Thursday, 16 July 2015

Solzhenitsyn's Forbidden Book

 Alexander Solzhenitsyn is the Nobel Prize winning author of ''The Gulag Archipelago''. He was embraced by the Western establishment as a Russian Nelson Mandela, a brave dissident speaking truth about a regime the West was hostile towards. However, his final work entitled ''200 Years Together'' which explores the tumultuous relationship of Russians and Jews, is yet to be published in the English language, for reasons which remain mysterious. Fortunately it is published in French and thanks to an amazing writer and translator we can take a peak at a work which has the Western establishment rattled. You can read the full essay here, I highly recommend you read the full piece but here are some quotes, I have left F.Roger Devlin's text in only to provide context.

For several weeks the membership of the Executive Committee was not even divulged:

. . . several of the members hide behind pseudonyms and for two months refused to appear in public: no one knew exactly who was governing Russia. Later it came out that there were ten stupid soldiers in the EC for show, kept at arm’s length. Among the rest—the thirty active members—more than half were Jewish socialists. There were Russians, Caucasians, Latvians, and Poles, but the Russians amounted to less than a quarter of the whole. A moderate socialist, Stankevitch, noted that “the most striking thing about the composition of the EC was the number of foreign elements . . . out of all proportion with their numbers in Petrograd or in the country.” (p. 47)

In the course of the summer and autumn of 1917, the Zionist movement continued to gather strength in Russia: in September it had 300,000 adherents. Less known is that Orthodox Jewish organizations enjoyed great popularity in 1917, yielding only to the Zionists and surpassing the socialist parties. (p. 54)

 “It must be stated clearly that the October Putsch was not led by the Jews (except for the glorious Trotsky and the young and dynamic Grigori Chudnovsky)” (p. 80).

 “immediately after October, it was the Jews who saved the revolution by breaking the resistance of the civil servants” (p. 105).

He accepts the common argument that the Jewish Bolsheviks were renegades, i.e., “not Jews in spirit.” He points out, however, that the same was true of Russian Bolsheviks and denies that any nation may simply disown its renegades: “for if we release ourselves from all responsibility for the actions of our national kin, the very concept of a nation loses any real meaning” (p. 132).

There are many Jewish authors who to this very day either deny the support of Jews for Bolshevism, or even reject it angrily, or else—the most common case—only speak defensively about it. The matter is well-attested, however: these Jewish renegades were for several years leaders at the center of the Bolshevik Party, at the head of the Red Army (Trotsky), of the All-Russian Central Executive Committee (Sverdlov), of the two capitals (Zinoviev and Kamenev), of the Comintern (Zinoviev), of the Profintern (Dridzo-Lozovsky), and of the Komsomol (Oskar Ryvkin, then Lazar Shatskin). (p. 91)

Marxists are officially “internationalists,” of course, and Trotsky was especially emphatic in rejecting his ethnic heritage. But does it necessarily follow that he was not influenced by it? “To judge by the appointments he made,” Solzhenitsyn observes, “Jewish renegades were closer to him than Russian renegades” (p. 92)

The author goes on to discuss the roles of the Jews Uritsky, Drabkin, and Sverdlov in dispersing the Constituent Assembly, concluding with one of his strongest formulations: “by these sorts of operations the new Jewish form of government was sketched out” (p. 93).

He reproduces the remarks of some contemporary observers:

F. Nazhivin records the impressions he received at the very beginning of Soviet power: at the Kremlin in the administration of the Sovnarkom “you see nothing but Latvians upon Latvians, Jews upon Jews. I have never been an anti-Semite, but here there were so many it leapt out at you, and each one younger than the next.”

