|After the visit for 6 months of the head of the Gestapo’s Jewish desk, Baron von Mildenstein in 1933, Goebbel’s paper Der Angriff ran a series of 12 articles on how wonderful the new Jews in Palestine were|
|Ken Livingstone – pilloried for telling the truth about Nazi support for the Zionist movement|
When Ken Livingstone remarked that
Hitler supported Zionism, he set the cat among the Zionist pigeons, who
squawked and tweeted. Minor
errors apart (it was Palestine then not Israel and the year was 1933 not 1932)
his remarks were essentially correct. He
used ‘Hitler’ when it would have been more correct to have referred to the Nazi
party, but there is no disputing that the German Zionist movement were the
Nazis’ favourite Jews.
Fathom, the journal of BICOM, has
attempted to rebut the historical and factual basis of the allegation of
collaboration between the Zionist and Nazi movements. The problem is however 2 fold for them.
person to do so as he knows next to nothing of the period. He is not a historian but a self-publicist
and has no obvious qualifications apart from being a rabid anti-communist.
|The coin which the Nazis struck after the tour of von Mildenstein to Palestine – with the Swastika on one side and the Star of David on the other|
commentator. He makes stripping out
sentences and half-sentences out of context into an art form and comes a cropper
as a result. He alleges is a worthless
article that I supported the collaboration of Stalin with Hitler and the
appeasement of the German Community Party of the Nazis’ anti-Semitism after
1930. Both these are demonstrable lies
but so pathologically demonic is Bogdanor that he has probably convinced
himself of his wilder allegations.
on him is in itself a demonstration that the factual basis of Nazi-Zionist
collaboration and the wider allegations that the Zionists consciously
obstructed rescue to anywhere that didn’t involve Palestine cannot be
|Boats from Germany would fly both the Swastika and the Star of David – the Zionist flag was the only flag legally entitled to be flown under the Nuremberg Laws|
is the on-line journal of BICOM, the Britain Israel Communications and Research
Centre. Its editorial advisory board is
a who’s who of Zionist academics, journalists and ex-military personnel. It is a good example of how Zionist academics
seamlessly intertwine with Israel’s military industrial complex. Fathom’s
editor is the right-wing British academic Professor Alan Johnson
Ken Livingstone stated, during the course of defending Naz Shah MP against accusations
of anti-Semitism, that ‘when Hitler won
his election in 1932, his policy then was that Jews should be moved to Israel.
He was supporting Zionism – this before he went mad and ended up killing six
million Jews.’ , the
Zionists and their sycophants were outraged.
How could anyone make such an accusation? Livingstone’s statement focused attention on
the murky history of Zionist relations with Nazi Germany.
hypocrisy of Zionism’s defenders is breathtaking. Zionists never tire of wheeling out the
holocaust whenever it suits them. It was
Abba Eban, the Labour Zionist Foreign Secretary who called the Green Line
between pre-1967 Israel and the West Bank the ‘Auschwitz borders’. Netanyahu compared the Boycott of Israeli
Goods to the holocaust: ‘We have a historical recollection
of what happens when Jewish products are marked’ 
|Vladimir Jabotinsky, founder of the Revisionist Zionist movement (Likud/Herut) was once called Vladimir Hitler by Ben-Gurion|
is it just the Israeli Right. Veteran
Israeli holocaust historian, Saul Friedlander, who no longer calls himself a Zionist
because of the way Zionism has been captured by people like Paul Bogdanor,
stated that he ‘regrets that his colleagues in the Israeli left prefer not to
base their arguments more on the lessons of the Holocaust. “It’s a mistake of the left to keep clear from such a major part of our
history. They are afraid of dragging the Holocaust into the political game but
we can turn around the way the right uses it.”’ Cardboard cutouts of Yitzhak Rabin, the
assassinated Israeli Prime Minister used to be dressed up in Nazi uniform by
short those western Zionists who pretend that the holocaust has no lessons for
today are not merely mistaken but hypocritical too, since the holocaust is
almost the standard metaphor in debate in Israel.
holocaust has served as the primary justification for Israel
ideologically. It has been the alibi for
every atrocity of a state based on ethno-religious supremacy. When Israel lay siege to Beirut and bombed
it, Israeli Prime Minister Begin justified it by comparing Yasir Arafat to
Hitler in his bunker. Israel’s enemies, such as Nasser and
Ahmedinajad were the new Hitler. The
Palestinians have been transformed into the new Nazis. We even had the spectacle of Benjamin
Netanyahu, at the 2015 World Zionist Congress, seeking to exculpate Hitler for
the extermination of European Jewry. According
to this revisionist version of history, it was the Palestinian Mufti of
Jerusalem, Haj Amin al-Husseini, who was responsible for the Nazis adopting
extermination rather than expulsion as the solution to the Jewish Question.
Zionism arose as a reaction to
anti-Semitism which accepted the assumptions of the anti-Semites, viz. that
Jews did not belong in other peoples’ territories – they were strangers. Zionism understood anti-Semitism and saw it
as a perfectly justifiable and understandable movement. As the founder of political Zionism, Theodor
Herzl noted: ‘In Paris…, I achieved a freer attitude towards
anti-Semitism, which I now began to understand historically and to pardon.
Above all, recognise the emptiness and futility of trying to ‘combat’
surprise to people that the Zionists had no principled objection to the Nazis
Nuremberg laws, “the most murderous
legislative instrument known to European history”  Who would believe that the Zionist movement was
in agreement with the Nazis over the need to for racial separation? As the Introduction to the Nuremberg Laws of
15th September stated:
‘If the Jews had a state of their own in
which the bulk of their people were at home, the Jewish question could already
be considered solved today, even for the Jews themselves. The ardent Zionists
of all people have objected least of all to the basic ideas of the Nuremberg
Laws, because they know that these laws are the only correct solution for the
Jewish people too.’ 
was because of their ideological congruity that collaboration between the
Zionists and the Nazis came easily. The
Zionists were focussed on building their state, not saving Jews.
an article from Paul Bogdanor, son of the eminently sane, if somewhat boring
British constitutionalist Vernon Bogdanor.
