June 21, 2024
Current Issues Poles Under Communism

Detailed Bulletin: Zydokomuna Very Much Mainstream in Jewish Politics


  • “Few Jews Were Communists” because “Communist Parties were small” is doubly disingenuous. Communist Parties were small because they were usually illegal (Schatz 1991). Moreover, for every card-carrying Jewish Communist there was, in the Jewish community, a host of fellow travelers, supporters, facilitators, and aiders and enablers (Schatz 1991).
  • Furthermore, Jews in Communist Parties were just the beginning! Srebrnik (2016) comments, “But the Jewish Communist movements were not simple extensions of Communist parties; a majority of their members were neither Communist Party members, nor even Communists.”
  • The term Zydokomuna is falsely dismissed as a conspiracy theory. It was not. As elaborated in this bulletin, using freely available scholarly-reliable information, influential non-Communist Jewish leftist parties often sympathized with, collaborated with, and otherwise aided and abetted those “few” Communists and the powerful Soviet Union. It was no secret!
  • Who needs Communist Parties? The boundary between “Jewish Socialists” and “Jewish Communists” was always vague. For instance, the large and mainstream Jewish Socialist Party, the Bund, taught that only “revolutionary struggle” could bring about a new society (Fishman 1974), and Bundists called themselves “revolutionary socialists” (Jacobs 2009, p. 5, 20).
  • There were initially different strains of the Zydokomuna but always the same Communist rootstock. According to Halfin (2009), it was not easy to tell apart the Social Democrats, Bolsheviks and Mensheviks, Stalinists, and Trotskyites, because they “professed the same revolutionary values, spoke the same Marxian language, and adhered to the same [so-called] emancipatory project.”
  • Everyday Jewish socialists widely identified with the USSR (Arens 2011). Yiddish writers worldwide long admired the Soviet Union because they thought that Communism would give Jews separatist rights—all the while the USA “only” offered individual rights (Estraikh 2017). It was all about acquiring Jewish special rights.
  • In fact, Bundists (Yiddishists) such as Elias Tcherikower broke with Lenin only after he refused to support Jews as a nationality, and de-nationalized the Yiddish culture (Karlip 2013). The Bolshevik-Menshevik split occurred when Lenin would not recognize a specifically Jewish socialist movement (Goldstein 2016, p. xviii). In other words, many Jews would not fully support Communism only because it did not give Jews enough power and privilege!
  • Even so, the professedly non-Communist Bund hailed the Russian Revolution as an “example of the politics the Socialist parties should adapt in all countries” and as something “immensely significant… (and moreover) it was possible to have a revolutionary-Socialist oriented International, without its splitting politics, with Socialists and Communists working together” (Goldstein 2016, pp. 41-42).
  • The mainstream Jewish Socialist Bund itself fell just short of becoming formally Communist! In 1920, Lenin imposed 21 conditions for political organizations to join the Comintern (Communist Third International). Bundist centrists endorsed 16 of the 21 conditions, while the leftist Bundist majority endorsed 19.5 of the 21 conditions (Goldstein 2016, p. 59). By this metric alone, the large and mainstream Jewish Socialist Bund overall was between 76% and 93% Communist, but closer to 93%.
  • Furthermore, a large fraction of the Jewish Socialist Bund broke away and formally became openly Communist. It was called the Kombund (Goldstein 2016, pp. 57-58). So amorphous was the boundary between “Jewish Socialists” and “Jewish Communists” that fully 40% of the Jewish Socialist Bund’s membership “was in danger of being sliced off by the Communists” (Wasserstein 2012).
  • After the Comintern disbanded Poland’s Communist Party in 1938, these homeless Communists found a new home in the Bund (Jacobs 2009, p. 4). Once again, the Bund became a repository for outright Communists.
  • Just because the Communists formally reject a Jewish political group, this does not prevent it from being functionally Communist. The Left Poale Zion, rejected by the Comintern owing to its insistence on Jewish separatism, nevertheless defined its political position, throughout the period between WWI and WWII, in terms of the Comintern (Sofer 1978).
  • The Bund in tsarist Russia was pro-Communist before the Russian Revolution (Portnoy 1979, p. 508). No sooner had the Communists come to power than most Bundists dropped their “democratic socialist” posturing and effortlessly folded themselves into Communism (Brossat 1983; Rapoport 1990).
  • In fact, Vladimir Medem (Portnoy 1779, p. 279) and Viktor Adler (Mendelsohn 1997, p. 178) were one of only a few top Jewish Socialists that declared a rejection of the totalitarian nature of Soviet Communism. (The Soviets later murdered Adler, with barely a complaint from the Jews, who were prone to find Polish antisemitism under every stone, and to never stop screaming about it.)
  • During the crucial Polish-Bolshevik War of 1920, in which the very existence of the newly revived Polish state was at stake, the Jewish Socialist Bund in Poland refused to support the Polish cause (Jacobs 2009, p. 9, 144). It effectively sided with Soviet Communism.
  • Nothing changed. In post-WWII Poland, the Bund openly supported the Soviet-imposed Communist puppet government by April 1945 at the latest (Blatman 2003). This was long before the sham elections of January 1947 that officially brought the Communists to power, and it occurred while the Indomitable Soldiers (Zolnierze Wykleci) were heavily engaged in the fight for Poland’s freedom.
  • In the interwar period (1918-1939), most young Polish Jews identified with Zionism, the Bund, and especially Communism (Shulman 1974; See also Gold 2007). Poland did not even make the list.
  • In 1948 the Mapam, Israel’s mainstream Socialist Party, called for “enhancing the Soviet Union’s liberating enterprise” (Sofer 1998, p. 158). Once again, any substantive difference between “Jewish Socialists” and “Jewish Communists” proved to be irrelevant.
  • Why Jewish Communism? Jewish scholar Mendelsohn (1997, p. 15) admits that Jews are cosmopolitans, with minimal identification with the nations in which they live, and moreover this cosmopolitanism is a large factor in Jewish pro-Communism.
  • The apparently-benevolent Jewish goal TIKKUN OLAM (repair the world) itself has an ambiguous meaning. Jews have taken it as a license to impose leftist ideas upon others and perhaps themselves (Neumann 2018). The very notion of having a warrant to “repair the gentiles” itself smacks of a Jewish will to power over gentiles.
  • Jewish messianism emphasizes the messianic age rather than the Messiah, in contrast to Christianity (Petuchowski 1969), so it is easy to discard the belief in the Messiah and just retain the messianic age. Communism is secularized Jewish messianism (Srebrnik 2010, p. 2). It can make Jews dream of dominating others and expanding Jewish wealth and power.
  • Historically, Jews considered themselves the Chosen People of God, and Jews claimed expansive entitlements at the expense of the goyim (Stern 1997). This was further expanded and codified by Talmudic dual morality (Fraade 1991), in which Jews have more favorable laws governing their conduct than do the goyim. Vestiges of this kind of mentality persist whenever Jews think that they have a warrant to dominate others, as through Communism.
  • Jewish antigoyism is long standing (Heilman 2000), and Jews consider themselves innately better than gentiles even when Jews act as bad as gentiles (Ungar 2015). This ingrained Jewish self-superiority over the goyim is excused as a reaction to “being persecuted” (Menuhin 1965), even though much of this sense of superiority occurs even when Jews are not being persecuted! (Neusner 2003). Furthermore, Jews were not normally persecuted (Polonsky 2018). This Jewish mindset of goyish hostility is a form of psychological projection of the Jews’ own hostility towards the goyim (which also occurs by imposing Communism on the goyim).
  • In fact, Jewish scholar Liebman (1979) admits that Jewish intellectuals and leftists have a mixture of hostility, chauvinism, and sense of superiority over non-Jews. Radical leftist movements have an unavoidable totalitarian impulse (Cohen 1981), and this fits-in with Jews seeking to expand their wealth and power through Communism.


