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by Elliott A Green


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.

One researcher tells us, "The Mufti worked closely with the Nazi machinery responsible for exterminating Jews." (1)

This apparatus was part of the SS headed by his friend Himmler. Husseini made energetic efforts to further the mass murder process by preventing the emigration of Jews from the Axis domain. He petitioned the governments of Axis Croatia, Hungary, Rumania, and Bulgaria, as well as their patrons in Germany and Italy, and neutral Turkey, (2) to prevent Jews from leaving the Axis zone.

Towards the end of the war, when the Axis satellite states of Eastern Europe could see the looming Nazi defeat, they made plans to release Jews, especially children, from their territory, in return for various considerations or perhaps in order to clear themselves with Allied public opinion. The Mufti, hearing of these plans, exerted his considerable diplomatic influence among the Germans and their satellites to stop these children and adults from escaping their fate under the Nazis. For instance, Husseini wrote to the Prime Minister of Bulgaria, an Axis partner, urging Bulgaria to send 4,000 Jewish children to Poland where they would be "under stringent control" in his words (letter of June 5, 1943). These children, he asserted, presented "a degree of danger to Bulgaria whether they be kept in Bulgaria or be permitted to depart from that country." (3)

Under "stringent control" in Poland, apparently, these children would no longer represent a danger to Bulgaria. He also delivered a note to the same end to the German Foreign Ministry which in turn instructed its ambassador in the Bulgarian capital to bring to the Bulgarians' attention the common German-Arab interest in preventing the departure of these children. Thus, the Mufti succeeded in blocking the further release of Jewish children from Bulgaria. That same summer of 1943, he sent a similar letter to the Rumanian foreign minister. He again urged sending Jewish children -- 1,800 this time -- to Poland where they would be under "active supervision." (4)

Husseini even intervened with the Germans against trading Jews under their control for fellow Germans (including the so-called Templars) who had been interned by the British in the Palestine mandate, perhaps thusly showing himself more resolute in finishing off the Jews than were the Germans themselves. Complaining to SS chief Himmler about this planned trade, the Mufti wrote, "It is to be feared that further Jewish groups may leave Germany and France." By "further" groups, he had in mind his earlier, unsuccessful attempt to prevent Egyptian Jews from leaving the Axis domain as part of a larger group of Egyptians. "In my letter to you of June 5, 1944, I referred back to our conversation in which I reported to you on the inclusion of [Egyptian] Jews in the exchange plan of some Egyptians living in Germany." He complained in this later letter (July 27, 1944) that despite his earlier protest and general German promises to the Arabs, "the Jews, nevertheless did leave." (5) This shows that he was not always successful in his efforts.

Interventions of this kind were widely reported after World War II. Bartley Crum, an American member of the Anglo-American Commission of Inquiry on Palestine (1946), was shown documentation to this effect by an investigator for the Nuremberg Tribunal. It was also reported at the time in the New York Post by Edgar Ansel Mowrer. Since then, however, this information has generally been omitted from both academic studies and popular-level accounts of Arab-Israeli relations and modern Arab politics. But research has gone on. Fairly recently, Professor Daniel Carpi of Tel Aviv University has published his research on the matter, based on Italian archives, whereas most earlier information had come from German archives. (6)

Yet the whitewashers customarily overlook this information which does not fit the innocuous, put upon image of the Arabs (particularly Palestinian Arabs) that they wish to project.

Husseini broadcast often to the Arab countries over Radio Berlin. Indeed he was in charge of Arabic broadcasting not only for Radio Berlin but for the Italian station at Bari. (7)

In one broadcast he urged Arabs, "Kill Jews wherever you find them for the love of God, history, and religion." (8)

If those who had heard such urgings yet acclaimed the Mufti as a leader after World War 2, would this reflect on their attitudes towards genocide and Jews? The thought might be inconvenient. Another broadcast presented what was the first public notice from an Axis source as to the scope of the Holocaust. In a broadcast of September 30, 1944, he asked the Arabs rhetorically, "Is it not in your power to repulse the Jews whose number is not more than eleven million?" (9)

Before the war, the world Jewish population had been estimated at around 17 and 18 million, which Husseini surely knew.

