Robert Weltsch on the Jewish Agency and Zionist leaders, 1942

WO 169/4334

Robert Weltsch had been editor of the twice-weekly Berlin newspaper Jüdische Rundschau until it was banned by the Nazis in 1938.

In a speech he gave in Tel Aviv in 1942, Weltsch warned that Zionist leaders

"have not yet understood that the enemy seeks the destruction of the Jews ... We who have been here only a few years, we know what Nazism is."

Zionists take “part in the crash of European Jewry only as spectators”, fighting the British and keeping Jews from joining the Allied struggle while getting comfortable and rich from their political project in Palestine.

Recent immigrants from Germany and Central Europe know the truth in Europe but have no representation in the Zionist politic. If they did,

“we would have demanded that
the Yishuv should put itself at the disposal of Britain for the fight against Hitler and Nazism”. But "They do not want to fight against Hitler because his fascist methods are also theirs ... They do not want our young men to join the [Allied] Forces ... day after day they are sabotaging the English War Effort."

The Agency, he continued, exploited the Struma tragedy (the vessel sank, drowning 781 people) only to serve the Zionist cause. “It rejected all other possibilities of saving them, [and] this was a very great crime”. It had the audacity to conflate the Struma tragedy with that of the Patria (bombed by the Agency in 1940), whose victims “were the fault of the Jews.” Sharett’s and Ben-Gurion’s exploitation of the Struma was, in Weltsch’s words, “an injustice to the dead”.

State of Terror, 70


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