British National Archives unveil presence of Nazi S.S. agents in
Mandatory Palestine, working closely with Palestinian leaders
by Yaakov Lappin
Historical documents in Britain's National Archives in London show that
Nazi Germany attempted to ship arms to Palestinian forces in the 1930s.
A British Foreign Office report from 1939 reports of "news of a
consignment of arms from Germany, sent via Turkey and addressed to Ibn
Saud (king of Saudi Arabia), but really intended for the Palestine
insurgents." Britain's chief military officer in Mandatory Palestine
also noted reports "regarding import of German arms at intervals for
some years now."
British documents from the same period, and German records photographed
by an American spy and sent to the British government, said that a
number of Nazi agents were sent to Mandatory Palestine, in order to
forge alliances with Palestinian leaders, and urge them to reject a
partition of the land between the Jewish and Arab populations.
One Nazi agent, Adam Vollhardt, arrived in Palestine in July 1938, and
was reported to have gained strong influence with Arab leaders, meeting
with Palestinian leaders throughout 1938. Vollhardt held several
meetings with leading Arab politicians and told them "that the Palestine
question would be settled to the satisfaction of the Arabs within a few
weeks," adding that "it would be fatal to their (Palestinians') cause if
at this juncture they showed any signs of weakness or exhaustion."
"Germany was interested in the settlement of the (Palestine) question on
the basis of the Arabs obtaining their full demands," Vollhardt was
reported to say to Palestinian leaders, according to a report by the
British War Office. Vollhardt also assured Arab leaders that "the
Germans could continue to support the Palestinian Arab cause by means of
German documents photographed and sent to Whitehall by an American spy
revealed that in 1937, German officials had calculated that "Palestine
under Arab rule would... become one of the few countries where we could
count on a strong sympathy for the new Germany."
'Arabs admire our Fuhrer'
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