Mark Weber


Excerpts From Solzhenitsyn's New Book On The Jews


2 May 2003


A Russian friend recently sent the URL to Alexander Solzhenitsyn's new

book on the role of Jews in Communism, Dvesti let vmeste - Two Hundred

Years Together — available on the internet in Russian at .

Using Altavista's Babelfish, we've translated some

of it into English, and then cleaned up the English somewhat, so as to

present to you the first English-language excerpts

from the book available anywhere.


Here are some excerpts from Chapter

15, "The Bolsheviks." This is our rough, and possibly in some places

imperfect, translation.


-- LSN Staff ( ), April 23, 2003


[ For more on this subject, see "The Jewish Role in the

Bolshevik Revolution and Russia's Early Soviet Regime": ]





Chapter 15 -- THE BOLSHEVIKS


This is not a new theme: the Jewish role in Bolshevism. On it, much has

already been written. Those who try to prove that the revolution was

non-Russian indicate the Jewish names and pseudonyms in an attempt to

remove from the Russian people the blame of the revolution of 1917. But

Jews, who began by similarly denying the role of Jews in positions Bolshevik

authority, have now been forced to admit participation, but claim that

those Jews were not Jews in spirit, but otshchepentsy [?].


Let us agree with this statement and admit we are unable to judge

people's spirits. Yes, these were otshchepentsy .


However, by that logic, the leading Russian Bolsheviks were also not

Russians in spirit, but were frequently both anti-Russian and

anti-Orthodox, and in their minds Russian culture was refracted through

the lenses of political doctrines and calculations.


But a question is raised: How much evidence must there be of the

participation of random otshchepentsev before acknowledges a pattern

that defies random distribution? What fraction of the Jewish nation is

required? We know about the Russian otshchepentsakh: the depressing

number that joined the Bolsheviks -- an unpardonable number. But how

widely and actively did Jews participate in strengthening Bolshevik authority?


And another question: what was the reaction of each group's people to

its otshchepentsam. The reactions of people to otshchepentsev can be

different -- they can curse them or praise them, ostracize them or join

them. And the manifestations of this -- the reactions of the masses of

the people, whether Russian, Jewish or Latvian -- have been given very

little consideration by historians.


The question is one of whether the people renounced their

otshchepentsev, and whether the renunciation that did occur reflected

the sense of the people. Did a people choose to remember or not to

remember it otshchepentsev? In answer to this question, there must not

be doubt: The Jews choose to remember. Not just to remember the

individual people, but to remember them as Jews, so that their names may

never disappear.


There is perhaps no more clear example of otshchepentsa than Lenin: one

cannot fail to recognize Lenin as Russian. To Lenin Russian antiquity was

disgusting and loathsome; in all of Russian History he seems only to have

mastered Chernishevsky and Saltykov-Schedrin. Yes, he frolicked with the

liberal views of Turgenev and Tolstoy. But in him there appeared no

attachment even to the Volga, where he passed his youth. To the

contrary, he pitilessly brought terrifying hunger there in 1921.

Everything with him was thus -- everything Russian among which he grew

generated inside him hatred. That Orthodox faith in which he could have

grown, he strove instead to weaken and destroy. Even in youth he was

otshchepenets. But nevertheless he was Russian, and we Russians must

accept criticism for it. But if we speak of the ethnic origin of Lenin,

we must not change our method of judgment, when we recognize that he

was a cross-breed of the most different bloodlines: his grandfather

according to the father, Nikolai Vasilyevich, was of the blood of a

Kalmik woman Anna Alekseyevna Smirnova; another grandfather Israel

[baptized Aleksandr] Davidovich was a Jew; another grandmother, Anna

Iogannovna (Ivanovna) Grosshopf, the daughter of a German and a Swede.

But all of this cross-breeding does not give us the right to reject him

as a Russian. We must accept him as a creation completely Russian since

his national character -- that which infused his spirit -- was

intertwined with the history of the Russian Empire. But to the creations

of Russia, that country which erected us, and its culture, his was a

spirit alienated and at times sharply anti-Russian, but nevertheless we

can in no way renounce him.


But the Jewish otshchepentsa? As we saw, in 1917, the Jews had not all

been drawn to Bolshevism. Instead, they had been drawn to a myriad of

revolutionary movements. at the last conference of the RSDRP -- the


-- of the 302-305 delegates the number of Jews exceeded 160, that is,

more than half. As a result of the April conference of 1917, among nine

members of the new Central Committee of the Bolsheviks we see G.

