Nazism, Zionism and Deportation
The Madagascar Plan was a proposal of the Nazi government of Germany to relocate the Jewish population of Europe to the island of Madagascar. Franz Rademacher, head of the Jewish Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for the Nazi government, proposed the idea in June 1940, shortly before France’s defeat in the Battle of France. The proposal called for the handing over of Madagascar, then a French colony, to Germany as part of the French surrender terms.
The idea of deporting Polish Jews to Madagascar was investigated by the Polish government in 1937, but the task force sent to evaluate the island’s potential determined that only 5,000 to 7,000 families could be accommodated, or even as few as 500 families by some estimates. As efforts by the Nazis to encourage emigration of the Jewish population of Germany were only partially successful, the idea of deporting Jews to Madagascar was revived by the Nazi government in 1940.
Israel’s hard-line prime minister, Ariel Sharon, has ordered his intelligence chiefs and defence forces to prepare a secret plan to drive “hundreds of thousands” of Palestinians out of the West Bank. They would be deported to the no-man’s land in southern Lebanon. The area is a desolate landscape with freezing conditions in winter and broiling temperatures in summer. There is scant soil to produce food. Water is also scarce in the region.