13 February 2007

Snowy Scenes

Ok Buj, Louis, CG and all those craving for snow, we had more of it when a light shower fell very early on Saturday morning.

The ground was colder because of a minus-temperature day on Friday, so the snow coated everything including the roads and footpaths, and stayed around until rain dissolved it on Saturday night.

I ventured out further this time, and walked around the parks and streets.

Park by Fehr Belliner Platz
Anyone with children and dogs was not exempt from being outside.

Family with sled in snow
Dogs still needed to be walked

Toy dog with coat in snow
Kids needed to burn off energy by sledding on the slopes.

Kids sledding
The Saturday morning flea market at Fehr Belliner Platz was in full swing.

Saturday Flea Market at Fehr Belliner Platz
The secondary streets were not swept clear

Mansfelder Strasse under snow
We have a mosque located around the corner from the house which is currently undergoing much needed renovation. I found out more about it from a wall plaque that I hadn't seen before.

Mosque in Wilmersdorf Berlin
Built between 1924 and 1927, it's a mosque erected by people from Lahore, Pakistan. As far as I can make out, it's called Ahmadijja Andjuman Jschaat-el-Jslam, but the name appears to have been (phonetically?) translated into German, given the spelling of Islam.

This has intrigued me, as the dates indicate that Muslims were in Germany during the time of Nazi occupation.

Mosque from nearby cemetery
It raises some questions for me that I will investigate to satiate my curiousity:
- did they flee Germany during the war?
- did they take up against the Jews also, or were they neutral in this instance?
- were they largely ignored by the Nazis, or did they undergo the same horrors as the Jews?

If anyone knows anything about Muslims in Germany and Europe during WWII, please share your knowledge in the comments section.

Maybe it will get me off my current infatuation with the falling white stuff - snow that is, not dandruff.


Destitute Rebel said...

Lovely pictures and Interesing post about the mosque, do post what you find out about the history in your quest for answers.

Peceli and Wendy's Blog said...

Beaut photos and the story about the mosque is intriguing.
It's warm and humid here today so I just can't imagine the cold of snow.
It's Valentine's Day so we are going out to lunch. Love is in the air, everywhere I look around... Ha ha. Maccas, and free coffee for seniors. Too many bills lately - five came at once including car rego.

goodie girl said...


BuJ said...

wow.. a mosque that old in germany?
i always thought (or was told) that nazis wanted to get the jews then the muslims.. so i thought the muslims were quite high on their list.. hmm
would be an interesting subject to investigate!

lovely pics as always!

Pandabonium said...

The Nazis had connections to Islamic factions during and after the war. My memory on the subject is "soft" so I'll let you know more later. Part of the reason was that Germany was after control of what was referred to as 'middle earth' - basically all of Asia from the so-called middle east to China. They financed people to work underground in their interest in Egypt and other countries.

Kishor Cariappa said...

Interesting topic.

Shaykhspeara Sha'ira said...

Well I do not know much about germany and muslims however, during the holocaust, Turkey saved the lives of it is estimated, 70 000 jews by giving people who could claim to be former members of the ottoman empire (austria among them) turkish passports.

Morocco was asked to hand over its jews and The king said, not a hair on a jews head will be touched, for they are people of the book and under my care.

These facts were presented by Swedish professor of Middle eastern and North African Studies, Marianne Laanatza who in turn found the facts in an American Government History Book.

It is funny how none of this has been mentioned. The swedish government was approached by Marianne Laanatza with these facts and asked to hold a seminar about muslims and the holocaust at the annual Holocaust Conference that Sweden has hosted for ages...were they interested?? not one damn bit.

Yet muslims per se are accused of anti-semitism though we have no natural, religious or cultural justification to be anti-semites.

Anyways we are publishing a book this year that will highlight similar facts and ideas. Will let y'all know later.

nzm said...

DR: thanks, and I will post what I find. So far, what I have found is very interesting.

Wendy: Don't talk to me about bills! Coffee and maccas is more than what we did!

Gooodie Girl: thank you!

