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xi Foreword By Ambassador Stuart E. Eizenstat1 American heroes come in different varieties—soldiers who distinguish themselves on the battlefield, political leaders who inspire a nation, sports figures who lift us up from our everyday lives with their athletic accomplishments. In his excellent book, Blowing the Whistle on Genocide: Josiah E. DuBois, Jr., and the Struggle for a U.S. Response to the Holocaust, Rafael Medoff makes it clear that Mr. DuBois, a little-known civil servant in the Treasury Department during World War II, was an American hero. He courageously exposed the failure of American policy to help victims of the Holocaust and catalyzed belated action by the Roosevelt administration to save European Jews from Hitler’s hands. During World War II, DuBois worked in the United States Treasury Department under Secretary Henry Morgenthau, Jr. As this book chronicles, it was DuBois who blew the whistle on the State Department’s suppression of information about the massacres and its foot-dragging and blocking of plans that would have rescued Jews fleeing certain death. When Morgenthau learned of this suppression from DuBois, it must have seemed sadly familiar. His father, Henry Morgenthau, Sr., had been President Woodrow Wilson’s ambassador to the Ottoman Empire at the time of the mass slaughter of Armenians by the Ottoman Turks during World War I and had brought it to the attention of President Wilson and the American public. This book describes the fascinating twists and turns along the path that led from DuBois ’s discoveries to Morgenthau and ultimately to the White House. Thanks to the valiant efforts of DuBois and his colleagues, the United States finally acted in the waning months of the war to rescue Jews. It is said in the Talmud that he who saves an individual life is as if he saved the entire world. This wisdom applies multiple times to Josiah DuBois. He saw wrong and worked to rectify it, even at the risk of his career. My own path to serving as President Bill Clinton’s special representative on Holocaust-era issues and bringing belated justice to more than one million Holocaust survivors and other victims of Nazi atrocities sixty years after World War II—through agreements with the Swiss, Germans, Austrians, French, and other European nations providing over $8 billion to survivors (most of it going to non-Jewish forced laborers)—began with a personal experience I had when I was MedoffBOOK.indb xi MedoffBOOK.indb xi 7/9/2008 3:23:45 PM 7/9/2008 3:23:45 PM xii research director for Vice President Hubert Humphrey’s presidential campaign in 1968. One of my fellow campaign workers was Arthur Morse, a veteran investigative reporter and producer for CBS-TV. He had just authored an extraordinary book called While Six Million Died: A Chronicle of American Apathy. It was the first book to expose the failure of the Roosevelt administration to rescue European Jews from Hitler’s clutches. Morse discussed with me the book and his findings. It came as a great shock to me. Like most Americans of my generation, I grew up assuming that just as the U.S. government had led the successful military effort against Nazi Germany and Japan, so too, our government, and certainly President Franklin D. Roosevelt, had done everything possible to help Europe’s Jews escape the Holocaust . Arthur Morse convinced me this had not been the case. FDR had been an icon in my house and in the American Jewish community in general. President Roosevelt had been so venerated in the Jewish community that there was a Yiddish joke that Jews believed in three worlds (velts): “die velt (this world), yenna velt (the next world), and Roosevelt!” It was profoundly troubling to learn that the president and his inner circle of advisers, several of whom were Jewish, knew about the mass murder of the Jews and did so little to stop it. After the war ended, there were several inadequate efforts at providing restitution and compensation for Holocaust survivors and other victims of Nazism, both Jews and non-Jews alike, from neutral countries. With the advent of the Cold War, all of America’s efforts were turned to facing the new Soviet menace, and justice for those the U.S. government had done so little to save during the war took a back seat. It appeared that the fate of these survivors and their families would evaporate into the mists of history. As the Clinton administration...

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Additional Information

ISBN
9781612490144
Related ISBN
9781557535078
MARC Record
OCLC
794701196
Pages
192
Launched on MUSE
2011-07-21
Language
English
Open Access
No
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