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The Jews Who Fought For Hitler: 'we Did Not Help The Germans. We Had A Common Enemy

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http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/museums/10682975/The-Jews-who-fought-for-Hitler-We-did-not-help-the-Germans.-We-had-a-common-enemy.html

In September 1941, a medical officer performed a deed so heroic he was awarded an Iron Cross by the German high command. With little regard for his own safety, and in the face of heavy Soviet shelling, Major Leo Skurnik, a district doctor who had once fostered ambitions of becoming a concert pianist, organised the evacuation of a field hospital on the Finnish-Russian border, saving the lives of more than 600 men, including members of the SS.

Skurnik was far from the only soldier to be awarded the Iron Cross during the Second World War. More than four million people received the decoration. But there was one fact about him that makes the recommendation remarkable: he was Jewish. And Skurnik was not the only Jew fighting on the side of the Germans. More than 300 found themselves in league with the Nazis when Finland, who had a mutual enemy in the Soviet Union, joined the war in June 1941.

The alliance between Hitler and the race he vowed to annihilate — the only instance of Jews fighting for Germany’s allies — is one of the most extraordinary aspects of the Second World War, and yet hardly anyone, including many Finns, know anything about it.

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Almost without exception, the Jews of Finland descended from Russian soldiers who had been posted to the region during their military service. (Under Russian rule, Jews had been forced into the army at the age of 10 and made to serve for up to 25 years.) They were viewed with some suspicion by the rest of Finland, which itself had been ruled by Russia until its independence in 1917, and the war that broke out in 1939, known in Finland as the Winter War, was regarded by the small Jewish population as a chance to prove they were loyal Finnish citizens.

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But the Finnish Jews were on an impossible mission. Whatever they did there would always be one inescapable difference between them and their Finnish compatriots: the latter were fighting for their future, but, if Hitler had won, the Jewish soldiers would have had no future. What were they supposed to do? That is the question nobody can answer.

On reading this my first question was what if Hitler had won? Would the Fins had been able to protect them?

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On reading this my first question was what if Hitler had won? Would the Fins had been able to protect them?

No.

The Nazis were often very pragmatic - it seems to be part of the German practical mindset - about using Jews who could aid them. When they were of no further use they were either executed on the spot or sent to the death camps.

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I imagine that most people that post on here would agree that the attempted genocide of the jews by Nazi Germany was perhaps the most troubling state act in history; armies massacring civilians in some distant place is criminal but it is taking place away well away from the moral center of the civilization that’s perpetrating it.

Germany is in the 1930 was arguably the most sophisticated and advance major country; it seems extraordinary that a group of people were singled out for extermination who lived integrated in that civilization; many of these people were not even that easily identified by the way they looked, some of them were indistinguishable from ethnic Germans and their colleagues were shocked when they found out.

The lack of slightly annoying, conservatively minded gentlemen that I hoped would act as a brake on murdering off millions of innocent people seems to have been missing; you never seem to hear anyone at the time say “The bankers need to be punished but Mrs.Kaufman the librarian has done nothing wrong and the law will protect her..”.

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http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/museums/10682975/The-Jews-who-fought-for-Hitler-We-did-not-help-the-Germans.-We-had-a-common-enemy.html

On reading this my first question was what if Hitler had won? Would the Fins had been able to protect them?

On numerous occasions Hitler / Himmler approached the Finnish President and PM and offered to resolve their Jewish problem. Each time the response was very clear - we have no Jewish problem.

Finland's collaboration with Germany was forced on them by necessity. Even the allies at the height of WWII were sympathetic of Finland position given the USSR's territory aggression towards them (History repeating itself today)

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On numerous occasions Hitler / Himmler approached the Finnish President and PM and offered to resolve their Jewish problem. Each time the response was very clear - we have no Jewish problem.

Finland's collaboration with Germany was forced on them by necessity. Even the allies at the height of WWII were sympathetic of Finland position given the USSR's territory aggression towards them (History repeating itself today)

I believe Italy moderated its anti-Semitism until Mussolini was overthrown and the Germans intervened directly in that country.

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