[The writer Vladimir] Korolenko himself, liberal and hypertolerant as he was, entered into his Journal in the Spring of 1919: “Among the Bolsheviks there are a great number of Jewish men and women. Their tactlessness, their self-assurance are striking and irritating. . . . In their ranks, and above all in the Cheka [the secret police], you constantly see Jewish physiognomies, and this exacerbates the still virulent traditional feelings of Judeophobia [among the population].” (p. 99)

“the section charged with combating black marketers—the least dangerous and most lucrative—was in the hands of Jews” (p. 94

In 1918 [writes Solzhenitsyn] Trotsky, with the aid of Sklianski and Yakov Sverdlov, created the Red Army. Jewish soldiers were numerous in its ranks. Several units of the Red Army were composed entirely of Jews, as, e.g., the brigade commanded by Joseph Forman. Among the officers of the Red Army, the share of Jews grew in number and importance for many years after the Civil War. (p. 135)

 “the proportion of Jews in the position of Political Adjuncts was especially high at all levels of the Red Army” (p. 136).

Of special interest to students of Communism is the Cheka, the secret political police who carried out the Red Terror and eventually built the Gulag. In their early phase, national minorities composed almost 50 percent of the central apparatus of the Cheka, and nearly 70 percent of the responsible posts. An inventory on 25 September 1918 reveals, besides a great number of Latvians and a not insignificant number of Poles, a good showing by Jews. And of the judges assigned to the struggle against counter-revolution—by far the most important section in the structure of the Cheka—half were Jews (pp. 142–43).

The Ukrainian Cheka, in what used to be the Pale of Settlement, was composed about 80 percent of Jews (p. 150). In Kiev, which was 21 percent Jewish in 1919 (p. 156), key positions in the Cheka were “almost exclusively” in Jewish hands. Of the twenty members of the commission which decided people’s fate, fourteen were Jews (p. 148).

Vasily Shulgin, an old political ally of Stolypin, witnessed an enormous exodus from Kiev on October 1st, 1919 as the town was about to be occupied by the Bolsheviks. Some 60,000 Russians, according to his estimate, left on foot with nothing more than they could carry. At the time, there were some 100,000 Jews living in Kiev. “But there were no Jews in this exodus; you could not see any among these thousands of Russians. They did not want to share our destiny.” Even the wealthiest “bourgeois” Jews preferred to take their chances with the Bolsheviks (pp. 149–50).

“In the towns of southern Russia, especially the Western half of the Ukraine which changed hands several times, the advent of Soviet power gave rise to ostentatious sympathy and the greatest joy in the Jewish quarters, and often nowhere else” (p. 150).

The proportion of Jews in the Bolshevik movement in Hungary was said to be about 95 percent; in the German Communist Party it was also greatly out of proportion. “That the directors of the communist revolts were Jews—this was one of the main reasons for the revival of political anti-Semitism in post-revolutionary Germany” (p. 153). In the 1920s, “the assimilation of Bolshevism to Judaism became a fashion followed by everyone,” i.e., it was not peculiar to traditionally anti-Semitic milieus (p. 188).

Jews numbered some 200,000 among the refugees (i.e., 10 percent), and about half of them went to Germany. They were particularly active in the field of publishing: “In 1922, these publishers brought out more Russian books and publications [in Berlin] than German language editors did in all of Germany” (pp. 182–83). A surprising number of the Jewish exiles continued to cherish an idealized image of Soviet Russia as a promised land of equality and social justice. Among the Jewish refugees who settled in the United States, notes the Jewish Encyclopedia, “pro-Bolshevik ideas had no difficulty proliferating” (p. 196). “One cannot say that the Jewish emigration [as a whole] was pro-Bolshevik,” concludes Solzhenitsyn, “but for it the Bolshevik regime was not the principal enemy, and many were those who maintained a benevolent attitude towards it” (p. 196).

. . . these discriminatory measures were not extended to Jews because they belonged to a “nation persecuted by the tsarist regime.” The Jewish youth, even ofbourgeois origin, were greeted with open arms in the universities. Jews were forgiven for not being proletarian. (p. 221)

One often saw Jews among those who first enriched themselves under NEP. The hatred directed against them was also due to their operating within the field of Soviet institutions, not only those of the market: many of their undertakings were made easier by the relations they enjoyed with those in the Soviet apparatus. (p. 255)

In fact, the Soviet Penal Code of 1926 contained provisions against “incitement to national hatred and divisiveness” [have the EU bureaucrats been studying Soviet law?], expanded in 1927 to include “diffusion, authorship or possession of written documents” (p. 252, italics added). Solzhenitsyn remarks: “The most rabid anti-Semite could not have discovered a better means of getting the people to identify Soviet power with that of the Jews” (p. 253).

