The Cold War Axis:
Soviet Anti-Zionism & the American Right, Part 1
Part 1 of 3
The phenomenon of Marxism from its advent was perceived in some quarters, including the anarchists such as Mikhail Bakunin, as a “Jewish” ideology. Ironically Marx himself considered capitalism to be “Jewish” in spirit, that the bourgeoisie were imbued with the “Jewish spirit,” and that “Jewish” and “bourgeois” had become synonymous. Marx believed that true Jewish emancipation would come with the destruction of capitalism. Marx wrote:
Money is the jealous god of Israel, in face of which no other god may exist. …
The god of the Jews has become secularized and has become the god of the world. The bill of exchange is the real god of the Jew. His god is only an illusory bill of exchange.
The chimerical nationality of the Jew is the nationality of the merchant, of the man of money in general.
What is the secular basis of Judaism? Practical need, self-interest. What is the worldly religion of the Jew? Huckstering. What is his worldly God? Money.
Very well then! Emancipation from huckstering and money, consequently from practical, real Judaism, would be the self-emancipation of our time.
Marx’s condemnation of the “Jewish spirit” eventually provided an ideological rationalization for Soviet anti-Zionist policy, which was the heir of traditional Russian attitudes towards Jews as represented in Czarist days by the “Black Hundreds.” Soviet anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism were articulated under the guise of Marxist opposition to imperialism, chauvinism, colonialism, and ethnocentricism, all of which were equated by the Soviet propaganda apparatus with Zionism. One representative example is entitled Zionism: Instrument of Imperialist Reaction, published in 1970. The book is a collection of letters of protest against Zionism and Israel written to the Soviet press, mainly by Soviet Jews, and a selection of articles by various writers that had been published in the Soviet press. For example, Prof. Braginsky’s article “The Class Essence of Zionism,” originally published in Pravda, drew on Marxist and Leninist thinking in regard to Jewish autonomy, stating that Jewish assimilation is the “historically progressive process,” alluding to Marx’s position on the issue, and quoting Lenin.
Anti-Semitism from the Right
Jews as an often unassimilated minority have frequently been viewed by societies since ancient times as a source of subversion of the status quo. As for Russia in recent times, where traditionalists were resisting the inroads of modernization and what were perceived as the negative characteristics of industrialism on traditional religious and institutional structures, Jews were widely held by all segments of society to be harbingers of this modernization, including that which was in the form of revolutionary agitation. During the closing years of the 19th Century many Jews in Eastern Europe were divided between adherence to socialism and to Zionism, although there was also a large element that synthesized both, such as Poale Zion. The Socialist-Zionist movement goes back to Moses Hess, the so-called “Red Rabbi.” However the split endures. Churchill referred to this family rivalry in 1920 in the aftermath of the Bolshevik Revolution, as a “struggle for the soul of the Jewish people.” In writing of Chaim Weizmann, Laurence Krane writes of this:
. . . Some Jews felt that the savior of the Jews would come through political reform such as communism or socialism. Others argued that assimilation would answer the problem of anti-Semitism and ease the economic hardships of the Jew. Still others maintained that immigration to Palestine, as Israel was called then, and by building up settlements in the Land would save the Jews from economic privation and exploitation.
Russian anti-Semitism manifested organizationally in The Black Hundreds, who opposed capitalism as much as socialism, and perceived them as being equally Jewish. The widespread distribution of The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion by Russian émigrés fleeing the Bolshevik Revolution is a well-known expression of Russian anti-Semitism and how traditionalists perceived the background of the events that were convulsing Russia. The Russian revolutionary upheaval in 1917 and the way the Czarists regarded it as of Jewish origin and implementation had a major influence on the way Russia was considered by German, American, and other Rightists. Czarist émigrés fleeing the Russian revolution brought The Protocols of Zion, for example, to Germany, along with their polemics on “Jewish Bolshevism.”
In the USA Czarist émigrés played a significant role in the portrayal of the Russian Revolution as of Jewish design. Borris Brasol was amongst the most prominent. Brasol was a Russian jurist and author of eminence, who worked as an assistant for the Minister of Justice, Schleglovitoff. It was Brasol who prepared over the course of two years the prosecution case against Mendel Beylis who had been accused of the Medieval accusation of “Jewish ritual murder” (sic) in Kiev in 1911 of a boy, Andrey Yuchinsky. Brasol went to the USA in 1916 to work as a trade representative, and stayed in the USA with the outbreak of the Russian Revolution the following year. Brasol was employed on the staff of industrialist Henry Ford’s newspaper The Dearborn Independent. When Natalie De Bogory, daughter of a Russian General, completed the first English translation of The Protocols of Zion in the USA, Brasol brought it to Ford’s newspaper, where it served as the basis of a series of articles that were published by the Ford Motor Company as a single volume, The International Jew. Brasol also successfully promoted The Protocols around military intelligence personnel as an employee in the US Department of Justice. One of Brasol’s documents is “Bolshevism and Judaism,” dated November 13, 1918. This is ascribed to American Military Intelligence, and purports to document an alliance between Jewish revolutionaries and Jewish bankers. Some of the information is correct; some of it inaccurate. For example Brasol alludes to the banker Jivotovski (Zhivotovskii), as being Trotsky’s father-in-law, as an example of an alliance between Jewish proletarians and capitalists, whereas he was Trotsky’s uncle, was indeed associated with sundry prominent players such as the “Bolshevik banker” Olof Aschberg of the Nye Banken, Stockholm.
