FDR’s Antisemitism

FDR used Jews if they served some purpose that he needed. Samuel Rosenman was useful to him as a speechwriter. Henry Morgenthau Jr. was useful to him as secretary of the Treasury. Only a certain kind of a Jew could reach that position in Roosevelt’s administration – the kind of Jew who would not talk about Jewish issues or problems.

FDR used the Jews, but there was no room in his heart for the plight of the Jewish people. In his mind, the suffering of Europe’s Jews was not included in the “Four Freedoms,” the four great principles for which America was fighting in World War II. Roosevelt had no time for the problems of the Jews.

“FDR used the Jews”

Typically when one asks a member of the “Greatest Generation” about FDR they immediately develop a sense of awe that reminds me of those little green aliens (undocumented space men?) in Toy Story every time they see Buzz Lightyear.

I’ve never understood the reverence for Franklin Delano Roosevelt. He did pick great Generals and led this country to victory in WWII. But on the other hand he totally mismanaged the economy, enacted freedom-sapping policies which never did get this country out of the Great Depression, and tried to circumvent constitutional separation of powers (now who does that remind me of?).

Then there is the issue of FDR and the SHOAH (the Holocaust). Did he fail to help the Jews who were suffering under Hitler because he was powerless, or because of more nefarious reasons? Why didn’t he bomb and destroy the train tracks that were shipping Jews to the camps? Why wasn’t he allowing more Jews into the country? Pressuring Britain to allow Jews to move from Nazi controlled areas into what was then called Palestine?

FDR’s Antisemitism Doomed Thousands of Jews To Suffer The Holocaust: A Lesson For Today

FDR and The Holocaust: A Breach of Faith, by Rafael Medoff

The David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies

Historian Rafael Medoff says Franklin Delano Roosevelt failed to take relatively simple measures that would have saved significant numbers of Jews during the Holocaust, because his vision for America only encompassed having a small number of Jews.

Historian: FDR’s Anti-Semitism Cost Jewish Lives

If we ask whether Franklin D. Roosevelt was influenced by anti-Semitism, the answer has to be “yes,” as the evidence is incontrovertible that this eminently talented political leader was sensitive to the prevailing winds of American public opinion — heavily biased against Jews until the horrors of Nazism became fully known. (It wasn’t until the 1960s and ’70s that the quota bars to higher education and professional achievement, and the restrictive covenants in housing and at hotels & resorts were ended.) Alas, there is also evidence that Roosevelt shared, at least somewhat, the prevailing prejudices of his time.

How FDR Was Influenced by Anti-Semitism


Unfortunately, it seems that the future Aldous Huxley predicted in 1932, in Brave New World, is arriving early. Mockery, truculence, and minimalist living are best, then enjoy the decline. However, we do need a Revolving Door Tax (RDT) and to prosecute politicians and staff and their “family and friends” who profit from insider trading.

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