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Eichman's Trip To The Middle East In 1937 And Nazi Plans To Occupy "Palestine"

July 5, 2011


July 5, 2011 - San Francisco, CA - - It was at the end of September 1937 that Adolf Eichmann and Herbert Hagen, two Nazi SS-officers from Berlin, boarded a Rumanian steamship in the Rumanian port of Constanza. It was the beginning of a remarkable trip to the Middle East. And it was also just two years before the outbreak of the Second World War during which the same Adolf Eichmann would play a key role in the so-called "Final Solution of the Jewish Question" – a Nazi term for killing six million European Jews, also known as the Shoah or the Holocaust.

On November 4, 1939, SS-Hauptscharfuehrer (master sergeant) Eichmann and his boss SS-Oberscharfuehrer Hagen reported to their superiors in Berlin. Their nearly 60-page report is very interesting. It showed that both SS-officers espoused the Palestinian Arab cause. By that time "Palestine" was a British mandate. Militant Palestinian Arabs revolted against British rule and growing Jewish immigration. Their leader was a notorious Jew-hater named Haj Mohammed Amin Al-Husseini, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem. Al-Husseini strongly admired Nazi leader Adolf Hitler.

Eichmann and Hagen arrived in the port of Haifa on October 2, 1937. But the British restricted their stay to 48 hours, despite their tourist visas. Two days later, their Rumanian steamship arrived in Alexandria, Egypt. They took the train to Cairo where they failed to obtain a visa for Palestine. The British obviously did not trust the two Nazis from Berlin. Eichmann and Hagen initially intended to meet Grand Mufti Al-Husseini, but met one of Mufti's representatives instead. He was a journalist from Jerusalem who traveled to Cairo. Fearing arrest by the British, the Mufti would soon flee to Lebanon. Eichmann and Hagen, however, reported early November 1937 that the Mufti had fled to Syria.

Syria is now the center of the Pan Arab movement, Eichmann and Hagen reported. It is via Syria that Arab leaders now transfer money and weapons to Palestine to enable the victory of the Palestinian Arabs over the Jews and the British, they write. The (Palestinian) revolt is now being led from Syria. It is in Syria that German propaganda among the Arabs can achieve results, they claimed.

Eichmann and Hagen discovered that Arabs and Egyptians did not like the Jews, but they were not yet ready for the "National-Socialist" view of the Jewish question. When "ordinary Arabs" hear the name of Hitler they are elated, Eichmann and Hagen reported, they honor and repect him but National-Socialism is not a political or ideological concept for them.

Hitler's plan to conquer the Middle East and "Palestine"

It is not widely known, but Hitler, the so-called Nazi "Fuehrer" (=leader), did actually plan to conquer "Palestine", defeat the British forces in the Middle East and kill all the Jews in the region. The Mufti would be proclaimed as the future Arab leader in the Middle East, subordinate, though, to Hitler only. On June 22, 1941, Hitler's armies invaded the Soviet Union ("Operation Barbarossa"). Arab nationalists – except those who were Communists or leftists – welcomed the German invasion and condemned the British for now alligning themselves with the "Godless Soviets". By the end of 1941, the Nazi forces were not very far from the Caucasus. That same year Haj Amin Al-Husseini fled to Nazi Germany. He was received by Hitler and his Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop on November 28, 1941.

Hitler told the Mufti that "Germany stood for uncompromising war against the Jews. That naturally included active opposition to the Jewish national home in Palestine, which was nothing other than a center, in the form of a state, for the exercise of destructive influence by Jewish interests."

"Germany was now engaged in very severe battles to force the gateway to the northern Caucasus region," Hitler said. "At some moment which was impossible to set exactly today but which in any event was not distant, the German armies would in the course of this struggle reach the sourthern exit of Caucasia. As soon as this had happened, the Fuehrer would on his own give the Arab world the assurance that its hour of liberation had arrived. Germany's objective would then solely be the destruction of the Jewish element residing in the Arab sphere under the protection of British power. In that hour the Mufti would be the most authoritative spokesman for the Arab world. It would then be his task to set off the Arab operations which he had secretly prepared." "The moment that Germany's tank divisions and air squadrons had made their appearance south of the Caucasus, the public appeal requested by the Grand Mufti could go out to the Arab world."

