The Protocols Of the Elders of Zion

I never heard of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion until I took this Holocaust class in college. When i was told what it was, it sounded absolutely ridiculous that anyone could have believed this forgery back then. We’re watching a movie in my holocaust class now (The Protocols of Zion- a documentary that won a few awards) that’s shown me that people not only believed it then but they believe it now. Call me crazy if you want for getting so worked up about this but it scares me that something that’s been shown so many times for what is can still be believed.
After you read this (if you do actually read this) I don’t think you will believe people believe this either but they still do.

This is from

The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

The Protocols of the Elders of Zion is the most notorious and widely distributed antisemitic publication of modern times. Its lies about Jews, which have been repeatedly discredited, continue to circulate today, especially on the Internet. The individuals and groups who have used the Protocols are all linked by a common purpose: to spread hatred of Jews.

The Protocols is entirely a work of fiction, intentionally written to blame Jews for a variety of ills. Those who distribute it claim that it documents a Jewish conspiracy to dominate the world. The conspiracy and its alleged leaders, the so-called Elders of Zion, never existed.

The Origin of a Lie
In 1903, portions of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion were serialized in a Russian newspaper, Znamya (The Banner). The version of the Protocols that has endured and has been translated into dozens of languages, however, was first published in Russia in 1905 as an appendix to The Great in the Small: The Coming of the Anti-Christ and the Rule of Satan on Earth, by Russian writer and mystic Sergei Nilus.

The Times, August 17, 1921

Although the exact origin of the Protocols is unknown, its intent was to portray Jews as conspirators against the state. In 24 chapters, or protocols, allegedly minutes from meetings of Jewish leaders, the Protocols “describes” the “secret plans” of Jews to rule the world by manipulating the economy, controlling the media, and fostering religious conflict.

Following the Russian Revolution of 1917, anti-Bolshevik émigrés brought the Protocols to the West. Soon after, editions circulated across Europe, the United States, South America, and Japan. An Arabic translation first appeared in the 1920s.

Beginning in 1920, auto magnate Henry Ford’s newspaper, The Dearborn Independent, published a series of articles based in part on the Protocols. The International Jew, the book that included this series, was translated into at least 16 languages. Both Adolf Hitler and Joseph Goebbels, later the Nazi Minister of Propaganda, praised Ford and The International Jew.

Fraud Exposed
In 1921, the London Times presented conclusive proof that the Protocols was a “clumsy plagiarism.” The Times confirmed that the Protocols had been copied in large part from a French political satire that never mentioned Jews – Maurice Joly’s Dialogue in Hell Between Machiavelli and Montesquieu (1864). Other investigations revealed that one chapter of a Prussian novel, Hermann Goedsche’s Biarritz (1868), also “inspired” the Protocols.

The Nazi Era
Nazi party ideologue Alfred Rosenberg introduced Hitler to the Protocols during the early 1920s, as Hitler was developing his worldview. Hitler referred to the Protocols in some of his early political speeches, and, throughout his career, he exploited the myth that “Jewish-Bolshevists” were conspiring to control the world.

During the 1920s and 1930s, The Protocols of the Elders of Zion played an important part in the Nazis’ propaganda arsenal. The Nazi party published at least 23 editions of the Protocols between 1919 and 1939. Following the Nazis’ seizure of power in 1933, some schools used the Protocols to indoctrinate students.

Fraud Exposed
In 1935, a Swiss court fined two Nazi leaders for circulating a German-language edition of the Protocols in Berne, Switzerland. The presiding justice at the trial declared the Protocols “libelous,” “obvious forgeries,” and “ridiculous nonsense.”

The U.S. Senate issued a report in 1964 declaring that the Protocols were “fabricated.” The Senate called the contents of the Protocols “gibberish” and criticized those who “peddled” the Protocols for using the same propaganda technique as Hitler.

In 1993, a Russian court ruled that Pamyat, a far-right nationalist organization, had committed an antisemitic act by publishing the Protocols.

Despite these repeated exposures of the Protocols as a fraud, it remains the most influential antisemitic text of the past one hundred years, and it continues to appeal to a variety of antisemitic individuals and groups.

The Protocols Today
According to the U.S. Department of State’s “Report on Global Anti-Semitism” (2004), “The clear purpose of the [Protocols is] to incite hatred of Jews and of Israel.”

In the United States and Europe, neo-Nazis, white supremacists, and Holocaust deniers endorse and circulate the Protocols. Books based on the Protocols are available worldwide, even in countries with hardly any Jews such as Japan.

Many school textbooks throughout the Arab and Islamic world teach the Protocols as fact. Countless political speeches, editorials, and even children’s cartoons are derived from the Protocols. In 2002, Egypt’s government-sponsored television aired a miniseries based on the Protocols, an event condemned by the U.S. State Department. The Palestinian organization Hamas draws in part on the Protocols to justify its terrorism against Israeli civilians.

The Internet has dramatically increased access to the Protocols. Even though many Web sites expose the Protocols as a fraud, the Internet has made it easy to use the Protocols to spread hatred of Jews. Today, a typical Internet search yields several hundred thousand sites that disseminate, sell, or debate the Protocols or expose them as a fraud.