Unfortunately the same cannot be said of his son. Paul Bogdanor is a far-Right Zionist who
writes for the Islamaphobic Frontpage.com
edited by David Horowitz. It boasts
columnists such as Melanie Phillips, Oliver Kamm and Nick Cohen. You get some idea of Frontpage’s bona fides from the Jihad
Watch section with columnists like Pamela Geller, who even managed to get
herself banned by Theresa May because of the virulence of her Islamapobia.
is a strange choice of writer for a magazine which has pretensions to academic
respectability. Bogdanor is not only someone
who cannot see anything wrong with Israel and its treatment of the
Palestinians, he is unusual, even by Zionist standards, in that he pens pathologically
demented diatribes against his many enemies, all of them Jewish. His writing style is like the screeching of a
hanging door. An anti-Communist who
belongs to the McCarthy era, he combines venom, distortion and malice in equal
measure.. It is defamation by example. Bogdanor is incapable of discerning subtlety
or shades of difference. Nuance is not a
word in his vocabulary. He has a
fixation with his supposed enemies that belongs to the realm of psychology. How else to explain the article ‘Tony
Greenstein and the Nazi Apologists’ where
he states that I ‘defend(s) communist
collaboration with the Nazis but denounce(s) Zionists as joint perpetrators of
actually reading the excerpts which I am held to to have written would note
that I criticise the German Communist Party’s 3rd Position policy of
equating social democracy with fascism and its appeasement of the Nazis
anti-Semitic policies. Neither is there
anything I have written which would suggest that the Zionists were ‘joint perpetrators of the Holocaust.’ Lying and distortion come easily to
Bogdanor. Fathom’s choice of a frothing
at the mouth Zionist to defend Zionism’s record during the holocaust suggests a
measure of desperation. There are a number
of critical Zionist historians who could have undertaken the task of rebutting
allegations of Zionist-Nazi collaboration.
The choice of Bogdanor is bizarre and can only be put down to the
politics of Fathom’s editor.
having nothing in common politically with Fathom I had no difficulty in commenting
favourably on Sarah Brown’s article Antisemitism
and Oren Ben-Dor in Fathom. When Fathom says that Bogdanor ‘skewers’ the author Lenni Brenner, it is engaging in
wishful thinking. It is also an
unfortunate metaphor for a journal with academic pretensions.
Introduction gives some indication of his style. He writes that ‘Britain was rocked’ by the anti-Semitism witch hunt in the Labour
Party. No the pundits, Labour
right-wingers and Zionist ideologues were ‘rocked’. It made next to no impression on public
opinion. Bogdanor describes as examples of this anti-Semitism the fact that
Vicky Kirby was quoted as talking about ‘big
(Jewish) noses’. This is a good
example of Bogdanor’s sloppy and lazy distortion. This comment was contained in one of a series
of tweets of quotes from the
2010 comedy film The Infidel. The film’s write David Baddiel is Jewish and
the film describes itself as ‘An identity
crisis comedy centred on Mahmud Nasir, successful business owner, and salt of
the earth East End Muslim who discovers that he’s adopted – and Jewish.’ Hardly the equivalent of the Nazis’ Jud Suss.
not mentioning her by name, Bogdanor suggests that Jackie Walker was suspended
for suggesting that ‘the Jews were behind
the slave trade’. Not so, she talked
of the involvement in financing the
slave trade of some Jews. An entirely
different matter. More to the point it
was a private conversation between friends not a policy statement. If Bogdanor had an ounce of integrity he would
have mentioned that Jackie is half-Jewish herself.
referring to Ken Livingstone’s comments about Hitler supporting Zionism, he
notes that Livingstone referred to Lenni Brenner’s book, Zionism in the Age of the Dictators. In his normal moderate style Bogdanor
suggests that the book is a favourite amongst those who believe that ‘Zionists’ are to blame for all evil in the
world. Really? I guess it would be churlish to provide an
example of such a belief outside of the anti-Semitic far-Right with whom Bogdanor
has so much in common. It is his hyperbole
which renders Bogdanor’s article more of a propaganda text than a serious
a personal attack on Brenner we are told that he spent several (3) years in
prison for activities in the civil rights movement and smoking cannabis. Most people would hold that spending time in
prison for campaigning for civil rights in America was a mark of honour. Not Bogdanor whose sympathies are with the
segregationists – be they in the USA or Israel.
There is nothing shameful in spending time inside for possession of
cannabis. It is an outrage that people
are still locked up for possession of the drug.
Today many states like Oregon and Colorado and countries like Portugal
have decriminalised possession.
example of the fantasy nature of Bogdanor’s criticisms is his suggestion that
Brenner attributed the ‘collapse of the Weimar Republic’ to the Zionists. Given that the Zionists were only 5% or less
of the German Jewish population, this is highly unlikely! I note that no reference is given.
a paranoid anti-Communist, Bogdanor sees Brenner’s criticisms of Nazi-Zionist
collaboration as originating in Soviet propaganda which apparently held that
the Zionists were jointly responsible with the Nazis for the extermination of
the Jews in the Holocaust. Even assuming
that some Soviet propagandists did say this, and there is little Bogdanor says
that can be taken on trust, to therefore suggest that ‘far-left falsifiers
accuse a group of Jews of perpetrating the
Holocaust in collaboration with the Nazis’ is simply a propagandistic lie and
an implausible one too.
Bogdanor wants to know what the origins of Nazi-Zionist collaboration is then
he needs only read Ben Hecht’s Perfidy. Perfidy described
the libel trial that Rudolph Kasztner, a senior official in Mapai, the Israeli
Labour Party and the former leader of Hungarian Zionism, brought against those
who accused him of collaboration.
Zionist activists in Cluj, Kasztner’s hometown, persuaded Jews to get on
the trains because they would be ‘resettled’ in a fictional place,
Kenyermeze. The people who brought the
accusations against Kasztner weren’t Soviet agents but Hungarian Jewish
refugees. The Kasztner trial led to the
fall of the second Israeli government of Moshe Sharrett in 1955 when Judge
Halevi of the Jerusalem District Court found that Kasztner had ‘sold his soul to the Devil’.