The Germans subsidized Haj Amin in the amount of 75,000 reichsmarks per month. He received other sums from them for expenses for his several residences, for maintaining his "Arabisches Büro," for maintaining other Arabs living in Axis Europe, etc. The Germans also subsidized a number of other prominent Arabs who had found refuge in Nazi Germany. (10) Husseini's subsidies came from both the Foreign Ministry and the SS. (11)

Husseini's Nazi collaboration did not begin with World War 2 itself. As early as March 1933, after the Nazis under Hitler had won the general elections in Germany, Husseini offered his congratulations through the German consul in Jerusalem. (12)

Hitler's fanatic Judeophobia was no secret even then, not even in far off Jerusalem.

Admiral Canaris of German intelligence, the Abwehr, provided support for the socalled Arab revolt in mandatory Palestine (1936-1939), the first intifada. Meanwhile, the Mufti sent emissaries to Berlin in 1937 and 1939 to discuss financial, diplomatic, and weapons assistance. He also received financial support for the Arab revolt from the wealthy American anti-semite and Hitler sympathizer, Charles R. Crane who was also the patron of Husseini's associate on the Palestine Arab Executive, George Antonius. (13)

Of course Husseini did not act alone. He had a large following and travelled with an entourage. When the British decided in 1937 to stop indulging the Arab revolt, he was allowed to leave mandatory Palestine for Lebanon where he was surrounded by his own retinue. He again had an entourage with him when he settled in Baghdad from 1939 to 1941, one of his close advisors being his kinsman `Abdul-Qadir al-Husayni (Husseini), Faisal Husseini's father. In Iraq he very successfully engaged in pro-Nazi, pan-Arab intrigue. He was in fact one of the major figures in Iraqi politics at that time, helping to instigate a coup d'etat which installed a pro-Nazi government that declared war on the British while Rommel was advancing in North Africa. British intelligence reports show that Husseini was one of the decision-makers of the Iraqi government in this period, while Rashid `Ali el-Kilani was prime minister. (14)

Part of the pro-Nazi work at the time of Husseini and his allies was propagating hatred of Jews among the Muslim Iraqis. This came to its most violent expression in an incident called the Farhud in June 1941, after British defeat of the Iraqi Arab army. The Mufti's pro-Nazi Iraqi associates incited a pogrom in Baghdad which killed an estimated 600 Jews while British troops stayed outside the city. Subsequent to the restoration of order in the country, an official Iraqi investigating commission reported that the Mufti of Jerusalem and his entourage were among the factors causing the pogrom. Husseini, after arriving in Iraq, "began disseminating Nazi propaganda with great cunning... His entourage also engaged in wide-scale anti-Jewish and anti-British propaganda activities among all classes." The report added, "The Palestinian and Syrian schoolteachers" in Iraq opposed "government... steps against Nazism." (15)

While operating in the Nazi-fascist domain during the war, the Mufti demonstrated complete identification with the Nazi policy of mass murdering Jews as outlined above. He also knew the scope of the Holocaust in terms of numbers killed before the fact of the mass murder was generally known. This knowledge showed up in a broadcast of 1944 quoted above and no doubt came from his close ties to Himmler.

On occasion he went farther than the Germans themselves. We see this for instance, in his opposition to the German plan to exchange Jews for German prisoners of the British. Husseini energetically protested against letting any Jews escape their fate under the Nazis.

His help for the Holocaust was considerable. Besides helping to recruit Bosnian Muslims for the SS - who later went out to hunt down partisans and slaughter Serbs, Jews, and Gypsies - he also recruited Soviet Muslims to collaborate with the Nazis. (16)

Some of them served in the Einsatzgruppen, the dread murder detachments that massacred Jews in Belarus and Ukraine.

