A Review of “The Devil That Never Dies” by Daniel Jonah Goldhagen, Part 3

 Part 1
Part 2

Jews and Communism

Goldhagen angrily declares that any claim that Jews “were responsible for the Russian Revolution and its predations” is a “calumny” and that: “If you associate Jews with communism, or worse, hold communism to be a Jewish invention and weapon, every time the theme, let alone the threat, of communism, Marxism, revolution, or the Soviet Union comes up, it also conjures, reinforces, even deepens thinking prejudicially about Jews and the animus against Jews in one’s country.”[1]

So any linkage made between Jews and communism is, for Goldhagen, a “calumny” despite the fact that mainstream Jewish historians readily confirm that Jews were vastly disproportionate participants in providing the ideological basis for, and the governance and administration of, the murderous communist regimes of Central and Eastern Europe.  Bernhard Wasserman, professor of Modern Jewish History at the University of Chicago, notes, for example, that “the European left was in large measure a Jewish creation. In Germany in the mid-nineteenth century Marx, Hess, and Lassalle, all three of Jewish origin, had founded and shaped the socialist movement.”[2] Further,  the Jewish historian Norman Cantor pointed out that “In the first half of the twentieth century, Marxist-Leninist communism ran like an electromagnetic lightning flash through Jewish societies from Moscow to Western Europe, the United States and Canada, gaining the lifelong adherence of brilliant, passionately dedicated Jewish men and women.’[3]

The prominent Jewish intellectual and writer Chaim Bermant observed that, “To many minds, at the beginning of this [twentieth] century, the very words radical and Jew were almost one, and many a left-wing thinker or politician was taken to be Jewish through the very fact of his radicalism.” He also observed that “When, after the chaos of World War I, revolutions finally erupted all over Europe, Jews were everywhere at the helm”[4] To take just one example, of the forty-nine commissars who governed Bela Kun’s short-lived Hungarian Soviet Republic, thirty-one were Jewish.[5]

Of the seven members of the original Politburo, the inner cabinet of the new Bolshevik regime, four — Trotsky, Zinoviev, Kamenev and Sverdlov — were Jews.  The leadership of the Bolshevik Party itself likewise had a stunning preponderance of Jews. In March 1917 the Provisional Government, installed by the first Russian revolution, abolished all legal restrictions on Jews beginning with the Pale of Settlement. After the Bolsheviks seized power in October 1917 they fought hard in the early years of Lenin’s rule to wipe out anti-Semitism in Russia by legal means.  After the revolution, Jews quickly moved, Jewish historian Jerry Muller notes, into “important and especially sensitive positions in the bureaucracy and administration of the new regime,” and, as a result, the first encounter with the new regime for many Russians “was likely to be with a commissar, tax officer, or secret police official of Jewish origin.” He concedes that:

with so many Bolsheviks of Jewish origin in positions of leadership, it was easy to consider Bolshevism a ‘Jewish’ phenomenon. And if Winston Churchill, who was personally remote from anti-Semitism, could regard Bolshevism as a disease of the Jewish body politic, those who had long conceived of Jews as the enemies of Christian civilization quickly concluded that Bolshevism was little more than a transmutation of the essence of the Jewish soul.[6]

Following the dramatic reversal of fortune for Russian Jewry under the Bolsheviks, some Jews who had fled Tsarist Russia returned to witness the unbelievable. It was “a topsy-turvy world” said one Jewish onlooker. “The despised had come to sit on the throne and those who had been the least were now the mightiest.” The writer, A.S. Sachs, noted with exultation:

The Jewish Bolsheviks demonstrate before the entire world that the Jewish people are not yet degenerate, and that this ancient people is still alive and full of vigor. If a people can produce men who can undermine the foundations of the world and strike terror into the hearts of countries and governments, then it is a good omen for itself, a clear sign of its youthfulness, its vitality and stamina.[7]

The rapid movement of Jews into the economic, cultural, and political leadership ranks throughout the 1920s reached its peak in the mid-1930s. “The last Jewish member appointed to the Politburo,” Muller notes, “was Lazar Kaganovich, who later presided over the politically motivated famine that took the lives of millions of Ukrainian peasants.” In Poland Jewish membership of the Communist Party fluctuated between 22 and 35 percent of the total. Jews were even more heavily represented in the party leadership: in 1935 they are said to have constituted 54 percent of the “field leadership” and 75 percent of the technika (responsible for propaganda).


