In his book “Quantum”, Manjit Kumar talks about Albert Einstein and the other scientists who came up with Quantum theory. While some of the book is on the science, he also writes a bit about their lives. This is what he says about Germany after the first World War:
In November (of 1923), one dollar was worth 4,210,500,000,000 marks, a glass of beer cost 150 billion marks and a loaf of bread 80 billion. With the country in danger of imploding, the situation was brought under control only with the help of American loans and a reduction in reparation payments….
Einstein’s international celebrity and his well-known anti-war stance made him an easy target for a campaign of hate. ‘Anti-Semitism is strong here and political reaction is violent,’ Einstein wrote to Ehrenfest in December 1919. Soon he began receiving threatening mail and on occasions suffered verbal abuse as he left his apartment or office. In February 1920, a group of students disrupted his lecture at the university, one of them shouting, “I’m going to cut the throat of that dirty Jew.”
When we read about this anti-Semitism, we should remember that Hitler didn’t get into power until 1933. Einstein quite sensibly had been against World War I. The minister of culture wrote to reassure him that Germany, “was, and will forever be, proud to count you, highly honored Herr Professor, among the finest ornaments of our science.” That’s also interesting – Germany was a country of different environments, and for instance some of my ancestors, who were Jewish, felt comfortable there. But the ‘wave of the future’ was Nazism. Einstein himself was treated like a celebrity by some Europeans: “Women fainted in his presence. Young girls mobbed him in Geneva (Switzerland).” But eventually, his books were burned in Germany.
In his book “Bringing Down America“, Larry Grathwohl, a Vietnam veteran, tells the story of how he infiltrated a radical American group called the “Weathermen” in the 1970s. I was curious about the book because of the recent leftist violence that has caused so much destruction from Portland to Minneapolis to New York. And there are indeed similarities. Larry believed in the war he fought in, but he believed that “a lot of my buddies wouldn’t have had their arms and legs blown away or had their lives completely wasted if we had been able to fight the war properly. And the reason we hadn’t been able to fight was that the Americans who stayed at home didn’t support the men in the field. Many a time we had been fired at by North Vietnam troops and Viet Cong from across the Cambodian border and we hadn’t been allowed to fire back–even though we were taking casualties.” Larry’s view contrasted with a veteran Larry met (during his infiltration) named Mark Stivic who hated Asia, and the war, and the United States because of the war. “This group,” Stivic said, referring to the Weathermen, “is where it’s at. They’ll stick it to this fucking country.” The Weather Underground’s handbook, Prairie Fire, described their objectives as follows “We are communist women and men… our intention is to disrupt the empire…to incapacitate it…to attack from the inside.”
It is interesting that today, the Black Lives Matter movement that is so much in the news was founded by three women, one of which, Patrisse Cullors, claimed that she and cofounder Alicia Garza are trained Marxists. Marxism looks at American society as divided between oppressors and oppressed, and one of the oppressed groups, according to the Weathermen, was the black population. The Weathermen also believed that American Capitalism oppressed Third World countries.
Grathwohl writes that the Weather Underground had thousands of sympathizers–including ministers, lawyers, college professors, students, and community leaders– who helped them travel from city to city without detection. These sympathizers provided hiding places, money, and food.
Before he got involved, Grathwohl was sitting with some friends on the steps of a Church when two activists approached with leaflets. A conversation ensued and what fascinated Grathwohl about them was “They were young. They hated America. They couldn’t have seen very much of it, yet they hated it…It wasn’t their words that bothered me; it was their attitude, the unflinching way they spoke of violence…”
After Grathwohl started investingating the Weathermen, he went to one meeting where a speaker, an attractive girl of about 21 named Karen Ashley, said this: “We’re building an international Liberation Army in America…We’ll join this fight in Chicago. Eight political prisoners are on trial there, and we want them freed. Now. Chicago will be the beginning of a violent revolution.”
The book describes what ensued in Chicago. “The attack on Chicago was scheduled to begin on Wednesday, October 8. But some of the Weathermen couldn’t wait. Late Monday night, when most of Chicago was trying to sleep, an explosion rocked Haymarket Square. A ten-foot-high statue commemorating seven Chicago policemen killed by a bomb blast during a labor riot in 1886 was dynamited.”
