Skip to comments.The Muslim Units of the Waffen SS
Posted on 09/09/2002 6:35:31 AM PDT by 2banana
When the Independent State of Croatia proclaimed its independence on April 10th 1941, during the German invasion of Yugoslavia, part of the land it claimed was the former Austro-Hungarian province of Bosnia-Herzegovina. The province was an ethnic and religious mix, with a portion of the population being Catholic Croatian, a portion being Orthodox Serbian, and a portion being Croatians of the Muslim faith. It was these Muslim inhabitants of Bosnia that Himmler and the SS would target in their recruitment of a Croatian SS Division
The reasons for the recruitment in particular of Croatian Muslims by the SS were many-fold. For one, Himmler was fascinated by the Islamic faith, and thought Muslims to be fearless soldiers willing to kill for their religion. Himmler also subscribed to the propaganda theory that Croatians (and therefore the Croatian Muslims) were not, in fact, Slavic people, but actually of Aryan (Gothic) descent, and thereby acceptable to the racially "pure" SS. The fact that this ludicrous theory would not hold up to any kind of serious scrutiny was conveniently ignored. Finally, the Germans were hoping to rally the World's 350 million Muslims to their side, in a struggle against the British Empire. The creation of a Muslim, albeit European Muslim Division, was considered a stepping stone to this greater end.
Adolf Hitler approved of Himmler's idea on February 13th 1943. Prior to the formation of the division, however, approval also had to be granted by the Croatian government, as their citizens were to be recruited, and on Croatian territory. The Croatian Poglavnik, Ante Pavelic, and his ministers had many problems with the idea, but eventually agreed to the division's creation on March 5th 1943. The divisional strength reached the required 26,000 men by mid 1943.
The new division was assigned the number "13", and originally named the "13 SS Frei.Gebirgs Division (kroatien). The full name "13 Waffen-Gebirgs-Division der SS 'Handschar' (kroatische Nr. 1)" was not given until May, 1944. A "Handschar" (or Handzar in Croatian) is curved Turkish sword - the Scimitar. This sword has historically been the symbol of Bosnia. The Division was to have 2 Infantry Regiments (Waffen-Gebirgs-Jager Regiments der SS 27 & 28 - kroatisches Nrs. 1 & 2), an Artillery Regiment (SS-Gebirgs-Artillerie Regiment 13), a Reconnaissance Company, a Panzerjager Company, a Flak Company, a Pioneer Battalion, and other support units; and was designated an SS "mountain" division. The first commander (from March 9, 1943 till August 1, 1943) was SS Standartenfuhrer Herbert von Obwurzer. Oberfuhrer (later Brigadefuhrer) Karl-Gustav Sauberzweig took over till June 1st 1944, when Desiderius Hampel (Oberfuhrer, later Brigadefuhrer) replaced him. Hampel commanded the remnants of the division until its surrender on May 8th 1945.
The uniform worn by the division was regular SS issue, with a divisional collar patch showing an arm, holding a Scimitar, over a Swastika. On the left arm was a Croatian armshield (red-white chessboard). Headgear was the Muslim Fez, in field grey (normal service) or red ("walking out"), with the SS eagle and death's head emblazoned. Non-Muslim members could opt to wear the normal SS mountain cap. The oval mountain troop Edelweiss patch was worn on the right arm.
Muslim Clerics and the Nazis:
During the Second World War in Yugoslavia many Muslim clerics in Bosnia and Kosovo were willing accomplices in the genocide of the nations Serbian, Jewish and Roma population. From 1941 until 1945, the Nazi-installed regime of Ante Pavelic in Croatia carried out some of the most horrific crimes of the Holocaust (known as the Porajmos by the Roma), killing over 800,000 Yugoslav citizens - 750,000 Serbs, 60,000 Jews and 26,000 Roma. In these crimes, they were helped by Muslim fundamentalists in Bosnia and Kosovo who were openly supported by the Palestinian Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Hajj Amin al-Husseini. A notorious anti-Semite, he openly encouraged Muslims to join Nazi units that would be later implicated in genocide and crimes against humanity - the infamous Hanjar (or Handschar) 13th Waffen SS division. One of these crimes was The Massacre at Koritska Jama Gorge, in Bosnia during 1941 .
Many of the victims of the Holocaust/Porajmos were murdered in the Second World War's third largest death camp - Jasenovac, where over 200,000 people - mainly Orthodox Serbs met their deaths.
The most senior Muslim cleric to be involved in the Holocaust/Porajmos was Hajj Amin al-Husseini, who according to the Encyclopedia of the Holocaust (Edition 1990, Volume 2, Pages 706 and 707), made a substantial contribution to the Axis war effort by organizing "in record time" recruitment to Muslim SS units in Croatia that would be involved in some of the worse atrocities of the Second World War.