Muller observes that “nowhere were Jews more prominent in the Sovietization of the nation” than in post- World War II Hungary, where “the key post of general secretary was once again occupied by a Jew, Mátyás Rákosi’ who billed himself as ‘Stalin’s best pupil.’”[8]  The next five major positions were filled by Jews, while 30 percent or more of higher police officials were Jewish, and “many departments of the security apparatus were headed by Jews.” Many of these had spent years, even decades, in the Soviet Union, while others “had returned from concentration camps or who survived the war in Budapest” and, as well as regarding the Soviets as their liberators, nursed “a burning desire for vengeance against the Hungarians” who had collaborated with the Germans.

“By moving into the army, the police, and the security apparatus,” notes Muller, “these young Jewish survivors put themselves in a position to settle accounts with the men of the Arrow Cross.”[9] It was hardly surprising in such an environment that anti-Jewish riots broke out in 1946. The oppressive nature of the new regime can be gauged by the fact that between 1952 and 1955 “the police opened files on over a million Hungarians, 45 percent of whom were penalized,” and Muller concedes that “Jews were very salient in the apparatus of repression.”[10] The underlying motivation for the disproportionate Jewish participation in violent revolutionary communist movements was obvious to Cantor who noted that:

The Bolshevik Revolution and some of its aftermath represented, from one perspective, Jewish revenge. During the heyday of the Cold War, American Jewish publicists spent a lot of time denying that—as 1930s anti-Semites claimed—Jews played a disproportionately important role in Soviet and world Communism. The truth is until the early 1950s Jews did play such a role, and there is nothing to be ashamed of. In time Jews will learn to take pride in the record of the Jewish Communists in the Soviet Union and elsewhere. It was a species of striking back.[11]

Goldhagen refuses to even acknowledge — let alone take pride in — this incredible bloodthirsty example of Jewish revenge. While he vehemently condemns “Holocaust denial” he is quite content to engage in his own form of historical denial. He argues, for instance, that Europeans resist the message of Holocaust guilt:

In Poland, Ukraine, Croatia, the Netherlands, France, Denmark, and Switzerland, and cutting across national borders, among Christians generally and Catholics in particular, having their countries or churches, their countrymen and women, and their religious traditions and its leaders (including Pope Pius XII) implicated or potentially implicated in the Holocaust has produced resistance and push-back across Europe.[12]

However, Goldhagen resists any suggestion of the massive Jewish role in the perpetration of mass murder and atrocities throughout Eastern Europe. Indeed, he is in complete denial about it. Goldhagen sanctimoniously claims that “for European elites, and obviously for American elites, saying that the Holocaust did not happen, or some lesser but obvious stripe of Holocaust denial, places a person outside the foundational moral consensus that the Holocaust was an unsurpassed evil. A person denying this gravely violates morality, and furthermore casts doubt on the person’s sanity, judgment or public fitness.”[13]  On the other hand, denying the reality of the Jewish role in the mass murder and brutal treatment of millions of Eastern Europeans under communist regimes, as Goldhagen does, has no negative moral or psychological connotations at all.

This is ultimately due to the Jewish domination and vigilant policing of all historical discourse relating to Jews. Since 1945, some 148 feature films have been made about the “Holocaust” while the number of films that have been made about the Bolshevik genocide of millions of Eastern Europeans can be counted on one hand — and none have been produced by Hollywood.

