In September 1918, former "Black Hundred" member Piotr Shabelskii-Bork, who, like his colleague Fedor Vinberg, had been released from prison on May 1, 1918, undertook a dangerous undercover mission to help the imprisoned Tsar and his family, believing them still to be alive. He disguised himself as a Red and traveled to Ekaterinburg in the Urals while it was still under Bolshevik control. After White troops captured the city later in the month, he participated in the official investigation of the murder of the Tsarist family.(1)
The White investigators discovered that the Tsaritsa had possessed a copy of "Black Hundred" member Sergei Nilus' The Great in the Small with a copy of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion and had drawn a swastika in her room.(2)
The report that the White commission, including Shabelskii -Bork, compiled eventually made its way to the Voelkischer Beobachter (Nationalist Observer), which claimed in a September 1920 edition, soon before it became the official organ of the National Socialist Party. that Jews had murdered the Tsar, judging by “graffiti in Hebrew” on the wall in which the assassination of the Tsar had taken place…(3)
German forces transported approximately three thousand intensely anti-Bolshevik White officers and soldiers with them when they withdrew from the Ukraine around the turn of the year 1918/19.(4) Despite his ill-fated turn from Germany to the Entente, German authorities even evacuated Skoropadskil whom they had fought befor, to Germany, disguising him as a wounded German military surgeon.(5)
Vinberg and Shabelskii-Bork met each other again on the way to the main train station in Kiev, and from that point on they remained inseparable "true friends" in the words of Vinberg. Tabonitskil met up with them on the train nde to Germany, and the three men began an intense period of anti-Bolshevik collaboration in the White emigration. (6)
They took a fateful edition of Nilus' The Great in the Small with him which included The Protocols of the Elders of Zion. (7)
With the end of military collaboration between Germans and "White" forces, primarily officers, in the Ukraine, the transfer of White Russian ideology, most notably in the form of the Protocols, which posited the existence of a worldwide Jewish conspiracy to seize world rule, took on a crucial significance in German/White relations. After being transported by train from Kiev to the German capital In a Journey that lasted approximately three weeks, Vinberg, Shabelskil -Bork. and Taboritskii established themselves in Berlin towards the end of January of 1919.(8)
Berlin represented the logical destination for the anti-Semitic and anti-Bolshevik trio. The number of White Russians in Germany reached 600.000 by 1920, and by far the largest White Russian community in Germany developed in Berlin . 9
Shabelskii-Bork and Taboritskii moved into the same pension in Berlin and developed a close friendship while coordinating their activities with Vinberg, who founded the monarchist exile newspaper “The Call.”
In addition to editing Prizyv, which served as the mouthpiece of the anti-Semitic far night wing of the White emigration, Vinberg integrated the activities of White Russians with those of voelkisch Germans .11
He soon achieved what the French intelligence agency the Second Section described as a "preponderant influence" among White Russian circles in Berlin. 12
Vinberg cultivated special relations with Ludwig Mueller von Hausen, the leader of the Association against Jewish Presumption, who became best known for publishing The Protocols of the Elders of Zion. which he received from the circle around Vinberg.
