antisemitism,  History,  Trots

From the Vaults: Chicago Daily Tribune, June 19, 1920

I am giving away my ticket to see Howard Jacobson at the Hampstead and Highgate Literary Festival this evening. This is in order to see the Trotskyist Alliance for Workers’ Liberty “celebrating” the revolutionary life of Leon Trotsky, seventy years after he was assassinated in Mexico.

Not all stories about Leon Trotsky are true.  While the notorious antisemitic text, The Protocols of Elders of Zion is still peddled in certain quarters, in 1920, even reputable newspapers were sucked in. The Chicago Tribune is one such newspaper. I copy below an article that appeared on the front page of  that newspaper that put Leon Trotsky at the head of a nefarious plot by Jewish radicals to take over the world. I can state categorically that the article, while purporting to report fact, was reporting fiction:


Bolshevism Only a Tool for His Scheme


[Chicago Tribune Foreign News Service]

Chicago Daily Tribune, June 19, 1920, p.1.

PARIS, June 18. – For the last two years army intelligence officers, members of the various secret service organizations of the entente, have been bringing in reports of a world revolutionary movement other than bolshevism. At first these reports confused the two, but latterly the lines they have taken have begun to be more and more clear.

Bolshevism aims for the overthrow of existing society and the establishment of an international brotherhood of men who work with their hands as rulers of the world. The second movement aims for the establishment of a new racial domination of the world. So far as the British, French, and our own department’s inquiry have been able to trace, the moving spirits in the second scheme are Jewish radicals.

Use Local Hatreds.

Within the ranks of communism is a group of this party, but it does not stop there. To its leaders communism is only an incident. They are ready to use the Islamic revolt, hatred by the central empires for England, Japan’s designs on India, and commercial rivalry between America and Japan.

As any movement of world revolution must be, this is primarily anti-Anglo-Saxon. It sees its greatest task  as the destruction of the British empire and the growing commercial power of America. The brains of this organization are in Berlin.

Trotzky at Head.

The directing spirit which issues the orders to all minor chiefs and finds money for the work of preparing the revolt is in the German capital. Its executive head is none other than Trotzky, for it is on the far frontiers of India, Afghanistan and Persia that the first test of strength will come. The organization expert of the present Russian state is recognized, even among the members of his own political party, as a man of boundless ambition, and his dream of an empire of the east is like that of Napoleon.

The organization of the world Jewish-radical movement has been perfected in almost every land. In the states of England, Germany, France, Poland, Russia and the east it has groups. It is behind the Islamic revolt with all the propaganda skill and financial aid at its command because it hopes to control the shaping of the new eastern empire to its own ends. Sympathy with the eastern nationals probably is one of the chief causes of the victory of the pro-nationals in the bolshevik party, which threw communism solidly behind the nationalist aspirations of England’s colonies.

Out to Grab Trade Routes.

The aims of the Jewish-radical party have nothing of altruism behind them beyond liberation of their own race. Except for this their aims are purely commercial. They want actual control of the rich trade routes and production centers of the east, those foundations of the British empire which always have been the cornerstone of its national supremacy.

They are striking for the same ends as Germany when she entered the war in 1914 to establish a Mittel Europa and so give the Germans control of the Bagdad railway. They believe Europe is tired of conflict and that England is too weak to put down a concerted rebellion in part of her eastern possessions. Therein lies the hope of success. They are staking brains and money against an empire.

“Westward the course of an empire takes its way,” but ever it swings backward to the old battleground where for countless ages people have fought. Nations have risen and crumbled around control of eastern commerce.

Hat Tip.

The reference for this article was provided by David Aaronovitch in his wonderful book, Voodoo Histories: The Role of the Conspiracy Theory in Shaping Modern History, (Jonathan Cape, 2009).