According the Mufti's own account, Hitler had said: "The road from Rostov (southern Russia, V.) to Iran and Iraq is shorter than the distance from Berlin and Rostov." "When we shall have arrived in the Southern Caucasus, then the time of the liberation of the Arabs will have arrived. And you can rely on my word."

In other words, once the German armies had conquered the southern Caucasus and reached Iran and Iraq, British rule in the Middle East would soon be over. The Arabs would then welcome the Nazis as their liberators from British "colonial rule" and Hitler would proclaim Haj Amin Al-Husseini as the new Arab leader. "Palestine," would be liberated, too, of course, not only by armies approaching from the north or east, though.

In the Autumn of 1941, there were three options considered by Hitler and his generals. According to the first option, the Germans would "liberate" the Near (Middle) East by Nazi forces approaching from the Caucasus. The second option under consideration entailed that German forces would reach "Palestine" via Turkey and Syria. If need be, Turkey could be forced into allowing German troops to pass through Turkish territory. It was assumed that the French "Vichy" rulers who controlled Syria would also cooperate. The third option was a military advance through British occupied Egypt towards the Suez Canal by the so-called "Africa Corps" (Afrikakorps) in Libya. The Africa Corps was commanded by general Erwin Rommel, a brilliant strategist. All these military operations could, Hitler and his generals hoped, more or less be carried out simultaneously. If successfull, the British forces in the Middle East would then be caught in a gigantic pincer movement and Hitler would be able to occupy Iran, Iraq, Palestine, Trans-Jordan, Egypt, etc.

This diabolical scheme to occupy the Middle East almost succeeded. But thanks to the British, the Russians and fatal mistakes by Hitler himself, the Nazis failed to achieve their military objectives.

First, the Russians halted the Nazi advance just in time and drove the Nazi armies back – all the way back to Berlin. Second, the Germans just did not have sufficient manpower to launch a major offensive via Turkey and Syria. Second, British general Bernard Montgomery finally managed to stop general Rommel and his Africa Corps at El Alamein in October and November 1942. Sir Winston Churchill wrote that the battle of (El) Alamein "marked in fact the turning point of 'the Hinge of Fate'. It may almost be said, 'Before Alamein we never had a victory. After Alamein we never had a defeat.'" The British lost more than 13,500 men at El Alamein in just twelve days.

In June and July 1942, though, prospects for a British victory still looked very gloomy indeed. Klaus-Michael Mallmann and Martin Cüppers, two German historians, made the following observation: "On June 29, the (German) Panzer Army Africa also conquered the fortress of Marsa Matruh, located some 350 km. to the east, on Egyptian soil. In the following days German and Italian forces drove the British units, believed to be defeated, onward to the east as they rolled on, and in early July, stood at the gates of their presumably final defensive position near El Alamein, just over 100 km. from Alexandria. The conquest of Cairo, crossing the Nile, and reaching the Suez Canal now loomed as a possibility on the desert horizon. The path to Palestine was now a relatively short matter: it was the same distance that the German and Italian forces had covered in the span of ten days after taking Tobruk and advancing on El Alamein."

Haj Amin Al-Husseini remarkably well informed about British military planning and the Holocaust

What the British did not know at the time, was the fact the Haj Amin Al-Husseini, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, was remarkably well informed about British and American military planning. Nearly twenty years after the war, Oscar Reile, a former Nazi intelligence officer close to military intelligence chief Admiral Wilhelm Canaris, made the following staggering revelation. "Already in October 1942 Haj Amin Al-Husseini told Abwehr (=German military intelligence) officer Oberstleutnant Franz Seubert that between November 5 and 10, the following month, that is, nine American and four British divisions would attempt to land at Casablanca, Port-Lyantey, Oran and Algiers. The informant of the Grand Mufti, who had been in touch with the Abwehr for many years, was none other than Mohammed V, the Sultan of Morocco." However, no one really paid attention to Reile's book when it was published back in 1973. He had inside information on the matter.

