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49 of 57 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Dark History of Zionism
Lenni Brenner here follows up his work on Zionist collaboration with Fascism in `Zionism in the Age of the Dictators' with the production of the documents that formed the basis of his research.

Brenner has argued that Zionism, rather than fighting anti-semitism, has often collaborated with it for it's own political ends and, in the process, has betrayed the...
Published on 24 Jan 2006 by Germinal

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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars What about Zionist collaboration with the Bolsheviks?
This book, compiled by a self-proclaimed Trotskyist, is ridiculous. Indeed, only a Trotskyist sectarian purist could edit a volume like this.

The book contains 51 documents, of varied quality and relevance, supposedly proving that the Zionists collaborated with the Nazis. Really?

In reality, of course, most Zionists did no such thing. The Revisionist...
Published on 24 Aug 2008 by Ashtar Command


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49 of 57 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Dark History of Zionism, 24 Jan 2006
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Lenni Brenner here follows up his work on Zionist collaboration with Fascism in `Zionism in the Age of the Dictators' with the production of the documents that formed the basis of his research.

Brenner has argued that Zionism, rather than fighting anti-semitism, has often collaborated with it for it's own political ends and, in the process, has betrayed the Jews it was purportedly liberating.

The case is a convincing one. From the founder of Zionism, Theodor Herzl, we hear that anti-semites should be considered friends of Zionism for anti-semitism would lead Jews to believe that they should not seek assimilation in gentile society but would look to leave and found their own state. Thus, anti-semitism was not to be opposed.

Following from this inauspicious start, we find that Zionist leaders in Britain, such as Weizmann, offer the anti-semitic foreign secretary Balfour the support of their movement. We find the founder of the Revisionist tendency within Zionism, Ze'ev Jabotinsky, willingly siding with anti-semitic pogromists in Ukraine. We find Winston Churchill lending his support to Zionism through motives which can only be described as anti-semitic.

And then it comes to the Nazis themselves. We find German Zionists seeing National Socialism as a kindred ideology to their own. We find SS officers visiting Palestine at the invitation of mainstream Zionist organisations in order to help facilitate Jewish emigration to Palestine, including Adolf Eichmann who would record his admiration for Zionist politics. We find the SS producing a commemorative medal with the Zionist star on one side and the SS insignia on the other. We find a Zionist agent in the pay of the Gestapo with the full knowledge and approval of his superiors as he betrays anti-Nazis. And we find the origins of the Israeli navy in Mussolini's Italy wearing Blackshirts and singing Fascist hymns.

It's not a pretty story. And, because it's not pretty, British Zionists have attempted to have this book withdrawn from Amazon. When people with a vested interest in something want a book withdrawn, you know that you should read it.

I do hope that my previous review of this work was removed from amazon through some technical reason and not due to pressure
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars What about Zionist collaboration with the Bolsheviks?, 24 Aug 2008
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This review is from: 51 Documents (Paperback)
This book, compiled by a self-proclaimed Trotskyist, is ridiculous. Indeed, only a Trotskyist sectarian purist could edit a volume like this.

The book contains 51 documents, of varied quality and relevance, supposedly proving that the Zionists collaborated with the Nazis. Really?

In reality, of course, most Zionists did no such thing. The Revisionist leader Jabotinsky called for an economic boycott of Nazi Germany. The Labor Zionists supported the Allies during World War Two. Zionists participated in the Warsaw Ghetto uprising, while others joined Communist partisan units. And, of course, the Zionist idea that Jews can be safe only in their own state, was ultimately proven right. Without this context in mind, the documents presented by Brenner are in effect a subtle way of suggesting that the Jews were responsible for the Holocaust. In reality, both Labor and the Revisionists smuggled Jews out of Nazi-infested Europe.

So Brenner is a Trotskyist. Now, there was a small Trotskyist group in Albania which supported Mussolini, and later joined the right-wing, anti-Communist resistance group Balli Kombėtar. There were also Trotskyists who, after the war, expressed support for the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA), a fascist organization. What conclusions should we draw from this? That Trotskyists in general were Nazi collaborators?

What have Brenner come up with, then? Not much. Naturally, he spends an entire section of the book exposing the Stern gang (Lehi). But this group was very small and was disarmed by the Labor Zionists in 1948. That the Stern gang proposed collaboration with the Nazis in 1940 and 1941 is therefore as irrelevant as Albanian Trotskyists joining an anti-Communist resistance group after first praising Mussolini. Besides, the whole point of Lehi's proposal was that they would side with the Nazis only if Hitler agreed to resettle all Jews in Palestine. Since that never happened, the deal was off. No actual collaboration took place.

Next, Brenner attempts to implicate the Labor Zionists in Nazi collaboration. However, the documents he presents rather show that Labor attempted to save Jews by getting them out of Germany. Unfortunately but unsurprisingly, there was a catch: the Zionists had to buy German goods in return for every Jew being allowed to emigrate. This broke the trade boycott against Germany called by many progressive groups. The abstract sectarian Trotskyist Brenner doesn't appreciate the moral dilemma of the situation: should one uphold a trade boycott even if it means sacrificing Jews? Or should one try to save as many as possible, even if it means paying the Nazis? Only a stupid Trot like Brenner could suggest, that the only solution is...yes, what? Socialist revolution? In Germany 1936?

