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Sunday, March 11, 2012

Kevin MacDonald: Solzhenitsyn’s “200 Years Together”

Kevin MacDonald: Translation of Solzhenitsyn’s “In the Camps of GULag” — Chapter 20 of “200 Years Together”


Kevin MacDonald is editor of The Occidental Observer and a professor of psychology at California State University–Long Beach. Email him.

Kevin MacDonald: Alexandr Solzhenitsyn’s important 200 Years Together has unfortunately not been translated into English. However, this process is now beginning with the posting of Chapter 20, “In the Camps of GULag.” As the title suggests, the chapter discusses the role of Jews in the Gulag. There are several important themes.
Despite apologetic claims by Jews, in fact Jews lived better in the camps. Obviously, it’s a touchy subject–just like everything else about the role of Jews in the Soviet Union.
If I wished to generalize and state that the life of Jews in camps was especially difficult, then I would be allowed to do so and wouldn’t be peppered with admonitions for unjust ethnic generalizations. But in the camps, where I was imprisoned, it was the other way around – the life of Jews, to the extent of possible generalization, was easier.
Jews also looked out for each other–yet another example of ethnic networking. Free Jews were often in positions of authority and they favored their own people. For example:
A Lett Ane Bernstein, one of my witnesses from Archipelago, thinks that he managed to survive in the camps only because in times of hardship he asked Jews for help and that the Jews, judging by his last name and nimble manners, mistook him for their tribesman – and always provided assistance. He says that in all his camps Jews always constituted the upper crust and that the most important free employees were also Jews (Shulman – head of special department, Greenberg – head of camp station, Kegels – chief mechanic of the factory), and, according to his recollections, they also preferred to select Jewish inmates to staff their units.
The few Jews who did share in the common labor did so out of principle–in order to avoid the stereotype of Jews who did not work. They were rewarded for their efforts by being rejected by “both sides” — indicating that everyone in the camps was aware of the ethnic divide–just as American prisons are organized along ethnic fault lines. But Solzhenitsyn optimistically describes Jews who countered the common tendencies: “I try not to overlook such examples, because all my hopes depend on them.”
Nevertheless, the resentment and hatred of the Jewish position in the camps was real. Solzhenitsyn realizes that all humans are prone to these tendencies, but he also understands that the ethnic divide exacerbated the “heavy resentment”:
When an alien emerges as a “master over life and death” – it further adds to the heavy resentment. It might appear strange – isn’t it all the same for a worthless negligable, crushed, and doomed camp dweller surviving at one of his dying stages – isn’t it all the same who exactly seized the power inside the camp and celebrates crow’s picnics over his trench-grave? As it turns out – it is not, it has etched into my memory inerasably.
The Russians did not show ethnic networking and accordingly suffered. Notice that he sees the mass murder involved in collectivization as a personal loss to his ethnic group.
Those who know about terrific Jewish mutual supportiveness (especially exacerbated by mass deaths of Jews under Hitler) would understand that a free Jewish boss simply could not indifferently watch Jewish prisoners flounder in starvation and die – and not to help. But I am unable to imagine a free Russian employee who would save and promote his fellow Russian prisoners to the privileged positions only because of their nationality, though we have lost 15 millions during collectivization: we are numerous, you can’t care about everyone, and nobody would even think about it.
The White Sea canal, completed in 1933, has gone down in history as a particularly brutal forced labor project in which thousands of workers died. Solzhenitsyn points out that all six of the people in charge of the project were Jews:
Genrikh Yagoda, head of NKVD.
Matvei Berman, head of GULag.
Semen Firin, commander of BelBaltlag (by that time he was already the commander of Dmitlag, where the story will later repeat itself).
Lazar Kogan, head of construction (later he will serve the same function at Volgocanal).
Jacob Rapoport, deputy head of construction.
Naftaly Frenkel, chief manager of the labor force of Belomorstroi (and the evil daemon of the whole Archipelago)
Solzhenitsyn’s observations fit well with the findings of historians like Yuri Slezkine showing that Jews were a political and cultural elite in the Soviet Union. Slezkine draws special attention to Jews as Stalin’s “willing executioners” supervising the greatest crimes of the 20th century.
Throughout the chapter Solzhenitsyn’s brutal honesty shines through. He bends over backward to give examples of Jews who behaved in ways contrary to the general tendencies he and others observed. Nevertheless, he recounts how he was often accused of anti-Semitism simply for recording his observations. It’s okay to depict an evil person as a Russian, but never identify him as a Jew.
Solzhenitsyn’s observations add to the growing evidence of the role of Jews as a hostile elite in the USSR–hostile to the native Russian population and willing to engage in the most brutal crimes against them. This translation is very important for bringing this message to the English-speaking world, if only to dispel the common representation of Jews as always and inevitably historical victims.
White Americans should think long and hard about what these observations imply for them as they become a minority in a country dominated by hostile minorities, including Jews as a hostile elite.
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Solzhenitsyn’s “The February Revolution”: Chapter 13 of 200 Years Together
Kevin MacDonald
October 1, 2010
Chapter 13 of 200 Years Together recounts the period of the February Revolution of 1917—the revolution that toppled the czar and led to a period of instability followed in October by the Bolshevik Revolution. (See here; donations are of critical importance for finishing this important project.) Solzhenitsyn is critical of the radical slogans of the period—e.g., “All Russian life must be rebuilt from the roots." Solzhenitsyn responds as a cultural conservative, aware of the danger of uprooting ancient institutions because they do not conform to an ideal as decreed by an intellectual elite: “A thousand-year life! — why, all of a sudden from “the roots”?  
There was a consensus that Jews must have the same legal status as any other citizen. Quotas in education were repealed, as were restrictions on land ownership. For example, Jews were allowed to serve as military officers and as full-fledged attorneys. Those with a reputation of having anti-Jewish views were targeted for prosecution or dismissal. For example, the chief investigator of the Menahem Beilis ritual murder trial was dismissed because he had allowed testimony of an expert witness for the prosecution, not only for the defense.
Given Solzhenitsyn’s views on the restrictions on Jews discussed in Chapter 5, his quoting Jewish sources describing the old regime is presumably meant to suggest Jewish hypersensitivity and over-dramatization of their plight under the Czar; for example, a Jewish commentator:  “Like hard labor camp prisoners on their way to camp, all Jews were chained together as despised aliens.... The drops of blood of our fathers and mothers, the drops of blood of our sisters and brothers fell on our souls, there igniting the inextinguishable revolutionary fire."
The revolution did indeed improve life for the Jews. But “as for the rest of the country, falling, with all its peoples, into an abyss — that was the unpredictable way of the history.” 
Solzhenitsyn notes that the American Jewish financier Jacob Schiff had long had a prominent role in opposition to the Russian government.
[After the February Revolution, Schiff wrote,] "I was always the enemy of Russian absolutism, which mercilessly persecuted my co-religionists. Now let me congratulate ... the Russian people for this great act which they committed so perfectly." Schiff was quick to provide credit and financing for the new Russian government. “Later in emigration, the exiled Russian right-wing press published investigative reports attempting to show that Schiff actively financed the Revolution itself. Perhaps Schiff shared the short-sighted Western hope that the liberal revolution in Russia would strengthen Russia in the war.  Still, the known and public acts of Schiff, who had always been hostile to the Russian absolutism, had even more effect than any possible secret assistance to such a revolution.” 
The role of Schiff in financing the revolution is acknowledged by mainstream historians:
In fact, American Jewish capitalists like Jacob Schiff did finance Russian radical movements directed at overthrowing the Czar and may well have had considerable impact (Goldstein 1990, 26–27; Szajkowski 1967). The leaders of Western Jewish communities were highly committed to the overthrow of the czar. For example, in 1907 Lucien Wolf wrote to Louis Marshall of the AJCommittee that “the only thing to be done on the whole Russo-Jewish question is to carry on persistent and implacable war against the Russian Government” (in Szajowski 1967, 8). “Western Jewish leaders actively participated in general actions in favor of the liberal and revolutionary movements in Russia both during the revolution and after its downfall” (Szajkowski 1967, 9). (Separation and Its Discontents, Ch. 2, p. 37.)
Although traditional Jews reacted with caution to the revolution, the secular Jews who created the dynamic energy of the Jewish community were “eager to build ‘the happy new world.’” Jews quickly achieved important offices in the new regime. Nevertheless, Solzhenitsyn blames the Russians themselves for what happened:
No, the February Revolution was not something the Jews did to the Russians, but rather it was done by the Russians themselves, which I believe I amply demonstrated in The Red Wheel. We committed this downfall ourselves:  our anointed Tsar, the court circles, the hapless high-ranking generals, obtuse administrators, and their enemies — the elite intelligentsia, the Octobrist Party, the Zemstvo, the Kadets, the Revolutionary Democrats, socialists and revolutionaries, and along with them, a bandit element of army reservists, distressingly confined to the Petersburg’s barracks. And this is precisely why we perished. True, there were already many Jews among the intelligentsia by that time, yet that is not basis enough to call it a Jewish revolution.
