The Khazar Heritage
© 1996 The Kaz-Khan and the Khazar organisation.

This is a comprehensive and serious account of a persistent and substantial oral tradition, which by us is considered to be the historical balance and a final historical declaration from the Khazars. This regrettably overthrows many of the current scientific and pseudo-scientific contexts, and questions the present traditional state of esp. historical and archaeological science regarding Khazar history.

 There has been a lot of routine, predjudice, ethno-centrism and even propagandistic racism falsifying or more or less consiously misinterpreting the Khazar history from esp. the sides of nazism, zionism and stalinism. Our choosen silence for more than half a millenium has of course given room for both romantic and hostile speculation, but also for major faults within serious historical science.

 This and the presence of political thaw esp. in the former Soviet Union and a growing global general consensus of democracy have both forced us and made it more opportune to speak out and reveal the historical truth of the Khazars. We have now decided to do that.

 However we will not relate or argue with traditional science of history or false propaganda. The main features of Khazaria, we regard, is well documented by Dunlop and Koestler (se below!). We will concentrate on those parts of the oral tradition, which has not yet been validated by science or where views differ. Hence we have developed a strategy and a goal for this historical task, which reads:

 "Interpreting oral Khazar tradition in relation to and considering contemporary scientific theories and conclusions in producing a working and workable hypothesis and model for the interpretation of the history of Khazars."

The Jewish Kingdom of Khazaria

 At it“s crest of military and political power the Khazar state seems to have exercised excellent talents mainly comprising social and cultural features like:

- A Hellenistic open governmental approach to ethnical, lingual and religious variety. A Khazar official could be of ethnical Greek, Turkish, Jewish and probably Slav and Rūs origin, as well as a confessional Christian, Jew, Muslim or maybe just pagan and probably multi-lingual as well. The Khazar community comprised all this variety, thus seemingly being a part of the Hellenistic sphere.

- A military power consisting of a mounted force and fortified garrisons with an organisation, tactics and strategy comprising and merging elements from ancient Macedonia, Persia, Byzans and "turkish tribes". Thus constituting the sole definite bastion against Arab-Islamic, Byzantine-Christian and Rūs expansion through this area of cultural cross-roads.

- Well developed diplomatic and merchantry relations, thus constituting a "neutral" and independent intermediary arbitrator to most of the parties around, most of the time.

- The clan of royalty and nobels is documented as consisting of mostly confessional Jews.

 The birth of Khazaria

 It has not been proven common among dispersed and "anarchistic" Turkish-Mongol tribes, or even more consensed and condensed conglomerates, to exercise this kind of governmental skills, nor cultural tolerance. What we usually see is more of a talent and a remarkable and certain predilection for terror and bestiality (the post-Genghis era maybe in some respects excluded). Why would Khazars relatively sudden become able to exercise such excellent talents in politics, trade and warfare? Already from the very beginning of the Khazar kingdom this is at hand. Could this be an example of the acts of God or "learning by doing"? Hardly so!

 This could, at that time, only be the heritage of Hellenism! How could possibly then a nomadic and pagan Turkish tribe, so easily and completely, adopt "hellenistic" and "jewish" manners? They didn’t! The main part of the Khazar people ("the black legged ones" - kara-süjek/Kara-Khazars) was, of course, at all times turkish, tribal, illiterate, pagan and nomadic horsemen (an excellent source of soldiery to a mounted army). The ruling class ("the white legged ones" - aq-süjek/Aq-Khazars) of nobels (taidsi), however, the very nucleus of the rising and formed Khazar state, were the bearers and mediators of the Hellenistic culture. They were litterate, had strong relations to the Hellenistic world and were well organized. Because they were Jews (in the meaning "israelite" offspring with "jewish" traditions, knowledge and relations)!

 The nucleus of the fully developed Khazar empire is documented as consisting of mostly confessional Jews. The political mythology, however, tells us about a conversion and there is a story about the Khazar king (Khagan/Kaz-Khan) and his retinue, after a principal debate between representants of Christianity, Islam and Judaism, suddenly decide to get circumcised. This is a good example of clever Khazar politics and conscious diplomatical propaganda! With growing international impact they knew their personal faith and family traditions would have been exposed and politically exploited by their eventual competitors. They decided to spread a story of well considered and politically motivated conversion, with the understatement that others also very well could (and should?) follow. Possibly they even got circumcised, hence practically, merely as a symbol and confirmation of their Jewish origin and faith.

 So where did those Jews come from? Well, according to their familiarity to Hellenistic and Jewish manners, tradition and culture they plausibly came from the south. At that time the Hellenistic sphere was evaporating to the benefit of local kings and chiefs, who very often seem to have been of a general Hellenistic (Macedonian, Persian, Armenian etc. nobel and military) rather than of local origin. The same seems to have happened to this outskirt of the former Hellenistic Empire. A clan of conative and vindictive "jewish" former officials and mercenary officers of the Hellenistic Empire managed to develope and maintain a leading role among the Turkish tribes. These "Jews" alone had a ready, refined and winning concept for the guvernmental and military management as well as the motive of founding a relatively enlightened "Hellenistic-Jewish" kingdom.

