The Israel National Library released a rediscovered telegram Wednesday that reveals that notorious Nazi leader Heinrich Himmler wished the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem success in fighting Jews who were migrating to Israel during World War II.
The telegram, dated Nov. 2 1943, shows Heinrich Himmler, the notorious commander of the Nazi Schutzstaffel (or S.S.), offered Grand Mufti Haj Amin al-Husseini “warm wishes” in his continued fight against the Jews. The letter was sent on the anniversary of the Balfour Declaration, which expressed the British government’s support for the establishment of a Jewish homeland in what is now Israel.
“To Grand Mufti Amin al-Husseini: From the outset, the National Socialist [Nazi] movement of Greater Germany has been a standard-bearer in the battle against world Jewry,” said Himmler’s telegram. “For this reason, it is closely following the battle of freedom-seeking Arabs, particularly in Palestine, against the Jewish invaders. The shared recognition of the enemy and the joint fight against it are creating the strong base [uniting] Germany and freedom-seeking Arabs around the world. In this spirit, I am pleased to wish you, on the anniversary of the wretched Balfour Declaration, warm wishes on your continued fight until the great victory.”
Husseini’s connections to Nazi Germany date back to at least the late 1930s, when he traveled to fascist Italy and Germany to avoid a British arrest warrant for his alleged role in the Arab revolt, which lasted from 1936 to 1939. He collaborated with the Nazis in propaganda broadcasts and reportedly aided the S.S. in the recruitment of Bosnian Muslims. Husseini is also known to have met with Adolf Hitler, and requested German support for the liberation of Palestine from the British. He is considered a key historical figure in Palestinian nationalism.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was heavily criticized in 2015 when he said Husseini inspired Hitler to exterminate European Jews during the Holocaust. While there is no evidence the mufti was behind Hitler’s final solution, the telegram is further proof of Husseini’s close ties to the German Third Reich.
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