Friday, October 23, 2015

(1) The Mufti and the Holocaust, Revisited Ben Cohen / JNS.org OCTOBER 23, 2015 ; (2) A Backgrounder of the Nazi Activities in North Africa and the Middle East During the Era of the Holocaust

This article: "the Mufti and the Holocaust Revisited" by Ben Cohen is the article that SHOULD HAVE BEEN PUBLISHED IN THE JEWISH JOURNAL TO ASSIST YOUR AMERICAN JEWISH AND OTHER READERS IN UNDERSTANDING THE PRECURSORS OF THE HOLOCAUST.

Unfortunately, Dr. Michael Berenbaum {Hitler needed plenty of help to kill the Jews – but no inspiration—The misrepresentation of Holocaust history by Israel’s prime minister—by Michael Berenbaum, Posted on Oct. 21, 2015 at 3:07 pm }  not only failed in what should have been his basic assignment, but also  let his anti-Prime Minister  Netanyahu biases hijack his discussion/analysis. This is particularly unfortunate since there is a multitude of documented historical information to justify Prime Minister Netanyahu's statement in the context in which the prime minister delivered his remarks.


1.     The Mufti and the Holocaust, Revisited  JNS.org


OCTOBER 23, 2015   

The Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al-Husseini, meets with Adolf Hitler in 1941. Photo: German Federal Archives via Wikimedia Commons.
The Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al-Husseini, meets with Adolf Hitler in 1941. Photo: German Federal Archives via Wikimedia Commons.
JNS.org – If a man was a Jew, it was good enough for him to be killed or stamped out,” wrote a senior British official serving abroad to his superiors in London in 1929.
From where was this gentleman—Major Alan Saunders—writing his dispatch? From Munich or Berlin or any of the other German cities where Hitler’s Nazi Party was gaining supporters and street thugs? In fact, no. Major Saunders was the head of the British Police in Palestine during the mandate period, and his statement concerned the massacre by Arabs, in August 1929, of 69 Jews in Hebron, a city where their community had been a consistent presence for at least two millennia.
I was reminded of Major Saunders’s pithy summary of the motive behind the Hebron pogrom when news broke of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech to the World Zionist Congress in Jerusalem, in which he essentially argued that it was the Mufti of Jerusalem, Hajj Amin al-Husseini, who crystallized the idea of the mass extermination of the Jews in Adolf Hitler’s mind. But before I talk about the controversy that followed these comments, I want to make a couple of more general observations by way of introduction.
The first is that while Hitler unarguably remains the most powerful and devastating anti-Semite to ever hold state power, he was far from the only one at that time to approach the “Jewish question” in exterminationist terms. As Major Saunders related from faraway Palestine, about an episode that presaged the Nazi atrocities that were to follow in Germany and then in occupied Europe and North Africa, the same hatred of Jews simply for being Jews was in painful evidence there. For there were thousands, even millions, of ordinary people in Europe and the Middle East who regarded the Jews as a social and religious poison and wanted them—all of them—dead. In that sense, the Fuhrer was their representative and their master.
The second is that, as an Israeli Jew, Netanyahu is naturally sensitive to the Palestinian Arab dimension of the broader issue of collaboration with the Nazis, something I can relate to. As a kid, I remember sitting around my grandfather’s table with his relatives from Bosnia—men with sad eyes and the muscles and paunches of retired boxers, who had spent their youths in the Socialist-Zionist Hashomer Hatzair movement, graduating to fight with Marshal Tito’s communist partisans against the Nazi occupation of Yugoslavia that began in 1941. Men who, I realized with awe, had actually killed some of these Nazis that I’d seen in the movies.
And yet, when they spoke about the war, their anger really flowed when they remembered the locals who had assisted the Germans. Like Netanyahu now, what they found hardest to stomach was the spectacle of those non-Jews who lived alongside them collaborating with the Nazi extermination program.
In the pantheon of Nazi collaborators, Mufti Hajj Amin al-Husseini is right up there with Pavelic in Croatia, Petain in France, Horthy in Hungary, and all the other quislings—their name comes from the collaborationist leader in Norway, Vidkun Quisling—who implemented Hitler’s will. It was, ironically, the British authorities who appointed him to his position in 1921. During the 1929 massacre in Hebron, as during the openly anti-Semitic 1936-39 Arab revolt in Palestine, al-Husseini proved himself a confirmed Jew-hater and the natural ally of Hitler in the Arab and Muslim worlds.
It wasn’t until November 1941 that the Mufti met Hitler in person. Significantly, in the view of many historians, that encounter in Berlin took place two months before the Wannsee conference, where leading Nazis led by Hitler’s security chief, Reinhard Heydrich, plotted the implementation of the “Final Solution”—the extermination of the Jews.
In the official German record of their discussions (not an exact transcript, but a summary of what was said), it was clear that both Hitler and the Mufti were already in agreement that the Holocaust had to be visited upon the Jews. For his part, the Mufti expressed his appreciation of Germany’s commitment to the “elimination of the Jewish national home,” while Hitler restated his “active opposition to the Jewish national home in Palestine, which was nothing other than a center, in the form of a state, for the exercise of destructive influence by Jewish interests.”
For good measure, the Fuhrer added that “Germany was also aware that the assertion that the Jews were carrying out the functions of economic pioneers in Palestine was a lie. The work there was done only by the Arabs, not by the Jews”—a slander that could easily be expressed in the exact same words by the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement that targets the “Jewish national home” in our own time.
That last point highlights a critical factor which the furore around Netanyahu’s speech—much of it generated by visceral opponents of Israel who only talk about the Holocaust when it justifies their backing of Palestinian violence against Jews now—has largely missed.
During the 1930s, both Germany and Palestine were the sites of mob violence, boycotts, and discriminatory laws and regulations against Jews. The Nazi consolidation of power in the 1930s was what enabled them to launch their campaign of war and genocide at the end of that decade.
Had Palestine been conquered by the Germans from the British, there is no doubt that the Mufti would have been installed as the local quisling, and that the entire Jewish population would have been shipped to concentration and death camps in Europe—assuming that the Germans and their Arab militias didn’t build similar camps in the vicinity, of course. That was the mutual vision expressed in Berlin in 1941, the distinctly Arab contribution to the achievement of the “Thousand Year Reich.”
As the German historian Matthias Kuentzel has noted, the 700,000 Jews in the Middle East were in Hitler’s sights when he received the Mufti.
“As Hitler envisaged it, after the assault on the Soviet Union, the Wehrmacht would also occupy the Caucasus and so open the way to the Middle East…Part of this scenario was the killing of the Jews,” Kuentzel writes. Even though this grand ambition failed, the Mufti was still able, as the prominent Israeli Holocaust historian Yehuda Bauer put it, to be “an active partner in devising the Final Solution.” The Mufti also played a role in its implementation, raising three SS divisions composed of Bosnian and Albanian Muslims in the western Balkans.
Nor did the Mufti forget Palestine. The Israeli scholar Edy Cohen has revealed how, in May 1943, he blocked a deal agreed to by the British and the Germans to allow 4,000 Jewish children to enter Palestine in exchange for 20,000 German prisoners of war, while in 1944, he parachuted a terror cell  into Tel Aviv with the intention of poisoning the local water supply.
The Mufti, disgracefully, escaped the Nuremburg Trials of Nazi war criminals, and ended his days in Beirut in 1974. His legacy survives in the daily incitement against Jews that emanates from Palestinian official and social media. So, when considering the latest Netanyahu controversy, please remember this: Those Holocaust scholars who criticized Netanyahu’s speech nonetheless recognize the fundamental, bitter fact of Palestinian anti-Semitism and the Mufti’s position in fomenting it. It is the Palestinian leadership and their supporters—who have neither offered an apology nor reparations for the Mufti’s crimes against the Jews—who don’t.
Ben Cohen, senior editor of TheTower.org & The Tower Magazine, writes a weekly column for JNS.org on Jewish affairs and Middle Eastern politics. His writings have been published in Commentary, the New York Post, Haaretz, The Wall Street Journal, and many other publications. He is the author of “Some of My Best Friends: A Journey Through Twenty-First Century Antisemitism” (Edition Critic, 2014).
