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The Abandonment of the Jews: America and the Holocaust, 1941-45 Paperback – 31 Oct 1991

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Product details

  • Paperback: 444 pages
  • Publisher: Pantheon Books Inc; New edition edition (31 Oct. 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0394740777
  • ISBN-13: 978-0394740775
  • Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 14 x 21 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,171,965 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From the Author

This book is to inform the readers of the jewish dilema.
My book was written to inform the public of the atrocities of the U.S. Gov during WWII. The gov. at the time knew what was going on and did nothing to stop the slaughter of millions of innocent jews. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Very interesting read.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.0 out of 5 stars 14 reviews
71 of 76 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Convincing, painful indictment by a Protestant scholar 20 April 1999
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Paperback
For anyone who has wondered whether there was something the allies could have done to obstruct the Nazi holocaust, Wyman presents the troubling answers. They are very consistent with similar investigations of the British record by Wasserstein and Gilbert. This book had to be written, as part of a truth-telling process essential for a society to understand itself. A person of conscience, as well as a painstaking historian, Wyman does not accept the bureaucratic excuses for inaction at face value. It is an unpopular line of investigation, because it upsets the myths that the USA was on the side of the angels, fighting the war to save the Jews, and that FDR was a near saint. Wyman remains cool and balanced, never forgetting that the Allied culpability was on an entirely different level from that of the Germans and their helpers, but not sugar-coating Allied indifference, obstruction and lack of imagination about trying to stem the extermination program. For example, the simple step of broadcasting to the European countries, where Jews were being rounded up, to tell them what would happen at their destination, might have slowed down the deportations by stiffening the resistance. A healthy reminder that our historical record has plenty of which to be ashamed, and that governments, even in enlightened democracies, often perform in ways that don't stand up to moral inspection. A call to vigilance.
57 of 62 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Abandonment" is Probably the Wrong Word 3 Jun. 2005
By David M. Sapadin - Published on
Format: Paperback
Wyman's choice of a title is indicative of what is wrong with this book. However, there is also much right about it as well. "Abandonment" implies there was some sort of relationship to begin with between European Jews and and the United States. In order to "abandon" someone, you have to "leave." The US was never "there" to begin with. To say that America "turned its back" to European Jewry during WWII implies that it once had its back NOT turned to European Jews...and this simply was never the case. It wasn't even the case within the United States. The U.S. paid lip-service to American Jewry by including a few in the Roosevelt Administration, a couple on the Supreme Court, but there was no truly significant Jewish influence even in the United States at that time. Therefore this is a study of much more than simply the Roosevelt Administration. It is a study of America and any study of America during the time after WWI through the mid 1960's must include an acknowledgement of American anti-Semitism. It reached its peak, ironically, during WWII. FDR was the consummate politician. He may have held sympathy for what was happening to the Jews of Europe - but he was a POLITICIAN! And we all need to remember that. Had the American people demanded it, Roosevelt would have acted. Better put, there was enough anti-Semitism to make rescue a "political impossibility." Politics is, among other things, the "art of the possible." The real tragedy Wyman thus exposes is American anti-Semitism. Most significantly (and unfortunately) in the State Department. Wyman is "nice" (in my opinion) to Breckinridge Long, one of the most destructive anti-Semites in American History.

It is sad to acknowledge that The United States of America couldn't muster the courage to drop a single bomb on the rail lines leading out of Hungary, or into Auschwitz-Birkenau. One bomb would have done nothing to stop the Holocaust - but it would have spoken symbolic volumes about what America supposedly stood for.

Anti-Semitism was bad in the United States at that time. And anti-black racism was even worse. As sad an episode as this was in US History (not simply the US failure to act symbolically or otherwise to rescue European Jewry - but also the internment of Japanese Americans in camps, and the relegation of blacks to driving trucks in the military) it did, in the longer run, finally force America to look itself in the mirror.

