‘Haaretz’ undermines a foundational myth: FDR abandoned Europe’s Jews

Israel/Palestine
on 32 Comments

Sunday’s Ha’aretz ran a very important piece by Tom Segev reporting on the distinguished Israeli historian of the Holocaust Yehuda Bauer’s about-face about whether there was anything the Roosevelt Administration could have done aside from winning the war to prevent the Holocaust and minimize the loss of Jewish lives.  

As I argued in a piece a few years ago (The Myth of Abandonment: The Use and Abuse of the Holocaust Analogy), the conventional wisdom has become that the United States and the rest of the international community were guilty of grave indifference to European Jewry’s plight and should have realized even before the war what Hitler had in store for the Jews and acted more decisively to rescue them.  Once the war began, so this argument goes, the Allies should have launched direct strikes on the Nazi death camps and the rail-lines leading to them to stop the killing.   The fact that the United States did none of these things is prima facie evidence that Roosevelt “abandoned” the Jews in their hour of grave peril. 

Segev has done great work in his own right as an historian in his book The Seventh Million in showing how the memory of the Holocaust has been used to construct a modern Israeli identity that encompasses both religious and non-religious Jews.  Such politicized history serves current agendas more than historical truth.

Here as a journalist he reports that one of the leading historians of the Holocaust, who once shared the conventional wisdom, now after a life-time of professional reflection regards the idea that the Allies could have done anything other than win the war, which is what President Roosevelt pursued energetically, as a myth.  Money grafs: 

Contrary to conventional wisdom, Bauer states that there was no possibility of saving a significant number of Jews by bringing them into the Land of Israel, because there was no way of extracting them from occupied Europe. Further examination led Bauer to conclude also that there was no real opportunity to destroy Nazi annihilation mechanisms by aerial bombings, except at the cost of the lives of many Jews. [H]ad the Allies bombed the gas chambers, the annihilation would have continued via other means, including the “death marches.” In this context, Bauer notes that some 50 percent of Jewish war victims were not murdered in the death camps.

The fiction about the United States and its allies survives not because there is compelling historical evidence for it but rather because it advances various political agendas in Israel and the United States. 

Bauer’s turn-around matters because the Israeli Right  —  from Begin to Bibi — is stuck in 1938, and the weight of politicized Holocaust history blinds them to the fact that they have a partner in peace in Mahmoud Abbas and leads them to blow out of all proportion the threat they face from an as yet non-existent Iranian nuclear weapon.  

Among American Jews,  the Holocaust  has become the secular Genesis story that melds together the otherwise disparate tribes of modern American Judaism by reemphasizing their peril in the diaspora and adding to it the supposed indifference of the Gentiles to their plight.  The lesson is clear:  They can only count on themselves and Israel.

Segev’s account of Bauer’s reassessment should put in stark relief the difference between real history (conclusions based on evidence) and politicized history (to advance current agendas) and hopefully prevent the misinterpretation of an historical tragedy from contributing to contemporary political folly in both countries. 

About Michael Desch

Michael Desch is Professor and Chair of the Department of Political Science at the University of Notre Dame. He was the founding Director of the Scowcroft Institute of International Affairs and the first holder of the Robert M. Gates Chair in Intelligence and National Security Decision-Making at the George Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University from 2004 through 2008.

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32 Responses

  1. atime forpeace
    November 5, 2012, 11:17 am

    These foundational myths, of the which there are quite a few, will cause much cognitive dissonance among those whose lives these myths seem to govern.

    Thats when they really start slinging around that most repulsive of terms.

  2. Don
    November 5, 2012, 11:33 am

    Excellent post by Prof Desch; and great news that Yehuda Bauer has changed his mind about Roosevelt.

  3. ThorsteinVeblen2012
    November 5, 2012, 11:51 am

    What secret negotiations did the Nazi government attempt that we don’t know about?

    The war objective of the Allies was unconditional surrender, which we negotiated with the Japanese to keep the emperor in power. But what of the Germans? Where there no overtures offered for an negotiated peace? There was Rudolph Hess who’s mission was covered in secrecy until the day he died.

    It would seem implausible that there weren’t others.

    There are Ben Hecht’s allegations in “Perfidy.” It would seem that plausible that other negotiations were initiated to end the war.

