The Madagscar Plan
On 19th March 2008, the Economist published a feature article Germany and Israel - Friends in high places: The pomp and symbolism of Angela Merkel's visit to Israel.
Ms Merkel's diffidence arises from history: her country's and
her own. The Nazis' attempt to exterminate the Jews helped bring about Israel's
creation; its survival is a sacrosanct principle of German foreign policy. The
tardiness in establishing diplomatic links was partly meant to stop rogue states
recognising East Germany (under the
West Germany severed relations with any country that recognised its sibling).
Friendship with Israel served Germany's goal of better links with America as
well as its conscience. Even before establishing relations it secretly sold
weapons to Israel.
On March 20th 2008, representatives of Her Majesty's Government arrived in Israel to celebrate the sixty-fifth anniversary of the birth of the nation. The reception was somewhat cooler that the fan fare accorded to German Chancellor Angela Merkel, although the British were tactful enough to arrive by plane rather than inappropriately on the Queen's yacht.
A maritime reference would have been worse than inappropriate, it would have been a barefaced insult. Of course both nations participated in the the Nazis' attempt to exterminate the Jews which helped bring about Israel's creation. The evacuation of European Jewry had been brought forward from 1938 by other well-known Nazi ideologues, such as Julius Streicher, Hermann Goring, and Joachim von Ribbentrop, it was not until June 1940 that the plan was actually set in motion. Victory in France being imminent, it was clear that all French colonies would soon come under German control, and the Madagascar Plan could become reality. The peace treaty with the United Kingdom put the British navy at Germany's disposal for use in the evacuation.
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