I consider this a "must read" for anyone even slightly interested in American History, especially the upheavals of the 1960's. America "ignored" the Jews in Europe as it always had, and as it mostly ignored its own. WWII set in motion events that forced America to live up to what it was supposedly fighting for in "The Good War."

This book is also valuable because it reveals the depth of the split within American Jewry over how to respond the mass killings. That split certainly contributed to the ease with which FDR could concentrate on other issues besides The Jews of Europe...and thereby avoid any hint of a schism with Churchill.
61 of 70 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Disturbing. 5 Oct. 2002
By M. D Roberts - Published on
Format: Paperback
The reader will not want to believe what is being read.
The evil, satanic Nazi regime and it's methods intent on the slaughter and genocide of the European Jews is well documented elsewhere.
Little is written or heard about the passive accomplices....I hesitate in using the latter word, but none other can really suffice in this context. The author has provided an extremely valuable service with this work in bringing this subject to our attention.
It is difficult to estimate how many of the six million murdered Jews could possibly have been saved through a concerted, determined Allied rescue campaign. However, suffice to say no such measures were taken and all the victims perished.
The author documents that the US State Department and the British Foreign Office has absolutely no intention of rescuing large numbers of European Jews from the Nazi genocide machine.
Indeed, the author shows that the Allies actually feared that the Nazi regime would release tens of thousands of Jews into Allied hands and the inherent responsibility that such a move would impose upon them.
Such a move by the Nazis would have inevitably placed immense pressure on the British to open Palestine to increased Jewish immigration, and the US to admit even larger numbers of Jews to their own shores.
A situation that neither Government wanted to face. The British, although allowing virtually unhindered Arab immigration from surrounding Arab nations into Palestine, had their own reasons for refusing increased Jewish entry into what is now Israel. Instead, the British provided concentration camps of their own on Cyprus for those Jews seeking what they perceived as `illegal' entry to Palestine. A damning historical indictment, which being British and a non-Jew, I still find difficult to stomach.
The author shows that there was clear, authenticated documentation available to the US State Department in 1942, that revealed unmistakable evidence that the Nazis were pursuing a systematic extermination of European Jewry. However, it is shown that nothing was done for some 14 months, and only then were limited measures eventually adopted. Even so, the US record of action is still far better than that of the British.
These limited measures of assistance adopted by the US are shown to have been impeded by rampant anti-Semitism throughout US society and the US Congress, plus the mass media's failure to publicise Holocaust details and the virtual near silence of the Church and it's own leadership.
The author also shows that appeals to bomb the Auschwitz-Birkenau gas chambers, railroads and bridges were refused outright amidst claims that such military action would divert essential air-power. Yet, at the very same time numerous heavy Allied bombing raids were still taking place within 50 miles of Auschwitz, only a few minutes flying time away. The value of saving Jewish lives was not worth a single Allied bomb.
This is a disturbing book about a disturbing period of history and a disturbing analysis of the integrity of our leaders together with our foreign policies & agendas during the war years. There is so much information here. Read this and Sir Martin Gilbert's `Auschwitz and the Allies' for differing approaches to the same subject, but which reveal the same conclusions. Recommended.
45 of 58 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Noble Price Material 17 Mar. 2000
By ESAR SHVARTZ - Published on
Format: Paperback
Wyman wrote this book in the mid 1980's. Since then, many other historical studies have shown the same shamful findings:FDR and the State Department and many segments of the American public, including most of the Jewish leaders, not only suppressed the news on the extermination of the European Jews, but did their best to hinder efforts of rescue. Wyman includes undisputed sources for every fact, but being a gentile, he is too soft on the American Jewish leaders who looked at FDR as a God, and in order not to upset him, kept quiet. For those who still worship FDR, consider this: A million Americans are stranded in Europe during War World II and the Germans are systematically shipping them to concentration camps, torturing and gassing them. What would FDR and his administration have done? Conduct the war in a gentlemantary manner with taking of prisoners, etc., (a quarter million Axis prisoners were shipped to the US while a common American and British response to the abandonment of the Jews was no ships available), or immediately start a military operation to rescue them. Readers who still believe that saving the Jews was not possible because of the war effort, should read historical books on Great Britain during the war. While the British refused to consider any plan of saving the Jews they deployed more than 100,000 troops and a large armada in Palestine and the Med Sea for the sole purpose of capturing Jews who escaped the European hell. In 1940, the British had elaborate plans to attack would be German invaders with low flying planes dropping gas on the invaders, despite the Geneva agreements that the German kept (except with respect to the Jews, of course,who were gassed by the millions). This book is a Noble Price material because it reveals the truth about the darkest period in human history, a truth hiden because too many people still cannot confront the sicknening facts: The leaders of the free world in the 1940's were cowards, anti-Semites, and liers. Only a handful of brave men such as Hecht, Rogers, and a few Irgun members fought against overwhelming odds to bring about some response to the terrible plight of the Jews.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars America Couldn't Stop It 3 Oct. 2012
By Jack - Published on
Format: Paperback
The author suggests that the Operation Reinhard extermination camps could've been stopped or reduced by American strategic bombing. Over 1.5 million Jews were killed in these hell pits. The problem was that the kiling there was done between 1942 and mid-summer 1943. Himmler ordered the hell pits shut down there at that time and had the bodies cremated in the open for another year. We did not have the Germans whipped in North Africa until February 1943; we didn't have Sicily under control until spring 1943 and we weren't on the Italian boot in any strength until May-June 1943. And, initially our air bases weren't in Italy and were not in range of Treblinka, Belzec, Sobibor and Chelmno. Bomber flights all the way across Germany, on the other hand, was even more absurd. We weren't able to launch airstrikes against Berlin with any accuracy and effectiveness until 1944 (let alone Poland...and back).

