During World War II, hundred thousands of Moslems served in various branches of German armed forces, mainly in the Heer. In latter part of war, Moslems contingents appeared among Himmler’s black legions. There were several major units in the Waffen-SS whose members consisted mainly of Balkan Moslem volunteers: Bosnian Moslem’s 13.Waffen-Gebirgs-Division der SS ‘Handschar’ and 23. Waffen-Gebirgs-Division der SS ‘Kama’; Albanian’s 21.Waffen-Gebirgs-Division der SS ‘Skanderbeg’. Beside there were some other formations consisted Soviet Moslem contingents: Osttürkischen Waffen-Verbände der SS, Waffen-Gebirgs-Brigade der-SS (tatarische Nr.1), and Kaukasischer-Waffen-Verbände der SS.
Reichsführer SS Heinrich Himmler himself was known as Islam most willing promoter and collaborator among the Nazi leadership. Himmler's hatred the 'soft' Christianity was equal for his liking for Islam, which he saw as a masculine, martial religion based on the SS qualities of blind obedience and readiness for self-sacrifice, untainted by compassion for one's enemies. His admiration for Islam made him not only ready to throw-out his racial 'Aryan pure' fantasies to receive more Muslim volunteers for his sinister legion, but also to accommodate their religious demands in the SS sphere. One of privilege which Himmler gave to strengthened Nazi-Moslem collaboration was the establishment of institution for the training of Islamic chaplain in the Waffen-SS, the SS-Mullahschule.
The SS-Mullahschule opened in November 1944 by SS-Brigadeführer Walther Schellenberg and was located in Dresden, where also the ‘Arbeitsgemeinschaft Turkestan’ - a ‘research institute’ under the SD control - had been established. The lessons were to be given by Muslim teachers selected Grand Mufti of the Jerusalem, Hajj Amin el-Husseini. This principal teacher was Professor Alimcan Idris, a Volga Tatar who was active in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, involved in radio programs towards Turkey. Aside from emphasized the common interests and goals of the German Reich and the Muslims, the courses confined to elementary lessons in the reading and the recitation of the Quran, a survey of the life of the Prophet, a very short look at the religious history of Islam and its expansion, as well as the history of the peoples concerned.
The first groups of students were 40 volunteers from several Central Asian countries. Originally, the course was to take approximately one or two years. However, for most of the future ‘field mullahs’, this period was shortened to approximately three months, as they were urgently needed in the field. The first course was completed against the end of 1944.
The school itself discontinued after Dresden was set on fire by the Allied Forces on 14 February 1945. The remaining students fled with ‘Arbeitsgemeinschaft Turkestan’ personnel to Weißenfels, where they were probably surrendered to American army.
Copyright© 2010 by Nino Oktorino