In 1947, the Ba'th party was founded by three French-educated Syrian intellectuals Michel 'Aflaq, raised as Greek Orthodox Christian but admiring Islam, together with Salah al-Din Bitar a Sunni Muslim, and Zaki al-Arsuzi, an Alawite Muslim.
Similar to al-Husri, 'Aflaq was an ardent proponent of pan-Arab ideology celebrating the glorious Islamic past and advocating the unity of all Arab states. However, he deviated slightly from al-Husri's though in that he endeavoured to create a synthesis between nationalism and socialism applicable to all Arab states.
Apart from 'Aflaq's enthusiasm for Hitler, he also deemed his National-Socialist Germany as a model for the society he wanted to create. When the pro-German pan-Arab nationalists under al-Gilani took power with the support of the Third Reich in Iraq, 'Aflaq formed a committee to defend al-Gilani's regime. German nationalist ideology appealed strongly to 'Aflaq and his young generation. As it is confirmed by one of the old Ba'thists, they were "influenced by Nietzsche's Thus Spoke Zarathustra, Fichte's Fourteen Letters to the German Nation, and Hitler's Mein Kampf," 'Aflaq's pro-Nazi inclination, despite his studying in France and becoming acquainted with the constitutional basis of the French Revolution...
Renowned expert, E. Kedourie:
Jundi records the occasion, on 29 November 1940, when he and four other young men met in the room of one of them and listened to a four-hour lecture by Arsuzi on Democracy, Communism and Nazism, beginning with Descartes ...At the end Of this discourse which 'plumbed the depths ' and was 'warm and emotional', Arsuzi suggested the formation of an Arab Resurrection Party. Jundi became the treasurer of the small group...
We were racialists [’irqiyyin], admiring Nazism, reading its books and the source of its thought, particularly Nietzsche's Thus Spake Zarathustra, Fichte's Addresses to the German Nation, and H. S. Chamberlain's Foundations of the Nineteenth Century, which revolves on race. We were the first to think of translating Mein Kampf.
Encyclopedia of Politics:
While Aflaq embraced Islam as the religion for the Arab peoples, it was ironic that he had been raised a Christian. During World War II, he admired Adolf Hitler and saw in Nazism the type of national socialism he espoused for the Arab world.
Princeton Papers: Interdisciplinary Journal of Middle Eastern Studies:
The Islamic Component A. The Genesis of the Ba'th: Islam in the Thought of Michel 'Aflaq ... 'Aflaq called upon all Arabs, Muslims as well as Christians, to admire Islam and the Prophet because of Islam's "important role in shaping Arab history and Arab nationalism."
... as Elie Kedourie wrote in Islam in the Modern World, '[T]o define the Arab nation in terms of its history is—sooner rather than later—to come upon the fact that Islam originated among the Arabs, was revealed in Arabic to an Arab...' Hence, 'Arab nationalism,' Kedourie explained, 'affirms a fundamental unbreakable link between Islam and Arabism.' (Here’s an essay on the same subject, with a collection of quotes from Arab writers agreeing with Kedourie that Arabism and Islam are one and the same.)...
Atrocities in Lebanon
- Ba'athist - definition of Ba'athist by The Free Dictionary
- Adel Soheil (2018). "The Iraqi Ba'th Regime's Atrocities Against the Faylee Kurds Nation-State Formation Distorted." p. 56. The three French-educated Syrian intellectuals 'Aflaq, a Greek Orthodox Christian, together with Salah al-Din Bitar a Sunni Muslim, and Zaki al-Arsuzi, an Alawit founded the Ba'th party in 1947
- Baathist purge may stall Hussein trial, Neil MacDonald, CS Monitor, July 28, 2005
- Adel Soheil (2018). "The Iraqi Ba'th Regime's Atrocities Against the Faylee Kurds Nation-State Formation Distorted." p. 55.
- Elie Kedourie (1974). "Arabic Political Memoirs and Other Studies." London: Frank Cass. p. 200.
- Rodney P. Carlisle (2005), "Encyclopedia of Politics." p. 540.
- Princeton Papers: Interdisciplinary Journal of Middle Eastern Studies. (1997). United States: Markus Wiener Publishers. Vol. 5, p. 33. ; William Harris, Aḥmad Ashraf, Yesim Arat (1997), "Challenges to Democracy in the Middle East." p. 33.
- Lee Smith, "It’s an Arab Nationalist Thing. Osama’s Islamism and Saddam’s Baathism are more alike than you think." Slate, Oct 22, 2004.