JEWS DENOUNCE 'PROTOCOLS OF ZION'
National Societies Protest Against a "Campaign of Slander" Directed at Their people.
AIMED AT FREE GOVERNMENT
Statement Issued to Public Declares It Was Inspired by Foreign Reactionary Forces.
CIRCULATED DURING WAR
No Such Organization as the "Elders of Zion," to Which It Is Credited.
NEW YORK, Nov. 30, 1920.
A conference to discuss the widespread campaign of secret anti-Jewish
propaganda in the United States was called by the American Jewish
Committee. This conference was participated in by the foremost
national Jewish organizations, and authorized the issuance of a
public statement in which the so-called "Protocols of the Learned
Elders of Zion" now being circulated in large numbers by secret
agencies are condemned as a forgery, and the charge that Bolshevism
is part of a conspiracy of Jews and Freemasons to secure world
domination is denounced as a malicious invention inspired by foreign
reactionary forces for the purpose of breeding suspicion and hatred
of the Jews and Freemasons in the United States in order to
discredit "free government in the eyes of the European masses
and thus facilitate the restoration of absolutism in government."
The signatories of the declaration, which is addressed "To Our
Fellow Citizens," include the following representative Jewish
organizations; The American Jewish Committee, the Zionist
Organization of America, the Union of American Hebrew Congregations,
the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations, the United Synagogue
of America, the Provisional Committee for an American Jewish
Congress, the Independent Order of B'nai B'rith, the Central
Conference of American Rabbis, the Rabbinical Assembly of the Jewish Theological Seminary and the
United Orthodox Jewish Rabbis of America. The complete address
Text of the Address.
To Our Fellow-Citizens:
During the war, by secret agencies, a document variously called
"The Protocols of the Elders of Zion," "The Protocols of the Meetings
of the Zionist Men of Wisdon" and "The Protocols of the Wise Men of
Zion," was clandestinely circulated in typewritten form, among public
officials and carefully selected civilians, for the purpose of giving
rise to the belief that the Jews, in conjunction with Freemasons, had
been for centuries engaged in a conspiracy to produce revolution and
anarchy, by means of which they hoped to attain the control of the
world by the establishment of some sort of despotic rule. Some months
ago this document was published in England. More recently it has
appeared in print in the United States and thousands of copies have
been circulated with an air of mystery among legislators, journalists,
clergymen and teachers, members of clubs and indiscriminately to the
general public. The London Morning Post has given out a series of
articles as commentary upon The Protocols, in which the charge of an
unholy, conspiracy between Jews and Freemasons is elaborated, and
Bolshevism is characterized as a movement of, for and by the Jews
and is declared to be a fulfilment of The Protocols. These articles,
whose authorship is not disclosed, have now appeared in book form
under the title "The Cause of World Unrest." During the past six
months there have been sent forth weekly in Henry Ford's organ, The
Dearborn Independent, attacks of extraordinary virulence upon the
Jews. These assaults upon the honor of the Jewish people are all
founded on The Protocols and on the discredited literature of Russian
and German anti-Semitism, inspired by the minions of autocracy.
Parrot-like, they repeat the abominable charges long since conceded
to be unfounded by all fair-minded men. Ford is employing his great
wealth in scattering broadcast his fulminations, regardless of
When the Jews of the United States first learned of these malevolent
prints, they deemed it beneath their dignity to take notice of them,
because they regarded them as mere recrudescence of mediaeval bigotry
and stupidity, showing upon their face their utter worthlessness.
These publications have, however, been put into circulation to such
an extent that it is believed that the time has come, humiliating
though it be to them, for the Jews to make answer to these libels
and to the unworthy insinuations and innuendoes that have been
whispered against them.
Protocols a Forgery.
Speaking as represetatives of the Jewish people, familiar with the
history of Judasim in its various phases and with the movements,
past and present, in Jewish life, we say with all solemnity:
(1) The Protocals are a base forgery. There has never been an
organization of Jews known at The Elders of Zion, or The Zionist
Men of Wisdom or The Wise Men of ZIon, or bearing any other similar
name. There has never existed a secret or other Jewish body
organized for any purpose such as that implied in The Protocols.