“Around 10 P.M. …the helmeted mob moved down Clark Street carrying clubs, bats, bricks and Viet Cong flags on the way to the wealthy Lake Shore Drive section of the city. As the mob passed the North Federal Savings and Loan Bank someone hurled a brick through the window. The sound of the glass shattering sent the mob running through the streets smashing windows and busting up cars. In some cases private homes were attacked because they belonged to the wealthy capitalistic establishment. A Rolls Royce was destroyed; when another man came out to protect his Cadillac, he was beaten to the ground. As the mob ran on, a line of police formed at State and Division streets to stop the rampage. Without hesitation, the Weathermen ran right into them, swinging clubs and fists…the battle continued under the rallying cry, “Tear the f—ing state down!”
By midnight, police managed to contain the mob, but 21 policemen needed hospital treatment. The area was filled with shattered glass and ruined automobiles. The next day TV news told the story to the nation, which of course pleased the Weathermen. Then the women’s militia started attacking policemen who stood in their line of march. One woman who got arrested, a leader and founder, a graduate of Chicago Law School named Bernadine Dohrn, stated that “We are born in 1969 in America behind enemy lines” in a short speech before the women marched. Years later Bernadine ended up as professor of law (she is now retired).
On Saturday, 300 Weathermen gathered, charging down Madison, smashing windows and fighting police. A cop was thrown through a Railway Express office window. Shortly after that, Assistant Corporation Counsel Richard Elrod was knocked to the ground by a group of Weathermen, then kicked in the head and back. He was rescued by police and rushed to the hospital with a broken neck…. By Saturday night, at least $1 million in property damage was reported to the police, three demonstrators had been shot, one city official lay paralyzed, 250 Weathermen had been arrested on charges including felony and attempted murder, and 57 policemen were hospitalized, at least one critically.
Later, Grathwohl was shown a song in a Weatherman song book that went like this:
Stay, Elrod stay Stay in your iron lung; Play, Elrod, play Play with your toes for a while
This raises a question in my mind – why would the Weathermen hate people so much (like Elrod) that had done nothing either to them or to anyone else? Were they both idealists and psychopaths?
The Weathermen did not only demonstrate by themselves, they took advantage of other people’s peaceful demonstrations. At the “Mobilization Committee to End the War in Vietnam” demonstration in Washington D.C. a mob of 5000 converged on the Justice Department. They hurled bottles, bricks, and rocks. Someone shimmied up the flagpole in front of the building and cut down the American flag amid cheers and whistles. In its place, he raised a Viet Cong flag. As he started down the pole, the MOBE marshals rushed over to capture him, but girls in helmets screamed and kicked at the marshals, and guys in helmets hit them with sticks. “Pig lovers,” they shouted at the marshals. “You abandoned the people for the pigs.”
Today (in 2020), we have Antifa chanting “No border, no wall, no USA at all”. They too piggyback on peaceful demonstrations, as well as engaging in their own actions. They are more advanced than the demonstrators described above, in that they have used lasers, and other innovative weapons.
I’ve just reached page 60 in Larry Grathwohl’s 184 page book. I haven’t reached the part where he meets the Weatherman leadership, and what he learned when the Weathermen really got going. Eventually the Weathermen declared him an “enemy of the people”.
In the 1992 book The Rise and Fall of the American Left, John Diggins describes how the American left, which seemed to have fallen on hard times in the 1970s, found a new home in the universities. He talks about the ironies involved. Here is an excerpt, which is very relevant today..
“Although the New Left saw itself as the victim of history, in at least one respect it became its beneficiary. In the sixties and early seventies American higher education expanded enormously. University enrollments increased and new campuses opened on the East and the West coasts to accommodate the postwar baby boom children now reaching college age. Consisting to a large extent of graduate students, the New Left entered the academic profession en masse and found respectable positions at virtually every distinguished university except Chicago. Appointed at a time of expansion, the “tenured Left” survived the budget-cutting contractions of the early Reagan years. With no new massive hiring expected in the immediate future, the remnants of the New Left are the most significant ideological presence on the American campus today and most likely will continue to be so well into the next century.
