The Protocols of the Elders of Zion were circulated by the Czarist Russian secret police in the early years of the twentieth century. This forged document purported to be an account of a meeting of Jewish leaders from many nations who were planning to dominate and enslave all mankind and destroy Christianity. The Russian government used this document to try to focus the anger and hostility of Russians who were suffering under poverty, illiteracy, censorship, and lack of civil rights on the Jews.
At the end of World War I, Alfred Rosenberg, who came to Germany from the Russian Empire and was an early influential member of the Nazi Party, introduced Adolf Hitler to the document and made it a staple of Nazi propaganda. Popular in many parts of the world to the present day and adopted to meet local conditions this document in the hands of the Nazis became what Norman Cohn has called a “Warrant for Genocide.”
Additional Resource: The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) has a website on the Protocols.