THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS
20 Friday, August 30, 1985
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Lenin and His Legacies
Sidney Harris, in one of his sort of means has been- used to
very informative columns, wrote sow ignorance, evil and wild
that he had found a reference to hate against the Jews.
"In this nefarious undertak-
Vladimir Lenin on his death
bed, expressing "repentance for ing," the letter continued, "not
the butcheries of the Russian only the scum of the Black
Revolution." Understandably, Hundred (a band of Ukrainian
there were many inquiries about pogromists) are active, but also,
it, asking for the source, "some reactionary professors, scholars,
because they wanted verification journalists, reptesentatives in
to reprint it, others because they parliament and so on. Millions,
regarded it as a blatant falsifi- indeed billions of rubles are
cation concocted by his political being squandered to poison the
enemies." Harris searched and public opinion of the population
found the full quotation. It was in the most effective way and
from an article by Liam Brophy manner."
The original of this letter was
entitled "Lenin Was Right,"
which appeared in the October sold to a dealer for $3,300. It
1949 issue of St. Anthony's Mes- was written when Lenin was
senger. It was reprinted in The living in poverty in Zurich,
Francis Book, published by Switzerland, where he, stayed
Macmillan in 1980 and the text from January 1916 to March
of it follows:
It has been verified that
Lenin on his deathbed ( admit-,
ted to a Hungarian priest,
who had been a former
classmate, that his method of
emancipating the proletariat
had been tragically wrong.
"I have been mistaken," he
said. "It was necessary, I
suppose, to liberate the mul-
titude of oppressed people,
but our method has provoked
other oppressions, most
frightful massacres. You
know that my most awful
nightmare is to feel myself
Lenin's -opposition to Zionism
drowning in an ocean of the
may have served as a basis for
blood of countless victims."
"To save our Russia," he present-day Kremlin enmity for
went on, "what was needed Israel. He fought against all
(but it is too late now) was forms of nationalism. He blamed
ten Francises of Assisi. Ten Zionism for diverting the Jewish
Francises of Assisi and we workers' 'interests in the battle
for Communism. He looked to
should have saved Russia."
Arab world as an ally in the
Harris submits that there is the
against the West. The
no way of knowing how authen- struggle
Declaration was judged
tic the quoted statement is, yet Balfour
he "would like to think it repre- by him as an act of British
sents Lenin's awakening to the materialism.
Harris' column adds to
monstrous force for evil he the Sidney
continuing interest in Com-
helped to unleash in the dread-
ideologies on many is-
ful delusion he was doing good." munist The
Jewish attitudes of
Vladimir Lenin acted consis- sues.
Communist regimes stem
tently against anti-Semitism. the
He never departed, however, from Leninism. Officially, the
from his antagonism to Zionism. Kremlin made anti-Semitism ac- a
On that score, he had his dis- crime against the state. In
putes with Chaim Weizmann, tion, Jewish Cultural values,
who later became the first especially Hebrew studies, Jews
President of Israel. They had present ways to prosecute and
their confrontations when both who adhered to their faith the
traditions. Zionism became
were students in Switzerland.
Details of the Lenin: major means for inciting hatred
Weizmann dispute were sum- against Jews. It may well be
marized in the review of Chaim said that anti-Zionism and
Weizmann: The Making of a anti-Israelism did not begin
Zionist Leader by Prof. Jehuda with Stalin. It
Reinhartz (Oxford University Leninism and it had the of
Press), which appeared on this and encouragement
page in the June 14 Jewish Yezvsektzia, the Jewish element
in the Communist party
Such are the sad recollections
One of the most outspoken
condemnations of anti-Semitism aroused by Sidney Harris' in-
by Leifin was contained in a let- teresting column.
ter consisting of 18 typewritten
lines in German to Oscar Gruen,
editor of the Judische Presse- Named For Homer
Zentrale in February 1917.
New York — Dr. Lucjan Dob-
Lenin wrote that his "attitude
towards the Jews has been clear roe:toll, an historian of Jewish
from the beginning" and that life in Poland before and during
when the Bolshevik group of de- the Holocaust, has been named
puties in the Duma (parliament) to hold the Eli and Diana
introduced a bill in 1913 to can- Zborowski Professorial Chair in
cel the restrictions against the Interdisciplinary ,Holocaust
Jews, he felt "the schools, the Studio, at Yeshiva University
press, the parliamentary tri- during the 19004000 academic
bunal everything and every year.