Were there Jewish supporters of Hitler and the Nazis?

Yes there were as were Muslims and other groups that were not considered perfect Aryan by the German National Socialists.

Some Muslims were allies of the Nazi regime (most Muslims were not) – like the infamous Mufti of Jerusalem – shared the Nazis’ Jew-hatred. In war zones, in the Balkans, in North Africa and in the Eastern territories, the picture was a lot more complicated. Muslims and Jews had lived together for centuries. And in many cases, Muslims would help their Jewish neighbours, for example hiding them from the Germans invaders.

In the first months of the Nazi invasion of the east, SS squads executed thousands of Muslims because they assumed circumcision meant they were Jewish. Reinhard Heydrich, the chief Nazi security officer, ordered cautioning the executing squads to be more careful. Still, German killing squads still had difficulties distinguishing Muslims from Jews.
The Germans had hopes that what happened on Nov. 11, 1914, when the highest religious authority of the Ottoman Caliphate, Sheikh al-Islam Ürgüplü Hayri, issued a call for worldwide jihad against Russia, Britain, and France and the Great War became a holy war and the Germans dreamed that Muslims would join their side en masse and turn the tide of battle.

But that did not happen in World War One and neither would it in World War Two as the Caliphate was no more.

Jews were being systematically targeted by fanatical nationalists in Europe and specifically the National Socialists in Germany – there is a story many miss: Some German Jews who were sympathic to Hitler and hoped that things may change with him in power.

One such organsation was The Association of German National Jews

The Association of German National Jews (German: Verband nationaldeutscher Juden) was a German Jewish organisation during the Weimar Republic and the early years of Nazi Germany this group supported Adolf Hitler.

Founded by Max Naumann the association was dissolved finally in 1935. Politically, the association was close to the national conservative and monarchist German National People’s Party which, refused affiliation with the Association.

The goal of the Association was the total assimilation of Jews into the German Volksgemeinschaft, self eradication of Jewish identity, and the expulsion from Germany of the Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe.

Naumann was especially opposed to political Zionists and Eastern European Jews, the former he considered a threat to Jewish integration and to be carriers of a “racist” ideology serving British imperial purposes, while he saw the latter as racially inferior.

The association’s official organ was the monthly Der nationaldeutsche Jude edited by Max Naumann. The magazine had a circulation of 6000 in 1927.
Among the activities of this group was the fight against the Jewish boycott of German goods. They also issued a manifesto that stated that the Jews were being fairly treated.

In 1934 the group made the following statement:
We have always held the well-being of the German people and the fatherland, to which we feel inextricably linked, above our own well-being. Thus we greeted the results of January, 1933, even though it has brought hardship for us personally.

A possible reason why some German Jews supported Hitler may have been that they thought that his antisemitism only was for the purpose of “stirring up the masses”.

The fact that a Jewish association advocated loyalty to the Nazi programme gave rise to a contemporary joke about Naumann and his followers ending their meeting by giving the Nazi salute and shouting “Down With Us!”.
Despite their hyper patriotism, the German government did not accept their goal of assimilation. The Association of German National Jews was declared illegal and dissolved on 18 November 1935.

Max Naumann, was arrested by the Gestapo the same day and imprisoned at the Columbia concentration camp. He was released after a few weeks and died of cancer in May 1939.

Another Jewish group in Germany was the German Vanguard (Der deutsche Vortrupp), the German-Jewish followers of Hitler led by Hans-Joachim Schoeps, also referred to as “Nazi Jews”.

Schoeps went into exile in Falun/Sweden in 1938, just before the persecutions began in earnest. His two sons were born there. Schoeps returned to Germany after the war and was made professor of religious history at the university of Erlangen in northern Bavaria, ten miles north of Nuremberg.

He remained a monarchist and wanted to re-introduce monarchy in post-war Germany. His involvement in the Vortrupp and his personal engagement for the success of the Nazi movement did not become known at Erlangen while he was a professor there until 1970. He was firmly opposed to the liberal-socialist student movement after 1967, and published a book in 1972 in which he claimed that Germany was threatened by anarchy. Schoeps was a member of the Deutschland-Stiftung, in which former Nazis were active.

Although a smaller threat than the Nazis of Germany of the 1930s – a number of today’s anti Muslim groups like the English Defence League and UKIP, have Jewish, Hindu and yes even Muslim supporters and members. A number of them consider themselves part of ‘non-racist’ groups. To these individuals they need to keep in mind Pastor Niemöller the German theologian and Lutheran pastors poem:

First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—
     Because I was not a socialist.

Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out—
     Because I was not a trade unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
     Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

Mohammed Abbasi

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