web analytics
December 18, 2014 / 26 Kislev, 5775
 
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post
8000 meals Celebrate Eight Days of Chanukah – With 8,000 Free Meals Daily to Israel’s Poor

Join Meir Panim’s campaign to “light up” Chanukah for families in need.



Home » Sections » Magazine » News »

Conference Spotlights Americans Who Tried To Rescue Jews From Hitler

  Americans who tried to rescue Jews from the Holocaust – and those who tried to interfere with the rescue efforts – were the subject of a major conference in New York City last week.

  A standing room-only audience was on hand Sept. 21 at the Fordham University Law School for “They Spoke Out: American Voices for Rescue from the Holocaust,” the sixth national conference of The David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies.

  The Institute, based in Washington, D.C., is named after Prof. David Wyman, author of the 1984 bestseller The Abandonment of the Jews.

  The keynote session of the conference focused on Treasury Department attorney Josiah E. DuBois, Jr. (1913-1983), who is the subject of a new book, Blowing the Whistle on Genocide, by Wyman Institute director Dr. Rafael Medoff.

  Medoff, Wyman, Dr. Rebecca Kook – daughter of Bergson Group leader Hillel Kook – and DuBois’s friend Richard Goodwin spoke at the conference session. They described how DuBois, a Protestant, discovered and exposed the State Department’s obstruction of plans to rescue Jews from Nazi-occupied Europe.

  DuBois, whom Medoff called “an unsung American hero,” helped force President Franklin Roosevelt to create the War Refugee Board.  “It is hard to imagine the Board coming into existence if not for DuBois doing what he did,” Prof. Wyman said.  The Board, of which DuBois was a leader, organized the rescue of an estimated 200,000 Jews during 1944-45. Prof. Wyman pointed out that the War Refugee Board organized and financed the rescue mission of Raoul Wallenberg in German-occupied Budapest.
 
 
Sigmund Rolat, the businessman and philanthropist leading the rebirth of Jewish cultural life in Poland, chaired the Wyman Institute conference. (Photo: Meir Schein)
 

  The conference’s second session touched on the conflicts within the American Jewish community in the 1940s that hampered rescue activity.  Rabbi Dr. David Golinkin, of the Schechter Institute in Jerusalem, described how his father, Noah Golinkin, led a delegation of Orthodox, Conservative, and Reform rabbinical students to meet with American Jewish Congress leader Rabbi Stephen Wise in December 1942.  The students tried to convince Wise to organize protest rallies and other activist steps in response to the killing of Europe’s Jews.

  According to Noah Golinkin’s account, Wise unequivocally rebuffed their suggestion that Jewish refugees be sheltered in a U.S. territory such as the Virgin Islands or Alaska.  Wise insisted that because the students had limited experience in the world, they were obligated to trust the judgment of a veteran Jewish leader such as himself.
 
 
Thane Rosenbaum, the Fordham law professor, novelist, and human rights activist, served as master of ceremonies. (Photo: Meir Schein)

 
  Rabbi Dr. David Ellenson, president of Hebrew Union College, who also spoke at the session, likewise criticized Wise, who was the founder and leader of the school Ellenson now heads.  Dr. Ellenson said Wise lacked the “imagination and flexibility” necessary to respond effectively to the Allies’ abandonment of European Jewry.  He added that Wise’s “blind love” for President Roosevelt unduly influenced his judgment.


  The final session of the Wyman Institute conference focused on the Bergson Group’s controversial 1946 Broadway play “A Flag is Born,” about Holocaust survivors and the fight to create Israel.  Actor Steven Hill, famous for his role in the television series “Law & Order” in recent years, spoke about his first acting role, as a character in “A Flag is Born,” in which he appeared alongside a young Marlon Brando.  Hill said he was “deeply proud” to have been part of a theatrical production that helped the movement to create Israel.

  Hebrew University president Judah Magnes denounced “Flag” for its sympathetic portrayal of the Jewish armed revolt against the British in Mandatory Palestine.  He called it “an appeal to terror” and urged former First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt to withdraw her endorsement of the play. She ignored the request.

