Citation
Going Public in Support: American Discursive Opposition to Nazi Anti-Semitism, 1933-1944

Material Information

Title:
Going Public in Support: American Discursive Opposition to Nazi Anti-Semitism, 1933-1944
Creator:
DEMSKY, JEFFREY SCOTT ( Author, Primary )
Copyright Date:
2008

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Antisemitism ( jstor )
Boxes ( jstor )
Jewish peoples ( jstor )
Motion picture industry ( jstor )
Movies ( jstor )
Nazism ( jstor )
Refugees ( jstor )
United States history ( jstor )
War ( jstor )
World wars ( jstor )

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Holding Location:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
Copyright Jeffrey Scott Demsky. Permission granted to University of Florida to digitize and display this item for non-profit research and educational purposes. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions requires permission of the copyright holder.
Embargo Date:
7/12/2007
Resource Identifier:
660162336 ( OCLC )

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Full Text





GOING PUBLIC IN SUPPORT:
AMERICAN DISCURSIVE OPPOSITION TO NAZI ANTI-SEMITISM, 1933-1944





















By

JEFFREY SCOTT DEMSKY


A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL
OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT
OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF
DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY

UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA

2007









ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

It is a pleasure to acknowledge those faculty, colleagues, friends, and staff at the

University of Florida who helped me in the research and writing of this dissertation. Few written

works are solely individual pursuits. This was indeed my experience. The ideas and inspiration,

the funding and the fun, appeared from a wide range of sources. Scholarship is a lonely process,

but the constant involvement of others helped to ensure that I was not alone.

Professors Geoffrey Giles, Ronald Formisano, and Charles Montgomery provided me the

initial opportunities to pursue my scholarship. Moreover, I had the immense good fortune that

the Graduate Program in History at the University of Florida is vibrant and strong. During my

more than eight years of doctorial studies, I was grateful for the countless number of teaching

and research appointments that I received. I appreciated the outstanding administrative work of

Linda Opper. My colleague Jeremy Cohen spent considerable time reading and commenting on

this project, particularly during the earliest drafts.

My dissertation committee, chaired by Dr. Louise Newman, and comprised of Drs.

Mitchell Hart, William Link, Larry Dodd, and Alan Petigny, devoted many hours to training me

as a scholar. Dr. Dodd from the Political Science department provided invaluable support, both

in the project's early stages, and over the course of my five-year candidacy. Dr. Hart was a

knowledgeable cochair who inspired me to reach greater levels of methodological rigor. In any

number of coffee shops and diners, Dr. Petigny sat many hours with me, helping me to rework

my prose and clarify my arguments. I owe my most weighty debt, however, to the chair, for

directing the final version of this dissertation. Professor Newman demonstrated superior

intellectual curiosity and great skill, agreeing simultaneously to share with me her mastery of the

historians' craft while learning more about a field with which she was not entirely familiar. In









our scheduled weekly meetings, as well as in informal discussions, her guidance helped me

immensely. The project's scope, tone, and analysis are richer for her efforts. So, too, is my

personal and professional view of life inside the academy. I can only hope to repay this deep

appreciation, for the committee's collective effort, through a continued improvement in my

work, habits, and propriety.

Taking nearly a decade to finish my doctorate, the dictates of human sanity have required

me to maintain outside networks and friendships. In many cases, experiences that appeared

seemingly tangential to my studies in fact served to facilitate my progress. I would like to

acknowledge Pam and Chuck Kinnard, as well as Keith Singleton, for making possible my

employment at the Salty Dog Saloon. The wages and tips earned, the personal connections

established, have helped to sustain me during my years in Gainesville. Likewise, for many years,

close friends such as Paul Heymach, Matt Magenheim, Steffan Alexander, Sean Atwater, and

Amanda Johnson have included me in pursuits wholly unrelated to my scholarship. I thank them

completely for their companionship and loyalty. My last acknowledgement is to my mother,

Leslie Derenfeld, a professional librarian, with a remarkable affection for literature. Nearly three

decades ago, she taught a young boy to read and opened the doors of possibility. Her unwavering

efforts have made this accomplishment possible.









TABLE OF CONTENTS

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS.............................. ..................... 2

LIST OF TABLES..................................... ..................... 5

ABSTRACT .................................... ............................... 6

CHAPTER

1 INTRODUCTION: AMERICAN DISCURSIVE OPPOSITION TO NAZI ANTI-
SEMITISM, 1933-1944..................... . . . . . ..8

2 CONGRESS BEGINS A PUBLIC DISCOURSE CONDEMNING NAZI ANTI-
SEMITISM, 1933-1941...............................................28

3 ARCHIBALD MACLEISH AND THE GROWING DISCURSIVE
OPPOSITION TO NAZI ANTI-SEMITISM, 1933-1941......................... 65

4 THE OFFICE OF WAR INFORMATION: SCULPTING AMERICAN
ATTITUDES WITH BROCHURES, 1942-1943. .............................. 93

5 INTEREST-GROUP ADVOCATES PUSH FOR A MORE TANGIBLE
RESPONSE,-1942-1943 ..................... . . . . ................. .. 115

6 THE WAR REFUGEE BOARD: THE INSTITUTIONALIZATION OF
AMERICAN DISCURSIVE OPPOSITION TO NAZI ANTI-SEMITISM, 1944 .... 147

7 CONCLUSION............................... .................... 171

LIST OF REFERENCES.............................. .................... 180

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH.................................................199










LIST OF TABLES


Table


2-1 Number of House Remarks and Resolutions Related to Religious Intolerance
(1931-1935)................................... ......................64


page









Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate School
of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the
Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy

GOING PUBLIC IN SUPPORT:
AMERICAN DISCURSIVE OPPOSITION TO NAZI ANTI-SEMITISM, 1933-1944

By

Jeffrey Scott Demsky

May 2007

Chair: Louise Newman
Cochair: Mitchell Hart
Major: History

Shortly after Adolf Hitler's rise to power in Germany, Christian and Jewish Americans

initiated an argument that held Nazi anti-Semitism did violence to their democratic freedoms.

They observed the scapegoating of Jews, the hallmark feature of German fascism, indicated a

pervasive hostility toward the civil liberties outlined in the U.S. Constitution. Publicly contesting

Nazi anti-Semitism became a recurring topic in public discourse. Politicians used the reports of

Jewish persecutions to differentiate between fascist and democratic values. Social commentators

and artists saw in the issue a path for softening sociocultural attitudes domestically. As members

of the Christian majority learned more about Hitler's wide-ranging intolerance, some concluded

that tolerating similar domestic prejudices was harmful to society.

Rejecting Nazism-and, specifically, its negative portrayal of Jews-became part of a

much larger reconfiguration in mainstream American attitudes. Evidence that citizens, both

private and public, opposed Nazi anti-Semitism appeared in periodicals, political statements,

plays, motion pictures, novels, private correspondences, and government publications. The

common thread binding these texts together was the expression of hostility toward Nazi religious

intolerance. Although for some Americans, negative sentiments toward ethnic, racial, and









religious minorities undoubtedly persisted, there is a larger story involving the ways both Jews

and Christians used the issue of Nazi intolerance toward religious minorities as a tool for

promoting a more pluralist worldview.









CHAPTER 1
INTRODUCTION:
AMERICAN DISCURSIVE OPPOSITION TO NAZI ANTI-SEMITISM, 1933-1944

The cause of liberty, freedom and justice, three of the most important parts of modem
civilization, has received its most recent blow at the hands of Adolf Hitler and his
subsequent persecution of the Jews. Americans everywhere recognize the rights of
human beings to worship God as they please.
-Representative Jesse Swick to House, May 22, 1933)1

Any man who loathes fascism will fear anti-Semitism. Fearing anti-Semitism, he will
fear also the various conditions which encourage its appearance. Any nation that permits
a minority to live in fear of persecution is a nation that invites disaster.
-Editors of Fortune, Jews in America, 1936)2

In the future days which we seek to make secure, we look forward to a world founded
upon four essential human freedoms...the freedom of every person to worship God in his
own way-everywhere in the world.
-From Franklin Roosevelt's "Four Freedoms" Declaration, January 6, 1941V

America is a dream of justice, a light held aloft to the sacred ways of humanity. Speak for
us and give not only the Jews, but mankind back its fair name. The Jews have only one
voice left. It is the voice of prayer. Perhaps the Four Freedoms will hear it.
-Closing to We Will Never Die, Madison Square Garden, March 9, 19434

Shortly after Adolf Hitler's rise to power in Germany, Christian and Jewish Americans

initiated an argument that held Nazi anti-Semitism did violence to their democratic freedoms.

They observed that the scapegoating of Jews, the hallmark feature of German fascism, hinted at

a much more pervasive hostility toward civil liberties-e.g., freedom of speech and religious

assembly-as outlined in the U.S. Constitution. Publicly contesting Nazi anti-Semitism became

a useful exercise for those Americans interested in differentiating between two starkly opposite


'CongressionalRecord, H 73, 1st sess. (May 22, 1933): 3968.

2 Editors of Fortune, Jews in America (New York: Random House, 1936), 10-11.

SFor the full text, see
http://www.americanrhetoric.com/speeches/fdrthefourfreedoms.htm

4 Palestine Statehood Committee Papers, 1939-1949, ed. Katherine Morton (Wilmington:
Scholarly Resources, 1982), reel 8: 0146.









ideological visions. These discussions also helped some to provoke further debates about

sociocultural attitudes in the United States. As members of the Christian majority learned more

about Hitler's wide-ranging intolerance, some concluded that upholding or tolerating similar

domestic prejudices was harmful to society.

To date, historians have ignored these expressions of outrage and have instead examined

the utterances and activities of Americans who saw little to fear from the new German regime.

During the 1930s, Ambassador Joe Kennedy lauded Hitler's government;5 the pilot-icon Charles

Lindbergh established a German residency during the Third Reich; and Henry Ford visited

Berlin to accept a medal from Nazi representatives.6 Although striking, these expressions of

support caused each man-Kennedy, Lindbergh, and Ford-irreparable damage to his public

credibility. Indeed, during the 1930s and early 1940s, rejecting Nazism-and, specifically, its

negative portrayal of Jews-became part of a much larger reconfiguration in mainstream

American attitudes toward ethno-religious minorities.

Evidence that Americans, both in and outside the government, opposed Nazi anti-

Semitism appeared in periodicals, political statements, plays, motion pictures, novels, private

correspondences, and government publications. The common thread binding these artifacts and

texts together was the expression of hostility toward Nazi intolerance. Although negative

sentiments toward ethnic, racial, and religious minorities undoubtedly persisted for many




Edward Renehan Jr., "Joseph Kennedy and the Jews," http://hnn.us/articles/697.html;
Neal Gabler, An Empire of Their Own: How the Jews Invented Hollywood (New York: Crown,
1988), 344.

6 For a photo of Charles Lindbergh and Hermann Goering enjoying a laugh, see Susan
Hertog, Anne Morrow Lindbergh (New York: Nan Talese, 1999), 321. For photos of Henry Ford
accepting his medal, see Kees van der Pijl, The Making of an Atlantic Ruling Class (New York:
Verso, 1984), 221.









citizens, the larger story involved the ways that both American Jews and Protestants came to

denounce bigotry.

As early as 1911, leaders in the American Jewish Committee had lobbied officials in

Congress and the executive branch to punish Czarist Russia for violating the liberties of Jewish

Americans traveling abroad. They argued that the rights of citizenship were universal, even

outside the nation. Congress agreed. In 1912, both houses voted overwhelmingly to abrogate a

long-standing American-Russian trade treaty to protest the Czarist abuse.' During the early

decades of the twentieth century, Americans of multiple faiths continued to promote a secular

identity by joining new organizations such as the Anti-Defamation League (1913) and the

National Conference of Christians and Jews (1928).' Jews and Christians worked together to

organize nationwide boycotts against racist newspapers such as Ford's Dearborn Independent.10

Following episodes in which Jews stood accused of sensational crimes, such as the Massena






SMarc Dollinger, Quest for Inclusion: Jews and Liberalism in Modern America
(Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2000), 48; Matthew Frye Jacobson, THIhit, i,, of a
Different Color: European Immigrants and the Alchemy of Race (Cambridge: Harvard
University Press, 1999), 188; Stuart Svonkin, Jews against Prejudice: American Jews and the
Fight for Civil Liberties (New York: Columbia University Press, 1997), 15; Stephen J.
Whitfield, American Space, Jewish Time (Hamden: Archon Books, 1988), 93-94.

8 Judith Goldstein, The Politics ofEthnic Pressure: The American Jewish Committee
Fight against Immigration Restrictions, 1906-1917 (New York: Garland, 1990), 162-83; Allen
Hertzke, Representing God in Washington: The Role ofReligious Lobbies in the American Polity
(Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 1988), 38; Gary Dean Best, To Free a People:
American Jewish Leaders and the Jewish Problems in Eastern Europe (Westport, Ct.:
Greenwood, 1982), 17, 142-44.

Naomi Cohen, Not Free to Desist: The American Jewish Committee, 1906-1969
(Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society of America, 1972), 159, 453-54.

10 Neil Baldwin, Henry Ford and the Jews: The Mass Production ofHate (New York:
Public Affairs, 2001), 103, 173.









Blood Libel (1924) and the Leopold and Loeb Affair (1924), these groups and their supporters

played a pivotal role in defusing social anxieties."

Jews further benefited from new ideas such as "cultural pluralism." During the first

decades of the twentieth century, the American philosopher Horace Kallen insisted that the truest

test of U.S. democracy lay in the nation's ability to highlight, rather than homogenize, the ethnic

variances among its citizens. Neither Jews nor Catholics could ever "become American" if that

designation exclusively denoted Protestantism. Cultural pluralism offered a rationale for

embracing those tens of millions who otherwise remained outside of the mainstream.12 In many

cases, the ideas associated with cultural pluralism found expression through the efforts of such

liberals as John Dewey and Joseph Pulitzer. These men and their many associates, followers, and

admirers embraced the Progressive notion that an enlightened government based on secular

values was the surest way to improve society.13

During the 1930s and 1940s, numerous ethno-minority groups in the United States

gained greater social status within the political world. Historians have already started to explain


For the Massena case, see Abraham Foxman and Alan Schwartz, "Blood Libel: A
Lifetime Ago But Not So Far Away," Jewish Journal 23 (1998): 54-61; and Saul Friedman,
Incident at Massena: The Blood Libel in America (New York: Stein and Day, 1978), 179. For
anti-Semitism and the Leopold and Loeb Affair, see Gini Scott, Homicide by the Rich and
Famous: A Century ofProminent Killers (Westport, Ct.: Greenwood, 2005), 176-77.

12 William Toll, "Horace M. Kallen: Pluralism and American Jewish Identity," American
Jewish History 85 (1997): 57-74; Sidney Ratner, "Horace M. Kallen and Cultural Pluralism," in
Milton Konwitz, ed., The Legacy ofHorace M. Kallen (Rutherford, N.J.: Fairleigh Dickinson
University Press, 1987), 48-61; Michael Walzer, "Pluralism in Political Perspective," in Michael
Walzer et al., The Politics ofEthnicity (Cambridge: Belknap Press, 1982), 9-11.

13 For early twentieth-century liberalism, see Gary Gerstle, "The Protean Character of
American Liberalism," American Historical Review 99 (1994): 1043-45; Alan Dawley, Struggles
for Justice: Social Responsibility and the Liberal State (Cambridge: Harvard University Press,
1991); Robert Westbrook, John Dewey and American Democracy (Ithaca: Cornell University
Press, 1991), 430-39; and Louis Hartz, The Liberal Tradition in America: An Interpretation of
American Political Thought since the Revolution (New York: Harcourt Brace, 1955), 3, 259.

11









how events such as the Great Depression and the Second World War forged a new national

identity. The many millions of immigrants and first-generation citizens who lived through the

experiences emerged as bona fide "Americans."14 On the cultural landscape, radio and movies

projected the nation's new character.15 The federal government also took bold and unprecedented

actions to promote ethnic variety. Organizations such as the Farm Security Administration, the

Works Progress Administration, and the Office of War Information dedicated significant

resources to disseminating images of the many different people who lived in the U.S. As early as

1938, radio programs such as American All, Immigrant All, a twenty-six-week-long nationally

broadcast series sponsored by the federal government, reset the domestic boundaries of ethnicity,

religion, and race. These programs presented Protestant citizens with richly detailed-and

complimentary-portraits of the various new ethnicities and races now included within the

designation "American."16

But if cultural pluralism was affecting a broad range of subgroups-African Americans,

Italians, Poles-then why is it necessary to examine the Jewish experience independent of the



14 Neil Baldwin, The American Revelation: Ten Ideals That Shaped Our Country from the
Puritans to the Cold War (New York: St. Martin's, 2005), 158; Walter Jackson, Gunnar Myrdal
and America's Conscience: Social Engineering and Radical Liberalism, 1938-198 7 (Chapel
Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1990), 1-9; and Lizabeth Cohen, Making a New Deal:
Industrial Workers in Chicago, 1919-1939 (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1990), 54,
111, 125.

15 Barbara Savage, Broadcasting Freedom: Radio, War and the Politics ofRace, 1938-
1948 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1999), 21-30; Steven Ross, Working-
Class Hollywood: Silent Film and the Shap pig of Class in America (Princeton: Princeton
University Press, 1998), 10, 242; Gabler, Empire, 315, 317.

16 Nicholas Nathanson, The Black Image in the New Deal: The Politics ofFSA
Photography (Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 1992), 4-9; Monty Noam Penkower,
The Federal Writers' Project: A Study in the Government Patronage of the Arts (Chicago:
University of Illinois Press, 1977), 9, 17, 27; Jerry Mangione, The Dream and the Deal: The
Federal Writers'Project, 1935- 1943 (New York: Avon, 1972), 273.

12









other groups that were making their way into the mainstream? The theme of this dissertation is

that the appearance of Nazism-a thoroughly antidemocratic and antireligious

philosophy-intensified the drive to transform American national identity, making it more

secular. Jews clearly had something tangible to fear from Nazism. That other citizens felt

similarly is a fact sometimes overlooked in discussions of the 1930s.1"

Examining the relationship between opposition to Nazism, on the one hand, and a

reconfiguration of American attitudes, on the other, provides a pathway to the field and subfields

of Holocaust Studies. During the 1960s, scholars began to publish books and articles

documenting the Nazi destruction of Europe's Jews. Raul Hilberg was one of the first historians

to depict the Nazi war crimes in intricate detail and to assess the world's reaction.18 Hilberg

designated the Germans as perpetrators of genocide and developed additional categories such as

bystanders and witnesses to indicate his belief that the Western democracies, by not intervening,

had failed to act on their moral responsibility.19 This view has proved remarkably resilient. Many

Holocaust Studies researchers, particularly those who specialize in the American response to

Nazi anti-Semitism, have based their inquiries on the presumption that the nation's leaders chose

not to intervene on behalf of Europe's Jews.20





1" Judy Kutulas, The Long War: The Intellectual People's Front and Anti-Stalinism,
1930-1940 (Durham: Duke University Press, 1995), 95; Geoffrey Smith, To Save a Nation:
American Counter-subversives, the New Deal and the Coming of World War II (New York:
Basic Books, 1973), 60.

18 Raul Hilberg, The Destruction of the European Jews (London: Allen, 1961), 672, 683.

19 Raul Hilberg, Perpetrators, Victims and Bystanders: The Jewish Catastrophe, 1933-
1945 (New York: Asher, 1992), 3, 249.

20 Deborah Lipstadt, "Witness to the Persecution: The Allies and the Holocaust," Modern
Judaism (1983): 323.









Hilberg's work also set a stylistic benchmark for the subfield. Having served with the

U.S. War Crimes Documentation Commission, he was fully conversant with the Nuremburg

Trial transcripts. He accessed many dozens of state archives, pursuing multiple long, winding

paths of inquiry that at times exasperated his dissertation advisor.21 However, this fine-grained

method-that is, a Rankean approach to selecting source materials and evaluating

artifacts-became standard in many of the field's later publications.22 The Destruction of the

European Jewry offered advances in theory as well. Hilberg's decision to compress the entire

narrative of European anti-Semitism within the twelve-year Nazi regime was unique.23 His

conflation provided an accepted linear framework that, owing to the fact the Third Reich and

New Deal were almost contemporaneous, encouraged later historians to contrast various facets

of Nazi and American behaviors.24

During the late 1960s and early 1970s, Arthur Morse's While Six Million Died: A

Chronicle ofAmerican Apathy, Saul Friedman's No Haven for the Oppressed, Henry Feingold's

The Politics ofRescue, and David Wyman's Paper Walls followed this blueprint.25 Focusing on

21 Mitchell Hart, "The Historian's Past in Three Recent Jewish Autobiographies," Jewish
Social Studies 5 (1999): 149.

22 John Mendelsohn, "The Holocaust: Rescue and Relief Documentation in the National
Archives," Annals of the American Academy ofPolitical and Social Sciences 450 (1980): 240-
42.

23 Hart, "Historian's," 134-35.

24 Roosevelt and Hitler both took power in March 1933. Both ruled continually until their
deaths in the spring of 1945. The two men grappled with many of the same challenges, leading
their respective nations through the Great Depression and into World War II. For an excellent
discussion, see John Garraty, "The New Deal, National Socialism and the Great Depression,"
American Historical Review 78 (1973): 907.

25 Saul Friedman, No Haven for the Oppressed (Detroit: Wayne State University Press,
1973), 34, 77; Henry Feingold, The Politics ofRescue The Roosevelt Administration and the
Holocaust, 1938-1945 (New York: Holocaust Library, 1980), 328; David Wyman, Paper Walls:
America and the Refugee Crisis, 1938-1941, 2nd ed. (New York: Pantheon, 1985),164; Arthur
Morse, While Six Million Died: A Chronicle ofAmerican Apathy (New York: Random House,
1967), 118-19, 376.









political events and persons from the 1930s and 1940s, these scholars argued that American

indifference to European issues-what Wyman termed "nativist nationalism"-permeated the

government and society.26 Of course, not all officials were bigots. However, archival research in

the records of the State Department and other federal agencies suggested that anti-Jewish

feelings limited expressions of sympathy.2

Some historians reached even starker conclusions. Herbert Druks argued, in The Failure

to Rescue, that Franklin Roosevelt and the British government had "prevented" the release of

European Jewry.28 Richard Rubenstein suggested that American attitudes toward racial

minorities provided German leaders with justifications for their behaviors.29 In 1978, David

Wyman ratcheted up the field's rhetoric with his article "Why Was Auschwitz Never Bombed?"

His counterfactual approach lent sway to the growing perception that the United States had

possessed the wherewithal, but not the moral gumption, to destroy the death factories.30

During the early 1980s, the opening of additional State Department records led to

repetition of this charge. "The American government," Monty Penkower argued, in The Jews

Were Expendable, "discriminated in their unwillingness to save European Jewry."31 Wyman's

The Abandonment of the Jews frankly stated that little compassion existed for those with the


26 Wyman, Paper, 10.

27 Richard Breitman, "The Allied War Effort and the Jews, 1942-1943," Journal of
Contemporary History 20 (1985): 143.

28 Herbert Druks, The Failure to Rescue (New York: Speller, 1977), 98.

29 Richard Rubenstein, The Cunning OfHistory: The Holocaust and the American Future
(New York: Harper Colophon, 1975), 38-41.

30 David Wyman, "Why Auschwitz Was Never Bombed," Commentary 69 (1978): 40;
Roger Williams, "Why Wasn't Auschwitz Bombed?" Commonweal 105 (1978): 746.

31 Monty Noam Penkower, The Jews Were Expendable: Free World Diplomacy and the
Holocaust (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1983), 146.

15









"particular misfortunes of being foreign and Jewish."32 During the 1980s, historians specializing

in the U.S. response to Nazi anti-Semitism began to assert as fact the proposition that bigotry in

the American government and society played a tangible role in the destruction of European

Jewry. The degree to which scholars allowed their feelings of grief or regret to influence their

interpretations has varied. Michael Marrus stated, in The Holocaust in History, that "clearly

more could have been done."33 Indeed, he dedicated an entire section of his monograph to

discussing the "bystander" nations that had allowed the Holocaust to occur without

impediment.34 However, Alan Kraut and Richard Breitman argued, in American Refugee Policy

and European Jewry, 1933-1945, that humanitarian considerations are "not easily translated"

into government policy.35

In addition to highlighting anti-Jewish sentiments within the State Department, one of the

most provocative debates from the 1980s involved the question of Jewish American behaviors.

In The Terrible Secret, Walter Laqueur and Richard Breitman have noted that prominent Jews in

the United States dismissed the atrocity reports as false.36 During the First World War,

sensational news stories describing German brutality against noncombatants were common and

often incorrect. The news of Nazi gas chambers, crematoria, and millions of murdered faced a

residue of the skepticism that those earlier reports had engendered. However, Haskel Lookstein

32 David Wyman, The Abandonment of the Jews: America and the Holocaust, 1942-1945
(New York: Pantheon, 1984), 340.

33 Michael Marrus, The Holocaust in History (Hanover, N.H.: University Press of New
England, 1987), 173.

34 Ibid., 156-84.

35 Richard Breitman and Alan Kraut, American Refugee Policy and European Jewry,
1933-1945 (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1987), 10.

36 Walter Laqueur and Richard Breitman, The Terrible Secret: Suppression of the Truth
about Hitler's "Final Solution" (Boston: Little, Brown, 1980), 3-5.

16









still examined the obvious question. In Were We Our Brother's Keeper? he speculated that a

more "active concern" from American Jews might have saved "millions."3" Rafael Medoff

agreed. His study, The Deafening Silence, likewise claimed that the leaders of Jewish American

organizations had turned away from their European brethren.38

Sustaining or attacking the view that Jews in the United States did little to publicize or

combat the outrages in Europe has led to additional observations. Henry Feingold, in an article

first published by American Jewish History, argued that Jewish leaders did not wish to contradict

the prevalent social mood. Well aware that the federal government had "relocated" hundreds of

thousand Japanese, German, and Italian American citizens, Jews in the United States feared any

type of discussion in which they might appear to exhibit interest in foreign affairs. Feingold

characterized the academic effort to assign guilt an anachronistic form of "self-flagellation."39 As

Karen Greenberg reminded scholars in her essay "The Burden of Being Human," the true

enormity of the Holocaust-the killings, cremations, deciding who was guilty and who would

escape condemnation-exceeds the limits of the cognitive process. The people involved with the

Holocaust were human beings who struggled to understand, as later generations continue to do.40







Haskel Lookstein, Were We Our Brother's Keepers? The Public Response ofAmerican
Jews to the Holocaust, 1938-1944 (New York: Vintage, 1984), 185.

38 Rafael Medoff, The Deafening Silence: American Jewish Leaders and the Holocaust
(New York: Shapolsky, 1987), 183.

Henry Feingold, "Courage First and Intelligence Second: The American Jewish
Secular Elite, Roosevelt and the Failure to Rescue," American Jewish History 72 (1983): 459-60.

40 Karen Greenberg, "The Burdens of Being Human: An Essay on Selected Scholarship
of the Holocaust," in Verne Newton, ed., FDR and the Holocaust (New York: St. Martin's,
1996), 29.









It was not until the 1990s that the Holocaust became entrenched as a part of the American

collective consciousness. The opening of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington,

D.C. (1993) marked a significant point along this path. Public schools throughout the nation

began teaching a Holocaust curriculum to their older students. Movies such as Schindler's List

(1992) and survivors-turned-celebrities such as Elie Wiesel have widened the locus of

enlightenment further.41 Have Christian Americans, particularly those born after 1945, accepted

an inherited responsibility for the past persecution of Jews? This is the conclusion that Frank

Brecher has reached.42 In The Holocaust in American Life, Peter Novick has also stressed this

point.43 He has concluded that Christian Americans today join with Jews in seeing the defeat of

Hitlerism as the grand metaphor for the U.S. victory over fascism.44 This argument conflicts with

earlier claims by Hilberg, Wyman, and others and reflects a new effort to revise long-standing

assessments of guilt.

As Robert Rosen has recently argued, perhaps no two men in the world differed so

dramatically and publicly on the "Jewish Question" than did Franklin Roosevelt and Adolf

Hitler.45 Scholars whose methodology requires a negative conflation of German and American

actions often overlook the many ways that American leaders expressed their aversion to Nazi



41 Norman Finkelstein, The Holocaust Industry: Reflections on the Exploitation ofJewish
Suffering (New York: Verso, 2000), 45, 144.

42 Frank Brecher, "David Wyman and the Historiography of America's Response to the
Holocaust: Counter-Consideration," Holocaust and Genocide Studies 5 (1990): 423-24.

43 Peter Novick, The Holocaust in American Life (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1999),
12-13.

44 For a similar statement from General Dwight Eisenhower, see Joseph Bendersky, The
Jewish Threat: Anti-Semitic Politics of the U.S. Army (New York: Basic Books, 2000), 350.

45 Robert Rosen, Saving the Jews: FDR and the Holocaust (New York: Thunder's Mouth,
2006), 426.









opinions. Hitler's Nuremberg Laws (1935) specifically barred Jewish employment in the Reich

government. However, Roosevelt's administration employed a number of Jews at both the

Cabinet and senior staff levels. He also appointed two German Jews to the U.S. Supreme Court.

William Rubenstein explained in The Myth ofRescue, once we abandon the urge to blame the

U.S. and its leadership for European crimes, we could unwind a broader narrative that reflects

changes in attitudes, representations, and mentality.46 The overriding challenge for historians lies

not in divining the numbers of European Jews who might have lived. A far more meaningful

exercise is trying to understand how Americans altered their opinions about Jews after they came

to understand the threats that Nazi anti-Semitism posed to the Western liberal tradition.

The shift toward a less condemnatory interpretation has fostered new paths of discovery.

Scholars have started examining the ways that the Second World War diluted religious biases.

The Jewish, Catholic, and Protestant Americans who fought to uphold Western liberal values

became the defenders of a new "Judeo-Christian" ethic.47 Jews, in particular, earned a greater

degree of tolerance. Charles Stember and others have concluded that in the decades immediately

following the Second World War, Christians in the United States expressed significantly less

anti-Jewish bigotry than in previous epochs.48 Americans now supported a global defense of






46 William Rubenstein, The Myth ofRescue: Why the Democracies Could Not Have Done
More to Save the Jews from the Nazis (New York: Routledge, 1997), 4, 10, 216.

47 Deborah Dash Moore, "Jewish GIs and the Creation of the Judeo-Christian Tradition,"
Religion and American Culture 8 (1998): 35-36; Dollinger, Quest, 63; Karen Brodkin, How the
Jews Became White (New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers University Press, 1987), 113-17.

48 Leonard Dinnerstein, Anti-Semitism in America (New York: Oxford University Press,
1994), 150; Charles Stember et al., Jews in the Mind ofAmerica (New York: Free Press, 1966),
209; Melvin Tumin, An Inventory and Appraisal ofResearch on American Anti-Semitism (New
York: Freedom Books, 1961), 44.









what diplomatic historian Akira Iriye has termed "core values" such as the freedom of speech,

assembly, and unfettered worship.49

Anti-Jewish attitudes and expressions of bigotry did not entirely disappear. During the

1960s, George Lincoln Rockwell's American Nazi Party advocated and perpetrated violence

against Jews.50 In turn, these actions provoked added bloodshed, sponsored by the members of

organizations such as the Jewish Defense League.51 However, the larger point is that, for some,

the seeds of greater tolerance took root. The fight against fascism became the backdrop against

which a more secular American identity started to take form. What historians have failed to

recognize is that the postwar turn toward a more ethnically varied national identity appeared in

its nascent outline during the 1930s, from Hitler's first days as chancellor, specifically after

Christian and Jewish American learned more about Nazi hostility toward private worship.

The broad question, then, becomes one of timing. When and how did Americans begin to

recognize that Nazi anti-Semitism represented an inherent threat to the Western vision for

humankind?52 For historians who specialize in documenting the American reaction to the

Holocaust, answering that query opens a pathway to a series of related issues. Who were the

people involved with highlighting the common threat that Nazism posed to Jews and Christians

49 Akira Iriye, "Culture and International History," in Michael Hogan and Thomas
Patterson, eds., Explaining the History ofAmerican Foreign Relations (New York: Cambridge
University Press, 1991), 217. See also Immanuel Wallerstein, The Decline ofAmerican Power
(New York: New Press, 2003), 79, 166.

50 Frederick Simonelli, American Fuehrer: George Lincoln Rockwell and the American
Nazi Party (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1999), 47, 100 and Lawrence Powell, "When
Hate Came to Town: New Orleans' Jews and George Lincoln Rockwell," American Jewish
History 85 (1997): 393-419.

51 Novick, Holocaust, 174.

52 A useful study is Benjamin Alpers, Dictators, Democracy and American Public
Culture: Envisioning the Totalitarian Enemy, 1920s-1950s (Chapel Hill: University of North
Carolina Press, 2003), 67, 72.









alike? What mediums did they employ to raise levels of public awareness? Were these efforts

influential, or did a schism exist between announcement and action? Do historians face

methodological problems when trying to arrange and understand the different texts in which

opposition to Nazi religious intolerance appeared, or does a common thread help to bind

seemingly disparate artifacts?

Uncovering early discursive evidence of American opposition to Nazi religious

intolerance would significantly modify current scholarly understandings. The finding that public

officials and private citizens offered European Jews expressions of solidarity should prompt

historians to revisit their understandings of the 1930s as a wholly isolationist and anti-Semitic

era defined by the Father Coughlins and Henry Fords.53 There is an urgent need to contrast this

settled conclusion with the various public expressions of concern that appeared during the 1930s

and 1940s. That the rhetoric perhaps holds greater weight today than it did during the period in

which it first appeared is an important intellectual point, but one that remains outside this

dissertation's purview. The language has gained additional significance, not necessarily because

of its influence on historical events but rather because it contradicts the canons of a well-known

academic debate.

This is the untold story of the American response to Nazi anti-Semitism and the

Holocaust. It is a tale that depicts Christians and Jews struggling with a difficult problem in

uncertain and dangerous times. Not always successful in obtaining the full results that they

desired, they took repeated steps to raise levels of sociocultural and political awareness about the



53 For Coughlin and anti-Semitism, see Ronald Carpenter, Father Charl ', Coughlin:
Surrogate Spokesman for the Disaffected (Westport, Ct.: Greenwood, 1998); 27-37; Alan
Brinkley, Voices ofProtest: Huey Long, Father Coughlin and the Great Depression (New York:
Knopf, 1982), appendix 1. For Ford and anti-Semitism, see Steven Watts, The People's Tycoon:
Henry Ford and the American Century (New York: Knopf, 2005), 23, 117.

21









many dangers associated with German fascism. Such a finding-that Americans embraced the

challenge to confront and condemn intolerant behaviors-stands in sharp contrast with

mainstream academic claims. To date, no scholars have explored the various public discussions

in which the prevalent theme was that Nazi hostility toward Judaism posed a larger threat to

Americans of all faiths and creeds.

Evidence that both Jews and secular-minded Christians began to discuss publicly anti-

Semitism appeared most clearly after the rise of German Nazism. Starting in March 1933,

various members of Congress offered detailed remarks and resolutions that bound together

Jewish and Christian concerns with such intolerance. Chapter 2 presents remarks and resolutions

from the Seventy-third and Seventy-fourth Congresses (1933-35), in which members opposed

anti-Jewish biases because they did violence to long-standing Western beliefs. In the

congressional dialogue, historians will find the basic formula that Americans applied when

framing later condemnations. Nazi anti-Semitism was antiliberal, harmful to democratic ideals,

and an insidious threat to the pluralist vision that many citizens embraced. The claim that Nazi

religious intolerance did violence to humankind became a distinctive facet of public opposition

during the period 1933-44.

Congress was not the only source for information. Chapter 2 also documents cultural

efforts to publicize the emerging Nazi threat. During the 1930s and 1940s, the New Republic,

Nation, Reader's Digest, C( r[jiiat Century, and Time Magazine discussed Nazi hostility to

democratic structures. At the same time that Congress was learning about the menace, the

themes of fascist violence and sociocultural intimidation also appeared as plotlines in best-

selling novels, theatrical productions, and major motion pictures. One did not have to follow









congressional debates to learn that Nazism was dangerous, anti-Jewish bigotry was abhorrent,

and the two phenomena were inexorably linked.

Chapter 3 presents a microstudy of one prominent American. Prior to the U.S. entry into

the Second World War, Archibald MacLeish, the poet laureate and Librarian of Congress,

grappled with these related issues. MacLeish did not contribute to the preexisting congressional

discourse. However, he expanded upon the observation that Nazi anti-Semitism was a threat to

the democratic values that Americans claimed to cherish. From 1933 to 1941, he dispersed news

of this nascent argument throughout the nation.

MacLeish is vital to this story, perhaps more so than others who spoke out on behalf of

Jews-such as the president, Robert Sherwood, and Edmund Wilson-because he hammered

away at the point through various public media. As editor of Fortune, he proposed to investigate

the spread of Nazi anti-Semitism in the United States. In 1936, he published a book that

addressed the topic. As Librarian of Congress and head of a federal information agency,

MacLeish took advantage of numerous opportunities to explain publicly his belief that

Americans should reject the phenomenon. During W.W II, his specific anxiety for European

Jewish welfare remained apparent during his tenure at the Office of War Information, as well as

in the State Department as undersecretary for cultural affairs.

What facilitated his concern? In memorandums and private letters, MacLeish explained

his belief that anti-Semitism blighted heterogeneous societies. Bigoted sentiments were atomistic

and lent support to the Nazis' "divide and conquer" strategy. In addition, MacLeish directed his

creative efforts toward combating the threat by promoting a more cosmopolitan national identity.

This was not simply a case of artistic license: MacLeish corresponded with Jews, befriended









Jews, dined with Jews, and on occasion sponsored Jews for memberships into exclusive social

clubs.

The poet was a Protestant-establishment figure who used his professional talents and

positions of power to publicize the dangers associated with Nazi intolerance. His prolific record

of written and oral statements decrying anti-Semitism makes him an attractive subject of study

when investigating discursive opposition. Historians have not yet examined his numerous

efforts, and they have overlooked entirely MacLeish's role in binding a defense of religious

freedom to discussions of Nazi behaviors. Particularly before the United States entered World

War II, these labors hinted at later assertions that Americans would uphold democratic liberties

globally.

This course of thought was not capricious, nor was it out of step with the political

mainstream. Well before the United States entered the fighting, President Roosevelt had

included the unfettered right to worship in his "Four Freedoms" (1941) declaration. Chapter 4

offers a discussion of the governmental efforts to connect condemnations of Nazi religious

intolerance with the war effort. The Office of War Information was a midlevel bureaucratic

agency designed to provide Americans with an "informed and intelligent" understanding of the

war's aims and progress. One way they fulfilled this charge was through the publication and

distribution of brochures that connected stories of the fighting to larger messages of why

Americans waged the struggle.

The agency administrators selected certain themes to shape the public's enlightenment.

These themes-upholding the Four Freedoms and religious liberties, condemning the Holocaust,

and promoting racial tolerance-appeared throughout public discussions of the period.

Moreover, men who had publicly committed to spreading these ideas, such as Archibald









MacLeish, worked in the agency and had a direct hand in steering this sort of subject matter

toward the American public. Such politicized brochures ultimately provoked reprisals against the

bureau's leadership. However, hidden in the backlash is evidence that administrators in the

Office of War Information-and their efforts to join sociocultural issues to discussions of the

fighting-contributed to an ongoing discursive contest over the treatment of Jews and other

minorities.

A decade after some in Congress had first voiced concern, the opposition to Nazi anti-

Semitism was entrenched in political, cultural, and bureaucratic discourses. Chapter 5 builds

upon the variegated nature of a decade of American response. Specifically, interest groups

formed that took advantage of the issue's resilience in public circles. Their activities produced a

more targeted strain of American discursive opposition, one in which scholars will observe

familiar themes-the defense of religious freedom and opposition to intolerance-juxtaposed

against desperate reports of the escalating atrocities. During 1942-43, interest groups and their

leaders reconfigured the public discussion by demanding that government officials transform

their prior expressions of support into more concrete policy.

These efforts revived dormant congressional debates. Legislators, some of whom had

served during early 1930s, now learned that the earlier Nazi bigotry had evolved into a program

of murder. In November 1943, interest-group leaders had two resolutions introduced in the

Congress-one in each chamber-that advocated the creation of a specific federal agency to

formulate an official response to the killings. After nearly ten years of disparate talk in various

public forums, American opposition to Nazi intolerance would now emanate from a specific

federal agency.









Chapter 6 covers the War Refugee Board. In January 1944, amid interest-group,

congressional, and intrabranch pressures, President Roosevelt devised this agency to develop

"immediate actions that forestalled the Nazi plan to exterminate Jews and other persecuted

minorities." This was no half step. The action mirrored exactly the sentiments of interest groups

and a unanimous U.S. Senate. Moreover, the president's decision to empower a War Refugee

Board was no empty measure. Roosevelt provided the agency with a $1-million budget directly

from his emergency operating funds.54 In taking this action, the president forged a common

cause with those Americans concerned by Nazi anti-Semitism.

During the Second World War, no other country created a specific government entity to

combat the genocide. The new bureau represented a capstone to a decade-long effort that bound

together Jewish and Christian opposition to Nazi anti-Semitism.

In Chapter 7, I consider future avenues of inquiry, which include possible

interdisciplinary paths. Currently, the arguments that hold the most sway mirror the views

underlying Hilberg's "bystander" category and Wyman's "abandonment" thesis. Sustaining

those findings, however, requires that historians continue along the path of a predetermined

narrative. Rather than creating new methods with which to assess and analyze fresh evidence, the

challenge has become sustaining a well-worn indictment that holds the United States partially

culpable for the Nazis' homicidal actions. Even studies that do not stress this syllogism rely

upon the same timeline and evidence. There is little effort devoted to disentangling the

complexities that surrounded this thorny sociocultural and political issue.




54In contrast, that same year the domestic branch of the Office of War Information
received a $50,000 congressional appropriation. See A Guide to the Microfilm Edition of
Information Control and Propaganda: Records of the Office of War Information complied by
Janice Mitchell (Frederick, Md.: University Publications, 1986), 6.

26









Additional research into newspapers, magazines, movies, novels, and theater would

widen the locus of investigation. Describing and classifying the many forms of public activity

that emerged in opposition to Nazi anti-Semitism would be helpful and would represent a clear

methodological achievement. Enterprising scholars might compare and contrast domestic anti-

Semitic utterances with statements of tolerance. They might weigh the variations between

Christian and Jewish statements or explore the significance of a Jewish issue emerging from a

predominantly Christian discourse. Of course, the most challenging project would involve

connecting these nascent ethno-religious rumblings from the 1930s and 1940s with the full-

blown emergence of postwar pluralism.

My study contributes to scholarship about the U.S. reaction to Nazi anti-Semitism.

Historians who specialize in this subfield will find herein many forms of evidence that

Americans, both in and outside the government, unwound a sustained and intricate discursive

opposition to Nazi anti-Semitism. Starting in March 1933 and continuing until the war's

conclusion, citizens spoke out, terming ethno-racial bigotry a collective threat to humankind.

Such a finding-that Americans embraced the challenge to confront and condemn German

behaviors-stands in sharp contrast with claims outlined in Hilberg and Wyman's work.

Thus, my dissertation splits with the current scholarly consensus that the U.S.

government and society abandoned Europe's Jews to the Nazis, and thus must bear a portion of

responsibility for later German behaviors. Setting aside such guilt-ridden expressions opens the

way to reconsidering the intricate public nature of American reactions. Contrary to the claims of

pervasive neglect, my study aims to make more familiar the different types and tones of

American discursive opposition to Nazi anti-Semitism.









CHAPTER 2
CONGRESS BEGINS A PUBLIC DISCOURSE
CONDEMNING NAZI ANTI-SEMITISM, 1933-1941

I can no longer sit back quietly and trust that Germany will come to her senses.
Christianity cannot ignore the debts she owes to Judaism.
-John McCormack (D-MA) to the House, June 9, 1933)1

On June 4, 1941, Congressman M. Michael Edelstein (D-NY) rose before the House of

Representatives to rebut the latest round of anti-Jewish invective delivered by John Rankin, a

Mississippian known for making inflammatory statements. In this particular instance, Edelstein

responded to the charge that Jewish banking interests wished to steer the United States into war.

One week earlier, Edelstein had submitted a statement into the Congressional Record that

addressed aspects of this popular public calumny.3 However, in his spontaneous, direct, and

verbal response to Rankin and to those onlookers who sympathized with his views, historians

will uncover the clearest evidence of an ongoing effort to oppose these divisive sentiments. "I

deplore the idea," Edelstein informed his colleagues, "that men in this House and outside this

House attempt to use the Jews as their scapegoat.... It is un-American." "We are living in a

democracy," the New York Democrat proclaimed, "all men are created equal, regardless of race,

creed or color." 4

These impromptu remarks by Edelstein would be his last. Shortly after exiting the floor,

he suffered a fatal heart attack and expired in the House cloakroom. Fellow New York Democrat

Samuel Dickstein, who had observed the entire episode, eulogized Edelstein almost immediately

1 Congressional Record, H 73, 1st sess. (June 9, 1933); 5441.

2 Edward Shapiro, "The Approach of War: Congressional Isolationism and Anti-
Semitism," American Jewish History 74 (1984): 49, 55.

M. Michael Edelstein, "Americans of Jewish Extraction Do Not Act and Think En
Bloc," Congressional Record, H 77, 1st sess. (May 28, 1941); A 2542.

4 M. Michael Edelstein, Congressional Record, H 77, 1st sess. (June 4, 1941): 4727.

28









after his passing. In a statement on the floor of the House, Representative Dickstein directed his

fire at Rankin and praised Edelstein's willingness to "protect his people, his integrity and his

Americanism." Congressman Edelstein, he continued, died a "martyr" to the cause of promoting

liberal ideals.5

The significance of this event lies more in the resonance of, rather than the reasoning for,

Edelstein's assault on anti-Semitism. Negative Jewish stereotypes, Edelstein had argued, were

blatantly "un-American" in that they did violence to the national creed. A number of other

lawmakers also praised their fallen colleague for his valor. Due to the uproar, Rankin quickly

backtracked, apologizing profusely for his intemperate statements.6

The Edelstein incident was a significant event in an ongoing rhetorical effort to combat

religious bigotry that stretched back into the early 1930s. Indeed, only weeks after Hitler's

seizure of total power in Germany, congressmen from varying regions, religions, and parties

spoke out against anti-Semitism. Disparaging Judaism, they maintained, was part of the Nazi

doctrine and was incompatible with Western ideals. Despite such passionate rhetoric, however,

the challenge for antifascists in the United States lay in convincing the larger public that Nazism

meant more than only the targeting of Jews: it meant persecuting Catholics, victimizing Quakers,

oppressing Jehovah Witnesses, and outlawing labor organizations. The very tenets of Nazism

threatened core American values such as the freedom of speech and the protection of individual

liberty.

The congressional rhetoric that appeared soon after Adolf Hitler's rise to power opens a

pathway to a much larger story-one in which elected government officials used the issue of



Samuel Dickstein, Congressional Record, H 77, 1st sess. (June 4, 1941): 4727.

6 Shapiro, "Approach," 63.









combating Nazi anti-Semitism to signal their disgust with ethno-racial bigotry. The vicious

character of the Nazi regime, immediately apparent, helped to launch a broad reassessment of

fascism and dictatorship among those who had cautiously admired it.' Over the course of the

1930s and 1940s, the view that sociocultural intolerance was itself intolerable took greater hold.

A distinctive American mind-set emerged that welcomed Jews, blacks, and first-generation

citizens into the mainstream. The specter of Nazism-specifically its ethno-religious bigotry and

related antidemocratic doctrines-had provided a catalyst for reconfiguring the contours of

acceptable thought and speech.

Uncovering various public forums in which American expressions of outrage with Nazi

intolerance evolved into a related discussion of bigotry in the United States might present a

problem to the received narrative. According to the historian David Wyman, during the 1930s

the U.S. government and society exhibited a purposeful indifference to the plight of European

Jewry.8 Christian Americans viewed European Jews as a threat, an attitude that Wyman argues is

perhaps best captured by the negative Judeo-Bolshevik construct, in which Bolshevism is

considered as a Jewish ideology intended to subvert Western liberal societies.9 Many Jewish

Americans did not wish to risk implication by becoming involved with the matter.1" Such

collective inaction lent weight to the arguments of those scholars who maintained that the

SAlan Brinkley, The End ofReform: New Deal Liberalism in Recession and War (New
York: Vintage, 1995), 155.

8 David Wyman, The Abandonment of the Jews: America and the Holocaust, 1942-1945
(New York: Pantheon, 1984), x-xii; Brecher, "David Wyman," Holocaust and Genocide Studies
5(1990): 423, 431.

Andre Gerrits, "Anti-Semitism and Anti-Communism: The Myth of 'Judeo-
Communism' in Eastern Europe," Eastern European Affairs 25 (1995): 49-72 and Jerry Muller,
"Communism, Anti-Semitism and the Jews," Commentary 86 (1988): 28-39.

10 Aaron Berman, Nazism, the Jews, and American Zionism, 1933-1948 (Detroit: Wayne
State Press, 1990), 23.









Western world "abandoned" Europe's Jewry to the Nazis. Far from being a period where

scholars might expect to uncover public sympathy for an ethnic concern, Wyman's argument

depicts the 1930s as an ominous decade when Americans were oblivious to the protection of the

human rights of minorities.

One reason that scholars continue to omit discussions of European Jewry from their

survey of American society during the 1930s is a flawed methodology that privileges the

executive-branch power over the legislative. Richard Breitman and Alan Kraut have outlined a

sweeping argument about American passivity toward Nazi anti-Semitism based solely on a

review of State Department records." Monty Noam Penkower has followed a similar path,

concluding that American callousness reflected the fact that "stateless Jews commanded no

political leverage."12 These studies are merely the tip of the iceberg. In scores of monographs

that have come to define this subfield of Holocaust Studies, the prevalent view is that

Americans-that is, State Department officials-stood aloof from Jewish suffering.13

The behaviors of dozens of members of the U.S. Congress, however, reveal a markedly

different story. Far from exhibiting indifference, the discourse in the Congressional Record

shows sustained levels of opposition. Scholars who have, either purposefully or unwittingly,



Richard Breitman and Alan Kraut, "Anti-Semitism in the State Department: Four Case
Studies," in David Gerber, ed., Anti-Semitism in American History (Chicago: University of
Illinois Press, 1986), 176, 182, 186.

12 Monty Noam Penkower, The Jews Were Expendable: Free World Diplomacy and the
Jews (Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 1983), 300; Henry Feingold, The Politics ofRescue:
The Roosevelt Administration and the Holocaust, 1938-1945 2nd ed. (New York: Holocaust
Library,1980), 19, 168.

13 Peter Novick, The Holocaust in American Life (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1999), 48-
51; The Myth ofRescue: Why the Democracies Could Not Have Done More to Save the Jews
from the Nazis (New York: Routledge, 1997); 3; Raul Hilberg, Perpetrators, Victims and
Bystanders: The Jewish Catastrophe, 1933-1945 (New York: Asher, 1992), 241, 243.

31









concentrated solely upon the executive branch are missing a vital component of the historical

record. Congressional officials, or representatives, offer a credible glimpse of alternative strains

in public opinion. Moreover, the themes and rationales that officials presented in their floor

statements and in committee hearings would reappear in later public forums.