Hausen, who had mastered the Russian language, read the White Russians newspaper Prizyv regularly. He marked off articles that he found valuable and sometimes had them translated into German, such as a piece in a November 1919 edition of Prizyv, -Satanists of the 201h Century." This essay claimed that the Soviet Commissar for War, the Jew Trotski, and other high-ranking Soviet leaders had held a black mass within the walls of the Kremlin in Moscow, praying to the devil for help in defeating their enemies. The article claimed that the Latvian member of the Red Army, who had reported this satanic ritual was executed the next day upon Trotski's orders.' 13
Hausen also circled an article from a February 1920 edition of Prizyv, "An Interesting Document," which dealt with the Zunder Document. a prominent piece of spurious anti-Semitic literature that circulated among White forces during the Russian Civil War."' Hausen subsequently printed the Zunder Document in his newspaper “On Outpost Duty”; This letter stressed that “we," the "Sons of Israel," stood -on the threshold of the command of the world" after bringing "the Russian people under the yoke of Jewish power." The supposed Jewish authors explained that now "we must make an end of the best and leading elements of the Russian people, so that ... vanquished Russia mav not find any leader!" The Zunder Document (a fake) provided evidence to many White Russians as well as to rightist Germans (including Hitler later) that the Jews had launched the Bolshevik Revolution and i ntended to eradicate the leading elements of Russian society.14
Hausen however is best known not for publishing The Protocols of the Elders of Zion in 1919 for the first time in German. The precise manner in which the Protocols reached Germany from Russia earlier remained unknown.15 According to a Geheimes Staatspolizei (Secret State Police. commonly known as Gestapo) report from April 1935 however that is currently housed in Moscowstates that;
Shabelskil-Bork who along with Vinberg and Taboritskil took a copy of the 1911 edition of Sergel Nilus' The Great in the Small that contained the Protocols. Shabelskii-Bork with them, and gave this to Hausen in February 1919 to have the Protocols translated into German. (Gestapo report from April 13. 1935. RGVA (TKhIDK),fond 501, opis 3. delo 496a. 208.)
Hausen received information on Nilus' personality and the provenance of the Protocols from an intelligence agency in Berlin under General Kurlov, who had earlier served as the Empire-wide head of the 0khrana, or secret police, and had abused his post as Assistant to the Interior Minister in Tsarist Russia by making unauthorized use of secret funds. He had managed to be expelled from Skoropadskii's hetmanate before resurfacing in Berlin and establishing his intelligence organization. 15
Citing a "high official" in the former Tsarist Interior Ministry, almost certainly Kurlov, Hausen claimed that the Protocols had originally been drafted in Hebrew, translated into French, and the Russian Interior Ministry had received a copy of the Protocols and then transferred them to Nilus for translation into Russian and publication. 16
I have already established that, in fact. the Protocols were fabricated in the Ukrainian area of the Russian Empire between April 1902 and August 1903. but Kurlov's version of events gave the Protocols a certain allure.17
One of Kurlov's collaborators, Lieutenant Kartsev. who possessed significant connections in Berlin through his work for the German intelligence agency in the Ukraine in 1918. also provided Hausen with information on Nilus.
Kartsev noted that he was approximately 75 years old and “completely un-statesmanlike." Nilus was "not concerned with the racial question. regarding the Jewish plague rather from a mere religious standpoint as the wrath of God for sinful humanity. He sees In the rule of the Jews the rule of Satan, which will later be followed by redemption through God." From other current sources, Kartsev’s description of Nilus' personal beliefs did accurately reflect the latter's views. 18
Hausen was In a good position to spread White Russian ideology, most notably in the form of the Protocols, from Berlin to Munich, as he served as a prominent leader of the Germanenorden (German Order), a secretive Ariosophist organization dedicated to protecting "Aryan blood" that had founded an extension in Munich in August 1918, the Thule Society. This society sought to serve as the”guardian and reviver of the voelkisch spirit." The secretive body was named after an old term for Iceland also called Hyperborea, where Germanic peoples had found refuge from Christianity, and it used a swastika with a sword as its symbol.19
The Thule Geselischaft possessed around 200 members in 1919, but those who belonged to the organization possessed connections that rendered the organization more powerful than its numbers suggested.20
The Germanenorden arranged for the Thule Geselschaft to own a newspaper, the Munchener Beobachter (Munich Observer), as a voelkisch organ. 21 The Munchener Beobachter possessed a circulation of approximately 1.000 readers as of October 1918, and a version of it was distributed throughout Germany under the title the Voe1kischer Beobachter for the first time in August 1919, while the Munchener Bcobachter continued to be distributed locally. As of the beginning of October 1919, the Munchener Beobachter had 9,000 subscribers while the Voelkischer Beobachter possessed a circulation ot'8.800.21
Hausen corresponded regularly with the editors of the Voekischer Bcobachter at least as early as 1919.22 The Voelkischer Beobachter's editorship became aware of the Zunder Document, perhaps through Hausen, and printed it in the February 25. 1920 edition under the title, "A Jewish Secret Document," noting that the source of its information was the February 6, 1920 edition of Prizyv. The commentary on the Zunder Document in the Voelkischer Beobachter noted that "Judaism's most secret goals emerge undisguised in this secret circular of the Jews in Russia.23
As for the Protocols, which found far greater resonance than the Zunder Document not only in Germany but around the world, Hausen sent them to the Voelkischer Beobachter In November 1919 to help the newspaper in a lawsuit filed against it.
