Anti-semitism / Islam and Nazism / Israel Conflict / Muslims in Europe / Palestine

Book review: Farhud – The Arab-Nazi expulsion of 1 million Jews across the Arab world

The Farhud

The Nazis needed oil. The Arabs wanted the Jews and British out of Palestine and Iraq. The Mufti of Jerusalem forged a far-ranging alliance with Hitler resulting in the June 1941 Farhud, a Nazi-style pogrom in Baghdad that set the stage for the devastation and expulsion of the Iraqi Jews and ultimately almost a million Jews across the Arab world. The Farhud was the beginning of what became a broad Nazi-Arab alliance in the Holocaust.

Watch the C-Span video presentation with author Edwin Black


Review by Gary Selikow

A penetrating, pivotal and insightful look into the Islamic-Nazi alliance of World War II, the bloody pogrom of Jews by Arab mobs in Baghdad in June, 1941, the background to these events and the relevance of oil , ideology and Islam to these events.

Islam had a long history of hatred and subjugation of the Jews, known as dhimnitude. The Jews in Islamic countries were reduced ton the status of humiliated and subjugated second class citizens, with a variety of laws to ensure this.
Dhimnis were barred from building any structure higher than a Muslims, could not ride horses but only donkeys without saddles, could not build any new houses of worship or repair existing ones and were forbidden from making any noises that would attract attention to their worship or burial of their dead.

They had to wear distinctive clothes to identify them, Jews had to wear yellow, and the mandatory yellow patch which was forced upon the Jews by the Nazis had it’s origins in Baghdad, and not in Medieval Europe as commonly believed.
The idea of Jews in the Middle East being sovereign in an independent state, and not subjugated to Muslim rule and humiliated under Dhimni status is what was intolerable to the Arabs and the roots of the violent Arab rejection of the state of Israel, and before that of migration of Jews into the Land of Israel. This was anathema to the demand for Arab supremacy and dhimnitude.

Mein Kampf (My Jihad) printed in Arabic. A steady best-seller amongst Muslims for many decades.

“Certainly the Palestinian population was accustomed to the many migrants from the far reaches of the Ottoman Empire and especially the extended Middle East who settled in the land. But the local Arab community harbored a special resentment, at one level or another, for all these new Jewish neighbours. They were after all Jews and as such second class citizens beneath the Syrian Muslims, Lebanese Muslims, Egyptian Muslims, and Turks who freely came and went from Palestine”.

From 1920 attacks against Jews spread like wildfire in the Land of Israel, instigated by Haj Amin al husseini, the bloodthirsty Jew-hater and’Mufti of Jerusalem’.

The bloody 1929 pogroms and massacres of Jews that spread throughout the Land of Israel in 1929 were sparked in September, 1928, by Jews at the Western wall contravening the dhimni laws by erecting benches to sit on at the wall, and partitions to separate men from women. Jews were first massacred in Jerusalem and then the horrific massacres by Arabs of Jews took place of the ancient Jewish community of Hebron.

“House to house they went bursting into every room looking for hiding Jews. Religious scrolls or books were burned or torn to shreds. The defenceless Jews were variously beheaded, castrated, their breasts and fingers sliced off, and in some cases their eyes plucked from their sockets. Infants and adults, men and women , it mattered not. The carnage went on for hours, with the Arab policemen standing down. Blood ran in streamlets down the narrow stone staircases outisde the buildings.hose by house, room by room the savagery was repeated”.

Islamic Nazi commander, Grand Mufti Haj Amin al-Husseini and his Muslim Nazi army.

This was followed by the Arab pogroms against Jews of 1936, the Arab-Nazi Alliance and the spread of the Holocaust to Iraq where Jews were massacred horrifically in Baghdad by pro-Nazi Arab mobs. an event which the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum has refused to acknowledge, either for reasons of refusing to recongnize the equality of Sephardi Jews to Ashkenazim, or a politically correct determination not to blacken the names of the Arabs or create an association of the Arab radicals with the Nazis.

The book go’s onto to highlight the traditional Islamic Jew-hatred found a willing ally in Nazi Germany, with the instrumental role played by Husseini, who met with Hitler, worked closely with Eichmann, and wrote letters top Axis governments preventing the transportations of thousands of Jewish children from bulgaria and Hungary to safety in the Holy Land, instead diverting them to the death camps at Auschwitz where they were murdered.

Iraq gained independence in 1932. Nazi infiltration followed within a year. The Christian owned daily al Aram-al-Arabi (The Arab World) published daily extracts from the Arabic edition of Meim Kampf. with it’s venomous anti-Jewish propagnda.

