Tagged: israel

Klaus Polkehn – The Secret Contacts – Zionism and Nazi Germany, 1933 – 1941 (1975)

Anti-Semitism became official German government policy when Hitler was named Chancellor of the German Reich on January 30, 1933. The spring of 1933 also witnessed the beginning of a period of private cooperation between Zionism and the German regime to increase the inflow of German Jewish immigrants and capital to Palestine. The Zionist authorities succeeded in keeping this cooperation a secret for a long period, and only since the beginning of the 1960’s have criticisms of it been expressed here and there. The Zionist reaction has usually consisted of declarations that their onetime contacts with Germany were undertaken solely to save the lives of Jews. But the contacts were all the more remarkable because they took place at a time when many Jews and Jewish organizations demanded a boycott of German goods.
On the occasion of the Sixteenth Convention of the Israeli Communist Party, a paper was submitted at the outset of the conference in which it was stated that “after Hitler’s taking of power in Germany, when all anti-National Socialist forces in the world and the great majority of the Jewish organizations proclaimed a boycott against Germany, contacts and collaboration existed between Zionist leaders and the Hitlerite government.” (Information Bulletin, Communist Party of Israel, 3-4, 1969, p. 196) The paper quoted the Zionist official Eliezer Livneh (who had been editor of the Haganah organ during the Second World War) as declaring, during a symposium organized by the Israeli newspaper Maariv in 1966, “that for the Zionist leadership the rescue of Jews was not an aim in itself, but only a means” (i.e., to establishing a Jewish state in Palestine). To question the reaction of the Zionist movement to German regime, which in the course of its twelve-year rule murded many Jews, is a taboo in the eyes of the Zionist leaders. Only rarely is it possible to come across authentic evidence or documents concerning these occurrences. The following enquiry consists of information gathered up to this date about some important aspects of the cooperation between the Zionists and the German regime. It remains in the nature of things that this enquiry does not present a complete picture. This can only be possible when the archives (above all those in Israel), in which the documents concerning these events are under lock and key, are made available for scholarly research. Continue reading