In fact Husseini set up an Islamic Institute in Dresden for training Soviet Muslim imams. Meanwhile, he also set up an Arab Institute for Research into the Jewish Question (based on a German model). These projects were made possible by the generous German subsidies that he received. (17)

His ties were particularly close with SS commander Himmler. A photograph of the Mufti with Himmler bears a dedication to him from the Nazi leader, reading as follows: "Seiner Eminenz dem Grossmufti zur Erinnerung 4 VII. 1943" ("To his Eminence the Grand Mufti in remembrance, July 4, 1943"). This photo has been fairly widely published (18) as has the photo of his meeting with Hitler.

Members of his entourage in Germany, young men of various prominent Palestinian Arab families, Khalidis and others besides Husseinis, took SS training and visited the Sachsenhausen murder camp. All this was done with German money. Apparently the Germans considered his work worthwhile for them, since they gave Husseini's activities wide publicity. For instance, his review of Bosnian Muslim SS troops was featured on the front cover of the Wiener Illustrierte (January 12, 1944).

Busy as he was helping the Nazis in places as far apart as Bosnia, Belarus, and the northern Caucasus, Husseini did not forget the Jews in the Arab countries. While battles raged in Libya, the Mufti urged that Tripoli be "purged" of its Jews. As pointed out above, he and his associates had urged Hitler to extend the "Solution of the Jewish Question" to Arab lands. In their meeting, November 28, 1941, Hitler promised that this was part of his own plan. 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." (19)

Of course pro-Nazi sentiment among the Arabs did not stem from the Mufti's influence alone. While Iraq had the pro-Nazi Futuwwa and Youth Phalanxes youth groups, Egypt and Morocco had their "Green Shirts" in imitation of the Italian fascist blackshirts and the Nazi brownshirts. Nasser and his "Free Officers" circle were notoriously pro-Nazi.

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). (20)

He wrote: "We made contact with the German Headquarters in Libya and we acted in complete harmony with them." (21)

He added: "We prepared to fight side by side with the Axis." (22)

To show Sadat's identification at the time with the paranoid Judeophobia of the Germans, 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. (23)

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." (24)

At any rate, Sadat's later essay at autobiography, In Search of Identity (New York, 1978), softens the picture of his pro-German, anti-Jewish attitudes.

"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. (25)

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. 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. (26)

It was one of the first states to recognize the Italian fascist conquest of Ethiopia. (27)

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. (28)

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. (29)

Movie theaters in Beirut, Damascus, and Aleppo received German films and newsreels. (30)

German and Italian radio broadcast Arab nationalist agitation in Arabic to the Middle East. In an expression of sympathy for Nazi ideology, Arab politicians showed their presence at Nuremberg rallies. (31)

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. (32)

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." (33)

On the other hand, some Arabs did object to Nazi anti-Jewish policy. Monsignor Arida, the Maronite Patriarch in Lebanon, issued a pastoral letter in 1933 "strongly condemning the Nazi persecution of Jews." (34)

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..." (35)

From the 1930s till now, Mein Kampf, other Nazi writings, and earlier Judeophobic works like the forged Protocols of the Elders of Zion, have been commonly read in Arab countries. And Arab writers have made their own contributions to this literary genre. PLO publications have joined in the chorus of Holocaust denial. (36)

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." (37)

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. (38)

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. In Iraq of course, the army has murdered tens of thousands of Kurds with poison gas and other means. The civil war in Lebanon saw scores of thousands of civilians massacred by their Arab brothers, with the Palestino-Progressiste forces (to use the label favored by the French press) as major culprits.

Arab nationalist spokesmen in the West have naturally tried to downplay or minimize - and where they could get away with it, to deny - the record of Arab-Nazi collaboration. For instance, Philip Mattar, executive director of the PLO-sponsored Institute for Palestine Studies in Washington, distorts the Mufti's work to organize Bosnian Muslims to fight for the Germans. In Mattar's words, Husseini "recruited Muslims to fight the Communists in Croatia, Bosnia, and Serbia." Mattar carefully avoids informing his readers in the Washington-based Middle East Journal, (39) an anti-Israel publication since its founding, that the Mufti was recruiting an SS division, formally called the 13th Waffen-Gebirgsdivision der SS "Handschar" (kroat. Nr.1). (40)

The Handschar as the division was called for short after a Turkish sword (khanjar), was notorious for atrocities, (41) 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. (42)

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. (43)

The reader can judge for himself whether, as Mattar implied, the goal that the Mufti urged on the Handschar was merely the fight against Communists.