A myth is in course of formation: “the Jews were always second class citizens under the Soviet regime.” And rare indeed are those who are willing to admit not only the participation of Jews in the deeds perpetrated by the barbaric young State, but also the virulence which certain of them demonstrated.

In the 1990s, a Jewish author [G. Shurmak] declared: “For decades, Jews were proud of their compatriots who made a brilliant career out of the revolution, without much reflecting upon what that career cost the Russian people in real suffering. . . . It is striking with what unanimity my compatriots deny any responsibility in the Russian history of the twentieth century.”

Words like these could be salvation for our two peoples if they were not so hopelessly rare. Because it is the truth: in the course of the twenties, numerous were the Jews who rushed to serve the Bolshevik Moloch, without thinking of the unhappy country which would provide the field for their experiments any more than of the consequences which would result for themselves. (pp. 298–99)

The author reviews more than one attempt to portray the Jewish Communists of the 1930s as victims. Solomon Schwartz asserts that “under Soviet conditions, [the Jews] had no chance to survive except State service,” to which Solzhenitsyn responds:

One is ashamed to read this. What sort of situation of oppression and despair is it which leaves you no other chance of survival than to occupy positions of privilege? What about the rest of the population? They enjoyed full liberty to wear themselves out on collective farms and in prison camps, digging ditches with pickaxes, carrying loads on the sites of the five-year plans . . . (p. 335)

The Israeli writer Yu. Margolin is another who tries to engage our sympathy for the Jewish Communists, “victims of the Soviet dictatorship, used and then liquidated without pity when they were no longer useful.” Solzhenitsyn is not buying it:

A lovely explanation! But were these persons really used for twenty years? Did they not pour all their zeal into being the engine of that same dictatorship, and before being “no longer useful,” did they not take a vigorous part in the destruction of religion and culture, in the annihilation of the intelligentsia and several million peasants? (p. 323)

If I had wanted to generalize by saying that the Jews in the camps had a particularly harsh life, no one would have stopped me, and I would not have been covered with reproaches for having generalized unjustly. But in the camps I knew it was different: insofar as one can generalize, the Jews lived there with less hardship than others. (pp. 358–59)

[T]he very structure of the totalitarian regime meant that the weakening of the Jewish share in the leadership of the country could only be initiated by Stalin himself.

But neither Stalin’s devious character nor the hardened character of Soviet propaganda allowed an open course of action. The first transformations in the composition of the State apparatus occurred—almost imperceptibly, it is true—after the rapprochement of Stalin with Hitler in 1939. The Jew Litvinov was replaced by Molotov and “purges” took place in the Commissariat of Foreign Affairs. And military and diplomatic academies were closed to Jews.

From the end of 1942, actions were taken to remove Jews from artistic institutions such as the Bolshoi, the Moscow Conservatory, [and] the Moscow Philharmonic. Later there were attempts to initiate a prorated repartitioning of [Party] cadres according to national origin, which in practice amounted to removing Jews from decision-making positions. Over the course of the years and according to circumstances, Stalin sometimes encouraged and sometimes hindered these initiatives. (pp. 424–25)

Let us note that none of these malevolent judgments upon the “Russian soul” provokes protest. If someone does not like anything Russian, holds it in contempt, or even says “Russia is a garbage dump,” this is not immoral in Russia. Here, no one addresses Presidents, Prime Ministers, Senators, or Congressmen to ask anxiously “what do you think of this incitation to hate a group of human beings because of their nationality?” (pp. 498–99)

“They(Jews) have forgotten,” marvels the author, “quite sincerely—they have entirely forgotten. How difficult it is to remember the evil one has done!” (p. 490).

I have noticed that Jews more often than others insist that no attention must be paid to nationality. “What does it matter, one’s nationality?” they repeat; “national ‘traits,’ national ‘character’—do these even exist?”
But, with my hand on my heart: it is precisely Jews who scrutinize and strain to discern national peculiarities more jealously, more attentively, more secretly than others: those of their own nation. (p. 502)

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