Hecht was a Revisionist Zionist, a supporter of Vladimir Jabotinsky but he was
one of a group of dissident Zionists in the United States who were so appalled
by the indifference indeed hostility of the Zionist establishment under Stephen
Wise to doing anything concrete to help rescue Jews from the Holocaust, as
opposed to ritual protests, that they organised their own lobby group and
was a famous Hollywood screenwriter and adept at gaining publicity. The result of his activities and those of
Peter Bergson and Shmuel Merlin of the Emergency Committee to Save Jewry was
that in January 1945, in the teeth of
Zionist opposition the Roosevelt Administration established the War Refugee
Board, which is credited with saving 200,000 Jewish lives. Wise and the other Zionist leaders believed
that their diplomatic struggle to establish a Jewish state took priority over
everything including saving Jewish lives.
Saving Jews for the Zionists was conditional on those Jews going to
chose 12 particular instances of Brenner’s ‘factual misrepresentations’. I will examine them below.
‘Over-concern for the fate
of German’s Jews
Bogdanor admits, negotiations between the Zionists and the Nazis concluded in
August 1933 with the Ha’avara (Transfer) trade agreement. It involved the liquidation of the assets of
rich Jews in the form of frozen Reich Marks (Speermarks) and the purchase of
goods in Germany with those RMs. When
those goods were exported and sold in Palestine the owners received a
proportion of the purchase price. The
problem was that this broke the Jewish Boycott of Nazi Germany and Jews all
over the world reacted furiously to this treachery.
is worth quoting Elie Wiesel, who is an ardent Zionist propagandist. Unlike Bogdanor he is a survivor of
Auschwitz, and knows full well the full extent of Zionist indifference during
the holocaust. In a review of Tom
Segev’s The 7th Million
he wrote, regarding Ha’avara:
development, but this brazen pragmatism went against the political philosophy
of a majority of world Jewry. There developed a growing perception that instead
of supporting and strengthening the boycott, Palestine was, in fact, sabotaging
and needed financial input and yes, this course of action provided a chance to
save German Jews who might otherwise have decided to “wait and see”
and let the last possible opportunity of salvation go by.
evidence, that later, even as Germany carried out its Final Solution–liquidating
one ghetto after another, one community after another–the Jewish leaders of
Palestine never made the rescue of European Jews into an overwhelming national
priority. We know that Zionist leader Itzhak Gruenbaum, a future Minister of
the Interior in David ben Gurion’s first cabinet, considered creating new
settlements more urgent than saving Jews from being sent to Treblinka and
on the eve of the war; about six million were killed, leaving three million
alive. Most of them were saved by Germany’s defeat in the war. Some were spared
thanks to the help they received from various governments and organizations
such as the Joint Distribution Committee and from thousands of good-hearted
people in almost every country–the “righteous Gentiles.” There were
dramatic rescue operations such as the flight across the Pyrenees from France
to Spain and the convoys of Jews that sailed from Denmark to Sweden. Only a few
survivors owed their lives to the efforts of the Zionist movement.” 
as an amoral propagandist, is having none of this. He says that ‘the moral dilemma facing the Labour Zionists was whether to help German
Jews leave with a fraction of their funds or to join a futile boycott of
Zionists had no ‘moral dilemma’. They were eager to conclude a trading
agreement with Nazi Germany even if it meant that pressure was lifted from the
Nazis. The Boycott, which Bogdanor
describes as ‘futile’ forced the
Nazis to call off their siege of Jewish shops on April 1st 1933
after one day.
of investment capital in the Jewish Palestine economy between 1933 and 1939
came from Ha’avara. The Zionist movement wasn’t so much interested
in saving German Jewish lives as ‘saving
the wealth’ of the Jews and ‘rescuing
the capital from Nazi Germany.’  What mattered, as the Jewish Chronicle noted,
was not the loss of wealth to Germany so much as the need to keep the economic
wheels turning. ‘
that to Brenner the Labour Zionists of the 1930’s who disagreed with his
pronouncements… were guilty of ‘boycott
scabbing and outright collaboration.’’ Not so. It was the labour movement and Jewish
proponents of boycotting everything German who called the Zionists scabs.
debate between Berl Locker of the Zionist Executive and Baruch Vladeck, a
Bundist and editor of the Yiddish Forward
and Chairman of the Jewish Labor Committee, Vladeck described how ‘The whole organized labor movement and the
progressive world are waging a fight against Hitler through the boycott. The Transfer Agreement scabs on that fight.’
Vladeck contended that ‘The main purpose
of the Transfer is not to rescue the Jews from Germany but to strengthen
various institutions in Palestine.’ Vladeck
termed Palestine ‘the official scab agent
against the boycott in the Near-East’ because ‘without the worldwide effort to topple the Third Reich, Hitler would
have never agreed to the Transfer Agreement.’ 
Boycott ‘forced the Third Reich to
vigilantly restrain anti-Jewish violence in Germany since each incident helped
intensify the anti-Nazi movement.’ The Boycott had the potential to destabilise
Hitler in the early period when he had not consolidated his strength. Ha’avara came to the rescue of the Hitler
Zionist historian Edwin Black, who has written the most comprehensive book on
the Boycott, wrote Ha’avara was directly responsible for preventing the
anti-Nazi crusade succeeding. The actions of the ZO had allowed Hitler to
drive a wedge into the world-wide boycott of German goods.
Germany realized that the anti-Hitler boycott was threatening to kill the Third
Reich in its infancy, either through utter bankruptcy or by promoting an
imminent invasion of Germany…’ 
20,000 German Jews who were able to go to Palestine under Ha’avara were the
richest German Jews. They had to have
£1,000 to enter on ‘capitalist certificates’.
