Until the first years of the war, a plan was being contemplated, and already prepared, which again proves strikingly that a Zionist solution, rather than extermination, was being attempted: the Madagascar Project. It pops up in Nuremberg during the interrogation of the reporter for the Reich Propaganda Ministry, [Moritz] von Schirrmeister.
“Dr. Fritz: Mr. Witness! To where were the Jews being evacuated according to the statement of Dr. Goebbels?
Von Schirrmeister: Up until and perhaps including the first year of the Russian Campaign Dr. Goebbels mentioned the Madagascar Plan repeatedly in the conferences that he conducted. Later he changed that and said that a new Jewish state should be created in the east, into which the Jews would then come.”
The interrogation of Ribbentrop moreover confirms the existence of the Madagascar Plan in 1942:
“Von Ribbentrop: The Führer back then had the plan either to evacuate the Jews from Europe to North Africa– There was also talk of Madagascar. He gave me an order to approach various governments and if possible to bring about the emigration of the Jews.”
Madam Professor Arendt reports that in September 1939 there was a desire, similar to that in the Soviet Union*, to found an autonomous Jewish state in Poland. In September 1939, Eichmann and Dr. Stahlecker had contemplated the plan of separating a territory as large as possible in Poland, and to proclaim it an autonomous Jewish state, a protectorate. They went to Heydrich, who agreed with the plan and asked them to proceed.
The Madagascar Plan was, then, the further attempt to find a solution not essentially hostile to Zionism. Eichmann wanted “to get solid ground and soil under the feet of the Jews.” The plan to evacuate 4 million Jews from Europe to the French island off the southeast coast of Africa originated in the Foreign Office and then was passed on to the RSHA.** Eichmann always maintained that his plan already had been dreamed before by the Jewish pioneer of the Jewish state idea, Theodor Herzl.
This dream was certainly dreamed not only by Herzl, but also by the Polish Government, which in the year 1937 established a commission to examine whether it might not be possible to freight the 3 million Polish Jews off to Madagascar.
Even Georges Bonnet, the French Foreign Minister, contemplated the project of shoving off France’s roughly 200,000 foreign Jews into the French colonies; he conferred about this project with his German colleague Ribbentrop in 1938.
Hannah Arendt summarizes:
“In any case, in summer 1940, as his emigration project had come to a complete standstill, Eichmann was advised to work out a detailed plan for the evacuation of four million Jews to Madagascar, and until the beginning of the campaign against Russia this project seems to have claimed the majority of his time.”
Madam Professor Arendt, who in various passages is unable to resist tendentious applications of collective guilt to the German People, naturally detects that the Madagascar Project destroys the laboriously construed “Plan of Annihilation.” Later therefore she wished to portray it as a “camouflage for extermination.” For what purpose such a camouflage should have been necessary and important, she is not able convincingly to explain. Ultimately her witness Eichmann refutes her delusion, since he, who always frankly admitted his transgression, affirms to the end that that the Madagascar Plan was readied by the competent agencies and had to be abandoned only with the broadening of the war.
An interesting argument of this otherwise so clever authoress, is that the transport of millions of Jews back then would have been infeasible because England’s fleet ruled the Atlantic. Does she mean thereby to say that the English Government by military might had prevented the salvation of millions of Jews?
With that she merely proves in her manner that war and the Jewish Problem were inseparably chained to each other. If the German peace offers — to England and France after the Polish War, and to England after the victory over France — had been accepted, all political and military prerequisites in regard to France, to whose empire Madagascar belonged, would have been secured for solving the Jewish problem through this project without loss of human life.
After the entry of America and the Soviet Union into the war it was too late. On the 5th of May 1942 the English occupied Madagascar, in a surprise attack without respect for France.
The Jewish author [Joseph G.] Burg confirms that not only the emigration agencies but also the German Foreign Ministry worked for the realization of the Madagascar Project:
“Diplomatic advisor [Franz] Rademacher, who took over the Office of Jewish Emigration in 1939, personally reported to Hitler that support for the Zionists was endangering the traditional German-Arab relations. Already on 15 August 1940 the Madagascar Plan was set in writing. A month earlier, on 12 July 1940, a detailed plan for Jewish emigration had been recorded in a protocol by the Government of the Reich.”
Furthermore the Madagascar Plan pops up in Hitlers’ Tabletalk.
It is certainly not proven that the compiler, Dr. Henry Picker, reproduces the exact wording of the conversations. Probably various expressions are tendentiously exaggerated. With his mentality, however, certainly Picker had no motive to alter the factual content in this case.
