Friday, April 23, 2010

Hitler's Wartime Broadcasts to the Arabs

I've blogged about Herf's book before, but let's have his message again: "The roots of Islamic fanaticism can be traced to Adolf Hitler's radio messages broadcast around the Arab world during the Second World War, according to a new book"


The newspaper report:-

..."The conflict between Israel and the Palestinians would have been over long ago were it not for the uncompromising, religiously inspired hatred of the Jews that was articulated and given assistance by Nazi propagandists and continued after the war by Islamists of various sorts," said Jeffrey Herf, a history professor at the University of Maryland.

In his new book, "Nazi Propaganda for the Arab World", Mr Herf argues that Nazi propagandists offered a message that neatly dovetailed with underlying prejudice.

"Islamic fundamentalism, like European totalitarianism in the 20th century, was and is a mixture of very old and very modern elements.

"It is also a product of a mixture of some indigenous currents in the history of Islam with the hatred of democracy, liberalism and the Jews that were so central to National Socialism.

Mr Herf uncovered 6,000 transmissions, produced under the propaganda minister Josef Goebbels and sent around the Arab world from 1939 to 1945.

The transcripts of the broadcasts were made by the American embassy in Cairo during the war, and classified until 1977 in Washington. But it was not until two years ago that Mr Herf became the first scholar to be given access to the files.

..."The Arab language propaganda produced in wartime Berlin was a significant chapter in the longer history of radical Arab nationalism and militant Islam."

1 comment:

M said...

Interestingly, it was not only the Arabs that got Nazi broadcasts during WWII. The Germans also had a Persian-language radio station called Radio Zeesen, which was very popular. Ruhollah Khomeini used to listen to it as a boy.