History can be deceptive. It’s fair to say that some of the sensational never-published-before documents, in this book, will shock those who have accepted Zionism and its supposed history, at face value, as a political movement that was the hope of the Jews. Lenni Brenner, the intrepid author of “Zionism in the Age of Dictators,” reveals disturbing new evidence in his latest effort, that suggest just the opposite. In fact, he makes a compelling case that the Zionist record was “dishonorable.” You can consider this excellent tome as a worthy sequel to his first expose’ on the myopic Zionist zealots of that bygone era.
For openers, Brenner showed how the Zionists had a long history of shameless cooperation with the Nazis, especially after the dictator Adolph Hitler had came to power in 1933. The Zionists were also in bed, to some extent, with the other members of what later became known as WWII’s “Axis of Evil,” that included Benito Mussolini’s Italy, and Tojo Hideki’s Japan. For example, on March 29,1936, Zionists praised Il Duce, and his regime, at the opening of a maritime school, funded by the Fascist government, at Civitavecchia. This is where a Zionist youth group, the “Betar,” trained its sailors for the future Revisionist state. The speakers ignored the fact that on Oct. 3, 1935, Italian troops had invaded Abyssinia.
On another front, the “Third Congress of the Jewish Community of the Far East,” was held in Jan., 1940, in Harbin, Manchuria, then reeling under a brutal military occupation by the Japanese imperial forces. At that time, too, Tokyo was already aligned with Hitler and Italy’s Mussolini, in the notorious Anti-Comintern Pact. Also, keep in mind, that the Japanese’s murderous “Rape of Nanking,” had occurred in Dec., 1937, and the “Crystal Night” incident on Nov. 9, 1938. Nevertheless, the Zionist confab went out of its way to legitimize the Japanese occupation by certifying it as a guarantor of the “equality of all citizens,” in that beleaguered land.
The Zionist also had a trade plan with the Berlin government by which German Jews could redeem their property in Nazi goods exported to then British-occupied Palestine. And to top it all off, the infamous SS-Hptscharf. Adolf Eichmann, had visited Palestine, in October, 1937, as the guest of the Zionists. He also met, in Egypt, with Feivel Polkes, a Zionist operative, whom Eichmann described as a “leading Haganah functionary.” The chain-smoking Polkes was also on the Nazis’ payroll “as an informer.”
Brenner isn’t the first writer to address the mostly taboo subject of how the Zionist leadership cooperated with the Nazis. Rolf Hilberg’s seminal “The Destruction of European Jews”; Hannah Arendt’s “Eichmann in Jerusalem”; Ben Hecht’s “Perfidy”; Edwin Black’s “The Transfer Agreement”; Francis R. Nicosia’s “The Third Reich and the Palestine Question”; Rudolf Vrba and Alan Bestic’s “I Cannot Forgive”; and Rafael Medoff’s “The Deadening Silence: American Jews and the Holocaust,” also dared, with varying public success.
After the Holocaust began in 1942, Eichmann dealt regularly with Dr. Rudolf Kastner, a Hungarian Jew, whom he considered a “fanatical Zionist.” Kastner was later assassinated in Israel as a Nazi collaborator. At issue then, however, was the bargaining over the eventual fate of Hungary’s Jews, who were slated for liquidation in the Nazi-run death camps. Eichmann said this about Kastner, the Zionist representative, “I believe that [he] would have sacrificed a thousand or a hundred thousand of his blood to achieve his political goal. He was not interested in old Jews or those who had become assimilated into Hungarian society. ‘You can have the others,’ he would say, ‘but let me have this group here.’ And because Kastner rendered us a great service by helping keep the deportation camps peaceful. I would let his groups escape.”
Readers, too, will be surprised to learn, that after the Nuremberg Anti-Jewish Race Laws were enacted in Sept., 1935, that there were only two flags that were permitted to be displayed in all of Nazi Germany. One was Hitler’s favorite, the Swastika. The other was the blue and white banner of Zionism. The Zionists were also allowed to publish their own newspaper. The reasons for this Reich-sponsored favoritism was, according to the author: The Zionists and the Nazis had a common interest, making German Jews emigrate to Palestine.
As early as June 21, 1933, the German Zionist Federation was sending a secret memorandum to the Nazis, which said, in part:
“It is our opinion that an answer to the Jewish question truly satisfying to the national state [German Reich] can be brought about only with the collaboration of the Jewish movement that aims as a social, cultural and moral renewal of Jewry- -indeed, that such a national renewal must first create the decisive social and spiritual premises for all solutions…”
Incredibly, Avraham Stern, the leader of the notorious “Stern Gang,” late in 1940, made a written proposal to Hitler, by which the Jewish militias in Palestine, would fight on “Germany’s side,” in the war against England, in exchange for the Nazis help in resolving the “Jewish Question” in Europe, and their assistance in creating an “historic Jewish state.” By this date, German troops had already marched into Prague, invaded Poland, and had built the first concentration camp at Auschwitz. The deranged Stern had further bragged about how the Zionist organizations were “closely related to the totalitarian movements of Europe in [their] ideology and structure.” Stern’s obscene proposal was found in the German embassy, in Turkey, after WWII.
Finally, I think Brenner was right, when he wrote, “This book presents 51 historic documents to indict Zionism for repeated attempts to collaborate with Adolf Hitler. The evidence, not I, will convince you of the truth of this issue…Exposing the Zionist role in the [Nazi] era is part of the scrutiny of the past, required of historians.”
All of the above becomes even more important today in light of the critical fact that it helps to subject Zionist Israel to the examination called for by its crimes, past and present.
© William Hughes 2003
William Hughes is the author of “Saying ‘No’ to the War Party” (Iuniverse, Inc.).