The Protocols of the Elders of Zion – An Anti-Semitic Lie That Makes a Career

A bleak starless night in the famous “Jewish cemetery” in Prague. The two men hiding in the bush there watched a strange procession: a group of ghostly figures enter the cemetery and stop at the tomb of a famous rabbi. The sound in the dark:

The people of Israel rise from their fall. The power it wields over thrones and peoples has become immense. When all the gold on earth is ours, then all the power is ours. On the waters of Babylon we were in captivity. Our temples were destroyed. We have been enslaved. But now we will rule them for as long as the world remains. Eighteen centuries belong to our enemies. The new century belongs to Israel…”

the story: World domination through gold and atheism

It is clear to snoopers in the bush: they have just witnessed a “global Jewish conspiracy”. Here the representatives of the Twelve Tribes of Israel assembled to plan a coup d’état.

“The non-Jewish world will disintegrate with the power of gold, in the murderous poison of liberalism, with rationalism, materialism and atheism, as non-Jews, out of a yearning for peace and security, will at last voluntarily give up the Jews — and this is crucial — the hand over all power.”

From a Gothic novel to a supposed “protocol”

Everything reported here is complete nonsense. There was never a secret meeting of rabbis in the Prague cemetery, and the establishment of “Jewish world domination” was not planned anywhere on earth. The cemetery scene is a pure invention. It is from a third-rate horror novel published in 1868 by Hermann Judsch, who admitted to being an anti-Semite, under the pseudonym Sir John Ritcliffe.

Ten years later, this tomb chapter, separated from the rest of the book, has found its way into an obscure pamphlet called The Protocols of the Elders of Zion. The origin and author of the writing are unknown. What was once pure fiction is now a supposedly reliable factual report, and is now making a fateful “career”. The “Protocols” became the most famous anti-Semitic discourse in world history, the central reference document for the myth of the “world Jewish conspiracy”.

The triumph of this writing began in 1903 with its publication for the first time in a Russian newspaper, as the historian Hagmeister explains: “This writing seems to reproduce a verbatim speech in a meeting whose composition we do not know at all. We do not know the place nor the time of this speech. We do not even know who is speaking Here. The speaker of these “protocols” describes in a kind of self-recognition the secret methods and goals of an alleged centuries-old Jewish conspiracy against the entire non-Jewish world.

Anti-Semitism adapts to the zeitgeist

As anti-Semitism moves with time, there are “modern” anti-Jewish cliches adapted to the nineteenth century: “There is absolutely no mention of poisoning wells, violating sanctities in the host, killing gods, ritual murder, etc., Christianity, stereotypes.” Anti-Jewishness does not appear at all in The Protocols.

Rather, it is about gold and money, power, and economic and political influence. The Jews are no longer allies of Satan and enemies of Christianity as they were in the Middle Ages, but enemies of humanity seeking world domination by modern means. This is what the “protocols” say:

Our motto is: violence and cunning. Power alone triumphs in politics, especially when hidden in the indispensable talents of the statesman. Force must be the rule, cunning and hypocrisy the rule, for governments unwilling to lose their crowns to representatives of some new power…”

The origin of ‘Protocols’ remains obscure to this day

After the Russian Revolution and the end of World War I, “Protocols” arrived in Germany in the baggage of Russian immigrants. Here, too, they serve anti-Semitism of all faiths as evidence of Jewish “dissolution” of politics and society. From what obscure sources this writing really comes, who summarized it and wrote it first, when and where, it is the subject of countless speculations to this day. The version offered by Austrian writer and Holocaust survivor Hans Gunter Adler was still generally accepted in the 1970s:

“The Minutes” was published in 1919 by Captain Mueller von Hausen, who called himself Gottfried zur Beck and was a friend of General Ludendorff. Beck tells that the Russian government, driven by mistrust of the Zionists, sent a scout to the First Zionist Congress in Basel in 1897. According to Beck, the spy succeeded in bribing an influential, involved Jew, who was supposed to deliver reports of secret meetings to a Jewish lodge in Frankfurt. ‘The messenger spent the night on his way in a small town,’ says Beck, ‘where the Russians were waiting for him with a group of clerks. They edited the scripts overnight.”

However, Michael Hagemeister conveys this to the realm of superstition just like the thesis that the employees of the Tsarist secret police “Okrana” were among the authors: “This story seemed so credible that it is still transmitted today. However, it has one flaw: There is not the slightest evidence of its correctness, but there is a lot that contradicts this version.

fake not fake

During his research work in some 30 archives in ten countries, Hagemeister came across a whole host of strange characters, all of whom were said to have played questionable but important roles in the origin and writing of The Protocols.

For example: the occultist Yuliana Glinka, the French Count Alexandre de Chaila, the writer Serge Nilus, the Polish-Russian noble Catherine Radziwill, the famous liars and redeemers, the wretched politicians, the half-witted aristocrats, and, and, and. There are no limits to speculation.

According to Hagemeister, the fact that ‘Protocols’ are repeatedly referred to as ‘forgeries’ is more than a linguistic omission: ‘Forgery refers to the origin; but of course in the case of ‘Protocols’ there is no origin. Nor are there ‘Elders of Zion’. It’s all pure invention.”

After the initial enthusiasm for the “Protocols,” the National Socialists soon showed themselves strangely conservative. In 1934, publication became compulsory for reading in all schools, but it disappeared again in 1939 without a trace. Michael Hammeister suspects:

There is a book from the 1930s called “Adolf Hitler, Disciples of the Elders of Zion.” Here a comparison was made between the plans and goals of the “Elders of Zion” and what the Nazis practiced. Perhaps one of the reasons the “Protocols” were not published in Nazi Germany after 1939. Perhaps The Nazis were already afraid to draw comparisons between their methods and aims of government and the plans of the supposed “Elders of Zion”.

Disproved in court – with limited success

In June 1933, the trial of the “Protocols of the Elders of Zion”, so to speak, takes place. The Swiss Confederation of Jewish Communities and the Israeli Community of Bern brought criminal charges against the persons who distributed and sold the “Protocols” in Bern. Prosecutors hope that anti-Jewish propaganda will be dealt a fatal blow.

It is a process that will take several years. It ends with the plaintiffs winning. After the ruling was announced, Chief Justice Walter Mayer said:

“I hope that there will come a time when no one will understand why dozens of intelligent and sane people spent 14 days in 1935 before the Bern court on the correctness or incorrectness of these so-called “protocols”, which, after all, are nothing but ridiculous nonsense that can break heads …”

But Chief Justice Mayer hoped to be proven wrong: “Dear Sir, why does Oxfam UK sell anti-Semitic literature please…?” This is what the Israeli ambassador to Britain requested in a letter addressed to the CEO of the charity Oxfam. In March 2020, they offered a version of the “Protocols of the Elders of Zion” from 1936 in their online store for 110 euros.

It seems that “Protocols” still find their audience today – which is by no means sitting in scattered Telegram groups.

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