These were the types of Russian influences that helped mould the attitude of the American Right in its attitude towards Russia from the time of the Russian Revolution. The “Jewishness of communism” is a theme that continues among American Rightists, but underwent a significant mutation as early as 1952, as a surprising number of American anti-communist conservatives reoriented themselves in regard to the USSR. It is this surprising shift in attitude that will be considered here.
American Attitudes toward Russia
Many American Rightists and conservatives other than the self-declared fascists and national socialists, like the German Hitlerites from their beginnings, absorbed Czarist émigré attitudes towards Bolshevism and Jewry. Father Charles Coughlin was among the most influential of those who condemned Bolshevism as Jewish. At first his principal concern was the social doctrine of the Church. Beginning as an adviser to Roosevelt, Coughlin broke with the president after what he considered Roosevelt’s betrayal to both bankers and socialists. Coughlin quickly recruited many followers to his National Union for Social Justice, and had a militant street arm, the Christian Front. Already Coughlin had attracted a wide audience as the popular “radio priest,” beginning on the air in 1926 from his small parish church at Royal Oak , Michigan. It wasn’t until 1930 that Coughlin, reaching 40,000,000 listeners via the CBS network, made his first attack on the “money changers,” who became increasingly synonymous with “Jews.” In 1936 Coughlin founded a weekly newspaper, Social Justice, which had a circulation of 900,000 subscribers in addition to being hawked on the streets.
Another relatively successful fascistic movement in the USA was the Silver Shirt Legion founded by a Hollywood scriptwriter William Dudley Pelley. Like Coughlin and many others of lesser influence, Pelley’s themes included the Jewishness of communism.
Francis Parker Yockey, the seminal philosopher of the American Right in regard to what became a pro-Russian orientation, emerged from this milieu. Yockey’s formative years politically were in Depression Era Chicago, where he moved in 1938 to further his education. This was at a time when many Americans were looking to radical ideologies which had triumphed in the form of Communist Russia, Fascist Italy and National Socialist Germany. An ideological war was being fought out between Marxism and Fascism, which manifested as a physical war in Spain. In Europe and further afield Catholics saw in the Social Doctrine of the Church an answer to the materialistic dogmas of Marxism and capitalism, and often this was translated into what could generically be termed “Fascism” but is more precisely defined as “Corporatism,” also called “clerical fascism.”
Yockey was associated with Pelley’s Silver Shirt Legion, specifically it seems as a lecturer. His first political literary effort would seem to have been written in 1939, “The Tragedy of Youth,” published in Coughlin’s Social Justice. As the association with the Pelley and Coughlin movements shows, Yockey was from a young age drawn to the “Right” and into movements that were particularly antagonistic towards Jewish influence. What is known about this often mysterious figure is that he had himself discharged from the military during World War II, and as a highly successful Assistant DA obtained a job with the prosecution team of the War Crimes Tribunals in Germany, for the purpose of infiltration and of seeking out unrepentant National Socialist veterans in post-war Germany. In 1947 Yockey secluded himself on the Irish coast and wrote his magnum opus Imperium, a Spengerlian tome calling for the Western Civilisation as a cultural organism to fulfill its cyclic destiny in creating an empire of the West.
At this time Yockey’s attitude towards Russia remained in the orthodox “anti-Semitic” mould in continuing to view Soviet Russia as under “Jewish control.” Under this conspiratorial scenario generally both the USA and the USSR were viewed as equally Jewish run and in cahoots to dominate the world at the behest of a small Jewish coterie pulling the strings in both states. This attitude persisted among many nationalists until the collapse of the USSR. However Yockey quite early discerned an underlying dichotomy within Bolshevism, regarding the latter as an alien import by cosmopolitan Jews, beneath which continued to exist the substratum of the “real Russia” with its own soul and its own historical mission. Yockey drew on the history of Russia to explain the dichotomy between Jewish Bolshevism and the Slavic soul, stating that such a divide goes back before Peter the Great to two ways of thinking; one that sought to “westernize” Russia, imposing imported thoughts and forms upon the Slavic masses, men of “strong instincts” rooted to the soil. Yockey referred to Moscow as “The Third Rome,” the new Byzantium, which despised the West in its cycle of decay, a perspective that has struck a chord with many in Russia again. Yockey even in 1948–49 was stating that “Bolshevism” could be pressed into the service of Pan-Slavic imperialism, in contrast to international communist revolution.