They were the ones who could have most easily gained refuge
elsewhere. Zionism sacrificed the poorer
Jews for the elites. Ha’avara also led
to the Zionists being the main export agents of Nazi Germany as they sold goods
throughout the Middle East.
only did the Zionist movement oppose ‘refugeeism’, saving Jews regardless of
the destination, but they tried to persuade the Gestapo, the very agency
charged with implementing the Nazis’ anti-Jewish policy, to ensure that German
refugees could only go to Palestine. The Gestapo “did everything in those days to promote emigration, particularly to
suggests that ‘Brenner’s trump card in
his attack on the Transfer Agreement was the fact that two-thirds of German
Jews seeking Palestine certificates in the years between 1933 and 1935 were
turned down.’ But this is not true. A total of 119,315 immigrants entered Palestine between 1933-35, of whom
18,206 were German Jews. 6,307 entered
from the US, Britain and the Western Hemisphere who weren’t in any danger. Those who were admitted were Zionists. Communists and anti-Zionists were excluded.
fundamental elements in Nazi ideology,’ namely ‘that the Jews would never be part of the German volk and,
therefore, they did not belong on German soil’. This being the case, ‘it was inevitable that some Zionists would
believe an accommodation possible.’ (Brenner 1983: 35)
Poppel to refute Brenner’s thesis but Poppel did no such thing. Unfortunately Bogdanor is so rabid that he
cannot read a text and properly comprehend it.
quoting of Poppel the assertion that Jews could never be part of the German
volk is basic to Zionism. Zionism holds
that Jews in any country cannot be full members of that national collectivity. As Francis Nicosia, a Zionist historian, observed ‘Zionism
(was) a volkisch Jewish nationalist ideology and movement that started from
some of the same philosophical premises as German nationalism…’ 
Doron noted that ‘It cannot
be denied that the Jewish self-criticism so widespread among the German Zionist
intelligentsia often seemed dangerously similar to the plaints of the German
anti-Semites. The Zionists were keenly aware of this problem but they were not
deterred by it.’
example of how the Zionists adapted to the Weltanschauung was
the behaviour of Kurt Blumenfeld, the Secretary of the ZVfD [German Zionist
Federation]. In a letter to Walter
Rathenau, a German foreign minister who was assassinated in 1922, Blumenfeld stated: ‘Under
no circumstance does a Jew have the right to represent the affairs of another
deliberately fails to mention the memo that the ZVfD sent to Hitler on 21st
June 1933, which clearly demonstrates the ideological agreement between the
German Zionists and the Hitlerites. It’s
not difficult to imagine why!
the foundation of the new state, which has established the principle of race…
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. Precisely because we don’t wish to
falsify these fundamentals, because we too are against mixed marriages and are
for maintaining the purity of the Jewish group…. The realisation of Zionism could
only be hurt by resentment of Jews abroad against the German development.
Boycott propaganda… is in essence fundamentally unZionist, because Zionism
wants not to do battle but to convince and to build.’ 
Zionists are consistent. They opposed a
boycott of Hitler and they oppose a boycott of the Israeli state. However they are not opposed to an enforced
boycott of Gaza or Iran.
children of the Nazi
difficult for Bogdanor to deny that the Zionists were the favourite children of
the Nazis. He therefore resorts to nit
picking and logic chopping. Brenner
quoted an article by the Rabbi Joachim Prinz, a prominent German Zionist and
later Deputy Chairman of the World Jewish Congress. In it Prinz wrote:
in Germany knew that only the Zionists could responsibly represent the Jews in
dealing with the Nazi government. We all
felt sure that one day the government would arrange a round table conference
with the Jews… there was no country in the world which tried to solve the
Jewish problem as seriously as did Germany… It was our Zionist dream!…
Dissimilation? It was our own appeal!…’ 
quotes a further passage from the same article in which Prinz said that nonetheless
the Zionists were ‘miserably treated’, that they were still called in to the Gestapo and treated in
‘not very polite terms’. That is
often how the more powerful party treats collaborators, but these same
officials didn’t experience the concentration camps like Communists and
to Zionist holocaust historian, Lucy Dawidowicz, Reinhardt Heydrich, the
‘engineer of the Final Solution’ and deputy head of the RHSA, the combined
Police and SS, issued a directive that:
activity of the Zionist-oriented 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 interest of the National Socialist
state’s leadership.’ These organisations
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
May 1935 Schwarze Korps, paper of the SS, wrote in a similar vein that ‘the
Zionists adhere to a strict racial position and by emigrating to Palestine they
are helping to build their own Jewish state…. The assimilation-minded Jews
deny their race and insist on their loyalty to Germany or claim to be
Christians because they have been baptised in order to subvert National Socialist
evidence is so clear I don’t know why Bogdanor bothers.
Hagannah’s offer to spy for the SS
revolves around a secret agent Feivel Polkes.
His file in Israel is closed but thanks to a Freedom of Information
request in the USA an SS Report was gleaned.
If the Zionists have nothing to hide why, nearly 80 years after the
event is it not opened to the scrutiny of academics? Bogdanor quotes from Brenner thus:
February 1937 and opened negotiations with Adolf Eichmann;… Polkes invited
Eichmann to visit Palestine (Brenner
1983: 93-4, 98-9). As Brenner put it, ‘Polkes
had proposed that the Haganah act as spies for the Nazis’, and ‘The Labour Zionists were receiving Adolf
Eichmann as their guest in Palestine and offering to spy for the SS.’
(Brenner 1983: 99, 176)
allegations is ludicrous. He argues that
the SS report of Polke’s visit exposes Brenner’s claim as a falsehood. The SS report stated that ‘In the beginning, [Polkes] didn’t know that
he was dealing with a [Nazi] Security Service agent… He stated that he is ready
to serve Germany and supply information as long as this does not oppose his
political goal… His standing promises that important information and material
will reach us regarding world Jewry’s plans.’ (SS 1937: 113-14).
information! Does it matter if Polkes
believed that he was dealing with the SD as opposed to another German
government department? The fact is that
he was a Hagannah agent and he offered to spy for Nazi Germany.
type of pedanticism. Apparently Polkes
could not have been sent by the Haganah to contact the Nazis, as he did not at
first know that he was in contact with the Nazis. Bogdanor claims that ‘as the
report makes clear, Polkes was offering to become a Nazi spy against
his fellow Jews, not for the Haganah.’
Well this changes the situation entirely. Offering to spy against German Jews rather
than for Haganah was, according to Bogdanor acceptable!
Collusion with the Fascists and the Nazis
why Bogdanor even bothered tries to
defend Lehi and its offer, not once but twice, of a military pact with the
Nazis in January and December 1941. Yes Lehi was a minority within the Zionist
movement, though its sentiments went far wider.
Did not Ben-Gurion promises to fight the 1939 White Paper restricting
Jewish immigration as if there were no war?
