ISLAM, MOSLEMS, ARABS, AND NAZI GERMANY
The moslems nazi divisions was made up from various backgrounds, foreign born soldiers hailed from countries such as India, France, Britian, the U.S., Turkey, Libya, Iraq, Syria, Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco, Ethiopia, Saudi Arabia, India, and other countries where the Islamic faith is the primary religion. By the wars end, the supposed “racially-pur
e” Waffen-SS was comprised of nearly 60% non-German moslem soldiers, with 28 of the 38 SS divisions comprised of foreigners. French Arabs were formed into the “Phalange Africaine”, The “Free Arab Legion” 1943-1945 was raised from Arabs living in Europe.
As time went on, Nazi ideological penetration of the Arab world took place in various ways and through several channels. Mein Kampf was published in Arabic, the translator later becoming a minister in the Kilani cabinet in Iraq. The Nazis supplied information bulletins to the Arab press. Nazi agents encouraged Arab nationalists to travel to Germany and to study there.
Saudi Arabia was one of the first states to recognize the Italian fascist conquest of Ethiopia. Arab-Nazi collaboration took place on the ideological plane as well as the political and military planes. On a visit to Berlin in 1937, Dr Sa`id `Abdel-Fattah Iman of the Damascus Arab Club proposed, inter alia, to promote National Socialist ideology among the Arabs and Muslims generally.
Whitewashing the Arab historical record has long been the practice not only of Arab spokesmen but of the Arabs’ Western and Communist sympathizers. Among the most persistent efforts to this end have been the denial and belittling of Arab involvement with the Nazis and the Holocaust.
In fact, many Arab nationalist leaders – from Morocco in the west to Iraq in the east – not only sympathized with the Nazis but cooperated with German agents before and during World War 2. The most outstanding Arab Nazi collaborator, however, was the leader of the Palestinian Arabs, Haj Muhammud Amin el-Husseini, Mufti of Jerusalem.
Husseini spent most of World War 2 in the Axis domain in Europe. He conferred officially with Mussolini and Hitler. In a petition he submitted together with other Arab leaders, Husseini urged the Fuehrer in the name of the Arab nation to recognize the Arab right to solve “the Jewish Question” in the Arab countries. Later he helped the Germans recruit an SS division among the Bosnian Muslims, exerting his influence over their imams, later on inspiring them during their service.
Rashid `Ali el-Kilani, the Iraqi prime minister who had declared war on Britain in 1941 with the Mufti’s encouragement, found asylum in Berlin too. Saudi Arabia, hostile to the Hashemites for its own reasons, was also pro-Nazi.
It is admitted even by sympathizers of Arab nationalism that the Ba’ath Socialist Party, separate factions of which now hold power in Syria and Iraq [in Iraq until 2003], got its start in imitation of German National Socialism. Another instance of Arab imitation of the Nazis was the Palestinian Arab Party founded by Husseini family members. Jamal Husseini, its president, freely admitted this. The party’s youth group, modelled on the Hitler Youth, was for a while called the “Nazi Scouts.”
Nevertheless, Arab-Nazi collaboration had serious implications for the future. Sami al-Jundi, a Syrian Arab nationalist, a founder of the Ba`ath Party, wrote in his memoirs, “We were racialists. We were fascinated by Nazism, reading its books and the sources of its thought…”
November 28, 1941, Hitler stated part of his own plan for Arabia, when the German troops crossed the Caucasus, the Fuehrer added, “then will strike the hour of Arab liberation.” Hitler informed Husseini of his intent to “solve” the “Jewish problem,” not only in Europe but in non-European countries as well.
“The Grand Mufti replied that… He was fully reassured and satisfied by the words which he had heard from the Chief of the German State.”
The former Egyptian Army Chief of Staff, `Aziz `Ali el-Masri, was arrested on his way to Rommel’s headquarters to aid the German war effort. One of the plotters in this affair was Anwar Sadat, then a young officer and comrade of Nasser. Sadat wrote of this at length in his early book of memoirs, Revolt on the Nile (London, 1957).
Anwar Sadat wrote: “We made contact with the German Headquarters in Libya and we acted in complete harmony with them.”
He added: “We prepared to fight side by side with the Axis.”
To show Sadat’s identification at the time with Nazi Germany, we may point to his explanation of the failure of a German intelligence mission. Certain Egyptian Jews, he claims, gave the British information on two German agents sent to Cairo to make contact with the pro-Nazi Egyptian officers.
Through the Allied victories at El-Alamein and Stalingrad, he wrote, “both arms of the German pincer movement on Egypt were broken, and Egyptian hopes were broken too.”
