“There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest.” —Elie Wiesel
Today marks the beginning of the week-long observation of the Holocaust Days of Remembrance. Established by the United States Congress, the Days of Remembrance is America's annual commemoration of the victims of the Holocaust. Each year, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM) leads the nation in commemorating the Days of Remembrance. For this year's theme, the Museum has selected: Never Again: What You Do Matters.
One of our latest releases, Refugees and Rescue, (co-published with the USHMM), ties-in with this year's Days of Remembrance theme of personal responsibility. The book is the second volume of a three-volume set of James McDonald's diaries and papers. (The first volume, Advocate for the Doomed, was published in 2007.) Fearing Nazi
intentions to remove or destroy Jews in Germany, in 1933 McDonald became
League of Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and sought aid from
the international community to resettle outside the Reich Jews and
others persecuted there. In late 1935 he resigned in protest at the
lack of support for his work.
New evidence presented in Refugees and Rescue challenges widely held opinions about Roosevelt's views on
the rescue of European Jews before and during the Holocaust. The
struggles of McDonald and his
allies to transfer many of the otherwise doomed are disclosed here for
the first time. Although McDonald's efforts as chairman of FDR's
advisory committee on refugees from May 1938 until nearly the end of
the war were hampered by the pervasive antisemitic attitudes of those
years, fears about security, and changing presidential wartime
priorities, tens of thousands did find haven. McDonald's 1935–1936
diary entries and the other primary sources presented in this book offer new
insights into these conflicts and into Roosevelt's inconsistent
attitudes toward the "Jewish question" in Europe.
Next month, IU Press and the USHMM will co-publish another important contribution to Holocaust scholarship. The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Encyclopedia of Camps and Ghettos, 1933–1945 is the first volume of a 7-volume encyclopedia. This encyclopedia is the result of
years of work by the Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies at the
the first time, a single reference work will provide detailed
information on each individual camp and ghetto site—some 20,000 in all.
For further reading on the Holocaust, please see our complete list of excellent Holocaust studies books.