Nazi medal commemorating Zionist collaboration with Hitler
It is only natural that contemporaries should be skeptical when they first hear accusations that Zionists collaborated with Hitler. Israel is constantly at war. The public projects Zionist pugnacity back onto the holocaust era and assumes that the World Zionist Organization opposed Nazism after Hitler came to power in 1933. In fact the opposite is true and it easily documented.
In 1983, London's Croom Helm Ltd. published my first book, Zionism in the Age of the Dictators.
A London Times review declared that "Brenner is able to cite numerous cases where Zionists collaborated with anti-Semitic regimes, including Hitler's." The book attracted similar favorable scholarly comments, worldwide. Naturally specialist interest moved on in the subsequent decades, but today, thanks to the internet, unique visual confirmation of that collaboration has come to my attention and it is presented now to the public.
I related how Kurt Tuchler, a member of the German Zionist Federation Executive,
"persuaded Baron Leopold Itz Edler von Mildenstein of the SS to write a pro-Zionist piece for the Nazi press. The Baron agreed on the condition that he visited Palestine first, and two months after Hitler came to power the two men and their wives went to Palestine; von Mildenstein stayed there for six months before he returned. ...
Von Mildenstein wrote favorably about what he saw in the Zionist colonies in Palestine; he also persuaded Goebbels to run the report as a massive twelve-part series in his own Der Angriff (The Assault), the leading Nazi propaganda organ (9/26-10/9/34).... To commemorate the Baron's expedition, Goebbels had a medal struck: on one side the swastika, on the other the Zionist star."
I never located the medal. But in 2003 John Sigler, like myself an anti-Zionist Jew, found an image and description in a closed mail-bid coin sale. He bought a bronze version. A silvered token appeared in 2005. Silvering is often done to medals. It is about 1.5" in diameter and is thicker than a coin. There is no doubt re authenticity. John bought his bronze from the same respected coin dealer.
Recently John sent me a photo of the silvered bronze, for which I am very grateful. The Star of David side reads:
EIN NAZI FÄHRT NACH PALÄSTINA -- A Nazi Travels to Palestine.The Swastika side reads
UND ERZÄHLT DAVON IM Angriff -- And tells about it in Angriff.
I happily forward it to the internet world, with documentation re von Mildenstein's visit and Zionist collaboration, and the first of the Baron's articles for Goebbel's journal.
Readers will doubtlessly have questions. Queries about the medal should go to John via www.onestate.org. Many questions about Zionist collaboration can be answered by going to Zionism in the Age of the Dictators at www.marxists.de/middleast/brenner/index.htm
Or readers can contact me at BrennerL21@aol.com. Do that and I'll also tell you how you can get a signed copy of 51 Documents: Zionist Collaboration with the Nazis. I edited it in 2002. It has von Mildenstein's article and complete texts of many sources quoted in Zionism in the Age of the Dictators.
ZIONIST COLLABORATION WITH HITLER, 1933-1939
Werner Senator, a leading German Zionist, once remarked that Zionism, for all its world Jewish nationalism, always politically assimilates to the countries within which it operates. No better proof exists than the adaptation of the German Zionist Federation, the Zionistische Vereinigung für Deutschland, to the theories and policies of the new Nazi regime in 1933. Believing that similarities between the two movements – contempt for liberalism, 'volkish' racism and their mutual conviction that Germany could never be the homeland of its Jews – could induce the Nazis to support them, the ZVfD repeatedly solicited the patronage of Adolf Hitler.
The ZVfD goal became an "orderly retreat," Nazi backing for emigration of at least the younger generation of Jews to Palestine. They immediately sought contact with Nazi elements whom they thought would be interested in such an arrangement on the basis of a volkish appreciation of Zionism. Kurt Tuchler, a ZVfD Executive member, persuaded Baron Leopold Itz Edler von Mildenstein of the SS to write a pro-Zionist piece for the Nazi press. He agreed on the condition that he visited Palestine first. Two months after Hitler came to power the two men and their wives went to Palestine; von Mildenstein stayed there for six months before he returned to write his articles.
