No bibliography is featured because of the extensive excerpts in the text; authorship, publication dates, and locations for the various books, journals, and articles with precise data make a bibliography far too long.
There is no point in enumerating hundreds of sources; the volume of this book would be greatly increased, yet without creating any substantial changes.
As the title of this sketch implies, it is limited by time and territory. By limited times, I mean by those three periods when the Jewish ethnic group lived within the territory of the Russian State. The first period was Kiev Russia era; the second period, when Western and Southwestern Russia was under the power of Poland; the third, during the Russian Empire, renamed the USSR. It is limited by territory by the lands held by the Russian people, and created by the State of Russia as it existed then. Any other era or occurrences beyond aforementioned boundaries are of no significance to this sketch.
During the two thousand years of their sojourn, many different Jewish groups were dispersed throughout different countries, different nationalities, and different eras. Inevitably, wherever these sects resided, conflicts arose between the Jews and the different local populations. Ultimately the “Jewish Question” or “Judaeophobia” developed, which from the middle of the Nineteenth Century came to be known as “anti-Semitism”. “Anti-Semitism” is not an entirely correct usage, as Semites include not only people of the Jewish faith; but today the word is used specifically in reference to anti-Jewish feeling, replacing the more exact terminology of “Judaeophobia” which was used for centuries prior to the emergence of the former word. “Judaeophobia” has a more precise meaning than “anti-Semitism”, designating negative, unfriendly feelings solely towards the Jewish people. “Judaeophilia”, on the other hand, would indicate a proclivity and friendliness towards the Jews.
The causes of “Judaeophobia” that existed in pre-Christian times, and which still exist now, are beyond the framework of this historical sketch, and therefore will not be the subject of examination here. Moreover, the existing opinions of different researchers concerning the cause of the well-known mutual repulsion of the Jews by non-Jews are diametrically opposed. Some claim the problem lies within the nations where Jewish people have resided and still do reside. Others look for the causes of “Judaeophobia” within the Jews themselves. Spinoza aptly phrased it when he said, “They carry it with themselves”.
Throughout the centuries much has been written on the subject of “Judaeophobia”, and its reaction towards the Jews. Much less, however, has been written on the causes of “Judaeophobia” despite the fact it is well-known that “Nothing occurs without cause”, (”Nihil sine causa” — N. S. C.). The volume and character 0f this sketch does not permit elaboration on the causes of these conflicts, however, bypass them silently is also impossible. It is therefore suggested that the reader become acquainted with the analysis of this question, dealt with in the second part of this book. The title of this analysis is, “Anti-Semitism in the Ancient World”, by Professor Solomon Lourie. In this discussion the author deals with the causes which used to promote and still do promote “Judaeophobia” both before and after the death of Christ.
In the course of this account there is some indirect mention of the causes of discord in the Russian-Jewish relationship that can neither be denied nor ignored. This discord, or mutual distrust, and the subsequent repulsion of both parties by each other, began with the first appearance of the Jews in Russia. All three major branches of the Russian people, the Great Russians, the Malorussian-Ukrainians and the Byelorussians are implicated in this “Judaeophobia”, but not without cause. This discord in its broadest sense existed not only between the Russians and the Jewish ethnic group but also between the entire population of the USSR and the Jews, throughout the country.
This discord and mutual mistrust and the subsequent repulsion of the Jews by the entire population of the USSR is labeled “anti-Semitism”. The initiative in this discrimination is cast upon the whole non-Jewish population of Russia, the Jewish people falling heir by default to the sole of the silent and abused sufferers. Everyone else is to blame, but the Jews themselves are always assumed to be in the right.
No serious researcher can agree with stereotyped suffering on the part of the Jews, with no one to blame but the various native populations with which they became associated. Yet there is scarcely anyone who would try to establish the causes for this, as had been done by Solomon Lourie in his research. The majority chooses to remain silent about the true causes of these conflicts, preferring to let the quilt lie with the non-Jews, and therefore, examines only the consequences, the outward manifestation which is labeled “anti-Semitism”.
