Besides obvious foreigners, Bolshevism recruited many adherents from among émigrés, who had spent many years abroad. Some of them had never been to Russia before. They especially numbered a great many Jews. They spoke Russian badly. The nation over which they had seized power was a stranger to them, and besides, they behaved as invaders in a conquered country. Throughout the Revolution generally and Bolshevism in particular the Jews occupied a very influential position. This phenomenon is both curious and complex. But the fact remains that such was the case in the primarily elected Soviet (the famous trio—Lieber, Dahn, Gotz), and all the more so in the second one.
In the Tsarist Government the Jews were excluded from all posts. Schools or Government service were closed to them. In the Soviet Republic all the committees and commissaries were filled with Jews. They often changed their Jewish name for a Russian one—Trotsky-Bronstein, Kamenev-Rozenfeld, Zinoviev-Apfelbaum, Steklov-Nakhamkes, and so on. But such a masquerade deceived no one, while the very pseudonyms of the commissaries only emphasised the international or rather the alien character of Bolshevist rule. This Jewish predominance among Soviet authorities caused the despair of those Russian Jews who, despite the cruel injustice of the Tsarist régime, looked upon Russia as their motherland, who lived the common life of the Russian intelligentsia and refused in common with them all collaboration with the Bolsheviks.