In 1864 French author Maurice Joly wrote the speculative work Dialogues in Hell Between Machiavelli and Montesquieu. German anti-Semite Hermann Goedsche (operating beneath the nom de plume of Sir John Retcliffe) ripped him off shortly thereafter, adding the element of a secret cabal of Jews controlling the world behind the scenes, and is himself plagiarized in 1905 by Serge Nilus, a Czarist working for the Okhrana (Russian secret police under the Tsars.)

Nilus named himself the "editor" of this work, attributing a bogus lineage (unnecessary, given its already-extensive pedigree of plagiarism) to the work ultimately leading back to its inception during 1897's First Zionist Congress in Basel, Switzerland1 (a questionable claim, given that many aspects of the Protocols are visible in Joly's book published over 30 years previously.) Several editions of the Protocols were published by Nilus, where he re-asserted his extreme bogosity by recounting a different account of the document's origin / discovery with practically every edition.

Famous historical personnages who either fervently believed in the legitimacy of the Protocols (whose fraudulence had been well established even by the 1930s) or who believed that the document was a neat way of legitimizing institutional anti-Semitic preventative measures included Henry Ford, Winston Churchill and Adolph Hitler.

The bunk document (translated by Victor E. Marsden) is here presented in its entirety free from the flagrant fearmongering editorializing and interpretation which accompanies nearly every extant text and etext of the work as a historical curiosity and, as ximenez noted in Protocols of the Elders of Zion, to allow to be noted that despite the selective passages (arbitrary and imaginary passages capitalized or reprinted context-free as paragraph summaries such as WE SHALL BE CRUEL, WE SHALL FORBID CHRIST and WE SHALL ENSLAVE GENTILES, disappearing towards the end as the reprinters couldn't find any lurid phrases therein to sensationalize on and probably couldn't understand - it deals heavily in economic theory) cited by everyone from Neo-Nazi White Supremacist groups to militant Moslems to paranoid conspiracy theorists, the way of life proposed by the fictional Elders of Zion isn't as terrifying to a 21st-century critical thinker as it was to a 19th-century aristocrat.

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1 arieh says The 1897 first zionist congress is real, and was held in Basle. The records are public, though and they mainly argued about zionism.