What is interesting is that the fascist/pro-Nazi sentiments of this
group were no obstacle to one of the triumvirate who led the organisation after
the death of Yair Stern, Yitzham Shamir, eventually becoming Prime Minister of
Israel, not once but twice, serving from 1983-4 and 1986-92.
pathetic Bogdanor’s defence of Lehi is can be measured by the fact that he says
that because ‘no reply ever came from the
Nazis, so there was never any actual collaboration.’
and the Holocaust
attempted defence of David Ben-Gurion, Chairman of the Jewish Agency and first
Prime Minister of Israel is, to quote his own words, ‘a masterpiece of deceptive phrasing.’
Ben-Gurion was at the forefront of the refusal of the Zionist
movement to engage in rescue work and its obstruction of rescue by anyone else
where the destination wasn’t Palestine.
holocaust seeped out of Europe and the British government issued a statement on
December 17 1942 acknowledging the holocaust, there was a surge of public
support for rescuing those Jews who could be rescued. The Zionists were not happy about this. They were determined to fuse rescue of Jews
with emigration (aliyah) to Palestine. Moshe
Sharrett, a member of the Jewish Agency Executive made the Zionist position
“We were told that as long as we were asking for
rescue we had everyone’s assent. But the moment we demand that the survivors go to Eretz-Israel we split the
British public and hamper the government in wartime. We did not accept this
argument, and neither did many of our British friends.” 
movement among British parliamentarians to find a place of refuge in the
colonies for those who could escape the hell of Nazi occupied Europe. Rabbi Dr Solomon Schonfeld, who was Chairman
of the Chief Rabbi’s Rescue Committee wrote, in a letter to The Times that:
experience in 1942-43 was wholly in favor of British readiness to help, openly,
constructively and totally, and that this readiness met with opposition from
Zionist leaders who insisted on rescue to Palestine as the only acceptable form
the Parliamentary meeting held on January 27, 1943, …. a spokesman for the
Zionists announced that the Jews would oppose the motion on the grounds of its
omitting to refer to Palestine. Some voices were raised in support of the
Zionist view, there was considerable debate, and thereafter the motion was
dead. Even the promoters exclaimed in desperation: If the Jews cannot agree
among themselves, how can we help?
was useless to argue with a then current Zionist argument: ‘Every nation has
had its dead in the fight for its homeland the sufferers under Hitler are our
dead in our fight’. 
the foremost opponent of ‘refugeeism’. After
Krystallnacht the state-sponsored pogrom, on November 9-10 1938, pressure built
for the civilised nations to do something to rescue German Jews. In Britain the Kindertransport was organised
enabling 10,000 Jewish children to be brought to England. The Zionists opposed this too. The children should be taken to Palestine not
Britain, even though they knew that this was impossible as Jewish immigration
was now severely curtailed. The Zionists
wanted to use the plight of German Jewry in order to batter open the gates of Palestine
to Jewish settlement as part of their settler colonial enterprise.
to the Zionist Executive that:
I knew that it would be possible to save all the children in Germany by
bringing them over to England, and only half of them by transporting them to
Eretz Yisrael, then I would opt for the second alternative. For we must weigh
not only the life of these children, but also the history of the People of
Sykes, a pro-Zionist historian and son of Sir Mark Sykes, observed that “From the very beginning of the Nazi
disaster, the Zionist leadership determined to wrest political advantage from
the tragedy.” 
Lucas, another Zionist historian, reached similar conclusions:
hopes and efforts for the rescue of Europe’s Jews continued, the struggle for a
Jewish state became the primary concern of the (Zionist) movement.
Ben-Gurion’s official biographer, was bitterly critical of his subject. He wrote that:
nearly 2 years… Ben-Gurion was more concerned for the fate of the Yishuv than
for that of European Jewry. Ben-Gurion
repeatedly stressed that the importance of the Yishuv went far beyond the
individual Jews of Palestine.’ Why? Because ‘the Yishuv was a “great and invaluable security, a security
for the hope of the Jewish people.’ 
was imperative to ‘turn a disaster… into
a productive force’ and he argued that ‘distress’
could also serve as ‘political leverage’. Ben-Gurion told the JAE, “The harsher the affliction, the greater the strength of Zionism.” It is
little wonder that Teveth concluded that
‘If there was a line in Ben-Gurion’s mind between the beneficial
disaster and an all-destroying catastrophe, it must have been a very fine one.’ 
power to control, but he again resolved to extract the greatest possible
benefit from the catastrophe.’ Ben-Gurion summed up the Zionist philosophy thus:
in the stage of development is not primarily engaged in saving
individuals. If along the way it saves a
few thousand tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of individuals so much
the better. But in the event of ‘a
conflict of interest between saving individual Jews and the good of the Zionist
enterprise, we shall say the enterprise comes first.’ 
position was reflective of the broad position of the Zionist movement. Sharrett argued that the Zionist movement had
predicted the holocaust decades ago. The
implication was that European Jewry had brought the holocaust upon itself. Davar, the paper of the Histadrut, printed an
article describing the Holocaust as ‘punishment
from heaven’ for not having come to Palestine.
directly my business….Although I was then chairman of the Jewish Agency
executive, the enlistment of the Jewish people in the demand for a Jewish state
was at the center of my activity.
memorandum for the Jewish Agency Rescue Committee ‘Comments on Aid and Rescue’
by Apolinary Hartglas, a Zionist activist from Poland spelt out their attitude
philanthropic rescue, such as the rescue of German Jewry… can only cause damage
from a Zionist perspective.’ 
As Segev commented ‘The leaders of the
Jewish Agency generally agreed with the principle that the few that could be
saved should be selected in accordance with the needs of the Zionist enterprise
in Palestine.’ 
Ben-Gurion ‘speaks about the prospects
the Holocaust may open up for Zionism.’
Ben-Gurion, speaking in Rehovot in 1941 pointed to the fact that ‘all the significant steps in the progress of
Zionism were always related to the intensification of Jewish distress.’  Ben-Gurion explained that ‘The tragedy of millions is also the
redemptive power of millions. And it is
the word of Zionism…. to cast the great Jewish tragedy in prodigious moulds
of redemption.’ 
prefers to concentrate on the issue of a Jewish army, a complete irrelevancy in
terms of the war situation and whose only purpose was to create an armed
Zionist militia, who could continue the fight after the war.
Rescue Committee in Palestine during the war.