    The Allies negotiated to feed the Greeks during the German occupation and the Allies negotiated an air drop of food to the Netherlands to feed the population at the close of the war.

    Certainly Hitler remaining in power would be unacceptable, but unconditional surrender offered no alternative to end a massively destructive war and Holocaust.

    • Woody Tanaka
      November 5, 2012, 4:22 pm

      Oh, come on. Who was going to accept this non-unconditional surrender on the German behalf? Hitler was the German government and there’s no way that he was going to end that war and he damn sure had no interest in slowing down the killing of the Jews. Unless or until he’s dead, it’s unconditional surrender or nothing because Hitler simply had no interest in ending the war.

      If the July 20 plot had been successful, then possibly they might have been able to negotiate something, but not necessarily. Many on the Allied side were convinced that it had to be unconditional surrender, that giving Germany an armistice in 1919 was a mistake because it permitted the rise of the Dolchstoßlegende — the stab-in-the-back story — and the Allied leaders had no interst in stopping this war, especially as they knew the tide had turned, only to have to fight the Germans yet again in another twenty years.

      But if the July 20 plotters had been successful, it probably would have ended the Holocaust, I think.

  4. CitizenC
    November 5, 2012, 12:22 pm

    The “failure to rescue” critique is not really a “foundational myth”. American Jews did not emerge from WW2 irreparably traumatized by the Holocaust and obsessed with Allied culpability. Nor is the counter-argument new; William Rubinstein made it in “The Myth of Rescue” in 1997. Robert Rosen defended Roosevelt in “Saving the Jews. FDR and the Holocaust” in 2006. Rosen’s book had an afterword from that great moderate voice in Jewish-gentile relations, Alan Dershowitz. Rubinstein noted Roosevelt’s great popularity with Jews, and how that later changed.

    “This great and profound change in the perception of the Allies and their leaders arose fairly abruptly between the late 1960s and the mid-1980s, wholly as a result of a near-universal perception that the Allies did virtually nothing to rescue Europe’s Jews during the Holocaust.”

    In other words, the “failure to rescue” critique was part of the chauvinism that accompanied the June, 1967 war. A feeling shared by the Jewish left. Jewish Voice for Peace charged the Allies with the deaths of millions in its 2004 reader “Reframing Anti-Semitism” in 2004, 7 yrs after Rubinstein’s book appeared.

    The first chapter of Myth of Rescue is on-line at the NYT, along with their pan of it. What will the NYT say about Bauer, if he produces a book? Their Zionist burden is now heavier. But no book is mentioned in the Haaretz article.

    link to nytimes.com

    • Hostage
      November 5, 2012, 11:17 pm

      The “failure to rescue” critique is not really a “foundational myth”. American Jews did not emerge from WW2 irreparably traumatized by the Holocaust and obsessed with Allied culpability.

      One of FDR’s chosen agents for conducting the negotiations on displaced persons (DPs) was a secular Jew, Morris L. Ernst. He wrote a book in 1948, which revealed that Zionist opposition and political considerations had sabotaged FDR’s plan for the US, UK, and other governments to save hundreds of thousands of displaced Jews. See So far, so good, Harper, 1948, pages 176-77 That’s very powerful first hand evidence that Segev, and Bauer don’t really address in their analysis. But Alfred Lilienthal devoted an entire chapter to that subject in his 1953 book “What Price Israel?” He repeated another account by Morris Ernst about pressure being exerted on FDR by Rabbi Weiss. Here is a link to an extract where he outlines a British commitment to match any increase in US immigration quotas up to 150,000 refugees: link to palestinejournal.net

      Haaretz correspondent Boas Evron confirmed that Weizmann and other members of the Zionist Executive had contacted Rabbi Weiss because they were concerned that fund raising for the Jewish refugees would detract from fund raising for their own projects for Eretz Israel. See “Jewish State or Israeli Nation?”, Indiana University Press, 1995, page 260-261

      So there’s no room for doubt about the fact that Jewish lives were held hostage to political considerations – and that the latter prevailed in this particular case involving FDR. I certainly agree with the view that the logistical capability simply didn’t exist to transport, feed, and house millions of people in the midst of a World War and that bombing the concentration camps and rail lines wouldn’t have saved the millions who died elsewhere by other means – much less prevent those same alternative methods from being employed to carry-out any “final solution”. I also agree that there is too much navel gazing devoted to the subject of Jewish DPs. After all, millions were displaced or killed by the war in Asia too, but those displaced persons were deliberately excluded from the definition of the term “refugee” employed in the 1951 UN Convention on Refugees.

