Johann von Leers

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Prof. Dr. jur. Johann von Leers in the uniform as SA-Oberführer; among other things, he was a member of the "Bund Völkischer Europäischer" or Federation of Ethnic Europeans (which he headed for a time as the successor to Ernst Graf von Reventlow), in the NSLB (temporarily editor of "Hilf mit!"), in the NSD-Dozentenbund, in the DAF, in the NSV, in the Reichskolonialbund and in the Reich Farmers' Council (Reichsbauernrat).

Johann von Leers (sometimes als Johannes or Johann-Jakob; b. 25 January 1902 in Vietlübbe, Grand Duchy of Mecklenburg-Schwerin, German Empire; d. 5 March 1965 in Cairo, Egypt), known later as Omar Amin, was a German lawyer, an Alter Kämpfer in the SA (SA-Oberführer) and Allgemeine SS (SS-Sturmbannführer) in National Socialist Germany, where he was also a professor known for his anti-Jewish writings. He was one of the most important ideologues of the Third Reich, serving as a high-ranking propaganda ministry official writing twenty-seven books critical of Jews.[1] He later served in the Egyptian Information Department as well as an advisor to Gamal Abdel Nasser. He published for Goebbels, in Peron's Argentina, and for Nasser's Egypt. He converted to Islam, and changed his name to Omar Amin.


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Early life

Von Leers studied law at Berlin, Kiel, and Rostock and eventually worked as an attache in the foreign office. He was involved in the Viking Free Corps. von Leers became actively involved in voelkisch politics during the Weimar Republic, and he joined the NSDAP in 1929. and in 1933 signed the Gelöbnis treuester Gefolgschaft (de), the "vow of most faithful allegiance" to Adolf Hitler.


  • 1917 After the death of his father, Johann had to take responsibility for the family property early on, which had come under existential pressure in the agricultural crisis before the First World War and was lost in the 1920s.
  • 1921 Abitur (diploma) Gymnasium Neustrelitz
  • 1921 to 1925 Law studies in Kiel, Berlin and Rostock
    • From 1923 to 1924, while still a student, he was active in the "Bund Wiking" military association.
  • 1925 Doctor of Jurisprudence (Dr. jur.); Dissertation: "Die Werkwohnung in der Gesetzgebung"
  • 1925 to 1928 Attaché in the Foreign Office (Auswärtiges Amt)
  • 1. August 1929 Member of the NSDAP (Nr.: 143.709).
  • 1930 Member of the SA
    • 1932 promoted to SA-Oberführer
  • 1931 District training leader in and 1932 federal training leader of the Nationalsozialistischer Deutscher Studentenbund (NSDStB)
    • At the same time, von Leers became chief editor of the magazine "Wille und Weg" (Will and Way).
    • His gift for rhetoric and his talent as a writer helped him to rise rapidly as a speaker at meetings, particularly in Berlin and Brandenburg, and as editor of the newspaper "Der Attack", published by Joseph Goebbels.
  • 1933 Lecturer at the Deutsche Hochschule für Politik
    • Von Leers was friends with Ernst Bergmann, a follower of an Odin religion, and the racial biologist Hans F. K. Günther. In 1933/34 he was a member of the leadership council of the German Faith Movement founded by Jakob Wilhelm Hauer (de).
    • For his Christian critical activities, von Leers received protection from Rudolf Hess and Wilhelm Frick, but met with opposition from his former patron Joseph Goebbels, who did not want a power struggle with the churches at the time. As a result, von Leers found himself in the same ideological camp with Alfred Rosenberg and the Agriculture Minister Walther Darré. As a member of the Ahnenerbe he had a lot to do with Heinrich Himmler.

In the project "Quran passages that should refer to the Führer" as the predicted Messiah, settled in 1943 in the RSHA, research center Orient, further contacts between von Leers and Himmler came about.

  • 14 May 1936 Member of the Allgemeine SS as SS-Untersturmführer (SS-Nr.: 276.586)
  • November 1936 University lecturer at the Deutsche Hochschule für Politik
  • April 1938 Dr. von Leers, meanwhile SS-Obersturmführer, was named associate professor at the Friedrich Schiller University in Jena
  • 20 April 1938 SS-Hauptsturmführer
  • March/April 1940 full professor in Jena
    • He taught legal, economic, and political history on the basis of racial affiliation since 1936 (Deutsche Rechts-, Wirtschafts- und politische Geschichte auf rassischer Grundlage). His assistants in Jena included Renate Riemeck and Ingeborg Meinhof (later the foster mother of Red Army Faction member Ulrike Meinhof), who received their doctorate from him in 1943.
  • 20 April 1939 SS-Sturmbannführer
  • 1945 At the end of the war, he was interned in the US occupation zone. However, he managed to escape from the Darmstadt camp at the end of 1946. He then went into hiding and lived under a false identity in the British occupation zone (near Bonn) until around 1950.
  • 1950 In the summer of this year, he traveled as "Hans Euler" by ship passage via Hamburg to Buenos Aires (Argentina) and found a job at the Dürer-Verlag of Eberhard Fritsch. From then on he published for the in-house NS exile magazine "Der Weg".
  • 1956 Von Leers emigrated to al-Maʿādī near Cairo in Egypt

National Socialist Germany

von Leers supported himself writing freelance articles for the NSDAP press, and joined the Waffen SS in 1936 as a sub-Sturmbannführer, eventually becoming an a full honorary. He would serve as a professor at the University of Jena. He eventually was summoned by Joseph Goebbels to work in the propaganda ministry. There he was assigned to proliferate party propaganda, eventually penning 27 books between 1933-1945.