The Committee had been established in January 1943 after the Jewish
Agency statement declaring that the holocaust was being perpetrated on November
23 1942. Bogdanor cites the speech of
Gruenbaum to the Jewish Agency Executive in early 1943:
‘‘We have to stand before this wave that is putting
Zionist activity into the second row… we do not give priority to rescue
actions… Zionism is above all – it is necessary to sound this whenever a
Holocaust diverts us from our war of liberation in Zionism.’
not point out the ‘Zionist reaction to
Gruenbaum’s remarks’. Bogdanor notes
that only one member backed him and 11 members rejected his views.
heavily criticised by fellow Zionists for his statement. But his critics consoled their consciences
whilst knowing that the logic of Zionism would not allow for rescue to be
opinion regarding the subordinate place of the rescue enterprise as compared
with the “war of redemption.” Following
the detailed discussion in the Zionist Executive Committee and Gruenbaum’s
concluding remarks, the Zionist leadership was confronted with a choice: to disqualify
Gruenbaum as a candidate for the head of the Rescue Committee because of this
abhorrent outlook, or to accept his ideological deficiency and let him remain
as chairman. As we know, the latter option won the day.’ 
of the Works Department, as one of the heads of the Jewish Agency’s
Organization Department, and also as director of the Bialik Institute. No “Ministry for Rescue” was established in
the Jewish Agency. The Rescue Committee, … was not within the purview of the
Jewish Agency and was not attached to it, but existed as a separate entity
devoid of any organizational base, and lacking its own bureaucratic machinery
and budget. For a long time it lacked even an official permanent name.
Zionist movement should concern itself, other than having a symbolic Rescue
Committee that did nothing, prevailed. Bogdanor quotes from Shabtai Beit Zvi’s 2
volume Post Ugandan Zionism on Trial. Beit Zvi although a Zionist was bitterly
critical of the Jewish Agency and the Zionist movement’s attitude to rescue
during the holocaust. He documents at
tedious length how the Zionist movement obstructed rescue and played down the
holocaust, but Bogdanor doesn’t quote any of this. Bogdanor accuses Brenner of selective quoting
when he is shameless in this respect.
‘On March 23, 1943,
Davar was reprimanded by Yosef Gravitzky, the managing editor of the Jewish
Agency’s Palcor news agency, for copying from a Nazi paper, Ostland, a “report”
that two million Jews remained in Poland, after the paper had reported one day
earlier, on the same page, that no more than two hundred thousand Jews were
still alive in all of Poland.
“They themselves announce the liquidation
of the Warsaw ghetto but at the same time circulate reports that two million
Jews are still alive in Poland. But why should we assist them in this work?” 
tactics because the historical record is so clear concerning Zionist-Nazi
collaborators in Nazi Europe
attempts to incriminate Zionism included an examination of Jewish leaders in
Nazi occupied Europe.’ Bogdanor appears
to doubt that the Judenrat, the Nazi
appointed Jewish Councils, were led by Zionists. However Isaiah Trunk, the author of the most
detailed study on the Judenrat describes how ‘Over
two-thirds of the Judenrat (67.1%) consisted of Zionist supporters of all
something of the apparent fact that two Judenrat leaders, Adam Czerniakow of
the Warsaw Judenrat and Chaim Rumkowski no
longer belonged to the Zionist movement.
However Rumkowski was an active
member of the General Zionist party. He
was banished from the party in 1938 because of a tactical difference with his
Zionist colleagues, but he was reinstated in 1939.
formally distanced himself from the Zionist movement is irrelevant. He was a General Zionist and when the Bund
won a majority in the Jewish Kehilla in Warsaw in 1936, the government refused
to let it take office. It put in office
Czerniakow “with whom it was more
comfortable.”  There is no reason to believe that Czerniakow
had abandoned Zionism and more to the point he was part of the milieu of
Zionists who believed in co-operation and collaboration with the Nazis rather
than resistance. Throughout the Warsaw
ghetto there were Zionists such as Abraham Gancwajch who collaborated
with the authorities.
that the Europa plan was, in the words of Rudolf Vrba ‘a hairbrained scheme’. Unlike traditional anti-Semites the Nazis
weren’t going to allow themselves to be bribed into stopping the deportations.
the bribe paid in Slovakia was responsible for the halting of the deportations
from October 1942 till the summer of 1944.
belief that Nathan Schwalb, the Hehalutz representative in Switzerland sent a
letter saying that ‘Only with [Jewish]
blood shall we get the land [of Israel].’
person’s word against another, but given Schwalb’s suppression of the Auschwitz
Protocols, which revealed the existence of Auschwitz as a death camp, on
balance Rabbi Weissmandel is the more believable. There is no reason why Weissmandel should
have lied. When the letter was included
in the Perdition play, Schwalb sued Jim Allen the playwright. Schwalb however refused an order for
disclosure requiring him to open up his archives for inspection. He therefore withdrew the case, suggesting
that he had quite a lot to hide. The
letter itself read:
Since we have the opportunity of this courier,
we are writing to the group that they must constantly have before them that in
the end the Allies will win. After their victory they will divide the world
again between the nations, as they did at the end of the first world war…. and
now, at the war’s end, we must do everything so that Eretz Yisrael will become
the state of Israel… About the cries coming from your country, we should know
that all the Allied nations are spilling much of their blood, and if we do not sacrifice
any blood, by what right shall we merit coming before the bargaining table when
they divide nations and lands at the war’s end? Therefore it is silly, even
impudent, on our part to ask these nations who are spilling their blood to
permit their money into enemy countries in order to protect our blood. For only with blood shall we get the land.
confession at the end of his life that the Nazis’ Blood for Trucks offer, 1
million Jews for 10,000 winterised trucks was a trap, I am in agreement with
Bogdanor that the Brand mission was an act of deception by the Nazis designed
to split the allies and enable the Nazis to continue the war against the Soviet
Union alone on the Eastern front.