      Proposing transfers of populations numbering into the millions is like rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. It only encourages despots to carry-out ethnic cleansing operations. Ending the impunity for war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide is the only workable solution. The Allies were keenly aware of that fact by the time that 32 nations issued The Moscow “Statement on Atrocities” in October 1943, signed by President Roosevelt, Prime Minister Churchill and Premier Stalin. See “The Moscow Conference; October 1943″ @ link to avalon.law.yale.edu

      In other words, the “failure to rescue” critique was part of the chauvinism that accompanied the June, 1967 war.

      Except of course for the fact that Jews, like Ernst and Lilienthal, were not motivated by either chauvinism or the 1967 War. I’d hazard a guess that the critique of FDR in scholarly circles was fueled more by the disclosures that resulted from the 30-year rule on scheduled declassification and the publication of the official documentary history of US foreign policy decisions.

      A feeling shared by the Jewish left. Jewish Voice for Peace charged the Allies with the deaths of millions in its 2004 reader “Reframing Anti-Semitism” in 2004, 7 yrs after Rubinstein’s book appeared.

      Here we go again. You’re making an overly broad generalization about the position of JVP and its membership. JVP published a single book years ago with the goal of explaining that critiques of Israel are not inherently anti-Semetic. The book was an anthology, comprised of a collection of 9 personal essays. The back cover noted that there is more than one “voice” in the collection and that the diversity of views is one of the strengths of the anthology.

      One of the authors discussed some examples where the lives of Jews had been discounted, in much the same manner as Ernst, Lilienthal, and Boas. She cited an account written by the director of the US Holocaust Museum, Michael Berenbaum, about all of the reasons Auschwitz wasn’t bombed and concluded that it could be argued that the Allies were culpable. Berenbaum’s article stipulated that 90 percent of the victims of the Holocaust were already dead before anyone proposed bombing the camps. But he also noted that Churchill had order the bombings – and that his orders were not carried out. – See Why wasn’t Auschwitz bombed? by Michael Berenbaum starting on page 144 of “The World Must Know: The History of the Holocaust as Told in the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum”, The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2005; and his Britannica article on the same subject. link to britannica.com

      So, people have certainly argued that FDR or the Allies were worthy of blame for reasons that had nothing to do with chavanism or Zionism.

      • CitizenC
        November 6, 2012, 8:32 am

        Hostage, I cannot respond to anything you say, because Mondo has accepted your proclamation of secular Jewish identity for political purposes, and I am not allowed to say that it is Zionist fiction.

      • Hostage
        November 6, 2012, 11:38 am

        Hostage, I cannot respond to anything you say, because Mondo has accepted your proclamation of secular Jewish identity for political purposes, and I am not allowed to say that it is Zionist fiction.

        I mentioned that Morris Ernst was a secular Jew, but said nothing at all about the religious beliefs of Lilienthal, Evron, or the author of the essay published by JVP.

        I think it’s pretty obvious that you can’t impeach the anti-Zionist credentials or motives of Lilienthal, much less the fact that he and Ernst published their accounts about FDR’s aborted plan to assist hundreds of thousands of Jews long before the Six Day War.

        I haven’t made any “proclamations”. You are the one who said: A “secular Jew” cannot exist in modern conditions as a political and legal category.

        I simply replied that the Congress and the US Supreme Court disagree and that in the Tefila Congregation case the Court ruled that Jews are indeed a legally protected ethnic group and that members can bring claims of discrimination based on their ancestry or ethnicity under statutes that otherwise bar claims based upon their religion.