Arens. 2011. Flags Over the Warsaw Ghetto, pp. 7-9.

Blatman. 2003. For Our Freedom and Yours, p. 168, 173

Brossat. 1983. Revolutionary Yiddishland, p. 189

Cohen. 1981. Jewish Radicals and Radical Jews, p. 208

Estraikh. 2017. Yiddish and the Left, pp. 228-229

Fishman. 1974. Studies in Polish Jewry, 1919-1939, p. 107

Fraade, 1991. From Tradition to Commentary, p. 42

Gold. 2007. The Life of Jews in Poland Before the Holocaust, p. 16

Goldstein. 2016. Thirty Years With the Jewish Labor Bund, p. xviii, 41-42, 57-59

Halfin. 2009. Stalinist Confessions, p. 3

Heilman. 2000. Defenders of the Faith, p. 147, 193

Jacobs. 2009. Bundist Counterculture in Interwar Poland, p. 4-5, 9, 20, 144

Karlip. 2013. The Tragedy of a Generation, p. 114, 215

Liebman. 1979. Jews and the Left, p. 534, 596

Mendelsohn. 1997. Essential Papers on Jews and the Left, p. 15, 178

Menuhin. 1965. The Decadence of Judaism in Our Time, p. 50, 246

Neumann. 2018. To Heal the World, p. 3, 128-129

Neusner. 2003. Stranger at Home, p. 32

Petuchowski. 1969. Prayerbook Reform in Europe, p. 148

Polonsky. 2018. New Directions in the History of the Jews in the Polish lands, p. 424

Portnoy. 1979. Vladimir Medem, p. 279, 508

Rapoport. 1990. Stalin’s War Against the Jews, p. 30

Schatz. 1991. The Generation, p. 82

Shulman. 1974. The Old Country, pp. 25-27

Sofer. 1998. Zionism and the Foundations of Israeli Diplomacy, p. 158, 179

Srebrnik. 2010. Dreams of Nationhood, p. 2.

Srebrnik. 2016. A Vanished Ideology, p. 6

Stern. 1997. Jewish Identity in Early Rabbinic Writings, pp. 42-44, 211

Ungar. 2015. A Fire Burns in Kotsk, pp. 27-28

Wasserstein. 2012. On the Eve, p. 70


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