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Khazar theory of Ashkenazi ancestry

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Title: Khazar theory of Ashkenazi ancestry  
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Subject: Anti-Zionism, Yiddish, Antisemitism, Ashkenazi Jews, Khazars
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Khazar theory of Ashkenazi ancestry

The Khazar theory of Ashkenazi ancestry is a hypothesis that Ashkenazi Jews descend from the Khazars - a multi-ethnic collection of Turkic peoples who formed a semi-nomadic Khanate in what is now Southern Russia, extending from Eastern Europe to Central Asia. The theory relies on some Middle Ages' sources such as the Khazar Correspondence, according to which at some point in the 8th-9th centuries, the ruling elite of Khazars was said by Judah Halevi and Abraham ibn Daud to have converted to Rabbinic Judaism.[1] The scope of the conversion within the Khazar Khanate remains uncertain, and the evidence used to tie the Ashkenazi communities to Khazars by descent is exiguous and subject to conflicting interpretations.[2][3] Those who have argued in support of the theory use a variety of arguments from genetic hypotheses to inferences from linguistic evidence, and historical records and archaeological data.

In the late 19th century, Ernest Renan and other scholars speculated that the Ashkenazi Jews of Europe had their origin in Turkic refugees that had migrated from the collapsed Khazarian Khanate westward into the Rhineland, and exchanged their native Khazar language with the Yiddish language while continuing to practice the Jewish religion. The Khazar-Ashkenazi hypothesis came to the attention of a much wider public with the publication of Arthur Koestler's The Thirteenth Tribe in 1976.[4]

This theory has had a complex history, within and beyond Judaism. Major scholars have either defended its plausibility or dismissed it as a pure fantasy. It has also been seized on at times by antisemites and anti-Zionists for various purposes to argue for the idea that Ashkenazi Jews have no ancestral connection to ancient Israel. The theory had been received with scepticism or caution by most modern scholars: according to Paul Wexler, who promotes the theory, scholars prefer to ignore the topic, which is controversial, and both ideological insecurities and a perception that earlier work advancing the hypothesis was incompetent may play a role in their diffidence.[5][6]


  • History 1
    • Salo Wittmayer Baron 1.1
    • Koestler, The Thirteenth Tribe. and contemporary views 1.2
  • Use in antisemitic polemics 2
  • Genetics 3
  • Criticism 4
  • See also 5
  • Notes 6
  • References 7
  • External links 8


Abraham Eliyahu Harkavi suggested as early as 1869 that there might be a link between the Khazars and European Jews.[7] Three years later, however, in 1872, a Crimean Karaite, Abraham Firkovich, alternatively proclaimed that his Turkic-speaking sect descended from Turkic converts to Judaism.[8] The theory, however, that Khazar converts formed a major proportion of Ashkenazi was first proposed to a Western public by Ernest Renan in 1883.[9][10] In a lecture delivered in Paris before the Cercle du Saint-Simon on 27 January 1883, Renan argued that conversion played a significant role in the formation of the Jewish people, stating that:

This conversion of the kingdom of the Khazars has a considerable importance regarding the origin of those Jews who dwell in the countries along the Danube and southern Russia. These regions enclose great masses of Jewish populations which have in all probability nothing or almost nothing that is anthropologically Jewish in them.[11]

Occasional suggestions emerged that there was a small Khazar component in East European Jews in works by Joseph Jacobs (1886), Anatole Leroy-Beaulieu (1893),[12] Maksymilian Ernest Gumplowicz,[13] and by the Russian-Jewish anthropologist Samuel Weissenberg.[14]

Leroy-Beaulieu, a critic of anti-Semitism who perhaps drew on Renan, queried whether or not thousands of Polish and Russian Jews might have their origins traced back to the "old nomads of the steppes."[15]

In 1909 Hugo von Kutschera developed the notion into a book-length study,[16] arguing that Khazars formed the foundational core of the modern Ashkenazi.[17] Maurice Fishberg introduced the notion to an American audience in 1911 in his book, The Jews: A Study of Race and Environment.[18]

When at the Versailles Peace Conference, a Jewish Zionist called Palestine the land of the Jewish people's ancestors; Joseph Reinach, a French Jewish member of parliament who was opposed to Zionism, dismissed the idea, arguing that Jews descended from Israelites were a tiny minority. In his view, conversion had played a major role in the expansion of the Jewish people, and, in addition, he claimed, the majority of "Russian, Polish and Galician Jews descend from the Khazars, a Tatar people from the south of Russia who converted to Judaism in mass at the time of Charlemagne."[19]