Solzhenitsyn sees the February Revolution as a Russian ethnic revolution, but one that in the long run most benefited the Jews, whereas the Russians “got nothing but harm and destruction.”  With the revolution, the Jewish community had attained everything it wanted, so that “the October Revolution was altogether unnecessary for them, except for a small slice of young cutthroat Jews who, with their Russian internationalist brothers, accumulated an explosive charge of hate for the Russian governing class and burst forth to ‘deepen’ the Revolution.” Solzhenitsyn acknowledges that in his earlier work he had exaggerated the role of the Russians and minimized the Jewish role—not wanting the Russians to deceive themselves on what happened by blaming others. He makes the important point that “the ideology [of the February Revolution] was permeated and dominated by intransigent hostility to the historical Russian state.” Such an ideology did not characterize “ordinary Russians” but it did characterize Jews and the Russian intelligentsia. The character of the revolution was therefore determined not by popular attitudes but by the attitudes of an intellectual elite and by ethnic outsiders—the forerunner of the hostile elite that came to power with the Bolsheviks.
Solzhenitsyn places particular importance on the ethnic composition of the Executive Committee of Workers’ and Soldiers’ Deputiesa powerful committee that became an important focus of power outside the Kerensky government. “It was precisely this Executive Committee, and not the judiciary, not the timber industrialists, not the bankers, which fast-tracked the country to her doom.”  Not counting soldiers placed on the committee to give it a Russian face, of the 30 people “who actually wielded power, more than half were Jewish socialists. There were also Russians, Caucasians, Latvians and Poles. Less than a quarter were Russians.”
Solzhenitsyn claims to resist the temptation “to look for a guilty party” in this, but the implication is clear: Russia had fallen into the hands of foreigners. Worse, they were foreigners with a grudge against the entire fabric of traditional Russian society — holding views quite at odds with the vast majority of Russians. The grudge was not only against the government of Czar, but against all social strata and all manifestations of traditional Russian culture.
In any crime, there is a perpetrator and a victim. One can always blame the victim for not resisting sufficiently, for not understanding the gravity of the situation, or for having illusions about the consequences of the crime. But clearly, the moral onus is on the perpetrator—the individual or groups that commit the crime. Solzhenitsyn is being very clear where the onus of guilt for the direction of the February Revolution lies, especially given his views that the restrictions on Jews were nowhere near as oppressive or unreasonable as claimed by Jewish activists. Thus there was no legitimate motive to rebuild all of the thousand-year Russian life "from the roots." Given the totality of Solzhenitsyn’s view, the blame lies with the Jews and other foreigners who together made up the great majority of the most revolutionary elements that propelled the country into the abyss. 
One can certainly blame the Russians for losing this battle, as Solzhenitsyn hints. But in the end, what mattered is that losing the battle unleashed a torrent of murderous hostility not only against the previous elites but against millions of ordinary Russians.  
It is a lesson that Whites throughout the West would do well to ponder. Alliances among non-White ethnic groups, led by Jews as an element of the elite, are already a reality of politics of America, centered around the Democratic Party; similar phenomena exist in other Western countries. As was the case in the February Revolution, the motive for multiculturalism is fear and loathing of the traditional peoples and cultures of the West. Although a sudden anti-White revolution on the model of the February Revolution is unlikely in the near term, the long term trends are clear. The ultimate folly for any ethnic group is to give up political power.
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Solzhenitsyn's "During the Civil War" — Chapter 16 of 200 Years Together
Kevin MacDonald
Chapter 16 of 200 Years Together covers the pivotal period of the civil war (1918–1921)—pivotal because the Bolshevik victory was a disaster for the Russian people and for Europe generally. (The translation is available here; donations are of critical importance for finishing this important project.) Once again, Solzhenitsyn highlights the role of Jews as instruments of state terror, particularly their role in the Cheka and in the Red Army. The perception that this was a “Jewish terror” was widespread: “Why was the perception that Chekists and Jews were all but the same so widespread among both the Reds and the Whites alike and among the people in general?”  
At least part of the reason is because of the Jews’ “ardent service on the highest posts in Cheka.” Jewish Chekists “at that time were supreme, by status and rank, representatives of Russian Jewry.” He quotes a Jewish observer (also quoted by Yuri Slezkine; see here, p. 85):  “we were astonished to find among the Jews what we never expected from them — cruelty, sadism, unbridled violence — everything that seemed so alien to a people so detached from physical activity; those who yesterday couldn’t handle a rifle, today were among the vicious cutthroats.” Slezkine quotes another Jewish observer:  
The formerly oppressed lover of liberty had turned into a tyrant of “unheard-of-despotic arbitrariness”…. The convinced and unconditional opponent of the death penalty not just for political crimes but for the most heinous offenses, who could not, as it were, watch a chicken being killed, has been transformed outwardly into a leather-clad person with a revolver and, in fact, lost all human likeness (pp. 183–184). 
It is a cautionary tale on what kinds of behavior we can expect from current multi-cultural elites when Whites become a minority: Present-day platitudes about the future world of multicultural harmony and the moral imperative of Whites giving up power may be replaced very quickly by a quite different set of attitudes of revenge and hatred — the image of the kindly, tolerant Jewish professional quickly replaced by the image of a brutal perpetrator of torture and mass murder motivated by revenge against the old order. Images of hatred and estrangement from the White, Christian majority are commonplace among Jewish leaders — the Jews as a hostile elite theme of much of my writing (see, e.g., here and here).  
Indeed, Solzhenitsyn suggests that Jewish revenge against the Cossacks was a motive for “the genocide on the river Don, when hundreds of thousands of the flower of Don Cossacks were murdered …. What should we expect from the Cossack memories when we take into consideration all those unsettled accounts between a revolutionary Jew and a Don Cossack?”  
Indeed, the Cossacks were strongly identified with state power during the 19th century, and for Jews they were hated because of their role in assaults on Jews (for example, during the Khmelnytsky Uprising in the 17th century) and popularized in stories by Jewish writer Sholem Aleichem. As I noted elsewhere:
The Cossacks served the Czar as a military police force, and they used their power against Jewish communities during the conflicts between the government and the Jews. After the Revolution, the Cossacks were deported to Siberia for refusing to join the collective farms. During the 1930s, the person in charge of the deportations was an ethnic Jew, Lazar Kaganovich, nicknamed the “wolf of the Kremlin' because of his penchant for violence. In his drive against the peasants, Kaganovich took “an almost perverse joy in being able to dictate to the Cossacks. He recalled too vividly what he and his family had experienced at the hands of these people.... Now they would all pay — men, women, children. It didn't matter who. They became one and the same. That was the key to [Kaganovich's] being. He would never forgive and he would never forget” (Stuart Kahan, The Wolf of the  Kremlin, 1987, 164). Similarly, Jews were placed in charge of security in the Ukraine, which had a long history of anti-Semitism (Albert Lindemann, Esau’s Tears, 1997, 443) and became a scene of mass murder in the 1930s. (See here, pp. xxiv–xxv.) 
It was payback time for ethnic hostilities that long preceded the Bolshevik Revolution. While Jews were vastly overrepresented among the perpetrators of mass murder, Solzhenitsyn “can’t help noticing that almost all names [of the victims] were Slavic – it was the ‘chosen Russians’ who were shot. In Kiev, a key area because of its long history of tensions between Jews and Slavs, 75% of the staff of the Cheka were Jews, including 70% of the top officials.
His account of the murders is particularly chilling: 
An executioner (and sometimes “amateur” Chekists) escorted a completely naked victim into a shed and ordered the victim to fall facedown on the ground. Then he finished the victim with a shot in the back of the head.  Executions were performed using revolvers (typically Colts). Usually because of the short distance, the skull of the executed person exploded into fragments.... The next victim was similarly escorted inside and laid down nearby.... When number of victims was exceeding … the capacity of the shed, new victims were laid down right upon the dead or were shot at the entrance of the shed.... Usually the victims went to their execution without resistance. 
It’s not surprising therefore that the opposition to the Bolshevik regime often had strong anti-Jewish overtones. Examples from 1921 are the Kronstadt Uprising, where photos of prominent Jewish Bolsheviks were destroyed, and labor strikes, whose slogan was “Down with Communists and Jews!”
Solzhenitsyn wrestles with the question of whether the Jewish community as a whole supported the Bolsheviks: “Thus it looked as though not only Bolshevik Jews, but all of Jewry had decided to take the Red side in the Civil War. Could we claim that their choice was completely reactive? No. Could we claim that they didn’t have any other choice? Again, no.”  
As evidence on Jewish attitudes toward the Bolsheviks he cites a writer who noted that as Kiev was about to surrender to the Bolsheviks, the Jews remained, while “it was an entirely Russian exodus, people were leaving on foot with knapsacks, across the bridges over the Dnepr river. … And all of those rich and very rich Jews – they didn’t leave, they chose to stay and wait for arrival of Bolsheviks. ‘The Jews decided not to share their fate with us. And with that they carved a new and possibly the deepest divide between us.’” Throughout Russia and in Poland during the Soviet invasion of 1920, Jewish communities greeted the Bolsheviks with celebration, while the Slavic population was terrified of its future. 
