Jewish Marxism and The Nazi Party

EssayHistory
Jan 1, 2007

The rule of the Nazi Party was a hard period for Germany and some of its people. This is especially true for individuals belonging to groups that the Nazis saw as their enemies, such as the Jews who became the subject of discrimination and scrutiny. The Nazi Patry created propaganda to villainize the Jews and turn the country against them. They established the idea of Jewish Marxism or Judeo-Bolshevism to associate the Jews with communist ideologies, making them an enemy of capitalism and leading to acts of genocide and anti-Semitism. Jewish Marxism led to extreme discrimination against Jews which endangered their lives under the Nazi Party.

Marxism Definition

Understanding Jewish Marxism requires a basic understanding of Marxism. Fundamentally, Marxism is an ideology that opposes capitalism and the class system because of the potential societal destruction that it can cause. Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, the authors of the ideology, believed that capitalism will lead to revolutions and conflicts between capitalists and workers (The Investopedia Team, 2021). Since Marxism opposes capitalism, it became the basis for modern socialism and communism (Sayers, 2021). Socialists and communists utilize Marxism to rationalize their ideas while the opposition also uses the thought system to define socialism and communism. Since the Nazi Party allowed capitalism under their control, they saw socialists and communists as enemies. With this, Marxism also became an idea that opposed the Nazi Party’s interests.

Bolshevism Definition

Similar to Marxism, Bolshevism is an ideology that opposes the capitalist system. The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines the term as a doctrine that promotes the violent overthrow of the capitalist system. In the Russian government, the Bolsheviks were a socialist far-left party and an opposition to the Nazi Party. Since socialists and communists utilize Marxism as the basis for their ideologies, Bolshevism borrows ideas from Marxism. This often leads to the synonymous definitions of the two terms, making them interchangeable. This is the case in the context of Jewish Marxism and Judeo-Bolshevism. While the two terms utilize the terms Marxism and Bolshevism, they both refer to the association between Jews and communism.

The Nazi Party’s View on Jews and Bolsheviks

The main reason for the association of Jews with Bolshevism is the Nazi Party’s perception of the two factors. Adolf Hitler perceived Marxism as the greatest enemy of the Nazis and the Jews as the incarnation of evil (Bullock et al., 2022). These two factors became the central enemies of the Nazis and were integral in rationalizing Nazi propaganda. The Nazis took advantage of the fact that some Jews were members of the Communist Central Committee to establish allegations regarding the relationship between Jews and communism. For the Nazis, associating their two greatest enemies with each other may have been a good strategical move. They were able to villainize the Jewish people while also damaging the image of the opposing party through the creation of Judeo-Bolshevism.

The Judeo-Bolshevism ideology taught Germany that the Jews were responsible for Bolshevism in Russia. This was the core of the ideology which the Nazis spread through the Nazification of books and other publications (Carletta, 2019). They placed posters to depict Jews as undesirable individuals and manipulated the public to despise the group (Narayanaswami, n.d.). Hitler had a deep hate for communism which became the basis for his ideologies–Nazism. The public had no choice but to believe the idea of Judeo-Bolshevism or risk becoming an enemy of the Nazi Party. Judeo-Bolshevism became a significant tool for the Nazi Party which aided their rise to power over Germany.

Effects of The Judeo-Bolshevism Propaganda

The Nazis’ Judeo-Bolshevism propaganda had multiple effects both on German politics and the lives of Jews. According to Hanebrink, author of A Specter Haunting Europe: The Myth of Judeo-Bolshevism, Judeo-Bolshevism led to the Nazi Party’s success (cited in Carletta, 2019). Even the Bolshevik Revolution, which allowed the Bolsheviks to gain power, also contributed to this success (Nolte, n.d., cited in Kellog, n.d.). Since the Nazis had clearly defined their enemies, they were able to establish programs and propaganda that discredited and harmed the opposition. They have spread the idea of Judeo-Bolshevism, providing them with influence while their enemies face discrimination and scrutiny.