In 1935, as German influence strengthened , a pro-Nazi society, al Muthana was set up in Basra and Mosul lead by a well-known Jew-hater Dr Saib Shawkat, director of the Royal hospital in Baghdad, whose brother Sami Shawkat, a fellow medical doctor, founded the Futuwa youth brigades , which distributed anti-Jewish and anti-British leaflets.

Hilter’s ambassador to Baghdad Fritz Grobba played the lead role in Iraq in disseminating anti-Jewish and anti-Zionist propagnda, his provocations were covered in newspapers of the day from Palestine to Great Britain. He claimed that 85% of commerce in Iraq was in Jewish hands and that Jews were not true Iraqis but a foul species apart. Dozens of Iraqi Jews were killed in attacks by pro-Nazi Iraqis. In a report to Berlin on June 6, 1939, Grobba wired a report to Berline labelled SECRET in which he railed that ‘The Jews are the source of propaganda against the Italians and Germans in Iraq” Grobba threatened a bloody massacre of Jews in Iraq “If the Jews continue to make it difficult for Iraq with their deeds, a day will come when the anger of the masses erupt, and the result will be: a massacre of Jews. When an oriental people’s feelings erupt, all restraint disappears: The want to see blood”

The central event referred to in the book is the Farhud, the senseless orgy of violence on June 1-2, on the Jewish holiday of Shavuot, in which the Arab-Nazis murdered, raped and pillaged the Jewish community that had lived there for 2,600 years. The riots occurred in a power vacuum following the collapse of the pro-Nazi government of Rashid Ali while the city was in a state of instability. Before British and Transjordanian forces intervened, over 600 Jews had been killed and thousands injured. Looting of Jewish property took place and thousands of Jewish homes were destroyed.

As the author recounts eyewitness testimonies : “Infants were vicously bashed to death against the pavement and were thrown lifeless into the Tigris. Jewish women – hundreds of them – were mercilessly and openly raped in front of their husbands, in front of their parents, in front of their children, in front of wild Muslim mobs. If the women was pregnant, sometimes she was first raped, and then sliced open to destroy the unborn baby; only then was she killed. Men who defended their women and children were killed and their homes plundered. Commonly after murdering the defenseless Jewish men and women with hatchets, axes, and swords, the chanting throngs hacked the inanimate bodies to pieces thus further defiling the infidels and -temporarily-sating the mob’s blood lust”.

The original plans for the 1941 anti-Jewish terror on June 1, were intended to mimic Nazi extermination camps in Europe. Lists of Jews were compiled using the familiar approach the Nazis and their allies had employed in Europe.
It is important to realize that the Farhud was a mass movement, not the actions of a gang or a few errant officers.

By 1951, 110,000 Jews – 80% of Iraqi Jewry – had emigrated from the country, most to Israel. The Farhud has been called the “forgotten pogrom of the Holocaust” and “the beginning of the end of the Jewish community of Iraq”, a community that had existed for 2,600 years.

One denominator characterized the Nazi-Arab confluence , the joint Arab and Nazi-Arab conviction that the Jews constituted a menace by their very existence, and had to be exterminated.

The book covers the SS and Wehrmacht units of Bosnian Muslims that worked with the bloodthirsty and sadistic Croatian Ustasha in killing millions of Serbs, Jews and Gypsies in Yugoslavia.

And then the spreading of the Holocaust to North Africa, where Arabs sponsored by the Nazis brutally annihilated thousands of north African Jews. The Arab-Nazi collaboration puts the lie to the Islamic claim that the Arabs had nothing to do with the Holocaust and therefore should not suffer the indignity of tolerating a Jewish entity in their midst.

The author also in the last chapter describes the continuation of the Arab support for Nazi ideology after the Holocaust, and the refuge given to Egypt by Nazi war criminals, including Aribert Heim, Alfred Zingler and Johan Von Leers, who helped to build the Nazi propaganda, intelligence and military machine against Israel.

This is required reading to understand the roots of Arab hatred for Israel and Jews, in an age where the Jews of the Middle East are threatened with another Holocaust today, and the ideologies of the mufti, the Farhud and the Arab-Nazi alliance are the ideologies that drive Hamas, Hezbollah, the Islamic Brotherhood, Al Qaeda and the Khamenei-Ahmadinejad regime in Iran.


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Published under FAIR USE of factual content citing US 17 U.S.C. § 107 fair use protection, Section 107 of the Copyright Act of 1976 and UK Section 30(1) of the 1988 Act.

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