Islam and the Third Reich with Dr. Finn Ballard

Islam and the Third Reich with Dr. Finn Ballard


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Description

Few know of one of the most complex and paradoxical chapters of Third Reich history: the relationship between Nazi Germany and the Islamic world. While in Mein Kampf Hitler clearly defined his opinions on the "racial inferiority" of Arabs and North Africans, he found two unlikely allies in the vehement anti-Semite Mohammad Amin al-Husanyi, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem (who eventually earned the title of "honorary Aryan"), alongside the the Iraqi Prime Minister, Rashid Ali al-Gaylani. Shockingly, thousands of Eastern European Muslims would sign up to the Waffen-SS, the 13th Division, made up of nearly 17,000 largely Bosnian Muslim volunteers who swore allegiance both to the Führer and to his Croatian counterpart Ante Pavelic. 

At the same time however, a large number of Muslims resisted the Nazis and made efforts to save Jews from their clutches. Si Kaddour Benghrabit, rector of the Great Mosque of Paris, helped hundreds of Jews to pass themselves off as Muslims in occupied France. While in Berlin, the remarkably courageous Egyptian doctor Mohammed Helmy saved several Jews in an exercise of sheer audacious luck that needs to be heard to be believed! 

Led by an expert on Third Reich history, Dr. Finn Ballard, this Conversation will illuminate the history of the relationship between Islam and the Nazi regime. Designed to inform curiosity as well as future travels, participants will come away with an increased understanding of a complex and lesser-known chapter of twentieth-century history. 
About Your Expert

Finn grew up in Northern Ireland before moving to England to study and later teach in the department of Film and Literature at the University of Warwick. He completed his doctoral study on German folklore and popular cinema in 2012, and has published extensively in the fields of Film Studies and Gender Studies. Since 2008, he has been living and guiding in Berlin. He now works as a historical advisor for television and film productions set in Berlin, particularly during the Weimar era or Third Reich. He is a journalist for the 'Siegessauele', Europe's foremost Queer magazine, and organises events at Berlin's English-language bookstore 'Another Country'.

Audience

This conversation is suitable for all ages.

Duration

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.

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