Hello Indy and the Timeghostarmy. I have a question that i have been wondering for some time now.
What was live like for jews in other Axis countries? So far we have seen in B2W, WW2 and War against humanity. That for jews living in Germany, Romania and the newly formed state of Croatia, live has been hard with there synagogues and shops being damaged or destroyed, there daily lives changed and even deportation and firing sqauds. But was live like for jews living in other Axis allied/co belligerents nations like Hungary, Finland, Bulgaria, Italy etc. Were they treated less harshly or were they treated just like there fellow counrtyman or was the population for jews people so small in those counrtries, that there governments realy didn’t care that much about jews people in there country.
I really hope that jou guys answer this question and keep up the good work guys.
Finnish Jews were treated like any one else with Finnish nationality. They gained full citizenship in 1918 after Finland had became independent. There were not that many Jews living in Finland however, below 2 000. They served in the conscript military like the rest, and number of them also fell in the service. It should be noted that just like other groups a number of them participated in the Suojeluskunta activities and in Finnish Woman Auxiliaries (Lotta Svärd).
Finland did return at least 8 Austrian Jewish refugees to the Germans in 1942, but this lead to widespread protests and did not continue. Around 500 other Jewish refugees arrived in total but Finland tried to move them along as Finns were having problems with feeding just themselves (Sweden for example took 150) and also to avoid further German demands of extradition. The rest were treated like other refugees at the time (which wasn’t great, compulsory work and so on), but they were not singled out.
Finland also gave a number of captured Soviet POWs (2 600 - 2 800) over to the Germans in exchange for a number of Finnic Soviet POWs (2 100) the Germans had captured. Most of the Soviet POWs Finns gave over seem to have joined Wehrmacht (probably as auxiliary) while group of around 500 were marked as political officers. Of this second group some were likely to have been Jewish and most likely perished in German camps or were executed directly due to the Commissar Order. But religion had not been a driving force behind this.
Romania had a very complicated relationship with the Jewish population. It had a significant minority of Jewish ethnicity, and throughout the war what was known as the “Old Kingdom” (Wallachia and Moldavia), Jews were protected and very few were harassed.
However, due to Marshal Antonescu’s desire to align himself with the Nazi Germany, what was out of the Old Kingdom was not considered “protected” and as such some atrocious acts such as the Massacre in Odessa and the Iasi Pogrom were committed.
This results in a very difficult, complex and paradoxical situation where Romania sentenced the second number of Jews in the Holocaust whilst protecting almost 400.000 of them in the old borders. In fact, in some cases, Romania was event a transit protected place for Jews willing to run away during the war to Palestine. The Romanian King, Michael, was a close friend of the Chief Rabbi and together with his mother they actively sought to protect Jews and prevent them from being sent away to camps. Queen Helen was even awarded the Righteous title from Yad Vashem.
I don’t know if you’re a Finn or not, but if you know, I’m wondering why the Finns didn’t make any moves to increase (skilled and middle class) Jewish immigration in the 30s? Considering the small population, relative poverty, that the skilled German Jews would present a golden opportunity for talent scalping. You could take in 98,000 Jews vetted by skills for a total of 100,000 and they’d still only be 2% of the population.
Seems to me to be a bootstrapping opportunity. But I’d like to know more if possible.
800 people in a ship that small?! Wow, with that you’d need a precursor to the sheewiz so even the ladies could squeeze to the deck edge so they could pee off the sides. That’s NYC subwaycar at rush hour packed.
I still don’t understand why sails didn’t make a comeback in this era. OIl supplies are too easily cut, which was true even in the last war.
If you know about this kind of smuggling, do you know anything about goods smuggling during the war? I keep finding articles on google for Jew smuggling, which is important, but can’t find anything on like illicit trade from say Rhodes to Cyprus, or getting goods from neutral countries when you’re on the Anglo-American naughty list, or a Canadian who needs that non-rationed Cuban cigar.
Also, this makes me wonder if say, the German Abwehr might have worked to arrange a transport system with the Mossad to smuggle Jews into Palestine from September of 1939, for moral reasons but also, not totally as a cover, it would deeply annoy the British. At that point, Hitler might find it a win-win.
But I guess it would be a question of how the Haganah felt. But given Ben Gurion’s stand on the White Paper, I don’t think he could oppose cooperation with German elements even if he wanted to.
German-inspired anti-Semitic laws in Bulgaria were a complete failure. Jews were not that prevalent in Bulgarian finances or large businesses, so the propaganda was futile. Eventually, the German ambassador to Sofia messaged Berlin to cease funding anti-semitic media as it was deemed a waste of money.
Also, Bulgaria saved its entire 49 000 strong Jewish population, but that is rarely brought up by Western sources.