The Thirteenth Tribe
Arthur Koestler was born in Budapest, studied science and psychology in Vienna, and became a foreign correspondent for various European newspapers. He covered the Spanish Civil War, and later joined the French Foreign Legion, then the British Army. His most famous novel is “The Darkness at Noon”. This 1976 book discusses the ancient Khazar Empire that flourished in the Dark Ages, the seventh to the tenth centuries between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea, an area called Caucasia where the Aryans originated. They were wiped out by the forces of Genghis Khan. Some took refuge in Eastern Europe and had an impact on the racial composition and social heritage of modern Jewry.
Part One tells of the “Rise and Fall of the Khazars”. Their cavalry was the origin of the word “Hussar”. They adopted Judaism to avoid becoming a vassal of either the Christian ruler in Constantinople or the Moslem ruler in Babylon. Previously they worshiped pagan gods. Chapter III tells about their state at its peak. Emperor Leo the Khazar ruled Byzantium in 775-780. The invasions by Vikings or Norsemen affected many nations around Khazaria. The Khazar state disappeared by the end of the 13th century (p.132).
Part Two discusses “The Heritage” after the Mongol invasion. Khazar people migrated to the west (eastern Europe), such as in Hungary (p.142). The Black Death also depopulated the former Khazar heartland (p.144). Place names in the Ukraine and Poland are derived from `Khazar’ or `Zhid’ (p.145). The Polish kingdom attracted immigrants (p.149). Chapter VI discusses the migration of Jews into Europe since Roman times. The Black Death killed many, and led to the persecution of the Jews. Yiddish is an amalgam of Hebrew, medieval German, Slavonic, and other elements written in Hebrew characters (p.172). The `East-Middle German’ dialects came from medieval Austria and Bavaria (p.173).
Chapter VIII discusses “Race and Myth” about the Sephardim and Ashkenazim. Physical anthropology shows too many differences among Jewish groups to form a race. In any nation there is a greater similarity between Jews and Gentiles than those in different countries. Interbreeding and proselytizing are noted in the Old Testament (p.187). The aquiline nose is found among North American Indians and various Caucasian tribes, but not among true Semites (p.191). A way of life affects not only facial expressions but also physical features (p.195).
Arthur Koestler tells about old friends who emigrated to the United States before World War II. They acquired “an American physiognomy” (p.195). [Ever notice how you can sometimes identify some Europeans as non-Americans by their face?] Koestler goes on to describe the effects of inbreeding, genetic drift, and selection. Koestler ends with his claim that world Jewry is of Khazar-Turkish rather than Semitic origin (p.199). The misconceptions about a “Jewish type” ignores geographic reality, social environment, and social inheritance. The four Appendices provide a background to this book.
TAP – Ralph Ellis points out the Israelites were the Hyksos, northern Egyptians. King David was an Egyptian Pharoah, moved to Judaea by the scribes to hide the truth of who the Israelites really were. The Pharoahs controlled much of Judaea, and fought wars there, but they themselves were not from modern day Israel. It was not their homeland. The Ebro delta, what we call the Nile Delta was. Their cities included Avaris, a name we use to this day.