The special role of Jews in the Soviet government was common knowledge, to the point that some Jews pleaded for Jews to fight Bolshevism because Jewish behavior was leading to intense anti-Jewish attitudes; however, this was not the view of the organized Jewish community: 
And yes, there were Jews then who appealed to their compatriots looking back on the tragedy that had befallen both Russia and Russian Jewry. In their proclamation To the Jews of all countries!, this group wrote in 1923 that “overly zealous participation of Jewish Bolsheviks in the oppression and destruction of Russia ... is blamed upon all of us ... the Soviet rule is identified with Jewish rule, and fierce hatred of Bolsheviks turns into the equally fierce hatred of Jews.... [We] firmly believe that Bolshevism is the worst of all evils possible for the Jews and all other peoples of Russia, and that to fight tooth and nail against the rule of that international rabble over Russia is our sacred duty before humankind, culture, before our Motherland and the Jewish people.” Yet the Jewish community “reacted to these declarations with great indignation.” 
Solzhenitsyn spends a great deal of time on the anti-Jewish pogroms of the period and the role of the White army and Symon Petiliura’s Ukrainian nationalist forces. In general, he denies that Jews sided with the Bolsheviks because of the pogroms. For example, the Jewish dominance of the Cheka in the Ukraine happened in 1918, before the pogroms of 1919.  
Interestingly, he foregrounds his discussion by noting that wars and revolutions are nasty affairs, and, quoting a Jewish writer, they are “especially gruesome and dangerous for a minority, which in many ways is alien to the bulk of population.” This is especially so when there is a long history of mistrust and hostility toward the minority because of traditional economic relationships and Jewish hostility toward the culture of the outgroup.
During this period, Jews suffered far more than they did under the Czar, with estimates of Jewish dead ranging to 200,000. The main force was the Ukrainian separatist movement. Rather than seeing the hostility of the separatists toward Jews as irrational anti-Semitism, Solzhenitsyn shows that Jews did not support Ukrainian nationalism—a familiar theme in modern anti-Jewish attitudes, present also in Germany, were Jews were often seen as insufficiently enthusiastic about German nationalism. For example, the prominent 19th-century intellectual Heinrich von Treitschke strongly opposed what he perceived as “alien” Jewish cultural influence on German life, because of Jewish tendencies to mock and belittle German nationalistic aspirations (see here, p. 140). Similarly, Solzhnenitsyn describes “Jewish philistines … making fun of the Ukrainian language and shop-signs.” They were “afraid of Ukrainian nationalism, and believed in the Russian state and Russian culture.” 
The opposition to Ukrainian nationalism had a Jewish face. When the Soviet government moved against the Ukrainian nationalists,
There was no shortage of Jewish names among the top Bolsheviks … in such centers as Odessa and Ekaterinoslav. That was sufficient to fuel talks about “Bolshevik Jews” and “Jewish Bolsheviks” among the troops loyal to the [Ukrainian parliament]. Verbal cursing about “traitorous Jews” became almost commonplace.
When a nationalist government led by Petliura came to power, his newspaper wrote, “The birth of the Ukrainian State was not expected by the Jews. The Jews did not anticipate it despite having an extraordinary ability of getting the wind of any news. They … emphasize their knowledge of Russian language and ignore the fact of Ukrainian statehood … Jewry again has joined the side of our enemy.” 
Solzhenitsyn juxtaposes Jews being blamed for Bolshevik military successes in the Ukraine with accounts of pillaging and pogroms directed against Jews — the implication being that Jews were being repaid in kind.  Nevertheless, the pogroms were not official policy. Even commanders who were sympathetic to the Jews, such as Nestor Mahkno, were unable to control the anti-Jewish actions of their troops. A result was that Jewish parties quickly began to radicalize toward the Left, thus inevitably turning their sympathies to Bolshevism.  
Pogroms occurred despite the best intentions of the leaders of the White army, such as General Anton I. Denikin. The misbehavior of the troops cannot be completely explained by resentment about the Jewish role in Bolshevism or traditional anti-Jewish attitudes. There was also the raping and pillaging that has always been part of the culture of undisciplined armies. Solzhenitsyn provides several sources corroborating this perspective. For example:  
A top White general, A. von Lampe, claims that rumors about Jewish pogroms by the Whites are “tendentiously exaggerated”, that these pillaging “requisitions” were unavoidable actions of an army without quartermaster services or regular supplies from the rear areas. He says that Jews were not targeted deliberately but that all citizens suffered and that Jews “suffered more” because they were “numerous and rich.” “I am absolutely confident that in the operational theaters of the White armies there were no Jewish pogroms, i.e., no organized extermination and pillaging of Jews. There were robberies and even murders ... which were purposefully overblown and misrepresented as anti-Jewish pogroms by the special press.... Because of these accidents, the Second Kuban Infantry Brigade and the Ossetian Cavalry Regiment were disbanded.... All peoples, be they Christian or Jewish, suffered in disorderly areas.” [The exception was that] there were executions (on tip offs by locals) of those unfortunate commissars and Chekists who did not manage to escape and there were quite a few Jews among them.  
One way that Jews aided the Bolsheviks was financially. Jews contributed little to the White cause, “yet whenever the Bolsheviks showed up and demanded money and valuables, the population obediently handed over millions of rubles and whole stores of goods.” The Whites even rejected some Jewish support because of “the prominent involvement of other Jews on the Red side.” While the White army was originally free of anti-Jewish attitudes, “the situation dramatically changed by 1919” when Jews were seen as the main base of support for Bolshevism, exaggerated by the intense local anti-Jewish attitudes in areas like the Ukraine with a long history of hostility between Jews and Slavs, now exacerbated by the prominence of Jewish support for the Bolsheviks. “The Whites perceived Russia as occupied by Jewish commissars — and they marched to liberate her.”  
The fate of the White cause also was sealed because of failure to obtain Jewish support in the West. Solzhenitsyn states unequivocally that “the White Movement was in desperate need of the support by the Western public opinion, which in turn largely depended on the fate of Russian Jewry.” Churchill appealed to Denikin to stop the pogroms, but he also quotes a historian who notes that Churchill feared the reactions of “powerful Jewish circles within the elite.” Jewish elites throughout the West threw their support to the Bolsheviks, aided by idealistic perceptions of “grandiose plans” for a New World under communism.    
Solzhenitsyn is scathing in his condemnation of the Western powers: “And yet, the behavior of the former Entente of Western nations during the entire Civil War is striking by its greed and blind indifference toward the White Movement — the successor of their wartime ally, Imperial Russia.” This inaction and indifference led to an incalculable tragedy for Russia. 
Both the general sympathy of Russian Jews toward the Bolsheviks and the developed attitude of the White forces toward Jews eclipsed and erased the most important benefit of a possible White victory — the sane evolution of the Russian state. 
And because of its long term reverberations in the history of the 20th century, the result was a disaster for all European peoples. The prominent role of Jews in the Soviet government dovetailed not only with the warm welcome by Jews for the Soviet invasion of Poland of 1921, but also with Jewish involvement in revolutionary movements in Hungary and Germany. The result was a deepening of anti-Jewish attitudes, especially in Eastern and Central Europe. A historian comments, “the intensity and tenacity of anti-Semitic prejudice in both the east and the center of Europe was significantly influenced by Jewish participation in the revolutionary movement.” “The fact that the leaders of the suppressed Communist revolts were Jews was one of the most important reasons for the resurrection of political anti-Semitism in contemporary Germany.”  
And in Hungary, “While Jews played a ‘quite conspicuous’ role in the Russian and German communist revolutions, their role in Hungary became central.... Out of 49 People’s Commissars there, 31 were Jews.” “Granted, the prime-minister was a gentile, Sandor Garbai, but [Mátyás] Rákosi later joked that Garbai was elected because someone had to sign execution orders on Sabbath days.” As was typical wherever communists gained power, the traditional culture was eradicated: “Statues of Hungarian kings and heroes were knocked off their pedestals, the national anthem outlawed, and wearing the national colors criminalized.”  
The Jewish role in Bolshevism and in the abortive revolutions in Hungary and Germany cast a long shadow on later events: 
For long after the Revolution, conservatives throughout Europe and the United States believed that Jews were responsible for Communism and for the Bolshevik Revolution. The Jewish role in leftist political movements was a common source of anti-Jewish attitudes among a great many intellectuals and political figures. In Germany, the identification of Jews and Bolshevism was widespread in the middle classes and was a critical part of the National Socialist view of the world. As historian Ernst Nolte has noted, for middle-class Germans, “the experience of the Bolshevik revolution in Germany was so immediate, so close to home, and so disquieting, and statistics seemed to prove the overwhelming participation of Jewish ringleaders so irrefutably,” that even many liberals believed in Jewish responsibility (Ernst Nolte, Three Faces of Fascism [1965, 331]). Jewish involvement in the horrors of Communism was also an important sentiment in Hitler’s desire to destroy the USSR and in the anti-Jewish actions of the German National Socialist government. Jews and Jewish organizations were also important forces in inducing the Western democracies to side with Stalin rather than Hitler in World War II.  