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2.     A BACKGROUNDER OF THE NAZI ACTIVITIES IN NORTH AFRICA AND THE MIDDLE EAST DURING THE ERA OF THE HOLOCAUST 

including 
An Overview of the Arab World Leader: Amin Al-Hussein, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem and his Connection with the Third Reich 
Assembled, Edited and Presented by the 
International Sephardic Leadership Council 
45 John Street / Suite 711 New York, NY 10038 347-350-7695 
Issued April 2006 www.SephardicCouncil.org 
Note: This document contains collected facts, prepared as a brief overview, and are by no means meant to be considered exhaustive. They have been collected from various respected sources. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this document for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner. 
A Backgrounder of the Nazi Activities in North Africa and the Middle East During the Era of the Holocaust; Including an Overview of the Arab World Leader, Amin Al-Hussein, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem and his Connection with the the Third Reich. 
Key issues the reader should note: 
  1. TheIslamicleadership(vis-à-vistheMufti)didinfacthaveasignificant relationship with the German governement during the era of the Holocaust. 
  2. Pro-NazisentimentoftenresultedingraveconsequencesagainsttheJewsinArab countries during the Holocaust. 
  3. TheGermansinfluencedtheArabsresultinginincitementthatledtoattacks against Jews in Arab cities during the Holocaust. 
  4. TheMuftipromotedtheideatotheNazisofdestroyingtheJewsbeforethey could escape to Palestine. 
  5. TheAxispowerspersecutedJewsinNorthAfricaduringtheHolocaust. 
Note, this is an informal chronological timeline and is not meant to be read in book form. 
  • Bernard Lewis states: “We know that within weeks of Hitler's coming to power in 1933, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem got in touch with the German consul general in Jerusalem, Doctor Heinrich Wolff, and offered his services.”There, the Mufti spoke approvingly of the Nazi's Jewish policies, particularly of the anti-Jewish boycott in Germany.
  • A Pan-Arab Committee established at Baghdad in the Spring of 1933 approached Fritz Grobba, the German Ambassador to Iraq, two years later with proposals for closer ties and cooporation.
  • Hitler'sMeinKampfwastranslatedintofourdifferentArabictranslationsandcirculated between 1933-1939 in Beirut, Baghdad, Cairo and Berlin.
  • In the first few months of WWII, shops in the towns of Syria would frequently show posters with Arabic sayings: “In heaven God is your ruler, on earth Hitler.” In the streets of Aleppo, Homs and Damascus a popular verse in a local dialect said: “No more 'Monsieur', no more ‘Mister’-God in heaven, on earth Hitler!”
    Lewis, Bernard. “The New Anti-Semitism.” American Scholar. Vol. 75. Issue 1: Winter 2006. p.32
    Nafi, Basheer M. “The Arabs and the Axis: 1933-1940.” Arab Studies Quarterly, Vol. 19, Issue 2, Spring 1997. n.p.
    Francis Nicosia. “Arab Nationalism and National Socialist Germany, 1933-1939: Ideological and Strategic Incompatibility.” International Journal of Middle East Studies. Vol. 12, No. 3., November 1980. pp.351-372
    Wild, Stefan. “National Socialism in the Arab near East between 1933 and 1939.”
    Die Welt des Islams, Brill: 1985. p.127 / See this source for an explanation of all four versions.
    Aglion, Raoul. The Fighting French. New York, 1943. Cited by, Wild, Stefan. “National Socialism in the Arab near East between 1933 and 1939.” Die Welt des Islams, Brill: 1985. p.127 
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A Backgrounder of the Nazi Activities in North Africa and the Middle East During the Era of the Holocaust; Including an Overview of the Arab World Leader, Amin Al-Hussein, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem and his Connection with the the Third Reich. 
  • Anti-Jewish feeling mounted in parts of the Middle East during the 1930s, as the Fascist and Nazi regimes and doctrines made increasing sense to many Arab nationalists. King Abdul Aziz of Saudi Arabia sought German arms and contacts and was favorably received. Various delegations of Syrians and Iraqis attended the Nürnberg party congresses, and there were several different Arabic translations of Mein Kampf.Both the German and Italian regimes were active in propaganda in the Arab world, and there was much pro-German sentiment in Egypt.
  • Anti-Semitic elements seized upon the Palestine problem and Arab Revolt of 1936-1939 to portray international Jewry, including the Jews of the Maghrib, in a negative way to the Muslims, many of whom expressed solidarity with the Palestinian Arabs against Zionism and the British Authorities in the Mandate. Nazi propaganda broadcasts from Berlin and Stuttgart, as well as broadcasts from fascist Italy, added fuel to the ongoing anti-Jewish campaigns.
  • In 1937 Damascus was center for anti-Jewish activities. In this same year a Nazi delegation went to Syria where a symbiosis was developed that would lead to intensified anti-Jewish sentiment, especially among both German and Arab youth. It was from Damascus that the Arab Defense Council wrote the Jewish Agency that warned, “Your attitude will lead you and Jews of the East to the worst of calamities that has been written in history up to present.
  • In 1938, Amin Al-Huseini, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem (Mufti) met secretly with Wilhelm Canaris, chief of Germany’s Abwehr, or military intelligence. The Abwehr had sought to smuggle weapons into Palestine through Saudi Arabia to assist the Arab revolt, but plans were aborted because Berlin feared the British would discover the source. In another meeting, this one in Damascus, Nazi diplomat and Arabist Fritz Grobba gave the Mufti’s secretary £800 just to keep the financial connection with Berlin alive.10 
  • By 1939, when Hitler attacked Poland, and Britain and France declared war on Germany, the Mufti realized his well-known pro-Nazi activities could land him in a British jail. Once 
    The Lebanese Pierre Gemayel is said to have founded his Christian Phalange Party after returning from a Nürnberg congress. The nomenclature was drawn from fascism, though the Phalange was not a generically fascist movement. See Pryce-Jones, D. The Closed Circle. New York: 1989, pp.182–208. Cited by, Payne, Stanley G. A History of Fascism, 1914-1945. Madison University of Wisconsin Press: 1995. p.352 
    Payne, Stanley G. A History of Fascism, 1914-1945. Madison University of Wisconsin Press, 1995. p.352
    Abitbol, M. The Jews of North Africa During WWII. (Hebrew) Jerusalaem: 1986. pp.31-33; Citied by Laskier, Michael M. “Between Vichy Antisemitism and German Harassment: The Jews of North Africa during the Early 1940s.” Modern Judaism 1991. pp.344-355
    October 10, 1938, to Chaim Weizmann, cited by Schechtman, Eagles, pp.150-151.
    10 Nicosia, Francis. “Arab Nationalism and Nationalist Socialist Germany, 1933-1939.” International Journal of Middle East Studies, vol. 12, 1980. pp.363-364; Citied by, Black, Edwin. Banking on Baghdad. New York: Wiley, 2004. pp.310 
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A Backgrounder of the Nazi Activities in North Africa and the Middle East During the Era of the Holocaust; Including an Overview of the Arab World Leader, Amin Al-Hussein, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem and his Connection with the the Third Reich. 
