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The Thirteenth Tribe: The Kazar Empire and Its Heritage Paperback – June, 1978

4.2 out of 5 stars 66 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 318 pages
  • Publisher: Popular Library (June 1978)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0445042427
  • ISBN-13: 978-0445042421
  • Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 4.1 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (66 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #37,363 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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The Thirteenth Tribe, Arthur Koestler

Arthur Koestler was born in Budapest, studied science and psychology in Vienna, and became a foreign correspondent for various European newspapers. He covered the Spanish Civil War, and later joined the French Foreign Legion, then the British Army. His most famous novel is "The Darkness at Noon". This 1976 book discusses the ancient Khazar Empire that flourished in the Dark Ages, the seventh to the tenth centuries between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea, an area called Caucasia where the Aryans originated. They were wiped out by the forces of Genghis Khan. Some took refuge in Eastern Europe and had an impact on the racial composition and social heritage of modern Jewry.

Part One tells of the "Rise and Fall of the Khazars". Their cavalry was the origin of the word "Hussar". They adopted Judaism to avoid becoming a vassal of either the Christian ruler in Constantinople or the Moslem ruler in Babylon. Previously they worshiped pagan gods. Chapter III tells about their state at its peak. Emperor Leo the Khazar ruled Byzantium in 775-780. The invasions by Vikings or Norsemen affected many nations around Khazaria. The Khazar state disappeared by the end of the 13th century (p.132).

Part Two discusses "The Heritage" after the Mongol invasion. Khazar people migrated to the west (eastern Europe), such as in Hungary (p.142). The Black Death also depopulated the former Khazar heartland (p.144). Place names in the Ukraine and Poland are derived from `Khazar' or `Zhid' (p.145). The Polish kingdom attracted immigrants (p.149). Chapter VI discusses the migration of Jews into Europe since Roman times. The Black Death killed many, and led to the persecution of the Jews.
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Many Zionist propagandists have long attempted to cast aspirations and insults on the intellectual Mr. Koestler who wrote his book in 1976 on the basis of history, archaeology, and likely most crucially of all DEMOGRAPHICS (i.e. there is NO logical way to explain the large size of the Eastern European Jewish population at the start of the 20th century CE without the Khazarian hypothesis!) and today Koestler has been proven to be CORRECT in the newest and definitive genetic study on the issue by Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine geneticist Dr. Eran Elhaik, Ph.D.

gbe.oxfordjournals.org from the prestigious Peer-Reviewed scientific journal Genome Biology and Evolution published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution

"The Missing Link of Jewish European Ancestry: Contrasting the Rhineland and the Khazarian Hypotheses" by Dr. Eran Elhaik


The question of Jewish ancestry has been the subject of controversy for over two centuries and has yet to be resolved. The "Rhineland hypothesis" depicts Eastern European Jews as a "population isolate" that emerged from a small group of German Jews who migrated eastward and expanded rapidly. Alternatively, the "Khazarian hypothesis" suggests that Eastern European Jews descended from the Khazars, an amalgam of Turkic clans that settled the Caucasus in the early centuries CE and converted to Judaism in the 8th century. Mesopotamian and Greco-Roman Jews continuously reinforced the Judaized empire until the 13th century. Following the collapse of their empire, the Judeo-Khazars fled to Eastern Europe. The rise of European Jewry is therefore explained by the contribution of the Judeo-Khazars.
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Arthur Koestler deserved a lot of respect and admiration, for having the courage and willingness to explore a touchy and controversial subject for most anthropologists. The book was well-written and researched (Mr. Koestler was an established author and thinker), and he provided insightful anecdotes when documentary evidence was lacking. Anyone interested in reading this book, should have a better than average understanding of the history of the Jewish people (especially of the Diaspora and post-Diaspora), the Central Asian tribal groups, Western Europe (during the Dark Ages), and of the Byzantine Empire. But the reader should be open to divergent views of the history of the peoples in question. The author made a good case for his hypothesis, and presented this in a concise and sometimes humorous way, that demonstrated his own personal experience with bias and prejudice. Far more groups of races and nations on this earth: India, Persia, Egypt, Hellas, Judea, etc., etc. in the course of human history (especially in the Old World of Asia Minor), were/are interrelated than scholars and academics are willing to admit or explore for obvious reasons (they will not go against the status quo). There was nothing presented here that showed or suggested, that the Jewish people do not deserve our respect and admiration for retaining their unique identity and heritage. Especially, in a world that has treated them with the utmost hostility throughout most of their history, save for a few exceptions. I will be looking forward to reading more of Arthur Koestler's books. (BTW: "Darkness at Noon" is an excellent novel by Arthur Koestler, the book predates Orwell's "1984" by nine years, and their both very similar.)

Love and Peace,
Carlos Romero
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