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Nyet  Aug 29, 2016 • 9:29:27am

Putin’s propaganda has long ago become much more brazen but also effective than Goebbels’.

CuriousLurker  Aug 29, 2016 • 9:30:07am

Come to think of it, Russia was doing this long before the Cold War. The Protocols of the Elders of Zion was first published in 1903.

Nyet  Aug 29, 2016 • 9:48:04am

re: #2 CuriousLurker

In case of the Protocols blaming them on “Russia” as a state is premature - nobody knows who wrote them and whether any official Russian agents were involved (the okhranka hypothesis being just that, and unproven, as Hagemeister points out in “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion: Between History and Fiction”).

Nyet  Aug 29, 2016 • 10:16:22am

re: #3 Nyet

Given the massive success of the Protocols and the deep worries caused
by the text, even in levelheaded, enlightened circles, it was imperative to solve
the mystery of its origins quickly. But this was the hour of the self-proclaimed
witnesses and experts, the braggarts and impostors.
The fi rst on the scene was a Russian princess of Polish origin, Catherine
Radziwill, a personage with—to put it delicately—a highly checkered past.
Instigator of much gossip about the Russian court, she was convicted several
times of fraud and forgery. The French writer André Maurois called her a
“mythomaniac,” in whose life “everything was only deception and lies.”12 In
several sensational articles, which appeared in the American and French presses
in February and March 1921, Radziwill describes how an agent of the foreign
branch of the Okhrana in Paris visited her in the winter of 1904-5 at her apartment
on the Champs-Elysées—where else? one may ask—and proudly presented
her with the French manuscript of the Protocols, which he had just
prepared according to Rachkovskii’s orders.13 The agent was Golovinskii—
the same man whom Lepekhin sensationally exposed about eighty years later.
Radziwill gave an exact description of the manuscript: different handwritings,
yellowish paper, and a big spot of blue ink on the fi rst page. What Radziwill did
not know, however, was that the Protocols had already been published in 1903
in Russia. And, of course, she never had an apartment on the Champs-Elysées.
It would be easy to simply dismiss Radziwill’s story; indeed, she herself
(before dying in poverty in New York in 1941) never referred to it again.
This also explains why she and the name of Golovinskii were soon forgotten.
But—an important but—her story served as the basis for all further accounts
that named Rachkovskii’s counterfeit work for the Okhrana in Paris as the
origins of the Protocols.
The next witness is a French count, Alexandre du Chayla. He had lived in
czarist Russia for twelve years and had met Nilus, the editor of the Protocols.
Back in France, in May 1921 du Chayla published his memories of Nilus and the
Protocols in the French and American presses.14 Du Chayla’s story was conso-
nant on some of Radziwill’s account (which he knew) but omitted her most obvious
mistakes. Du Chayla describes at length how he encountered Nilus in the
Optina Pustyn monastery in 1909. Nilus showed him the original French manuscript
of the Protocols—which in all its details matches the description offered
by Radziwill—and admitted that he had received it from Rachkovskii. Du
Chayla’s depiction of the fanatical Nilus, the sinister machinations of the secret
police, and the intrigues and conspiracies of the court, which all led to the fabrication
of the Protocols, was so coherent and persuasive—and written in such a
colorful and enthralling manner—that he soon became the hero of the struggle
against the forgery and the principal witness in the story of its provenance.15
Indeed, du Chayla knew how to write. In 1913, during the notorious
blood libel trial against Mendel Beilis in Kiev, he had worked as a journalist
supporting the blood accusation and calling on the “secret leaders of the
Jewish nation” (chefs occultes de la nation juive) to repent.16 Now, eight years
later, he sold his alleged knowledge about the origins of the Protocols and negotiated
stubbornly—as we learn from the correspondence—with the representatives
of Jewish organizations to force up the price.17
Here is not the place to go into the many factual errors and inconsistencies
in du Chayla’s story. The important thing is that the narrative had now
been shaped into its fi nal version, which could no longer be questioned or
changed. It became little short of a canonical version during the Bern trial of
1933-35. The Jewish communities in Switzerland had fi led a lawsuit against
the local Nazi disseminators of the Protocols. Their true aim, however, was
to demonstrate in court the spuriousness of the Protocols. At the beginning
of the lengthy court proceedings, which attracted worldwide attention, the
plaintiffs agreed to stick closely to du Chayla’s narrative. Du Chayla himself
appeared as a witness, but only after he had enforced his fee (four thousand
Swiss francs, a very large sum at that time).18
In reality, and we see this from the unpublished correspondence between
the plaintiffs and their experts, there was a good deal of doubt about the integrity
of the key witness and the credibility of his version of the origin of the
19 The historian Boris Nikolaevskii, a coordinator of the Bern trial
and an expert on the czarist secret police, admitted in a confi dential letter that
his own research had convinced him that Rachkovskii “under no circumstances
could have had anything to do with the preparation of the Protocols.”20
Nevertheless, Nikolaevskii did not present his fi ndings at the trial, since, as he
wrote later, this “would have been a stab in the back of the Russian experts and
would have objectively disorganized the campaign against Hitler.”21 He called
du Chayla a “swindler” (prokhodimets), who had no idea about the origins of
the Protocols.
The detailed and coherent narrative about the origin and early dissemination
of the Protocols had now been authorized by a legal court. All that
was left was to publicize this narrative and further spread the word. This is
where Henri Rollin came in. In 1939 his book L’apocalypse de notre temps
appeared in Paris.23 In it, the French writer and secret service offi cer presents
his view of the conspiracy between German and Russian anti-Semites, who,
from their bases in Berlin and Munich in the 1920s and 1930s, spread the myth
of the Jewish-Bolshevist global conspiracy and—more or less consciously—
made use of a forgery to do so. Basically, Rollin produces a countermyth,
in that the German-Russian anti-Semitic conspiracy he uncovers is almost
identical to the Jewish conspiracy. A legend still circulating today is that Rollin’s
book is very rare because it was confi scated by the Nazis during the occupation
of France and destroyed. The book actually went through at least fi ve
editions in 1939, was widely available, and is today easy to fi nd in secondhand