“The New Left’s finding an afterlife in the academic world is replete with ironies. It will be recalled that at the turn of the century Daniel DeLeon and other socialist theoreticians worried about the implications of a radical intelligentsia whose interest may not coincide with that of the proletariat. With the dreams of the New Left shattered in the seventies, no one had to worry about whether the Academic Left could articulate the needs and aspirations of an American proletariat, since that creature had no existence. With no constituency in the real world, the New Left had no choice but to ascend to the ivory towers of theory. Yet the move into the groves of academe is surprising in many ways. No one who had watched campus demonstrations in the sixties could have anticipated the eagerness with which former protesting graduate students later accepted positions at the very institutions they said were responsible for racism, imperialism, fascism, sexism, and other evils of “liberalism.” At Berkeley, Columbia, San Francisco State, and several other campuses in the sixties there seemed to be two incompatible worlds—academic gentility and revolutionary fury. Inside the university building was the faculty member: nicely dressed, family photo on office desk, surrounded by books, polite and patient, wondering when the troubles would end so that the sacred serenity of the library might again be enjoyed. On the outside the graduate student: with ragged army jacket and beard, fist raised, noisy, rude, impatient with explanations. Facts are fictions. Scholarship is for squares. The system sucks. Fuck you, faculty; you’re either for us or against us.
“And so it went for half a dozen years. But in the end the majority of New Left graduate students, after repeating again and again that they would never allow themselves to be “co-opted,” did so without so much as a blush.”
The above is all an excerpt from the book. Diggins, who is a professor of history, says that these radicals became gatekeepers who changed who could become a professor. He writes: “In the field of American History, for example, a liberal PH.D. who subscribed to consensus instead of class conflict, or a white male conservative who admired Madison more than Marx, had about as much chance of getting hired on some faculty as Woody Allen of starting as point guard for the Knicks” (Woody Allen is a Jewish actor and producer who looks very nerdy)
The book is also interesting because it shows that the left was usually (not always) believers in Marx, and it also shows that current un-democratic manifestations of the left were already getting foreshadowed (for instance conservative speakers were being heckled on campus, including Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger and UN Ambassador Jeanne Kirkpatrick.
When the Bolsheviks took over Russia, World War I was raging. The Bolshevik leader, Lenin made peace with the Germans, which dismayed the British and French, who were still fighting the Germans.
After the war was over, the allies had 180,000 troops on Russian territory – British, French, American, Japanese, Italian and Greek, as well as Serb and Czech contingents – plus 300,000 men of various anti-Bolshevik Russian forces. Nonetheless, Bolshevism won. The reasons given by Paul Johnson in his history “Modern Times” are that most of the allied statesmen did not grasp the significance of the new type of totalitarian dictatorship in Russia. Winston Churchill was the exception – he did realize, and he wanted to defeat the Bolsheviks.
On February 14, 1919, President Wilson (of the U.S.) said he was for withdrawal. He said that “Our troops were doing no sort of good in Russia. They did not know for whom or for what they were fighting.”
Prime Minister Lloyd George was worried about British public opinion and he said “To send our soldiers to shoot down the Bolsheviks would be to create Bolshevism here.[in Britain].”
The War Office warned of ‘revolutionary talk in the Brigade of Guards’ and General Ironside, in charge at Archangel, cabled home news of ‘very persistent and obstinate’ mutinies among his own troops. Leninism had let go of the small nations on its fringes, and it claimed to be for self-determination. So most western opinion saw the Bolsheviks as non-expansionist. To these Westerners, it was the anti-Bolshevik commanders, Admiral Kolchak and General Denikin, who stood for Tsarist imperialism, the old fear images of ‘the Bear’, the ‘Russian Steamroller’ and so forth. This view was by no means unfounded. Kolchak persistently refused to give the Allies the assurances they wanted about confirming the independence of Finland and the Baltic states after he had overthrown Lenin. General Denikin was strongly anti-Polish. Moreover, Denikin identified Bolshevism with Jewry and his troops committed anti-Semitic atrocities. This damaged the image of the ‘White Russians’ (the anti-Bolsheviks) in the West. The allies just pulled out, leaving the White Russians to face the Bolsheviks. Many of the Whites deserted. Today we know that the Bolsheviks ended up killing tens of millions of people, and the story may not be over yet. Stopping them initially would have made a lot of sense.
