New research challenges association of Palestinians with pro-Nazi sympathies





Historians have typically characterized Palestinians collectively as Hitler-supporters during the Nazi regime. But a German researcher has said that they were more concerned with relations with another European country.

Any historical conversation in Germany over Palestine and National Socialism usually turns to one name: Grand Mufti Hajj Amin al Husseini. The Muslim leader was an anti-Semite, a passionate follower of the Nazis and moved to Germany in 1941 to collaborate with Hitler's regime.

However, in a recently published study, Berlin-based historian Rene Wildangel has claimed Husseini "was simply not representative" of his countrymen during that time.

"It's not a question of whether he was an anti-Semite or a collaborator -- that's relatively clear," said Wildangel. "We have to consider the things that were happening in Palestine and not just this one person."

Much of the research conducted on relations between Arab nations and the Nazi regime, including a 2006 book by Klaus-Michael Mallmann and Martin Cüppers titled "The Crescent and the Swastika: The Third Reich, the Arabs, and Palestine" (Halbmond und Hakenkreuz. Das Dritte Reich, die Araber und Palästina), has reached the conclusion that only Germany's defeat in northern Africa prevented "German-Arab mass crime" against Jews.


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