There is a current controversy about the allegation that the great mufti of Jerusalem instigated the final solution of the Nazis. While there is no doubt that Haj Amin al-Husseini, was a virulent anti-Semite, history shows that the Final Solution was conceived and implemented by Nazis and nobody else.
In USC Shoah Foundation’s Visual History Archive, Polish Jewish survivor Martin Becker speaks about meeting the nephew of the great mufti al-Husseini while he studied in Egypt before World War II.
Becker says he was not aware of the great mufti’s hatred toward the Jews at the time, which shows that al-Husseini’s influence has become exaggerated in the years that followed.
The fact is that the great mufti was strictly opposed to Jewish immigration to Palestine. He was against the British mandate policy that allowed it, and he also supported anti-Jewish violence and the Arab uprising in the 1930s. In 1937, the great mufti fled Palestine and British persecution.
He finally met Hitler at the end of 1941, by which time Nazis had already murdered almost 1-million Jews by mass extinction in the occupied Soviet territories. After the war, Dieter Wisliceny, one of the SS men responsible for the execution of the Final Solution, reported during the Nuremberg trial that the al-Husseini had recommended the killing of the Jews to Hitler and other Nazi leaders. Few people tend to believe Wisliceny; many think that he was trying to deflect responsibility for the genocide from the Nazis.
While Hitler and his entourage may have liked his support, they certainly didn’t need the advice or inspiration of the great mufti of Jerusalem. Before Hitler al-Husseini had even met, the order had already been given for the construction of the first extermination camp in occupied Poland.
USC Shoah Foundation’s Visual History Archive contains over 60,000 key indexing terms. Below is the description for Muhammed Amin al-Husseini, an indexing term that is mentioned in several Holocaust survivor testimonies.