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The Myth of Rescue: Why the Democracies Could Not Have Saved More Jews from the Nazis Paperback – 25 Nov 1999

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Product details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge; New Ed edition (25 Nov. 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0415212499
  • ISBN-13: 978-0415212496
  • Product Dimensions: 15.6 x 1.7 x 23.4 cm
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,103,719 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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""The Myth of Rescue is a commanding work of historical criticism. Professor Rubinstein's rigorous analysis of a terrible time in human history should bring to an end the long and understandably emotional debate about the possibility of saving more victims of Hitler's holocaust."-Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. ""The Myth of a most important contribution to the discussion of America's role and responsibility regarding the Holocaust."-William J. vanden Heuvel, Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt Institute and former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations and Assistant Attorney General ..."worth reading."-"The Nation ..."a highly controversial and contentious book....[that] should be welcomed."-"Jewish Exponent

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First Sentence
There can be few subjects in the whole range of modern history on which contemporary opinion differed so sharply from the views of later historians and authors than the topic of the rescue of Jews by the democracies during the Nazi Holocaust. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 12 reviews
26 of 35 people found the following review helpful
Realistic view of the situation confronting the Allies 1 Oct. 1998
By Derek Copold - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Rubenstein does yeoman work in deflating the wild claims of post-Holocaust "Blamers." Through meticulous use of raw numbers and the context of the time, William Rubenstein demonstrates that, despite claims to the contrary, there wasn't anything the Allied powers could do to end the Holocaust save win the war. Rubenstein uses immigration numbers from around the globe to show that the world was extremely receptive of German Jews leaving repression from 1933-39. (72% of German Jews escaped Hitler's reich.) Once the war began, not one Jew who escaped Axis territory was returned to his country of origin. Treatment of escapees was not golden, but, as Rubenstein points out, that is another issue. Once war broke out, Rubenstein again shows that all that could be done by the allied powers was done. Armchair generals who offhandedly toss out suggestions that Auschwitz could be bombed should pay special attention to Rubenstein's chapter on this impossibility. Rubenstein is not a revisionist. He does not deny the Holocaust or any of the horrors that were thoroughly documented by the Allies after the war. What he does do, though, is place the blame where it belongs. With Hitler and his subordinates.
18 of 25 people found the following review helpful
Fresh air 15 Aug. 2000
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Hardcover
A welcome breath of fresh air on this subject, pointing out among many other things that by the time many Jews wanted to leave Germany and/or Europe, the problem was not that other countries would not let them in, but that HITLER WOULD NOT PERMIT THEM TO LEAVE. The book includes an excellent discussion of the possibility of bombing Auschwitz, pointing out among other things that for most of the war Allied aircraft were not within flying range of Auschwitz. The book is also very good in pointing out the error of confusing what we know about the camps now with what was known during World War II. An example of this is another (editorial) review of this same book which states flatly that Allied planes routinely spared deportation trains from being bombed. How were allied airmen supposed to know, from mid-air, that they WERE deportation trains? Rubinstein points out that the aerial photographs that have been used over the years to "prove" that the US knew exactly what Auschwitz was were enhanced to that level of detail IN THE 1970S with photographic technology that was not available during World War II! He also explains that many Jews did leave Germany but CHOSE to go to other European countries closer to home (Holland, France). They never expected that both would be conquered by the Germans in a matter of weeks in 1940, trapping them under German rule. Rubinstein also provides many useful reminders, among all the anger directed at Britain and the US for not doing more, that the primary responsibility for the HOlocaust belongs, NOT to the US or Britain, but to Germany and ADOLF HITLER -- remember him, folks?
8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
A Welcome Surprise And A Must Read 24 Feb. 2008
By Haim - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
To someone like myself, who has been reading in military history for years, the assertion by stupid left-wing intellectuals, that the WWII Allies could have done something (but did not want to) about the Nazi death camps, other than defeat the German Army in the field, is preposterous on its face, beneath contempt, and deserves no reply. And yet, the Left proves, time and again, that no idea is too stupid to be incorporated into the socialist canon. For that reason alone, this hateful, destructive, anti-historical libel must be confronted.

