Cover

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Title Page, Copyright

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pp. i-vii

Contents

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pp. ix-x

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Preface: “The Birds Left Early”

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pp. xi-xxii

On Monday, September 4, 1939, the management of the Tel Aviv Zoo announced the birth of a female fawn and the arrival of a desert rat (also called a gerbil). In addition, the zoo acquired seventeen hoopoes in a pitiable state: they were rescued from an Arab who had captured them and plucked their wings, and were...

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1. “A Million Superfluous Jews”—and More

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pp. 1-66

On May 13, 1935, the grief-stricken Wiktor Chajes, a leader of the Jewish community in Lviv, wrote in his diary: “The Marshal has passed away. Died yesterday (Sunday, May 12, at 10 p.m.) of cancer,” and added...

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2. “The Dream of a Jewish State”

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pp. 67-102

At the end of July 1937, more than two hundred men and women responded to the call made by Wilhelm Rippel, a lawyer from Warsaw, a former officer in the Polish army and an ardent follower of Jabotinsky, to travel on foot without visas or immigration permits from Poland through Czechoslovakia, Austria, and Italy...

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3. “The Wailing Wall in Evian” and Kristallnacht

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pp. 103-156

On February 14, 1933, Ruppin noted two events in his diary: the third (and last) volume of his book The Sociology of the Jews came out in Hebrew, and Hitler became Reichskanzler in Germany. He wrote: It is surely a sign of decline, if a demagogue like Hitler becomes...

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4. Funeral March at St. James’s Palace: “They Betrayed Czechoslovakia, Why Should They Not Betray Us as Well?”

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pp. 157-198

The Woodhead Commission’s report was published on November 9, 1938 (late at night on the day Kristallnacht had begun in Germany and Austria). The members of the commission decided unanimously to reject the Peel Commission’s partition plan but were divided over the possible implementation...

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5. A Bridge Over the White Paper?

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pp. 199-223

On the night of May 13, 1939, Moshe Shertok and Dov Hoz (the Histadrut and Mapai emissary in London) went to see Weizmann in his London home. Shertok read out to Weizmann the summary of the White Paper, a copy of which had come into his possession. In his diary he wrote: “We found Chaim in a state of breakdown...

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6. The Forgotten Congress (Geneva, August 16–25, 1939)

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pp. 224-269

Early in the morning on Thursday, August 24, 1939, the 527 delegates, 46 Zionist Executive Committee members, and more than 1,000 guests who had come to the Twenty-First Zionist Congress in Geneva from thirty-five countries1 had almost no doubt that the news arriving from Berlin and Moscow suggested...

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7. Will War Break Out?

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pp. 270-282

On May 5, 1935, the Davar humor column “Bavat Tzchok” (With a Smile) featured the following joke...

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8. “So Early, No One Has Seen Death Yet”

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pp. 283-330

Weizmann left in Geneva an anxious and frightened Zionist Congress: “The terrible panic began. Those who had the chance to flee —packed their suitcases and fled. [ . . . ] In the afternoon the Congress became largely empty. The Americans had left. The English had left. Many more delegates and guests had...

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Epilogue

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pp. 331-340

On September 4, Davar leyeladim informed its young readers: “A war has started —the catastrophe has come.” The weekly told its young readers that as Hitler spoke at the Reichstag in Berlin “wearing a corporal’s uniform [ . . . ,] German planes took off and flew over various cities in Poland, bombing houses and killing...

Acknowledgments

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pp. 341-342

Notes

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pp. 343-384

Bibliography

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pp. 385-400

Index

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pp. 401-408