The Seventy-third Congress (1933-34) convened more than two decades after the famed

revolt against Speaker Joe Cannon (R-IL). While the Speaker's power over debate and

assignment declined, the Rules Committee retained its centralized control.14 During the famous

first "hundred days," House Rules Committee chair Edward Pou (D-NC) was extraordinarily

efficient. His committee reported out ten pieces of "closed" legislation, including such major

bills as the Emergency Banking Act and the Agricultural Adjustment Act.15 Following Pou's

death in the spring of 1934, his successor ran an equally orderly committee. On its face, a period

of tight centralized control would seem to be incongruent with attention dedicated to

nonessential issues. This would especially be the case at the height of the Great Depression. It

therefore would be unusual for any European concern-let alone opposition to Nazi religious

intolerance-to appear in this environment.16


14 For the Rules Committee, see Keith Krehbiel, "Restrictive Rules Re-Considered,"
American Journal ofPolitical Science 41 (1997): 920; Douglas Dion and John Huber,
"Procedural Choice and the House Committee on Rules," Journal ofPolitics 58 (1996): 25-26;
and Bruce Oppenheimer, "The Rules Committee: New Arm of Leadership in a De-Centralized
House," in Oppenheimer and Lawrence Dodd, eds., Congress Reconsidered (New York:
Praeger, 1977), 96-116.

15 A "closed" bill denotes no House debate prior to voting. See Robert Himmelberg, The
Great Depression and the New Deal (Westport, Ct.: Greenwood, 2001), 39.

16 For Congress during the early 1930s, see Clyde Weed, The Nemesis ofReform: The
Republican Party during the New Deal (New York: Columbia University Press, 1994), 38-44;
Gary Dean Best, Pride, Prejudice and Politics: Roosevelt versus Recovery (New York: Praeger,
1991), 26-39; Barbara Sinclair, "Party Leadership and Policy Change," in Gerald Wright, Leroy
Rieselbach and Lawrence Dodd, eds., Congress and Policy Clhung (New York: Agathon Press,
1986), 196, 199; and James Patterson, Congressional Conservatism and the New Deal
(Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 1967), 11, 19.

32









But appear it did. In March 1933, less than two months after Adolf Hitler became

Germany's chancellor-but before he acquired dictatorial power-the Congress debated House

Resolution 24. Outraged by the Nazi scapegoating of Jews, the resolution's drafters called on the

U.S. State Department to express strong displeasure with the Nazi mistreatment of its Jewish

citizens. "Once again humanity is aroused from its lethargy by the persecution of a member race

of the human family," thundered Representative Joe Gavagan, a Catholic Democrat from New

York. He asked his colleagues, "[I]s there a more appropriate legislative body in the world than

the House of Representatives to send forth an appeal against this injustice and iniquity?"

Apparently Gavagan's remarks struck a chord with his fellow legislators; the resolution passed

by acclamation.1"

If the passage of House Resolution 24 represented a burgeoning concern over the

treatment of Jews in Germany, an intriguing conversation that took place eight days later points

to a phenomenon of equal significance. Indeed, the open floor debate provides a portrait of the

ways in which some Americans tied their outrage over anti-Semitism abroad to fears of anti-

Semitism at home.18 Members of both parties spoke out, from various religions and regions of

the country. The motivation for condemning Nazi anti-Semitism-and related forms of domestic

intolerance-related to a larger wish to express support for a pluralist democratic vision.

On March 27, 1933, William Sirovich, a New Yorker of Jewish origins, addressed the

House for ten minutes. In his stirring remarks, Sirovich blasted the "foul, iniquitous, and brutal


17 Joe Gavagan, Congressional Record, H 73, 1st sess. (March 22, 1933): 771-77.

18 This chapter presents Congressional Record statements from the House during the
Seventy-third Congress (1933-34) and the first session of the Seventy-fourth Congress (1935).
Unless otherwise noted at the pagination, the rhetoric reflected floor remarks. The famous
"hundred-day" session met March 9-June 15, 1933. It was, in fact, a ninety-nine-day period. See
Members of Congress since 1789, 2nd ed. (Washington D.C.: Congressional Quarterly, 1981),
171.









treatment of the nationals of Jewish extraction by the cowardly, sadistic, paranoid madman in

modern Germany, Adolf Hitler."19 Additional lawmakers-Christian Americans from states with

small Jewish constituencies-joined Sirovich in a collegial exchange. They noted that anti-

Jewish discrimination existed in the United States as well. What followed was an exchange in

which statements initially tailored to condemn Nazi intolerance evolved into a discussion of

American bigotry. Thomas Blanton, a representative from the 17th District in Texas was

especially explicit, complaining about the "unreasonable, foolish and cruel persecutions of the

Jews right here in the nation's capital."20 Why should we, he asked, "tolerate without protest

Jewish persecution here in Washington?"21

It is important to acknowledge that opposing foreign religious bigotry was a legislative

oddity with little precedent. No quantitative mechanism exists to demonstrate how many

members of Congress drew a connection between Nazi anti-Semitism and domestic anti-

Semitism. It may not be possible to determine how many members became more sympathetic to

the plight of Jews, but it is possible to observe that, during 1933-35, congressional concern over

German mistreatment of its Jewish citizens became a part of the public record. Since the House

of Representatives provides the most credible record of public discourse in the United States,

these remarks may be said to capture the beginnings of the American discursive opposition to

Nazi anti-Semitism that emerged during the 1930s and 1940s.




19 William Sirovich, Congressional Record, H 73, 1st sess. (March 27, 1933): 881.
Following Sirovich's unexpected death in December 1940, M. Michael Edelstein served until his
own untimely death in June 1941. See Shapiro, "Approach," 60.

20 Thomas Blanton to Sirovich, Congressional Record, H 73, 1st sess. (March 27, 1933):
883.

21 Ibid.









Table 2-1 contains the aggregate data related to floor remarks and resolutions made in the

House of Representatives during 1931-35 addressing Nazi hostility toward German Jews. The

Congressional Record indexed this activity mainly under the categories of "Jews" and

"Germany." The Record contains no floor statements under the category of "Jews"-in fact, no

such category existed-during the Seventy-second session (1931-32). But in 1933-34, the time

in which Adolf Hitler gained power, there were a total of forty-four remarks or resolutions in

which Judaism was addressed. In 1935, thirty-eight instances were recorded. It would seem that

once Adolf Hitler seized power in Germany, some members of Congress recognized a potential

danger and shared their concern with their colleagues.

One such person was Emanuel Celler (D-NY). In remarks he delivered in April 1933,

Celler depicted the Nazis in an extremely negative light. "Hitler may not be murdering the Jews,

but he is killing them economically and starving them into submission." He warned, "There are

repercussions far beyond Germany's borders as anti-Semitism is rearing its foul head in other

countries."22 The sentiments of Edith Nourse Rogers (R-MA), recorded less than a week later,

were expressed even more powerfully than Celler's floor statements. "Mr. Speaker," she began,

"I take the floor to protest the brutal and unwarranted treatment of the nationals of Jewish

extraction in Germany by Adolf Hitler. Our forefathers fled from religious oppression to New

England. We from that section especially sympathize with any persecuted race. Jews are being

subjected to unwarranted treatment in Germany today."23



22 Emanuel Celler, Congressional Record, H 73, 1st sess. (April 20, 1933): 2019. See also
Phyllis Cohen, "Representative Emanuel Celler: A Case Study in Legislative Behavior, 1923-
1950" (master's thesis, New York University: 1952), Box 35. Emanuel Celler Papers, 1924-73,
Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.

23 Edith Nourse Rogers, Congressional Record, H 73, 1st sess. (April 26, 1933): 3289.

35









Two months later, Massachusetts' John McCormack spoke out on the issue. "I have

watched with increasing anxiety developments in Germany since Adolf Hitler assumed

controlling power," he began. "Like members throughout the session, McCormack expressed

concern that the "ruthless agonizing of the Jews" in Nazi Germany reflected a much larger

hostility to democratic principles such as "liberty, justice, and equality."24

The most pertinent observation about this type of rhetoric-that appeared consistently

throughout 1933-is that members bound together Jewish and Christian American outrage.

Moreover, many officials used their statements to signal a larger commitment to promoting

democratic pluralism, expressing their support for Jews as a worthy people. In stark contrast to

the earlier Judeo-Bolshevik construct that had depicted Jews a threat to American liberties, some

citizens saw the task of defending Jews as a way to demonstrate the strength of democratic

rights. One might both oppose Nazism and still harbor unseemly opinions about Jews, but that

particular strain of thought would have seemed especially strained, and was not apparent in

1933.

The second session of the Seventy-third Congress opened in January 1934. Almost

immediately, some lawmakers renewed their warnings about the evils of Nazism. Samuel

Dickstein introduced a resolution proposing a new panel charged with investigating Nazi

propaganda efforts in the United States. The proposal carried overwhelmingly, and by so doing,

it gave birth to the first House Special Committee on Un-American Activities. Ironically, a









24 John McCormack, Congressional Record, H 73, 1st sess. (June 9, 1933): 5441.

36









committee that would later become infamous for its so-called Jewish red baiting had its origins

in an effort aimed at combating religious intolerance.25

Not surprisingly, members who had previously been active in condemning anti-Semitism

sought out leadership positions on the new committee. Chairing the seven-member body was

John McCormack. Serving as the vice chairman was Samuel Dickstein.26 During 1934, they

scheduled hearings in several cities including Washington, D.C.; Newark, New Jersey;

Asheville, North Carolina; and New York City. In their investigations, the members focused on

the domestic dispersion of Nazi propaganda, which in practical terms was wholly anti-Jewish

material.

The charge, leveled by Dickstein and others, that Nazis abroad were cultivating Nazis

here at home was not without substance. In Germany, fascist leaders like Deputy Fiihrer Rudolf

Hess and Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels recognized that racially based arguments might

very well appeal to Germans living in the United States.27 The challenge for antifascists in



25 The vote was 168 to 31. See Francis MacDonnell, Insidious Foes: The Axis Fifth
Column and the American Home Front (New York: Oxford University Press, 1995), 41; Sander
Diamond, The Nazi Movement in the United States, 1924-1941 (New Haven: Yale University
Press, 1974), 157-58; Leland Bell, In Hitler's Shaion\ The Anatomy ofAmerican Nazism (New
York: Kennikat, 1973), 14, 55; and esp. Walter Goodman, The Committee: The Extraordinary
Career of the House Committee on Un-American Activities (New York: Farrar, Straus, Giroux,
1968), 10-26.

26 Dickstein had investigated Nazi anti-Semitism for the Congress previously. In
November 1933, he read passages from Hitler's Mein Kampfbefore a subcommittee hearing.
Specifically, he noted Hitler's belief that the German imperial government should have used the
cover of World War I to "exterminate completely all these Jewish instigators of the people." See
U.S. Congressional Committee Hearings Index, 73rd Cong., 1st sess., (H)-(Imm.) November 13,
1933; 63. Hereafter cited as U.S. Hearings.

27 For an excellent discussion, see J.P.H. Grill and Robert Jenkins, "The Nazis and the
American South in the 1930s: A Mirror Image?" Journal of Southern History 58 (1992): 668-71.
See also MacDonnell, Insidious, 42-43 and Leland Bell, "The Failure of Nazism in America:
The German American Bund, 1936-1941," Political Science Quarterly 85 (1970): 586-87.

37









America was opposing the effects of negative Jewish depictions by explaining how bigoted

portrayals threatened the liberties of all citizens. This would not prove an easy task. During the

early and middle 1930s, more than 120 private organizations distributed anti-Jewish literature in

the United States. The Committee on Un-American Activities was a clear, official step taken by

the Congress to ensure that the purveyors of hate speech, as well as their possible adherents,

understood that their views were outside the pale of acceptability.28

In May 1934, the House Un-American Activities Committee investigated a group called

the "Friends of New Germany." Led by a publicity-seeking demagogue named Heinz

Spanknoebel, the "Friends" received their charter and funding directly from Berlin. Spanknoebel

maintained affiliates in New York City and Chicago, and at its peak the group's size ranged

anywhere from five thousand to ten thousand members. His greatest strength lay in his

organizational ability. Spanknoebel was particularly effective at bringing together disparate anti-

Jewish associations. His ability to stoke bigoted sentiments, however, contributed to his hurried

departure from the United States. When Immigration Committee chair Dickstein alerted Justice

Department officials that Spanknoebel had failed to register as a paid foreign agent, deportation

procedures commenced, and Spanknoebel clandestinely left the country.




28 Although not a member of the committee, Adolph Sabath (D-IL) also fought against
the domestic spread of anti-Semitic literature. In April 1936, responding to a constituent's
compliant, he requested the Post Office's chief inspector to investigate a Chicago newspaper
entitled American Gentile. The reply correspondence advised him that the paper was "not
regarded as unmailable." See Aldrich to Sabath, April 24, 1936, box 1/12, Adolph Sabath
Papers, 1903-52, American Jewish Archives, Cincinnati. For more on the American Gentile, see
Phillip Jenkins, Hoods and Shijr The Extreme Right in Pennsylvania, 1925-1950 (Chapel Hill:
University of North Carolina Press, 1997), 120.

29 Diamond, Movement, 99-100, 113-19; Bell, Shadwi/-, 26-30; Joachim Remak, "Friends
of the New Germany: The Bund and German-American Relations," Journal ofModern History
29 (1957): 38, 42-43.









But while Spanknoebel returned to Germany, his "Friends" remained behind. In May

1934, the House Un-American Activities Committee subpoenaed the new leader, Fritz Gissibl, to

explain his group's political objectives.30 "Does your association see its discontent and anger

against the Jew in general?" asked Chairman McCormack. Gissibl's response was somewhat

ambiguous. He replied, "We are against those that were against the Germans." "Well you [and

your associates] came over here and engaged in activities against the Jewish people," responded

McCormack. The witness replied, "I do not think it was that so much, Mr. Chairman, as it was to

organize the Germans and unite them." Apparently Gissibl's explanation did not go very far in

satisfying Chairman McCormack, who pointed out that the efforts of the Friends of New

Germany "were directed only against the Jews."31

Later in the hearing, committee counsel Thomas Hardwick succeeded in baiting the

witness. Gissibl blurted, "I believe that if one is attacked, he has a right to defend himself." The

counselor stopped: "[L]et's see about that a minute now. Take the Jew. He did not raise a row

about Germany until Hitler went to persecuting him and removed him from his place of

domicile. They are merely defending themselves, are they not?" In his curt response to

Hardwick's question, Gissibl conceded the point.



30 Dickstein also inquired with the State Department about Gissibl's immigration status.
In the request for information, the vice chairman attached for Secretary of State Cordell Hull's
review a two-page memorandum containing redacted testimony in which Gissibl acknowledged
that he received his orders directly from Adolf Hitler. See Dickstein to Cordell Hull, December
5, 1935, box 5/3. Samuel Dickstein Papers, 1923-44, American Jewish Archives, Cincinnati.

31 US. Hearings, 73rd Cong., 2nd sess. (H)-HS (May 17, 1934): 100-101. In 1936, the
"Friends" changed their name to the "German-American Bund." Gissibl played a leading role in
selecting the new Bund leader, Fritz Julius Kuhn. See Diamond, Movement, 162, 217-18; Bell,
Shiadwi\, 55-58; Goodman, Extraordinary, 17.

32 U.S. Hearings, 73rd Cong., 2nd sess. (H)-HS (May 17, 1934): 142. See also Diamond,
Movement, 307.









Walter Kappe, the editor in chief of the pro-Nazi Deutsche Zeitung, was another witness

hauled in before the committee. The Zeitung was an American-based paper geared toward

German immigrants. In practice, it served as a domestic outlet for Nazi propaganda. Dickstein

saw the Zeitung for what it was. "As a member of Congress I have tried to clear the air in this

country," he proclaimed. "But you and your paper made unjustifiable attacks upon me as a Jew."

When Kappe retorted, "[O]nly as one that is fighting and saying things about Germany that are

in my estimation untrue," Dickstein continued to press the witness. "If I said the Nazis have

removed certain Jewish doctors, lawyers, and judges, that is not an untrue slander against

Germany," he asked. In his reply, Kappe answered "no." "And if I said that Germany has put

certain Jewish peoples into a concentration camp," continued Dickstein, "that was not lying

about Germany was it?" Once again, the witness agreed.33

These and other exchanges expanded congressional knowledge of the Nazi supporters in

their midst. They revealed the existence of nefarious plans to smuggle and distribute anti-Jewish

propaganda within America's borders. Since anti-Jewish representations were the hallmark of

Nazi propaganda, one line of defense lay in characterizing such stereotypes as "un-American."

As the historian Leland Bell observed, Nazi leaders believed that "all Germans were united in a

racial community which bound them to the Fatherland by their common blood."34 This was the

message that fascist sympathizers promoted within the United States through newspapers,

pamphlets, and public demonstrations.35 It was an idea that some in Congress tried to dilute by


U.S. Hearings, 73rd Cong., 2nd sess., (H)-HS (May 17, 1934): 154. See also Diamond,
Movement, 87-90.

34 Bell, "Failure," 587.

SIn general, Nazi propaganda efforts in the United States proved clumsy. See Eugene
Rachlis, They Came to Kill: The Story ofEight Nazi Saboteurs in America (New York: Random
House, 1961), 161.









helping citizens to understand how and why Nazi ideology was incompatible with American

civic guarantees.

By July 1934, Chairman McCormack and Vice Chairman Dickstein convened the House

Committee on Un-American Activities sixteen times. Some hearings focused on domestic

groups such as William Dudley Pelley's "Silver Shirt Legion."36 Others examined Nazi summer

camps for children located on Long Island, New York.3 Some sessions were public, others were

private [executive session]. But, on each and every occasion, the committee examined the issue

of Nazi anti-Semitism in the United States. Over a seven-month period, elected officials deposed

scores of witnesses regarding the domestic dissemination of such propaganda. They further

submitted a report that found that Adolf Hitler "made every effort to disturb American citizens

of German birth in this country and through the form of propaganda to have twenty million

honest-to-goodness Americans subscribe to his racial philosophies."38

Congressional concern over the intolerant aspects of Nazi ideology also appeared outside

the Un-American Activities Committee. Additional members began speaking out. In the minds

of these lawmakers, religious discrimination was unacceptable whether directed at Jews or at

fellow Christians. One such person was William Connery. An Irish Democrat from



36 For Pelley, see Jenkins, Hoods 120-25; and Ribuffo, Old, 25-79. Before becoming a
demagogue, Pelley wrote a number of Hollywood movies. He penned a romantic comedy
entitled What Women Love (1920); a western called Backfire (1922); and a drama titled The
Light in the Dark (1922) depicting a worker girl struck by a wealthy matron's car, as well as
contributing to the period's gangster genre with The Sh i k (1923), starring Lon Chaney.

7 In 1937, a number of lawmakers spoke out against Nazi summer camps operating in
New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Michigan. Representative Dickstein tracked this
activity; his private files contain numerous reports published in the New York Times, New York
Post, and New York World-Telegram. See Dickstein Papers, box 16/5.

38 Samuel Dickstein, Congressional Record H 74, 1st sess. (July 25, 1935): 11861. See
also "U.S. Finds Nazi Menace," Pennsylvanian Weekly News, February 25, 1934, box 16/6,
Dickstein Papers.









Massachusetts, Connery blasted the new German leadership. In remarks on the House floor, he

reminded his colleagues that the Nazis were not "confining their brutality to just Catholics and

Jews," but rather that their actions were a part of a larger pattern of religious oppression.39

Democrat John Higgins expressed similar sentiments, as did a freshman member from

Connecticut named James Shanley, and Representative Thomas Ford from California.40

In their discussions of Nazism, lawmakers did not confine their criticism entirely to

religious issues. Some members addressed the seemingly bizarre fact that Nazi Germany would

host the upcoming Olympic Games.41 Others expressed concern that German Jews faced

difficulties securing entry visas into the United States. But concerns over Germany's ill-

treatment of Catholics occurred even more frequently-indeed, ten such statements from

different members addressed this issue. This activity suggests that a larger process was under

way, one in which some Americans felt compelled to speak out against ethno-religious

persecution. The lawmakers' opposition stemmed from an aversion to despotic rule that had its

origin in the Nazi suppression of secular rights, suppression that arose from-above all

else-Nazi religious intolerance.

Members of Congress were not the only Americans publicly discussing threats to the

Western liberal tradition. Indeed, during the 1930s, writers, newspaper editors, artists, and actors


William Connery to Celler, Congressional Record, H 74, 1st sess. (July 22, 1935):
11569.

40 John Higgins, Congressional Record, H 74, 1st sess. (June 10, 1935): 9009-9010;
Thomas Ford, Congressional Record, H 74, 1st sess. (August 20, 1935): 13827; James Shanley,
Congressional Record, H 74, 1st sess. (August 23, 1935): 13863.

41 For the 1936 Berlin Olympics, see Richard Mandell, The Nazi Olympics (New York:
Macmillan, 1971), 73-83; and Bell, Sh/iadwi-, 39-42. Leni Riefenstahl's film Olympia (1937) is
also instructive. During the games, Hitler at times smiled and waved to onlookers. However,
after several Jesse Owens victories, Riefenstahl's cameras showed him and his entourage
hurriedly departing Berlin's Olympic stadium. See also Donald Niewyck, ed., The Holocaust
(New York: Houghton Mifflin, 1997), 3.









also spoke out. Cultural mediums proved to be important conduits for enlightening citizens about

events occurring outside the United States. Defeating "fascism"-a term that could have been

applied to governments in Italy, Spain, Japan, or Germany-emerged as a larger metaphor used

to highlight the differences between life in the United States and in foreign lands. As the decade

evolved, and as the collision between liberal and fascist worldviews took on a military nature,

writers and artists played a vital role in presenting citizens with a nuanced portrait of the enemy.

Notably, the themes that had first appeared in Congress later permeated the cultural

discourse. During 1934-41, Americans had the opportunity to both read about and watch

depictions of fascist violence and intolerance. Just as no quantitative method exists for

determining how many Americans learned about Nazi anti-Semitism from congressional

rhetoric, it is likewise impossible to determine the number of Americans who gleaned that

information from cultural sources. Nevertheless, the larger point is that a number of popular

discussions existed from which citizens might have learned of the Nazi contempt for religious

liberties.

From the industry's earliest days, Hollywood studios bosses, with a clear influence over

American public opinion, introduced citizens to foreign political threats. During 1917-22, silent

movies scripts detailing communist subterfuge were in particular demand. In Bolshevism on

Trial (1919), misguided Americans fall prey to cunning Bolshevik agents who infiltrate their

bourgeois reform organization. It was a case of earnest, Progressive-style advocacy gone

horribly awry. The film's message explained that communist subversion was an unpleasant fact

in the United States, encouraging Americans to exercise greater caution in their public and

private dealings.42 In Dangerous Hours (1920) and The New Moon (1919), moviegoers observed

images that are more sinister. They saw representations of wanton destruction, the murder of


42 Ross, Working-Class, 115-19.









children, and repeated scenes documenting an alleged Bolshevik decree that rendered Russian

women the communal property of all male Party members.43

This increase in public attention might have damaged Jewish portrayals. Some

Americans perceived communism-or, more specifically, Soviet Communism as derived from

Marxist-Leninism-as a modern example of Jewish efforts to upset the democratic order. These

observers noted that the ideology had provided a devastating critique of the Western liberal

tradition by questioning private property ownership and the legitimacy of Christian institutions.

A reasonable person could conclude that such doctrines were "Jewish heresies" since Jews also

seemed uncomfortable with the dominance of Christian norms. Hollywood studio moguls,

almost all of whom were Jewish, were acutely aware of these calumnies, and took care to offer

audiences generic, faceless themes such as mob violence and the international Comintem.44

In films such as The Red Viper (1920) and The Great Shadwi- (1920), Americans learned

about a host of presumed threats: anarchists, Bolsheviks, unionists, and social reformers.45 The

Volcano (1919), which depicted the spate of Bolshevik bomb plots directed against U.S. officials

immediately following the First World War, featured a modified anti-Semitic storyline. The

movie's hero, originally "Captain Garland," became instead "Captain Nathan Levinson." The

hook-nosed antagonist remained, but in the remake he delivered the decisive line: "I am not a

Jew. I am a Bolshevik."46


41 Ibid., 135-43.

44 Gabler, Empire, 320.

45 Ross, Working-Class, 115, 141.

46 Ibid., 141. Changing a character's ethnicity by modifying his/her surname was a
common technique. Sensitive to charges of anti-Semitism, the poet Archibald MacLeish changed
one letter of his 1933 work Frescoes for Mr. Rockefeller's City. In the book's second edition, the
fictitious Comrade Levine instead became Comrade Devine. See Archibald MacLeish, Frescoes
for Mr. Rockefeller's City (New York: John Day, 1933), 25. See also Michael Denning, The
Cultural Front: The Laboring ofAmerican Culture in the Twentieth Century (New York: Verso,

44









These efforts to use a foreign political issue to ignite a larger discussion about cultural

identity are most enlightening when viewed as part of an ongoing public contest. Hollywood

studio executives might have wished to downplay the connection between communism and

Judaism, but to some Christian Americans, this silence was deafening. Film historian Steven

Carr has termed the emerging concern about Jewish control of the entertainment industry-and

about this cohort's ability to sculpt social norms-the "Hollywood Question."4 This idea, which

Carr has juxtaposed against the more familiar "Jewish Question" construct, helped Christian

Americans during the 1920s and 1930s to recognize that new technologies had allowed Jews to

exercise influence within American society that was disproportionate to their numbers.

During the middle and late 1920s, the most successful expression of the idea that Jews

posed a threat to Christendom involved arguments published in The Protocols of the Elders of

Zion. This fabricated work, which first appeared in Czarist Russia at the turn of the twentieth

century, described a sinister plot hatched by a shadowy group of Jews seeking to enslave

Christians.48 The work became hugely popular in Europe following the First World War, and

later appeared in the United States. Automobile manufacturer Henry Ford was particularly

involved with sharing the Protocols'message with Americans. In 1923, his Dearborn Publishing

Co., which boasted a peak circulation of 700,000, issued a four-volume set of bigoted tracts

known collectively as The International Jew: The World's Foremost Problem. This compendium




1996), 62; and Scott Donaldson, Archibald MacLeish: An American Life (New York: Houghton
Mifflin, 1992), 231-32.

7 Steven Carr, "The Hollywood Question: America and the Belief in Jewish Control over
Motion Pictures before 1941" (Ph.D. diss., Austin: University of Texas, 1994), 45, 171.

48 Stephen Bronner, A Rumor about the Jews: The Protocols of the Learned Elders of
Zion (New York: St. Martin's, 2000), 71.









included the Protocols, as well as stories previously published in his anti-Semitic weekly paper

Dearborn Independent.49

In The International Jew, Ford shared with readers his suspicions that Jews controlled the

world's banking systems and the American education system and were sowing the seeds of

sociocultural and political disruption. In topical chapters such as "Jewish Supremacy in the

Theatre and Cinema" and "Jewish Jazz Becomes Our National Music," Ford further outlined his

belief that the emerging entertainment industry had provided Jews too much influence in shaping

opinions.50 Restating the Protocols' overarching theme, the magnate alerted his readers that a

reckoning day between Anglo-Saxons and Jewish "Orientals" was at hand. He implored

Christian Americans to recognize that nothing less than the fate of the twentieth century was at

stake.51

Countervailing pressures from secular-minded Americans-both Jewish and

Christian-compelled the magnate-turned-hatemonger to truncate his public activities. In 1927,

domestic boycotts of his automobile company, as well as a string of lawsuits filed by the Anti-

Defamation League, resulted in his "open letter" of apology.52 This backlash demonstrated that

even during the nativist 1920s, there were occasions where bigoted sentiments met with public

49 Max Wallace, The American Axis: Henry Ford, Ch/arld Lindbergh and the Rise of the
ThirJ Reich (New York: St. Martin's, 2003), 17-20; Albert Lee, Henry Ford and the Jews (New
York: Stein and Day, 1980), 13-44.

50 Carr, "Hollywood," 149-53.

51 Some scholars have indeed argued that the Jews "won" the twentieth century from its
Christian stewards. See Yuri Slezkine, The Jewish Century (Berkeley and Los Angeles:
University of California Press, 2004), 44.

52 The Jewish American performer Billy Rose wrote a song commemorating Ford's
enlightenment. Entitled "Since Henry Ford Apologized to Me," the ditty began, "I was sad and
blue but now I'm just as good as you. Since Henry Ford apologized to me. I've thrown a-way-a
my lit-tle Che-vro-let and bought my-self a Ford Cou-pe. My mother says she'll feed him if
he calls Ge-fil-te-fish and mat-zo-balls." See Lee, Ford, 82-83.

46









rebuke. Of course, this is not to suggest that public aspersions directed against the Jews

desisted.53 Even following Ford's change of heart, the ongoing contest to define a range of ethnic

minorities persisted.

Take, for example, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer's The Callahans and the Murphys (1927).

This silent film-a slapstick summer comedy-provoked condemnation from Protestants,

Catholics, and Jews alike. Adapted from an identically titled novel written by Kathleen Norris,

the movie was set in a New York City tenement neighborhood. The screenplay delivered a basic

"Romeo and Juliet" plot that relied heavily on anti-Irish stereotypes to portray the two feuding

families. There were images of excessive alcohol consumption, promiscuity, violence, and

stubbornness. The film's leading characters, Mrs. Callahan and Mrs. Murphy, were tawdry

drunks. "This stuff makes me see double and feel single" read Mrs. Murphy's (Polly Moran)

line-card as the camera captured her drinking a large bottle of beer in a saloon. In a later scene,

the two matrons, who were now both drinking in the saloon, soaked each other's blouses in

booze before instigating a barroom brawl.54

These lowbrow representations of non-Protestant ethnicities captured the sociocultural

tensions apparent in the United States during the twenties.i Naturally, Catholics resented the

depiction of Irish women as bawdy and ill-tempered. Their husbands were effectively absent,



5 The Samuel Dickstein Papers include a file devoted to political cartoons. One
document was a reproduction of an image first published in 1927 by the Paris paper Le
Boulevardier. The slide depicted Ford's apology by representing him as an angel in loincloth, set
upon by a gang of merry Jewish angels who pricked and poked him for blood with Stars of
David. See "The Return of the Prodigal Son," box 16/6, Dickstein Papers.

54 "Bar Movie about Irish," New York Times, September 2. 1927.

55 Francis Walsh, "'The Callahans and the Murphys': A Case Study of Irish-American
and Catholic Church Censorship," Historical Journal ofFilm, Radio and Television 10 (1990):
40.









either simpletons or, worst of all, British. The Time magazine review, entitled "Irish Belittled,"

noted "Mrs. Callahan and Mrs. Murphy hurl garbled Hibernian-English at each other over a

backyard fence. They grab at each other's hair, throw pots and pans. They swat their children,

who make love in cow-like fashion."56 Editors at the Irish World and Independent Liberator

coyly identified the larger problem: "Hollywood [Jews] should confine their talents to the

Rebeccas of their own families. If they [Jews] want stupidity and indecency, they needn't go out

of the [Jewish] Ghetto to find it. If they [Jews] want grotesque figures, Hester Street is full of

them."5" However, Jews also disliked the movie, particularly its subplot about the machinations

of "international bankers." This theme hinted at a contemporary euphemism, specifically the

"Merchants of Death" thesis that held Jewish bankers and munitions makers responsible for the

outbreak of war in 1914.5" Shortly after its release, in the face of intense public outcry, studio

executives at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer responded to the backlash by removing the film from

distribution.

The public's intensity following the negative onscreen depiction of Irish-Catholics was a

precursor to the fury unleashed later that same year when Path6 studios released Cecil B.

DeMille's The King of Kings (1927). On the face of it, one might think that a film about the life

of Jesus between the Crucifixion and Resurrection would have interested Christian Americans.

However, many citizens found the treatment blasphemous, despite the fact that DeMille was a


56 Time Magazine, August 22, 1927, 8. One month earlier, Time had published a far more
positive review. "In the best tradition, Mrs. Callahan and Murphy squabble incessantly over the
backyard fence which is comical because their children are inter-engaged." See also Time
Magazine, July 25, 1927, 17.

7 As quoted in Carr, "Hollywood," 177. See also Jacob Riis, How the Other HalfLives,
2nd ed. (New York: Dover, 1971), 91.

Matthew Coulter, The Senate Munitions Inquiry of the 1930s: Beyond the Merchants of
Death (Westport, Ct.: Greenwood, 1997), 6-14.









Catholic whose earlier screen credits included The Ten Commandments (1923). As was the case

with The Callahans and the Murphys, Jewish Americans also protested the film. These citizens

worried that Kings was little more than modem "passion play" that served to reinforce the notion

that the Jews-and not the Romans-had killed Jesus Christ.59 By late 1927, the Anti-

Defamation League had joined with Christians in protesting the film because it promoted

invidious anti-Jewish stereotypes.60 Despite finally reaching some level of agreement with

protest organizations, boycotts continued into 1928 in Denver, Colorado, and Omaha, Nebraska.

By the close of the 1920s, Jews had been associated with Bolshevism, heresy, bigotry,

and murder. Those responsible for publicizing such depictions varied; so, too, did those who

benefited. The larger point, however, is that throughout the decade Americans had yet to

embrace the pluralist sociocultural identity that later emerged as mainstream. A useful point for

inquiry becomes trying to understand when and why Americans became more accepting of

ethno-religious minorities. The challenge therein lies in reconciling the hostility of what

Jonathan Sarna has termed the "tribal twenties" with evidence that this tension lifted in the

following decade as the national identity became more ethnically varied.61

Lizabeth Cohen has examined this phenomenon. She has concluded that the role that

first-generation Americans played in promoting economic recovery following the Great


5 Carr, "Hollywood," 179.

60 As quoted in Carr, "Hollywood," 179-80. Scholars also point to the film Dracula
(1931) as stoking Christian fears of Judaism. Of particular note was the Star of David that the
parasitic lead character wore throughout the film. The Jew-as-bloodsucker is a well-worn
stereotype that again appeared on the silver screen in the 1981 film An American Werewolfin
London. See Scott Spector, "Was the Third Reich Movie Made? Interdisciplinarity and the
Reframining of 'Ideology,'" American Historical Review 106 (2001): 472; and David Deutsch and
Joshua Neuman, The Big Book ofJewish Conspiracies (New York: St. Martin's, 2005), 43.

61 Jonathan Sarna, American Judaism: A History (New Haven: Yale University Press,
2004), 214-15.









Depression changed the nation's identity. Blue-collar, unionized workers, mostly Catholics,

forged a path into the heretofore-Protestant middle class.62 Additional macrochanges in the

society brought Americans closer together. Disappearing, for example, were local grocery stores.

In their stead, national supermarket chains emerged that also functioned as cultural agents.

Executives at the Atlantic and Pacific (A&P) company, a leading supermarket chain during the

nineteenth and twentieth centuries, began stocking a range of ethnic foods and nontraditional

wares. Since A&P stores comprised a national chain, patrons throughout the United States had

access to the products. As citizens consumed similar foods-a probability due to marketing,

coupons, and recipe cards-a distinctive American diet emerged that reflected the nation's new

ethnic variety.63

In a similar way, Broadway musicals also helped to soften hardened attitudes about Jews

and other minorities becoming part of the mainstream. Productions such as The Jazz Singer

(1925), Whoopee (1928), and Babes in Arms (1937) dealt with some of the issues that Jewish

immigrants faced during their assimilation into a predominantly Christian American society. In

these plays, the characters-and the audience-first must recognize who they are (e.g., Anglo-

Saxons, Asians, Celts, Tartars, Teutons, Jews). They next must learn to hone whatever

sociocultural skills would best facilitate the path to acceptance.64



62 Lizabeth Cohen, Making a New Deal: Industrial Workers in C(ii agn, 1919-1939 (New
York: Cambridge University Press, 1990), 54, 111, 125. See also Kenneth Heineman, A
Catholic New Deal: Religion and Reform in Depression Pittsburgh (University Park, Pa.:
Pennsylvania State University Press, 1999), 43.

63 David Hogan, Selling 'em by the Sack: White Castle and the Creation ofAmerican
Food (New York: New York University Press, 1997), 6; William Walsh, The Rise and Decline
of the Great Atlantic and Pacific Tea Company (Secaucus, N.J.: Lyle Stuart, 1986), 25, 29-37.

64 Andrea Most, Making Americans: Jews and the Broadway Musical (Cambridge:
Harvard University Press, 2004), 20, 26-27.









An Anglican disposition was not necessarily preferred. The Jazz Singer (1927) portrayed

the son of an immigrant Russian Jewish family who disguised himself as an African American to

pursue a career in vaudeville.65 In Whoopee (1928), the famous Jewish American actor Eddie

Cantor played a Protestant. The fact that audiences knew of Cantor's ethnicity, but his various

interlocutors remained oblivious, made the goings-on more comical. Indeed, by the early 1930s,

Broadway audiences were "comfortable with Jewish ethnic humor and characters performing on

stage."66 A further observation might be that audiences were starting to learn that a person's

sociocultural identity could not be accurately exhibited, or gauged, solely through physical

characteristics.

All of this activity suggests that by 1933, when Adolf Hitler became the leader of

Germany, Americans were perhaps familiar with Jews, fascism, and their relationship to life in

the United States. A review of popular novels, plays, and movies from the period demonstrates

that writers and artists played a role in publicizing fascist intolerance toward religious and civil

liberties. Ideas that first appeared in the congressional statements, such as upholding democratic

values in the face of autocracy, reappeared in the cultural discourse. Moreover, unlike the

political attention, which waned in the middle and later 1930s, there was no apparent drop-off in

cultural interest. As the decade evolved, so, too, did the commitment that artists and writers

dedicated to raising levels of public awareness.

In May 1934, Chr ijaii Century published "Will America Go Fascist?" The article drew

a direct link between the fascist hysteria of the early 1930s with the "Red Scare" of the

preceding decade. While dismissing the nation's prior fears, the article informed its readers that


65 Ibid., 32-39.

66 Ibid., 24, 45. In 1933, the same year that Hitler took power in Germany, Eddie Cantor
was the Screen Actors' Guild president.









fascism was a true menace. "Everyone who had any understanding of the American scene knew

perfectly well at the time that our post-war Red Menace was a ridiculous piece of fiction." "But

every student of foreign affairs," the article continued, "knows that fascism is not trumped up."6

The author argued that fascism appealed to those citizens who did not "understand the values

and ideals of American democracy." One way to ensure that "no doughty opposition entrenched

itself' lay in differentiating for the American public the chasms separating fascist and liberal

ideals.68

Author Rex Stout, best known for creating the fictitious detective-extraordinaire Nero

Wolfe, was one artist who embraced this challenge. In 1934, he anonymously published a

suspense thriller entitled The President Vanishes.69 The plot depicted a fascist conspiracy to

capture the White House launched by Wall Street financiers, munitions makers, and a

paramilitary group known as the "Gray Shirts." The book's protagonist, President Stanley Craig,

was a peace-loving man who maintained noninterventionist views. However, following a steady

stream of fascist propaganda, the tide of public opinion turned against him. When Craig became

aware that the fascists had gained in popularity, the president decided to stage his own

abduction.

The gambit worked, as the American people soon concluded that fascist groups had

orchestrated the antidemocratic undertaking. The "vanishing" instigated a period of national

introspection for citizens who had forgotten the value of their civic freedoms. In the book's

closing, President Craig and his advisors acknowledged to a grateful public that they had



67 "Will America Go Fascist?" C(iritiau Century 51 (1934): 592.

68 Ibid., 593.

69 Rex Stout, The President Vanishes (New York: Farrar and Rinehart, 1934).

52









perpetrated the hoax. Stout's book sold over one million copies. In December 1934, Paramount

studios retold the story in an identically titled film.70

The fictional plot to The President Vanishes resembled a factual occurrence that General

Smedley D. Butler (Ret.) had related to the House Committee on Un-American Activities. This

is an example in which current events and culture might have become interwoven in a citizen's

consciousness. In late 1934, General Butler testified that some Wall Street brokers had contacted

him with a plan to seize the government. The New Republic reported the story as a brewing

cabal, observing, "General Butler does not habitually tell lies." Its authors concluded, "The fact

that such an attempt would be silly does not make it incredible."1

Fears of fascist subversion continued to capture the imaginations of writers, film

producers, and the public. Indeed, in 1935 Sinclair Lewis published a cautionary tale entitled It

Can't Happen Here.2 In Lewis's story, a demagogic senator named Berzelius "Buzz" Windrip

undermined the nation's democratic system. Campaigning legally, Windrip secured his party's

presidential nomination by pandering to religious, racial, economic, and social anxieties. In

Lewis's narrative, as in real life, a popular radio priest fomented unrest in the American

heartland. Additionally, Lewis's tale included some nefarious Wall Street bankers who

subsidized a paramilitary organization known as the "Minutemen." However, unlike the






0 MacDonnell, Insidious, 29-30.

1 "The Great Fascist Plot," New Republic 82 (1934): 87-88. See also Hans Schmidt,
Maverick Marine: General Smedley D. Butler and the Contradictions ofAmerican Military
History (Lexington: University of Kentucky Press, 1987), 223-32; and Morris Schonbach, Native
American Fascism during thel930s and 1940s: A Study of its Roots, Its Growth and Its Decline
(New York: Garland Books, 1985), 236-43.

72 Sinclair Lewis, It Can't Happen Here (New York: Dramatists Play Service, 1936).

53









Revolutionary-era group, which stood vigilant in defense of civil liberties, Lewis's patriots

specialized in electoral intimidation."

Upon winning the presidency, Buzz Windrip accumulated all federal powers. Dissenting

legislators and judges faced imprisonment. The nation soon began a diversionary war of

conquest against Mexico. Individual liberties rapidly disappeared as a heightened state of

national zeal took root. A political police force known as the "Corpos" gained extensive

authority. So-called enemies of the state were murdered or sent to concentration camps, where

they disappeared forever. This plotline was a thinly veiled accounting of actual events occurring

inside Nazi Germany. Lewis had used a cultural medium-and an American setting-to explain

how fascism trampled freedom.74 It Can't Happen Here does not end with a democratic

realignment. The underground resistance group failed in its efforts; the play closed with the

protagonist's young grandson fleeing to Canada to "carry on the fight."" The audience must

ponder the tensions between the false promises offered by fascist demagogues and upholding

civic liberty. The author's latent point was that economic, religious, and cultural factions could

indeed lead to violence in the United States.76

Lewis's unsettling story earned him a Hollywood "blacklisting." His tale was widely

considered an achievement in "agitprop."" In February 1936, Metro-Goldwyn Mayer canceled

7 MacDonnell, Insidious, 30.

74 Lewis, It Can't, 57, 61, 64, 67, 69, 95, 104, 108, 114.

75 Ibid., 121, 129, 134.

76 See esp. Henry Feingold, "It Can Happen Here: Anti-Semitism, American Jewry and
Reaction to the European Crisis, 1933-1940," htpp://www.tau.ac.il/Anti-Semitism/asw2000-
1/feingold.htm.

77 For discussions of American agitprop, see Gary Gerstle, The American Crucible: Race
and Nation in the Twentieth Century (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2001), 164; Savage,
Broadcasting, 45-50; and Denning, Cultural, 56-58.

54









its commitment to produce a film based on the story. The studio had spent $50,000 for the

story's rights, but executives feared that the grim plot and unsettling resolution might lend undue

substance to the lingering charge that Jews in the entertainment industry promoted anti-

American movies. Some remained concerned that writers in Hollywood were trying to use the

Nazis' treatment of Jews to make propaganda pictures."8 Although Sinclair Lewis was Christian,

he was a member of the "Hollywood Anti-Nazi League."" During 1936-39, this organization

took an active role in leveling protest against the German regime. The League sponsored two

weekly radio programs, published a biweekly tabloid called Hollywood Now, and constituted a

number of advocacy committees designed to investigate domestic issues related to racial,

religious, and gender inequality.80

While It Can't Happen Here never appeared as a film, its message still reached the

country. In the wake of the controversy surrounding the decision to deny the play access to the

silver screen, retail sales boomed. Lewis's work ultimately reached fifth place on the 1936

nationwide best-seller list.81 The story also found a home as part of the Works Progress

Administration's Federal Theatre Project. During fall 1936, government-funded actors

performed the tale over twenty-five times in cities such as New York, Boston, Chicago, San






8 Clayton Koppes and Gregory Black, Hollywood Goes to War (New York: Free Press,
1987), 22; K.R.M. Short, "Hollywood Fights Anti-Semitism, 1940-1945," in Short, ed., Film and
Radio Propaganda in World War II (Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 1983), 151-52.

7 Michael Birdwell, Celluloid Soldiers: The Warner Bros. Campaign against Nazism
(New York: New York University Press, 1999), 25-30.

o Gabler, Empire, 328-31, 344.

81 Alice Payne Hackett and James Henry Burke, 80 Years ofBest Sellers, 1895-1975
(New York: Boker, 1977), 121.









Francisco, Cleveland, Miami, and Seattle.82 The plot's worst-case scenario about a fascist

takeover in the United States provided citizens with an accessible narrative that explained the

need for vigilance.

Reviews of the play varied. In a synopsis entitled "Fascism: Nightmarish History That

Hasn't Even Happened Yet," Newsweek reported, "Lewis had taken the bit in his teeth and

galloped off to never-never land." Other reviewers, such as Clifton Fadiman of the New Yorker,

were more charitable. Fadiman warned his readers: "It can happen here. Read Lewis's book and

find out how."83 The larger point is that by the decade's middle year, opposition to fascism and

Nazism was a clearly defined topic in political and cultural discourses. Numerous mediums

existed for Americans to learn about the impending collision between the liberal and fascist-Nazi

worldviews.

One of the most provocative episodes dealing with this strain occurred in February 1939,

when the German-American Bund orchestrated a massive rally at New York City's Madison

Square Garden. More than twenty thousand fascist sympathizers listened to pro-Hitler rhetoric

espoused before a thirty-foot portrait of George Washington. Along with the presence of various

Nazi paramilitary units, the more than two thousand uniformed New York City police officers

lent a martial air to the meeting. These feelings became more perceptible as both official and

unofficial authorities applied strong-arm tactics to hecklers. The Bund rally attracted national

and international press coverage. The reports of a massive convention of Nazis unnerved the



82 Lewis, It Can't, 3. For the Works Progress Administration and public culture, see
Monty Noam Penkower, The Federal Writers' Project: A Study in the Government Patronage of
the Arts (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1977), 26, 72.

83 "Fascism: Nightmarish History That Hasn't Even Happened Yet," Newsweek October
26, 1935, 38; Clifton Fadiman, "Red Lewis," New Yorker, October 26, 1935, 83-84. As quoted in
MacDonnell, Insidious, 31, 197 nn.12, 16.









mainstream American public. It provided citizens with a compelling factual example-joining

the fictional accounts-of the dangerous role that German fascism could play in undermining the

United States.84

However, perhaps the clearest evidence that news of the threat reached Americans

involved the film Confessions of a Nazi Spy (1939). Based on a factual story involving a foiled

German spy ring operating in the United States, Warner Bros. released the picture specifically to

heighten national levels of concern.85 The decision to produce a movie that philosophically and

morally attacked Nazism was risky. Some studios executives feared they could not survive

without the German market, a rationale that enraged Jack Warner. In a postwar interview he

recalled, "The Silver Shirts and the Bundists are marching in Los Angeles right now. There are

high school kids with swastikas on their sleeves a few blocks from our studio. Is that what you

want for some crummy film royalties out of Germany?"86

American media outlets demonstrated an interest in the story. As early as 1934, the

Pennsylvania Weekly News detailed the "nefarious work" of German-funded organization in the

United States. The article noted that Hitler hoped to weaken the nation by "promoting racial

antagonism among the different national groups in the United States."" During the mid-1930s,

the possibility of Nazi infiltration, again aided by their stoking of bigoted appeals, remained a

viable issue.88 While many Nazi spy rings indeed operated in the United States, the case that

inspired Confessions ofA Nazi Spy involved an American citizen who schemed to steal blank

84 Diamond, Movement, 324; Bell, "Failure," 592; Remak, "Friends," 40-42.

85 "Witnesses Link Spy Plot to Reich," New York Times, November 5, 1938.

86 Birdwell, Celluloid, 69-70.
87 "U.S. Finds Nazi Menace," box 16/6, Dickstein Papers.

88 "Kuhn Admits Aims Are Same As Nazis," box 18/1, Dickstein Papers.

57









passports.89 Guenther Gustav Rumrich was born in Chicago in 1911. He grew up in Europe and

only returned to the United States in 1929. In January 1930, he enlisted in the U.S. Army but

went AWOL shortly after his induction. For this offense, Rumrich was court-martialed and

received a six-month prison term. Following his release, he opted to reenlist. During 1932-34, he

soldiered without incident in the Panama Canal Zone, as well as in Fort Missoula, Montana. In

late 1935, after going AWOL for a second time, Rumrich headed for New York City, where he

took on several jobs including dishwasher and Berlitz language instructor.90

It was not until March 1936 that Rumrich decided to pursue work as a secret agent. He

sent a letter offering his services to the official Nazi newspaper Volkischer Beobachter. Rumrich

falsely claimed to be an American army officer previously posted to Pearl Harbor. He requested

that officials in Berlin contact him through the New York Times' public notice column. The

Germans took up Rumrich's unsolicited proposal.91 Throughout 1936-37, Rumrich (aka Crown)

passed information to his Nazi handler.92 Despite his eagerness to do so, however, he was in no

position to help significantly the Fatherland. This disappointment perhaps lent itself to his

agreeing in 1938 to attempt a theft of American passports. Some aspects of his scheming,

Rumrich confessed during his interrogations, involved the possibility of using a gadget that

dispended poison gas from a pen in order to subdue American officials.93



89 MacDonnell, Insidious, 55.

90 Ibid., 52.

91 Ibid., 53.

92 "The Start of the Spy Hunt: Mysterious 'Crown' Arrested," New York Post, December
8, 1938.

9 "Four German Spies Are Sentenced," New York Herald Tribune, December 3, 1938.
Searching for possible motive, the New York Times reported on Rumrich's marijuana use. See
"Rumrich Admits," New York Times, November 18, 1938. See also MacDonnell, Insidious, 54.

58









In addition to the official details of the case, a subplot soon emerged. Prior to the jury's

decision, the lead government detective, Leon Turrou, a naturalized American who moved to the

United States after living in Shanghai, Berlin, and London, penned several media contracts.94

This untoward decision put the "G-Man" publicly at odds with his superiors, and he resigned

soon after the case ended.95 Such controversy did nothing but whet the public's interest. Warner

Brothers signed the enterprising investigator to a $25,000 contract that named him "technical

advisor" on any future film documenting the case.96 Production began soon after the guilty

verdicts appeared in October 1938.

First released in April 1939, Confessions of a Nazi Spy was a trailblazer that specifically

identified Hitler's regime as an antidemocratic threat to the United States.9 The film's plot was

not fictional and the movie's cinematographer achieved a documentary feel by interspersing

newsreel. Directed by the German 6migr6 Anatole Litvak, and starring the famed Jewish actor

Edward G. Robinson as Turrou, both men were members of the Hollywood Anti-Nazi League.98

All the people associated with the film felt strongly about making a movie that publicized the

Nazi danger. Much to the chagrin of the studio's legal department, Jack Warner refused to open

the picture with a disclaimer indicating that the characters and events portrayed in the film were






94 "Turrou Tells about Questioning," New York Herald Tribune, November 2, 1938;
"Turrou Tells of Spy Roundup," New York Post, November 2, 1938.

9' Shortly thereafter, Turrou published Nazi Spies in America (New York: Random
House, 1938).

