Nazi Agents Infiltrated Mandatory Palestine Prior to World War II

By David Krusch


Smuggled photographs of documents from Nazi Germany prior to World War II offer insight into a secret alliance between Nazi agents and Palestinian leaders. These German documents, photographed by an American spy in 1937 and sent to British intelligence, are now housed in the British National Archives in London. The documents show, among other things, that the Nazis attempted to send a shipment of arms “via Turkey and addressed to Ibn Saud, but really intended for the Palestinian insurgents.”

According to British documents and photographed Nazi records, several Nazi agents were sent to Mandatory Palestine to meet with Palestinian leaders, and influence them into rejecting a proposed partition plan which would divide the Jewish and Arab populations. Adam Vollhardt, a Nazi agent, was sent to Palestine in July 1938, and held several meetings with Arab leaders. He told Palestinian leaders that “Germany was interested in the settlement of the question on the basis of the Arabs obtaining their full demands,” and the “Germans could continue to support the Palestinian Arab cause by means of propaganda.”

Germany believed that Palestine under Arab control would be one of the few countries that would give “strong sympathy” to the new Germany under Nazi rule. A report from German General Consulate in Palestine in 1937 stated, “The formation of a Jewish state...is not in Germany’s interest because a (Jewish) Palestinian state would create additional national power bases for international Jewry such as for example the Vatican State political Catholicism or Moscow for the Communists.” The Nazis attempted to boost the power of Palestinian leaders in order to counter Jewish national aspirations for a state in Palestine.

In 1937, a Nazi official wrote a letter from Palestine to Berlin which said that Palestinian Arabs showed “a great sympathy for new Germany and its Fuhrer...based on a purely ideological foundation.” Another agent, Dr. Franz Reichart was working in conjunction with Palestinians “to help coordinate Arab and German propaganda.”

The documents also show that due to increased Nazi-Arab alliances, the British government cancelled a plan in 1938 to bring 20,000 German Jewish refugees to Palestine so it would not upset Arab opinion. A British Foreign Office report said that when British representatives in Arab countries were asked if Arab governments would support a proposal to bring 5,000 Jewish children to Palestine for adoption, they said the reaction would be so strongly negative that the Arabs would probably refuse to even send delegates to London to discuss such a proposal. Lord Chatfield, Minister for Coordination of Defence, was quoted as saying, “If war were to break out, no trouble that the Jews could occasion us...could weigh for the a moment against the importance of winning Muslim opinion to our side.” Therefore, 20,000 Jewish refugees, many of them children, were abandoned and left in Nazi Germany to face the horrors of the Holocaust.


Source: Yaakov Lappin, “Nazis ‘shipped arms to Palestinians,’ British National Archives unveil presence of Nazi S.S. agents in Mandatory Palestine, working closely with Palestinian leaders,” Ynetnews, (May 8, 2006).