JUSTICE - No. 68

6 No. 68 JUSTICE ighty years ago, at a Conference in the Villa am Grossen Wannsee, the Nazi elite passed a death sentence on millions of European Jews. There, they set in motion the process that would lead to the most brutal mass murder in the history of humanity – known as “the Final Solution.” This Conference did not take place in some backwater, but rather in one of the world’s most culturally, technologically, and scientifically advanced societies. It is valuable to use our memory of this awful event to sharpen our attention with regard to contemporary threats to Jews. It is widely known that the protocol of the Wannsee Conference talks about eleven million Jews in Europe who are to be killed. Less well known are the plans for the murder of Jews outside Europe. A few weeks before the Wannsee Conference, Hitler, in a face-to-face meeting, had promised Amin el-Husseini, the Mufti of Jerusalem, that he also wished to take the earliest opportunity to kill the 700,000 Jews living in North Africa and the Middle East. A special concern during this meeting was the destruction of Zionism and the annihilation of the Jews in Palestine. While the Allies defeated the Nazis, the idea of thwarting a Jewish state at any cost found a new home in Egypt where, after 1945, the Muslim Brotherhood built the world’s largest antisemitic movement. The Brotherhood defended the alliance between el-Husseini and Hitler, declaring in 1946 that, “This hero [el-Husseini] fought Zionism with the help of Hitler and Germany. Germany and Hitler are gone, but Amin el-Husseini will continue the struggle.” The Mufti did indeed actively continue the Nazi struggle, playing a crucial role in inspiring the effort by several Arab states to snuff out the nascent Jewish state of Israel in 1948. Amin el-Husseini embodies the link between the Nazis’ big war against the Jews and the subsequent small war of the Arabs against Israel – a link that I have described in my latest book.”1 As we know, the Arabs failed to defeat Israel. However, the idea of abolishing the Jewish state lives on. The Muslim Brotherhood passed on the baton to an Iranian cleric, Ruhollah Musavi, who would later become famous under the name Ruhollah Khomeini (who died in 1989). Ever since the Iranian revolution led by Khomeini in 1979, Tehran has pursued the aim of destroying Zionism by force. Focusing on Israel, the Iranian regime today pursues the project begun by Hitler and the Mufti. Iranian missiles capable of striking Israel bear the slogan to the effect that “Israel must be wiped from the face of the earth.” The Revolutionary Guards boast that they “will raze the Zionist regime in less than eight minutes.” An Iranian TV Documentary, entitled “7 Minutes to Tel Aviv,” shows footage of simulated attacks against key targets in Israel, including the Dimona nuclear reactor, the Knesset, and Tel Aviv cultural and shopping centers and business hubs. Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei, has stated that by 2040 at the latest, Israel will no longer exist. An oversized countdown clock in Tehran (installed on June 23, 2017) shows the number of days to go before the date of Israel’s appointed and supposed end. Khamenei has even reused a term from the Wannsee Conference Protocol: the “Final Solution.” Everyone understands the underlying message of this term. Khamenei, however, is the first world leader to use it with respect to the Jewish population of Israel. On Khameinei’s homepage, he endorsed a poster proclaiming in several languages “Palestine will be free. The final solution: Resistance until referendum.” For Hitler the “Final Solution to the Jewish question” was the annihilation of the Jews. For Khamenei, the “Final Solution” of the Israel question is the annihilation of Israel. Still, it seems that the majority of the Iranian population reject the regime’s hatred of Israel that is inextricably linked to an antisemitic world view, including Holocaust denial and conspiracy fantasies. The Echo of Wannsee – Eighty Years Later* E Matthias Küntzel * This (edited) paper was presented on January 20, 2022 at the online event “80 Years Since Wannsee: An Alarm Call to Warn of Other Genocides?” organized by the Henry Jackson Society, The Simon Wiesenthal Centre Europe and the Memorial and Educational Site House of the Wannsee Conference. 1. NAZIS UND DER NAHE OSTEN: WIE DER ISLAMISCHE ANTISEMITISMUS ENTSTAND (Hentrich & Hentrich, Leipzig, 2019).

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