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Erwin Rommel was almost as popular as Hitler. Some Arabs
used "Heil Rommel" as a common greeting in Arab countries.
After France's defeat by Nazi Germany in 1940, some Arabs
were chanting against the French and British around the
streets of Damascus: "No more Monsieur, no more Mister,
Allah's in Heaven and Hitler's on earth." Posters in Arabic
stating "In heaven God is your ruler, on earth Hitler" were
frequently displayed in shops in the towns of Syria.
Sami al-Jundi, wrote:
"We were racists. We admired the Nazis. We were immersed
in reading Nazi literature and books that were the
source of the Nazi spirit. We were the first who thought
of a translation of Mein Kampf. Anyone who lived in
Damascus at that time was witness to the Arab
inclination toward Nazism. Michel Aflaq a founder of the
Ba'athist philosophy admired Hitler and the Nazis for
standing up to Britain and America. This admiration
would combine aspects of Nazism into Ba'athism."
The two most noted Arab politicians who actively
collaborated with the Nazis were Grand Mufti of Jerusalem
(al Quds) Haj Amin al-Husseini, and the Iraqi prime
minister Rashid Ali al-Gaylani.
Adolf Hitler met with Haj Amin al-Husseini on 28 November
1941. The official German notes of that meeting contain
numerous references to combatting Jews both inside and
outside Europe. The following excerpts from that meeting are
statements from Hitler to the Mufti:
Germany stood for uncompromising war against the Jews.
That naturally included active opposition to the Jewish
national home in Palestine, which was nothing other than
a center, in the form of a state, for the exercise of
destructive influence by Jewish interests. ... This was
the decisive struggle; on the political plane, it
presented itself in the main as a conflict between
Germany and England, but ideologically it was a battle
between National Socialism and the Jews. It went without
saying that Germany would furnish positive and practical
aid to the Arabs involved in the same struggle...
Hitler had been much impressed by a scrap of history he had
learned from a delegation of distinguished Arabs." The
delegation had speculated that the world would have become
"Mohammedan" if the Berbers and Arabs had won the Battle of
Tours in the 8th Century AD, and that the Germans would have
become heirs to "a religion that believed in spreading the
faith by the sword and in subjugating all nations to that
faith. Such a creed was perfectly suited to the German
temperament." Speer then presents Hitler's claims on this
Hitler said that the conquering Arabs, because of their
racial inferiority, would in the long run have been unable
to contend with the harsher climate of the country. They
could not have kept down the more vigorous natives, so that
ultimately not Arabs but Islamized Germans could have stood
at the head of this Mohammedan Empire.
Similarly, Hitler was transcribed as saying: "Had Charles
Martel not been victorious at Poitiers ... then we should in
all probability have been converted to Mohammedanism, that
cult which glorifies the heroism and which opens up the
seventh Heaven to the bold warrior alone. Then the Germanic
races would have conquered the world."
According to Speer, Hitler stated in private, "The
Mohammedan religion too would have been much more compatible
to us than Christianity. Why did it have to be Christianity
with its meekness and flabbiness?"
Hitler's views on the Arab world
This "exchange" occurred when Hitler received Saudi Arabian
ruler Ibn Saud's special envoy, Khalid al-Hud al-Gargani.
Earlier in this meeting Hitler noted that one of the three
reasons why Nazi Germany had warm sympathies for the Arabs
… because we were jointly fighting the Jews. This led him to
discuss Palestine and the conditions there, and he then
stated that he himself would not rest until the last Jew had
left Germany. Kalid al Hud observed that the Prophet
Mohammed … had acted the same way. He had driven the Jews
out of Arabia.
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