In 1952 an event occurred in Czechoslovakia that was to result in a major tactical shift for Yockey, who up until then had continued to see Russia as an “outer enemy” of Europe. Yockey explains in his essay “The Prague Treason Trial” the significance of the trial as signaling the reassertion of Russian over Jewish Bolshevism. In 1951 Rudolf Slansky, Secretary General of the Communist Party in Czechoslovakia, was arrested for “anti-state activities.” A year later he and thirteen co-defendants went on trial as “Trotskyite-Titoist-Zionist traitors.” It is interesting that Trotskyite and Zionist were used in conjunction. They were accused of espionage and economic sabotage, working on behalf of Yugoslavia, Israel, and the West. Eleven of the fourteen were sentenced to death, the other three to life imprisonment. Slansky and the eleven others were hanged on December 3, 1952. Of the fourteen defendants, eleven were Jews, and were identified as such in the indictment. Many other Jews were mentioned as co-conspirators, implicated in a cabal that included the US Supreme Court Justice Frankfurter, described as a “Jewish nationalist,” and Mosha Pijade the “Titoist Jewish ideologist ” in Yugoslavia. The conspiracy against the Czechoslovak state had been hatched at a secret meeting in Washington in 1947, between President Truman, Secretary Acheson, former Treasury Secretary Morgenthau, and the Israelis Ben Gurion and Moshe Sharett. In the indictment Slansky was described as “by his very nature a Zionist” who had in exchange for American support for Israel, agreed to place “Zionists in important sectors of Government, economy, and Party apparatus.” The plan included the assassination of President Gottwald by a “freemason” doctor.
With such a background it is easy to see how Yockey could regard the Trials as of such significance in regard to the USSR and Zionism, and indeed Jews per se; just as it is difficult to see how the majority of the Right in the USA, from conservatives to George Lincoln Rockwell, “Nazis, and certain statesmen in the Arab world such as King Feisal of Saudi Arabia, continued to see the Soviet bloc as Jewish run and in cahoots with their Jewish brethren in the US Establishment. Yockey discerned that the symbolic gesture at Prague towards the post-war power structure changed the world situation not only for the USA but for those who believe in the “destiny of Europe.” Hence those who sought the unity and revival of “the West” must regard the USSR not as a threat to Europe but as an ally in the “liberation of Europe,” writing: “First, and most important of all to those of us who believe in the Liberation of Europe and the Imperium of Europe: this is the beginning of the end of the American hegemony of Europe.” It is obvious that events which were strong enough to force Stalin to reorient his entire world-policy and to become openly anti-Jewish will have the same effect on the elite of Europe.”
The writing was actually very prominently on the wall since at least 1936, with the first of the “Moscow Trials” against Trotsky et al. The Stalinist campaign against “rootless cosmopolitanism” in Soviet culture, starting in 1949, should be seen as another significant event.
From 1952 in particular Yockey’s strategy was now to aid the Soviet occupation of Eastern Europe as a bulwark against the US military occupation of Europe. Similarly, a “neutralist” line in the Cold War was demanded for Germany by no less that Gen. Otto Remer, whose Socialist Reich Party was causing a lot of worry for the Occupation Authorities, with whom Yockey was in association. However, an FBI report on Yockey in 1953 states that already in 1949 at the inaugural meeting of the European Liberation Front Yockey was advocating collaboration with the Soviets against the US Occupation. The report continues that Yockey spoke of the orientation of Germany eastwards. He also spoke of his aim of creating a mass circulation newspaper that would specialize in anti-American agitation. Yockey’s final work in 1960, the year of his death, “The World in Flames” reaffirms his position in regard to Russia and America vis-à-vis Europe.
1. Karl Marx, On the Jewish Question, 1844. www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1844/jewish-question/
2. I. Braginsky, et al., Zionism: Instrument of Imperialist Reaction, (Moscow: Novosti Press Agency Publishing House, 1970).
3. I. Bragnaski, “The Class Essence of Zionism,” Moscow: Pravda, March 17, 1970.
4. Braginksy, “The Class Essence of Zionism,” 84.
5. Winston Churchill, “Zionism versus Bolshevism: a struggle for the soul of the Jewish people,” Illustrated Sunday Herald (London), February 8, 1920, 5.