There are many things in the world that we sometimes find hard to understand. I’m sure that in your class you’ve seen pictures and documents that make the Holocaust seem very realistic. After i visited the Yad va-Shem museum in Jerusalem, i was totally devastated just by seeing this evidence of human cruelty. Parts of my family were killed by Nazis and buried alive in Ukraine, but I only heard these stories. When you see it visually, it strikes you from a completely different angle. And still there are many Holocaust deniers, that will use any means just to prove that these thousands and thousands of pictures, letters, stories are made up or not as bad as they seem to be. I’m sorry, nothing is “not as bad as it seems”, when you see a picture of gold teeth or hundreds of bodies…:cry:
And it always makes me wonder, when i see neo-Nazis from Russia, young people, talking about Jews and “their responsibility” for about everything, is that they forget that the Slavic nations were next after Jews and Gypsies in Hitler’s plans. He would use them and burn them. :shrug:

It’s just… today! I expected people to be better today! like anti-semetism to at least have close to died in America! I mean, the movies shows “white power people” and palestinians but there are other things. This guy just walked around on the streets of New York asking people if they believed in the Protocols of Zion and many did!!! Many [U]normal[/U] people! Some even believe that 4,000 Jews escaped the world trade center because they were [U]responsible[/U] for the world trade center even though Al-Qaida already claimed the attack as their own. The movie was made a long time ago but it makes me wonder whether or not people still believe this today.
I’m not Jewish actually. At least we don’t think so but my mom has suspicions that we might be through my great-grandma because when my mom asked her she said no very quickly. From what I’ve heard about her, it’s either that or she was very anti-semetic but I digress. I may not be Jewish but this stuff still gets to me and it makes me more mad when people don’t get upset either. My boyfriend was upset but not like me. He says he doesn’t get upset about things that don’t change. That don’t effect (affect?) him. He even got upset that [U]I[/U] was getting so upset!
I jus expected better of the present. I also expected better from Americans. Or at least the average Americans- the hate groups are another story.
exhale okay, I’m done ranting. I’m sorry for creating such a heavy thread on a fun website. I was just mad.
Thanks for responding. :slight_smile:

I’ve not read this topic closely, however, in terms of people being either gullible or cynical… Consider the moon landing - the first one. And now emerging arguments that are very persuasive I must say, that the whole think was a crock or mock up. There are parallel issues about aliens landing and so on. So, on one hand you have a govt sending out spiel that is powerful and persuasive and then later you have either partial withdrawals from those claims or other bodies with knowledge providing strong arguments against original claims.

For me the real issue is one of trust and the trust many give to either governments or organisations that employ language and so called ‘facts’ in a way that appears highly scholarly.

How many people really know how to analyse arguments and look for weak spots and look for weak sources? And with the growth of the Internet this is becoming a more troubling issue over time. Individuals and groups can set up highly legitimate looking sites and make all manner of claims that don’t hold credibility when all is said and done. I know of one group who have repeatedly failed peer analysis who set up a site that looked to be academically sound etc however all it did was act as a mouthpiece for people whose notions and claims had been rejected from within their field. Now, across history there HAVE been instances of someone we now know to have had brilliant ideas having been initially rejected by their field. Such examples give these renegade individuals or groups argument to claim being misunderstood or that they are too advanced for their field. However, dig below the surface and you often find issues of racial superiority et al. One group for example has an agenda to argue that the US SHOULD hold ALL archaeological materials no matter what nation they come from - but certainly that asian, african races et al should not hold their own materials. This value system is not easy to see on an initial look at the site but enter in and move through a few layers and you find it. Appalling.

The foundation for hate is ignorance. Period. Some people want to hate so much that they do not want to be informed. They would rather wallow in ignorance.


Others would claim the foundation for hate is fear.

Sorry… I tend to advocate the fear position - if for no other reason than it being more primal.

I think they are one and the same, in this case. They hate because they do not understand, and because they do not understand, they are afraid.

I always feels rather sorry for people with such constricting prejudices - they open their mouths and you are struck immediately by their obvious ignorance on the topic, and then you look into their eyes and you can see a kind of mad panic. It’s so sad.

I completely concur with you.


In education terms, the only way to bring about change is to accept and understand that the mindset or thinking exists. In that light, despite feeling sickened by certain views or perspectives I come across at times, I would prefer to hear them and understand the rationale that serves them than not. What IS of course sad is the education of very young children into certain belief systems because children are not born with racial hatred, bigotry or negative views of anyone - they are taught them. However, in saying this one must also accept that those with belief systems adverse to mine think ME wrong so, again, I try and listen and hear it out in terms of considering what one can do to re-educate and bring about change (even while internally rejecting their ethos).

It’s generally important I believe that in the process of challenging anyone on their point of view that we pause a moment and do some internal auditing. I play devil’s advocate a lot with my values et al and in that sense have an evolving and hermeneutic values re-assessment. I adopt this view because one bigot vs another is probably not best. Bigotry can be better tackled with a more open mindset in the main. That said, certain ‘things’ to me are not worthy of democracy. That is a topic unto itself and highly philosophical :slight_smile: But, for now, sometimes individual ‘rights’ must be sacrificed for the greater good. In saying this we return to ‘who’ decides the greater good and my simple answer is the perspective that offers the majority (and this can mean minority groups) less harm.

UNESCO etc talk about basic human rights and outline what they are. The list tends to be useful as a benchmark for deciding what is right to do and what rights all people have - and responsibilities. It’s interesting that our society often talks about our rights, but less often our responsibilities.

By the way Misty, thanks for the conversation :slight_smile:

i agree with fear. i believe that those people are told it’s this person’s fault- these people are the reason! and so they have someone to blame. then they hate. and if you try and tell them they’r wrong they don’t want to listen b/c you will break their way of couping. things are bad because of them. it’s not because of me, it’s because of them. for you to tell them, very resonably that it’s not those people’s fault, then the person’s entire belief system crumbles and they’r left with nothing.
there are other things and other reasons but i believe this is the most common.