        I’ve pointed out, that the only formulaic prayer or mantra prescribed by the Torah says that Israel is a nation (ethnos), not a religion. I’ve also noted that the Talmud states that, even in cases where the people fail to observe or transgress the commandments, they are still supposed to be considered part of Israel according to many of the ancient sages. Here are some additional citations about secular Jews that I provided:
        *”When asked by a member of the United Nations Committee on Palestine whether Jews who had converted to Christianity would still be regarded as Jews, the Chief Rabbi of Palestine replied that even a Jew who had abandoned Judaism for another faith would remain a Jew, although not ‘a good Jew’.” See Thomas D. Musgrave, Self-Determination and National Minorities, Oxford Monographs in International Law, 2000, page 163.
        *Zionist, Moshe Shertok told the UNSCOP Commission that the Jewish Agency did not consider Christians to be Jews. Shertok said “He need not be an active, pious Jew. He is still considered a Jew. But if he converts to another religion he can no longer be considered a Jew.” See Akiva Orr, The unJewish state: the politics of Jewish identity in Israel, Ithaca Press, 1983, ISBN 0903729857, Page 89
        *The entry for apikoros (plural apikorsim) in Joyce Eisenberg, Ellen Scolnic (eds), Dictionary of Jewish Words: A JPS Guide, Jewish Publication Society, 2006 says:

        First used in the Mishnah to refer to a Jew who renounced the Torah.

        link to books.google.com
        *See also the discussion under the Heading “An Epikoros” in the Soncino Edition of the Babylonian Talmud, Sanhedrin 99b et seq link to halakhah.com
        *By the 19th Century the United States and other countries had adopted laws and treaties that dealt with Jews as members of the Jewish or Hebrew race. See for example the discussion about the expulsion of Jews from Roumania in the Papers relating to the foreign relations of the United States, with the annual message of the president transmitted to Congress December 7, 1903, page 707 link to digicoll.library.wisc.edu
        Note: The term “Hebrew race” is archaic, but not the fact that Jews are still considered to be members of a legally recognized ethnic group or groups under the terms of many 20th century treaties and statutes.
        *Under the terms of the minority treaties, which were part of the public international law of Europe, any person could declare themselves to be members of the Jewish race or ethnicity. For example, in 20th century states, like Czechoslovakia, the official interpretation of Article 128 of the constitution permitted persons to register as Jewish even if they lacked knowledge of a Jewish language or membership in the Jewish religious community. The same procedures were adopted by the British mandatory authorities and were used by the provisional government of Israel prior to 1950:

        Articles 74, 106 and 131 of the German-Polish Convention relating to Upper Silesia of May 15th, 1922, establish the unfettered liberty of an individual to declare according to his own conscience and on his own personal responsibility that he himself does or does not belong to a racial, linguistic or religious minority and to choose the language of instruction and the corresponding school for the pupil or child for whose education he is legally responsible, subject to no verification, dispute, pressure or hindrance in any form whatsoever by the authorities”

        –See the references to the rights of Jews in “Rights of Minorities in Upper Silesia (Germ. v. Pol.)”, 1928 P.C.I.J. (ser. A) No. 15 (Apr. 26)
        – Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics report 2010: 42% of Jews are secular link to ynetnews.com
        *Those same civil and political rights of Jews living in other countries were recognized in a safeguarding clause contained in the “Convention between the United States and Great Britain relating to rights in Palestine”, signed December 3, 1924 (aka The Anglo-American Palestine Mandate Convention, 44 Stat.2184; Treaty Series 728).
        link to digicoll.library.wisc.edu
        link to justicenow4israel.com

        All of that is undeniably true, regardless of anything Mondoweiss has to say on the subject.

      • Mooser
        November 6, 2012, 12:44 pm

        “Hostage, I cannot respond to anything you say, because Mondo has accepted your proclamation of secular Jewish identity for political purposes, and I am not allowed to say that it is Zionist fiction.”

        Fer god’s sakes, my own poor reading comprehension tells me that is more-or-less what Hostage is saying!

        BTW, did I say “gold mine” Hostage? I take it back, it’s like “unobtanium” even more valuable. And I wouldn’t know where else to dig for it. Thanks

      • Mooser
        November 6, 2012, 2:52 pm

        “I’ve also noted that the Talmud states that, even in cases where the people fail to observe or transgress the commandments, they are still supposed to be considered part of Israel according to many of the ancient sages.”