The idea was also taken up by the Polish-Jewish economic historian and General Zionist Yitzhak Schipper in 1918,[20][21] by scholarly anthropologists, such as Roland B. Dixon (1923), and by writers like H. G. Wells (1921) who used it to argue that "The main part of Jewry never was in Judea",[22][23] a thesis that was to have a political echo in later opinion.[24][25] In 1931 Sigmund Freud wrote to Max Eitingon that the sculptor Oscar Nemon, for whom he was sitting, showed the lineaments of a "Slavic Eastern Jew, Khazar or Kalmuck or something like that".[26]

In 1932, Samuel Krauss ventured the theory that the biblical Ashkenaz referred to northern Asia Minor, and identified it with the Khazars, a position immediately disputed by Jacob Mann.[27] Ten years later, in 1942, Abraham N. Poliak, later professor of the history of the Middle Ages at Tel Aviv University, published a Hebrew monograph in which he concluded that the East European Jews came from Khazaria.[28][29] D.M. Dunlop, writing in 1954, thought very little evidence backed what he regarded as a mere assumption, and argued that the Ashkenazi-Khazar descent theory went far beyond what "our imperfect records" permit.[30]

Léon Poliakov, while assuming the Jews of Western Europe resulted from a "panmixia" in the first millennium, asserted in 1955 that it was widely assumed that Europe's Eastern Jews descended from a mixture of Khazarian and German Jews.[31] Poliak's work found some support from Salo Wittmayer Baron and Ben-Zion Dinur,[32][33] but was dismissed by Bernard Weinryb as a fiction (1962).[34]

Salo Wittmayer Baron

Salo Wittmayer Baron, called by his biographer an "architect of Jewish history",[35] devoted a large part of a chapter in his Social and Religious History of the Jews to the Khazarian Jewish state, and the impact he believed that community exercised on the formation of East European Jewries in his Social and Religious History of the Jews (1957).[36] The scarcity of direct Jewish testimonies did not disconcert Baron: this was to be expected since medieval Jews were "generally inarticulate outside their main centers of learning".[37] The Khazarian turn to Judaism was, he judged, the "largest and last mass conversion", involving both the royal house and large sectors of the population. Jews migrated there to flee the recurrent intolerance against Jews and the geopolitical upheavals of the region's chronic wars, which often proved devastating to northern Asia Minor, between Byzantium, Sassanid Persia, and the Abbasid and Ummayad Caliphates.[38]

For Baron, the fact of Jewish Khazaria played a lively role in stirring up among Western Jews an image of "red Jews", and among Jews in Islamic countries a beacon of hope. After the dissolution of Khazaria, Baron sees a diaspora drifting both north into Russia, Poland and the Ukraine, and westwards into Pannonia and the Balkan lands.[39] where their cultivated presence both established Jewish communities and paved the way, ironically, for the Slavonic conversion to Christianity.[40] By the 11th and 12th centuries, these Eastern Jews make their first appearance in the Jewish literature of France and Germany. Maimonides, bemoaning the neglect of learning in the East, laid his hopes for the perpetuation of Jewish learning in the young struggling communities of Europe but would, Baron concludes, have been surprised to find that within centuries precisely in Eastern Europe would arise thriving communities that were to assume leadership of the Jewish people itself.[41]

Koestler, The Thirteenth Tribe. and contemporary views

The Khazar-Ashkenazi hypothesis came to the attention of a much wider public with the publication of Arthur Koestler's The Thirteenth Tribe in 1976.[4] Koestler's work was both positively and negatively reviewed. Israel’s ambassador to Britain branded the book "an anti-Semitic action financed by the Palestinians", while Bernard Lewis claimed that the idea was not supported by any evidence whatsoever, and had been abandoned by all serious scholars.[4][42] Raphael Patai, however, registered some support for the idea that Khazar remnants had played a role in the growth of Eastern European Jewish communities,[43] and several amateur researchers, such as Boris Altschüler (1994)[44] and Kevin Alan Brook,[45] kept the thesis in the public eye.