Edward Teller was a Hungarian Jew who immigrated to the U.S. and became the “father of the H-bomb” (a nuclear bomb that works by fusing Hydrogen atoms together). This was such a powerful weapon that there was much opposition, including by scientists, to any attempt to create it.
Edward Teller was a conservative, politically. He watched the development of the so-called Free Speech Movement in Berkeley (where he worked) with considerable alarm. Later he wrote that “within a year there was no longer free speech in Berkeley. Within a year a vice president of the university was shouted down by the students when he reminded them that if they insist on free speech they must grant the right of speech to those who happen to disagree with them.”
By early November 1970, a flyer was widely circulated on the Berkeley campus. In large black letters across the top it exclaimed EDWARD TELLER – WAR CRIMINAL. The flyer enumerated its charges
1.. Worked on atomic bomb during WW2 2. Father of the Hydrogen bomb 3. Largely responsible for establishment of Livermore Rad Lab. 4. Leading advocate of arms race 5. Leading advocate of nuclear blackmail 6. Has acted as hawk advisor to Washington officials, including Nixon, since WW2
The message continued with the information that “He is living in our community, 1573 Hawthorne Terrace 848-8811”
A student “War Crimes Tribunal” had several speakers talk about the Vietnam war, and then Teller was attacked as a “paranoid anti-Communist” and the Lawrence Livermore Lab where he worked was called a ‘scientific whore-house.” Eventually the audience cried “Lets get Teller” and “Break Teller’s windows, burn his house, kill him.”
Teller was warned, and called the police. The police thwarted the mob, though the mob did burn Teller in effigy.
And now for the irony. The main reason Teller wanted to research the Hydrogen bomb was that he was afraid the Soviet Union would get it first. And according to the book from which this material is taken, the Russians did indeed get it first. So Teller was right!
Source: “Energy and Conflict – The Life and Times of Edward Teller” by Stanley Blumberg and Gwinn Owens
I’m reading a biography of Edward Teller, the American who created the Hydrogen nuclear bomb. As in some other books I’ve been recently reading, the connection between some radical Jews and Communism comes up again. Edward was from a middle class Jewish home in Hungary. After the Russian revolution, a series of events led to a Jewish Communist by the name of Bela Kun becoming the leader of a “workers’ and peasants’ state’ in Hungary.
The result was a complete breakdown in the economic system. Services stopped. Goods, including food, did not move to market.
As the Communists realized that their hold on the country was growing weaker, they reverted to a reign of terror. “Traitors” were being arrested, jailed and sometimes shot every day. Corpses of dissidents were hung from lampposts.
Not only was Kun a Jew, so were eight of his eleven commissars. The authors say that Kun’s collaborators had nothing in common, with the comfortable middle-class Jews of Budapest as represented by the Tellers. The Jewish bourgeoisie resented the revolution. Nonetheless, say the authors: “… by the deposed Hungarian aristocracy and the non-Jewish middle class, including many citizens of German descent, Kun’s reign of terror, his inept bungling of a still-functioning state, would be remembered as the product of Jews.”
Edward Teller’s mother told a friend “I shiver at what my people are doing. When this is over there will be a terrible revenge.”
I (the blog author) have wondered at how much the role of some Jews in Bolshevism strengthened the hand of Hitler. Its obviously impossible to quantify this, but when Bela Kun’s regime was overthrown, it was by troops led by Admiral Miklos Horthy, who while he disliked Hitler, did approve of the German dictator’s crusade against Bolshevism and initially allied with the Nazis in World War II. (Horthy later tried to extricate Hungary from the war, which got him abducted by the Nazis). The Hungarian Jews were not deported to Auschwitz until Germany occupied Hungary.
Energy and Conflict – the Life and Times of Edward Teller – by Stanley Blumberg and Gwinn Owens.
