The anti-communist movement in America has long been afflicted by an
historical misunderstanding which persists today. There is a widespread
teaching about communism and its origins which is false. It is a
teaching which has influenced millions of Americans.
The 20th century version of this teaching originated with Russian
anti-Semites. Relying on false documents and a conspiratorial
hypothesis, these anti-Semites blamed Jews and Freemasons for a
wide-ranging global conspiracy to destroy Christianity and create a
world government. One of the key historical facts alleged by these
Russian anti-Semites has to do with the origins of the Bolshevik
In this context, the importance of historical facts and
interpretations should not be underestimated. If our historical facts
are incorrect, then our political understanding will be weak and our
actions will be misdirected. If we believe in enemies and conspiracies
that do not exist in reality, then real conspiracies will be
misapprehended or ignored.
A body of literature and testimony, based on false assertions and
bogus documentation, began to appear in the West after the Bolshevik
Revolution. This literature and testimony asserted (and continues to
assert) that certain American bankers, who happen to have Jewish names,
had financed the Bolshevik Revolution. Once the Russian anti-Semites
planted this poisonous seed, it spread rapidly. Henry Ford was an early
convert to this claim. Hitler and the Nazis were also believers in it.
After the collapse of Nazi Germany, writers and publicists like
Robert Welch, Gary Allen and Anthony Sutton continued to advance the
thesis that a sinister Western group financed and directed the communist
revolution in Russia. This group, it was said, used international
communism to advance their own sinister agenda in the West.
George Knupffer, a Russian emigre, was an early advocate of this
view. As a Russian monarchist, he worked to influence American public
opinion by writing books. Long before the founding of the John Birch
Society by Robert Welch, Knupffer and his compatriots advanced the
theory that Russia had been a testing ground — a preliminary experiment
– used by forces located outside of Russia.
Who was behind this conspiracy?
According to Knupffer, it was the Warburgs and Jacob Schiff of Kuhn,
Loeb & Co. that financed the Bolshevik Revolution. These were the
alleged culprits and villains behind it all. These were the evil
geniuses of the October Revolution. Allen and Sutton followed Knupffer’s
line — which had previously been advanced by Henry Ford’s anti-Semitic
publications of the 1920s and 1930s.
It must be said, in response to this conspiracy theory, that the
allegations against the Warburgs and Schiffs are false. These
allegations, which originate in anti-Semitic propaganda, have been
repeated so often that many good people have come to accept them without
In truth, the culprits behind the communist takeover in Russia were
not in New York, and they did not have Jewish names. The villains were
in Berlin and they had German names. As it happens, the chief architect
of the Bolshevik Revolution was none other than German Foreign Secretary
Arthur Zimmermann. During the First World War the Political Section of
the German Foreign Office had been devising a plan to bring revolution
to Russia. It was Zimmermann’s pet idea. From 1915 to 1917 the German
secret service began cultivating socialists of all parties. Baron
Gisbert von Romberg, the German minister in Switzerland, urged that the
Kaiser put his money behind Lenin and his Bolsheviks. Count Diego von
Bergen, the German official in charge of political subversion within
Russia, believed that a large enough sum of money could bring Lenin to
How much money did the Kaiser provide to Lenin?
The German Social Democrat, Eduard Bernstein, later said that the sum
supplied to Lenin by the Kaiser “was very large, an almost unbelievable
amount, certainly more than 50 million gold marks.”
General Max von Hoffmann, who negotiated the German-Soviet
Brest-Litovsk peace treaty, later confirmed: “Lenin and his comrades
received vast sums of money from the Kaiser’s government for their
In fact, General Hoffmann admitted that he blackmailed Lenin into
signing the Brest-Litovsk treaty, and it is simple to see how this was
done. Since Lenin’s takeover of Russia had been accomplished with help
from German agents and German money while Russia was at war with
Germany, Lenin’s treason was obvious. All the Germans had to do was
publish the truth about their secret alliance with Lenin and the
Bolshevik government would collapse.
Once in power, Lenin did not want to sign the peace treaty with
Germany. But he had no choice. At the Time Kaiser Wilhelm triumphantly
pronounced that Lenin “was finished.” The Kaiser could “out” Lenin at
any time and bring an end to Russia’s Bolsheviks. But Germany
disintegrated later that year and the Kaiser abdicated. The treaty with
Lenin became meaningless.
The blackmail was left unused and later proved to be something of a
scandal and embarrassment for the German military itself.
By a strange quirk of fate, the Bolsheviks broke loose from their
Imperial German sponsors.
Aside from German files and memoirs on the subject, French
counter-intelligence detected and documented collusion between Lenin and
the Kaiser in March 1917. The intelligence service of Russia’s
Provisional Government also uncovered evidence of German-Bolshevik
collusion in July 1917. It was then learned that large sums of money
were being channeled to Lenin’s people in Russia through the Bank of
Siberia in Petrograd. This money was traced back through Scandinavia to
Imperial Germany. Because of this discovery, Lenin had to go underground
to avoid arrest as a German agent.
In preparing its case against Lenin, the Provisional Government
compiled 20 volumes of evidence tying Lenin to German agents and German
It is very important that we respect the facts of history. It is even
more important that we avoid building our political ideas around false
historical claims about New York bankers with Jewish names. The origins
of the Marxist revolution in Russia have been documented by an army of
researchers and writers. This work needs to be studied and understood.
We cannot combat the false doctrines of the left with a false
doctrine of the right.