In the crucial phase of World War II, after the first military setbacks in the Soviet Union, Hitler’s Germany tried to instrumentalize Islam to its advantage by setting aside its racist prejudices in favor of geostrategic pragmatism.
From that moment on, Muslims from areas as diverse as North Africa, the Balkans or the Caucasus, where the troops of the Third Reich fought, became the target of Nazi propaganda. For the Nazi leaders who were most enthusiastic about Heinrich Himmler under the leadership of this project, the Muslims were a powerful force who had the same enemies as Germany: the British Empire, the Soviet Union, and the Jews. One of the goals of this campaign was to recruit the maximum number of men for his war effort. another to undermine the British and Soviet empires they are fighting. “Muslims in the National Socialist German War” is the first comprehensive study of Berlin’s ambitious attempts to forge an alliance with the Islamic world. Drawing on a thorough examination of the primary sources in archives on three continents, David Motadel explains how the Third Reich sought to promote itself as a benefactor of Islam. It examines Berlin’s politics and propaganda in Muslim war zones and the intensive work of the Nazi authorities to recruit tens of thousands of Muslim volunteers who fought in the ranks of the Wehrmacht and the SS and to provide them with spiritual help and ideological instruction. Combining reasoned arguments with masterly handling of details, Motadel explains the profound effects of World War II on Muslims around the world and how the Middle East has changed. The attempt by the Nazis to instrumentalize Islam will be followed by other powers during the Cold War.
Title: Muslims in the War of Nazi Germany
Author: David Motadel
Number of pages: 448
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