An American neo-Nazi website has backed comments made by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu earlier this week that Adolf Hitler had never planned to systematically murder the Jews of Europe until it was suggested by the leading Muslim cleric in Jerusalem, open Nazi sympathizer Grand Mufti Haj Amin al-Husseini.
“Hitler didn’t want to exterminate the Jews at the time. He wanted to expel the Jews,” Netanyahu told the World Zionist Congress on Tuesday. “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.’”
Netanyahu was trying to illustrate his claim that Palestinian incitement goes back decades, and is not related to any Israeli policies.
But in doing so, the prime minister won the support of neo-Nazis.
“His [Netanyahu’s] statement is completely factual. Hitler never had any plan to exterminate Jews,” writes Andrew Anglin in an article on The Daily Stormer website entitled Netanyahu Comes Out in Defense of Hitler. “He lobbied continually before and during the war to have them shipped out peacefully, giving them fair payment for their properties and so on.”
This is “historical fact,” says Anglin, adding that Hitler “helped Jews get to Palestine.”
Holocaust experts and survivors slammed Netanyahu’s comments as historically inaccurate and serving the interests of Holocaust deniers by lessening the responsibility of Adolf Hitler and the Nazis. The German government has also contradicted the claims, with Chancellor Angela Merkel saying during a visit by Netanyahu to Berlin this week that “Germany abides by its responsibility for the Holocaust.” She added: “We don’t see any reason to change our view of history.”
The US State Department has weighed in as well, with spokesman John Kirby saying: “The scholarly evidence does not support that position.”
Netanyahu on Wednesday backtracked on the claim, denying that he was exonerating Hitler of the responsibility for the Holocaust.
Standing next to Merkel, he said the “responsibility of Hitler and the Nazis for the extermination of 6 million Jews is clear to fair-minded people.”
At the same time, he insisted that the Grand Mufti’s role should not be forgotten.