Lenni Brenner says Ken's wrong
Here's the money quote:
Throughout the period, the Nazis toyed with the Zionists as a cat would play with a mouse. Hitler never thought he was letting anyone get away from him because he was encouraging Jews to go to Palestine. If the Jews went to far-away America, he might never be able to get at them and they would always remain the foes of the German Empire in Europe. But if they went to Palestine instead? There , as a Gestapo agent told a Jewish leader, we will catch up with you ...
Hitler's theories on Zionism, including the Jews' alleged inability to create a state, had all been there, in plain German, since 1926. The Zionists ignored the fact that Hitler hated all Jews, and that he specifically condemned their own ideology.There's a lot in Brenner's book that is totally untrue, but that bit is true.
Here's the Jewish Socialist Group's David Rosenberg on Brenner's book:
the book was "badly written and with poor scholarship – a piece of tabloid journalism glued together with selective facts and lots of conjecture... There was evidence that some Zionists at the time did contact Nazi leaders, but there was a massive power imbalance. The Zionist movement was very small –and just a minority opinion amongst Jews.
To suggest there was some sort of symbiosis, or a belief that they really shared the same goal, is to distort history. The Nazis wanted to rid Germany of all of its Jews and Jews wanted to escape terror and oppression wherever they could reach. Zionist Jews wanted to go to Palestine.
Brenner's book tells the history as a simple goodies and baddies affair, uncluttered by nuance or contradiction, which tries to implicate Zionism and pretty much all Zionists in the Holocaust in order to make a simplistic point about Zionism/Israel/Palestine today.
In 1983, Brenner came to the UK to promote his book and Jewish Socialists' Group members invited him to speak about it. This was probably about the time that Ken came into contact with his ideas, but, Brenner failed to convince us of his assertions.
- Paul Bogdanor: Who is Lenni Brenner? and Ken Livingstone, Lenni Brenner, and Historical Distortions: A Case Study
- Joe Weissman; “But Ken Livingstone is right; Google the Haavara agreement!”
- Andrew Roberts: Ken Livingstone gets the history wrong on anti-semitism and Hitler
- Louis Harap: "Zionist-Nazi collaboration" refuted [pdf/1983]
- Rainer Schulze: There was nothing Zionist about Hitler’s plans for the Jews
- Roger Moorhouse: Was Hitler a Zionist?
- John David Blake: Historical Truth
- Toby Lichtig: Hitler and the Zionists
- Andrew Coates: Ken's crap
- Sean Matgamna: Livingstone’s “thing” about Jews