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Nazi-Zionist Collaboration 10: Zionism in Germany

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Nazism started in Germany and so did Nazi-Zionist collaboration. 

Since those like Dr. Foster who ‘took the trouble to read the German Zionist press of those years’ assures us it is so, we may take their word that the Zionists, like all other Jews, ‘strenuously opposed the Nazi Party during its rise to power.’  Even without this expert opinion, nobody who has not taken the trouble to read the German Zionist press of those years has ever imagined the contrary. 

If Dr. Foster wants Zionist declarations against Nazism recorded as a point in Zionism's favor, then he is welcome to It.  Let the record clearly show that the Zionists didn't want Hitler in power any more than Petain wanted him to conquer France, even though their policies did help him to succeed. 

But it is the speed and totality with which Zionism capitulated to Nazism once Hitler had come to power that has shocked observers. 

10.1     Opposing the Boycott


No sooner had the first anti-Jewish pogroms been held, than the Zionist Union for Germany, on 21 June 1933, submitted a memorandum to the Nazi Government, proposing that the ‘new German state' recognize the Zionist movement as the most suitable Jewish group in the new Germany with which to deal, that Jewish status in Germany thenceforth be regulated on the basis of a group status rather than individual rights and finally, that since emigration would provide a solution to the Jewish question, it should therefore receive government assistance.’ 

The memorandum held out bait - in the event the Germans cooperated – that the Zionists would try to get the Jews abroad to call off the anti-German boycott.  

That description is from ‘The War against the Jews 1933-45’ by Lucy Dawidowicz.95 Her description of Zionist behavior is especially interesting because she strongly disagrees with Dr. Arendt, and denies that there was collaboration. 

Despite this specific Zionist offer to call off the boycott in exchange for Nazi recognition of their group as the representative of German Jewry, Dr. Foster claims that rejection of the boycott by the Eighth Zionist Congress was ‘attempting to act in solidarity with the persecuted German Jews.’ He says ‘one may question the political wisdom of their actions: but one cannot doubt their intentions.’ 

This remarkable conclusion is based on the fact that non-Zionist German Jewish organizations protested against the boycott.  According to Dr. Foster ‘They did this because, as patriotic Germans they had no wish to see the German economy harmed and because, as Jews, they feared that the boycott would provoke increasingly severe anti-Jewish measures in Germany.’

Dr. Foster's touching belief in the patriotic concern of German Jews for the Nazi economy reveals perhaps more eloquently than anything else he has said, the real depths of his understanding of these questions, and the predicament the Victorian Jewish board of Deputies (VJBD) was in, trying to find an 'expert' who would agree with them. 

The plain fact is of course that German Jewish organizations protested against the boycott for the same reason that they publicly urged the Jews to vote ‘Yes’ in the November 1933, plebiscite to approve Hitler's domestic and foreign policy. The Nazis had a gun at their heads. 

According to Lucy Dawidowicz: 

Goering, summoned all the leaders of the German Jewish organizations to his office on 26 March and ordered them to tell the Jews abroad to stop the boycott campaign ‘otherwise pogrom’.  Finally, however, they had to promise, under threat, to contact Jewish organizations abroad and deny the atrocity reports…

(The American Jewish organization realized that these telegrams had been sent under duress.)96


Even if Dr. Foster did not realize this, it is perfectly clear that the Eighth Zionist Congress did - but they preferred the Haavara agreement and other deals with the Nazis, even to the point of supplying Eichmann with intelligence information as part of these deals. 

We can question their intentions as well as doubting their wisdom and there seems no obvious reason why 3CR broadcasters should be required to seek permission from any experts such as Foster before doing so. 

10.2    Endorsing Nazi Racialist Philosophy


Returning to the Zionist memorandum to the Nazis, Rabbi Joachim Prinz, then one of German Zionism's leading lights, subsequently described this document as ‘a statement notable for its pride and dignity.’ 