Zinoviev, L Kameneva, and Sverdlova. In the summer of the congress of

the rKPb (renamed from the RSDRP) to the TSCK there were eleven members,

among them Zinoviev, Sverdlov, Sokolniks, Trotsky, and Uritsky. Then, on

10 October 1917, in the apartment of Gimmera and Flakserman, where the

decision was made about the Bolshevik Revolution, among the 12

participants were Trotsky, Zinoviev, Sverdlov, Uritskiy, Sokolniks [and

one other Jewish name the translator won't give us properly]. And who

was chosen first for the Politburo? Of its seven members: Trotsky,

Zinoviev, [another Jewish name], Sokolniks. That is in no way a small

proportion. There can be no doubt -- Jewish otshchepentsy were present

in the Bolshevik leadership in great disproportion to their numbers in

the population -- and they comprised too many of the Bolshevik

commissars for a relationship to be denied.


It can be certain that the Jewish leadership of Bolshevism was not

completely monolithic. Even the Jews in the Politburo did not act as a

Bloc. Some were against the revolution, believing that it was not the

proper moment. Then, already, Trotsky was the autocratic genius of the

October revolution; he did not exaggerate his role in his writings on

the subject. Lenin hid himself in a cowardly manner and played no

essential role until after the revolution had been complete.


Generally, Lenin was guided by a spirit of internationalism, and even in

his dispute with the bund in 1903, he adhered to the view nationalism

did not exist and must not exist, and that the question of nationalism

divided revolutionary from reactionary socialism. (In harmony with this

view Stalin declared that the Jews were [not?] a nation and thus prophesied

their eventual assimilation.) Accordingly, Lenin considered

anti-Semitism to be a tactic of capitalism, and saw in it not an organic

expression of the will of the people but a convenient method of

counterrevolution. But Lenin also understood what a powerful mobilizing

force the Jewish question was in the ideological fight. He also saw to

it that the special bitterness of the Jews to the Tsar was prepared for

us in the Revolution.


However, from the first days of the revolution Lenin found it necessary

to consider how the Jewish question would eventually be addressed. Like

much he did not foresee in state questions, he did not see how the

formation of Jewish power within the Bolsheviks would lead the Jews, as

a result of war scattered throughout Russia, to take control of the

apparatus of the Russian state during the decisive months and years -- a

process that began with the replacements that occurred after the

Bolshevik mass strike against Russian clerks. That strike was organized

by the Jewish settlers in the Russian frontier and border regions, who

did not return to their relatives after the war.


But the liquidation of permanent residency in 1917 particularly resulted

in the great dispersion of Jews from the urban centers inside Russia, no

longer as refugees and settlers, but as migrants. Soviet information in

1920 states that to Samara alone ten thousands Jews has settled in

recent years, in Irkutsk, the Jewish population grew to fifteen

thousand. Large Jewish settlements were formed in central Russia and the

Urals. This was performed in large part by Jewish social security

agencies and philanthropic organizations.


A small pile of Bolsheviks having now come to power and taken authority,

their control was still brittle: Whom could they trust in the

government? Whom could they call to aid? The seeds of the answer lay in

the creation in January 1918 of a special people's commissariat from the

members of the Jewish commissariat, whose reason was expressed in

Lenin's thought: The Bolshevik service in the revolution was possible

because of the role of the large Jewish intelligentsia in several Russia

cities. These Jews engaged in general sabotage, which was directed

against Russians after the October Revolution and which has been

extremely effective. Jewish elements, though certainly not the entirety

of the Jewish people, saved the Bolshevik Revolution through these acts

of sabotage. Lenin took this into consideration, and emphasized it in

the press ... and he recognized that to master the state apparatus he

could succeed only because of this reserve of literate and more or less

intelligent, sober and new clerks.


Thus the Bolsheviks, from the first days of their authority, called upon

the Jews to assume the bureaucratic work of the Soviet apparatus -- and

many, many Jews answered that call. They, in fact, responded

immediately. The sharp need of the Bolsheviks for bureaucrats to

exercise their authority met great enthusiasm among young Jews,

pell-mell with the Slav and international brethren. And this was in no way

compulsory for these Jews, who were non-party members, and who had been previously

completely non revolutionary and apolitical. This phenomenon was not

ideological but a phenomenon of mass calculation by the Jews. And the

Jews in the previously forbidden and cherished rural provinces and their

capitals gushed out of their ghettos to join the Bolsheviks, seeing in

them the most decisive defenders of the revolution and the most reliable

internationalists, and these Jews flooded and abounded in the lower

layers of the party structure.


