A very enlightening read…
Upon his arrival in Egypt in 1956, it was Hajj Amin el-Husseini who oversaw von Leers’ formal conversion to Islam, and remained one of his confidants. Leers described the origins of the Muslim “forename,” Omar Amin, that he adopted as part of his conversion to Islam in a November, 1957 letter to American Nazi H. Keith Thompson:I myself have embraced Islam and accepted the new forename Omar Amin, Omar according to the great Caliph Omar who was a grim enemy of the Jews, Amin in honor of my friend Hajj Amin el Husseini, the Grand Mufti.
“He [Dr. Omar Amin von Leers] is becoming more and more a religious zealot, even to the extent of advocating an expansion of Islam in Europe in order to bring about stronger unity through a common religion. This expansion he believes can come not only from contact with the Arabs in the Near East and Africa but with Islamic elements in the USSR. The results he envisions as the formation of a political bloc against which neither East nor West could prevail.”
“Omar Amin” von Leers and the Islamization of Nazism
Johannes “Omar Amin” von Leers (d. 1965), was a Nazi disciple of Hajj Amin el-Husseini who converted to Islam, found a haven in Egypt, and embraced a 1300 year-old ideology to destroy the Judeo-Christian West—Islamic jihad.
Sixty-four years ago, June 8, 1955, while still in exile in Argentina, Leers wrote a letter to W.E.B. DuBois, extolling Islam and African Muslim soldiers under WWI-era German colonial governance, as follows:
“[The] German administration was openly in favor of Islam. No African became a color sergeant in the Askari Army [i.e., African soldiers fighting under German colonial leadership] who was not a steadfast Moslem. And also in Cameroon the Germans never forgot to give power and dignities to the Moslem Amirs of the North. The Germans were convinced Islam makes good soldiers and reliable men—and that a Moslem does not drink alcohol and therefore can be used for positions of confidence. An uncle of mine who was for a long time [an] officer in the Askari Army told me, when I was a boy, ‘You must know that Islam is the best religion for soldiers. By disgrace of history, we Germans have not go it [Islam] and now cannot change the situation. ..[I]n Africa, a negro converted religion often becomes the ape of the European, imitating him in his worst aspects—but Islam makes him a noble African with a feeling of his own dignity. As an officer I like better a noble African on my side in the battle, than an ape of mine.”
As I noted in my 2013 analysis of the first fully annotated English translation of Hajj Amin el-Husseini’s 1937 fatwa on the Jews—which re-affirms canonical Islam’s Jew-hating motifs used to foment murderous violence against them by Muhammad himself, since the advent of Islam, till now—this seminal proclamation of incitement by the “Godfather” of the Palestinian Muslim movement, was pure Islamic dogma, devoid of any themes from the writings of Nazi racial theorists, epitomized by von Leers’ 1936, “History on a Racial Basis”.
Leers is a fascinating case study. By any objective standard, his career trajectory—as a favored contributor in Goebbels’s propaganda ministry, to his eventual adoption of Islam (i.e., as Omar Amin von Leers) while working as an anti-Western, and Antisemitic/ anti-Zionist propagandist under Nasser’s regime from the mid-1950s, until his death in 1965—represents the “Islamification of Nazism,” rather than a “Nazification of Islam.”
Understandably, none of the important data summarized below have been described by Jeffrey Herf, an avatar of the “Nazification of Islam” hypothesis. In his The Jewish Enemy—Nazi Propaganda during World War II and the Holocaust (Cambridge, 2006, pp. 180–81), Herf included a very limited English translation extract of von Leers’ conclusions from the 1942 essay “Judentum und Islam als Gegensatze,” (in Die Judenfrage in Politik, Recht, and Wirtschaft 6, no. 24, December 24, 1942): 275–78), whose fully annotated translation (as “Judaism and Islam as Opposites”) I provided in The Legacy of Islamic Antisemitism (pp. 619-625), and here. Herf even failed to mention von Leers’ subsequent conversion to Islam, and was also oblivious to the Nazi author’s thorough grounding in, and accurate representation of, the pious Muslim sources (i.e., Koran, hadith, and sira). This negationist approach of German fluent “Nazification of Islam” historians such as Herf compounds their failure to deal with the quintessential, canonical Islamic motifs of el-Husseini’s 1937 Islamic fatwa—available in German since 1938—in an informed, intellectually honest manner. Listen, for example, to Herf’s comments in this 2012 documentary, twice repeating the word “supposedly,” at 7:30 to 8:19, absent any reference to, or apparent knowledge of, el-Husseini’s accurate canonical Islamic sourcing.