American Jewry and the Holocaust: The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, 1939-1945

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Wayne State University Press, 1981 - Social Science - 522 pages
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In this volume Yehudi Bauer describes the efforts made to aid European victims of World War II by the New York-based American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, American Jewry's chief representative abroad. Drawing on the mass of unpublished material in the JDC archives and other repositories, as well as on his thorough knowledge of recent and continuing research into the Holocaust, he focuses alternately on the personalities and institutional decisions in New York and their effects on the JDC workers and their rescue efforts in Europe. He balances personal stories with a country-by-country account of the fate of Jews through ought the war years: the grim statistics of millions deported and killed are set in the context of the hopes and frustrations of the heroic individuals and small groups who actively worked to prevent the Nazis' Final Solution.

This study is essential reading for anyone who seeks to understand the American Jewish response to European events from 1939 to 1945. Bauer confronts the tremendous moral and historical questions arising from JDC's activities. How great was the danger? Who should be saved first? Was it justified to use illegal or extralegal means? What country would accept Jewish refugees? His analysis also raises an issue which perhaps can never be answered: could American Jews have done more if they had grasped the reality of the Holocaust?


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It is somewhat ironic that it was not realized historically that the Garel family were jews, My family
which first migrated to the island of Sainte Domingue before the the slave uprisings in the late
17000's which then became the island of Haiti migrated to Jamaica before the end of the century. Up until the time of my grandfather the Garels were known as jews. My grandmother changed this when she converted to catholiscm. 


Abbreviations of Organizations
A Time of Chaos
Jews in Central
Welfare Activities Warsaw May
Lithuania 207
Immigration to Palestine
Transports to Palestine 193941
The Jews of France
French Jewry
JDC Expenditures in France
Rescue Attempts in Western and Southern
JDC Expenditures in Belgium Holland
Rescue outside Europe
Polish Jewry
Can One Ransom Jews?

JDC Expenditures in France
Facing the Reality of the Holocaust
JDCLisbon 19421943
JDC Expenditures Spain and Portugal
The JDC Outpost
SIG Funding of Jewish Refugees
The German Ransom Proposal
JDC and the War Refugee Board
Some Afterthoughts
Selected Bibliography

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About the author (1981)

Yehuda Bauer is a full professor, head of the Department of Holocaust Studies and former chairman of the Institute of Contemporary Jewry of the Hebrew University, Jerusalem. Born in Prague and now an Israeli citizen, he was educated at Cardiff University College of the University of Wales (B.A. Hon., 1950) and Hebrew University (Ph.D., 1960). He is the author of numerous articles and author or editor of several previous books in the area of Holocaust studies. Among his recent publications are his history of the Jewish Joint Distribution Committee before 1939 (My Brother's Keeper, 1974), the Holocaust in Historical Perspective (1978), and the Jewish Emergence from Powerlessness (1979).

[more current]

Yehuda Bauer is Professor Emeritus of History and Holocaust Studies at the Avraham Harman Institute of Contemporary Jewry at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Academic Advisor to Yad Vashem.

He is author or editor of more than three dozen books on Jewish history
His most recent works include The Jews: A Contrary People (2014) and Rethinking the Holocaust (2001).

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