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From oneb!!utcsri!torn!!!news.Brown.EDU!brunix!brunix!dzk Wed Feb 10 21:13:49 PST 1993
Article: 10415 of alt.conspiracy
Newsgroups: alt.conspiracy
Path: oneb!!utcsri!torn!!!news.Brown.EDU!brunix!brunix!dzk
From: (Danny Keren)
Subject: Re: Protocools of Zion
Message-ID: <>
Organization: Brown University Department of Computer Science
Date: Wed, 10 Feb 1993 18:15:22 GMT
Lines: 125

     The "Protocols of the Elders of Zion", the most notorious and
most successful work of modern antisemitism, draws on popular
antisemitic notions which have their roots in medieval Europe from
the time of the Crusades. The libels that the Jews used blood of
Christian children for the Feast of Passover, poisoned the wells
and spread the plague were pretexts for the wholesale destruction
of Jewish communities throughout Europe. Tales were circulated
among the masses of secret rabbinical conferences whose aim was
to subjugate and exterminate the Christians, and motifs like these
are found in early antisemitic literature.

    The conceptual inspiration for the Protocols can be traced
back to the time of the French Revolution at the end of the 18th
century. At that time, a French Jesuit named Abbe Barruel,
representing reactionary elements opposed to the revolution,
published in 1797 a treatise blaming the Revolution on a secret
conspiracy operating through the Order of Freemasons. Barruel's
idea was nonsense, since the French nobility at the time was heavily
Masonic, but he was influenced by a Scottish mathematician named
Robison who was opposed to the Masons. In his treatise, Barruel
did not himself blame the Jews, who were emancipated as a result
of the Revolution. However, in 1806, Barruel circulated a forged
letter, probably sent to him by members of the state police opposed
to Napoleon Bonaparte's liberal policy toward the Jews, calling
attention to the alleged part of the Jews in the conspiracy he had
earlier attributed to the Masons. This myth of an international Jewish
conspiracy reappeared later on in 19th century Europe in places such
as Germany and Poland.

    The direct predecessor of the Protocols can be found in the pamphlet
"Dialogues in Hell Between Machiavelli and Montesquieu", published by
the non-Jewish French satirist Maurice Joly in 1864. In his "Dialogues",
which make no mention of the Jews, Joly attacked the political
ambitions of the emperor Napoleon III using the imagery of a diabolical
plot in Hell. The "Dialogues" were caught by the French authorities
soon after their publication and Joly was tried and sentenced to prison
for his pamphlet.

    Joly's "Dialogues", while intended as a political satire, soon
fell into the hands of a German antisemite named Hermann Goedsche
writing under the name os Sir John Retcliffe. Goedsche was a postal
clerk and a spy for the Prussian secret police. He had been forced
to leave the postal work due to his part in forging evidence in the
prosecution against the Democratic leader Benedict Waldeck in 1849.
Goedsche adapted Joly's "Dialogues" into a mythical tale of a Jewish
conspiracy as part of a series of novels entitled "Biarritz", which
appeared in 1868. In a chapter called "The Jewish Cemetery in Prague
and the Council of Representatives of the Twelve Tribes of Israel",
he spins the fantasy of a secret centennial rabbinical conference
which meets at midnight and whose purpose is to review the past
hundred years and to make plans for the next century.

     Goedsche's plagiary of Joly's "Dialogues" soon found its way to
Russia. It was translated into Russian in 1872, and a consolidation
of the "council of representatives" under the name "Rabbi's Speech"
appeared in Russian in 1891. These works no doubt furnished the Russian
secret police (Okhrana) with a means with which to strengthen the
position of the weak Czar Nicholas II and discredit the reforms of
the liberals who sympathized with the Jews. During the Dreyfus case of
1893-1895, agents of the Okhrana in Paris redacted the earlier works
of Joly and Goedsche into a new edition which they called the "Protocols
of the Elders of Zion". The manuscript of the Protocols was brought
to Russia in 1895 and was printed privately in 1897.

    The Protocols did not become public until 1905, when Russia's
defeat in the Russo-Japanese War was followed by the Revolution in the
same year, leading to the promulgation of a constitution and institution
of the Duma. In the wake of these events, the reactionary "Union of
the Russian Nation" or Black Hundreds organization sought to incite
popular feeling against the Jews, who they blamed for the Revolution
and the Constitution. To this end they used the Protocols, which
was first published in a public edition by the mystic priest Sergius
Nilus in 1905. The Protocols were part of propaganda campaign which
accompanied the pogroms of 1905 inspired by the Okhrana. A variant
text of the Protocols was published by George Butmi in 1906 and again
in 1907. The edition of 1906 was found among the Czar's collection,
even though he had already recognized the work as a forgery. In his
later editions, Nilus claimed that the Protocols had been read
secretly at the First Zionist Congress at Basle in 1897, while
Butmi in his edition wrote that they had no connection with the
new Zionist movement, but rather were part of the Masonic conspiracy.

     In the civil war following the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917,
the reactionary White Armies made extensive use of the Protocols
to incite widespread slaughters of Jews. At the same time, Russian
emigrants brought the Protocols to western Europe, where the Nilus
edition served as the basis for many translations, starting in 1920.
Just after its appearance in London in 1920, Lucien Wolf exposed the
Protocols as a plagiary of the earlier work of Joly and Goedsche, in
a pamphlet of the Jewish Board of Deputies. The following year, in
1921, the story of the forgery was published in a series of articles
in the London Times by Philip Grave, the paper's correspondent in
Constantinople. A whole book documenting the forgery was also published
in the same year in America by Herman Bernstein. Nevertheless, the
Protocols continued to circulate widely. They were even sponsored by
Henry Ford in the United States until 1927, and formed an important
part of the Nazis' justification of genocide of the Jews in World
War II.


Lucien Wolf. The Jewish Bogey and the Forged Protocols of the Learned
   Elders of Zion. Press Committee of the Jewish Board of Deputies,
   London (1920).

The Truth About "The Protocols": A Literary Forgery. From The Times
   of August 16, 17, and 18, 1921. Printing House Square, London.

Encyclopaedia Judaica. Keter Publishing House, Jerusalem (1971), entries
   on Antisemitism and Elders of Zion, Protocols of the Learned.

Herman Bernstein. The Truth About "The Protocols of Zion" (reprinted
   with introduction by Norman Cohn). Ktav Publishing House, New
   York (1971).

Norman Cohn. Warrant for Genocide: The Myth of the Jewish World
   Conspiracy and the Protocols of the Elders of Zion (Brown Judaic
   Studies, No. 23). Scholars Press, Chico, CA (1981).

-Danny Keren.

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