 These "jewish" soldiers and mercenaries may well be a remainder of the descendants to the defenders of the 2nd last Jewish Kingdom and the last Holy Temple of Jerusalem. Thus extremely well motivated of restoring a Jewish Kingdom!

 Whoever they were, they evidently succeeded, forming the latest jewish kingdom, the Jewish Kingdom of Khazaria!

 The rise and consolidation of Khazaria

 In charge of an excellent mounted force, equipped with an excellent political capacity and with extraordinary relations to Jewish and Greek interests in the Hellenistic sphere the Jewish Aq-Khazars continued in expanding and consolidating the Khazar Kingdom. They proved to be the best employer around for Turk horsemen from the steppes, hungry for warrior esteem and wealth, which made way for a large scale of more or less voluntary subordination of all Turk tribes around, including Kara-Khazars, Oghuzz, Pecheneggs, Bulgars and others.

 The geographical expansion did not decrease until the Khazar empire covered an area from Hungary-Austria in the west to the Aral sea in the east, Kiev-Upper Volga in the north and the Black and Caspian seas and Caucasus in the south. They installed counts (the so called "Jewish princes") in Hungary-Austria, they taxated Goths in Crimea and Greek-Byzantine towns and landlords at the northern shores of the Black sea, they taxated Rūs merchants and raiders and all other trading through their territory. They established a net of trading posts on their own behalf along the Volga, Don, Donets and Dnepr river systems, as well as along the caravan-roads, with immigrated refugee Jews as a favoured merchantry and trusted administrators and small garrisons of Turks for protection, and they fortified their heartland.

 The mounted forces, with a soldiery of mainly Turk and pagan origin, could at times and when accounted for, show a disastrous fiercefulness and cruelty to the enemies of Khazaria. On the other hand the same forces, subordinated to the Aq-Khazar generals and officers, were probably the most disciplined, as well as tactically and strategically the most potent martial power at that time and in that region. On the other hand Khazar officials were often consulted as diplomatic emissars and mediators by all the political powers surrounding Khazaria. Khazaria and Khazars were at that time both highly respected and feared, with good reason.

 Along with warfare, diplomacy, taxation and trade there was of course a great lingual and cultural as well as religious and ideological exchange. The Jewish Khazar Kingdom comprised a manyfold variety in combination with "hellenistic" openness in all aspects of human cultural life. A Khazar official could be of Turk, Slav, Greek, Rūs, Arab, Goth, Roman and Magyar ethnical origin. They then just had to be multilingual and capable of communicating with all these "nationalities". General Turkish, "lingua cumana", was surely used among the Turk tribes, as Roman-Greek in the Black sea region and Hebrew among Jewish scholars and rabbis. Every subgroup surely maintained their native tongue, but the demand for a general and common language gradually increased.

 In charge of trade, at these crossroads of mercantile exchange, were the Jews, wether they were related to the Aq-Khazar nobility or refugees from Byzans or the Caliphates in the south. They were the civil servents of the Khazar empire, administrating governmental tasks such as regulating settlement, trade, taxation, passage and migration. They also maintained great advantages and benefits as the most favoured merchantry. All this made the Jewish merchantry to the most critical and important part in all trade within Khazaria, as well as in trade exchange with external parties. Thus there were of course a lot of reasons not to speak Hebrew with their various counterparts. The need for a common trading and administrative language was accute.

 Trading and administrative Jews and Jewish Khazars, and possibly other officials as well, in cooperation and interchange with Frankic, Hungarian-Austrian, Slavic, Rūs, Gothic and Greek merchantry, had already begun to develope a common "lingua comerca" consisting of mainly early "pre-German" influences from Gothic, Austrian, Rūs and "lingua franca", spoken by Franks and Radhanite merchant Jews. A major influx of Hebrew, Slavic and some "lingua cumana", of course, was also merged into this "synthetic" and, in many respects, neutral language.

 This language also had a major impact on the construction, by Benedictine monks, of the high-german "synthetic" language to be used in the German Roman empire. It was later, by the definite evaporation of Khazaria, to be maintained and further refined by the Jewish merchantry, refugees from Khazaria, as a profane speech and fully developed and re-influenced by high-german in the middle ages to "Jiddisch (eng. Yiddish)", that is "Jewish".