The victory over National Socialism set the stage for the tremendous increase in Jewish power in the post-World War II Western world, in the end more than compensating for the decline of Jews in the Soviet Union. As [Yuri] Slezkine shows, the children of Jewish immigrants assumed an elite position in the United States, just as they had in the Soviet Union and throughout Eastern Europe and Germany prior to World War II. This new-found power facilitated the establishment of Israel, the transformation of the United States and other Western nations in the direction of multiracial, multicultural societies via large-scale non-white immigration, and the consequent decline in European demographic and cultural preeminence. The critical Jewish role in Communism has been sanitized, while Jewish victimization by the Nazis has achieved the status of a moral touchstone and is a prime weapon in the push for massive non-European immigration, multiculturalism, and advancing other Jewish causes.  
The Jewish involvement in Bolshevism has therefore had an enormous effect on recent European and American history. It is certainly true that Jews would have attained elite status in the United States with or without their prominence in the Soviet Union. However, without the Soviet Union as a shining beacon of a land freed of official anti-Semitism where Jews had attained elite status in a stunningly short period, the history of the United States would have been very different. The persistence of Jewish radicalism influenced the general political sensibility of the Jewish community and had a destabilizing effect on American society, ranging from the paranoia of the McCarthy era, to the triumph of the 1960s countercultural revolution, to the conflicts over immigration and multiculturalism that are so much a part of the contemporary political landscape. (See here, pp. 95–96 and references therein; see also here, pp. xxx–xxxii) 
Solzhenitsyn’s treatment once again hits all the right notes. While staying squarely within mainstream scholarship, he succeeds in laying bare the ethnic conflict that is at the heart of the fraught relationship of Jews and Europeans. 
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Chapter 23 of 200 Years Together: “Before the Six-Day War”
Kevin MacDonald
September  5, 2010
As noted in Chapter 22, Jews began to be purged from prominent positions in the government after World War II up to the time of Stalin’s death. Thereafter, things improved for the  Jews but deteriorated again. Chapter 23 has several familiar themes:
·         Jews continued to be overrepresented in all areas requiring education, but less so. For example, “if in 1936 the share of Jews among students was 7.5 times higher than that in the total population, then by 1960s it was only 2.7 times higher.
 
·         Jews continued to dominate some areas. Solzhenitsyn mentions the special role of Jews in Soviet psychiatry (e.g., Lifshitz and “his Jewish gang” at Kaluga Hospital) at a time when “healthy people” were being locked up in mental institutions. As is typical of his style, he notes a Jewish writer commenting that Russians were displacing Jews in the bureaucracy, but then points out that Russians were being displaced in the ethnic republics as well.
 
·         Solzhenitsyn also points to the special role of Jews in economic crimes, where quite often Jews formed the “vast majority” of these accused.
 
·         Jewish activists tended to exaggerate the plight of Jews. For example, Jews accused the government of enforcing the law on economic crimes in an anti-Jewish manner (“rampant anti-Semitism,” according to one writer). Solzhenitsyn pointing out that merely printing the names of defendants hardly counts as anti-Semitism: “to name them was equal to Jew-baiting.” The ethnic connections among defendants were typically ignored in the press.
 
·         Jewish power in the USSR was linked to their power in the West. When Jews were being accused of economic crimes, “the entire Western media interpreted this as a brutal campaign against Jews, the humiliation and isolation of the entire people; Bertrand Russell sent a letter of protest to Khrushchev and got a personal response from the Soviet leader.”  This campaign was effective because the government became reluctant to prosecute Jewish economic criminals. The Western media continued to ignore issues like the millions of deaths during forced collectivization while “official Soviet anti-Semitism” came to be seen as a critical issue. Similarly, an article on the Jews who were murdered in 1937–1938 and 1948–1952 in a Jewish newspaper in France resulted in worldwide condemnation of the USSR among leftists.
 
·         Solzhenitsyn points to real conflicts behind anti-Jewish actions. For example, the 1956 Hungarian uprising had strong anti-Jewish overtones because of the prominent role of Jews in the Hungarian government. And when Russians sought to improve their social status, they came up against previously existing, well-entrenched Jewish elites.
 
·         Jews retained their powerful sense of being Jewish: “Jewish identity was never subdued during the entire Soviet period. In 1966 the official mouthpiece Sovetish Heymland claimed that ‘even assimilated Russian-speaking Jews still retain their unique character, distinct from that of any other segment of the population.’ Not to mention the Jews of Odessa, Kiev, and Kharkov, who “sometimes were even snooty about their Jewishness — to the extent that they did not want to befriend a goy.”
 
·         Jews who fancied themselves assimilated engaged in self-deception. He quotes a scientist who rejected “any nationalism” but then it dawned on him that all his friends were Jews. Even non-religious Jews defended the idea of “racial purity.” Other Jews, like Natan Sharansky, suddenly realized that they were very different from non-Jews, especially after the 1967 Six-Day War. “I suddenly realized an obvious difference between myself and non-Jews around me ... a kind of a sense of the fundamental difference between my Jewish consciousness and the national consciousness of the Russians.” They then consciously realized what had only been implicit —that they had much stronger ties to the Jewish people as an international entity than to Russia and the Russians. Solzhenitsyn quotes a Jew: “The Jews felt free from obligations [to the Russians] at all sharp turns of Russian history,” and comments, “Fair enough. One can only hope for all Russian Jews to get such clarity and acknowledge this dilemma.”
 
·         Jewish consciousness became much stronger with the Six-Day War. “Israel has ascended in their minds and Soviet Jews awoke to their spiritual and consanguineous kinship [with Israel].” However, Israel’s victory was over Egypt, an ally of the USSR, so the result was a “thundering campaign against the “Judeo-Zionist-Fascism.” Amazingly, it included the charge that “because of the consistent pursuit of the ideology of racial supremacy and apartheid, Judaism turned out to be a very convenient religion for securing world dominance.” The effect was to spur large-scale Jewish emigration to Israel and the West.
A central message is the power of Jewish ethnocentrism. Yuri Slezkine and a host of Jewish activist organizations make much of the idea that Jewish Communists in the USSR had no Jewish identity at all, at least until WWII. (See my rebuttal here, p. 75ff.) To some extent Solzhenitsyn buys into this, since he charts an increasing sense of Jewish identity beginning with WWII and the Holocaust and culminating in the Six-Day War. But, as the example of the self-deceptive Jewish scientist shows, Jewish identity is pliable. Jews continued to associate with Jews, marry Jews, and participate in and benefit from Jewish ethnic networks during the entire period—as Solzhenitsyn shows elsewhere, e.g., in his chapter on the 1920s.  
Solzhenitsyn’s example of the Jewish scientist reminded me of the self-deception of Jewish radicals described in Ch. 3 of The Culture of Critique:
Most Jewish Communists wear their Jewishness very casually but experience it deeply. It is not a religious or even an institutional Jewishness for most; nevertheless, it is rooted in a subculture of identity, style, language, and social network. . . . In fact, this second-generation Jewishness was antiethnic and yet the height of ethnicity. The emperor believed that he was clothed in transethnic, American garb, but Gentiles saw the nuances and details of his naked ethnicity…. Evidence of the importance of ethnicity in general and Jewishness in particular permeates the available record. Many Communists, for example, state that they could never have married a spouse who was not a leftist. When Jews were asked if they could have married Gentiles, many hesitated, surprised by the question, and found it difficult to answer. Upon reflection, many concluded that they had always taken marriage to someone Jewish for granted. The alternative was never really considered, particularly among Jewish men. (Paul Lyons  (1982). Philadelphia Communists, 1936–1956. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 73, 74)
Jewish self-deception is a critical feature of trying to understand Jewish behavior and the topic of a chapter in Separation and Its Discontents. Jews sincerely believed that they had no ethnic identity even though it was apparent to everyone else. The general point is that Jewish ethnocentrism creates a blindness to things that are completely obvious to neutral observers.
This is apparent in contrasting how Jews see their experience in the USSR with how Solzhenitsyn sees it. Jewish intellectuals and activists see the entire Soviet trajectory through ethnocentric blinders. They see Jews as a hapless persecuted minority under the Czar, then rising to well-deserved prosperity after the Revolution. Jewish communists at least until WWII completely lost their ethnic identity, so whatever they did as an elite during the most murderous regime in European history was only due to their being loyal, idealistic communists, not because they were by far the most numerous and most powerful component of a non-Russian ethnic coalition that viewed the traditional people and culture of Russia with murderous hostility. Whatever social status they attained was solely due to Jewish merit—completely unrelated to Jewish ethnic networking and completely unrelated to the active suppression and eradication of the previously existing elites and their descendants. It was only because of the Holocaust and completely irrational anti-Jewish attitudes after WWII that Jewish communists became disenchanted with the USSR and began to identify as Jews, culminating in their embrace of Zionism, particularly after the Six-Day War.