96 MacDonnell, Insidious, 63.

9 Short, "Hollywood," in Short ed., Film, 154-55.

98 Birdwell, Celluloid, 70.









fictitious." The movie mirrored real-life events, and any filmgoer who had followed the

newspapers would have recognized the factual and artistic overlap.100

Much like the congressional committees five years earlier, Confessions stressed several

basic points. First, Nazi Germany sought to destroy the United States by fomenting religious,

racial, and class hatreds. Second, the Nazis maintained domestic-based propaganda organizations

that would help them to achieve this dastardly goal. Last, Americans needed to awaken to the

dangers posed by the Nazis.101 If citizens had not followed the earlier congressional discourse,

the movie offered them an additional venue. Warner Brothers provided the film with "a vigorous

and often outrageous public relations campaign" that befitted the studio's expectations that the

film would be a big winner at the box office.102

Local theater owners were encouraged to drum up interest by placing anonymous phone

calls that alerted citizens "the Nazis were coming."103 In Texas and New Mexico, the advertising

strategy for Confessions was so effective that worried citizens alerted the Federal Bureau of

Investigation. Special Agent R. J. Untreiner reported to his superiors that theater owners had

distributed "small pink cards bearing a Swastika and the words "Heil Hitler!"104 Differing

colored cards conveying similar sentiments appeared in neighboring areas. On the reverse side of

all the cards was the full title of the picture, together with the performance dates and times. In


Ibid., 65-69, 75.

100 Koppes and Black, Hollywood, 21, 27; Gabler, Empire, 341.

10' Birdwell, Celluloid, 74-75; Koppes and Black, Hollywood, 28-29.

102 MacDonnell, Insidious, 63. In fact, the movie did poorly at the box office. Warner
Bros. rereleased the film in 1940, adding new scenes that kept abreast of the current situation in
Europe. See Birdwell, Celluloid, 78.

103 MacDonnell, Insidious, 67.

104 Ibid.









Washington State, law enforcement officials received a handbill-ostensibly produced by the

Bund-that warned citizens "if you see this film Hitler will take serious reprisals on you when

he realizes his inevitable destiny over America!" In fact, the placards were publicity stunts

engineered by the local theater chain.105

The German consul in Los Angeles reacted to the movie with fervor, writing an angry

letter to Joseph Breen, head of the Hollywood Production Code Administration. This

noncompulsory office, founded in 1934, allowed the government input over movie scope and

content.106 The diplomat issued oblique threats that Confessions might result in "difficulties"

between the American and Nazi governments.10' Likewise, the German charge d'affaires

stationed in Washington D.C. complained bitterly to Secretary of State Cordell Hull. Nazis

threatened the State Department by saying that German filmmakers would respond to

Confessions with their own series of quasi-documentary films that depicted America as a land of

greed, corruption, crime, and general discontent.108 The German government banned the film, as

did their Axis partners. A number of European countries-Ireland, Hungary, Switzerland,

Holland and Norway-refused to show the film. In light of what would happen to those nations

during the next five years, all might have benefited from watching the movie and taking its

message regarding the need for vigilance to heart.109


105 As quoted in MacDonnell, Insidious, 67-68.

106 For more on Breen, see Felicia Herman, "American Jews and the Effort to Reform
Motion Pictures, 1933-1935," American Jewish Archives Journal 53 (2001): 14; Birdwell,
Celluloid, 71-72; and Gregory Black, The Catholic Crusade against the Movies, 1940-1975
(New York: Cambridge University Press, 1997), 141.
107 Koppes and Black, Hollywood, 27-29.

lo Birdwell, Celluloid, 76.

109 MacDonnell, Insidious, 69; Koppes and Black, Hollywood, 30.

61









In the United States, Confessions earned positive critical reviews. The New York Daily

News rated the movie "good to excellent."110 Taken as pure cinema," Franz Hoellering wrote for

The Nation, the story was "first class a new style of movie journalism,"111" Such encouraging

responses also reflected a new appreciation for Jack Wamrner's decision to level a public attack

against Hitler and his followers. To this end, in May 1939, Variety published a particularly

prescient story. After praising Warner Brothers for making a movie of great importance, the

piece closed by noting "decades from now what's happening may be seen in perspective. And

the historians will almost certainly take note of this daringly frank broadside from a picture

company."112

Movies did not have to strike alarmist tones in order to convey a negative sense of

Nazism. Perhaps the best-known film about the issue was a comedy that ridiculed the danger.

Charlie Chaplin's The Great Dictator (1940) delighted Americans with its farcical plot of two

identical-appearing citizens from the fictitious country of Tomania. The storyline centered on a

pedestrian Jewish barber with amnesia who at times is mistaken for the nation's dictator,

Hynkel. The barber is unable to comprehend, or remember, why strangers cheer him. The

dictator, conversely, is unable to understand why he sometimes received treatment befitting a

commoner. Chaplin's impersonation of Adolf Hitler via Hynkel was notable for both his

uncanny physical likeness, and his mastery of explosive, gibberish-laden diatribes.113 A huge

success in the United States, The Great Dictator was the all-time highest-earning Chaplin project

110 As quoted in MacDonnell, Insidious, 69, 204 n. 84.

As quoted in Birdwell, Celluloid, 77, 200 n. 101.
112 As quoted in MacDonnell, Insidious, 70.

113 For Chaplin's satire, see Alpers, Dictators, 87-88; Birdwell, Celluloid, 84; Koppes and
Black, Hollywood, 31-32; Gabler, Empire, 347; and Short, "Hollywood," in Short, ed., Film,
152-54.









and, indeed, was the third-highest moneymaking film of the ten-year period from 1933 to

1942.114

As the decade of the 1930s ended, the issue of combating Nazism as a fundamental

American responsibility appeared in various public discourses. The theme that appeared most

frequently was that a civic democracy, such as the Founding Fathers had envisioned, protected

minority rights. On the other hand, fascist dictatorships, the path that Adolf Hitler favored, used

any means necessary to trample individual freedoms. During 1933-41, whether from Samuel

Dickstein, Rex Stout, Sinclair Lewis, Edmund G. Robinson, or Charlie Chaplin, American

citizens had opportunities to learn what the looming struggle against the Nazi enemy denoted. In

sharp contrast to the 1920s-a period during which citizens paid little attention to events

occurring outside the United States-the 1930s featured efforts to raise levels of public

awareness about Nazi hostility. Specifically, some observers noted the connection that existed

between the Nazis' disparaging of Jews and their attack on democratic liberties. Americans

faced a clear challenge, one in which they were asked to consider the idea that all forms of

bigotry and social proscription contradicted the democratic freedoms that generations of citizens

had claimed to cherish. Changing socio-cultural thinking, however, would be a gradual process,

one that would require leadership. In the next chapter, we find one such prominent American. A

member of the Protestant establishment elite who used his professional talents and positions of

power to sculpt new attitudes in which the protection of Jews and other persecuted minorities

held inherent moral value.







114 Alpers, Dictators, 87-88.









Table 2-1 Number of House Remarks and Resolutions Related to Religious Intolerance (1931-
1935)
Congress Remarks/Resolutions

72nd (1931-1933) 0

73rd (1933-1934) 44

74th (1935; 1st sess.) 38
Source: Congressional Record Index (H) 72nd through 74th Congresses.










CHAPTER 3
ARCHIBALD MACLEISH AND THE GROWING DISCURSIVE OPPOSITION TO NAZI
ANTI-SEMITISM, 1933-1941

There is anti-Semitic talk around the country. The activities of Mr. Hitler in Germany
have had their effect here. This particular antipathy flourishes because no one has ever
dug down to get at the underlying facts.
-Archibald MacLeish, editor, Fortune magazine, to Henry Luce, November 14, 19351

The unbelievable record of Nazi barbarities concerns non-Jews as well as Jews. Any
man who loathes fascism will fear anti-Semitism.
-Editors of Fortune, Jews in America, 19362

When the Nazi regime took power in Germany, Archibald MacLeish was a little-known

American literary figure. A member of the Protestant elite, he was seemingly unthreatened by

the persecution of European Jewry. Yet during the period from 1933 to 1941, Archibald

MacLeish employed various media to put forth an argument that expressions of religious

intolerance-whether in Germany or the United States-did violence to Western liberal values.

Much like Congressmen Samuel Dickstein and John McCormack, as well as the writer Sinclair

Lewis and the movie mogul Jack Warner, MacLeish feared that Nazi anti-Semitic propaganda

could become a powerful weapon in subverting the democratic values of heterogeneous Western

societies. In books, speeches, radio plays, and governmental brochures, MacLeish contributed to

an ongoing discursive effort to raise levels of awareness about this insidious threat.3






"Luce," November 14, 1935, box 8, Archibald MacLeish Papers, 1907-81, Library of
Congress, Washington D.C.

2 Editors of Fortune, Jews in America (New York: Random House, 1936), 9-11.

Benjamin Alpers, Dictators, Democracy and American Public Culture: Envisioning the
Totalitarian Enemy, 1920s-1950s (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2003), 86;
Marc Dollinger, Quest for Inclusion: Jews and Liberalism in Modern America (Princeton:
Princeton University Press, 2000), 74.









Archibald MacLeish's contributions to a larger public dialogue-one in which

expressions of religious tolerance signaled his support for pluralist rationales-remain

insufficiently understood, even though several scholars have documented MacLeish's life as a

poet, playwright, and government official.4 Moreover, in none of these works will scholars find

an adequate discussion of his unique use of Nazi anti-Semitism, against which he articulated his

own pluralist view of cultural tolerance. In scholars' accounts of the U.S. response to Nazism,

MacLeish has appeared as a minor figure. For example, in Richard Breitman's masterful study

of American handling of reports concerning Nazi atrocities, MacLeish appears unexpectedly and

departs quickly, with Breitman simply claiming that MacLeish feared a "morbid" result were the

reports to be released domestically.5 Clayton Laurie, a student of Breitman, has argued that

under MacLeish's leadership, the Office of Facts and Figures "accomplished little due to a lack

of direction."6

The most influential historiography of the 1930s has focused on the growth of anti-

Semitism that occurred in this period, perhaps making it difficult for scholars to appreciate the

full complexity of the U.S. response to Nazi anti-Semitism and the part played in that response

by people like Archibald MacLeish. For example, historians such as John Higham and Alan

Brinkley have argued that the nation's economic depression led to unseemly episodes in which


4 Scott Donaldson, Archibald MacLeish: An American Life (New York: Houghton
Mifflin, 1992), xiv; Bernard Drabeck, Helen Ellis, and Seymour Rudin, eds., The Proceedings of
the Archibald MacLeish Symposium, May 7-8, 1982 (Lanham, Md.: University Press of
America, 1988); R.H. Winnick, ed., The Letters ofArchibald MacLeish, 1907-1982 (Boston:
Houghton Mifflin, 1983); Warren Bush, ed., The Dialogues ofArchibald MacLeish and Mark
Van Doren (New York: Hutton, 1964).

Richard Breitman, Official Secrets: What the Nazis Planned, What the British and
Americans Knew (New York: Hill and Wang, 1998), 134.

6 Clayton Laurie, The Propaganda Warriors: America's Crusade against Nazi Germany
(Topeka: University Press of Kansas, 1998), 65.

66









anti-Semitism played an increasingly visible role in damaging Jews.' What has received much

less scholarly attention is that during the same period, rural and elite citizens throughout the

United States proved willing to embrace-or, at a minimum, tolerate-public calls for religious

tolerance. Indeed, MacLeish's expressed interest in combating Nazi anti-Semitism offers stark

contrast to the views and actions of his contemporaries H. L. Mencken, Ernest Hemingway, F.

Scott Fitzgerald, and John Dos Passos, all of whom employed anti-Semitic language in their

depictions of modernity.8 The challenge for historians, however, is not to argue which set of

views-pluralist or nativist-held greater sway, but rather to explore the contest that was under

way. Even prior to Hitler's unprovoked declaration of war against America, citizens recognized

autocracy as the greatest threat to democracy, and they increasingly defined their own nation as

the antithesis to foreign dictatorships.9 MacLeish was a deep thinker, particularly sensitive to

dangers that democratic societies faced when handling episodes of sociocultural and political

persecutions. In his efforts to "sound the alarm,"we can also observe wider changes in elite

attitudes toward Jews and others non-Protestant citizens.

Currently, Gary Gerstle, Peter Novick, Marc Dollinger, and Deborah Dash Moore argue

that prejudices against Jews, Catholics, African Americans and other non-Protestant citizens

softened after the Second World War, as the nation's collective struggle against Hitlerism


SAlan Brinkley, Voices ofProtest: Huey Long, Father Coughlin and the Great
Depression (New York: Knopf, 1982), 270; John Higham, Strangers in This Land: Patterns of
American Nativism, 1860-1925 (New York: Atheneum, 1971), 282-84.

8 For Mencken and anti-Semitism, see S. T. Joshi, Mencken's America (Athens: Ohio
University Press, 2004), 145. For Hemingway, see Matthew Bruccoli, Fitg- ild and
Hemingway: A Dangerous Friendship (London: Andre Deutsch, 1994), 34. For Fitzgerald, see
Richard Lehan, The Great Gatsby: The Limits of Wonder (Boston: Twayne, 1990), 51-52. For
Dos Passos, see Manhattan Transfer (Boston: Houghton-Mifflin, 1925), 42-43, 103.

Alan Brinkley, End ofReform: New Deal Liberalism in Recession and War (New York:
Vintage, 1995), 155.









reshaped American identity.10 However, there are hints that a readjustment in attitudes was under

way in earlier decades. The tragic events associated with the Leo Frank case (1912) alarmed

Jews and Christians alike." The anti-Semitic prejudices that led to Frank's conviction

demonstrated that seemingly innocuous prejudices could beget deadly consequences. Following

the affair, citizens of multiple denominations formed new organizations such as the Anti-

Defamation League (1913) and the American Civil Liberties Union (1920).12 Members of these

groups coordinated boycotts of racist-owned businesses and sponsored campaigns designed to

dilute "poison pen" letters that injured Jews socially.13 Their message of tolerance no doubt

found some common cause with associates in the National Conference of Christians and Jews

(1928).

10 Gary Gerstle, American Crucible: Race and Nation in the Twentieth Century
(Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2001), 12, 119; Dollinger, Quest, 56; Peter Novick, The
Holocaust in American Life (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1999), 85; Deborah Dash Moore,
"Jewish GIs and the Creation of the Judeo-Christian Tradition," Religion and American Culture
8 (1998): 34.

For the Leo Frank Case, see Stephen Goldfarb, "The Slaton Memorandum: A Governor
Looks Back at His Decision to Commute the Death Sentence of Leo Frank," American Jewish
History 88 (2000): 327; Nancy MacLean, "The Leo Frank Case Reconsidered: Gender and
Sexual Politics in the Making of Reactionary Populism," Journal ofAmerican History 78 (1991):
917; David Levering Lewis, "Parallels and Divergences: Assimilationist Strategies of Afro-
American and Jewish Elites from 1910 to the Early 1930," Journal ofAmerican History 71
(1984): 547; Leonard Dinnerstein, The Leo Frank Case (New York: Columbia University Press,
1968).

12 Note also the earlier National Association for the Advancement of Colored People
(1909). By the 1920s, Jewish leadership in the group was vital. See Lewis, "Parallels," 553; and
Eugene Levy, "Is the Jew a White Man?: Press Reaction to the Leo Frank Case, 1913-1915,"
Phylon 35 (1960): 220.

13 "Poison pen" letters are correspondences sent en masse to public media outlets (for
example, letters to the editor) in which the author vilifies Jews. They often appear published
anonymously, or under a nom de plume. During the 1930s and 1940s, a common theme found in
such documents was the alleged Jewish control of American foreign policy, as well as references
to the "Merchants" thesis. See Stephen Norwood, "Marauding Youth and the Christian Front:
Anti-Semitic Violence In Boston and New York During World War II," American Jewish
History 91 (2003): 238-239, 249.









An impatience with the inherently gradual nature of change in pluralist societies has

caused historians to overlook the larger connections between these earlier public pleas for social

equality and subsequent efforts to condemn Nazi bigotry. In order to trace and understand this

dynamic, it is useful to focus on a figure like Archibald MacLeish, who was actively involved in

combating Nazi anti-Semitism during the 1930s and 1940s. That Archibald MacLeish articulated

an unflinchingly pluralist position is perhaps not remarkable. Like others in his milieu, he

believed that all citizens should enjoy civic equality, and that the civil government was the

proper vehicle for promoting such egalitarianism.14 His life's story, however, provides historians

access to a more intricate tale of changing social attitudes. He was part of a much larger

generational cohort, one whose experiences fighting to uphold democratic structures during

World War I had instilled in them the value of opposing autocratic behaviors such as the

persecution of religious minorities.

Born in 1892, in Glencoe, Illinois, Archibald MacLeish was the offspring of an

immigrant Scottish father and a mother whose lineage traced back to the Pilgrims. Andrew

MacLeish operated a successful retail store in Chicago. Martha Hillard MacLeish graduated

from Vassar College in one of its first classes during the 1880s, and later served as president of

Rockford Woman's College.15 During his earliest years, Archibald experienced two different

visions of American society. His father, who spoke with a distinctive accent and still adhered to

European customs, imbued in his son an appreciation for cultural heterogeneity. Accompanying


14 James Connolly, The Triumph ofEthnic Progressivism: Urban Political Culture in
Boston, 1900-1925 (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1998), 17; Stephen Skowronek,
Building a New American State: The Expansion ofNational Administrative Capacities, 1877-
1920 (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1982), 286; John Buenker, John Burnham, and
Robert Crunden, Progressivism (Cambridge: Schenkman, 1977), 32; Arthur S. Link, American
Epoch: A History of the U.S. since the 1890s (New York: Knopf, 1955), 35-36.

15 Donaldson, MacLeish, 6-8; Drabeck and Ellis, eds., Reflections, 16.

69









the elder MacLeish on the streets of Chicago, Archibald observed the many ethnic cohorts that

constituted the city's identity. From his Progressive-minded mother, who also served as an

officer in the National Conference of Christians and Jews,16 MacLeish learned there was a larger

social value associated with promoting religious tolerance. This theme-the formation of a

unified culture from differing wellsprings-remained with him throughout his life.

At fifteen years of age, Archibald moved, by himself, to Lakeville, Connecticut, where he

attended the Hotchkiss School. During the early twentieth century, life at the Hotchkiss School

epitomized white, Anglo-Saxon Protestant society.1" The institution's customs reinforced the

types of acceptable behaviors found in elite circles. MacLeish was an active and accomplished

student. He served as the yearbook editor and as president of the Forum Literary Society. He

played for both the football and the baseball squads. He was also his class poet. MacLeish's

many recorded distinctions revealed his worth to his school and peers. It further signaled

MacLeish's acceptance of, and personal comfort with, life in the nation's most exclusive

sociocultural milieu.

In 1915, after finishing his undergraduate degree at Yale University, MacLeish enrolled

in Harvard Law School.1" Upon returning from service in the First World War, during which,

like his fellow midwestemrner Harry S. Truman, he rose to the rank of captain, MacLeish earned

the editor's post at the Harvard Law Review. His grasp of Western legal thought, as well as his


16 Donaldson, MacLeish, 243.

SFor MacLeish's high school years, see Mischianza, Hotchkiss School yearbook, 1911,
Lakeville, Ct., 30, 60-72. Hotchkiss apparently admitted Jews to their institution. The 1910 class
registry listed a "R.A. Meyrowitz" from East Twenty-third Street in New York City.

18 At Yale University, MacLeish was a Phi Beta Kappa and the recipient of numerous
prizes for poetry. He characterized the intellectual atmosphere as "discouraging. .Yale was
really pretty close to the bottom. It wasn't an educational institution." See Drabeck and Ellis,
eds., Reflections, 16.









experiences in the war, had instilled in him an appreciation for the differences between

democratic and autocratic governments. Like so many others in his generation, the young

veteran viewed the "Great War" in more than military terms.19 It was also an ideological struggle

that had featured the capitulation of three feudal-era monarchies. For intellectuals, the challenges

of the postwar years were philosophical in nature. The grand task involved spreading Western

liberal values as a means to ending international conflict.20

MacLeish began his professional life in 1921 with a position at the Boston law firm of

Choate, Hall, and Stewart. The Sacco-Vanzetti verdict occurred just prior to his employment, but

along with others of his generation, he recollected "next to no concern."21 Indeed, during the

early 1920s, while still in his twenties, the young lawyer determined that the legal profession

would not sustain his creativity. In 1923, on the same day that his firm planned to invest in him

as a partner, MacLeish quit his job. Soon thereafter, he moved with his wife and two young

children to Paris.


19 Robert Zieger, America's Great War: World War One and the American Experience
(Lanham, Md.: Rowman and Littlefield, 2000), 2, 228; Paul Fussell, The Great War and Modern
Memory, 2nd ed. (New York: Oxford University Press, 2000), 146; Modris Eckstein, The Rites
ofSpring: The Great War and the Birth of the Modern Age (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1989),
205.

20 The 1928 Kellogg-Briand Pact in fact rendered war "illegal." See Birdsall Viault,
American History since 1865 (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1989), 285-86.

21 Drabeck and Ellis, eds., Reflections, 20. The Sacco-Vanzetti Affair (1920-27)
represented the epitome of early twentieth-century American nativism. In April 1920, two men
killed a Boston-area paymaster during a daylight robbery. Police charged Nicola Sacco and
Bartolomeo Vanzetti, two recent Italian immigrants, with the crime. Their 1921 state court trial
was troubling. Judge Webster Thayer demonstrated overt and private prejudices. His instructions
to the jury encouraged a guilty verdict; and he privately referred to the accused as "those
"anarchist bastards." The men were convicted and given capital sentences. As their
electrocutions drew closer, the case gained national attention. See John Neville, Twentieth-
Century Cause Celebre: Sacco and Vanzetti and the Press, 1920-1927 (Westport, Ct.: Praeger,
2004), 12; and William Young and David Kaiser, Postmortem: New Evidence in the Case of
Sacco and Vanzetti (Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 1985), 36.

71









For many American artists and writers, living in Paris during the 1920s signaled their

larger commitment to creating a new culture following the destruction wrought by the First

World War. It was a bohemian city, where Hemingway wrote The Sun Also Rises (1926), Dos

Passos finished Manhattan Transfer (1925), and F. Scott Fitzgerald created Jay Gatsby. Upon

first arriving, MacLeish observed the city's somber rhythms. Perhaps more than any other

nation, France suffered terribly from the First World War. "The great slaughter on the

battlefield," MacLeish noted, had produced a "vacuum" of youth. "Even the young women," he

recollected, "dressed in black, their faces unsmiling, didn't look young."22 The poet recalled that

the city's pulse lagged until the mid-1920s, when a new youth "flooded" in from Africa, Eastern

Europe, Scandinavia, and Asia.23

This massive convergence of the world's young impressed MacLeish deeply. It was the

first time that he recognized his generation's potency.24 He saw more clearly the role that he and

others could play in determining the course of human events. It was MacLeish's five-year stay in

Paris, during his early thirties, which facilitated his change from bourgeois lawyer to enlightened

cultural critic. As it did for others in his generation and milieu, living in Paris during the 1920s

provided him with a model of how to shape and defend diverse national cultures. He learned that

the challenges of living in a pluralist environment encompassed far more than the polite

cohabitation of different people. Rather, the task involved common behaviors borne from

repeated cultural exchange. These observations helped to guide MacLeish during his stay abroad

and remained useful to him once he returned to the United States, when he worked to sculpt a


22 As quoted in Drabeck and Ellis eds., Reflections, 23. See also Winnick, ed., Letters,
106; and Bush, ed., Dialogues, 27.

23 Drabeck and Ellis; eds., Reflections, 23.

24 Drabeck, Ellis, and Rudin, eds., Proceedings, 22.

72









new American identity that included the many millions of new citizens who entered the nation

during the early decades of the twentieth century.25

In Paris, MacLeish joined the city's other non-native residents in a social experiment.

Many of the participants, like the MacLeishes, were new to the city, and the fact that their

interactions were not based upon linguistic or national bonds may have contributed to the vibrant

cultural atmosphere that emerged. On any given day, a person functioned as a producer,

consumer, and patron of the arts. In this way, a heterogeneous mix of people, without a common

tongue or liturgy, reawakened a city. MacLeish shared a story in which his wife, Ada, a pianist

and singer, was practicing a composition by the Frenchman Erik Satie. A young man knocked on

the family's door. "Who is singing Satie?" asked the unknown visitor. "My wife," replied the

poet. "But nobody sings Satie anymore," blurted the teen as tears ran down his face.26 This

anecdote captured the ability of foreign participants to join-indeed, to help redefine-a national

culture. In his examination of nineteenth-century France, the historian Eugen Weber has

observed this process as it related to the peasantry's "mimicking" of Parisian society.2 Perhaps

drawing on limited knowledge, the outsider can still form a credible tie to dominant traditions.

For MacLeish, this organic melding of differing perspectives retaught him a lesson that he first

learned as a young boy on the streets of Chicago. Indeed, the idea of dissimilar people

achieving-or losing-collective unity was a recurring theme in his later professional writings.



25 Barbara Savage, Broadcasting Freedom: Radio, War and the Politics ofRace, 1938-
1948 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1999), 60-61.

26 Drabeck and Ellis, eds., Reflections, 37.

27 Eugen Weber, Peasants into Frenchmen: The Modernization ofRural France, 1870-
1914 (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1976), 485. See also Leslie Choquette, Frenchmen
into Peasants: Modernity and Tradition in the Peopling ofFrench Canada (Cambridge: Harvard
University Press, 1997), 54.









The most significant work that MacLeish wrote while living overseas was Einstein

(1929), published with the top avant-garde press in Paris. Black Sun Press released the work in

the same year that saw the publication of James Joyce's Tales Told ofShi 111 and Suha\ and D. H.

Lawrence's The Escaped Cook. Einstein was a sixteen-page, free-verse soliloquy in which

MacLeish attempted to recast the atomic process as a metaphor for cultural heterogeneity.28

MacLeish used the idea of a nucleus gaining mass by incorporating disparate particles as a figure

for a civil society that became stronger by amalgamating various ethnicities. MacLeish's

decision to ground his narrative in the figure of a Jewish scientist is significant because it

connects the poet to a larger intellectual development. During the first decades of the twentieth

century, scholarship from Jews gained wider credibility in Protestant academic circles.29

Particularly at Ivy League universities, the hiring of Jewish 6migr6s broadened the curriculum

taught to the nation's most privileged students.30

Some Christian students gleaned from their personal experiences with Jewish scholars a

new admiration that persisted throughout their lives. Indeed, MacLeish studied under the Jewish

professor Felix Frankfurter at Harvard Law School; he lionized Princeton's Einstein in a major

poem. MacLeish was one of many in the Protestant establishment who was determined to

fraternize with Jews, and to raise levels of awareness about obstacles to Jewish welfare. This



28 Archibald MacLeish, Einstein (Paris: Black Sun Press, 1929), 1.

29 David Hollinger, Science, Jews and Secular Culture: Studies in Mid-Twentieth Century
Intellectual History (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1996), 11; Jerold Auerbach, The
Journey from Torah to Constitution (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1990), 10; Morton
Borden, Jews, Turks and Infidels (Chapel Hill: North Carolina Press, 1984), 76-77.
30 A letter from Professor Edwin Wilson, Department of Vital Statistics, Harvard
University, recommended the hiring of a German Jewish 6migr6 named Felix Bernstein, "the
world's leading medical and biological statistician notified by the Nazi government that his
position had been vacated." See Wilson to Noback, February 27, 1936, box 1/12, Adolph Sabath
Papers, 1903-52, American Jewish Archives, Cincinatti.

74









cosmopolitan mind-set was becoming apparent during the late 1920s and 1930s, as Americans

began to embrace a range of ethnic and racial icons. In 1927, the same year that Charles

Lindbergh crossed the Atlantic, the Catholic orphan George Herman "Babe" Ruth attracted

phenomenal acclaim for his baseball skill as well as for a lifestyle that flew in the face of the

decade's teetotaler values. At the Berlin Olympics (1936), Jesse Owens represented the promise

and power of the American "melting pot" versus the myth of Aryan racial supremacy.31 Again,

in 1938, the African American heavyweight boxer Joe Lewis became a domestic and

international sensation after defeating the German Max Schmeling in New York's Yankee

Stadium.

It was in this fertile atmosphere that Archibald MacLeish would ask Americans to ponder

the many textures of their national identity. Determining the degree to which his pluralist

attitudes comported with, or deviated from, others in the public sphere is an important effort that

lies beyond the scope of this project. Rather, I want to examine the more narrow issue of when

MacLeish came to connect his broad belief in promoting sociocultural tolerance with a specific

concern for combating Nazi anti-Semitism. This will allow me to present the accomplishments

of this often-overlooked historical figure while shedding further light on the increased discursive

opposition provoked by reports of German religious persecutions.

In 1929, shortly after his return from Paris, MacLeish accepted a job offer from Henry

Luce to serve as an editor for the newly created Fortune magazine. According to Luce



31 For some Americans, race-based argument remained valid. See Eric Goldstein, The
Price of qT/hin< i,, Jews, Race, and American Identity (Princeton: Princeton University Press,
2006), 35, 85, 112; Gregory Michael Dorr, "Assuring America's Place in the Sun: Ivey Forman
Lewis and the Teaching of Eugenics at the University of Virginia, 1915-1953," Journal of
Southern History 66 (2000): 257-96; Matthew Frye Jacobson, T7hin1 ut of a Different Color:
European Immigrants and the Alchemy ofRace (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1999),
181-84; and Elazar Barkan, The Retreat of Scientific Racism: Changing Concepts ofRace in
Britain and the United States between the World Wars (New York: Cambridge University Press,
1992), 76-77.









biographer John Kobler, the publishing magnate envisioned the new periodical as a cutting-edge

business journal that would reinvigorate the recently depressed financial-news market. Luce's

strategy was to recruit popular literary talent who would write "human interest stories."32 In

contrast to the drab business periodicals of the decade, Fortune featured color photographs and

splashy advertisements. In 1930, the magazine debuted with thirty thousand subscribers; seven

years later, the operation maintained a circulation of nearly five hundred thousand.33

From his editorial post, MacLeish possessed a national platform for influencing the

American public discourse. Moreover, he wished to use this powerful tool for directing the

public's awareness toward Nazi anti-Semitism. Journalists in the United States were already

reporting on the phenomenon. In October 1930, almost three years before the Nazis assumed

power, Time devoted a full column to a story titled "Plate Glass Riots," which reported that

German citizens, "stones in their pockets," had "shrewdly distributed themselves in front of

Jewish-owned stores."34 "So adroit was the vandalism," the reader learned, that "there remained

not one person to be arrested."35 An additional Weimer-era article from the New Republic told of

a "scandalous attack on Jewish students" that "constituted another link in the chain of fascist

anti-Semitic activity."36



32 John Kobler, Luce: His Time, Life and Fortune (New York: Doubleday, 1968), 83-85.
Joining MacLeish at Fortune was the journalist Ralph Ingersoll, who later founded PM
magazine. See Paul Milkman, PM: A New Deal in Journalism, 1940-1948 (New Brunswick,
N.J.: Rutgers University Press, 1997), 26, 127; Michael Denning, The Cultural Front: The
Laboring ofAmerican Culture in the Twentieth Century (New York: Verso, 1996), 83-85.

33 W. A. Swanberg, Luce and His Empire (New York: Scribner, 1972), 121.

34 "Plate Glass Riots," Time, October 27, 1930, 22.

3 Ibid.

36 New Republic, July 13, 1932, 224.









After January 1933, and Hitler's rise to the chancellorship, the pace and breadth of the

reporting increased. "Who Stands behind Hitler?" asked a headline in the Nation. Listing several

of Hitler's goals, such as abjuring the Versailles Treaty and reviving the German economy, the

related article closed with the observation that the new leader "emphasized the anti-Jewish

position."3 In a Time magazine article titled "Nazis Amuck," American readers learned that

German paramilitary soldiers had assaulted seven Americans traveling abroad. The story closed

by reporting that the number of German Jews attacked by followers of the new regime ranged

"into the hundreds."38 During the Nazi's six-month "coordination" period, as party members

took control of federal, state, and local governing apparatus, similar reports appeared frequently.

Americans had numerous opportunities to connect Nazism and anti-Semitism. These early

stories clearly conveyed the idea that German fascism had a violently anti-Jewish and

antidemocratic strain. They also demonstrated that a burgeoning interest among writers and

journalists was helping to bring these reports to the American public.

Stories of Nazi anti-Semitism also appeared in Christian periodicals. "Leave the Jewish

Problem Alone!" read the headline of one such piece in the April 1934 issue ofCiuiijau

Century, the period's most influential Protestant journal." "Since Locke," the reader learned,

"religion, opinions, and philosophies are personal matters."40 "If we are to carry on Western

civilization neither the state nor society has the right to deny the Jews."41 Non-Jewish readers



S"Who Stands behind Hitler?" Nation, February 22, 1933, 197.

38 "Nazis Amuck," Time, March 13, 1933, 15.

SRobert Abzug, America Views the Holocaust, 1933-1945 (New York: St. Martin's,
1999), 36.

40 "Leave the Jewish Problem Alone," Clir(iaun Century, April 25, 1934, 556.

41 Ibid.









had the chance to learn from yet another public discourse that anti-Semitism posed a threat to all

people of faith. As public expressions of these bigoted sentiments were becoming unacceptable,

the editors of Christian publications took steps to enlighten their subscribers. To be sure, public

expressions of anti-Semitism continued to appear throughout the decade.42 The subtler point,

however, is that Christian American citizens came to learn that while anti-Semitic epithets might

earn one social acceptance in Nazi Germany, in the United States, they would place one outside

the pale of the cultural mainstream.

Similar periodicals adopted this approach, though with some variations. The prominent

Catholic periodical Commonweal focused on the Nazi harassment of priests. "A dozen priests,"

reported a story from March 1933, "were recently charged with organizing communists. This

is no time for discussion."43 Priests charged with demonstrating fealty to the Vatican comprised

many of the first prisoners sent to the Dachau concentration camp. Harassment of both the

Catholic and Protestant churches remained an unpleasant fact throughout the Nazi's twelve-year

regime.44

Drumming up American public indignation over Nazi anti-Semitism was no easy task.

During the interwar years, many citizens felt compassion for the Germans impoverished by the

First World War. The historian A.J.P. Taylor has argued that these sentiments contributed to the







42 Leo Ribuffo, The Old C/ir oijn Right: The Protestant Far Right from the Great
Depression to the Cold War (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1983), 76.

43 "They're at It Again," Commonweal, March 9, 1934, 510.

44 Dietrich Orlow, A History ofModern Germany, 2nd ed. (Englewood Cliffs, N.J.:
Prentice Hall, 1991), 239; Stanley High, "The War on Religious Freedom," in Pierre van Passen,
James Wise eds., Nazism: An Assault on Civilization (New York: Smith and Haas, 1934), 25-39.

78









"appeasement" of the fascist powers that occurred during the 1930s.45 When placating Hitler,

Western leaders often noted the vital geostrategic position that Germany occupied as a bulwark

to the spread of Soviet communism. Acknowledging that Hitler was not "a champion of legal

and constitutional methods," the Literary Digest nevertheless included "destruction of the

communists" among Hitler's primary goals.46 Well into the 1930s, monitoring the spread of

communism-rather than of fascism-remained the primary objective for American foreign

policy experts. An additional reason for this tilt was that it served the interests of American big

business. Nazi ideology was not hostile toward private property, and Adolf Hitler's regime

promoted a variation of capitalism known as cartelism. Consequently, companies such as IBM

and Ford Motors overlooked German antagonism to other liberal freedoms.47 Neither did Jewish-

owned businesses immediately leave the German marketplace. The film mogul Louis B. Mayer

was reportedly "relieved" when William Randolph Hearst assured him that "Hitler's motives

were pure."48

By contrast, American worker organizations recognized the danger immediately. In

solidarity with German laborers, many northeastern unions organized boycotts against Nazi

45 Sidney Aster, "Guilty Men: The Case of Neville Chamberlain," in Patrick Finney, ed.,
The Origins of the Second World War (London: Arnold, 1997), 62-77; A.J.P. Taylor, The
Origins of the Second World War (New York: Atheneum, 1961), 67-73.
46 As quoted in Michael Zalampas, Adolf Hitler and the Th i rReich in American
Magazines, 1923-1939 (Bowling Green, Ohio: Bowling Green State University Popular Press,
1989), 14. Throughout his political career, Adolf Hitler envisioned the destruction of Soviet
communism and International Jewry as interrelated. The extent to which American leaders
recognized this trenchant relationship in his thinking is unclear. See John Altmann, "Movies'
Role in Hitler's Conquest of German Youth," Hollywood Quarterly 3 (1948): 384.

47 Edwin Black, IBM and the Holocaust: The Strategic Alliance between Nazi Germany
and America's Most Powerful Corporation (New York: Crown, 2001), 75-105; Kees Van der
Pijl, The Making ofAn Atlantic Ruling Class (London: Verso, 1984), 78-80.

48 Neal Gabler, An Empire of Their Own: How the Jews Invented Hollywood (New York:
Crown, 1988), 338.









products. A 1934 poster from the Jewish Labor Committee represented this effort. It featured a

bare-and barrel-chested male worker swinging a sledgehammer down upon a two-headed snake

labeled "Hitlerism" and "fascism."49 Additional organizations such as the "Non-Sectarian Anti-

Nazi League" implored New York retailers not to sell German supplies.50 "Boycott Is the Moral

Substitute for War," read their letterhead. "Nazi Germany Is the Enemy of Western

Civilization." Despite these efforts, a significant rejection of German goods failed to materialize.

During the early 1930s, Americans were still learning who Hitler was, and they were

determining what, if anything, his Nazi Party had to do with America.51 This willingness of

many citizens to "do business" with the Germans challenged those concerned by the regime's

intolerant character to articulate more clearly the reasons for severing relations.

As an editor at Fortune, MacLeish determined that a story about Jewish scapegoating

would help Americans differentiate the vast differences between democratic and Nazi values. In

keeping with his magazine's stated mission to discuss potent sociocultural issues-and with his

personal commitment to promoting religious tolerance-he suggested a series that examined

anti-Jewish bigotry. On November 12, 1935, MacLeish sent a memorandum to Henry Luce, the

chairman of Time, Inc. On the subject line, MacLeish listed "Series on the Jew." Following a

brief introduction, he informed Luce that "the whole question comes down to whether [or


49 Abzug, America, 35; Ludwig Lore, "The Fate of the Worker," in van Passen and Wise
eds., Assault, 109.

50 In September 1933, the group's founder, jurist Samuel Untermeyer, inquired with F.W.
Woolworth Co. officials about reports that store employees continued to sell German goods. On
November 18, Woolworth's president, B. D. Miller, informed him "we are not buying goods
from Germany." See box 1/3, Samuel Untermeyer Papers, 1911-52, American Jewish Archives,
Cincinnati. See also Sharon Gewitz, "Anglo-Jewish Responses to Nazi Germany, 1933-1939:
The Anti-Nazi Boycott and the Board of Deputies of British Jews," Journal of Contemporary
History 26 (1991): 258, 261.

51 Alpers, Dictators, 13, 33; Zalampas, Hitler, 5, 214.

80









not] there is an anti-Semitic epidemic in this country capable of having important effects."

"If there is," MacLeish stated, "then Fortune will be usefully occupied in dragging the whole

thing into the light and air." In a "muckraking" spirit perhaps borne of his childhood days,

MacLeish expressed a view that the journalist's function was "ridding society of its festering

sores."52

Two days later, MacLeish sent his boss a lengthy follow-up memo. In the second

correspondence, historians will find the clearest evidence to date that MacLeish enthusiastically

embraced the task of combating Nazi anti-Semitism: "There is anti-Semitic talk around the

country. The activities of Mr. Hitler in Germany have had their effect here." Turning to what

steps Fortune might take, MacLeish noted, "There are always racial antipathies to be faced in

this world." This particular antipathy, he observed, "flourishes because no one has ever dug

down to get at the underlying facts."53 In February 1936, inspired by factual reports of Nazi

barbarities, Fortune published an article written expressly to head off fascist-fomented prejudice

in the United States.54 MacLeish sent advance copies of the article to a number of prominent

Jews, including his former professor Felix Frankfurter. MacLeish informed Luce, "the piece was

considered valuable and should give offense to no one.

Shortly thereafter, MacLeish and the editors of Fortune with whom he coauthored the

article expanded upon this effort with a one-hundred-page study entitled Jews in America. "The

unbelievable record of Nazi barbarities concerns non-Jews as well as Jews. Any nation that


52 November 12, 1935, "Luce," box 8, MacLeish Papers. See also David Chalmers, The
Social and Political Ideas of the Muckrakers (New York: Citadel, 1964), 7, 15.

5 November 14, 1935, "Luce," box 8, MacLeish Papers.

54 Donaldson, MacLeish, 243.

55 Ibid., 244.









permits a minority to live in fear is a nation which invites disaster."56 MacLeish used this book

as another vehicle through which he could publicly discredit bigotry as incompatible with

American traditions. "The connection between fascism and Jew-hatred is not accidental. Any

man who loathes Fascism will fear anti-Semitism." Fearing anti-Semitism," the editors of

Fortune concluded, "he will fear also the various conditions which encourage it."5

The following year, MacLeish took an innovative step to remind Americans of their

responsibilities, as a free people, to uphold liberty. The Fall of a City: A Verse Play for Radio

does not specifically discuss aiding Jews, but it does employ the theme of looming autocracy

undermining democratic freedoms.58 The Fall was the first radio play ever aired in the United

States. It debuted more than a year before The War of the Worlds.59 MacLeish recognized that

radio programs were more cost-effective than stage productions, and they reached a far wider

audience. This innovation dispersed his artistry nationally and increased his stature as a

sociocultural critic.

Airing April 11, 1937, The Fall of a City described an unnamed European town whose

citizens awaited an oncoming conqueror. MacLeish first wrote the play in early 936, during the

events that led to the Anschluss, the uncontested Nazi takeover of Austria.60 His theme was that a

failure to uphold collective democratic liberties had led to a society's downfall. Fall of a City

also featured some meaningful stylistic innovations. Most notable was MacLeish's use of a


56 Editors of Fortune, Jews, 9-10.

57 Ibid., 11.

58 Archibald MacLeish, The Fall of a City: A Verse Play for Radio (New York: Farrar
and Reinhardt, 1937).

59 Drabeck and Ellis, eds., Reflections, 106, 109.

60 Ibid., 107; Winnick, ed., Letters, 285-86.

82









"radio announcer" to unwind the story in the form of a news broadcast.61 The

announcer-MacLeish selected for this role a still-unknown actor named Orson Welles-did

more than just report the "facts." He also described the crowds, their cries, and their decisions.62

The Central Broadcasting Station broadcast The Fall of a City live in New York City, and later

in Hollywood, California. Executives estimated the program reached "well over one million

souls."63

"Are we free?" one voice asked from the crowd. "Will you fight?" replied another. "You

can stand on the stairs and meet him." "There is still a niche in the streets." "You can hold in the

dark of a hall." "You can die today-or your children will crawl for it tomorrow."64 The Fall of a

City also featured never-before-used "sound effects" including marching boots, drumbeats and

the shouts of men and women. A group of schoolchildren visiting from New Jersey provided the

sounds of "glee."65 According to MacLeish, the program succeeded because it captured a sense

of desperation. Was the conquering inevitable? Would the citizens defend their liberty? Or, as a

nameless voice from the crowd declared, should they "give him [the conqueror] the town for

masterless men need a master?"66 In The Fall of a City, MacLeish took care not to politicize the

narrative too heavily. The play was less about a specific threat than it was an examination of the



61 David Culbert, News for the Everyman: Radio and Foreign Affairs in T7irn, America
(Westport, Ct.: Greenwood, 1976), 4-7.

62 Alpers, Dictators, 93. See also Elias Canetti, Crowds and Power (New York: Viking,
1962), 26-31.

63 Drabeck and Ellis, eds., Reflections, 109.

64 MacLeish, Fall, 16-18.

65 Drabeck and Ellis, eds., Reflections, 119.

66 MacLeish, Fall, 28-30. See also Erich Fromm, Escape from Freedom (New York:
Rinehart, 1934), 142.









ways that people might react to such a contingency. MacLeish wanted the public-the soon-to-

be-oppressed citizenry-to recognize that they were the main characters.6 Totalitarian practices

were a reality in Europe; MacLeish hoped to alert Americans that their liberty might become the

next target.

Listeners reportedly enjoyed the radio play. MacLeish recalled that he received letters

soon after the airing, and more so after the Nazi Anschluss. His work had appealed to a wide

cross section of the American society, and correspondence came from members of the

establishment and the common citizenry alike. Charles Andrew Merz, an editor at the New York

Times, inquired how MacLeish had known that the Nazis were going to enter Austria unopposed.

MacLeish told his friend, "I only know from what I read in the Times." Merz replied, "Well, we

didn't know, but what happens in your play is exactly what happened in Austria. I called to

know if you have prophetic gifts, or whether you are a phony who stumbled onto something."68

A stranger wrote MacLeish from New Orleans, telling the poet that he normally listened to the

radio while soaking in his bathtub. The man said that when he heard MacLeish's verse he had

almost emerged from his tub to change the station, but he didn't. In fact, he had thought the

program was "great."69

Building from the success he enjoyed with The Fall of a City, MacLeish produced an

additional radio play in 1938. Air Raid, which debuted in late October, protested Spanish

fascism.70 The poet first visited Spain in the 1920s while traveling with Ernest Hemingway. In

67 Alpers, Dictators, 91; Drabeck and Ellis, eds., Reflections, 107, 110-11.

68 Drabeck and Ellis, Reflections, 275 n. 35. See also John Hiden, Germany and Europe,
1919-1939 (New York: Longman, 1977), 41; and Taylor, Origins, 68, 109-10.

69 As quoted in Drabeck and Ellis, eds., Reflections, 108.

70 Archibald MacLeish, Air Raid: A Verse Play for Radio (New York: Harcourt and
Brace, 1938).









1938, he joined with Hemingway, John Dos Passos, and Lillian Hellman to form a group called

"Contemporary Historians."1 These artists hoped to explain how ethno-religious strife-a theme

familiar to MacLeish-helped Francisco Franco achieve an ill-gotten victory. The backdrop of a

still-smoldering civil war provided MacLeish with a tangible and metaphoric framework for

explaining how autocratic regimes used sociocultural hostility to subvert democratically elected

societies.2

Air Raid featured unnamed characters that the listener could follow throughout the play.

As its title revealed, MacLeish again employed the theme of a looming invasion. His dialogue

captured the different ways that people assessed the danger. A sick old woman recalled, "They

came when I was young once. I remember them. They had blue capes on their coats with scarlet

lining. They gave us milk to drink from jars of metal."" These were the sentiments of an elderly

citizen who had little time left to live. Near her, however, sat a young boy. He had the most to

fear from the loss of freedom. Not surprisingly, the lad blurted the most alarming statements:

"They kill children when they come. I've heard they kill the children's mother."74

A set of lovers tried to ignore the world's frailty. These characters represented young

adults who ignored their civic responsibilities. "Are you still there?" the man asked. "I dreamed

that you had gone." The two sit alone, away from the crowd. "Say that we're happy. Tell me

that we are happy," pleaded the girl. "Stay as you are," he replied. "Do not ever move. Stay as

you are with this sunlight on your shoulders." MacLeish's use of sunlight imagery, inherently

71 Judy Kutulas, The Long War: The Intellectual People's Front and Anti-Stalinism,
1930-1940. (Durham: Duke University Press, 1995), 100-102.

72 Frank Willard, "The Spanish Civil War and the Coming of the Second World War,"
International History Review 9 (1987): 368-409.

7 MacLeish, Air Raid, 15.

74 Ibid., 16.









fleeting, symbolized the inevitability of change. Indeed, reports from the play's radio announcer

soon pierced the tender dialogue. The approaching planes were "still circling. Still wheeling. He

is working the air as a hawk would." The girl's voice returns, "Tell me we are happy. No, but

say that we are." "Just stay with this sunlight on your shoulders," says her companion, "Stay

with this sunlight on your hair."75

As with The Tale of a City, the fictional citizens in Air Raid did not uphold their

collective liberties in the face of oncoming autocracy. Though all knew of the threat, they lacked

a larger understanding of what they were fighting to uphold. They had lost sight of their civic

identity. By Air Raid's closing, the sick old woman had died, and the young lovers separated.

The men futilely went for arms, and the women took to the cellars. Chaos reigned. The men,

women, and children all eventually gathered in the town's square, in an anxious mob that

MacLeish represented through a building cacophony.76 Absent a secular order-one guaranteed

by a democratic government and defended by an active citizenry-the people in Air Raid

endured lawlessness until the forces of autocracy imposed order. In the closing scene, as the

invading planes arrived, machine-gun fire rained down from the skies, blood ran on the streets,

and a woman's shriek overlapped the sound of air raid alarms.77 The forces of tyranny had

arrived unchecked. The citizens had failed to uphold liberty, and liberty was lost.

MacLeish continued into the 1940s to publicize his concern that strains of autocracy-of

which Nazi anti-Semitism was a prominent example-loomed as a threat to the Western world.

His activities took on greater weight after he accepted a presidential offer to become the


75 Ibid., 18.

76 Ibid., 35.

77 Ibid., 36.









Librarian of Congress, as his entrance into the federal government provided him with a more

powerful vehicle for disseminating his pluralist vision."8 A March 1940 letter, sent to MacLeish

from the Department of Labor, captured his increasing centrality to public discussions of the

American identity. That year, MacLeish was selected as the keynote speaker at the Immigration

and Naturalization's program "I Am an American." At this event, MacLeish agreed to read

excerpts from his poem "America Was Promises."" So important was his participation deemed

to the program's success that the organizer was prepared to "tape his portion in advance" if the

Librarian of Congress could not attend the function personally.80

As MacLeish's stature increased, his commitment to opposing Nazi anti-Semitism

remained intact. In September 1940, he wrote a letter about the topic to Felix Frankfurter. The

letter was unsolicited, and its tone was informal. It indicated both the positive relationship that

he maintained with his Jewish mentor, as well as MacLeish's larger interest in helping Jews

during a difficult period. "Dear Felix," the correspondence began, "Stephen Wise81 called me up

last night in a state of considerable anxiety for the safety of Leon Blum [Nazi-deposed Jewish

French premier]. I gathered that you knew something of his thoughts on the matter." The


8 For his initial letter of regret ("I am afraid that I will not be of much use to the public
service because the one thing I have ever wanted to do with all my heart was to write poetry."),
see Winnick, ed., Letters, 299-301.

Archibald MacLeish, America Was Promises (New York: Duell, Sloan and Pearce,
1939). MacLeish dedicated the publication to Felix and Marion Frankfurter.

80 "Donnell," box 6, MacLeish Papers.

81 Rabbi Stephen Wise was a prominent figure in Washington, D.C., political circles.
During the 1940s, his American Jewish Congress was numerically the most significant domestic
Jewish interest group. Justice Frankfurter was a member of the more elite-and more
powerful-American Jewish Committee. See Spencer Blakeslee, The Death ofAmerican Anti-
Semitism (Westport: Praeger, 2002), 96; Eli Evans, The Provincials: A Personal History ofJews
in the South (New York: Atheneum, 1973), 100-102, 253-54; and Henry Feingold, "Stephen
Wise and the Holocaust," Midstream 29 (1983): 46.

87









well-informed Librarian of Congress assured Frankfurter that "Blum is in no danger" and that

"people here are in continual touch."82 This letter suggests that by 1940, when Wise placed his

call, MacLeish had gained some sort of reputation as someone who was sympathetic to-and,

might be in a position to assist-the Jewish people's struggles with Nazi anti-Semitism.