“The timid and double-faced” Jews and non-Jews recommend that the causes be ignored, for fear that these talks of discrimination and defamation on the grounds of race and color only strengthen the spread of mutual prejudice, and therefore, do nothing to clarify the true historical issues.
This statement was made by the former secretary of the All Russian Constituent Assembly, Mark Vishniak, in his essay, ”International Convention Against Anti-Semitism”, published in the anthology entitled ”Jewish World”, (p. 98, New York 1939).
Vishniak himself was the initiator of this convention; however, he does not specify in any part of his work, how to understand this “anti-Semitism” in proper perspective. It is possible that he is incapable of understanding that there exists a basic difference between Jewish and non-Jewish races which goes far beyond race and color of the skin, and can be defined as “something else”?
This basic difference had been formulated thirty years before Mark Vishniak raised this question on an international scale, by Professor Solomon Lourie who said the “inner aspect” is that which distinguishes all Jews from non-Jews, regardless of skin color, hair color or any other trait related to their origin. It is this “something else”, this “inner aspect” that explains the present conflict between the Jews, the Semites, and the Arabs (a fact that cannot be explained if one accepts Mark Vishniak's theories on the subject). Everyone knows that these races are of basically the same origin. In what then do they differ? Is it not in this “inner aspect”? It is this very thing that alerts the Jews and non-Jews, including the Russians, to a state of mutual distrust. Full frankness does not exist between the Russians and Jews, and this was aptly phrased by Solomon Schwartz, a noted author, when he said in his book ”Anti-Semitism in the Soviet Union” on p. 41, “that what a Russian would say to a Russian, he would not say to a Jew”. This is very true, but alternatively, so is its converse: “what a Jew would say to a Jew he would not say to a Russian”. He did not attempt to explain, however, the cause of this phenomenon. He felt the cause of this distrust needed no explanation.
The statements of the three Jewish writers quoted previously, who received their education in Russian universities and occupied notable positions in Russian cultural and political life, deserve special attention. Their statements are evidence themselves of this mutual distrust, a suspicion that quite often overflowed into relations and created possible conditions for all kinds of conflicts.
This phenomenon is not specific to the Russian-Jewish interrelationship; in fact, the conflict between the Jews and the entire multitribal population of Russia-USSR existed for the whole period of time that the Jews resided upon Russian soil, or any other soil foreign to them.
Sometimes these mutually scornful and contemptuous relations between the Jews and the native population intensified and overflowed into pogroms, persecutions which had few limits in their intensity. Sometimes when a “thaw” in these pogroms occurred, the opportunity for material improvement and participation in political spheres of a country by the Jews arose. There were even times when the Jewish people ingratiated themselves with the rulers of these countries and conducted their own personal persecution upon the native peoples.
These persecutions were carried out upon the people who in the Jewish opinion were ill-disposed towards them. They carried out this extermination of the native people in the manner that is described in the Bible – “The Book of Esther”. History also testifies to incidents where the Jewish ethnic group exterminated even their own tribesmen whom they believed to be renegades, with the consent and co-operation of the ruler of the country involved. The Jews were able to convince the ruler that renegades who changed their Judaic beliefs for those of Roman gods did it for personal profit; therefore they could not be trusted, as they would just as easily betray the emperor (in this case Ptolemy) as they had betrayed Jehovah.
All these conflicts and hesitations in the interrelationship between the Jews and the native population were of local origin, without overstepping the boundaries of any one country. One country would expel them, another would let them in; one ruler would be kind to them, while others only “tolerated them”.
For this reason, the “Jewish Question” that arose in every country where the Jews resided had little importance in the life of a country or its people. They did not have great significance, since Jewish groups were scattered throughout different countries and never exceeded several hundred thousand in any country.
This, however, was not the case in Russia or the USSR. At the beginning of the twentieth century, the overwhelming majority of the world's Jewry lived within the boundaries of Russia-USSR, numbering more than 6 million. This huge sector of the world's Jewish population lived according to the law of their Judaic religion and isolated itself from the rest of the native population. This isolation was self-imposed, and not inflicted, compulsory ghetto living. It was a time however, when the Jewish people in Russia were striving through all possible channels to participate in all the spheres of the country's life, an endeavor in which they became quite successful.