Mattar does allow that Husseini helped the German war effort. However, he omits the Mufti's work for the genocide of the Jews. As a sign of our times, a New York publisher has commissioned Mattar to edit a reference work on the Middle East.

In view of the evidence, the efforts in the West and even in Israel to overlook or deny or whitewash the Arab historical record are simply outrageous. The Encyclopedia Britannica (EB) offends in this regard. The EB Micropedia (1985 ed.) tells us of the Mufti that in 1939, "Ceasing to play an active role in Palestinian politics, Husayni spent most of World War II (1939-45) in Germany. At the war's end he fled to Egypt." In the article entitled "Palestine," (44) Walid Khalidi asserts: "The Arabs [in Palestine] had remained quiescent throughout the war, and some 12,000 enlisted in the British forces." This may be true as far as it goes but it certainly gives an incomplete, misleading picture, especially since comparative figures for Jewish enlistment are not given. On the other hand, Kamal Salibi and William Polk in the article entitled "Israel" are slightly more forthcoming. (45)

They allow that "German propaganda was gaining wide support in Arab nationalist circles." The editor of a later edition of EB, Robert McHenry responded to criticism of the EB's soft approach to the Mufti by boasting of an "article in the Britannica, to which the Index will direct any curious reader," which describes the Mufti as "Amin al-Husayni, Grand Mufti of Jerusalem and admirer of the Nazis." (46)

The EB writes as if the Mufti merely "admired" the Nazis.

The Britannica's approach is typical. The Dictionary of World History (London, 1973), a weighty tome of about 10 pounds for which A.J.P. Taylor served as advisory editor, writes of Husseini, "For a time (1937-46), he lived outside Palestine, during which period he negotiated with Germany. He resumed his leadership of the Palestinian Arabs (1946)..." By this account, he was not necessarily an admirer of the Nazis. He merely "negotiated" with them.

Now let us look closer to home. If it is only to be expected that Arab spokesmen will try to whitewash the Arab record in general and in respect of the Holocaust in particular, such efforts are bizarre when made by Israelis. Consider the writings of two members of Israel's "peace camp." Amos Elon, the journalist, recently penned a choleric tract for the habitually anti-Israel New York Review of Books (47) in which he deplores the propensity among some Israelis to see the Palestinian Arabs as continuing the work of the Nazis, or to even consider that they might.

"Standing behind each Arab or Palestinian, Israelis tend to see SS men determined to push them once again into gas chambers and crematoria." (48)

Elon sees this as an obstacle to peace. Of course it would be foolish to see every Arab in this way and the typical Israeli that Elon presents seems to be a straw man of his own manufacture. Yet Elon's diatribe, which goes on for eight columns of rather small type, disregards 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. Nor does he mention the massacres carried out by Arabs in the past 40 years in Lebanon, the Sudan, and Iraqi Kurdistan. Surely this information was relevant to his discussion. However, these omissions are apparently intentional since Elon goes on to argue that "a little forgetfulness [toward the Holocaust] might finally be in order." (49)

One might accept Elon as sincere if one knew that he had asked the Arabs too to forget their various grievances.

Making Elon's article all the more bizarre (and it happens to be the featured article of the issue), is that the same issue of New York Review contains a piece by George Soros describing contemporary Holocaust-like events in Bosnia. 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?