Rubinstein does an excellent job confronting, and refuting, this scandalous defamation of the Allies' heroic sacrifices in WWII.

Rubinstein treats very well the purely military obstacles to Rescue. He then goes further to examine the historical record on who wrote and spoke on Jewish Rescue. I.e., not only does he treat the question of "what did they know and when did they know it", but he looks at what people, including leading Jewish intellectuals and Jewish organizations, were actually calling for, at the time.

Thus, this book is important in at least these two respects. First, it is an excellent investigation of one, small but important, neglected aspect of WWII historiography. Second, it sheds a harsh, revealing light on the internal contradictions of leftist intellectualism.

To anyone who cares about ideas, history, WWII, and the holocaust, this book is a must read.
15 of 22 people found the following review helpful
Thought-Provoking, But Could Be Expanded 17 Aug. 2001
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Hardcover
One of the most convincing facts presented by this book is the information on the accuracy of bomb hits by Allied bombers. From this, the author Rubinstein makes it clear that a bombing raid on Auschwitz, even if "successful" would more likely wipe out the barracks and kill many Jews (and Poles, along with inmates of other nationalities) without putting the gas chambers and crematoria out of commission. And, although the author mentions Babi Yar as proof that the Germans did not need death camps to make the Holocaust work, this could have been further developed. For instance, Albert Speer pointed out that, had the death camps been destroyed, all the Germans needed to do would be to revert to the pre-1942 method of killing Jews (and millions of gentiles also): Local roundups of victims with mass shootings on the outskirts of towns where they lived, followed by burial in mass graves (or mass cremations on pyres). Many other facts in this book could be expanded. For instance, accusations that the Polish Underground deliberately (because of alleged anti-Semitism) did not sabotage the rail lines leading to the death camps can be refuted by identical arguments against their bombings, as told by Rubinstein: Destroyed tracks can often be replaced in hours or days, and there are several alternative railroad routes to the death camps. In addition, many of the routes to Auschwitz do not even occur in German-occupied Polish territory. Finally, if the Polish Underground proved incapable of rescuing millions of Polish-gentile inmates from the German-Nazi concentration camps, it can hardly be argued that they deliberately avoided preventing the Holocaust of Jews.
Adios to "Monday Morning quarterbacking" on the Holocaust 19 Mar. 2015
By T. Washington - Published on
Format: Paperback
There are few things more nonsensical than the "what if" game(aka "Monday morning quarterbacking") or speaking with the wisdom of hindsight. William D.Rubinstein's "The Myth Of Rescue" demolishes all the arguments put forward by those who can afford to be wise after the fact regarding the Holocaust as to what the Allies could have done to save European Jews from death-few of whom have seen combat or even military service far less studied WWII in detail.
My "favourite" is the argument that the Allies could have bombed Auschwitz and another extermination camps. Rubinstein makes the point that heavy bombers(escorted by fighters) would have been needed for the task- and cruel though it sounds, a nation at war must make harsh choices and not be diverted from its central tasks of doing everything possible to destroy the enemy's war making potential( as the RAF and USAAF did all too successfully)-and Auschwitz had NO military significance.
Damned if they did and damned if they didn't- if the Allies tried to save European Jewry they were accused of "fighting a Jew's War" by Nazi propagandists such as Goebbels, if they made no such attempt they were accused of tacitly approving the Holocaust. Secondly Europe's various Jewish communities were NOT refugees but prisoners of Hitler and his cohorts. At least Pope Pius XII is not much mentioned in this book- it has always seemed improbable to me that the late Pontiff should be virtually blamed for the Holocaust despite not possessing anything more than token military power(ie the Swiss Guards at the Vatican) whereas the "big Three"(Churchill, Roosevelt and most dubiously of all Stalin) with millions of battle hardened troops at their respective commands get a free pass on this issue!
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