In 1983, Croom Helm Ltd. published my 1st book, Zionism in the Age of the Dictators. American writers don’t expect favorable reviews from the London Times, but editorialist Edward Mortimer declared that “Brenner is able to cite numerous cases where Zionists collaborated with anti-Semitic regimes, including Hitler’s.”
Still less could a Trotskyist dream of a review from Izvestia, the Soviet government gazette, but they hailed it. “During the world war, Brenner points out, Zionism showed its real meaning: for the sake of its ambitions, it sacrificed the blood of millions of Jews.”
Louis Rapoport, a failed Berkeley radical, denounced the book in the Jerusalem Post as “leftist babble.” Nevertheless, he conceded, there were “very real charges that will continue to haunt” Zionism “until they are dealt with honestly.”
In 1987, Jim Allen, the celebrated British movie/TV writer, based Perdition, a stage play, on the book. When intense pressure on the Royal Court Theatre canceled production, we debated Sir Martin Gilbert, the Churchill family’s private historian, and Stephen Roth, head of the British Zionist Federation, nationwide, prime-time on ITV. The London Review of Books said the Zionist scheme “made it one of the most famous plays of the decade.” Indeed, unless the Queen was sick on the crapper, every politically or theatrically interested person in Britain watched us win, thanks to director Ken Loach’s strategic instructions.
Extraordinary world interest wasn’t matched in America’s media. Alex Cockburn championed the book in the Village Voice and in the Nation. But the Voice refused to review it. The Nation sent it out to someone, but, sorry, “he never sent in the review.”
Walter Laqueur had to bark in the Zionist New Republic after their Perdition debacle: “Some of Brenner’s book is invented, some is exaggerated or drawn out of context.” Yet even he admits that “German Zionists did not fully understand the meaning of Hitler when he came to power in 1933. Some of their comments and declarations make embarrassing reading 50 years later.”
Despite Zionism’s best efforts, over 5,000 copies sold in 18 years before being put on the web: www.marxists.de/middleast/brenner/index.htm Then Lyle Stuart of Barricade Books discovered that a friend, a Zionist propagandist, had never read the complete proposal of the “Stern Gang,” 1940s Zionist terrorists, to go to war on Hitler’s side. 51 Documents was born. Now Americans and others can read the evidence and judge for themselves.
There are six selections re Zionism’s relationship to anti-Semitism and racism prior to Hitler. The 51 documents, including 35 letters, memos, articles, and reports by Zionists, are from the Hitler era and after. Seven are by Nazis, most notably Eichmann’s memoir, written in Argentina, on Hungarian collaborator RA<
Zionism convicts itself. On June 21, 1933, the German Zionist Federation sent a secret memorandum to the Nazis:
“Zionism has no illusions about the difficulty of the Jewish condition, which consists above all in an abnormal occupational pattern and in the fault of an intellectual and moral posture not rooted in one’s own tradition. Zionism recognized decades ago that as a result of the assimilationist trend, symptoms of deterioration were bound to appear, which it seeks to overcome by carrying out its challenge to transform Jewish life completely.
“It is our opinion that an answer to the Jewish question truly satisfying to the national state can be brought about only with the collaboration of the Jewish movement that aims at a social, cultural and moral renewal of Jewry–indeed, that such a national renewal must first create the decisive social and spiritual premises for all solutions.
“Zionism believes that a rebirth of national life, such as is occurring in German life through adhesion to Christian and national values, must also take place in the Jewish national group. For the Jew, too, origin, religion, community of fate and group consciousness must be of decisive significance in the shaping of his life. This means that the egotistic individualism which arose in the liberal era must be overcome by public spiritedness and by willingness to accept responsibility.”
By 1936, the Post ran a news flash, “German Zionists Seek Recognition”:
“A bold demand that the German Zionist Federation be given recognition by the Government as the only instrument for the exclusive control of German Jewish life was made by the Executive of that body in a proclamation today. All German Jewish organizations, it was declared, should be dominated by the Zionist spirit.”
Zionist factions competed for the honor of allying to Hitler. By 1940-41, the “Stern Gang,” among them Yitzhak Shamir, later Prime Minister of Israel, presented the Nazis with the “Fundamental Features of the Proposal of the National Military Organization in Palestine (Irgun Zvai Leumi) Concerning the Solution of the Jewish Question in Europe and the Participation of the NMO in the War on the Side of Germany.”
Avraham Stern and his followers announced that
“The NMO, which is well-acquainted with the goodwill of the German Reich government and its authorities towards Zionist activity inside Germany and towards Zionist emigration plans, is of the opinion that:
1. Common interests could exist between the establishment of a new order in Europe in conformity with the German concept, and the true national aspirations of the Jewish people as they are embodied by the NMO.
2. Cooperation between the new Germany and a renewed folkish-national Hebraium would be possible and,
3. The establishment of the historic Jewish state on a national and totalitarian basis, bound by a treaty with the German Reich, would be in the interest of a maintained and strengthened future German position of power in the Near East.
Proceeding from these considerations, the NMO in Palestine, under the condition the above-mentioned national aspirations of the Israeli freedom movement are recognized on the side of the German Reich, offers to actively take part in the war on Germany’s side.”
They hanged people all over Europe after WW II for notes to the Nazis like these. But these treasons against the Jews were virtually unknown in the run up to the creation of the Zionist state in May 1948. Ninety percent of America’s Jews suddenly became emotional pro-Zionists. With Democrats, Republicans and even the Communist-organized Progressive Party competing for Jewish votes in the November Presidential election, Harry Truman’s monetary aid bought arms from pro-Soviet Czechoslovakia, and an Israel was born, run by the German Zionists’ cothinkers in Jerusalem.
Jews and other Americans still know little of Zionism’s sordid past. But today only programed fanatics can come away pro-Zionist after reading plain facts. Indeed, according to the American Jewish Identity Survey (2001), less than 22% of all Jews declare themselves Zionist.
Opposition to Zionism also grows among liberal educated gentiles, every time their declared enemy, Pat Robertson, howls in favor of Orthodox Israel.
For complex historical reasons, the Vietnam anti-war movement and anti-apartheid campaign emphasized demonstrations over sustained education. Even in victory, little was left behind in the way of attention to foreign affairs among the broad masses. Even after 9/11, the ultimate attention getter, US public knowledge about the Arab world, Islam, the oil industry, Zionism, and Washington’s involvement with them, is minimal. But the present anti-Iraq war movement has no choice but to systematically educate itself and the public. The issues are too complex for anything less. Ignorance or illusions about any of the players, here or there, means certain death for X number of Arabs, Israelis, Kurds, Muslims and Americans.
51 Documents can play a major role in making serious study a priority concern for an anti-war movement that will stay solidly in place until the present bipartisan power structure is destroyed and replaced.
A check to me, for $22.00 + $1.84 media mail postage, gets a signed book back, anywhere in the US. Folks in other countries, and people wanting rates for bulk orders, should also write
LENNI BRENNER Park West Finance Station POB 20598 NY, NY 10025
LENNI BRENNER can be reached at: BrennerL21@aol.com