The theory has been occasionally manipulated to deny Jewish nationhood.[4][46] It has been revived recently in a variety of approaches, from linguistics (Paul Wexler)[47] to historiography (Shlomo Sand)[48] and population genetics. (Eran Elhaik)[49] In broad academic perspective, both the idea that the Khazars converted en masse to Judaism, and the suggestion they emigrated to form the core population of Ashkenazi Jewry, remain highly polemical issues.[50]

Use in antisemitic polemics

Maurice Fishberg and Roland B Dixon’s works were later exploited in racist and religious polemical literature in both Britain, in British Israelism, and the United States.[51] Particularly after the publication of Burton J. Hendrick ‘s The Jews in America (1923)[52] it began to enjoy a vogue among advocates of immigration restriction in the 1920s; racial theorists[53] like Lothrop Stoddard; antisemitic conspiracy theorists like the Ku Klux Klan’s Hiram Wesley Evans; and anti-communist polemicists like John O. Beaty[54]

In 1938, Ezra Pound, then strongly identified with the Fascist regime of Benito Mussolini, sent a query to fellow poet Louis Zukofsky concerning the Khazars after someone had written to him that the ancient Jews had died out and modern Jews were of Khazar descent. He returned to the issue in 1955, apparently influenced by a book called Facts are Facts, which pushed the Jewish-Khazar descent theory, and which for Pound had dug up "a few savoury morsels".[55] The booklet in question, by a Roman Catholic convert from Rabbinical Judaism Benjamin H. Freedman[56] was a rambling anti-Semitic tirade written to Dr. David Goldstein after the latter converted to Catholicism.[57]

John O. Beaty was an antisemitic, McCarthyite professor of Old English at SMU, author of ‘The Iron Curtain over America, (Dallas 1952). According to him, "the Khazar Jews were responsible for all of America’s – and the world’s ills," beginning with World War 1. The book had little impact until the former Wall Street broker and oil tycoon J. Russell Maguire promoted it.[58] A similar position was adopted by Wilmot Robertson, whose views influenced David Duke.[59]

According to Yehoshafat Harkabi (1968) and others,[60] it played a role in Arab anti-Zionist polemics, and took on an antisemitic edge. Bernard Lewis, noting in 1987 that Arab scholars had dropped it, remarked that it only occasionally emerged in Arab political discourse.[61] It has also played some role in Soviet antisemitic chauvinism[62] and Slavic Eurasian historiography, particularly in the works of scholars like Lev Gumilev.[63]

Although the Khazar hypothesis never played any major role in antisemitism,[64][65] and although the existence of a Jewish kingdom north of the Caucasus had formerly long been denied by Christian religious commentators,[66] it came to be exploited by the White supremacist Christian movement [67] and even by terrorist esoteric cults like Aum Shinrikyō.[68] The Christian Identity movement, which took shape from the 1940s to the 1970s, had its roots in British Israelism which had been planted on American evangelical soil in the late 19th century.[69]

The theory, which claims that today's Ashkenazi Jews are descendants of Khazar converts to Judaism, is popular on Internet anti-Semitic websites.[70]


The last 15 years has seen a plethora of genetic research on Jewish populations worldwide. "The consensus research holds that most Ashkenazi Jews, as well as many Jews tracing their lineage to Italy, North Africa, Iraq, Iran, Kurdish regions and Yemen, share common paternal haplotypes also found among many Arabs from Palestine, Lebanon and Syria."[71] While this consensus applies to genetic studies on the paternal Y chromosome, genetic studies on the maternal X chromosome "have proved difficult to assign to a source population,"[72] with one study showing "four founding mtDNAs, likely of Near Eastern ancestry,"[73] and at least one other study showing "a substantial prehistoric European ancestry amongst Ashkenazi maternal lineages."[72][74] However, another study by Eva Fernandez et al. published in 2014 which studied the DNA of the Neolithic period and its modern descendants suggested that Ashkenazi Jews originated in the Ancient Near East, contrary to the conclusions of Costa (2013).[75]

A 2001 study found that Jews were closer to groups in the north of the Fertile Crescent (Kurds, Assyrians, Turks, and Armenians) than to their Arab neighbors, whose "chromosomes might have been introduced through migrations from the Arabian Peninsula during the last two millennia."[76]

A 2003 study of the Y chromosome by Behar et al. points to multiple origins for Ashkenazi Levites, a priestly class who comprise approximately 4% of Ashkenazi Jews. It found that haplogroup R1a1a (R-M17), which is uncommon in the Middle East or among Sephardi Jews, but dominant in Eastern Europe, is present in over 50% of Ashkenazi Levites, while the rest of Ashkenazi Levites' paternal lineage is of apparent Middle Eastern origin. In comparison, the haplotype is very rare among Ashkenazi Cohanim (1.7%). Behar suggested a founding event, probably involving one or very few European men, occurring at a time close to the initial formation and settlement of the Ashkenazi community as a possible explanation.[77] Nebel, Behar and Goldstein speculate that this may indicate a Khazar origin,[78] with Goldstein saying the Khazar theory "now seems to me plausible, if not likely".[79]

In 2010, Atzmon et al. presented work refuting large-scale genetic contributions of Central and Eastern European and Slavic populations to the formation of Ashkenazi Jewry. Ashkenazi Jews, part of European/Syrian Jewish populations, shared a proximity to each other and to French, Northern Italian, and Sardinian populations which was found to be incompatible with any theory maintaining that the Askhenazi were direct lineal descendants of Khazars or Slavs. They did allow that some Slavic or Khazarian admixture might have taken place during the second millennium, and noted that the 7.5% prevalence of the R1a1 haplogroup., common among Ukrainians, Russians and Sorbs, as well as among Central Asian populations, among Ashkenazi Jews has led to interpretations for a possible Slavic or Khazar admixture, although this admixture may have resulted only from mixing with Ukrainians, Poles, or Russians, rather than with the Khazars.[80]

Geneticist Eran Elhaik has argued that his genetic work proves the Khazar hypothesis. Elhaik writes: "Strong evidence for the Khazarian hypothesis is the clustering of European Jews with the populations that reside on opposite ends of ancient Khazaria: Armenians, Georgians, and Azerbaijani Jews. Because Caucasus populations remained relatively isolated in the Caucasus region and because there are no records of Caucasus populations mass-migrating to Eastern and Central Europe prior to the fall of Khazaria (Balanovsky et al. 2011), these findings imply a shared origin for European Jews and Caucasus populations."[81] The study was criticized for its use of Armenians and Azerbaijani Jews as proxies for Khazars and for using Beduin and Jordanian Hashemites as a proxy for the Ancient Israelites. The former decision was criticized because Armenians were assumed to have a monolithic Caucasian ancestry, when as an Anatolian people (rather than Turkic) they contain many genetically Middle Eastern elements. Azerbaijani Jews are also assumed for the purposes of the study to have Khazarian ancestry. The decision to cast Bedouin/Hashemites as "proto-Jews" was especially seen as political in nature, considering that both have origins in Arab tribes from the Arabian Peninsula rather than from the Ancient Israelites, while the descent of the Jews from the Israelites is largely accepted. [82][83] The study was also criticized as interpreting information selectively—The study found far more genetic similarity between the Druze and Ashkenazim than the Ashkenazim and Armenians, but Elhaik rejected this as indicating a common Semitic origin, instead interpreting it as evidence of Druze having Turkic origins when they are known to come from Syria.

The majority consensus of geneticists conducting Jewish genetic experimentation have refuted Dr. Elhaik's methods and work. University of Arizona geneticist Michael Hammer called Elhaik's premise "unrealistic," calling Elhaik and other Khazarian hypothesis proponents "outlier folks… who have a minority view that’s not supported scientifically. I think the arguments they make are pretty weak and stretching what we know." Marcus Feldman, director of Stanford University's Morrison Institute for Population and Resource Studies, echoes Hammer. "If you take all of the careful genetic population analysis that has been done over the last 15 years… there’s no doubt about the common Middle Eastern origin," he said. He added that Elhaik’s paper "is sort of a one-off." Elhaik’s statistical analysis would not pass muster with most contemporary scholars, Feldman said: "He appears to be applying the statistics in a way that gives him different results from what everybody else has obtained from essentially similar data."[84]

In 2013, the results of the largest genetic study on Jews released by the Wayne State University found that Ashkenazi, North African, and Sephardi Jews shared substantial genetic ancestry, that they derive from Middle Eastern and European populations and found no detectable Khazar genetic origins.[85]


According to Jon Entine, historians and scientists believe the Khazarian theory should more accurately be called a myth.[86] A 2013 study of Ashkenazi mitochondrial DNA found no significant evidence of Khazar contribution to the Ashkenazi Jewish DNA, as would be predicted by the Khazar hypothesis[87] and although there is no historical or DNA evidence to support the Khazar idea, Alan Unterman maintains that it is still popular in some Arab states.[88]

The strong claim that Ashkenazis as a whole take their origin from Khazars has been widely criticized as there is no direct evidence to support it.[89][90] In addition, Ashkenazi Jews have been found to have a strong DNA connection to Israelites and the Middle East,[91] sharing many common genes with other Jews from some 3000 years ago.,[92][93] therefore it "does not support this [Khazar conversion] idea[94]

Using four Jewish groups, one being Ashkenazi, a Kopelman et al study found no direct evidence to the Khazar theory[95] while another research concluded that its findings "debunk one of the most questionable, but still tenacious, hypotheses: that most Ashkenazi Jews can trace their roots to the mysterious Khazar Kingdom that flourished during the ninth century in the region between the Byzantine Empire and the Persian Empire".[96] Some scientists believe that even if the theory were to be true, "only a small minority of the Khazars may have adopted Judaism."[97] and that "the questions of whether there was a Khazar contribution to the Ashkenazi Jews' lineage, or exactly what percentage of mitochondrial variants emanate from Europe, cannot be answered with certainty using present genetic and geographical data".[98]

Nadine Epstein, an editor and executive publisher of Moment magazine said "When I read Arthur Koestler's The Thirteenth Tribe, I bought his theory that Ashkenazim were descended from the Khazars ... But in 1997, Karl Skorecki in Haifa, Michael Hammer in Tucson and several London researchers surprised everyone by finding evidence of the Jewish priestly line of males, the Kohanim. Half of Ashkenazic men and slightly more than half of Sephardic men who claimed to be Kohanim were found to have a distinctive set of genetic markers on their Y chromosome, making it highly possible that they are descendants of a single male or group of related males who lived between 1180 and 650 B.C.E., about the time of Moses and Aaron.[98]

In 2000, the analysis of a report by Nicholas Wade named Y Chromosome Bears Witness to Story of the Jewish Diaspora "provided genetic witness that these [Jewish] communities have, to a remarkable extent, retained their biological identity separate from their host populations, evidence of relatively little intermarriage or conversion into Judaism over the centuries.... The results accord with Jewish history and tradition and refute theories like those holding that Jewish communities consist mostly of converts from other faiths, or that they are descended from the Khazars, a medieval Turkish tribe that adopted Judaism."[98]

In June 2014, Shaul Stampfer published a lengthy paper challenging the theory as ungrounded in sources contemporary with the Khazar period, stating: "Such a conversion, even though it’s a wonderful story, never happened".[99][100]

