A so called “coin,” which is actually a commemorative medal since it has no denomination and was never legal tender of the Third Reich (1933-1945), has once again sparked up Conspiracy theories that Nazis collaborated with Zionist Jews in the 1930s. The sole reason for these conspiracy theories is that the commemorative medal bears a swastika on its obverse and a Star of David on its reverse This was enough for many conspiracy theorists in the United States and the United Kingdom to start spreading historically false rumors of Nazi-Zionist collaboration.

The commemorative medal

The medal was struck to commemorate a joint visit to Palestine of a Nazi SS Officer Baron Leopold Itz von Mildenstein and Kurt Tuchler, an official of the Zionist Federation of Germany in 1933. This visit took place when the Nazis were trying to find a solution to the so called “Jewish Problem,” before they decided to implement the so called “Final Solution” that led to the holocaust. During this period, the Nazis were investigating ways to make Germany “free of Jews.” One of the ways they investigated was to massively deport all Jews to Palestine and this joint visit’s goal was to find ways to do this.

The medal was commissioned by Joseph Goebbels, Hitler’s Minister Of Propaganda, to commemorate a series of articles in his newspaper “Der Angrif,” the Assault, called “A Nazi Travels to Palestine” that presented details about the joint visit.

Apart from the swastika and the Star of David, the medal bears the inscription “A Nazi travels to Palestine and talks about it in the Assault.” The medal was struck in bronze but collectors may also find it silver plated as this was a common thing done to medals in the past.

It is indeed a very strange medal since nobody expected to see both a swastika and a Star of David on any commemorative medal or coin struck by the Nazis.

The author of this article specializes in collecting World War II coins and medals and has had this medal in his collection long before the conspiracy theories started. A thorough research on this medal has revealed that the story is not as simple as conspiracy theorists claim.

The conspiracy theories

All of these conspiracy theories started once again after Kem Livingstone was suspended by the Labor Party in the United Kingdom after stating that “Hitler supported Zionism.” Images of the medal became viral on social media after a blog posted them in order to claim that “Zionism is Anti-Semitism.” These conspiracy theorists claim that Zionist Jews collaborated with Nazis long before the Nazis decided to persecute the Jews.

In brief, the conspiracy theorists try to link the Jewish Independence Movement to the Third Reich. They claim that all the crimes against humanity during the holocaust were staged so that Israel will become a state. Some have even made YouTube videos holding the medal claiming that it is proof of Nazi-Zionist collaboration. The only thing that can be said with certainty is that these conspiracy theories are most probably motivated by anti-Semitic feelings and have no historical basis.

The reality

Prominent historians in the UK and the US like Paul Bogdanor have dismissed this conspiracy theory as “pure fiction and propaganda.” Paul Bogdanor is a specialist in holocaust and anti-Semitism studies.

He stated that the medal was not produced or endorsed by any Jewish organization as the Nazi Minister of Propaganda commissioned it as an attempt to convince people that the Nazis were seeking an “honorable solution” to the “Jewish Problem” by “relocating” all the Jews in Germany to Palestine. Bogdanor added that those who use the image to discredit the Jews are simply repeating Nazi propaganda.

The reality is that the Zionist Federation in Germany did not have much choice than to comply and participate in the joint visit to Palestine. It was already evident from Nazi rhetoric and actions that the Third Reich was not going to tolerate Jews in Germany. Such claims are not only historically incorrect but are also dangerous, divisive and racist.

Collectors’ perspective

If you are a collector who is interested in this historic and controversial medal, it is not a very rare item and you may be able to find it relatively easily. However, now may not be the right time to buy it because a lot of media attention has been given to it. This has the potential to raise demand and prices. It might be wiser to wait for some time and then buy it.