In 1937, in exile in America, rabbi Joachim Prinz candidly described the Zionist mood in the first months of 1933:
"Everyone in Germany knew that only the Zionists could responsibly represent the Jews in dealings with the Nazi government. We all felt sure that one day the government would arrange a round table conference with the Jews, at which – after the riots and atrocities of the revolution had passed – the new status of German Jewry could be considered. The government announced very solemnly that there was no country in the world which tried to solve the Jewish problem as seriously as did Germany. Solution of the Jewish question? It was our Zionist dream! We never denied the existence of the Jewish question! Dissimilation? It was our own appeal!.... In a statement notable for its pride and dignity, we called for a conference." 
The ZVfD's June 21, 1933 secret memorandum asked if they could
"be permitted to present our views, which, in our opinion, make possible a solution in keeping with the principles of the new German State of National Awakening and which at the same time might signify for Jews a new ordering of the conditions of their existence .... Zionism has no illusions about the difficulty of the Jewish condition, which consists above all in an abnormal occupational pattern and in the fault of an intellectual and moral posture not rooted in one's own tradition....Talk of 'blut' reached Wagnerian proportions in the August 4, 1933 issue of the Jüdische Rundschau, the ZVfD organ. "Rasse als Kulturfaktor" argued that Jews should not merely accept silently the dictates of their new masters; they had to realize that race separation was wholly to the good:
[A]n answer to the Jewish question truly satisfying to the national state can be brought about only with the collaboration of the Jewish movement that aims at a social, cultural, and moral renewal of Jewry.... Zionism believes that a rebirth of national life, such as is occurring in German life through adhesion to Christian and national values, must also take place in the Jewish national group. For the Jew, too, origin, religion, community of fate and group consciousness must be of decisive significance in the shaping of his life....
On the foundation of the new state, which has established the principle of race, we wish so to fit our community into the total structure so that for us too, in the sphere assigned to us, fruitful activity for the Fatherland is possible....
Our acknowledgment of Jewish nationality provides for a clear and sincere relationship to the German people and its national and racial realities. Precisely because we do not wish to falsify these fundamentals, because we, too, are against mixed marriage and are for maintaining the purity of the Jewish group....
We believe in the possibility of an honest relationship of loyalty between a group-conscious Jewry and the German state.... For its practical aims, Zionism hopes to be able to win the collaboration even of a government fundamentally hostile to Jews, because in dealing with the Jewish question no sentimentalities are involved but a real problem whose solution interests all peoples, and at the present moment especially the German people.
Boycott propaganda, such as is currently being carried on against Germany in many ways, is in essence un-Zionist, because Zionism wants not to do battle but to convince and to build.... Our observations, presented herewith, rest on the conviction that, in solving the Jewish problem according to its own lights, the German Government will have full understanding for a candid and clear Jewish posture that harmonizes with the interests of the state." 
"We who live here as a 'foreign race' have to respect racial consciousness and the racial interest of the German people absolutely. This however does not preclude a peaceful living together of people of different racial membership. The smaller the possibility of an undesirable mixture, so much less is there need for 'racial protection'.... Only rationalist newspapers who have lost feeling for the deeper reasons and profundities of the soul, and for the origins of communal consciousness, could put aside ancestry as simply in the realm of 'natural history.'" Prior to 1933, German Zionism was an isolated bourgeois political cult. While leftists were fighting the brownshirts in the streets, Zionists collected money for trees in Palestine. Suddenly in 1933 this small group conceived of itself as properly anointed by history to negotiate secretly with the Nazis, to oppose the vast mass of world Jewry who wanted to resist Hitler, all in the hope of obtaining the support of the enemy of their people for the building of their state in Palestine. They were wholly deluded. No modus vivendi was ever even remotely possible between Hitler and the Jews. Given their failure to resist during Weimar, and given their race theories, it was inevitable that they would end up as Nazism's Jewish jackals.
Economic collaboration began in August 1933 with the Ha'avara (Transfer) agreement between Berlin and the World Zionist Organization. Jews could put money into a German bank. It was used to buy export items which were sold by the WZO, usually but not exclusively in Palestine. When the emigres arrived there, they received payment for the goods that they purchased, after they had been sold.
Ha'avara's attraction remained the same throughout its operation. It was the least painful way of shipping Jewish wealth out of Germany. However the Nazis determined the rules, and by 1938 average users lost between 30% and 50% of their money. Nevertheless, this was three times, and eventually five times, better than losses endured by Jews whose money went to other destinations. 
