What did the Grand Mufti Know?

Posted by John Rosenthal

Did the Amin al-Husaini, the "Grand Mufti" of Jerusalem, know about the Nazis’ ongoing program to exterminate European Jews when he lived in Berlin from 1941-1945? In my recent review of Klaus Gensicke’s Der Mufti von Jerusalem und die Nationalsozialisten, I questioned whether a visit by a member of the Mufti’s entourage to the Sachsenhausen concentration camp near Berlin could be taken as proof that the Mufti also knew what was transpiring in the death camps further to the East, such as Auschwitz and Treblinka.

But Wolfgang G. Schwanitz, A German historian of the Middle East, has found more compelling evidence: namely, the Mufti’s own words. "Up to now we have exterminated around three million of them" — this, according to memoirs of the Mufti published in Damascus in 1999, is what Heinrich Himmler told him in the summer of 1943.

For the details, see Wolfgang G. Schwanitz’s new article on World Politics Review here


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