Unfortunately the Zionists actually did take the offer seriously. Rather than publicising the Auschwitz
Protocols of the escapees Rudolf Vrba and Alfred Wetzler and
publicising the deportations to Auschwitz they got enmeshed in a diplomatic
detractor Malchiel Greenwald, a Hungarian Jew, who alleged that Kasztner had
betrayed the Hungarian Jewish masses with his agreement with Eichmann. Bogdanor plays down the fact that the
Zionists organised a train of 1,684 Jews, with hundreds, not a few, of
Kasztner’s relatives consisting of the Jewish bourgeoisie and the Zionists.
understandings between Eichmann and Kasztner was that the Auschwitz Protocols
would be kept secret. The Protocols were
the written testimony of Vrba and Wetzler that they gave to the Slovakian
Judenrat when they reached Slovakia, approximately April 25 1944. Kasztner collected them at the end of April
and instead of seeing that they were disseminated throughout Hungary and
internationally, he suppressed them in order to reach agreement with
Kasztner had received a copy of the Protocols on 29 April but that he had
already made a decision, with other Jewish leaders, ‘not to disseminate the report in order not to harm the negotiations
with the Nazis.’
in 2 articles published in Life Magazine
Tells His Own Damning Story,” Life [28 November 1960], and (“I
Transported Them to the Butcher,” Life [5 Dec. 1960], Bogdanor describes the Eichmann interviews as
‘a transparently worthless source”. Why?
Just because they are from a Nazi war criminal does not make them
invalid. The Israeli Police interviewed
Eichmann at length. Clearly they believe
that they would obtain something of value.
credible is that the interviews were conducted freely in 1955 with Dutch Nazi
journalist William Sassen, when Eichmann was hiding in Argentina. Eichmann discussed Palestine and Kasztner on
tape. After his capture in 1960, Life magazine published excerpts. On the
kibbutz in 1937, he did see enough to be very impressed with the way the Jewish
colonists were building up their land. ‘I
admired their desperate will to live, the more so since I was myself an
idealist. In the years that followed I often said to Jews with whom I had
dealings that, had I been a Jew, I would have been a fanatical Zionist. I could
not imagine being anything else. In fact, I would have been the most ardent
Kasztner as a fanatical Zionist. ‘He
agreed to help keep the Jews from resisting deportation — and even keep order
in the collection camps — if I would close my eyes and let a few hundred or a
few thousand young Jews emigrate illegally to Palestine. It was a good bargain.
For keeping order in the camps, the price of 15,000 or 20,000 Jews — in the
end there may have been more — was not too high for me. And because Kastner
rendered us a great service by helping keep the deportation camps peaceful, I
would let his groups escape“).
praise the Zionist movement and say how much he sympathised with it.
Rudolph Hoss, Commandant of Auschwitz, the diaries of Goebbels etc. This is patently absurd. Plenty of historians of high repute such as
Randolf Braham cite Eichmann’s interviews in their own work.
many in the interest of a selected immigration to Palestine.’ ‘Selectivity’ was a cardinal feature of
Zionist policy. Selecting the few out of
the many. It was Kasztner’s legal representative
Chaim Cohen, the Attorney General, who presented exactly this defence at the
appeal to the Supreme Court. Cohen
in Kastner’s opinion, rightly or wrongly, he believed that one million Jews
were hopelessly doomed, he was allowed not to inform them of their fate; and to
concentrate on the saving of the few. He was entitled to make a deal with the
Nazis for the saving of a few hundred and entitled not to warn the millions …
It has always been our Zionist tradition to select the few out of many in
arranging the immigration to Palestine … Are we to be called traitors?”[i]
Agency’s immigration department during the war German Jews who were given
immigration certificates “merely as
refugees” were ‘undesirable human
Zionist movement itself set up rigid standards for prospective immigrants,
which … excluded anti-Zionists as applicants for certificates. …persons with
capital were the preferred candidates for Aliyah …the needs and interests of
Palestine took precedence over a strategy of rescue. 
a right-wing Zionist judge. He was not a
historian. His suggestion that the
Zionists were the ‘activist’ element in the Jewish population needs to be taken
with a hefty dose of salt given that the Zionist leaders under Kasztner had
reached a deal with Eichmann.
accuse certain Jewish leaders of one of the most ghastly deeds of the war. This
small group of quislings knew what was happening to their brethren in Hitler’s
gas chambers and bought their own lives with the price of silence. Among them
was Dr Kasztner.
I was able to give Hungarian Zionist leaders three weeks notice that [Adolf] Eichmann planned
to send a million of their Jews to his gas chambers… Kasztner went to Eichmann
and told him, ‘I know of your plans; spare some Jews of my choice and I shall
keep quiet. 
no less than 7 major Nazi war criminals including Hermann Krumey, Eichmann’s
deputy in Hungary and the man who oversaw the mechanics of the deportations.
see. So transparent is his misquoting
and misattribution that one wonders why he does it.
tactics to conceal the Zionist rescue efforts in Hungary. He referred to the
three paratroopers from Palestine, Hannah Szenes, Joel Palgi, and Peretz
Goldstein, who arrived in Budapest during the Nazi occupation hoping to
organise Jewish resistance. ‘… Through
deceptive phrasing, Brenner implied that the paratroopers were sent by the
British alone. In fact the British army sent them at the instigation of the
Jewish Agency in Palestine.’
does Brenner actually say?
Hannah Szenes which was described at the trial.
Szenes was a brave young Zionist from Hungary, whom the British finally allowed, together with 31
others, to parachute into occupied Europe to organise Jewish rescue and
paratroopers were sent by the British alone.
one wonders why they were sent towards the end of the war when most Jews had
already been exterminated. Members of
the Resistance with whom they met were contemptuous of their ability to provide
any help. What we do know is that all 3
paratroopers were betrayed by Kasztner, who tricked 2 of them into handing
themselves over to the Gestapo. Only
Palgi survived, by sawing through the bars of the train taking him to
‘other Zionist rescue efforts in Hungary
succeeded.’’ Hehalutz are believed to have saved 5,000 of their own cadres
but that was not rescue of Hungarian Jews in general. Bogdanor refers to Moshe Krausz of Mizrahi,
who sent the Auschwitz Protocols to Switzerland. A number of people and groups circulated the
Protocols. Only Kasztner’s Va’ada
(Rescue Committee) suppressed them. Most likely it was Georges
Mantello, first secretary of the El Salvador consulate in Geneva and a
Hungarian Jew, who sent it to politicians, academics and journalists
immediately, who ensured that the publicity surrounding the deportations was
such that Horthy, the Prince Regent of Hungary, was persuaded to call the
deportations off on July 7th.