See also


  1. ^ Golden 2007a, p. 149
  2. ^ [1]
  3. ^ [2]
  4. ^ a b c d Sand 2010, p. 240.
  5. ^ Wexler 2002, p. 536."Most scholars are sceptical about the hypothesis." Wexler, who proposes a variation on the idea, argues that a combination of three reasons accounts for scholarly aversion to the concept: a desire not to get mixed up in controversy, ideological insecurities, and the incompetence of much earlier work in favour of that hypothesis.
  6. ^ Golden 2007a, p. 56:"Methodologically, Wexler has opened up some new areas, taking elements of folk culture into account. I think that his conclusions have gone well beyond the evidence. Nonetheless, these are themes that should be pursued further."
  7. ^ Rossman 2002, p. 98: Abraham Harkavy, O yazykye evreyev, zhivshikh v drevneye vremya na Rusi i o slavianskikh slovakh, vstrechaiuschikhsia u evreiskikh pisatelei, St. Petersburg.
  8. ^ Nathans 1999, p. 409.
  9. ^ Barkun 1997, p. 137: Ernest Renan, "Judaism as a Race and as Religion." Delivered on the January 27, 1883.
  10. ^ Rossman 2002, p. 98.
  11. ^ Renan 1883:Cette conversion du royaume des Khozars a une importance considérable dans la question de l’origine des juifs qui habitent les pays danubiens et le midi de la Russie. Ces régions renferment de grandes masses de populations juives qui n’ont probablement rien ou presque rien d’ethnographiquement juif.'
  12. ^ Singerman 2004, pp. 3–4, Israël chez les nations (1893):Eng.Israel Among the Nations (1895).
  13. ^ Polonsky, Basista & Link-Lenczowski 1993, p. 120. In the book Początki religii żydowskiej w Polsce, Warsaw: E. Wende i S-ka, 1903.
  14. ^ Goldstein 2006, p. 131.Goldstein writes: ‘The theory that Eastern European Jews descended from the Khazars was originally proposed by . .Samuel Weissenberg in an attempt to show that Jews were deeply rooted on Russian soil and that the cradle of Jewish civilization was the Caucasus’. Weissenberg’s book Die Südrussischen Juden, was published in 1895.
  15. ^ Singerman 1998, p. 347
  16. ^ Koestler 1976, pp. 134,150. Die Chasaren; historische Studie, A. Holzhauen,Vienna 1909.2nd ed., 1910.
  17. ^ Koestler 1976, pp. 134,150.
  18. ^ Goldstein 2006, p. 131. Maurice Fishberg, The Jews: A Study of Race and Environment.
  19. ^ John Quigley, Palestine and Israel: A Challenge to Justice, Duke University Press, 1990 p.71
  20. ^ Litman 1984, pp. 85–110,109. Schipper’s first monograph on this was published in the Almanach Žydowski (Vienna) in 1918, While in the Warsaw ghetto before falling victim to the Holocaust at Majdanek, Schipper (1884-1943) was working on the Khazar hypothesis.
  21. ^ Brook 2009, p. 210.
  22. ^ Wells 2004, p. 2:"There were Arab tribes who were Jews in the time of Muhammad, and a Turkic people who were mainly Jews in South Russia in the ninth century. Judaism is indeed the reconstructed political ideal of many shattered peoples-mainly semitic. As a result of these coalescences and assimilations, almost everywhere in the towns throughout the Roman Empire, and far beyond it in the east, Jewish communities traded and flourished, and were kept in touch through the Bible, and through a religious and educational organization. The main part of Jewry never was in Judea and had never come out of Judea."
  23. ^ Singerman 2004, p. 4.
  24. ^ Morris 2003, p. 22: Pasha Glubb held that Russian Jews ‘have considerably less Middle Eastern blood, consisting largely of pagan Slav proselytes or of Khazar Turks.’ For Glubb, they were not 'descendants of the Judeans . .The Arabs of Palestine are probably more closely related to the Judeans (genetically) than are modern Russian or German Jews'. . 'Of course, an anti-Zionist (as well as an anti-Semitic) point is being made here: The Palestinians have a greater political right to Palestine than the Jews do, as they, not the modern-day Jews, are the true descendants of the land's Jewish inhabitants/owners'.
  25. ^ Roland Burrage Dixon The Racial History of Man, 1923; H. G. Wells, The Outline of History (1921)
  26. ^ Gilman 1995, p. 30.
  27. ^ Malkiel 2008, p. 263,n.1.
  28. ^ Golden 2007a, p. 29. 'Poliak sought the origins of Eastern European Jewry in Khazaria'. First written as an article, then as a monograph (1942), it was twice revised in 1944, and 1951 as Kazariyah: Toldot mamlaxa yehudit (Khazaria:The History of a Jewish Kingdom in Europe) Mosad Bialik, Tel Aviv, 1951.
  29. ^ Sand 2010, p. 234.
  30. ^ Dunlop 1954, pp. 261,263.