Such a conclusion appears sustained the next month, October 1940, when MacLeish

addressed a gathering of the Brooklyn Jewish Charities. At the time of his remarks, the German

Army controlled much of Western Europe. MacLeish and his audience together worried that

Nazism would become entrenched throughout the Continent. The future of Western civilization

was uncertain because "the war is not solely a war between European powers." Rather, the poet-

in-govemrnment observed that the war was between "human beings who believed different things

as to the kind of society in which men should live."83

In his closing, MacLeish specifically incorporated Jews into his sweeping defense of

democratic values. "There are those who tell us that liberty must retire that Jews must retire

and not be Jews." However, the poet implored, "Democracy will not fail if it is a democracy in

action. Faith will decide the issue." "And faith," he concluded, "cannot be a faith

against-but a faith for."84 That same month, MacLeish delivered a very similar message to a

more prestigious audience. Again, his growing appeal as a social commentator is apparent. As

the keynote speaker at the "Forum on Current Problems," a conference that Nelson A.

Rockefeller attended, the poet explained, "Fascism is an inward enemy. The defense of

democracy compels free people to build higher and stronger the house of freedom."85 These

82 "Frankfurter," box 8, MacLeish Papers.

83 "The American Cause," box 24, MacLeish Papers.

84 Ibid.

85 Ibid.









sentiments represented a continued evolution of an idea that MacLeish first conceived in Paris

twenty years earlier: people could form and defend their collective identity irrespective of

sociocultural differences.

In fall 1941, with an increased social and political consciousness, MacLeish accepted an

additional assignment from President Roosevelt to serve as director at the newly created Office

of Facts and Figures. The president had conceived of the bureau as a centralized station for

answering media inquiries about the fighting.86 The poet described the midlevel agency as "sort

of a nexus" for processing war-related information.8" However, the assignment was most

significant because it placed MacLeish in a position to use the government's auspices to

influence public discourse.

Though poorly funded, staffers had the capacity to publish and distribute informational

brochures. The challenge for MacLeish lay into determining which issues best captured national

concerns. This was indeed a pressing task. More than six months after the United States had

entered the Second World War, 52 percent of the public admitted they did not have a clear idea

what the war was about. "I can see why we are fighting the Japanese," one respondent told a

Gallup pollster in August 1942, "but I cannot see why we are fighting the Germans. I

suppose we are fighting for democracy."88

Perhaps not surprisingly, one issue that MacLeish chose to publicize involved opposing

Nazi religious intolerance. In early 1942, the Office of Facts and Figures released Divide and



86 Breitman, Official, 131; Laurie, Propaganda, 51, 64-65; Drabeck and Ellis, eds.,
Reflections, 65, 153; R. Keith Kane, "The O.F.F.," Public Opinion Quarterly 6 (1942): 204-20.

SDrabeck and Ellis, eds., Reflections, 153.

88 As quoted in Richard Steele, "American Popular Opinion and the War against
Germany: The Issue of Negotiated Peace, 1942," Journal ofAmerican History 65 (1978): 708.

89









Conquer, a sixteen-page brochure published by the Government Printing Office. This federal

document-with 2.5 million copies distributed-outlined several reasons for Americans to fear

Nazism.89 "Hitler hopes to destroy unity in America," advised the publication. "Both physically

and mentally," readers learned, "all his tricks are now being directed against us."90 Squarely

addressing the issue of German intolerance toward Judaism, citizens read, "The Jews in Warsaw

have been packed into a ghetto." "Nazi guards," the prose continued, "patrol an eight foot wall

topped by broken glass and barbed wire."91 Divide and Conquer also contained some discussion

of persecutions leveled against Christians. "Poland's Catholic Church," the narrative continued,

"has been practically wiped out. Six hundred churches, four hundred chapels, and two

hundred convents have been destroyed or closed."92 MacLeish's imprint is apparent in the

brochure's closing. The language called to mind the fears of social atomization he first expressed

as an editor during the 1930s. "We have seen," the section began, "how Hitler's strategy was to

create internal distress in every nation he planned to attack." "Our job as Americans," this

government pamphlet advised its citizens, "is one of individual awareness to avoid falling into

Hitler's trap.""

As director of the Office of Facts and Figures, Archibald MacLeish also used his public

charge to initiate a related discussion "appraising the present Negro situation."94 In a cover letter


89 Information Control and Propaganda: Records of the Office of War Information,
Part I: "The Director's Central Files, 1942-1945," ed. David Culbert (Frederick, Md.: University
Publications of America, 1986), reel 8: 0049. Hereafter cited as Records, ed. Culbert, pt. 1.

90 "O.W.I.," box 53, MacLeish Papers.

91 Ibid.

92 Ibid.

9 Divide and Conquer (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1942), 11.

94 "Sweetser," box 21, MacLeish Papers.

90









to Interior Secretary Harold Ickes, a well-known proponent of greater racial equality, MacLeish

suggested that the "federal government inform the white population of this nation of the

important role played by Negroes in the history and development of the United States."95

Secretary Ickes embraced such sentiments. "I have been concerned with this problem [the

treatment of blacks] for a number of years,"96 the secretary informed his "dear Archie." "I am

glad to see that your office has turned its attention to this worthwhile matter."9" Secretary of War

Henry Stimson likewise responded to MacLeish's outfit with a letter stating that the War

Department was considering the "color" problem.98 A final message of support also arrived from

the Office of Civilian Defense.99 These collected correspondences did not amount to much in

immediate, practical terms. However, they serve to direct our attention to the discussions under

way among the establishment elite in which expressions of concern for the plight of minorities

signaled a larger allegiance to pluralist attitudes.100 During the years from 1933 to 1941,

Archibald MacLeish was a harbinger of these upcoming changes. His mind-set was common

throughout the Roosevelt administration, and it would continue to gain sway throughout the

second half of the twentieth century.




9 Ibid.

96 In 1937, Ickes delivered a speech dealing with American racial inequality. He decried
the "bitter hate fanning a searing flame" against Jews living in fascist European nations, but he
also noted that one only has to "turn his mind from fascism to Ku Kluxism to discover here in
America a rich field of oppressions." "United States Department," box 1/13, Sabath Papers.

7 "Ickes," box 11, MacLeish Papers.

98 "Stimson," box 21, MacLeish Papers.

S"Daniels," box 6, MacLeish Papers.

100 See esp. Domenic Capeci Jr., The Lynching of Cleo Wright (Lexington: University
Press of Kentucky, 1998), 49, 62.









The appearance of Nazism clearly hurt Jews, as the fanning of religious hatreds served to

undermine the rights and security of Jewish people. But in response to this phenomenon, a

broad-based movement that transcended religious lines came into existence. In the United States,

the battle against Nazi anti-Semitism became the means through which some Protestant elite

sought to fulfill the American promise and to strengthen the national character. This liberalizing

impulse would receive additional momentum during the early 1940s, with the nation's entry into

war, and the subsequent movement that emerged ultimately outstripped all efforts that preceded

it. Once we free ourselves of a vision of the 1930s as a period in which pervasive hostility

toward minorities reigned unchecked, we can find people such as Archibald MacLeish, who

dedicated years of his life to an effort to ensure that America lived up to the lofty goals its

founders and inheritors claimed to cherish.









CHAPTER 4
THE OFFICE OF WAR INFORMATION:
SCULPTING AMERICAN ATTITUDES WITH BROCHURES, 1942-1943

All available evidence points to the fact that most Americans still have little accurate
conception of what domination by the Nazis means.
-Office of War Information director Elmer Davis to
Senator Henry Cabot Lodge Jr. (R-Mass.), explaining
his agency's domestic publications division, April 2,
1943100

The Office of War Information feels a responsibility to provide information of particular
interest to minority groups.
Elmer Davis to Senator Harry Byrd (D-VA), explaining
the publication Negroes and the War, June 30, 1943101

During the early 1940s, the American discursive opposition to Nazi anti-Semitism

became more mainstream and practical. For example, in January 1941 President Roosevelt

included the right to unfettered religious worship in his "Four Freedoms" proclamation.102 Once

the United States entered the fighting, his guarantee to uphold "the civil liberties of all peoples"

became a standard theme in governmental explanations of the war effort. Federal information

officers saw in the reports of Nazi hostility to religious freedom a useful tool for educating those

who remained unclear about the struggle's significance.

One agency responsible for enlightening the American public was the Office of War

Information. In June 1942 via an Executive Order, the president empowered the neophyte bureau

with the authority to "coordinate an informed and intelligent understanding at home and abroad


100 Records, ed. Culbert, pt. 1, reel 9: 0178.

101 Ibid., pt. 1, reel 9: 0207. For more on Byrd and his opposition to the widening of the
Executive branch bureaucracy during the 1930s and 1940s, see Ronald Heinemann, Harry Byrd
of Virginia (Charlottesville, Va: University Press of Virginia, 1996), 167.

102 Delivered as the closing to the president's "State of the Union" address, the three
remaining liberties included the freedom of speech, the freedom from fear, and the freedom from
want. See http://www.americanrhetoric.com/speeches/fdrthefourfreedoms.htm.









of the war effort, government policies, combat activities, and general war aims."103 An expansive

midlevel agency with offices in Washington, D.C., London, New York, and San Francisco, the

new organization provided a home to a range of "New Dealers," many of who had held previous

positions in the Roosevelt administration.104 To its supporters, the Office of War Information

played a vital role in expanding the public flow of knowledge. Detractors, however, claimed that

the bureau, like others it joined in Roosevelt's "alphabet-soup" administration, represented an

effort to disseminate a partisan, pluralist vision.105

During 1942-43, the Office of War Information published many dozens of informational

brochures. Distribution levels for these documents ranged into the tens of millions, helping to

ensure the agency's public visibility.106 Writers and artists covered a wide number of topics

including The Japanese Are Tough (1942), Report of the Rubber Survey (1942), (n /ii, ,' Pilots

(1942), Why Rationing? (1943), and The Four Freedoms (1942). Officials betrayed a particular


103 For the full mandate, see U.S. Cong. Subcommittee of the Committee on
Appropriations, Hearings on the National War Agencies Appropriations Billfor 1944 78 (H), 1st
sess. (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1943), 829.
104 Thomas Fleming, The New Dealers' War: Franklin D. Roosevelt and the War within
World War Two (New York: Basic Books, 2001), 4-17; Clayton Laurie, The Propaganda
Warriors: America's Crusade against Nazi Germany (Topeka: University Press of Kansas,
1998), 83; Allan Winkler, The Politics of Propaganda: The Office of War Information, 1942-
1945 (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1978), 55; and Joseph Barnes, "Fighting with
Information: O.W.I. Overseas," Public Opinion Quarterly 7 (1943): 34.

105 Gerd Horton, Radio Goes to War: The Cultural Politics ofPropaganda during World
War Two (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 2002), 44-45; Sydney
Weinberg, "What to Tell America: The Writers' Quarrel in the Office of War Information,"
Journal ofAmerican History 55 (1968): 73-89.
106 Barbara Savage, Broadcasting Freedom: Radio, War and the Politics ofRace, 1938-
1948 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1999, 51; K.R.M. Short, "Hollywood,"
in K.R.M. Short, ed., Film and Radio Propaganda in World War H (Knoxville: University of
Tennessee Press, 1983), 160-61; Arch Mercey, "Social Uses of the Motion Picture," Annals of
the American Academy ofPolitical and Social Science 250 (1947):101-4; and Barnes,
"Fighting," 37-45.









commitment to publicizing stories rooted in sociocultural themes such as race, creed, and

gender. War Jobs for Women (1943) and Negroes and the War (1943) examined the role that

females and African Americans played in strengthening the national effort. Nazi War against the

Catholic Church (1942) and Tale of a City (1943) condemned German hostility toward

organized religion.

Through its brochures, the Office of War Information unwound vision for humankind

that contrasted starkly with images of fascist atomization. There were, however, subtler aspects

to these publications. Americans, too, maintained a legacy of human inequalities borne from

ethno-racial and religious hatreds. By focusing light on the enemy's racism, administrators

attempted to hammer away at a larger point that the United States was struggling to inaugurate a

new epoch in human history in which all forms of intolerance were taboo.

One reason that scholars who specialize in American reactions to Nazi anti-Semitism

have not examined the Office's role in sculpting a more temperate public discourse is the

dominance of David Wyman's "abandonment" thesis. The discovery that some officials in

Roosevelt's State Department viewed the Nazi persecutions dispassionately has cemented the

manner in which historians frame inquires. Take the case of the oft-noted "Riegner Cable." In

August 1942, this World Jewish Congress communique to the State Department outlined in

detail the ongoing German program of murder; its authors requested that American officials

share news of the report with Jewish American leaders. Instead of disseminating the information,

diplomats suppressed the message after determining that its contents were extraneous to

"definite American interests."10' Refugee experts such as Wallace Murray and Breckinridge


10' See esp. Saul Friedman, History of the Holocaust (London: Vallentine Mitchell,
2004), 343-44; Peter Novick, The Holocaust in American Life (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1999),
22-23; and Michael Marrus, "Bystanders to the Holocaust," in Verne Newton, ed., FDR and the
Holocaust (New York: St. Martin's, 1996), 157.

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Long Jr.108 might have cared little about the Jewish pleas for help, but others did express

concern. A need exists to widen the locus of investigation beyond a review of the utterances and

activities of men who exhibited professional incompetence and personal shortcomings.

At roughly the same time that State Department officials decided how best to ignore the

genocide, administrators at the Office of War Information discussed publicizing these types of

reports. They recognized that contrasting the stories of Nazi religious intolerance with an

exposition of American liberties would yield a tangible ideological gain. Prior to June 1944,

when the United States first landed troops in Western Europe, winning this type of battle against

the enemy took on an even greater significance.109' The accounts of German violence against

noncombatants demonstrated the very strains of repression that the nation had mobilized to

defeat. An examination of the Office's war records-its intra-agency memorandum,

correspondences, as well as published materials-reveals the efforts taken to use Nazi atrocity

stories as a foil against which to define the contours of a pluralist American society.

The president's choice to run the Office of War Information was the noted foreign

correspondent Elmer Davis. Davis possessed no previous governmental experience, but he was

knowledgeable about European affairs. In 1916, Davis covered Henry Ford's "goodwill

journey."110 Following World War I, he reported on the Paris Peace Conference. During the

1920s and 1930s, he had worked for the New York Times as both a writer and editor. Once the

Second World War began, Davis appeared on the Columbia Broadcasting System radio network.



108 Fred Israel, ed., The War Diaries ofBreckinridge Long (Lincoln: University of
Nebraska Press, 1966), 303-4, 334.
109 Steven Casey, Cautious Crusade: Franklin D. Roosevelt, American Public Opinion,
and the War against Nazi Germany (New York: Oxford University Press, 2001), 25-39.

110 Keith Sward, The Legend ofHenry Ford (Toronto: Rinehart and Co., 1948), 31-45.

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Seven days a week, at shortly before 9 p.m., Davis told listeners about events in Europe. Citizens

reportedly enjoyed his droll wit and "Hoosier" perspective.111

Davis surrounded himself with some capable and experienced administrators. Archibald

MacLeish, who during 1941-42 had supervised the Office of Facts and Figures, served briefly as

an assistant director. Pulitzer-winning playwright and presidential speechwriter Robert

Sherwood ran the Overseas Branch.112 The Office of War Information also incorporated

hundreds of artists, writers, photographers, and editors from the Works Projects and Farm

Security Administrations.113 Agency leaders possessed a clear ability to sculpt an audiovisual

message, and to share this vision with the American public.

Indeed, the array of talent has led historian Michael Denning to conclude that the Office

was part of a much larger "cultural apparatus" that during the 1930s and 1940s helped to foster

new social norms. "The state sponsorship of writers, artists, theatres and musicians," he has

argued, "redefined American culture."114 Federal bureaucracies joined the entertainment and


I For Elmer Davis, see David Culbert, News for the Everyman: Radio and Foreign
Affairs in Tinrni1 America (Westport, Ct.: Greenwood, 1976), 125-51. See also Elmer Davis,
"Report to the President: The Office of War Information, 13 June 1942-15 Septemberl945,"
Journalism Monographs 7 (1968): 16-18.

112 For Robert Sherwood, see Illka Joki and Roger Sell, "Robert E. Sherwood and the
Finnish Winter War: Drama, Propaganda and Context Fifty Years Ago," American Studies in
Scandinavia 21 (1989): 51-69; and R. Braid Shuman, Robert Sherwood (New York: Twayne,
1964), 17.

113 Michael Grey, New Deal Medicine: The Rural Health Programs of the Farm Security
Administration (Baltimore: John Hopkins University Press, 1999), 132; Nicholas Nathanson, The
Black Image in the New Deal: The Politics ofFSA Photography (Knoxville: University of
Tennessee Press, 1992), 4-9; Monty Noam Penkower, The Federal Writers' Project: A Study in
the Government Patronage of the Arts (Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 1997), 9, 17; Jerry
Mangione, The Dream and the Deal: The Federal Writers' Project, 1935-1943 (New York:
Avon, 1972), 373.

114 Michael Denning, The Cultural Front: The Laboring ofAmerican Culture in the
Twentieth Century (New York: Verso, 1996), 44-46, 78-82.

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advertisement industries in defining the social mainstream. Contemporary observers took note of

this development. In June 1942, Edmund Wilson decried the role that "second-and-third-rate

writers" had come to play in shaping the "social consciousness."115"' "With MacLeish and

Sherwood at the White House," he noted in a letter to author Maxwell Geiser, "the whole thing

makes me uneasy."116 Wilson's specific concern with what he termed their "awful collectivist

cant" captured precisely the contest under way to reconfigure American thinking and behavior.11"

Against this landscape, the ever-escalating reports of Nazi atrocities, steeped in ancient

prejudices and medieval barbarity, clearly differentiated between the democratic and fascist

vision for humankind. Even before the Office of War Information appeared, later administrators

such as Archibald MacLeish had discussed the need to present publicly the reports of fascist

violence. Working with Robert Kitner, an executive of the National Broadcasting Company, and

political figures such as Milton Eisenhower, Adlai Stevenson, Nelson Rockefeller, and Assistant

Secretary of War John McCloy, MacLeish chaired a group called the "Committee on War

Information."118" On April 30, 1942, in response to a question about the "handling of atrocity

material," MacLeish suggested first the need for a written statement covering what existed.119"'





115 Edmund Wilson, "Edmund Wilson on Writers and Writing," New York Times Review
ofBooks vol. 24 March 17, 1977.

116 Ibid.

117 Ibid. See also William Leuchtenburg, Franklin D. Roosevelt and the New Deal, 1932-
40 (New York: Harper Colophon, 1963), 342.

.. For the Committee of War Information, see "Subject File," "OWI," box 52, Archibald
MacLeish Papers, 1907-81, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. See also Richard Breitman
and Alan Kraut, American Refugee Policy and European Jewry, 1933-1945 (Bloomington:
Indiana University Press, 1987), 172.

119 "O.W.I.," box 52, MacLeish Papers.









Two weeks later, these men met to "develop a policy for the disclosure of atrocity

information." They agreed that such releases should occur with "the specific purpose of giving

the public an accurate idea of the enemy."120 One way to ensure that Americans developed a

positive image of the fledgling war effort was to depict the fascists in as unfavorable a manner as

possible.121 Attached to this agenda is an eight-page discussion of how best to present the

evidence, after "absolutely irrefutable and horrible reports come in."122 "Photographs, movies,

posters, speeches, governmental and eyewitness testimony" were possible methods listed.123 "It

would be wise to have a policy [on atrocities] ready." "If we do not prepare," the Committee on

War Information determined, "any number of unfortunate things may happen."124

Office of War Information administrators took this lesson to heart. In July 1942, only one

month after the agency's founding, George Barnes, Director Davis's assistant, authored an

internal memorandum on the topic. "Is there any facility," the message began, "for checking the

authenticity and accuracy of reported atrocities?" Citing a concern that "we shall certainly have

an increasing number of inquiries," the document closed with the statement that "we should be

prepared to answer them with some authority."125

Ten days later, Director Davis received a related letter. The message informed him that

presidential advisor Adolf Berle had shared with the Office a prospective White House statement


120 Ibid.

121 See esp. John Dower, War without Mercy: Race and Power in the Pacific War (New
York: Pantheon, 1986), 77, 147.
122 "O.W.I.," box 52, MacLeish Papers.

123 Ibid.

124 Ibid.

125 Records, ed. Culbert, pt. 1, reel 12: 0754.

99









on the topic of "civilian atrocities." This document also contained a description of a new

category termed "crimes against humanity."126 This construct connected the United States

directly with a defense of European Jewry. The category's intellectual roots held that the Nazi

actions, steeped in anti-Semitism, were incompatible with democratic values. As the memo's

author observed: "those perpetrating these atrocities must know that they cannot absolve

themselves. The crimes are being recorded in all countries with great care."127

Of course, the Office of War Information exerted modest authority. Its midlevel

bureaucratic apparatus was insufficient for stopping the genocide. The new organization also

experienced intra-agency fractures, which hastened Archibald MacLeish's departure. In his

resignation letter to Elmer Davis, penned less two months after the Office's founding, the poet

noted a "confusion" that resulted from overlapping jurisdictions.128 Indeed, the agency was but

one of several organizations involved with the collection and dissemination of war information.

On the same day that President Roosevelt had authorized Davis's bureau, he also created an

"Office of Strategic Services."129 The main distinction between the two resided in their staffs.

Elmer Davis ran a civilian organization manned by literary talents. The Office of Strategic

Services was a military unit, commanded by Col. William "Wild Bill" Donovan. A New York

lawyer and Republican friend of the president, Donovan had prior experience with information

gathering and propaganda.130 He was a forceful figure who staked out a broad vision. Perhaps not

126 Ibid., pt. 1, reel 12: 0805.

127 Ibid.

128 "Davis," box 6, MacLeish Papers.

129 Laurie, Propaganda, 36; Cedric Larson, "The Domestic Picture Work of the Office of
War Information," Hollywood Quarterly 2 (1948): 434.

130 Laurie, Propaganda, 63; Holly Shulman, The Voice ofAmerica: Propaganda and
Democracy, 1941-45 (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1990), 32.

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Full Text

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1 GOI NG PUB L I C I N SUPPOR T: AMERI CAN DI SCURS I VE OPPOSI TI ON TO N AZ I ANTI -SEMI TI SM, 1933-1944 B y J EFF REY SCOTT DEMSKY A DI SSER TATI ON PRESENTED TO THE G RADUATE SCHOOL OF T HE UNI VERSI TY OF FL ORI DA I N PARTI AL FUL FI L L MENT OF T HE REQUI REMENTS FOR THE DE GREE OF DOCTOR OF PHI L OSOPHY UNI VERSI TY OF FL ORI DA 2007

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2 ACKNOWL EDGMENTS I t is a pleasure to acknowle dg e those fa culty , colleag ues, fr iends, and staf f at the University of F lorida who he lped me in the re sear ch and w riting of this diss erta tion. Few w ritten works ar e solely individual pursuits. This was indee d my experience . The idea s and inspiration, the fu nd ing a nd the fu n, a pp e a re d f ro m a wi de ra ng e of so ur c e s. Sc ho la rs hip is a lon e ly pr oc e ss, but the constant involvement of other s helped to ensur e that I was not alone . Professors Ge offr ey Giles, Ronald For misano, and Charle s Montgomer y provided me the initial opportunit ies to pursue my scholarship. More over, I had the immense g ood fortune tha t the Gr a du a te Pr og ra m in Hi sto ry a t th e Un ive rs ity of F lor ida is v ibr a nt a nd str on g . D ur ing my more than e ight y ear s of doctoria l studies, I was g rate ful for the countless number of teac hing and re sear ch appointments that I rec eived. I appre ciated the outstanding a dminist rative w ork of L inda Opper . My colleag ue Jeremy Cohen spent consider able time re ading and commenting on thi s p ro je c t, p a rt ic ula rl y du ri ng the e a rl ie st d ra ft s. My dis se rt a tio n c omm itt e e , c ha ir e d b y Dr . L ou ise Ne wm a n, a nd c omp ri se d o f D rs . Mit c he ll H a rt , Wil lia m L ink , L a rr y Do dd , a nd Al a n Pe tig ny , d e vo te d ma ny ho ur s to tr a ini ng me a s a sc ho la r. Dr . D od d f ro m th e Pol iti c a l Sc ie nc e de pa rt me nt p ro vid e d in va lua ble su pp or t, b oth in t he pr oje c tÂ’ s e a rl y sta g e s, a nd ov e r t he c ou rs e of my fi ve -y e a r c a nd ida c y . D r. Ha rt wa s a knowledg eable cocha ir who inspired me to re ach g rea ter leve ls of methodologic al rig or. I n any number of c offe e shops and diner s, Dr. Petig ny sat many hours with me, helping me to rew ork my prose a nd clar ify my arg uments. I owe my most weig hty debt, howeve r, to the cha ir, for direc ting the f inal version of this dissertation. Profe ssor New man demonstrate d superior intellectual cur iosity and g rea t skill , ag ree ing simultaneously to share w ith me her master y of the h i s t o r i a n s Â’ c r a f t w h i l e l e a r n i n g m o r e a b o u t a f i e l d w i t h w h i c h s h e w a s n o t e n t i r e l y f a m i l i a r . In

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3 ou r s c he du le d w e e kly me e tin g s, a s w e ll a s in inf or ma l di sc us sio ns , h e r g uid a nc e he lpe d me imm e ns e ly . T he pr oje c tÂ’ s sc op e , to ne , a nd a na ly sis a re ri c he r f or he r e ff or ts. So, too , is my persona l and profe ssional view of life inside the aca demy . I can only hope to re pay this deep a pp re c ia tio n, fo r t he c omm itt e e Â’s c oll e c tiv e e ff or t, t hr ou g h a c on tin ue d im pr ov e me nt i n my work, ha bits, and propriety . Taking near ly a dec ade to f inish my doctora te, the dictate s of human sanity have r equire d me to maintain outside networks a nd friendships. I n many case s, experience s that appea red se e min g ly ta ng e nti a l to my stu die s in fa c t se rv e d to fa c ili ta te my pr og re ss. I wo uld lik e to a c kn ow le dg e Pa m a nd Chu c k K inn a rd , a s w e ll a s K e ith Sin g le ton , f or ma kin g po ssi ble my employ ment at the Salty Dog Saloon. The wa g es and tips ea rned, the persona l connec tions e sta bli sh e d, ha ve he lpe d to su sta in m e du ri ng my y e a rs in G a ine sv ill e . L ike wi se , f or ma ny y e a rs , close fr iends such as Paul He y mach, Ma tt Mag enheim, Steffa n Alexander, Sea n Atwater , and Amanda Johnson have included me in pursuits wholly unrela ted to my scholarship. I thank them completely for their companionship and loy alty . My last acknow ledg ement is to my mother, L eslie De renf eld, a pr ofessional librar ian, with a re marka ble af fec tion for literature . Nea rly three deca des ag o, she taug ht a y oung boy to rea d and opene d the doors of possibility . Her unwave ring eff orts have ma de this acc omplishm ent possible.

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4 TAB L E OF CONTENTS A C K N O W L E D G M E N T S . ....................................................... 2 L I S T O F T A B L E S . ............................................................. 5 A B S T R A C T . .................................................................. 6 CHAPTER 1 IN T R O D U C T IO N : A M E R IC A N D IS C U R S IV E O P P O S IT IO N T O N A Z I A N T IS E M I T I S M , 1 9 3 3 1 9 4 4 . ................................................... 8 2 C O N G R E S S B E G IN S A P U B LIC D IS C O U R S E C O N D E M N IN G N A Z I A N T IS E M I T I S M , 1 9 3 3 1 9 4 1 . .................................................. 28 3 ARCHI BA L D MACL EI SH AND THE G ROWI NG DI SCURS I VE OPPOSI TI ON TO N AZ I ANTI -SEMI TI SM, 1933-1941. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 65 4 THE OF FI CE OF WAR I NFO RMATI ON: SCUL PTI NG AMERI CAN ATTI TUDES WI TH B ROCHURES, 1942-1943. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 93 5 IN T E R E S T G R O U P A D V O C A T E S P U S H F O R A M O R E T A N G IB LE R E S P O N S E , 1 9 4 2 1 9 4 3 . ................................................ 115 6 THE WAR REFUGEE B OARD: THE I NSTI TUTI ONAL I Z ATI ON OF AMERI CAN DI SCURS I VE OPPOSI TI ON TO N AZ I ANTI -SEMI TI SM, 1944. . . . . 147 7 C O N C L U S I O N . ....................................................... 171 L I S T O F R E F E R E N C E S . ...................................................... 180 B I O G R A P H I C A L S K E T C H . ................................................... 199

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5 L I ST OF TAB L ES T ab l e p age 2-1 Number of House Remar ks and Resolutions Related to Religious I ntoleranc e ( 1 9 3 1 1 9 3 5 ) . ........................................................... 64

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6 Abstrac t of Dissertation Prese nted to the Gra duate School of the Unive rsity of F lorida in Partial Fulf illment of the Requirements for the Deg ree of Doc tor of Philosophy GOI NG PUB L I C I N SUPPOR T: AMERI CAN DI SCURS I VE OPPOSI TI ON TO N AZ I ANTI -SEMI TI SM, 1933-1944 By J eff rey Scott Demsky May 2007 Chair: L ouise New man Cochair: Mitchell Ha rt Major: History Shortly afte r Adolf Hitler ’s rise to powe r in Ger many , Christian and J ewish Amer icans ini tia te d a n a rg ume nt t ha t he ld N a zi a nti -S e mit ism did vio le nc e to t he ir de moc ra tic fr e e do ms. They observe d the sca peg oating of Jews, the hallmark fe ature of Ge rman fa scism, indicated a perva sive hostilit y toward the civil liberties outlined in the U.S. Const itution. P ublicly contesting Nazi anti-Semitism beca me a r ecur ring topic in public discourse. Politicians used the re ports of J ewish per secutions to differ entiate be tween f ascist and de mocra tic values. Social c ommentators and ar tists s aw in the issue a path for sof tening sociocultural a ttitudes domestically . As members of the Christian majority lear ned more about Hitler’s w ide-ra ng ing intoler ance , some conc luded that tolerating simil ar dome stic prejudice s was har mful to society . Rejecting Nazism—and, specific ally , its neg ative portra y al of Jews—beca me par t of a muc h la rg e r r e c on fi g ur a tio n in ma ins tr e a m A me ri c a n a tti tud e s. Ev ide nc e tha t c iti zen s, bo th pr iva te a nd pu bli c , o pp os e d N a zi a nti -S e mit ism a pp e a re d in pe ri od ic a ls, po lit ic a l st a te me nts , play s, motion pi cture s, novels, private c orre spondence s, and g overnme nt publications. The common threa d binding these text s toge ther wa s the expression of hostilit y toward N azi relig ious intoleranc e. Althoug h for some A merica ns, neg ative sentiments towar d ethnic, ra cial, and

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7 relig ious minoriti es undoubtedly persisted, ther e is a lar g er story involving the wa y s both J ews and Christians used the issue of N azi intol era nce towa rd re ligious minorities as a tool for promoting a more plura list worldview.

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Congressional Record, H 73, 1st sess. (May 22, 1933): 3968. 1 Editors of Fortune , Jews in Ame rica (Ne w York: Random House , 1936), 10-11. 2 For the full text , see 3 htt p:/ / ww w. a me ri c a nr he tor ic .c om/ sp e e c he s/f dr the fo ur fr e e do ms. htm Palestine Statehood Committee Pape rs, 1939 1949, ed. Ka therine Mor ton (Wil mington: 4 Scholarly Resource s, 1982), re el 8: 0146. 8 CH APT ER 1 I NTRODUCTI ON: AMERI CAN DI SCURS I VE OPPOSI TI ON TO N AZ I ANTI -SEMI TI SM, 1933-1944 The c ause of liberty , fre edom and justice, thre e of the most im portant par ts of modern c ivi liza tio n, ha s r e c e ive d it s mo st r e c e nt b low a t th e ha nd s o f A do lf Hi tle r a nd his subsequent per secution of the Jews. Amer icans e very wher e re cog nize the rig hts of human being s to worship God as they please . —Represe ntative J esse Swick to House , May 22, 1933) 1 An y ma n w ho loa the s f a sc ism wi ll f e a r a nti -S e mit ism . F e a ri ng a nti -S e mit ism , h e wi ll fe a r a lso the va ri ou s c on dit ion s w hic h e nc ou ra g e its a pp e a ra nc e . A ny na tio n th a t pe rm its a minority to live in fear of per secution is a nation that invites disaster. —Editors of Fortune , Jews in Ame rica , 1936) 2 I n the future day s which we seek to make secur e, we look forwa rd to a wor ld founded up on fo ur e sse nti a l hu ma n f re e do ms… the fr e e do m of e ve ry pe rs on to w or sh ip G od in h is own way —ever y wher e in the wor ld. —Fr om Fra nklin Roosevelt’s “Four Fr eedoms” Dec lara tion, J anuar y 6, 1941 3 Americ a is a dre am of justice, a light held a loft to the sacr ed wa y s of humanity . Speak for us and g ive not only the J ews, but mankind bac k its fair name . The Jews have only one voice lef t. I t is the voice of pr ay er. Per haps the F our F ree doms will hear it. —Closing to W e W ill Ne v e r D ie , Madison Square G arde n, Marc h 9, 1943 4 Shortly afte r Adolf Hitler ’s rise to powe r in Ger many , Christian and J ewish Amer icans ini tia te d a n a rg ume nt t ha t he ld N a zi a nti -S e mit ism did vio le nc e to t he ir de moc ra tic fr e e do ms. They observe d that the sca peg oating of Jews, the hallmark fe ature of Ge rman fa scism, hinted at a much more perva sive hostilit y toward c ivil li berties—e .g ., fre edom of spee ch and r elig ious a sse mbl y —a s o utl ine d in the U. S. Co ns tit uti on . Pu bli c ly c on te sti ng Na zi a nti -S e mit ism be c a me a us e fu l e xer c ise fo r t ho se Am e ri c a ns int e re ste d in dif fe re nti a tin g be tw e e n tw o s ta rk ly op po sit e

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Edwar d Reneha n J r., “Joseph Kenne dy and the Jews,” 5 htt p:/ /hn n. us /a rt ic le s/6 97 .h tml ; Nea l Gabler , An Empire of Their Own: How the Je ws Invente d Hollywood (Ne w York: Crown, 1988), 344. For a photo of Char les L indberg h and He rmann Goe ring enjoy ing a laug h, see Susan 6 Her tog, Anne Morrow Lindbergh (Ne w York: Na n Talese , 1999), 321. F or photos of He nry For d acc epting his medal, see K ees va n der Pijl, The Ma k ing of a n A tla nti c Ru lin g Cl as s (Ne w York: Ver so, 1984), 221. 9 ideolog ical visions. These discussions also helpe d some to provoke f urther de bates a bout sociocultural a ttitudes in t he United States. As membe rs of the Christian majority lear ned more about Hitler’s w ide-ra ng ing intoler ance , some conc luded that upholding or tolerating simil ar domestic prejudice s was har mful to society . To date, historians ha ve ig nored the se expressions of outrag e and ha ve instead e x amined the uttera nces a nd activities of Amer icans who sa w little to fear f rom the new Ger man re g ime. During the 1930s, Ambassador J oe Ke nnedy lauded Hitler ’s g overnme nt; the pilot-icon Charles 5 L indberg h established a G erma n residenc y during the Third Reich; a nd Henr y For d visited Be rlin to acc ept a meda l from Nazi repr esenta tives. Although striking , these e x pressions of 6 su pp or t c a us e d e a c h ma n— Ke nn e dy , L ind be rg h, a nd F or d— ir re pa ra ble da ma g e to h is p ub lic c re dib ili ty . I nd e e d, du ri ng the 19 30 s a nd e a rl y 19 40 s, re je c tin g Na zism —a nd , s pe c if ic a lly , it s neg ative portra y al of Jews—beca me par t of a much la rg er r econf igur ation in mainstream Americ an attitudes towar d ethno-re ligious minorities. Ev ide nc e tha t A me ri c a ns , b oth in a nd ou tsi de the g ov e rn me nt, op po se d N a zi a nti Se mit ism a pp e a re d in pe ri od ic a ls, po lit ic a l st a te me nts , p la y s, mot ion pic tur e s, no ve ls, pr iva te corr espondenc es, and g overnme nt publications. The common threa d binding these artifa cts and text s toge ther wa s the expression of hostilit y toward N azi intol era nce. A lthough ne g ative sentiments toward e thnic, rac ial, and re ligious minorities undoubtedly persisted for many

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Marc Dollinge r, Quest for Inclusion: J ews and Liberalism in Modern America 7 (Princeton: Prince ton University Press, 2000), 48; Matthew F ry e Jacobson, W hit e ne ss o f a Different Color: European Imm igrants and the Alchemy of Race (Cambridg e: Har vard University Press, 1999), 188; Stuart Svonkin, Jews against Prejudice: American J ews and the Fi gh t fo r Ci v il Li be rti e s ( N e w Y o r k : C o l u m b i a U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1 9 9 7 ) , 1 5 ; S t e p h e n J. Whit field, American Spac e, Je wish T ime (Ha mden: Arc hon Books, 1988) , 93-94. J udith Goldstein, The Politics of Ethni c Pressure : The Ame rican Je wish C ommittee 8 Fight against Immigration Restri ctions, 1906-1917 (Ne w York: Ga rland, 1990), 16283; Allen Her tzke, Re pr e se nti ng Go d in W as hin gto n: The Ro le of R e lig iou s Lo bb ie s in the Am e ric an Po lit y (Knoxvil le: University of Tenne ssee Pre ss, 1988), 38; Gary Dea n Be st, To Free a Pe ople: American J ewish Leaders and the Je wish Problems in Eastern Europe (Westport, Ct.: Gre enwood, 1982) , 17, 142-44. Naomi Cohen, Not Free to Desist: The Ame rican Je wish C ommittee, 19061969 9 (Philadelphia: J ewish Publication Society of Amer ica, 1972) , 159, 453-54. Neil B aldwin, He nr y Fo rd an d th e J e ws: The Ma ss P ro du c tio n o f H ate (Ne w York: 10 Public Affair s, 2001), 103, 173. 10 c iti zen s, the la rg e r s tor y inv olv e d th e wa y s th a t bo th A me ri c a n Jew s a nd Pr ote sta nts c a me to d e n o u n c e b i g o t r y. 7 As e a rl y a s 1 91 1, le a de rs in t he Am e ri c a n Jew ish Com mit te e ha d lo bb ie d o ff ic ia ls i n Con g re ss a nd the e xec uti ve br a nc h to pu nis h Cza ri st R us sia fo r v iol a tin g the lib e rt ie s o f Je wi sh Americ ans trave ling a broad. The y arg ued that the r ights of c itiz enship wer e univer sal, eve n outside the nation. Congr ess ag ree d. I n 1912, both houses voted over whelming ly to abrog ate a lon g -s ta nd ing Am e ri c a nRus sia n tr a de tr e a ty to p ro te st t he Cza ri st a bu se . Du ri ng the e a rl y 8 deca des of the twe ntieth century , Americ ans of multiple faiths continued to promote a secula r identity by joining new org anizations such as the Anti-De fama tion L eag ue (1913) and the Na tio na l Co nf e re nc e of Chr ist ia ns a nd Jew s ( 19 28 ). Jew s a nd Chr ist ia ns wo rk e d to g e the r t o 9 or g a nize na tio nw ide bo y c ott s a g a ins t r a c ist ne ws pa pe rs su c h a s F or dÂ’ s Dearborn Inde pendent . 10 Following episodes in which Jews stood acc used of se nsational crimes, suc h as the Masse na

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F or the Ma sse na c a se , s e e Ab ra ha m F oxma n a nd Al a n Sc hw a rt z, “ B loo d L ibe l: A 11 L ifetime Ag o But Not So Fa r Awa y ,” J e wis h J ou rn al 23 (1998): 54-61; a nd Saul Frie dman, Incide nt at Massena: The Blood Libel in America (Ne w York: Stein and Da y , 1978), 179. F or anti-Semitism and the L eopold and L oeb Af fair, se e Gini Scott, Homicide by the Rich and Fa mo us : A Ce ntu ry of P ro mi ne nt K ill e rs (Westport, Ct.: Greenwood, 2005) , 176-77. Wil liam Toll, “Horac e M. Ka llen: Pluralism and America n J ewish I dentity ,” American 12 J e wis h H ist or y 85 (1 99 7) : 57 -7 4; S idn e y Ra tne r, “ Ho ra c e M. Ka lle n a nd Cul tur a l Plu ra lis m,” in Milton Konwitz , ed., The Legacy of Horac e M. Kallen (Rutherfor d, N.J .: Fair leig h Dickinson University Press, 1987), 48-61; Micha el Walzer, “Pluralism in P olitical Perspective,” in Michael Walz er e t al., The Politics of Ethni city (Cambridg e: B elknap Pre ss, 1982), 9-11. For ear ly twentieth-c entury liberalism, see G ary Ger stle, “The Prote an Chara cter of 13 Americ an L ibera lism,” American H istorical Review 99 (1994): 1043-45; Ala n Dawle y , Struggles for Justice: Soc ial Responsibili ty and the Liberal State (C a mbr idg e : H a rv a rd Un ive rs ity Pr e ss, 1991); Robert Westbrook, John De wey and Ame rican Dem ocracy (I tha c a : Co rn e ll U niv e rs ity Press, 1991), 430-39; a nd L ouis Hartz, The Liberal T radition i n America: An Interpretation of American P olitical T hought since the Re volution (Ne w York: Ha rcour t Bra ce, 1955) , 3, 259. 11 Blood L ibel (1924) a nd the L eopold and L oeb Af fair ( 1924), these g roups and their supporters pla y e d a piv ota l r ole in d e fu sin g so c ia l a nxie tie s. 11 Jew s f ur the r b e ne fi te d f ro m ne w i de a s su c h a s “ c ult ur a l pl ur a lis m.” Du ri ng the fi rs t de c a de s o f t he tw e nti e th c e ntu ry , th e Am e ri c a n p hil os op he r H or a c e Ka lle n in sis te d th a t th e tr ue st te st o f U .S. de moc ra c y la y in t he na tio n’ s a bil ity to h ig hli g ht, ra the r t ha n h omo g e nize , th e e thn ic varia nces a mong its citizens. Neither Jews nor Catholics could eve r “be come Ame rica n” if that desig nation exclusively denoted Protestantism. Cultural pluralism offer ed a r ationale f or embra cing those tens of millions who otherwise re mained outside of the ma instream. I n many 12 case s, the ideas a ssociated with cultura l pluralism found expression through the eff orts of such liberals as John Dewey and Joseph Pul itz er. The se men a nd their many associate s, followers, a nd admirer s embrac ed the Prog ressive notion that an e nlightene d g overnme nt based on sec ular v a l u e s w a s t h e s u r e s t w a y t o i m p r o v e s o c i e t y. 13 During the 1930s and 1940s, numer ous ethno-minority g roups in the United States g a ine d g re a te r s oc ia l st a tus wi thi n th e po lit ic a l w or ld. Hi sto ri a ns ha ve a lr e a dy sta rt e d to e xpla in

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Neil B aldwin, The American R eve lation: Ten Ideals That Shaped Our Country from the 14 Pu rit an s to the Col d W ar (Ne w York: St. Martin’s, 2005), 158; Walter Jackson, Gunnar Myrdal and America’ s Conscience : Social Enginee ring and Radical Liberali sm, 1938-1987 (Chapel Hill: University of North Car olina Press, 1990), 1-9; a nd L izabeth Cohen, Ma k ing a Ne w D e al: Industrial W orkers in Chicago, 1919-1939 (Ne w York: Cambridg e Univer sity Press, 1990), 54, 111, 125. Ba rbar a Savag e, Broadcasting Freedom : Radio, W ar and the Politics of Race, 193815 1948 (Chapel Hill: University of North Car olina Press, 1999), 21-30; Steven Ross, W orkingClass Holl ywood: Silent Film and the Shaping of Class i n America (Princeton: Prince ton University Press, 1998), 10, 242; Gable r, Em pir e , 315, 317. Nicholas Na thanson, The Black I mage in the New De al: The Politics of FSA 16 Photography (Knoxvil le: University of Tenne ssee Pre ss, 1992), 4-9; Monty Noam Penkowe r, The Fe de ra l W rit e rs’ Pr oje c t: A S tud y in t he Go v e rn me nt P atr on ag e of t he Ar ts (Chicag o: University of I llinois Press, 1977), 9, 17, 27; J err y Mang ione, The Dream and the Deal: The Fede ral W riters’ Project, 19351943 (Ne w York: Avon, 1972) , 273. 12 how eve nts such as the Gr eat De pression and the Second World War forg ed a ne w national identity . The many milli ons of immigra nts and first-g ener ation citizens who lived through the experience s emerg ed as bona fide “ Americ ans.” On the cultura l landscape , radio a nd movies 14 projec ted the nation’s ne w cha rac ter. The fe dera l gove rnment also took bold and unpre cede nted 15 actions to promote ethnic va riety . Org anizations such as the F arm Sec urity Administration, the Works Progre ss Administ ration, and the Offic e of War I nformation dedic ated sig nificant resour ces to disseminating imag es of the ma ny differ ent people w ho lived in the U.S. As ear ly as 19 38 , r a dio pr og ra ms s uc h a s Am e ric an Al l, I mm igr an t A ll , a tw e nty -s ix-w e e klon g na tio na lly b r o a d c a s t s e r i e s s p o n s o r e d b y t h e f e d e r a l g o v e r n m e n t , r e s e t t h e d o m e s t i c b o u n d a r i e s o f e t h n i c i t y, relig ion, and ra ce. T hese pr og rams pre sented Protestant c itiz ens with richly detailed—a nd complimentary —portraits of the va rious new e thnicities and rac es now include d within the desig nation “Amer ican.” 16 B ut i f c ult ur a l pl ur a lis m w a s a ff e c tin g a br oa d r a ng e of su bg ro up s— Af ri c a n A me ri c a ns , I talians, Poles—then why is it necessar y to examine the J ewish experienc e indepe ndent of the

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J udy Kutulas, The Long W ar: The Intellec tual People’s Front and Anti-Stalinism, 17 1930-1940 (Durha m: Duke Univer sity Press, 1995), 95; Geof fre y Smit h, To Save a Nation: American Countersubversive s, the New Deal and the Coming of W orld W ar II (Ne w York: Ba sic Books, 1973) , 60. Raul Hilberg , The De str uc tio n o f th e Eu ro pe an J e ws (L ondon: Allen, 1961), 672, 683. 18 Raul Hilberg , Perpetrators, Victims and Bystanders: The J ewish Catast rophe, 193319 1945 (Ne w York: Ashe r, 1992), 3, 249. Debor ah L ipstadt, “Wit ness to the Persec ution: The Allies and the Holoca ust,” Mo de rn 20 Judaism (1983): 323. 13 oth e r g ro up s th a t w e re ma kin g the ir wa y int o th e ma ins tr e a m? The the me of thi s d iss e rt a tio n is that the appe ara nce of Nazism—a thoroug hly antidemocr atic and a ntirelig ious philosophy —intensified the drive to transform Ame rica n national identity , making it more se c ula r. Jew s c le a rl y ha d s ome thi ng ta ng ibl e to f e a r f ro m N a zism . T ha t ot he r c iti zen s f e lt sim ila rl y is a fa c t so me tim e s o ve rl oo ke d in dis c us sio ns of the 19 30 s. 17 Ex amining the rela tionship between opposition to Nazism , on the one ha nd, and a rec onfig uration of Ame rica n attitudes, on the other, pr ovides a pa thway to the field and subf ields of Holoca ust St udies. During the 1960s, scholar s beg an to publish books and article s documenting the Nazi destruction of Eur ope’s Jews. Raul Hilberg was one of the fir st historians to depict the Na zi war crimes in intrica te detail and to a ssess the world’s r eac tion. Hilberg 18 de sig na te d th e Ge rm a ns a s pe rp e tra tor s of g enocide and deve loped additional ca teg ories such a s by sta nd e rs and witnesses t o i n d i ca t e h i s b el i ef t h at t h e W es t er n d em o cr ac i es , b y n o t i n t er v en i n g, had fa iled to act on their mora l responsibility . This view has prove d rema rkably resilient. Many 19 Ho loc a us t Stu die s r e se a rc he rs , p a rt ic ula rl y tho se wh o s pe c ia lize in t he Am e ri c a n r e sp on se to Na zi a nti -S e mit ism , h a ve ba se d th e ir inq uir ie s o n th e pr e su mpt ion tha t th e na tio n’ s le a de rs c ho se no t to int e rv e ne on be ha lf of Eu ro pe ’s Jew s. 20

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Mitchell Hart, “ The Historian’ s Past in Three Rec ent J ewish Autobiog raphie s,” J e wis h 21 So c ial Stu die s 5 (1999): 149. J ohn Mendelsohn, “T he Holoca ust: Rescue and Relief Documenta tion in the National 22 Arc hives,” An na ls o f th e Am e ric an Ac ad e my of P oli tic al a nd So c ial Sc ie nc e s 450 (1980): 24042. Har t, “Historian’s,” 134-35. 23 Roo se ve lt a nd Hi tle r b oth too k p ow e r i n M a rc h 1 93 3. B oth ru le d c on tin ua lly un til the ir 24 deaths in the spring of 1945. The two me n g rapple d with many of the same challeng es, lea ding their re spective na tions through the G rea t Depre ssion and into W orld War I I . For an excellent discussion, see J ohn Gar raty , “The New D eal, Na tional Socialism and the Grea t Depre ssion,” Am e ric an Hi sto ric al R e v ie w 78 (1973): 907. Saul Frie dman, No Haven for the Oppre ssed (D e tr oit : Wa y ne Sta te Un ive rs ity Pr e ss, 25 1973), 34, 77; Henr y Fe ingold, The Politics of Rescue The Roose velt Administration and the Holocaust, 1938-1945 (Ne w York: Holoc aust L ibrary , 1980), 328; David Wy man, Pa pe r W all s: America and the Refugee Crisi s, 1938-1941, 2nd ed. (N ew Yor k: Pantheon , 1985),164; Arthur Morse, W hile Six Million Died: A Chronicle of Ame rican Apathy (Ne w York: Random House , 1967), 118-19, 376. 14 Hilberg ’s work a lso set a sty listi c benc hmark for the subfield. Ha ving se rved w ith the U.S. War Crimes Documentation Commissi on, he wa s fully conver sant with the Nure mburg Trial tra nscripts. He a cce ssed many dozens of state ar chives, pursuing multipl e long , winding paths of inquiry that at times exasperate d his dissertation advisor. Howeve r, this fine-g raine d 21 method—that is, a Rankea n approa ch to selec ting sourc e mater ials and eva luating a rt if a c ts— be c a me sta nd a rd in m a ny of the fi e ld’ s la te r p ub lic a tio ns . The Destruction of the 22 Eu ro pe an J e wry offe red a dvance s in theory as we ll. Hilberg ’s dec ision to compress the entire na rr a tiv e of Eu ro pe a n a nti -S e mit ism wi thi n th e tw e lve -y e a r N a zi r e g ime wa s u niq ue . Hi s 23 confla tion provided an a cce pted linear fra mework tha t, owing to the f act the T hird Reich and Ne w D e a l w e re a lmo st c on te mpo ra ne ou s, e nc ou ra g e d la te r h ist or ia ns to c on tr a st v a ri ou s f a c e ts of Na zi a nd Am e ri c a n b e ha vio rs . 24 Du ri ng the la te 19 60 s a nd e a rl y 19 70 s, Ar thu r M or se ’s W hile Six Million Died: A Chronicle of American Apathy , Sa ul F ri e dma n’ s No Haven for the Oppre ssed , Henr y Fe ingold’ s The Politics of Rescue , a nd Da vid Wy ma n’ s Pa pe r W all s followed this blueprint. Foc using on 25

