in this article we will talk about that why did so many Muslims fight for Germany in WW2? when people think of world war ii Islam is not generally on the list of things that come to mind nonetheless Muslims actually played a particularly important role in the war and became a significant focus of Germany in the words of the German chancellor himself the people of Islam will always be closer to us than for example France to understand the chancellor’s position on Islam requires some backgrounds pertaining to his general religious views and thereby those of Germany as a world war ii.
the leader of the third reich held a strong disdain for christianity as well especially the catholic church viewing both religions as weak absurd and unrealistic even though germany was a christian nation and christianity was a part of the european culture a hatred towards the corruption of the catholic church existed as germany moved to expand rapidly it inevitably found itself facing the balkans and moving closer to the middle east.
this subsequently brought the axis power into direct engagement with the muslim world promptly making the german chancellor’s religious opinions exceedingly significant there were two obvious options for germany risk the muslim nations becoming added opposition or make them into allies choosing the latter the german leaders began to court.
the people of islam through propaganda and advantageous policies utilizing an assortment of strategies to politicize the muslims faith in hopes of winning over their support german propagandists went as far as exploiting the concept of jihad and the sacred texts of the quran one pamphlet dropped over north africa by the germans described the tale of an evil king king dajjal from islamic tradition.
this king is said to have led 70 000 jews from isfahan and into battle in the world’s final days against isa the muslim prophet associated with jesus although in this case the prophet was said to be the german chancellor himself a plethora of pamphlets like this were created by the germans in their determined attempts to recruit as many followers of islam.
as they could in addition to these propaganda-style strategies germany also enacted a new set of policies relating to the treatment of muslims within its military by 1941 the german army navy and air force began to distribute a handbook simply titled islam to its troops in order to clearly instruct them on how they should behave towards all muslims.
furthermore muslims in the vermax were also granted religious freedoms most remarkably doing away with the previously imposed ban on ritual slaughter which had been created as a byproduct of anti-semitism in 1933 reaching even further on the eastern front the germans ordered the reconstruction of a collection of mosques madrasas and prayer halls that have been destroyed by the soviet union prior to german occupation.
this move served as both a deed of defiance towards the soviets and a hopeful act of friendship towards the muslims another potential sign of unity that the germans likely noted came in the form of shared enemies as stated by jerusalem’s grand mufti hajj amin el husseini the germans and arabs were in fact unintentionally on the same side considering their mutual oppositions to other ethnicities and forms of government.
the arab muslims were more focused on their disapproval of the british and french colonizers and the jews in palestine specifically nonetheless the grand mufti considered the arabs to be natural friends of germany truly believing in their ability to win the war and benefit his own nation it is important to remember though that germany’s views at the time of racial purity and superiority were in direct contradiction of his decision to recruit and befriend.
the arab and muslim world interestingly instead of addressing the inconsistency germany chose to heighten it by declaring certain groups such as the turks the muslims of bosnia and the grand mufti himself to be honorary aryans considering the fact that not all muslims and arabs would fall for the german’s propaganda contradiction and violently anti-semitic beliefs the question still remains as to what drove such confident recruitment of islam’s followers.
the answer to this one may be found a couple of decades prior at the start of world war one germany became extremely interested in islam seeing the muslims as the key to victory against the triple and taunt the germans attempted to spark muslim revolts against the french and british colonial powers one german diplomat max von oppenheim even described islam as one of their most important weapons following up this claim by asserting that britain france and the russians were the oppressors of islam.
unfortunately for germany they never accounted for the brewing arab uprising against the ottoman empire which allowed france and britain the opportunity to swoop in and appease the revolting muslims and eventually split the previously turkish-controlled syria lebanon palestine and iraq between themselves as well as awarding russia with armenia at the sykes-picot agreement of may 1916. ultimately the germans utterly fails to rally muslim support.
in the first world war but their attempt to do so again with the hope for more success comes as less of a surprise despite the contemporary racial beliefs by the time of world war ii jumping back ahead to the second world war himmler stated that he had no issue with islam because of its promises when it came to martyrdom and he believes that it was a very practical religion for soldiers given that the chancellor himself also respected.
the muslims faith for similar reasons it is safe to assume that there was strongly pragmatic reasons behind everything the germans did in their plea for muslim support of course having additional allies served as the obvious purpose and it is incredibly likely that there was also an aim to use as many foreign soldiers as possible to avoid more german casualties moreover germany could not afford to deal with the unrest caused by an added enemy or the territories.
they sought to occupy by enticing the muslim world into either aligning with or at least not opposing them the germans would have a better chance at smooth expansion and pursual of the larger war at hand by the end tens of thousands of muslims have been recruited by the german army and those who joined fought on all fronts one setback came during the german invasion of russia though when thousands of muslims were executed some muslims even chose to simply side with the allies instead with roughly 230 000 coming from north Africa.
alone joining the free french even more fought for britain about 9 000 palestinian muslims at least half a million indian muslims and additional muslim groups from regions reaching all the way to south asia were unfazed by the axis propaganda and instead picked the allies an underwhelming number fought for the germans in comparison but they were still able to form the 13th.
waffen mountain division was made up of predominantly bosnian muslims who were charged with the duty of restoring order to yugoslavia although they faced their own mutiny before the soldiers training process had even ended while the germans were able to squash this rebellion and salvage the division it still serves as another hint at germany’s failure to once again utilize islam.
as a powerful force against their enemies during wartime despite the fact that the german goals to recruit mass amounts of muslim troops more or less pales in comparison to the numbers of those who decided to fight for the allies it was only a partial failure as they did manage to enlist some especially because a large part of the muslim world was under the colonial powers of france and great Britain.
the role of france and britain as colonial powers likely helped drastically to undermine germany’s propaganda and recruitment techniques given the fact that the allies had a much more authoritative presence in the region nonetheless the muslim world played an integral role in the events of the second world war from both a political and military standpoint and on both sides of the conflict again.
Read More:: Human Journey To The Red Planet Mars Urdu