The Protocols of the Elders of Zion
Peddling the “Big Lie”
The infamous “Protocols of the Elders of Zion” are referred to a number of times in this issue of Israel My Glory. Peddling the venomous fabrications of the Protocols has been the stock-in-trade of anti-Semitic hate merchants since it was produced by agents of the Czarist Intelligence Service in Russia nearly a century ago. Hundreds of studies have been produced over the years that document beyond any reasonable doubt that the Protocols are a hoax. A credible example is found in a report prepared for the Committee on the Judiciary of the United States Senate in 1964. Partial quotations from the Committee’s findings shed light on the preposterous fallacies represented in the Protocols.
Every age and country has had its share of fabricated “historic documents” which have been foisted on an unsuspecting public for some malign purpose. In the United States such forgeries crop up periodically in the underworld of subpolitics. One of the most notorious and most durable of these is the “Protocols of the Elders of Zion.”
According to the “Protocols,” international communism is simply a manifestation of a world Jewish conspiracy which seeks to subjugate all the non-Jewish peoples of the world. The real enemy, therefore, according to the “Protocols,” is not international communism but “international Jewry.”
Although the “Protocols” have been repeatedly and authoritatively exposed as a vicious hoax, they continue to be circulated by the unscrupulous and accepted by the unthinking. The Subcommittee on Internal Security not only receives inquiries from time to time about the “Protocols” from sincere but misguided people, but on occasion is even exhorted to advert to this “document” as a source of information.
A summary description of the “program” of the “Protocols” is [found in] the Encyclopedia Britannica (1950 edition), volume 2, page 78A:
*** The “Protocols” are supposed to be a report of a series of 24 (in other versions, 27) meetings held in Basle in 1897, at the time of the First Zionist Congress. There plans were said to have been worked out whereby Jews, together with Freemasons, were to disrupt the entire Christian civilization, and on the ruins of Christendom erect a world state ruled over by Jews and Freemasons. Various devices are described which the Jews planned to use; among these the use of liquor to befuddle the leaders of European opinion, the corruption of European womanhood, the stirring up of economic distress, and plans to blow up the various capitals of Europe. ***
The continued circulation of the “Protocols” cannot be explained on the basis of their contents, which are obviously gibberish, but rather on the techniques employed by the peddlers of the “Protocols.” They use the Hitler technique of the “big lie.”
In testimony before this subcommittee on June 2, 1961, on “Communist Forgeries,” Richard Helms, Assistant Director of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, speaking of the “Protocols,” declared (p. 5):
The Russians have a long tradition in the art of forgery. More than 60 years ago the czarist intelligence service concocted and peddled a confection called the “Protocols of the Elders of Zion.” As late as 1958, this item was still being pushed by psychological warfare organizations specializing in anti-Semitism. In the 1930’s and 1940’s Hitler’s propagandists “borrowed” it and added it to some counterfeiting of their own. Long before 1957 the Communists were as skillful as the Nazis in the production and exploitation of forgeries.
It is impossible for a fairminded person of any common sense not to see that the “Protocols” are the fictional product of a warped mind and that for years they have been and still are the chief staple of the anti-Jewish pamphleteer.
In the subcommittee’s judgment, those who would mislead the American people by continuing to peddle this crude and vicious nonsense impede and prejudice the Nation’s fight against the Communist menace. The subcommittee believes that the peddlers of the “Protocols” are peddlers of un-American prejudice who spread hate and dissension among the American people.