6. Laurence Krane, “Chaim Weizmann, Builder of Israel,” The Jewish Magazine, October 2002.
7. Walter Laqueur, The Black Hundred: the Rise of the Extreme Right in Russia (New York: Harper Perennial, 1993).
8. Laqueur, The Black Hundred, 36.
9. Laqueur, The Black Hundred, 31.
10. The belief that Jews celebrated Passover by sacrificing a child and using the drained blood to be baked in Passover cakes. The Medieval legend persists, and has gained impetus in Muslim countries, one of the most recent manifestations of the “Blood Libel” being a book by Moustafa Tlass, Matzo of Zion (Damascus: Tlass Publishing, 1919).
11. John Roy Carlson, Undercover: My Four Years in the Nazi Underworld of America (New York: E. P. Dutton & Co., eighth printing, 1943), 203–204.
12. William H. Thomas, Jr., Unsafe for Democracy: World War I and the U.S. Justice Department’s Covert Campaign to Suppress Dissent (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 2008), 106.
13. Unsafe for Democracy, 106.
14. Unsafe for Democracy.
15. Dr. Antony Sutton describes “Bolshevism and Judaism” in his Wall Street and the Bolshevik Revolution (New Rochelle, N.Y.: Arlington House Publishers, 1974), 186–87. Sutton states that the report is in State Department Decimal File 861.00/5339. He identifies the author only as “a Russian employed by the US War Traded Board.” That the Russian was Brasol seems reasonable to conclude given that he was employed at this time by the War Trade Board and was presenting precisely these themes to government agencies.
16. Richard B. Spence, “Hidden Agendas: Spies, Lies and Intrigue Surrounding Trotsky’s American Visit, January–April 1917,” Revolutionary Russia, vol. 21, No. 1, 2008.
17. “Surprising” in particular because the shift in outlook by some anti-Communists towards the USSR arose at the height of the Cold War.
18. In particular the Papal encyclicals: Pope Leo XIII, 1891; Pope Pius XI, 1930.
19. Carlson, Undercover, 54–69.
20. William Dudley Pelley, “Jewish-Bolshevik Holocaust of Christians in Russian,” Liberation, No. 3, November 7, 1937, 11.
21. Kevin Coogan, Dreamer of the Day (New York: Automedia, 1999), 92.
22. For example The Irish Blue Shirts under Gen. O’Duffy, Father Coughlin’s National Union for Social Justice in the USA, and Dollfuss’ regime in Austria, among many others of the time, were directly inspired by Catholic Social Doctrine.
23. Coogan, Dreamer of the Day, 92.
24. Francis Parker Yockey, “Tragedy of Youth,” (Published in Yockey: Four Essays, New Jersey: Nordland Press, 1971), Social Justice, April 21, 1939.
25. For biographical details see Kevin Coogan, Dreamer of the Day.
26. Yockey, Imperium (Costa Mesa, Cal.: Noontide Press, 1969), 245–416.
27. Yockey, Imperium, 612–19.
28. For example South African author and journalist, Ivor Benson, who had served as information advisor to the Rhodesian Government under Ian Smith, held that the discord between Zionism and the USSR was little more than a family feud, a continuation of the family discord between Zionism and Bolshevism for the allegiance of Eastern Jews. See Ivor Benson, This Worldwide Conspiracy (Victoria, Australia: The New Times Ltd., 1972), 92–99.
29. K. R. Bolton, “A Contemporary Evaluation of Francis Parker Yockey,” Counter- Currents, https://counter-currents.com/2010/09/a-contemporary-evaluation-of-francis-parker-yockey-part-1/
30. Yockey, Imperium, 579–80.
31. Yockey, “The Prague Treason Trial: What is behind the hanging of eleven Jews in Prague?,” in Yockey: Four Essays (New Jersey, Nordland Press, 1971), 1952. According to D. T. Kendall in the Foreword to Yockey: Four Essays, Yockey supporters in the USA circulated the MS as a mimeographed press release dated December 20, 1952.
32. Paul Lendvai, Anti-Semitism in Eastern Europe (London: Macdonald & Co., 1972), 243–45.
33. Yockey, “The Prague Treason Trial,” 6.
24. Yockey, “The Prague Treason Trial,” 6.
35. K. R. Bolton, “The Moscow Trials in Historical Context,” Foreign Policy Journal, April 22, 2011, http://www.foreignpolicyjournal.com/2011/04/22/the-moscow-trials-in-historical-context/
36. F. Chernov, “Bourgeois Cosmopolitanism and its Reactionary Role,” Bolshevik: Theoretical and Political Magazine of the Central Committee of the All-Union Communist Party (Bolsheviks) ACP(B), Issue #5, 15 March 1949, pp. 30–41.
37. FBI Memorandum, 00-25647, “Passport and Visa Matters,” November 24, 1953.
38. Yockey, “The World In Flames, An Estimate of the World Situation,” in Yockey: Four Essays. In the Foreword to Yockey: Four Essays, D. T. Kendall writes that it was distributed in a small quantity in February 1961.
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