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Wy man, Paper , 10. 26 Richard B reitman, “ The Allied War Ef fort and the J ews, 1942-1943,” Journal of 27 Contemporary History 20 (1985): 143. Her bert Dr uks, The Failure to Rescue (Ne w York: Speller, 1977) , 98. 28 Richard Rubenstein, The Cun nin g O f H ist or y : T he Ho loc au st a nd the Am e ric an Fu tur e 29 (Ne w York: Ha rper Colophon, 1975), 38-41. David Wy man, “Why Auschwitz W as Ne ver B ombed,” Commentary 69 (1978): 40; 30 Roge r Will iams, “Why Wasn’t Auschwitz Bombed? ” Com mo nwe al 105 (1978): 746. Monty Noam Penkowe r, The Jews W ere Ex pendable: Free W orld Diplomacy and the 31 Ho loc au st (Urba na: Univer sity of I llinois Press, 1983), 146. 15 political events and pe rsons from the 1930s a nd 1940s, these schola rs ar g ued that Amer ican indiffer ence to Europea n issues—what Wy man terme d “nativist nationalism”—perme ated the g ov e rn me nt a nd so c ie ty . Of c ou rs e , n ot a ll o ff ic ia ls w e re big ots . H ow e ve r, a rc hiv a l r e se a rc h in 26 the re c or ds of the Sta te De pa rt me nt a nd oth e r f e de ra l a g e nc ie s su g g e ste d th a t a nti -Je wi sh f e e l i n g s l i m i t e d e x p r e s s i o n s o f s ym p a t h y. 27 Some historians reac hed eve n starker conclusions. Her bert Dr uks arg ued, in The Fa ilu re to Rescue , that Fr anklin Roosevelt and the B ritish gove rnment had “ preve nted” the r elea se of Europea n J ewr y . Richard Rubenstein sug g ested that Ame rica n attitudes toward r acia l 28 min or iti e s p ro vid e d G e rm a n le a de rs wi th j us tif ic a tio ns fo r t he ir be ha vio rs . I n 1 97 8, Da vid 29 W y m a n r a t c h e t e d u p t h e f i e l d ’ s r h e t o r i c w i t h h i s a r t i c l e “ W h y W a s A u s c h w i t z N e v e r B o m b e d ?” His counterf actua l approa ch lent swa y to the g rowing perc eption that the United States had po sse sse d th e wh e re wi tha l, b ut n ot t he mor a l g ump tio n, to d e str oy the de a th f a c tor ie s. 30 Du ri ng the e a rl y 19 80 s, the op e nin g of a dd iti on a l Sta te De pa rt me nt r e c or ds le d to repe tition of thi s char g e. “T he Amer ican g overnme nt,” Monty Penkower arg ued, in The J e ws W e re Ex pe nd ab le , “discriminated in their unwillingness to save Europea n J ewr y .” Wy man’s 31 The Ab an do nm e nt o f th e J e ws fra nkly stated that little compassion exi sted for those w ith the

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David Wy man, The Abandonment of the J ews: Ame rica and the Holocaust, 1942-1945 32 (Ne w York: Pantheon, 1984) , 340. Michae l Marrus, The Holocaust in History (Ha nover, N .H.: University Press of Ne w 33 Eng land, 1987), 173. I bid., 156-84. 34 Richard B reitman a nd Alan Kr aut, American R efugee Policy and Europe an Jewry, 35 1933-1945 (B loomington: I ndiana Unive rsity Press, 1987), 10. Walter L aqueur and Richar d Br eitman, The Te rri ble Se c re t: Su pp re ssi on of t he Tru th 36 ab ou t H itl e r’ s “F ina l So lut ion ” (B oston: L ittle, Brown, 1980) , 3-5. 16 “par ticular misfortunes of being fore ign a nd J ewish.” During the 1980s, historians specia liz ing 32 in t he U. S. r e sp on se to N a zi a nti -S e mit ism be g a n to a sse rt a s f a c t th e pr op os iti on tha t bi g otr y in the Amer ican g overnme nt and society play ed a ta ng ible role in the de struction of Europe an Jew ry . T he de g re e to w hic h s c ho la rs a llo we d th e ir fe e lin g s o f g ri e f o r r e g re t to inf lue nc e the ir interpre tations has varie d. Michae l Marrus state d, in The Holocaust in History, tha t “ c le a rl y mor e c ou ld h a ve be e n d on e .” I nd e e d, he de dic a te d a n e nti re se c tio n o f h is m on og ra ph to 33 discussing the “by stander” nations that had allowe d the Holoca ust to occur without impediment. Howeve r, Alan K raut a nd Richard B reitman a rg ued, in American R efugee Policy 34 an d E ur op e an J e wry , 1933-1945, that humanitarian c onsiderations ar e “not e asily translated” i n t o g o v e r n m e n t p o l i c y. 35 I n addition to highlig hting a nti-J ewish sentiments within the State Depa rtment, one of the mos t pr ov oc a tiv e de ba te s f ro m th e 19 80 s in vo lve d th e qu e sti on of Jew ish Am e ri c a n b e ha vio rs . I n The Terrible Secre t , Wa lte r L a qu e ur a nd Ric ha rd B re itm a n h a ve no te d th a t pr omi ne nt Je ws in the United States dismissed the atroc ity repor ts as false. During the Fir st W orld War, 36 sensational new s stories descr ibing Ge rman bruta lity ag ainst noncombatants we re c ommon and often incor rec t. The new s of Nazi g as cha mbers, cr ematoria , and millions of murdered f ace d a re sid ue of the sk e pti c ism tha t th os e e a rl ie r r e po rt s h a d e ng e nd e re d. Ho we ve r, Ha sk e l L oo ks te in

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Haske l L ookstein, W ere W e Our Brother’ s Keepers? The Public Re sponse of American 37 Jews to the Holocaust, 1938-1944 (Ne w York: Vintag e, 1984), 185. Rafae l Medoff, The De afe nin g S ile nc e : A me ric an J e wis h Le ad e rs a nd the Ho loc au st 38 (Ne w York: Shapolsky , 1987), 183. He nr y F e ing old , “ Cou ra g e F ir st a nd I nte lli g e nc e Se c on d: T he Am e ri c a n Jew ish 39 Secular Elite, Roosevelt and the F ailure to Resc ue,” Am e ric an J e wis h H ist or y 72 (1983): 459-60. Ka re n G re e nb e rg , “ Th e B ur de ns of B e ing Hu ma n: A n E ssa y on Se le c te d Sc ho la rs hip 40 of the Holoc aust,” in Ve rne N ewton, ed., FD R a nd the Ho loc au st (N e w Y or k: S t. M a rt in’ s, 1996), 29. 17 still examined the obvious question. I n W e re W e Ou r B ro the r’ s Ke e pe r? he sp e c ula te d th a t a more “ active c oncer n” fr om America n J ews mig ht have sa ved “millions.” Rafae l Medoff 37 ag ree d. His study , The Deafening Silenc e , likewise cla imed that the leade rs of Jewish America n org anizations had turned aw ay from their Eur opean br ethre n. 38 Sustaining or a ttacking the view that Jews in the United States did litt le to publicize or c omb a t th e ou tr a g e s in Eu ro pe ha s le d to a dd iti on a l ob se rv a tio ns . H e nr y F e ing old , in a n a rt ic le f i r s t p u b l i s h e d b y Am e ric an J e wis h H ist or y , arg ued that Jewish leader s did not wish to contradict the pre valent socia l mood. W ell awa re tha t the fede ral g overnme nt had “r eloca ted” hundr eds of thousand J apane se, Ge rman, a nd I talian Amer ican c itiz ens, Jews in the United States fea red a ny ty pe of dis c us sio n in wh ic h th e y mig ht a pp e a r t o e xhibi t in te re st i n f or e ig n a ff a ir s. F e ing old char acte rized the ac ademic e ffor t to assign g uilt an anac hronistic form of “ self-f lag ellation.” As 39 Kar en Gr eenbe rg reminded sc holars in her essay “The Bur den of B eing Human,” the true e no rm ity of the Ho loc a us t—t he kil lin g s, c re ma tio ns , d e c idi ng wh o w a s g uil ty a nd wh o w ou ld esca pe conde mnation—exceeds the limits of the cog nitive proce ss. The people involved with the Holocaust we re huma n being s who strug g led to understand, a s later g ener ations continue to do. 40

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Norman F inkelstein, The Ho loc au st I nd us try : R e fle c tio ns on the Ex plo ita tio n o f J e wis h 41 Suffering (Ne w York: Ve rso, 2000), 45, 144. Fr ank B rec her, “ David Wy man and the H istoriogr aphy of Amer ica’ s Response to the 42 Holocaust: Counter-Consider ation,” Ho loc au st a nd Ge no c ide Stu die s 5 (1990): 423-24. Peter Novic k, The Holocaust in American Life (B oston: Houghton Mifflin, 1999), 43 12-13. For a similar statement fr om Gener al Dwig ht Eisenhower , see Joseph Be ndersky , The 44 Jewish Threat: Anti-Semitic Politics of the U.S. Army (Ne w York: B asic B ooks, 2000), 350. Robert Rosen, Sa v ing the J e ws: FD R a nd the Ho loc au st (Ne w York: Thunde r’s Mouth, 45 2006), 426. 18 I t was not until the 1990s that the Holocaust bec ame e ntrenc hed as a part of the Americ an collective c onsciousness. The ope ning of the U.S. Holocaust Memor ial Museum in Washington, D.C. (1993) mar ked a sig nificant point along this path. Publ ic schools throug hout the nation be g a n te a c hin g a Ho loc a us t c ur ri c ulu m to the ir old e r s tud e nts . M ov ie s su c h a s Sc hin dle r’ s Lis t (1992) a nd survivors-turne d-ce lebrities such a s Elie Wiesel have wide ned the locus of enlig htenment furthe r. Have Christian America ns, particular ly those born af ter 1945, a cce pted 41 an inher ited responsibility for the pa st persec ution of J ews? This is the conclusion that Fr ank Br eche r has r eac hed. I n The Ho loc au st i n A me ric an Life , Pe te r N ov ic k h a s a lso str e sse d th is 42 point. He ha s conclude d that Christian America ns today join with J ews in see ing the defe at of 43 Hi tle ri sm a s th e g ra nd me ta ph or fo r t he U. S. v ic tor y ov e r f a sc ism . Th is a rg ume nt c on fl ic ts w ith 44 ear lier cla ims by Hilberg , Wy man, and other s and re flec ts a new e ffor t to revise long -standing a sse ssm e nts of g uil t. As Rob e rt Ros e n h a s r e c e ntl y a rg ue d, pe rh a ps no tw o me n in the wo rl d d if fe re d s o dr a ma tic a lly a nd pu bli c ly on the “ Jew ish Qu e sti on ” tha n d id F ra nk lin Roo se ve lt a nd Ad olf Hitler. Scholars whose methodology require s a neg ative conf lation of Ger man and Ame rica n 45 a c ti o n s o f te n o v e r lo o k th e ma n y w a y s th a t A me r ic a n le a d e r s e xp r e s s e d th e ir a v e r s io n to N a zi

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Wil liam Rubenstein, The Myth of Resc ue: W hy the De mocrac ies Could Not Have Done 46 More to Save the Je ws from the Nazis (New Y ork: Routledge , 1997), 4, 10, 216. Debor ah Da sh Moore, “ J ewish GI s and the Cre ation of the Judeo-Christian Tradition,” 47 Religion and American Cul tur e 8 (1998): 35-36; Dolling er, Qu e st , 63; Kare n Br odkin, How the J e ws B e c am e W hit e (Ne w B runswick, N.J.: Rut g ers Unive rsity Press, 1987), 113-17. L eonar d Dinnerstein, Anti-Semitism in America (N e w Y or k: O xfor d U niv e rs ity Pr e ss, 48 1994), 150; Charles Stember et al., Jews in the Mind of Ame rica (Ne w York: F ree Press, 1966), 209; Melvin Tumin, An Inve ntory and Appraisal of Research on Ame rican Anti-Semitism (Ne w York: F ree dom Books, 1961), 44. 19 opinions. Hitl er’ s Nurembe rg L aws (1935) specific ally barr ed Jewish employ ment in the Reich g overnme nt. Howeve r, Roosevelt’s a dminist ration employ ed a numbe r of Jews at both the Ca bin e t a nd se nio r s ta ff le ve ls. He a lso a pp oin te d tw o G e rm a n Jew s to the U. S. Su pr e me Cou rt . Wil liam Rubenstein expl ained in The Myth of Resc ue , once w e aba ndon the urg e to blame the U. S. a nd its le a de rs hip fo r E ur op e a n c ri me s, we c ou ld u nw ind a br oa de r n a rr a tiv e tha t r e fl e c ts chang es in attitudes, repr esenta tions, and mentality . The ove rriding challeng e for historians lies 46 not in divini ng the numbers of Europea n J ews who mig ht have lived. A f ar more meaning ful e xer c ise is t ry ing to u nd e rs ta nd ho w A me ri c a ns a lte re d th e ir op ini on s a bo ut Je ws a ft e r t he y c a me to understand the thr eats that Na zi anti-S emitism posed to the W estern liber al tradition. T h e s h i f t t o w a r d a l e s s c o n d e m n a t o r y i n t e r p r e t a t i o n h a s f o s t e r e d n e w p a t h s o f d i s c o v e r y. Sc ho la rs ha ve sta rt e d e xami nin g the wa y s th a t th e Se c on d Wo rl d Wa r d ilu te d r e lig iou s b ia se s. The Jewish, Catholic, and Protestant Americ ans who foug ht to uphold W estern liber al values beca me the def ender s of a ne w “Judeo-Christian” ethic. J ews, in par ticular, e arne d a g rea ter 47 de g re e of tol e ra nc e . Ch a rl e s Ste mbe r a nd oth e rs ha ve c on c lud e d th a t in the de c a de s im me dia te ly fo llo wi ng the Se c on d Wo rl d Wa r, Chr ist ia ns in t he Un ite d St a te s e xpre sse d s ig nif ic a ntl y le ss anti-Jewish bigotry than in previous epoc hs. Americ ans now supporte d a g lobal defe nse of 48

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Akira I riy e, “Culture a nd I nterna tional History ,” in Michae l Hog an and T homas 49 Patterson, eds., Ex pla ini ng the Hi sto ry of A me ric an Fo re ign Re lat ion s (N ew Yo rk : C am b ri d ge Un ive rs ity Pr e ss, 19 91 ), 21 7. Se e a lso I mmanuel Wallerstein, The Dec line of American Power (Ne w York: Ne w Press, 2003), 79, 166. Fr eder ick Simonelli, American F uehrer: George Lincoln Rockwell and the Ame rican 50 Naz i P ar ty (Urba na: Univer sity of I llinois Press, 1999), 47, 100 and L awr ence Powell, “When Hate Ca me to Town: New Orlea ns’ J ews a nd Geor g e L incoln Rockwell,” Am e ric an J e wis h History 85 (1997): 393-419. Novick, Ho loc au st , 174. 51 A useful study is Benja min Alpers, Di c tat or s, De mo c ra c y an d A me ric an Pu bli c 52 Cul tur e : E nv isi on ing the Tot ali tar ian En e my , 1 92 0s -1 95 0s (C ha pe l H ill : U niv e rs ity of No rt h Carolina Press, 2003), 67, 72. 20 what diplomatic historian Akira I riy e has te rmed “ core values” such as the f ree dom of speec h, assembly , and unfe ttered w orship. 49 Anti-J ewish attitudes and e x pressions of big otry did not entirely disappea r. During the 1960s, Georg e L incoln Rockwell’s Ame rica n Nazi Party advoca ted and pe rpetra ted violence ag ainst J ews. I n turn, these a ctions provoked a dded bloodshed, sponsore d by the member s of 50 org anizations such as the Jewish Defense L eag ue. Howeve r, the lar g er point is that, for some, 51 the se e ds of g re a te r t ole ra nc e too k r oo t. T he fi g ht a g a ins t f a sc ism be c a me the ba c kd ro p a g a ins t wh ic h a mor e se c ula r A me ri c a n id e nti ty sta rt e d to ta ke fo rm . Wh a t hi sto ri a ns ha ve fa ile d to re c og nize is t ha t th e po stw a r t ur n to wa rd a mor e e thn ic a lly va ri e d n a tio na l id e nti ty a pp e a re d in its nascent outline during the 1930s, from Hitler’ s first day s as cha ncellor, spe cifica lly afte r Christian and J ewish Amer ican lea rned more about Nazi hostili ty toward pr ivate wor ship. Th e br oa d q ue sti on , th e n, be c ome s o ne of tim ing . Wh e n a nd ho w d id A me ri c a ns be g in t o rec og nize that Nazi anti-Semit ism repre sented a n inhere nt threat to the Western vision for humankind? For historians who specia liz e in documenting the Amer ican r eac tion to the 52 Holocaust, a nswering that query opens a pa thway to a serie s of re lated issues. Who were the people involved with hig hlighting the common threa t that Nazism posed to J ews a nd Christians

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For Coughlin and a nti-Semiti sm, see Ronald Carpe nter, Father Charles Coughlin: 53 Surrogate Spokesm an for the Disaffected (Westport, Ct.: Greenwood, 1998) ; 27-37; Alan Br inkley , Voices of Protest: Hue y Long, Father Coughlin and the Great Depre ssion (Ne w York: Knopf, 1982), a ppendix 1. For For d and anti-Semitism, see Steven Watts, The People's Tycoon: Henry Ford and the Ame rican Century (Ne w York: Knopf , 2005), 23, 117. 21 a lik e ? Wha t me diu ms d id t he y e mpl oy to r a ise le ve ls o f p ub lic a wa re ne ss? Wer e the se e ff or ts influential, or did a sc hism ex ist between a nnounceme nt and ac tion? Do historians fac e methodologic al problems whe n try ing to a rra ng e and unde rstand the diff ere nt tex ts in which opposition t o Nazi relig ious intol era nce a ppear ed, or doe s a common threa d help to bind s e e m i n g l y d i s p a r a t e a r t i f a c t s ? Uncove ring ear ly discursive e vidence of Amer ican opposition to Nazi religious int ole ra nc e wo uld sig nif ic a ntl y mod if y c ur re nt s c ho la rl y un de rs ta nd ing s. Th e fi nd ing tha t pu bli c officia ls and private c itiz ens off ere d Europea n J ews e x pressions of solidarity should prompt his tor ia ns to r e vis it t he ir un de rs ta nd ing s o f t he 19 30 s a s a wh oll y iso la tio nis t a nd a nti -S e mit ic e ra de fi ne d b y the F a the r C ou g hli ns a nd He nr y F or ds . Th e re is a n u rg e nt n e e d to c on tr a st t his 53 settled conc lusion with t he var ious public ex pressions of c oncer n that appea red dur ing the 1930s a nd 19 40 s. Th a t th e rh e tor ic pe rh a ps ho lds g re a te r w e ig ht t od a y tha n it did du ri ng the pe ri od in wh ic h it fi rs t a pp e a re d is a n im po rt a nt i nte lle c tua l po int , b ut o ne tha t r e ma ins ou tsi de thi s dis se rt a tio nÂ’ s p ur vie w. Th e la ng ua g e ha s g a ine d a dd iti on a l si g nif ic a nc e , n ot n e c e ssa ri ly be c a us e of its influence on historical eve nts but rather be cause it contradicts the c anons of a well-known aca demic deba te. This is the untold st ory of the Ame rica n response to Nazi anti-Semiti sm and the Ho loc a us t. I t is a ta le tha t de pic ts C hr ist ia ns a nd Jew s st ru g g lin g wi th a dif fi c ult pr ob le m in uncer tain and dang erous times. Not alwa y s succe ssful in obtaining the f ull results that they desired, the y took repe ated steps to ra ise levels of soc iocultural and political a war eness a bout the

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22 many dang ers a ssociated with Ge rman fa scism. Such a finding —that Americ ans embra ced the c ha lle ng e to c on fr on t a nd c on de mn i nto le ra nt b e ha vio rs —s ta nd s in sh a rp c on tr a st w ith mainstream a cade mic claims. To date, no sc holars have explored the various public discussions in w hic h th e pr e va le nt t he me wa s th a t N a zi ho sti lit y tow a rd Juda ism po se d a la rg e r t hr e a t to Americ ans of a ll faiths and cr eeds. Ev ide nc e tha t bo th Je ws a nd se c ula rmin de d Ch ri sti a ns be g a n to dis c us s p ub lic ly a nti Semitis m appea red most clea rly afte r the rise of Ge rman Na zis m. Starting in Mar ch 1933, various member s of Cong ress off ere d detailed r emar ks and re solutions t hat bound tog ether J ewish and Christian conc erns with such intolera nce. Cha pter 2 pre sents rema rks and r esolutions from the Seve nty -third and Seve nty -four th Congre sses (1933-35) , in which member s opposed anti-Jewish biases beca use they did violence to long -standing Western belief s. I n the cong ressional dialog ue, historians will find the basic f ormula that Amer icans a pplied when fr a min g la te r c on de mna tio ns . N a zi a nti -S e mit ism wa s a nti lib e ra l, h a rm fu l to de moc ra tic ide a ls, a n d a n in s id io u s th r e a t t o th e p lu r a li s t v is io n th a t m a n y c it iz e n s e mb r a c e d . T h e c la im th a t N a zi relig ious intol era nce did violenc e to humankind bec ame a distinctive face t of public opposition during the per iod 1933-44. Congr ess was not the only source for infor mation. Chapter 2 also doc uments cultural eff orts to publiciz e the e merg ing N azi threat. During the 1930s and 1940s, the Ne w Re pu bli c , Nation, Reader’s Digest, Christian C entury, and Time Magazine dis c us se d N a zi ho sti lit y to democr atic structur es. At the same time that Congre ss was lea rning about the mena ce, the the me s o f f a sc ist vio le nc e a nd so c ioc ult ur a l in tim ida tio n a lso a pp e a re d a s p lot lin e s in be stselling nove ls, theatrica l productions, and major motion pictures. O ne did not have to f ollow

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23 c on g re ssi on a l de ba te s to le a rn tha t N a zism wa s d a ng e ro us , a nti -Je wi sh big otr y wa s a bh or re nt, and the two phe nomena we re ine x orably linked. Cha pte r 3 pr e se nts a mic ro stu dy of on e pr omi ne nt A me ri c a n. Pr ior to t he U. S. e ntr y int o the Se c on d Wo rl d Wa r, Ar c hib a ld M a c L e ish , th e po e t la ur e a te a nd L ibr a ri a n o f C on g re ss, g rapple d with these re lated issues. Mac L eish did not contribute to the pre exis ting c ong ressional dis c ou rs e . H ow e ve r, he e xpa nd e d u po n th e ob se rv a tio n th a t N a zi a nti -S e mit ism wa s a thr e a t to the democr atic value s that America ns claimed to che rish. Fr om 1933 to 1941, he dispersed ne ws of this nasce nt arg ument throug hout the nation. MacL eish is vital to thi s story , perha ps more so than other s who spoke out on beha lf of J ews—such a s the preside nt, Robert Sherwood, a nd Edmund Wi lson—beca use he ha mmered awa y at the point throug h various public media. A s editor of Fortune , h e pr op os e d to inv e sti g a te the sprea d of Na zi anti-S emitism i n the United States. I n 1936, he published a book tha t a d d r e s s e d t h e t o p i c . A s L i b r a r i a n o f C o n g r e s s a n d h e a d o f a f e d e r a l i n f o r m a t i o n a g e n c y, MacL eish took advanta g e of nume rous opportunities to expl ain publicly his belief that Americ ans should reje ct the phenome non. During W.W I I , his specific a nx iety for Eur opean J ewish we lfare rema ined appa rent during his tenure a t the Offic e of War I nformation, as w ell as in the State Depa rtment as under secr etar y for c ultural aff airs. What facilitated his conc ern? I n memorandums and pr ivate letter s, MacL eish explained his be lie f t ha t a nti -S e mit ism bli g hte d h e te ro g e ne ou s so c ie tie s. B ig ote d s e nti me nts we re a tom ist ic a nd le nt s up po rt to t he Na zis’ “ div ide a nd c on qu e r” str a te g y . I n a dd iti on , M a c L e ish dir e c te d h is c r e a t i v e e f f o r t s t o w a r d c o m b a t i n g t h e t h r e a t b y p r o m o t i n g a m o r e c o s m o p o l i t a n n a t i o n a l i d e n t i t y. This was not simply a ca se of a rtistic license: Mac L eish corr esponded w ith J ews, be friende d

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24 J ews, dined w ith J ews, a nd on occa sion sponsored J ews for memberships into exclusive social c lub s. The poe t was a Protesta nt-establishment fig ure w ho used his profe ssional talents and positions of power to publicize the dang ers a ssociated with Na zi i ntoleranc e. His prolific r ecor d of written a nd oral stateme nts decry ing a nti-Semiti sm makes him an attra ctive subjec t of study when investig ating discursive opposition. Historians have not y et examined his numerous eff orts, and they have ove rlooked e ntirely MacL eish’s role in binding a def ense of relig ious fr e e do m to dis c us sio ns of Na zi be ha vio rs . Pa rt ic ula rl y be fo re the Un ite d St a te s e nte re d Wo rl d War I I , these labor s hinted at later a ssertions that Americ ans would uphold democr atic liberties g l o b a l l y. This course of thought wa s not capric ious, nor was it out of step with the political mainstream. Well befor e the United States e ntere d the fig hting, Pre sident Roosevelt had included the unf ettere d rig ht to worship in his “Four F ree doms” (1941) de clar ation. Chapter 4 offe rs a discussion of the g overnme ntal eff orts to connec t condemnations of Na zi religious int ole ra nc e wi th t he wa r e ff or t. T he Of fi c e of War I nf or ma tio n w a s a mid le ve l bu re a uc ra tic ag ency desig ned to provide A merica ns with an “infor med and intellig ent” unde rstanding of the war ’s aims and prog ress. One way they fulfilled this charg e wa s throug h the publication and distribution of brochure s that connec ted stories of the f ighting to larg er me ssag es of why Americ ans wa g ed the strug g le. Th e a g e nc y a dmi nis tr a tor s se le c te d c e rt a in t he me s to sh a pe the pu bli c ’s e nli g hte nme nt. Th e se the me s— up ho ldi ng the F ou r F re e do ms a nd re lig iou s li be rt ie s, c on de mni ng the Ho loc a us t, and promoting rac ial toleranc e—appe are d throug hout public discussions of the period. Mo re ov e r, me n w ho ha d p ub lic ly c omm itt e d to sp re a din g the se ide a s, su c h a s A rc hib a ld

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25 MacL eish, worke d in the ag ency and had a direc t hand in steering this sort of subject matter toward the Americ an public. Such politiciz ed broc hures ultimately provoked r eprisals a g ainst the burea u’s leade rship. Howeve r, hidden in the ba cklash is evidenc e that administrators in the Offic e of War I nformation — and their e ffor ts to joi n sociocultural issues to discussions of the fig hting—c ontributed to an ong oing disc ursive conte st over the tre atment of Jews and other minorities. A d e c a de a ft e r s ome in C on g re ss h a d f ir st v oic e d c on c e rn , th e op po sit ion to N a zi a nti Semitis m was entre nched in political, cultura l, and bure aucr atic discourse s. Chapter 5 builds upon the var ieg ated na ture of a deca de of A merica n response . Specifica lly , interest g roups formed tha t took advantag e of the issue’s re silience in public circ les. Their a ctivities produced a more tar g eted stra in of Americ an discursive opposition, one in which scholars will observe familiar theme s—the defe nse of r elig ious free dom and opposition to i ntoleranc e—juxt aposed a g a ins t de sp e ra te re po rt s o f t he e sc a la tin g a tr oc iti e s. Du ri ng 19 42 -4 3, int e re st g ro up s a nd the ir leade rs re config ured the public discussion by demanding that g overnme nt officials tra nsform their prior e x pressions of support into more c oncre te policy . These e ffor ts revived dor mant cong ressional de bates. L eg islators, some of whom had serve d during ear ly 1930s, now lear ned that the e arlier Nazi bigotry had evolve d into a prog ram of murder . I n November 1943, interest-g roup lea ders ha d two resolutions introduced in the Con g re ss— on e in e a c h c ha mbe r— tha t a dv oc a te d th e c re a tio n o f a sp e c if ic fe de ra l a g e nc y to formulate a n officia l response to the killing s. After near ly ten y ear s of dispara te talk in various pu bli c fo ru ms, Am e ri c a n o pp os iti on to N a zi in tol e ra nc e wo uld no w e ma na te fr om a sp e c if ic f e d e r a l a g e n c y.

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I n contra st, that same y ear the domestic bra nch of the Offic e of War I nformation 54 rec eived a $50,000 cong ressional a ppropriation. See A Guide to the Mic rofilm Editi on of Information Control and Propaganda: Rec ords of the Office of W ar Information complied by J anice Mitchell (Fr eder ick, Md.: University Publications, 1986), 6. 26 Chapter 6 c overs the War Refug ee B oard. I n J anuar y 1944, amid interest-g roup, cong ressional, a nd intrabra nch pre ssures, President Rooseve lt devised this ag ency to develop “immediate a ctions that fore stalled the Na zi pl an to exterminate Jews and other pe rsec uted minorities.” This was no half ste p. The a ction mirrore d exactly the sentiments of intere st gr oups and a una nimous U.S. S enate . Moreove r, the pre sident’s dec ision to empower a War Refug ee B oa rd wa s n o e mpt y me a su re . Ro os e ve lt p ro vid e d th e a g e nc y wi th a $1 -m ill ion bu dg e t di re c tly from his emer g ency opera ting f unds. I n taking this action, the preside nt forg ed a c ommon 54 cause with those America ns conce rned by Nazi anti-Semitism . Du ri ng the Se c on d Wo rl d Wa r, no oth e r c ou ntr y c re a te d a sp e c if ic g ov e rn me nt e nti ty to combat the g enocide . The ne w bure au re prese nted a c apstone to a de cade -long eff ort that bound toge ther Jewish and Christian oppositi on to Nazi anti-Semiti sm. I n Ch a pte r 7 , I c on sid e r f utu re a ve nu e s o f i nq uir y , w hic h in c lud e po ssi ble interdisciplinary paths. Currently , the ar g uments that hold the most sway mirror the vie ws underly ing H ilberg ’s “by stander” cate g ory and Wy man’s “a bandonment” the sis. Sus taining those finding s, howeve r, re quires that historians continue a long the path of a prede termined narr ative. Rather than cr eating new methods with which to a ssess and ana ly ze fresh e vidence , the c ha lle ng e ha s b e c ome su sta ini ng a we llwo rn ind ic tme nt t ha t ho lds the Un ite d St a te s p a rt ia lly c ulp a ble fo r t he Na zis’ ho mic ida l a c tio ns . E ve n s tud ie s th a t do no t st re ss t his sy llo g ism re ly upon the same timeline a nd evidenc e. The re is little effor t devoted to disentang ling the complexit ies that surrounde d this thorny sociocultural a nd political issue.

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27 Ad dit ion a l r e se a rc h in to n e ws pa pe rs , ma g a zine s, mov ie s, no ve ls, a nd the a te r w ou ld wi de n th e loc us of inv e sti g a tio n. De sc ri bin g a nd c la ssi fy ing the ma ny fo rm s o f p ub lic a c tiv ity that emer g ed in opposition to Nazi anti-Semitism would be helpful and would re prese nt a clea r me tho do log ic a l a c hie ve me nt. En te rp ri sin g sc ho la rs mig ht c omp a re a nd c on tr a st d ome sti c a nti Semitic utterance s with statements of tolera nce. T hey might we igh the varia tions between Chr ist ia n a nd Jew ish sta te me nts or e xplor e the sig nif ic a nc e of a Jew ish iss ue e me rg ing fr om a predominantly Christian discourse. Of course , the most challeng ing pr oject would involve c on ne c tin g the se na sc e nt e thn ore lig iou s r umb lin g s f ro m th e 19 30 s a nd 19 40 s w ith the fu llblown emer g ence of postwar pluralism. My stu dy c on tr ibu te s to sc ho la rs hip a bo ut t he U. S. r e a c tio n to Na zi a nti -S e mit ism . Historians who spec ialize in thi s subfield will find here in many forms of e vidence that Americ ans, both in and outside the g overnme nt, unwound a sustained a nd intricate discur sive opposition t o Nazi anti-Semitism . Starting in Mar ch 1933 and c ontinuing until the war ’s conclusion, citizens spoke out, terming ethno-ra cial big otry a collec tive threa t to humankind. Such a finding —that Americ ans embra ced the challeng e to conf ront and c ondemn Ger man behavior s—stands in sharp contra st with claims outli ned in Hilberg and Wy man’s wor k. Th us , my dis se rt a tio n s pli ts w ith the c ur re nt s c ho la rl y c on se ns us tha t th e U. S. g overnme nt and society abandone d Europe’ s J ews to the Na zis , and thus must bear a portion of responsibility for late r Ge rman be haviors. Setting a side such g uilt-ridden expressions opens the way to rec onsidering the intricate public nature of Amer ican r eac tions. Cont rar y to the claims of perva sive neg lect, my study aims to make more f amiliar the diff ere nt ty pes and tone s of Am e ri c a n d isc ur siv e op po sit ion to N a zi a nti -S e mit ism .

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Congressional Record, H 73, 1st sess. (June 9, 1933); 5441. 1 Ed wa rd Sha pir o, “ Th e Ap pr oa c h o f Wa r: Con g re ssi on a l I so la tio nis m a nd An ti2 Semitis m,” Am e ric an J e wis h H ist or y 74 (1984): 49, 55. M. Michael Ede lstein, “Americ ans of Jewish Ex trac tion Do Not Act and Think En 3 Bloc ,” Con gr e ssi on al R e c or d , H 77, 1st sess. (May 28, 1941); A 2542. M. Michael Ede lstein, Con gr e ssi on al R e c or d , H 77, 1st sess. (June 4, 1941): 4727. 4 28 CH APT ER 2 CO NG RES S B EG I NS A PUB L I C D I SCO UR SE CONDEMNI NG NAZ I ANTI -SEMI TI SM, 1933-1941 I c a n n o lo ng e r s it b a c k q uie tly a nd tr us t th a t G e rm a ny wi ll c ome to h e r s e ns e s. Christianity cannot ig nore the debts she owe s to J udaism. —J ohn McCormac k (D-MA ) to the House, June 9, 1933) 1 On J une 4, 1941, Cong ressman M. Micha el Edelstein (D -NY) rose be fore the House of Represe ntatives to rebut the late st round of anti-Jewish invective deliver ed by J ohn Rankin, a Mis sis sip pia n k no wn fo r m a kin g inf la mma tor y sta te me nts . I n th is p a rt ic ula r i ns ta nc e , E de lst e in responde d to the char g e that Jewish banking inter ests wished to steer the United States into war. 2 One we ek ea rlier, Ede lstein had submitted a statement into the Con gr e ssi on al R e c or d that addre ssed aspe cts of this popular public ca lumny . Howeve r, in his spontaneous, direc t, and 3 verba l response to Rankin and to those onlooke rs who sy mpathized with his views, historians will uncover the clea rest evide nce of an ong oing e ffor t to oppose these divisive sentiments. “I de plo re the ide a ,” Ed e lst e in i nf or me d h is c oll e a g ue s, “ tha t me n in thi s H ou se a nd ou tsi de thi s House a ttempt to use the J ews a s their sca peg oat. . . . I t is un-America n.” “We a re living in a democr acy ,” the Ne w York D emocr at proc laimed, “a ll men are cre ated e qual, re g ardle ss of rac e, cre ed or c olor.” 4 These impromptu re marks by Edelstein would be his last. Shortly afte r exiti ng the floor, he suff ere d a fa tal hear t attack a nd expired in the House cloa kroom. Fe llow New Yor k Democr at Sa mue l D ic ks te in, wh o h a d o bs e rv e d th e e nti re e pis od e , e ulo g ize d E de lst e in a lmo st i mme dia te ly

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Samuel Dickstein, Congressional Record, H 77, 1st sess. (June 4, 1941): 4727. 5 Shapiro, “Appr oach,” 63. 6 29 a ft e r h is p a ssi ng . I n a sta te me nt o n th e fl oo r o f t he Ho us e , Re pr e se nta tiv e Di c ks te in d ir e c te d h is fi re a t Ra nk in a nd pr a ise d E de lst e in’ s w ill ing ne ss t o “ pr ote c t hi s p e op le , h is i nte g ri ty a nd his Americ anism.” Cong ressman Ede lstein, he continued, died a “mar ty r” to the c ause of promoting lib e ra l id e a ls. 5 The sig nificanc e of this eve nt lies more in the re sonance of, ra ther than the rea soning f or, Edelstein’s assa ult on anti-Semiti sm. Neg ative Jewish stereoty pes, Edelstein ha d arg ued, we re blatantly “un-A merica n” in that they did violence to the na tional cre ed. A number of other la wm a ke rs a lso pr a ise d th e ir fa lle n c oll e a g ue fo r h is v a lor . D ue to t he up ro a r, Ra nk in q uic kly ba c ktr a c ke d, a po log izin g pr of us e ly fo r h is i nte mpe ra te sta te me nts . 6 The Ede lstein incident was a sig nificant e vent in an ong oing r hetorica l effor t to combat relig ious bigotry that stretche d back into the e arly 1930s. I ndeed, only wee ks after Hitler’s seizure of total powe r in Ger many , cong ressmen f rom vary ing r eg ions, relig ions, and parties s p o k e o u t a g a in s t a n ti Se mi ti s m. D is p a r a g in g Ju d a is m, th e y ma in ta in e d , w a s p a r t o f th e N a zi doctrine a nd was incompa tible with W estern ide als. Despite suc h passionate r hetoric, how ever , the c ha lle ng e fo r a nti fa sc ist s in the Un ite d St a te s la y in c on vin c ing the la rg e r p ub lic tha t N a zism me a nt m or e tha n o nly the ta rg e tin g of Jew s: i t me a nt p e rs e c uti ng Ca tho lic s, vic tim izin g Qu a ke rs , op pr e ssi ng Jeho va h Wit ne sse s, a nd ou tla wi ng la bo r o rg a niza tio ns . T he ve ry te ne ts o f N a zism threa tened c ore A merica n values such a s the fre edom of spee ch and the protec tion of individual liberty . Th e c on g re ssi on a l r he tor ic tha t a pp e a re d s oo n a ft e r A do lf Hi tle r’ s r ise to p ow e r o pe ns a pathway to a much lar g er story —one in which e lected g overnme nt officials used the issue of

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Alan B rinkley , The En d o f R e for m: Ne w D e al L ibe ra lis m i n R e c e ssi on an d W ar (Ne w 7 York: Vintag e, 1995), 155. David Wy man, The Abandonment of the J ews: Ame rica and the Holocaust, 1942-1945 8 (Ne w York: Pantheon, 1984) , x -xi i; Bre cher , “Da vid Wy man,” Holocaust and Genoc ide Studies 5 (1990): 423, 431. Andre Ger rits, “Anti-Semitism and Anti-Comm unism: The My th of ‘Judeo9 Communi sm’ in Eastern Eur ope,” Ea ste rn Eu ro pe an Af fai rs 25 (1995): 49-72 a nd J err y Muller, “Communism, Anti -Semitism and the J ews,” Commentary 86 (1988): 28-39. Aar on Be rman, Nazism, the Jews, and Americ an Zionis m, 1933-1948 (De troit: W ay ne 10 State Press, 1990), 23. 30 combating Nazi anti-Semitism to signa l their disgust with ethno-r acia l bigotry . The vicious char acte r of the N azi reg ime, immediately appar ent, helped to launc h a broa d rea ssessment of fasc ism and dictatorship among those who had c autiously admired it. Over the cour se of the 7 1930s and 1940s, the view tha t sociocultural intolera nce w as itself intolerable took gr eate r hold. A distinctive America n mind-set emer g ed that we lcomed Jews, blacks, and f irst-g ener ation citizens int o the mainstrea m. The spec ter of N azism—specifically its ethno-relig ious bigotry and rela ted antidemocr atic doctr ines—had provide d a ca taly st for re config uring the contours of acc eptable thoug ht and spee ch. U n c o v e r in g v a r io u s p u b li c f o r u ms in w h ic h A me r ic a n e xp r e s s io n s o f o u tr a g e w it h N a zi int ole ra nc e e vo lve d in to a re la te d d isc us sio n o f b ig otr y in t he Un ite d St a te s mi g ht p re se nt a problem to the re ceive d narr ative. Ac cording to the historian David Wy man, during the 1930s the U.S. g overnme nt and society exhibi ted a pur poseful indiffe renc e to the plig ht of Europe an Jew ry . Chr ist ia n A me ri c a ns vie we d E ur op e a n Jew s a s a thr e a t, a n a tti tud e tha t Wy ma n a rg ue s is 8 pe rh a ps be st c a ptu re d b y the ne g a tiv e Jude oB ols he vik c on str uc t, i n w hic h B ols he vis m is c on sid e re d a s a Jew ish ide olo g y int e nd e d to su bv e rt Wes te rn lib e ra l so c ie tie s. Ma ny Jew ish 9 Americ ans did not wish to risk impl ication by becoming involved with the matter. Such 10 collective ina ction lent weig ht to the arg uments of those scholar s who maintained that the

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Ric ha rd B re itm a n a nd Al a n K ra ut, “ An tiSe mit ism in t he Sta te De pa rt me nt: F ou r C a se 11 Studies,” in David Ger ber, e d., An tiSe mi tis m i n A me ric an Hi sto ry (Chicag o: University of I llinois Press, 1986), 176, 182, 186. Monty Noam Penkowe r, The Jews W ere Ex pendable: Free W orld Diplomacy and the 12 J e ws (Chicag o: University of I llinois Press, 1983), 300; Henr y Fe ingold, The Politics of Rescue: The Rooseve lt Administr ation and the Holocaust, 1938-1945 2n d e d. (N e w Y or k: H olo c a us t L ibrary ,1980), 19, 168. Peter Novic k, The Ho loc au st i n A me ric an Life (B oston: Houghton Mifflin, 1999), 4813 51 ; The My th o f R e sc ue : W hy the De mo c ra c ie s Co uld Not Ha v e Do ne Mo re to S av e the J e ws fro m t he Naz is (Ne w York: Routledg e, 1997); 3; Raul Hilberg , Perpetrators, Victims and Bystanders: The J ewish Catast rophe, 1933-1945 (Ne w York: Ashe r, 1992), 241, 243. 31 Western world “ abandone d” Europe ’s J ewr y to the Nazis. Far from being a per iod where scholars mig ht expect to uncover public sy mpathy for a n ethnic conc ern, Wy man’s ar g ument depicts the 1930s as a n ominous decade when Ame rica ns were oblivious t o the protec tion of the human rig hts of minorities. On e re a so n th a t sc ho la rs c on tin ue to o mit dis c us sio ns of Eu ro pe a n Jew ry fr om t he ir survey of Amer ican soc iety during the 1930s is a flaw ed methodolog y that privileg es the executive-bra nch powe r over the leg islative. Richard B reitman a nd Alan Kr aut have outlined a swee ping a rg ument about Amer ican pa ssivity toward N azi anti-Semiti sm based solely on a revie w of State De partment re cords. Monty Noam Penkowe r has f ollowed a similar path, 11 concluding that Americ an ca llousness refle cted the f act that “ stateless Jews commanded no political levera g e.” These studies a re me rely the tip of the ice berg . I n score s of monog raphs 12 that have c ome to define this subfield of Holocaust Studies, the pre valent view is that Am er i ca n s — t h at i s , S t at e D ep ar t m en t o ff i ci al s — s t o o d al o o f f ro m J ew i s h s u ff er i n g. 13 Th e be ha vio rs of do zen s o f m e mbe rs of the U. S. Co ng re ss, ho we ve r, re ve a l a ma rk e dly differ ent story . Fa r fr om exhi biting indiffe renc e, the discour se in the Con gr e ssi on al R e c or d s h o w s s u s t a i n e d l e v e l s o f o p p o s i t i o n . S c h o l a r s w h o h a v e , e i t h e r p u r p o s e f u l l y o r u n w i t t i n g l y,

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For the Rules Commi ttee, see Keith Kre hbiel, “Restrictive Rules ReConsidered,” 14 American J ournal of Polit ical Scienc e 41 (1997): 920; Doug las Dion and John Huber, “Proce dural Choice a nd the House Committee on Rules,” Journal of Politics 58 (1996): 25-26; and B ruce Oppenhe imer, “The Rules Comm ittee: New A rm of L eade rship in a DeCentralized House,” in Oppenheimer and L awr ence Dodd, eds., Congress Reconsidere d (Ne w York: Praeg er, 1977) , 96-116. A “c losed” bill denotes no House debate prior to voting. See Robert Himmelberg , The 15 Great De pression and the New Deal (Westport, Ct.: Greenwood, 2001) , 39. For Congr ess during the ea rly 1930s, see Cly de Weed, The Nemesis of Reform: The 16 Republican Party during the New De al (Ne w York: Columbia University Press, 1994), 38-44; Gar y Dea n Be st, Pride, Prejudice and Politics: Rooseve lt versus Rec overy (Ne w York: Prae g er, 1991), 26-39; B arba ra Sinclair, “ Party L eade rship and Policy Chang e,” in Ge rald Wrig ht, L eroy Rieselbach a nd L awr ence Dodd, eds., Congress and Policy Change (N e w Y or k: A g a tho n Pr e ss, 1986), 196, 199; and James Patterson, Congressional C onservatism and the New De al (L exington: University Press of Ke ntucky , 1967), 11, 19. 32 conce ntrated solely upon the executive bra nch ar e missing a vital component of the historica l rec ord. Cong ressional off icials, or represe ntatives , offe r a c redible g limpse of alterna tive strains in public opinion. Moreover, the themes and r ationales that off icials prese nted in their floor statements and in committee he aring s would rea ppear in later public for ums. The Seve nty -third Cong ress (193334) conve ned more than two dec ades a fter the fame d revolt ag ainst Speaker J oe Cannon (R-I L ). While the Speaker ’s power over de bate a nd assig nment declined, the Rules Comm ittee re tained its centra liz ed contr ol. During the fa mous 14 fi rs t “ hu nd re d d a y s, ” Ho us e Rul e s Co mmi tte e c ha ir Ed wa rd Pou (D -N C) wa s e xtra or din a ri ly eff icient. His committee re ported out ten piec es of “ closed” leg islation, including such major bills as the Emerg ency Ba nking A ct and the A g ricultural Adjustment Ac t. Following Pou’s 15 death in the spring of 1934, his succe ssor ran a n equally order ly committee. On its fac e, a pe riod of tig ht c e ntr a lize d c on tr ol w ou ld s e e m to be inc on g ru e nt w ith a tte nti on de dic a te d to n o n e s s e n t i a l i s s u e s . T h i s w o u l d e s p e c i a l l y b e t h e c a s e a t t h e h e i g h t o f t h e G r e a t D e p r e s s i o n . It there fore would be unusual for any Europea n conce rn—let alone opposition t o Nazi relig ious int ole ra nc e —to a pp e a r i n th is e nv ir on me nt. 16

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J oe Ga vag an, Con gr e ssi on al R e c or d , H 73, 1st sess. (Mar ch 22, 1933): 771-77. 17 Th is c ha pte r p re se nts Congressional Record statements from the H ouse during the 18 Seventy -third Cong ress (193334) and the first session of the Seve nty -four th Congre ss (1935). Unless otherw ise noted at the pa g ination, the rhetoric ref lected f loor rema rks. The f amous “hundre d-day ” session met Mar ch 9-June 15, 1933. I t was, in fac t, a ninety -nine-da y period. See Mem bers of Congress since 1789, 2nd ed. (Washing ton D.C.: Congre ssional Quarte rly , 1981), 171. 33 B ut a pp e a r i t di d. I n M a rc h 1 93 3, le ss t ha n tw o mo nth s a ft e r A do lf Hi tle r b e c a me Ge rm a ny ’s c ha nc e llo r— bu t be fo re he a c qu ir e d d ic ta tor ia l po we r— the Con g re ss d e ba te d H ou se Resolution 24. Outrag ed by the Nazi scape g oating of Jews, the resolution’s draf ters ca lled on the U. S. St a te De pa rt me nt t o e xpre ss s tr on g dis ple a su re wi th t he Na zi mis tr e a tme nt o f i ts Je wi sh citizens. “Once ag ain humanity is aroused f rom its letharg y by the per secution of a member r ace of the human f amily ,” thunder ed Repre sentative Joe Gavag an, a Ca tholic Democr at from Ne w York. He asked his collea g ues, “[I ]s t here a more appropr iate leg islative body in the world than t h e H o u s e o f R e p r e s e n t a t i v e s t o s e n d f o r t h a n a p p e a l a g a i n s t t h i s i n j u s t i c e a n d i n i q u i t y ?” Appar ently Gava g an’s r emar ks struck a c hord with his fellow leg islators; the resolution passed by acc lamation. 17 I f the pa ssag e of H ouse Resolution 24 repre sented a burg eoning conce rn over the tr e a tme nt o f Je ws in G e rm a ny , a n in tr ig uin g c on ve rs a tio n th a t to ok pla c e e ig ht d a y s la te r p oin ts to a phenomenon of equal sig nificanc e. I ndeed, the open floor de bate pr ovides a portr ait of the wa y s in wh ic h s ome Am e ri c a ns tie d th e ir ou tr a g e ov e r a nti -S e mit ism a br oa d to fe a rs of a nti Semitis m at home. Members of both parties spoke out, fr om various re ligions and r eg ions of 18 the c ou ntr y . T he mot iva tio n f or c on de mni ng Na zi a nti -S e mit ism —a nd re la te d f or ms o f d ome sti c intoleranc e—re lated to a lar g er w ish to ex press support for a plura list democratic vision. On Marc h 27, 1933, Wil liam Sirovich, a New Yorke r of Jewish orig ins, addresse d the House for ten minutes. I n his stirring r emar ks, Sirovich blasted the “f oul, iniquit ous, and brutal

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Wil liam Sirovich, Con gr e ssi on al R e c or d , H 73, 1st sess. (Mar ch 27, 1933): 881. 19 F oll ow ing Sir ov ic h’ s u ne xpe c te d d e a th i n D e c e mbe r 1 94 0, M. Mic ha e l E de lst e in s e rv e d u nti l hi s own untimely death in June 1941. See Shapiro, “Appr oach,” 60. Thomas B lanton to Sirovich, Congressional Record, H 73, 1st sess. (Mar ch 27, 1933): 20 883. I bid. 21 34 tr e a tme nt o f t he na tio na ls o f Je wi sh e xtra c tio n b y the c ow a rd ly , s a dis tic , p a ra no id m a dma n in mod e rn Ge rm a ny , A do lf Hi tle r. ” Ad dit ion a l la wm a ke rs —Ch ri sti a n A me ri c a ns fr om s ta te s w ith 19 sma ll Je wi sh c on sti tue nc ie s— joi ne d Si ro vic h in a c oll e g ia l e xch a ng e . T he y no te d th a t a nti Jew ish dis c ri min a tio n e xiste d in the Un ite d St a te s a s w e ll. Wha t f oll ow e d w a s a n e xch a ng e in which stateme nts init ially tailored to conde mn Nazi intol era nce e volved into a discussion of Americ an big otry . Thomas B lanton, a re prese ntative from the 17th District in Te x as wa s espec ially expli cit, complaining about the “unr easona ble, foolish and cr uel per secutions of the Jew s r ig ht h e re in t he na tio n’ s c a pit a l.” Why sh ou ld w e , h e a sk e d, “ tol e ra te wi tho ut p ro te st 20 J e w i s h p e r s e c u t i o n h e r e i n W a s h i n g t o n ?” 21 I t is im portant to ac knowledg e that opposing fore ign r elig ious bigotry was a leg islative oddity with litt le pre cede nt. No quantitative mecha nism ex ists to demonst rate how many me mbe rs of Con g re ss d re w a c on ne c tio n b e tw e e n N a zi a nti -S e mit ism a nd do me sti c a nti Se mit ism . I t ma y no t be po ssi ble to d e te rm ine ho w m a ny me mbe rs be c a me mor e sy mpa the tic to the plight of J ews, but it is possibl e to observe that, during 1933-35, cong ressional c oncer n over Ge rm a n mi str e a tme nt o f i ts Je wi sh c iti zen s b e c a me a pa rt of the pu bli c re c or d. Sin c e the Ho us e of Re pr e se nta tiv e s p ro vid e s th e mos t c re dib le re c or d o f p ub lic dis c ou rs e in t he Un ite d St a te s, the se re ma rk s ma y be sa id t o c a ptu re the be g inn ing s o f t he Am e ri c a n d isc ur siv e op po sit ion to Na zi a nti -S e mit ism tha t e me rg e d d ur ing the 19 30 s a nd 19 40 s.

