Zionists and Nazis

Question:

I wish to draw your attention to a new Internet publication, which I think will be of interest to you. It is a new historical study of the actions of the Zionist leadership during the Holocaust, proving that it played a surprisingly negative role in the tragic fate of the Jews of Europe. This study succeeds in shedding a new light on the period and the interactions of the major forces involves in the events. A fuller description of this study is enclosed below. Excerpts from each chapter are available on the site, while the whole book can be sent to you by e-mail directly from the site.

You may find the site in

www.ben-amos.co.il

When you open this site, Internet Explorer might show you a warning to the effect that you should install a Hebrew program in order to read this site. If you intend to read the English version of the site, please ignore this warning.

Andrew Mathis responds:

I am one of the volunteers who answers questions for the Holocaust History Project.

There are several books that have dealt with this subject, most prominently The Seventh Million by Tom Segev and Jews for Sale? by Yehuda Bauer (both Israeli). Hannah Arendt has also written on this subject.

I think that here are a couple of things to keep in mind regarding Zionist "negotiations" with the Nazis. First, the Zionists involved in these negotiations were not representative of Zionism as a movement. Before the foundation of the state of Israel in May 1948, Zionism was a fractious movement with many groups operating in differing ways to achieve the same goal -- a Jewish state. The Zionists involved in negotiations with the Nazis were primarily from the "Revisionist" Zionist movement of Vladimir Ze'ev Jabotinsky, who sought for all European Jews to settle in Palestine and for the 2000-year exile to end. Politically speaking, these Zionists were very right-wing. Moderate and left-wing Zionists like David Ben-Gurion were not involved in these negotations to the best of my knowledge.

What is most important to keep in mind, however, is that the Zionists who negotiated with the Nazis were doing so to try to save Jewish lives. Unfortunately, they were negotiating with people who had no regard for human life, and European Jewry suffered anyway.

Andrew E. Mathis, Ph.D.

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