Khazaria, at the point of breaking

 Khazaria had most of the time alliances with all the surrounding parts. Those sometimes were broken by competition, hostility, betrayel and war. There was a long period of harmony with Byzans resulting in a Khazar contribution to the royalty with at least two emperors and two empresses, of Khazar ethnical and/or cultural origin. There was also a forthgoing interaction with Rūs resulting in mutual and joint trading posts along the river systems between the poles Kiev in Khazar-Rūsia in the south and Birka in the northly Sweden (Svithjodh) and a Khazar contribution to the blood and culture of the first Khagans/Tsars of Russia, obviously since the queen of Rūsia, the christian Khazar noble lady, Helga (Sancta) and, by her adopted son, the Khazar prince Svjatoslav (Svithjodho-Slav). There was also a great intermingling with the arab caliphates.

 However, there regrettably were a forthgoing polarization within the Khazar society due to vast priviliges granted to the Jewish merchantry and the general islamisation of the common tribes esp. the Kara-Khazars. The Khazar-Rūs defectors also grew in competitive rivalry and discontent to their expected submission to Aq-Khazars and priviliged Jewry. This four-polar tension gradually grew and went accute making the Khazar state unable to defend itself, to any major extent, when the Khazar-Rūs Khagan Svjatoslav exploitingly challenged it. Jew merchants, Aq-Khazar nobels and muslim Kara-Kazars seized to feel as a united corpse and were unable to keep the forces together and consensus dissappeared with the winds of the steppes.

 The very openess and liberal governmental attitude within the Khazar state proved disastrous for the empire, when misused by the crystalized interestgroups of Merchant Jewry, Muslim Kara-Khazars and emigrant competitors. However neither all Khazars, nor the core Khazar Kingdom were conquered for hundreds of years.

 All the western and northern parts of the larger empire were incorporated with the emerging Russian state and most of the inhabitants, wether pagan or muslim, were to be christened by force in due time, but most of the Jews showed stubborn and managed to stay jewish. Left without their Khazar leadership the former Khazar subjects were slavisised or judaised and deprived of any Khazar identity. In an attempt to escape Russia and keep their sovereignity, small detachments of Khazars with their families, esp. from the splinted and disrupted army, fled westward to Crimea, Roumania and Hungary. A northern group, penetrating Russia, went out of reach to Preussia/Lithuania.

 Left as a vanishing Jewish Khazar Kingdom was the surviving royal clan and nobility of the Khazars, accompanied by only a minor part of the former enormous mounted force, taking stand just north of and within the Caucasus, but seemingly without any substantial political and economical power and with a planned liquidation as the only realistic option. They then decided to liquidate the project of a Jewish empire or state, but with reason and careful planning.

 Capital and trusted families were sent out to Byzans and the old trading routes along the Dnepr/Dvina river system. This was very conveniant because of the possibilities of trading and the eventual protection and aid from resident Jews and Jewish Khazars, their relatives. The main part of the army and nobility were gradually moved to Crimea, thus taking charge of and merging with residents and forming the so called "Tartars of Crimea".

A Khazar diaspora

 The noble Aq-Khazars were now Jewish traders and Tartars, consolidating their capital and network of traders. Great obstacles to their striving were of course the plague, the mongol invasion and the "byzantification" of Russia, ending with Ivan "The Terrible". They survived to some extent by cooperating with the Golden Horde Khaganate and the Osmans of Turkey. Their last great martial effort was burning Moscow, with the Tartars of Crimea, as a revenge, in 1571.

 There still was a core of nobel Khazar families who among them secretely maintained a virtual Khazar kingdom and identity. They decided to definitely move north, along the old trading route and collect their capital and vitalize the trading. They ended up in Preussia/Lithuania and spread their interests and residence, fairly quickly, to all over the southern shores of the Baltic Sea, through Poland, Pommern and Mecklenburg-Schwerin, merging with Jewry, christian nobility and merchantry. They eventually got related to the nobel and royal families of both Germany and Russia.

 Besides traditional trading and manoring they funded esp. Swedish warfare against Russia and Catholic Germany for hundreds of years. The jewish families got privileges as "favoured jews", as funders and suppliers to the Swedish armies. The christians cultivated their manors and contributed with supply and officers. Esp. the Jewish Khazars also acted as mediators and interpreters like e. g. between King Carl XII and Turkey. Several Swedish Kings thus became more and more in dept to some Khazar families.

 The Swedish Kings then granted the Jewish Khazars vast priviliges in economics, trading and residency. They took many Khazar nobels, some even Jewish, in their service as high ranking officers for battle and logistics. By the mid 18th century some of the christian nobel Khazar families lived in Sweden and by the end of the century several of the Jewish did as well. They were still main funders and suppliers, mainly to the Navy, they represented Turkey in maintaining the consulate and then they mostly contributed to the general economical and industrial development, and banking and finance in special, of the 19th century Sweden.

 Now we have decided to step forward and claim respect and recognition for the Khazars, the virtual Khaganate and the ancient kingdom Khazaria.

Look for Dunlop and Koestler and other historical reference at KIC!

The Khazaria historical Info Center!

Please look for evidence here!


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