The Muslims who fought with the Nazis

Rare footage uncovered of Arab units in service of the Third Reich; researcher Stefan Petke tells Ynet the Free Arab Legion was a ‘complete failure’ in the battlefield and was not used in the extermination of Jews.

Refaella Goichman, Attila Somfalvi

The Nazis recruited Muslim soldiers to the Wehrmacht during World War II, but did not trust the Free Arab Legion with any major tasks, according to Stefan Petke of the Technical University of Berlin, who says the Arab units did not participate in the extermination of Jews, or guard the labor camps in North Africa.

Petke uncovered rare footage which documents the Nazi army’s Arab units, which, he says, were a complete failure in the battlefields of Tunisia in 1943, leading the Nazis to take their weapons and using them as “working soldiers,” away from the frontlines.

Ynet spoke to Petke about the role the Free Arab Legion played in World War II and the newly uncovered footage.


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