Weaponizing History: Solzhenitsyn’s Two Hundred Years Together Part 1Spencer J. Quinn
Two Hundred Years Together
Moscow: Vagrius, 2005
No sane person wants to lie. Aside from whatever harm lying might cause, lying also chips away at a person’s dignity. Knowing that your words will quickly mold to a model other than Truth somehow cheapens you — as if any model will do. Expediency, authority, greed . . . it’s hard to think of circumstances under which lying about non-private matters doesn’t cheapen a person. Put person X under these conditions, and he’ll say whatever you want him to say. How’s that for a human being? Nothing exalts more than knowing that your words will serve Truth and only Truth.
Dissidents often struggle with this when discussing the Jewish Question. We want to tell the truth. On the other hand, our message would be much more powerful if only we could omit this inconvenient fact or embellish that disappointing one. As dissidents, we wish to put forth a realistic depiction of Jews, without spite or bias, to uncover their net negative impact on our politics, and, to a lesser extent, our culture. This is the first step to freeing ourselves from the Jewish yoke, so to speak. And if we are telling the truth, then we can afford to show more than one side of the story and still be persuasive.
This seems to encapsulate Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s approach to the Jewish Question as it relates to Russia in his classic text Two Hundred Years Together. In this volume (which is still not properly translated into English), Solzhenitsyn reviews the history of Russian Jewry and places much of the blame for the October Revolution, the atrocities of the early Soviet period, and subversive Left-wing behavior in general squarely on the shoulders of Jews. He also, perhaps most importantly for him, exonerates much of Tsarist Russia from the charge of anti-Semitism which never seems to stop oozing from Jewish pens. That a writer of Solzhenitsyn’s towering stature took on a project which directly refutes the myth of perpetual Jewish victimhood and reverses the blame typically reserved for white gentiles should be nothing less than a triumph for the Right. Relatively minor figures who write and speak on the Jewish Question — as brilliant as they often are — can be deplatformed, smeared, and ultimately ignored. Solzhenitsyn, on the other hand, was for several years in the 1970s the most famous dissident in the world. Since his death in 2008, his reputation as an author, historian, Christian, and patriot remains impeccable. He cannot be so easily ignored.
Dissidents on the Right should therefore piggyback on Solzhenitsyn’s fame and use his name as often as possible when combating the Left on the battlefield of ideas — especially when it comes to the Jewish Question. And this is where Two Hundred Years Together comes in.
But what if this would be a misuse of Two Hundred Years Together? Despite what many of his more hysterical critics say, Solzhenitsyn was no anti-Semite. There are many passages in this work that show justice, even tenderness, towards Jews. He does have great respect for them. He just wishes to set the record straight — a record that the Jews themselves have warped with their abuses of history.
But what if sticking scrupulously to the Truth as Solzhenitsyn does won’t be enough? What if the Jews themselves rarely do this and will not hesitate to publish material of questionable scholarship but unquestionable defamation against whites simply because it is in their ethnic interests to do so? In fact, it is a common trope among Jewish writers such as Bernard Lewis (Semites and Anti-Semites), Robert Wistrich (Antisemitism: The Longest Hatred), and Daniel Goldhagen (The Devil that Never Dies), and many others to speak about anti-Semitism not as a rational response to Jewish hegemony but as if it’s an a priori evil in the black hearts of white gentiles.
Despite being profoundly dishonest, this approach works. It holds sway among the Jews themselves and since World War II has helped to browbeat the West into submission to Jewish ethnic interests.
In an example of how Solzhenitsyn does not take this approach in Two Hundred Years Together, he frequently cites Jewish author Josef Biekerman who comes across as Solzhenitsyn’s Semitic doppelganger. He is ethnocentric yet willing to speak out about the abuses of power in which his own people indulge (which Solzhenitsyn does to great extent in his Red Wheel opus). As co-founder of the Patriotic Alliance of Russian Jews in the 1920s, Biekerman vowed to combat Bolshevism not merely because he feared it would increase anti-Semitism but also because he empathetically felt that it would be bad for Russia and Russians. His colleague Isaak Levin openly called for an examination of the Jewish role in the October Revolution. Jewish writer Danil Pasmanik, who authored a book about the Jews and the Russian Revolution, professed heartfelt concern for the “unending sorrow of the Russian citizen,” and stated that Jews “cannot flourish while the country disintegrates around us.” The book these men published, Russia and the Jews, challenges Jews, especially radical, secular, Left-wing Jews, to reject the evil in their hearts.