The Jewish popele have never dreamed of a Jewish dictatorship, of
a destruction of religion, of an interference with industrial
prosperity or of an overthrow of civilization. The Jews have
never conspired with the Freemasons, or with any other body, for
From the time of the destruction of the Temple of Jerusalem by
Titus, the Jews have had no political state. For centuries they
were forced to wander from land to land, to flee for refuge wherever
they might find it against bitter persecution. They were pent up in
ghettoes, were deprived of even the shadow of civil or political
rights, and were made the objects of every possible form of
discrimination. It is little more than fifty years since the Jews
of Western Europe becamse politically emancipated. - Until the
outbreak of the World War the Jews of Eastern Europe, constituting
a majority of all the Jews of the world, were not even permitted
to exercise the rights of citizenship in lands where they and their
ancestors had dwelt for generations. The great mass of Jews were
hampered in every way in their efforts to earn a livelihood. Far
from desiring to govern the world, they were content with the
opportunity to live. Numerically they constitute less than 1 per
cent. of the population of the earth; and more than one-half of
them are on the verge of starvation. The suggestion that, in their
feebleness, they have been planning in secret conclave to seize
absolute power and to dominate the 99 per cent. non-Jews upon the
globe is a ridiculous invention than which even madness can conjure
nothing more preposterous.
Where is the habitat of these so-called Elders of Zion, by whatever
name they may be called? Who are these hidden sages? Whence do they
come? What is the nature of their organization? The distributers of
the protocols are silent on that subject. Whence come these
pretended protocols? There have been various versions. One Serge
Nilus, of whose identity little is known, a Russian mystic and an
ardent supporter of Czarism, claims to have received them in Russia,
in 1901, in manuscript form, from a Russian officeholder, who stated
that the manuscript had been originally obtained by a lady, whose
name is not given, and who, he said, obtained them in a mysterious
way. In what language they were written is not stated. Where that
manuscript now is does not appear. Nilus asserts that he submitted
the protocols to one of the Russian Grand Dukes, who, after
examination, returned them with the despairing message, "Too late."
Apparently there was no room for them in the Russian archives, and
they suggested no task for the Czar's ubiquitous police to perform.
In 1905 Nilus published at Tsarskoe Selo a second edition of a
mystical book entitled "The Great in the Little," the first edition
having been published in 1901. Into this later edition he
incorporated for the first time the protocols, which he claimed to
have had in his possession for four years. In January, 1917, he
published another book under the title "It Is Near, at the Door."
purporting to foretell "the coming of the Anti-Christ and the
Kingdom of the Devil on Earth." In his book he announces that he
had only then learned authoritatively from Jewish sources (what
they were is not explained) that these protocols were nothing other
than a strategic plan for the conquest of the world, of putting it
under the yoke of Israel, "the struggler-against God," a plan worked
out by the leaders of the Jewish people during the many centuries of
their dispersion, and finally presented to the Council of Elders by
the Prince of Exile, Theodor Herzl, at the time of the First Zionist
Congress summoned by him at Basle in August, 1897. He delared that
the protocols were signed by the Zionist represtatives of the
thirty-third degree of initiation; that they were secretly removed
from the complete file of protocols that pertained to the first
Zionist Congress; that they were taken from the secret vaults at the
main Zionist office, which, it is said, "at present is located in
No Signatures to Protocol.
The protocols as published bear no signatures. The indentity of the
Zionist representatives by whom they are claimed to have been signed
is left untold. The location of the main Zionist office and of the
secret vaults from which the protocols were secretly removed remains
a secret. It is, however, a matter of history that the first Zionist
Congress was publicly held by Jews who came from various parts of
Europe for the purpose of considering the misery of their brethren
in Eastern Europe and of enabling them to find shelter in the Holy
Land. Theodor Herzl was a distinguished journalist, a man of true
nobility of character. He presided at the Congress, all of whose
deliberations were held in the light of day. The insinuation that
there was a thirty-third, or any other, degree of initiation in this
organization is merely a malicious effort to bring the Jews into
parallelism with the Free Masons and thus to subject them to all the
fanciful and fantastic charges that have from time to time been laid
at the door of Free Masonry, oblivious of the fact that fifteen
Presidents of the United States, including Washington, and many of
the leading statesmen of Europe and America, have been members of
Nilus and his associates belonged to the Russian bureaucracy. In
1903, through the Black Hundreds that body sought in every way to
crush the Jews and to prevent the liberalization of the Government.