At the beginning of the Twentieth Century, Russian Jewry was the centre of the Jewish religion, and its people's conscience. This centre, which gave direction to the life and the activities of the entire Jewish Diaspora, created purely Jewish ideological currents and political parties consisting solely of Jewish members, and produced from their ranks political personalities who became leaders of all Jewry.
In the late 1920s, Russian Jewry had turned from the insignificant four-percent minority limited in its rights into ruling class capturing most of the ruling positions in all spheres of Russian life. The occurrence was something unheard of throughout the whole history of mankind: an unequalled historical precedent.
The final point deserving special attention is the reaction of the whole free world, its press, and its public opinion, towards the change in the social conditions of the Jews in Russia, at the end of the second decade of the Twentieth Century. The reaction towards the change that occurred thirty years later after the Second World War must also be considered.
In less than one year, after the fall of the Czarist Regime in Russia, the Jewish ethnic minority of foreign origin had become the ruling majority, an incident unparalleled in human history. It was then that world public opinion, the greater part of its press, and even social and political leaders of that time, ignored this change and remained silent. They remained silent about the fact that four Jews concluded the Brest-Litovsk peace in the name of Russia, that all Russia's representatives on the League of Nations were also Jews, and that many of the leading political and social leaders of Russia were Jewish. Only a small number of uninfluential foreign press bodies saw and printed the truth about the exceptional change in the Jewish situation in Russia, and then only seldom and in a timid fashion. The émigré press of the “Right” orientation wrote of the change but this was of little avail for few people listened to or read these articles. The reason for this was that these émigré newspapers were groundlessly labeled as anti-Semitic and reactionary. The émigré periodical issues of so-called “democratic” orientation were all in the hands of the Russian-Jewish immigrants who wrote about anything but the Jewish domination in Russian political spheres. Only the individual representatives within the “democratic” camp of the Russian immigrants, who were watching the events in Russia, dared to touch upon the “Jewish Question” as it existed in the USSR. The well-known political activist, Mrs. E. Kuskova, and the equally famous leader and creator of the “Russian Peasant Party”, S. Maslov, expressed their opinion about this “ticklish question”, and pointed to the inversely proportional Jewish participation in the ruling class of Russia. These two outspoken activists claimed that this inversely proportional Jewish rule would create preconditions for Judaeophobia throughout the native population of Russia.
Other well-known activists, Mrs. A. Tyrkova-Williams, noted this change, and A. Stolypin, one of the leaders of the solidarists (N. T.S.), reported about the Jewish majority composition of the Russian delegation of the League of Nations in his book ”Counterrevolution”, published in July 1937.
Their voice was heard by no one, and no one upheld their findings. The “ticklish question” dared not to be raised or discussed on the pages of the “democratic” émigré press.
There was an attempt on the part of a group of Jewish immigrants to raise the question on the pages of the press and at public meetings. At the beginning of the second decade of the Twentieth Century, an organization called “Patriotic Union of Russian Jews in Foreign Countries”, centered in Berlin, called for all Jews to disassociate themselves from the activities of their fellow tribesmen in the USSR, in view of the latter's excessive participation in the pursue of Red terror. This organization claimed, not without foundation, that the negative attitude of the Russian people towards the Jews was brought about by Jewish participation in Red terror, and that ultimately these anti-Semitic views would spread throughout the country and encompass all Jews in the USSR. But their voice was not taken into consideration. Instead, it was sharply criticized by the world's Jewry, and through the protest the “Patriotic Union of Russian Jews in Foreign Countries” was forced to break off its criticism. In essence these demands for disassociation were quite limited. The Russian Jews and other Jews throughout the world were called upon to disassociate themselves only from those fellow tribesmen who actively took part in Red terror. But there was no mention of the numerous Jews who held many high ranking positions in Russian institutions. This infiltration could not have gone unnoticed. It is therefore necessary to assume that the authors of the appeal had no objection to the monopoly status of the Jews in all areas of Russian life except that of Red terror. But even this modest call provoked a burst of indignation in all immigrant Jews who felt that this question should not be raised in any form: it should be kept silent if it could neither be justified nor refuted.