There, on 24 July 1942, Hitler took a position on the Jewish Question as follows:
“In this Second World War, as a struggle over life and death, let it never be forgotten that World Jewry, following the declaration of war by the World Zionist Congress and its leader Chaim Weizmann (in his message to England’s Prime Minister Chamberlain), is the most inexorable opponent of National-Socialism, enemy number one. Jewry woos Europe economically, but Europe must refuse out of holy egoism, since Jewry is racially tougher. After the conclusion of the war let Europe take a rigorous stand on the position that city after city will be smashed if the trash-Jews don’t come out and migrate to Madagascar or some other Jewish nation-state.” ***
As shocking as the rabid language of Hitler appears, this passage offers no proof whatsoever for a plan of extermination, neither for wartime nor for the postwar period.
On 17 June 1941 Hitler discussed Madagascar in a conversation with Mussolini. It was even one of the preconditions for the peace treaty with France, that France must cede the colony Madagascar as territory for a Jewish state.**** Yet again on 21 August 1942 the Madagascar Plan pops up in a note from Undersecretary of State Luther in the Foreign Office.*****
In a comparison between Madagascar and Palestine, the founding of a Jewish nation-state on this island appears incomparably more auspicious. Rendered fanatical by religio-political messianism, the Zionist leadership wanted to found a Jewish state precisely where it could only be imposed by war and must permanently be threatened by the danger of war on all sides. In contrast, the realization of the Madagascar Plan would have been by far less dangerous, economically more reasonable, richer in prospects, and politically less risky.
If this had been accomplished, it would never have come to an Auschwitz!
William S. Schlamm writes correctly that Israel can become secure against the Arab opposition only with a population of 5-6 million.
If however this state of 2 million was only able to be founded and hitherto maintained because foreign powers prevented the Arabs from driving back the Jewish invaders, how could those people be ready to wait patiently until the Jews had tripled their number?
Some figures prove the dangerousness of this experiment! The Arab neighbors of Israel number about 70 million in a space of 7,800,000 square kilometers. Israel on the other hand has only 2 million inhabitants on about 20,000 square kilometers. And behind the Arab enemies of Israel stand another 400 million likeminded Moslems.
Compare with that Madagascar, the fourth largest island in the world, with about 600,000 square kilometers, three times as large as Britain, 20 times larger than Belgium! Southern Madagascar, which, with 240,000 square kilometers is twelve times as large as Palestine, conceals virgin land, rich soil, and favorable prospects for agriculture and cattle ranching.
Incomparably more advantageous in any case than the current Zionist territory!
Certainly there will hardly ever again be offered such favorable opportunities for a Jewish nation-state on Madagascar as in 1940-41.
* The Jewish Republic of Birobidzhan existed 1934-1940 as part of the USSR.
**The RSHA was the Reich Security Head Office, which presided over all police and security organizations in Germany and was headed by Reinhard Heydrich. The Jews were considered a security problem.
*** This passage was omitted from English-language editions of Hitler’s Table Talk. Clearly it poses a problem for proponents of the Holocaust Story. Heinz Peter Longerich, a supporter of Deborah Lipstadt, offers the following unlikely exegesis: “Hitler’s statements after this point, i.e. from the Summer of 1942 on – about possible ‘resettlement projects’ – are unquestionably diversions meant to deceive his listeners; for example, his remarks at his dinner table on 24 July 1942, when he tried to make his listeners (consisting of personal aids and private guests) believe that the “Führer” had nothing to do with the rumoured murder of the Jews.”
**** Franz Rademacher’s memo of 3 July 1940, “The Jewish Question in the Peace Treaty,” is easily found online. Rademacher says: “In the Peace Treaty France must make the island of Madagascar available for the solution of the Jewish question, and to resettle and compensate the approximately 25,000 French citizens living there. The island will be transferred to Germany under a mandate.” Although an armistice had been signed on 25 June 1940, no peace treaty between France and Germany was actually ratified during World War II. Nonetheless, according to anecdotal information that I have, some Jews did emigrate from German-controlled Europe to the anticipated Jewish homeland of Madagascar in the period 1940-1942.
***** Apparently Härtle was referring to this document without having it in front of him. While it is true that Luther discusses the Madagascar Plan in his narrative of the history of the Third Reich’s grappling with the Jewish Problem, the official translation in the Truman Library (Nuremberg document NG-2586-J) contains this sentence: “The Madagascar Plan in fact has been outdated as the result of the political development.” It confirms that there had been an intention to have Europe’s Jews emigrate to Madagascar, but the intention was no longer active by 21 August 1942, the date of the memorandum. Instead Jews were being deported provisionally to the General Government and thence to “conquered Eastern territories.” Since Luther’s memorandum does not support the implication that Madagascar was still under consideration as a Jewish homeland later than Hitler’s mention of it in July 1942, it should not have been cited in that context.