“It is time we understood that crying and wailing . . . is mostly [evidence] of emotional infirmity, or a lack of culture of the soul . . . You are not alone in this world, and your sorrow cannot fill the entire universe . . . When you put on a display, only your own grief, only your own pain, it shows . . . disrespect to others’ grief, to others’ sufferings.”
These were truly righteous Jews, and Solzhenitsyn admires them not only for their honesty and compassion, but also because of their lack of self-hate (a theme he discusses at length in his essay “Repentance and Self-Limitation in the Life of Nations” in his From Under the Rubble collection). Unfortunately, Biekerman, Levin, Pasmanik, and others like them were voices in the wilderness when it came to mainstream Jewish opinion. They seemed to accomplish little other than to inflame resentment among other Jews. They were accused of “attack[ing] their own compatriots,” and were smeared as “anti-Semites” and “enemies of the Jewish people,” and so on. Solzhenitsyn recognizes the tragedy in this, but also seems too enamored with the possibility of rapprochement between Russians and Jews to become as aggressive towards Jews qua Jews as the Jews themselves were to Biekerman, Levin, and Pasmanik.
I must admit, this is tempting, given how the majority of Jews don’t behave like the enemy of whites and have contributed greatly to Western culture through their talent, energy, and capital. It is very easy to admire them when imagining men like Josef Biekerman being the rule rather than the exception. Many convincing arguments can be spun from this false supposition.
In Two Hundred Years Together, Solzhenitsyn is essentially more concerned about telling the truth than winning the argument.
Over a decade after his death, however, white dissidents in the West are beginning to realize that they can no longer afford to be correct if being correct is not enough to win the argument — that is, to persuade a critical mass of whites of the necessity of counter-Semitism. We are swiftly losing our majorities in our homelands to hostile invaders who wish ultimately to subjugate us — and, sadly, many wealthy and influential Jews remain on the vanguard of this invasion. Even more sadly, the majority of diaspora Jews, if their voting patterns tell us anything, actually support this invasion. Perhaps if Russia in the 1990s had been more like Western Europe of the 2020s, Solzhenitsyn would have written Two Hundred Years Together with a little more urgency.
This is not to be critical of Solzhenitsyn. The value and importance of Two Hundred Years Together cannot be overstated. Along with The Gulag Archipelago, it is perhaps his most important non-fiction work. Rather, I suggest that the Dissident Right use Two Hundred Years Together as a weapon against Jews — even if Solzhenitsyn himself would have disapproved of this tactic. Can we afford not to? Perhaps if Jews like Josef Biekerman were the rule and not the exception we could. But sadly this is counter-factual. Therefore it makes sense to use the Jews’ insidious methods against them and focus on only those elements of Truth which suit our argument. This is a cultural war, after all, and since when is it considered honorable to tell the truth to your enemy during war?
What follows is a simple accounting of the most noteworthy Jewish misdeeds found in Two Hundred Years Together. Not included will be the more common historical tropes involving Jews, for example as usurers, pimps, alcohol merchants, and unscrupulous exploiters of the poor. Also not included will be the many entertaining pages Solzhenitsyn dedicates to nineteenth-century Jews as tax cheats, draft dodgers, grievance mongers, and shockingly incompetent agriculturalists (the latter being part of the Russian government’s futile efforts to assimilate its Jewish population). Finally, we won’t include all the instances in which the Tsar or the Russian government either gave in to the demands of revolutionaries or acted on behalf of the Jews. Instead, we will focus mostly on the acts of terror and atrocity attributed to Jews during the Soviet and pre-Soviet periods, which were of most immediate interest to Solzhenitsyn. These periods should be of most immediate interest to modern dissidents as well, given how the leftward lurch of Russian society in 1900s, 1910s, and 1920s is finding an eerie analog in the West a century later.
Perhaps when confronted with the twin myths of Jewish innocence and victimhood, this information could help convince the uninitiated of the lies and hatred which bolster both. And for the initiated, the knowledgeable, the dissident, perhaps the most trenchant passages in Two Hundred Years Together will arm him or her with the information which could help spark the counter-Semitic revolution that is so desperately needed in the West today.
