Lenin on anti-semitism

Submitted by dalcassian on 19 February, 2009 - 3:52 Author: Vladimir Lenin

This speech by Lenin, from 1919, shows how the Bolsheviks attacked the problem of age-old Russian anti-semitism after the workers' revolution of 1917.

"Anti-semitism means spreading enmity towards the Jews. When the accursed Tsarist monarchy was living its last days it tried to incite ignorant workers and peasants against the Jews. The Tsarist police, in alliance with the landlords and capitalists, organised pogroms against the Jews. The landowners and capitalists tried to divert the hatred of the workers and peasants who were tortured by want against the Jews. In other countries, too, we often see the capitalists fomenting hatred against the Jews in order to blind the workers, to divert their attention from the real enemy of the working people, capital...

"It is not the Jews who are the enemies of the working people. The enemies of the workers are the capitalists of all countries. Among the Jews there are working people, and they form the majority. They are our brothers who, like us, are oppressed by capital; they are our comrades in the struggle for socialism. Among the Jews there are kulaks, exploiters and capitalists, just as there among the Russians and among people of all nations. The capitalists strive to sow and foment hatred between workers of different faiths, different nations and different races. Those who do not work are kept in power by the power and strength of capital.

"Rich Jews, like rich Russians, and the rich in all countries, are in alliance to oppress, crush, rob and disunite the workers.

"Shame on accursed Tsarism which tortured and persecuted the Jews. Shame on those who foment hatred towards the Jews, who foment hatred towards other nations.

"Long live the fraternal trust and fighting alliance of the workers of all nations in the struggle to overthrow capital."

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