Why Did Stalin Hate the Jews During His Rule? Term Paper

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Stalin Anti-Semitism

The era of Stalin's dominance in Russia is often marked with covert actions, as many of his actions were guised in secrecy, yet many years of open regard for the history of his bloody reign have offered many ideas about the nature of his political thought as it played out upon the population of Russia and in particular Russian nationalism. One issue that has been regarded as particularly interesting is the depletion of Russian Jews and their organizations, which in retrospect demonstrates a similar character to that of the Nazi genocide of the Jews during WWII. This work will address the question of Stalin's covert and overt hatred of the Jews as it transpired through his reign. The work will attempt to answer the question, "why did Stalin hate the Jews during his rule?" Stalin's hatred for Jews, rooted in his own brand of nationalism was an aspect of his belief that in many situations those who apposed him were Jewish and therefore enemies of the state. Throughout his years of rule, there were extreme shifts in policy with regard to anti-Semitism but the overall actions were based upon political and ideological needs specific to the context. In other words, Stalin's anti-Semitic undercurrent was specific to the shifting political need for control over any given people or area, as a response to his overarching goals of social, cultural, political and economic domination.

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A there was in National Socialism, itself a revolutionary movement, a current of admiration for revolutionary Russia. Among the Nazis there were some Rechtsbolschewisten (Bolsheviks of the right) who saw Stalin as a true man of power and exponent of Russian nationalism in opposition to the international Communism of those like Trotsky, whom they despised as rootless cosmopolitan Jews. Even Alfred Rosenberg's organ Weltkampf spoke in 1929 of Stalin's anti-Semitism and said Russia could not be called a Jewish state since Trotsky had been deposed and non-Jews like Stalin, Kalinin, and Rykov were on the rise.

Term Paper on Why Did Stalin Hate the Jews During His Rule? Assignment

Stalin's belief in the need to purge Russia of Jews, was only slightly less extreme than that of Germany. Stalin's chosen enemies were often those heavily populated in ranks by Jews and of the treason and conspiracy trials of his last years the ranks of the groups arrested and tried were decidedly majority Jewish and the acts openly anti-Semitic. His cultural policies of reeducation and cleansing were also decidedly anti-Semitic as he chose to target the middle class, and evict them forcibly from the cities to reform the cities with Stalinist educated elites and workers.

Lenin and Stalin both, took an active stand against Zionism, in the topical formation of the Palestinian Jewish settlements in the Middle east, many believe as a result of the desire to hold a stronger pull in the region, but also as a response to a larger anti-Semitic view, which held that Zionism was not reasonable, as Stalin put it, because the Jews would not stay put and did not constitute a state, as they no longer had a home of their own and they were more intent on assimilation in locations where they settled.

Stalin demonstrated the ideals of Russian nationalism as those of an exclusive social order that did not include the Jews as members of the social order. He stressed Russian independence and demonstrated a desire for the populous to see Jews not only as internal enemies but as interlopers from other nations, who had corrupted Russian Bolshevism.

His Russian nationalism had an exclusionary aspect: it was anti-Semitic. In the mid-1920s he made covert use of anti-Semitism in the fight against a Left opposition whose major figures, Trotsky and afterward Zinoviev and Kamenev, were Jews (their original surnames were Bronstein, Radomylsky, and Rosenfeld, respectively). He encouraged the baiting of the opposition leaders as Jews in meetings held in factory party cells. 32 He was identifying his faction as the party's Russian faction, and the Trotskyists as the Jewish one. That Jews, no matter how culturally Russified, could not be authentically Russian seems to have become an article of belief with him, revealed, for example, in the quotation marks with which he set off "Russian" when he referred to " 'Russian' Mensheviks of the type of Abramovich and Dan." 33 to the party, the country, and himself, his message was that real Bolsheviks were real Russians, that Bolshevism was no Jewish phenomenon but a Russian national one, and that Lenin as the party's founder and he as Lenin's coming successor exemplified these truths.

Stalin's policies that reflected anti-Semitism were for the most part demonstrative of opportunistic utilization of an old standard in Europe, as well as a history of non-protection of Jews in Russia a wide held belief in Jewish conspiracy as a disenfranchised people to resolve their lack of place and create one anew, through Zionism in Europe. Many would argue that the Stalin regime was responding to many years of complaints from the European community that Bolshevism was intrinsically Jewish, and that Lenin's revolution was seeded with Jews and Jewish sympathizers, which were themselves at the center of the Revolution and a broader international conspiracy to rule Europe.

Stalin, and Lenin before him had utilized the structure of Jewish organizations, at opportune times to further their own goals and this to the anti-Semitic European community was proof of their leanings. One example being the utilization of the Jewish anti-Fascist Committee, which according to Weinryb was asked to " appeal to the world Jewry and to seek to influence Jewish opinion toward shaping public opinion at home and in the West in favor of Soviet Russia." This was in response to the invasion of Soviet Russian territories by Nazi Germany. To some degree then Stalin's hatred of the Jews was not as much an intrinsic anti-Semitic leaning but one that was responsive to the idea that Russian Bolshevism was rooted in Jewish ideologies, an idea that Stalin clearly felt was contrary to Russian National Bolshevism and its broader goals. The Jews like any other faction of the Russian population, both organized and scattered were utilized, opportunistically to strengthen the Soviet position, at any given time, despite the overall anti-Semitic leanings of the nation, Stalin and the to some degree the whole of the European community. Some outside of the community believed that the shift to Zionist leanings by the Stalin regime, late in his rule was a shift that would be everlasting, though as had been proven repeatedly once the danger was gone and the regime no longer needed the Jewish support the position was altered once again or possibly had just been a guise to placate U.S. And other interests in Europe.

Kostyrchenko, in seeking to answer the question of Stalin's anti-Semitic policies and actions, through an extensive recounting of policy papers and previously classified documents comes to the thesis that the answer is not clear, just as the policy shifts so do the roots of its results. This demonstrates my thesis as well, creating a sense that Stalin utilized the current needs of the state as the guiding force behind his actions toward Jews and really any disenfranchised, previously ostracized culture in Russia and elsewhere.

No clear answer, however, has as yet been provided by researchers to the key question: What was the predominant factor in Stalin's anti-Semitism; was it pathological paranoid Judeophobia, or was it Machiavellian pragmatism? Some authors maintain that the answer was merely Stalin's personal hostility toward the Jews; and by absolutizing this idea, they interpret it as the main factor behind the anti-Semitic campaigns of the 1940s and early 50s. Others assert that those events were the logical result of the development of totalitarianism in the U.S.S.R.; and that, consequently, the subjective factor was of little significance. The correct answer to this question is probably to be found midway between these two accounts.

Stalin's actions over the years of his rule demonstrate what Kostyrchenko terms a meeting in the middle of political prowess and personal disdain for the bad name that the Jewish population's existence and involvement had given the Revolution and the Soviet Union. Kostyrchenko goes on to cite many examples of the cultural cleansing of the Stalinist regime through documentary history. He demonstrates one significant example in the documented movement to remove Jews from positions of power and influence even in the art elite of the nation. Kostyrchenko also notes that this movement, to remove Jews from Russian culture would have likely been much more successful if contemporary non-Jews had not protected those they believed essential to the Art and culture of Russia, allowance that proves that Stalin only went as far as he could and then backed off, as he saw fit.

His overall belief being that in a post capitalistic society of his design the Jewish question would resolve itself and disappear with the Jews as those who could be were assimilated into Russian Bolshevik Nationalism and those who could not be were removed by other means.

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