Jewish Bolshevik? By Dimitrios Monette

While evaluating the Hannebrink reading I found myself struck by the intense and heavy amount of near comical ignorance and hypocritical nature of anti-Jewish speech and teachings. The Jews as a distinct religious people have found themselves constantly trod upon across the globe and of course in Europe as a whole. While we of course correlate the connection between antisemitism with the holocaust of the Nazi regime in the later 30’s and 40’s, it is intriguing to look just slightly farther back to view a world still so locked into what one might normally consider medieval beliefs of the Jewish peoples. Is it not hypocritical for a Christian like future Pope Pius to call the Bolshevik radicals leading the revolution that gripped the post war German city of Munich Jewish radicals? Are not they (and myself-included as a Greek orthodox believers) Jews of a different sect? It is interesting to note that while we might associate anti-Jewish sentiment with fascism of Nazism, which it should rightly be, it has also existed up right until before and likely after the rise of the Nazi regime during the second world war. The entire argument that the radical revolutionaries of the soviet ideology are inherently Jewish is a flawed one from the outset due to more traditional Jewish hatred propaganda and assumptions of the past, that being specifically the stereotype that Jews covet and crave large sums of money. While this might actually have some merit in the fact that Jews found themselves forced into the positions of bankers and lenders of money due to established Christian laws banning them from all other trades and work in Europe, this in itself destroys and notion that the Jews as a whole might be driven to lead a Bolshevik revolution. Why would the upper middle class wish to abolish their rights to individual property for the masses?  It is notable that some Jews did indeed embrace bolshevism, the key word being some “Some Jews embraced bolshevism in particular places at particular times… Poland, for example, 20-40 percent of the… Communist party in the 1920’s were individuals of Jewish origin. But only about 7 percent of Polish Jews voted for the Communist Party…”(21). I would argue this is due to the Jews being constantly viewed as an outside group, unwanted people and marginal. As a result, some Jews of course would pursue the embrace of am ideology so all encompassing as Communism, but so did many Catholics and Protestants alike. Ultimately the hatred and distrust of communism and its inherent ability to snake under the underbelly of great empires like that of Tsarist Russia and the city of Munich drove fear into the average people of europe, and looking to put a face to their attacker chose one they already disliked and found distaste in, the european jew. It is noted that “For centuries the paranoid belief that Jews performed bizarre religious rituals with fanatical and inhuman zeal resurfaced periodically…. Reinforcing religiously inspired connections to the idea that Jews were evil…”(30). It is simply easier to blame the bad guy you know, then to search for the true face of a supposed evil. 

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