Nazi Propaganda for the Arab World With a New Preface Jeffrey Herf

Publication date:
07 Dec 2010
Yale University Press
368 pages: 235 x 156mm
Sales territories:

Jeffrey Herf, a leading scholar in the field, offers the most extensive examination to date of Nazi propaganda activities targeting Arabs and Muslims in the Middle East during World War II and the Holocaust. He draws extensively on previously unused and little-known archival resources, including the shocking transcriptions of the "Axis Broadcasts in Arabic" radio programmes, which convey a strongly anti-Semitic message. Herf explores the intellectual, political, and cultural context in which German and European radical anti-Semitism was found to resonate with similar views rooted in a selective appropriation of the traditions of Islam. Pro-Nazi Arab exiles in wartime Berlin, including Haj el-Husseini and Rashid el-Kilani, collaborated with the Nazis in constructing their Middle East propaganda campaign.

By integrating the political and military history of the war in the Middle East with the intellectual and cultural dimensions of the propagandistic diffusion of Nazi ideology, Herf offers the most thorough examination to date of this important chapter in the history of World War II. Importantly, he also shows how the anti-Semitism promoted by the Nazi propaganda effort contributed to the anti-Semitism exhibited by adherents of radical forms of Islam in the Middle East today.

More about this title

Nazi Propaganda for the Arab World has won the 2011 Sybil Halpern Milton prize given by the German Studies Association.

Jeffrey Herf is a Professor in the Department of History at the University of Maryland in College Park.

Nazi Propaganda for the Arab World has won the 2011 Sybil Halpern Milton prize given by the German Studies Association.

"This original and provocative book reveals how much can still be learned about National Socialism, the Holocaust, and World War II. Jeffrey Herf uses a wealth of previously untapped sources from archives in Germany and the United States to explore the massive print and radio campaign that Nazi propaganda experts directed at the Arab and Muslim populations of North Africa and Central Asia. By demonstrating empirically how Nazi antisemitism found an audience among Middle Eastern militants and meshed with their views during World War II, Herf effectively underscores the pivotal role of ideology in the perpetration of the Holocaust. His focus on the interplay between Nazi ideology and politics and non-European political agents helps us recognize the Holocaust as not only European but global in its dimensions." - Sybil Halpern Milton award committee

"Professor Herf's book is a thorough and important description of Nazi propaganda to the Arab world during World War II, and quite accurately and ominously highlights the parallels between Nazi anti-Semitic tenets and Islamist anti-Semitism." Benny Morris, Ben-Gurion University

"Reading Nazi Propaganda for the Arab World is a reminder of how powerful such lies can be... We have not yet heard the end of the ideas whose birth Herf documents in this frightening, necessary book." Adam Kirsch, Tablet