The success of the Nazi Party meant the defeat of the Bolsheviks and the Jews. While the defeat of the Bolsheviks focuses more on political consequences, the Jews faced social prejudice. In 1919, an economic boycott separated Jews from Russian society, limiting their social status and access to education (Kellogg, n.d.). This boycott made the lives of European Jews difficult since they are losing citizen rights and opportunities. The boycott also made life difficult for other Christians since the program defined Jews as Jewish practitioners and individuals who had just converted to Christianity. The latter category may have been the Nazis’ way to prevent Jews from converting, which gave Jews fewer options as well as endangered other Christians.

Aside from boycotts, there were violent attacks on Jews as the result of Judeo-Bolshevism. In the same year as the economic boycott, Jews experienced violent attacks that led to the death of thousands of individuals (Carletta, 2019). This eventually led to Jewish activism that aimed to protect European Jews and clear the alleged association of Jews with Bolshevism. However, Nazi propaganda had already taken its effects, and the public perceived Jews as communists. The Nazi Party established that the Jews were responsible for Bolshevism which would remain until the defeat of the Nazis. The public began to both hate and fear Judeo-Bolshevism which made the lives of European Jews more difficult.

The effects of the Judeo-Bolshevism propaganda lasted even after the defeat of the Nazi Party. According to Carletta (2019), West Germany found it difficult to define anti-communism and communism without Hitler and Nazism. Since the Nazi Party established that the Jews were responsible for communism, most of Germany imagines the idea with Jewish origins. Even when American Cold War philosophy aided in the repudiation of Judeo-Bolshevism, some right-wish historians still promote the idea (Mendes, 2019). This showcases the intricacy of Nazi propaganda and the extent of Judeo-Bolshevism.

Conclusion

Jewish Marxism, or Judeo-Bolshevism, illustrates how an ideology can have detrimental effects on society and its members. It also shows the manipulative political strategies that the Nazi Party utilized to gain power. The Nazis combined their two greatest enemies and created Judeo-Bolshevism to spread propaganda to Germany. Jewish Marxism made the lives of European Jews difficult, inciting violence and bigotry towards the particular group. While the idea may have disappeared from the public and the Jews have cleared their association with Bolshevism, one cannot say with confidence that the Jewish Marxism ideology is gone. Jewish Marxism showcases the power of propaganda and should act as a reminder that ideologies are malleable.

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References

Bullock, A., Bullock, B., Knapp, W., & Lukacs, J. (2022). Adolf Hitler. Encyclopedia Britannica. Available at https://www.britannica.com/biography/Adolf-Hitler. Accessed June 13, 2022.

Carletta, D. (2019). Book Review: A Specter Haunting Europe: The Myth of Judeo-Bolshevism by Paul Hanebrink. International Social Science Review, vol 95(1). Available at https://digitalcommons.northgeorgia.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1335&context=issr . Accessed June 13, 2022.

Kellogg, M. (n.d.). Hitler’s “Russian” Connection: White Émigré Influence on the Genesis of Nazi Ideology, 1917-1923. Sscnet.ucla.edu. Available at http://www.sscnet.ucla.edu/soc/groups/scr/kellogg.pdf. Accessed June 13, 2022.

Mendes, P. (2019). Review of the Book A Specter Haunting Europe: The Myth of Judeo-Bolshevism, by Paul Hanebrink. Labour History: A Journal of Labour and Social History. Available at https://muse.jhu.edu/article/777258/pdf. Accessed June 13, 2022.

Merriam-Webster. (n.d.). Bolshevism. Merriam-Webster.com dictionary. Available at https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/bolshevism. Accessed June 13, 2022.

Narayanaswami, K. (n.d.). Analysis of Nazi Propaganda: A Behavioral Study. Harvard University. Available at https://archive.amir.cloud/projects/moral_identity-converted/research/nazi-visual/hist-1572-analysis-of-nazi-propaganda-knarayanaswami.pdf. Accessed June 13, 2022.

The Investopedia Team.. (2021). Marxism: Theory, Effects, and Examples. Investopedia. Available at https://www.investopedia.com/terms/m/marxism.asp#:~:text=Marxism%20is%20a%20social%2C%20political,capitalism%20in%20favor%20of%20communism. Accessed June 13, 2022.

Sayers, S. (2021). What is Marxism? International Critical Thought. Available at DOI: 10.1080/21598282.2021.1965493. Accessed June 13, 2022.

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