Many Jews are still soft on Communism, which is one of the reasons why a vigorous and objective examination of the history of Jews and Communism remains taboo. There is also a legitimate fear that such an examination may play into the hands of those who may fan the flames of anti-Semitism. The problem with this argument is that the historic involvement of many prominent Jews in the communist movement was itself responsible for fanning those flames. This involvement contributed to the atmosphere that culminated in the Nazi Holocaust. I realize that I'm wading into controversial waters by weighing in on this topic, which is why I've avoided it until now. I believe, however, that an honest and responsible rendering of history outweighs any other factor. Truth serves in the interest of good and can only contribute to positive change and healing.
The unpleasant and indisputable fact of the matter is that many Jews did play a prominent role in the hated Bolshevik coup of November 1917 and subsequent communist revolutions and movements in Europe and elsewhere. Prominent Jewish Communists would be at the forefront of some of the worst aspects of those bloody revolutions. This fact was not lost on Europeans, especially those who suffered under the brutal communist yoke in the years leading up to Hitler. The Nazis would use these unpleasant facts as part of their Jew hating conspiracy theories and propaganda as they planned the liquidation of the innocent Jews of Europe.
Communism introduced unprecedented levels of atrocity and totalitarianism to Europe in the years before Hitler, starting with the 1917 Bolshevik coup itself, Stalin's collectivization of farms, wars against the Kulaks, the engineered famines of 1931-32 which killed upwards of 5 million Ukrainians, the communist inspired atrocities of the Spanish civil war and other examples. Jewish Bolsheviks played prominent roles in the Russian coup including, among others, Trotsky (Bronstein), Zinoviev (Apfelbaum), Kamenev, Radek, and Uritzky. The question of why Jews would embrace godless communism in the first place is interesting and beyond the scope of this brief treatise. Suffice it to say that significant numbers of Jews did sign on to an amoral political faith that caused unprecedented loss of freedom, poverty, oppression and death.
It is an unpleasant fact that many of the worst Communists, those associated with many of the worst atrocities, were of Jewish background. Lavrenti Beria brought about the infamous Katyn massacre and other atrocities. Lazar Kaganovich, who personally claimed to be responsible for 20 million killed, stood atop the rubble of a Christian church proclaiming, "Mother Russia has been cast down, we have torn away her skirts!" Genrikh Yagoda sent hundreds of thousands to work on the Baltic Sea canal project where countless numbers of Russians, Ukrainians, and Baltic's perished. Natalfy Frenkel and Mathias Berman founded the infamous Gulag system, with camps commanded by figures such as Rappoport, Solz, and Spiegelglas, all of whom are mentioned at length in the work of Sozhenitzen. Ilya Ehrenburg, the World War II communist counterpart to Goebbels, incited Soviet troops to rape and maim German, Polish, and Czech women as a form of punishment.
Europeans were aware of Russia's oppression and were cognizant of the fact that communist atrocities were, by and large, covered up in the western media. Hitler, no doubt, noticed this as well and perhaps assumed that he, a National Socialist, would be given the same favorable treatment. The aftermath of World War I witnessed a Jewish communist, Bela Kun, presiding briefly over a reign of terror in Hungary. Jewish communists Kurt Eisner and Rosa Luxemburg did the same briefly in Bavaria. Because of the prominence of a few Jews, many Europeans wrongfully took to blaming all Jews for the disaster and suffering that communism caused in their lives as well as the real threat communism posed to the nations that remained free.
Not widely discussed in examinations of World War II is the fact that many eastern Europeans, including Ukrainians, Russians, Belarussians, and Baltic's, considered the 1941 German invasion of Russia, at least in its early stages, as liberation from Soviet communist oppression. Many prominent Soviet officials, including political Commissars, party officials, and NKVD agents would be rounded up and shot, as a form of vigilante justice and an inordinate number of these officials were Jews. Scores of Russians, Ukrainians, and Belarussians were motivated to join forces with the Germans in order to crush Stalin.
I can't help it if this information fuels the fecund imagination of Jew haters with their sick views. I realize as well that this article might enrage many of my "liberal" Jewish friends. My hope is that a better understanding of a primary cause of anti-Semitism in Eastern Europe and Russia will contribute toward reconciliation. Perhaps, as well, this article could contribute to a degree of soul searching amongst "liberal" Jews.
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