Today, Germany has over 5 million Muslims from Turkey and other places, and like France, they tend to be segregated in parts of large cities. These Muslims are generally tolerated and many are in low class jobs. This is the same problem France has, resulting in many discontented people.
Germany, historically speaking, has always admired Turkish Muslims. In WW1, they fought alongside with Germans in the Middle East. Hitler admired the Turkish Islamic Muslims even before he, himself, came to power. He admired how in 1908, progressive Turks brought down a government in Constantinople and later when they defeated Greece's attempt to seize (with British and French help) most of Turkey between 1919-1922. That is when Ataturk, or the Father of Turkey, came to power and retook parts of Syria and the Strait of Dardanelles using the Turkish Army that had been trained and weaponized with German help.
When Hitler was coming to power, his model or ideal was the Turkish model that Ataturk had achieved. In 1923, the Nazi party paper praised Ataturk for his heroic spirit and leader principles in demanding absolute obedience. Ataturk forced Islam to be subordinated to the State or government (Turkey today has internal struggles with this now). This is what Hitler wanted to do with Christianity. Hitler admired how the Turks has slaughtered the Armenians and expelled the Greeks.
The close ties between Hitler and Turkey continued and by 1936, 50% of Turkey's imports came from Germany and in 1941, signed a friendship agreement before Hitler invaded Russia. Hitler's views of Islam and Muslims were his guide when creating the SS troops. He felt that Islam was a "religion of men, not meek like Christianity". Hitler thought the best soldiers were Muslim holy warriors and when they died in battle, did receive a paradise in heaven. He often complained about Germany's misfortune in having the wrong religion as its cultural heritage. He admired how Ataturk treated minorities in Turkey with ruthlessness. Both leaders valued similar values-they hated Jews, Russians and liberal democracy and both wanted to transform beliefs through combat.
By 1941, Hitler was well on his way to his goal and had controlled large populations of Muslims. Hitler directed the press not to criticize Islam or Muslims and to put both in a positive light.The opposite was true for the Jews. In 1942, Hitler made an astonishing fatwa, that Islam was incapable of terrorism. Germans who had Turkish or Iranian descendants were exempt from certain laws that Jews had to obey and Muslims by 1943, were able to join the Nazi party. By 1944, Muslims were recruited into SS formations and had created a Muslim school for SS training under the Haj al-Husseini, the father of Palestinian nationalism in Dresden. He wanted to extend the genocide to the Middle East. Had Germany controlled the Palestine area in WW2, Hitler and Husseini had agreed that a Palestinian state would be created and all Jews would be exterminated. Husseini lobbied the leaders of Romania, Hungary and Bulgaria not to allow Jews to immigrate to Palestine in 1943-44. An agreement was reached and all Jews from these countries were sent to death camps instead.
Hitler also supported the birth of the Muslim Brotherhood through Zeki Kiram, a Turkis officer who became a disciple of Rashid Rida, the founder of the Brotherhood. After the war, the Allies did not even indict Husseini at the Nuremberg trials for war crimes and was allowed to live in Beirut until his death in 1974. His young cousin who would start the PLO in the 70s-80s, was none other than Yasser Arafat!
Of the SS Muslim divisions created, the 13th SS Division was the most ruthless and feared in the Yugoslavia\Bosnia area. The other division, the 21st SS, was recruited in Albania. Together, 42,000 Muslims were feared fighters inspired by Husseini, the Grand Mufti. After the war, the comamnder of the 13th was tried in court and found guilty of murdering over 5000.
perrya (author) on January 22, 2015:
Jimmy on January 21, 2015:
Did I mention I wacked it to Walter Cronkite?
perrya (author) on January 21, 2015:
It is very surprising, especially the Arafat connection. Germany did have a plan to invade Turkey in WW2, it was neutral most of the time, at least part of it to the Syrian border. Of the course, French Vichy in Syria were on the German's side, but too weak. Had Rommel taken all of Egypt to the Suez canal, I am sure he would have continued to Palestine\Syria.
FOOFOO GUY from USA on January 20, 2015:
I did not know this bit of information about Hitler and his cohorts, I guess there were lots of people that did not pay the price for their part in genocide. Let us hope that the world will get better at holding brutes accountable for their actions. Great story.