again he packed his bags and fled Palestine, staying shortly in Lebanon (then under French control) before traveling onward to Iraq. Working with an old ally, Rashid Ali al- Gaylani, who became prime minister of Iraq in March 1940, the Mufti “obtained promises of Axis support, and in April 1941 carried out an anti-British and pro-Nazi coup” in Baghdad. In early June, al-Gaylani was overthrown, and his followers – tearing a page from the Mufti's playbook – went on a murderous rampage against Baghdad's Jewish community.11 
  • In July 1940, Rashid Ali’s Justice Minister met secretly in Turkey with the Reich Ambassador, Franz von Papen. The Mufti then sent his own secretary to talk to German Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop in Berlin. The Mufti’s condition for an Arab rebellion in Iraq: a German declaration against the Zionist homeland and in favor of a pan-Arab state.12 
  • Bernard Lewis states: “In 1940 the French surrender gave the Nazis new opportunities for action in the Arab world. In Vichy-controlled Syria they were able for a while to establish an intelligence and propaganda base in the heart of the Arab East. From Syria they extended their activities to Iraq, where they helped to establish a pro-Nazi regime headed by Rashid Ali al-Gailani. This was overthrown by the British, and Rashid Ali went to join his friend the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem in Berlin, where he remained as Hitler's guest until the end of the war. In the last days of Rashid Ali's regime, on the first and second of June 1941, soldiers and civilians launched murderous attacks on the ancient Jewish community in Baghdad. This was followed by a series of such attacks in other Arab cities, both in the Middle East and in North Africa.” “...The Nazi propaganda impact was immense...”13 
  • In 1940, as Nazi influence infected more and more of Iraqi society, especially under Rashid Ali, some of Iraq’s Jews who had long been careful to suffer in silence approached the Iraqi government demanding protection. London became involved in the context of the war effort itself and fears of German encroachment into Iraq. On May 27, 1940, the British Embassy in Baghdad reported, “Some of the Jews of Baghdad had recently made representations to the Iraqi government against the campaign now being waged against them under Nazi inspiration.”14 
    11 Timmerman, Kenneth. Preachers of Hate. Crown Forum: New York, 2005. n.p.12 “A Review of the Battle of Habbaniya, May 1941.” Letter, Sir Basil Newton to Viscount Halifax, May 20, 1940: PRO FO371/24561 no. 119238. Letter, C. J. Edmonds to Sir Basil Newton, Jul 1, 1920, enclosure in Baghdad Despatch No. 315: PRO FO371/24561 no. 119238. See confidential letter, Sir Basil Newton to Mr. Eden, Feb 25, 1941: PRO FO371/27100 no. 119904. Mufti al-Amin, “Proposed Draft of an Official Declaration by Germany and Italy with Respect to the Arab Countries,” ca. 1940: PRO FO371/61926 no. 119288. Elpeleg, 59. Khadduri, 195; Cited by, Black, Edwin. Banking on Baghdad. New York: Wiley, 2004. pp.17-1813 Lewis, Bernard. “The New Anti-Semitism.” American Scholar. Vol. 75. Issue 1: Winter 2006. p.32-3314 “Position of Jews in Iraq,” May 27, 1940: PRO FO371/24561 no. 119238; Cited by, Black, Edwin. Banking on Baghdad. New York: Wiley, 2004. pp.17-18 
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A Backgrounder of the Nazi Activities in North Africa and the Middle East During the Era of the Holocaust; Including an Overview of the Arab World Leader, Amin Al-Hussein, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem and his Connection with the the Third Reich. 
  • The Mufti developed a world headquarters in Germany. In an office in Berlin, his activities included: 1. radio propaganda; 2. espionage and fifth column activities in the Middle East; 3. organizaing Muslims into military units in Axis-occupied countries and in North Africa and Russia; and 4. establishement of the Arab Legions and the Arab Brigade. These groups were trained by the Nazis and used by them.15 
  • The Mufti's radio broadcasts were some of the most violent pro-Axis broadcasts ever produced. He had at least six stations, Berlin, Zeissen, Bari, Rome, Tokyo and Athens. He used these radio broadcasts to tell Muslims across the world to commit acts of sabatoge and kill the Jews.16 
  • The Mufti and Rashid Ali, leader of Iraq, were known to give an Arabic language broadcasts relayed from Berlin Radio inciting the Iraqi Arabs.17 
  • The Mufti developed a “propaganda barrage” in Arabic through leaflet and radio. Tons of paper, beautifully printed with Koranic texts were distributed. These leaflets were widely distributed to the Arabs of Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco, calling on them to attack the ghettos where the Jews lived.18 
  • “The anti-Jewish stirrings among the Muslims were also caused, to some extent, by the German propaganda....the Third Reich...did have an interest in enlisting North African nationalism against France....North African nationalists...played a significant role in German attempts at subversion in North Africa, attempts that focused on anti-Jewish and anticolonial issues....in the international city of Tangier...anti-Jewish and anti-French propaganda was produced ...”19 
  • Under Axis and Vichy rule in Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia, & Libya, were denied rights granted to them during colonial rule, including French & Italian citizenship. Economic restrictions were imposed and Jews were sent to forced labor camps where many perished.20 The Jewish prisoners (foreign & local) were dispersed over 30 camps, which for all practical purposes were no different from concentration camps.21 During this period the Great Synagaogue in Tunis was taken over by the Nazis and used as a horse stable. 
    15 Schechtman, Joseph B. The Mufti and the Fuehrer. NY: Thomas Yoseloff, 1965. p.12716 Schechtman, Joseph B. The Mufti and the Fuehrer. NY: Thomas Yoseloff, 1965. p.12717 Schechtman, Joseph B. The Mufti and the Fuehrer. NY: Thomas Yoseloff, 1965. pp.124-12618 Pearlman, Maurice. Mufti of Jerusalem. London: Gollancz, 1947. p.4319 Gutman, Yisrael, ed. Encyclopedia of the Holocaust. 4 vols. New York: Macmillan, 1990, p. 99320 Map at Yad Vashem Museum, Jerusalem, Israel, North African Jews in the Holocaust.21 Gutman, Yisrael, ed. Encyclopedia of the Holocaust. 4 vols. New York: Macmillan, 1990, p. 1520-1523 
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A Backgrounder of the Nazi Activities in North Africa and the Middle East During the Era of the Holocaust; Including an Overview of the Arab World Leader, Amin Al-Hussein, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem and his Connection with the the Third Reich. 
  • Yad Vashem, the Iraeli Holocaust Memorial Museum shows a total of 17 slave labor concentration camps in North Africa: 3 Morocco, 3 Algeria, 7 Tunisia, 4 Libya. They indicate Jews were interned in the slave labor camp at Hadjerat-M'Guil, in North Africa. Some of the prisoners were tortured and murdered. Other internees worked on the Trans-Sahara railway.22 
  • About 5000 Jews were uprooted from their homes, thousands were drafted into forced labor -internment and forced labor camps for Jews were established23 and alien Jews among them were deported to Italy and died in extermination camps in Europe.’ “...the Jewish quarter of Benghazi was sacked and 2,000 Jews were deported.” 24 
  • In 1941, Syria, the anticipated gateway for the Nazi invasion, exploded with Reich propaganda, supported by Gestapo agents and specially-trained Arab Nazis. The Arabs’ Club, the National Youth Organization, and the Group of National Action all went into action. Their members all spoke fluent German. They distributed additional copies of the Arabic version of the Nazi Party’s rabid newspaper, Völkischer Beobachter, and ensured that “the whole country is a hotbed of Nazi propaganda,” as the New York Times reported.25 
  • During 1941, in Mosul, Iraq, pro-Nazi Arab activists continued to propagandize against Jews. In Baghdad, when the war film For Freedom showed in cinemas, audiences cheered Hitler and booed Churchill. Leaflets circulated: “Rashid Ali, the Leader of all the Arabs, is returning with ropes and gallows to hang a number of criminal Jews, Christian traitors and other enemies of Islam.”26 
  • On June 1, 1941, a delegation of Iraqi Jews, sent to meet the Regent Abdul Illah arriving at Baghdad airport, was attacked by a mob as they crossed Al Khurr Bridge. Violence quickly spread to the Al Rusafa and Abu Sifyan districts and got worse the next day, when Iraqi policemen joined in on the attacks on the Jewish community. Incidents of rape, torture, and mutilation of bodies were reported. Shops belonging to Jews were burned 
    22 Yad Vashem Museum’s Map of concentration camps in North Africa on display in Jerusalem (Main Camps & Killing Sites during the Nazi Era) [sic]
    23 Pe’Amim, Ben-Zvi Institute for the study of Jewish communities in the East, No. 28, 1986, pp. 166-167
    24 see: Gutman, Yisrael, ed. Encyclopedia of the Holocaust. 4 vols. New York: Macmillan, 1990. 
    Epstein, Dictionary of the Holocaust; Abitbol, The Jews of North Africa During the Second World War.
