In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

148 SHOFAR Winter 1996 Vol. 14, No.2 grew dissatisfied with Wise's diplomacy and Roosevelt's lack of commitment . More than just documenting the evolution of American Zionism, Shpiro's book reveals important insights into American social history. His work illustrates how Jews helped expand the limits of acceptable ethnicgroup expression in American society. In the prewar period, assimilation reigned. Zionism loomed as a threat to the Jews' status as loyal and patriotic Americans. When Hitler emerged as the common enemy of both Americans and Jews, though, Zionists enjoyed greater political latitude. They could, as Silver demonstrated, employ patriotic language to advocate the creation of a Jewish state. Shpiro has done a masterful job researching this book. Using organizational records, government documents, personal papers, and oral histories from both the United States and Israel, Shpiro paints a finely textured portrait of American Zionism and brings his readers into the everyday lives and struggles of his subjects. Shpiro's study, the fourth in a Holocaust series published by Pergamon Press, is an important and needed contribution to both Jewish and United States history. Marc Dollinger Department of History Bryn Mawr College Forgotten Victims: The Abandonment ofAmericans in Hitler's Camps, by Mitchell G. Bard. Boulder, co: Westview Press, 1994. 171 pp. $19.95. In Forgotten Victims, Mitchell Bard's task is twofold. The first he accomplishes quite well; he is less successful in meeting his second goal. Bard recovers an experience that has been concealed by government sources, seemingly forgotten by all but its victims. The fact is, as Bard so compellingly demonstrates, that American Prisoners ofWar were taken to Nazi concentration camps. American Jewish POW's were singled out for special treatment and subjected npt only to discrimination but to persecution because of their religion-regardless of their status as prisoners of war-and the American government was at best uninterested in their fate. In fact, Bard proves that at least some American Jewish GIs were victims of the "Final Solution." Nothing was done before, during, or after to acknowledge these prisoners. How could anything be done before, a reader might ask? Book Reviews 149 Dog tags specify the religion of a soldier. The military need to know the religion of a soldier is clear: the dead. must be identified, the wounded healed. Still, the H (for Hebrew) on the dog tag could be lethal in the European campaign if a soldier was captured by the Germans. As Bard shows, soldiers were not even informed that such a religious identification was optional. They were not briefed regarding the danger. No effort was made even to use cOdes to identify religion. C was for Catholic, P for Protestant. Even the Germans in Hogan's Heroes (the most popular portrayal of American POWs) could figure this one out., Through an examination of original archival material and a fine use of oral testimony, Bard tells the story ofwhat happened to these men, the camps of their incarceration, the circumstances of their imprisonment, the condition of their quarters-one hesitates to call them barracks. He uses first-hand narrative to give the reader a sense of their anguish and of their difficult choices. Should a Jewish soldier identify himself as a Jew or conceal his identity and lie about his origins? The reader is treated to a vivid portrayal of the plight of the GI, the integrity of those who chose to identify themselves truthfully and thus suffer as Jews and not as enemy soldiers. So too, Bard describes the struggle of those who lived as marranos, their fury, their self-loathing, and their lingering scars. This reader had a sense of growing anger at the abandonment of American POWs as I read these portions of the book. If the u.S. government was unconcerned about them during their incarceration and oblivious to the fact and circumstances. of their imprisonment after the war, then how much attention could we expect American officials to give to the foreign nationals suffering throughout the continent because their grandparents were Jewish? Bard's point is well taken. Left unanswered-though not unasked-is why. Bard's second task was to relate the details of his story to...


Additional Information

Print ISSN
pp. 148-150
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.