As N. Glaser comments in ‘Some of My Best Friends Are Nazis,’ get ready for some pride and dignity a la Zionist.  Here are some excerpts from that proud and dignified Zionist statement: 

‘Zionism believes that a rebirth of national life, such as is occurring in German life through adhesion to Christian and national values must also take place in the Jewish national group.  For the Jew, too, origin, religion, community of fate, and group consciousness must be of decisive significance in the shaping of his life.  

On the foundation of the new state, which has established the principle of race, we wish so to fit our community into the total structure so that for us too, in the sphere assigned to us, fruitful activity for the Fatherland is possible. 

Our acknowledgement of Jewish nationality provides for a clear and sincere relationship to the German people and its national and racial realities.  We do not wish to falsify these fundamentals because we too are against mixed marriage and are for maintaining the purity of the Jewish group and reject any trespasses of the cultural domain.  Rooted-ness in one’s own spirituality protects the Jew from becoming the rootless critic of the national foundations of German essence.  The national distancing which the state desires would thus be brought about easily as the result of an organic development. 

For its practical aims, Zionism hopes to be able to win the collaboration even of a government fundamentally hostile to Jews, because in dealing with the Jewish question not sentimentalities are involved but a real problem whose solution interests all people’s, and at the present moment especially the German people.  

The realization of Zionism could only be hurt by resentment of Jews abroad against the German development boycott propaganda – such as is currently being carried on against Germany in many ways- is in essence un-Zionist, because Zionism wants not to do battle but to convince and to build.’

(Joachim Prinz ‘Wir  Juden’   Berlin  1934)97 

This early support for what later became the Nuremburg  laws should  not  be   considered surprising since the Third Reich did not last a  thousand  years, Israel is today the only place in the world where Jews and non-Jews are prevented from marrying  legally.98

It should be remembered that this memorandum from the Zionists was not the voice of German Jewry, but that of a small minority which in 1925 had only 8739 members (not even 2 per cent of the Jewish community) and was for example only able to elect one fifth of the delegates at the regional elections for representatives of Prussian Jewry. 

The largest Jewish organization in Germany was the C.V. or Central Union of German Citizens of the Jewish faith.  This organization was explicitly anti-Zionist and had seven times the membership of the Zionist Union, including some 60 percent of all Jewish families. 

The C.V. had combating anti-Semitism as an objective and its leaders saw it as their special duty to represent the interests of the German Jews in the active political struggle.  But Zionism stood for systematic non-participation in German public life.  It rejected as a matter of principle any participation in the struggle led by the C.V. 

10.3 Ammunition for Nazi Anti-Semitism


Thus as early as July 11, 1930, a declaration of policy by the C.V. published in the CV-Zeitung, IX, noted that recognition of  'certain postulates of the German Zionist nationalists', provided the anti-Semites with ammunition and was a 'stab in the back' in the struggle against fascism. 

An example of what the C.V. was complaining about, is the book ‘Kris und Entscheiding’ by the leading Zionist theoretician. Dr. Jakob Klatzkin.  As Moshe Menuhin says, it is unbelievable, but it is factual: 

We are not hyphenated Jews; we are Jews with no qualifications, or reservations.  We are simply aliens; we are a foreign people in your midst, and we emphasize, we wish to stay that way.  There is a wide gap between you and us, so wide that no bridge can be laid across.  Your spirit is alien to us; your myths, legends, habits, customs, traditions, and national heritage, your Sundays, and holidays…They are all alien to us.  The history of your triumphs and defeats, your war songs and battle hymns, your heroes and their mighty deeds, your national ambitions and aspirations, they are all alien to us.  The boundaries of your lands cannot restrict our movements, and your border clashes are not of our concern.  Far over and above the frontiers and boundaries of your land stands our Jewish unity…Whosoever calls the foreign land the Fatherland is a traitor to the Jewish people.  Jewish heroes in foreign wars mean nothing to us.  The Jewish people has no reason to decorate them with medals; they are not Jewish heroes…A loyal Jew can never be other than a Jewish patriot. 

