The Thirteenth Tribe
by Artur Koestler
Publishers: Random House, 1976 & Amazon Digital Services
In this book. Arthur Koestler advances the thesis that Ashkenazi Jews are not descended from the historical Israelites of antiquity, but from Khazars, a Turkic people. Koestler’s hypothesis is that the Khazars converted to Judaism in the 8th century, and migrated westwards into Eastern Europe in the 12th and 13th centuries when the Khazar Empire was collapsing.
An excellent history of the Kazars, detailing the extraordinary power of this kingdom and its many influences. Having adopted Judaism in the 7th century the Kazars represent the true origins of the Ashkenazi Jews – a fact that many people will wish to suppress but which is powerfully proven by Koestler, himself an Ashkenazi Jew. The break up of the Kazar kingdom and the resulting waves of migration are explored in detail. A robustly researched and well documented history of a people whose origins are crucial to modern history.
Backed by clear logic and evidence, the author convinced this reader that almost all of the people who call themselves Jews today are not originally from the Middle East (Egypt and Palestine to be specific), but were actually converted between 800-1000 in what is now Russia above the Black Sea. Furthermore, they have dispersed across the globe since then and through intermarriage are basically the same “race” as the country they settled in.
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