Israeli journalist Sever Plocker, writing for Ynet news in 2006, had the honesty to admit that “we mustn’t forget that some of the greatest murderers of modern times were Jewish.” After noting that “at least 20 million” died as a result of the forced collectivization, the hunger, large purges, expulsions, banishments, executions, and mass death at Gulags, he noted that

Lenin, Stalin, and their successors could not have carried out their deeds without wide-scale cooperation of disciplined “terror officials,” cruel interrogators, snitches, executioners, guards, judges, perverts, and many bleeding hearts who were members of the progressive Western Left and were deceived by the Soviet regime of horror and even provided it with a kosher certificate. …

And us, the Jews? An Israeli student finishes high school without ever hearing the name “Genrikh Yagoda,” the greatest Jewish murderer of the 20th Century, the GPU’s deputy commander and the founder and commander of the NKVD. Yagoda diligently implemented Stalin’s collectivization orders and is responsible for the deaths of at least 10 million people. His Jewish deputies established and managed the Gulag system. After Stalin no longer viewed him favorably, Yagoda was demoted and executed, and was replaced as chief hangman in 1936 by Yezhov, the “bloodthirsty dwarf.” …


Stalin’s close associates and loyalists included member of the Central Committee and Politburo Lazar Kaganovich. Montefiore characterizes him as the “first Stalinist” and adds that those starving to death in Ukraine, an unparalleled tragedy in the history of humankind aside from the Nazi horrors and Mao’s terror in China, did not move Kaganovich.

Many Jews sold their soul to the devil of the Communist revolution and have blood on their hands for eternity. We’ll mention just one more: Leonid Reichman, head of the NKVD’s special department and the organization’s chief interrogator, who was a particularly cruel sadist.

In 1934, according to published statistics, 38.5 percent of those holding the most senior posts in the Soviet security apparatuses were of Jewish origin. They too, of course, were gradually eliminated in the next purges. In a fascinating lecture at a Tel Aviv University convention this week, Dr. Halfin described the waves of Soviet terror as a “carnival of mass murder,” “fantasy of purges,” and “messianism of evil.” Turns out that Jews too, when they become captivated by messianic ideology, can become great murderers, among the greatest known by modern history.

The Jews active in official communist terror apparatuses (in the Soviet Union and abroad) and who at times led them, did not do this, obviously as Jews, but rather, as Stalinists, Communists, and “Soviet people.” Therefore, we find it easy to ignore their origin and “play dumb”: What do we have to do with them? But let’s not forget them. My own view is different. I find it unacceptable that a person will be considered a member of the Jewish people when he does great things, but not be considered part of our people when he does amazingly despicable things. Even if we deny it, we cannot escape the Jewishness of “our hangmen” who served the Red Terror with loyalty and dedication from its establishment.

In contrast to Plocker, Goldhagen “plays dumb” and refuses to accept any Jewish role whatsoever in communist mass murder. He is, however, very eager to apportion guilt to all Europeans (including those born after World War II) because of their fellow Europeans’ alleged participation in, or failure to prevent, the Holocaust. Indeed, he contends it is this Holocaust-related guilt felt by contemporary Europeans, and their refusal to come to terms with it, that is an important wellspring of current “antisemitism”:

The sense of culpability for what is often characterized as the greatest horror in human history is burdensome or unbearable for most people for whom a salient (often the principal) locus of group identity is the nation, the image and standing of which they typically, especially in the eyes of people outside their countries want to bolster. If we consider how much people bristle at unflattering stereotypes about their national or ethnic group, and how afflicted it makes them feel personally, we should magnify such reactions a figurative hundred or thousand times to understand how disturbing it is to be implicated in the Holocaust.

Germans, the French, the Dutch, Norwegians, the Swiss, Poles, Ukrainians, Lithuanians, Latvians, Slovaks, Greeks, Hungarians, Christians in general, and Catholics in particular, even Danes face this problem albeit to different degrees. Yet there is no easy way around it other than burying it or, even more effective, shifting blame to the Jews themselves.[14]

In addition to his Freudian-like theorizing about contemporary Europeans, Goldhagen also blames them for not doing nearly enough to prevent Muslim attacks on Jews in Europe, despite the fact that the large-scale Muslim presence in Europe is itself a malignant outgrowth of Jewish ethno-political activism — of a Europe that, in infamous words of Barbara Lerner-Spectre “has now moved into multicultural mode.”

