Zion Island 34.

Ringelblum Archive; in private hands. 


Finding a Home for Zion.

Emanuel Ringelblum.

Memorandum submitted at the request of General Bach-Zelewski. 

            One theme of our modern age is that all the problems of the world could be solved if the Jews would just go away to live in some tropical hell-hole. 

            First it was the German Paul de Lagarde (1827-1891), a great Biblical scholar[2] and anti-Semite.  He wanted to ship the Jews of Germany and Eastern Europe off to Madagascar.  Then it was the Zionists, who wanted to “ascend” to Palestine.  Heat, rocks, dust.  We could all become melon-farmers.  Then it was the British Colonial Secretary Joseph Chamberlain, who offered Herzl the Highlands of Kenya.[3]  In 1928, the Russians came up with the idea of a “Jewish Autonomous Republic” in their—anyone’s–Far East.  Forests, swamps, and an extreme climate on the frontier with China.  Delightful!  Jung[4] tells me that he heard from a colleague in the Foreign Ministry that Mussolini proposed to resettle Europe’s Jews in Ethiopia. 

Beginning in 1933, the Nazis began to harry Germany’s Jews into leaving.  It didn’t matter where, but Palestine would be fine.  The same spirit took hold in Poland.  I remember it well.  It started with that bastard Dmowski.[5]  His National Democrats (NDs) were foaming anti-Semites.  Cultural “Polonization,” economic boycotts, riots.  What to do?  If you want them to go, there has to be somewhere to go.  So, the Poles provided weapons to the Jews in Palestine and ran a training camp for Jewish soldiers in Poland.  Maybe they could fight for a place to go?  In 1937, the NDs passed a resolution that “its main aim and duty must be to remove the Jews from all spheres of social, economic, and cultural life in Poland.”  So the Polish government began talking with the French about forced emigration.  Not to France you understand, but to somewhere in the Empire.  The talks focused on Madagascar and a Polish group went for a look. 

The idea appealed to the French.  The indigenous population of Madagascar had become increasingly restive under French rule during the Twenties.  Settling a lot of European colonists who were overjoyed to be out of the reach of the Nazis might change the situation. 

Nothing came of this Franco-Polish idea at the time.  However, there was a certain amount of public discussion.  So, maybe that’s where the Nazis got the idea?  Kleptomania. 

[1] Hand-written note says “NOT to be shown to B-Z!”

[2] Of the OLD Testament, not the New. 

[3] Maybe it says something that Chamberlain sent his un-loved younger son off to the Bahamas for six years to be a sisal planter? 

[4] Possibly Guido Jung (1876-1949), Italian Fascist Minister of Finance, 1932-1935. 

[5] Roman Dmowski, b: 1864, near Warsaw, Russian Poland, 1864; d: 1939, Drozdowo, Poland.  If you don’t believe me, see: Joel Cang, “The Opposition Parties in Poland and Their Attitude towards the Jews and the Jewish Question,” Jewish Social Studies, Vol. 1, #2, 1939, pp. 241–256. 


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