The Thirteenth Tribe: The Khazar Empire and Its Heritage

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Ishi Press International, 2012 - History - 266 pages
The Thirteenth Tribe is a ground breaking work of great importance, if only because it has shaped the way that people think about The Jews. It is based on the theory that European Jews, Ashkenazi Jews from Europe, are not descendants of Abraham but rather are the remnants of a tribe, the Khazars, that converted to Judaism in the Eighth Century. We know little about the Khazars, but we do know for certain that they existed and that they were Jewish. The Jews, Russians, Georgians and Armenians all wrote about the Khazars, but the Khazars left no literature, no books. This was perhaps because the Khazars existed during the Dark Ages, a period from which few books survive today. Koestler's thesis is that while the Khazars as a unified tribe may have disappeared, their descendants survived, only that they were no longer known as the Khazars. Instead, these people are now Eastern European Jews and they continue to live in the same places where the Khazars lived such as in Kiev and Odessa. The view of Arthur Koestler who himself was Jewish is that none of the mass movements of the Jewish people happened at all. Rather, the Jews stayed in exactly the same place where they have been all along because the Eastern European Jews are the Khazars. They are the same people. Just their name has been changed. Which is more logical: The Traditional Jewish view or Arthur Koestler's theory?

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User Review  - DinadansFriend - LibraryThing

Arthur Koestler was Hungarian by birth, and floated about Europe, settling in England after WWII. His premise, that the bulk of European Jewry, the Ashkenazim, are genetically the descendants of the ... Read full review

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User Review  - bergs47 - LibraryThing

This book traces the history of the ancient Khazar Empire, a major but almost forgotten power in Eastern Europe, which in A.D. 740 converted to Judaism. I think I read this 30 years back but it makes ... Read full review

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About the author (2012)

Arthur Koestler was born on September 5, 1905 in Budapest, Hungary and studied at the University of Vienna. Koestler was a Middle East correspondent for several German newspapers, wrote for the Manchester Guardian, the London Times and the New York Herald Tribune. Koestler wrote Darkness at Noon, which centers on the destructiveness of politics, The Act of Creation, a book about creativity, and The Ghost in the Machine, which bravely attacks behaviorism. Arthur Koestler died in London on March 3, 1983.

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