We could have done some damage to Auschwitz, however, in early 1944 (in plenty of time to help the poor Hungarian Jews who were railed in starting in early May). The planes would have had to come from the 12th and 15th AF bases in southern Italy. Assuming we had clear understanding of exactly where the several gassing buildings and crematories were, it might have been possible with some degree of precision (to avoid scads of casualties in the endless, crammed barracks areas of Birkenau) to strike with auxiliary fuel tank-equipped P-38s equipped with a pair of either 500 or 1000 lb bombs. B-26 bombers (twin-engine) with 4000 lbs of bombs was also a possibility. The problem is that both these planes were at the absolute limits of their range, by unfortunate coincidence, to reach southernmost Poland where Auschwitz lay. It's unclear, without being a flight officer or ops planner from that era, to know is such a raid could work. Any interception by German fighter defences over Yugo or Austria would have forced the jettisoning of aux fuel/bombs in order to defend themselves; unless you went with B-26s escorted by P-38s that were unencumbered by ordnance. The only other option would be an all-out B-24 raid and there goes the neighborhood, as far as precision goes. The beginning of the victim barracks (and many of these folks survived the nightmare) were 300 to 400 yds from the crematories/gas chambers. 300 to 400 yds (with at least a 100 yd kill radius) ain't much to work with in a B-24 raid with 300 bombers.

The rail lines leading in there from Hungary? Maybe so. I'll defer on that one because I just don't know. But those NAZIs were pretty efficient when it came to killing. They would have re-routed those trains if every soldier in the German Army had to starve in order to get to those Jews. Eichmann and Himmler would've seen to it. But, I don't know. And would it have been worth many American lives to show the world that we knew what was going on and we were willing to die to stop it? Sure seems so, but I would have hated to been a young guy on a desperate long-range boondoggle without fighter support. We lost 400,000 people in that war as it was, and 30,000 in the air over Europe (and the UK lost 20,000, I kid you not). You just couldn't pick a harder place to get to for us than souther and eastern Poland. The NAZIs isolated the poor Jews in those hell pits located there just for that reason.
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