“They made profits by taking the peasants’ grain to the point of impoverishing them (and causing famine), turning it into brandy, and then encouraging drunkenness. (p. 21, 24).”
“Jews forced peasants into lifelong debt and crushing poverty by requiring payment, in cattle and tools, for liquor. (p. 31).”
By Jan Peczkis, Russia Insider, 2/15/2018
The translation of Solzhenitsyn’s book appears to have been done without permission from his family, and this might be why this lengthy and detailed review is no longer available on the page of the book on Amazon.com, where it originally appeared.
The book might disappear altogether from Amazon, so if you want to get your Kindle copy, act now. Otherwise you can find it on many sources on the internet.
The translator, Columbus Falco, describes the censorship of this book when it appeared in 2002:
“Published in the original Russian in 2002, the book was received with a firestorm of rage and denunciation from the literary and media world, from the Jews, and from almost the entire intelligentsia of the established order in the West…
Immense efforts have been made by the Russian authorities and also by the Western liberal democratic power structure to ignore 200 YEARS TOGETHER, to suppress it as much as possible, and above all to prevent and interdict the book’s translation into foreign languages, most especially into English, which has become essentially the worldwide language of our epoch…
The Russian authorities have to this date refused to allow any official English translation of the book to be published”. (p. 2).
CHARACTERISTICS OF SOLZHENITSYN’S MAGNUM OPUS
So what is so naughty, naughty about this book?
Most of it consists of unremarkable information that can be found in standard, non-censored texts. [For details, see comments.]
Agree with author Solzhenitsyn or not, but recognize the fact that he is no lightweight. Solzhenitsyn goes into considerable detail about many different historical epochs, and clearly has a deep knowledge of the issues that he raises. His approach is balanced. He is sympathetic towards Jews as well as critical of Jews.
The latter evidently does not sit well with many, because it does not comply with the standard Judeocentric narrative, in which Jews are just victims and can do no wrong. Worse yet, a famous writer is bringing sometimes-unflattering information about Jews to light, and this is threatening. Hence the censorship.
JEWS IN 19TH CENTURY TSARIST RUSSIA
Far from living in oppression, Russia’s Jews not only had more freedom than the serfs, but also more than the Russian traders and merchants. (pp. 16-17), and this was also true of more recent times. (p. 45). Soon after the Partitions of Poland, Derzhavin visited the area and reported on the Jews in the then-current manorial society. The Polish nobility had turned over the management of their estates to the Jews (p. 21), and the Jews engaged in conduct that brought them short-term profits and long-term antagonisms.
Consider the PROPINACJA. The Jews accumulated wealth by cooperating with each other. (p. 31). They made profits by taking the peasants’ grain to the point of impoverishing them (and causing famine), turning it into brandy, and then encouraging drunkenness. (p. 21, 24). Jews forced peasants into lifelong debt and crushing poverty by requiring payment, in cattle and tools, for liquor. (p. 31).
In addition, a system of bribery protected this arrangement. Thus, the Polish magnates were on the “take” of part of the wealth squeezed by Jews out of the peasantry, and, without the Jews and their inventiveness, this system of exploitation could not have functioned, and would have ended. (p. 22). Solzhenitsyn adds that, “…the Jewish business class derived enormous benefit from the helplessness, wastefulness, and impracticality of landowners…” (p. 54).
The Jews kept moving around in order to prevent an accurate count of their numbers—in order to evade taxes. (p. 25). A delegation of Jews travelled to St. Petersburg to try to bribe Russian officials to suppress Derzhavin’s report. (p. 28). In 1824, Tsar Alexander I noticed that Jews were corrupting local inhabitants to the detriment of the treasury and private investors. (p. 32).
Jews were not forced into “parasitic” occupations: They chose them. (p. 31). By the late 19th century (the time of the pogroms), Russian anger had boiled over, focusing on such things as Jews not making their own bread, massive overpricing and profiteering, enriching themselves while impoverishing the muzhik, and taking control of forests, lands, and taverns. (pp. 78-80).
Nor is it true that the Jews were kept out of “productive” occupations. To the contrary. A concerted 50-year tsarist effort to turn Jews into farmers attracted few participants (p. 33), and ended in failure. (p. 58). None of the rationalizations for its failure are valid: Other newcomers to Russian agriculture (Mennonites, Bulgarian and German colonists, etc.), facing the same challenges as the Jews, did quite well. (p. 36). Jewish farmers neglected farm work (pp. 34-35), and kept drifting back into selling goods and leasing of their property to others to farm. (pp. 56-57). The century-later efforts by the Communists, to get Jews into farming, fared no better. (p. 208, 251).
Jewish resistance to assimilation is usually framed in terms of the GOY excluding the Jew. It was the other way around. For the first half of the 19th century, rabbis and kahals strenuously resisted enlightenment, including the proffered Russian education to Jews. (p. 38).
Jews have always tended to exaggerate the wrongs they have experienced from others. (p. 42). This applies to such things as double taxation, forced military service, expulsion from villages, etc. (p. 42, 46, 50).
The Jews of the Vilnius (Wilno), Kaunas, and Grodno regions sided with the Russians during the Poles’ ill-fated January 1863 Insurrection. (p. 69). This confirms Polish sources.