Hausen noted that "the Minutes would make a devastating Judgment possible, but we unfortunately do not have the original text, and the Jews will dispute its authenticity." Anticipating difficulties. he noted, "we have therefore provided indirect evidence in the introduction that the Jews have acted according to the same guidelines that we find in the reports of the 'Wise Men of Zion' throughout time and in the most varied lands.24/96 Hausen thus harbored misgivings about the Protocols' authenticity.
The editorship of the Voelkischer Beobachter thanked Hausen for his assistance and pledged with regard to the Protocols that "we will study them immediately."25 An April 1920 edition of the V61kischer Beobachter ran a large front-page article, "The Secrets of the Wise Men of Zion," which recommended the book released by Hausen's publishing house in 1919 "emphatically," claiming that "there is no book which demonstrates the spirit of Jewry the same way." The editorial stressed that despite the "enormous significance" of Hausen's work, place constraints necessitated that the newspaper only print some key sections in order to give a "faint picture" of the work.
The Voelkischer Beobachter printed sections of Hausen's work that alleged to expose sinister Jewish stnivings; for world domination. "The result justifies the means," the newspaper quoted Hausen's book, with less attention to "the good and the moral than with the necessary and the useful." Further, the "wise men of Zion" are supposed to have stressed, "our motto is: power and cunning!" so that "we must not shy away from bribery, deceit. and betrayal as soon as they serve the attainment of our plans." Moreover, the Jews allegedly claimed to have come "to influence through the press and yet remained in the shadows: thanks to it we have brought mountains of gold into our hands without concerning ourselves that we had to scoop [them] out of streams of blood and tears."
As another dastardly means the -wise men of Zion" are supposed to have used in their drive to domination, they placed only bureaucrats with "slavish abilities" in leading positions so that they could be used as "pawns" in the hands of Jewish "schooled and talented advisors. who have been brought up from youth for rule over the entire world." The Jews allegedly "alone" controlled "the rule of money," which they upheld through artificial poverty: -hunger provides the financial power (Geldmacht) with ... the rights to the workers....We move the masses through need and the envy and hatred that anise from it and eliminate those who are in our way with their help." When the time was nipe, the Jews were to switch over from cunning and deceit to brutal force: "our empire-must establish a reign of terror... in order to force a blind and unconditional obedience."26
A June 1920 article in the Voekischer Beobachter noted that Jews vehemently denied the authenticity of the Protocols. Admitting that the origins of the Protocols remained suspicious, the piece followed Hausen's tactics, claiming, “even if the accounts are not historical in the sense of this term. the history books of Jewish authors as well as serious and impartial German researchers prove nothing else than that the contents of the controversial book are a true.”27
Hitler's most important early mentor, the voelkisch publicist Dietrich Eckart and his White Russian colleague Alfred Rosenberg, both attended meetings of the Thule Society in Munich and became aware of Hausen's translation of the Protocols in late 1919, before sections of it appeared in the Voekischer Beobachter. 28
Eckart, an admirer of Arthur Schopenhauer, Richard Wagner and Houston Stewart Chamberlain, had worked as a journalist in Berlin before co-publishing a nationalistic wartime newspaper in Munich, “Our Fatherland”,which opposed defeatist elements in Germany and for which he solicited articles from the voelkisch theorist Chamberlain himself.29
He used money from the Thule Geselischaft to launch an attack against Jewish left-wing revolutionary forces in Germany in December 1918 by founding the weekly political newspaper “In Plain German: Weekly for Law and Order”, and initially sent 2.500 copies throughout Germany. (P.S. For such figures to be seen in a larger context one should realize that the world population that time was only ? of what it is now)
Eckart met Rosenberg, had already internalized Chamberlain's theories of Germanic racial and spiritual superiority, in the context of the Thule Society in late 1918. And when Rosenberg offered his services to Eckart by asking, “can you use a fighter against Jerusalem?" He responded, "certainly!"30
When Eckart repeatedly sank into periods of lethargy in 1919 and 1920 (he was a drug addict), Rosenberg took over the running of “In Plain German” for considerable stretches at a time.31
Eckart greatly valued Rosenberg. referring to him in an early edition of In Plain German as his "tireless friend." 32
Adolf Hitler, then an obscure agitator for the fledgling Deutsche Arbeiterpartei (German Worker's party), a subsidiary organization of the Thule Gesellschaft and the forerunner of the National Socialist German Worker's Party ( NSDAP), received his most sustained voelkisch indoctrination as well as his introduction to anti-Semitic White Russian thought through his collaboration with Eckart and Rosenberg beginning in late 1919. 33
1) Shabelskii -Bork, "Ober Mein Leben.- March 1926. GSAPK, Repositur 84a. number 14953. 103-105.
