The Protocols of the Elders of Zion

Christopher Sykes describes how the last Tsar of Russia, as well as Adolf Hitler and other anti-Semites, were among those taken in by this spurious publication.

To write about the protocols of the Elders of Zion is a proceeding that requires some courage. The author of the article can be sure that on publication he will become the victim, by post, of innumerable wishful thinkers who assert that the famous and ridiculous work is an historic document of unique value, and these people cling to their faith with passion.

There is a vast corpus of learned rubbish designed to prove the reality both of the elders and their protocols, and the piffle is sent in bulk to such as myself, with covering letters couched in a haughty style. They usually contain the phrase: ‘Unlike you, I keep an open mind.’

Let me make my position clear at the outset. I hope I am open-minded, and certainly try to be, but I see no sense in being open-minded about absolutely everything. On certain subjects, notably the rotundity of the earth, the authorship of Shakespeare’s plays, and the proposition that Napoleon once existed, my mind is now closed and I see no point in prising it apart again.

I have studied the arguments in favour of unorthodox views on these matters and have found them totally unacceptable. So also with the view that the Protocols of the Elders of Zion are genuine. I warn my future correspondents on this subject: my waste-paper basket is huge and I shall neither read nor answer their letters. The forgery is beyond doubt.

To continue reading this article you will need to purchase access to the online archive.

Buy Online Access  Buy Print & Archive Subscription

If you have already purchased access, or are a print & archive subscriber, please ensure you are logged in.

If you are logged in and still cannot read the article, please email digital@historytoday.com.

X

Get Miscellanies, our free weekly long read, in your inbox every week