Tsar Nicholas II made inept efforts to mollify his angry people by granting basic liberties and allowing a parliament (Duma), which he kept dissolving. Meanwhile he ruthlessly suppressed the people’s rising. Royal troops fired ona peaceful march of workers in St. Petersburg on January 9, known as Bloody Sunday. Anti-Jewish pogroms were rampant. The Russian edition, published by Dr. Nilus, of the “Protocols of Zion” was widely circulated. Monarchists frequently read it aloud to illiterate peasants.
The start of World War I led to Russian military defeats. A failing economy brought about terrible civilian suffering. Loyalists openly spoke about a “Jewish plot”.
Food riots, strikes, and the tsar’s panicky dissolution of the Fourth Duma exploded into revolution. By November, the Bolsheviks (the revolutionary faction of the former Social Democratic workers’ party) had seized control of the government. Royalist Russians began a civil warand were defeated. Tsar Nicholas II abdicated and was executed, along with his family, by Bolsheviks in 1918.
Russian aristocrats fled Russia and dispersed throughout Europe, the Far East, and the Middle East. There they settled as expatriates. Most had little work experience. In order to earn money, they frequently sold valuables. Some of these items provided information on the Russian use of anti-Semitic literature.“

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Will Eisner1
1917 - 2005

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