It is also not very wellknown that Haj Amin Al-Husseini knew exacly what was going on in Nazi extermination camps such as Auschwitz, Sobibor, Treblinka and Majdanek (Lublin). In his thorough study "The Third Reich and the Arab East" Lukasz Hirszowicz reveals that the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem "wrote letters to the governments of Bulgaria (May 6, 1943), Italy (June 10, 1943), Rumania (June 28, 1943) and Hungary (of the same date) demanding that they rescind permission for Jewish emigration. He urged that the Jews should be sent to Poland instead, 'where they are under active supervision'." "Active supervision" in Nazi occupied Poland meant death. It was what the Nazis referred to as "Special Treatment" or "Sonderbehandlung" – another misleading term for the gas chambers. All the major death camps were located in Poland.

The Mufti also cooperated closely with Adolf Eichmann and Heinrich Himmler. Eichmann's right hand man Dieter Wisliceny wrote in the summer of 1946 that "Eichmann, with the approval of Himmler, gave an order to bring about ten thousand Jewish children from Poland to Theresienstadt. It was planned to exchange these children for German civilian prisoners, through the services of the International Red Cross." But the Mufti suddenly intervened. Wisliceny was then "summoned to Berlin by Eichmann." "And he disclosed to me," Wisliceny wrote, "that the idea of the planned operation had become known to the Grand Mufti, by means of his intelligence service in Palestine. As a result he (the Mufti, V.) protested vigorously to Himmler, using the argument that these Jewish children would, within a few years be permitted to emigrate to Palestine. Following this, Himmler (as he told me) forbade the whole operation."

Thus, even men like Himmler and Eichmann were obviously impressed by the Mufti's efficient intelligence network.

Eichmann, Himmler and the Mufti planned another Holocaust - in "Palestine"

As referenced above, Himmler and Eichmann knew the Mufti quite well. (At his trial in Jerusalem Eichmann later claimed that he had met the Mufti only once, but this assertion is not very credible.)

Eichmann told Wisliceny that the Mufti had visited him at his own SS-office (Department IVB4, "Jewish Affairs") at 166 Kurfürstenstrasse, Berlin. Eichmann "told me in detail about this visit," Wisliceny wrote. "Eichmann lectured the Grand Mufti in his map room, where he had collected statistical accounts of the Jewish population of various European countries – he lectured in detail about the solution of the Jewish Question in Europe. The Grand Mufti, according to him, was most impressed and said to Eichmann that he had already asked Himmler's consent on this point, that a representative of Eichmann should come to Jerusalem as his personal advisor when, he, the Grand Mufti, would go back after the victory of the Axis Powers. In that conversation Eichmann asked me whether I was willing to accept the post. But I rejected in principle to such oriental adventures." Gideon Hausner, the Public Prosecutor at the Eichmann Trial in Jerusalem, later wrote: "The ex-Mufti's ties with Eichmann were long standing. At the beginning of 1942 Eichmann received him and his retenue at the department's headquarters and lectured to them on the Final Solution in Europe. The ex-Mufti was so strongly impressed that he immediately requested Himmler to designate someone on Eichmann's team to be his 'personal advisor' on 'finally solving' the Jewish problem also in Palestine, once the ex-Mufti was reinstated in his office by the victorious allies. Eichmann welcomed the offer. 'A priceless Jewell… The biggest friend of the Arabs,' recorded the ex-Mufti on Eichmann in his personal diary."

In one of court sessions Hausner said: "After the victory, which was coming, as they hoped, these people were planning the same bloody work in the whole world, which would fall at their feet. And the Mufti, who had spilled the blood of the Jews in Hebron, in Jaffa and in Jerusalem, in the riots of 1921, 1936 and 1939, was looking for a man like himself who would help him finish the job. He saw that they did it better there."

In other words, Himmler, Eichmann and the Mufti planned another Holocaust - in Palestine, that is. By no means should a Jewish National Home be established there. They only had to wait for Rommel's Panzer Army Africa to conquer Egypt and neighboring Palestine subsequently.