    25 “New Regent Is Elected,” NYT, Apr 12, 1941, 5. Khadduri, 182. Geyder, G. E. R., “Syrians Say Nazis Keep Unrest Alive,” NYT, Apr 5, 1941, 2. Letter to Mr. J. Skliros, Apr 5, 1941, and enclosure, letter of resignation, Taha al-Hashimi to H. R. H. The Regent, Apr 1, 1941: BP IPC 99-M4C: Misc. Correspondence. See “Uprising in Levant Fought by French,” NYT, Mar 27, 1941, 1, 2; Cited by, Black, Edwin. Banking on Baghdad. New York: Wiley, 2004. pp.17-18
    26 Secret telegram, Commander in Charge, Iraq to War Office, Aug 27, 1941: PRO FO371/27079. Luks, Harold Paul, “Iraqi Jews during World War II,” Wiener Library Bulletin no. 30, 34; Cited by, Black, Edwin. Banking on Baghdad. New York: Wiley, 2004. pp.17-18 
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A Backgrounder of the Nazi Activities in North Africa and the Middle East During the Era of the Holocaust; Including an Overview of the Arab World Leader, Amin Al-Hussein, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem and his Connection with the the Third Reich. 
during this two-day pogrom. This was a pro-Nazi Holocaust-era event that is remembered as the Farhud. It led to the destruction of the Jewish community in Iraq.27 
  • On that June 1 day, frenzied mobs murdered Jews openly on the streets, women were raped as their horrified families looked on, infants were killed in front of their parents. Horrid torture and mutilation followed. Jewish shops were looted and torched. A synagogue was invaded, then burned, and its Torahs defiled and then destroyed in classic Nazi fashion.28 The Jewish Agency in Jerusalem cabled the Foreign Office: “Fearful picture of anti-Jewish excesses at Baghdad June 1, June 2.... Massacres began.... Jews removed from cars and brutally murdered, then mob began attack on Jewish [religious] holiday crowds walking in street. Fearful details received of ghastly tortures and murders occurred. Dead bodies defiled, children thrown into Euphrates.... Estimated 500 Jews killed and over 1000 wounded. Entire street full of shops ransacked and burnt. Hospitals overcrowded. Thousands homeless in streets and synagogues. Armed police... students, secondary schools and colleges participated. Killing and robbing continued for two days.... Only stopped when British troops took action.... Incriminated police not removed. No investigation, no punishment. Air full of poisonous incitement, renewed outbreak feared by community. Implore help and immigrant permits to Palestine.”29 
  • November 28, 1941, The Mufti meets with Hitler in Berlin, this was reported by the German News Agency on December 7, 1941, the same day Japan attacked the United States at Pearl Harbor. They wrote that the Mufti was, “Received by Herr Hitler. Foreign Minister von Ribbentrop was also present.”30 
  • November 28, 1941, Hitler had a long conversation with the Mufti of Jerusalem. Hitler explained, the countries of Europe were being emptied of Jews one by one; at the appropriate time this would be extended to what Hitler called “non-European countries.” In other words, a global concept. Since the Mufti was presumably not interested in the 
    27 Black, Hitler. “Hitlers Involvement with the Destruction of the Ancient Jewish Community of Iraq.” International Sephardic Journal. vol . 2 no. 1 pp. 61-65 (Black states that eventually, over 120,000 Jews Iraqi Jews would arrive in Israel, penniless, with no hope of later calling on their former wealth. Israel Foreign Minister Moshe Sharett vociferously condemned Iraq’s extortion and state-sponsored theft. Estimates of the value of Iraqi Jewry’s blocked assets ranged from 6 million to 12 million dinars, or at its highest valuation some $300 million in twenty-first century money.)
    28 Cornwallis to Eden, Jul 11, 1941. Habousha, Hayim V., “The Farhud,” lecture, Midrash ben Ish Hai, www.midrash.org. Levin, Itamar, Locked Doors: The Seizure of Jewish Property in Arab Countries, Rachel Neiman, trans. (Westport, CT: Praeger, 2001), 6. See De Chair, 127; Cited by, Black, Edwin. Banking on Baghdad. New York: Wiley, 2004. pp.17-18
    29 Telegram, Jewish Agency, Jerusalem to Foreign Office, Jul 19, 1941: PRO FO371/27078. See Cornwallis to Foreign Office, Jul 29, 1941; Cited by, Black, Edwin. Banking on Baghdad. New York: Wiley, 2004. pp.17-18 30 Pearlman, Maurice. Mufti of Jerusalem. London: Gollancz, 1947. p.42 
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Jews of Australia or Argentina, Hitler became more explicit. Once the Germans arrived there, their only objective in the Middle East would be the killing of the Jews there.31 
  • July 1942 Franz Seubert, a colonel in the German army and intelligence officer met under highly clandestine conditions with the Mufti. Since 1938, the Mufti had been a friend of Admiral Wilhelm Canaris, chief of German intelligence. They had previously met in Baghdad when German intrigues against British influence in the Middle East were raging. After the collapse of an anti-British uprising, the Mufti had fled to Rome, where he accepted the protection offered by Italian dictator Benito Mussolini. There the Mufti continued his Middle East rabble-rousings, which, presumably, would be of benefit to Italy and to Germany. Working as a spy himself, the Mufti provided the Nazi officer with a highly detailed report of a looming invasion of French Northwest Africa by the Americans and British said to been told to him by Muhammed V, the Sultan of Morocco. On November 8, 1942, Operation Torch, an Anglo-American invasion of the French colonies of Morocco and Algeria, struck at three places along one thousand miles of North African coastline. The entire invasion, including the date, unfolded precisely as the Sultan of Morocco had disclosed through the Mufti.32 
  • On March 19, 1943, the occasion of the prophet Mohammed's birthday, in a broadcast over the Rome wireless, the Mufti reiterated his old allegation, which had caused so much bloodshed in Palestine in the past, that the Jews had designs on the holy places of Islam, especially on the El Aqsa Mosque. The danger of Judaism to the Arabs, argued the Mufti, was not confined to Palestine as the Jews, associated with the Allies, were now planning to make North Africa a shelter for Jewish refugees from Europe. He stated: 
    Arabs and Muslims, on this occasion of the birthday of the Prophet, who crushed Jewish ambitions in the past and completely eliminated them from Muslim countries, thereby setting us an example, on such a day Muslims and Arabs should vow before God utterly to crush Jewish ambitions. . .33 
  • In May 1943 a letter was sent from Amin Al-Husseini to the German Foreign Minister Ribbentrop requesting German intervention in the Balkans especially in Bulgaria to prevent an agreement with Britain and the United States to allow Jews to leave for Palestine. The Mufti noted that the Arabs supported the Axis Power in the hope that they 
    31 Chickering, Roger; Förster, Stig.; Greiner, Bernd. A World At Total War : Global Conflict and the Politics of Destruction, 1937-1945. Publications of the German Historical Institute:
    Cambridge UP, New York, 2005.
    32 Breuer, William B. Deceptions of World War II. John Wiley & Sons: New York 2002. pp.142-143 
    33 Schechtman, Joseph B. The Mufti and the Fuehrer. NY: Thomas Yoseloff, 1965. p.148 
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would provide a final solution to the problem of the Jews, the common enemy of the people of Europe and of the Arab nation.34 
  • October 5, 1943, the Mufti arrived in Frankfort, Germany visiting the Research Institute on the Jewish Problem where he declared that Arabs and Germans were, “Partners and allies in the battle against world Jewry.”35 
  • In 1943 in the Luftwaffe Hall in Berlin, a meeting was held where the Mufti was the principal speaker. His words were recorded, and rebroadcast the next day, they included: 
    The Treaty of Versailles was a disaster for the Germans as well as for the Arabs. But the Germans know how to get rid of the Jews. That which brings us close to the Germans and sets us in their camp is that up to today, the Germans have never harmed any Muslim, and they are again fighting our common enemy {applause} who persecuted Arabs and Muslims. But most of all, they have definitely solved the Jewish problem. These ties, and especially the last, make our friendship with Germany not a provisional one, dependent on conditions, but a permanent and lasting friendship based on mutual interests.36 
  • In 1943, the Mufti traveled to Bosnia, where he helped to raise a Bosnian Muslim Waffen-SS Hanjar, who slaughtered 90 percent of the Jews in Bosnia...Other Bosnian Muslim units raised by the Mufti were sent to Croatia and Hungary, where they participated in the killing of Jews.37 
  • The Mufti collaborated with the pro-Croatian terror group Ustasha in an effort to recruit Bosnian Islamic soldiers.38 The Ustasha’s genocidal policy and extremely brutal methods were so shocking that soldiers in the occupying German and Italian armies, which included some of the infamous German SS units, found them nauseating. The regime, which was ideologically Nazi-oriented, collaborated with the Germans: its gendarmes and other armed forces were involved in active antipartisan activities, ethnic cleansing, and the 
    34 This letter is in an exhibit in Yad Vashem, the world’s largest and most important Holocaust Museum. Special thanks to http://aval31.free.fr/ and their important online information. Also see Browning, Christopher R.; Matthäus, Jürgen. The Origins of the Final Solution: The Evolution of Nazi Jewish Policy, September 1939- March 1942. Lincoln University of Nebraska Press, 2004. 