* * *
Chapter Six: In the Russian Revolutionary Movement
Despite being poorly represented among Left-wing radicals prior to the 1870s, Jews quickly grew in prominence among them during the 1870s. Students such as V. Yokhelson, A. Zundelevich, Mark Natanson, Leon Deutsch, and others became energetic organizers of the revolutionary movement. Solzhenitsyn notes how almost none of these Jews supported revolution due to poverty — they, in large part, came from wealthy families. He also notes how, unlike Christian revolutionaries, few Jewish ones suffered a break from their families because of their activities. On the whole, Jewish parents — regardless of their occupations — tolerated their children’s subversive activities. These revolutionaries quickly turned from their religious, patriarchal, and traditionalist roots after the slightest contact with Russian culture. Egalitarian nihilism made it too tempting for them. In many ways, Solzhenitsyn blames assimilation with Russians for bringing out the worst in Jews. And while demonstrating that these early Jewish revolutionaries had tremendous drive and talent, he also describes how mentally unbalanced many of them were.
After the 1881 assassination of Tsar Alexander II and the widespread pogroms which followed, however, a critical mass of Jews then rose to pursue one goal: “the destruction of the current political regime.” Jews rapidly established international networks dedicated to Marxist and socialist revolution, and these networks had a profoundly negative impact upon Russia. In fact, during the 1880s and 1890s, Russian revolutionaries began to rely more and more on Jews as “detonator[s] of revolution.” The revolutionary movement became disproportionately Jewish. Marxist historian M. N. Pokrovsky estimated that by the late nineteenth century, Jews (who made up less than five percent of the population of Russia) made up between a quarter and a third of all the revolutionary parties. In 1903, Russian statesman Sergei Witte told Zionist Theodore Herzl that Jews constituted no less than half of all revolutionaries. In 1905, General N. Sukhotin, the commander of Russian forces in Siberia, calculated that of all the political prisoners exiled to Siberia, thirty-seven percent were Jews. Solzhenitsyn also cites various Jewish sources that attest to the heavy Jewish involvement in the revolutionary movement during the pre-Soviet period.
Chapter Nine: During the Revolution of 1905
In this chapter, Solzhenitsyn demonstrates how ravenous Russia’s Jewish population had become for armed conflict with the Tsarist regime by the turn of the twentieth century. The belligerence on display is shocking not only for its own sake, but also because the Jews barely discuss it themselves. Because of this, this crucial episode has been left out of history almost entirely.
Solzhenitsyn dedicates several pages to the deadly 1903 pogrom in Gomel, Belarus. While the official investigation by the Russian authorities claimed that Jews and Russians alike shared blame for the violence, Solzhenitsyn, using contemporaneous police reports, shows that armed and organized gangs of Jews had instigated the pogrom against Russians. These groups had been formed by the Bund, which previously that year had organized a festival celebrating the anniversary of Tsar Alexander II’s assassination. During an argument between a Jew and a Russian peasant in an outdoor market, the Jew spat in the face of the Russian. A brawl ensued, during which the surrounding Jews blew whistles, a clear sign for attack. Soon enough, the place was swarming with armed Jews, who beat the outnumbered Russians mercilessly, men, women, children, and elderly alike. Solzhenitsyn describes how a Jew snuck up behind a Russian and stabbed him in the neck, killing him. In another instance, a Russian girl was dragged down the street by her hair. And when the police arrived, the Jews fired live rounds and hurled stones at them. This went on for a day, and all the casualties were Russian. What’s worse for the Jewish victimhood narrative, when the troops arrived, their main purpose was to protect the wealthy Jewish part of town from Russian reprisals — and to show their appreciation, the Jews fired shots and threw stones at them too.
Of course, the reason why the Jews were so irate at that point in time was because of the anti-Jewish pogrom in Kishinev in modern-day Moldova, a few months prior. But modern dissidents should not concern themselves with this. Why? Because Jews rarely consider the reasons behind any anti-Jewish actions taken by gentiles, pogroms or otherwise. For them, such behavior simply springs from irrational gentile minds. This is how Jews weaponize history. Well, thanks to Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, two can play at that game.
Several times in Chapter Nine, Solzhenitsyn relays how Jews instigated conflict by firing their revolvers at police as well as by committing acts of terror and attacking innocent Russian peasants and workers. He names Nissel Farber — who threw a bomb at a police station, killing two and wounding three — and Aron Eline — who threw a bomb at police, wounding seven. He describes several other similar attacks by Jewish terrorists. This kind of provocation immediately invalidates any claim to Jewish innocence and Jewish victimhood.
