The Ashkenazis: Jews or Khazars?

J-M's History Corner

Here, at long last, is the article I promised you in The Forgotten Jews almost 3 months ago.

The Ashkenazis, otherwise known as the Ashkenazim, make up the vast majority of world Jewry.  They come from Eastern Europe, particularly (but not exclusively) Germany.  The second-largest group is the Sephardim, who come from Spain, followed by the Mizrahim, who stayed in the Middle East.

However, there is a theory – founded in the 1800s, and holding some small degree of popularity today – that the Ashkenazim are not Jews; but rather, Gentile descendants of the Khazars.  The Khazars were a Turkish people whose empire, known as Khazaria, lasted from about 650 AD to 969 AD.

Is this claim true, or false?


This argument is used fairly frequently for arguing a Khazarian (or at least Gentile) origin for the Ashkenazim.  It derives from the following passage:

The sons of Japheth

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