by the Turkic Khazars, who had settled on the steppes of southern Russia."
- Neal Karlen, in (New York: William Morrow, 2008), page 62.
SinceEliach (whose family spoke Yiddish just like other Lithuanian Jews)herself claims descent from these Oriental Jews, that is perhaps anotherclue that Yiddish-speaking Eastern European Jews are the descendants ofmultiple migrations from diverse locations and not simply late-medievalarrivals from Germany.
and that a certain portion at least of the Jewish population (in earliertimes, the main bulk) originated from the east, from the Khazar country,and later from Kievian Russia."
- Adam Vetulani, in his article "The Jews of Mediaeval Poland," in , volume 4 (December, 1962), page 274.
"It is clear, however, that the influence of the Jews, who had become themost active agents of the commerce of the Caliphate, was substantial inthe Khazar kingdom, and it is probable that the commonly observedmongoloid type among East European Jews, particularly in the Ukraine,Poland and Roumania, derives from the conversions and intermarriages whichwere no doubt frequent in the swarming trading camps of the Khaqans."
By the end of the 10th century theysuccumbed to the Russians, and after maintaining themselves for a shortperiod in the Crimea, some gradually embraced the Christian or Moslemfaith, ceasing to exist as a separate people, though many joined withtheir Jewish brethren."
- David Bridger and Samuel Wolk (editors), in article "Khazars" (pp.
Thus, it is plausible that Slavic-speaking Jewishcommunities in Eastern Europe (which existed there from early times)became dominated in the sixteenth century by Ashkenazi culture and adoptedthe Yiddish language."
- Benjamin Harshav, in (Los Angeles andBerkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1990), pages 5-6.
Then came the Crusades, and the severe persecutions of the Jews in Germany during the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, and they began to migrate in great numbers into Poland, where only small communities of them had previously existed."But the most important argument against the Khazar theory has been theexistence of Yiddish as the common language of almost all Eastern EuropeanJews after the 14th century.
An example of a writer who claims most of the Khazars became Muslims is Carlile Aylmer Macartney, who wrote the following in his book "National States and National Minorities" (Oxford University Press, 1934) on page 78:"Jewish colonies have existed in the Balkans, in Asia Minor, the Caucasus, and along the northern shores of the Black Sea since a very early date; and particularly in the last-named areas Jewish influence was strong enough in the early Middle Ages to bring about the conversion to Judaism of one important potentate--the Khagan of the Khazars--and several lesser rulers in the Caucasus.
See the following quote, for example, which argues that the Jewsof Kievan Rus came from Khazaria:"In our defining the ''live'' contacts between the Jewry and Kiev in9th-11th centuries, the other question of its sources (of a Jewishelement in that place, at that time space) has been raised.
The German dialect was thus introduced among PolishJewry."
- Max Leopold Margolis and Alexander Marx, in (Philadelphia, PA: Jewish Publication Society of America, 1947), page 527.
Dimont boldlydeclared: "In 969 Duke Sviatoslav defeated the Khazars and incorporatedtheir territory into the new Russian state he was founding....And so itcame about that the former Jewish kingdom of Khazar became part of MotherRussia, and its people made the sign of the cross to the Russian Orthodoxformula instead of bowing reverently to the Hebrew." (, published in 1962by Signet Books, pages 198-199).
(Amazingly, after building a case against Kumyks being old Turks and Khazars, Karny contradicts himself later in the book, on page 222, by saying "The Kumyks, a Turkic people, were among the first in the Caucasus to convert to Islam, perhaps as early as the tenth century.")Then, in typical revisionist fashion, following in the footsteps of writers like Bernard Weinryb and Chaim Rabin, he attempts todeny the Jewishness of the Khazars and the importance of the Khazar state to Jewish history.
Here are some of his outlandish quotes: "Precious little is known about the Khazars, and the mindful reader need not be misled by encyclopedia entries about them, even when accompanied by maps and replete with names and dates.