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Emanuel Celler , Congressional Record, H 7 3, 1s t se ss. (A pr il 2 0, 19 33 ): 20 19 . Se e a lso 22 Phy llis C ohen, “Re prese ntative Emanue l Celler: A Case Study in L eg islative Be havior, 19231950” (ma ster’s thesis, Ne w York U niversity : 1952), Box 35. Emanuel Celler Pape rs, 1924-73, L ibrary of Cong ress, Washing ton, D.C. Edith Nourse Rog ers, Congressional Record, H 73, 1st sess. (April 26, 1933): 3289. 23 35 Table 21 contains the a g g reg ate da ta re lated to floor r emar ks and re solutions m ade in the House of Re prese ntatives during 1931-35 addr essing Nazi hostil ity toward G erma n J ews. The Con gr e ssi on al R e c or d indexed this activity mainly under the cate g ories of “ J ews” and “Ge rmany .” The Rec ord contains no floor state ments under the c ateg ory of “Jews”—in fa ct, no su c h c a te g or y e xiste d— du ri ng the Se ve nty -s e c on d s e ssi on (1 93 132 ). B ut i n 1 93 334 , th e tim e in w hic h A do lf Hi tle r g a ine d p ow e r, the re we re a tot a l of fo rt y -f ou r r e ma rk s o r r e so lut ion s in which Judaism was addresse d. I n 1935, thirty -eig ht instances we re r ecor ded. I t would seem that once A dolf Hitler seized powe r in Ger many , some members of Congr ess re cog nized a potential da ng e r a nd sh a re d th e ir c on c e rn wi th t he ir c oll e a g ue s. One suc h person wa s Emanuel Celler ( D-NY ). I n rema rks he de livered in Apr il 1933, Ce lle r d e pic te d th e Na zis i n a n e xtre me ly ne g a tiv e lig ht. “ Hi tle r m a y no t be mur de ri ng the Jew s, but he is killi ng them economica lly and starving them into submi ssion.” He wa rned, “ There are repe rcussions fa r bey ond Ger many ’s borde rs as a nti-Semiti sm is rearing its foul head in other countries.” The sentiments of Edith Nourse Roge rs (R-MA) , rec orded le ss than a we ek later , 22 wer e expressed e ven more power fully than Celler’ s floor statements. “ Mr. Speake r,” she beg an, “ I ta ke the fl oo r t o p ro te st t he br uta l a nd un wa rr a nte d tr e a tme nt o f t he na tio na ls o f Je wi sh extraction in Germany by Adolf Hitler. Our fore fathe rs fled f rom relig ious oppression to New Eng land. We from that sec tion especia lly sy mpathize with any perse cuted r ace . J ews a re be ing subjected to unwa rra nted trea tment in Germany today .” 23

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J ohn McCormac k, Congressional Record, H 73, 1st sess. (June 9, 1933): 5441. 24 36 Two months later, Massa chusetts’ John McCormack spoke out on the issue. “ I have watche d with increa sing a nx iety developments in Ge rmany since Adolf H itler assumed controlling power ,” he be g an. “L ike member s throug hout the session, McCormack e x presse d conce rn that the “ ruthless ag onizi ng of the Jews” in Nazi Germa ny ref lected a much larg er hostili ty to democra tic principles such a s “liberty , justice, and e quality .” 24 Th e mos t pe rt ine nt o bs e rv a tio n a bo ut t his ty pe of rh e tor ic —th a t a pp e a re d c on sis te ntl y throug hout 1933—is that members bound tog ether J ewish and Christian Amer ican outra g e. Moreove r, many officia ls used their statements to sig nal a lar g er c ommitm ent to promoting de moc ra tic plu ra lis m, e xpre ssi ng the ir su pp or t f or Jew s a s a wo rt hy pe op le . I n s ta rk c on tr a st t o the e a rl ie r Jud e oB ols he vik c on str uc t th a t ha d d e pic te d Jew s a thr e a t to Am e ri c a n li be rt ie s, so me c iti zen s sa w t he ta sk of de fe nd ing Jew s a s a wa y to d e mon str a te the str e ng th o f d e moc ra tic rig hts. One mig ht both oppose Nazism and stil l harbor unse emly opinions about J ews, but that pa rt ic ula r s tr a in o f t ho ug ht w ou ld h a ve se e me d e sp e c ia lly str a ine d, a nd wa s n ot a pp a re nt i n 1933. Th e se c on d s e ssi on of the Se ve nty -t hir d Co ng re ss o pe ne d in Janu a ry 19 34 . A lmo st immediately , some lawmake rs re newe d their wa rning s about the evils of Na zis m. Samuel D ic k s te in in tr o d u c e d a r e s o lu ti o n p r o p o s in g a n e w p a n e l c h a r g e d w it h in v e s ti g a ti n g N a zi p ro p aga n d a e ff o rt s i n t h e U n i t ed S t at es . T h e p ro p o s al ca rr i ed o v er wh el m i n gl y , an d b y s o d o i n g, it ga ve birth to the first House Special Committ ee on U n-Amer ican Ac tiviti es. I ronica lly , a

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The vote w as 168 to 31. See F ranc is MacDonne ll, In sid iou s F oe s: The Ax is F ift h 25 Column and the American H ome Front (Ne w York: Oxford Univer sity Press, 1995), 41; Sander Diamond, The Nazi Moveme nt in the United States, 1924-1941 (N e w H a ve n: Y a le Un ive rs ity Press, 1974), 157-58; L eland B ell, In Hi tle r’ s S ha do w: The An ato my of A me ric an Naz ism (Ne w York: Ke nnikat, 1973), 14, 55; and e sp. Walter Goodman, The Com mi tte e : T he Ex tra or din ar y Car e e r o f th e Ho us e Com mi tte e on Un -A me ric an Ac tiv iti e s ( N e w Y o r k : F a r r a r , St r a u s , G ir o u x, 1968), 10-26. D i c k s t e i n h a d i n v e s t i g a t e d N a z i a n t i S e m i t i s m f o r t h e C o n g r e s s p r e v i o u s l y . In 26 No ve mbe r 1 93 3, he re a d p a ssa g e s f ro m H itl e r’ s Mein Kampf befor e a subc ommitt ee he aring . Specifica lly , he noted Hitler ’s belief that the Ger man imperial g overnme nt should have used the cover of World War I to “exterminate complete ly all these Jewish insti g ators of the people.” See U.S. Congressional Committ ee H earings Index , 73rd Cong ., 1st sess., (H)(I mm.) November 13, 19 33 ; 63 . H e re a ft e r c ite d a s U.S. Hearings . For an excellent discussion, see J.P.H. Grill and Robert J enkins, “The Nazis and the 27 Americ an South in the 1930s: A Mirror I mag e? ” J ou rn al o f So uth e rn Hi sto ry 58 (1992): 668-71. See also Mac Donnell, Insidious , 42-43 and L eland B ell, “The Fa ilure of Na zis m in America : The Ge rman Ame rica n Bund , 1936-1941,” Political Science Quarterly 85 (1970): 586-87. 37 committee that would later become infamous for its so-c alled Jewish red baiting had its orig ins in an ef fort aimed a t combating relig ious intol era nce. 25 No t su rp ri sin g ly , me mbe rs wh o h a d p re vio us ly be e n a c tiv e in c on de mni ng a nti -S e mit ism soug ht out leader ship positi ons on the new c ommitt ee. Cha iring the seve n-member body was J ohn McCormac k. Serving as the vice chair man was Samue l Dickstein. During 1934, they 26 s c h e d u l e d h e a r i n g s i n s e v e r a l c i t i e s i n c l u d i n g W a s h i n g t o n , D . C . ; N e w a r k , N e w J e r s e y; Asheville, North Car olina; and New York City . I n their investig ations, the members f ocused on the do me sti c dis pe rs ion of Na zi pr op a g a nd a , w hic h in pr a c tic a l te rm s w a s w ho lly a nti -Je wi sh ma te ri a l. Th e c ha rg e , le ve le d b y Di c ks te in a nd oth e rs , th a t N a zis a br oa d w e re c ult iva tin g Na zis h e r e a t h o m e w a s n o t w i t h o u t s u b s t a n c e . In G e r m a n y, f a s c i s t l e a d e r s l i k e D e p u t y Fü hr e r Rud olf Hess and Propa g anda Minister Joseph Goebbe ls recog nized that racia lly based a rg uments might ve ry we ll a pp e a l to Ge rm a ns liv ing in t he Un ite d St a te s. Th e c ha lle ng e fo r a nti fa sc ist s in 27

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Al tho ug h n ot a me mbe r o f t he c omm itt e e , A do lph Sa ba th ( DI L ) a lso fo ug ht a g a ins t 28 the domestic spre ad of a nti-Semiti c litera ture. I n April 1936, responding to a constituent’s compliant, he re quested the Post Offic e’s c hief inspec tor to investiga te a Chica g o newspa per entitled Am e ric an Ge nti le . The re ply corr espondenc e advise d him that the paper was “ not re g a rd e d a s u nma ila ble .” Se e Al dr ic h to Sa ba th, Ap ri l 24 , 1 93 6, bo x 1/12 , A do lph Sa ba th Papers, 190352, Americ an Jewish Archives, Cincinnati. F or more on the Am e ric an Ge nti le , see Phill ip J enkins, Hoods and Shirts: The Extreme Right in Pennsylvania, 1925-1950 (C ha pe l H ill : University of North Car olina Press, 1997), 120. Diamond, Move ment , 99-100, 113-19; B ell, Shadow , 26-30; J oachim Remak, “ Fr iends 29 of the Ne w Ger many : The B und and Ge rman-A merica n Relations,” J ou rn al o f M od e rn Hi sto ry 29 (1957): 38, 42-43. 38 Americ a wa s opposing the e ffe cts of neg ative Jewish depictions by explaining how big oted portray als threa tened the liber ties of all citizens. This would not prove an ea sy task. During the e a rl y a nd mid dle 19 30 s, mor e tha n 1 20 pr iva te or g a niza tio ns dis tr ibu te d a nti -Je wi sh lit e ra tur e in the United States. The Committee on Un-A merica n Activities was a c lear , officia l step taken by the Con g re ss t o e ns ur e tha t th e pu rv e y or s o f h a te sp e e c h, a s w e ll a s th e ir po ssi ble a dh e re nts , u n d e r s t o o d t h a t t h e i r v i e w s w e r e o u t s i d e t h e p a l e o f a c c e p t a b i l i t y. 28 I n May 1934, the House U n-Amer ican Ac tiviti es Committ ee inve stiga ted a g roup ca lled the “F riends of N ew Ge rmany .” L ed by a publicity -see king de mag og ue name d Heinz Spanknoebel, the “ Fr iends” re ceive d their cha rter a nd funding direc tly from B erlin. Spanknoebe l maintained af filiates in New Y ork City and Chicag o, and at its pea k the g roup’s size rang ed a ny wh e re fr om f ive tho us a nd to t e n th ou sa nd me mbe rs . H is g re a te st s tr e ng th l a y in h is or g a niza tio na l a bil ity . Sp a nk no e be l w a s p a rt ic ula rl y e ff e c tiv e a t br ing ing tog e the r d isp a ra te a nti J ewish assoc iations. His ability to stoke bigote d sentiments, however , contributed to his hurried depar ture fr om the United States. When I mmigra tion Com mittee chair Dickstein ale rted Just ice Depa rtment offic ials that Spanknoebel ha d failed to re g ister as a paid fore ign a g ent, depor tation p r o c e d u r e s c o m m e n c e d , a n d S p a n k n o e b e l c l a n d e s t i n e l y l e f t t h e c o u n t r y. 29

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Di c ks te in a lso inq uir e d w ith the Sta te De pa rt me nt a bo ut G iss ibl ’s imm ig ra tio n s ta tus . 30 I n the re quest for infor mation, the vice c hairman a ttached f or Secr etar y of State Cordell Hull’s revie w a twopag e memora ndum containing reda cted testimony in which Gissibl acknowledg ed that he re ceive d his orders dire ctly from Adolf H itler. See Dic kstein to Cordell Hull, Dece mber 5, 19 35 , b ox 5/3 . Sa mue l D ic ks te in P a pe rs , 1 92 344 , A me ri c a n Jew ish Ar c hiv e s, Cin c inn a ti. U.S. Hearings , 73rd Cong ., 2nd sess. (H) -HS (May 17, 1934): 100-101. I n 1936, the 31 “F riends” c hang ed their na me to the “Ge rman-A merica n Bund .” Gi ssi bl p la y e d a le a din g ro le in selec ting the ne w Bund leade r, F ritz J ulius Kuhn. See Diamond, Move ment , 1 62 , 2 17 -1 8; B e ll, Shadow , 55-58; Goodman, Ex tra or din ar y , 17. U.S. Hearings , 73rd Cong ., 2nd sess. (H) -HS (May 17, 1934): 142. See a lso Diamond, 32 Move ment , 307. 39 But while Spanknoe bel re turned to Ge rmany , his “Fr iends” re mained behind. I n May 19 34 , th e Ho us e Un -A me ri c a n A c tiv iti e s Co mmi tte e su bp oe na e d th e ne w l e a de r, F ri tz G iss ibl , to explain his g roup’s political objec tives. “Doe s y our assoc iation see its discontent and a ng er 30 ag ainst the J ew in g ener al? ” aske d Chairman McCorma ck. Gissibl’s response was somewha t ambig uous. He re plied, “We ar e ag ainst those that wer e ag ainst the Ger mans.” “ Well y ou [and y our assoc iates] came ove r her e and e ng ag ed in ac tiviti es ag ainst the J ewish people ,” re sponded Mc Cor ma c k. Th e wi tne ss r e pli e d, “ I do no t th ink it w a s th a t so muc h, Mr . Ch a ir ma n, a s it wa s to or g a nize the Ge rm a ns a nd un ite the m.” Ap pa re ntl y Gi ssi bl’ s e xpla na tio n d id n ot g o v e ry fa r i n satisfy ing Cha irman McCormac k, who pointed out that the ef forts of the F riends of N ew Ger many “we re dire cted only ag ainst the J ews.” 31 L ater in the hear ing, c ommitt ee c ounsel Thomas Ha rdwick suc cee ded in baiting the witness. Gissibl blurted, “I believe tha t if one is attacke d, he has a rig ht to defend himself.” The counselor stoppe d: “[L ]et’s see about that a minute now. Take the J ew. He did not raise a r ow about Ger many until Hitl er w ent to perse cuting him and remove d him from his place of do mic ile . T he y a re me re ly de fe nd ing the mse lve s, a re the y no t?” I n h is c ur t r e sp on se to Ha rd wi c k’ s q ue sti on , G iss ibl c on c e de d th e po int . 32

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U.S. Hearings , 73rd Cong ., 2nd sess., (H) -HS (May 17, 1934): 154. See a lso Diamond, 33 Move ment , 87-90. Be ll, “Fa ilure,” 587. 34 I n g ener al, Nazi propag anda e ffor ts in the United States proved c lumsy . See Eug ene 35 Rachlis, They Came to Kill: The Story of Eight Naz i Saboteurs in America (Ne w York: Random House, 1961), 161. 40 Wal te r K a pp e , th e e dit or in c hie f o f t he pr oNa zi Deutsche Zeitung, wa s a no the r w itn e ss hauled in bef ore the committee. The Zeitung was a n Americ an-ba sed pape r g ear ed towar d Ge rm a n im mig ra nts . I n p ra c tic e , it se rv e d a s a do me sti c ou tle t f or Na zi pr op a g a nd a . D ic ks te in saw the Zeitung fo r w ha t it wa s. “ As a me mbe r o f C on g re ss I ha ve tr ie d to c le a r t he a ir in t his country ,” he pr oclaimed. “ But y ou and y our pape r made unjustifiable attacks upon me as a Jew.” When Kappe r etorted, “ [O] nly as one tha t is fighting and say ing thing s about Ger many that are in my estimation untrue,” Dic kstein continued to press the w itness. “I f I said the Na zis have re mov e d c e rt a in Je wi sh do c tor s, la wy e rs , a nd jud g e s, tha t is no t a n u ntr ue sla nd e r a g a ins t Ger many ,” he a sked. I n his reply , Kappe answe red “ no.” “A nd if I said that Ger many has put cer tain J ewish people s into a conce ntration ca mp,” continued Dic kstein, “that wa s not ly ing about Ger many was it? ” Onc e ag ain, the witness ag ree d. 33 Th e se a nd oth e r e xch a ng e s e xpa nd e d c on g re ssi on a l kn ow le dg e of the Na zi su pp or te rs in the ir mid st. Th e y re ve a le d th e e xiste nc e of ne fa ri ou s p la ns to s mug g le a nd dis tr ibu te a nti -Je wi sh propag anda w ithin America’ s border s. Since anti-Jewish repre sentations wer e the ha llmark of Nazi propag anda, one line of def ense la y in char acte rizing such ster eoty pes as “ un-Amer ican.” As the historian L eland B ell observe d, Nazi leader s believed tha t “all Ger mans wer e united in a rac ial community which bound them to the F ather land by their common blood.” This was the 34 me ssa g e tha t f a sc ist sy mpa thi zer s p ro mot e d w ith in t he Un ite d St a te s th ro ug h n e ws pa pe rs , pamphlets, and public de monstrations. I t was an ide a that some in Cong ress tried to dilute by 35

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For Pelley , see J enkins, Hoods 120-25; and Ribuffo, Ol d , 2 5 -7 9 . Be fo re b ec o m i n g a 36 demag og ue, Pelley wrote a number of H olly wood movies. He pe nned a r omantic comedy entitled W hat W omen Love (1920); a w estern c alled Ba c k fir e (1922); and a drama titled The Light i n the Dark (1922) de picting a worke r g irl struck by a we althy matron’s c ar, a s well as contributing to the period’s g ang ster g enre with The Shock ( 1 9 2 3 ) , s t a r r i n g L o n C h a n e y. I n 1 93 7, a nu mbe r o f l a wm a ke rs sp ok e ou t a g a ins t N a zi su mme r c a mps op e ra tin g in 37 Ne w Y or k, Ne w Je rs e y , Co nn e c tic ut, a nd Mic hig a n. Re pr e se nta tiv e Di c ks te in t ra c ke d th is activity ; his private files conta in numerous re ports published in the New Y ork Times , Ne w York Po st , and New Y ork W orld-Telegram . See Dickstein Paper s, box 16/5. Samuel Dickstein, Congressional Record H 74, 1st sess. (Jul y 25, 1935): 11861. See 38 also “U.S. F inds Nazi Menace ,” Pe nn sy lv an ian W e e k ly Ne ws , Fe bruar y 25, 1934, box 16/6, Di c ks te in P a pe rs . 41 helping citizens to understand how and w hy Nazi ideology was incompa tible with America n civic g uara ntees. B y July 19 34 , Ch a ir ma n M c Cor ma c k a nd Vi c e Cha ir ma n D ic ks te in c on ve ne d th e Ho us e Com mit te e on Un -A me ri c a n A c tiv iti e s si xtee n ti me s. Som e he a ri ng s f oc us e d o n d ome sti c g roups such a s Wi lliam Dudley Pelley ’s “Silver Shirt L eg ion.” Others e x amined Na zi s ummer 36 camps for children loc ated on L ong I sland, New York. Some sessions were public, others we re 37 private [executive session]. But, on eac h and eve ry occa sion, the committee examined the issue of Na zi anti-S emitism i n the United States. Ove r a se ven-month per iod, electe d officia ls deposed score s of witnesses re g arding the domestic dissemination of such propa g anda. T hey further submitt ed a r eport that found tha t Adolf Hitler “ma de eve ry eff ort to disturb America n citizens of Ge rman birth in this country . . . and throug h the form of propag anda to ha ve twenty milli on honest-to-g oodness Amer icans subscr ibe to his racia l philosophi es.” 38 Congr essional conc ern ove r the intolera nt aspec ts of Nazi ideology also appe are d outside the Un-A merica n Activities Commi ttee. Additional member s beg an spea king out. I n the minds of these la wmaker s, relig ious discrimination was unacc eptable w hether direc ted at Jews or at fellow Christians. One suc h person wa s Wi lliam Connery . An I rish Democr at from

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Wil liam Connery to Celler, Congressional Record, H 74, 1st sess. (Jul y 22, 1935): 39 11569. J ohn Hig g ins, Congressional Record, H 74, 1st sess. (June 10, 1935): 9009-9010; 40 Thomas For d, Congressional Record, H 7 4 , 1 s t s e s s . ( A u g u s t 2 0 , 1 9 3 5 ) : 1 3 8 2 7 ; J a m e s S h a n l e y, Congressional Record, H 74, 1st sess. (Aug ust 23, 1935): 13863. For the 1936 B erlin Oly mpics, see Richa rd Mande ll, The Nazi Olympics (Ne w York: 41 Macmillan, 1971), 7383; and B ell, Shadow , 3 942 . L e ni R ie fe ns ta hl’ s f ilm Ol y mp ia (1 93 7) is also instructive. During the g ames, Hitler a t times smi led and wa ved to onlookers. How ever , af t er s ev er al J es s e O we n s v i ct o ri es , R i ef en s t ah l ’s ca m er as s h o we d h i m an d h i s en t o u ra ge hurriedly depar ting B erlin’s Oly mpic stadium. See also Donald Nie wy ck, ed., The Ho loc au st (Ne w York: Houg hton Mifflin, 1997), 3. 42 Massac husetts, Connery blasted the ne w Ger man leade rship. I n rema rks on the House floor, he reminded his collea g ues that the Na zis wer e not “c onfining their brutality to just C atholics and J ews,” but rather that their ac tions were a part of a larg er pa ttern of r elig ious oppression. 39 Democr at J ohn Hig g ins ex presse d simil ar se ntiments, as did a fre shman member f rom Connecticut name d J ames Shanley , and Repre sentative Thomas F ord fr om California. 40 I n th e ir dis c us sio ns of Na zism , la wm a ke rs did no t c on fi ne the ir c ri tic ism e nti re ly to re lig iou s is su e s. Som e me mbe rs a dd re sse d th e se e min g ly biza rr e fa c t th a t N a zi G e rm a ny wo uld host the upcoming Oly mpic Games. Others e x presse d conce rn that Ge rman Jews fac ed 41 dif fi c ult ie s se c ur ing e ntr y vis a s in to t he Un ite d St a te s. B ut c on c e rn s o ve r G e rm a ny ’s ill trea tment of Catholics occur red e ven more fre quently —indeed, ten suc h statements from differ ent member s addre ssed this issue. This activity sug g ests that a lar g er pr ocess wa s under way , one in which some A merica ns felt compelled to spe ak out ag ainst ethno-re ligious pe rs e c uti on . T he la wm a ke rs ’ o pp os iti on ste mme d f ro m a n a ve rs ion to d e sp oti c ru le tha t ha d it s or ig in i n th e Na zi su pp re ssi on of se c ula r r ig hts , s up pr e ssi on tha t a ro se fr om— a bo ve a ll else—Na zi religious intoleranc e. Members of Congr ess wer e not the only Americ ans publicly discussing thre ats to the Western libera l tradition. I ndeed, dur ing the 1930s, writers, ne wspape r editors, a rtists, and actors

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Ross, W or k ing -C las s , 115-19. 42 43 also spoke out. Cultural mediums proved to be important c onduits for enlig htening citizens about events oc curr ing outside the United States. Def eating “fa scism”—a ter m that could have be en applied to g overnme nts in I taly , Spain, J apan, or Ger many —emer g ed as a larg er me taphor used to highlig ht the differ ence s betwee n life in the United States and in f oreig n lands. As the dec ade evolved, a nd as the c ollisi on betwee n liberal a nd fasc ist worldviews took on a military nature , writers a nd artists play ed a vital r ole in prese nting c itiz ens with a nua nced por trait of the e nemy . Notably , the themes that ha d first appe are d in Congre ss later pe rmea ted the cultura l discourse. D uring 1934-41, Amer icans ha d the opportunity to both read a bout and watc h depictions of fa scist violence a nd intoleranc e. Just as no quantitative method e x ists for deter mining how many Americ ans lea rned a bout Nazi anti-Semiti sm from cong ressional rhetoric , it is l ikewise impossible to determine the numbe r of Ame rica ns who g leane d that information from c ultural source s. Neve rtheless, the la rg er point is that a number of popular discussions ex isted from which c itiz ens mig ht have lea rned of the Nazi contempt for r elig ious lib e rt ie s. Fr om the industry ’s ea rliest day s, Holly wood studios bosses, with a clea r influenc e over Americ an public opinion, introduced c itiz ens to fore ign political thre ats. During 1917-22, silent movies scripts detailing communist subterfug e we re in pa rticular de mand. I n Bolshevism on Tria l (1 91 9) , mi sg uid e d A me ri c a ns fa ll p re y to c un nin g B ols he vik a g e nts wh o in fi ltr a te the ir bourg eois ref orm org anization. I t was a c ase of ear nest, Prog ressivesty le advoc acy g one horribly awr y . The film’s messag e explained that communist subversion was a n unpleasa nt fac t in the United States, enc ourag ing A merica ns to ex erc ise g rea ter c aution in their public and private de aling s. I n Da ng e ro us Ho ur s (1920) a nd The New Moon (1919), movieg oers obse rved 42 imag es that ar e more sinister. They saw re prese ntations of wanton destruc tion, the murder of

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I bid., 135-43. 43 Gabler , Em pir e , 320. 44 Ross, W or k ing -C las s , 115, 141. 45 I bid ., 14 1. Cha ng ing a c ha ra c te r’ s e thn ic ity by mod if y ing his /he r s ur na me wa s a 46 common technique. Sensitive to cha rg es of a nti-Semiti sm, the poet Arc hibald MacL eish cha ng ed one letter of his 1933 work Fr e sc oe s fo r M r. Ro c k e fe lle r’ s Ci ty . I n the book’s sec ond edition, the fictitious Com rade L evine instea d beca me Comrade D evine. See Arc hibald MacL eish, Frescoe s for Mr. Rocke feller’s City (Ne w York: John Day , 1933), 25. See a lso Michael De nning, The Cultural Front: The Laboring of American Culture in the Tw entieth Century (Ne w York: Ve rso, 44 children, a nd repe ated sc enes doc umenting a n alleg ed B olshevik decr ee tha t rende red Russian wo me n th e c omm un a l pr op e rt y of a ll m a le Pa rt y me mbe rs . 43 Th is i nc re a se in p ub lic a tte nti on mig ht h a ve da ma g e d Jew ish po rt ra y a ls. Som e Americ ans per ceive d communism—or, more spec ifically , Soviet Com munism as derived fr om Ma rxis tL e nin ism —a s a mod e rn e xamp le of Jew ish e ff or ts t o u ps e t th e de moc ra tic or de r. Th e se observe rs noted that the ideolog y had provide d a deva stating c ritique of the Western liber al tr a dit ion by qu e sti on ing pr iva te pr op e rt y ow ne rs hip a nd the le g iti ma c y of Chr ist ia n in sti tut ion s. A r e a so na ble pe rs on c ou ld c on c lud e tha t su c h d oc tr ine s w e re “ Jew ish he re sie s” sin c e Jew s a lso se e me d u nc omf or ta ble wi th t he do min a nc e of Chr ist ia n n or ms. Ho lly wo od stu dio mog uls , almost all of whom wer e Jewish, were acute ly awa re of these c alumnies, and took ca re to off er audienc es g ener ic, fa cele ss themes such as mob violenc e and the international Comintern. 44 I n f ilm s su c h a s The Re d V ipe r (1920) a nd The Gr e at S ha do w (1920), Ame rica ns learne d a bo ut a ho st o f p re su me d th re a ts: a na rc his ts, B ols he vik s, un ion ist s, a nd so c ia l r e fo rm e rs . The 45 Volcano (1 91 9) , w hic h d e pic te d th e sp a te of B ols he vik bo mb p lot s d ir e c te d a g a ins t U .S. of fi c ia ls immediately following the Fir st W orld War, fe ature d a modified a nti-Semiti c story line. The movie’s her o, orig inally “Captain Ga rland,” beca me instead “ Captain Natha n L evinson.” The ho ok -n os e d a nta g on ist re ma ine d, bu t in the re ma ke he de liv e re d th e de c isi ve lin e : “ I a m no t a J ew. I am a B olshevik.” 46

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1996), 62; and Scott Donaldson, Ar c hib ald Ma c Le ish : A n A me ric an Life (Ne w York: Houg hton Mifflin, 1992), 231-32. Steven Carr , “The Holly wood Question: Americ a and the Be lief in J ewish Control over 47 Motion P ictures be fore 1941” (Ph.D. diss., Austin: University of Texas, 1994), 45, 171. Stephen B ronner , A Rumor about the Je ws: The Protocols of the Learned Elders of 48 Zion (Ne w York: St. Martin’s, 2000), 71. 45 These e ffor ts to use a fore ign political issue to ig nite a lar g er discussion about c ultural identity are most enlightening when view ed as pa rt of an ong oing public c ontest. Holly wood studio ex ecutives mig ht have wishe d to downplay the conne ction betwee n communism and J udaism, but to some Christ ian Amer icans, this silence w as dea fening . Film historian Steven Carr ha s termed the e merg ing c oncer n about J ewish control of the enter tainment industry —and about this cohort’s ability to sculpt social norms—the “Holly wood Question.” This idea, which 47 Carr ha s jux taposed a g ainst the more f amiliar “Jewish Question” construc t, helped Christian Am e ri c a ns du ri ng the 19 20 s a nd 19 30 s to re c og nize tha t ne w t e c hn olo g ie s h a d a llo we d Jew s to e xer c ise inf lue nc e wi thi n A me ri c a n s oc ie ty tha t w a s d isp ro po rt ion a te to t he ir nu mbe rs . During the middle and late 1920s, the most successful e x pression of the ide a that Jews posed a thre at to Christendom involved arg uments published in The Protocols of the Elders of Zion . T his fa br ic a te d w or k, wh ic h f ir st a pp e a re d in Cza ri st R us sia a t th e tur n o f t he tw e nti e th centur y , descr ibed a sinister plot hatche d by a shadow y g roup of Jews seeking to enslave Christians. The wor k beca me hug ely popular in Europe following the Fir st W orld War, and 48 la te r a pp e a re d in the Un ite d St a te s. Au tom ob ile ma nu fa c tur e r H e nr y F or d w a s p a rt ic ula rl y involved with sharing the Protocols’ m es s age with America ns. I n 1923, his Dear born Publishing Co. , w hic h b oa ste d a pe a k c ir c ula tio n o f 7 00 ,0 00 , is su e d a fo ur -v olu me se t of big ote d tr a c ts kn ow n c oll e c tiv e ly a s The International Jew: The W orld’s Foremost Problem . This compendium

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Max W allace , The American A xis: He nry Ford, Charles Lindbergh and the Rise of the 49 Third Reich (Ne w York: St. Martin’s, 2003), 1720; Albert L ee, He nr y Fo rd an d th e J e ws (Ne w York: Stein and Da y , 1980), 13-44. Carr, “ Holly wood,” 14953. 50 Som e sc ho la rs ha ve ind e e d a rg ue d th a t th e Jew s “ wo n” the tw e nti e th c e ntu ry fr om i ts 51 Christian stewards. See Yuri Slezkine, The Jewish Century (B e rk e le y a nd L os An g e le s: University of California Pre ss, 2004), 44. The Jewish America n perf ormer B illy Rose wrote a song commemora ting F ord’s 52 enlig htenment. Entitled “Since He nry For d Apolog ized to Me,” the ditty beg an, “I was sad a nd blue but now I ’m just as g ood as y ou. Since Henr y For d apolog ized to me. I ’ve throw n a-w ay -a my lit -t le Che -v ro -l e t a nd bo ug ht m y -s e lf a F or d Co upe . . . . My mot he r s a y s sh e ’l l f e e d h im i f he ca lls . . . Ge-fil-tefish and mat-zo-balls.” See L ee, Fo rd , 82-83. 46 included the Pr oto c ols , as we ll as stories previously published in his anti-Semit ic wee kly paper Dearborn Inde pendent . 49 I n The International Jew , For d share d with rea ders his suspicions that J ews c ontrolled the world’s ba nking sy stems and the Amer ican e ducation sy stem and we re sowing the see ds of sociocultural a nd political disruption. I n topical cha pters such a s “Jewish S uprema cy in the Th e a tr e a nd Cin e ma ” a nd “ Jew ish Jazz B e c ome s O ur Na tio na l Mu sic ,” F or d f ur the r o utl ine d h is belief tha t the emer g ing e ntertainment industry had provide d J ews too much influenc e in shaping opinions. Restating the Pr oto c ols ’ ov e ra rc hin g the me , th e ma g na te a le rt e d h is r e a de rs tha t a 50 rec koning da y betwee n Ang lo-Sax ons and Jewish “Orientals” was a t hand. He implore d Christian America ns to recog nize that nothing less than the f ate of the twentieth ce ntury was a t stake. 51 Countervailing pressure s from sec ular-minded A merica ns—both J ewish and Christian—compelled the mag nateturned-ha temong er to trunc ate his public ac tiviti es. I n 1927, do me sti c bo y c ott s o f h is a uto mob ile c omp a ny , a s w e ll a s a str ing of la ws uit s f ile d b y the An tiDef amation L eag ue, re sulted in his “open letter” of apolog y . This backlash de monstrated that 52 e ve n d ur ing the na tiv ist 19 20 s, the re we re oc c a sio ns wh e re big ote d s e nti me nts me t w ith pu bli c

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The Samuel Dic kstein Papers include a file de voted to political car toons. One 53 document wa s a re production of a n imag e first published in 1927 by the Paris pape r Le Boulevardier . The slide depic ted For d’s apolog y by repr esenting him as an ang el in loincloth, set upon by a g ang of merr y J ewish ang els who pricke d and poked him for blood with St ars of Da vid . Se e “ Th e Re tur n o f t he Pr od ig a l So n, ” bo x 16/6 , D ic ks te in P a pe rs . “B ar Movie a bout I rish,” New Y ork Times, September 2. 1927. 54 Fr ancis Walsh, “‘The Callahans and the Murphy s’: A Case Study of I rish-Amer ican 55 and Catholic Church Censor ship,” Historical Journal of Film, Radio and T elev ision 10 (1990): 40. 47 rebuke . Of c ourse, this is not to sugg est that public asper sions directed a g ainst the J ews de sis te d. Ev e n f oll ow ing F or d’ s c ha ng e of he a rt , the on g oin g c on te st t o d e fi ne a ra ng e of e thn ic 53 minorities persisted. Ta ke , f or e xamp le , M e tr oGo ldw y nMa y e r’ s The Cal lah an s a nd the Mu rp hy s (1927). Th is s ile nt f ilm —a sla ps tic k s umm e r c ome dy —p ro vo ke d c on de mna tio n f ro m Pr ote sta nts , Ca tho lic s, a nd Jew s a lik e . A da pte d f ro m a n id e nti c a lly tit le d n ov e l w ri tte n b y Ka thl e e n N or ri s, the mov ie wa s se t in a Ne w Y or k Ci ty te ne me nt n e ig hb or ho od . T he sc re e np la y de liv e re d a ba sic “Romeo and Juliet” plot that relied hea vily on anti-I rish stereoty pes to portra y the two fe uding families. Ther e we re imag es of e x cessive a lcohol consumption, promiscuity , violence, a nd stubbornness. The f ilm’s leading char acte rs, Mrs. Callahan a nd Mrs. Murphy , wer e tawdr y drunks. “This stuff ma kes me see double and f eel sing le” r ead Mr s. Murphy ’s (Polly Moran) line-ca rd as the c amer a ca ptured he r drinking a lar g e bottle of be er in a saloon. I n a later scene , the tw o ma tr on s, wh o w e re no w b oth dr ink ing in t he sa loo n, so a ke d e a c h o the r’ s b lou se s in bo oze be fo re ins tig a tin g a ba rr oo m br a wl . 54 These lowbr ow re prese ntations of non-Protestant ethnicities ca ptured the soc iocultural tensions appar ent in the United States during the twenties. Natura lly , Catholics resente d the 55 de pic tio n o f I ri sh wo me n a s b a wd y a nd ill -t e mpe re d. Th e ir hu sb a nd s w e re e ff e c tiv e ly a bs e nt,

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Time Magazine , Aug ust 22, 1927, 8. One month ear lier, Time had published a f ar more 56 positive review. “ I n the best tradition, Mrs. Callahan a nd Murphy squabble ince ssantly over the backy ard f ence which is comica l beca use their c hildren ar e intereng ag ed.” See also Time Magazine, J uly 25, 1927, 17. As quoted in Carr, “ Holly wood,” 177. See also J acob Riis, How the Other Half Lives , 57 2nd ed. (N ew Yor k: Dover, 1971) , 91. Matthew Coulter, The Senate M unitions Inquiry of the 1930s: Beyond the Merc hants of 58 Death (Westport, Ct.: Greenwood, 1997) , 6-14. 48 either simpletons or, wor st of all, Br itish. The Time mag azine revie w, entitled “I rish Be littl ed,” noted “Mrs. Callaha n and Mrs. Murphy hurl g arble d Hibernia n-Eng lish at eac h other ove r a backy ard f ence . They g rab a t eac h other’s ha ir, throw pots and pa ns. They swat their c hildren, who make love in cow-like f ashion.” Editors at the Irish W orld and Independe nt Liberator 56 coy ly identified the lar g er pr oblem: “Holly wood [J ews] should confine their ta lents to the Rebec cas of their own fa milies. I f they [J ews] want stupidity and indec ency , they needn’ t go out of the [J ewish] Ghetto to find it. I f they [J ews] want g rotesque f igur es, He ster Stree t is full of them.” Howeve r, Jews also disli ked the movie, pa rticularly its subplot about the mac hinations 57 of “inter national banke rs.” This theme hinted a t a contempor ary euphemism, specif ically the “Mer chants of D eath” thesis that held J ewish banke rs and munitions makers re sponsible for the ou tbr e a k o f w a r i n 1 91 4. Sho rt ly a ft e r i ts r e le a se , in the fa c e of int e ns e pu bli c ou tc ry , s tud io 58 executives at MetroGoldwy n-May er r esponded to the ba cklash by removing the film from distribution. Th e pu bli c ’s int e ns ity fo llo wi ng the ne g a tiv e on sc re e n d e pic tio n o f I ri sh -C a tho lic s w a s a prec urs or t o t he fu ry un lea sh ed l ate r t hat sam e y ear wh en P ath é st ud io s re lea sed Ce cil B. De Mil le ’s The King of K ings (1927). On the fac e of it, one mig ht think that a film about the life of Jesu s b e tw e e n th e Cr uc if ixion a nd Re su rr e c tio n w ou ld h a ve int e re ste d Ch ri sti a n A me ri c a ns . Ho we ve r, ma ny c iti zen s f ou nd the tr e a tme nt b la sp he mou s, de sp ite the fa c t th a t D e Mil le wa s a

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Carr, “ Holly wood,” 179. 59 As qu ote d in Ca rr , “ Ho lly wo od ,” 17 980 . Sc ho la rs a lso po int to t he fi lm Dr ac ula 60 (1931) a s stoking Christian fea rs of Judaism. Of particular note was the Star of Da vid that the para sitic lead cha rac ter wor e throug hout the film. The J ewas-bloodsucke r is a we ll-worn ste re oty pe tha t a g a in a pp e a re d o n th e sil ve r s c re e n in the 19 81 fi lm An American W e re wol f in London . See Scott Spector, “ Was the Third Reich Movie Made ? I nterdisciplinarity and the Refra ming of ‘I deolog y ,’” Am e ric an Hi sto ric al R e v ie w 106 (2001): 472; and Da vid Deutsch a nd J oshua Ne uman, The Big Book of Je wish C onspiracies (Ne w York: St. Martin’s, 2005), 43. J onathan Sar na, Am e ric an J ud ais m: A H ist or y (N e w H a ve n: Y a le Un ive rs ity Pr e ss, 61 2004), 214-15. 49 Catholic whose ea rlier sc ree n cre dits included The Te n Co mm an dm e nts (1 92 3) . A s w a s th e c a se with The Callahans and t he Murphy s , J ewish Amer icans a lso protested the film. These citizens wo rr ie d th a t Kings was little more than moder n “passion play ” that ser ved to re inforce the notion tha t th e Jew s— a nd no t th e Rom a ns —h a d k ill e d Jes us Chr ist . B y la te 19 27 , th e An ti59 Def amation L eag ue had joined w ith Christ ians in protesting the film beca use it promoted inv idi ou s a nti -Je wi sh ste re oty pe s. De sp ite fi na lly re a c hin g so me le ve l of a g re e me nt w ith 60 protest org anizations, boy cotts continued into 1928 in Denver , Colorado, and Oma ha, Ne braska . B y t h e c l o s e o f t h e 1 9 2 0 s , J e w s h a d b e e n a s s o c i a t e d w i t h B o l s h e v i s m , h e r e s y, b i g o t r y, and murde r. Those r esponsible for publicizing suc h depictions varie d; so, too, did t hose who be ne fi te d. Th e la rg e r p oin t, h ow e ve r, is t ha t th ro ug ho ut t he de c a de Am e ri c a ns ha d y e t to embra ce the pluralist sociocultural identity that later e merg ed as ma instream. A use ful point for inquiry become s try ing to unde rstand whe n and why Americ ans bec ame more acc epting of ethno-re ligious minorities. The cha lleng e ther ein lies in rec onciling the hostili ty of wha t J onathan Sar na has te rmed the “ tribal twenties” w ith evidence that this tension li fted in the following deca de as the national identity beca me more e thnically varie d. 61 L izabeth Cohen has examined this phenomenon. She has conc luded that the role that first-g ener ation Americ ans play ed in promoting economic r ecove ry following the Gre at

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L izabeth Cohen, Making a New De al: Industrial W orkers in Chicago, 1919-1939 (Ne w 62 York: Cambridg e Univer sity Press, 1990), 54, 111, 125. See also Ke nneth Heine man, A Catholi c New Deal: Religion and Reform in Depre ssion Pitt sburgh (Univer sity Park, Pa.: Pennsy lvania State Univer sity Press, 1999), 43. David Hog an, Selling ‘em by the Sack : W hite Castle and the Creation of American 63 Food (Ne w York: Ne w York U niversity Press, 1997), 6; Will iam Walsh, The Rise and Dec line of the Great Atlantic and Pacific Tea Company (Seca ucus, N.J.: L y le Stuart, 1986), 25, 29-37. Andre a Most, Making Ame ricans: Je ws and the Broadway Musical (Cambridg e: 64 Har vard U niversity Press, 2004), 20, 26-27. 50 De pr e ssi on c ha ng e d th e na tio n’ s id e nti ty . B lue -c oll a r, un ion ize d w or ke rs , mo stl y Ca tho lic s, forg ed a pa th into the heretofor e-Protesta nt middle class. Additional macroc hang es in the 62 so c ie ty br ou g ht A me ri c a ns c los e r t og e the r. Di sa pp e a ri ng , f or e xamp le , w e re loc a l g ro c e ry sto re s. I n th e ir ste a d, na tio na l su pe rm a rk e t c ha ins e me rg e d th a t a lso fu nc tio ne d a s c ult ur a l a g e nts . Ex ecutives a t the Atlantic and Pac ific (A& P) company , a lea ding supe rmarke t chain during the nineteenth a nd twentieth ce nturies, beg an stocking a ra ng e of e thnic foods and nontra ditional war es. Since A& P stores comprised a national cha in, patrons throug hout the United States had ac ce s s t o t h e p ro d u ct s . As ci t i z en s co n s u m ed s i m i l ar fo o d s — a p ro b ab i l i t y d u e t o m ar k et i n g, coupons, and r ecipe car ds—a distinctive Americ an diet eme rg ed that re flec ted the nation’s ne w e t h n i c v a r i e t y. 63 I n a similar way , Br oadwa y musicals also helped to softe n harde ned attitudes about Jews a nd oth e r m ino ri tie s b e c omi ng pa rt of the ma ins tr e a m. P ro du c tio ns su c h a s The Jazz Singer (1925), W hoopee (1928), a nd Ba be s in Ar ms (1 93 7) de a lt w ith so me of the iss ue s th a t Jew ish i m m i g r a n t s f a c e d d u r i n g t h e i r a s s i m i l a t i o n i n t o a p r e d o m i n a n t l y C h r i s t i a n A m e r i c a n s o c i e t y . In these play s, the cha rac ters—and the audienc e—first must rec og nize who they are (e.g ., Ang loSax ons, Asians, Celts, Tartar s, Teutons, J ews). T hey next m ust learn to hone w hateve r sociocultural skills would best fac ilitate the path to acc eptanc e. 64

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I bid., 32-39. 65 I bid., 24, 45. I n 1933, the same y ear that Hitler took power in Germa ny , Eddie Cantor 66 was the Scr een A ctors’ G uild president. 51 An Ang lican disposition was not nece ssarily pref err ed. The J az z S ing e r (1927) por tray ed the so n o f a n im mig ra nt R us sia n Jew ish fa mil y wh o d isg uis e d h ims e lf a s a n A fr ic a n A me ri c a n to pursue a car eer in vaudeville. I n W hoopee (1 92 8) , th e fa mou s Jew ish Am e ri c a n a c tor Ed die 65 Cantor play ed a Prote stant. The fa ct that audienc es knew of Cantor’s e thnicity , but his various int e rl oc uto rs re ma ine d o bli vio us , ma de the g oin g son mor e c omi c a l. I nd e e d, by the e a rl y 19 30 s, Br oadwa y audienc es we re “ comforta ble with J ewish ethnic humor a nd char acte rs per forming on stag e.” A furthe r obser vation might be tha t audience s were starting to learn tha t a per son’s 66 sociocultural identity could not be ac cura tely exhibi ted, or g aug ed, solely throug h phy sical char acte ristics. All of this activity sug g ests that by 1933, when Adolf Hitler bec ame the le ader of Ge rm a ny , A me ri c a ns we re pe rh a ps fa mil ia r w ith Jew s, fa sc ism , a nd the ir re la tio ns hip to l if e in the United States. A re view of popula r novels, play s, and movies from the pe riod demonstrate s tha t w ri te rs a nd a rt ist s p la y e d a ro le in p ub lic izin g fa sc ist int ole ra nc e tow a rd re lig iou s a nd c ivi l lib e rt ie s. I de a s th a t f ir st a pp e a re d in the c on g re ssi on a l st a te me nts , s uc h a s u ph old ing de moc ra tic values in the fa ce of autocr acy , rea ppear ed in the cultura l discourse. More over, unlike the po lit ic a l a tte nti on , w hic h w a ne d in the mid dle a nd la te r 1 93 0s , th e re wa s n o a pp a re nt d ro pof f i n cultural intere st. As the deca de evolve d, so, too, did the commitm ent that ar tists and writers de dic a te d to ra isi ng le ve ls o f p ub lic a wa re ne ss. I n May 1934, Chr ist ian Ce ntu ry published “Will Americ a Go F ascist? ” The article drew a dire ct link betwee n the fa scist hy steria of the ea rly 1930s with the “Red Scar e” of the prec eding deca de. While dismi ssing the na tion’s prior fe ars, the a rticle infor med its reade rs that

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“Will America Go F ascist? ” Christ ian Century 51 (1934): 592. 67 I bid., 593. 68 Rex Stout, The Pr e sid e nt V an ish e s (Ne w York: F arr ar a nd Rinehart, 1934). 69 52 fasc ism was a true menac e. “E very one who ha d any understanding of the Ame rica n scene knew perf ectly well at the time that our post-w ar Red Me nace was a ridiculous piece of fiction.” “ But ever y student of fore ign a ffa irs,” the a rticle c ontinued, “knows that fa scism is not t rumped up.” 67 The a uthor arg ued that fa scism appea led to those citizens who did not “understand the va lues and idea ls of Americ an democ rac y .” One way to ensure tha t “no doug hty opposition entrenche d itself” lay in differ entiating for the A merica n public the cha sms separa ting f ascist and liber al ide a ls. 68 Author Rex S tout, best known for c rea ting the f ictitious detective-e x traordina ire Ne ro Wolfe, was one a rtist who embrac ed this challeng e. I n 1934, he anony mously published a suspense thriller e ntitled The President Vanishes . Th e plo t de pic te d a fa sc ist c on sp ir a c y to 69 captur e the White House launc hed by Wall S tree t financie rs, munitions m aker s, and a p ar am i l i t ar y gro u p k n o wn as t h e “ Gr ay S h i rt s . ” T h e b o o k ’s p ro t ago n i s t , P re s i d en t S t an l ey C ra i g, was a peac e-loving man who maintained noninter ventionist views. Howeve r, following a stea dy str e a m of fa sc ist pr op a g a nd a , th e tid e of pu bli c op ini on tur ne d a g a ins t hi m. Wh e n Cr a ig be c a me a wa re tha t th e fa sc ist s h a d g a ine d in po pu la ri ty , th e pr e sid e nt d e c ide d to sta g e his own abduction. The g ambit worked, a s the Americ an people soon conclude d that fasc ist groups ha d orche strated the a ntidemocra tic underta king. T he “va nishing” instigate d a per iod of national int ro sp e c tio n f or c iti zen s w ho ha d f or g ott e n th e va lue of the ir c ivi c fr e e do ms. I n the book’s closing , President Craig and his advisors ac knowledg ed to a g rate ful public that they had

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MacD onnell, Insidious , 29-30. 70 “The Gre at Fa scist Plot ,” New Republic 82 (1 93 4) : 87 -8 8. Se e a lso Ha ns Sc hmi dt, 71 Ma v e ric k Ma rin e : G e ne ra l Sm e dle y D. Bu tle r a nd the Con tra dic tio ns of A me ric an Mi lit ar y Hi sto ry (L exington: University of Ke ntucky Press, 1987), 223-32; a nd Morris Schonbac h, Native American F ascism during the1930s and 1940s: A Study of its Roots, Its Growth and Its Decline (Ne w York: Ga rland B ooks, 1985), 236-43. Sinclair L ewis, It Can’t Happen He re (Ne w York: Dr amatists Play Service , 1936). 72 53 perpe trated the hoax. S tout’s book sold over one million copies. I n Dec ember 1934, Paramount stu dio s r e tol d th e sto ry in a n id e nti c a lly tit le d f ilm . 70 The fic tional plot to The Pr e sid e nt V an ish e s rese mbled a fa ctual occ urre nce tha t Gener al Sme dle y D. B utl e r ( Re t.) ha d r e la te d to the Ho us e Com mit te e on Un -A me ri c a n A c tiv iti e s. Th is is an example in which curr ent eve nts and culture mig ht have be come inter woven in a c itiz en’s consciousness. I n late 1934, Ge nera l Butler te stified that some Wall S tree t brokers ha d contac ted him with a plan to seize the g overnme nt. The Ne w Re pu bli c repor ted the story as a br ewing caba l, observing , “Ge nera l Butler doe s not habitually tell lies.” I ts authors conc luded, “The fac t that such an a ttempt would be silly does not make it incre dible.” 71 F e a rs of fa sc ist su bv e rs ion c on tin ue d to c a ptu re the ima g ina tio ns of wr ite rs , f ilm produce rs, and the public. I ndeed, in 1935 Sinclair L ewis published a c autionary tale entitled It Can ’t Ha pp e n H e re . I n L e wi s’ s st or y , a de ma g og ic se na tor na me d B e rze liu s “ B uzz” Wind ri p 72 undermined the nation’s democr atic sy stem. Campaig ning le g ally , Windrip secured his par ty ’s p r e s i d e n t i a l n o m i n a t i o n b y p a n d e r i n g t o r e l i g i o u s , r a c i a l , e c o n o m i c , a n d s o c i a l a n x i e t i e s . In L ewis’s na rra tive, as in rea l life, a popular radio prie st fomented unre st in the America n hear tland. Additionally , L ewis’s tale included some ne far ious W all Street banke rs who subsidiz ed a pa ramilitary org anization known as the “Minutemen.” Howeve r, unlike the