Another Israeli, Zvi El-Peleg, a biographer of the Mufti, admits part of the Mufti's pro-Nazi activities, denies or casts doubt on other parts, and distorts the moral meaning of his pro-Nazi and pro-Holocaust exertions. In the Hebrew edition of his book, El-Peleg takes pains to cast doubt on one of the incriminating pieces of evidence against Husseini. He writes that "those who saw him [Husseini] as a partner to the Nazi crimes" reported "that he asked of the Germans that upon their arrival in the Middle East they allow the Arabs 'to solve the Jewish Question in Palestine and the other Arab countries in accord with the interests of the Arabs and in the same ways in which this problem was solved in the Axis states.'" (50)

El-Peleg writes as if to insinuate that Jewish writers hostile to the Mufti chose to believe without substantial proof that he had made such a request of the Germans. What El-Peleg fails to say is that a nearly identical request is reported in a book by Husseini's Arab admirer, the historian Majid Khadduri (Independent Iraq, 2nd ed.), (51) a book listed in El-Peleg's bibliography. Neither Khadduri nor his publisher, the Royal Institute of International Affairs (Chatham House), has been suspected in the past of pro-Zionist or pro-Jewish bias. By the way, an interesting discussion of different versions of this request appears in Bernard Lewis' Semites and Anti-Semites. (52)

Lewis considers the difference between versions submitted while Husseini was in Iraq and those drawn up after he arrived in Axis Europe.

Another tendentious interpretation by El-Peleg is his denial of Husseini's Arab nationalist, pan-Islamic political outlook, by making him into a "Palestinian" nationalist, a more suitable, politically correct creature for the 1990s. Ironically, the quotes from the Mufti that El-Peleg presents in his book show Husseini's pan-Arabist, pan-Islamist character.

Whereas the respected American journalist Edgar Ansel Mowrer said of Husseini, "As a murderer, this man ranks with the great killers of history," (53) El-Peleg chooses to glorify this war criminal. El-Peleg is a historical revisionist, but even more is he a moral revisionist.

Just what explains the compulsion of Elon, El-Peleg, and others to portray the Arabs as historical innocents or to explain away Arab guilt remains an open question. But it appears symptomatic of the political prejudices and Orwellian political morality of our times.


Irit Abramski-Bligh, "Husseini, Haj Amin al-" in Encyclopedia of the Holocaust [Hebrew & English editions].

Daniel Carpi, "The Mufti of Jerusalem, Amin el-Husseini, and His Diplomatic Activity during World War II (October 1941-July 1943)" Studies in Zionism, No. 7, Spring 1983.

Elias Cooper, "Forgotten Palestinian: The Nazi Mufti," American Zionist, March-April 1978.

Bartley Crum, Behind the Silken Curtain, New York, 1947.

Zvi El-Peleg. HaMufti HaGadol. Tel Aviv, 1989.

Lukasz Hirszowicz, The Third Reich and the Arab East London, 1966.

Majid Khadduri. Independent Iraq. London (2nd ed. 1960). Bernard Lewis. Semites and Anti-Semites. New York, 1986.

Joseph Schechtman, The Mufti and the Fuehrer New York, 1965.

Anne and Robert Sinai, Israel and the Arabs, New York, 1978.

George Stein, The Waffen SS. Ithaca 1966.

Norman Stillman, The Jews of Arab Lands in Modern Times, Philadelphia, 1991.

Other authors consulted include Abdel-Razak Abdel-Kader, Elie Kedourie, etc.


Jennie Lebel. "Hitler v'haMufti." Meqor Rishon [article published about Spring 1998].

Jennie Lebel, Haj Amin uBerlin Tel Aviv 1996 [book on Mufti based inter alia on little used Serbian-Croatian sources].

Martin Kolinsky, "After the Arab Rebellion," Part I, Israel Affairs vol. 2, no. 2 (Winter 1995), Part II, vol. 5, no. 1 (Autumn 1998).

Eliyahu Green, "Ha`Arabim ve'haNazim," Nativ no. 4 1995, p 12.

Eliyahu Elath. Haj Amin al-Husayni. Tel Aviv 1968.

David Yisraeli. Ba`ayat Eretz Israel baM'diyniyut haGermanit 1889-1945, Ramat Gan 1974.

