The Abandonment of the Jews: America and the Holocaust, 1941-1945

In This Review

The Abandonment of the Jews: America and the Holocaust, 1941-1945

By David S. Wyman
Pantheon, 1984
444 pp. $19.95

The callous neglect by the Roosevelt Administration of the fate of European Jewry through the Nazi holocaust lingers to haunt one's faith in the abiding humane traditions of American foreign policy. The late Arthur D. Morse first conveyed the enormity of the diplomatic cynicism in 1968, based on evidence then available, and as each new archive has opened, the picture of prejudice and craven officialdom has been refined without relief. Professor Wyman of the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, is the most professionally competent analyst and chronicler of this sorry record to date; his new book, rich in detail and complex cross-currents, continues his definitive study Paper Walls: America and the Refugee Crisis, 1938-1941. The author is as diligent and thorough in his research as he is relentless in his retrospective moral judgments, having no stomach for an attempt to convey contemporary attitudes and circumstances which might help explain, though not excuse, decisions of otherwise humane officials.

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