Around the turn of the twentieth century, the new breed of Jewish radical became much more influential and radical than before. Solzhenitsyn labels Grigory Gershuni and Mikhail Gotz as terrorists and describes how they and others took charge of many of the revolutionary parties throughout Russia, especially the Socialist Revolutionary Party (SR). Gershuni oversaw the assassination of two governors and Minister of the Interior Dmitry Sipyagin as well as one failed assassination attempt. While these revolutionaries often relied on Russian assassins, one of their primary bomb makers was Jewish. Solzhenitsyn seizes upon the irony of the Jew Pinhas Rutenberg, who trained Jewish terrorists in Russia and oversaw the execution of the double agent priest Georgy Gapon, and then moved to Palestine, became an engineer, and brought electricity to the region. “There, he shows that he is capable of building,” Solzhenitsyn writes, “but in his early years, in Russia, he certainly does not work as an engineer. He destroys!” Jews also made up the great bulk of theorists who would tirelessly propound anarchism, socialism, and other disruptive ideologies. These ideologies often took on religious proportions. And although the most active of these Jewish terrorists were young, Solzhenitsyn points out how the older generations of Jews continued to tolerate or support them.
Prior to the failed revolution of 1905, the Bund had actually declared war on Russia in one of its proclamations:
The revolution has begun. It burned in the capital, its flames covering the whole country. . . . To arms! Storm the armories and seize all the weapons. . . . Let all the streets become battlefields!
The press and the local orators echoed this sentiment. Solzhenitsyn relays an incident involving a Russian soldier who returned home to Moscow after being held in captivity in Japan:
At the mere sight of this officer in battle dress, the welcome which he received from the Muscovite crowd was expressed in these terms: “Spook! Suck up! The Tsar’s lackey!” During a large meeting in the Theater Plaza, “the orator called for struggle and destruction”; another speaker began his speech by shouting” “Down with the autocracy!” “His accent betrayed his Jewish origins, but the Russian public listened to him, and no one found anything to reply to him.” Nods of agreement met the insults uttered against the Tsar and his family; Cossacks, policemen, and soldiers, all without exception — no mercy! And all the Muscovite newspapers called for armed struggle.
One final anecdote in this damning chapter. Solzhenitsyn tells of an Alexander Schlichter, a Jewish revolutionary, who instigated a railway strike that paralyzed rail traffic to several cities, including Moscow. This Schlichter had also made threats to Kyiv workers to go on strike, raised money from students to purchase arms, and established “flying detachments” whose purpose was to disrupt the city of Kyiv to “prepare the armed resistance to the forces of order.”
This Alexander Schlichter ultimately became a Bolshevik and was, years later, the Agriculture Commissioner in Ukraine during the time of the Holodomor, in which over fifteen million people perished.
Solzhenitsyn states it succinctly: “The revolutionary effervescence that had seized Russia was undoubtedly stirred up by that which reigned among the Jews.”
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George Friedman’s The Next 100 Years
Glaringly obvious question – why is there not a decent quality translation of 200 Years Together in English ? – a job for Counter Currents or another dissident right publisher perhaps ? – it couls be released with a fanfare of publicity, and the hystrionic shrieking from the jewish controlled media would add to the publicity and make it a best seller.
Apparently, the Solzhenitsyn estate will try to prevent unauthorized translations while they work on the real translation. According to the Solzhenitsyn Center, an English translation will come out in 2024. Find more information here:
… an English translation will come out in 2024.
If that does in fact happen you can be sure it will mark the final disintegration of Solzhenitsyn’s already tarnished reputation, along with all royalties flowing therefrom!
As with certain writings of Sir Richard Francis Burton, I suspect the Estate will, at most, authorize the release of a heavily sanitised version.
Re: the possibility that a professional but sanitized will be published in 2024, there is at least one English Translation available:
The Occidental observer links to another partial translation of Chapters 1-13 https://twohundredyearstogether.wordpress.com/ Although perhaps of unsatisfactory as translations, they may be a useful point of comparison for the eventual ‘official’ version in 2024.
As it happens, I was just reading Tablet Magazine and came across this article. during the 1950’s to the 80’s. The article says that entrance examinations for Jewish students were much more difficult than those administered to gentiles. I suppose it will come as a surprise to few readers that gas chambers make their inevitable appearance in the narrative:
” As he was leaving the room, darkly referred to as the “gas chamber” by some in the Jewish community for the grim fate of all Jews who passed through it, the examiners complimented him on the excellence of his preparation”
The article refers to the alleged assassination attempt on Stalin in 1950and the the six day war, but is never quite clear about the source of “the slow-burning embers of anti-Semitism” .