Solzhenitsyn paints a very different picture — a picture that is not only historically accurate but also reflecting the reasonable concerns of a Russian ethnic actor who feels that his people have been done a great injustice. During the Czarist period, Jews aggressively overreacted to reasonable policies of the government designed to protect the Slavic population — the basic duty of any government that pretends to represent the interests of the ethnic majority (Chapter 5). During the 1920s Jews became a hostile elite—Stalin’s “Willing Executioners” —entrenched in all the high ground of Soviet society — the public face of the most brutal regime in history, and provoking a great deal of hostility among the Russian people. Then, after Jews failed to do their fair share of front line fighting during WWII despite the fact that it was a war against the most deadly anti-Jewish force in history, Russians seeking to improve their social status came up against previously existing, well-entrenched Jewish elites. The purges of Jews that followed were certainly far less violent than the purges of the pre-revolutionary elites during the 1920s and had much to recommend them from the standpoint of ethnic fairness. Nevertheless, even after these purges, Jews remained highly overrepresented in high-status positions requiring education. Jews, however, responded negatively to being removed from their virtual ethnic monopoly on heights of power. With the rise of Israel, they also rediscovered their connections to the international Jewish community and a great many bailed out of Soviet society completely because they were more loyal to the international Jewish community and its identification with Israel than they were to Russia and  Russians.
Having been around the block a few times on issues like this where there is a self-serving Jewish consensus on their own history, I realize that communication is impossible. Jewish activist intellectuals and organizations will continue to present their side of the story and do everything they can to vilify or ignore any account that departs from their orthodoxy. As an evolutionist, I am not surprised. That’s what ethnic conflict is all about — just as deadly when it is conflict among intellectuals over interpretations of history as it is in mass murders of Russians and Ukrainians carried out in the name of international socialism.
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Alexandr Solzhenitsyn's “During the Soviet-German War” Chapter 21 of 200 Years Together
Kevin MacDonald
August 15, 2010
Solzhenitsyn’s Chapter 21, on the WWII years, is now available. See here, and again notice the link requesting donations.) As elsewhere, it stresses the reality behind Jewish complicity in Bolshevism. For example, he argues that evacuations of Jews during WWII were done without publicity—mainly because of sensitivity about German propaganda emphasizing “Judeo-Bolshevism”: “The Soviet leadership undoubtedly realized that they gave a solid foundation to this propaganda during the 1920s and 1930s.” 
During the war, traditional anti-Jewish themes and hostility toward Jews because of their role as an elite during the most horrific periods of Soviet history was combined with a new accusation: That Jews served the Soviet military disproportionately in positions where they were less likely to suffer casualties. Solzhenitsyn’s own personal experience is compelling: “Yes, one could hear this among the soldiers on the front. And right after the war — who has not experienced that? — a painful feeling remained among our Slavs that our Jews could have acted in that war in more self-sacrificing manner, that among the lower ranks on the front the Jews could have been more represented.” 
Solzhenitsyn is not saying that Jews did not serve, but that they tended to serve either as senior officers or support personnel, not as ordinary soldiers in the front lines. The result was that Jews suffered lower mortality rates:  
What mattered is that not everybody could survive ….  Meanwhile an ordinary soldier, glancing back from the frontline, saw all too clearly that even the second and third echelons of the front were also considered participants of the war: all those deep rear headquarters, suppliers, the whole Medical Corps from medical battalion to higher levels, numerous rear technical units and, of course, all kinds of service personnel there, and, in addition, the entire army propaganda machine, including touring ensembles, front performance troops — they all were considered war veterans and, indeed, it was apparent to everyone that the concentration of Jews was much higher there than at the frontline.  
Such personnel have a “completely different psychology” because being at the front line is voluntary: “nobody would have forced him ‘to hold the position.’” He also provides examples of a Jew who left the frontline in favor of a newspaper position, and he scoffs at a Jewish musician’s claim to have dug trenches:  “As a war veteran, I say — an absolutely incredible picture.”  
Similar attitudes were common in the American military during WWII, as discussed in Dynamics of Prejudice, by Bruno Bettelheim and Morris Janowitz, a volume in the Studies in Prejudice series, published by the American Jewish Committee. This is the same series that included the notorious The Authoritarian Personality (by the Frankfurt School folks), so one should be wary of the numbers. Nevertheless, using a sample of 150 soldiers, they found that a substantial minority of the White soldiers interviewed regarded Jews as tending to have rear echelon jobs (20%) or were poor combat soldiers (17%).
But in the end, Solzhenitsyn acknowledges that the actual data do not allow for any firm conclusions: “Such anecdotal evidence cannot make up a convincing argument for either side and there are no reliable and specific statistics nor are they likely to surface in the future.” Nevertheless, the general picture one gets is that indeed Jews were less likely to put themselves in harm’s way.  
Solzhenitsyn expresses amazement at the reaction of one Jew who felt that the war was not really his war:
Of course, Stalin’s regime was not any better than Hitler’s. But for the wartime Jews, these two monsters could not be equal! If that other monster won, what could then have happened to the Soviet Jews? Wasn’t this war the personal Jewish war, wasn’t it their own Patriotic War — to cross arms with the deadliest enemy in all of Jewish history? (Emphasis in text.)
Even though this case is presented as nothing more than an anecdote, Solzhenitsyn ascribes it to a lack of loyalty—an ancient and persistent source of anti-Jewish attitudes. His treatment implies that such attitudes are typical among Jews. Jews have proven they are good fighters by the behavior of the Israeli army. But “their interest in this country is partial. After all, they — even if many of them only unconsciously — saw ahead looming in the future their very own nation of Israel.” 
As usual, Solzhenitsyn does not shy away from criticizing the facile explanations of Jewish historians. Anti-Jewish attitudes increased dramatically as Jewish evacuees from Eastern Europe mixed with non-Jewish natives and with wounded Soviet military personnel in Central Asia. Here traditional themes of anti-Semitism surfaced—Jewish lack of involvement in physical labor, Jewish wealth (many Jewish evacuees were high-level bureaucrats) and the involvement of Jews in sharp economic practices. A Jewish author “explains” this as resulting from “Hitler’s propaganda.” Solzhenitsyn mocks him:  
What a dizzying revelation! How could Hitler’s propaganda victoriously reach and permeate all the Central Asia when it was barely noticeable at the front with all those rare and dangerous-to-touch leaflets thrown from airplanes, and when all private radio receiver sets were confiscated throughout the USSR?  
Anti-Jewish attitudes were also rife where Jews returned to areas formerly occupied by the Germans. This was particularly the case in Ukraine, and motivated by memories of the role of Jews in the Soviet repressions of the 1930s: “A secret German report from the occupied territories in October 1941 states that the ‘animosity of the Ukrainian population against Jews is enormous... they view the Jews ... as informants and agents of the NKVD, which organized the terror against the Ukrainian people.’"  
The organization of Ukrainian Nationalists of Bandera-Melnik (OUN) made the following remarkable statement: “The Yids in the Soviet Union are the most loyal supporters of the ruling Bolshevik regime and the vanguard of Moscow imperialism in Ukraine. ... The Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists considers the Yids as the pillar of the Moscow-Bolshevik regime, while educating the masses that Moscow is the main enemy.” Yaroslav Stetzko (who in July 1941 was named the head of the Ukrainian government): “The Jews help Moscow to keep Ukraine in slavery, and therefore, I support extermination of the Yids and the need to adopt in Ukraine the German methods of extermination of Jewry.”
Solzhenitsyn often juxtaposes Jewish and Russian suffering but emphasizes that Jewish suffering is better known. He describes Babi Yar, the site of mass executions, mostly of Jews, by the Germans and notes that “the executions at Babi Yar have become a symbol in world history.”  But immediately after he writes that
it should be recalled that within a few kilometers from Babi Yar, in the enormous Darnitskiy camp, tens of thousands Soviet prisoners of war, soldiers and officers, died during the same months: yet we do not commemorate it properly, and many are not even aware of it. The same is true about the more than two million Soviet prisoners of war who perished during the first years of the war. 
So Russians actually suffered more than Jews, at least in terms of sheer numbers, but the events are simply forgotten. 
Similarly, Solzhenitsyn discusses a study claiming that 2,733,000 Jews were lost during the war within the post-war Soviet boundaries from all causes—55% of the Jewish population. Immediately thereafter he points out that “the currently accepted figure for the total losses of the Soviet population during the Great Patriotic War is 27,000,000 and it may be still underestimated.”  
And even though the percentage losses of Jews were larger, the long term effects have been more devastating for the Russians:  
We must not overlook what that war was for the Russians. The war rescued not only their country, not only Soviet Jewry, but also the entire social system of the Western world from Hitler. This war exacted such sacrifice from the Russian people that its strength and health have never since fully recovered. That war overstrained the Russian people. It was yet another disaster on top of those of the Civil War and de-kulakization — and from which the Russian people have almost run dry. 
One can't help thinking that the Russians would not have had to make such a sacrifice in the absence of the widespread perception throughout conservative circles in Europe that the Soviet Union was dominated by a Jewish elite (see, e.g., Bendersky, Mayer, Nolte). In any case, Jews have recouped their population losses And the Holocaust has become a prime source of identity for Jews and the prime rationalization for Israel. The Russians are simply exhausted.  
In the end, Solzhenitsyn believes that there is plenty of blame to go around:  
I fully agree with Hannah Arendt that the Jews of our century were equal participants in the historical games of the nations and the monstrous Catastrophe that befell them was the result of not only evil plots of the enemies of mankind, but also of the huge fatal miscalculations on the part of the Jewish people themselves, their leaders and activists. 
