The article below appeared in
the Fall 1985-Winter 1986 issue of ATA-USA, beginning with the foreword:
Editor’s Note: The
following is a series of quotations from “The Thirteenth Tribe” by Arthur
Koestler (Random House, NY, 1976), which have been excerpted by Dr. Rami Saric,,
M.D., an ATA-USA reader. Koestler was a British (Hungarian-born) writer who
lived from 1905 to 1983. He was a well-known philosopher and historian of his
time and the author of several books, including “Darkness at Noon.” We
found the passages about the Khazar Empire to be very interesting, and share
them below with our readers.
“About the time when Charlemagne was crowned
Emperor of the West, the eastern confines of Europe between the Caucasus and the Volga
were ruled by a Jewish state known as the Khazar Empire. The country of the Khazars, a
people of Turkish stock, occupied a strategic position at the vital gateway between the
Black Sea and the Caspian.
“Around the time, probably 740 A.D., the Kagan (Hakan),
his court and the military ruling class embraced the Jewish faith and Judaism became the
state religion of the Khazars . . . It was the Jewish faith which became the official
religion of the ruling strata of society. Needless to say, the acceptance of the Jewish
faith as the state religion of an ethnically non-Jewish people could be the subject of
interesting speculations. We shall, however, confine ourselves to the remark that this
official conversion — in defiance of Christian proselytizing by Byzantium, the Muslim
influence from the East, and in spite of the political pressure of these two powers—to a
religion which had no support from any political power, but was persecuted by nearly all
— has come as a surprise to all historians concerned with the Khazars, and cannot be
considered as accidental, but must be regarded as a sign of the independent policy pursued
by that kingdom.
“... Various late mediaeval Khazar settlements
are mentioned in the Crimea, in the Ukraine, in Hungary, Poland and Lithuania. The general
picture that emerges from these fragmentary pieces of information is that of a migration
of Khazar tribes and communities into those regions of [astern Europe — mainly Russia
and Poland — where, at the dawn of the Modern Age, the greatest concentrations of Jews
were found. This has led several historians to conjecture that a substantial part, and
perhaps the majority of eastern Jews—and hence of world Jewry— might be of Khazar, and
not of Semitic origin.
“The Turkish speaking Karaites (a fundamentalist
Jewish sect) of the Crimea, Poland and elsewhere have affirmed a connection with the
Khazars, which is perhaps confirmed by evidence from folklore and anthropology as well as
language. There seems to be a considerable amount of evidence attesting to the continued
presence in Europe of descendants of the Khazars . . . This would mean that their
ancestors came not from the Jordan but from the Volga, not from Canaan but from the
Caucasus, once believed to be the cradle of the Aryan race; and that genetically they are
more closely related to the Hun, Uigur and Magyar tribes than to the seed of Abraham,
Isaac and Jacob. Should this turn out to be the case, then the term ‘anti-Semitism’
would become void of meaning.
“Until the ninth century, the Khazars had no
rivals to their supremacy in the region north of the Black Sea and the adjoining steppe
and forest regions of the Dnieper (River), The Khazars were the supreme masters of the
southern half of eastern Europe for a century-and-a-half and presented a mighty bulwark,
blocking the Ural-Caspian gateway from Asia into Europe. During this whole period, they
held back the onslaught of the nomadic tribes from the East. Taking a bird’s-eye view of
the history of the great nomadic empires of the East, the Khazar kingdom occupies an
intermediary position in time, size, and degree of civilization between the Hun and Avar
Empires which preceded, and the Mongol Empire that succeeded it.
"...From the fifth century onward, many .
westward-bound tribes were called by the generic name of ‘Turks.’ The term is also
supposed to be of Chinese origin and was subsequently used to refer to all tribes who
spoke languages with certain common characteristics—the “Turkic’ language group. In
this sense, the Huns and the Khazars were Turkic people. The Khazar language was
supposedly a Chuvash dialect of Turkish, which still survives in the autonomous Chuvash
Soviet Republic, between the Volga and the Sura. The Chuvash people are actually believed
to be descendants of the Bulgars, who spoke a dialect similar to the Khazars. All we can
say with safety is that the Khazars were a Turkic tribe, who erupted from the Asian
steppes, probably in the fifth century of our era. . . .The historical evidence indicates
that the bulk of Eastern Jewry—and hence of world Jewry—is of Khazar-Turkish, rather
than Semitic origin.”