The result of this was that the impenetrable curtain was drawn down for thirty years over the existence of Jewish domination in the USSR. This conspiracy, which no one dared to violate for fear of being labeled an “anti-Semite”, grew stronger. No one was prepared to accept the consequences of such a revelation.
After the Second World War everything changed radically. The “Jewish Question” in the USSR appeared on the pages of the world press and in the Russian émigré newspapers and journals, and then the expose began. But this expose preferred to ignore the truth and wrote of the oppression and persecution of the Russian Jews, much as had been done in 1917. The discrimination was underlined and the government of the USSR and its native population was openly accused of “cultural genocide” of a portion of its citizens, namely the Jews.
How serious and well-founded are these accusations? The reader will draw that conclusion for himself, after he has attentively read what is written in this sketch. These facts and events which are given are not disputed even by those who appear to be the accused. This is why here, in the preface, we will not preoccupy ourselves with the assertion of the real causes of the revival of the old pre-revolutionary accusations of Russia for its anti-Jewish politics.
The causes will be clearly ascertained by an attentive and objective examination of this “ticklish question”. These causes arise from Jewish dissatisfaction because of a gradual decline of the privileged position which they held for that thirty year period between the fall of Czarist Russia and the end of the Second World War.
In the atmosphere of the cold war, these accusations acquire special importance, overstepping the boundaries of one state and assuming an international character, thus creating the necessary preconditions for the hostile relations between Russia-USSR and the rest of the world. This hostile attitude is directed towards the country and people who supposedly committed overt “cultural genocide” and “discrimination” against the Jews.
In the last two decades (1947-1967), a great number of books and articles were written on this subject, and an endless number of meetings and protests took place emphasizing the “persecution of the Jews” in USSR.
Except for the rarest of cases, the Russian people and its present government are unconditionally condemned for this so-called “anti-Semitism”, the simplified label of repulsion and mistrust shown by any person towards an individual or group of individuals of Jewish origin. Many accept such condemnation without even considering the necessity of looking for its causes, or the feelings which promoted these occurrences. It is, however, well-known that nothing occurs without cause.
It would only be logical to expect that, having established the existence of these well-known feelings and occurrences and provoked by these very feelings, the accusers would also demand that the causes of this provocation be established. However, no one does this. The very thought that the cause of so-called “anti-Semitism”, should perhaps be sought within the Jews themselves and in their own distinction from all other nationalities and tribes, would be qualified as an anti-Semitic act against the very source of anti-Semitism. That is why this “ticklish” question remains unanswered.
As mentioned above, there were only few authors who attempted to touch upon this question, to justify or explain the age-old conflict between the Jews and the nations with whom they resided and still reside. One of the authors who dealt with this question is Professor Solomon Lourie, from whose work extensive excerpts are given in Part II of this book.
The second author who examined the question of the Jewish role in the life of those people among whom they lived is the well-known figure Jacob Klatskin, author of “Problems of Contemporary Jewry” published in Berlin in 1930. Examining the Jewish role in the cultural life of nations, participation in which is only possible on the basis of known assimilation, that is, through language proficiency and ability to acquire the outer aspect of the environment, Jacob Klatskin writes the following:
”In the first stage of assimilation, they are harmful not only to their own Jewish people from whom they have not entirely become disassociated, but also to the people or nation of whom they want to be part in order to rule them. They often make quite dull the source of the culture that is alien to them, vulgarizing it, even though they may appear to penetrate its inner depths. In doing this they abuse the culture's foundation. For the most part, they remain only superficially a part of the culture or turn into malicious and destructive mockers. Their power lies in humiliation and irony. They indulge in self-glorification, self-loving philosophy, asserting themselves as know-it-alls, knowing about everything without deep penetration into the very essence…
The Jewish assimilationists like to be considered cosmopolitan. They do not sense the mysterious power of the national genius, preferring to be intermediaries among versatile national cultures. They are bored with and despise organized society. They fail to comprehend ideas that are original and unique. They appear to know everything and are at home in any nation. They like to be considered radicals and the most forward of the forward thinkers. They like very well to play the rôle of nihilists, imitating those who would depreciate or destroy a society, possessing a type of bankruptcy of national possessions, unable to remain at peace, for they are merely torn-off pieces of the historical chain. Their idealism is thus easily made suspicious, for it is very easy for a people with no firm roots to be the apostles of freedom, and even to work against what is already free. Even their virtues carry a certain seal of evil. Despite this, if in a sense they are still connected with Jewry as a whole, then even then they do no good. They accommodate themselves, and find common ground among the alien elements. They are procurers of Jewry with the German culture, the French culture, and any other culture they seek to assimilate, and by this inflict damage to both sides and have a crippling rather than a healing effect on the nation concerned.
