10 Political Conspiracies That Changed The 20th Century

Himmler (R) with unidentified military policeman in Warsaw after German invasion of Poland.

When it comes to political scandals it is all about trying to change the future, either to change the way the government operates, change the opinion of the people or try to have an effect on the people within the government. These political scandals all had an effect on the future of their countries, some succeeded, some failed but all had an lasting effect. These 10 conspiracies are some of the greatest stories of the 20th century.

1. The Protocols of the Elders of Zion


The Protocols of the Elders of Zion also known as the Protocols of the Meetings of the Learned Members of Zion was a book published at the turn of the century that suggested a Jewish plan for world domination. The document first surfaced in Russia in 1903 and from there was translated into many languages and spread around the world. Many believed it was a true plot that detailed how members of the Jewish faith were conspiring to take control of the entire world. The book was supposed to be the minutes of a meeting that occurred in the late 19th century that was a guide for members of the Jewish community from all walks of life. It detailed how Jewish bankers were to gain control of the economy, plans for how Jewish leaders could subvert the morals of the world and how to gain control of the press.

Hitler believed in the book so much that a translated version was given to German children to learn in school following the Nazi rise to power in 1933. Henry Ford believed the book to be real and sponsored a printing of 500,000 copies in order to distribute them as a way to spread anti-Semitism in the U.S. In Berne, Switzerland two men were convicted of distributing “immoral, obscene or brutalizing” texts after giving out copies of the protocols.

The Protocols of the Elders of Zion was found to be a forgery in 1921. The Times of London received word through a writer in Constantinople that the person responsible for the Protocols was willing to come forward and admit to the forgery. Michael Raslovleff was an anti-Semite who came forward after it was discovered that the protocols were plagiarized from parts of Dialogue in Hell by Maurice Joy. The protocols were written at the beginning of wide-spread anti-Jewish programs in the Russian empire, which caused thousands of Jews to flee Russia.  Despite proof the forgery, the book is still available today and some still believe it to be real.