A special mobile death squadron, the "Einsatzkommando Egypt", was on standby in Athens. It was part of Rommel's Panzer Army Africa. "The planned central purpose of operations for the unit was the implementation of the 'Final Solution' in mandatory Palestine," Klaus-Michael Mallmann and Martin Cüppers write. At that time (the summer and autumn of 1942) the notorious "SS-Einsatzgruppen" and "SS-Einsatzkommandos" had already killed hundreds of thousands of Jews in Nazi occupied Russia, the Baltic, Byelorussia and the Ukraine. (The total number of Jews to be shot to death by these death squadrons would be more than one million bete.) The "Einsatzkommando Egypt" was led by SS Obersturmbannführer Walther Rauff. Hitler said on October 25, 1941, in the presence of Heydrich (Eichmann's chief) and Himmler: "The attempt to establish a Jewish national state will end in failure." (One month later he would meet Haj Aim Al-Husseini.)

Influential Hamas cleric: "The Holocaust is still to come upon the Jews"

Haj Amin Al-Husseini was, as Mallmann and Cüppers write, "a National Socialist and Islamic fundamentalist at one and the same time." He is the spiritual father of both modern jihadism and Palestinian resistance to Jewish statehood. "Kill the Jews whereever you find them," he said in one of his many radio broadcasts from Berlin, the capital of Nazi Germany. "This pleases God, history and religion." This is also the agenda of today's Al-Qaeda. They declared war on the Jews and so-called (American) "Crusaders". And although Hamas and Al-Qaeda are not the same, the official Hamas Charter does quote the Muslim prophet Mohammed, who, according to the Islamic tradition, is believed to have said: "The Final Hour will not come until Muslims fight against the Jews and the Muslims kill them, and until the Jews hide behind rocks and trees, and a stone or tree would say: 'O Muslim, servant of God, there is a Jew hiding behind me, come on and kill him.'" In other words: "Kill the Jews whereever you find them," is also an integral part of the Hamas creed.

It is, therefore, not just Israel and the Israelis who are targeted by Hamas. It is the Jews themselves. Hamas clerics frequently lash out against the Jews, as I personally witnessed myself during a visit to Gaza in 2002. For example, in March 2008, Sheik Yunus Al-Astal, a Hamas legislator and imam, discussed the Koranic verse suggesting that "suffering by fire is the Jews' destiny in this world and the next." "But the urgent question is," Sheik Al-Astal said, "is it possible that they will have the punishment of burning in this world, before the great punishment" (of hell)? Many religious leaders believe so, he said, adding: "Therefore we are sure that the Holocaust is still to come upon the Jews."

Another Hamas cleric, Imam Yousif Al-Zahar, told his followers: "Jews are people who cannot be trusted. They have been traitors to all agreements. Go back to history. Their fate is their vanishing."

There are no Jews in the Hamas controlled Gaza strip, let alone synagogues. If Hamas would militarily prevail over Israel and conquer its territory, the fate of the Jews would be none other than their total eradication. But only if Hamas and other mortal enemies of the Jews and Israel (Hezbollah, Iran, Al-Qaeda) would have their way. This is not going to happen. But the Jews and Israelis should be alerted when their enemies say that the Holocaust is still to come upon them.

Emerson Vermaat is author of a Dutch study on "Heinrich Himmler en de Cultus van de Dood" (Heinrich Himmler and the Cult of Death), Aspekt Publishers, the Netherlands, 2010. Website:


Bericht über die Palestina-Ägyptenreise von SS-Hauptscharführer Eichmann und SS-Oberscharführer Hagen, November 4, 1937, p. 19 ("Kein Araber oder nationalbewusster Ägypter schätzt die Juden…"), p. 27-32 (Mufti), Bundesarchiv (Federal German Archives), BArch Berlin R58/954.

