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[Thread] On the origns,rise, appropriation of the "Judeo-Bolshevist" #antisemitic slur, in the U.S., Poland, and elsewhere. Antisemitism = A/S, text unless noted, is from bit.ly/2DEPVBT
cc: @KevinMKruse @TheTattooedProf @TarikCyrilAmar @NewFascSyllabus @myHNN
This is a particularly insidious form of A/S because it is often deftly mixed with actual history. The basic outline is that communism was created by parasitic Jews as another way to suck the capital of their "host" nation. (So was capitalism, apparently.)
Judeo-Bolshevism predated the Nazis and began with the idea that leading Communists (esp. Marx and Trotsky were Jews.) Now, they were perhaps ethnically Jewish, but never would have identified as such. Nor did they live as Jews. But that is not important for antisemites...
The J-B (Judeo-Bolshevist) myth joined religious, economic, and racial as a multifaceted way to make A/S appeal to as many people as possible. It has since also become a slur to blame Jews for socialism and really any leftist social welfare agenda.
The German-American Bund (American Nazis) employed this slur. They (and others) called FDR's New Deal the "Jew Deal" for its supposed socialist qualities. The Nazis would echo this, claiming the U.S. was controlled by Jews. See this Nazi poster from 1943. jstor.org/stable/2388250…
J-B as #antisemitism was seen in other countries, too. It was an instant way to discredit them politically and marginalize them socially and economically while drumming up antisemitic sentiment. nytimes.com/1932/01/18/arc…
The Nazis used the J-B myth to give less antisemitic Germans a material reason to hate Jews:the very real fear of Communism.At its extreme, in the East, it militarized civilian Jews as legitimate targets. bit.ly/2HWhnRC bit.ly/JHf3ew
Why does the J-B myth have such purchase? Well, Jews WERE involved in socialist and communist politics in Europe. Why? 1) Often it was the only option available for politically active Jews. Conservative, nationalist and religious-based were often openly antisemitic.
2) Communism was the only political movement to explicitly reject and ban A/S (though this did not always translate to practice. 3) For a people who were always viewed as a racial minority, the concept of redefining belonging via the equality of class was appealing.
However, MANY Jews also rabidly opposed Bolshevism. Observant Jews rejected its atheistic stance. Jewish businessmen were just as alarmed by Communism’s threat to their livelihoods as their gentile counterparts. Others simply pursued a policy of political avoidance.
Nazis, extreme nationalists, and antisemites alike frequently make the claim that Jews formed the majority of Stalin’s murderous NKVD In 1941, Nazis explicitly made this connection by forcing Jews to bury the bodies of NKVD victims (many of whom were Jews.)
Many nationalist revisionists also accuse Jews of welcoming Soviets and collaborating. Again, there is much nuance to this. Jews were (naturally) happier to see Soviets than Germans arriving. The Soviets offered education and opened up occupations to Jews.
However, in the larger picture, Stalin’s own purges and A/S had removed most Jews from positions of any consequence. They certainly were not driving policy. Both Jews and non-Jews suffered under the Soviet occupation. Jews and Polish nationalists alike were sent gulags or shot.
What are the facts behind this? Jews were over-represented in Soviet organizations and govt. However, they were a minority, simply more visible…and not any more or less brutal than their comrades. Further, as the Soviets tightened control, Jews were relegated to minor positions.
Regardless (and this is VERY important), the VERY real suffering of non-Jews under the Soviet occupation lent a level of visceral emotion to the J-B myth that greatly enhanced its power and "truth" properties.
Why is this still important? B/c it continues to be used around the world to add a veneer of “legitimacy” to A/S, particularly in an era of anti-“globalism” and rising nationalist historical revision, particularly in Eastern Europe but also in the United States. (Here, #Ukraine)
After the war and into today, the J-B Myth also remains a staple of #Holocaust deniers. The “Institute for Historical Review,” a slick denier site propagates this. So does this treatise by another denier.
The J-B Myth was front and center during the Nazi march on Charlottesville in 2017 with one Nazi referring to the Jewish mayor of our town as a Jewish communist. It is also prevalent in Nazi and white supremacist memes and propaganda. theatlantic.com/politics/archi…
Note the use of the stereotypical Jewish communist octopus imagery by right wing @BreitbartNews mediamatters.org/blog/2016/11/2…
In Eastern Europe, where Communism has left very real scars, the J-B Myth is mobilized directly alongside far right nationalism, revisionism, and Holocaust minimization. Examples include elevating anti-Communist (and A-S Holocaust perpetrators) as national heroes.
Far-right Polish nationalist rhetoric draws on WW2 and the postwar period. It’s a twisted form of “whataboutism” that argues that Jews deserved brutal treatment particularly that of locals for their earlier (and largely exaggerated) crimes. Thus crime becomes justice.
As socialism in its much softer form is present throughout Europe and even certain forms in the US, we can expect the J-B myth to continue to be mobilized by fascists, Nazis, and nationalists. Hopefully, this thread provides a resource for breaking down this dangerous stereotype
For more reading and resources, see the links below
Apologies for the apparent self-promotion. That image appeared from the link above where I reference texts throughout the thread that are un-referenced. I am NOT plugging my book!
Correction: THIS is the Nazi poster from 1943 (and a bonus one for my mistake)
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