        Jeez, the poor schlumps are stuck with me? Is that any way to run a railroad? You know, I’m beginning to wonder if there aren’t enough professional Jews, that the efforts of all us amateur volunteers aren’t needed, and are possibly counter-productive. To have a valuable brand spoiled at this critical juncture, by unprofessional handling, it’s a shame.

      • MRW
        November 6, 2012, 3:58 pm

        Hostage,

        I don’t have the links ( I think I did publish some here before the archives started in 2009) and I know from family connections that what you wrote in this paragraph is just as true for Canada and Canadian Prime Minister Mackenzie King. Canada is often accused on these boards, along with FDR, of turning away Jewish refugees. Weizmann (England) and Rabbi Weiss (USA) brought pressure to bear on the Canadian PM through the agency of the Dutch Queen, who hid in Ottawa during the War.

        One of FDR’s chosen agents for conducting the negotiations on displaced persons . . . . exerted on FDR by Rabbi Weiss.

  5. David Green
    November 5, 2012, 12:54 pm

    I’m not sure whether the myth of abandonment has been that useful in recent years in service of the Zionist cause; I sensed at one point that it seemed easier for supporters of the “special relationship” to set aside and downplay such historical critiques. I think some of the criticisms of David Wyman were in this vein, as well as the reception of William Rubinstein’s previous challenge to the so-called myth, although his argument had its own problems. This is interesting stuff, but may be more complicated at closer reading. Ultimately, I think the momentum of Zionist ideological tactics has been not to push to seriously on this issue, especially in comparison to punishing every alleged ex-Nazi who found refuge in this country.

    Bauer has his own ideological agenda, as do so many Holocaust scholars. It might be useful to ask what it is in this case; I’m not sure that he’s simply joining the consensus that Zionists don’t benefit from turning over that particular historical rock.

    • Annie Robbins
      November 5, 2012, 1:09 pm

      I think the momentum of Zionist ideological tactics has been not to push to seriously on this issue

      that’s not entirely supportable given the speaker, the recent setting, and the audience.

      Netanyahu says, You also refused to bomb Auschwitz
      link to mondoweiss.net

    • David Green
      November 5, 2012, 1:10 pm

      Revised comment:

      So Bauer all of the sudden doesn’t have his own agenda?

      I’m not sure whether the myth of abandonment has been that useful in recent years in service of the Zionist cause; I sensed at one point that it seemed easier for supporters of the “special relationship” to set aside and downplay such historical critiques. I think some of the criticisms of David Wyman were in this ideological vein, as well as the positive reception of William Rubinstein’s previous challenge to the so-called myth–his argument had its own serious problems.

      This is interesting stuff, but may be more complicated at closer reading. Ultimately, I think the momentum of Zionist ideological tactics has been not to push too seriously on this issue, especially in comparison to punishing every alleged ex-Nazi who found refuge in this country. The much vaunted Israel Lobby doesn’t really like to talk much about “rescue”, do they?

      Bauer has his own ideological agenda, as do so many Holocaust scholars. It might be useful to ask what it is in this case; I suspect that he’s simply joining the consensus that Zionists don’t benefit from turning over that particular historical rock. It offends too many powerful Americans, including Zionists themselves, who are not stupid when it comes to their own narrow interests–Dershowitz, for example.

      • Annie Robbins
        November 5, 2012, 3:24 pm

        Zionists don’t benefit from turning over that particular historical rock

        i agree with that. not sure about the ‘consensus’ part tho. may have to do with the content of the document and the way it’s being used. for background check american’s comment and subsequent links in the comment section of the netanyahu article.

  6. David Green
    November 5, 2012, 1:41 pm

    William D. Rubinstein, author of “The Myth of Rescue,” is hardly a critic of Israel, as evidenced by his review of Norman Finkelstein’s “The Holocaust Industry.”

    link to leaderu.com

    Excerpt:

    The State of Israel has, indeed, been almost punctilious in not exploiting the Holocaust for political ends. While one might expect Israel to be dotted with Holocaust monuments on every street corner, in the whole of the country there is precisely one memorial to the Holocaust, Yad Vashem, on the hills outside Jerusalem. A place of dignity, it is probably best known for its avenue of trees planted, not in memory of murdered Jews, but to commemorate “Righteous Gentiles” who risked their lives to save Jews. Apart from Eichmann (and the ill–fated, highly unfortunate Demjanjuk trial of the 1980s), Israel has shown virtually no interest whatever in apprehending former Nazi war criminals, and, indeed, it is a legitimate charge that one might make against Israel that it has not tracked them down more rigorously.

