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An introduction to the history of the rise of communism in russia

As modernity emerged across Europe, the Jews of the Russian Empire began experiencing the Enlightenment and modern intellectual thought, integration into modern nations, and new forms of cultural attitude and bias. Anti-Semitism, rather than fading, grew intensely.

Jews experienced conflicting transformations within their society; growing integration alongside less religiously driven anti-Jewish feeling.

  • Once this threat disappears, however, the need for the state will also disappear;
  • The first was its reliance on dialectical materialism as a way of justifying almost any course of action that Stalin wished to pursue;
  • Berenbaum, Michael and Skolnik, Fred, eds;
  • Gorbachev improved relations and trade with the West, and reduced the Cold War tensions.

Intellectual movements of the time, such as Communism, included anti-Semitic doctrine. However, these new political movements proved to be attractive to Jewish people, Communism and Socialism especially. There are a great deal of questions about Jewish involvement in the origins of Communism and the Communist revolution in Russia.

  1. We stand for the withering away of the state. Marx and Engels thought of the proletariat as the individuals with labor power, and the bourgeoisie as those who own the means of production in a capitalist society.
  2. He asserts that Jews played a powerful role in the movement, although they did not participate in ideological leadership. Gorbachev improved relations and trade with the West, and reduced the Cold War tensions.
  3. Other early visions of communism drew their inspiration from religion. Schapiro discusses the activity of Jews in actual violence during the revolution as well as their contributions to the emerging party.
  4. Gorbachev removed the constitution role of the Communist party. These ideas serve to justify or legitimize the unequal distribution of economic and political power.

There are quite a few significant characters in the story of socialism, from young revolutionaries such as Emma Goldman to scholars like Eduard Bernstein to party leaders, namely Vladimir Lenin. Jews had a role in the emergence of socialist political movements and to deny this as myth is to shut out an important part of their history.

The Rise and Fall of Soviet Communism: A History of 20th-Century Russia

However, the intensity of their involvement—and the reasons for their involvement—must be carefully examined. This trope was blown out of proportion and the truth of Jewish participation in Communism and Socialism is a topic to be examined carefully. This Guided History is organized by type of source, i. The following questions are intended to direct the researcher towards relevant information, useful resources for further study, and perhaps more detailed questions.

What was Jewish life in Russia like before the Revolution, in terms of socialist political feeling? Who were the prominent Jews in the Communist movement?

Why did socialist movements appeal to Jews of this time?

  • Khrushchev himself was deposed in 1964, after which a succession of Soviet leaders stifled reform and attempted to impose a modified version of Stalinism;
  • Lenin was the chief architect of this plan;
  • Essential Papers on Jews and the Left.

What was the historical result of Jewish participation in the Communist movement in Russia? Each source description below includes the number or numbers of the question it helps to answer.

The Rise and Fall of Communism in Russia

Some sources may touch on all five of the questions, but focus primarily on the two or three listed. These questions are simply a guideline for more intensive research, and are not always answered fully or without bias! Princeton University Press, 2010. Jews, according to Muller, were forced by anti-Semitism towards a movement that promised to remove religion from the agency of government that penalized Jews for simply being Jewish.

What Factors Led to the Rise of Communism in Russia and China?

However, the few Jews who actually joined this movement did so towards disastrous ends, as the entire Jewish population was ultimately criticized by anti-Communists for the association and abused by Communists themselves. The Marxists and the Jewish Question: The History of a Debate 1843-1943. Humanities Press International, 1990. The entire work by Traverso explores the role of Jews in Marxism, the Russian Revolution, and other relevant movements and intellectual groupings.

Although Traverso does touch on Communism in Germany and Austria, his primary focus is Russia before and after the Revolution. Many Jews, he argues, held prominent positions in socialist movements and were viewed as being heavily involved; in actuality, the majority of Jews did not accept Communism as it conflicted with their religious beliefs. Written during the height of the cold war, it focuses on the history of Jewish involvement in Russian communism and the origins of modern Anti-Semitism.

The topic is approached as a changing relationship, beginning with the ppeal of Marxist doctrine to young Russian Jews and Eastern Europeans who were living in a climate that was turned against them, to the later generations who suffered the backlash of Anti-Semitic feeling from Stalin and the Soviet Union, especially in Poland. Shore argues that the generation of Jews who joined the Communist movement in Russia were not given the freedom they expected from socialism, and their children and grandchildren, who were punished alongside the original generation, would eventually turn around and seek an Oedipal revolution, an end to Communism.

The majority of the article is a psychological analysis of Marx, but it does bring up some excellent questions related to the topic of this Guided History. Question 2 Schapiro, Leonard. He asserts that Jews played a powerful role in the movement, although they did not participate in an introduction to the history of the rise of communism in russia leadership.

Jews who participated in the Revolution were, as other historians cited in this Guide have claimed, members of the new Jewish intelligentsia. Schapiro discusses the activity of Jews in actual violence during the revolution as well as their contributions to the emerging party.

Generally speaking, this article is focused on Jewish involvement from what seems to be a Jewish perspective. Berenbaum, Michael and Skolnik, Fred, eds. Encyclopedia Judaica, 2nd ed. Macmillan Reference USA, 2007. However, permission is required to access the site. Boston University students may access it through the list of databases on the BU Libraries webpage.

Accessed November 6, 2012. Questions 1-5 Mendelsohn, Ezra, ed. Essential Papers on Jews and the Left. New York University Press, 1997.

This collection of essays on Jewish involvement in socialist movements, particularly in Russia, has many helpful pieces on the history of Jewish Communists, the origins of their involvement in such movements, and prominent figures within the topic, both Jewish and non-Jewish.

All of the essays are modern.

  • A second feature of Stalinism was its cult of personality;
  • Then there would be a fundamental process of class conflict that would be resolved through revolutionary struggle;
  • In the mid-1930s, claiming to see spies and saboteurs everywhere, he purged the party and the general populace, exiling dissidents to Siberia or summarily executing them after staged show trials;
  • In 1848 they wrote and published "The Communist Manifesto;
  • Thus, the bourgeois owners of the means of production amass enormous wealth, while the proletariat falls further into poverty;
  • The first Christians practiced a simple kind of communism—as described in Acts 4:

Studies in Contemporary Jewry, Vol. Oxford University Press, 2004.

Critique of capitalism

The pieces in this first section are concerned with the general topic of Jews and Communism. They serve as an excellent jumping-off point for other areas of investigation within the broader topic of Jews in Russian Communism. Question 4 Relevant Primary Sources: Accessed November 7, 2012. This article is useful in providing an outside perspective of the time— that is, someone not from eastern Europe—and in demonstrating what must have been the popular opinion on Jews in Europe during this time.