  31. ^ Poliakov 2005, p. 285:'As for the Jews of Eastern Europe (Poles, Russians, etc.,) it has always been assumed that they descended from an amalgamation of Jews of Khazar stock from southern Russia and German Jews (the latter having imposed their superior culture).'
  32. ^ Sand 2010, pp. 241–2. Sand cites Salo Wittmayer Baron,Baron 1957, pp. 196–206, p.206:'before and after the Mongol upheaval the Khazars sent many offshoots into the unsubdued Slavonic lands, helping ultimately to build up the great Jewish center of Eastern Europe'; and Ben-Zion Dinur, Yisrael ba-gola 5 vols., 3rd ed. (1961-1966)Tel-Aviv: Jerusalem:Dvir;Bialik Institute, 1961. (OCLC:492532282) vol.1 p.2,5:'The Russian conquests did not destroy the Khazar kingdom entirely, but they broke it up and diminished it And this kingdom, which had absorbed Jewish immigration and refugees from many exiles, must itself have become a diaspora mother, the mother of one of the greatest of the diasporas (Em-galuyot, em akhat hagaluyot hagdolot)-of Israel in Russia, Lithuania and Poland.'
  33. ^ Golden 2007a, p. 55:’Salo Baron, who incorrectly viewed them as Finno-Ugrians, believed that the Khazars "sent many offshoots into the unsubdued Slavonic lands, helping ultimately to build up the great Jewish centers of eastern Europe’
  34. ^ Golden 2007a, p. 55:’dismissed. . .rather airily’.
  35. ^ Liberles 1995.
  36. ^ Baron 1957, pp. 196–222.
  37. ^ Baron 1957, p. 196.
  38. ^ Baron 1957, p. 197.
  39. ^ Baron 1957, pp. 206–207
  40. ^ Baron 1957, pp. 208–210,221.
  41. ^ Bacon 1957, pp. 173,222
  42. ^ Lewis 1987, p. 48:'Some limit this denial to European Jews and make use of the theory that the Jews of Europe are not of Israelite descent at all but are the offspring of a tribe of Central Asian Turks converted to Judaism, called the Khazars. This theory, first put forward by an Austrian anthropologist in the early years of this century, is supported by no evidence whatsoever. It has long since been abandoned by all serious scholars in the field, including those in Arab countries, where Khazar theory is little used except in occasional political polemics.' Assertions of this kind has been challenged by Paul WexlerWexler 2002, pp. 538 who also notes that the arguments on this issue are riven by contrasting ideological investments: "Most writers who have supported the Ashkenazi-Khazar hypothesis have not argued their claims in a convincing manner ... The opponents of the Khazar-Ashkenazi nexus are no less guilty of empty polemics and unconvincing arguments."(p.537)).
  43. ^ Patai & Patai 1989, p. 71: "it is assumed by all historians that those Jewish Khazars who survived the last fateful decades sought and found refuge in the bosom of Jewish communities in the Christian countries to the west, and especially in Russia and Poland, on the one hand, and in the Muslim countries to the east and the south, on the other. Some historians and anthropologists go so far as to consider the modern Jews of East Europe, and more particularly of Poland, the descendants of the medieval Khazars."
  44. ^ Golden 2007a, p. 9
  45. ^ Brook 2009
  46. ^ Toch 2012, p. 155,n.4.
  47. ^ Wexler 2007, pp. 387–398.
  48. ^ Sand 2010, pp. 190–249.
  49. ^ Elhaik 2012, pp. 61–74.
  50. ^ Golden 2007, pp. 9–10.
  51. ^ Goldstein 2006, p. 131.
  52. ^ Singerman 2004, pp. 4–5.
  53. ^ Goodrick-Clarke 2002, p. 237.
  54. ^ Boller 1992, pp. 2,6–7; Barkun 1997, pp. 141–2.
  55. ^ Pound & Zukovsky 1987, p. xxi, citing letterd of 10 July 1938 and 24/25 September 1955. Ahearn speculates that Pound may have thought:'If there were no such people as Jews, then the problem of indiscriminate anti-Semitism would disappear. On could focus one’s attention on usurers of whatever description.'
  56. ^ Freedman 1955
  57. ^ Kaplan 1997, p. 191 n.3.
  58. ^ Boller 2013, p. 14
  59. ^ Barkun 1997, pp. 140–141. His ’Dispossessed Majority(1972)
  60. ^ Wexler 2002, p. 514 has a more detailed bibliography.
  61. ^ Harkabi 1987, p. 424:"Arab anti-Semitism might have been expected to be free from the idea of racial odium, since Jews and Arabs are both regarded by race theory as Semites, but the odium is directed, not against the Semitic race, but against the Jews as a historical group. The main idea is that the Jews, racially, are a mongrel community, most of them being not Semites, but of Khazar and European origin." This essay was translated from Harkabi Hebrew text 'Arab Antisemitism' in Shmuel Ettinger, Continuity and Discontinuity in Antisemitism, (Hebrew) 1968 (p.50).
