Has there ever been an Islamic Nazi

So the so-called Islamization of the West: Hitler went on to explain that this was a beautiful idea. "Because they would have forced a religion on the Germanic peoples, which through their teaching: to spread the faith with the sword and to subjugate all peoples to this faith, the Germanic peoples as if written on the body.

As a result of their racial inferiority, the conquerors would not have been able to stand up against the stronger inhabitants who grew up in the rougher nature of the country, so that it was not the Arabs but the Mohammedanized Teutons who were at the head of this Islamic world empire. "

Hitler used to close this narrative with a contemplation: "We have the misfortune of having a false religion ... the Muslim religion would be much more suitable for us than Christianity, of all things, with its sloppy tolerance."

However, Nazi ideologues only struck such a note after a series of propagandistic twists and turns that reveal a lot about rhetorical flexibility and projections of the Nazis, but little about the inner workings of a religion.

Her ostentatious affection for Islam is put into a larger context in two new, pleasantly sober books: The analysis of the Cambridge historian David Motadel, who grew up in Detmold and teaches ("Islam and Nazi Germany's War", Cambridge University Press, 2014, appears in German 2017 at Klett-Cotta) is the most comprehensive to date; Francis R. Nicosia's "Nazi Germany and the Arab World" (Cambridge University Press 2015) appeared almost simultaneously.

Anyone who was a German Muslim could also become a member of the NSDAP

In Germany, as both authors show, Nazi friendliness towards Islam had to be decreed from above. It came so suddenly. Even in "Mein Kampf" Hitler had declared Arabs to be racially inferior, and he called their anti-colonial struggle against the British and French a "coalition of cripples". The NSDAP ideologist Alfred Rosenberg had expressly welcomed their submission to the boots of Europe in his book "Myth of the 20th Century".

The Nazis only moved away from this after they came to power, when their focus was already on war preparations and possible alliances on the edges of Europe. Only then did the Muslim world suddenly appear as an attractive partner against rivals France and England - while at the same time there, in London and Paris, the rulers were now vigorously vying for the Orient and suddenly financing mosques, for example.

Who is the more trustworthy partner for the Muslims? Four of the six "volunteer" legions that the Wehrmacht was able to mobilize in the east were Muslim: a Turkestan legion with 110,000 to 180,000 soldiers, a Caucasian-Mohammedan legion with 25,000 to 38,000 soldiers, and a North Caucasian legion with 28,000 and a Volga Tatar legion with 35,000 to 40,000 soldiers.

Three Muslim battalions took part on the German side in the Battle of Stalingrad, six in the defense of Berlin. It is doubtful whether religious motives were decisive for the recruits. Historian David Motadel quotes Nazi officers who lamented how little interest Muslim "volunteers" showed in religious instruction; it was prisoners of war who often only put on the German uniform to be left alive.

The National Socialists began to look for ideological parallels, and they warned that the Allies had an interest in "having as many Muslim men (sic) killed as possible". The SS in Bosnia wrote that in a pamphlet addressed to the Muslim recruits, and it went even further.

The SS recalled that 232 million Muslims lived "under English, American, French and Russian rule", but at the same time ignored the fact that the Nazi leaders had little else in mind. Only Germany really respected Islam. "If Germany is destroyed, the last chance for you Muselmanns to ever become free disappears."