E Kedourie and S. Haim,eds., Palestine and Israel London 1982.

See various articles here, rather detailed and difficult reading.

Rafael Medoff, "The Mufti's Nazi Years Reexamined," Journal of Israeli History 17, 3.

E. Wohlgelernter, "In a State of Denial," Jerusalem Post June 8, 2001.

Monty Penkower. The Jews Were Expendable. Urbana & Chicago: U of Illinois Press, 1983.


On Pius XII, see Journal of Modern Italian Studies 6,1 (spring 2000)-review by A Long.

Peter Neville, Appeasing Hitler: the Diplomacy of Sir Neville Henderson -- see review in European History, 31,2 (4/2001).

Temps Modernes

Revue d'Histoire de la Shoah

Barbara Rogers, "Auschwitz and the British," History Today, 49 (10) Oct 1999.


1. Lukasz Hirszowicz, The Third Reich and the Arab East, London, 1966; 312-13.

2. The Mufti's appeals to all the countries mentioned, but for Turkey, were known from documents, and in large part published, not long after World War II. It appears that Husseini himself was the first to make known his appeal to the Turkish government not to permit the passage of escaping Jews through Turkish territory. This revelation came in his own memoirs issued in Arabic in 1970 in Falastin (Beirut, July 1970), pp. 4ff. These memoirs included other documents relating to his efforts to prevent Jewish escape which had been previously published. See Bernard Lewis, Semites and Anti-Semites, New York, 1986; p. 268 n19. The major post-World War II collection of relevant documents was The Arab Higher Committee: Its Origin, Personnel, and Purposes. The Documentary Record. New York: The Nation Associates, 1947. This collection will be henceforth referred to as Arab Higher Committee.

3. Bartley Crum, Behind the Silken Curtain, New York, 1947; 111-12.

4. Crum, 110-112; Hirszowicz, 262-63, 312-13; Daniel Carpi, "The Mufti of Jerusalem, Amin el-Husseini, and His Diplomatic Activity during World War II (October 1941-July 1943)," Studies in Zionism, No. 7, Spring 1983; pp. 130-31. Joseph Schechtman, The Mufti and the Fuehrer (New York, 1965); pp. 154-58. The sardonic use of euphemisms such as "active supervision" for the mass murder of Jews was not limited to the Mufti. Consider Count Ciano's record of a conference with Croatian officials in Venice on 16 December 1941, several weeks after Husseini's meeting with Hitler. The Croatian fascist leader Pavelitch explained to Ciano, the Italian foreign minister, that, in Ciano's words: "The most urgent problems [of the new Croatian state] were being faced, and in the front rank that of the Jews. The latter, who were 35,000 when the Ustashis took power, do not exceed 12,000 at present (Young Kvaternik [an aide to Pavelitch and nephew of the Croatian minister of war] explains this reduction by the word 'emigration,' accompanied by a smile that leaves no room for doubt)." Galeazzo Ciano, Les Archives secrètes du Comte Ciano (Paris: Plon, 1948), p. 487. The Mufti later collaborated with Pavelitch and other Croatians when helping recruit and motivate the Bosnian Muslim SS division.

5. Letter in Schechtman, p. 310. See a similar letter to Ribbentrop in Ibid., 155-56; A number of important letters in this vein are in Arab Higher Committee.

6. Carpi, op. cit., 130-31; and D. Carpi, "The Diplomatic Negotiations over the Transfer of Jewish Children from Croatia to Turkey and Palestine in 1943," Yad Vashem Studies, vol. XII (1977), pp. 109-124.

7. Elias Cooper, "Forgotten Palestinian: The Nazi Mufti," American Zionist, March-April 1978; p. 19.

8. Hirszowicz, pp 311, 364 fn 18.

9. Crum, 113.

10. Cooper, 18.

11. Cooper, 23.

12. Irit Abramski-Bligh, "Husseini, Haj Amin al-" in Encyclopedia of the Holocaust [Hebrew & English editions].

13. F.W. Brecher, "Charles R. Crane's Crusade for the Arabs, 1919-39," Middle Eastern Studies, XXIV, January 1988; pp 46-47. Also see Elliott A Green, "The Curious Careers of Two Advocates of Arab Nationalism," Crossroads [published in Jerusalem], no. 33 [1992].

