Jews Without Power
“Jews Without Power” is sure to raise some eyebrows among historians and within the Jewish community. It is commonly accepted today that the United States did little to aid or resscue European Jewry during the Holocaust. Many also blame the American Jewish community for not pressuring the Administration to act for recue. Almost without exception, Jews interviewed today criticize the United States' passive role and express the sentiment that they would not have “stood idly by” while 6 million of their brethren died. In “Jews Without Power,” Ariel Hurwitz, an historian and expert on the Holocaust, examines the role played by the American Jewish leadership during this crucial period. The social and political environment in which Jews existed was so extraordinarily different from the milieu of today, says Hurwitz, that it is difficult to understand the constraints under which the leadership operated. Relying on the vast archival information from the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Library, the National Archives, the Lehman Library at Columbia University and the archives of many Jewish organizations, Hurwitz methodically reviews the events and decisions of the war-time years, seeking to shed light on why the American Jewish leadership did not exert more pressure on President Roosevelt and the political leadership of the time. He presents the information in a readable manner, drawing conclusions about the Jews' failure to act without sounding accusing or apologetic. For those who blame Roosevelt or the Jewish leadership for not doing enough, this book sheds new light on the issues and the challenges they faced and why one could argue that their hands were tied. Our hindsight and the graphic knowledge of what befell European Jewry may not make us any more comfortable accepting America's passivity, but the facts provided by Hurwitz offer plausible explanations within the world of realpolitik.