Nazi Influence on the Middle East During WWII

Folks, the Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al-Husseini (1893-1974) was a notorious Nazi who mixed Nazi propaganda and Islam.  He was wanted for war crimes in Bosnia by Yugoslavia and willfully planned, assembled, organized, engineered the murder of Jews in Hungary and Croatia with the assistance of 20,000 Arabs during World War II with Hitler’s assistance.  

His mix of militant propagandizing Islam was an inspiration for both Yasser Arafat and Saddam Hussein.

“Arafat’s actual name was Abd al-Rahman abd al-Bauf Arafat al-Qud al-Husseini. He shortened it to obscure his kinship with the notorious Nazi and ex-Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Muhammed Amin al-Husseini.”

– Howard M. Sachar, A HISTORY OF ISRAEL (New York: Knopf, 1976).  

The Bet Agron International Center in Jerusalem interviewed Arafat’s brother and sister, who described the Mufti as a cousin (family member) with tremendous influence on Arafat after the Mufti returned from Berlin to Cairo.  

Saddam Hussein was raised in the house of his uncle Khayrallah Tulfah, who was a leader in the Mufti’s pro-Nazi coup in Iraq in May 1941.

“Our fundamental condition for cooperating with Germany was a free hand to eradicate every last Jew from Palestine and the Arab world. I asked Hitler for an explicit undertaking to allow us to solve the Jewish problem in a manner befitting our national and racial aspirations and according to the scientific methods innovated by Germany in the handling of its Jews. The answer I got was: ‘The Jews are yours.’”

– Former Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al-Husseini in his post-WWII memoirs.

“The Mufti was one of the initiators of the systematic extermination of European Jewry and had been a collaborator and adviser of Eichmann and Himmler in the execution of this plan… He was one of Eichmann’s best friends and had constantly incited him to accelerate the extermination measures.”

– Adolf Eichmann’s deputy Dieter Wisliceny (subsequently executed as a war criminal) in his Nuremburg Trials testimony.

On April 4, 1920, Haj Amin al-Husseini organized thousands of Arabs to attack Jews in Jerusalem. Arab police either stayed away or joined the rioters. The pogrom continued on April 5. By the time order was restored by a Ze’ev Jabotinsky-led Jewish militia, 5 Jews were killed and 211 injured. At least two Jewish girls were raped. Al-Husseini was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment, but after a few months of hiding in Transjordan (now Jordan) was pardoned by Herbert Samuel, a British Jew who served as the High Commissioner of Palestine.

In 1941, al-Husseini fled to Germany and met with Adolf Hitler, Heinrich Himmler, Joachim Von Ribbentrop and other Nazi leaders. He wanted to persuade them to extend the Nazis’ anti-Jewish program to the Arab world. The Mufti met with Hitler, who told him the Jews were his foremost enemy.

The Grand Mufti of Jerusalem then visited Bosnia, and convinced some important Muslim leaders that a Muslim S.S. division would be in the interest of Islam. The S.S. unit was formed, named the “Handzar” or “Handschar” (scimitar) division, and was brutal in the “cleansing” of Serbian regions in eastern Bosnia.

In 1945, Yugoslavia sought to indict the Mufti as a war criminal for his role in recruiting 20,000 Muslim volunteers for the SS, who participated in the killing of Jews in Croatia and Hungary. He escaped from French detention in 1946, however, and continued his fight against the Jews from Cairo and later Beirut.

Fortunately, he died in 1974.

Additional Sources:

– 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, Documents on German Foreign Policy, 1918-1945, Series D, Vol. XIII, London, 1964, p. 881ff in Walter Lacquer and Barry Rubin

– Himmler’s Bosnian Division The Waffen-SS Handschar Division 1943-1945, George Lepre (1997)

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