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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.
In The Holocaust: The Destruction of European Jewry 1933-1945, Nora Levin states that "Hitler used the Protocols as a manual in his war to exterminate the Jews":
Despite conclusive proof that the Protocols were a gross forgery, they had sensational popularity and large sales in the 1920's and 1930's. They were translated into every language of Europe and sold widely in Arab lands, the United States, and England. But it was in Germany after World War I that they had their greatest success. There they were used to explain all of the disasters that had befallen the country: the defeat in the war, the hunger, the destructive inflation (19).
In contrast to Hitler's rantings (below), Nazi leader Erich von dem Bach-Zelewsky admitted that there really was no "Jewish menace" (jüdische Gefahr) -- to use Hitler's own phrase in Mein Kampf -- or conspiracy for world domination:
I am the only living witness but I must say the truth. Contrary to the opinion of the National Socialists, that the Jews were a highly organized group, the appalling fact was that they had no organization whatsoever. The mass of the Jewish people were taken complete by surprise. They did not know at all what to do; they had no directives or slogans as to how they should act. This is the greatest lie of anti-Semitism because it gives the lie to that old slogan that the Jews are conspiring to dominate the world and that they are so highly organized. In reality, they had no organization of their own at all, not even an information service. If they had had some sort of organization, these people could have been saved by the millions, but instead, they were taken completely by surprise. Never before has a people gone as unsuspectingly to its disaster. Nothing was prepared. Absolutely nothing (20).
So what is it - fact or fiction?
The earliest copies were apparently written in French. It is generally believed that a copy of the Protocols was in circulation as early as 1884, a full 13 years before the Basle congress.
The most damning evidence against the document being authentic is that modern scholars have proved that the Protocols was based in part on a satirical attack on the French Emperor Napoleon III by Maurice Joly, written and printed in Geneva in 1864.
The pamphlet was titled Dialogues from Hell between Machiavelli and Montesquieu.
In 1868 the German Hermann Goedsche, writing under the pseudonym Sir John Radcliffe, adapted Joly's pamphlet and turned it into a mythical tale of a Jewish conspiracy as part of a series of novels entitled Biarritz.
In it he writes of a secret centennial rabbinical conference which meets at midnight and whose purpose is to review the past 100 years and to plan the next century.
These two documents - the pamphlet and the novel - were later reworked into a document titled the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, which was taken to Russia in 1895 and printed privately in 1897.
Throughout its history it has been used in the cause of anti-semitism and forms an integral part of a long history of the demonisation of Judaism and Jews.
It is a classic in paranoid, racist literature. Taken by the gullible as the confidential minutes of a Jewish conclave convened in the last years of the nineteenth century, it has been heralded by anti-Semites as proof that Jews are plotting to take over the world. Since its contrivance around the turn of the century by the Russian Okhrana, or Czarist secret police, "The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion" has taken root in bigoted, frightened minds around the world.
The booklet’s twenty-four sections spell out the alleged secret plans of Jewish leaders seeking to attain world domination. They represent the most notorious political forgery of modern times. Although thoroughly discredited, the document is still being used to stir up anti-Semitic hatred.
Origins of the Protocols
Serge Nilus, a little-known Czarist official in Moscow, edited several editions of the Protocols, each with a different account of how he discovered the document. In his 1911 edition Nilus claimed that his source had stolen the document from (a non-existent) Zionist headquarters in France. Other "editors" of the Protocols maintained that the document was read at the First Zionist Congress held in 1897 in Basel, Switzerland.
Note: According to reputable scholars, including Prof. Norman Cohn in his noted book, Warrant for Genocide, the world-control myth was actually lifted from a 19th century French politcal satire in which the alleged plotters weren’t even Jewish.
The Hoax Spreads
Impact of the Bolshevik Revolution
After the Russian Revolution in 1917, frustrated supporters of the ousted Czar rescued the document from obscurity in order to discredit the Bolsheviks. The emigre Czarists portrayed the Revolution as part of a Jewish plot to enslave the world, and pointed to the Protocols as the blueprint of that plan. The scheme of yoking the Protocols to the Bolshevik Revolution not only led to the allegation of a Judeo-Communist conspiracy, but promoted the forgery internationally. In later years, vicious Soviet anti-Semitic propaganda under Stalin and others echoed the conspiracy mythology of the Protocols.
Originally posted by Cocco
Infinite....this may be a stupid question but HOW do you put the quoted info in a the shaded area???