2) Henri Rollin. Lapocallpse de notre temps.- Les dessous de Ia propagande allemande il'apres des documents in~dtts (Paris: Gal limard. 1939). 4~ J. 48 1.
3) "Wer waren die Moerder des Zaren?." Voelkischer Beobachter. September 9. 1920.
4) A. V. Smolin. Beloe dvahenie na Severo-Zapade Rossii 1918- 1920 (Saint Petersburg. Dmitrii Bulanin. 1999).335.
5) Interrogation of Ambassador Herbert von Dirksen from October 1945. IZG. The National Archives. No679. Records of the Department of State. Special Interrogation Mission to Germany. 194546. Roll 1. 415.
6) Vinberg’s March 30, 1922 testimony. BHSAM, BSMI 22. number 71624, fiche 4. 4. 25.
7) Gestapo report from April 13, 1935, RGVA (TKhIDK). fond 501, opis 3, dclo 496a. 208.
8) Vinberg's March 30. 1922 testimony. BHSAM. BSMI 22. number 71624. fiche 4. 2, 5: further Vinberg March 30. 1922 testimony, BHSAM, 3SAfI 22. number 71624, fiche 3, 92.
9) Letter firom Baron Ludwig von Knomng to the R-W from September 20, 192 1, BA. Reich 150 1, number 14139. 47: Karl Schl6gel, "Russische Emigration in Deutschland 1918-194 1: Fragen und Thesen.Russische Emigration in Deutschland 1918 bis 1941: Leben im europdischen Bfirgerk-rieg. ed. Karl Schl6gel (Berlin: Ak-edemic, 1995), 11; RAH report from December 15, 192 1. BA. Reich 150 1. number 14139. 58: L. K. Shkarenkov, -Eine Chronik der russischen Emigration in Deutschland: Die Materialien des General Aleksej A. von Lampe," Russische Emigration in Deutschland, 48.
10) Vinberg’s March 30, 1922 testimony, BHSAM. BS.W 22. number 71624, fiche 4. 2. 4. 5. 25
11) Ganelin. "Rossiiskoe chcritosoteristvo i germanskii natsional-sotsializirt.- NatsionaInaia pravaia. 137.
12) DB report from March 6.1919, RGVA (TKhIDK), fond 198, opis 9, delo 4474. reel 1, 48.
13) Handwritten note from Hausen with Cyrillic alphabet. RGVA (TKhIDK).fond 577. opis 2. delo 13 1. 200. "SaEanisten des XX Jahrhunderts." translated article from November 5, 1919 edition of Pri-n-t- in Hausen's possession, RGVA (TKhIDK).fond 577. opis 1. deto 541, 3.
14) Dokument." Pri_-vv. February 6, 1920. 2, in possession of Hausen. RGVA (TKhIDK). 16nd 577. opis 1, delo 54 1: Norman Cohn. Warrant for Genocide: The Wth of the Jovish World-Conspiractand the -Protocols ol the Elders of Zion. - (Chico, CA: Scholars Press, 1981). 119-12 1.
14) Cohn. Warrantfor Genocide. 119-121. 139.
