Telegram from Himmler to al-Husseini Turns Up in Israel’s National Library

YERUSHALAYIM -

Archivists at Israel’s National Library have discovered a telegram sent by Hitler’s SS commander Heinrich Himmler to Haj Amin al-Husseini, the grand mufti of Yerushalayim, in which he promises Nazi Germany’s help in fighting the Zionists.

Germany will stand firmly by the Arabs in Palestine in their fight against the “criminal” Balfour Declaration, Himmler said in the message that the archivists date to 1943. Al-Husseini held the position of grand mufti from 1921 to 1927, when he made a reputation for himself as an enthusiastic supporter of the Nazis.

“The National-Socialist [Nazi] movement of the great Germany has made its fight against world Jewry a guiding principle since its very beginning,” Himmler wrote. “For that reason it [the movement] has been closely following the battle of freedom-seeking Arabs – and especially in Palestine – against the Jewish invaders,” the Nazi leader added, wishing him a “big victory” over the Jews.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu made headlines in October 2015 when he claimed during a speech to the 37th World Zionist Congress that Hitler was inspired to order the annihilation of all Jewry only after he met with Mufti al-Husseini in Berlin doing World War Two. Until then, he said, Hitler had intended only to expel them.

The assertion has been disputed by a number of historians of the period, who insist that Hitler arrived at the “Final Solution” without help from al-Husseini, and question whether the meeting between them even took place.