The State Department And The Holocaust
Gregory J. Wallance (op-ed, April 20) claims that none of the many books and articles written about America’s response to the Holocaust thoroughly examined the role of the State Department. His “evidence” is that David S. Wyman, in the concluding chapter of The Abandonment of the Jews, “devotes less than a page to the State Department.”
But that’s precisely because it was the concluding chapter – a brief, final summary of the preceding 444 pages. The Abandonment of the Jews examines the role of the State Department quite thoroughly. How could the book that has been widely acclaimed as the definitive study of America’s response to the Holocaust not have done so? In fact, if one checks the index to The Abandonment of the Jews, one finds the State Department is mentioned more times in the book (119) than any other single subject – even more than President Franklin Roosevelt (104).
Other books in the field, such as Henry Feingold’s The Politics of Rescue, Monty Penkower’s The Jews Were Expendable, and Saul Friedman’s No Haven for the Oppressed, also discussed the State Department’s role at length.
I look forward to reading Mr. Wallance’s own book concerning the State Department. There is always room for another book dealing with such an important chapter in history as America and the Holocaust. But to claim that his is the first book to cover this topic is simply not true.
Dr. Rafael Medoff, Director
The David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies