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The Origins and Development of Soviet Anti-Semitism: An Analysis


Classical Marxism, in contrast to various forms of Utopian socialism, anarchism, and syndicalism, treated anti-Semitism with utter contempt. The German Social Democratic leader August Bebel summed up the prevailing attitude of classical Marxism when he dubbed anti-Semitism the “socialism of fools.” Lenin was even sharper in his denunciation: “Shame on those who foment hatred towards the Jews,” he cried in March 1919. Yet fifty-five years after the Bolshevik Revolution the Soviet Union has become the principal exemplar of the “socialism of fools,” with anti-Jewish discrimination practiced in various areas of politics and employment and in the ethnic-cultural field. Especially disquieting is the massive anti-Zionist propaganda campaign which incorporates the traditional negative stereotypes of Jews.

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Raymond A. Bauer , Alex Inkeles , and Clyde Kluckhohn , How the Soviet System Works (Cambridge, Mass., 1956)

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Slavic Review
  • ISSN: 0037-6779
  • EISSN: 2325-7784
  • URL: /core/journals/slavic-review
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