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Egypt and the Nazis

Egyptian President Gamal Nasser
Egyptian President Gamal Nasser (Right)

After the war, Grand Mufti Haj Amin al-Husseini was put on the list of Nazi war criminals by the Yugoslav authorities to be executed for recruiting Muslims for Hitler. However, he managed to escape punishment. The Arab League appealed to Marshal Tito with a request not to insist on the extradition of the Mufti, who at that moment was in the hands of the French authorities. Tito went to meet the Arab countries, the Mufti was sentenced in absentia, and in the summer of 1946 he arrived in Cairo to the Egyptian King Farouk, who gave him an enthusiastic reception.

It must be said that even before the war, Hitler's propaganda strongly inspired the Arab countries that Germany was the best friend of the Arab peoples. In 1939, Joseph Goebbels came to Cairo on an official friendly visit. During the war, Mufti al-Husseini and Rashid Ali al-Gaylani were representatives of the Arab nationalist movements in the Arab countries.

Aviation Major Hassan Ibrahim and other officers of the Egyptian army in 1942 sent a military aircraft with a courier to Rommel's headquarters in the El Alamein area, which handed over to the Germans secret documents on the location and movement of British troops. Also on this plane were the leaders of the liberation movement. If Rommel had managed to reach Cairo, he would have received the support of the Egyptians. At the same time, a young Egyptian army officer, Gamal Abdel Nasser, the future president of Egypt, worked with German agents.

The defeat of Germany in 1945 did not mean the collapse of the German-Arab friendship directed against the Western democracies. Pro-Nazi sentiment in the Arab world continued to exist after the war. And it is no coincidence that it was the Arab East that became the main refuge for fugitive Nazi criminals.

The Nazis in hiding in the 1950's first of all established close ties with the headquarters of Haj Amin al-Hussein in Cairo. In order to transfer them to Egypt and other Arab countries, a special "Arab-German center for emigration" was created. This center also recruited former Wehrmacht officers for military service in the armies of the Arab states.

The head of the center was a former officer of the headquarters of Field Marshal Rommel, Oberstleutnant Hans Müller, who converted to Islam and acted under the guise of a Syrian citizen Hosan Bey. With his help, 1,500 Nazi officers were transferred to the Arab East. According to the press, in the 50's, about 8,000 Wehrmacht officers fled to the Arab countries, who entered the service in the armed forces of various countries in the region. In total, about 2,000 people moved to Egypt.

Already in 1951, an unofficial German military mission began its work in Egypt, consisting of 60 officers, headed by General Farmbacher. His deputy was General Munzel, a German specialist in tank warfare. The mission carried out the training of the landing units of the Egyptian army. At this time, former officers of the German navy Bechtolsheim and Sprecher tried to infiltrate the British naval base in Alexandria.

Former SS officer Tiefenbacher trained the Cairo police. Then Oscar Dirlewanger, the former head of the special forces of the SS troops in Ukraine, joined the Egyptian army. In July 1952, after the overthrow of King Farouk with the support of German friends, the new Nasser government appointed Dirlewanger as the head of training for saboteurs against Israel. In 1953, SS-Oberführer Johann Demling, former head of the Gestapo in the Ruhr area, carried out a massive reorganization of the Egyptian security service.

In the autumn of 1956, a former employee of Goebbels and Rosenberg, Johann von Leers, came to Cairo and converted to Islam. Leers supervised the organization of German war criminals who fled to the Arab countries. In this he was assisted by the secretary of the Islamic Congress, Salab Gafar, in reality the famous Nazi Hans Appler. Leers was also an adviser to the Egyptian Ministry of National Development and was engaged in propaganda against Israel on Cairo radio.

The latest data on the presence of Germans in the Egyptian security forces date back to 1958. This year, Leers continued to operate in Egypt, as well as a group of German military experts consisting of 15 officers.

Also during this period of the 50's, other military figures from Germany are known in Egypt. Al-Nakher, the former head of the Gestapo in Warsaw, Leopold Gleim, who was sentenced to death in absentia by a Polish court, was in the leadership of the Egyptian security service. The post of head of the security service, as well as the Egyptian propaganda ministry, was occupied by Hussa Nalisman, who also created a youth movement such as the Hitler Youth in Cairo. In fact, it was Obergruppenführer SS Moser. His closest assistant was the former SS Gruppenführer Buble, who also bore an Arabic surname. The head of the Egyptian secret state police was Lieutenant Colonel Hamid Suleiman, in fact the former head of the Gestapo in Ulm, SS Gruppenführer Heinrich Selman. The head of the political department of the police was Colonel Salam, the former SS Obersturmbannführer Bernhard Bender, who created a Hitler-style prison in Cairo.

One of the most popular Egyptian presidents, Anwar Sadat, was in an English prison for 2.5 years for his activities in favor of Germany and learned German during this time. Here is what the "Welt" newspaper wrote in this regard on March 31, 1976: "Sadat's attitude towards the Germans was mainly influenced by his father, who expressed his admiration for the Germans ...". During the Second World War, Sadat was on the side of the Germans and was engaged in espionage for Field Marshal Rommel. When Sadat came to power, he handled organizational matters in the style of a real German. He was able to defend matrionic Egypt in the war against Israel, and then competently was able to return the Sinai Peninsula to Egypt.

An interesting fact: the "Deutsche National-Zeitungen" newspaper reported on November 5, 1959, that in the fall of that year, in one of the bookshops in Cairo, 1,000 copies of the Arabic edition of "Mein Kampf" were sold in just one day.

General and President of Egypt Anwar Sadat
General and President of Egypt Anwar Sadat



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