The Jews in the Russian Revolution

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.

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