But the Russians must look into the mirror as well. Russians need to engage in self-criticism
despite the unbearable burden of realization that it was we, Russians, who ruined our history — through our useless rulers but also through our own worthlessness — and despite gnawing anxiety that this may be irreparable — to perceive the Russian experience as possibly a punishment from the Supreme Power. (my emphasis)
One wishes that Solzhenitsyn would have been more specific about what he feels were the “fatal miscalculations” of the Jews that led to the Holocaust. I suspect that the well-founded reality behind “Judeo-Bolshevism” mentioned in this chapter and the aggressively hostile Jewish stance toward the Czar leading up to the Revolution (which, as Chapter 5 shows, was largely unwarranted) –would have been high on his list.  
As for the Russians, the central fact is that their “useless leaders” were not Russians during the period when they endured such horrifying losses as a result of the actions of their own government. Their leaders were ethnic outsiders — with Jews the preeminent and most loyal force. Solzhenitsyn  makes this clear in Chapter 18 and it is also asserted in a recent Russian textbook that has drawn the fire of Jewish activists.  
The real lesson here is the horrifying fate suffered by ethnic groups that come under the control of a hostile, ethnically alien elite—a lesson that White Americans would do well to heed.
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Chapter 5 of 200 Years Together: “After the Murder of Alexander II”
Kevin MacDonald
August 1, 2010
Solzhenitsyn’s Chapter 5 (“After the Murder of Alexander II”) recounts the important period after the assassination of Tsar Alexandar II in 1881. (See here. Donations for the translators are much needed.) The assassination inaugurated a period of anti-Jewish pogroms, restrictions on Jews, and an upsurge of Jewish involvement in revolutionary activities. Solzhenitsyn’s treatment is highly reminiscent of Albert Lindemann’s treatment in Esau’s Tears and in his The Jew Accused in its dismissal of the apologetic accounts written by Jewish historians and in his portrayal of the very real difficulties faced by the Russian government in dealing with its Jewish population. In general, the tensions between Jews and non-Jews recounted here reflect traditional anti-Jewish themes, particularly Jewish economic domination, but there are also themes peculiar to the rise of the Jews as an educated elite that were widespread in Europe at the time. We also see here the theme of Jewish involvement in revolutionary political radicalism which culminated in the revolution of 1917.  
Apologetic accounts of the period by Jewish activist historians and organizations have painted the Russian government as the epitome of evil. Indeed, it is not an exaggeration that the entire organized Jewish community in Western Europe and America acted to thwart Russian interests throughout the entire period from 1881 to 1917—most notably the role of Jacob Schiff in financing the Japanese in the Russo-Japanese War of 1904–1905. 
Solzhenitsyn points out that there was no government complicity in the anti-Jewish actions, although the government response was limited by the small number of Russian police at the time. Indeed, the official government view was that pogroms were the result of agitators bent on revolution and therefore naturally viewed negatively by the government. Alexander III is quoted in reaction a report of leniency toward pogromists by the authorities that “This is inexcusable.” Records unearthed after 1917 revealed that Alexander III “demanded an energetic investigation.” 
Nevertheless, the myth that the Russian government had organized the pogroms was propagated and can still be found in Jewish publications — along with the slander that Alexander personally hated the Jews.  
Jewish sources also exaggerated the number of victims — one “frequently published” source claiming the “rape of women, murder, and maiming of thousands of men, women, and children.”  These sources claimed that “these riots were inspired … by the very government [that] had incited the pogromists and hindered the Jews in their self-defense.” Goldwin Smith, a prominent 19th-century historian with decidedly anti-Jewish views (not cited by Solzhenitsyn), noted that a publication distributed by the Jewish community in England contained claims of many atrocities for which there was no evidence. (The publication was influential in swaying British opinion.) These alleged crimes included roasting infants alive and mass rapes, including some in which Christian women held down Jewesses being raped by Christian men. The leaflet claimed that entire streets had been razed and entire Jewish quarters put to the torch. Smith states that based on reports of British consuls in the area, “though the riots were deplorable and criminal, the Jewish account was in most cases exaggerated, and in some to an extravagant extent. The damage to Jewish property at Odessa, rated in the Jewish account at 1,137,381 rubles, or according to their higher estimates, 3,000,000 rubles, was rated, Consul-General Stanley tells us, by a respectable Jew on the spot at 50,000 rubles, while the Consul-General himself rates it at 20,000” (Goldwyn Smith (1894). Essays on Questions of the Day, 1894, 2nd ed. Freeport, NY: Books for Libraries Press; reprinted in 1972, p. 243). 
The agitators were motivated by Jewish economic domination. A well-known leaflet from 1881 read: 
Who seized the land, forests, and taverns?—The Yid—From whom, muzhik (peasant), do you have to ask for access to your land, at times hiding tears?...From yids.—Wherever you look, wherever you ask—the yids are everywhere. The Yid insults people and cheats them; drinks their blood”…and it concludes with the appeal: “Honest working people! Free yourselves! 
Another leaflet explained that the pogroms were “not against the Jews as Jews, but against Yids; that is, exploiter peoples.” Rather than simply rejecting this explanation, Solzhenitsyn presents a sympathetic portrayal of I. S. Aksakov, a contemporary defender of the pogromists, who ascribed their actions as stemming from “a kind of simple-hearted conviction in the justness of their actions”; the question is “not about Jews enjoying equal rights with Christians, but about the equal rights of Christians with Jews, about abolishing factual inequality of the Russian population in the face of the Jews.” 
A government minister, Nikolay Ignatyev, described the problem:  
“Recognizing the harm to the Christian population from the Jewish economic activity, their tribal exclusivity and religious fanaticism, in the last 20 years the government has tried to blend the Jews with the rest of the population using a whole row of initiatives, and has almost made the Jews equal in rights with the native inhabitants.” However, the present anti-Jewish movement “incontrovertibly proves, that despite all the efforts of the government, the relations between the Jews and the native population of these regions remain abnormal as in the past,” because of the economic issues: after the easing of civil restrictions, the Jews have not only seized commerce and trade, but they have acquired significant landed property. “Moreover, because of their cohesion and solidarity, they have, with few exceptions, directed all their efforts not toward the increase of the productive strength of the state, but primarily toward the exploitation of the poorest classes of the surrounding population.” And now, after we have crushed the disorders and defended the Jews from violence, “it seems ‘just and urgent to adopt no less energetic measures for the elimination of these abnormal conditions…between the native inhabitants and the Jews, and to protect the population from that harmful activity of the Jews.’” 
This is an excellent encapsulation of the traits of Jewish groups in traditional societies: Tribal exclusivity, religious fanaticism, and group cohesion (ethnic networking) resulting in economic domination, especially over the poorer classes and often in collusion with elites. Together these traits amount to a group evolutionary strategy. In this case, however, the Russian government refused to ally itself with the Jews and attempted "to protect the population from that harmful activity of the Jews." Hence the conflict between the Russian government and the international Jewish community from 1881 to 1917.
Solzhenitsyn vigorously defends the claim that the motive of the government was to protect the rural population from the Jews. The May Regulations instituted in the wake of the pogroms prevented further settlement of Jews in non-Jewish towns (the ones already there could remain) and restricted Jewish economic activity, particularly the wine trade. The government’s protective motive is clear: “The government stood before a difficult choice: to expand the wine industry in the face of peasant proneness [to drunkeness] and thus to deepen the peasant poverty, or to restrict the free growth of this trade by letting the Jews already living in the villages to remain while stopping others from coming. And that choice—restriction—was deemed cruel.” Indeed, “today these May Regulations are portrayed as a decisive and irrevocably repressive boundary of Russian history.”
Notice particularly the claim by the minister (and supported by Solzhenitsyn) that Jews "directed all their efforts not toward the increase of the productive strength of the state, but primarily toward the exploitation of the poorest classes of the surrounding population.”Jewish economic activity was exploitative and destructive, resulting in impoverishing the peasants and exploiting their weakness for alcohol. A common Jewish attitude is that Jews made great contributions to the economic well-being of the society wherever there were large numbers of Jews. Whatever the plausibility of such a view in different times and places, it was certainly not the case here. As I noted elsewhere,
many examples of historical anti-Semitism involved animosity resulting from the oppressive nature of economic relationships between the ethnic groups—from a perceived need for greater reciprocity and less exploitation. Having merchants and moneylenders may be necessary, but lowering the fraction of total income of moneylenders and their aristocratic patrons would be in the interests of debtors and may also conform to normative notions of economic justice (especially if these are well-paid occupations). Historically, Jews were often concentrated in ethnic niches such as moneylending, tax farming, and estate management—occupations that were exploitative. In traditional societies these activities were not part of a market economy but an aspect of exploitation by elites. ... In the Middle Ages and down to the twentieth century in much of Eastern Europe, the great majority of loans were made to people living at or near subsistence, and they were made at exorbitant rates. There was often no free market in moneylending; typically, moneylenders obtained the right to engage in these activities as a result of being granted a franchise by a nobleman or a city which received a portion of the profits. The moneylenders then charged whatever they thought they could obtain from their customers, with the exception that interest rates were sometimes capped because of complaints by ruined debtors.
