The Controversy of Reed

Study of history itself has been a historically controversial issue. Often, scholars have willingly or unwillingly served one ideology or another. British journalist Douglas Reed also wrote an impressive book The Controversy of Zion, first published by Dolphin Press (Pty) Ltd. in 1978, dealing with a complex topic of Khazars, aka Jews. Although not a scholar, Mr. Reed made an important contribution to debunking a myth of hoary antiquity of modern Jews, who are in fact descendants of Turkic-speaking Khazars for the most part.

The cover of a Soviet book on the Rothschilds.

He is also quite right about a privileged status, enjoyed by Soviet Jews. For example, a Soviet book on the Rothschilds, published in 1965, says nothing about their Jewish, Khazar, Israeli, or Zionist connections. Not a word! Moreover, the Soviet book on the Zionist profiteers was named questionably, The Modern Croesus. So, even its title misguides audience, making an allusion to the Ancient Greece.

But, his studies contain factual errors and wrong ideas, too. On page 142, he mentions “… Mongolian Khazars from whom today’s Ashkenazi sprang… ” But, another British journalist disagrees with such opinion:  “The country of the Khazars, a people of Turkish stock, occupied a strategic key position at the vital gateway between the Black Sea and the Caspian, where the great eastern powers of the period confronted each other” (Arthur Koestler. The Thirteenth Tribe: The Khazar Empire and Its Heritage, Published by Popular Library, 1976, pp. 13-14). I should add that there was a Kazakh warrior Issatai Taimanov, who led a rebellion against Russia in the first half of the XIX century. His surname is identical to that of a Soviet Jewish chess player Mark Taimanov. By the way, the Caspian Sea, whose shores for many centuries have been inhabited predominantly by Turkic ethnic groups, was called the Khazar Sea during the Middle Ages. Besides, there is a peculiar synagogue in the capital of Ukraine – the Karaite Kenesa of Kyiv. It is a place of worship for a Turkic-speaking ethnic minority of the Karaites. Incidentally, a Kazakh word for “council” is кеңес (kenes). Sounds familiar, doesn’t it?

He also praised the Russian Empire, ignoring its war crimes and genocide of ethnic minorities. Mr. Reed argues on page 240 that “Czar Nicholas II was resuming Alexander the Liberator’s attempt to pacify and unify his country by enfranchising the people, and once more was being fiercely opposed by the Talmudic Zionists… The Czar then chose as his prime minister an enlightened statesman, Count Stolypin, who by decree enacted a land reform followed by new elections. The result was that in the second parliament he received a great ovation and the revolutionaries were routed (some 3,000,000
landless peasants became owners of their land)”.

But, an Ukrainian researcher Serhiy Hrabovsky doesn’t share such a benevolent opinion towards the Russian Empire. His passionate article The Stolypin Myth: Chimerical And Dangerous contains telltale evidence against the last Russian Czar and his Prime Minister: “… Stolypin proved an unswerving opponent of both radical revolutionaries and liberals of any sort, both in word (he was quite an orator) and in action. On his orders, troops and the police inflicted cruel punishment on revolting peasants. College and high-school students noted for their anti-government activity were thrown behind bars en masse. The political freedoms proclaimed in the tsar’s manifesto of October 17, 1905, were curtailed in every possible way. Stolypin issued a directive to governors, stating in no uncertain terms: “Arrest less, shoot more… Stop convincing, use fire…” … Stolypin perceived the main threat to the “Russian Orthodox civilization” in the national revival of peoples subjugated by Russia. Therefore, he initiated a substantial curtailment of Finland’s autonomy, and in January 1910, he published a circular banning the registration of societies and publishing houses of so-called inorodtsy (non-Russians). He later explained in his instruction to governors that this document pertained to all “non-Russian societies, including Ukrainian and Jewish, regardless of their goals”.

As for the mediocrity on the Russian throne, a US journalist Erin Blakemore argues in her article Why Czar Nicholas II and the Romanovs Were Murdered that “… Russia was drawn into World War I, but was unprepared for the scale and magnitude of the fighting. Nicholas’ subjects were horrified by the number of casualties the country sustained. Russia had the largest number of deaths in the war—over 1.8 million military deaths, and about 1.5 million civilian deaths”. Of course, the Kazakhs suffered under the Russian Empire, too. A US scholar Martha Brill Olcott narrates about a Kazakh rebellion against the last emperor. You see, many people were discontent, to put it mildly, about Nicholas the Second and his government.

Mr. Reed also fell a victim to an urban legend about a monument to Judas Iskariot, reportedly built in the Soviet Russia. He wrote on page 276: “The memorial to Judas Iscariot, recorded by Mr. Wilton, was another deliberate intimation to Christendom”. As a matter of fact, there was a headstone monument to Jānis Judiņš (1884-1918) – a Red Latvian Rifleman, whom overzealous anti-Communist reporters, speaking broken Russian, confused with the mythological traitor. Another error on the same page: “… a Jew, Peters, at the head of the Petrograd Cheka ordered “mass terror” on Russians…” In fact, Jēkabs Peterss was a Latvian Communist. A Latvian historian Jānis Šiliņš in his article Three things to know about Latvians working for the Cheka says that: “As in many other Soviet institutions, there were initially many minority representatives working there. The Poles Felix Dzerzhinsky, Józef Unszlicht held leading positions at the Cheka, as did the Latvians Jēkabs Peterss, Kārlis Pētersons (both associates of Dzerzhinsky), and Mārtiņš Lācis. There were also many Jews and people from other nationalities. That’s why many opponents of the Bolsheviks called it the “Jewish power”, and they also pointed out that there were many Latvians working at the Cheka”.

Mr. Reed made another erroneous remark. On page 403 he says: “Mongolian soldiers from the East, as they entered Germany, were incited by the recorded voice of Ilya Ehrenburg from Moscow to fall in particular on pregnant women; what else could the rabid injunction mean, not to spare “even unborn Fascists”. First of all, ethnic Mongolians practically didn’t fight Hitler. The author confuses them with non-Slavic Soviet soldiers: Kazakhs, Kirghizs, Uzbeks, etc. Secondly, a Khazar writer Ilya Ehrenburg distributed his propaganda ideas primarily through articles and books. He was not a radio announcer or actor. Perhaps, the author confuses Mr. Ehrenburg with Yuri Levitan – famous Soviet radio announcer of the Khazar ethnic origin. Finally, a notorious article of the Khazar writer, where he instigates the Russians to kill the Germans, doesn’t call to murder unborn Germans.

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