Some 60% of all capital invested in Palestine between August 1933 and September 1, 1939, the beginning of WW ll, went through Ha'avara. In addition, Britain set an annual Jewish immigrant quota, using the country's weak economic absorptive capacity to limit their number; but "capitalists" bringing in over $5,000 were allowed in over quota. The 16,529 capitalists were an additional source of immigrants. Their capital gave Palestine artificial prosperity in the midst of the worldwide Depression.
The WZO solicited new customers for Germany in Egypt, Lebanon, Syria and Iraq. Zionists exported oranges to Belgium and Holland using Nazi ships.  By 1936 the WZO began to sell Hitler's goods in Britain. 
In 1937, the Labor Zionist Haganah, the WZO's underground military arm under the British mandate, negotiated directly with the Sicherheitsdienst (SD), the SS Security Service. Haganah agent Feivel Polkes arrived in Berlin on February 26, 1937. Adolf Eichmann, von Mildenstein's protege, was his negotiating partner. The Eichmann-Polkes conversations, in a report by Eichmann's superior, were in SS files captured after WW ll.
"Polkes is a national-Zionist. He is against all Jews who are opposed to the erection of a Jewish state in Palestine. As a Haganah man he fights against Communism and all aims of Arab-British friendship.... He noted that the Haganah's goal is to reach, as soon as possible, a Jewish majority in Palestine. Therefore he worked, as this objective required, with or against the British Intelligence Service.... He declared himself willing to work for Germany in the form of providing intelligence as long as this does not oppose his own political goals. Among other things he would support German foreign policy in the Near East. He would try to find oil sources for the German Reich without affecting British spheres of interest if the German monetary regulations were eased for Jewish emigrants to Palestine." 
Berlin didn't take up the Haganah offer, but patronage of Zionism continued. The SS was the most pro-Zionist Nazi element. Other Nazis even called them "soft" on Jews. Von Mildenstein, the head of the SD's Jewish Department, studied Hebrew. Maps on his office walls showed rapidly increasing strength of German Zionism. 
In May 1935, SD chief Reinhardt Heydrich wrote an article, "The Visible Enemy," for Das Schwarze Korps, the SS official organ: "The time cannot be far distant when Palestine will again be able to accept its sons who have been lost to it for over a thousand years. Our good wishes together with our official good will go with them." 
In 1934, SS Reichsführer Heinrich Himmler was presented with a "Situation Report – Jewish Question" by his staff. The vast majority of Jews still considered themselves Germans and were determined to stay. As force couldn't then be used, for fear of international repercussions, the way to break down their resistance was to instill distinctive Jewish identity amongst them by promoting Jewish schools, athletic teams, art and music, and Hebrew. Combined with Zionist occupational retraining centers, this would induce them to abandon their homeland. Nazi policy was therefore to increase support for Zionism, so that Jews would see that the way to ward off worse trouble was to join the movement.
Zionists were still persecuted as Jews. But within that framework it was possible to ease the pressure. On January 28, 1935, the Bavarian Gestapo circularized the regular police that henceforward:
"members of the Zionist organizations are, in view of their activities directed towards emigration to Palestine, not to be treated with the same strictness which is necessary towards the members of the German-Jewish organizations [assimilationists]." Prinz sorrowfully admitted that
"It was very difficult for the Zionists to operate. It was morally disturbing to seem to be considered as the favoured children of the Nazi Government, particularly when it dissolved the anti-Zionist youth groups, and seemed in other ways to prefer the Zionists. The Nazis asked for a 'more Zionist behaviour.'" 
The Rundschau was banned on at least three occasions between 1933 and November 1938, when the regime finally closed down the ZVfD's headquarters after Kristallnacht. After 1935 Labor Zionist emissaries were barred from the country. But even then Palestinian Zionist leaders were allowed to enter for specific meetings. Arthur Ruppin was granted permission to enter Germany on March 20, 1938, to address a mass indoor Berlin rally on the effects of the post-1936 Arab revolt in Palestine. Zionists had far less trouble than their assimilationist rivals, and Communists were sent to concentration camps while the Rundschau was hawked in Berlin's streets.