The time was propitious for the perpetration of a political forgery
by a Government that habitually resorted to the employment of agents
provocateurs, a Government which only a few years later, against the
protest of the enlightened clergy of the world, ineffectually sought
to convict Mendel Beilis on the charge of ritual murder. It is
significant that one of his prosecutors has been active in
distributing manuscript copies of the protocols throughout the
What an Analysis Shows.
Irrespective of this history, bristling with suspicion, an analysis
of The Protocols shows that on their face they are a fabrication and
that they must have emanated from the bitter opponents of democracy.
They are replete with cynical references to the French Revolution,
and to the conceptions of liberty, eqaulity and fraternity. They
uphold privilege and autocracy. They belittle education. They
condemn religious liberty. They assert that political freedom is an
idea and not a fact, and that the doctrine that a government is
nothing but a steward of the people is a mere phrase. These are the
very doctrines that one would expect from the protagonists of
autocracy. Nothing can be more foreign to Jewish thought and
aspiration than these brutal theories of reaction. That the Jews,
whose very life has been a prayer for the blessings of liberty and
equality, should hold them in contempt is unthinkable.
The document throughout is farcical in its absurdities. In the
Russian original there is a passage, significantly omitted from the
translation, to the effect that the English are the descendants of
the Lost Tribes of Israel and the British Government is violently
attacked for its liberalism. If climax there be to all this folly,
it-lies in the idea set forth in The Protocols that "the world ruler
is to spring from the dynastic roots of King David," and that "the
King of Israel will become the real Pope of the Universe and the
Patriarch of the International Church," whatever that may mean.
It is needless, however, to elaborate when one considers that the
editor of The London Morning Post, in his introduction to "The Cause
of the World Unrest," himself doubts the genuineness of The
Protocols, and that the anonymous author of that book, after using
them as his text, is unable to give them any higher certificate than
that they may or may not be genuine. Indeed, he goes so far as to
"We have said that this document flashes a blaze of light, and so
it does, but whether this document is genuine or not, whether the
blaze of light is true of false, can only be judged by internal
evidence and probabilities. We may say at once that Nilus advances
nothing in the nature of real evidence to prove the document, and
that his account of how it came into his hands consists of assertion
only, without evidence to support it."
Indicts an Entire People.
And Yet a document, thus discredited by its sponsors, is made the
basis of an indictment against an entire people.
(2). The contention that the genuineness of "The Protocols" is
established by the outbreak of Bolshevism in Russia twelve years
after their publication, and that Bolshevism is a Jewish movement,
is absurd in theory and absolutely untrue in fact. As well might
it be said that a forged deed is genuine because twenty years after
its date a relative of the person whose name is forged is falsely
charged with being a disturber of the peace.
To say that the Jews are responsible for bolshevism is a deliberate
falsehood. The originators of bolshevism were exclusively non-Jews.
While it is true that there are Jews among Bolshevists, notably
Trotsky, they represent a small fraction of the Jews and of the
followers of Bolshevism. Lenin, who belonged to the Russian
aristocracy and has not a drop of Jewish blood in his vains, was
the creator as he has been the motive power of the Soviets.
Tchicherin, who has conducted their foreign affairs, Bucharin,
Krassin and Kalinin, all non-Jews, are, with Lenin, the brains
of the Communist Party.
The Bolshevist Cabinet, known as the People's Commissars, consists
of twenty members of whom Trotsky and Sverdlov are the only Jews,
and they are Jews merely by birth. Of the Central Committee of the
Communist Party, including Trotsky, there are four Jews out of
thirteen. The so-called Extraordinary Commission, whose function
it is to suppress opposition to the Bolshevist regime from within,
is directed by a triumvirate consisting of a Pole and two Letts,
none of whom is of Jewish origin. Although Trotsky is the head of
the War Department, his General Staff is composed exclusively of
In "Cause of World Unrest" a list of fifty names is given, most of
whom are classified as Jews and Bolshevists, in order to establish
the thesis that "nearly all of the Bolshevist leaders are Jews."
