Britain and the Holocaust: The Failure of Anglo-Jewish Leadership?

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Sussex Academic Press, 1999 - History - 275 pages
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Three competing Jewish organisations in London approached the British Government to initiate actions to assist European Jewry. Innumerable talks with Government officials took place and many letters were exchanged. Impatient bureaucrats rejected the parallel requests and proposals in favor of maintaining a strict immigration blockade against Continental Jews. The Jewish organisations - the Board of Deputies of British Jews, the British Section of the World Jewish Congress, and the Chief Rabbi's Religious Emergency Council headed by the ultra-orthodox Rabbi Solomon Schonfeld - never attacked the Government in public even though other pressure groups were active enough to worry the Government sufficiently to set up a special Cabinet Committee, headed by Foreign Secretary Antony Eden, to monitor the situation. This committee was particularly concerned with the activities of the inter-religious National Committee for Rescue from Nazi terror. The vacillation of the competing Jewish leadership, and its collective inability to force the Government to adopt a more humanitarian attitude, raise disturbing questions as to what might have been achieved if personal antogonisms had been put aside in favor of a combined, more forceful approach. Dr Meier Sompolinsky is an independent researcher who has studied at the universities of Copenhagen, Jerusalem and Bar-Ilan. He has represented the Jewish Agency in Scandinacia, lectured at international conferences on the Holocaust, and published several papers in Yad Vashem Studies.

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