Today's Zionists can't claim that their predecessors were duped by Hitler. They conned themselves. His theories on Zionism, including the Jews' alleged inability to create a state, had been there, in plain German, since publication of his Mein Kampf in 1926. They convinced themselves that, as racists against mixed marriage, believing that Jews were aliens in Germany, Hitler would see them as the only "honest partners" for a diplomatic detente. 
Nor can it be claimed that the WZO collaborated to save Jewish lives. After the 1938 Kristalnacht pogrom, London, hoping to ease pressure for increased Jewish immigration into Palestine, proposed that thousands of children be taken into Britain. But David Ben-Gurion, later Israel's first Prime Minister in 1948, denounced the plan on December 7, 1938:
"If 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 Israel." Five days later he warned the WZO Executive:
"If Jews will have to choose between the refugees, saving Jews from concentration camps, and assisting a national museum in Palestine, mercy will have the upper hand and the whole energy of the people will be channelled into saving Jews from various countries. Zionism will be struck off the agenda not only in world public opinion, in Britain and the United States, but elsewhere in Jewish public opinion. If we allow a separation between the refugee problem and the Palestinian problem, we are risking the existence of Zionism." 
1. Joachim Prinz, "Zionism under the Nazi Government," Young Zionist (London,
November 1937), p. 18
2. Lucy Dawidowicz (ed.), A Holocaust Reader, pp. 150-5
3. "Rasse als Kulturfaktor," Jüdische Rundschau (August 4, 1933), p. 392
4. Mark Wischnitzer, To Dwell in Safety, p. 212
5. "Reflections," Palestine Post, (November 14, 1938), p. 6
6. Yehuda Bauer, My Brother's Keeper, p. 129
7. David Yisraeli, The Palestine Problem in German Politics 1889-1945,
Bar-Ilan university, Appendix (German): Geheime Kommandosache Bericht, pp. 301-2
8. Heinz Hohne, The Order of the Death's Head, p. 333
9. Ibid and Karl Schleunes, The Twisted Road to Auschwitz, pp. 193-4
10. Kurt Grossmann, "Zionists and Non-Zionists under Nazi Rule in the 1930s,"
Herzl Yearbook, vol. VI, p. 340
11. Prinz, Ibid
12. Jacob Boas, The Jews of Germany: Self-Perception in the Nazi Era as
Reflected in the German Jewish Press 1933-1938, Ph.D. thesis, University of
California, Riverside, (1977), p. 111
13. Yoav Gelber, "Zionist Policy and the Fate of European Jewry (1939-42),"
Yad Vashem Studies, vol. Xll, p. 199
14. Ari Bober (ed.), The Other Israel, p. 171
When the following article was first published, the writer hid behind the pseudonym "von Limm".
The article is one of a series by von Mildenstein which ran in Der Angriff from 24th September
until 9th October 1934.
This English translation was distributed by Lenni Brenner on May 3, 2007, to accompany the new
Additional Commentary (by Lenni Brenner -- on 3 March 2007):
Among other things, this first article in the series discussed Vladimir Jabotinsky and his
"Zionist-Revisionist" followers. Today they are primarily divided between the Likud Party of
Benjamin Netanyahu and the Kadima Party of Ehud Olmert. It testified to a singular truth of
the 30s: Everyone, Nazis, Fascists, leftists, other Zionists, saw Zionist-Revisionism as fascist.
A Nazi voyages to Palestine
Leopold Von Mildenstein (under the pseudonym "von Limm")
27 September 1934
On the liner "Moses," a special steamer for Jewish emigrants to Palestine, the Promised Land, a Nazi travels alone, and there observes villages, cities, factories and children's' homes. On his journalistic trip to Jaffa, he gets aquainted with the Jewish immigrants, the difficulties in their travels and the hopes which they have for their new home. On this voyage to Jaffa, most are admitted into the country and keep their passports.
THE PASSPORT CHECK!
A motor boat comes swiftly towards us, the feared passport commissioners. The captain, the 1st officer, the commissary, the doctor, all are ready for the reception. One must be on good terms with the passport commission. First one drinks a glass together, for strength, so that everything may go OK. If the commission denies an immigrant entry, the shipping company must take him back to Trieste. If he still has money, then they can try to get him to pay for the return trip. But if he has nothing, then they must bring him back without payment. That they wish to avoid.
