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The Escape Artist - And Tale of the Jewish People

Posted 11-04-2022 at 10:57 AM by jbgusa


From The Escape Artist.
I think the tale is much deeper and darker than for which anyone gives credit. Over the years I have read books such as:
  1. The Jews Should Keep Quiet: Franklin D. Roosevelt, Rabbi Stephen S. Wise and the Holocaust,by Rafael Medoff;
  2. While Six Million Died: A Chronicle of American Apathy by Arthur D. Morse;
  3. 1944: FDR and the Year That Changed History by Jay Winik;
  4. No Ordinary Time: Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt: The Home Front in World War II;
  5. FDR and the Jews by Richard Breitman and Allan J. Lichtman; and
  6. The Race Against History: The Mission to Build a Jewish Army in America to Fight Hitler by Rick Richman
The gist of these books, among other reading I have done, is that the response of the civilized world to the slaughter was, to quote William Safire in another context, typical "coordinated cries of anguish and nicely orchestrated hand-wringing" (link to Safire article). Vrba's escape has been well documented. When FDR was confronted in person (not many could get to see him about this) he professed astonishment; and did nothing. Even the War Refugee's Board, which he formed under heavy pressure, see especially first book in the above list, was seriously underfunded. Owing to the sense of mission on the part of a few of its people, it did mange to save a few hundred thousand lives. The sense I get, overall, is that neither Britain nor the U.S., or rather Churchill or FDR, wanted a huge influx of penniless and often sick refugees. No one seems to mind that now, but the Jews have often been special in that highly negative manner.

Even in modern times, the national self-determination rights of the "Palestinians" seem to trump that of the Jews among polite company. The Jews, in the perception of the rest of the world, are different. See:
  1. Why the Jews? by Dennis Prager and Joseph Telushkin;
  2. Why the Germans? Why the Jews?: Envy, Race Hatred, and the Prehistory of the Holocaust by Aly, Götz;
  3. From Prejudice to Destruction: Anti-Semitism 1700-1933 by Jacob Katz; and
  4. Anti-Judaism: The Western Tradition by David Nirenberg.
These books all take a slightly different approach. None satisfactorily explain why Anti-Semitism is a persistent problem. I posit that it's not as much of a problem in "new world" countries, where the focus is what a person brings to the table, not who they are. All of these books, though, hint at the problem is "who" in the cradle of European "civilization."

The Jews, on the merits, have accomplishments that far outsize their numbers. Much more previously powerful empires have not a remaining trace; the Babylonian, Assyrian, Roman (though through much of its time a republic), Egyptian, Moghul, Aztec, Inca, Holy Roman and others are either vanished without a trace or are a remnant, a shadow, of their former selves. As for religions, the idolatrous religions of yore are largely gone.

The Jewish people and religion, as hated as they are, still survive, thrive and contribute.
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