    It must also be stressed that the current centrality of the Holocaust flows from the power of that event to affect virtually everyone today: it is recognized by nearly everybody as an unspeakable horror that requires no “Holocaust industry” to impress on our consciousness. Finkelstein never acknowledges this basic truth. Indeed, the problem with the Holocaust as a memory and a metaphor today is precisely that it is too powerful, an ever–expanding black hole of consciousness that invariably swallows up everything in its path. To millions, it is perhaps the only real contemporary religious event; for hundreds of thousands of Jews, it has served to define their Jewish identity, taking the place of everything else. It is at the heart of many contemporary forms of political correctness, and of many remaining academic and intellectual taboos. Its automatic moral authority is such that it allows charlatans and hucksters to flourish unchallenged. The great importance of Finkelstein’s work, flawed though it is, lies in breaking those taboos and exposing the charlatans.

    • David Green
      November 5, 2012, 2:05 pm

      By the way, I find it curious that Desch can write a long article in 2006 on the misuse of the Holocaust and not refer to Finkelstein’s book (2000) on the Holocaust Industry. I can’t imagine that this was not a conscious decision on his part. I’d be curious to know the rationale.

      • Don
        November 5, 2012, 3:44 pm

        Always like your comments…my only criticism would be that you do not comment more often.

      • David Green
        November 6, 2012, 1:47 pm

        Guilty as charged.

      • mdesch
        November 5, 2012, 9:38 pm

        No conscious decision; just had not read the Holocaust Industry. Subsequently read it and very much regret not citing, both because its an important book but also because not doing so invites this sort of speculation. I am a big fan of Norm’s work. Cf., link to unz.org

      • David Green
        November 6, 2012, 1:40 pm

        OK, thanks. I’d like to hear you address the complex historical/ideological issues raised by your piece and suggested in various comments. I’ve thought for some time that assumptions have been a bit casual in this regard, including by the late Peter Novick:

        link to mondoweiss.net

        “If Novick understands that beneath the cult of Holocaust memory are essential political divisions in Jewish-American and American life, he nonetheless misconstrues these conflicts, undermining both his scholarly efforts and his claim to intellectual insight that matches his penchant for iconoclasm.

        Thus Novick mistakenly thinks he is challenging conventional wisdom by debunking those who, following the meticulous research of historian David Wyman, believe correctly that the Roosevelt administration failed miserably in its treatment of Jewish refugees before and during the war. He is apparently unaware that it has become the political fashion, even among the Jewish intelligentsia, to rationalize and minimize American guilt–as does Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., so as defend FDR’s protective liberal image among Jews; and as does Novick himself.”

        Beyond that, I think that Lenni Brenner’s various critiques of the relationship between Zionists and Nazis have brought out the role of Jabotinskyists in this country (Silver, Kook). In some way they have to be given their due for genuinely working to save Jewish lives. There’s no reason that their horrible politics should prevent acknowledgement of that. Instead, we need to reckon with the moral complexity engendered by European anti-semitism and various responses to it.

    • Shmuel
      November 5, 2012, 4:05 pm

      While one might expect Israel to be dotted with Holocaust monuments on every street corner, in the whole of the country there is precisely one memorial to the Holocaust, Yad Vashem, on the hills outside Jerusalem.

      Without getting into all of the other ways in which the Holocaust features heavily in Israeli cultural and political life, offhand, I can think of 2 kibbutzim (Yad Mordechai and Lohamei Hageta’ot), a forest (Ya’ar Hakdoshim), 2 museums (Yad Vashem and Martef Hashoah), and a bunch of monuments (e.g. Tomarkin’s “Holocaust and Rebirth” in Tel Aviv’s Rabin Square, Rapoport’s “Scroll of Fire”). Yad Vashem itself (inside, not outside Jerusalem) is in fact a complex of monuments, exhibits, archives, research and educational centre, etc. that plays a huge role in Israeli diplomacy, civic ritual, scholarship, education and ideological acculturation. To dismiss it as “A place of dignity … best known for its avenue of trees planted … to commemorate “Righteous Gentiles”” is wildly inaccurate. The most visible part of Yad Vashem from the outside, by the way, is a WWII-period cattle car, perched atop a broken railway trellis. A friend of mine used to have a “splendid” view of it from his living room window on the other side of the valley.