In conclusion, the author of this book attempts to
show that the evidence from anthropology concurs with history in refuting the popular
belief in a Jewish “race” descended from the biblical tribe.
And look at this irony... if "the majority of eastern Jews—and hence of world
Jewry— might be of Khazar, and not of Semitic origin"... and if the Khazars
came "from the Caucasus, once believed to be the cradle of the Aryan race"...
that means it was lucky for Adolf Hitler that he was much more of an expert on Armenian
history (which he obviously was... since Armenians keep reminding us of that "quote" he likely never said) than he was
of Turkish history. Otherwise, he would have committed suicide long before he ever wrote
A site that details Koestler's
“The Thirteenth Tribe”.... the author is described as "an Ashkenazi Jew (who)
took pride in his Khazar ancestry."
"Khazaria, a conglomerate
of Aryan Turkish tribes, was finally wiped out by the forces of Genghis Han, but evidence
indicates that the Khazars themselves migrated to Poland and formed the cradle of Western
Turkish tribes again described
as... Aryan?? Don't tell the Armenians, they might get jealous..!
Hmmm.... An Ethical Dilemma
I have found this "Khazar" topic
extremely fascinating, and through the years, the only thing I've encountered has
been the article reproduced above. While preparing for this site, I came across a
"white power" site (during an image search for the "Mongol" page)... and the following
is the first comprehensive piece of business regarding the Khazars that I have
encountered. Unfortunately.... it's from a "white power" site. (They hate
Turks... and not just Turks.)
I debated whether I should acknowledge this
information (Now I have a better idea of the ethical dilemma facing medical
instructors, when they used the excellent anatomical reference produced by Nazis,
for many years; I believe they finally stopped)... but there's nothing terribly
offensive being said, and the claims appear rather factual. Besides, a good part of
this web site makes use of Turk-hating sources, so why should I discriminate against
white supremacists? Why, the things they say sound exactly like what Armenians,
Greeks, George Horton and Henry Morgenthau say...
Please take the following with a grain of
- FORCE BULGARS INTO BULGARIA
In 576 AD, a new force invaded from the east — a mixed race
grouping calling themselves Khazars, occupied territory on the northwestern shore of the
Caspian Sea in southern Russia.
Originally from Asia Minor (Turkey), the Khazars were the product of the integration
process which had taken place in the Middle and Near East over a process of centuries.
Made up of Old European, Semitic and Mongolian elements, the Khazars physically closely
resembled many other peoples in that region.
The Khazars began to expand their territory westwards, occupying the
land east of the Dniester River by 650 AD. In this process they drove the Bulgar Huns from
the territory around the Sea of Azov, forcing them on into modern Bulgaria which they
ruled for about 150 years and which bears their name to this day.
At this stage then there were three major groupings of Mongols and
mixed race Asiatics in eastern Europe — the Bulgar Huns; the Avars; and the Khazars. To
this group was added remnants of a Mongoloid people who had originally settled in Finland
(and whose descendants to this day form part of the Lapp people in that country) but who
were in part driven south by the Indo-European invaders over the centuries.
KHAZARS AND JUDAISM
The Khazars themselves had also undergone a transformation
during this period. After wandering aimlessly for centuries, waves of Jewish Semites
who had fled north from Palestine following the Roman-Jewish Wars and Diaspora of 70
AD, finally reached southern Russia around the beginning of the 7th Century. At the
precise time of their arrival, the Khazar king was looking for a religion to adopt
as the formal Khazar belief: Judaism was decided upon.
This did not represent a radical racial sea change for the
Semitic Jews — they, like virtually all the peoples who inhabited the Middle East
over the previous centuries, were themselves mixes of original Old European,
Semitic, Arabic and Asian peoples. The Khazars themselves were not that different,
perhaps a little lighter than the original Semites, but that was all. In this way
the core of what was to become the European Jews was formed — the basis of the
TRADERS - ORIGIN OF THE WORD SLAVE
Even before their conversion to Judaism, the Khazars, like
the Huns and other Asiatics, were active slave traders. The Slavs however bore the
brunt of the Khazar slave catching expeditions — so much so that the word slave
was to derive from the word Slav — and with the Khazar conversion to Judaism, an
association of Judaism with slave trade in the east became firmly established. This
was the origin of the association of Jews with slave trading — an allegation which
had some basis in fact at this stage in history.