When we hear about ‘peace initiatives’ in the Middle East, they usually assume that the Jews in Israel should give up land for peace, and perhaps allow the descendants of Palestinian refugees to return. The problem, from the Jews point of view, is that peace is unlikely because of other factors having to do with religious anti-Semitism. Long before the modern Zionist movement, life could be very precarious for Jews in Muslim lands. For example, in 1892 the Jews in one town in Persia, Hamadan, had to display a red cloth on their chests, they could never put on fine clothes. They were forbidden to wear matching shoes or cloaks. A Jew was never to overtake a Muslim on a public street or talk loudly to him. If he were insulted by a Muslim, then the Jew “must drop his head and be silent.” Jews were not allowed to leave Hamadan at all. They could not even leave their homes when it snowed or rained for fear that their “impurity” would be inadvertently transmitted to Shiite Muslims. In Hamadan, Muslim mobs were shouting “Death to the Jews” in demonstrations or alternatively demanding their instant conversion. For more than forty days, Jews had remained besieged in their houses, “almost dying of hunger and fright.” (page 831 and 832 from the book “A Lethal Obsession – Anti-Semitism from Antiquity to the Global Jihad” by Robert Wistrich).
This example includes a ‘purity’ concept of Shiite Muslims, but even in Sunni Pakistan today, that doctrine seems to apply. The following happened to a Christian (see Wikipedia)
In June 2009, a Christian woman, Aasiya Noreen was harvesting falsa berries with a group of other women farmhands in a field in Sheikhupura. She was asked at one point to fetch water from a nearby well; she complied but stopped to take a drink with an old metal cup she had found lying next to the well. A neighbor of Noreen, Musarat, who had been involved in a running feud with Noreen’s family about some property damage, saw her and angrily told her that it was forbidden for a Christian to drink water from the same utensil from which Muslims drink, and that some of the other workers considered her to be unclean because she was a Christian, referring to the caste system in Pakistan. Noreen recounts that when they made derogatory statements about Christianity and demanded that she convert to Islam, she responded, “I believe in my religion and in Jesus Christ, who died on the cross for the sins of mankind. What did your Prophet Mohammed ever do to save mankind? And why should it be me that converts instead of you?” An argument ensued. A mob came to her house, beating her and members of her family before she was taken away by the police. The police initiated an investigation about her remarks, resulting in her arrest under Section 295 C of the Pakistan Penal Code. She was eventually acquitted, however the story is still hair-raising.
An interesting sidelight: Persia is now called Iran because the Shah at the time (1935), who was pro-Nazi, wanted to stress the Indo-European origin of the country’s inhabitants.
In 1971, a book titled “Trotsky and the Jews” was published. One section is on the role of the Jews in the Communist revolution. The author, Joseph Nedava, quotes a study of 246 personalities prominent in the October revolution or conspicuous in the early years of the Soviet regime or both. His conclusion was that 3/4 of the central leadership core were of non-Russian extraction, and of those, the Jewish element accounted for over 30 percent.
The bulk of Jews were traders and shopkeepers, members of the hated class of bourgeoisie, and so were the first victims of the Communist regime. So Nedava concludes that the bulk of Jews could not be communists. Most convincing is this quote:
The Evsektsia, whose function was to reconcile the Jewish population with the new regime, encountered almost insurmountable difficulties. “The October Revolution was met by the Jewish parties with the greatest hatred… The Jewish intelligentsia was deeply convinced that the Jewish masses would never follow us Bolsheviks.” And at the first conference of the Evsektsia (Moscow, October 1918), one delegate admitted in his report that “until now the wide Jewish masses have been inclined toward counterrevolution”
Nedava also says that generally speaking, the Bolsheviks drew their strength from the big industrial cities, which for centuries had been, by Russian legislation, almost hermetically sealed against Jews.
The “White” armies, that were fighting the Communists, targeted Jews as well, and since the Communists stopped pogroms (anti-Jewish massacres) whenever they captured an area, the Jews ended up fighting alongside the Red armies simply to survive.
It is not surprising that anti-Communists identified Jews as Communists, since many prominent Communists, including Trotsky, the commander of the red army, were Jewish. At one point a large number of Jews were in the Cheka (Russian secret police), which applied wholesale terror to suppress opposition.
