December 12, 2010 -- New York -- AJC called a new National Archives report on collaboration between the United States government and Nazi officials immediately after World War II, as well as Nazi ties to Arab leaders during and after the war, an important contribution to establishing historical truths about the most tragic period of the twentieth century.
“The real shame is that these documents, critical for understanding our government’s full role during the World War II era, were hidden for so long,” said AJC Executive Director David Harris. “To have absolute proof 65 years later about what the U.S. did in assisting notorious Nazi leaders like Klaus Barbie, Rudolf Mildner and others is sickening and painful.”
The documents are referenced in a new U.S. government report, “HItler’s Shadow: Nazi War Criminals, U.S. Intelligence and the Cold War,” published Friday by the National Archives and reported in The New York Times today.
“The depth and intimacy of the relationship between Nazi Germany and the main Palestinian leader of the time, Haj Amin al-Husseini, Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, is particularly appalling,” said Harris.
"The National Archives now has left no doubt about Husseini’s total collusion with the Nazis,” said Harris. “The documents confirm that while Nazi Germany was exterminating the Jewish people across Europe, an alliance was forged with certain Arab leaders to go after Jews in the British Mandate of Palestine, which included the historic land of Israel.”
According to the Times, the National Archives report revealed that Husseini had “energetically recruited Muslims for the SS, the Nazi Party’s elite military command, and was promised that he would be installed as the leader of Palestine after German troops drove out the British and exterminated more than 350,000 Jews there.”
The late PLO leader Yasser Arafat often proclaimed he was a descendant of the notorious Husseini.
The National Archives report also provides details of how several Nazi leaders, who had fled to some Arab countries, continued to channel their deep hatred of Jews.
“Whatever short-term gains our intelligence agencies had hoped to secure by giving a pass to Nazi mass murderers, letting them flee or colluding with them, stands out as a dark period in U.S. history,” said Harris. "It is to the credit of this country, however, that, late though it is, the release of these revealing documents sheds needed light on that dark period.”