The Transfer Agreement: The Untold Story of the Secret Pact Between the Third Reich and Jewish Palestine

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The Transfer Agreement: The Untold Story of the Secret Pact Between the Third Reich and Jewish Palestine

By Edwin Black
Macmillan, 1984
430 pp. $19.95
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Hitler's early anti-Jewish measures provoked worldwide efforts at a boycott of German goods, a measure that would have injured a still precarious economy. Jews orchestrated these efforts at a boycott, but hesitated over whether it would inflame or moderate German anti-Semitism. Meanwhile Zionist leadership and the Third Reich agreed on arrangements whereby German Jews could emigrate to Palestine under somewhat more favorable financial conditions and whereby German trade with Palestinian Jewry would increase. In turn, majority Zionists (as against the Revisionists) backed away from the boycott. The author documents the divisions within Jewry, insisting that the Zionists put their cause-German emigration to Palestine-ahead of the possible protection of Jews via more militant economic measures. Although shockingly deficient in his grasp of German developments, Black explicates the several Jewish positions, and seems to argue both that an early boycott might have succeeded and that "the Zionists were the coldest realists-perhaps the only realists-of the period."