Altogether, it is estimated that some 20,000 Muslims fought in the Hanjar (Sword) SS Division, which fought against Yugoslav partisans led by General Tito, and carried out police and security details in fascist Hungary. The Nazi's recruited two SS divisions from Yugoslavia's Muslim population: the infamous Bosnian 13th Waffen Hanjar (or Handschar) SS division, and the Albanian Skanderbeg 21st Waffen SS division. SS conscription in Yugoslavia during the war produced 42,000 Waffen SS and police troops
The Grand Mufti of Jerusalem:
Once in Berlin, the Mufti received an enthusiastic reception by the "Islamische Zentralinstitut" and the whole Islamic community of Germany, which welcomed him as the "Führer of the Arabic world." In an introductory speech, he called the Jews the "most fierce enemies of the Muslims" and an "ever corruptive element" in the world. Husseini soon became an honored guest of the Nazi leadership and met on several occasions with Hitler. He personally lobbied the Führer against the plan to let Jews leave Hungary, fearing they would immigrate to Palestine. He also strongly intervened when Adolf Eichman tried to cut a deal with the British government to exchange German POWs for 5000 Jewish children who also could have fled to Palestine. The Mufti's protests with the SS were successful, as the children were sent to death camps in Poland instead. One German officer noted in his journals that the Mufti would liked to have seen the Jews "preferably all killed." On a visit to Auschwitz, he reportedly admonished the guards running the gas chambers to work more diligently. Throughout the war, he appeared regularly on German radio broadcasts to the Middle East, preaching his pro-Nazi, anti-Semitic message to the Arab masses back home.
To show gratitude towards his hosts, in 1943 the Mufti traveled several times to Bosnia, where on orders of the SS he recruited the notorious "Hanjar troopers," a special Bosnian Waffen SS company which slaughtered 90% of Bosnia's Jews and burned countless Serbian churches and villages. These Bosnian Muslim recruits rapidly found favor with SS chief Heinrich Himmler, who established a special Mullah Military school in Dresden.
The only condition the Mufti set for his help was that after Hitler won the war, the entire Jewish population in Palestine should be liquidated. After the war, Husseini fled to Switzerland and from there escaped via France to Cairo, were he was warmly received.
It is interesting that the "religion of peace and tolerance" managed to raise two Muslim Waffen SS divisions in record time...
Not that there is anything unpeaceful about that.
Have a look at David Pryce-Jones' The Closed Circle: An Interpretation of the Arabs. He describes the Arab-Muslim-Nazi connection in great detail. There's even more than you've posted here.
It would be rather refreshing if some of those "diverse elements" would pipe in and do some condemnation.....their silence has been deafening.
Unfortunately, muslims are not that charitable towards you.
A significant number of SS men found refuge in Egypt and Syria after World War II and served the Nasser regime in its fight to destroy Israel. Some even converted to Islam and adopted Islamic names.
Nazism and Islamism have more in common than just a hatred for Jews.
Saudi Arabia - Conversion by a Muslim to another religion is punishable by death. Bibles are illegal.
Yemen - Bans proselytizing by non-Muslims and forbids conversions. The Government does not allow the building of new non-Muslim places of worship
Kuwait - Registration and licensing of religious groups. Members of religions not sanctioned in the Koran may not build places of worship. Prohibits organized religious education for religions other than Islam
Egypt -Islam is the official state religion and primary source of legislation. Accordingly, religious practices that conflict with Islamic law are prohibited. Muslims may face legal problems if they convert to another faith. Requires non-Muslims to obtain what is now a presidential decree to build a place of worship
Algeria - The law prohibits public assembly for purposes of practicing a faith other than Islam. Non-Islamic proselytizing is illegal, and the Government restricts the importation of non-Islamic literature for distribution.
(All information is from US State Department Human Rights Reports)
I could go on with more examples.
Interesting. Where did you find that it bashes ALL muslims? Are you getting defensive?
"Arafat's actual name was Abd al-Rahman abd al-Bauf Arafat al-Qud al-Husseini. He shortened it to obscure his kinship with the notorious Nazi and ex-Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Muhammed Amin al-Husseini." Howard M. Sachar, A HISTORY OF ISRAEL (New York: Knopf, 1976).
The Bet Agron International Center in Jerusalem interviewed Arafat's brother and sister, who described the Mufti as a cousin (family member) with tremendous influence on young Yassir after the Mufti returned from Berlin to Cairo. Yasser Arafat himself keeps his exact lineage and birthplace secret. [No doubt, and I've heard the "Grand Mufti" was his uncle]
Saddam Hussein was raised in the house of his uncle Khayrallah Tulfah, who was a leader in the Mufti's pro-Nazi coup in Iraq in May 1941."
Nazis all over the place...
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