OF THE KHAZARS — 965 AD
In 964 AD, Oleg's grandson, Svyatoslav, became ruler of the Rus. A
fierce warrior who adhered strictly to his Scandinavian upbringing — even refusing to
become a Christian after his mother had converted — Svyatoslav set as his first task the
destruction of the Jewish Khazar empire in the south.
In 965, the Rus army under Svyatoslav, crashed through the Khazar
borders and utterly defeated the Jewish slave trading empire forever. The Khazars who
survived this great assault were scattered throughout the region, with many moving west
into what became western Russia and Poland. There they re-established Jewish communities
and absorbed some Nordic elements (mainly through marrying Jewish women to non-Jewish men;
Jewish law dictating that only persons born of a Jewish mother can be classified as a
Jew), creating the basic stock of today's modern European Jews, known as the Ashkenazim.
Holdwater mentions: If that's true, then
Henry Morgenthau (whom I believe was an Ashkenazi German-Jew), the racist, Turk-hating and
character-assassinating ambassador, actually hated himself. Isn't that ironic?
In addition, this sounds like history's first
"Holocaust" against the Jewish people (probably even the Romans didn't kill as
many Jews as happened here)... but one that we never hear about, today. Just
because the Jews in question were of Turkic stock. Well, at least that fits the pattern of
the West's failing to acknowledge Russian ethnic cleansing campaigns against the Turk...
jut like we never hear about the five-and-one-half million Turks (added to another
five million made homeless) the Russians killed off during the nineteenth century.
is supposed to be a bust of a
Khazar warrior. Did they always have their
eyebrows in the "angry" position?
PBS' "Armenia — Survival of a
Nation": Tamarlane, or Timur the Great.
Angry! Sculptors can definitely have
their own point of view. (Timur kicked
the Ottoman Turks' butts.)
While I have not had the chance to
peruse the following web site, I discovered there is one that explores the subject
of the Khazars more thoroughly: www.khazaria.com.
From their history page:
...The Khazar state was famous for its justice
and tolerance. People persecuted for their faiths flocked into Khazaria from
The Khazars were a Turkic(1) people who originated in Central Asia. The early Turkic
tribes were quite diverse, although it is
believed that reddish hair was predominant among them prior to the Mongol conquests.
In the beginning, the Khazars believed in
Tengri shamanism, spoke a Turkic language, and were nomadic. Later, the Khazars
adopted Judaism, Islam, and Christianity, learned Hebrew and Slavic, and became
settled in cities and towns thruout the north Caucasus and Ukraine. The Khazars had
a great history of ethnic independence extending approximately 800 years from the
5th to the 13th century.
The earliest history of the Khazars in southern Russia, prior to the middle of the
6th century, is hidden in obscurity. From
about 550 to 630, the Khazars were part of the Western Turkish Empire, ruled by the
Celestial Blue Turks (Kök Turks). When the
Western Turkish Empire was broken up as a result of civil wars in the middle of the
7th century, the Khazars successfully
asserted their independence. Yet, the Kök kaganate under which they had lived
provided the Khazars with their system of
government. For example, the Khazars followed the same guidelines as the Kök Turks
regarding the succession of kings.
(1) Many medieval writers attested to the Khazars' Turkic origins including
Theophanes, al-Masudi, Rabbi Yehudah ben
Barzillai, Martinus Oppaviensis, and the anonymous authors of the Georgian Chronicle
and Chinese chronicle T'ang-shu. The Arabic writer al-Masudi in Kitab at-Tanbih
wrote: "...the Khazars... are a tribe of the Turks." (cited in Peter
Golden, Khazar Studies,
pp. 57-58). T'ang-shu reads: "K'o-sa [Khazars]... belong to the stock of the
Turks." (cited in Peter Golden, Khazar Studies, p.
58). In his Chronographia, Theophanes wrote: "During his [Byzantine emperor
Heraclius] stay there [in Lazica], he invited the eastern Turks, who are called
Chazars, to become his allies." (cited in Theophanes, The Chronicle of
translated by Cyril Mango and Roger Scott, 1997, p. 446). The claim that the Khazars
were Scythians is completely without merit.