Posts tagged ‘Holocaust’

Holocaust and Heroism Remembrance Day

Today, April 19, marks the 70th anniversary of the beginning of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising. What can one possibly say about this event that has not already been said many times over many years? What is there, if anything, that might be noteworthy about a 70th anniversary?

Maybe there is something to say; hence this post. Forgive me please, dear reader, if you are already familiar with some of the backstory I tell below. As I grow older, I am constantly surprised by what younger people do not know, just as I am constantly surprised by what I am capable of forgetting. So I tell this backstory for more than one reason.

Let me suggest, too, that aside from Jews, and Poles and Germans, others may find this story of some interest, for embedded in the understanding of it may reside lessons that transcend any one time and place. No, no, landsmen, do not worry: I am not about to universalize the Holocaust and banalize it by so doing. But the Holocaust can’t help but universalize itself, at least at the margins, since everyone involved in it, perpetrators and victims alike, were, after all, human beings.

Pondering a 70th Anniversary

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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”

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