    35 Pearlman, Maurice. Mufti of Jerusalem. London: Gollancz, 1947. p.6736 Schechtman, Joseph B. The Mufti and the Fuehrer. NY: Thomas Yoseloff, 1965. p.15237 Timmerman, Kenneth. Preachers of Hate. Crown Forum: New York, 2005. n.p.38 Craig, John S. Peculiar Liaisons: In War, Espionage, and Terrorism in the Twentieth Century. New York: Algora, 2005. p.91 (The Ustasha was a Croatian far-right organization put in charge of the Independent State of Croatia by the Axis Powers in 1941, in which they pursued nazi/fascist policies. They murdered Serbs, Jews, Gypsies, and basically all others that opposed them. 
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annihilation of Serbian Jews and anti-Fascists of all nationalities in Serbian concentration camps (for example, Banjica and Sajmishte).39 
  • The international pro-Hitler Arab movement yielded thousands of Muslims to fight in Nazi Islamic units, such as the 10,000-man, mainly Bosnian, Waffen-SS Hanjar, under the direct supervision of Heinrich Himmler [head of the Gestapo]. Hanjar is Turkish for “sword,” and the division’s standard emblem was a sword or Islamic crescent alongside a swastika on their fezzes and arm patches. Many of these Muslims, who vowed to defeat the “Jewish-Anglo-Bolshevik enemy,” adorned their personal lockers with photos of their spiritual leader, the Mufti. Himmler personally insisted that the regular Reich military corps accommodate Muslim volunteer fighters as indispensable soldiers in the struggle against the Jews.40 
  • The Mufti's work in Bosnia earned him special favor with Himmler, who established a school in Dresden to train mullahs under his control. According to Israeli scholar Yigal Carmon, a U.S. captain who seized the Mufti's wartime archives in Berlin in the days following the collapse of the Third Reich (April 1945) found a photograph of Himmler and the Mufti raising wineglasses to each other in a “chummy toast.” The photograph was personally inscribed by Himmler, “In remembrance to my good friend, Haj Amin Husseini.”41 
  • In a telegram from the Reich during 1943, Foreign Minister Von Ribbentrop stated: 
    His Eminence the Grand Mufti Amin el Husseini [sic]: I send greetings to you and the Assembly gathered under your chairmanship in the capitol of the German Reich. Old ties bind Germany to the Arab people. Today, more than any other period she is your natural Ally. The obliteration of what is called the Jewish National Homeland. . .is a basic tenet of German policy.42 
  • In March 1944 from Berlin, the Mufti called for the Arabs to rise and fight. He said, “Kill the Jews wherever you find them. This pleases God, history and religion.”43 
  • The Mufti beamed radio sermons to the Balkans, the countries of North Africa, and the Muslims in India. Arabs in Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, Iraq and Egypt were called upon for 
    39 Velikonja, Mitja. Religious Separation and Political Intolerance in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Eastern European Studies (College Station, Tex.); No. 20; Texas A&M UP, 2003.
    40 Black, Edwin. “Hitlers Involvement with the Destruction of the Ancient Jewish Community of Iraq.” International Sephardic Journal. vol . 2 no. 1 pp. 61-69 
    41 Timmerman, Kenneth. Preachers of Hate. Crown Forum: New York, 2005. n.p.
    42 Pearlman, Maurice. Mufti of Jerusalem. London: Gollancz, 1947. p.64 (www.aval31.free.fr/muftiofjerusalem/Data/page.htm?8,0)
    43 Schechtman, Joseph B. The Mufti and the Fuehrer. NY: Thomas Yoseloff, 1965. pp.150-151 
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Jihad against the British, these statements included the suggestion Muslims could, “Save their souls by massacring the Jewish infidels” they came across.44 
  • In March 1944 an American intelligence report stated, “The Arabic voice in Berlin has surpassed all its previous records in inciting violence in Palestine. The culmination of this crescendo was Haj Amin's call to arms.” The call to arms was made in a speech vilifying Jews, as well as the British and America. In his speech, he directly called on Arabs to kill Jews. These broadcasts went throughout the Arab world (North Africa and the Middle East), as well as Spain and Southern France.45 
  • Tunisian Jews were subject to acts of violence and terror: arrest of hostages, confiscation of property, ill-treatment -indiscriminate snatching of Jews from street corners and private homes, storming into the synagogue, hitting worshipers-, execution, deportation, and forced labour. Around 5,000 of them had been sent to labor camps near the front lines. It has been estimated that about 100 Jews perished during the period of recruitment: some were murdered in cold blood by their German guards; others died from ill-treatment, disease, and others were killed in aerial bombardments. The Tunisian Jews were very much concerned with the threat for their existence. And indeed the Germans were planning to exterminate them. An SS unit was preparing gas chambers near Kairouan. Plans were not completed because of lack of time.46 
  • An official German report entitled; “In re: Grand Mufti's Urging of a Bombing Attack on Tel Aviv on April 1,” pointed out that “the Grand Mufti had already repeatedly proposed bomb attacks on Tel Aviv and Jerusalem in order to injure Palestinian Jewry and for propaganda purposes in the Arab world.”47 
  • The Mufti was invited to represent “Arabia” at the abortive International Anti-Jewish Congress scheduled by in July 1944 by the Nazi party member Alfred Rosenberg.48 
  • In a letter to Himmler, dated September 28, 1944, General Berger of the Waffen S.S. reported: “Today the Mufti came to see me for a long talk. He talked about his work and noted happily that the day is nearing he will head an army to conquer Palestine.”49 It was 
    44 Pearlman, Maurice. Mufti of Jerusalem. London: Gollancz, 1947. p.43
    45 Pearlman, Maurice. Mufti of Jerusalem. London: Gollancz, 1947. pp. 64-66
    46 Prepared by Prof. Edith Shaked and compiled from Sabille, Jacques. Les Juifs de Tunisie sous Vichy et l'Occupation. Paris: Edition du Centre de Documentation Juive Contemporaine, 1954.
    47 Schechtman, Joseph B. The Mufti and the Fuehrer. NY: Thomas Yoseloff, 1965. p.152 (See Foreign Air Force West (No, 9753/448/D4/, March 30, 1944)
    48 Schechtman, Joseph B. The Mufti and the Fuehrer. NY: Thomas Yoseloff, 1965. p.147
    49 Reynolds, Quentin. Kotz, Ephraim. Aldouby, Zwy. Minister of Death: The Adolf Eichmann Story. New York: 1960, pp, 175-178. 