A similar dilemma exists in the case of Rudolph Kastner, whose case is still controversial. Kastner negotiated with the notorious Adolf Eichmann, and managed to save perhaps 2000 mostly Hungarian Jews from being killed by the Nazis. However, the rest of Hungarian Jewry was exterminated. Kastner had to "play God" and decide who was to live and who was to die. Also, he had to promise Eichmann to "uphold order in the concentration camps". The original deal between the two stipulated that one million Jews would be spared in exchange for 10,000 trucks for the Nazi army. When the trucks failed to materialize, most Jews were transported to the death camps. Still today, Jews are divided over how judge Kastner, who became a government official in Israel after the war. Was he a tragic hero? Or a cynical collaborator? The fact that Kastner appeared as a witness in favor of SS war criminals have lead many to belive the latter. But even so, Kastner was hardly identical with all of Zionism. Incidentally, Kastner was assasinated when details of his deal with Eichmann leaked out.

When the Nazis came to power in 1933, they didn't have a clear position on the Jewish question beyond apartheid. Exclusively Jewish concentration camps were set up in 1938, the Final Solution was decided upon in 1942. Until that time, different ideas existed within the Nazi leadership about what to do with the Jews. Some wanted them expelled to a foreign country, perhaps Madagascar (at the time controlled by Vichy France). This made it possible for Zionists to attempt a "deal with the Devil": since some Nazis wanted to extradite all Jews from Germany, why not propose that they be transferred to Palestine? Today, we know that this was a naive proposal. But not even Brenner's hero Trotsky predicted the Holocaust. At the time, an transfer agreement seemed like an idea worth trying. Ironically, the Holocaust proved that all attempts to get the Jews out of Germany, no matter how naive, were at some level justified.

Some documents in this book are frankly ridiculous. Please note that the point is to prove Zionist collaboration with Nazis. But Brenner has also included documents about Revisionist collaboration with Fascist Italy and Imperial Japan! Brenner never explains that Fascist Italy wasn't anti-Semitic, nor a fully committed ally to the Nazis, until the eve of World War Two (the documents cited are from before that). Nor does he explain that Imperial Japan didn't exterminate Jews in Manchuria. These documents tell us much about the antics of right-wing nationalists, but nothing about collaboration with Holocaust-mongers.

Finally, I must protest against the naivety of the editor of this anthology. He seems morally outraged by the fact that Zionists can even comtemplate some kind of deal with Nazis, no matter the purpose. But please, comrade. The Bolsheviks made secret deals with both Imperial Germany and the Weimar Republic, both equally anti-Communist, and also with the rogue Ottoman adventurer Kemal Pasha, or the anti-Communist Turkish nationalist Kemal Atatürk. The Bolsheviks took money from Wall Street banks, and even attempted to collaborate with Labor Zionists in Palestine! And during all of this, a certain Leo Trotsky was one of the leaders of the Soviet Bolshevik regime... Trotsky even supported the creation of an "anti-imperialist united front" with Chiang Kai-shek. On that point, he later changed his mind. But not on the others.

Is Lenni Brenner upset about this? Or was this "all for a good cause"?

By all means, buy this book. The documents are interesting in and of themselves. But that's about it...
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Why is there no book "51 Documents: Zionist Resistance to the Nazis"? Can we guess?, 30 Dec 2012
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Brenner is naturally hated by the Zionists, but he is one of their own and he knows his history (see another of his famous books "Zionism in the Age of Dictators").

Most tellingly, this is a book that the Zionists attempted to stop, see the Google entry which says this:

25 May 2005 - There is no such book as "51 Documents: Zionist Resistance to the Nazis". The Board's attempt to discredit my book with Amazon, and their response to me, ...
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15 of 89 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars More of the Same, 4 May 2006
Brenner has a thesis, which proceeds from the conclusion he wants to find - namely that Zionism is evil. What better way to establish the fact than to link the Zionists with the Nazis?

There are 3 concerns about this book:

1. The proposition is plainly likely to be offensive to many people, not least the children and grandchildren of those who died. Now, offensiveness is not a reason to be silent. But it IS a reason for sensitivity. There is little of that discernible (to this reviewer at least) in this book. The problem is that a neutral version of the controversy Brenner posits would be sensitive: if there is no axe to be ground one would expect sympathy and empathy. The lack of it suggests the purpose is not neutral examination, but polemic.

2. Context is key. These were times so dark as to be almost unimaginable - certainly by comfortable (smug?) western liberals. There is little context to be found here. There is no real examination of the proposition that sometimes one has to reach accomodation with evil to achieve a greater good. Children got out of Nazi Germany because Zionists talked to Eichmann - who would refuse to talk in such circumstances? Brenner believes in guilt by association and tries to butress that belief with quotes which lack context. The result is not a contribution to historical debate - it is skewed history which relies for its effect on the ignorance and prejudices of its readers.

3. There is no attempt to look at what else Zionism is and was. Even if one grants Brenner's thesis, the debate is sterile. The Grand Mufti of Jerusalem was an avowed supporter of Hitler - against the British as well as the Jews. Does that make Jordan an illegitimate state? Simply to state the problem in this way demonstrates the intellectual paucity of Brenner's reasoning. Zionism, like it or not, has provided a homeland for people who no one would take in. Yes, that was arguably at the expense of other people. But in that case the debate is about hard choices. Brenner would rather the choice was easy - again that seems to be because he has an answer already and the problem is to phrase the question to give that answer. It's poor stuff.

Ultimately this book says no more than "this boy can't be nice because he mixes with other nasty boys". That is an argument most often heard, and best confined to, the school playground. Grownups will look elsewhere for real debate and argument.
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51 Documents
51 Documents by Lenni Brenner (Paperback - 2 Dec 2009)
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