Synopses & Reviews
is a story about people at a time of crisis. As persecution, war, and deportation savaged their communities, Jews tried to flee Nazi Europe through legal and clandestine routes. In their multifaceted tale of Jewish refugees during and after the Nazi era, Debórah Dwork and Robert Jan van Pelt braid the private and public realms, personal memory and official history. They probe the challenges faced by German Jewish refugees; the dispute among the Swiss on allowing Jews to cross their border; the dangers braved by covert guides who helped the hunted out of occupied France; and the creation of postwar displaced person camps, which have much to tell us about refugee camps today. Grounded in archival research throughout Europe and America, hundreds of oral histories, and thousands of newly discovered letters, shows how the lives of people thread together to form history.
"Tracking the plight of refugee Jews during and after the Nazi era, the authors of Auschwitz offer a comprehensive survey of various countries' responses to the refugee crisis and their often self-serving motives America, fearing immigrants would become public charges, required financial affidavits from American family or friends, which proved insurmountable for most European Jews. Britain granted visas to Jews of international repute, such as Sigmund Freud, but to only 50 Jews with licenses to practice medicine and 14,000 Jewish women willing to work as domestic servants. Eager to increase its white population, a racist Dominican Republic allowed healthy young refugees from Germany, Austria and Czechoslovakia to work on large-scale agricultural colonies. Internment camps in the Soviet Union offered a chance for survival while detention camps in France were conduits to the concentration camps and death. The establishment of the state of Israel resolved postwar Jewish refugee problems but ironically triggered an immediate Jewish refugee flood from Muslim countries. Although well researched and written, this work's specialized focus deems it more appropriate for academics and others with a special interest in the Holocaust or refugee policy. 50 photos, 2 maps." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
A bold, groundbreaking work that provides the definitive answer to the persistent question: Why didn't more Jews flee Nazi Europe?
About the Author
Deb"rah Dworkis co-author of Auschwitzand Holocaust. Dwork, who lives in New Haven, is director of the Strassler Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies at Clark University.
Toronto-based Robert Jan van Peltis co-author of Auschwitzand Holocaust. Pelt is University Professor at the University of Waterloo, Canada.