Abstract: Recently, the old anti-Semitic myths, both the Aryan and the Khazar, have been revived in Russia and have begun to spread. The Aryan myth, which is rooted in the Nazi propaganda of the 1920s and 1930s, was picked up and developed by the contemporary Russian radical nationalists. It restores to general history the Manichaean and Messianic approaches that reduce all complex historic processes to a struggle between two agents — the ‘Aryans’ (i.e. the ‘Slavic-Russes’) and the ‘World Evil’ (i.e. the Jews). It describes the ‘Slavic-Aryans’, the first humans, who mysteriously appeared at the Northern continent, ‘Hyperborea-Arctida’, and dispersed to become the ancestors of most of the peoples of the world and founders of the principal ancient civilizations. Later, they were forced out from their former lands by an evil agent represented by the ‘savage nomads of Arabia’.1
Abstract: Victor Shnirelman situates issues of multiple Jewish identities in the broad context of Russian society and the ideologies that have nurtured it in the Soviet and post-Soviet periods. The article reveals the insidiousness of quests for overarching, essentialist theories about culture, since they are often repackaged racism in scientific clothing. When such theories permeate school textbooks, as they have begun to do in Russia, scientific debates about cultural change and "national character" harden into pragmatic concerns about latent and blatant prejudice. Russian ideologues and also some intellectuals of the war-torn regions of Ossetia, Ingushetia, Chechnya and Georgia have been abusing history in particularly polarizing and dangerous ways.