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While Six Million Died: A Chronicle of American Apathy (1967)

by Arthur D. Morse

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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279393,252 (4.38)11
In January 1944 President Roosevelt was shown the startling conclusions of a secret memorandum. Its title: Acquiescence of this Government in the Murder of the Jews. The untold and shocking story behind this report--never before described in full-- exposes the appalling apathy and callousness of our Government, particularly the State Department, in the face of Nazi genocide. This report finally forced the President to take the first steps to rescue the Jews--but why had it taken so long to act? This book details, through documents, official papers and interviews with participants and research in archives in key world cities the true narrative of what was known, and the unconscionable delay of active response to the Nazi declaration that they "intended to destroy every Jew in Europe." How this challenge was met is the subject of this book. If genocide is to be prevented in the future, we must understand how it happened, not only in terms of the killers, but of the bystanders… (more)
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Probably one of the best books I've read. And necessary to understand why FDR was no friend of the Jews.

In February 1973 I borrowed the book from our synagogue's library. I was 15 at the time, and so spellbound that I engineered my bedroom windows so my mother, coming home from a date with my eventual stepfather, couldn't see the lights on in my room from the road.

The book takes us from Hitler's early anti-Jewish policies to the Nuremberg Laws, to Kristallnacht, to the voyage of the St. Louis and the establishment of death camps. In the face of this impending slaughter, the U.S., Canada and to a lesser extent Britain actively prevented Jewish arrivals in safe countries.

During the war, FDR arranged matters so that he could maintain "deniability." Overall, an entrancing book that shook my roots as a budding young Democrat to the core.

I was reading another review of The Power Broker: Robert Moses and the Fall of New York by Robert A. Caro. She states in part:
Midway through adolescence, I began wondering a bit which life event would finally make me feel like an adult. Of course I had the usual teenaged hypotheses, and acted accordingly to test some of them out. Getting drunk? Having sex? Driving a car? Going to college? None of these things did make me feel grownup; in many instances, their effect was the opposite. *************For the past few years I’ve had the sense of wearing an oversized grownup life that wasn’t actually mine, while that magical rite of passage into adulthood continued to elude me. Maybe when I have children things will click into place, I’ve mused, listening to Talking Heads with one ear and sort of doubting it.... Part of this might be generational; if thirty is the new twenty, it’s no wonder that I get that Lost Boys feeling, and shrug confusedly when overnight company makes fun of my teddy bear.

I’m pleased to announce that thanks to the glory of Robert Caro, this stage is basically behind me. Having finally finished The Power Broker, I feel much more like a grownup, and believe it or not, I’m pretty into that.

***********
But reading this book made me feel like a grownup because it helped me to understand the way the world works as I never had before.

In a similar sense, this book really made Judaism a central part of who I am. ( )
  JBGUSA | Jan 2, 2023 |
Holocaust ( )
  IraSchor | Apr 14, 2007 |
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» Add other authors (1 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Morse, Arthur D.primary authorall editionsconfirmed
Kliphuis, J.F.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Presser, J.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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In January 1944 President Roosevelt was shown the startling conclusions of a secret memorandum. Its title: Acquiescence of this Government in the Murder of the Jews. The untold and shocking story behind this report--never before described in full-- exposes the appalling apathy and callousness of our Government, particularly the State Department, in the face of Nazi genocide. This report finally forced the President to take the first steps to rescue the Jews--but why had it taken so long to act? This book details, through documents, official papers and interviews with participants and research in archives in key world cities the true narrative of what was known, and the unconscionable delay of active response to the Nazi declaration that they "intended to destroy every Jew in Europe." How this challenge was met is the subject of this book. If genocide is to be prevented in the future, we must understand how it happened, not only in terms of the killers, but of the bystanders

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