Warrant for Genocide: The Myth of the Jewish World Conspiracy and The Protocols of the Elders of Zion was first published in 1967.
The Holocaust stands out as the most barbaric episode in the history of a century noted for its savagery. Behind Hitler’s anti-semitic obsession lay his fascination with the enormously influential literary forgery, the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, which contained the masterplan of an alleged Jewish conspiracy to control the world.
In a fascinating work of historical and literary detection, Norman Cohn unravels the origins of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. Tracing its roots in long established anti-semitic mythology, Cohn pinpoints the interplay of literary hacks and secret policemen in concocting a book which, translated and published around the world, was once second only to the Bible in its circulation.
Even before Hitler came to power, the Protocols were one of the cornerstones of Nazi propaganda, and once the Second World War started they served as the principal ‘justification’ for the attempted extermination of European Jewry. Warrant for Genocide sets the story of the Protocols within the broader context of the history of anti-semitism: it remains one of the key books for understanding the murderous folly of the twentieth century.
"A scholarly account of a moral enormity" (The Guardian)
"Powerful and important…There have been previous histories of the Protocols and the mythologies of modern anti-semitism, but this is the most lucid and ironic" (George Steiner)