I wrote about The Abandonment of the Jews by David Wyman and The Deafening Silence by Rafael Medoff, two books about the reaction of the U.S. and American Jews to the Holocaust. Wyman’s book was written in the mid-1980s and Medoffs in the mid-1990s. Much to my surprise, I came across a book written in 2002 by Wyman and Medoff together, A Race Against Death, which concentrates on the activities of Peter Bergson (Hillel Kook) in attempting to activate both the Jewish community and the Roosevelt administration to concentrate on the murderous activity occurring in Europe.
It’s an interesting book because it includes transcripts of interviews with Kook and others, which formed the basis of much of the two earlier books. It is also interesting because it gives background information regarding the pervasive fear of increased antisemitism which led to hesitancy to voice demands for the protection of European Jewry. According to A Race, polls taken in the late 1930s and early 1940s showed that half of the American population viewed Jews as greedy and dishonest, and 1/3 viewed Jews as too aggressive, and had too much power. Up to 1/4 of Americans viewed Jews as a menace to America, and 15% would support a “widespread campaign against Jews in this country” (with another 20% to 25% stating that they would sympathize with such a movement). Only 30% of Americans would have stood up against such a campaign.
This explains some of the concern, but is hard to fathom, as after World War II, such feelings diminished and have not revived here. But there is the reminder of the clubs and resorts and neighborhoods that refused to allow Jews in, the law firms that would not hire Jewish lawyers, the quotas at universities, and so forth. How long ago it seems.
Something else became clear to me as I read the introduction to this book. It had always been a question: how could the Jews be both the force behind the evils of capitalism and, at the same time, be the force behind Communism. It seems impossible, doesn’t it? But on one level, it makes perfect sense. The Jews want to control the world (see the “Protocols of the Elders of Zion”), so they organize two competing factions: capitalism and Communism. One of them is bound to win. Therefore, the Jews control. Obvious, isn’t it.