  62. ^ Shnirelman 2007, pp. 353–372:'in the very late 1980s Russian nationalists were fixated on the "Khazar episode." For them the Khazar issue seemed to be a crucial one. They treated it as the first historically documented case of the imposition of a foreign yoke on the Slavs, .. In this context the term "Khazars" became popular as a euphemism for the so-called "Jewish occupation regime." (p.354)
  63. ^ Rossman 2007, pp. 121–188.
  64. ^ Barkun 1997, pp. 136–7:'The Khazar theory never figured as a major component of anti-Semitism. Indeed, it receives only scant attention in Léon Poliakov’s monumental history of the subject.’
  65. ^ Barkun 2012, p. 165:'Although the Khazar theory gets surprisingly little attention in scholarly histories of anti-Semitism, it has been an influential theme among American anti-Semites since the immigration restrictionists of the 1920s,'.
  66. ^ Gow 1995, pp. 30–31, n.28.
  67. ^ Barkun 1997, pp. 142–144.
  68. ^ Goodman & Miyazawi 2000, pp. 263–264
  69. ^ Gardell 2002, p. 165.'The formative period of Christian Identity could roughly be said to be the three decades between 1940 and 1970. Through missionaries like Wesley Swift, Bertrand Comparet and William Potter Gale, it took on a white racialist, anti-Semitic, anti-Communist and a far-right conservative political outlook. Combined with the teachings of early disciples Richard G. Butler, Colonel Jack Mohr and James K. Warner, a distinct racist theology was gradually formed. Whites were said to be the Adamic people, created in His likeness. A notion of a pre-earthly existence is found in an important substratum, teaching that whites either had a spiritual or extraterrestrial pre-existence. Blacks were either pre-Adamic soulless creatures or represented fallen, evil spirits, but they were not the chief target of fear and hatred. This position was reserved for Jews. The latent anti-Semitism found in British-Israelism rose to prominence. Jews were, at best, reduced to mongrelized imposters, not infrequently identified with Eurasian Khazars without any legitimate claim to a closeness with God, and at worst denounced as the offspring of Satan.'
  70. ^
  71. ^
  72. ^ a b
  73. ^
  74. ^
  75. ^ Ancient DNA Analysis of 8000 B.C. Near Eastern Farmers Supports an Early Neolithic Pioneer Maritime Colonization of Mainland Europe through Cyprus and the Aegean Islands
  76. ^ Almut Nebel, Dvora Filon, Bernd Brinkmann, Partha P. Majumder, Marina Faerman, Ariella Oppenheim. "The Y Chromosome Pool of Jews as Part of the Genetic Landscape of the Middle East", (The American Journal of Human Genetics (2001), Volume 69, number 5. pp. 1095–112).
  77. ^
  78. ^
  79. ^
  80. ^ G.Atzmon, L.Hao, I.Pe'er, C.Velez, A.Pearlman, P.F.Palamara, B.Morrow, E.Friedman, C.Oddoux, E.Burns and H.Ostrer. Abraham's Children in the Genome Era: Major Jewish Diaspora Populations Comprise Distinct Genetic Clusters with Shared Midde Eastern Ancestry. The American Journal of Human Genetics, 03 June 2010.
  81. ^
  82. ^ Terra Incognita: Return of the Khazar Myth
  83. ^ [ No Evidence of Genome Wide Khazar Origin of Modern Jews]
  84. ^
  85. ^
  86. ^ Entine, Jon. "Israeli Researcher Challenges Jewish DNA links to Israel, Calls Those Who Disagree 'Nazi Sympathizers'", Forbes, May 16, 2013
  87. ^
  88. ^
  89. ^ Melissa Hogenboom, 'European link to Jewish maternal ancestry BBC News, 9 October 2013.
  90. ^
  91. ^ Middle East origins:
    • Natural History 102:11 (November 1993): 12-19.
    • sharing many common genes with other Jews from 3,000 years ago.
  92. ^
  93. ^
  94. ^
  95. ^
  96. ^
  97. ^
  98. ^ a b c
  99. ^ Shaul Stampfer, "Did the Khazars Convert to Judaism?," Jewish Social Studies: History, Culture, Society 19 (3) pp.1–72
  100. ^


(Jeffrey Kaplan Syracuse University Press 1997) p. 191 n.3

External links

  • Kutschera, Hugo, Freiherr von, (1909): Die Chasaren; historische Studie
  • Fishberg, Maurice (1911): The Jews: A Study of Race and Environment.
  • The Kievan Letter scan in the Cambridge University Library collection.
  • Resources - Medieval Jewish History - The Khazars The Jewish History Resource Center, Project of the Dinur Center for Research in Jewish History, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
  • Khazar Historic Maps
  • The Kitab al-Khazari of Judah Hallevi, full English translation at
  • Ancient lost capital of the Khazar kingdom found
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