Thus the Jewish assimilationists become accountable not only to the Jewish people, but also to the people of the nation whose culture they seek to invade. They, in effect, sin before the national structure of the other's cultural entity, falsify its historical originality, its national soul, by means of the falsified Jewish apostasy. They are double falsifiers, for they erase the cultural boundaries, as all boundaries are erased in their souls.
Therefore the sacred duty of the people is to stand on guard for their national individuality.”
(p. 196-197 of the German edition)
Klatskin explains the above by saying that the Jews descended from the “spiritual elite”, highly developed intellectually, and rich in creative and destructive abilities, and that therefore they could not be assimilated like slaves, without a trace into another distinct culture.
His statements have something in common with those made by many authors, of both Jewish and non-Jewish nationality, who attempted to comprehend those quite exceptional Jewish abilities to preserve that integral quality of Jewishness under outward signs of complete assimilation.
This ability of preserving Judaic beliefs inevitably led to conflicts with the native populations. These conflicts became more perceptible as national feelings and the unity of the native people's conscience grew stronger.
In pre-revolutionary Russia, patriotism and feelings of national pride, due to the influence of liberal socialists and internationalist ideas, were in decline, especially among the intelligentsia and the youth: the older generation was losing its authority in the eyes of the young and more active generation.
Perhaps this account for the main reason why the Jewish ethnic group had actually become the ruling class in Russia with such ease by the end of the year 1917. It was this class that occupied the leading posts of all Russian institutions, and created the framework of the new power, without encountering proper opposition from the native population. The struggle with the new power had more an economic basis than a distinctly expressed unwillingness that foreigners be the rulers of their country. The Russian people did not have strong national feelings at that time, and the new power began a ruthless struggle to eradicate any such feeling from the people's memory. They ordered the destruction of all the monuments of culture and all the things that make a people proud and are therefore carefully preserved. The Russian national elite were virtually destroyed, and what remained was intimidated and thus brought to silence.
As soon as this nationalism seemed to be destroyed, national pride and Russian patriotism grew from these roots and started their slow and sure movement towards the ultimate liquidation of the “inversely proportional” representation that was the ruling class from 1917 to the end of the Second World War.
This movement proceeded steadfastly without any excesses, pogroms, or violence whatsoever. To replace the destroyed cultural elite of pre-revolutionary Russia, a new young intelligentsia sprang up as the master of its own country and the lawful heir of its historical past, and laid its claim. No one dared to refuse this claim. This, however, meant loss of power, prestige, and that position which was monopolistically occupied by the Jewish group, a position they had occupied unopposed for a quarter of a century.
It would be no mistake if we state that this is precisely the cause of the campaign in the press throughout the world, which accuses the Russian people and its government of anti-Jewish activity. Until the end of the Forties, all was in order, and the world looked on silently as the Jews ruled Russia and represented it in all international affairs.
All those who studied the ”Russian question” failed to mention that unique phenomenon of a country of two hundred million that was being monopolistically ruled by the representatives of the ethnic Jewish group consisting of only three million people. The rulers of Russia for this quarter century were a people alien to the native population in race, sense of justice and aspirations.
But, let us hope that this fact will not escape those, who, in the future, will devote themselves to the study of this question in a relaxed atmosphere, instead of a calculated cold war, in which the accusation of the Russian people of “Anti-Semitism” is used as one of the main trump in a propaganda war.
The task of those charged with this research will not be easy. Mountains of books, thousands of articles, and all other types of “evidence” about the “anti-Semitic” manifestations of the Russian people, and of the persecution of the Jews in Russia and the USSR, will be found by these researchers. They will find nothing or almost nothing that refutes these unfounded accusations. Few people have written refutations that objectively state the true nature and essence of the Russian-Jewish interrelationship, and the original causes that produced these accusations against the Russian people. Nothing will be found to elucidate the Russian position in this argument except in such works that explore this interrelationship from a religious or a mythical point of view. But even these religious texts obscure more than clarify the Russian-Jewish question.
Taking into consideration what has already been said, the conclusion is entrusted to what we, the contemporaries, ought to elucidate objectively in the interest of truth and historical justice. The truth about the Russian-Jewish interrelationship is systematically silenced, destroyed, or perverted.
The truth must be revealed not only to the future generation but also the present one. It is no secret what an enormous role the “Jewish Question” plays in the business of creating and sustaining anti-Russian feelings throughout the world. These anti-Russian feelings feed the cold war, creating a worldwide threat of eruption into a hot war which might end in worldwide catastrophe and the possible destruction of all mankind. This is why an objective elucidation of the Russian-Jewish interrelationship must be made.
Is it not the duty of us all, especially those who were born in Russia, regardless of race, religion, political convictions, or party affiliation, to elucidate this question? This is certainly the duty of all Russians as well as non-Russians, including the Russian Jews, who are better informed about what is taking place in USSR. But, alas, everyone remains silent, thus indirectly confirming the outrageous lies and propaganda that feeds anti-Russian feeling throughout the world.
There is one characteristic circumstance that deserves special attention in the analysis of this propaganda. The accused, in all these mortal sins against the Jews, is the Great Russian branch of the Russian people. Only this branch of the Russian population is accused of these “crimes”, excluding the Malorussian-Ukrainian branch, when it is well-known fact that it was in the Ukraine that all the excesses took place which are the bases of the Judaeophobia. It must also be taken into consideration that, in the past as well as now, the Ukrainians occupied the highest positions in the country, and actively participated in conducting that type of politics which irresponsible propaganda labeled as ”cultural genocide” in Warsaw of all relation to the Jews.
The absence of Ukrainians on the bench of the accused is not difficult to explain if the aim of those who accuse the Russian people of this “persecution” of the Jews is known. The aim is the liquidation of that united country created by the Russian people, now called the USSR. After this liquidation occurs, the aim is to create a whole range of sovereign states which includes the Ukraine.
The Ukrainian separatists strive towards this aim. They are allies of the forces that under the pretence of the struggle for freedom against Communism, seek to break up the alliance of the USSR. Their strongest plea to rest of the world is an appeal to save the Jews from a so-called “cultural genocide” being imposed by the USSR. The “cultural genocide” is nothing but a catchword, skillfully used in a propaganda campaign. The Russian people, the Russian Government, and Russian Communism are blamed for this “genocide”, and always Russian as opposed to Jew is underlined and emphasized. This emphasis is deliberately and conscientiously employed as a literary-journalistic trick, in order to foster anti-Russian feeling throughout the world.
It is a point to remember, that little more than twenty years ago, the press of the world, especially that of the émigré Jews, wrote disapprovingly of the part the Ukrainians took in the destruction of the Jews by the Germans in the Second World War. Here is what we read in the “Jewish World”, published in 1944, p. 235-236:
“A special rôle in their anti-Semitic campaign was reserved by the Germans for the Ukrainians. In the article devoted to the Ukrainian people, “Der Sturmer” has not only included the Ukrainians in the “North Dinarsk” racial type, but also made special effort to praise them for their anti-Semitic achievements of the past.”
The newspaper mentioned with pleasure the destruction of four hundred thousand Jews during the Chmielnitsky uprising in 1648 and the seventy thousand Jews butchered by Petlura and other Ukrainian bands in 1918-1919. The article ended with the pronouncement of the “convinced hope that the Ukrainians would find themselves at their height, and therefore revenge themselves against the Jews.”
