It was a struck by [ Goebbels’ ] Berlin daily Der Angriff to commemorate the co-operation and support given by the Zionist Jewish Agency in helping to make Germany “Judenfrei”. It also commemorate joint visit to Zionist Palestine by SS officer Leopold von Mildenstein and Zionist Federation official Kurt Tuchler. A series of articles on their tour, appearing under the heading “A Nazi Travels to Palestine,” appeared in Der Angriff in late 1934.
“The Star of David side inscription reads: EIN NAZI FÄHRT NACH PALÄSTINA — A Nazi Travels to Palestine. The Swastika side inscription is UND ERZÄHLT DAVON IM Angriff — And tells about it in the Angriff”.
Hitler had just become Chancellor, and begun his anti-Jewish policies. Nazis wanted to drive the Jews out of Germany. But the Nazis were not clear about how they intended to set about this without disrupting the already Depression-beset German economy, and nor did they know what the effects might be on Germany’s relations with the rest of the world.
The Zionists, for their part, were enjoying an upsurge of support among German Jews after Hitler took office in January 1933. Most had seen little point before in leaving a country where they were well-established to take their chances in poor and troubled Palestine. They saw themselves as good Germans whose future, like so much of their past, was in the Fatherland. But now Hitler was telling them otherwise.
The Juedische Rundschaue, fortnightly paper of the Zionist Federation, saw its circulation climb from less than 10,000 to almost 38,500 by the end of 1933. It declared that only those whose commitment to the Jewish people was beyond reproach could defend Jewish rights. It also said that only the Zionists were capable of approaching the Nazis in good faith as “honest partners”.
The Zionists proposed that the status of German Jews be regulated on a group basis, and asked for government help towards emigration. Von Mildenstein, approached to write something favourable about Zionism and its project in Palestine, agreed on condition that he could make a visit, accompanied by Kurt Tuchler. He was favourably impressed, and saw advantages for Germany, as well as for the SS as proposers of a policy.
A series of article entitled “Ein Nazi faehrt nach Palestina” began in September 1934 in Der Angriff , Goebbels’ newspaper. It ran for twelve parts. Von Mildenstein saw in the Jewish settlement on the land a form of rebirth fitting Nazi notions about blood and soil, as well as a way of ridding Germany of Jews. But life was difficult in Palestine, and problems were looming, in Palestinian Arab resistance to Zionist colonisation and British rule.
The SS concluded written Agreements with the Zionist organization to ensure that Jews in Germany or under their control were forced to emigrate, selling their assets, the proceeds of which were placed in German bank accounts which would be available to the Jewish Agency for the purchase of goods and services from Germany IF the deportee agreed to settle in Palestine.
Though the SS gave privileges to Zionists over other Jewish groups, assisting their youth movements, and giving them the right to wear uniform and fly the blue and white flag, Von Mildenstein’s own star faded amid rivalries and policy failures, while a man he had brought into the Jewish department came to the fore, one Adolf Eichmann.