But then again, judging by an election held by the Jewish national assembly in the Ukraine in 1918, most Jews were not socialist (only 31% voted for socialist parties, and those socialist parties were anti-Bolshevik).
Those of us who are Jewish and anti-Communist must be dismayed by the disproportionate role Jews played in the Communist takeover of Russia, but can take comfort from the fact that the majority of Jews did not ally with that terrible ideology until they were pushed into it by the foolish pogromists on the other side.
The Protocols of the Elders of Zion is a document that was forged by Russians to incriminate Jews in a plot to control the world. At the time it was created, the Russian secret services were facing a problem with revolutionaries against the Tsar, and had been forging documents to turn the revolutionaries against each other.
The Protocols used a novel by Maurice Joly on Napoleon III for some of its material, but made the conspiratorial speakers Rabbis instead of Machiavelli, who was the villain of Joly’s book.
Some of the Russian forgeries failed. But the Protocols was a forgery that succeeded in exacerbating hatred toward Jews. For instance, in the pre-Nazi period in Germany, a Jewish writer, B. Segel, attended meetings devoted to the Protocols. He describes them:
The speaker was usually a professor, a teacher, an editor, a lawyer, or someone of that kind. The audience consisted of members of the educated class, civil servants, tradesmen, former officers, ladies, aboe all students… Passions were whipped up to the boiling point. There in front of one, in the flesh, was the cause of all those ills [the Jews], those who made the war [World War I] and brought about the defeat and engineered the revolution..” he adds that the students might have been studying math or law a fews hours earlier, but now their “…eyes flashed, fists clenched, hoarse voices roared applause or vengeance…
The Protocols may have had an effect on British army behavior in Palestine (before Israeli independence) too. In World War I, Britain conquered Palestine, and in 1918 a Zionist leader named Chaim Weizmann went to see the generals who had conquered it. One General, Sir Wyndham Deedes, handed Weizmann some typewritten sheets and said: “You had better read all of it with care. It is going to cause you a great deal of trouble in the future.” It was a copy of the Protocols. All the British officers in Palestine seemed to have it.
Ironically the Russian Tsar was not willing to use the protocols, because even though he was anti-Jewish, he realized the protocols were a forgery. But there are people today, especially in the Arab world, who do not realize they are a forgery. It is interesting also that nowadays Russia creates fake people on social media and makes them say fake things, in order to disrupt Western societies. The Russians are still masters of propaganda.
Sources: Why the Jews – Dennis Prager and Joseph Telushkin A History of the Jews – Paul Johnson The Lie that Wouldn’t Die – Hadassah Ben Ito
In the book “When Einstein Walked With Godel” (2018), author Jim Holt talks about a debate in math – does math correspond to real entities independent of the human mind or not? In Russia, this fed into mystical notions of a trio of Russian Mathematicians, Dmitri Egorov – a religious man, and his student Pavel Florensky, who had trained to be a priest. The third member of the trio was Nikolai Luzin, a student of Egorov’s.
In a Western country, you can be a great scientist and religious, but not in Stalin’s Russia. Egorov was denounced as “a reactionary supporter of religious beliefs, a dangerous influence on students, and a person who mixes mathematics and mysticism.” His accuser was Ernst Kol’man, an impish and sinister Marxist mathematician nicknamed the “dark angel”. Egorov and Florensky were eventually arrested. Egorov starved to death in prison in 1931. Florensky was tortured and sent to a Gulag camp in the Arctic, where he was probably executed in 1937.
Luzin was spared, though several of his former students took part in the campaign against him, among them Andrei Kolmogorov, who is himself rated one of the half a dozen greatest mathematicians of the twentieth century and Pavel Alexandrov. (The latter two were gay, and their favorite activity was swimming vast distances and then doing mathematics together in the nude.)
But the point of this post is that in Stalin’s Russia, if you were too mystical and religious, you ended up either tortured and executed in an Arctic work camp, or starved to death in prison. It didn’t take much to be an “enemy of the people.”
An irony: Kol’man ended up in the Gulag himself, and later defected.