European Jewish Congress
Russian TV series claims Jewish Trotsky masterminded the 1917 revolution
Russian Federation
Russian TV series claims Jewish Trotsky masterminded the 1917 revolution

A hundred years after the Russian Revolution, a new Russian television drama is claiming that a Jew was behind it.

An eight-episode series entitled “Trotsky” argues it was Jewish revolutionary Leon Trotsky — and not Vladimir Lenin — who masterminded the revolution that brought the Communists to power. The film also blames Trotsky for the execution of the Russian royal family.

The upcoming televised drama will be screened on Russian TV in the beginning of November, in time for the 100th anniversary of the Russian Revolution.

“You can say that Trotsky wrote the music, and Lenin sang to it. Trotsky made the revolution happen; Lenin only lead it,” said Alexander Kott, the Jewish co-director of the TV series.

“I hope the public view on Trotsky will change when the film comes out because no one remembers him. Everyone knows Lenin, but everyone forgot Trotsky,” said Kott.

Kott said that there are documents that prove Trotsky was more influential than Lenin.

“He signed all the orders,” Kott said. “I found out a lot for myself too. I didn’t know that Trotsky was in charge [before working on this series].”

But most historians don’t accept the new theory that it was Trotsky who masterminded the Russian Revolution.

“This is utter nonsense. It doesn’t fit in with any historical facts. I totally disagree,” said Gennady Estraikh, a New York University professor who specialises in Jewish history in Russia. “It smells like antisemitism, the claim that the Jews were responsible for the revolution rather than the Russians. It’s very strange.”

Joshua Rubenstein is an Associate of the Harvard University’s Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies who wrote a book about Trotsky. He also said that there is no question that the leader of the Bolsheviks was Lenin.

Trotsky only joined the Bolshevik party a month before the revolution, while Lenin was the leader of the Bolsheviks throughout, Rubenstein pointed out. The fact that Trotsky joined the Bolsheviks late is something that Stalin used against him during the power struggle that followed Lenin’s death, he added. 

“I’m intrigued by the idea that the producers would put Trotsky in the center of the narrative and not Lenin. I wonder what their intention is by putting an explicitly Jewish figure like Trotsky at the centre of the story,” Rubenstein said.

“Trotsky always wanted to bring the Tsar to trial and serve as a prosecutor,” Rubenstein said. “The Tsar is an honored figure by the Russian Orthodox Church — to say that a Jew was behind his execution is a very incendiary accusation.”

Although Trotsky had blood on his hands like the other revolutionaries, he also saved thousands of Jews from the pogroms during the Russian civil war when he was the leader of the Red Army, said Rubenstein.

“We believe that 150,000 Jews were killed and it was the Red Army that stopped it,” Rubenstein said. “Trotsky was absolutely opposed to any physical attacks on Jews.”

The director of the drama said he does not think his film is antisemitic. In fact, Kott said he would be happy if the series aired on Israeli television, too. He does not worry about an antisemitic reaction in Russia, he said.

“I tried to be objective,” he said. “In Russia, there is no antisemitism anymore. Half of the Jews immigrated and the antiemitism that existed in the Soviet times doesn’t exist at all now.”

The TV series “Trotsky” will premiere at the MIPCOM Festival in Cannes on October 17.

Click here to read the full article in Times of Israel

Friday, September 29, 2017
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