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One of the versions for Arlozorov's 1933 murder (not solved to this day!) is that it had something to do with his early friendship with Magda Goebbels. This is what wikipedia says, soberly hedging its description:

During the first world war, Magda Behrend, who later became the wife of Joseph Goebbels, met and became close friends with Lisa Arlosoroff, Haim Arlosoroff's sister. The nature of her relationship with Haim Arlosoroff is unknown. Magda married Goebbels on 19 December 1931, with Adolf Hitler as a witness. A year and a half later, Arlosoroff went to Germany to negotiate the Ha'avarah (transfer) agreement with high Nazi officials. The theory is that with Haim Arlosoroff's personal involvement in the negotiations, Goebbels took notice of his wife's former Jewish friend and sought to erase what might have been an embarrassment for the Goebbelses.

This is actually a very murky issue, so I'd like to try and take a baby step here - is there documentary evidence that Goebbels actually knew his wife used to be friends with Arlozorov? Or did she hide this fact from him?

I am thinking that perhaps diaries and/or memoirs might be able to throw light on this angle.

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1 Answer 1

A few years ago I took out a book from the library a biography of Magda Goebbels by Anja Klabunde. In it she writes uncategorically that Magda and Chaim were erstwhile lovers from soon after WW1 in Berlin. There is no doubt that she was friendly with the family and especially Chaim's sisters.

From here the business gets murky. Klabunde writes that Magda was definitely Chaim's girlfried and even attended Zionist meetings with Chaim in Berlin. Where Klabunde got her info, I cannot say. The official Israeli and Zionist position is that Arlosoroff was killed by a Jewish Revisionist bullet and Jabotinsky was to blame. These 2 positions are obviously incompatible so there are obvious untruths and misinformation involved.

Arlosoroff's granddaughter is a famous journalist in Israel working for the liberal Haaretz press. I wrote her a letter asking for clarification on the matter. She passed my query on to her father - Chaim's son Saul - who I think is still alive. He wrote back to me and I still have a copy of his reply. He is clearly tired of the matter especially since Menachem Begin launched a new enquiry into the matter of Chaim's death. Saul maintains to the end that the Revisionists were to blame and that Chaim and Magda were never involved. Unfortunately this does not end the matter. The History Channel maintains that when Chaim was in Berlin in 1933, he and Magda were still sexually involved altho she was already married to Joseph Goebeels and Chaim was also married to a Jewish woman back home in Palestine. Again, where this info comes from I cannot say.

Apparently Chaim was so incensed with Magda about her marriage to a top Nazi that he drew a gun on her and shot at her but missed. She was then so angry with him that she would not accept his apologies. What is also interesting is that her previous step-father Friedlander whose name she adopted was interned in a concentration camp where he died in 1938. Why did she not rescue him? It seems that she was completely Nazified in her opinion of Jews! Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned. In a subsequent trial the two Jews accused of shooting Chaim were acquitted. In answer to your question, of course Goebbels would have known about Chaim. These Nazis were very well informed especially Goebbels.

It must have been embarrassing that the most prominent Nazi woman was previously involved with a Jew! Goebbels would have told Hitler he wants Chaim dead. When you read up on the Transfer Agreement between the Zionists and the Nazis, it is clear that Hitler backed this right up to 1941 even after the killing of Jews had already begun in Poland since 1939. Hitler would have said that Chaim cannot be killed in Germany which would jeopardize the delicate negotiations. The fact that Chaim was shot a mere 2 days after he returned from Germany seems to indicate a connection between the two events. To me it is perfectly obvious that Magda, Goebbels and Hitler were to blame for Chaim's death and not the Revisionists. Yet the Zionists claim otherwise to this day.

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Unsolved political murders are fertile ground for conspiracy theories. This is an unreferenced answer that supports one of these theories with little support but flat assertions of several rather unlikely steps. -1 –  Lennart Regebro Jan 4 '14 at 9:57
I am +1ing this because the answer raises interesting points (like the timing of the murder) and does mention some sources. However, there are several issues with it, which it'd be nice to address: (1) it gets really too speculative in the end (for me the use of "of course" is a marker here - if it's so obvious, it ought to be documented somewhere). (2) SOURCES - page numbers in the Klabunde book would be nice; the History Channel is, alas, not reliable, so if it loudly asserts something I'd be doubly careful about it; Can you reference the asserion that Hitler backed Transfer up to 1941? –  Felix Goldberg Jan 4 '14 at 10:19
(3) The distinction between Zionist and Revisionist is incorrect and misleading - both were Zionists. What you have in mind are Labor Zionists versus Revisionist Zionists. Plus, I don't think anyone ever connected Jabotinsky personally to the murder (but people did accuse one of the Revisionist top figures Abba Ahimeir, whose son is also a famous journalist, btw). –  Felix Goldberg Jan 4 '14 at 10:21
Too bad Sheakspeare is dead. He'd have run away with this whole situation. –  DVK Jan 4 '14 at 13:32
-1 wall of text. Sometimes pretty formatting "just" helps to read more easily, but for such a huge blob it is required. –  Lohoris Jan 4 '14 at 15:53

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