Hitler didn’t want the Jews exterminated?
I suspect after the international boycott that Jews all over the world, honored, Hitler was afraid of them having a homeland where they would launch more economic campaigns. Germany suffered greatly during the world depression, and was targeted by Europeans who were determined to keep Germany down – and barely surviving. They were a hungry nation. Of course Germans are going to feel threatened. Why wouldn’t the Palestinians feel threatened by Israel?
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sparked public uproar when on Tuesday he claimed that the Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al-Husseini, was the one who planted the idea of the extermination of European Jewry in Adolf Hitler’s mind. The Nazi ruler, Netanyahu said, had no intention of killing the Jews, but only to expel them.
In a speech before the World Zionist Congress in Jerusalem, Netanyahu described a meeting between Husseini and Hitler in November, 1941: “Hitler didn’t want to exterminate the Jews at the time, he wanted to expel the Jew. And Haj Amin al-Husseini went to Hitler and said, ‘If you expel them, they’ll all come here (to Palestine).’ According to Netanyahu, Hitler then asked: “What should I do with them?” and the mufti replied: “Burn them.”
Netanyahu’s remarks were quick to spark a social media storm, though Netanyahu made a similar claim during a Knesset speech in 2012, where he described the Husseini as “one of the leading architects” of the final solution.
The claim that Husseini was the one to initiate the extermination of European Jewry had been suggested by a number of historians at the fringes of Holocaust research, but was rejected by most accepted scholars.
The argument concerning Husseini’s role was recently mentioned in a book by Barry Rubin and Wolfgang G. Schwanitz, “Nazis, Islamists, and the Making of the Modern Middle East.” The authors, like Netanyahu, draw a straight line between the mufti’s support of Hitler and the policy of the Palestinian Liberation Organization under Yasser Arafat.
But even these two researchers do not claim that the dialogue described by Netanyahu ever took place. They say Hitler reached the conclusion to exterminate the Jews because of his desire to nurture Husseini, who opposed the transfer of Jews to pre-state Israel.
On 20 November, al-Husseini met the German Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop and was officially received by Adolf Hitler on 28 November. As war loomed the Germans had changed his earlier view that Arabs were ‘half-apes’, and Hitler, recalling Husseini, remarked that he ‘has more than one Aryan among his ancestors and one who may be descended from the best Roman stock.’ He asked Adolf Hitler for a public declaration that ‘recognized and sympathized with the Arab struggles for independence and liberation, and that would support the elimination of a national Jewish homeland’. Hitler refused to make such a public announcement, saying that it would strengthen the Gaullists against the Vichy France, but asked al-Husseini “to lock …deep in his heart” the following points, which Christopher Browning summarizes as follows, that
Germany has resolved, step by step, to ask one European nation after the other to solve its Jewish problem, and at the proper time, direct a similar appeal to non-European nations as well’. When Germany had defeated Russia and broken through the Caucasus into the Middle East, it would have no further imperial goals of its own and would support Arab liberation… But Hitler did have one goal. “Germany’s objective would then be solely the destruction of the Jewish element residing in the Arab sphere under the protection of British power”. (Das deutsche Ziel würde dann lediglich die Vernichtung des im arabischen Raum unter der Protektion der britischen Macht lebenden Judentums sein). In short, Jews were not simply to be driven out of the German sphere but would be hunted down and destroyed even beyond it.
A separate record of the meeting was made by Fritz Grobba, who until recently had been the German ambassador to Iraq. His version of the crucial words reads “when the hour of Arab liberation comes, Germany has no interest there other than the destruction of the power protecting the Jews”. Al-Husseini’s own account of this point, as recorded in his diary, is very similar to Grobba’s. According to Amin’s account, however, when Hitler expounded his view that the Jews were responsible for World War I, Marxism and its revolutions, and this was why the task of Germans was to persevere in a battle without mercy against the Jews, he replied: “We Arabs think that Zionism, not the Jews, is the cause of all of these acts of sabotage.”
The Nazi boycott of Jewish businesses (German: Judenboykott) in Germany began on April 1, 1933, and was claimed to be a defensive reaction to the Jewish boycott of German goods, which had been initiated but quickly abandoned in March 1933. It was largely unsuccessful, as the German population continued to use Jewish businesses, but revealed the intent of the Nazis to undermine the viability of Jews in Germany.
It was an early governmental action against the Jews of Germany by the new National Socialist government, actions that culminated in the “Final Solution“. It was a state-managed campaign of ever-increasing harassment, arrests, systematic pillaging, forced transfer of ownership to Nazi Party activists (managed by the Chamber of Commerce), and ultimately murder of owners defined as “Jews”. In Berlin alone, there were 50,000 Jewish-owned businesses.