To every man who was not a member of the nobility, a priest or a Tsarist

bureaucrat the promises of the new clan were extended. And to encourage

Jewish participation, the Bolsheviks organized in St. Petersburg the

Jewish division of the nationalities commissariat. In 1918 it was

converted into a separate commissariat of its own. And in March 1919, in

the eighth congress of the rKPb, with the proclamation of the Communist

Union of Soviet Russia, it was made into an organic and special part of

the rKPb, in order to integrate it into the Communist International, and

it a special Jewish section was created in the Russian Telegraphic



The statements made by Shub that Jewish young people joined the

communist party in response to anti-Semitic pogroms conducted in

White-controlled areas in 1919 has no basis in reality. The mass inflow

of Jews into the Soviet apparatus occurred in 1917 and 1918. There is no

doubt that the pogroms of 1919 strengthened the allegiance of Jews to

the communist party, but it in no way created it. ....


Rarely do authors deny the role of Jews in Bolshevism. While it is true

that the appearance of Bolshevism was the result of the special features

of Russian history the organization of Bolshevism was created through

the activity of Jewish commissars. The dynamic role of Jews in

Bolshevism was estimated by contemporary observers in America. The

transfer of the Russian Revolution from the destructive phase into the

building phase was seen as an expression of the ability of the Jews to

build elaborate systems based on their dissatisfactions. And after the

successes of October, how many Jews themselves spoke about their role in

Bolshevism with their heads held high!


Let us recall that how, before the revolution, revolutionaries and

radical-liberals were willing to oppose the restraints placed upon the

Jews not out of love for the Jews, but for political purposes. So in the

first months and years after the October Revolution the Bolsheviks made

a great effort to hunt down Jews for use in the state and party

apparati, not out of affinity for the Jewish people, but for the

abilities they combined with their alienation and hatred of the Russian

population. In this manner they also approached the Latvians, the

Hungarians and the Chinese.


Though the mass of the Jewish population initially viewed the Bolsheviks

with alarm, thought not hostility, after finding that the revolution

granted them complete freedom, and that it welcomed a bloom of Jewish

activity in the public, political and cultural spheres, the Jewish

population threw themselves into Bolshevism; and Bolshevik authority

particularly attracted those whose character held a surplus of cruelty.


The question then emerges of when Communist authority spread from

Russia, and came to engulf world Judaism. The stormy participation of

Jews in the Communist revolution drew cautious statements of concerns

about world Jewry that were quieted, their evidence concealed, by

communist and Jews worldwide, who attempted to silence it by denouncing

it as extreme anti-Semitism.


After 70 or 80 years has passed, and under the pressure of many facts

and discoveries, the view of Jewish involvement in the revolutionary

years had opened slightly. And already many Jewish voices have been to

discuss this publicly. For example, the Poet Naum Korzhavin has noted

that along as it is "taboo" to speak of the participation of the Jews in

Bolshevism, it will be impossible to properly discuss the revolutionary

period. There are even times now when Jews are proud of their

participation -- when Jews have said that they did participate in the

revolution, and in disproportionately large numbers. M Argusky has noted

that Jews involved in the revolution and the civil war was not limited

to the revolutionary period but also continued in their considerable and

widespread involvement in running the state apparatus. Israeli socialist

S. Tsiryul'nikov has stated that from the beginning of the revolution

Jews served as the basis of the new communist regime,


But most Jewish authors, today still deny the contribution of Jews to

Bolshevism, sweeping the evidence aside with anger, or, more frequently,

with reference to the pain such evidence causes them.


But despite their pain there is no doubt that these Jewish otshchepentsy

for several years after the revolution dominated Bolshevism, headed the

belligerent Red Army (Trotsky), the ALL-RUSSIAN CENTRAL EXECUTIVE

COMMITTEE (Sverdlov), ran both capitals (Zinoviev), the Komintern

(Zinoviev), the Profintern / Red Trade Union International

(Dridzo-Lozovskiy) and the Komsomol (Oscar Ryvkin, after it Lazarus

Shatskin, the very same and in the chapter of the Communist

international of young people).


In the first council of People's Commissars there was, true, only one

Jew, but the influence of this one Jews, Trotsky, Lenin's second,

exceeded that of all the rest. And from November 1917 through 1918 the

real government was not the Council of Peoples' Commissars but the in

the so-called "Malyy"[?] Council of People's Commissars: Lenin, Trotsky,

Stalin, Karelin, Prosh'yan. After October, of no less importance that

the Council of People's Commissars, was the presidium of VCTscIcK, the


Sverdlov, [unintelligible Jewish name], Volodarsky, and Glass.


M. Agursky correctly notes that in the country, where one was not

accustomed to seeing Jews, the ascension of the Jews to power was

particualrly striking: The President of the country, a Jew? The War

Minister, a Jew? There was something to this, so radical that the

population of Russia could not adjust to it -- not only because of their

Judaism, but because of what they as Jews stood for.



Top of Page | Home Page

©-free 2003 Adelaide Institute