“All sixty newspapers published in the Ukrainian language, on Ukrainian territory occupied by the Germans, are conducting ruthless anti-Jewish persecution.”
On the eve of 1942, a meeting was held in Warsaw of all the former officers and soldiers, who fought in 1918-1919 in the ranks of the Petlura army. At this meeting, a vow was taken to help the Nazi Germans in the liquidation of the Soviet Power, and in the destruction of Jews. In May of 1966 in New York, the fraternization of the Zionists and the men of the Petlura occurred along an again with a joint vow to destroy “Russian Communism”, without referring to the Jews this time. The details of this fraternization were published in the Ukrainian weekly “Our Fatherland” in May 1966. The comparison of these two vows given by the Petlura men shows that they changed from Jewish destroyers into their allies in their common business of liquidating the united USSR, and therefore deserves special attention. While the Jews of the USSR occupied the ruling positions, the Jewry of the whole world upheld the unity of the USSR. When the Soviet Jewry ceased to be this, the union of these Jews with all kind of separatists striving to destroy the USSR's unit began. This took place because the Jewry of the entire world realized that they could never return to their ruling position in the USSR.
In the future, undoubtedly there will be some researchers, who will take up the question of this most stormy epoch. As for ourselves, the contemporaries of these events, we must draw attention to this most unusual phenomenon in every way possible.
* * *
I belong to the “departing” generation, that generation which received their “school-leaving certificate” before the First World War, and ripened during the years of completely exceptional economic and cultural uplift in Russia. This period between the first revolution of 1905 up to the fatal years of 1914, the beginning of the First World War, was a truly exceptional period. I am of that generation to whose lot it fell to be the witness and participant in the stormy events of the first half of the Twentieth Century. This generation not only heard or read about these events, but also saw and endured them. We saw the good and the bad, saw all that took place in reality, and not what is now presented by the many chroniclers, who hush up certain facts and expose others, and in so doing distort the historical truth.
I was born and grew up in the heart of the Malorussia-Ukraine, not too far from the former capital of Baturin. I received my education in Kiev, where, still in times of peace, I donned the cap with a blue band of a university student. After the First World War and during the subsequent years of “overturns and indignations”, I had a quite difficult time, but never ceased to observe events that took place.
As I spent all of my grown life in the Ukraine where more than half of the Russian Jews lived, my special attention was always attracted by the so-called ”Jewish Question”, both before and after the revolution.
And now, after the Second World War, when this question ceased to be the internal problem of Russia, and became one of the basic factors of world politics with its innumerable perversions and distortions on the pages of the world press, I felt provoked into stating the truth as I know it. It became a matter of necessity that I give my modest contribution to truthful elucidation of the Russian-Jewish question. The distorted and perverted facts that the world press resented, provoked me into writing this far from complete but truthful sketch ”Jews in Russia and in the USSR” which I humbly present to the reader’s attention.
This sketch is based on facts. In it are presented those facts which took place in the past. It is not propaganda which can be printed en masse in any language of the world, in relation to the “Jewish Question” in Russia and the USSR.
* * *
While I was working on this sketch, I read over hundreds of books, articles, essays, statements and investigations, made by many different authors in different languages. I read books written both by authors deemed “Judaeophobes” or “anti-Semites” and those deemed “Judaeophiles” who have diametrically opposed ideas, the latter being in greater abundance. I read Jewish and non-Jewish texts, and I came to the conclusion that all attempts to solve or explain the “Jewish Question”, by all those who on the religious and mythical bases not only contribute to, but hinder the revelation of the truth to the whole world, make this truth almost impossible to find.
Neither the “Evil Forces” nor the “Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion”, invariably appearing in one author's work, or those recognized as the tribes destined for a special “paradise”, or as the “Chosen People”, in another author's work, help to clarify the nature and age-long mutual repulsions and conflicts. Moreover, both points of view ultimately lead to contradictions with Christian teachings on the one hand, and understanding of democracy in the broadest sense on the other.