BuJ: yes, it's really interesting about the mosque, and I've since found a looong website which goes into its history. There's another post to come!

From what I've read so far, apparently there was a Muslim fighting division within Hitler's army, formed by a radical mufti called Rahman Abdul Rauf el-Qudwa el-Husseini.

Of course, I can't find out anything about the Berlin ordinary muslim citizens, but I'll keep looking.

Another post on that too!

Pandabonium: Yes - you're correct. I've only just started looking into it, and the more that I do, the more I realise how intertwined all this history really is! When you get taught history at school, it's like these isolated little pockets of happenings, but it's more complicated than that!

Kishor: I'll be writing another post on this just as soon as I can make some sense of it all, and when I get the time.

Sha'ira that's so sad to hear about Marianne Laanatza. Interesting about Morocco and Turkey saving so many Jews. I also read of a Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg, who spearheaded a mission to save approx. 100,000 Hungarian Jews by giving them diplomatic passes. By fishing boats, Denmark got their Jewish population to Norway which then refused to deport any Jews when Nazi Germany demanded it.

Looking forward to hearing more about the book.

A world of Symphony said...

Beautiful Pictures :)

Pandabonium said...

NZM - You might look into the life of Haj_Amin_Al-Husseini who became a personal friend of Hitler.

Germany at the time, was using particular Muslim individuals and factions to pursue its goals through alliances and with money. It also made friends in Buddhist Tibet for the same reasons. At the end of the war, members of the 3rd Reich went underground and the influence of them and their money is still very much in evidence around the world.

As Shaykhspeara Sha'ira points out there were many deeds protective of Jews done by Muslim people and states during this period. It is only specific albeit influential people who had ties with Germany at the time.

Anonymous said...

That mosque seems to have the speciality that it is the oldest mosque buildt with a minarett(? no idea about the englisch spelling) in Berlin.

As a turkish guy I can only support the point that many jews have been helped to flee to Turkey. I don't know if the government did help, but I guess so, someone had to prepeare the Passports. It is said that the Technical University of Istanbul (ITÜ) was founded by mostly these. Still many jewish people come to turkey (to the touristic regions) for their holidays.

The other thing I want to mention is that this one is not the oldest mosque in berlin or germany. The sehitlik mosque had been founded in 1866. Sehitlik means "Cemetary for Martyr" in turkish(well maybe also in other languages). It is just beneath the Tempelhof airport. Strangely it was not torn down for the construction of the biggest airport of it's time(consturcted by the nazi's). The nearby cemetary dates even further back (1798(?)). Indeed the cemetary had to be moved partially for the expansion of the airport during the time of the berlin "air lift" (luftbrücke).

nzm said...

Louis: thank you.

Pandabonium: Yes - I'm onto him! Known as the Arab Hitler and related to Yasser Arafat. Looks like he had his own poison to peddle.

Anon: thanks so much for your contribution. I wasn't sure if it was the oldest mosque, and it's interesting to read that there is another close to us by Templehof.

I also came across a 2004 article which tells of a mosque being built by the Turkish Islamic Union which even in these times took 13 years to build - from fundraising to completion. Then, they had to raise another 100,000 euros to avoid being fined by the authorities because the minarets were too high, and "someone" had ommitted to tell the builders of the height restriction law!

The article says that of Berlin's 75 mosques (wow - that many!), only 3 of them have minarets.

My research so far has sadly failed to turn up anything about the normal Muslim German citizens in Nazi Germany time. There is heaps on el-Husseini of course!

If anyone can point me to some articles, I'd appreciate it.

inmotion said...

I definitely .. definitely don't miss snow.

Anonymous said...

Hi there, has been a month or so since my last comment (17 February, 2007 05:47) Normally I do not continue searching for infos so long, but well found out that when you write Ahmadiyya Berlin to Google instead of Ahmadijja you do actually find out many infos on the mosque. Well comes from the different Transliteration. Mosque seems to have been build by fundraising in Lahore. Was thought to be a replacement of another mosque, which the Third Reich has buildt for their Prisioners of War.
If you can read German I recommend berlin-hidden-places.de