The long history of anti-Semitism includes many strains. One of the more virulent and enduring is the phantasm of Judeo-Bolshevism—the notion that communism was, and remains, a Jewish plot. Hanebrink follows the myth’s twisted course from its European origins in the immediate aftermath of the Bolshevik Revolution, through the jaundiced politics of the interwar period, to its devastating culmination in Nazi Germany. Yet World War II did not kill it, and he picks up the story with its reappearance in postwar Eastern European politics, where it was exploited by those on both sides of the ideological divide. He argues that it survives today in the resurgent right-wing nationalism cropping up in many Western countries. From the start, the fantasy held that an alien element—the Jews—aimed to subvert the cultural values and national identities of Western societies. As Hanebrink points out, this theme is echoed in modern anti-Muslim conspiracy theories. The writers, politicians, and shills whose poisonous ideas he exhumes have many contemporary admirers.
In This Review
In This Review
Most Read Articles
When Stalin Faced Hitler
Who Fooled Whom?
Trump’s Incendiary Rhetoric Is Only Accelerating Immigration
The Crisis at the Border Is of Washington’s Own Making
Greece’s New Groove
Why Athens Is No Longer Europe’s Black Sheep
How Iran Sees Its Standoff With the United States
And What Trump Should Do to Solve the Problem He Created
How America Lost Faith in Expertise
And Why That's a Giant Problem