The article says:
‘“There was practically no anti-Semitism in Syktyvkar, as there were not many Jews there,” Eliashberg recalled.’
For sure, 2024 is far too late. This knowledge needs to be disseminated yesterday.
Czech translation came out 2004, made by official publishing house of Academy of Sciences of the Czech.Rep., by the way. If you think, it have had any impact whatsoever, well, think again…
I thought some scholars associated with Occidental Observer attempted to do a translation of 200 years together a while back. Not sure what came of it. Neocon Daniel piper said he thought the book exonerates soltzinizen of anti Semitism.
I was unaware of this book until that infamous Jordan Peterson video where he panicked, paced back and forth and refused to address the question when asked whether Solzhenitsyn’s premise could be accurate. His reaction to such an innocuous question about the book is a hell of an endorsement.
I remember that also. In the background some in the audience are laughing and mocking the audience member who quotes Solzhenitsyn and gives the book to Peterson.
Two Hundred Years Together, by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, is required reading.
It explains what happened in Russia, in 1881-1940.
And it explains what is happening in America today.
Teach it in the high schools. Then Americans will discover the truth and wake up.
The Jews are our misfortune.
Then the Poles try to one up the Russian.
200 years together, what do you want 400 years for? I’ve only got 600 and can lend you 800.
Slightly off topic, but as a fan of Andrew Hamilton’s articles relating to Jews, hopefully he’ll consider expanding and writing more on this topic.
It seems the main issue is that Jews are simply very, very good at naturally acquiring massive amounts of power and wealth in white societies. Obviously, it’s only a subset that will be at fault if anything nefarious is done with this power, but telling the truth about this may have to sidestep the fragility and sensibility of “good” jews and their sympathizers, for those courageous enough to broach the topic.
It’s a bit like Rittenhouse.
He defends himself against three very aggressive Antifa Revolutionaries and all three are child molesting, wife beating criminals and at least Rosen and Huber were definitely Jewish. The other guy Grossekreutz is a bit harder to pin down.
The dead students shot at Kent State by the National Guard also turned out to be Jewish.
Random shots fired into crowds pick out jewish targets somehow. What are the statistical odds?
In France, Solzhenitsyn’s book was translated and published by Editions Fayard in 2004, in total discretion (though Fayard is a venerable publishing house that has existed since 1857). “Two Hundred Years Together” was analysed by Hervé Ryssen in his essay “Les Espérances Planétariennes” in 2005. Indeed, the Jews have a failing memory!
You can download Solzhenitsyn’s book in French here:https://www.the-savoisien.com/blog/index.php?post/2010/04/28/Alexandre-Soljenitsyne-Deux-siecles-Ensemble-Tome-I-et-II.pdf
I hope this book gets an accurate English translation rather than a sanitized one, as Vehmgericht has mentioned.
Oh, what should we think of the Jews?
Jew as mental illness: “my distress is your fault, and you should be ashamed for it; you have an obligation to repair me!”
Jew as mental illness: “you goyim are ungrateful, we have worked our fingers to the bone for you and this is the thanks we get!”
Jew as parasite: “I must forever remain attached to my host, but I hate and resent my host for restricting my freedom!”
Jew as parasite: I must forever walk the fine balance-line between keeping my host disabled and narcotized, but not to the point of killing him.”
I hope the solution to the Jewish problem will come from Jews acting to police themselves. Surely they must realize that, unlike in past centuries, they cannot now pack up and flee elsewhere (not even Israel could safely contain all of them).
The West is their last safe harbor. Surely they understand that they have no refuge in Asia, Africa or Islam. They need to support the West rather than erode it.
This was an interesting video I watch last night as two rabbis discuss why jews are hated and the publication of Mein Kampf into hebrew. Not surprisingly, it’s not taught in jewish education.
The second lecture at the 7:40 mark is the most enlightening.
Clearly some Jews know the truth about themselves, but they don’t have much chance of persuading their people to return to orthodoxy, which is what those Rabbis were advocating. There’s no money in orthodoxy.
What modern Jew, if given the choice between living life under 613 commandments versus being a Hollywood mogul, would choose the former?
Whatever the solution, it either has to come from among them, or be imposed upon them.
And they need to soon find a solution, because once the West has collapsed, the remaining world will offer no haven to them.