An examination of the list shows that ten of the Jews included in
the list are the leaders of the anti-Bolshevist movement in Russia;
that a number of those who are classified in the list as Jews are
not Jews at all; that a large proportion of those classified as Jews
are men who are so obscure and hold positions so inconspicuous that
whether or not they are Jews is not only uncertain but unimportant.
They are certainly not leaders.
Foes of Bolshevism.
On the other hand, the leaders of the Mensheviki, who are the sworn
foes of Bolshevism, are to a large extent Jews. Among the chiefs of
the Constitutional Democratic Party of Russia, who are Vinaver,
Sliosbert, Pasmanik, Kaminka, Landau, and Friedman, all prominent
Jews. Among the leaders of the Peoples Socialist, the Socialist
Revolutionary, and the Menshevik section of the Social Democratic
parties, bitter opponents of the Bolsheviki, are a large number of
Jews. The leading anti-Bolshevist newspapers, which of necessity
are published outside of Russia, have Jews upon their editorial
staffs. An overwhelming majority of Russian Jews have been ruined
by the coercive measures of the Soviets. They have submitted to the
confiscation of their property and are undergoing unspeakable
hardships. The Orthodox Jews, whose numbers preponderate, remaining
loyal to the faith of their fathers, regard the Bolsheviki as the
enemies of all religion, and, therefore, hold the doctrines of
Bolshevism in abhorrence. With comparatively few exceptions the
Jews are looked upon by the Bolsheviki as belonging to the hated
bourgeoisie and as favoring capitalism. The Zionists, who constitute
a numerous and important element of the Jews of Russia, have been
denounced by the Soviets as counter-revolutionary, and many of them
have been cast into prison and threatened with death-Zionists, we
repeat, who are the followers of Herzl.
If the Jews are to be condemned because of a Trotsky, who has never
in the slightest degree concerned himself wtih Judaism or the welfare
of the Jews, then there is not a people that has ever lived that
might not with equal right be condemned because in its membership
there were men who are alleged to have advocated hateful doctrines.
The Jew has traditionally stood for religion, law, order, family, and
the right of property. It is, therefore, the height of cruelty to
charge him with responsibility for Bolshevism, when its doctrines,
should they prevail, would inevitably lead to the destruction of
Judaism. It is especially a brutal charge when one considers all
that the Jew has suffered from the oppressive and discriminatory laws
of Russian autocracy and from its effort to suppress every aspiration
that the Jew had for freedom.
Tribute to Patriotism.
It is a great tribute to the patriotism of the Russian Jews that, in
spite of the indignities that they had to undergo, hundreds of
thousands of them fought under the banner of the Czar, loyally and
gallantly, and in large numbers laid down their lives in the Allied
cause. The rosters of the army and navy of the United States contain
the names of tens of thousands of Jews born in Russia who served so
faithfully under our colors that they gained the unqualified approval
of their officers, and propotionately many of them were awarded
decorations of honor by a grateful country.
We have refrained from commenting on the libels contained in The
Dearborn Independent. Ford, in the fulness of his knowledge,
unqualifiedly declares the Protocols to be genuine and argues that
practically every Jew is a Bolshevist. We have dealt sufficiently
with both of these falsehoods. It is useless in a serious document
to analyze the puerile and venomous drivel that he has derived from
the concoctions of professional agitators. He is merely a dupe.
What is the motive of those who have set in motion this new onslaught
of anti-Semitism? It is the motive that again and again has actuated
autocracy and its adroit supporters-that of seeking a scapegoat for
their own sins, so that they may be enabled under the cover of a
false issue to deceive the public.
It is an attempt to drive into the solidarity of the citizenry of our
country that has been its pride and its strength the wedge of
discord, by arousing suspicion and inciting overt acts not only
against those of Jewish origin but also against Freemasons, in the
hope of discrediting free government in the eyes of the European
masses and thus facilitate the restoration of absolutism in
Manufactured in Russia.
