Sunday, April 12, 2015
Muslims recruited to German army
Rare footage has emerged of the Free Arab Legion, to which the Nazis began recruiting Muslim soldiers in 1941. It proved a dismal failure, although its soldiers were used as non-combatants in Nazi-occupied Tunisia. The pro-Nazi coup in Iraq led by the Mufti of Jerusalem in May 1941( leading to the Farhud) was the only serious attempt to foment a pro-Nazi uprising against the Allies. It too failed. Report in Ynet News (with thanks: Rudi):
The Nazis recruited Muslim soldiers to the Wehrmacht during World War II, but did not trust the Free Arab Legion with any major tasks, according to Stefan Petke of the Technical University of Berlin, who says the Arab units did not participate in the extermination of Jews, or guard the labor camps in North Africa*.
Petke uncovered rare footage which documents the Nazi army's Arab units, which, he says, were a complete failure in the battlefields of Tunisia in 1943, leading the Nazis to take their weapons and using them as "working soldiers," away from the frontlines.
Ynet spoke to Petke about the role the Free Arab Legion played in World War II and the newly uncovered footage.
* Robert Satloff in his book 'Among the Righteous': does, however, state that Arab guards were employed in Moroccan labour camps (p 80 - 81)