The “Jewish Threat”: Anti-Semitic Politics of the U.S. Army. Joseph W. Bendersky. Basic Books, 2000, 586 pp.

Book Review
Published: 2018-12-19

This document is part of the Inconvenient History periodical.
Use this menu to find more documents that are part of this periodical.

The “Jewish Threat”: Anti-Semitic Politics of the U.S. Army by American historian Joseph W. Bendersky is a well-researched book that documents that many people in American military intelligence believed in an international Jewish conspiracy to take over the world. In fact, many officers in the Military Intelligence Division (MID) were saying essentially the same things about Jews as Adolf Hitler did.


Jewish Bolshevism

      Colonel William Godson, one of the American Army’s most-valued intelligence officers, wrote from Poland: “The connection between the Jews and the Bolsheviki at Vilna seems to be proven without a shadow of a doubt. When the Bolsheviki entered the city they were taken to the houses of the wealthy by the Jews and apparently had this matter arranged beforehand.” Godson wrote two years later: “I am so thoroughly convinced of the reality of a Jewish movement to dominate the world that I hate to leave a stone unturned.”[1]

      MID File 245 was a special central dossier reserved for data deemed particularly significant to the “Jewish Question.” Bendersky writes:

      During the 1920s, File 245 contained letters between officers, secret agents, state secretaries, and embassies abroad exchanging the latest information on Jews. Among these would be interspersed lists compiled of prominent Jews who supposedly dominated or influenced German banking, industry, and politics. Far more numerous lists would be gathered of Jews supposedly controlling the Soviet government as MID became preoccupied with the link between Jews and Bolshevism. Although Zionism and Palestine received attention, much more concern was displayed toward Jewish refugees and immigration to the United States. Certain prominent American Jews, including Supreme Court Justice Louis D. Brandeis, Felix Frankfurter, and Rabbi Stephen Wise, were considered sufficiently important to warrant individual scrutiny. Most incredible, though, were lengthy, meticulously documented reports such as “The Power and Aims of International Jewry.”[2]

      File 245 and other MID records on Jews were stored with other military-intelligence material and kept classified until the mid-1970s.[3]

      International Jewish intrigues began to surface within MID during the summer of 1918. An agent linked the Joint Distribution Committee of Jewish War Relief, the Federal Reserve Board, New York Jewish bankers, and the American Jewish Committee with Jewish financiers and centers of propaganda and spying in Germany. The agent also said that the Jewish Bolsheviks who had seized control of Russia now conspired to overthrow other governments. Almost all of the top leaders in the Soviet government were identified as being Jews.[4]

      Other American intelligence officers reported that most Bolshevik leaders were Jews. MID’s New York office reported “that there is now definite evidence that Bolshevism is an international movement controlled by Jews.” In Bern, an American agent reported that 90% of those attending secret Bolshevik meetings were Jews. The British government also obtained evidence that the Bolshevik movement throughout the world is an international conspiracy of Jews. The official MID viewpoint was that “Jewish intellectuals have had the leading and commanding part everywhere,” and because of “the growing power of the Jews,” they practically controlled the Soviet government.[5]

      U.S. General Amos A. Fries told MID’s chief in 1926 that Polish officers believed that Jewish leaders, most disguised under Russian names, really controlled the Soviet Union. Fries wrote: “[O]f the Russian Congress some 70% were Jews and the remaining 30% were largely figure-heads…real power…was entirely in the hands of the Jews who were in it…for what they could get out of it, and very few members…really believe in the doctrines which they preach.”[6]

      General Fries and Eli A. Helmick, inspector general of the army (1919-1927), viewed Bolshevism as the continuation of an international conspiracy that originated with the Illuminati in the 18th Century. They told audiences that the Illuminati incited the great French Revolution of 1789 and “were the influence which led to the bloodshed during the reign of terror.” The Communist International of Lenin and Trotsky was the modern form of this conspiracy, from which more bloody destruction could be expected.[7]

      MID argued that both Jewish Bolsheviks and Jews in general in the Soviet Union profited at the expense of real Russians. Jews monopolized the privileged government offices and easy “graft jobs,” while confiscating the old regime’s most-valuable riches and smuggling them out of the country. Jews encouraged bribery and were behind “all speculation in foodstuffs.” Despite the revolutionary zeal with which Jews dispatched the Red Army against enemies, one MID informant complained that he never saw a Jew anywhere close to the front.[8]    

Jews in the Roosevelt Administration

      It was widely known among U.S. military-intelligence leaders that Jews played a prominent role in the Roosevelt administration. For this and other reasons, Roosevelt was widely unpopular among most U.S. army officers. Bendersky writes: “Years later, the wife of Colonel Truman Smith recounted the ‘exultation’ and ‘fierce delight’ in their social and political circle upon hearing the news of Roosevelt’s death. Finally, in her words, ‘The evil man was dead!’ ”[9]