We recognize a national unity of Diaspora Jews, no matter in which land they may reside.  Therefore no boundaries can restrain us in pursuing our own Jewish policy.

Jacob Klatzkin, ‘Kris Und Entscheidung’ [Crisis Decision], Germany 1921)99

This was written when the German Jews were enjoying full, civil and political rights in the Weimar Republic.  Naturally, Hitler’s ideological theorists like Theodor Fritsch; K.E. Wolff; F. Rose; G. Feder; F. Muller and others quoted Zionists and especially Klatzkin, to prove that Jews are inassimilable and ‘indigestible’. 

Equally naturally, most German Jews were not impressed.  As a report to the 24th session of the Zionist Union noted in 1932, the year before Hitler came to power, ‘ should never be forgotten that we in Germany have to reckon not only with the indifference of extensive Jewish circles, but also with their hostility.100 

10.4    Assistance from the Gestapo


However, the Nazi takeover the following year resulted in an immediate change of fortunes for German Zionism.  For example circulation of the Zionist weekly, Die Judische Rundschau jumped immediately from around 6,000 to nearly 40,000. 

One factor was the credibility given to Zionist views about assimilation by the facts of Jewish life under the Nazis.  Assimilation had become impossible and Zionism was an alternative. 

But there were other factors too.  Among them was the fact that all the non-Zionist organizations were quickly suppressed by the Nazis, while the Zionists were allowed to keep operating. 

While all newspapers published by progressive organizations were banned, Jewish or not, and all publications not banned were placed directly under the supervision of the Ministry of Propaganda, the Zionist Judische Rundschau, was allowed to appear unhindered provided it was not sold to non-Jews.  As Winfried Martini, then Jerusalem correspondent of the Deutsche Allgemeine Zeitung notes: 

‘Of all papers, it was the Jewish (read ‘Zionist’) press that for years retained a certain freedom which was completely withheld from the non-Jewish press.’  

Until 1938 many publishing houses (among others, the Judische Verlag  in Berlin Charlottenberg and Schocker Verlag, Berlin) could publish Zionist literature unhindered.  Thus works by Chaim Weizmann and David Ben Gurion appeared quite legally under the regime that considered it necessary to burn the works of Heinrich Heine because that great German poet was a Jew.101 

The Victorian Jewish Board of Deputies (VJBD) has complained about the following broadcast on Palestine Speaks of 8th October 1978: 

‘During the first days of fascist domination in Germany the Zionists held a direct line to the fascist repression apparatus which developed into collaboration between the Zionist leadership and the terror organizations of the Nazis Reich, the Gestapo, the S.S. etc.’  

We have seen how collaboration with the Gestapo and the S.S .developed, but how early did it start? 

It seems the first official response to the Zionist overtures was an S.S. report in mid 1934 which proposed that the Nazis give official preference to those Jewish organizations that promoted Jewish nationalism and separatism.  

According to Lucy Dawidowicz; 

'Precisely such official encouragement was extended by the Bavarian political police, when Heydrich issued a directive to all police offices in the state on 28 January 1935 

'The activity of the Zionist-orientated youth organizations that are engaged in the occupational restructuring of the Jews for agriculture and manual trades prior to their  emigration to Palestine lies in the interests of the National Socialist state's leadership'. 

These organizations, therefore, 'are not to be treated with that strictness that it is necessary to apply to the members of the so-called German-Jewish organizations (assimilationists)'. 

By spring, this approach had been legitimated, according to a directive of April 1935 that asserted that 'the attempts of German-Jewish organizations to persuade Jews to remain in Germany' directly contradicted National Socialist principles and were to be prevented.  The Jewish press, too, was to be monitored ‘to see that the more subtle forms of this propaganda are not disseminated’. 

One way the policy was executed was to deny permission to speakers to address public Jewish gatherings if they were known to advocate a Jewish presence in Germany.  Persons who did express such views were often brought to the Gestapo for interrogation and threatened with detention in a concentration camp. 

On 15 May 1935 the Schwarze Korps, official organ of the S.S., supported this policy as the correct ideological posture for national socialists, the Jews, it was argued, had to be separated into two categories- Zionists and assimilationists;

'The Zionists adhere to a strict racial position and by emigrating to Palestine they are helping to build their own Jewish state.’  But the assimilationists were objectionably tenacious: ‘The assimilation-minded Jews deny their race and insist on their loyalty to Germany or claim to be Christians, because they have been baptized, in order to subvert National Socialist principles.’ 

The enactment of the Nuremberg laws encouraged this approach.  The Zionists and proponents of emigration to Palestine wee less badgered in their activities by the Police and the S.D. and the non-Zionists.  Pressure was constantly exerted on Jewish communal leaders to pursue a policy of emigration, especially to Palestine.102 

With the support of these explicit directives from Gestapo chief Heydrich and from the S.S., the Zionist Union promptly issued a declaration demanding reorganization of the entire Jewish community to ensure due recognition of their influence. 

They specifically demanded parity on the board of the national roof body of German Jewish organizations where they had previously been a minority.  According to Lucy Dawidowicz: 

‘Publicly no-one attributed the Zionist power bid to the Heydrich directive and to then current nationalist Socialist policy favoring the Zionists, but the connection did not pass unnoticed.  The non-Zionists were convinced that there was a connection and that the Zionists themselves believed that the Gestapo favored them over the non-Zionists.  The Zionist demand for parity stunned the non-Zionists. 

The CV-ZEITUNG of  9 May 1935 branded it ‘unjustified, disruptive, and astonishing’, an attempt to turn present events in Germany to Zionist profit.  Nonetheless, the Zionists did eventually win parity, perhaps because the Reichsvertretung feared the Gestapo intervention perhaps because it had yielded to fatigue and a sense of defeat.’103 

10.5    Zionist Takeover of the Jewish Community


After this Gestapo-induced Zionist takeover the Reichsvertretung (Board of Deputies) for the first time adopted a pro-Zionist program.  According to Lucy Dawidowicz;  

'The Fifth item explicitly expressed the emotional identification of the Jewish community with Palestine, and the readiness on the part of the Reichsvertretung to establish institutional ties with the Jewish National Fund in Palestine.  The heavy hand of the German Dictatorship was evident.  There were no longer any declarations of love or loyalty to Germany, its language or culture.  The Jews had become completely isolated.'104   

From then on, the intrusion of the Gestapo in the Jewish community became ever more oppressive.  Every public Jewish leathering was aware of the Gestapo's listening ear and watchful eye.  Jewish organizations had to conduct their business in the presence of Gestapo agents.  Documents were scrutinized or subject to scrutiny.  Any hint or suspicion of criticism of the Nazis brought immediate reprisals.  Censorship of the Jewish press went to extraordinary lengths. 

According to Lucy Dawidowicz: 

'Above all, the Gestapo wanted to gain control of the Reichsvertretung or, failing that, other communal Jewish organizations.  In pre-1938 days the Jewish community had not yet fallen wholly under the 'legal' jurisdiction of the Gestapo as it would in post-1939 days.  In their ambition to capture the Jews, the Gestapo tried to place a man they could trust on the Reichsvertretung Executive.

Their man was George Kareski, a General Zionist suddenly turned Revisionist in the spring of 1933.   To this day no one knows what hold the Gestapo had over Kareski or why he lent himself to the ugly drama.  Yet  in spite of several forceful efforts by the Gestapo beginning in 1935, Kareski was rebuffed, partly by happenstance, but mainly because Jewish communal leaders resisted Gestapo pressure.  (Later, in Eastern Europe, Similar resistance brought certain death)105 

Unable to appoint their General Zionist turned Revisionist to the Board of Deputies Executive, the Gestapo finally dissolved it completely and replaced it with their own outfit, the Reichsvereinigung, directly under Gestapo orders.  As we already noted from Hannah Arendt:

‘...all Heading positions in the Nazi appointed Reichsvereinigung were held by Zionists (whereas the authentically Jewish Riechsvertretung had been composed of  both Zionists and non-Zionists), because Zionists, according to the Nazis, were the decent Jews since they too thought in 'national’  terms...’                                       

The real function of this Zionist or Gestapo organization was to preside over the final liquidation of German Jewry. 

It is quite true, as Dr. Foster says, that ‘from the moment the Nazis seized power, Jewish communities first in Germany and then throughout Europe - increasingly lost their freedom of action, and were forced more and more to operate within the constraints of the different stages of the Nazi persecution...Jews were hostages and then victims - they were never free agents.’

This does explain why first German Jews, and later Jews throughout Europe had to put up with Gestapo appointed Zionist ‘leaders’.  One cannot condemn them for this - they had no choice. 

But it does not ‘make nonsense of any claims that Zionists - or Jews of any persuasion - collaborated...’  The point Dr. Foster has missed is that the ‘community leaders who collaborated were appointed by the Nazis, not by the Jews.’ 

The Zionists did not have to accept those Gestapo appointments.  Few others did. 

These facts about Zionist collaboration with the Nazi  repressive apparatus from the earliest days of the Third Reich are not some deadly secret.  They are accepted and established conclusions in authoritative studies of the history of the period, even when the author, like Lucy Dawidowicz, is by no means unsympathetic to Zionism.  The following excerpt from an abstract noticed accidentally in the Journal of Modern History seems to sum up the situation pretty well: 

‘Zionism in National Socialist Jewish Policy in Germany. 1933 -1939 D1255 by Francis R.J. Nicosia, Saint Michael's College, Winooski, Vermont.’ 

' The Zionist movement attracted considerable encouragement and support from anti-Semitic circles in Germany and elsewhere from the second half of the nineteenth century to World War II.  From its beginnings early in the 1920's, the National Socialist movement sought to utilize Zionist ideology and the Zionist movement to achieve the dissimilation of the Jewish community and to promote its emigration from Germany 

After 1933, the Hitler regime actively supported the efforts of the German Zionist movement in a variety of ways which included preferential treatment for German Zionists over other German Jewish organizations, encouragement and support for Zionist efforts to retrain German Jewish emigrants destined for Palestine, and active cooperation with a underground Zionist groups in the so-called illegal immigration of  Jewish refugees into Palestine between 1938 and 1940...’107 

Apart from hysterical abuse, the only answer Zionists have to these facts is the claim that any means of getting Jews out of Germany was justified and that if more had listened to them, more would have been saved. 

This sounds plausible until one remembers that Zionist emigration was selective, and was given special financial concessions by the Nazis (the Haavara agreement), not extended to other emigrants whose accounts were completely blocked and not merely heavily taxed.

By 1935 almost all Jews in Germany were agreed that they, or at least the younger generation, had to get out of the country.  The controversy between Zionists and non-Zionists was no longer about whether emigration was necessary, but where to.  Zionists stood for the selection of pioneers for Palestine, while others just wanted to get out. 

In exchange for assistance from the Nazis in their own projects of little relevance to the mass of German Jews, the Zionists not only assisted the Nazis to embarrass the British administration in Palestine, but also helped them isolate the Jewish community from German life and disrupt their resistance to Nazism. The Nazis were useful to the Zionists in catapulting them into positions of Jewish community leadership which they could never have reached on their own merits. 

Before the Reichsvereinigung was created by the Gestapo, no major Jewish community anywhere outside Palestine had been led by Zionists.  Even in Palestine, the orthodox religious community of Jerusalem rejected not only Zionists but also anyone who had anything to do with Zionists.  They had been there for more than a hundred years before the Zionist invasion and, like the Arabs, they rejected British attempts to force them to take part in Zionist institutions. 

Zionists did not come to be the collaborationist leaders of European Jewish communities as a result of pre-war elections.  The Jews did not elect the collaborators.  The Gestapo appointed them and they accepted the job.


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