The Protocols have received a lot of attention recently (appearing as news in Saudi Arabian newspapers, for example), so more details on their creation and early history is justified.

They were first circulated through the newspaper The Banner in the Ukraine in 1903. The document specifically describes how Jews will take over the world by working with freemasons, atheists, stock market manipulators, corrupt politicians, and other miscreants. Jews will collapse civil society, promote violence, then bomb the christian captitals of Europe and infect their populations with lethal bacteria. Once in control, the Jews replace the gold standard with paper, banish dissent, and jail opponents. Widespread belief in the Protocols probably was responsible for the assassination of German Foreign Minister Walter Rathenau, who was rumored to be an elder of zion.

In 1921, Philip Graves, Constantinople correspondent for the Times of London, came across an 1864 French political satire on Napoleon III by Maurice Joly entitled Dialogue in Hell between Machiavelli and Montesquieu. Many of its passages appear word-for-word in the Protocols.

The Protocols were probably created by Pyotr Ivanovich Rachkovsky, an outspoken bigot and head of the Okhrana, Russia’s secret police.

At a 1934 trial in Russia, historian Vladimir Burtsev recalled being told by a number of Czarist officials that the Protocols were bogus.