At any rate, Sadat’s later essay and autobiography, In Search of Identity (New York, 1978), softens the picture of his pro-German, pro-Nazi views.
“Arab nationalists found Berlin a haven of hospitality and understanding in World War II,” the International Herald Tribune tells us in an unusual show of candor on this issue.
The hospitality extended not only to Husseinis but to certain of their Hashemite rivals, at that time the ruling family in both Iraq and Transjordan.
Take a good look at these Bosnian members of the 13th SS Division. Note the traditional Fezzes (with German Eagle and Skull). Note also the middle-eastern scimitar swords their collar patches.
One of the more large foreign contingents of the German Army was the Indische Legion (Indian legion), composed of Indian soldiers. As the Free India Movement developed, and the British placed a house arrest order on the Indian Congress, causing several Indian Congressman to travel to Berlin. In order to alleviate their hatred for British oppression, these congressmen formed an all-volunteer unit comprised of Indian soldiers, in the hopes of soon fighting the British in Europe and Africa. The Indian Legion initially fought with the German Army, and at war’s end, the Waffen-SS. The Indian unit saw action in the Western Europe, and even fought the invading Allied force on D-Day.
Another non-Germanic unit of the German armed forces was the Legion Freies Arabien (Free Arab Legion). As the German Army entered Africa, it began conscripting Muslim volunteers. The Free Arab Legion was comprised of Libyan and Ethiopian Muslims.
While the division was composed mostly of volunteers, problems of dissidence often arose, when the Muslim soldiers wanted to stop combat duties during prayer time. After high desertion rates, SS Commander Heinrich Himmler eventually allowed Muslim soldiers their prayer time. Interestingly, Bosniam Muslim soldiers were allowed to wear traditional Bosnian hats in conjunction with their SS uniforms. Many can be seen wearing red fezzes with the SS skull and German National Eagle pinned on. Ultimately, 20,000 Muslim volunteers belonged to the German armed forces, fighting mainly in Africa and Yugoslavia. Towards the end of the war, this division was folded into the 13th SS Handschar Division, composed of Muslim Bosniaks.
Arab leaders freely expressed pro-Nazi sentiments even years after the war. For example, Nasser told a German neoNazi editor in 1964: “Our sympathies in the Second World War were on the German side.”
Nazi war criminals were granted refuge in Syria and Egypt. Some of them, such as former Goebbels assistants, Johann von Leers, Franz Buensche, and Louis Heiden, helped those governments make anti-Jewish propaganda, while others helped Nasser to set up a security police.
The Handschar as the division was called for short after a Turkish sword (khanjar), was notorious for atrocities, not only against the Yugoslav partisans, but against Serbian, Jewish, Gypsy and other civilians. The Yugoslav war criminal commission charged that the Handschar had handed Allied airmen over to the Germans, in addition to other crimes.
In a speech to these troops, Husseini declared:
This division of Bosnian Moslems, established with the help of Greater Germany, is an example for Moslems in all countries… Many common interests exist between the Islamic world and Greater Germany, and those make cooperation a matter of course…
National-Socialist Germany is fighting against world Jewry. The Koran says: “You will find that the Jews are the worst enemies of the Moslems.” There are also considerable similarities between Islamic principles and those of National Socialism… I am happy to see in this Division a visible and practical expression of both ideologies.
Now let us look closer to home. If it is to be expected that Arab spokesmen will try to whitewash the Arab record in general and in respect of the Holocaust in particular, to disregard the relevant history, to wit, the collaboration in the Holocaust of the Mufti of Jerusalem and others whose families are still prominent in the Palestinian Arab leadership.
It is also to be expected that massacres carried out by Arabs in the past 40 years in Lebanon, the Sudan, and Iraqi Kurdistan would be denied by these very same arabs. Surely this information was relevant to his discussion. However, these omissions are apparently intentional since many go on to argue that “a little forgetfulness [toward the Holocaust] might finally be in order.”
Now after all, if Serbs or other former Yugoslavs, exposed for years to Communist propaganda in favor of the brotherhood of nations, could commit numerous atrocities against other ethnic groups, then why could not the Arabs who have been subject for years to intense nationalist (indeed chauvinist) indoctrination (and more recently to Islamic jihad incitement) do the same?
Moreover, Arab governments have carried out their own mass murders. Sudan is the worst example. There Arab Muslims have slaughtered tribal Black Africans. The New Columbia Encyclopedia (1975) estimated the tribal Black victims of the civil war at 1.5 million as of 1972; and it still goes on