Sunday, 1 May 2016

"We will catch up with you." - Nazi Philo-Zionism Read Backwards

The Jews were always meant to be the engine of their own extermination machine – the Nazi plan was for their genocide (to the greatest degree possible) – be self-financing, self-propelling, self-executioning.  Such economic thinking was not specific or exclusive to the Nazi design for mass murder – it was in keeping with the Ur-cell of all German national economic thought – maximized autarchy.
Jewish cultural, social and political institutions and aspirations including the desire for national self-determination should never cease to accelerate the momentum of the Final Solution.  
The Hitler dispositif was also opportunistic, Hitler and the SS often made it up as they went along.  Zionism in the thirties was an ascending force in the Jewish community – even more it was roiling within the territorial jurisdiction of their rival – and highly emulated model – the British Empire’s “Mandatory Palestine”.  What a tempting morsel for SS appetites – a quasi-self selecting pure Jewish colony under direct colonial rule.  No wonder the various members of the SS “Jewish Department” like its head Baron von Mildenstein and his protégé Eichmann were so energized by their visits to Palestine – waxing lyrical with almost genuine admiration for Jewish feats of pioneering in their towns and kibbutzim.  Mildenstein – a ‘völkisch’ Nazi spent 6 months in Palestine at the beginning of Hitler’s reign researching pro-Zionist articles for the Nazi press.             

Following the British lead – the Nazi-Hitler strategists in the German Foreign Office under Konstantin von Neurath sought to manipulate unrest and internecine battles within the various populations under their control for their own hegemonic pursuits – including of course the conatus for self-determination.  Just as T.E. Lawrence co-engineered Allenby’s triumphant entry into Jerusalem towards the end of World War I on the back of the demise of Ottoman power and with the muscle of the irregular legions of Emir Faisal, son of the Sharif of Mecca – the Nazis thought to use the German Zionists to disrupt and undermine the British hold on Palestine.  The SS became rigorous Zionist recruiters – forcing German Jews to ‘ethnicize’ themselves in line with the Nazi Weltanschauung of racial purity and separation – learn Hebrew, stop speaking German and acquire useful trades for Palestine.  Mildenstein and Eichmann almost went native – studying Hebrew themselves, listening to Hebrew folksong records in their office. (How ironic that some thirty years later Eichmann was tried and put to death in his beloved Zionist Palestine – by that time Israel.) But unlike the British tactics and methods – the Nazi expansion drive was not merely intent on using Zionist colonies to secure a bridgehead for their own imperial designs on Palestine and the region.  The concentration of Jews in Palestine was to have been a proto-ghetto – perhaps even a model for all those Jewish ghettos-to-come along the route of their exterminatory invasion of Europe – the waiting rooms for the death camps.

For a brief period in the mid thirties Hitler and his SS followed a stratagem of ostentatiously favouring and grooming Zionist organizations in Germany.  This ‘experiment’ was as much a prelude to genocide as the ‘Nuremberg Laws’ - just another means of extracting German Jews from the German ‘body politic’ – softening them up for ‘the kill’.  The Nazis in fact defended “the Nuremberg Laws of September 1935, the finishing touches of Germany’s pre-Second World War anti-Jewish legislation (…) as an expression of their pro-Zionism.” (Lenni Brenner, Zionism in the Age of Dictators, Croom Helm, Lawrence Hill, 1983, First Internet Edition, pdf, AAARGH 2004, p. 85)  As Lenni Brenner further notes: “The Zionists could not even claim that they were duped by Hitler; they conned themselves.  Hitler’s theories on Zionism, including the Jews’ alleged inability to create a state, had been there in plain German since 1926.  The Zionists ignored the fact that Hitler hated all Jews, and he specifically condemned their own ideology.” (ibid. p. 89)

Hitler’s Zionist ruse though still has the power to captivate and deceive to this day – as shown by Ken Livingstone’s recent credulous exhuming of the Nazi bogus pro-Zionist policy in his shrill claim “Hitler supported Zionism”.  The German Zionist Jews who were taken in by Hitler’s attentions, wouldn’t have imagined in 1933-38 what the ultimate goal of Nazi policy towards the Jews was to be – but what’s Livingstone’s excuse?  As Queen’s Evidence for his case Livingstone has shanghaied Lenni Brenner’s 1983 study Zionism in the Age of Dictators – failing though to grasp its many subtleties.  This is how Lenni Brenner summarizes Hitler’s ‘Zionism’ – and the tragic complicity of part of the Zionist establishment with Nazi pre-genocidal immigration politics.
“However, the fact that the Zionists became Adolf Hitler’s ‘favoured children’ hardly qualified him as a Jewish nationalist.  Even von Mildenstein, for all his Hebrew records, accepted the party line when it turned to outright murder.  Throughout this period the Nazis toyed with the Zionists as a cat would play with a mouse.  Hitler never thought he was letting anyone get away from him because he was encouraging Jews to go to Palestine.  If the Jews went to far-away America, he might never be able to get at them and they would remain the foes of the German Empire in Europe.  But if they went to Palestine instead?  ‘There’, as a Gestapo agent told a Jewish leader, ‘we will catch up with you.’ ” (ibid.) 

Fortunately history ‘caught up’ with Nazi Germany – too late for the Jews of Europe – but in time for the Jews of Palestine.  That is when they turned their attention and energies to expelling the British from Palestine with all the means of persuasion at their disposal.  Although later an ex-member of the Stern Gang and Anglophile of sorts, habitué of a famous bohemian café in Jerusalem across the street from the ‘Old Knesset’ was wont to lament after several cognacs “If the British ever return to Palestine, we should cut off their legs so they stay here with us.”  It was Labour’s privilege under Clement Attlee and Ernest Bevin to oversee that painful withdrawal of the British presence from ‘Mandatory Palestine’ and contraction of the British Empire.  Ernest Bevin – the foreign minister – Labourite workhorse and buffo ogre – conducted the immense retreat of British imperialism from the Palestine theatre.  Are Ken Livingstone and Jeremy Corbyn still grieving for that particular loss of British power on Labour’s watch?          

No comments:

Post a Comment