machiavelli and Montesquieu." Mr. Fisher's explanation ought to be sufficient for any but the most obtuse.

I believe that this answers your questions about the so-called Protocols.

Yours sincerely,

Harry W. Mazal OBE

About The Protocols of the Elders of Zion

Introduction by Gordon Fisher

The document known in English as "The Protocols of the Elders of Zion" is to 20 many people, obviously a clumsy piece of false antisemitic propaganda. Nevertheless, there have been and still are others who have taken and take the work to be a kind of revelation of the truth about a conspiracy of a small number of Jewish leaders to gain political control of the whole world.

The "Protocols" seem to have been first made available to a wide public in Russia in book form in 1905, in a Russian version. However, there was a somewhat truncated version published in a St. Petersburg (Russia) newspaper "Znamya (The Banner)" in 1903. Norman Cohn says ("Warrant for Genocide", 1966-7, p 65-66): "Znamya was edited by P. A. Krushevan, the noted and militant antisemite. A few months before publishing the "Protocols" he had instigated the pogrom at Kishinev in Bessarabia [Russia], in which forty-five Jews were killed and more than 400 injured and 1,300 houses and shops destroyed." There was also an untruncated edition of this version published as a pamphlet in St. Petersburg in 1905, apparently edited by a retired officer of the Russian Imperial Guard, G. V. Butmi, a Bessarabian and associate of Krushevan (Cohn, p 66).

The first version in book form appeared as an appendix in the third edition, in 1905, of a book called (in Russian) "The Great in the Small: Antichrist considered as an imminent political possibility", by a Russian mystic named Sergei Nilus. The original manuscript, which has never been discovered, may well have been written in French (cf. Cohn, p 69) and translated into Russian. Cohn says (p 67) "It was Nilus's version, not Butmi's, that was to become a force in world history. That did not even begin to happen in 1905 . . . It happened only when the book reappeared, somewhat revised and enlarged, under the title [in Russian] "He is Near, At the Door . . . Here comes Antichrist and the reign of the Devil" on earth. And it happened because of the moment: 1917." Some say widespread attention to the "Protocols" began a little later, in 1918, after the defeat of Germany in World War I (cf. Herman Bernstein, "The Truth About "The Protocols of Zion", 1935, p 50, quoting Count du Chayla, who knew Nilus personally).

In 1921, "The Times" of London published three articles written by the newspaper's Constantinople (now Istanbul) correspondent, Philip Graves, which showed that the "Protocols" had been extensively plagiarized from a book by a French lawyer and writer named Maurice Joly. The book by Joly was called (in French) "Dialogues in Hell Between Machiavelli and Montesquieu". It was published in Brussels (Belgium) in 1864 (with a Geneva imprint, although the edition I have seen is dated 1868 and has a Brussels imprint). Cohn notes (p 74-5): "In all, over 160 passages in the Protocols, totaling two-fifths of the entire text, are clearly based on passages in Joly; in nine of the chapters the borrowings amount to more than half the text, in some they amount to three-quarters, in one (Protocol VII) to almost the entire text. This should be enough to demonstrate that plagiarism occurred.

There is one very notable difference between the "Protocols" as put forth by Nilus and the "Dialogues" as put forth by Joly. In the "Dialogues" there is no mention of Jews. These "Dialogues" were a political satire directed at the government of Napoleon III in France, during the Second Empire. Joly was given 15 months in prison by this government for his satirical effort. The author or authors of the "Protocols", so far as they were plagiarized from the 'Dialogues", substituted Jews where Joly had (non-Jewish) members of the government of Napoleon III.

Some current believers in the truth of the "Protocols" have argued that parallel passages of this sort do not damage the credibility of the Protocols since, for example, both the "Protocols" and the "Dialogues" could have been based on a third undiscovered document in which the original protagonists were Jews. In this view, I suppose Joly becomes the plagiarist who changed the alleged perpetrators of a world-wide plot to take over the world. No such preceding document has ever been discovered. Of course, it is impossible to prove that none ever existed. This is a favorite tactic of many of those whose believe in the authenticity of the Protocols. They argue on the basis of documents that might have existed, and actions that could have taken place, even though no evidence whatsoever is available that they existed or took place.

Cohn says (p 103): "All in all it is practically certain that the "Protocols" were fabricated some time between 1894 and 1899 and highly probable that it was in 1897 or 1898. The country was undoubtedly France, as is shown by the many references to French affairs." There are good grounds for concluding that forgery of the "Protocols" was undertaken or directed by a Paris agent of the then Russian secret police, the Okhrana. I say "forgery" because the "Protocols" are presented as a kind of minutes of a meeting of a number of "Elders of Zion" or "Wise Men of Zion". Since it seems clear that no such meeting as claimed by presenters of the "Protocols" ever took place, the work is a forgery as well as a plagiarism.

Bernstein, in the book cited above (p 26) is of this opinion: "The 'Protocols' were concocted not for the purpose of impressing statesmen, theologians, or even public opinion; they were drawn up in France and published in Russia to influence and inflame a feeble-minded person whose spirit already was filled with hatred of the Jew. That person was none other than Tsar Nicholas II." However this may be, in the years after 1918, the Protocols had a considerable influence on public opinion in numerous countries of the world. Not least was their influence on Adolf Hitler. It can be argued that the "Protocols" were actually used by Hitler as a partial guide for his own political programs. But that's another story.

The origins of the basic ideas of the "Protocols" can be traced back much further than the work of Joly. To examine this tangled skein, one can examine the following works:

Herman Bernstein, "The Truth About "The Protocols of Zion," 1935 Norman Cohn, "Warrant for Genocide", 1966-67 Goran Larsson, "Fact or Fraud? The Protocols of the Elders of Zion", 1994 (a Christian point of view) Richard S. Levy, "A Lie and A Libel", 1995, which contains a translation of: Binjamin Segel, "Welt-Krieg,Weltverschw F6rung, Weltoberregierung", 1926

A website covering the same subject:

http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Forum/9991/protocols.html

The original exposure of the plagiarism involved in the "Protocols" was made by Philip Graves in three articles published in 1921. These articles, together with introductory and concluding articles by editors of the London Times, were published as a pamphlet in 1921.

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