Sunday, October 22, 2006

Best Possible Use of Counterfeit Money

YNETnews found this fascinating report from Scotland:

Scotland on Sunday reported that a new book revealed that more than £ 130 million (USD 164 million) worth of British banknotes forged by the Nazis was used by the Jewish underground to help establish Israel.

According to the report, the book said wads of notes, which the Germans had forged by concentration camp inmates, ended up being used after the Second World War to pay for the transport of Jews to then British-occupied Palestine, and to buy weapons for the emerging Israeli armed forces.

I don't know if when the money was used, it was known to be counterfeit -- but for the Jews escaping Germany, Jewish refugees wanting to rebuild their shattered lives after the Holocaust, and Jews wanting to purchasing weapons for the fledgling State of Israel on the brink of war with all the surrounding Arab armies, I don't think I would have done anything differently.


Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

£130 million at a 1945 exchange rate of 4.03 = 523.9 million dollars. Still not enough to compensate for England's reprehensible conduct. In short, if true this was a bittersweet irony.

Ari Kinsberg said...

reading this i am reminded of the role that the jewish mob in new york played in smuggling weapons in 1948. their contributions were obviously also based on illicit funding.

but is amazing in this story that something "good" came out of the labors of concentration camp inmates.

Anonymous said...

Well, the State of Israel would not exsist without the concentration camps.

Ahmed said...

Conterfeit money to create a conterfeit state

Michal said...

I'm not sure I agree. Using money that was stolen by the Nazis, is almost like helping them. It's not "ganav mganav patur".

bec said...

"Well, the State of Israel would not exsist without the concentration camps."

oh, of course, herzl was trying to establish a jewish homeland in the 1940s, wasn't he? and i almost forgot about the rise of zionism, wasn't that only for about a month prior to the creation of israel?

hmmm...no, wait, that just doesn't seem right.

The back of the hill said...

"Well, the State of Israel would not exsist without the concentration camps."

That presumes two facts which are not acurate.

The first one is that the State of Israel would not have existed without the vote of the UN, or the massive guilt which made that vote possible. This is incorrect.

The UN was largely immaterial, as the Jews in the land were determined to get the British out. Had there not been a UN vote, and had the British not despaired of maintaining their authority, it is certain that events would eventually have both forced the British out and the state in to being, and the Jewish underground would have continued to expedite that happening - with as a result the proclamation of a state.
We can see from the British blockade, and subsequent arming of the Arabs, that the UN vote was largely meaningless. A state comes into existence because of those who make it so, not the benevolent clucking of people on the sidelines. That the state of Israel came into existence is because Zionists were determined - the world was largely apathetic, or actively attempting to make it not happen.

Five Arab armies, with much help, could not prevent it from happening. How little then the import of the UN and its guilt-weighted voting.

The other fact incorrectly presumed is that it was a massive influx of concentration camp survivors which made it possible for a state to be created (this despite most of them still being in Europe at the time). It was already inevitable before the war that Israel would become a state - it was more so after the war. The concentration camp survivors may indeed have sped up the inevitable (by showing that there was a need for a Jewish state). But, in that immediately following independence the population expanded enormously, drawn from not only Europe but also the entire Middle-East, it makes more sense to argue that it was NOT the refugees that made Israel possible, but Israel that made refugees welcome, and made it possible for refugees to become non-refugees again.

No one gave the Jews a state. Jews built a state. There was no state to give. But there eventually was a state to call into existence.


I despise the idea that 'Israel exists only because of the concentration camps'. Israel exists despite the concentration camps.

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