He wrote the anti-Jewish tract (published and popular during the Third Reich), Juden sehen dich an (Jews Are Looking at You). He was fluent in five languages, including Hebrew and Japanese.

Jeffrey Herf reports that in December 1942, von Leers published an article in the intellectual journal Die Judenfrage entitled "Judaism and Islam as Opposites". As the title indicates, the author's perspective is Hegelian, presenting Judaism and Islam in terms of thesis and antithesis. This essay also reveals the ingratiating National Socialist perspective which von Leers projected on the Islamic past as well as the intensity of his hatred for Judaism and Jewry. The following passage is part of the original text:

Mohammed's hostility to the Jews had one result: Oriental Jewry was completely paralyzed. Its backbone was broken. Oriental Jewry effectively did not participate in [European] Jewry's tremendous rise to power in the last two centuries. Despised in the filthy lanes of the mellah (the walled Jewish quarter of a Moroccan city, analogous to the European ghetto) the Jews vegetated there. They lived under a special law (that of a protected minority), which in contrast to Europe did not permit usury or even traffic in stolen goods, but kept them in a state of oppression and anxiety. If the rest of the world had adopted a similar policy, we would not have a Jewish Question (Judenfrage).... As a religion, Islam indeed performed an eternal service to the world: it prevented the threatened conquest of Arabia by the Jews and vanquished the horrible teaching of Jehovah by a pure religion, which at that time opened the way to a higher culture for numerous peoples .... (Quoted in Victor Klemperer' Tagebuch as author of an article "Schuld ist der Jude" in nr.143 of "Freiheitskampf" Review (1943), where he accuses the Jews to have prepared the First World War to destroy the German people: "if the Jews win, our destiny will be that of the polish officers in Katyn.


von Leers was a proponent of realpolitik, advocating a race-free foreign relations policy on the basis of relationship and alliance. He authored the memo which led to the exemption of non-Jewish racial minorities from race laws in the nation in 1934, 1936, and 1937.


In 1945 he fled to Italy, living there for five years, and then moving to Argentina in 1950 where he continued his writings and publishing Der Weg.[2]

In Nasser's Egypt

von Leers was welcomed in Egypt by al-Husseini and he became the political adviser to the Information Department under Muhammad Naguib and Gamal Abdel Nasser. He continued his anti-Jewish writings as head of the Insti­tute for the Study of Zion­ism , managing anti-Israel propaganda. He was a mentor of Ahmed Huber and networked with Muslim emigres in Hamburg, while also being an acquaintance of Otto Ernst Remer in the country. He converted to Islam, and changed his name to Omar Amin. His anti Judeo-Christian worldview was cited by U.S. intelligence reports in 1957 after monitoring his activities in Egypt and with the Arab League:

He [Dr. Omar Amin von Leers] is becoming more and more a religious zealot, even to the extent of advocating an expansion of Islam in Europe in order to bring about stronger unity through a common religion. This expansion he believes can come not only from contact with the Arabs in the Near East and Africa but with Islamic elements in the USSR. The results he envisions as the formation of a political bloc against which neither East nor West could prevail.

He was praised by Haj Amin al-Husseini for his loyalty to Arab nationalism.


In its first decade, the West German government tried in vain to have him extradited for war crimes. Johann von Leers died due to a heart attack in Cairo in 1965.


Johann was the eldest son of Protestant farmer and manor owner Kurt Alfred August Constantin Leopold Heino Friedrich von Leers from the Schönfeld family (b. 12 August 1870 in Demmin; d. 1917) and his wife Elisabeth Ida Auguste, née von Buch (b. 3 September 1877 in Strehlen near Dresden; d. 1940). His three siblings were Walter von Leers, Werner von Leers (1904–1954) and Kurt Mathias von Leers (1912–1945), a Roman Catholic theology student.


On 29 September 1932, Dr. jur. von Leers married his fiancée Clara Olga Gesine, divorced Fischer, née Schmaltz (1891–1974) from Hamburg. The daughter of the same name, Gesine, arose from the marriage in 1937. Gesine was previously married to Walter Fischer. Both were members of the "Herman Wirth Society" founded in Berlin in 1928, whose initiator was Gesine (together with Eugen Diederichs) and whose financial sponsor was Walter. Gesine was also the head of the society's Berlin office, but had to hire an assistant in the summer of 1931 due to the wide variety of tasks: Johann von Leers. This was to be the beginning of their love, and the divorce from Walter Fischer was “amicable”.

Von Leers' loyal wife, who kept his correspondence in the phase of her husband's illegality in the British occupation zone, tried until his death to obtain political amnesty for her husband in Germany so that he could return. It was not granted to him.

Works (small selection)

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External Links


  1. Science For Segregation: Race, Law, And The Case Against Brown V. Board Of Education, by John P. Jackson, page 43
  2. Science For Segregation: Race, Law, And The Case Against Brown V. Board of Education, by John P. Jackson, page 43