BOSTON (Jan. 18)
The obscure origins of the notorious Protocols of the Elders of Zion, a forgery that has been a basis for anti-Semitic incitement since the early days of the century, was described by Joseph C. Harsch in the Christian Science Monitor today. Delving into the “conspiracy theory of history,” Mr. Harsch noted:
“In 1864, a French lawyer named Maurice Joly wrote a fictional book titled ‘A Dialogue in Hell Between Machiavelli and Montesquieu or The Politics of Machiavelli in the 19th Century by a Contemporary.’ The purpose of the book was to discredit the regime of Napoleon III…In 1903, there was continuing political unrest inside Imperial Russia. A scapegoat was wanted. The Chief of the Russian Secret Police office in Paris, General Ratchovsky, provided one. A professional forger named Golovinsky, who did work for the Ratchovsky office, produced a book labeled ‘The Protocols of the Elders of Zion.’ It was duly forwarded to St. Petersburg and was used as the excuse for pogroms. The book was both forgery and plagiarism. Golovinsky had taken the Maurice Joly book and reworked it by attributing to ‘the Elders of Zion’ the sentiments which in Joly’s book were put in the mouth of Machiavelli. And he took the words Joly had written for the devil himself and attributed them to ‘the chief elder.’ This book became the bible of anti-Semitism. It was massively exploited by Hitler. It is widely circulated today in Arab countries and has recently been republished in Spain and Portugal,” Mr. Harsch wrote.