A true believer in the Christian doctrine cannot refuse to recognize as an equal the Jew who has become a Christian. Although all the trappings of the Jew do not disappear immediately upon the acceptance of the Christian faith, namely, that inner aspect of a Jew that gives rise to the mutual repulsion between Jews and non-Jews, the true Christian accepts him unconditionally as his equal. In much the same way, the true democrat, proceeding from the viewpoint that all people are equal in all respect, cannot refuse to give equal political and cultural rights to the Jews. Nonetheless he sees that the Jews, enjoying all these rights, constantly preserve their originality, their Jewish point of view, and their sense of justice. It is these elements of separatism and preservation of their unique difference that do not always correspond with the surrounding environment, and this leads to mutual mistrust and repulsion. To eliminate these separatist ideas is to solve the “Jewish Question” which exists in spite of all the laws prohibiting discrimination, and all attempts to hush up the violations of such laws. How to achieve this end, how much time is required, and what measures must be taken undoubtedly cannot be solved by our generation, because the roots of the “Jewish Question” extend too deeply into our past.
Meanwhile we will be, as we were in the past, witnesses of the unsuccessful attempts to solve this painful and age-old question. The entire objection to so-called “anti-Semitism”, without concrete proposals to terminate this problem will come to nothing as they have in the past, and will in the future. Neither strict punishments of anti-Semites applied by the government of the USSR, nor the constant silence of the free democratic world will help to solve this problem.
An objective study of this question will logically show three possible solutions:
- Total assimilation of the Jews with native people. This is only possible if the Jews reject their Hebrew religion and their racial and tribal distinction in favor of several generations of mixed marriages. However the very expression of such an idea is held as “anti-Semitic” and Jewry, believers and non-believers alike, rise up against such a solution.
- The creation of independent Jewish territorial units, sovereign and autonomous, within whose boundaries the Jewish nationality could live according to their own laws and develop their own culture. An example such as this, given by Birobidzhan, shows that the Jews looked upon such a solution as discrimination.
- The status of “foreigners” within a given state for the Jewish ethnic group. Such a status automatically deprives them of participation in the cultural life of the country in which they live, and of any possibility of political involvement and subsequent influence on its politics: a status totally unacceptable to the Jews, and they have failed to suggest a fourth possibility. The question remains unsolved, therefore, or to be more precise, hushed up.
We can hope that this question will be solved, once and for all, in the future, when time destroys the many biases age-old prejudices. Then hopefully after several generations of mixed marriage the “Jewish question” will disappear by itself. This will happen as soon as people realize that race and religion must not be inseparably linked.
* * *
In the vast literature dedicated to the “Jewish Question”, both from the “Judaeophobian” and “Judaeophilian” points of view, there appear invariably the indications of “Evil Forces”, “The Protocols of the Learned elders of Zion”, “Kabala”, “Satanism”, and other explanations of the Jewish question. As I do not have sufficient erudition to pass Judgment on this, I therefore do not make any attempt to give an exhaustive answer, nor to expound it comprehensively and objectively in this sketch. I am limiting myself solely to the facts and events that took place.
If one proceeds from the viewpoint that external facts exert an enormous influence on the spiritual aspect of man, cultivating this or that virtue of his character, it seems to me that this question deserves serious thought, in an attempt to explain certain Jewish characteristics that hamper their amicable co-existence with other nationalities.
This question is scientifically developed in Solomon Lourie's book, “Anti-Semitism in the Ancient World”, which answers many puzzling questions, and explains what at first sight seems mysterious and incomprehensible. An attentive and thoughtful reading of the excerpt from Lourie's book (which appears in the second part of this book) will explain and clarify much of what is attributed to “Evil Forces”, “The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion”, “Kabala” , “Satanism” and other such mythical explanations of this question.
All of what is found in the “Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion”, a recipe for success in life in the environment of another nation, will be found by the reader in Solomon Lourie's book. In it the reader will also find an explanation of what motivates the Jews to this or that tactic in their struggle for success. This is characteristic of not only the individual Jew but also the entire Jewry.
With this I will end my somewhat protracted introduction, leaving it to the reader to make his own judgment on the verity and expediency of my account in this sketch.