Associate Professor of History, Rutgers University
For much of the twentieth century, Europe was haunted by a threat of Judeo-Bolshevism myth. This myth—that Communism was a Jewish plot to destroy the nations of Europe—was a paranoid fantasy, and yet fears of a Jewish Bolshevik conspiracy took hold during the Russian Revolution and spread across Europe. During World War II, these fears sparked genocide.
Paul Hanebrink will discuss the counterrevolutionary movements that roiled Europe at the end of World War I. Fascists, Nazis, conservative Christians, and other Europeans, terrified by Communism, imagined Jewish Bolsheviks as enemies who crossed borders to subvert order from within and bring destructive ideas from abroad. In the years that followed, Judeo-Bolshevism was an accessible and potent political weapon.