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Racist Caricatures of Jews from Nazi Germany in the 1930s and 1940s, and from Soviet Russia after 1967

To make it easier to tell them apart, the Nazi cartoons are on the left and the Soviet cartoons are on the right.

Knowing that the CIA was largely formed from the former Nazi intelligence [sic!] service; knowing that, as an Embassy dispatch from Ambassador Berry demonstrates, the U.S. appealed to Arabs with arguments identical to those used by the Nazis, attacking communism by linking it to "The Jews"; and then looking at the cartoons below, produced by the Soviet communist mass media, one must ask:

Did the Nazis really lose the Second World War?

The similarity of the Nazi and post-1967 Soviet images below is especially horrifying when you consider that the Soviet Union bore the brunt of the Nazi war machine, losing perhaps 27 million people. How could the Soviet media serve up Nazi images two decades later? Especially in the context of the Arab-Israeli dispute, since Soviet journalists must have known that the leader of the Palestinian movement, Hajj Amin al-Husseini, had been a top agent of Nazi intelligence, organizing the Waffen SS in Bosnia, which fought the Soviets at Stalingrad! (About 600,000 Soviet soldiers died there. Civilian casualties are estimated to have been higher.)

One part of the explanation, I think, is that the Communist movement always minimized the importance of ideas and intellectual integrity in general and of combating racist ideas in particular. Some Communist intellectuals gloried in the heroic (?) character of working with the worst people. I remember a line from Bertolt Brecht, the German Communist poet/playwright with whose writings I was infatuated as a teenager. Brecht said (I cannot remember where):

"Sink down in the slime; embrace the butcher; but change the world; it needs it.

For what task are you too good?"

This was written in a particular context, of course, but still...

When I was in Belgrade for a conference in October 2001 I had the pleasure of spending an evening talking to another guest, a former Soviet official who had been an undersecretary at the United Nations. He said to me, "You work with anyone, do anything that advances you closer to victory."

The problem is, this is double talk. Because in human life things are always changing and therefore the ideas you promote to achieve victory define the limits of the victory you achieve.

Or to put it in the ironic style of a character in a Bertolt Brecht play: "Who is the you that will win?"

-- Jared Israel
Emperor's Clothes










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