By late 1918, copies of “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion” were circulating at the highest levels of the American government, noted Judaica bibliographer/author Robert Singerman. The U.S. Attorney General invited Associate Justice Louis Brandeis, an ardent Zionist, to inspect the “Zionist Protocol.” There were dozens of copies at the Smithsonian Institution, and many more in other government and military agencies and foreign embassies. Several members of then-President Woodrow Wilson’s Cabinet received copies. The astonishing revelation of a Jewish plan to control the world and destroy Christianity by fomenting war and revolution made a profound impression on them.
By 1919, Singerman said, when the Protocols became public knowledge, Americans were in the middle of the “Red Scare,” an almost-frenzied fear of anarchism, radicalism, foreign spies, domestic sedition and Bolshevism. Yiddish-speaking Jews from New York’s Lower East Side were accused of having been summoned to Russia in 1917 to oust the Russian Provisional Government of Alexander Kerensky. The Protocols provided the needed proof of their involvement in this anti-Christian revolution.
Historian Leonard Dinnerstein added that the myth of Jews controlling the world resonated for those who knew past Christian teachings. Americans and Christians had been advised for centuries of conspiracies about Jews’ economic control, including all of the world’s gold, so the claim that Jews were scheming to destabilize Christian government did not appear to be preposterous.
On May 22, 1920, Henry Ford published an article entitled “The International Jew: The World’s Problem,” in his newspaper, the Dearborn Independent. Dinnerstein said the article, which “dominated” the front page, mirrored the Protocols’ message. The Jew was portrayed as “the world’s enigma.” Though the Jewish masses were impoverished, yet the Jew controls the finances of the world. Though the Jews were dispersed without any country or government, yet they “present a unit of race continuity no other people has achieved.” The Jew lives “under legal liabilities” in practically every country in which he resides, but he has “become the power behind many a throne.” Ancient prophecies told of the Jew returning to his ancestral land, and from there ruling the world, but not until he has suffered an attack launched by all the nations in the world.