By Gilad Atzmon
In a bizarre effort to paper over the historical truth regarding Hitler and the Haavara Agreement, Professor Rainer Schulze of Essex University wrote an article totally lacking intellectual integrity. Schulze’s piece in the Independent, ‘Hitler and Zionism: Why the Haavara Agreement does not mean the Nazis were Zionists’, demonstrates that fear of Zionists and their extensive power extends beyond the Labour party. It is deeply entrenched within the British psyche and institutionally embedded in academia.
Schulze article leads him to the conclusion that: “any claim that Nazis and Zionists ever shared a common goal is not only cynical and disingenuous, but a distortion of clearly established historical fact.” The German/British professor’s failure to apply elementary academic analytical skills to the issue results in faulty scholarship.
Schulze accepts that the Havaara Agreement provided that “Jewish emigrants from Germany had to hand over their possessions before they departed, and the proceeds from the sale of such possessions were used by a company specifically set up for this purpose in Tel Aviv to purchase German goods for sale in Palestine.”
But Schulze continues, “The Haavara Agreement does not mean the Nazis were ever Zionists. Instead, it is testament to the fact that Nazi policy towards the Jews was not clear-cut from the beginning, but evolved greatly over the years.” Schulze clearly doesn’t understand what Zionism was and who the Zionists were at the time of the Agreement.
Schulze defines Zionism as; “a movement based on the right of self-determination.” This definition of Zionism is profoundly anachronistic and it is wrong.
Zionism was primarily and fundamentally the belief that Jews should return to Zion. Zionism was a Jewish ‘homecoming project.’*
Zionists Jews were divided amongst themselves what the ‘homecoming’ might mean. Some believed that Zionism should aim to create a spiritual centre, others believed in Bi Nationalism. Many engaged in a pragmatic political struggle to erect a racially oriented Jews Only State.
Crucially, Hitler like Churchill** and many others, saw in Zionism an opportunity for Europe to rid itself of some problematic Jewish elements. Whether Schulze likes it or not, Zionism was a successful project because from its onset, it formed a symbiotic relationship between Zionist Jews and the Jew haters who wanted the Jews out of Europe. Zionism promised a national home for the Jews and at the same time offered to ‘take the Jews away.’
In 1933 Hitler was a Zionist. Like Zionists (both Jews and their detractors) he wanted the Jews out of Europe. Palestine was his preferred solution. At a later stage, probably around 1936, Hitler changed his mind about Zionism. He realised that the Zionist project was celebrated at the expense of the indigenous Palestinian people. Professor Schulze can discuss this transition with Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu.
One would expect an academic scholar specialising in Modern Jewish History to grasp that Zionism as well as the State of Israel are sustained by Jew hatred. If ‘anti Semitism’ disappears, Israel and Zionism become obsolete concepts. Understanding this, Israel and Zionism have consistently contributed to the rise of anti Semitism. When there is no anti Semitism to point at, Jewish institutions simply invent it, as they are presently doing in the Labour party.
Enough Schulze bashing for one day. To his credit, Professor Schulze is not entirely dishonest. Like other contemporary German historians, Schulze is very careful with his wording regarding the German oppressive mechanisms and practicality.
Towards the end of his Independent article, Schulze writes about the 1939 German Polish Campaign: “they (the Nazis) were looking for dumping grounds for Jews and other “undesirables.” These people were at best treated as ‘assets’ to exploit or, later, a stock of slave labour, and at worst simply expected to die of disease and starvation.”
Did Schulze miss something? He did. He forgot to mention the gas chambers. Was this unintentional? I don’t think so. I have noticed that more German mainstream historians are unwilling to commit to the gas chamber homicidal narrative. Let’s see how long it will be before Schulze is kicked out of Essex University for heresy of the one and only universal Western religion.
*Home coming” from a Jewish perspective only. The author of this article doesn’t agree in any way that Palestine is home for the Jews.
**”Zionism offers the third sphere to the political conceptions of the Jewish race. In violent contrast to international communism, it presents to the Jew a national idea of a commanding character. It has fallen to the British Government, as the result of the conquest of Palestine, to have the opportunity and the responsibility of securing for the Jewish race all over the world a home and centre of national life.” (A Struggle for the Soul of the Jewish People, Winston S. Churchill 1920)