The commission is led by an Englishman, but the real passport inspectors are Palestinian Jews. The great choice begins. Naturally it goes by classes. He who has paid the most, gets in first. Those who have their passports stamped enter the boats with a light heart. To be sure, they are not quiet in the golden freedom. They must first go to the quarantine station, to customs, and then, after three days, return to the quarantine physician. But that is taken very easily, if everything works out fine.
We others, who want to go on to Haifa, have time for a rest. In the meantime, the 2nd officer got rid of his freight. That is not so simple. When some herrings are hanging over the boat, one of the containers falls from the winch's wire net into the boat. The cover comes off and the herrings learn to fly. The fast hands of the Arabs catch them quickly and, since they don't want to voluntarily return to the tub, one of the brown men jumps on the container and, under the forceful kicking of his bare feet, the herrings give in. The cover is closed.
When the steward, with his big cowbell, gongs for lunch, the ship starts moving again with a northward course for Haifa, again gliding along the coast. The light brown sand of the steep dunes conceals the fertile coastal land which lies behind. Only occasionally we see a few palm trees. Then comes the wild surf surging onto the steep rocks of the ruins of Atlet. Behind them is Mount Carmel. It is after 4 PM and we are approaching the Haifa mole.
AT THE GATEWAY TO INDIA
There is an entirely different picture than the one in the morning. Mount Carmel falls steeply almost into the harbor. Oaks and pines cover the sloops. At the end, lies a cloister with a light tower, the true sign of Haifa.
To the left of the harbor mole lies the industry of Haifa. A large lighthouse shines over here. Cement works stretch their constantly bellowing gray smokestacks to the blue sky.
The most notable houses of the city have already climbed along the ridge of the mountain. The air must be wonderful. Here below, in spite of the water, it is unbearably hot. The insect swarms seemed to have only been waiting for us. They come in quantities towards us. Their sting carries the Papadadschia, a nasty fever. Their buzzing, much higher in tone then the ordinary mosquito, sounds around us.
Haifa is the only harbor protected by nature on the east coast of the Mediterranean. A strong stone mole goes around the harbor. Mighty cranes stand at the pier. One calls Palestine England's portal to India. Then Haifa is the key to this portal. Here is the only protected harbor on the East Coast. Here will be the greatest airport of the East. Crossroad of the lines from Cape Town and India. Here is the end of the massive pipeline to the Mosul oil fields in Iraq. Here is the terminal of the "all-British railroad," which would connect Haifa with Baghdad and Basra, thus tying together the Mediterranean and the Persian Gulf. And if one should not build this railroad, because today a highway would be more advantageous, so one would have a beginning of this road, which never leaves English protection, and today already basically exists.
The "Martha Washington" is tied to the pier, and the commission comes on board again. I stay on board overnight. My car, which properly has spent the entire trip on board, must be registered. The civil servants aren't there. So, tomorrow, tomorrow!
A JEWISH FASCIST
That is the oriental ointment for all impatient people. When the Arab wants to say something polite to somebody, he says "bukra, insha' allah!" Tomorrow, God willing. If nothing happens tomorrow, God apparently didn't want it. I wait. Besides me, there is also an immigrant Jewish family, that has stayed on board, with the other passengers. Their papers not quite in order. Perhaps tomorrow. In the meantime, passengers for the return trip have come on board. We sit, lonely, in the dining room.
My opposite, a young Palestinian, wears a badge on his lapel. A small seven-armed Menorah. We get into a conversation. He is a Trumpeldor-man. They are followers of a Russian Jewish leader, Trumpeldor, who fell in battle, here in Palestine, shortly after the war, in the fight against the Arabs. He had been a leader of the Jewish Legion. His supporters now represent the Fascist group among the Jews. Radical Nationalists, they are adverse to any kind of compromise on questions of Jewish nationalism. Their political party is the "Revisionists." Their leader, Jabotinsky, is the "enfant terrible" of the Zionist Congresses. He cannot forgive the English who, contrary to their promises at the end of the war, disarmed the Jewish Legion in Palestine, instead of having it protect the country. Thus, he is fighting with the English as well as the Arabs. His fighting troopers are uniformed. Khaki pants and chocolate-colored shirts. In addition, they wear shoulder bandoliers. Stars on their shoulders are the signs of their allegiance. On this basis the Jewish self-protection in the country is recruited. And the Jews sometimes need this because the interests of the English are not always the interests of the Jews.
