Yuri Slezkine’s book The Jewish Century blew me away.
Chaim Amalek emails:
I’m only about 140 pages into The Jewish Century and so far it reads like a Jewish confimation of “Mein Kampf.” If correct, the Jews really were running things in Europe prior to the advent of German National Socialism/Late Stalinism. You should interview the author, and ask him if his book is good for the Jews…
The book is an odd thing, in that it assumes a lot of background knowledge on the part of the reader. It also meanders, and the device of framing the history of 20th Century Jewry – mainly from the Pale of Settlement – in terms of the daughters of a fictional character is a bit odd. But it is still an interesting book for documenting the predominance of Jews in the economic and cultural lives of Europe during the first half of the 20th century, which leads to this question: Is this book good for the Jews? Won’t it provide antisemites with proof that Jews were the driving, necessary force without which the Bolshevik yoke would never have been fastened to the backs of Christian Europeans? Doesn’t it read like a mirror-image of Hitlers’s books, with assertions that Hitler routinely made about the putative power of the Jews how presented as documented fact by a Jew in admittedly less hostile terms?
A persistent theme among critics of Jews—particularly those on the pre-World War II right—has been that the Bolshevik revolution was a Jewish revolution and that the Soviet Union was dominated by Jews.
This theme appears in a wide range of writings, from Henry Ford’s International Jew, to published statements by a long list of British, French, and American political ﬁgures in the 1920s (Winston Churchill, Woodrow Wilson, and David Lloyd George), and, in its most extreme form, by Adolf Hitler, who wrote:
“Now begins the last great revolution. By wresting political power for himself, the Jew casts off the few remaining shreds of disguise
he still wears. The democratic plebeian Jew turns into the blood Jew and the tyrant of peoples. In a few years he will try to exterminate the
national pillars of intelligence and, by robbing the peoples of their natural spiritual leadership, will make them ripe for the slavish lot of a
permanent subjugation. The most terrible example of this is Russia.”
This long tradition stands in sharp contradiction to the ofﬁcial view, promulgated by Jewish organizations and almost all contemporary historians,
that Jews played no special role in Bolshevism and indeed were speciﬁcally victimized by it. Yuri Slezkine’s book provides a much needed resolution
to these opposing perspectives. It is an intellectual tour de force, alternately muddled and brilliant, courageous and apologetic.