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Nazi Germany and Islam in Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East

  • Jeffrey Herf (a1)

In his global bestseller, Inside the Third Reich, Adolf Hitler's former architect and armaments minister, Albert Speer, cited the German dictator's view that if the Arabs had won the Battle of Tours in the eighth century, “the world would be Mohammedan today.” That was the case, he continued, because “theirs was a religion that believed in spreading the faith by the sword and subjugating all nations to their faith. The Germanic people would have become heirs to that religion. Such a creed was perfectly suited to the Germanic temperament.” Yet, because of what Hitler called Arabs' “racial inferiority” and inability to handle the harsher climate, “they could not have kept down the more vigorous natives, so that ultimately not Arabs but Islamized Germans could have stood at the head of this Mohammedan Empire.” Hitler concluded, “It's been our misfortune to have the wrong religion. Why didn't we have the religion of the Japanese, who regard sacrifice for the Fatherland as the highest good? The Mohammedan religion too would have been much more compatible to us than Christianity. Why did it have to be Christianity with its meekness and flabbiness?”

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Central European History
  • ISSN: 0008-9389
  • EISSN: 1569-1616
  • URL: /core/journals/central-european-history
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