The protocols were manufactured in Russia under the bureaucracy, and
the ammunition with which the campaign is conducted has been
furnished out of the arsenal of imperialistic Germany and by those
who are seeking to restore the Hapsburgs, the Hohenzollerns, and the
Romanoffs on their former thrones. Ancient hatred and unreasoning
prejudice and a failure to understand and know what the Jew really
is, are likewise responsible for the readiness with which these
falsehoods have been accepted by those who are ever willing to
believe evil of their fellow-men.
We have an abiding confidence in the spirit of justice and fairness
that permeates the true American, and we are satisifed that our
fellow-citizens will not permit the campaign of slander and libel
that has been launched against us to go unreproved. There is enough
for all of us to do in the great task of building our common country
and of developing the principles on which it is founded. Let not
hatred and misunderstanding arise where peace and harmony, unity and
brotherliness, are required to perpetuate all that America represents
and to enable all men to know that within her wide boundaries there
is no room for injustice and intolerance.
THE AMERICAN JEWISH COMMITTEE.
By Louis Marshall, President.
Isaac W. Bernheim, Treasurer.
Abram I. Elkus,
Albert D. Lasker,
Oscar S. Straus,
Cyrus L. Sulzberger,
Isaac M. Ullman,
A. Leo Weil,
THE ZIONIST ORGANIZATION OF AMERICA.
By Julian W. Mack, President.
Jacob De Haas, Secretary.
THE UNION OF AMERICAN HEBREW CONGREGATIONS.
By J. Walter Freiberg, President.
George Zepin, Secretary.
THE UNION OF ORTHODOX JEWISH CONGREGATIONS.
By Herbert S. Goldstein, Secretary.
THE UNITED SYNAGOGUE OF AMERICA.
By Elias L. Solomon, President.
Charles I. Hoffman, Secretary.
THE PROVISIONAL ORGANIZATION FOR AMERICAN JEWISH CONGRESS.
By Nathan Straus, President.
Morriss Rothenberg, Chairman Executive Committee.
Stephen S. Wise
Bernard B. Richards, Secretary.
THE INDEPENDENT ORDER OF B'NAI B'RITH AND THE ANTI-DEFAMATION LEAGUE.
By Adolf Kraus, President.
THE CENTRAL CONFERENCE OF AMERICAN RABBIS
By Leo M. Franklin, President.
Felix A. Levy, Secretary.
THE RABBINICAL ASSEMBLY OF THE JEWISH THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY.
By Max D. Klein, President.
Samuel Fredman, Secretary.
THE UNITED ORTHODOX JEWISH RABBIS OF AMERICA.
By M.S. Margolis, President.
The American Jewish Committee.
The American Jewish Committee, 31 Union Sqauare West, New York, is a
national organization instituted in 1906 and incorporated by an act
of the New York State Legislature in 1911, "to prevent the infraction
of the civil and religious rights of Jews in all parts of the world;
to render all lawful assistance and to take appropriate remedial
action in the event of threatened or actual invasion or restriction
of such rights, or of unfavorable discrimination with respect
thereto; to secure for Jews equality of economic, social and
educational opportunity; to alleviate the consequences of persecution
and to afford relief from the calamities affecting Jews wherever they
may occur." It's officers are:
President, Louis Marshall; Vice Presidents, Cyrus Adler and Julius Rosenwald;
Treasurer, Isaac W. Bernheim; Executive Committee: Cyrus Adler, Philadelphia,
Chairman; Isaac W. Bernheim, Louisville; Samuel Dorf, New York City;
Abram U. Elkus, New York City; Albert D. Lasker, Chicago; Irving Lehman, New York City;
Louis Marshall, New York City; A.C. Ratshesky, Boston;
Julius Rosenwald, Chicago; Horace Stern, Philadelphia;
Oscar S. Straus, New York City; Cyrus L. Sulzberger, New York City;
Mayer Sulzberger, Philadelphia; Isaac M. Ullman, New Haven;
A. Leo Weil, Pittsburgh.