In This Review

Diplomat Heroes of the Holocaust

Diplomat Heroes of the Holocaust
By Mordecai Paldiel
0 pp, KTAV Publishing House, Inc., 2007

Imagine that you are a consular officer in the middle of a diplomatic career that you hope will lead to an ambassadorship. There are two rubber stamps on your desk. Using the one that says "APPROVED" would allow the desperate person sitting in front of you to travel to your country legally. Using the other stamp, which says "REJECTED," could mean consigning that person to prison or even death.

It sounds like a simple choice, but there is a catch -- a very big one. The person in front of you is Jewish, and your boss has told you to devise ways not to use the "APPROVED" stamp. Your government does not want these people -- these people waiting outside your office, milling around in the street, hiding in their houses -- in your country. Approve too many visas and your career will be in danger. Follow your instructions and

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  • Richard Holbrooke is Vice Chair of Perseus LLC and was U.S. Ambassador
    to the United Nations from 1999 to 2001 and Chair of Refugees International from
    1996 to 1999. This article was adapted from his introduction to Diplomat Heroes
    of the Holocaust, by Mordecai Paldiel.
  • More By Richard Holbrooke