  7. Les
    November 5, 2012, 2:22 pm

    Norman Finkelstein described how this “guilt” was turned into a cash cow in his 2000 book, The Holocaust Industry.

    link to archive.org

  8. seafoid
    November 5, 2012, 3:32 pm

    The Stern Gang and the Haganah were more than able to murder British soldiers after the war but I am not aware that they did anything to save Jews from the Nazis. Of course that would be in keeping with how Israel treated Shoah survivors in the 1950s before the powers that were realised the PR value of the catastrophe.

  9. DICKERSON3870
    November 5, 2012, 3:43 pm

    RE: “‘Haaretz’ undermines a foundational myth: FDR abandoned Europe’s Jews”

    MY COMMENT: There is also the issue of the Zionists resisting any effort(s) by the U.S. and other countries to provide sanctuaries/asylum for Europe’s Jews in any place(s) other than Palestine.
    SEE:
    ● EXCERPTS FROM “The Origin of the Palestine-Israel Conflict”link to mondoweiss.net
    ● EXCERPTS FROM “The Hidden History of Zionism”link to mondoweiss.net

    P.S. “FREE DON” SIEGELMAN PETITION – link to change.org

  10. atime forpeace
    November 5, 2012, 4:22 pm

    Some good testimony comes from http://www.jewsagainstzionism.com

  11. Citizen
    November 6, 2012, 6:25 am

    So, lessons learned in one degree or another? The USA hasn’t essentially abandoned another group of innocent humans, the native Palestinians, for how long, and beginning when? Compounded this error by allowing the new state of Israel to avoid living up to its condition subsequent to valid UN recognition, membership, and by funding these errors, and by blocking off accountability by giving Israel a proxy pocket veto in the UN SC, how many times?

  12. EChandler
    November 6, 2012, 10:35 am

    Please, let’s stop calling PM Netanyahu Bibi:
    link to mondoweiss.net

  13. Watson
    November 6, 2012, 4:04 pm

    The West didn’t ignore the plight of Europe’s Jews; it sacrificed them on the altar of anti-communism.

    The Western establishment hoped that Hitler would effect regime change in Moscow, and it didn’t have a problem with Nazi racial theories.

    When war broke out in Europe, well-placed Nazi-sympathizers kept the Greatest Generation on the sidelines until Pearl Harbor. Churchill and Stalin begged Roosevelt to open a western front, but the US didn’t enter Europe until the horrific battles at Stalingrad and Kursk had turned the tide against the White Hope.

    • Woody Tanaka
      November 6, 2012, 4:37 pm

      Wow, you’re pretty much wrong as a historical matter on almost every single point in this post.

  14. MRW
    November 6, 2012, 5:39 pm

    When war broke out in Europe, well-placed Nazi-sympathizers kept the Greatest Generation on the sidelines until Pearl Harbor.

    Nope. The American people, who were isolationist especially after WWI, kept the US out until Roosevelt allowed Pearl Harbor.

    But Roosevelt was involved secretly starting in 1939. German submarines were coming down the Canadian coast as far as Maine. Roosevelt’s war effort was run secretly out of the Rockefeller Center in Manhattan with the British and Canadians (although PM Mackenzie King did not know about Camp X).

    This is a CBC interview with Clifton Stewart who was there in the secret Rockefeller war room (he read the telegrams warning of the Japanese before Pearl Harbor, BTW, he knew what Roosevelt did). The interview is fascinating. He was 88 years old in 2008 when he finally started talking. I can’t find the CBC documentary about Stewart and Camp X, but it was even more complete about the submarines that concerned Roosevelt.
    link to cbc.ca

    Besides, it was the Russian General Zhukov (Stalin?) who won WWII and the Red Army liberated Auschwitz, not the Americans.
    “A Serious Case of Mistaken Identity — The U.S. is not the ‘indispensable nation,’ as a growing WWII mythology would suggest.”
    June 22, 2000|BENJAMIN SCHWARZ
    link to articles.latimes.com

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