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during this same year that the Mufti developed an Arab Brigade in 1944 that included Arabs trained in Holland by the Germans.50 
  • Throughout the Holocaust-era, small groups of Jews from the Axis-dominated countries somehow succeeded in evading the ghettos and gas chambers to Palestine, first via Greece and later, when the Greek ports were closed to Jewish refugees, overland via Bulgaria and Turkey. To halt this, from Berlin the Mufti wrote to governments urging them to bar Jewish emigration to Palestine. When these letters to the three Axis satellites were written, Poland had already begun to function as the main center of extermination. The alternative to emigration offered by the Mufti was deportation and subsequent annihilation: 
    I have previously called the attention of your Excellency to the constant attempts of the Jews to emigrate from Europe in order to reach Palestine, and asked your Excellency to under­take the necessary steps so as to prevent the Jews from emigrating...It is for this reason that I ask your Excellency to do all that is necessary to prohibit the emigration of Jews to Palestine.51 
  • There is direct evidence as to the Mufti's influence in the implementation of the physical destruction of European Jewry. In June 1944, Dieter Wisliceny told Dr. Rudolf Kastner, representative of the Budapest rescue council, that he was convinced that the Mufti had “played a role in the decision to exterminate the European Jews.” “The importance of this role,” he insisted, “must not be disregarded. . . . The Mufti had repeatedly suggested to the various authorities with whom he was maintaining contact, above all to Hitler, Ribbentrop and Himmler, the extermination of European Jewry.52 
  • It was said the Mufti visited not only Auschwitz but also Maldanek. In both death camps, he paid close attention to the efficiency of the crematorium, spoke to the leading personnel and was generous in his praise for those who were reported as particularly conscientious in their work. He was on friendly terms with such notorious practitioners of the “final solution” as Rudolf Hess, the overlord of Auschwitz; Franz Zeireis of Mauthausen; Dr. Seidl of Theresienstadt; and Kramer, the butcher of Belsen.53 
  • Whatever the precise degree of the Mufti's personal in­volvement with Eichmann's genocide activities, his broadcast from Berlin on September 21, 1944, bears witness that he was fully cognizant of the method and scope of Nazi extermination of the Jews. “Is it 
    50 Mattar, Philip. The Mufti of Jerusalem. New York, Columbia UP: 1988. p.69
    51 Schechtman, Joseph B. The Mufti and the Fuehrer. NY: Thomas Yoseloff, 1965. pp.154-155
    52 Schechtman, Joseph B. The Mufti and the Fuehrer. NY: Thomas Yoseloff, 1965. pp.159-160
    53 Wiesenthal, Simon. Grand Mufti-Agent Extraordinary of the Axis. 1947; Cited in Schechtman, Joseph B. The Mufti and the Fuehrer. NY: Thomas Yoseloff, 1965. f.n. p.160 
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not in your power, O Arabs,” he asked, “to repulse the Jews who number not more than eleven million?” This reference to “eleven million” was puzzling at the time. It was common knowledge that before World War II, world Jewry numbered nearly seventeen million. The Mufti's figure was therefore disregarded as a slip of the tongue or a mere propaganda device. In 1944, nobody was as yet aware of the actual scale of Jewish extermination. But the Mufti obviously was. There was no error and no guessing in his arithmetic. As close associate, confidant, and collaborator of the top men involved in the Nazi “final solution of the Jewish problem,” he knew precisely the extent of the annihilation: six million.54 
  • In a letter to Himrnler, dated September 28, 1944, General Berger of the Waffen S.S. reported: “Today the Mufti came to see me for a long talk. He talked about his work and noted happily that the day is nearing he will head an army to conquer Palestine.”55 
  • After VE Day, May 8, 1945, Nazi officials were prepared to allow Jews to be diverted from concentration camps and even let children go to Palestine via “illegal” ships--all in exchange for cash. Yet, Al-Husseini insisted they get dispatched to concentration camps.56 
  • In 1945, liberated Yugoslavia under Marshal Tito sought to indict the Mufti as a war criminal for his activities in Bosnia, but with help from the SS the Mufti had already escaped Germany with other members of his clan.” The SS gave him a plane and helped him fly to France three days before Hitler's suicide, hoping that he could escape to North Africa, where he had organized spy networks still in place,” says Yigal Carmon, [president and founder of the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI)]. 57 
    POST– WAR / EICHMAN AND NUREMBURG TRIALS 
    • Records found in Nazi archives and evidence produced at the Nuremberg trial revealing specific terms that the Mufti “was a leading henchman” of the Eichmann of the SS, the executive officer in the liquidation of the Jews.58 
    • The prosecution at the Eichmann trial noted a page of the Mufti's diary, dated November 9, 1944, where the words, in Arabic, “Very rare diamond, the best savior of the Arabs” was noted--and underneath the Arabic it said in Latin letters, “Eichmann.” The diary also 
      54 Schechtman, Joseph B. The Mufti and the Fuehrer. NY: Thomas Yoseloff, 1965. p.163
      55 Quentin Reynolds, Ephraim Kotz, Zwy Aldouby. Minister of Death: The Adolf Eichmann Story. [New York, I960, pp.175-178
      56 Pearlman, Maurice. Mufti of Jerusalem. London: Gollancz, 1947. p.70
      57 Timmerman, Kenneth. Preachers of Hate. Crown Forum: New York, 2005. n.p.
      58 Pearlman, Maurice. Mufti of Jerusalem. London: Gollancz, 1947. p.67 
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said, “Before Tripoli is evacuated, the Jews should be cleaned out and their property confiscated.”59 
  • There was said to be “abundant first-hand evidence of the part the Mufti played in making foolproof the ban on emigration” from Europe that would have saved the lives of tens or hundreds of thousands of Jews. 60 
  • Although the war ended in 1945 officially, hatred never ceased. In 1947 simmering anti- Jewish Semitism causes attacks against Jews, resulting in two-thirds of the Jews to flee from Aleppo, Syria. The Arabs then destroyed all the synagogues.61 
  • In the post-war era both the Mufti (now “former-Mufti”) and his supporters were ompletely ostracised by the United States government. In May 1947, for example, the State Department, through its Consul in Jerusalem, refused Rasin al-Khalidi, a member of the Palestine Arab delegation destined for the UN meeting at Lake Success, permission to enter the United States because of his links with the ex-Mufti and what it termed his “known record in Germany” during the war.62 
  • In 1947 the UN made a complaint saying his influence was the reason that hundreds of thousands of Jews died because he “prevented” the Nazis to allow the Jews into Palestine--yet--he rebukes this saying he had nothing to do with it, that he arrived in Europe in 1941, two years after the Germans dealt with the Jews. However, throughout the era of the Holocaust, the Mufti pressured, influenced and eventually succeeded to stop the Nazis from allowing Jews to flee from their occupied zones to Palestine. There is overwhelming evidence of this, documents, statements, recording. In addition, the Mufti even openly admits this, many times, in his own words, in his memoirs.63 
  • Dieter Wisliceny was an SS “specialist on Jewish matters” for Slovakia, attached to a unit that worked closely with Adolf Eichmann. In a statement during post-war trials, he said: 
    According to my opinion, the Mufti who has been in Berlin since 1941, played a role in the decision of the German government to exterminate the European Jews, the importance of which must not be disregarded. He had repeatedly suggested to the various authorities which whom he had been in contact, above 
    59 Schechtman, Joseph B. The Mufti and the Fuehrer. NY: Thomas Yoseloff, 1965. pp.162-16360 Schechtman, Joseph B. The Mufti and the Fuehrer. NY: Thomas Yoseloff, 1965. p.15361 Encyclopedia Judaica Vol. 15 pp.636-64962 Miller, Rory. “More Sinned Against than Sinning? The Case of the Arab Office, Washington, 1945-1948.” Diplomacy and Statecraft. No.15, Frank Cass: 2004. pp.316 
    63 Mattar, Philip. The Mufti of Jerusalem. New York, Columbia UP: 1988. pp.72-73 
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all before Hitler, Ribbentrop and Himmler, the extermination of European Jewry.64 
  • A document submitted at the Eichmann trial by the prosecution established that when the German minister to Bucharest had formally objected to an order by Marshal Antonescu, the Rumanian prime minister, to allow the emigration of 80,000 Romanian Jews, he did so, “in accordance with our agreement with the Mufti.”65 
  • In answer to questions put to him at the Jerusalem trial, Eichmann said on June 27, 1961, that though even before the Mufti's arrival there had been “objections to emigration to Palestine because this might strengthen the country [Palestine] and create in the field of foreign relations a new factor which would one day join the enemies of the Reich,” a consistent “policy of the Foreign Ministry . . . began after the agreement with the Grand Mufti”. He also spoke of an “agreement between Mufti and Himmler.”66 
  • In 1961, when Adolf Eichmann's trial for war crimes began in Jerusalem, the Mufti had left Egypt for Beirut, where he continued to infuse the next generation with his anti- Semitic beliefs. Israeli prosecutors tried to get Eichmann to elaborate on his relations with the Mufti, but he was uncooperative, claiming he vaguely recalled meeting the Mufti at a Berlin cocktail party, but that was all. In his memoirs, the Mufti thanked Eichmann for his discretion and praised him as “gallant and noble.”67 
64 Pearlman, Maurice. Mufti of Jerusalem. London: Gollancz, 1947. p.73
65 Schechtman, Joseph B. The Mufti and the Fuehrer. NY: Thomas Yoseloff, 1965. p.158
66 Schechtman, Joseph B. The Mufti and the Fuehrer. NY: Thomas Yoseloff, 1965. pp.158-159 67 Timmerman, Kenneth. Preachers of Hate. Crown Forum: New York, 2005. n.p. 
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Appendix 1 Minutes of the meeting with Hitler and Husseini.68 German Chancellor Adolf Hitler and 
Grand Mufti Haj Amin al-Husseini
Zionism and the Arab Cause (November 28, 1941)
Haj Amin al-Husseini, the most influential leader of Palestinian
Arabs, lived in Germany during the Second World War. He met Hitler,
Ribbentrop and other Nazi leaders on various occasions and attempted
to coordinate Nazi and Arab policies in the Middle East.
Record of the Conversation between the Fuhrer and the Grand Mufti of
Jerusalem on November 28, 1941, in the Presence of Reich Foreign
Minister and Minister Grobba in Berlin.
