Haj Amin al-Husseini, Hitler, and the Holocaust

On Tuesday, October 20, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel addressed the 37th Zionist Congress in Jerusalem. He reported that, in a meeting with Adolf Hitler in November, 1941, Haj Amin al-Husseini, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem told Hitler not to just drive the Jews from Europe but to “burn them.” His reasoning was that Jews driven from Europe would come to Palestine and he and others of his ilk just could not abide such a consequence. A storm of protest followed, charging, among other things, that Netanyahu’s remarks in some way absolved Hitler of his role in the Holocaust. They did not.

History has made it clear that Hitler intended to make Europe judenrein, by any means necessary. Read Mein Kampf. The German word, judenrein, literally means “purified of Jews.” To Hitler, the Nazis, and Haj Amin al-Husseini, Jews were a contamination, vermin, that needed to be exterminated, hence the term for camps such as Auschwitz, Vernichtungslager, “extermination camp.” It is no accident of language that Hitler used these terms instead of something more benign, but still reprehensible, such as judenfrei, “free of Jews.”

Haj Amin al-Husseini’s statement to Hitler in 1941 thus reinforces Hitler’s view of Jews and his plans for them which were finalized at the Wannsee Conference in 1942, where the Final Solution was decided. The Nazis perpetrated the Holocaust, killing six million Jews in Europe. Because many countries around the world, including the United States, would not take in enough Jewish refugees from Germany or Eastern Europe in the late 1930s, the whole world bears some responsibility for this catastrophe. And, as the Grand Mufti predicted, many of those Jews who survived the Holocaust migrated to Palestine after World War II and proclaimed the State of Israel in 1948. Israel’s neighbors, of like mind with al-Husseini, have since done everything that they could to eliminate the Jewish state but have so far failed. Current statements made by the Supreme Leader of Iran and the leaders of Hamas indicate that they still have not given up the hope of making the Middle East judenrein.