Moshe Krausz who was the main representative of the Jewish Agency but Kasztner
whose Rescue Committee had been founded by and financed by the Agency. Krausz was very much out on a limb.
Writings in anti-Semitic Propaganda
mount any sort of critique of Brenner’s thesis Bogdanor falls back on the
laziest Zionist tropes. Brenner’s work
was welcomed by the holocaust denying Institute for Historical Review. It is quite common for the far-Right to use
the material of the left for their own nefarious purposes, but since the IHR is
dedicated to holocaust denial and Brenner’s book is written on the basis that
the Holocaust happened one cannot take the IHR’s views seriously.
Bogdanor wants to associate people with fascist and far-right organisations
then he should look closer to home. In
Britain the English Defence League and the BNP are both strong supporters of
Zionism and Israel. In Europe it is the
far-Right and fascist parties – Austria’s Freedom Party, Gert Wilder’s Freedom Party, Vams
Belang in Belgium, Le Pen’s Front National who love Israel.
portray Brenner as anti-Semitic because he is critical of the American Jewish leadership is absurd. Perhaps Bogdanor could answer
whether American Jews would protest if there was a Christian National Fund in
the US which owned 93% of the land and from which Jews were barred? I suspect so.
critique of Lenni Brenner and of Nazi-Zionist collaboration is shoddy and
dishonest. One wonders why Fathom did not employ a historian as
opposed to a hasbarist whose main
gift is his resort to hyperbole. Bogdanor is the David Irving of Zionist
propagandists, shrill, loud but insubstantial.
 Labour antisemitism
row: Read the Ken Livingstone interview transcipts in full http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/labour-anti-semitism-row-full-transcript-of-ken-livingstones-interviews-a7005311.html
your political rival a Nazi is a time-hallowed tradition in Israel, Ha’aretz 19.1.14.
Tony Greenstein, Rewriting
the Holocaust – Netanyahu’s attempt to shift the burden of
Nazi atrocities to Palestinians is nothing new, https://www.jacobinmag.com/2015/10/holocaust-denial-mufti-netanyahu-yad-veshem-hagee-palestine-zionism/
G. Reitlinger, p.7, The Final
Solution Valentines Mitchell. London, 1998.
dissidents like Tony Judt, Norman Finkelstein, Noam Chomsky and myself. He seems to resent the fact that some Jews do
not wish to walk on the other side of the road when a state that calls itself
Jewish treats non-Jews and Palestinians as the anti-Semites used to treat
Jews. See Jews
Who Hate the Jewish State http://archive.frontpagemag.com/readArticle.aspx?ARTID=2777
 How Israel lobby
manufactured UK Labour Party’s anti-Semitism crisis, Electronic Intifada, Asa
Winstanley 28.4.16. https://electronicintifada.net/content/how-israel-lobby-manufactured-uk-labour-partys-anti-semitism-crisis/16481
David Rosenthall, Chaim Arlosoroff 65 Years After his Assassination, Jewish Frontier, May-June 1998,
p. 28, New York http://www.ameinu.net/publicationfiles/Vol.LXV,No.3.pdf.
accessed 13.11.15. In 1937 over 31m RM
was transferred. Nicosia, The Third Reich, p.213.
Black, pp. 257-258.
‘The Unclean Thing’ JC, 27.12.35.
Lenni Brenner, pp. 92-93, 51 Documents: Zionist Collaboration with the
Nazis’, Barricade Books, 1972.
Black, pp. 250, 372.
Black, pp. xiii, 181-2.
Jewish Policy, D1263, The Journal of Modern History, Vol. 50, 1978..
Black pp. xix, 110, 130.
Nicosia, TRPQ, p.57.
Nicosia, ZANG, p. 2.
Weinstock p. 135.
Lucy Dawidowicz, A Holocaust Reader, p.150-153.
Government’, Young Zionist, London
Nov. 1937 p.18.
Lucy Dawidowicz, War Against the Jews, pp.118, citing
Mommsen ‘Der Nationalsozialistische Polizeistaat pp.78/9 and
Nicosia, Anti-Semitism, p.119.
Braham, The Politics of Genocide – The
Holocaust in Hungary, Vol. 1. Columbia University Press, 1981 p. 484, fn.
94., 5 May 1935, L. Dawidowicz, p.118, citing Karl Schleunes, The
twisted road to Auschwitz – Nazi policy towards the Jews 1933-39, 1970.
Speech at a meeting of the Elected Assembly, Davar, May 4, 1943.
Zionism and the Holocaust, http://www.cpgb.org.uk/home/weekly-worker/631/zionism-and-the-holocaust,
Yoav Gelber, ‘Zionist policy, p.199, Segev, p.28. Ben-Gurion at the Mapai CC, 7.12.38, Labour
Party Archives, Bet Berl Tsofit., 22/38, Teveth, p.855, Piterberg, p.99.
1886-1948, p.848, Houghton Mifflin, Boston, 1987.
p.98, Hill & Wang, 1993.
S. Beit-Zvi, p. 78.
citing CZA, File S26/1200.
I. Trunk, p.32 Judenrat:
the Jewish councils in eastern Europe under Nazi occupation, New York
Image of Mordechai Chaim Rumkowski, Yad Vashem, Jerusalem 2004.
Jewish Politics – Bundism and Zionism in Eastern Europe, Edited Zvi Gitelman,
Ch. 3 The New Jewish Politics and Its Discontents – Anthony Polonsky
Holy Land Studies, 13.2 (2014): 187–212 and subsequent debate.
Israel Gutman, Shoah Vezimaron, cited in Ruth Linn,
Escaping Auschwitz – A Culture of Not Forgetting, Ithaca, London 2004. p.72.
Tom Segev, p.44, Dobkin to Martin
Rosenblut. 15.1.36. CZA, S/6 3637.
Lucy Dawidowicz, pp.238-39.The
18th Zionist Congress 1933 established within the JA a Central Bureau for the
settlement of German Jews and 4th council of the JA, July 1935;
Ben Hecht 1961: note 68, pp 261-2,.
on behalf of Nazi war Criminals’, Journal of Israeli History, 18: 2, 139 — 165
Dictators, pp. 260-261
Braham p. 1120.