The Grand Mufti began by thanking the Fuhrer for the great honor he
had bestowed by receiving him. He wished to seize the opportunity to
convey to the Fuhrer of the Greater German Reich, admired by the
entire Arab world, his thanks of the sympathy which he had always
shown for the Arab and especially the Palestinian cause, and to
which he had given clear expression in his public speeches. The Arab
countries were firmly convinced that Germany would win the war and
that the Arab cause would then prosper. The Arabs were Germany's
natural friends because they had the same enemies as had Germany,
namely the English, the Jews, and the Communists. Therefore they
were prepared to cooperate with Germany with all their hearts and
stood ready to participate in the war, not only negatively by the
commission of acts of sabotage and the instigation of revolutions,
but also positively by the formation of an Arab Legion. The Arabs
could be more useful to Germany as allies than might be apparent at
first glance, both for geographical reasons and because of the
suffering inflicted upon them by the English and the Jews.
Furthermore, they had had close relations with all Moslem nations,
of which they could make use in behalf of the common cause. The Arab
Legion would be quite easy to raise. An appeal by the Mufti to the
Arab countries and the prisoners of Arab, Algerian, Tunisian, and
Moroccan nationality in Germany would produce a great number of
volunteers eager to fight. Of Germany's victory the Arab world was
firmly convinced, not only because the Reich possessed a large army,
brave soldiers, and military leaders of genius, but also because the
Almighty could never award the victory to an unjust cause.
In this struggle, the Arabs were striving for the independence and
unity of Palestine, Syria, and Iraq. They had the fullest confidence
in the Fuhrer and looked to his hand for the balm on their wounds,
which had been inflicted upon them by the enemies of Germany.
68 Cited, as cited Source: Documents on German Foreign Policy 1918-1945, Series D, Vol XIII, London, 1964, pp.881 ff. 
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The Mufti then mentioned the letter he had received from Germany,
which stated that Germany was holding no Arab territories and
understood and recognized the aspirations to independence and
freedom of the Arabs, just as she supported the elimination of the
Jewish national home.
A public declaration in this sense would be very useful for its
propagandistic effect on the Arab peoples at this moment. It would
rouse the Arabs from their momentary lethargy and give them new
courage. It would also ease the Mufti's work of secretly organizing
the Arabs against the moment when they could strike. At the same
time, he could give the assurance that the Arabs would in strict
discipline patiently wait for the right moment and only strike upon
an order form Berlin.
With regard to the events in Iraq, the Mufti observed that the Arabs
in that country certainly had by no means been incited by Germany to
attack England, but solely had acted in reaction to a direct English
assault upon their honor.
The Turks, he believed, would welcome the establishment of an Arab
government in the neighboring territories because they would prefer
weaker Arab to strong European governments in the neighboring
countries and, being themselves a nations of 7 million, they had
moreover nothing to fear from the 1,700,000 Arabs inhabiting Syria,
Transjordan, Iraq, and Palestine.
France likewise would have no objections to the unification plan
because she had conceded independence to Syria as early as 1936 and
had given her approval to the unification of Iraq and Syria under
King Faisal as early as 1933.
In these circumstances he was renewing his request that the Fuhrer
make a public declaration so that the Arabs would not lose hope,
which is so powerful a force in the life of nations. With such hope
in their hearts the Arabs, as he had said, were willing to wait.
They were not pressing for immediate realization for their
aspirations; they could easily wait half a year or a whole year. But
if they were not inspired with such a hope by a declaration of this
sort, it could be expected that the English would be the gainers
from it.
The Fuhrer replied that Germany's fundamental attitude on these
questions, as the Mufti himself had already stated, was clear.
Germany stood for uncompromising war against the Jews. That
naturally included active opposition to the Jewish national home in
Palestine, which was nothing other than a center, in the form of a
state, for the exercise of destructive influence by Jewish
interests. Germany was also aware that the assertion that the Jews
were carrying out the functions of economic pioneers in Palestine
was a lie. The work there was done only by the Arabs, not by the
Jews. Germany was resolved, step by step, to ask one European nation
after the other to solve its Jewish problem, and at the proper time
to direct a similar appeal to non-European nations as well.
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Germany was at the present time engaged in a life and death struggle
with two citadels of Jewish power: Great Britain and Soviet Russia.
Theoretically there was a difference between England's capitalism
and Soviet Russia's communism; actually, however, the Jews in both
countries were pursuing a common goal. This was the decisive
struggle; on the political plane, it presented itself in the main as
a conflict between Germany and England, but ideologically it was a
battle between National Socialism and the Jews. It went without
saying that Germany would furnish positive and practical aid to the
Arabs involved in the same struggle, because platonic promises were
useless in a war for survival or destruction in which the Jews were
able to mobilize all of England's power for their ends.
The aid to the Arabs would have to be material aid. Of how little
help sympathies alone were in such a battle had been demonstrated
plainly by the operation in Iraq, where circumstances had not
permitted the rendering of really effective, practical aid. In spite
of all the sympathies, German aid had not been sufficient and Iraq
was overcome by the power of Britain, that is, the guardian of the
Jews.
The Mufti could not but be aware, however, that the outcome of the
struggle going on at present would also decide the fate of the Arab
world. The Fuhrer therefore had to think and speak coolly and
deliberately, as a rational man and primarily as a soldier, as the
leader of the German and allied armies. Everything of a nature to
help in this titanic battle for the common cause, and thus also for
the Arabs, would have to be done. Anything however, that might
contribute to weakening the military situation must be put aside, no
matter how unpopular this move might be.
Germany was now engaged in very severe battles to force the gateway
to the northern Caucasus region. The difficulties were mainly with
regard to maintaining the supply, which was most difficult as a
result of the destruction of railroads and highways as well as the
oncoming winter.
If at such a moment, the Fuhrer were to raise the problem of Syria
in a declaration, those elements in France which were under de
Gaulle's influence would receive new strength. They would interpret
the Fuhrer's declaration as an intention to break up France's
colonial empire and appeal to their fellow countrymen that they
should rather make common cause with the English to try to save what
still could be saved. A German declaration regarding Syria would in
France be understood to refer to the French colonies in general, and
that would at the present time create new troubles in western
Europe, which means that a portion of the German armed forces would
be immobilized in the west and no longer be available for the
campaign in the east.
The Fuhrer then made the following statement to the Mufti, enjoining
him to lock it in the uttermost depths of his heart:
1. He (the Fuhrer) would carry on the battle to the total destruction of the Judeo-Communist empire in Europ 
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  1. At some moment which was impossible to set exactly today but which in any event was not distant, the German armies would in the course of this struggle reach the southern exit from Caucasia. 
  2. As soon as this had happened, the Fuhrer would on his own give the Arab world the assurance that its hour of liberation had arrived. Germany's objective would then be solely the destruction of the Jewish element residing in the Arab sphere under the protection of British power. In that hour the Mufti would be the most authoritative spokesman for the Arab world. It would then be his task to set off the Arab operations, which he had secretly prepared. When that time had come, Germany could also be indifferent to French reaction to such a declaration. 
Once Germany had forced open the road to Iran and Iraq through
Rostov; it would be also the beginning of the end of the British
World Empire. He (the Fuhrer) hoped that the coming year would make
it possible for Germany to thrust open the Caucasian gate to the
Middle East. For the good of their common cause, it would be better
if the Arab proclamation were put off for a few more months than if
Germany were to create difficulties for herself without being able
thereby to help the Arabs.
He (the Fuhrer) fully appreciated the eagerness of the Arabs for a
public declaration of the sort requested by the Grand Mufti. But he
would beg him to consider that he (the Fuhrer) himself was the Chief
of State of the German Reich for five long years during which he was
unable to make to his own homeland the announcement of its
liberation. He had to wait with that until the announcement could be
made on the basis of a situation brought about by the force of arms
that the Anschluss had been carried out.
The moment that Germany's tank divisions and air squadrons had made
their appearance south of the Caucasus, the public appeal requested
by the Grand Mufti could go out to the Arab world.
The Grand Mufti replied that it was his view that everything would
come to pass just as the Fuhrer had indicated. He was fully
reassured and satisfied by the words which he had heard form the
Chief of the German State. He asked, however, whether it would not
be possible, secretly at least, to enter into an agreement with
Germany of the kind he had just outlined for the Fuhrer.
The Fuhrer replied that he had just now given the Grand Mufti
precisely that confidential declaration.
The Grand Mufti thanked him for it and stated in conclusion that he
was taking his leave from the Fuhrer in full confidence and with
reiterated thanks for the interest shown in the Arab cause.
