David S. Wyman, the author of Abandonment of the Jews: America and the Holocaust, seems to be a well-educated and interesting man. Wyman earned an A. B. in history from Boston University. He then went on and earned his Ph. D. in history from Harvard University. Wyman then began to teach history and was the chairman of the Judaic studies program at the University of Massachusetts. He has written other books such as Paper Walls: America and the Refugee Crisis; A Race Against Death: Peter Bergson, America, and the Holocaust; and was an editor of The World Reacts to the Holocaust.
David S. Wyman seems to be very educated on the topic of Judaic information, including the Holocaust. He now has his own institution to educate people on the Holocaust and America’s involvement; it is called the David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies. Abandonment of the Jews: America and the Holocaust, was taken place during World War II in 1941-1945. The author, David S. Wyman, covers many topics and discussions to why Jews could have been saved by America and its, could have been, involvement.
The author has many different reasons why he believes America could have helped save the Jews; all the way from the Roosevelt Administration to bombing the railway that led to the Auschwitz concentration camp. The author’s central argument: David S. Wyman’s argument included that if the United States had a serious commitment to help rescue and save the Jews of Europe that the United States could have aided in saving several hundred thousands of the Jews that fell under Nazi command.
Wyman helped support his thesis by using several books, the one most common that he cited from was Bauer. This was a secondary source because it a book from another Historian. “Although Roosevelt did not agree to the call for retaliation against Germany, he again warned the Axis, on August 21, 1942, that perpetrators of war crimes would be tried after Germany’s defeat and face fearful retribution. ” (pg 29) In the second chapter of the book Wyman focus’ on how America acknowledged the war but did little to step in and help prevent it or help the Jewish people find refuge.
The chapter highlights the conversations and the thoughts of many of the world’s leaders and their thoughts on the upcoming war. Many countries wanted to wash their hands of the situation, or they wanted to help with the minimal amounts of troops and money invested, particularly the British. Another point that supports our author’s thesis is the outside countries also closed their door to all immigrants making it nearly impossible for the Jews to enter the country even if they managed to escape the Nazis. We had relief organizations overseas to help apply for visas and to provide food, water and clothing.
Because we failed to open our doors to immigrants many died in the refugee camps. The ones that did make it through the unlivable conditions and diseases had other issues to worry about. Whatever stability and support the Jews found in France was quickly diminished as Germany came in and had “round-ups” collecting all the people in camps and sending them to their death. They were essentially sitting ducks in France wishing and hoping for freedom and fearful because they were still so close to death. This information came from the Overseas Files.
“The deportations were devastating on a person level, even before people realized that evacuation meant murder by gas. ” (pg 34) This was a primary source because it was a diary article of a woman working at the camp. A family that had done everything possible to escape from the Nazi grasp, ended up separated. At first the children lived but eventually it was all a massacre. The children that did escape tried to find their parents at a later time 2 and many just received return letters stamped, parti sans addresse, which means destination unknown. David S.
Wyman used the New York Times often in the writing and research for this book. He found many articles that involved interviews with congressmen during the times of stress in and the lack of involvement from the United States. One of the articles helped the author show the lack of concern for the Jewish victims in Europe. As Roosevelt just talked about how the Nazis and others would be “tried after Germany’s defeat and face ‘fearful retribution’. ” Not one time did Roosevelt mention the fate of the European Jews.
The author also used the Am Jewish Congress; & Am Jewish Congress Papers multiple times in this book. One showed the support and protests that came from the American Jewish Congress’s “Stop Hitler Now” campaign. It was a mass meeting that started off on March 1, 1943. It was support that combined efforts and was able to buy a full page advertisement in the New York Times that stated, “America Must Act Now! ” I thought this book was very intriguing. Although sometimes my reading level was not up to par to fully understand what was going on or just that fact that maybe not all of my attention was devoted to reading at that time.
I enjoyed the book, but I am also a person that enjoys learning about the Holocaust and would rather learn about that than do a lot of things. I feel like the book was written for the general public because I think the author’s purpose was to educate the United States people of how we may have “turned our backs. ” I would recommend this book to anyone that wants to educate themselves on a difficult but intriguing topic. I would not say that it is a “must read,” but it is a book that can be read by many different individuals.
Courtney from Study Moose
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