      The foreign-born Felix Frankfurter, a close friend and adviser of Roosevelt, had long been regarded by military intelligence as a dangerous Jewish radical. Frankfurter’s appointment to the Supreme Court in 1939 and his role in the New Deal was symbolic of the Jewish control of Roosevelt’s administration. Numerous other Jewish appointments caused many military officers to suspect Roosevelt of jeopardizing American domestic- and foreign-policy interests to accommodate Jews.[10]  

      U.S. General George Van Horn Moseley was one of the most outspoken critics of Jews. Bendersky quotes from Moseley’s writings:

      Endowed with “objectionable” hereditary traits preserved by strict inbreeding, a Jew, Moseley wrote, no matter how assimilated, will always remain a Jew, a permanent “human outcast.” Describing Jews as “crude and unclean, animal-like things,” he exclaimed, “it is like writing about something loathsome, such as syphilis.” Insidiously, Jews rise from the underworld to control the economy, then government, making themselves “all-powerful.” Using international finance simultaneously with communism to further their selfish ends, they know no loyalty to any country. In the modern world, their ultimate goal is the “destruction of Christian civilization as we understand it in America today.”[11]

      Congressmen were amazed by Moseley’s outspokenness when he testified before the House Un-American Activities Committee in June 1939. Moseley stated that America must learn from the experience of other countries. The “murder squads” of the Jewish Communists Trotsky and Béla Kun killed “millions of Christians” in the Soviet Union and Hungary. In Germany, “fortunately, the character of the German people was aroused” against the “internationalists” who sold them out at Versailles. Moseley stated that in developing its own refugee policy, America could benefit from the German response “for settling the problem of the Jew within their borders for all time.”[12]

      Although Moseley’s vehemence made it easy for the army to publicly dismiss him as a crank, Moseley’s assertion of Jewish-Communist subversion was a widely held belief among American military officers. Moseley’s statements differed very little from the depictions of Jews by General George S. Patton after World War II. Some retired generals would also express the same views as Moseley into the 1970s.[13]

Jews Force World War II

      Many military-intelligence officers saw Jews as the force behind World War II in Europe. Throughout the 1930s, many military officers foresaw a situation in which Jewish influence would involve the United States in a war against Germany.[14]

      A colonel at the Army War College asked Harvard historian William Langer why “all one hears is hostility for Hitler and for Germany.” Langer replied:

      I think the Jewish influence has a great deal to do with it. You have to face the fact that some of our most important American newspapers are Jewish-controlled, and I suppose if I were a Jew I would feel about Nazi Germany as most Jews feel and it would be most inevitable that the coloring of the news takes on that tinge. As I read the New York Times, for example, it is perfectly clear that every little upset that occurs (and after all many upsets occur in a country of 70 million people) is given a great deal of prominence. The other part of it is soft-pedaled or put off with a sneer. So that in a rather subtle way, the picture you get is that there is no good in the Germans whatever.[15]  

      John Beaty edited secret daily intelligence reports as a G-2 officer in Washington between 1941 and 1947. Beaty wrote the book The Iron Curtain over America based on his insights while inside G-2. He claimed that World War II was an unnecessary war fostered by Jews. The war was designed to kill as many Germans and Americans as possible by prolonging the war through demands for unconditional surrender and the Morgenthau Plan. The uncivilized bombing of German cities was also designed to mass murder innocent German civilians.[16]

      Beaty described the Holocaust as a “fantastic hoax” and United States support for Israel as a policy fiasco. The Iron Curtain over America received strong support from many in the military intelligence community. U.S. General George E. Stratemeyer, for example, said he owed Beaty a great debt, since from Beaty’s book he finally learned what really occurred back home while he was fighting overseas. Stratemeyer said that every loyal American should read The Iron Curtain over America.[17]

      Many other U.S. military leaders also concluded that Jews had influenced America to enter World War II. For example, General Albert C. Wedemeyer wrote to retired Colonel Truman Smith a few years after the war that the British, Zionists, and Communists made American entry into the war inevitable. Wedemeyer said they were motivated by selfish interests rather than the welfare of humanity. He stated that “most of the people associated with Communism in the early days were Jews.” Wedemeyer also claimed that Roosevelt’s Jewish advisers “did everything possible to spread venom and hatred against the Nazis and to arouse Roosevelt against the Germans.”[18]

Post World War II

      General George Patton was removed from his position as military governor of Bavaria after the war for showing too much sympathy for Germans. Patton wrote repeatedly during the next few weeks about the plot by “Jews and Communists” to remove any officer who stood in the way of their destructive plans for Germany. Fear of Jewish opinion in the United States made American generals highly sensitive to criticism that they were treating the Germans too softly. Although most of the civilian German population consisted of women, children and old men, one general confided that “we are under constant pressure to kick the Germans around.”[19]

