Religion Wiki

This wiki's URL has been migrated to the primary domain.Read more here


Religion Wiki

Soviet Anti-Zionism was a doctrine promulgated in the Soviet Union during the course of the Cold War, and intensified after the 1967 Six Day War. It was officially sponsored by the Department of propaganda of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and by the KGB. It alleged that Zionism was a form of racism and sometimes argued that Zionists were similar to Nazis. The Soviet Union was officially opposed to racism of any kind, and therefore Zionologists stated that they were not anti-Semitic or racist themselves.


Zionology was presented as a socio-political science, but there is little if any evidence that the Zionologists ever complied with the scientific method. In line with the official Soviet anti-Israel and anti-Western policies (which were the result of the Cold War), they frequently recycled older anti-Semitic libels while attempting to place them in a Marxist-Leninist context.

Zionism, the national movement for the return of the Jewish people to Zion and their self-determination there, was misrepresented by Zionologists because Israel had allied itself with the United States in the Cold War. In his 1969 book Beware! Zionism, leading Zionologist Yuri Ivanov defined it as the "ideology of loosely linked organizations and political practice of Jewish bourgeoisie, fused with monopolistic spheres in the USA. Zionism sets off militant chauvinism and anti-Communism."

Because the Soviet Union followed communist ideology - which proclaims the universal equality of all human beings - Soviet authorities were officially opposed to all forms of racism and anti-Semitism. Anti-Zionism and Zionology were non-racist oppositions to a Jewish state in Israel. Zionologist arguments were often tied to the Nazi State, who had attempted to build their Aryan race state originally through the exclusion of others.

Soviet leaders insisted that Zionology was not anti-Semitic. As proof, they pointed to the fact that several notable Zionologists were ethnic Jews who were supposed to represent an expert opinion. Many - including some within the Soviet Union itself - argued that Zionology exhibited anti-Semitic themes. In November 1975, the leading Soviet historian and academic M. Korostovtsev wrote a letter to the Secretary of the Central Committee, Mikhail Suslov, regarding the book The Encroaching Counter Revolution by Vladimir Begun: " perceptibly stirs up anti-Semitism under the flag of anti-Zionism."

Some Zionology books, "exposing" Zionism and Judaism, were included in the mandatory reading list for military and police personnel, students, teachers and Communist Party members and were mass published.

The third edition of the thirty-volume Great Soviet Encyclopedia (Большая Советская энциклопедия, БСЭ), published in 1969-1978, qualifies Zionism as racism and makes the following assertions:

  • "the main posits of modern Zionism are militant chauvinism, racism, anti-Communism and anti-Sovietism"
  • "the anti-human reactionary essence of Zionism" is "overt and covert fight against freedom movements and against the USSR"
  • "International Zionist Organization owns major financial funds, partly through Jewish monopolists and partly collected by Jewish mandatory charities", it also "influences or controls significant part of media agencies and outlets in the West"
  • "serving as the front squad of colonialism and neo-colonialism, international Zionism actively participates in the fight against national liberation movements of the peoples of Africa, Asia and Latin America"
  • "A natural and objective assimilation process of Jews is growing around the world."[1]

In his book A History of the Jews in the Modern World, Howard Sachar describes the atmosphere of the Soviet "anti-Zionist" campaign in the wake of the Six-Day War:

"In late July 1967, Moscow launched an unprecedented propaganda campaign against Zionism as a "world threat." Defeat was attributed not to tiny Israel alone, but to an "all-powerful international force." ... In its flagrant vulgarity, the new propaganda assault soon achieved Nazi-era characteristics. The Soviet public was saturated with racist canards. Extracts from Trofim Kichko's notorious 1963 volume, Judaism Without Embellishment, were extensively republished in the Soviet media. Yuri Ivanov's Beware: Zionism, a book essentially replicated The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, was given nationwide coverage."[2]

Paul Johnson and other historians argue that November 10, 1975 United Nations General Assembly Resolution 3379 that labelled "Zionism" as "racism" was orchestrated by the USSR. It was rescinded by the Resolution 4686 in December 1991, which coincided with the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Another recurring Zionology theme was the allegation of secret ties between the Nazis and the Zionist leadership. The thesis of 1982 doctoral dissertation of Mahmoud Abbas, a co-founder of Fatah and one of the leaders of the Palestine Liberation Organization who earned his Ph.D. in history at the Oriental College in Moscow, was "The Secret Connection between the Nazis and the Leaders of the Zionist Movement". [1], [2]

File:Iudaism bez prikras 63-7.gif

Cover of the book Judaism Without Embellishments by Trofim Kichko, published by the Ukrainian SSR Academy of Sciences in 1963


  • [3] Judaism Without Embellishments by Trofim K. Kichko, published by the Ukrainian Academy of Sciences, 1963
Quote: "It is in the teachings of Judaism, in the Old Testament, and in the Talmud, that the Israeli militarists find inspiration for their inhuman deeds, racist theories, and expansionist designs..."
A worldwide outcry forced the Communist Party's Ideological Commission to acknowledge in April 1964 that the book "might be interpreted in the spirit of antisemitism." But on January 20, 1968, the official newspaper of the Communist Party of Ukraine (CPU) Pravda Ukrainy gave notice that the Supreme Council of the CPU has awarded Kichko with a diploma of honor. His other book, Judaism and Zionism (1968), spoke of "chauvinistic idea of God chosenness of the Jewish people... and the idea of ruling over other people of the world"
  • The Encroaching Counter Revolution by Vladimir Begun, Minsk, 1974
Alleges that the Torah is an "unsurpassed textbook of bloodthirstiness and hypocrisy, treachery, perfidy and vile licentiousness"
  • Zionism in the service of Anti-Communism by V.V. Bolshakov
Contains accusations of Zionists of having "served Hitler’s Fifth Column in order to establish Nazi German domination of the world."
  • Beware! Zionism, by Yury Ivanov, Evgeniy Evseev, 1969.
The text in Russian on a Russian ultra-nationalist website.


  1. (Russian) Сионизм (Большая советская энциклопедия)
  2. Howard Sachar, A History of the Jews in the Modern World (Knopf, NY. 2005) p.722


  • Portraits of Infamy: A Study of Soviet Antisemitic Caricatures and Their Roots in Nazi Ideology by Abraham Cooper. L.A. Simon Wiesenthal Center, 1986.
Presented to the Helsinki-process discussions on security and cooperation in Europe, Berne, May 1986. Contains illustrations of Soviet antisemitic caricatures, sometimes almost identical to Nazi caricatures, especially those from Der Stürmer. Compares Soviet and Nazi use of classical antisemitic themes such as dehumanization of Jews, the Jew as warmonger and greedy manipulator, the world Jewish conspiracy, etc. Points to the Soviet identification of Israelis with Nazis.
  • The Nazification of Russia: Antisemitism in the Post-Soviet Era by Semyon Reznik. Wash., DC: Challenge Publications, 1996.
  • Russian Antisemitism, Pamyat, and the Demonology of Zionism by William Korey. Chur (Switzerland): Harwood Academic Publishers for the Vidal Sassoon International Center for the Study of Antisemitism, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, 1995.

See also

  • Anti-Zionist committee of the Soviet public
  • History of the Jews in Russia and Soviet Union
  • Jackson-Vanik amendment
  • Rootless cosmopolitan
  • Doctors' plot

External links