SCHMIDT 
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Appendix 2 Relationship between Nazis and Mufti - Ribbentrop Promises Mufti to Destroy Jewish National Home69 
     Ministry of Foreign Affairs
     Berlin, April 28, 1942
     Your Eminence:
     In response to your letter and to the accompanying
     communication of His Excellency, Prime Minister Raschid
     Ali El Gailani, and confirming the terms of our
     conversation, I have the honour to inform you:
     The German Government appreciates fully the confidence of
     the Arab peoples in the Axis Powers in their aims and in
     their determination to conduct the fight against the
     common enemy until victory is achieved. The German
     Government has the greatest understanding for the
     national aspirations of the Arab countries as have been
     expressed by you both and the greatest sympathy for the
     sufferings of your peoples under British oppression.
     I have therefore the honour to assure you, in complete
     agreement with the Italian Government, that the
     independence and freedom of the suffering Arab countries
     presently subjected to British oppression, is also one of
     the aims of the German Government.
     Germany is consequently ready to give all her support to
     the oppressed Arab countries in their fight against
     British domination, for the fulfillment of their national
     aim to independence and sovereignty and for the
     destruction of the Jewish National Home in Palestine.
     As previously agreed, the content of this letter should
     be maintained absolutely secret until we decide
     otherwise.
     I beg your Eminence to be assured of my highest esteem
     and consideration.
     To His Eminence           (Signed)         Ribbentrop
     the GrossMufti of Palestine
     Amin El Husseini.
69 Source: The Arab Higher Committee The Documentary Record. Original German, p. 439. Special thanks to Joseph E. Katz, Middle Eastern Political and Religious History Analyst, Brooklyn, New York for making these documents available. 
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Appendix 3 U.S. Confirms Role of Mufti as Nazi Middle East Leader70 OFFICE OF U.S. CHIEF OF COUNSEL 
FOR PROSECUTION OF AXIS CRIMINALITY 
No. 792-PS
17 September 1945
Source of Original OKW Files, Flensburg
[Excerpt]
LEADS: CANARIS, IBN SAUD, GRAND MUFTI.
SUMMARY OF RELEVANT POINTS (with page references):
1. Only through the funds made available by Germany to
the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem was it possible to carry out
the revolt in Palestine. (Page 1).
2. Germany will keep up the connection with the Grand
Mufti. Weapons will be stored for the Mufti with Ibn Saud
in Arabia. (Page 2).
3. Ibn Saud himself has close connections with the Grand
Mufti and the revolting circles in TransJordan. (Page 2).
4. To be able to carry out our work one of Germany's
agents will be placed in Cairo (Page 3).
5. The document is undated but obviously written before
the outbreak of the war in 1939. It is not signed.
Analyst Landmann                  Doc. No. 792-PS
70 Source:The Arab Higher Committee, Its Origins, Personnel and Purposes, The Documentary Record Submitted to The United Nations, May 1947, by Nations Associates. 
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Appendix 4 Himmler to The Mufti71
November 2, 1943, message from Heinrich Himmler 
         to an anti-Balfour Declaration meeting.
To the Grand Mufti:
The National Socialist Movement of Greater Germany has,
since its begining,  inscribed upon its flag the fight
against world Jewry. It has, therefore, followed with
particular sympathy the struggle of the freedom-loving
Arabians, especially in Palestine, against the Jewish
interlopers. It is in the recognition of this enemy and
of the common struggle against him that lies the firm
foundation of the natural alliance that exists between
National-Socialist-Greater Germany and the freedom-loving
Muslims of the whole world. In this spirit I am sending
you on the anniversary of the infamous Balfour
Declaration my hearty greetings and wishes for the
successful pursuit of your struggle until the certain
final victory.
Signed: Reichsfuehrer-S.S. Heinrich Himmler
71 Source: The Arab Higher Committee The Documentary Record. Original German, n.p. 
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Appendix 5 The Mufti Communicates Anger to Ribbentrop for the Germans' Release of Jews in 194472 
Berlin July 25, 1944
To His Excellency
The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Berlin
Your Excellency:
I have previously called the attention of your Excellency
to the constant attempts of the Jews to emigrate from
Europe in order to reach Palestine, and asked your
Excellency to undertake the necessary steps so as to
prevent the Jews from emigrating. I had also sent you a
letter, under date of June 5, 1944, in regard to the plan
for an exchange of Egyptians living in Germany with
Palestinian Germans, in which I asked you to exclude the
Jews from this plan of exchange. I have, however, learned
that the Jews did depart on July 2, 1944, and I am afraid
that further groups of Jews will leave for Palestine from
Germany and France to be exchanged for Palestinian
Germans.
This exchange on the part of the Germans would encourage
the Balkan countries likewise to send their Jews to
Palestine. This step would be incomprehensible to the
Arabs and Muslims after your Excellency's declaration of
November 2, 1943 that “the destruction of the so-called
Jewish national home in Palestine is an immutable part of
the policy of the greater German Reich” and it would
create in them a feeling of keen disappointment.
It is for this reason that I ask your Excellency to do
all that is necessary to prohibit the emigration of Jews
to Palestine, and in this way your Excellency would give
a new practical example of the policy of the naturally
allied and friendly Germany towards the Arab Nation.
Yours, etc. 
72 Source: The Arab Higher Committee The Documentary Record. Original German, n.p. 
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Appendix 6 Mufti Asks Hungary to Send Jews to Poland73 An a Sequel to This Request 
400,000 Jews Were Subsequently Killed 
     Rome
     June 28, 1943
     His Excellency
     The Minister of Foreign Affairs for Hungary
     Your Excellency:
     You no doubt know of the struggle between the Arabs and
     Jews of Palestine, that It has been and what it Is, a
     long and bloody fight, brought about by the desire of the
     Jews to create a national home, a Jewish State in the
     Near East, with the help and protection of England and
     the United States. In fact, behind it lies the hope which
     the Jews have never relinquished, namely, the domination
     of the whole world through this Important, strategic
     center, Palestine, In effect their program has, among
     other purposes, always aimed at the encouragement of
     Jewish migration to Palestine and the other countries of
     the Near East. However, the war, as well as the
     understanding which the members of the Three-Power Pact
     have of the responsibility of the Jews for its outbreak
     and finally their evil Intentions towards these countries
     which protected them until now - all these are reasons
     for placing them under such vigilant control an will
     definitely stop their emigration to Palestine or
     elsewhere.
     Lately I have been informed of the uninterrupted efforts
     made by the English and the Jews to obtain permission for
     the Jews living in your country to leave for Palestine
     via Bulgaria and Turkey.
     I have also learned that these negotiations were
     successful since some of the Jews of Hungary have had the
     satisfaction of emigrating to Palestine via Bulgaria and
     Turkey and that a group of these Jaws arrived In
     Palestine towards the end of last March. The Jewish
     Agency. which supervises the execution of the Jewish
     program, has published a bulletin which contains
     Important information on the current negotiations between
     the Uglish Goverment and the governments of other
     interested states to send the Jews of Balkan countries to
73 Source: The Arab Higher Committee. Its Origins, Personnel and Purposes. Documentary Record Submitted to the United Nations, May 1947, by the Nation Associates. 
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Palestine. The Jewish Agency quoted, among other things,
its receipt of a sufficient number of immigration
certificates for 900 Jewish children to be transported
from Hungary, accompanied by 100 adults.
To authorize these Jews to leave your country under the
above circumstances and in this way, would by no means
solve the Jewish problem and would certainly not protect
your country against their evil influence - far from it!
- for this escape would make It possible for them to
communicate and combine freely with their racial brethren
in enamy countries in order to strengthen their position
and to exert a more dangerous influence on the outcome of
the war, especially since, as a consequence of their long
stay in your country. they are necessarily in a position
to know many of your secrets and also about your war
effort. All this comes on top of the terrible damage done
to the friendly Arab nation which has taken its place at
your side in this war and which cherishes for your
country the most sincere feelings and the very best
wishes.
This is the reason why I ask your excellency to permit me
to draw your attention to the necessity of preventing the
Jews from leaving your country for Palestine: and If
there are reasons which make their removal necessary, it
would be indispensable and Infinitely preferable to send
them to other countries where they would find themselves
under active control, for example, in Poland, in order
thereby to protect oneself from their menace and avoid
the consequent damages
Yours, etc. 
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