      American officers and government officials complained incessantly in private that German-Jewish “refugees in American uniforms,” together with Jews in the U.S. government, adversely affected American policy toward Germany. For example, Major Charles Robertson, the American public safety officer in Wels, Austria, thought Patton was sacrificed merely to please “the blessed Jews.” Robertson said Jews seized businesses and property from Austrians merely because the Austrians had been Nazi Party members. As Robertson portrayed it, Jews had infiltrated the military government and protected their fellow Jews in all cases.[20]

      Other officers confidentially criticized the nonfraternization and harsh occupation policies, which some considered in large measure Jewish-inspired. American Frank Mason reported from Germany that some refugee officers let Germans starve, treated German POWs with extreme cruelty, and sadistically beat SS members. According to Mason, given U.S. policy and the way the press misled Americans about events in Germany, disapproving and disgusted officers felt helpless to change the situation.[21]

      The emerging Cold War caused military intelligence to resume its surveillance of Jews and Communists. Confidential intelligence summaries sent to retired General Ralph Van Deman stated that despite their denials, Jews “made an awful poor showing in World War II”; they were “powerful enough to pull the strings” necessary to keep them out of combat. The reports indicated that nefarious Jewish activities were so numerous that even a small staff could not keep up with them. Jewish organizations had unlimited funds and “dwarfed…honest, patriotic groups into insignificance.”[22]

      General Charles A. Willoughby, MacArthur’s intelligence chief in occupied Japan, instigated a yearlong investigation of subversive elements in his own headquarters and in Washington. Willoughby wrote: “There appears to be a racial and geographical affinity for Communism and uncontrolled immigration has become a channel for subversion.” Willoughby upon retirement became more explicit in identifying these as Jewish influences. For example, he complained that an unprincipled Eisenhower had removed Patton “at the behest of Frankfurter, B’nai B’rith and the Jewish Conspirators.”[23]

      Military-intelligence leaders also worked with Merwin K. Hart, the president of the National Economic Council, who waged a relentless battle against Jews and the Anti-Defamation League. Hart argued that left-wing Jews and Communists had worked closely together against American interests. Hart further stated that Jewish-Communist power had forced the United States to make the tragic mistake of partitioning Palestine. That decision cost America oil, alienated its natural Arab allies, and put displaced Palestinians in a dreadful plight.[24]                  

      Anti-Jewish feelings in the officer corps remained long after World War II. For example, following a lecture at Duke Law School on October 10, 1974, General George S. Brown complained that the power of the Israeli lobby was “so strong you wouldn’t believe it.” The Israelis, Brown stated, say:

      “Don’t worry about the Congress. Well take care of the Congress.” Now this is somebody from another country, but they can do it. They own, you know, the banks in this country, the newspapers, you just look at where the Jewish money is in this country.[25]   

      Bendersky concludes the last chapter of his book by writing: “What can be established beyond doubt…is that into the late 1970s and beyond, certain retired officers pursued their crusade to save America from a Jewish threat.”[26] These retired officers were saying similar things about Jews as Adolf Hitler did when he was in power.


      Joseph Bendersky wrote The “Jewish Threat” to show that anti-Semitism permeated the highest ranks of the U.S. military throughout the last century.[27] Much of the book’s extensive research and documentation, however, proves the disproportionate power of Jews in America through their own words and actions. The U.S. military-intelligence leaders were merely reacting to this disproportionate power as loyal and patriotic Americans. The “Jewish Threat” thus contributes to the large body of evidence indicating that a cabal of powerful, interconnected Jews has taken control of America to the detriment of virtually all of its citizens.          


[1] Bendersky, Joseph W., The “Jewish Threat”: Anti-Semitic Politics of the U.S. Army, New York: Basic Books, 2000, pp. xii-xiii.

[2] Ibid., p. xiv.

[3] Ibid., p. xvi

[4] Ibid., pp. 55-58.

[5] Ibid., pp. 60, 69, 116, 118.

[6] Ibid., p. 199.

[7] Ibid., p. 14.

[8] Ibid., p. 118.

[9] Ibid., pp. 212-213, 244.

[10] Ibid., pp. 226, 244.

[11] Ibid., p. 256.

[12] Ibid.

[13] Ibid., pp. 257-258.

[14] Ibid., pp. 270-271.

[15] Ibid., p. 273.

[16] Ibid., pp. 405-408.

[17] Ibid., pp. 408-409.

[18] Ibid., p. 274.

[19] Ibid., pp. 358-360.

[20] Ibid., pp. 361-362.

[21] Ibid., pp. 364-365.

[22] Ibid., pp. 392-394.

[23] Ibid., pp. 396-398.

[24] Ibid., pp. 412-413.

[25] Ibid., p. 428.

[26] Ibid., p. 422.


Additional information about this document
Property Value
Author(s): John Wear
Title: The “Jewish Threat”: Anti-Semitic Politics of the U.S. Army. Joseph W. Bendersky. Basic Books, 2000, 586 pp., Book Review
Sources: Inconvenient History, Vol. 10, No. 4 (2018)
Published: 2018-12-19
First posted on CODOH: Dec. 19, 2018, 1:33 p.m.
Last revision:
Appears In: