Letters They Wouldn't Publish

May 10, 2006

Letters to the Editor
Chronicle of Higher Education

Dear editor:

George Michael (April 21) wrote that "After [World War II], several former German military and Nazi party officials ... were granted sanctuary in Arab countries, most notably Egypt."

Other studies have found that the number of ex-Nazis sheltered by Arab regimes was much higher than "several." Robert St. John, in his biography of Egyptian leader Gamal Abdel Nasser (The Boss, 1960, p. 153), reported that "hundreds" of ex-Nazis came "pouring in" to Egypt shortly after World War II. Prof. M. S. Arnoni (Arab Racialism, 1970, p.22) calculated that former Nazis came to Egypt "in hundreds, perhaps in thousands," and listed several dozen of them by name, including fugitive war criminals who were given positions in the Egyptian or Syrian governments, such as Franz Rademacher, Oskar Dirlewanger, and Leopold Gleim. Investigative journalist Paul Meskil (Hitler's Heirs: Where Are They Now?, 1961, p.165) calculated that "more than six thousand" former Nazis had reached Egypt by 1957. So many ex-Nazis fled to Arab countries that "the underground route to Arabia soon looked like rush hour on the Autobahn," he wrote.

It is noteworthy that Dr. Johann von Leers, a former Nazi propagandist employed by the Egyptian government, wrote in 1953 of what he called "the moving humanitarian reception which hundreds, perhaps thousands of German refugees found after the war among the Moslems of the Middle East." (Wiener Library Bulletin, XI: 1-2, 1957)


Rafael Medoff
The David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies
Melrose Park, PA

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