These testimonials refer to the Mufti art exhibit, video and lecture.
“You have made a unique accomplishment. The Nazis spread their hateful and destructive teachings through their liason, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem to the Muslim world. The story is not past history – it is still with us today. Hence your unique presentation is a powerful way to let us know.”
– Harry Ettlinger. Vice Commander Jewish War Veterans of the USA
Member of The Monuments Men, the American soldiers who liberated the priceless works of art stolen by the Nazis
“This exhibit is a must see for those who asked after 9/11 “Why Us”? There are clear-cut reasons and you owe it to yourself and those you love to see David Sokol’s exhibit, hear his presentation and watch his short video about the Mufti and the Nazis. David weaves the threads that connect the ideology of today’s radical Islamists to that of the Nazis – an ideology that we had hoped ended with WW II.”
- Ferne Hassan, Associate Director AJC, New Jersey Office
“The video is excellent. The narration is strong/polemic that works because the drawings somewhat soften/humanize the story. It gathered steam, and an emotional, almost elegiac tone, as the video went forward. The message is singular, and it packs a punch.”
- Richard Alther, Author of the novel SIEGFRIED FOLLIES, a story of a German and a Jew who together survive loss and struggle for identify as adults.
David Sokol’s The Mufti; “Best Short Film”
“Great animation of Hitler Mufti meeting”
- Steven K Baum, Editor, Journal for the Study of Antisemitism
“Sokol’s ‘The Mufti’ is presented as a compelling documentary that tells the little-known story of the collaboration of two world views – the collaboration between the Muslim Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Hajj Amin al Husseini, and the Nazi Fuhrer, Adolf Hitler… Sokol succeeds in educating the public on the Mufti’s plot to annihilate Middle Eastern Jewry through a series of bone-chilling, hair-raising cartoons accompanied by an intense musical score.”
- Florette Cohen Ph.D.
“The Mufti, the Nazis and Antisemitism in Today’s World” is an exhibit we curated and mounted on September 8, 2011 to run through Kristallnacht and until November 18. The basis of the exhibit are paintings created by David Sokol for his award-winning film, Mufti. The artwork is cartoon-like in the sense of graphic novel drawings.
To supplement the artwork, we produced a brochure that gives the historical context behind each of the images. Also, we had two looped videos playing during the run of the exhibit. One was of Sokol’s film; the other was of a youth choir of Arabs and Israelis singing for Pope Benedict in Jerusalem.
Additionally, five programs were held in conjunction with the exhibit. The first, which was our opening reception, featured David Sokol. We screened his film, he spoke of his personal background, his work and answered questions during the Q & A. We showed the film, Among the Righteous, highlighting Arabs who saved Jewish lives during the Holocaust. It was part of our Real to Reel Holocaust Film Series, which feature the screening of a film along with a discussion based on the history behind the film. The third program was a Lunch ‘n Learn, featuring two physicians who reported on their participation last June in a Hebrew University seminar on antisemitism. We also held a seminar for survivors who are part of our Speakers’ Bureau to teach them how to respond to questions or comments from anti-Zionists. (A couple of speakers have already encountered the “genocide that Israel commits against Palestinians.” ) Elliot Matthias of Rutgers University led that session which was much appreciated by the participants. For our final exhibit related event, Prof. Jeffrey Herf of the University of Maryland gave a talk on his book, Nazi Propaganda for the Middle East.
Thousands who visited our campus viewed and learned about the connection between the propaganda spread by the Nazis and Islamism, with its anti-Western, anti-Zionist and all-things Jewish- stance. Each of these programs was very well-received and attendance was excellent, particularly as Mr. Sokol’s and Dr. Herf’s events coincided with terrible rainstorms. The audiences included people of various ages, backgrounds, religions. They also included teachers and students, although no special effort was made to contact schools.
Lastly, in our annual Kristallnacht commemoration, we used the exhibit as a springboard to call attendees’ attention to the use of propaganda, both Nazi-created and current, in attempts to demonize Jews and delegitimize Israel
While this exhibit, which is not wholly about the Holocaust, is somewhat of a departure for us, it is a vitally important one. Most people see the Holocaust as euro-centric and are mostly unaware of the North African concentration and labor camps; the French connection -as well as the Italian one – to Nazi policies of annihilating Jews; the threat felt by the Yishuv when the Nazis were in the Middle East; Hitler’s attempt to bring the Final Solution to that part of the world; and the Nazi-sponsored hatred towards the West and Israel that is not only ongoing but growing at an alarming rate to the point where that part of the world has been termed, the “Fourth Reich.”
This compelling exhibit presents many teachable moments and served our community extremely well. It educated many. I, myself, hadn’t realized the lacunae of knowledge that surrounds this history and its very dangerous afterlife. To my surprise, even some colleagues at Holocaust institutions, expressed ignorance of the Mufti-Hitler relationship and its contemporary implications. Thus, I am glad that the exhibit inspired many heretofore uninvolved people to advocate on behalf of Israel and against Islamism. I feel very fortunate that the United Jewish Communities of MetroWest supported it and urge other institutions to follow our lead.
Peace in deed,
Barbara Wind, Director
Holocaust Council of MetroWest