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MacD onnell, Insidious , 30. 73 L ewis, It Can’t , 57, 61, 64, 67, 69, 95, 104, 108, 114. 74 I bid., 121, 129, 134. 75 See esp. H enry Fe ingold, “ I t Can Happe n Her e: Anti-Semitism, American Jewry and 76 Reac tion to the European Crisis, 1933-1940,” htpp://www.tau.ac.il/Anti-Semitism/ asw20001/f e ing old .h tm . For discussions of America n ag itprop, see Ga ry Ge rs tle , The American Crucible: Race 77 and Nation i n the Twentieth Century (Princeton: Prince ton University Press, 2001), 164 ; Savag e, Broadcasting , 45-50; and De nning, Cultural , 56-58. 54 Re vo lut ion a ry -e ra g ro up , w hic h s too d v ig ila nt i n d e fe ns e of c ivi l li be rt ie s, L e wi s’ s p a tr iot s specia liz ed in elec toral intimidation. 73 Upon winning the pre sidency , Buzz W indrip acc umulated all fe dera l powers. Dissenting leg islators and judg es fa ced imprisonment. The nation soon beg an a dive rsionary war of conquest a g ainst Mexi co. I ndividual liberties rapidly disappea red a s a heig htened state of national zeal took root. A political police for ce know n as the “ Corpos” g ained e x tensive authority . So-called e nemies of the sta te wer e murde red or sent to conce ntration ca mps, where they disappea red f oreve r. This plotline was a thinly veiled ac counting of ac tual events oc curr ing ins ide Na zi G e rm a ny . L e wi s h a d u se d a c ult ur a l me diu m—a nd a n A me ri c a n s e tti ng —to e xpla in ho w f a sc ism tr a mpl e d f re e do m. It Can ’t Ha pp e n H e re do e s n ot e nd wi th a de moc ra tic 74 rea lignment. The underg round re sistance g roup fa iled in its efforts; the play closed with the pr ota g on ist ’s y ou ng g ra nd so n f le e ing to C a na da to “ c a rr y on the fi g ht. ” Th e a ud ie nc e mus t 75 ponder the tensions betwee n the fa lse promises offe red by fasc ist demag og ues and upholding c ivi c lib e rt y . T he a uth or ’s la te nt p oin t w a s th a t e c on omi c , r e lig iou s, a nd c ult ur a l f a c tio ns c ou ld ind e e d le a d to vio le nc e in t he Un ite d St a te s. 76 L e wi s’ s u ns e ttl ing sto ry e a rn e d h im a Ho lly wo od “ bla c kli sti ng .” Hi s ta le wa s w ide ly considere d an ac hievement in “a g itprop.” I n Fe bruar y 1936, Metro-G oldwy n May er c ance led 77

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Clay ton Koppes and G reg ory Bla ck, Ho lly woo d G oe s to W ar (N e w Y or k: F re e Pr e ss, 78 1987), 22; K.R.M. Short, “Holly wood Fig hts Anti-Semiti sm, 1940-1945,” in Short, ed., Film and Radio Propaganda in W orld W ar II (Knoxvil le: University of Tenne ssee Pre ss,1983), 151-52. Michae l Birdwe ll, Ce llu loi d S old ie rs: The W ar ne r B ro s. Cam pa ign ag ain st N az ism 79 (Ne w York: Ne w York U niversity Press, 1999), 25-30. Gabler , Em pir e , 328-31, 344. 80 Alice Pay ne Ha ckett and James Henr y Bur ke, 80 Y ears of Best Sellers, 1895-1975 81 (Ne w York: B oker, 1977) , 121. 55 its commit ment to produce a film based on the story . The studio had spent $50,000 for the story ’s rig hts, but ex ecutives f ear ed that the g rim plot and unsettling re solution m ight lend undue su bs ta nc e to t he lin g e ri ng c ha rg e tha t Jew s in the e nte rt a inm e nt i nd us tr y pr omo te d a nti Americ an movies. Some rema ined conc erne d that writers in Holly wood wer e try ing to use the Nazis’ trea tment of J ews to make propag anda pic tures. Although Sinclair L ewis wa s Christian, 78 he wa s a member of the “ Holly wood Anti-Na zi L eag ue.” During 1936-39, this org anization 79 took an ac tive role in leve ling pr otest ag ainst the Ger man re g ime. The L eag ue sponsore d two wee kly radio prog rams, published a biwe ekly tabloid called Ho lly woo d No w, and constituted a nu mbe r o f a dv oc a c y c omm itt e e s d e sig ne d to inv e sti g a te do me sti c iss ue s r e la te d to ra c ia l, r e l i g i o u s , a n d g e n d e r i n e q u a l i t y. 80 Whil e It Can ’t Ha pp e n H e re never appea red a s a film, its messag e still reac hed the country . I n the wake of the c ontroversy surrounding the dec ision to deny the play acc ess to the silver scre en, re tail sales boomed. L ewis’s wor k ultimately rea ched f ifth place on the 1936 na tio nw ide be stse lle r l ist . Th e sto ry a lso fo un d a ho me a s p a rt of the Wor ks Pr og re ss 81 Administration’s Fede ral The atre Project. During fall 1936, g overnme nt-funded a ctors perf ormed the ta le over twenty -five times in cities such a s New Y ork, B oston, Chicag o, San

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L ewis, It Can’t , 3. For the Works Progr ess Administration and public culture , see 82 Monty Noam Penkowe r, The Fede ral W riters’ Project: A Study in the Gove rnment Patronage of the Ar ts (Urba na: Univer sity of I llinois Press, 1977), 26, 72. “F ascism: Nig htmarish History That Ha sn’t Even Ha ppened Y et,” Newsweek October 83 26, 1935, 38; Cli fton Fa diman, “Red L ewis,” New Y orker, Oc tob e r 2 6, 19 35 , 8 384 . A s q uo te d in MacD onnell, Insidious , 31, 197 nn.12, 16. 56 F ra nc isc o, Cle ve la nd , M ia mi, a nd Se a ttl e . Th e plo t’ s w or stc a se sc e na ri o a bo ut a fa sc ist 82 takeove r in the United States provide d citizens with an acc essible nar rative tha t expl ained the need f or vig ilance. Reviews of the play varie d. I n a sy nopsis entitled “Fa scism: Nightmar ish History That Hasn’t Eve n Happe ned Ye t,” Newsweek repor ted, “L ewis had ta ken the bit in his teeth and g alloped off to never -neve r land.” Other r eviewe rs, such a s Clifton Fadiman of the New Y orker , wer e more char itable. Fa diman war ned his rea ders: “I t can ha ppen her e. Rea d L ewis’s book a nd find out how.” The lar g er point is that by the dec ade’ s middle y ear , opposition t o fasc ism and 83 Na zism wa s a c le a rl y de fi ne d to pic in p oli tic a l a nd c ult ur a l di sc ou rs e s. Nu me ro us me diu ms e xis te d f o r A me r ic a n s to le a r n a b o u t t h e im p e n d in g c o ll is io n b e tw e e n th e li b e r a l a n d f a s c is tN a zi worldviews. One of the most provocative e pisodes dealing with this st rain oc curr ed in Fe bruar y 1939, when the G erma n-Amer ican B und orche strated a massive ra lly at New York City ’s Madison Squ a re Ga rd e n. Mo re tha n tw e nty tho us a nd fa sc ist sy mpa thi zer s li ste ne d to pr oHi tle r r he tor ic espoused be fore a thirty -foot portra it of Georg e Washing ton. Along w ith the presenc e of va rious Nazi para milit ary units, the more than two thousand unifor med New York City police off icer s lent a mar tial air to the mee ting. The se fe eling s beca me more pe rce ptible as both officia l and unofficia l authorities applied strong -ar m tactics to hec klers. The Bund r ally attrac ted national and interna tional press cove rag e. The repor ts of a massive c onvention of Na zis unnerve d the

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Diamond, Move ment , 324; Be ll, “Fa ilure,” 592; Remak, “ Fr iends,” 40-42. 84 “Witnesses L ink Spy Plot t o Reich,” Ne w York Tim e s, November 5, 1938. 85 Birdw ell, Ce llu loi d , 69-70. 86 “ U. S. F ind s N a zi Me na c e ,” bo x 16/6 , D ic ks te in P a pe rs . 87 “ Ku hn Ad mit s A ims Ar e Sa me As Na zis, ” bo x 18/1 , D ic ks te in P a pe rs . 88 57 mainstream Ame rica n public. I t provided citizens with a compelling fac tual example—joining the fictional a ccounts—of the dang erous r ole that Ger man fa scism could play in undermining the Un ite d St a te s. 84 Howeve r, per haps the c lear est evidenc e that new s of the thre at re ache d Americ ans inv olv e d th e fi lm Confessions of a N azi Spy (1939). B ased on a fac tual story involving a f oiled Ge rm a n s py ri ng op e ra tin g in t he Un ite d St a te s, War ne r B ro s. re le a se d th e pic tur e sp e c if ic a lly to heig hten national leve ls of conce rn. The de cision to produce a movie that philosophically and 85 morally attacke d Nazism was risky . Some studios ex ecutives f ear ed they could not survive without the Germa n marke t, a ra tionale that enr ag ed Jack Warner . I n a postwar interview he rec alled, “T he Silver Shirts and the B undists are mar ching in L os Ang eles rig ht now. There are high sc hool kids with swastikas on their sleeves a few blocks from our studio. I s that what y ou w a n t f o r s o m e c r u m m y f i l m r o y a l t i e s o u t o f G e r m a n y ?” 86 Americ an media outlets de monstrated an inter est in the story . As ea rly as 1934, the Pe nn sy lv an ia W e e k ly Ne ws detailed the “ nefa rious work” of Ge rman-f unded org anization in the United States. The a rticle noted tha t Hitler hoped to we aken the nation by “promoting rac ial a nta g on ism a mon g the dif fe re nt n a tio na l g ro up s in the Un ite d St a te s. ” Du ri ng the mid -1 93 0s , 87 the possibilit y of Na zi i nfiltration, ag ain aided by their stoking of bigote d appea ls, remained a viable issue. Whil e many Nazi spy ring s indeed ope rate d in the United States, the ca se that 88 inspired Confessions of A N azi Spy involved an Amer ican c itiz en who sc hemed to stea l blank

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MacD onnell, Insidious , 55. 89 I bid., 52. 90 I bid., 53. 91 “The Start of the Spy Hunt: My sterious ‘Crown’ Arre sted,” Ne w York Po st , Dec ember 92 8, 1938. “F our Ge rman Spies Are Sentence d,” New Y ork He rald Tri bune, Dec ember 3, 1938. 93 Searc hing f or possible motive, the New Y ork Times repor ted on Rumrich’s mar ijuana use. See “Rumrich Admits,” Ne w York Tim e s, No ve mbe r 1 8, 19 38 . Se e a lso MacD onnell, Insidious , 54. 58 passports. Guenther Gustav Rumrich wa s born in Chicag o in 1911. He g rew up in Europe a nd 89 only returne d to the United States in 1929. I n J anuar y 1930, he enlisted in the U.S. Army but went AWOL shortly afte r his induction. For this offe nse, Rumrich wa s court-ma rtialed a nd rec eived a six -month prison term. Following his relea se, he opte d to ree nlist. During 193234, he s o l d i e r e d w i t h o u t i n c i d e n t i n t h e P a n a m a C a n a l Z o n e , a s w e l l a s i n F o r t M i s s o u l a , M o n t a n a . In late 1935, af ter g oing A WOL for a second time, Rumrich he aded f or Ne w York City , wher e he took on severa l jobs including dishwashe r and B erlitz langua g e instructor. 90 I t was not until March 1936 that Rumrich de cided to pursue work a s a sec ret a g ent. He sent a letter offe ring his service s to the officia l Nazi newspape r Völkischer Be obachter . Rumrich falsely claimed to be a n Americ an ar my office r pre viously posted to Pearl Ha rbor. He reque sted that officia ls in Ber lin contact him throug h the Ne w York Tim e s’ public notice column. The Ger mans took up Rumrich’s unsolicited proposal. Throug hout 1936-37, Rumrich (aka Crown) 91 passed infor mation to his Nazi handler . Despite his ea g erne ss to do so, however, he was in no 92 po sit ion to h e lp s ig nif ic a ntl y the F a the rl a nd . T his dis a pp oin tme nt p e rh a ps le nt i tse lf to h is agr ee i n g i n 1 9 3 8 t o at t em p t a t h ef t o f A m er i ca n p as s p o rt s . S o m e a s p ec t s o f h i s s ch em i n g, Rumrich confe ssed during his interrog ations, involved the possibili ty of using a g adg et that dis pe nd e d p ois on g a s f ro m a pe n in or de r t o s ub du e Am e ri c a n o ff ic ia ls. 93

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“Turr ou Tells about Questioning ,” New Y ork He rald Tri bune, November 2, 1938; 94 “Turr ou Tells of Spy Roundup,” New Y ork Post, November 2, 1938. Shortly there afte r, Turr ou published Nazi Spies in America (Ne w York: Random 95 House, 1938). MacD onnell, Insidious , 63. 96 Short, “Holly wood,” in Short ed., Fi lm , 154-55. 97 Birdw ell, Ce llu loi d , 70. 98 59 I n addition to the official de tails of the ca se, a subplot soon emer g ed. Prior to the jury ’s decision, the lea d g overnme nt detective, L eon Turr ou, a natur alized America n who moved to the Un ite d St a te s a ft e r l ivi ng in S ha ng ha i, B e rl in, a nd L on do n, pe nn e d s e ve ra l me dia c on tr a c ts. 94 This untoward de cision put the “G-Ma n” publicly at odds with his superiors, and he resig ned soon after the ca se ende d. Such controve rsy did nothing but whet the public’ s interest. Warner 95 Br others sig ned the e nterprising investiga tor to a $25,000 contra ct that named him “te chnica l a dv iso r” on a ny fu tur e fi lm d oc ume nti ng the c a se . Pr od uc tio n b e g a n s oo n a ft e r t he g uil ty 96 verdic ts appea red in Oc tober 1938. First re lease d in April 1939, Confessions of a N azi Spy wa s a tr a ilb la zer tha t sp e c if ic a lly identified Hitler’ s reg ime as an a ntidemocra tic threa t to the United States. The film’s plot was 97 not fictional and the movie’ s cinematog raphe r ac hieved a documentar y fee l by intersper sing newsre el. Dire cted by the Ger man émig ré A natole L itvak, and starr ing the fame d J ewish ac tor Edwar d G. Robinson as Turrou, both men we re me mbers of the Holly wood Anti-Na zi L eag ue. 98 All the people a ssociated with the f ilm felt strongly about making a movie that publicized the Nazi dang er. Muc h to the chag rin of the studio’s leg al depa rtment, J ack War ner r efuse d to open the picture with a disclaimer indica ting that the c hara cter s and eve nts portray ed in the film wer e

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I bid., 65-69, 75. 99 Koppes a nd Bla ck, Hollywood , 21, 27; Gabler , Em pir e , 341. 100 Birdw ell, Ce llu loi d , 74-75; Koppes a nd Bla ck, Hollywood , 28-29. 101 MacD onnell, Insidious , 63. I n fac t, the movie did poorly at the box office. Warne r 102 B ro s. re re le a se d th e fi lm i n 1 94 0, a dd ing ne w s c e ne s th a t ke pt a br e a st o f t he c ur re nt s itu a tio n in Europe. See Birdw ell, Ce llu loi d , 78. MacD onnell, Insidious , 67. 103 I bid. 104 60 fictitious. The movie mirror ed re al-life e vents, and a ny filmgoe r who ha d followed the 99 newspa pers would ha ve re cog nized the fac tual and ar tisti c over lap. 100 Much like the c ong ressional c ommitt ees f ive y ear s ear lier, Confessions stressed se vera l ba sic po int s. F ir st, Na zi G e rm a ny so ug ht t o d e str oy the Un ite d St a te s b y fo me nti ng re lig iou s, rac ial, and cla ss hatreds. Sec ond, the Nazis maintained domestic-ba sed propa g anda or g anizations that would help them to achie ve this dastardly g oal. L ast, Americ ans nee ded to awa ken to the dang ers pose d by the Nazis. I f citizens had not followed the e arlier cong ressional discour se, 101 the movie offe red the m an additional venue . Warner B rothers pr ovided the film with “a vig orous and ofte n outrag eous public re lations campaig n” that bef itted the studio’s ex pecta tions that the film would be a big winner a t the box office . 102 L ocal thea ter owne rs wer e enc ourag ed to drum up intere st by placing anony mous phone calls that ale rted c itiz ens “the Nazis were coming .” I n Texas and New Mexi co, the a dvertising 103 strateg y for Con fe ssi on s was so ef fec tive that worrie d citizens alerted the F eder al B urea u of I nvestig ation. Special Ag ent R. J . Untreine r re ported to his superiors that thea ter owne rs had distributed “small pink cards be aring a Swastika a nd the words “ Heil Hitler!” Diffe ring 104 colore d car ds convey ing similar se ntiments appear ed in neig hboring are as. On the r ever se side of a l l t h e c a r d s w a s t h e f u l l t i t l e o f t h e p i c t u r e , t o g e t h e r w i t h t h e p e r f o r m a n c e d a t e s a n d t i m e s . In

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As quoted in MacD onnell, Insidious , 67-68. 105 For more on B ree n, see F elicia He rman, “ Americ an Jews and the Eff ort to Reform 106 Motion P ictures, 19331935,” Am e ric an J e wis h A rc hiv e s J ou rn al 53 (2 00 1) : 14 ; B ir dw e ll, Ce llu loi d , 71-72; and Gr eg ory Bla ck, The Catholi c Crusade against the Movie s, 1940-1975 (Ne w York: Cambridg e Univer sity Press, 1997), 141. Koppes a nd Bla ck, Hollywood , 27-29. 107 Birdw ell, Ce llu loi d , 76. 108 MacD onnell, Insidious , 69; Koppes and B lack, Hollywood , 30. 109 61 Washington State, law e nforc ement off icials rec eived a handbill—ostensibly produce d by the Bund —that war ned citizens “if y ou see this film Hitler will take ser ious reprisals on y ou when he re a lize s h is i ne vit a ble de sti ny ov e r A me ri c a !” I n f a c t, t he pla c a rd s w e re pu bli c ity stu nts eng ineer ed by the local thea ter c hain. 105 The Ge rman c onsul in L os Ang eles re acte d to the movie with fervor , writing an ang ry le tte r t o Jose ph B re e n, he a d o f t he Ho lly wo od Pr od uc tio n Co de Ad min ist ra tio n. Th is noncompulsory office , founded in 1934, a llowed the g overnme nt input over movie scope a nd c on te nt. Th e dip lom a t is su e d o bli qu e thr e a ts t ha t Con fe ssi on s mig ht r e su lt i n “ dif fi c ult ie s” 106 betwee n the Amer ican a nd Nazi gove rnments. L ikewise, the G erma n char g e d’a ffa ires 107 sta tio ne d in Was hin g ton D. C. c omp la ine d b itt e rl y to S e c re ta ry of Sta te Cor de ll H ull . N a zis thr e a te ne d th e Sta te De pa rt me nt b y sa y ing tha t G e rm a n f ilm ma ke rs wo uld re sp on d to Confessions with their own ser ies of quasi-doc umentary films that depicted Amer ica a s a land of g ree d, corr uption, crime, and g ener al discontent. The Ge rman g overnme nt banned the f ilm, as 108 did their Axi s partner s. A number of Europea n countries—I rela nd, Hung ary , Switz erla nd, Holland and Nor way —ref used to show the film. I n light of w hat would happe n to those nations du ri ng the ne xt fi ve y e a rs , a ll m ig ht h a ve be ne fi te d f ro m w a tc hin g the mov ie a nd ta kin g its me ssa g e re g a rd ing the ne e d f or vig ila nc e to h e a rt . 109

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As quoted in MacD onnell, Insidious , 69, 204 n. 84. 110 As quoted in Bir dwell, Ce llu loi d , 77, 200 n. 101. 111 As quoted in MacD onnell, Insidious , 70. 112 For Chaplin’s satire, see Alpers, Di c tat or s , 87-88; Bir dwell, Ce llu loi d , 84; Koppes a nd 113 Bla ck, Hollywood , 31-32; Gable r, Em pir e , 347; and Short, “Holly wood,” in Short, ed., Fi lm , 152-54. 62 I n the United States, Con fe ssi on s ear ned positive critica l review s. The Ne w York Da ily Ne ws rate d the movie “g ood to excellent.” Take n as pure cinema,” Fr anz Hoellering wrote f or 110 The Nation , the story was “ first class . . . a new sty le of movie journa lism,” Such encour ag ing 111 response s also ref lected a new a pprec iation for Jack Warner ’s dec ision to l evel a public attack ag ainst Hitler and his follower s. To this end, in May 1939, Va rie ty pu bli sh e d a pa rt ic ula rl y presc ient story . After praising Warner B rothers f or making a movie of g rea t importance, the piece closed by noting “ deca des fr om now what’s ha ppening may be see n in perspec tive. And the historians will almost certainly take note of this daring ly fra nk broadside f rom a picture company .” 112 Movies did not have to strike ala rmist tones in order to conve y a neg ative sense of Nazism. P erha ps the best-known f ilm about the issue was a c omedy that ridiculed the da ng er. Cha rl ie Cha pli n’ s The Gr e at D ic tat or (1940) de lighted A merica ns with its farcica l plot of two identical-a ppear ing c itiz ens fr om the fictitious country of Tomania. T he story line cente red on a pedestria n J ewish bar ber w ith amnesia who a t times is m istaken for the nation’s dictator , Hy nkel. The ba rber is unable to compre hend, or r emember , why strang ers c heer him. The d i ct at o r, co n v er s el y , i s u n ab l e t o u n d er s t an d wh y h e s o m et i m es re ce i v ed t re at m en t b ef i t t i n g a c omm on e r. Cha pli n’ s im pe rs on a tio n o f A do lf Hi tle r v ia Hy nk e l w a s n ota ble fo r b oth his u n ca n n y p h y s i ca l l i k en es s , an d h i s m as t er y o f e x p l o s i v e, gi b b er i s h -l ad en d i at ri b es . A h u ge 113 succe ss in the United States, The Gr e at D ic tat or was the a ll-time highe st-ear ning Cha plin project

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Alpers, Di c tat or s , 87-88. 114 63 a nd , in de e d, wa s th e thi rd -h ig he st m on e y ma kin g fi lm o f t he te ny e a r p e ri od fr om 1 93 3 to 1942. 114 As the dec ade of the 1930s ende d, the issue of c ombating N azism as a fundame ntal Am e ri c a n r e sp on sib ili ty a pp e a re d in va ri ou s p ub lic dis c ou rs e s. Th e the me tha t a pp e a re d mo st fre quently was that a civic democ rac y , such as the F ounding F ather s had envisioned, pr otected minority rig hts. On the other ha nd, fasc ist dictatorships, the path that Adolf Hitler f avore d, used any means ne cessa ry to trample individual fre edoms. During 1933-41, whe ther fr om Samuel Dickstein, Rex S tout, Si nclair L ewis, Edmund G. Robinson, or Charlie Chaplin, Amer ican c i t i z e n s h a d o p p o r t u n i t i e s t o l e a r n w h a t t h e l o o m i n g s t r u g g l e a g a i n s t t h e N a z i e n e m y d e n o t e d . In sh a rp c on tr a st t o th e 19 20 s— a pe ri od du ri ng wh ic h c iti zen s p a id l itt le a tte nti on to e ve nts oc c ur ri ng ou tsi de the Un ite d St a te s— the 19 30 s f e a tur e d e ff or ts t o r a ise le ve ls o f p ub lic awa rene ss about Nazi hostil ity . Specifica lly , some observe rs noted the c onnection that existed betwee n the Nazis’ dispara g ing of J ews a nd their attac k on democr atic liberties. Ame rica ns fac ed a c lear challeng e, one in whic h they wer e aske d to consider the ide a that all for ms of bigotr y and socia l proscription contra dicted the de mocra tic fre edoms that g ener ations of citizens ha d c la ime d to c he ri sh . Ch a ng ing so c ioc ult ur a l th ink ing , h ow e ve r, wo uld be a g ra du a l pr oc e ss, one that would re quire lea dership. I n the next chapter, w e find one such prominent Amer ican. A member of the Protestant establishment elite who use d his professional tale nts and positions of power to sculpt new attitudes in which the pr otection of Jews and other pe rsec uted minorities held inhere nt moral value.

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64 Table 2-1 Number of House Remar ks and Resolutions Related to Religious I ntoleranc e (19311935) Congr ess Remarks/Resolutions 72nd (1931-1933) 0 73rd (19331934) 44 74th (1935; 1st sess.) 38 Sou rc e : Congressional Record Inde x (H) 72 nd thr ou g h 7 4th Con g re sse s.

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“L uce,” November 14, 1935, box 8, Arc hibald MacL eish Papers, 190781, L ibrary of 1 Con g re ss, Was hin g ton D. C. Editors of Fortune , Jews in Ame rica (Ne w York: Random House , 1936), 9-11. 2 Be njamin Alpers, Dictators, Democ racy and Am erican Public Culture: Env isioning t he 3 Totali tarian Enemy, 1920s-1950s (Chapel Hill: University of North Car olina Press, 2003), 86; Marc Dollinge r, Quest for Inclusion: J ews and Liberalism in Modern Americ a (Prince ton: Princeton Univer sity Press, 2000), 74. 65 CH APT ER 3 AR C HIBALD M AC L E I S H A ND T HE GR OW I NG DIS C UR S I VE OP P OS I T I ON T O N AZI ANTI -SEMI TI SM, 1933-1941 There is anti-Semitic talk around the c ountry . The a ctivities of Mr. Hitler in Ge rmany have ha d their ef fec t here . This particular antipathy flourishes bec ause no one has eve r du g do wn to g e t a t th e un de rl y ing fa c ts. —Arc hibald MacL eish, editor, Fortune mag azine, to Henry L uce, N ovember 14, 1935 1 The unbe lievable r ecor d of Na zi barbarities conc erns nonJ ews a s well as Jews. . . . Any man who loathes f ascism will fea r anti-Semitism. —Editors of Fortune , Jews in Ame rica , 1936 2 When the Nazi reg ime took power in Ge rmany , Arc hibald MacL eish was a littl e-know n Americ an litera ry fig ure. A member of the Protestant elite, he w as see mingly unthrea tened by the pe rs e c uti on of Eu ro pe a n Jew ry . Y e t du ri ng the pe ri od fr om 1 93 3 to 19 41 , A rc hib a ld MacL eish employ ed var ious media to put forth an a rg ument that expressions of relig ious int ole ra nc e —w he the r i n G e rm a ny or the Un ite d St a te s— did vio le nc e to We ste rn lib e ra l va lue s. Mu c h li ke Con g re ssm e n Sa mue l D ic ks te in a nd John Mc Cor ma c k, a s w e ll a s th e wr ite r S inc la ir L ewis and the movie mogul Jack Warner , MacL eish fea red tha t Nazi anti-Semiti c propa g anda could bec ome a powe rful we apon in subverting the democr atic value s of heter og eneous Wester n so c ie tie s. I n b oo ks , s pe e c he s, ra dio pla y s, a nd g ov e rn me nta l br oc hu re s, Ma c L e ish c on tr ibu te d to a n o ng oin g dis c ur siv e e ff or t to ra ise le ve ls o f a wa re ne ss a bo ut t his ins idi ou s th re a t. 3

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Scott Donaldson, Ar c hib ald Ma c Le ish : A n A me ric an Life (Ne w York: Houg hton 4 Mifflin, 1992), xi v; Be rnar d Dra beck, H elen Ellis, and Sey mour Rudin, eds., The Pr oc e e din gs of the Archibald Mac Leish Symposium, May 7-8, 1982 (L anham, Md.: Univer sity Press of Americ a, 1988); R.H. Winnick, ed., The Letters of Archibald MacLeish, 1907-1982 (B oston: Houg hton Mifflin, 1983); Warren B ush, ed., The Di alo gu e s o f A rc hib ald Ma c Le ish an d M ar k Van Doren (Ne w York: Hutton, 1964). Richard B reitman, Official Secrets: W hat the Nazis Planned, W hat the British and 5 Americans Knew ( New Y ork: Hill and Wang , 1998), 134. Clay ton L aurie , The Propaganda W arriors: America’s Crusade against Nazi Germany 6 (Topeka : University Press of Ka nsas, 1998), 65. 66 Arc hibald MacL eish’s contributions to a larg er public dia logue —one in which e xpre ssi on s o f r e lig iou s to le ra nc e sig na le d h is s up po rt fo r p lur a lis t r a tio na le s— re ma in ins uf fi c ie ntl y un de rs too d, e ve n th ou g h s e ve ra l sc ho la rs ha ve do c ume nte d M a c L e ish ’s lif e a s a poet, play wrig ht, and g overnme nt official. Moreove r, in none of the se works w ill scholars find 4 a n a de qu a te dis c us sio n o f h is u niq ue us e of Na zi a nti -S e mit ism , a g a ins t w hic h h e a rt ic ula te d h is ow n p lur a lis t vi e w o f c ult ur a l to le ra nc e . I n s c ho la rs ’ a c c ou nts of the U. S. r e sp on se to N a zism , MacL eish has appe are d as a minor f igur e. F or example, in Richard B reitman’s ma sterful study of Amer ican ha ndling of repor ts conce rning Nazi atrocities, Mac L eish appe ars une x pecte dly and depar ts quickly , with Bre itman simpl y claiming that MacL eish fea red a “morbid” r esult were the repor ts to be relea sed domestically . Clay ton L aurie , a student of B reitman, ha s arg ued that 5 under Ma cL eish’s lea dership, the Of fice of F acts a nd Fig ures “ acc omplished lit tle due to a lac k of direc tion.” 6 Th e mos t in fl ue nti a l hi sto ri og ra ph y of the 19 30 s h a s f oc us e d o n th e g ro wt h o f a nti Semitis m that occur red in this period, pe rhaps making it difficult for schola rs to appre ciate the fu ll c omp le xity of the U. S. r e sp on se to N a zi a nti -S e mit ism a nd the pa rt pla y e d in tha t r e sp on se by people like Ar chibald Mac L eish. For example, historians such as John Higham and A lan Br inkley have a rg ued that the na tion’s economic de pression led to unsee mly episodes in which

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Alan B rinkley , Voices of Protest: Hue y Long, Father Coughlin and the Great 7 Depre ssion ( New Y ork: Knopf, 1982) , 270; J ohn Hig ham, Strangers in Thi s Land: Patterns of American Nativism, 1860-1925 (Ne w York: Athe neum, 1971), 282-84. For Mencke n and anti-Semitism, see S. T. J oshi, Menc ken’ s America (A the ns : O hio 8 University Press, 2004), 145. F or He mingwa y , see Matthew B rucc oli, Fitzgerald and Hemingway: A Dangerous Friendship (L ondon: Andre D eutsch, 1994), 34. F or F itz g era ld, see Richard L ehan, The Gr e at G ats by : T he Lim its of W on de r (B oston: Tway ne, 1990), 5152. For Dos Passos, see Ma nh att an Tra ns fe r (B oston: Houghton-Miff lin, 1925), 42-43, 103. Alan B rinkley , End of Reform: New De al Liberali sm in Rece ssion and W ar (Ne w York: 9 Vintag e, 1995), 155. 67 anti-Semitism pl ay ed an inc rea singly visible role in damag ing Jews. What has rec eived much 7 less scholarly attention is that during the same pe riod, rura l and elite citizens throug hout the United States proved w illing to embra ce—or , at a minimum, tolerate—public c alls for re ligious toleranc e. I ndeed, Ma cL eish’s expressed inter est in combating Nazi anti-Semitism offe rs stark con tr ast to th e vi ews and act io ns of h is con tem po rari es H . L . M enck en, Ern est Hem in gway , F. Sc ott F itzg e ra ld, a nd John Do s Pa sso s, a ll o f w ho m e mpl oy e d a nti -S e mit ic la ng ua g e in t he ir depictions of moder nity . The c halleng e for historians, howeve r, is not to arg ue which se t of 8 views—pluralist or nativist—held g rea ter swa y , but rather to expl ore the contest that wa s under way . Even prior to Hitler’s unprovoke d decla ration of wa r ag ainst America , citizens recog nized autocr acy as the g rea test threat to democ rac y , and they incre asing ly define d their own na tion as the a nti the sis to f or e ig n d ic ta tor sh ips . Ma c L e ish wa s a de e p th ink e r, pa rt ic ula rl y se ns iti ve to 9 dang ers that de mocra tic societies fa ced w hen handling episodes of soc iocultural and political pe rs e c uti on s. I n h is e ff or ts t o “ so un d th e a la rm ,” we c a n a lso ob se rv e wi de r c ha ng e s in e lit e a tti tud e s to wa rd Jew s a nd oth e rs no nPr ote sta nt c iti zen s. Currently , Gar y Ger stle, Peter Novick, Ma rc D ollinger , and De borah D ash Moore arg ue that prejudice s ag ainst J ews, Catholics, Afr ican Ame rica ns and other nonProtestant citizens so ft e ne d a ft e r t he Se c on d Wo rl d Wa r, a s th e na tio n’ s c oll e c tiv e str ug g le a g a ins t H itl e ri sm

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Gar y Ger stle, Am e ric an Cru c ibl e : R ac e an d Na tio n in the Twe nti e th C e ntu ry 10 (Princeton: Prince ton University Press, 2001), 12, 119; Dollinge r, Qu e st , 56; Peter Novick, The Ho loc au st i n A me ric an Life (B oston: Houghton Mifflin, 1999), 85; De borah D ash Moore , “Jewish GI s and the Cre ation of the Judeo-Christian Tradition,” Re lig ion an d A me ric an Cul tur e 8 (1998): 34. For the L eo F rank Case , see Stephe n Goldfar b, “The Slaton Memorandum: A Gover nor 11 L ooks Ba ck at His De cision to Comm ute the De ath Sentence of L eo F rank,” Am e ric an J e wis h History 88 (2000): 327; Nanc y MacL ean, “ The L eo F rank Case Reconsider ed: Gende r and Sex ual Politi cs in the Making of Reac tionary Populis m,” Journal of American H istory 78 (1991): 917; David L ever ing L ewis, “Par allels and Dive rg ence s: Assimi lationist S trateg ies of Af roAmeric an and Jewish Elites from 1910 to the Ear ly 1930,” Journal of American H istory 71 (1984): 547; L eonar d Dinnerstein, The Le o F ra nk Cas e (N e w Y or k: C olu mbi a Un ive rs ity Pr e ss, 1968). No te a lso the e a rl ie r N a tio na l A sso c ia tio n f or the Ad va nc e me nt o f C olo re d Pe op le 12 (1909). B y the 1920s, J ewish lea dership in the g roup wa s vital. See L ewis, “Par allels,” 553; and Eug ene L evy , “I s the J ew a Whit e Man? : Press Reaction to the L eo F rank Case , 1913-1915,” Phylon 35 (1960): 220. “Poison pen” letter s are corr espondenc es sent en ma sse to public media outlets (for 13 example, letters to the editor) in whic h the author vilifies Jews. They often a ppear published a no ny mou sly , o r u nd e r a no m de plu me . D ur ing the 19 30 s a nd 19 40 s, a c omm on the me fo un d in such docume nts was the alleg ed Jewish control of Amer ican f oreig n policy , as we ll as ref ere nces to the “Mer chants” thesis. See Ste ph e n N or wo od , “ Ma ra ud ing Yo uth a nd the Chr ist ia n F ro nt: Anti-Semitic Violence I n Boston and N ew Yor k During World W ar I I ,” Am e ric an J e wis h Hi sto ry 91 (2003): 238-239, 249. 68 resha ped Amer ican identity . Howeve r, there are hints that a rea djustment in atti tudes was unde r 10 way in ear lier dec ades. The trag ic eve nts associated w ith the L eo F rank c ase ( 1912) ala rmed J ews a nd Christians alike. The a nti-Semiti c pre judices that led to F rank’ s conviction 11 demonstrated tha t seeming ly innocuous prejudice s could beg et dea dly conseque nces. F ollowing the a ff a ir , c iti zen s o f m ult ipl e de no min a tio ns fo rm e d n e w o rg a niza tio ns su c h a s th e An tiDe fa ma tio n L e a g ue (1 91 3) a nd the Am e ri c a n Ci vil L ibe rt ie s U nio n ( 19 20 ). Me mbe rs of the se 12 g ro up s c oo rd ina te d b oy c ott s o f r a c ist -o wn e d b us ine sse s a nd sp on so re d c a mpa ig ns de sig ne d to dilute “poison pen” le tters that injured Jews socially . Their messa g e of toler ance no doubt 13 found some common ca use with associa tes in the National Confe renc e of Christians and Jews (1928).

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J ames Connolly , The Triu mp h o f E thn ic Pr og re ssi v ism : U rb an Po lit ic al C ult ur e in 14 Boston, 1900-1925 (Cambridg e: Har vard U niversity Press, 1998), 17; Stephen Skowrone k, Building a New American State: The Ex pansion of Nat ional Administr ative Capacities, 18771920 (Ne w York: Cambridg e Univer sity Press, 1982), 286; J ohn Bue nker, John Burnha m, and Robert Crunden, Progressivism (Cambridg e: Schenkman, 1977) , 32; Arthur S. L ink, American Ep oc h: A H ist or y of t he U. S. sin c e the 18 90 s (Ne w York: Knopf , 1955), 35-36. Donaldson, Ma c Le ish , 6-8; Dra beck a nd Ellis, eds., Reflec tions , 16. 15 69 An impatience with the inhere ntly g radua l nature of chang e in pluralist societies has cause d historians to overlook the lar g er c onnections betwe en these ear lier public plea s for socia l e qu a lit y a nd su bs e qu e nt e ff or ts t o c on de mn N a zi bi g otr y . I n o rd e r t o tr a c e a nd un de rs ta nd thi s dy na mic , it is u se fu l to fo c us on a fi g ur e lik e Ar c hib a ld M a c L e ish , w ho wa s a c tiv e ly inv olv e d in combating Nazi anti-Semitism during the 1930s and 1940s. Tha t Archiba ld MacL eish articula ted an unflinching ly pluralist positi on is perhaps not re marka ble. L ike others in his milieu, he believed tha t all citiz ens should enjoy civic equa lity , and that the c ivil gover nment was the proper vehicle f or promoting such eg alitarianism. His lifeÂ’s story , howeve r, provides historians 14 acc ess to a more intricate ta le of c hang ing soc ial attitudes. He wa s part of a much larg er g ener ational cohor t, one whose e x perie nces f ighting to uphold democra tic structure s during World W ar I had instilled in them the value of opposing autocr atic beha viors such as the perse cution of re ligious minorities. Bor n in 1892, in Glencoe, I llinois , Arc hibald MacL eish was the of fspring of an immigra nt Scottis h fathe r and a mother whose linea g e tra ced ba ck to the Pilgr ims. Andrew MacL eish opera ted a suc cessf ul retail store in Chicag o. Martha H illard MacL eish g radua ted from Va ssar Colleg e in one of its first classes during the 1880s, and late r ser ved as pr esident of Rockford WomanÂ’s Colleg e. During his earliest y ear s, Archiba ld experience d two differ ent 15 vis ion s o f A me ri c a n s oc ie ty . H is f a the r, wh o s po ke wi th a dis tin c tiv e a c c e nt a nd sti ll a dh e re d to Europea n customs, imbued in his son an apprec iation for cultura l heterog eneity . Acc ompany ing

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Donaldson, Ma c Le ish , 243. 16 For MacL eish’s hig h school y ear s, see Mischianza, Hotchkiss School y ear book, 1911, 17 L a ke vil le , Ct ., 30 , 6 072 . H otc hk iss a pp a re ntl y a dmi tte d Jew s to the ir ins tit uti on . T he 19 10 c la ss r e g i s t r y l i s t e d a “ R . A . M e yr o w i t z ” f r o m E a s t T w e n t yt h i r d S t r e e t i n N e w Y o r k C i t y. At Yale U niversity , MacL eish was a Phi Beta K appa a nd the re cipient of numer ous 18 prizes for poetr y . He c hara cter ized the intellectual atmosphere as “discour ag ing. . . .Y ale wa s re a lly pr e tty c los e to t he bo tto m. . . I t w a sn ’t a n e du c a tio na l in sti tut ion .” Se e Dr a be c k a nd El lis , eds., Reflec tions , 16. 70 the elder MacL eish on the stree ts of Chicag o, Arc hibald observe d the many ethnic cohor ts that constituted the city ’s identity . Fr om his P rog ressiveminded mother, who a lso served a s an office r in the Na tional Confere nce of Christians and J ews, MacL eish lear ned ther e wa s a larg er 16 social value associate d with promoting re ligious tolera nce. T his theme—the for mation of a unified culture from diffe ring wellspring s—remaine d with him throughout his life. At fiftee n y ear s of ag e, Ar chibald moved, by himself, to L akeville, Connec ticut, where he attended the Hotchkiss School. During the ea rly twentieth ce ntury , life at the H otchkiss School epitomiz ed white, Ang lo-Sax on Protestant society . The institution’s customs reinforce d the 17 ty pes of a cce ptable beha viors found in elite circ les. MacL eish was a n active a nd acc omplished student. He ser ved as the y ear book editor and a s president of the For um L iterar y Society . He play ed for both the football and the ba seball squads. He was a lso his class poet. MacL eish’s many rec orded distinctions reve aled his worth to his school and pe ers. I t further signa led MacL eish’s ac cepta nce of , and per sonal comfor t with, life in the nation’s most ex clusive sociocultural milieu. I n 1915, afte r finishing his underg radua te deg ree at Yale University , MacL eish enrolled in Harva rd L aw School. Upon re turning from ser vice in the F irst World W ar, dur ing w hich, 18 like his fellow midwesterne r Ha rry S. Truman, he r ose to the ra nk of ca ptain, MacL eish ea rned the editor’s post at the Ha rv ar d Law Rev iew . H is g ra sp of Wes te rn le g a l th ou g ht, a s w e ll a s h is

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Robert Z ieg er, America’ s Great W ar: W orld W ar One and the Am erican Ex perienc e 19 (L anham, Md.: Rowman and L ittlefield, 2000), 2, 228; Paul Fussell, The Gr e at W ar an d M od e rn Mem ory, 2nd ed. (Ne w York: Oxford Univer sity Press, 2000), 146; Modris Eckstein, The Rites of Spring: The Great W ar and the Birth of the Modern Age (B oston: Houghton Mifflin, 1989), 205. Th e 19 28 Ke llo g g -B ri a nd Pa c t in fa c t r e nd e re d w a r “ ill e g a l.” Se e B ir ds a ll V ia ult , 20 American H istory since 1865 (Ne w York: McG raw -Hill, 1989), 285-86. Dra beck a nd Ellis, eds., Reflec tions , 20. The Sac co-V anzetti Affair (1920-27) 21 repr esente d the epitome of e arly twentieth-c entury Americ an nativism. I n April 1920, two men killed a B oston-are a pay master dur ing a day light robbe ry . Police char g ed Nicola Sacco a nd Ba rtolomeo Vanzetti, two rec ent I talian immigra nts, with the crime. The ir 1921 state cour t trial was troubling . J udg e Webster Tha y er de monstrated over t and private prejudice s. His instructions to t he jur y e nc ou ra g e d a g uil ty ve rd ic t; a nd he pr iva te ly re fe rr e d to the a c c us e d a s “ tho se “ a na rc his t ba sta rd s. ” Th e me n w e re c on vic te d a nd g ive n c a pit a l se nte nc e s. As the ir elec trocutions drew closer, the case g ained na tional attention. See J ohn Neville, TwentiethCe ntu ry Cau se Ce le br e : S ac c o a nd Va nz e tti an d th e Pr e ss, 1920-1927 (Westport, Ct.: P rae g er, 2004), 12; and Willi am Young and Da vid Kaiser, Postmortem: New Ev idence in the Case of Sa c c o a nd Va nz e tti (Amher st: University of Massac husetts Press, 1985), 36. 71 experience s in the war, ha d instil led in him an appre ciation for the differ ence s betwee n democr atic and a utocra tic g overnme nts. L ike so many others in his g ener ation, the y oung ve te ra n v ie we d th e “ Gr e a t Wa r” in m or e tha n mi lit a ry te rm s. I t w a s a lso a n id e olo g ic a l st ru g g le 19 that had fe ature d the ca pitulation of three f eudalera monarc hies. For intellectuals, the c halleng es of the postwar y ear s were philosophical in nature. The g rand ta sk involved sprea ding Wester n lib e ra l va lue s a s a me a ns to e nd ing int e rn a tio na l c on fl ic t. 20 MacL eish beg an his profe ssional life in 1921 with a position at the Boston law f irm of Choate, Ha ll, and Stewart. The SaccoVanzetti verdict oc curr ed just prior to his employ ment, but along with others of his g ener ation, he re collecte d “next to no concer n.” I ndeed, dur ing the 21 ear ly 1920s, while still i n his twenties, the y oung lawy er de termined that the le g al profe ssion wo uld no t su sta in h is c re a tiv ity . I n 1 92 3, on the sa me da y tha t hi s f ir m pl a nn e d to inv e st i n h im as a pa rtner, Ma cL eish quit his job. S oon there afte r, he move d with his wife and two y oung children to Paris.

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As quoted in Dra beck a nd Ellis eds., Reflec tions , 23. See also Winnick, ed., Le tte rs , 22 106; and B ush, ed., Dialogues , 27. Dra beck a nd Ellis; eds., Reflec tions , 23. 23 Dra beck, E llis, and Rudin, eds., Procee dings , 22. 24 72 F or ma ny Am e ri c a n a rt ist s a nd wr ite rs , li vin g in P a ri s d ur ing the 19 20 s si g na le d th e ir la rg e r c omm itm e nt t o c re a tin g a ne w c ult ur e fo llo wi ng the de str uc tio n w ro ug ht b y the F ir st World W ar. I t was a bohe mian city , wher e He mingwa y wrote The Sun Also Rises (1926), Dos Passos finished Manhattan Transf er (1925), and F . Scott Fitzger ald cr eate d J ay Gatsby . Upon first arr iving, Ma cL eish observe d the city ’s somber r hy thms. P erha ps more than a ny other nation, Fr ance suffe red te rribly from the F irst World W ar. “ The g rea t slaug hter on the battlefield,” MacL eish noted, had pr oduced a “vac uum” of y outh. “Even the y oung women,” he rec ollected, “ dresse d in black, their f ace s unsmili ng , didn’t look y oung .” The poe t rec alled that 22 the city ’s pulse lag g ed until the mid-1920s, when a ne w y outh “flooded” in from Afr ica, Ea stern Europe, Sca ndinavia, and A sia. 23 This massive conver g ence of the wor ld’s y oung impressed Mac L eish dee ply . I t was the first time that he re cog nized his gene ration’s potenc y . He sa w more c lear ly the role tha t he and 24 oth e rs c ou ld p la y in d e te rm ini ng the c ou rs e of hu ma n e ve nts . I t w a s Ma c L e ish ’s fi ve -y e a r s ta y in Paris, during his early thirties, which fa cilitated his chang e fr om bourg eois lawy er to e nlightene d cultural c ritic. As it did for others in his g ener ation and milieu, living in Paris during the 1920s provided him with a model of how to sha pe and de fend dive rse na tional cultures. He lear ned that the c ha lle ng e s o f l ivi ng in a plu ra lis t e nv ir on me nt e nc omp a sse d f a r m or e tha n th e po lit e cohabitation of diff ere nt people. Rather , the task involved common beha viors borne f rom repe ated c ultural exchang e. The se obser vations helped to g uide Mac L eish during his stay abroa d a nd re ma ine d u se fu l to him on c e he re tur ne d to the Un ite d St a te s, wh e n h e wo rk e d to sc ulp t a

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Ba rbar a Savag e, Broadcasting Freedom : Radio, W ar and the Politics of Race, 193825 1948 (Chapel Hill: University of North Car olina Press, 1999), 60-61. Dra beck a nd Ellis, eds., Reflec tions , 37. 26 Eug en Weber , Peasants into Frenchme n: The Mode rnization of Rural France, 187027 1914 (S ta nf or d: S ta nf or d U niv e rs ity Pr e ss, 19 76 ), 48 5. Se e a lso L eslie Choquette, Frenchm en into Peasants: Modernity and Tradition in t he Pe opling of French Canada (Cambridg e: Har vard University Press, 1997), 54. 73 new Ame rica n identity that included the many milli ons of new c itiz ens who e ntere d the nation d u r i n g t h e e a r l y d e c a d e s o f t h e t w e n t i e t h c e n t u r y. 25 I n Pa ri s, Ma c L e ish joi ne d th e c ity ’s oth e r n on -n a tiv e re sid e nts in a so c ia l e xpe ri me nt. Ma ny of the pa rt ic ipa nts , li ke the Ma c L e ish e s, we re ne w t o th e c ity , a nd the fa c t th a t th e ir interac tions were not ba sed upon ling uistic or national bonds may have c ontributed to the vibrant cultural a tmosphere that e merg ed. On a ny g iven day , a per son functioned a s a produc er, consumer, a nd patron of the arts. I n this way , a hete rog eneous mix of people, without a common ton g ue or lit ur g y , r e a wa ke ne d a c ity . M a c L e ish sh a re d a sto ry in w hic h h is w if e , A da , a pia nis t and sing er, w as pra cticing a composition by the Fr enchma n Erik Satie. A y oung man knocke d on the fa mily ’s door. “ Who is singing Satie? ” aske d the unknown visitor. “My wife,” replied the po e t. “ B ut n ob od y sin g s Sa tie a ny mor e ,” blu rt e d th e te e n a s te a rs ra n d ow n h is f a c e . Th is 26 anec dote ca ptured the a bility of for eig n participa nts to joi n—indeed, to help r edef ine—a na tional culture. I n his ex amination of ninetee nth-ce ntury Fr ance , the historian Eug en Weber has observe d this process as it re lated to the pea santry ’s “mimicking ” of Par isian society . Perhaps 27 dr a wi ng on lim ite d k no wl e dg e , th e ou tsi de r c a n s til l f or m a c re dib le tie to d omi na nt t ra dit ion s. F or Ma c L e ish , th is o rg a nic me ldi ng of dif fe ri ng pe rs pe c tiv e s r e ta ug ht h im a le sso n th a t he fi rs t le a rn e d a s a y ou ng bo y on the str e e ts o f C hic a g o. I nd e e d, the ide a of dis sim ila r p e op le achie ving—or losing—c ollective unity was a rec urring theme in his later pr ofessional wr itings.

