In newly discovered telegram, Himmler wishes Grand Mufti of Jerusalem success against “Jewish invaders”
Heinrich Himmler, one of the main architects of the Holocaust, may have had closer ties with the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem Hajj Amin al-Husseini than previously thought.
In a 1943 telegram which has now been discovered by the National Library of Israel, Himmler implied that there was a bond between Muslims and Nazis in fighting against their common enemy, “world Jewry.”
“From the outset, the National Socialist [Nazi] movement of Greater Germany has been a standard-bearer in the battle against world Jewry,” Himmler, one of the Nazi party’s highest ranking members, wrote in the telegram.
“For this reason, it is closely following the battle of freedom-seeking Arabs, particularly in Palestine, against the Jewish invaders.”
Himmler signed off by sending Husseini “warm wishes for the continuation of your battle until the big victory.”
The Himmler telegram, which had been confiscated by the U.S. Army after the war, was subsequently donated to the library by a member of Palestine’s underground haganah resistance movement. Located in the library’s archives, it was discovered after staff were asked to look for materials pertaining to the 1917 Balfour Declaration
The Mufti had met with Hitler himself in Berlin in 1941, a meeting in which Husseini echoed Himmler’s contention that Germans and Arabs shared a common foe in “the English, the Jews, and the Communists.”
According to Time, Hitler told the Mufti that Germany was “resolved, step by step, to ask one European nation after the other to solve its Jewish problem, and at the proper time to direct a similar appeal to non-European nations as well.”
Last year, PM Benjamin Netanyahu sparked controversy for suggesting in a speech to the World Zionist Congress that the Mufti had urged Hitler to destroy the Jews. The comments, which Netanyahu backpedaled, were perceived as shifting blame away from the Nazis, who had embarked on the Holocaust well before the meeting between Hitler and Husseini.
“Hitler didn’t want to exterminate the Jews at the time, he wanted to expel the Jews,” Netanyahu said in the speech. “And Haj Amin al-Husseini went to Hitler and said, ‘If you expel them, they’ll all come here (to Palestine).'”
Netanyahu said Hitler then asked, “What should I do with them?” to which the mufti replied, “burn them.”
The discovery of the Himmler telegram does not prove Netanyahu’s claim, which has been widely rejected by historians. Still, it does show that high-ranking Nazis such as Himmler saw common ideological ties with Husseini.