Loans made at interest rates common in the Middle Ages (oftentimes 33%–65%) are simply exploitative, and there is little wonder that they caused hatred on the part of ruined debtors and deep concern on the part of the Church. Moneylending under these circumstances did indeed benefit moneylenders and their aristocratic backers, but, as with loan-sharking today, it simply resulted in destitution for the vast majority of the customers—especially the poorer classes—rather than economic growth for the society as a whole. Loans were made to the desperate, the unintelligent, and the profligate rather to people with good economic prospects who would invest their money to create economic growth; they were made “not to the prosperous farmer...but the farmer who could not make ends meet; not the successful squire, but the waster; the peasant, not when his crops were good, but when the failed; the artisan, not when he sold his wares, but when he could not find a market. Not unnaturally, a century of such a system was more than any community could stand, and the story of Jewish usury is a continuous alternation of invitation, protection, protestation and condemnation."
Another exploitative Jewish economic niche was the arenda system in Eastern Europe, in which Jewish estate managers were motivated to exploit their subjects as much as possible during the period of the lease. In the arenda system, a Jewish agent would lease an estate from a nobleman. In return for a set fee, the leaseholder would have the right to all the economic production of the estate and would also retain control of the feudal rights (including onerous forced labor requirements) over its inhabitants:
In this way, the Jewish arendator became the master of life and death over the population of entire districts, and having nothing but a short-term and purely financial interest in the relationship, was faced with the irresistible temptation to pare his temporary subjects to the bone. On the noble estates he tended to put his relatives and co-religionists in charge of the flour-mill, the brewery, and in particular of the lord’s taverns where by custom the peasants were obliged to drink. On the church estates, he became the collector of all ecclesiastical dues, standing by the church door for his payment from tithe-payers, baptized infants, newly-weds, and mourners. On the [royal] estates..., he became in effect the Crown Agent, farming out the tolls, taxes, and courts, and adorning his oppressions with all the dignity of royal authority.20
Such a system approximates slavery, the only difference being that serfs are tied to the land while slaves can be freely bought and sold. In such systems, there is little motivation to work, and productivity is relatively low.21
The May Regulations resulted in Jewish hatred toward the government and an upsurge in Jewish revolutionary activity culminating in the Bolshevik Revolution. “Although the pogroms originated mainly with the Ukrainian population, the Russians have not been forgiven and the pogroms have always been tied with the name of Russia.” Jewish organizations in the rest of the world therefore opposed Russia, often resulting in charges of disloyalty because the Jewish desire to improve the treatment of Russian Jews conflicted with the national interests of several countries, particularly France, which was eager to develop an anti-German alliance in the wake of its defeat in the Franco-Prussian War. In England during World War I, Jews who had immigrated from Russia often refused military service because England was allied with Russia (see here, p. 67). Loyalty issues, which in our own day are centered on the neocon push for wars in the Middle East on behalf of Israel, are certainly not simply canards, as typically claimed by Jewish organizations.  
Solzhenitsyn also points out that the government wanted more control over the Jewish population because of the “constant shortfall of Jewish conscripts for military service; it was particularly noticeable when compared to conscription of Christians.” 
Although Jews avoided the draft, they were highly overrepresented in higher education, and the government was concerned about the rise of revolutionary sentiments among students, especially Jewish students. Quotas of 5–10% were established in universities, motivated partly by concern about Jewish revolutionary activity.
Finally, Solzhenitsyn correctly rejects the idea that the May Regulations were the main cause of mass emigration from Russia. More important was Jewish overpopulation. Jews had the highest rate of population growth of any European group in the 19th century, and they simply overshot their economic niche, resulting in a great deal of poverty among Jews.
This increasing economic domination went along with a great increase in the population of Jews. Jews not only made up large percentages of urban populations, they increasingly migrated to small towns and rural areas. [The May Regulations were designed to limit this.] In short, Jews had overshot their economic niche: The economy was unable to support this burgeoning Jewish population in the sorts of positions that Jews had traditionally filled, with the result that a large percentage of the Jewish population became mired in poverty. The result was a cauldron of ethnic hostility, with the government placing various restrictions on Jewish economic activity; rampant anti-Jewish attitudes; and increasing Jewish desperation.
The main Jewish response to this situation was an upsurge of fundamentalist extremism that coalesced in the Hasidic movement and, later in the nineteenth century, into political radicalism and Zionism as solutions to Jewish problems. Jewish populations in Eastern Europe had the highest rate of natural increase of any European population in the nineteenth century, with a natural increase of 120,000 per year in the 1880s and an overall increase within the Russian Empire from one to six million in the course of the nineteenth century. Anti-Semitism and the exploding Jewish population, combined with economic adversity, were of critical importance for producing the sheer numbers of disaffected Jews who dreamed of deliverance in various messianic movements—the ethnocentric mysticism of the Kabbala, Zionism, or the dream of a Marxist political revolution. (See here.)
In conclusion, Solzhenitsyn’s views are well-documented and fit well with the work of historians like Albert Lindemann. There is definitely an edge to his views. He portrays Jews as an exploitative class over the peasantry, defends government actions, and notes that Jews presented invidious portraits of Russian actions which they used to rally their own people and influence Western governments against Russia. In taking on the biased statements by Jewish commentators, the emotion comes through, as in his reaction to the idea that Jews were forced to emigrate because of the May Regulations:  
Wait a second, how did they throw the Jews out and an entire million at that? Didn’t they apparently only prevent new arrivals? No, no! It was already picked up and sent rolling: that from 1882 the Jews were not only forbidden to live in the villages everywhere, but in all the cities, too, except in the 13 guberniyas; that they were moved back to the shtetls of “the Pale”—that is why the mass emigration of Jews from Russia began![i]
Well, set the record straight.  
Like his intellectual opponents, Solzhenitsyn is an ethnic nationalist — but one with the facts on his side.
[i] Yu. Larin. The Jews and Anti-Semitism in the USSR, p. 52-53.
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Kevin MacDonald: Chapter 22 of 200 Years Together: “From the End of the War to Stalin’s Death”

Kevin MacDonald: The English translation of Chapter 22 of 200 Years Together (“From the End of the War to Stalin’s Death”) is now available. (See here; donations are needed to complete the project.)
The main theme is the post-WWII purging of Jews from many of the powerful positions they held as an elite in Soviet society. Solzhenitsyn’s account is similar to other mainstream accounts, such as Yuri Slezkine’s The Jewish Century. When Jewish intellectual activists write about the role of the Jews in the USSR, they generally focus on this period—Jews as the victims of anti-Jewish actions—rather than the status and role of Jews in previous decades. The following quote from a historian sums up the situation:
“‘Pushing’ Jews out of prestigious occupations that were crucial for the ruling elite in the spheres of manufacturing, administration, cultural and ideological activities, as well as limiting or completely barring the entrance of Jews into certain institutions of higher education gained enormous momentum in 1948-1953. … Positions of any importance in KGB, party apparatus, and military were closed to the Jews, and quotas were in place for admission into certain educational institutions and cultural and scientific establishments.”
Solzhenitsyn pointedly notes that Jews who had benefited from their nationality because they were officially classified as an oppressed minority under the Czar were now targeted on the basis of nationality:
Through its “fifth item” [i.e., the question about nationality] Soviet Jews were oppressed by the very same method used in the Proletarian Questionnaire, other items of which were so instrumental in crushing the Russian nobility, clergy, intellectuals and all the rest of the “former people” since the 1920’s.
Nevertheless, Jews were by no means eliminated from prestigious occupations. A historian comments that “Although the highest echelon of Jewish political elite suffered from administrative perturbations; but surprisingly it was not as bad as it seemed. … The main blow fell on the middle and the most numerous stratum of the Jewish elite — officials… and also journalists, professors and other members of creative intelligentsia.”
Anti-Jewish attitudes remained strong, fueled in large part because of the role of Jews as agents of oppression during the pre-war decades. For example, Solzhenitsyn notes that there were negative attitudes toward Jews returning to areas that the Germans had evacuated, particularly Ukraine.  Anti-Jewish attitudes combined both traditional ideas (Jews as wealthy: demanding restoration of prime residential property they owned before the war) as well as the role of Jews as government officials during the pre-war Soviet oppression.  A Jewish observer who claimed that Nikita Khrushchev had said, “In the past, the Jews committed many sins against the Ukrainian people. People hate them for that. We don’t need Jews in our Ukraine. It would be better if they didn’t return here.”
Jews complained about these attitudes as well as the fact that other groups were indifferent to Jewish suffering, but Solzhenitsyn notes the irony, quoting another Jewish observer who stated “that in the years of our terrible disasters, the Jewish intellectuals did not raise their voices in defense of the deported nations of Crimea and the Caucasus.” The example is a testimony to Jewish ethnocentrism–focused on their own suffering but never seeing, much less acknowledging, their indifference to the suffering of others or their role in causing it during the height  of their power.
There was a similar scene throughout Eastern Europe as Jews returned from exile after the war.
A great overrepresentation of Jews occurred in the post-war puppet Polish government, among managerial elites and in the Polish KGB, which would again result in miserable consequences for the Jews of Poland. After the war, other countries of Eastern Europe saw similar conflicts: “the Jews had played a huge role in economic life of all these countries,” and though they lost their possessions under Hitler, after the war, when “the restitution laws were introduced…  (they) affected very large numbers of new owners.” Upon their return Jews demanded the restoration of their property and enterprises that were not nationalized by Communists and this created a new wave of hostility towards them (22).)
