Started reading an old book today.
1. The first chapter is about how the Russian Tsar's secret police around the year 1900 took a document and re-brandished it as The Protocols of the Men of Zion. Their goal was to accrue power to themselves by creating a crisis that unified Russians against Jews and thereby empowered the Russian leaders in order to stop them. They wished to create a state-directed revolution, and several thousand Jews were massacred in Russia as a result.
Part of the recipe had to do with a real event--the meeting of Jews in 1897 in Basel, Switzerland, to start a movement to bring Jews back to their homeland in Israel. So there was a kernel of truth in the propaganda.
2. But it was joined to an untrue conspiracy theory, in fact to a novel. In a 1868 novel (Biarritz), twelve rabbis from around the globe meet together in the Jewish cemetery in Prague. Their goal? World domination! So we have a pretend conspiracy and a document to go with it.
Obviously these Jews had to be stopped! ... even though there was no conspiracy to take over the world and, as it turned out, this was a document that had been re-purposed. It had nothing to do with Jews originally.
3. The original document was created as a satire about Napoleon III, written by a French lawyer named Joly. It's cynical point is that people are easy to satisfy and that a clever mind can easily dominate masses of people. This is VERY ironic, since the secret police used allegations that Jews were saying these things about them in order for them to dominate the minds of Russians.
In The Protocols the Antichrist would come at the end of days. He would look like everyone else. He does not look like what he is, which is why he is so dangerous. He has a strong and seductive personality. He wins fame at first with a book that seems to respect ancient traditions and symbols. He is the type of man who comes to the fore when an epoch is dying. He will talk with the masses, and the masses will rise up and burn the culture to ashes.
The conspirators will take whatever view of political questions that the moment requires. What the leader says will spread through the whole country like wildfire. They will create unrest, struggle, and hate in the whole of Europe.
They will poison relations between the people and the states of various countries. They will create hunger, destitution, whatever is necessary to bring all peoples so that their only escape is in total submission to the dominating power.
"We shall paint the misdeeds of foreign governments in the most garish colors and create such an ill-feeling toward them that the people would a thousand times rather bear a slavery which guarantees them peace and order than enjoy their much-touted freedom. The peoples will tolerate any servitude we may impose on them, if only to avoid a return to the horrors of wars and insurrection."
"Outwardly, however, in our 'official' utterances, we shall adopt an opposite procedure and always do our best to appear honorable and co-operative. A statesman's words do not have to agree with his acts."
"By all these methods we shall so wear down the nations that they will be forced to offer us world domination."
4. So this satire on France was written in 1864. The novel about a Jewish world conspiracy was written in 1868. The Zionist movement--to resettle Jews in Israel--began in 1898. And the Tsar's secret police cooked The Protocols around 1903.
In the middle of the Russian revolution in 1917, the book by chance landed on the desk of a German-born Russian named Alfred Rosenberg. He believed it hook, line, and sinker. To escape Lenin and the communists, whom he wrongly took to be Jews, he fled Russia and, by 1918, was living in Munich, Germany.