I step onto the promenade deck. The steamer is almost empty. Most officers and men are on leave. The steamer, to be sure, only departs tomorrow afternoon. At the gangplank stand Arabic soldiers. The pier is constantly carefully guarded. Even when a steamer arrived, no one could go in the vicinity. Even calling from on board to the pier and the other way was strictly prohibited. He who is on board is in a different world. If some wise guy dares to yell to his acquaintances or family on board, then immediately Arab soldiers rush towards him and swing their batons with threats.
When I again crossed the strictly watched gangplank, then I noticed an Arabic soldier, who winked his eye. As I, full of expectation and astonishment, look at him, he walks ahead of me. Then he turns the next corner of the deck. When I get there, he winks at me, secretively. Finally I become curious and follow him. A second Arab has joined us. He goes around a few corners down a dark stairway. They want to meet with me in the darkness between decks. What is going on? One of them can only speak Arabic. The other speaks bad English. With much eye-winking and gestures, I am asked if I'm allowed off board.
"Why do you want to know that?"
"Well, perhaps there is still a possibility to get into the country." Boats, good friends on shore, darkness. The tender hint of baksheesh cannot be misunderstood.
Therefore I can imagine smuggling people is a good business. If such a poor devil of an immigrant being sent back by the commission faces only the trip back, he must be miserable. The company takes his last money for the return trip. Must he not be open to temptation? Over there, only a few meters away, lies the promised land. There nobody will look for him. With the money left, he will get along. He agrees to the offer and pays. He understands clearly that he risks his life. If the boat is seen, it will be shot at by the harbor watch. But otherwise, he is then free. Who will look for a vanished Jew? I make it clear to my "helpers" that, unfortunately, I could not accept the offer. Fear that I might betray them, suspicion, anger, now show in their eyes. I quiet their fears and retreat slowly back into the light from the lamps.
WE ARE UNLOADED
The morning rises with the harbor astir. My car is now hauled by a crane. With much straining and little help, the Arab porters accomplished the maneuver. Afterwards they want their baksheesh, their tip. And then its a matter of finishing the formalities with the car. I have, so to speak, good luck in Palestine. But I don't know yet if one will ask for custom money. The service centers lie here and there, in the old harbor, partly in the new. Between them there is ten minutes of running and tripping through sand and stones, dust and sand blowing, there and back. That makes me warm, but I have my visa stamps together. The money demanded is small, hardly a pound sterling.
The rest of the gasoline is still there. The luggage must go through customs, then to the car. The harbor longshoremen are organized. A leader watches out. But in spite of that, one is still taken advantage of. If it would go as the carriers want, then two people would rather carry one piece of luggage, instead of the other way around. One group carries the luggage to the customs. One of them pretends to be the overseer and asks for special baksheesh, which he claims. Then he cashes it immediately. He must, of course, go away, suddenly. Soon one notices why. The luggage is hardly at the customs, when they all want their money and disappear. In the meantime, other ones have grabbed the controlled pieces, and I can just about prevent one of the Arabs from putting them into a wagon which, naturally, he operates. In spite of this, naturally, he wants the agreed upon money, plus baksheesh. It comes to a difference of opinion, and the father of the money soon becomes the grandfather of cheapness. He who has never was in the orient cannot appreciate the quarreling and vile manner of this dirty horde. I am glad that I have saved myself and my car, and can disappear thru the harbor gate.
Gas pumps! Gasoline pumps are almost nonexistent. Gasoline, mostly Shell, is sold in 18 kilogram canisters and is directly put into the gas tank. It is much cheaper then in our country, but certainly much dirtier, in spite of the canister. Auto traffic is much less significant than in Europe. One very often sees cars with German licenses. Palestine is completely motorized. The main roads were built after the war by the English. So therefore one can use any kind of car for city and overland traffic. One sees different kinds, but mostly American.