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The Jewish Plot Theory

Pogrom victims

The other conspiracy theory, which sees the Russian Revolution as a result of a Jewish plot, originated with the Russian nationalists of the far Right. It feeds on the contemptible anti-Semitic attitudes that had been in evidence at least as far back as the First Russian Revolution of 1905, culminating in pogroms against the Jews. 

It must be said that the last two tsars did a lot by their oppressive policies to radicalize Jewish intellectuals. By the start of the First World War, five million Jews - half of the worlds Jewish population - lived in Russia. They were forced to live in the Pale of Settlement, a large territory in the western part of the empire, and were subject to numerous special laws against them. Forbidden to reside in major Russian cities, barred from owning land, not allowed to become government bureaucrats or military officers, the Russian Jewry had developed a natural grudge against the tsarist authorities. Recurrent pogroms after 1881 killed hundreds of Jews and pushed many to emigrate to the United States. 

No wonder that Jewish radicals came to play a prominent role in the revolutionary movement in Russia alongside with other representatives of national minorities such as Poles, Georgians, Armenians. Most Jewish radicals were Zionists (those who wished to emigrate to Palestine to create a Jewish state), or Bundists (those who wanted to create a socialist autonomous Jewish entity in Eastern Europe or Russia) or Mensheviks. In particular, it was the fact that some Jews became leaders in the Bolshevik party (among them Trotsky, Zinoviev, Kamenev, Sverdlov, and Radek) which led to the appearance of the Jewish conspiracy theory.

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