Britain and the Jews of Europe, 1939-1945

In This Review

Britain and the Jews of Europe, 1939-1945

By Bernard Wasserstein
Oxford University Press, 1979
389 pp. $17.95
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A major work, based on hitherto unused British government archives, reconstructing the policies of the British bureaucracy under pressures of wartime. Until 1941, the Germans sought to extrude Jews, but the British-for their own raison d'état and not knowing what lay ahead for European Jewry-obstructed Jewish entry from abroad. Despite Churchill's grasp of the magnitude of suffering, most officials found trenchant reasons for passivity. Told with admirable restraint, and with a good sense for historical complexity, the book deserves wide attention because of its far-reaching implications.