In a recent article titled "Why Hitler Wished He Was Muslim," the Wall Street Journal draws our attention to two books that reflect the historical Nazi-Islamic supremacist axis.
Given the goings-on in Europe, we thought these to be poignant titles adding necessary context to a continent that appears to be a potential powder-keg.
A picture dated 1939 shows German Nazi Chancellor Adolf Hitler giving the nazi salute during a rally next to "Deputy Furhrer" Rudolf Hess. (Image Source: AFP PHOTO / FRANCE PRESSE VOIR / Getty Images)
Of Stefan Ihrig's "Atatürk in the Nazi Imagination," the Journal writes:
Through the 1920s and 1930s, Nazi publications lauded Turkey as a friend and forerunner. In 1922, for example, the Völkischer Beobachter, the Nazi Party’s weekly paper, praised Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the "Father of the Turks," as a "real man," embodying the "heroic spirit" and the Führerprinzip, or führer principle, that demanded absolute obedience. Atatürk’s subordination of Islam to the state anticipated Hitler’s strategy toward Christianity. The Nazis presented Turkey as stronger for having massacred its Armenians and expelling its Greeks. "Who," Hitler asked in August 1939, "speaks today of the extermination of the Armenians?"
Apparently Hitler believed in the congruence between the values and principles espoused by Islam and his vision of Nietzsche's "Übermensch":
‘It’s been our misfortune to have the wrong religion," Hitler complained to his pet architect Albert Speer. "Why did it have to be Christianity, with its meekness and flabbiness?" Islam was a Männerreligion—a "religion of men"—and hygienic too. The "soldiers of Islam" received a warrior's heaven, "a real earthly paradise" with "houris" and "wine flowing." This, Hitler argued, was much more suited to the "Germanic temperament" than the "Jewish filth and priestly twaddle" of Christianity.
Of David Motadel's "Islam and Nazi Germany's War," the Journal writes:
...Muslims fought on both sides in World War II. But only Nazis and Islamists had a political-spiritual romance. Both groups hated Jews, Bolsheviks and liberal democracy. Both sought what Michel Foucault, praising the Iranian Revolution in 1979, would later call the spiritual-political "transfiguration of the world" by "combat." The caliph, the Islamist Zaki Ali explained, was the "führer of the believers." Made by Jews, led by Jews—therewith Bolshevism is the natural enemy of Islam," wrote Mahomed Sabry, a Berlin-based propagandist for the Muslim Brotherhood in "Islam, Judaism, Bolshevism," a book that the Reich’s propaganda ministry recommended to journalists.
By late 1941, Germany controlled large Muslim populations in southeastern Europe and North Africa. Nazi policy extended the grand schemes of imperial Germany toward madly modern ends. To aid the "liberation struggle of Islam," the propaganda ministry told journalists to praise “the Islamic world as a cultural factor,” avoid criticism of Islam, and substitute "anti-Jewish" for "anti-Semitic." In April 1942, Hitler became the first European leader to declare that Islam was "incapable of terrorism."
...As the war went on, Balkan Muslims were added to the "racially valuable peoples of Europe." The Palestinian Arab leader Haj Amin al-Husseini, Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, recruited thousands of these "Musligermanics" as the first non-Germanic volunteers for the SS. Soviet prisoners of Turkic origin volunteered too. In November 1944, Himmler and the Mufti created an SS-run school for military imams at Dresden.
Haj Amin al-Husseini, the founder of Palestinian nationalism, is notorious for his efforts to persuade the Nazis to extend their genocide of the Jews to the Palestine Mandate. The Mufti met Hitler and Himmler in Berlin in 1941 and asked the Nazis to guarantee that when the Wehrmacht drove the British from Palestine, Germany would establish an Arab regime and assist in the “removal” of its Jews. Hitler replied that the Reich would not intervene in the Mufti’s kingdom, other than to pursue their shared goal: “the annihilation of Jewry living in Arab space.” The Mufti settled in Berlin, befriended Adolf Eichmann, and lobbied the governments of Romania, Hungary and Bulgaria to cancel a plan to transfer Jews to Palestine. Subsequently, some 400,000 Jews from these countries were sent to death camps.
On these matters, we also highly recommend the late Barry Rubin's "Nazis, Islamists, and the Making of the Modern Middle East."
And it bears noting that the Communist Soviet Union -- which itself had a history of widespread anti-Semitism -- would also seek to harness latent Jew-hated in the Arab world beginning in the 1970s, as part of a strategy to turn the region into a bastion of anti-Americanism.
Lt. Gen. Ion Pacepa, the highest-ranking Soviet Intelligence officer to ever defect told us in an interview in connection with his "Disinformation: Former Spy Chief Reveals Secret Strategies for Undermining Freedom, Attacking Religion, and Promoting Terrorism:"
KGB chairman Andropov told me that "our" disinformation machinery should ignite a campaign aimed at transforming Arab anti-Semitism into an anti-American doctrine for the whole Muslim world. The idea was to portray the United States as a war-mongering, Zionist country financed by Jewish money and run by a rapacious "Council of the Elders of Zion" (the KGB’s derisive epithet for the U.S. Congress), the aim of which was to transform the rest of the world into a Jewish fiefdom. Andropov made the point that one billion adversaries could cause far greater damage than could a mere 150 million.
The KGB boss described the Muslim world as a waiting petri dish, in which we could nurture a strain of hate-America. The Muslims had a taste for nationalism, jingoism and victimology. We had only to keep repeating, over and over, that the United States was a war-mongering, Zionist country financed by Jewish money, with the goal of taking over the whole world.
The KGB community threw millions of dollars and thousands of people into that gigantic project, as described in our book.
This history is ever-relevant in a world in which Islamic supremacists make up some percentage of Europe, certain neo-Nazi forces like the Golden Dawn, and anti-Islamization forces with anti-Semitic pasts like France's National Front, along with other Russian-backed or at least sympathetic European parties are on the rise.