Germany in response to Netanyahu: We are responsible for Holocaust
Germany on Wednesday said that responsibility for the Holocaust lay with the Germans, after Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sparked controversy before a visit to Berlin by saying a Muslim elder had convinced Adolf Hitler to exterminate Jews.
"All Germans know the history of the murderous race mania of the Nazis that led to the break with civilization that was the Holocaust," Chancellor Angela Merkel's spokesman Steffen Seibert said when asked about Benjamin Netanyahu's remarks.
"This is taught in German schools for good reason, it must never be forgotten. And I see no reason to change our view of history in any way. We know that responsibility for this crime against humanity is German and very much our own."
Hours before heading to Berlin, Netanyahu claimed on Wednesday that Adolf Hitler had no intention of killing the Jews, but only wished to expel them. According to Netanyahu, the idea for mass extermination came from the then-Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al-Husseini.
In a speech at the World Zionist Congress in Jerusalem, Netanyahu described a meeting between Husseini and Hitler in November, 1941:
"Hitler didn’t want to exterminate the Jews at the time, he wanted to expel the Jews. And Haj Amin al-Husseini went to Hitler and said, 'If you expel them, they'll all come here.' 'So what should I do with them?' he asked. He said, 'Burn them.'"
'No intention of absolving Hitler'
Netanyahu earlier responded to harsh criticism launched at him from all sides of the political spectrum.
In a statement made before the Israeli leader left for Germany on Wednesday, he said "It's absurd. I had no intention of absolving Hitler of responsibility for his diabolical destruction of European Jewry. Hitler was responsible for the Final Solution's extermination of six million Jews, he made the decision.
However, the Prime Minister's apology seemed to come with a caveat.
"It is equally absurd to ignore the role played by the Mufti, a war criminal....the Mufti was instrumental in the decision to exterminate the Jews of Europe."
He said that "the Mufti was one of the initiators of the systematic extermination of European Jewry and was a partner and adviser to Eichmann and Hitler for the execution of this plan."
He explained that his speech was to show that the Palestinians revere a man who incited violence against the Jews, and that his legacy continues to this day.
Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas responded to Netanyahu's claims, saying that the Israeli leader had exonerated Hitler and was implicating Haj Amin al-Husseini for the "heinous crime that was committed against the Jews."
He concluded, "In this vicious and despicable manner, Netanyahu wishes to fabricate history."
The claim that Husseini came up with the idea of the extermination of European Jewry has been proposed by some historians at the fringes of Holocaust research, but is generally rejected as a theory.
In response, opposition leader Isaac Herzog said that Netanyahu was playing into the hands of Holocaust deniers. Herzog demanded that Netanyahu backtrack on his statement, calling it a "dangerous distortion of history."
The umbrella organization of Israel's Holocaust survivors' groups reacted with outrage. "Netanyahu hurts the feelings of the survivors who experienced first hands Hitler's edicts, humiliation and torture. He hurts them by minimizing the role of that vile man and incites by diverting hatred toward the Arab public in Israel and its leaders, by implying that they always wanted to exterminate the Jewish people, and do to this day."
The Israeli leader's words also created a storm on social media, although this was not the first time he has made the explosive claim - in 2012 he described Husseini as "one of the leading architects" of the final solution, according to Israeli newspaper Haaretz.
Haaretz reports that the argument concerning Husseini's role was recently mentioned in a book by Barry Rubin and Wolfgang G. Schwanitz, "Nazis, Islamists, and the Making of the Modern Middle East." In a similar vein to Netanyahu, the authors make a connection between the Jerusalem mufti's support of the Nazi regime and the policies of the PLO under Yasser Arafat. However they do not claim that the conversation described by Netanyahu ever took place - they say Hitler formulated the plan to exterminate the Jews in a bid to nurture Husseini.
Read more: Netanyahu's new Nazis
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Very valid point raised by the Prime Minister. Jews ultimately were systematically exterminated by Hitler, following a meeting with the Mufti. Both have blood on their hands. As usual, incitement was at the forefront, by...PALESTINE. The Prime Ministers comment exonerates nobody. Clearly an attempt by Abbas to once again inflame the situation at hand...terrorist attacks on Israel. If the Prime Minister is attempting to change history Mr Abbas, what is the Arab world attempting to do at the United Nations this week? You have no credibility, nor do your counterparts when it comes to the true history of the land, and G-d's people.
Don't forget that it was the Brown Harriman Bank with it's CEO Prescott Bush that financed the Nazis.
In 1938. (December) the British government raised the possibility of relocating Jews to British Guiana. Feb 1939 Cultural Minister Alfred Rosenberg said this... NAZI PROPOSAL FOR JEWS 'Reservation' In Guiana Australian Associated Press BERLIN, February 8 1939 What the world should do with 15,000,000 Jews was blandly explained by the Reich cultural leader, Dr. Alfred Rosenberg in an address to foreign journalists and' members of the diplomatic corps. Dr Rosenberg rejected the proposed settlement of the Jews in Palestine, on the ground that the Jews would make it a centre of unrest, and he opposed the distribution of the Jews throughout the world, on the ground that such infiltration would be dangerous. He concluded that the whole of the Jews in the world must be settled in a single territory, which must not be a Jewish State, but a 'reservation.' supervised by police and a trained administration under a governor, acting on behalf of the democracies. Dr Rosenberg indicated that Guiana and Madagascar were most suitable for his purpose. Make of that, what you will.
Al Husseini wrote in his "Memoirs" published in 1968 that he was opposed to the transfert of all the jews of eastern Europe to Palestine, as it was planed by the Nazi leaders. He explain that he wrote personnally to Hitler, Himmler and Ribbentrop he succeeded to make this project to fail. By reading his Memoirs , we know from the mouth of Al Husseini himself that the germans had planned a transfert of jews to Palestine. Al Husseini by his refusal of such a project paved the way of Hitler to set an alternative solution, the Final Solution.