Toward the end of Stalin’s life, he intensified the campaign against Jews, possibly resulting in his death in 1953. The main source of his hostility toward Jews was the age-old concern about loyalty: Jewish ties with Jews in other countries — in this case, Israel and the United States. During the Cold War there was a fear that Jewish sympathies would lie with Israel and the US as Israel’s main source of support. One result was that Stalin crushed the Jewish Anti-Fascist Committee (EAK), a Jewish organization that had been created to court support for the USSR among American Jews during WWII. During the Cold War, the ties between Soviet Jews and American Jews became a liability in the eyes of Soviet regime.
An indication of Jewish power is that the campaign against the EAK in 1952 was carried out slowly and with great caution” because Stalin was “very well aware what kind of international storm would be triggered by using force.” It’s striking that the mass murders and deportations of the 1920s and 1930s were carried out without any international outcry, but the campaign against a rather small Jewish group was done very cautiously.  Thirteen Jews were executed.
This is similar to what happened when Stalin ordered the murder of two Jewish leaders of the international socialist movement, Henryk Ehrlich and Victor Alter in 1942. These murders of two Jewish leftist activists created an international incident, and there were protests by leftists around the world — the same people who had previously ignored or rationalized mass murder during the 1920s and 1930s. Albert Einstein and Eleanor Roosevelt made appeals to Stalin, and American Jewish leaders, such as Nahum Goldmann of the World Jewish Congress and Rabbi Stephen S. Wise of the American Jewish Congress (AJCongress), helped quell the uproar over the incident and shore up positive views of the Soviet Union among American Jews.
Another manifestation of Stalin’s anti-Jewish campaign was the trial of Rudolf Slansky, the Jewish First Secretary of the Czechoslovak Communist Party. The trial was “openly anti-Jewish with naming ‘world leading’ Jews such as Ben Gurion and Morgenthau, and putting them into the same harness with American leaders Truman and Acheson.”
Stalin also arrested a large number of Jewish doctors —the  “Doctors’ plot” — and “prominent Soviet Jews were forced to sign a letter to Pravda with the most severe condemnation of the wiles of the Jewish ‘bourgeois nationalists’ and their approval of Stalin’s government.” (The letter was preceded by an article in Pravda published on January 13, 1953 claiming “”The majority of the participants of the terrorist group… were bought by American intelligence. They were recruited by a branch-office of American intelligence — the international Jewish bourgeois-nationalist organization called ” Joint” [i.e., the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee]. The filthy face of this Zionist spy organization, covering up their vicious actions under the mask of charity, is now completely revealed.”)
In February, the Soviet Embassy in Tel Aviv was bombed. Solzhenitsyn accepts the idea that the “international anger” resulting from the Doctors’ plot  “could possibly” have motivated “internal forces” to murder Stalin:
And then Stalin went wrong, and not for the first time, right? He did not understand how the thickening of the plot could threaten him personally, even within the secure quarters of his inaccessible political Olympus. The explosion of international anger coincided with the rapid action of internal forces, which could possibly have done away with Stalin. It could have happened through Beria (for example, according to [Abdurakhman] Avtorhanov’s version (66).)
The trimming of Jewish power in the USSR is important not just as a facet of Jewish history in the USSR but also because it had a major role in influencing some components of the American Jewish community to become less enamored with the left—notably Leo Strauss and the neoconservatives. Strauss believed that liberal, individualistic Western societies were best for Judaism. National Socialism was obviously bad for Jews, and Communism had become so. Despite their elite status, the events of 1948-1953 showed that Jews were vulnerable when the attitudes of an autocrat like Stalin turned against them.  Liberal societies were best, but they had to be controlled against populist tendencies. After all, the working class had eventually opted to join the  National Socialists.
Stephen Holmes describes Strauss’s solution to the Jewish dilemma as follows:  “The good society … consists of the sedated masses, the gentlemen rulers, the promising puppies, and the philosophers who pursue knowledge, manipulate the gentlemen, anesthetize the people, and housebreak the most talented young”a comment that sounds to me like an alarmingly accurate description of the present situation in the United States and elsewhere in the Western world. Given Strauss’s central concern that an acceptable political order be compatible with Jewish survival in the Diaspora and with the tendency for Jews to become an elite, it is reasonable to assume that Strauss believed that Jews would be a prominent part of the aristocracy and that the arrangement would serve Jewish interests–as indeed the current regime does.
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Kevin MacDonald: Translation of Solzhenitsyn’s “In the Camps of GULag” — Chapter 20 of “200 Years Together”

Kevin MacDonald: Alexandr Solzhenitsyn’s important 200 Years Together has unfortunately not been translated into English. However, this process is now beginning with the posting of Chapter 20, “In the Camps of GULag.” As the title suggests, the chapter discusses the role of Jews in the Gulag. There are several important themes.
Despite apologetic claims by Jews, in fact Jews lived better in the camps. Obviously, it’s a touchy subject–just like everything else about the role of Jews in the Soviet Union.
If I wished to generalize and state that the life of Jews in camps was especially difficult, then I would be allowed to do so and wouldn’t be peppered with admonitions for unjust ethnic generalizations. But in the camps, where I was imprisoned, it was the other way around – the life of Jews, to the extent of possible generalization, was easier.
Jews also looked out for each other–yet another example of ethnic networking. Free Jews were often in positions of authority and they favored their own people. For example:
A Lett Ane Bernstein, one of my witnesses from Archipelago, thinks that he managed to survive in the camps only because in times of hardship he asked Jews for help and that the Jews, judging by his last name and nimble manners, mistook him for their tribesman – and always provided assistance. He says that in all his camps Jews always constituted the upper crust and that the most important free employees were also Jews (Shulman – head of special department, Greenberg – head of camp station, Kegels – chief mechanic of the factory), and, according to his recollections, they also preferred to select Jewish inmates to staff their units.
The few Jews who did share in the common labor did so out of principle–in order to avoid the stereotype of Jews who did not work. They were rewarded for their efforts by being rejected by “both sides” — indicating that everyone in the camps was aware of the ethnic divide–just as American prisons are organized along ethnic fault lines. But Solzhenitsyn optimistically describes Jews who countered the common tendencies: “I try not to overlook such examples, because all my hopes depend on them.”
Nevertheless, the resentment and hatred of the Jewish position in the camps was real. Solzhenitsyn realizes that all humans are prone to these tendencies, but he also understands that the ethnic divide exacerbated the “heavy resentment”:
When an alien emerges as a “master over life and death” – it further adds to the heavy resentment. It might appear strange – isn’t it all the same for a worthless negligable, crushed, and doomed camp dweller surviving at one of his dying stages – isn’t it all the same who exactly seized the power inside the camp and celebrates crow’s picnics over his trench-grave? As it turns out – it is not, it has etched into my memory inerasably.
The Russians did not show ethnic networking and accordingly suffered. Notice that he sees the mass murder involved in collectivization as a personal loss to his ethnic group.
Those who know about terrific Jewish mutual supportiveness (especially exacerbated by mass deaths of Jews under Hitler) would understand that a free Jewish boss simply could not indifferently watch Jewish prisoners flounder in starvation and die – and not to help. But I am unable to imagine a free Russian employee who would save and promote his fellow Russian prisoners to the privileged positions only because of their nationality, though we have lost 15 millions during collectivization: we are numerous, you can’t care about everyone, and nobody would even think about it.
The White Sea canal, completed in 1933, has gone down in history as a particularly brutal forced labor project in which thousands of workers died. Solzhenitsyn points out that all six of the people in charge of the project were Jews:
Genrikh Yagoda, head of NKVD.
Matvei Berman, head of GULag.
Semen Firin, commander of BelBaltlag (by that time he was already the commander of Dmitlag, where the story will later repeat itself).
Lazar Kogan, head of construction (later he will serve the same function at Volgocanal).
Jacob Rapoport, deputy head of construction.
Naftaly Frenkel, chief manager of the labor force of Belomorstroi (and the evil daemon of the whole Archipelago)
Solzhenitsyn’s observations fit well with the findings of historians like Yuri Slezkine showing that Jews were a political and cultural elite in the Soviet Union. Slezkine draws special attention to Jews as Stalin’s “willing executioners” supervising the greatest crimes of the 20th century.
Throughout the chapter Solzhenitsyn’s brutal honesty shines through. He bends over backward to give examples of Jews who behaved in ways contrary to the general tendencies he and others observed. Nevertheless, he recounts how he was often accused of anti-Semitism simply for recording his observations. It’s okay to depict an evil person as a Russian, but never identify him as a Jew.
Solzhenitsyn’s observations add to the growing evidence of the role of Jews as a hostile elite in the USSR–hostile to the native Russian population and willing to engage in the most brutal crimes against them. This translation is very important for bringing this message to the English-speaking world, if only to dispel the common representation of Jews as always and inevitably historical victims.
White Americans should think long and hard about what these observations imply for them as they become a minority in a country dominated by hostile minorities, including Jews as a hostile elite.
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