14. Cooper, pp 14-16.

15. Norman Stillman, The Jews of Arab Lands in Modern Times (Philadelphia, 1991); 414-15.

15. Hirszowicz, 312.

16. Cooper, 18.

17. inter alia, in Cooper, p. 22.

18. Walter Z. Laqueur (ed.), The Israel-Arab Reader, New York: Bantam, 1969; pp. 80-84; also see Hirszowicz 204, 218-19; Schechtman, p. 306.

20. Anwar Sadat, Revolt on the Nile, London, 1957.

21. Ibid., p. 34.

22. Ibid., p. 42.

23. Ibid., pp. 46-49.

24. Ibid., p. 50.

25. International Herald Tribune, July 13, 1987.

26. Hirszowicz, pp. 48-52.

27. Hirszowicz, p 52 and footnote

28. Ibid., pp. 35-36.

29. Ibid., p. 27.

30. Ibid., p. 131.

31. Ibid., p. 19.

32. Eric Rouleau, "The Syrian Enigma: What Is the Ba'ath?" New Left Review, No. 45, September-October 1967.

33. Jillian Becker, The PLO, London, 1984, p. 19.

34. Stillman, op. cit., p. 108.

35. Stillman, op. cit., p. 106.

36. For instance, El-Istiqlal, a PLO paper published on Cyprus, ran a two-part feature article denying the Holocaust, December 13 and 20, 1989. The Simon Wiesenthal Center of Los Angeles privately circulated photocopies and a partial translation of this material.

37. I.F. Stone's Weekly, June 1, 1964, quoted from Deutsche National Zeitung und Soldaten Zeitung, May 1, 1964. I.F. Stone was known as a leftist critic of Israel.

38. See, inter alia, Glenn Infield, Skorzeny: Hitler's Commando, New York, 1981; pp 205-219; and Robert St John, The Boss, New York, 1960; pp 152-53; Simon Wiesenthal provided a list of names of Nazi veterans who had obtained refuge in Arab countries, see Le Monde, June 9, 1967.

39. Philip Mattar, "The Mufti of Jerusalem and the Politics of Palestine," Middle East Journal (vol. 42, Spring 1988); p. 237.

40. George Stein, The Waffen SS. Ithaca, 1966; pp. 179-185.

41. For instance, see Parameters, Autumn 1993; p. 80. Parameters is the quarterly of the US Army War College.

42. Anne and Robert Sinai, Israel and the Arabs, New York, 1978. p. 65.

43. Schechtman, pp. 139-40.

44. EB Macropedia, vol. 25, 1985 edition.

45. EB Macropedia vol. 22, p. 142.

46. Robert McHenry, letter to the editor of Commentary, Nov. 1993.

47. Amos Elon, "The Politics of Memory," New York Review of Books, October 7, 1993; pp 3-5

48. Ibid., 3.

49. Ibid., 5.

50. Zvi El-Peleg, HaMufti HaGadol, Tel Aviv, 1989; 72. See the review of this book by Eliyahu Green, in Nativ [Tel Aviv, Hebrew], March 1990; pp 81-84.

51. Majid Khadduri, Independent Iraq, London (2nd ed.) 1960; p. 185.

52. Bernard Lewis, Semites and Anti-Semites, New York, 1986; pp. 157-58.

53. John Roy Carlson, Cairo to Damascus (New York, 1951), 413-14.


Elliott A. Green is a writer, researcher, and translator living in Jerusalem. His work has appeared in the Jerusalem Post, Nativ (Tel Aviv), Forum (Jerusalem), and the French Review (USA). His article on the Jewish underground in Algiers during World War II was published in Midstream in January 1989.

A shorter version of this article appeared in Midstream in October 1994.


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