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The Most Enduring Legacy Of Nazi Hate

Hitlerism and Radical Islam

On February 1, 1944, two unlikely allies in the United States Senate—

Robert Wagner (D-New York) and Robert Taft (R-Ohio)—introduced a
resolution that caused shockwaves around the globe. Their initiative
advocated American support for “free and unlimited entry of Jews into
Palestine for the creation of a Jewish commonwealth.” This was a bold
move and one that put the Roosevelt administration on the spot.

Nearly five years earlier, the British government had released a

White Paper on the issue of Palestine—one that largely abandoned the
Jewish people in that region. Since the 1917 Balfour Declaration and
during the period of the British Mandate they had been largely
supportive of Jewish migration to Palestine and the idea of a Jewish
state there. In essence, the White Paper changed all of that. It
advocated severe limitations on Jewish immigration to Palestine—this
at a time when European anti-Semitism was reaching critical mass.

The gang in Berlin was pleased.

Interestingly, at the time of that 1939 White Paper, two men who
would later strongly support the creation of the modern state of
Israel saw things differently. Winston Churchill spoke to the House
of Commons on May 22, 1939 “as one intimately and responsibly
concerned in the earlier states of our Palestine policy,” and
insisted that he would not “stand by and see the solemn engagements
into which Britain has entered before the world set aside.”
And here at home, Senator Harry S. Truman from Missouri—-who had no
clue at the time that he’d be a major player on the world stage in a
few years–-also issued a forthright condemnation that was inserted
into the Congressional Record:

Mr. President, the British Government has used its diplomatic

umbrella again, this time on Palestine. It has made a scrap
of paper out of Lord Balfour’s promise to the Jews. It has
just added another to the long list of surrenders to the Axis

But instead of embracing the ideas put forth by Taft and Wagner in
1944, the White House, State Department, and other powerful entities
in the government pulled out all the stops to make sure that the idea
of proposing a homeland in Palestine for Jews went away. They did
this even though they knew very well about the ongoing mass
extermination of European Jews at the hands of the Nazis.

The standard answer to the obvious question as to why the Holocaust

evoked little official response from our government until near the
end of the war has been to cite “isolationism,” or “economic
Depression,” or “xenophobia” in our nation. Presumably, the idea of
doing anything overtly “pro-Jewish” was politically untenable—so goes
the argument.

But a closer look reveals something else going on at the time—and

ever since.

The most lasting legacy of the toxins that created an epochal global
conflict is the fact that elements of Nazism in many ways survive to
this day in Islamism. The short-sightedness of FDR’s cronies was
corrected in part by his successor, a man of courage who chose to
recognize the new State of Israel eleven minutes after its birth in
May of 1948. But the question remains: Why did FDR and company not
get on the bandwagon, even while millions of Jews were being

Sadly, the real reason has a lot to do with U.S. surrender to Nazi
propaganda—its power and content.

Largely overlooked or dismissed in the years since is the fact that

the Nazi propaganda machine, the distortion factory that shaped
attitudes in Germany throughout the duration of the infamous Third
Reich, had its most lasting impact far away from the boroughs and
beer halls of Deutschland. In fact, Hitler’s nightmarish vision of
ridding Europe of Jews was only the beginning of what he wanted to do
—he wanted to extend The Final Solution to Palestine.

And he had been preparing the hearts and minds of the Muslim world
for many years.

Jeffrey Herf, a professor of history at the University of Maryland,

has written an eye-opening book about the effectiveness of Nazi ideas
in the Middle East during the Second World War called, “Nazi
Propaganda For The Arab World.” In it, he describes the Nazi campaign
for the minds and hearts of the Arab world in great detail—
particularly the Axis radio programs that ran in Arabic around the
clock from late 1939 until March of 1945.

These broadcasts spewed venomous anti-Semitism and pushed every

demagogic button imaginable. They were also highly effective. In
fact, long after the last vestige of Nazi rhetoric faded from
consciousness in Europe, the poisonous seeds planted back then are
still bearing deadly fruit.

The mind-set that gave way to the Third Reich is very much alive and
well in the Muslim world of the Middle East.

When those two senatorial strange-bedfellows offered their visionary

resolution in 1944 about a Jewish homeland in Palestine, the “Axis
Broadcasts in Arabic” were way ahead of the story. Mr. Herf has
accessed a significant cache of transcripts and leaflets produced by
the Nazis during the war—materials that have not been adequately
examined—until now.
So back in 1944, any hopes a couple of well-intentioned voices in
Washington might have had to garner widespread national support for a
Jewish homeland in Palestine were dashed by forces largely influenced
by the hate-speak of Nazi propagandists. Berlin, broadcasting in
Arabic, referred to Taft and Wagner as “criminal American senators,”
while announcing, “a great tragedy is about to be unfolded, a great
massacre, another turbulent war is about to start in the Arab

And in phraseology that sounds eerily familiar to what we still

regularly hear from Islamists, the Nazis described the stakes as kill
or be killed:

Arabs and Moslems, sons of the East, this menace threatens

your very lives, endangers your beliefs and aims at your
wealth. No trace of you will remain. Your doom is sealed. It
were better if the earth opened and engulfed everybody; it
were better if the skies fell upon us, bringing havoc and
destruction; all this, rather than the sun of Islam should
set and the Koran perish…Stir up wars and revolutions, stand
fast against the aggressors, let your hearts, afire with
faith, burst asunder! Advance your armies and drive out the

Bear in mind that this is a 1944 Nazi broadcast to the Arab/Muslims

in Palestine. Of course, the relationship between Hitler and Haj Amin
al-Husseini, the Grand Mufti in Jerusalem, is well known and
documented, but the broadcasts from Berlin to Palestine are just now
beginning to be examined. And what is being found is further evidence
that to refer to Islamists as Nazi or Fascist-like is no smear—or

The rhetoric broadcast to the Middle East 70 years ago is still being
noised about—and even more pervasively and effectively. Back then,
the attitudes it reinforced, complete with distortion, hate, and
prejudice, caused U.S. officials, from FDR on down, to “go wobbly”—as
Margaret Thatcher would say.

It is sadly clear that the most lasting impact of the Nazi propaganda
machine is that murderous ideas espoused back then are alive and well
in our day and age and still being used to threaten and kill Jews.