CuriousLurker  Aug 29, 2016 • 10:44:19am

re: #3 Nyet

In case of the Protocols blaming them on “Russia” as a state is premature - nobody knows who wrote them and whether any official Russian agents were involved (the okhranka hypothesis being just that, and unproven, as Hagemeister points out in “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion: Between History and Fiction”).

Point taken. My intent was not to blame Russia for creating it, just for being the first to publish it. I guess even that’s not exactly correct though since Znamya (according to Wikipedia) was founded by a far-right ultra-nationalist named Pavel Krushevan.

IOW, although Krushevan was a strong supporter of Imperial Russia—and also a minor official (a clerk, again according to Wikipedia)—I can’t say with any certainty that he was acting on behalf of the state of Russia in an official capacity (maybe he was just a bigoted asshole). Seems he also instigated a pogrom:

In 1903 a riot started after an incident on February 6 when a Christian Russian boy, Michael Rybachenko, was found murdered in the town of Dubăsari, about 25 miles north of Chişinău. Although it was clear that the boy had been killed by a relative (who was later found), Бессарабец, published by Pavel Krushevan, insinuated that he was killed by the Jews instigating the Kishinev pogrom.

Feel free to correct me if I’m wrong on any of the above.*

* I know how shy you are about that. // ;)

Nyet  Aug 29, 2016 • 11:06:50am

re: #5 CuriousLurker

The official stance on the Protocols appears to have been ambivalent - I have read that Nikolai believed in them first but then was convinced by Stolypin that they were fake and ordered to prohibit them. I also read that the Russian censorship did not let Nilus publish them as a separate book, allegedly not to cause “racial hatred”, and when they did let him publish it as an appendix to his book, some parts were excised. (Of course, it could be that these were some of the many inaccurate assertions about the history of the Protocols appearing in the mainstream literature, like the ones Hagemeister exposes in his article).

CuriousLurker  Aug 29, 2016 • 11:23:51am

re: #6 Nyet

A total aside: The name of the Christian boy who was murdered that I mentioned in my #5 was Michael Rybachenko. Anything with lots of consonants that ends in -chenko always makes me assume Ukrainian origin.

So I went to look up Krushevan’s hometown, Chișinău. Yep, it’s now part of Moldova, which shares a border with Ukraine… Then I was like, “Wait—wasn’t birther queen Orly Taitz from Moldova also?” Yep, she’s from the same town as Krushevan.

The weird things you learn when wiki-walking. 👀

Nyet  Aug 29, 2016 • 11:27:16am

re: #7 CuriousLurker

Not improbable given its capital status.

What’s really weird is how these small-scale century-old events still influence our life…

CuriousLurker  Aug 29, 2016 • 11:34:09am

re: #8 Nyet

Not improbable given its capital status.

What’s really weird is how these small-scale century-old events still influence our life…

Indeed. It’s a small world and it seems like our actions (at least some of them) remain in perpetual motion (in terms of consequences) for decades or even centuries.

Nyet  Aug 29, 2016 • 11:41:26am


Ziggy_TARDIS  Aug 29, 2016 • 4:21:17pm

re: #1 Nyet

re: #2 CuriousLurker

Considering the Bullshit Russia is pulling, I say we actually start “Special Operations,” revive Prometheism as an ideology and adjust it, and keep choking Russia, and give its minorities support, until Russia splinters.

Make it so they can’t threaten their neighbors again.

Nyet  Aug 29, 2016 • 11:37:30pm

re: #11 Ziggy_TARDIS

Because supporting nationalism has worked brilliantly everywhere else. /

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