15) Hagemeister, "Die 'Protokolle der Weisen von Zion' und der Basler Zionistenk-ongress von 1897," Der Traum %-on Israel: Die Urspruenge des modernen Zionismus. ed. Heiko, Haumann (Weinheim: Beltz Athenium Verlag, 1998). 261.
16) LGPO report to the R050 from August 8.192 1, RGVA (TKhIDK), fond 772. opis 3, delt) 539.17. 20. LGPO report to the R050 from June 2, 192 1. RGVA (TKhIDK),fond 772, opis 3. delo 8 1 a, 15.
86 Letter from Hausen to Carl Maerz from March 26. 192 1. RGVA (TKhIDK),fand 577. opis 1. delo 853. 33.
17) Hagemeister. "Der Mythos der 'Protokolle der Welsen von Zion,- Verschwoerungsstheorien-Anthropologische Konstanten - historische Varianien. eds. Ute Caumanns and Mathias Niendorf (Osnabriick: Fibre Verlag. 2001). 96.
18) LGPO report to the R060 from June 2, 192 1. RGVA (TKhIDK).fond 772. opis 3, delo 8 1 a. 16. Kartsev report to Hausen from April 30. 1920. RGVA (TKhIDK),fond 577, opts 2. delo 9. 36.
19) Martin Sabrow, Der Rathenauermord: Rekonstruktion einer Verschoerung gegen the Republik von Weimar ( 1994). 45; Rudolf von Sebottendorff, Aus der Geschichte der Thule Geselischaft, 31. 1933. 1, BSAM. SAM. number 7716. 9.
20) Inteview with Johann Hering on August 29, 1951. IZG, ZS 67. 2.
21) Thule-Bote, Gilbhart (October) 31. 1933. 1. BSAM. SAM.
22) Thule-Bote, Gilbhart (October) 31. 1933. 2. BSAM. SAAL number 7716. 10.
23) Hausen's correspondence with Voelkischer Beobachier RGVA (TKhIDK).fond 577,opts 1. delo 479.
24) Ein Judisches Geheimdokument," Voelkischer Beobachter, February 25. 1.
25) Letter from Hanns Muller to Hausen from November 26, 1919. RGVA (TKhIDK). fond 577, opis 1. delo 479, 32. letter from Hausen to Willer from November 29, 1919, RGVA (TKhIDK). fond 577. opis 1. delo 479.35.
26) Letter from Muller to Hausen from December 10, 1919, RGVA (TKhIDK). fond 577. opis 1, delo 479. 37.
27) Die Geheimnisse der Weisen von Zion," Voelkischer Beobachter, April 22, 1920. 1.
28) Die Geheimnisse der Weisen von Zion," Voelkischer Beobachter, June 27, 2.
29) Rose. Die Thule Gesellschaft, 79.
30) Letter from Hausen to Maerz from April 6, 192 1. RGVA (TKhIDK),fond 577, opis 1. delo 853. 4 1.
31) Dietrich Eckart. "Das ist der Jude," Auf Gut Deutsch: (August/September). 1920, 44; Eckart, "in letzter Stunde," Auf Gut Deutsch March 15, 1921. 7: Eckart "Das Judentum in und ausser uns: " Auf Gut Deutsch” Jan. 10. 1919, 14, 15.
In this series of lectures I will discuss a number of early influences on the rise of Hitler and the early Nazi party.
The Protocols of the Wise Elders of Zion, were not fabricated in Paris, but within Imperial Russia between April 1902 and August 1903. The earliest versions of the Protocols contain pronounced Ukrainian features, whereas later ones were given French overtones in order to lend them the appearance of credible accounts from abroad.
General Vladimir Biskupskil, who went on to collaborate closely with Hitler in the context of the Aufbau Vereinigung in postwar Munich, played a leading role in the Ukrainian Volunteer Army. "Conservative revolutionaries" in Imperial Germany and Russia established detailed anti-Western, anti-Semitic ideologies in the months leading up to the Bolshevik Revolution. The largely internally-orientated voelkisch model focused on alleged Germanic racial and spiritual superiority through a heightened capacity to negate the will heroically, whereas the more externally- fixated Russian version offered apocalyptic visions of concrete political struggle between Russians at the head of all Slavs and perceived Jewish world-conspirators.
The Protocols did provide anti-Semitic arguments that strongly influenced the ideology of the National Socialist movement, going through 33 editions by the time Hitler came to power and becoming the most widely-distributed work in the world after the Bible. The National Socialist regime did not reprint the Protocols after the outbreak of World War II, though, perhaps precisely due to the Protocols' parallels with both brutal National Socialist occupation policies in Eastern Europe and public pacification efforts domestically.
Anticipating Tsarist pretender Kirill's arrival in Germany, General Ludendorff worked to establish an intelligence service for Kirill in early April 1922. He asked Walther Nicolai, who had served him as the head of the German Army High Command Intelligence Service during World War one, to use his considerable experience and connections to establish a reliable pro-Kirill intelligence service for the struggle against Bolshevism.
By 1937 the NSDAP, the Wehrmacht, and, to a lesser extent, German society accepted Ludendorffs ideology. In the regime and the Wehrmacht he had tacit allies who helped to legitimize and propagate Deutsche Gotterkenntnis. Those who sympathized with him and his ideology existed at all levels of the Nazi hierarchy. Although today he may be forgotten, and although his memorial shrine in Tutzing may be neglected, Erich Ludendorff was one of the most important Germans of the twentieth century.
The Ludendorffs (now Hohe Warte) advocated a return to traditional rural German culture since they believed that the demands of modem capitalist society had tom the German people from the soil, causing them to forget their heritage and ensuring their submission to finance and industrial capital. The Ludendorffs' ideology paralleled similar intellectual developments among Conservative Revolutionaries.
Before the establishment of the “Aufbau” Vereinigung in late 1920, the collaboration between Eckart and Rosenberg in the context of Eckhart’s Newspaper In Plain German.” Formed the crux of the fusion between voelkisch-redemptive German and White Russian world conspiratonial-apocalyptic anti-Semitic thought, where "positive" notions of Germanic spiritual and racial superiority fused with more negative visions of impending "Jewish Bolshevik" destruction supported by Jewish finance capitalists.
By 1923, Hitler had thoroughly internalized Aufbau’s and the people around it, assertions, of the nature of socialism and its most aggressive variant Bolshevism as mere tools of Jewish finance capitalism to enslave European peoples…
The ensuing military conflagration, Eckart continued, had led to the destruction of Imperial Russia so that "Jewish Bolshevism" could take root there. He also warned that there would arise "from the Neva to the Rhine, on the bloody ruins of the previous national traditions, a single Jewish empire.
Hitler in his unpublished 1928 sequel to Mein Kampf, further expounded upon the Aufbau/Eckartian theme of the "Jewish Bolshevik" annihilation of the leading elements of Russian society as a precedent for further Jewish atrocities. He argued that "Jewry exterminated the previous foreign upper strata with the help of Slavic racial instincts."
Hitler continued to express a view of history whereby Jews pitted Germans and Russians against each other after 1923. As witnessed in his unpublished 1928 sequel to Mein Kampf. He argued of "the Jew's" drive to dominate the European peoples that he -methodically agitates for world war" with the aim of "the destruction of inwardly anti-Semitic Russia as well as the destruction of the German Reich. which in administration and the army still offered resistance to the Jew."
That which Jewry once planned against Germany and all peoples of Europe. this must (Jewry) itself suffer today, and responsibility before the history of European culture demands that we do not carry out this fateful separation (Schicksalstrennung) with sentimentality and weakness, but with clear, rational awareness and firm determination.” (Rosenberg 1941 press release dealing with his public assumption of the position of State Minister for the Occupied Eastern Territories.)
Like the mystical inclined author Sergei Nilus, who had played a crucial role in popularizing The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, Vinberg viewed Jews as a satanic force.
Hitler asserted that "liberalism, our press, the stock market, and Freemasonry" together represented nothing but "Instrument[s] of the Jews."
By the time of Ludendorfrs death, Deutsche Gotterkenninis had become for Nazis a legitimate Weltanschauung. Ludendorff's vision of a totalitarian society unified in the face of external and internal threats was nearly identical to the Weltanschauung of Nazism.