The Politics of Rescue: The Roosevelt Administration and the Holocaust, 1938-1945

The Politics of Rescue: The Roosevelt Administration and the Holocaust, 1938-1945

The Politics of Rescue: The Roosevelt Administration and the Holocaust, 1938-1945

The Politics of Rescue: The Roosevelt Administration and the Holocaust, 1938-1945

Excerpt

Artists, writers and dramatists have long since recognized that the world of Auschwitz and the reaction of those who witnessed it contain a key to understanding our time in history. Historians, who are often the last to discover such seminal happenings, hesitate even after three decades to probe for the meaning of the Holocaust. It is mentioned cursorily in modern textbooks, where it is usually linked to the larger insanity of World War II, and except for some works which attempt to find a pattern in the massive collection of data now available, no synthesis has yet appeared. The reaction of those who witnessed the Holocaust has been left to moralists like Rolf Hochhuth and Arthur Morse whose works resemble prosecutors' briefs before the court of public opinion. This book, which examines the reaction of the Roosevelt Administration to the Holocaust, attempts to move beyond the moral aspect to examine the political context in which America's response was conceived.

To go beyond the moral aspect is not to ignore it. One soon discovers that the role of witness is burdened with a moral freight that cannot be ignored. The reaction of victims to their fate, which at one time preoccupied writers on the Holocaust, remains morally fairly simple since choice was circumscribed. Whether they resisted . . .

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