That’s the art of it. By claiming something is “anti-Semitic” Jews are able to put themselves beyond reproach. It’s the ultimate form of gaslighting. Look at Soros. The first people to mention Soros’ Jewish identity aren’t the people critical of Soros’ destructive advocacy but Jewish advocacy groups like the ADL. “The idea that George Soros makes money by manipulating markets and funds subversive groups is a classic anti-Semitic trope.” It’s beyond cynical. The anti-Semitism card was played with the whole Gamestop thing. These Jewish advocacy groups even went there, and in a way tripled-down by portraying people like Andrew Left and the other Jewish hedge fund managers that lost money as victims, then saying that the idea that Jews are hedge fund managers is anti-Semitism and then saying that the wallstreetbest crowd were motivated by anti-Semitism to target Jewish hedge fund managers shorting the company.
I’m a small-time day-trader in the stock market, and it sure never occurred to me that I might be causing some poor hedge-fund manager and his family to starve. I was rather thinking of myself as a wee church mouse gathering crumbs from under their overflowing table, which I’m sure they never noticed or missed. And though I’m White, I definitely don’t have the much-vaunted intellect to even understand options and shorts and the other such brilliant power moves in the market. I earn my rent and power bill payments monthly, if I’m lucky, but don’t have enough shekels yet for a down-payment on a yacht. And I’ve never given a thought to the poor, starving Jews who I might be dispossessing. Alas.
But, gee, maybe we’re onto something here — maybe there’s a chance of taking something back after a thousand years of European money flowing out of White hands.
Jewish comedian David Baddiel was on BBC2’s Newsnight two weeks ago to push his new book, “Jews Don’t Count” (cute title), in which he argues (don’t laugh) that anti-Semitism is ‘the forgotten racism’. A claim not challenged by the interviewer, Emily Maitlis (also Jewish.)
His message is that as Jews are seen as privileged and powerful they don’t get the same sympathy as other ethnic minorities. But, claimed Baddiel, statistics show that Jews are no richer than other ethnic minorities. What the . . . ?! And what about Jewish domination of Hollywood and . . . well, we all know the list.
He also complained that whether Jews are seen as white or non-white depends on the observer. But isn’t that why other BAME groups see Jews as less discriminated against? When whites are accused of having ‘White Privilege’ then Jews can claim to be non-white, but, at the same time, Jewish actors – like Dustin Hoffman – can also convincingly play WASP characters.
That’s having your cake and eating it.
Baddiel then said that Jews are seen as not needing any extra protection – unlike blacks – as they are associated with the powerful state of Israel. He just waffled around that topic.
Indeed, he looked pretty unhappy throughout the entire interview.
but, at the same time, Jewish actors – like Dustin Hoffman – can also convincingly play WASP characters.
Well, in “Once Upon a Time in America”, all Jewish characters (of Jewish gangsters, a propos) were very good played by WASPs (and Italian De Niro).
Yes, Jewish crypsis means that whites and Hebrews can be indistinguishable.
Denzel Washington would have to play an Ethiopian Jew (Beta Israel clan) who have a dubious genetic relatedness to either the Ashkenazi or Sephardic varieties.
There was another book to this topic, The Jews in Russia and in the Soviet Union, by Andrey Dikiy (Андрей Дикий, Евреи в России и в СССР), much shorter and easier readable, not so boring as Solzhenitsyn’s writing style, but the history there ends in 1960s. The author died in New York in 1977, 83 years old. He was active member of NTS and Vlasov’s ROA.
Fortunately there was a complete German translation published in 2003 by a semi-mainstream imprint. I can only recall a few very superficial reviews. Both the author and his handling of the subject were untouchable, so it really embarrassed the critics who decided to drop it down into the memory hole. And there it went, second hand copies are quite expensive now.
I do not think, that this book will be reprinted in Russian too. Solzhenitsin as a political thinker is not popular in modern Russia and other post-Soviet states. The mainstream in Russia is that Comrade Stalin was good, and his critics, incl. A.I.S. are bad. The average Russian now likes Stalin, but doesn´t like Solzhenitsin and calls him a liar, who has slandered the greatest Russian leader of all times. The small “liberal” opposition in Russia does not like Solzhenitsin, because of his anti-democratic, anti-liberal, conservative attitude, and his book about Jews does not make him popular in those circles too. And people in the other post-Soviet states may appreciate him as anti-Communist, but they do not like him as Russian nationalist, and see in him a Russian imperialist.
The previous big popularity of A.I.S., which he has had since 1988 till around 2005, is gone forever.
I’ve got a degree in Russian and have thought about translating this into English – I did a chapter or two a while back, if I can find it on an old hard drive – but maybe you guys have already started on this? Copyright that lasts 70 years after death is simply a joke. No one needs copyright that long. 20 years after publication should be sufficient, and anything else is simply an attempt to prevent discussion.
Please clarify. Is the following translation, which looks comprehensive, inadequate or no good?
Well, I’d have to read the whole of that 800 page PDF comparing each line with the original to state either way whether that is a good translation. But when I did a couple of chapters myself, they were from the front of the book, and I glanced at the chapter-by-chapter serialisation of a translation (from the French) on Kevin McDonald’s site. I think the PDF you link to is basically a paste-in of all of those? The first few chapters were fine, at least – although the translation adds in the occasional explanation of who historical figures are, explanations that would not be needed for a Russian reader, and that don’t strictly belong in the translation, or could be consigned to footnotes. The Solzhenitsyn Centre site says they are doing an authorised translation and they say that all other versions are bowdlerisations, deleting passages in some cases. But I notice they don’t prove the assertion, and I think most of the translations on the Internet are partial, because they’re of random chapters, but not necessarily poor translations. The Solzhenitsyn Centre are trying to defend copyright – and I would be interested to see if they themselves cut out the occasional passages they deem are too non-PC for Western readers?
Thank you for your reply. I guess I’ll just wait until 2024, at which point I’m sure some of you politically aware readers of Russian will tell the broader Occidentalist community if the “authorized” version has itself been PC-bowdlerized.
Another thing, from memory, Solzhenitsyn peddles the Khazar theory of Jewish origins that has been disproved by modern DNA analysis. That doesn’t invalidate the whole book (in two volumes) of course, but is worth noting.
Good post. I like forward to its successor. Two things are certain: first, that diversity is an unalloyed ‘bad’, always more of a source of strife than – lol! – strength; and second, that whites are always too weak in confronting or destroying their racial enemies. ALWAYS! This is due to the innate ethical superiority of whites (which is perhaps why the Gospel has planted ins strongest roots in white soil, as well as why philosophical ethics as well as moral theology have for millennia been near-exclusive activities of whites [OK, the Jews have also long dealt with ethical quandaries, but mainly from within an ethnocentrist macro-perspective]). White slaveholding was always the world’s least onerous slavery; whites and the Right were always gentler with subversives than nonwhites or the Left, etc.
Whites need to have their ethical psychology fundamentally transformed, or the race is doomed to enslavement and extinction at the hands of morally inferior peoples.
Spencer plse correct your email address at the top of the page and I will send a complete English translation for you to share.
The version on Kevin McDonald’s site doesn’t include the preface. This is my translation of the preface(s):
Introduction to the topic
Through half a century of work on the history of the Russian revolution, I have on many occasions touched on the question of Russian-Jewish relations. This has time and again cropped up as a wedge issue in events and human psychology in a way that inflamed passions.
I have never lost the hope that an author would be found, even before me, who would shed light for us on this inflamed “wedge” in a detailed, balanced and even-handed way. But we more frequently encounter one-sided reproaches, either over the guilt of the Russians towards the Jews, or even the eternal depravity of the Russian people—there has plenty of that sort of thing. Or, from the other side, one of the Russians would write about this mutual problem. In that case, they have done so mainly in a testy and biased fashion, not willing even to see what ought to be credited in service to the other side.
You couldn’t claim that there is a shortage of propagandists—in particular, Russian Jews have many, many more of them than do the Russians. However, for all the brilliant collection of minds and pens, there has so far not emerged such a demonstration or elucidation of our mutual history that could meet with understanding from both sides.
But we have to learn not to tug on the strained bell-cords of entanglement.
I would be glad not to pit my strength in such an acrimonious affair. But I believe this history—this attempt to delve into it—should not remain a “forbidden” one.
The history of the “Jewish Question” in Russia (and is it just in Russia?) is, above all else, a rich one. To write about it is to listen to new voices and bring them to the ears of the reader. (In this book, Jewish voices will be heard more profusely than Russian ones.)
But it more frequently works out that, swept up with the gusts of the social environment, we proceed along a knife edge. You find yourself on the receiving end of all possible, impossible and increasing reproaches and accusations from both sides.
The very feeling that leads me through a book on the 200-year-old joint life of the Russian and Jewish peoples is a search for all points of common understanding and all possible paths to a future cleansed of the bitterness of the past.
As with all other peoples, and as with all of us, the Jewish people are both the active subject of history and its passive object, and one that has often accomplished, even if unconsciously, great things, which are known as History. The “Jewish Question” has been interpreted from multiple points of view in a way that has always been passionate, but often also self-deceptive. But, actually, the events that have happened to any people in the march of History have rarely been determined by it alone, but also by the surrounding peoples.
Excessively vehement partisanship is humiliating for both sides. However, there cannot exist an earthly question that is unfit for thoughtful discussion by human beings. Alas, mutual grievances have mounted up in popular memory. However, if we conceal what has happened in the past, when will we heal our memories? While popular opinion cannot find a clear written form, it tends to be an inarticulate din, and, worse than that, takes a menacing form.
We can no longer fully turn our backs on the past two centuries. And the planet has become small, and, however it be divided, we are once again neighbours.
I put off writing this book for a long time, and would be glad not to take up the burden of writing it, but my lifetime is nearly over, and I must undertake this work.
I have never accepted that anyone has the right to conceal what has been. I cannot call for such an agreement that is based on an unfair explanation of the past. I call on both sides—both the Russian and the Jewish sides—to patient mutual understanding and an acknowledgement of their own share of the blame. And it is so easy to turn aside from it, claiming “it was not us”…
I sincerely try to understand both sides. To this end, I explore events deeply and not polemically. I strive to demonstrate. I take part in arguments only in such unavoidable circumstances where what is right is covered by layers of falsehood. I dare to expect that the book will not be received with the wrath of the extreme and the irreconcilable, but, on the contrary, will serve the end of mutual agreement. I hope to find well-meaning interlocutors among both the Jews and the Russians.
The author understands his eventual goal thus: to discern to the best of his abilities mutually accessible and good paths for future Russian-Jewish relations.
I wrote this book, based only on the requirements of the historical material and a search for well-meaning resolutions for the future. But we cannot lose sight of the fact that, over the past few years, the condition of Russia has changed in such a destructive way that the problem being researched has been firmly shunted aside and has paled in significance in comparison with other current Russian issues.
The scope of examination
What could the limits of this book be?
I realise the full complexity and vastness of the subject. I understand that it also has a metaphysical side. It is even said that the Jewish Question can only and exclusively be understood in religious and mystical terms. I undoubtedly acknowledge the availability of such an approach, but, although there have already been many books written about that, I think that it is hidden from popular gaze and is basically inaccessible even to experts.
However, it is of course true that all the basic fates of human history have mystical connections and influences, but this does not stop us from examining them from a historical-existential point of view. And a higher enlightenment is hardly always necessary for an examination of tangible phenomena that are close at hand. Within the bounds of our earthly existence, we are also able to form judgements about both the Russians and the Jews—by earthly criteria. And the heavenly ones, we leave to God.
I want to shed light on the question—merely in historical, political, everyday life and cultural terms—and almost always only within the bounds of the joint life over two centuries of Russians and Jews in one state. I dare not even think of touching on the 3,000- or 4,000-year depth of Jewish history, already impressively laid out in so many books and carefully-compiled encyclopaedias. Neither do I undertake to examine the history of the Jews in the nearest countries to us—Poland, Germany, Austria-Hungary. I concentrate on Russian-Jewish relations, moreover with an emphasis on the 20th century, a monumental and catastrophic period in the life of both of our peoples. And on the difficult joint experience of our coexistence, attempting to dissipate mistaken incomprehension and mendacious accusations, while recalling to mind justified accusations. Books published in the first decades of this century have already failed in their coverage of this experience.
Of course, a modern author cannot, while doing so, lose sight of the existence for a half-century already of the state of Israel, and the huge impact it has on Jewish, and not just Jewish, life throughout the whole world. He cannot, if only for the sake of rounding out his own understanding, fail to try for himself to delve in some way into both the internal life of Israel and spiritual trends in it. This may then, unintentionally and in the form of asides and reflections, be reflected in the book also. It would be a a gross pretence on the part of the author to include here a substantial examination of the principal issues surrounding Zionism and the life of Israel. However, I give great attention to the publications of modern culturally-Russian Jews, who lived for decades in the USSR, and then moved to Israel, and have thereby had the opportunity to reassess many Jewish problems on the basis of their own experience.
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