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November 28: The Mufti and the Führer

lawrencebush
November 28, 2013
451px-Al-Husayni1929headHaj-Amin-al-Husseini-and-Adolf-HitlerHaj Muhammad Amin al-Husseini, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem (both a religious and political/financial ruler) from 1921 to 1937, met with Adolf Hitler in Germany on this date in 1941 to seek the extension of the Nazis' anti-Jewish campaign into Arab lands. At the time, al-Husseini was a fugitive from British justice for his role in instigating the 1936-39 Arab Revolt in Palestine and had established himself in Italy and then Germany. At their meeting in the Reich chancellery, according to notes, Hitler declined to make a public statement or a formal if secret treaty, but said he would "continue the struggle until the complete destruction of Jewish-Communist European empire" was achieved, and when the German army was ready to enter the Arab world, Germany would issue "an assurance" that "the hour of liberation was at hand." It would then be al-Husseini's "responsibility to unleash the Arab action that he has secretly prepared" and lead the destruction of the Jews in Palestine. The only German goal "at that time," Hitler continued, "would be the annihilation of Jewry living in Arab space under the protection of British power." In 1945, Yugoslavia sought to indict al-Husseini as a war criminal for his role in recruiting 20,000 Muslim volunteers for the SS to help with the killing of Jews in Croatia and Hungary. He escaped from French detention, however, and fled to Cairo and later Beirut, where he died in 1974. "The Arabs were Germany's natural friends because they had the same enemies . . . namely the English, the Jews, and the Communists." —Haj Amin al-Husseini