Lukasz Hirszowicz, The Third Reach and the Arab East (London:Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1966), p. 195 ("Godless Soviets"), p. 313 ("…where they are under active supervision."); Gerhard Höpp (Ed.), Mufti-Papiere. Briefe, Memoranden, Reden und Aufrufe Amin al-Husainis aus dem Exil, 1940-1945 (Berlin: Klaus Schwarz Verlag, 2004), p. 179, 180. (Letters in French, the diplomatic language at the time: "…où ils se trouveraient sous une surveillance active comme en Pologne…") David G. Dalin and John F. Rothmann, Hitler's Mufti and the Rise of Radical Islam (New Brunswick and London: Transaction Books, 2009, p. 54 ("Kill the Jews whereever you find them…"), p. 158-162 (Full text of the "Record of the conversation between the Fuehrer and the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem on 28 November 1941"), p. 164 ('The road from Rostov to Iran and Iraq is shorter than the distance from Berlin to Rostov.")

Andreas Hillgruber, Hitlers Strategie. Politik und Kriegführung 1940-1941 (Munich: Bernard & Graefe Verlag, 1982), p. 381, 382. ("…weiterverfolgten Absicht Hitlers, eine weiträumige zangenartige Landoperation (pincer movement) gegen die britische Nahoststellung führen zu lassen, und zwar von Westen her durch einen Angriff aus Libyen mit Stossrichtung nach Ägypten und zum Suez-Kanal, von Nordwesten her durch eine – im November bekanntlich zurückgestellte – Offensive von Bulgarien aus durch die Türkei nach Syrien – Palästina und schliesslich als Ergänzung durch eine dritte Operation von Norden aus Transkaukasien heraus durch Iran nach den Ölquellen des Irak und weiter bis nach Basra. Die Türkei sollte dabei 'politisch gefügig' gemacht, anderenfalls ihr Widerstand mit Waffengewalt gebrochen werden.") See also footnotes 25, 27, and 28.

Winston S. Churchill, The Second World War, Volume Four, The Hinge of Fate (London: The Reprint Society, 1953), p. 486 ("We lost more than 13,500 men at Alamein…"), p. 487.

Klaus Michael Mallmann and Martin Cüppers, "Elimination of the Jewish National Home in Palestine": The Einsatzkommando of the Panzer Army Africa, 1942, in: Yad Vashem Studies, 35 (1) (Jerusalem: Yad Vashem, 2007), p. 122, 123 ("The path to Palestine was now a relatively short matter..."), p. 113-122 ("Einsatzkommando Egypt"), p. 124 (quote from Hitler), 130 ("The Grand Mufti was a National Socialist and Islamic fundamentalist at one and the same time.")

Oscar Reile, Treff Lutetia Paris. Der Kampf der Geheimdienste im westlichen Operationsgebiet, in England und Nordafrika, 1939-1945 (Munich: Verlag Welsermühl, 1973), p. 231, 232. "Unter anderen hat der Gross-Mufti von Jerusalem, Hadi Amine Al Husseini, bereits im Oktober 1942 dem Abwehroffizier Oberstleutnant Franz Seubert gemeldet, dass im kommenden November zwischen 5. und 10. des Monats, neun amerikanische und vier britische Divisionen in Casablanca, Port-Litantey, Oran und Algier einen Landungsversuch unternehmen würden. Der Gewährsmann des Gross-Mufti, der (the Mufti, that is, V.) bereits seit Jahren mit der Abwehr in Verbindung stand, war kein Geringerer als Mohamed V, der Sultan von Morocco." The author wishes to thank Dutch historian Dr. Perry Pierik for showing this study to him.

The Trial of Adolf Eichmann. Record of the Proceedings in the District Court of Jerusalem, Volume I (Jerusalem: State of Israel/Ministry of Justice, 1992), p. 243, 244 (Eichmann and Grand Mufti Al-Husseini), Volume V (Jerusalem: 1994), p. 2028 ("…these people were planning the same bloody work…").

Khaled Hroub, Hamas. Political Thought and Practice (Washington, DC: Institute for Palestine Studies, 2000), p. 272 (Hamas Charter, Article 7). International Herald Tribune, April 1, 2008, p. 1, 8 ("Hamas ratches up anti-Jewish rhetoric"). Anti-Semitic quotes from prominent Hamas clerics.

©2011 Emerson Vermaat. All rights reserved.

This item is available on the Militant Islam Monitor website, at