Goldhagen quotes Moshe Kantor, the president of the European Jewish Congress, who, surveying the European landscape following Muslim attacks on Jews in Toulouse, France and then in Malmo, Sweden in 2012, declared that “the explosion of Malmo follows an unprecedented wave of attacks against Jews and Jewish targets in recent months, since the murders in Toulouse. The Jewish community in Europe is under attack, there is a real threat to Jewish communal life in parts of Europe and not enough is being done to protect it. A threat to Jewish life in Europe is a threat to the foundations of Europe.” Neither Kantor nor Goldhagen will admit the obvious: that violent, low-IQ Muslims would not even be in Malmo or Toulouse (let alone attacking anyone there) but for the aggressive Jewish push to reshape Western societies in their own interests. Now Kantor is pushing for the enactment of draconian new “hate speech” laws that would further restrict freedom of political speech throughout Europe.


The Devil That Never Dies is a badly written, poorly organized, and fundamentally dishonest book. Goldhagen presents his “arguments” in a rambling and annoyingly repetitive manner. The book is full of circular arguments and convoluted, tautological nonsense such as: “Global antisemitism is built upon the foundational antisemitic paradigm, with various kinds, or worlds, of antisemitism embedded in and shaped by its global contours, and with these various worlds of antisemitism in substantial part continuing their previous antisemitic lives while also being continually altered as they intermesh and include new antisemitic features, which have emerged as a response to our global world’s changed nature.”[15]

Despite its many conceptual and stylistic flaws, The Devil That Never Dies was widely praised in the Jewish and Jewish-controlled media. Neal Gendler from the American Jewish World, for example, called the book a “frightening exposition on how anti-Semitism has become a global phenomenon” which is “bursting with information and insight.” Benjamin Weinthal from the Jerusalem Post called it a “brilliant work” that “should sound a clarion call for governmental and societal intervention.” The Jewish Book Council, while extolling Goldhagen’s book as “rich and provocative” had to admit that Goldhagen’s “writing is often dense and repetitive and the tone is occasionally shrill and hectoring, with some of his points bordering on hyperbole.”

The Devil That Never The Dies is so inept that even a leading representative of the Zionist thought police, Anthony Julius, trashed the book in a review in the Wall Street Journal that he naturally wrote “with reluctance.” Julius wanted to sing the book’s praises, but was forced by how truly awful Goldhagen’s work is to admit that it “is a bad book” that “lacks balance and originality” and which “misrepresents or misreads several readily available texts.” Julius concedes that the book “is characterized throughout by overstatement and contains some truly ludicrous judgments.” He laments the fact that, in being “so easily and justly dismissible,” The Devil That Never Dies “weakens the very cause its author seeks to promote.”

As Andrew Joyce has pointed out, Anthony Julius’ own variety of Jewish apologetics has many of the same weaknesses that he attributes to Goldhagen. Ultimately, Jewish apologists like Anthony Julius, Alvin Rosenfeld, David Nirenberg and Daniel Jonah Goldhagen are hamstrung by the fact that the truth happens to be “anti-Semitic.” To present cogent and convincing arguments contrary to the facts is a tough assignment for any writer, even for a former associate professor at Harvard.


[1] Daniel Jonah Goldhagen, The Devil That Never Dies (New York NY; Little, Brown & Co., 2013), 291; 126.

[2] Bernhard Wasserman, On The Eve: The Jews of Europe Before The Second World War (London; Profile Books, 2012 ), 61.

[3] Norman Cantor, The Sacred Chain — The History of the Jews (New York, NY; HarperCollins, 1994), 281.

[4] Chaim Bermant, Jews (London; Weidenfeld & Nicholson, 1977), 160; 162.

[5] Ibid. p. 153

[6] Bermant, Jews, p. 139

[7] Ibid. 171-72.

[8] Ibid. 173.

[9] Ibid. 175.

[10] Ibid. 178-79.

[11] Norman Cantor, The Jewish Experience: An Illustrated History of Jewish Culture & Society (New York; Castle Press, 1996), 364.

[12] Goldhagen, The Devil That Never Dies, 418.

[13] Ibid. 191.

[14] Ibid. 415-16.

[15] Ibid. 218.

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