702) Replacing One Monster with Another

Wellington House, Britain's war propaganda division, was keenly aware of the negative impact that ally Russia's persecution of Jews could have in the United States. (The Entente Powers were hoping to get the USA into the war.) What better way to keep the heat off Russia than by coming up with a greater monster? The ill-reputed Turks were tailor-made for the role.

The British had cleverly cut the German cable to the USA, and illegally (but with the tacit approval of the U. S. government) operated a Wellington House division on U.S. soil. The British controlled the level of news entering the United States so expertly, reports of Jewish persecution filtered in only sporadically. Note the date of the following news item, as late as October, 1915.

The Duluth News Tribune ? October 28, 1915.

Persecution In Russia
The facts regarding the persecution of the Jews in Russian Poland are only gradually reaching this country, says the Kansas City Star. They show that the government has taken advantage of the anti-Semitic feeling to oppress an important part of the population. Apparently the necessity was felt of shifting the blame for the Russian retreat. The Jewish residents were accused of helping the invading Germans. As a result large numbers were expelled from their homes and subjected to mob violence.

In a dignified and moderate speech in the duma the Jewish deputy, Mr. Freedman, recently recounted the sufferings of this people. He insisted that thorough investigation had proved the stories circulated of help to the enemy to be without foundation. Case after case he cited of whole communities reduced to poverty. His estimate was that a half million Jews had been beggared by the persecutions.

World public opinion has been brought to bear on Turkey for its slaughter of the Armenians. If the reports from Russia are verified ? and the facts seem well established ? the czar's government cannot escape moral condemnation for its wholesale persecutions in Poland.

Holdwater: As it served no political purpose for the Allies, Russia easily escaped moral condemnation.

Another intent of British propaganda was to counter the image of Russia, especially in the United States. Britain wanted the United States to take its side in the war, or at least to remain a friendly neutral. In the United States, Russia had a very bad image, a well-deserved bad image, because it had been involved in the persecution of the Jews for some time, specifically in 1915. Then Russian soldiers had massacred large numbers of Jews during Russian campaigns against the Germans. Because of that and because reports of these atrocities reports had come back to the United States, Russia, one of Britain's allies, had become a very negative factor in trying to draw America into the war. It was feared that the Jewish influence in America was so great that the Russian actions would harm Britain. ? Prof. Justin McCarthy

© Holdwater

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