  When “A Flag is Born” came to Philadelphia, mainstream Zionist groups urged the public to boycott it. The boycott proved ineffective, however, and Hecht wrote afterward:  “To the 20,000 who saw our show during its 15 performances, we say: Glad we were able to wake Philadelphia up – even if only for two weeks.”

  In Baltimore, the Bergson Group discovered that the theater where “Flag” was to be performed had a policy of confining African-Americans to the balcony seats.  The Bergsonites teamed up with the local NAACP to force the desegregation of the theater.  This unprecedented step paved the way for desegregating all of Baltimore’s theaters.

About the Author: Jason Maoz is the Senior Editor of The Jewish Press.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Conference Spotlights Americans Who Tried To Rescue Jews From Hitler”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Sydney has banned the  Chabad menorah from being lit this year because of the murders in the Lindt cafe.
Sydney Darkens Hanukkah by Banning Chabad Menorah Lighting
Latest Sections Stories
South-Florida-logo

Rav Dynovisz will be speaking in Hebrew on Wednesday, January 7, at 7:30 p.m.

South-Florida-logo

Rabbi Simeon Schreiber, senior chaplain at Mount Sinai Medical Center in Miami Beach, saw a small room in the hospital that was dark and dismal but could be used for Sabbath guests.

Eller-121914-Main

“The secret to a good donut is using quality ingredients and the ability to be patient and give them time to proof.”

I so desperately want to have a loving relationship with my stepsons.

The Liberty Bell is a symbol of American Independence.

Because you can’t have kids pouring huge jugs of oil into tiny glasses, unless you want to turn your house into an environmental disaster.

Try these with your kids; there’s something for every age group and once all the recipes are made, dinner will be ready!

You children will build the country and you will help restore Israel to her former glory.

Bais Toras Menachem is proud to welcome its new staff member, Yaakov Mark, who will be the Administrator as well as Ort College and GED class coordinator.

Because she is keenly aware that anti-Semitism may start with the Jews but never ends with the Jews, she makes the logical connection between the opprobrium for both America and Israel so commonplace on the political left.

In this narrative of history, it is the third world Palestinians who are victims of the marauding Jews, of course.

During 1939, anti-Semitic groups such as Fritz Kuhn’s German American Bund held rallies in New York and other major cities across the country.

More Articles from Jason Maoz
Comptroller DiNapoli celebrates Sukkot with Crown Heights Jewish community leaders at the sukkah of Rabbi Chanina Sperlin of the Crown Heights Jewish Community Council.

The New York State comptroller manages the state’s $180.7 billion pension fund, audits the spending practices of all state agencies and local governments, oversees the New York State and Local Retirement System, reviews the New York State and City budgets, and approves billions in State contracts and spending.

Front-Page-102414

While not all criticism of Israel stemmed from anti-Semitism, Podhoretz contends the level of animosity towards Israel rises exponentially the farther left one moved along the spectrum.

When you grow up in a home where your parents went through what my parents went through, you realize that life has to be meaningful. You have to be there for other people.

“It’s a lousy column and a dishonest one,” Halberstam wrote. “So close it. Or you will end up just as shabby as Safire.”

Wye would be seen to have set the groundwork for the creation of a Palestinian state

These are not necessarily the best all-around biographies or studies of the individual presidents listed (though some rank right up there), but the strongest in terms of exploring presidential attitudes and policies toward Israel.

The Clintonan “engagement” liberals remember with such fondness did nothing but embolden Arafat and Hamas and Hizbullah as they witnessed Israel’s only real ally elevate process ahead of policy.

What really makes one wonder about the affinity felt by certain Jews for Grant was the welcome mat he put out for some of the country’s most pernicious anti-Semites.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/magazine/news-magazine/conference-spotlights-americans-who-tried-to-rescue-jews-from-hitler/2008/10/01/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: