Palestine Judenrein, a Palestine without Jews? It almost happenned! When British General Bernard Montgomery defeated German Field Marshal Erwin Rommel‘s “Afrika Korps” in the battle of El Alamein (Nov. 3rd, 1942), he didn’t just end the Nazis’ Africa campaign and turn the tide of the war, but he also saved the 500,000 Jews of British Mandate Palestine.
The director of the Nazi research center in Ludwigsburg, Klaus-Michael Mallman, and Berlin historian Martin Cueppers say an Einsatzgruppe was all set to go to Palestine and begin killing the roughly half a million Jews that had fled Europe to escape Nazi death camps like Auschwitz and Birkenau.
The historians noted that Einsatzgruppe Egypt was standing by in Athens and was ready to head off for Palestine in the summer of 1942. The Middle East death squad, similar to those operating throughout eastern Europe during the war, where they were responsible for 1 million murders, was to be led by SS Obersturmbannfuehrer Walther Rauff. In much the same way they had operated in eastern Europe, the plan was for the 24 members involved in the death squad to enlist Palestinian collaborators so that the “mass murder would continue under German leadership without interruption.”
Einsatzgruppe Egypt was formed shortly after Palestinian leader and Grand Mufti of Jerusalem Haj Amin al-Husseini, visited Hitler in Berlin and offered the services of his people to the cause of the Third Reich. In late 1941 al-Husseini arrived in Mussolini’s Rome and, after friendly chats with Il Duce and the Fuhrer, got the Fascist and Nazi leaders to make a joint pronouncement committing their nations to helping in “the elimination of the Jewish national home in Palestine.” Follow-up meetings in Berlin between the Mufti and Hitler resulted in an understanding, according to the American historian Howard M. Sachar, whereby Hitler’s forces would invade Palestine with the goal being “not the occupation of the Arab lands but solely the destruction of Palestine Jewry.”
Of course Einsatzgruppe Egypt never made it out of Greece. Rommel was defeated at Al Alamein and later committed suicide – it was rumored that he had been involved in a failed assasination plot against Hitler.
“The history of the Middle East would have been completely different and a Jewish state could never have been established if the Germans and Arabs had joined forces,” the historians conclude.
Hell yeah it would have been completely different. I wouldn’t be writing this for one thing! But anyhow – and I don’t mean to be a dick or anything – I guess it’s kind of important to note how only 64 years ago, the Arab leadership of Palestine actively collaborated in a very real plan to commit genocide against the Jews in their midst. I’d like to think things have changed, but when current (and duly elected) Palestinian leaders dream of a world map without Israel, echoing the sentiments of their nuclear armed taskmasters, it kind of makes you wonder.