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Arc hibald MacL eish, Ei ns te in (Paris: Bla ck Sun Press, 1929), 1. 28 David Holling er, Sc ie nc e , J e ws a nd Se c ula r Cu ltu re : S tud ie s in Mi dTwe nti e th C e ntu ry 29 In te lle c tua l H ist or y (Princeton: Prince ton University Press, 1996), 11; J erold Aue rbac h, The Journey from Torah to C onstitut ion (B loomington: I ndiana Unive rsity Press, 1990), 10; Morton Bor den, Jews, Turks and In fid e ls (Chapel Hill: North Carolina Pre ss, 1984), 76-77. A letter f rom Professor E dwin Wil son, Depa rtment of Vital Statistics, Harva rd 30 University , rec ommended the hiring of a G erma n J ewish émig ré na med Fe lix Be rnstein, “the wo rl d’ s le a din g me dic a l a nd bio log ic a l st a tis tic ia n n oti fi e d b y the Na zi g ov e rn me nt t ha t hi s position had been va cate d.” See Wilson to Noback, F e br ua ry 27 , 1 93 6, bo x 1/12 , A do lph Sa ba th Pa pe rs , 1 90 352 , A me ri c a n Jew ish Ar c hiv e s, Cin c ina tti . 74 Th e mos t si g nif ic a nt w or k th a t Ma c L e ish wr ote wh ile liv ing ov e rs e a s w a s Ei ns te in (1 92 9) , p ub lis he d w ith the top a va ntg a rd e pr e ss i n Pa ri s. B la c k Su n Pr e ss r e le a se d th e wo rk in the sa me y e a r t ha t sa w t he pu bli c a tio n o f Ja me s Joy c e ’s Tales Tol d of Shem and Shaw and D. H. L a wr e nc e ’s The Escaped Cook . Einstein was a six teenpag e, fr eeverse soliloquy in which M a c L e i s h a t t e m p t e d t o r e c a s t t h e a t o m i c p r o c e s s a s a m e t a p h o r f o r c u l t u r a l h e t e r o g e n e i t y. 28 MacL eish used the idea of a nuc leus g aining mass by incorpora ting dispar ate pa rticles as a fig ure for a civil society that beca me strong er by amalg amating various ethnicities. Mac L eish’s de c isi on to g ro un d h is n a rr a tiv e in t he fi g ur e of a Jew ish sc ie nti st i s si g nif ic a nt b e c a us e it c on ne c ts t he po e t to a la rg e r i nte lle c tua l de ve lop me nt. Du ri ng the fi rs t de c a de s o f t he tw e nti e th c e ntu ry , s c ho la rs hip fr om Je ws g a ine d w ide r c re dib ili ty in P ro te sta nt a c a de mic c ir c le s. 29 Particularly at I vy L eag ue univer sities, the hiring of J ewish émig rés br oadene d the cur riculum ta ug ht t o th e na tio n’ s mo st p ri vil e g e d s tud e nts . 30 Som e Chr ist ia n s tud e nts g le a ne d f ro m th e ir pe rs on a l e xpe ri e nc e s w ith Jew ish sc ho la rs a ne w a dmi ra tio n th a t pe rs ist e d th ro ug ho ut t he ir liv e s. I nd e e d, Ma c L e ish stu die d u nd e r t he Jew ish profe ssor Fe lix Fr ankfur ter a t Harva rd L aw School; he lionized Princeton’s Einstein in a major po e m. M a c L e ish wa s o ne of ma ny in t he Pr ote sta nt e sta bli sh me nt w ho wa s d e te rm ine d to fr a te rn ize wi th Je ws , a nd to r a ise le ve ls o f a wa re ne ss a bo ut o bs ta c le s to Jew ish we lf a re . T his

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For some Americ ans, ra cebased a rg ument rema ined valid. See Er ic Goldstein, The 31 Pr ic e of W hit e ne ss: J e ws, Ra c e , a nd Am e ric an Id e nti ty (P ri nc e ton : Pr inc e ton Un ive rs ity Pr e ss, 2006), 35, 85, 112; Gre g ory Michae l Dorr, “ Assuring Americ a’s Place in the Sun: I vey For man L ewis and the Tea ching of Eug enics a t the University of Virg inia, 1915-1953,” Journal of Southern History 66 (2000): 257-96; Matthew Fr y e Jacobson, W hit e ne ss o f a D iff e re nt C olo r: European Im migrants and the Alchemy of Race (Cambridg e: Har vard U niversity Press, 1999), 181-84; and Elazar Ba rkan, The Re tre at o f Sc ie nti fic Ra c ism : C ha ng ing Con c e pts of R ac e in Br ita in a nd the Un ite d S tat e s b e twe e n th e W or ld W ar s (N e w Y or k: C a mbr idg e Un ive rs ity Pr e ss, 1992), 76-77. 75 cosmopolitan mind-set was bec oming a ppare nt during the late 1920s a nd 1930s, as Amer icans beg an to embra ce a rang e of e thnic and ra cial icons. I n 1927, the same y ear that Charles L indberg h crosse d the Atlantic, the Catholic orpha n Geor g e He rman “ Ba be” Ruth attra cted phenomena l acc laim for his baseba ll skil l as well as f or a life sty le that flew in the fac e of the de c a de ’s te e tot a le r v a lue s. At the B e rl in O ly mpi c s ( 19 36 ), Jess e Ow e ns re pr e se nte d th e pr omi se and powe r of the A merica n “melting pot” ver sus the my th of Ary an ra cial supre macy . Ag ain, 31 in 1938, the Afric an Amer ican he avy weig ht box er Joe L ewis bec ame a domestic and international sensa tion after de fea ting the G erma n Max S chmeling in New Yor k’s Yanke e Stadium. I t was in this fertile atmospher e that Ar chibald Mac L eish would ask Amer icans to ponder the ma ny te xtur e s o f t he ir na tio na l id e nti ty . D e te rm ini ng the de g re e to w hic h h is p lur a lis t attitudes comported with, or de viated fr om, others in the public sphere is an important eff ort that lies bey ond the scope of this project. Rather , I want to examine the more na rrow issue of when Ma c L e ish c a me to c on ne c t hi s b ro a d b e lie f i n p ro mot ing so c ioc ult ur a l to le ra nc e wi th a sp e c if ic c on c e rn fo r c omb a tin g Na zi a nti -S e mit ism . T his wi ll a llo w m e to p re se nt t he a c c omp lis hme nts of this often-ove rlooked historica l fig ure w hile shedding further light on the incr ease d discursive op po sit ion pr ov ok e d b y re po rt s o f G e rm a n r e lig iou s p e rs e c uti on s. I n 1929, shortly afte r his return f rom Paris, MacL eish ac cepte d a job offe r fr om Henry L uce to se rve a s an editor f or the ne wly cre ated Fortune mag azine. Acc ording to L uce

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J ohn Kobler, Luce: H is Ti me, Life and Fortune (Ne w York: Double day , 1968), 83-85. 32 Joini ng Ma c L e ish a t Fortune was the journa list R alph I ng ersoll, who later founded PM mag azine. See Paul Milkman, PM: A Ne w Deal in Journalism, 1940-1948 (Ne w B runswick, N.J .: Rutger s University Press, 1997), 26, 127; Michae l Denning , The Cultural Front: The Lab or ing of A me ric an Cul tur e in t he Twe nti e th C e ntu ry (Ne w York: Ve rso, 1996), 83-85. W. A. Swanberg , Luc e an d H is E mp ire (Ne w York: Scribne r, 1972), 121. 33 “Plate Glass Riots,” Time, October 27, 1930, 22. 34 I bid. 35 Ne w Re pu bli c , J uly 13, 1932, 224. 36 76 biogr apher J ohn Kobler, the publishing mag nate e nvisioned the new pe riodical as a c u t t i n g-e d ge business journal that would re invigor ate the r ece ntly depre ssed financ ial-new s market. L uce’ s s t r a t e g y w a s t o r e c r u i t p o p u l a r l i t e r a r y t a l e n t w h o w o u l d w r i t e “ h u m a n i n t e r e s t s t o r i e s . ” In 32 contra st to the drab business per iodicals of the de cade , Fortune fea tured c olor photog raphs a nd splashy adver tisements. I n 1930, the mag azine debuted with thirty thousand subscriber s; seven y ear s later, the ope ration maintained a circ ulation of nea rly five hundre d thousand. 33 Fr om his editorial post, MacL eish possessed a national platform f or influenc ing the Americ an public discourse . Moreove r, he w ished to use this powerf ul tool for direc ting the public’s awa rene ss toward Na zi anti-S emitism. J ournalists in the United States wer e alr eady repor ting on the phe nomenon. I n October 1930, almost three y ear s befor e the Na zis assumed power , Time devoted a full column to a story titled “Plate Glass Riots,” which re ported that Ger man citizens, “stones in their pocke ts,” had “ shrewdly distributed themselves in front of J ewish-owne d stores.” “So adroit wa s the vanda lism,” the rea der le arne d, that “ther e re mained 34 not one per son to be arr ested.” An additional Weimer-e ra a rticle fr om the Ne w Re pu bli c told of 35 a “ sc a nd a lou s a tta c k o n Jew ish stu de nts ” tha t “ c on sti tut e d a no the r l ink in t he c ha in o f f a sc ist anti-Semitic activity .” 36

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“Who Stands behind Hitler? ” Nation, Fe bruar y 22, 1933, 197. 37 “Na zis Amuck,” Time, Marc h 13, 1933, 15. 38 Robert Abzug, America V iews the Holocaust, 1933-1945 (N e w Y or k: S t. M a rt in’ s, 39 1999), 36. “L eave the J ewish Problem Alone,” Christ ian Century, April 25, 1934, 556. 40 I bid. 41 77 After J anuar y 1933, and Hitler’ s rise to the cha ncellorship, the pa ce a nd brea dth of the repor ting incr ease d. “Who Stands behind Hitler? ” aske d a hea dline in the Nation . L isting seve ral of Hitler’ s g oals, such as a bjuring the Ver sailles Trea ty and re viving the G erma n economy , the re la te d a rt ic le c los e d w ith the ob se rv a tio n th a t th e ne w l e a de r “ e mph a size d th e a nti -Je wi sh position.” I n a Time mag azine article titled “Nazis Amuck,” Ame rica n rea ders lea rned tha t 37 Ger man par amilitary soldiers had a ssaulted seve n Americ ans trave ling a broad. The story closed by repor ting that the numbe r of Ge rman Jews attacke d by followers of the new r eg ime rang ed “into the hundre ds.” During the Nazi’s six -month “coor dination” per iod, as party members 38 t o o k c o n t r o l o f f e d e r a l , s t a t e , a n d l o c a l g o v e r n i n g a p p a r a t u s , s i m i l a r r e p o r t s a p p e a r e d f r e q u e n t l y. Am e ri c a ns ha d n ume ro us op po rt un iti e s to c on ne c t N a zism a nd a nti -S e mit ism . T he se e a rl y stories clea rly convey ed the idea that Ger man fa scism had a violently anti-Jewish and antidemocr atic strain. The y also demonstrate d that a burg eoning interest among writers a nd journalists was helping to bring these re ports to the Americ an public. Sto ri e s o f N a zi a nti -S e mit ism a lso a pp e a re d in Chr ist ia n p e ri od ic a ls. “ L e a ve the Jew ish Problem Alone!” rea d the hea dline of one suc h piece in the April 1934 issue of Christ ian Ce ntu ry , the per iod’s most influential Protestant journal. “Since L ocke,” the re ader lear ned, 39 “re ligion, opinions, and philosophies are persona l matters.” “I f we are to car ry on Western 40 civiliz ation . . . neither the state nor soc iety has the rig ht to deny the J ews.” Non-Jewish reade rs 41

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L eo Ribuffo, The Old Christ ian Right: The Protestant Far Right f rom the Great 42 Depre ssion to the Col d W ar (Philadelphia: Temple Unive rsity Press, 1983), 76. “The y ’re at I t Ag ain,” Com mo nwe al, Marc h 9, 1934, 510. 43 Dietrich O rlow, A History of Modern Ge rmany, 2nd ed. (Eng lewood Cliffs, N.J.: 44 Prentice H all, 1991), 239; Stanley Hig h, “The War on Religious F ree dom,” in Pierre va n Passen, J ames Wise eds., Nazism: An Assault on C ivilizati on (Ne w York: Smith and Haa s, 1934), 25-39. 78 ha d th e c ha nc e to l e a rn fr om y e t a no the r p ub lic dis c ou rs e tha t a nti -S e mit ism po se d a thr e a t to a ll people of faith. As public expressions of these big oted sentiments wer e bec oming una cce ptable, the e dit or s o f C hr ist ia n p ub lic a tio ns too k s te ps to e nli g hte n th e ir su bs c ri be rs . T o b e su re , p ub lic e xpre ssi on s o f a nti -S e mit ism c on tin ue d to a pp e a r t hr ou g ho ut t he de c a de . Th e su btl e r p oin t, 42 howeve r, is that Christian America n citizens came to lea rn that while a nti-Semiti c epithets mig ht ear n one socia l acc eptanc e in Nazi Ger many , in the United States, they would place one outside the pa le of the c ult ur a l ma ins tr e a m. Simi lar pe riodicals adopte d this approac h, though w ith some variations. The pr ominent Ca tho lic pe ri od ic a l Commonweal focuse d on the Nazi hara ssment of priests. “A dozen pr iests,” re po rt e d a sto ry fr om M a rc h 1 93 3, “ we re re c e ntl y c ha rg e d w ith or g a nizi ng c omm un ist s. . . . T his is no tim e for discussion.” Priests charg ed with demonstrating fea lty to the Vatica n comprised 43 many of the fir st prisoners sent to the Da chau c oncentr ation camp. Ha rassment of both the Catholic and Protestant chur ches r emained a n unpleasa nt fac t throug hout the Nazi’s twelvey ear reg ime. 44 Drumming up Americ an public indig nation over N azi anti-Semiti sm was no ea sy task. During the interwa r y ear s, many citizens felt compassion for the G erma ns impoverished by the First World War. The historian A.J.P. Tay lor has ar g ued that these sentiments contributed to the

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Sidney Aster, “ Guilty Men: The Case of Ne ville Chamberlain,” in Patric k Finney , ed., 45 The Or igi ns of t he Se c on d W or ld W ar (L ondon: Arnold, 1997), 62-77; A.J.P. Tay lor, The Origins of the Second W orld W ar (Ne w York: Athe neum, 1961), 67-73. As quoted in Michae l Z alampas, Adolf Hitler and the Thir d Reich in Ame rican 46 Magazines, 1923-1939 (B ow lin g Gr e e n, Oh io: B ow lin g Gr e e n St a te Un ive rs ity Pop ula r P re ss, 1989), 14. Throug hout his poli tical ca ree r, Adolf Hitler envisioned the de struction of Soviet communism and I nterna tional J ewr y as interr elated. T he extent to which Americ an lea ders re c og nize d th is t re nc ha nt r e la tio ns hip in h is t hin kin g is u nc le a r. Se e John Al tma nn , “ Mo vie s’ Role in Hitler’s Conquest of Ge rman Youth,” Hollywood Quarterly 3 (1948): 384. Edwin Bla ck, IBM and the Holocaust: The Strategic Alliance be tween Nazi Germany 47 and America’ s Most Powerful Corpor ation (Ne w York: Crown, 2001) , 75-105; Kee s Van de r Pijl , The Ma k ing of A n A tla nti c Ru lin g Cl as s (L ondon: Verso, 1984) , 78-80. Nea l Gabler , An Empire of Their Own: How the Je ws Invente d Hollywood (Ne w York: 48 Crown, 1988), 338. 79 “appe aseme nt” of the f ascist power s that occur red dur ing the 1930s. When placating Hitler, 45 Western leade rs often note d the vital g eostrate g ic position that Germany occupie d as a bulwa rk to the sprea d of Soviet communism. Acknowledg ing tha t Hitler was not “a champion of le g al and constitutional methods,” the Lite ra ry Di ge st never theless included “ destruction of the communists” among Hitler’s primar y g oals. Well int o the 1930s, monitoring the spr ead of 46 co m m u n i s m — ra t h er t h an o f f as ci s m — re m ai n ed t h e p ri m ar y o b j ec t i v e f o r A m er i ca n fo re i gn po lic y e xpe rt s. An a dd iti on a l r e a so n f or thi s ti lt w a s th a t it se rv e d th e int e re sts of Am e ri c a n b ig bu sin e ss. Na zi id e olo g y wa s n ot h os til e tow a rd pr iva te pr op e rt y , a nd Ad olf Hi tle r’ s r e g ime pro mo ted a var iat io n o f cap it ali sm kn own as ca rt eli sm . C on seq uen tl y , co mp ani es s uch as I BM and F ord Motors over looked Ger man antag onism to ot her liber al fre edoms. Neither did J ewish47 owned businesse s immediately leave the Ger man marke tplace. T he film mog ul L ouis B. May er was re portedly “re lieved” w hen Willi am Randolph Hea rst assure d him that “Hitler’s motives wer e pure .” 48 B y c o n t r a s t , A m e r i c a n w o r k e r o r g a n i z a t i o n s r e c o g n i z e d t h e d a n g e r i m m e d i a t e l y . In s o li d a r it y w it h G e r ma n la b o r e r s , ma n y n o r th e a s te r n u n io n s o r g a n iz e d b o y c o tt s a g a in s t N a zi

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Abzug, America , 3 5; L ud wi g L or e , “ Th e F a te of the Wor ke r, ” in v a n Pa sse n a nd Wise 49 eds., As sa ult , 109. I n Se p te mb e r 1 9 3 3 , th e g r o u p ’ s f o u n d e r , ju r is t S a mu e l U n te r me y e r , in q u ir e d w it h F . W. 50 Woolworth Co. officials about repor ts that store employ ees c ontinued to sell German g oods. On November 18, Woolworth’s president, B . D. Miller, informed him “w e ar e not buy ing g oods fr om G e rm a ny .” Se e bo x 1/3, Sa mue l U nte rm e y e r P a pe rs , 1 91 152 , A me ri c a n Jew ish Ar c hiv e s, Cincinnati. See also Sharon Ge witz, “AngloJ ewish Responses to Na zi Germany , 1933-1939: The Anti-Na zi Boy cott and the B oard of Deputies of B ritish J ews,” J ou rn al o f Co nte mp or ar y History 26 (1991): 258, 261. Alpers, Di c tat or s , 13, 33; Z alampas, Hitler , 5, 214. 51 80 products. A 1934 poster from the Jewish L abor Committee re prese nted this effor t. I t fea tured a bare -and ba rre l-che sted male wor ker swing ing a sledg ehammer down upon a twoheade d snake la be le d “ Hi tle ri sm” a nd “ fa sc ism .” Ad dit ion a l or g a niza tio ns su c h a s th e “ No nSe c ta ri a n A nti 49 Nazi L eag ue” implore d New Y ork re tailers not to sell Germa n supplies. “B oy cott I s the Moral 50 Substi tute for War,” rea d their letterhe ad. “N azi Germany I s the Enemy of Western Civil ization.” Despite these e ffor ts, a signif icant re jection of Ge rman g oods failed to mater ialize. During the ea rly 1930s, America ns were still lear ning w ho Hitler wa s, and they wer e deter mining wha t, if any thing, his Na zi P arty had to do with Americ a. This willingness of 51 many citizens to “do business” with the Ger mans cha lleng ed those c oncer ned by the re g ime’s intolerant cha rac ter to ar ticulate more clea rly the re asons for se vering rela tions. As a n e dit or a t Fortune , MacL eish deter mined that a story about J ewish sca peg oating w o u l d h e l p A m e r i c a n s d i f f e r e n t i a t e t h e v a s t d i f f e r e n c e s b e t w e e n d e m o c r a t i c a n d N a z i v a l u e s . In ke e pin g wi th h is m a g a zine ’s sta te d mi ssi on to d isc us s p ote nt s oc ioc ult ur a l is su e s— a nd wi th h is persona l commitment to promot ing r elig ious tolerance —he sug g ested a series tha t examined anti-Jewish bigotry . On Novembe r 12, 1935, Mac L eish sent a memor andum to Henr y L uce, the ch ai rm an o f T i m e, I n c. On t h e s u b j ec t l i n e, M ac L ei s h l i s t ed “S er i es o n t h e J ew . ” F o l l o wi n g a brief introduc tion, he informed L uce tha t “the whole que stion comes down to whether [or

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November 12, 1935, “L uce,” box 8, MacL eish Papers. See also David Chalmer s, The 52 So c ial an d P oli tic al I de as of t he Mu c k ra k e rs (Ne w York: Citadel, 1964), 7, 15. No ve mbe r 1 4, 19 35 , “ L uc e ,” bo x 8, M a c L e ish Pa pe rs . 53 Donaldson, Ma c Le ish , 243. 54 I bid., 244. 55 81 not] . . . there is an anti-Semitic epidemic in this country capa ble of ha ving importa nt effe cts.” “I f there is,” MacL eish stated, “the n Fortune wi ll b e us e fu lly oc c up ie d in dr a g g ing the wh ole thi ng int o th e lig ht a nd a ir .” I n a “ muc kr a kin g ” sp ir it p e rh a ps bo rn e of his c hil dh oo d d a y s, MacL eish expressed a vie w that the journa list’s function was “r idding soc iety of its fester ing sores.” 52 Two day s later, Ma cL eish sent his boss a leng thy follow-up memo. I n the sec ond c or re sp on de nc e , h ist or ia ns wi ll f ind the c le a re st e vid e nc e to d a te tha t Ma c L e ish e nth us ia sti c a lly embra ced the task of comba ting Na zi anti-S emitism: “The re is anti-Semitic talk ar ound the country . . . . The a ctivities of Mr. Hitler in Ge rmany have ha d their ef fec t here .” Turning to what ste ps Fortune mig ht t a ke , M a c L e ish no te d, “ Th e re a re a lw a y s r a c ia l a nti pa thi e s to be fa c e d in this world.” This particula r antipathy , he obser ved, “f lourishes bec ause no one has eve r dug d o w n to g e t a t t h e u n d e r ly in g f a c ts . ” I n F e b r u a r y 1 9 3 6 , in s p ir e d b y f a c tu a l r e p o r ts o f N a zi 53 barba rities, Fortune published an ar ticle written e x pressly to head of f fa scist-fomented pr ejudice in the United States. MacL eish sent adva nce c opies of the a rticle to a numbe r of pr ominent 54 J ews, including his former pr ofessor F elix Fr ankfur ter. Mac L eish informed L uce, “ the piece was considere d valuable a nd should give offe nse to no one.” 55 Shortly there afte r, Mac L eish and the e ditors of Fortune with whom he coa uthored the article expanded upon this effor t with a one-hundr ed-pa g e study entitled Jews in Ame rica . “The unbelievable rec ord of Na zi barbarities conc erns nonJ ews a s well as Jews. . . . Any nation that

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Ed ito rs of F ortune, J e ws , 9-10. 56 I bid., 11. 57 Arc hibald MacL eish, The Fall of a Ci ty: A Ve rse Play for Radio (Ne w York: F arr ar 58 and Reinhar dt, 1937). Dra beck a nd Ellis, eds., Reflec tions , 106, 109. 59 I bid., 107; W innick, ed., Le tte rs , 285-86. 60 82 permits a minority to live in fear is a nation which invites disaster.” MacL eish used this book 56 a s a no the r v e hic le thr ou g h w hic h h e c ou ld p ub lic ly dis c re dit big otr y a s in c omp a tib le wi th Americ an tra ditions. “The conne ction betwee n fasc ism and J ewhatre d is not accide ntal. . . . Any man who loathes F ascism will fea r anti-Semitism.” Fe aring anti-Semitism,” the editors of Fortune conclude d, “he w ill fear a lso the various conditions which enc ourag e it.” 57 Th e fo llo wi ng y e a r, Ma c L e ish too k a n in no va tiv e ste p to re min d A me ri c a ns of the ir responsibilities, as a fr ee pe ople, to uphold liberty . The Fa ll o f a C ity : A Ve rse Pl ay for Ra dio does not specif ically discuss aiding J ews, but it does employ the theme of looming autoc rac y un de rm ini ng de moc ra tic fr e e do ms. The Fa ll was the f irst radio play ever aire d in the United 58 States. I t debuted more than a y ear befor e The W ar of the W orlds . MacL eish rec og nized that 59 radio prog rams we re more cost-ef fec tive than stag e produc tions, and they rea ched a far wider a ud ie nc e . T his inn ov a tio n d isp e rs e d h is a rt ist ry na tio na lly a nd inc re a se d h is s ta tur e a s a sociocultural c ritic. Airing April 11, 1937, The Fall of a Ci ty de sc ri be d a n u nn a me d E ur op e a n to wn wh os e citizens awaited a n oncoming conquer or. Mac L eish first wrote the play in ear ly 1936, during the events that led to the An sc hlu ss , the unconteste d Nazi takeover of Au str ia . Hi s th e me wa s th a t a 60 failure to uphold collective democ ratic liber ties had led to a soc iety ’s downfa ll. Fa ll o f a C ity also fea tured some mea ningf ul sty listi c innovations. Most notable was Ma cL eish’s use of a

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David Culbert, News for the Everym an: Radio and Foreign Affairs in T hirties America 61 (Westport, Ct.: Greenwood, 1976) , 4-7. Alpers, Dictators, 93. See also Elias Cane tti, Crowds and Pow er (N ew Yo rk : Vi k i n g, 62 1962), 26-31. Dra beck a nd Ellis, eds., Reflec tions , 109. 63 MacL eish, Fa ll , 16-18. 64 Dra beck a nd Ellis, eds., Reflec tions , 119. 65 MacL eish, Fa ll , 28-30. See a lso Erich F romm, Escape from Fre edom (Ne w York: 66 Rinehart, 1934), 142. 83 “ra dio announce r” to unwind the story in the form of a news broa dcast. The 61 a nn ou nc e r— Ma c L e ish se le c te d f or thi s r ole a sti llun kn ow n a c tor na me d O rs on Wel le s— did mor e tha n ju st r e po rt the “ fa c ts. ” He a lso de sc ri be d th e c ro wd s, the ir c ri e s, a nd the ir de c isi on s. 62 Th e Ce ntr a l B ro a dc a sti ng Sta tio n b ro a dc a st The Fa ll o f a C ity live in New Yor k City , and later in Holly wood, California. Executives e stimated the prog ram re ache d “we ll over one million souls.” 63 “Ar e we fre e? ” one voic e aske d from the c rowd. “ Wil l y ou fig ht? ” re plied another . “You can sta nd on the stairs and me et him.” “The re is still a niche in the stre ets.” “ You ca n hold in the dark of a hall.” “ You ca n die today —or y our childre n will craw l for it tomorrow.” The Fa ll o f a 64 City also fea tured ne verbefor e-use d “sound ef fec ts” including marc hing boots, drumbe ats and the shouts of men and w omen. A g roup of sc hoolchildren visiting f rom New J erse y provided the so un ds of “ g le e .” Ac c or din g to M a c L e ish , th e pr og ra m su c c e e de d b e c a us e it c a ptu re d a se ns e 65 of de sp e ra tio n. Was the c on qu e ri ng ine vit a ble ? Wou ld t he c iti zen s d e fe nd the ir lib e rt y ? Or , a s a nameless voice from the c rowd de clar ed, should they “g ive him [ the conque ror] the town for masterless men ne ed a ma ster? ” I n The Fa ll o f a C ity , MacL eish took car e not to politiciz e the 66 narr ative too hea vily . The play was less a bout a spec ific threa t than it was an e x amination of the

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Alpers, Di c tat or s , 91; Drabe ck and E llis, eds., Reflec tions , 107, 110-11. 67 Dra beck a nd Ellis, Reflec tions , 275 n. 35. See also John Hiden, Germany and Europe, 68 1919-1939 (Ne w York: L ong man, 1977), 41; and Ta y lor, Origins , 68, 109-10. As quoted in Dra beck a nd Ellis, eds., Reflec tions , 108. 69 Arc hibald MacL eish, Air Raid: A Verse P lay for Radio (Ne w York: Ha rcour t and 70 Br ace , 1938). 84 way s that people mig ht rea ct to such a c ontinge ncy . MacL eish wante d the public—the soon-tobe-oppr essed c itiz enry —to rec og nize that they wer e the main c hara cter s. Totalitarian pr actice s 67 wer e a r eality in Europe; Mac L eish hoped to ale rt Americ ans that their liber ty might bec ome the ne xt ta rg e t. L isteners re portedly enjoy ed the r adio play . MacL eish rec alled that he r ece ived letters so on a ft e r t he a ir ing , a nd mor e so a ft e r t he Na zi An sc hlu ss . His work had a ppeale d to a wide cross sec tion of the Americ an socie ty , and cor responde nce c ame f rom members of the establishment and the c ommon citiz enry alike. Charle s Andrew Merz, an editor a t the Ne w York Times , inquired how Mac L eish had known tha t the Nazis were g oing to e nter Austria unopposed. MacL eish told his friend, “I only know from wha t I rea d in the Times .” Mer z replied, “Well, we did n’ t kn ow , b ut w ha t ha pp e ns in y ou r p la y is e xac tly wh a t ha pp e ne d in Au str ia . I c a lle d to know if y ou have pr ophetic g ifts, or whethe r y ou are a phony who stumbled onto something.” 68 A strang er w rote Mac L eish from Ne w Orle ans, telling the poet that he nor mally listened to the radio while soa king in his bathtub. The ma n said that when he hear d MacL eish’s ver se he ha d almost emerg ed fr om his tub t o chang e the station, but he didn’t. I n fac t, he had thoug ht the prog ram wa s “g rea t.” 69 Building from the suc cess he enjoy ed with The Fa ll o f a C ity , MacL eish produce d an additional radio play in 1938. Ai r R aid , w hic h d e bu te d in la te Oc tob e r, pr ote ste d Sp a nis h f a s c i s m . T h e p o e t f i r s t v i s i t e d S p a i n i n t h e 1 9 2 0 s w h i l e t r a v e l i n g w i t h E r n e s t H e m i n g w a y . In 70

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J udy Kutulas, The Long W ar: The Intellec tual People’s Front and Anti-Stalinism, 71 1930-1940. (Durha m: Duke Univer sity Press, 1995), 100-102. Fr ank Willard, “The Spanish Civil W ar a nd the Coming of the Second World War,” 72 In te rn ati on al H ist or y Re v ie w 9 (1987): 368-409. MacL eish, Ai r R aid , 15. 73 I bid., 16. 74 85 1938, he joined with Heming way , J ohn Dos Passos, and L illian Hellman to form a g roup ca lled “ Con te mpo ra ry Hi sto ri a ns .” Th e se a rt ist s h op e d to e xpla in h ow e thn ore lig iou s st ri fe —a the me 71 familiar to Mac L eish—helped F ranc isco Fr anco a chieve an ill-g otten victory . The ba ckdrop of a still -smoldering civil war pr ovided Mac L eish with a tang ible and metaphor ic fra mework f or explaining how autoc ratic r eg imes used sociocultura l hostil ity to subvert democr atically elec ted so c ie tie s. 72 Ai r R aid f e a t u r e d u n n a m e d c h a r a c t e r s t h a t t h e l i s t e n e r c o u l d f o l l o w t h r o u g h o u t t h e p l a y. As its tit le re veale d, MacL eish ag ain employ ed the theme of a looming invasion. His dialogue captur ed the diff ere nt way s that people a ssessed the da ng er. A sick old woman re called, “ They came when I was y oung once. I reme mber them. The y had blue c apes on the ir coa ts with scarlet lin ing . T he y g a ve us mil k to dr ink fr om j a rs of me ta l.” Th e se we re the se nti me nts of a n e lde rl y 73 c iti zen wh o h a d li ttl e tim e le ft to l ive . N e a r h e r, ho we ve r, sa t a y ou ng bo y . H e ha d th e mos t to fe a r f ro m th e los s o f f re e do m. N ot s ur pr isi ng ly , th e la d b lur te d th e mos t a la rm ing sta te me nts : “The y kill children when the y come. . . . I ’ve he ard the y kill the children’s mother.” 74 A set of lover s tried to ignor e the wor ld’s fra ilty . These c hara cter s repr esente d y oung adults who ig nored the ir civic re sponsibili ties. “Are y ou still there ? ” the man a sked. “I drea med tha t y ou ha d g on e .” Th e tw o s it a lon e , a wa y fr om t he c ro wd . “ Sa y tha t w e ’r e ha pp y . T e ll m e that we a re ha ppy ,” plea ded the g irl. “Stay as y ou are ,” he r eplied. “D o not ever move. Stay as y ou a re wi th t his su nli g ht o n y ou r s ho uld e rs .” Ma c L e ish ’s us e of su nli g ht i ma g e ry , in he re ntl y

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I bid., 18. 75 I bid., 35. 76 I bid., 36. 77 86 flee ting, sy mboliz ed the inevitability of cha ng e. I ndeed, r eports fr om the play ’s ra dio announce r soon pierce d the tender dialog ue. The approa ching planes we re “ still circ ling. Still wheeling . He is working the air a s a haw k would.” The g irl’s voice r eturns, “T ell me we a re ha ppy . No, but say that we a re.” “Just stay with this sunl ight on y our shoulders,” say s her c ompanion, “Stay with this sunl ight on y our hair.” 75 As with The Tal e of a City , the fi c tio na l c iti zen s in Ai r R aid did no t up ho ld t he ir collective liber ties in the fac e of onc oming a utocra cy . Thoug h all knew of the threa t, they lacke d a la rg e r u nd e rs ta nd ing of wh a t th e y we re fi g hti ng to u ph old . T he y ha d lo st s ig ht o f t he ir c ivi c i d e n t i t y. B y Air Raid’s closing , the sick old woman ha d died, and the y oung lovers sepa rate d. The men f utilely went for arms, and the women took to the ce llars. Chaos re igne d. The men, women, and c hildren all eve ntually g ather ed in the town’s squa re, in a n anxious mob that MacL eish repr esente d throug h a building c acophony . Absent a se cular order —one g uara nteed 76 by a democ ratic g overnme nt and def ended by an ac tive citizenry —the people in Ai r R aid endure d lawlessness until the forc es of a utocra cy imposed order . I n the closing scene , as the inv a din g pla ne s a rr ive d, ma c hin e -g un fi re ra ine d d ow n f ro m th e sk ie s, blo od ra n o n th e str e e ts, and a w oman’s shriek ove rlappe d the sound of air raid a larms. The for ces of ty ranny had 77 a rr ive d u nc he c ke d. Th e c iti zen s h a d f a ile d to up ho ld l ibe rt y , a nd lib e rt y wa s lo st. MacL eish continued into the 1940s to publicize his concern tha t strains of autocr acy —of which Na zi anti-S emitism was a prominent example—loomed as a thr eat to the Western w orld. His activities took on gr eate r we ight a fter he acc epted a presidential of fer to become the

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F or his ini tia l le tte r o f r e g re t ( “ I a m a fr a id t ha t I wi ll n ot b e of muc h u se to t he pu bli c 78 service beca use the one thing I have e ver w anted to do with all my hear t was to write poe try .”), see Winni ck, ed., Le tte rs , 299-301. Arc hibald MacL eish, Am e ric a W as Pr om ise s (Ne w York: Due ll, Sl oan and Pea rce , 79 1939). Mac L eish dedica ted the publication to Fe lix and Mar ion Fra nkfurter . “ Do nn e ll, ” bo x 6, M a c L e ish Pa pe rs . 80 Ra bb i Ste ph e n Wis e wa s a pr omi ne nt f ig ur e in Wa sh ing ton , D .C. , p oli tic a l c ir c le s. 81 Du ri ng the 19 40 s, his Am e ri c a n Jew ish Con g re ss w a s n ume ri c a lly the mos t si g nif ic a nt d ome sti c J ewish intere st gr oup. J ustice F rankf urter w as a me mber of the more e lite—and more power ful—Americ an Jewish Com mittee. See Spence r B lakeslee , The De ath of A me ric an An tiSemitism (Westport: Praeg er, 2002) , 96; Eli Evans, The Pr ov inc ial s: A P e rso na l H ist or y of J e ws in the South (Ne w York: Athe neum, 1973), 100-102, 25354; and Henr y Fe ingold, “ Stephen Wis e and the Holocaust,” Midstream 29 (1983): 46. 87 L ibraria n of Cong ress, a s his entranc e into the fe dera l gove rnment provided him with a more po we rf ul v e hic le fo r d iss e min a tin g his plu ra lis t vi sio n. A M a rc h 1 94 0 le tte r, se nt t o M a c L e ish 78 from the De partment of L abor, c apture d his increa sing c entra lity to public discussions of the Americ an identity . That y ear , MacL eish was se lected a s the key note spea ker a t the I mmigra tion and Na turalization’s prog ram “ I Am an Amer ican.” At this event, MacL eish ag ree d to rea d excerpts from his poem “ Americ a Was Promises.” So important was his participation dee med 79 to the prog ram’s suc cess that the or g anizer wa s prepa red to “ tape his portion in advanc e” if the L i b r a r i a n o f C o n g r e s s c o u l d n o t a t t e n d t h e f u n c t i o n p e r s o n a l l y. 80 As Ma c L e ish ’s sta tur e inc re a se d, his c omm itm e nt t o o pp os ing Na zi a nti -S e mit ism rema ined intact. I n September 1940, he wrote a letter a bout the topic to Felix Frankf urter. T he letter wa s unsolicited, and its tone was informa l. I t indicated both the positive rela tionship t hat he maintained w ith his J ewish mentor, a s well as Mac L eish’s larg er inter est in helping J ews during a diffic ult period. “De ar F elix ,” the c orre spondence beg an, “Stephe n Wis e called me up 81 la st n ig ht i n a sta te of c on sid e ra ble a nxie ty fo r t he sa fe ty of L e on B lum [Na zide po se d Jew ish Fr ench pr emier]. . . . I g ather ed that y ou knew something of his thoughts on the ma tter.” The

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“ F ra nk fu rt e r, ” bo x 8, M a c L e ish Pa pe rs . 82 “ Th e Am e ri c a n Ca us e ,” bo x 24, Ma c L e ish Pa pe rs . 83 I bid. 84 I bid. 85 88 well-infor med L ibraria n of Cong ress a ssured F rankf urter tha t “B lum is i n no dang er” and that “ pe op le he re a re in c on tin ua l to uc h. ” Th is l e tte r s ug g e sts tha t by 19 40 , w he n Wis e pla c e d h is 82 call, Mac L eish had g ained some sor t of reputa tion as someone who wa s sy mpathetic to—and, mig ht b e in a po sit ion to a ssi st— the Jew ish pe op le ’s str ug g le s w ith Na zi a nti -S e mit ism . Suc h a c on c lus ion a pp e a rs su sta ine d th e ne xt mon th, Oc tob e r 1 94 0, wh e n M a c L e ish addre ssed a g ather ing of the B rookly n J ewish Charities. At the time of his re marks, the Ge rman Army controlled much of Western Europe . MacL eish and his audienc e tog ether worrie d that Nazism would become e ntrenc hed throug hout the Continent. The future of Western civilization wa s u nc e rt a in b e c a us e “ the wa r i s n ot s ole ly a wa r b e tw e e n E ur op e a n p ow e rs .” Ra the r, the po e ti n -go v er n m en t o b s er v ed t h at t h e w ar wa s b et we en “h u m an b ei n gs wh o b el i ev ed d i ff er en t t h i n gs as to the kind of socie ty in which men should live.” 83 I n his closing, Ma cL eish specif ically incorpora ted J ews into his sweeping defe nse of democr atic value s. “Ther e ar e those who te ll us that li berty must retire . . . that Jews must retire a nd no t be Jew s. ” Ho we ve r, the po e t im plo re d, “ De moc ra c y wi ll n ot f a il i f i t is a de moc ra c y in a c tio n. . . . F a ith wi ll d e c ide the iss ue .” “ An d f a ith ,” he c on c lud e d, “ c a nn ot b e a fa ith ag ainst—but a faith for .” That same month, Mac L eish delivere d a ver y simil ar me ssag e to a 84 more pre stigious audienc e. Ag ain, his g rowing appea l as a socia l commentator is appa rent. As the key note spea ker a t the “F orum on Current Problems,” a confe renc e that Ne lson A. Rockefe ller attende d, the poet explained, “F ascism is an inwar d enemy . . . . The de fense of de moc ra c y c omp e ls f re e pe op le to b uil d h ig he r a nd str on g e r t he ho us e of fr e e do m.” Th e se 85

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Br eitman, Official , 131; L aurie , Propaganda , 51, 64-65; Dra beck a nd Ellis, eds., 86 Reflec tions , 65, 153; R. Keith Kane, “ The O.F .F.,” Public Opinion Quarterly 6 (1942): 204-20. Dra beck a nd Ellis, eds., Reflec tions , 153. 87 As qu ote d in Ric ha rd Ste e le , “ Am e ri c a n Po pu la r O pin ion a nd the War a g a ins t 88 Ger many : The I ssue of Ne g otiated Peac e, 1942,” Journal of American H istory 65 (1978): 708. 89 se nti me nts re pr e se nte d a c on tin ue d e vo lut ion of a n id e a tha t Ma c L e ish fi rs t c on c e ive d in Pa ri s twenty y ear s ear lier: people c ould form and de fend the ir collec tive identity irrespe ctive of so c ioc ult ur a l di ff e re nc e s. I n fall 1941, with an incr ease d social and political c onsciousness, Mac L eish ac cepte d an additional assig nment from President Rooseve lt to serve as dire ctor a t the newly cre ated Of fice of F acts a nd Fig ures. The president ha d conce ived of the bur eau a s a ce ntralized station for answe ring media inquiries about the f ighting . The poe t describe d the midlevel ag ency as “sor t 86 of a ne xus” fo r p ro c e ssi ng wa rre la te d in fo rm a tio n. Ho we ve r, the a ssi g nme nt w a s mo st 87 sig nif ic a nt b e c a us e it p la c e d M a c L e ish in a po sit ion to u se the g ov e rn me nt’ s a us pic e s to influence public discourse. Thoug h poorly funded, staf fer s had the c apac ity to publish and distribut e informa tional brochur es. The c halleng e for MacL eish lay into determining which issues best ca ptured na tional conce rns. This was indee d a pre ssing task. Mor e than six m onths after the United States had enter ed the Sec ond World W ar, 52 pe rce nt of the public admitted they did not have a c lear idea what the wa r wa s about. “I can se e why we a re f ighting the J apane se,” one responde nt told a Gallup pollster in Aug ust 1942, “but I cannot se e why we a re f ighting the Ger mans. . . . I suppose we a re f ighting for de mocra cy .” 88 Perhaps not surpr isingly , one issue that Mac L eish chose to publicize involved opposing Nazi relig ious intol era nce. I n ear ly 1942, the Off ice of Fa cts and F igur es re lease d Divide and

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Information Control and Propaganda: Rec ords of the Office of W ar Information, 89 Pa rt I : “ Th e Di re c tor ’s Ce ntr a l F ile s, 19 42 -1 94 5, ” e d. Da vid Cul be rt (F re de ri c k, Md .: U niv e rs ity Pub lic a tio ns of Am e ri c a , 1 98 6) , r e e l 8: 00 49 . H e re a ft e r c ite d a s Rec ords , ed. Culbert, pt. 1. “O.W.I .,” box 53, MacL eish Papers. 90 I bid. 91 I bid. 92 Di v ide an d Co nq ue r (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Gover nment Printing Off ice, 1942) , 11. 93 “Swee tser,” box 21, MacL eish Papers. 94 90 Conquer , a six teenpag e broc hure published by the Gover nment Printing Off ice. This fe dera l document—with 2.5 million copies distribut ed—outlined seve ral re asons for A merica ns to fear Na zism . “ Hi tle r h op e s to de str oy un ity in A me ri c a ,” a dv ise d th e pu bli c a tio n. “ B oth ph y sic a lly 89 a nd me nta lly ,” re a de rs le a rn e d, “ a ll h is t ri c ks a re no w b e ing dir e c te d a g a ins t us .” Squ a re ly 90 addre ssing the issue of Ger man intoleranc e towar d J udaism, citiz ens re ad, “T he Jews in W arsa w ha ve be e n p a c ke d in to a g he tto .” “ Na zi g ua rd s, ” the pr os e c on tin ue d, “ pa tr ol a n e ig ht f oo t w a ll topped by broken g lass and bar bed wire .” Di v ide an d Co nq ue r also containe d some discussion 91 of per secutions levele d ag ainst Christians. “Poland’s Catholic Church,” the na rra tive continued, “has be en pra ctically wiped out. . . . Six hundred c hurche s, four hundre d chape ls, and two hundred c onvents have been de stroy ed or c losed.” MacL eish’s imprint is appare nt in the 92 brochur e’s c losing. The lang uag e ca lled to mind the fear s of social a tomiz ation he first e x presse d a s a n e dit or du ri ng the 19 30 s. “ We h a ve se e n, ” the se c tio n b e g a n, “ ho w H itl e r’ s st ra te g y wa s to c re a te int e rn a l di str e ss i n e ve ry na tio n h e pla nn e d to a tta c k. ” “ Ou r j ob a s A me ri c a ns ,” thi s g ov e rn me nt p a mph le t a dv ise d it s c iti zen s, “ is o ne of ind ivi du a l a wa re ne ss t o a vo id f a lli ng int o Hitler’s tra p.” 93 As dir e c tor of the Of fi c e of F a c ts a nd F ig ur e s, Ar c hib a ld M a c L e ish a lso us e d h is p ub lic char g e to initiate a re lated discussion “a ppraising the pre sent Neg ro situation.” I n a cove r letter 94

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I bid. 95 I n 1937, I ckes de livered a speec h dealing with America n rac ial inequality . He de crie d 96 the “bitter ha te fa nning a sear ing f lame” a g ainst J ews living in fascist Europe an nations, but he a lso no te d th a t on e on ly ha s to “ tur n h is m ind fr om f a sc ism to K u K luxis m to dis c ov e r h e re in Americ a a r ich field of oppr essions.” “U nited States Depa rtment,” box 1/13, S abath Pape rs. “ I c ke s, ” bo x 11, Ma c L e ish Pa pe rs . 97 “ Stim so n, ” bo x 21, Ma c L e ish Pa pe rs . 98 “ Da nie ls, ” bo x 6, M a c L e ish Pa pe rs . 99 See esp. D omenic Cape ci J r., The Lynching of Cleo W right (L e xing ton : U niv e rs ity 100 Press of Ke ntucky , 1998), 49, 62. 91 to I nte ri or Se c re ta ry Ha ro ld I c ke s, a we llkn ow n p ro po ne nt o f g re a te r r a c ia l e qu a lit y , M a c L e ish sug g ested that the “ fede ral g overnme nt inform the white population of this nation of the important role play ed by Neg roes in the history and deve lopment of the United States.” 95 Secre tary I ckes e mbrac ed such se ntiments. “I have be en conc erne d with this problem [ the trea tment of blacks] for a number of y ear s,” the sec reta ry informed his “de ar A rchie .” “I am 96 g lad to see tha t y our off ice ha s turned its attention to this worthwhile matter.” Secre tary of War 97 Henr y Stim son likewise re sponded to MacL eish’s outfit with a letter stating that the War Depa rtment was c onsidering the “c olor” proble m. A final messa g e of suppor t also arr ived from 98 the Of fi c e of Civ ili a n D e fe ns e . Th e se c oll e c te d c or re sp on de nc e s d id n ot a mou nt t o mu c h in 99 immediate, pra ctical ter ms. Howeve r, they serve to direct our a ttention to the discussions under way among the establishment elite in which e x pressions of c oncer n for the plig ht of minorities signa led a lar g er a lleg iance to pluralist attitudes. During the y ear s from 1933 to 1941, 100 Arc hibald MacL eish was a harbing er of these upc oming c hang es. His mind-set was c ommon throug hout the Roosevelt administration, and it would continue to g ain sway throug hout the s e c o n d h a l f o f t h e t w e n t i e t h c e n t u r y.

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92 Th e a pp e a ra nc e of Na zism c le a rl y hu rt Jew s, a s th e fa nn ing of re lig iou s h a tr e ds se rv e d to undermine the rig hts and secur ity of Jewish people. But in re sponse to this phenomenon, a br oa dba se d mo ve me nt t ha t tr a ns c e nd e d r e lig iou s li ne s c a me int o e xiste nc e . I n th e Un ite d St a te s, the ba ttl e a g a ins t N a zi a nti -S e mit ism be c a me the me a ns thr ou g h w hic h s ome Pr ote sta nt e lit e soug ht to fulfill the America n promise and to streng then the national c hara cter . This liberalizing imp uls e wo uld re c e ive a dd iti on a l mo me ntu m du ri ng the e a rl y 19 40 s, wi th t he na tio nÂ’ s e ntr y int o war , and the subseque nt movement that emer g ed ultimately outstripped all eff orts that prec eded it. On c e we fr e e ou rs e lve s o f a vis ion of the 19 30 s a s a pe ri od in w hic h p e rv a siv e ho sti lit y toward minorities re igne d unchec ked, we can f ind people such a s Archiba ld MacL eish, who de dic a te d y e a rs of his lif e to a n e ff or t to e ns ur e tha t A me ri c a liv e d u p to the lof ty g oa ls i ts founder s and inheritors c laimed to cher ish.

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Re c or ds , ed. Culbert, pt. 1, re el 9: 0178. 100 I bid., pt. 1, reel 9: 0207. F or more on B y rd and his opposition to the widening of the 101 Ex ecutive br anch bur eauc rac y during the 1930s and 1940s, see Ronald Heinema nn, Ha rry By rd of V irg ini a (Charlottesville, Va: Unive rsity Press of Virg inia, 1996), 167. Deliver ed as the closing to the president’ s “State of the U nion” addr ess, the thre e 102 rema ining liber ties included the fr eedom of speec h, the fre edom from f ear , and the f ree dom from want. See htt p:/ /w ww .a me ri c a nr he tor ic .c om/ sp e e c he s/f dr the fo ur fr e e do ms. htm . 93 CH APT ER 4 THE OF FI CE OF WAR I NFO RMATI ON: SCUL PTI NG AMERI CAN ATTI TUDES WI TH B ROCHURES, 1942-1943 Al l a va ila ble e vid e nc e po int s to the fa c t th a t mo st A me ri c a ns sti ll h a ve lit tle a c c ur a te conce ption of what domination by the Nazis means. — Of fi c e of War I nf or ma tio n d ir e c tor El me r D a vis to Senator He nry Cabot L odg e Jr. (R-Mass.), explaining his ag ency ’s domestic publications division, April 2, 1943 100 The Of fice of War I nformation fe els a re sponsibili ty to provide informa tion of particular interest to minority g roups. — Elmer Da vis to S enator Har ry By rd (DVA), e x plaining the publication Negroes and the W ar , J une 30, 1943 101 Du ri ng the e a rl y 19 40 s, the Am e ri c a n d isc ur siv e op po sit ion to N a zi a nti -S e mit ism be c a me mor e ma ins tr e a m a nd pr a c tic a l. F or e xamp le , in Janu a ry 19 41 Pr e sid e nt R oo se ve lt included the r ight to unfe ttered r elig ious worship in his “Four F ree doms” procla mation. Once 102 the Un ite d St a te s e nte re d th e fi g hti ng , h is g ua ra nte e to u ph old “ the c ivi l li be rt ie s o f a ll p e op le s” beca me a standa rd theme in g overnme ntal explanations of the war eff ort. Fe dera l information of fi c e rs sa w i n th e re po rt s o f N a zi ho sti lit y to r e lig iou s f re e do m a us e fu l to ol f or e du c a tin g tho se who re mained uncle ar a bout the strug g le’s sig nificanc e. One a g ency responsible for enlig htening the Amer ican public wa s the Off ice of War I nformation. I n J une 1942 via a n Ex ecutive O rder , the pre sident empower ed the ne ophy te bure au with the authority to “coor dinate an inf ormed a nd intelligent unde rstanding at home and a broad

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For the full mandate , see U .S. Cong. Subcommittee of the Committee on 103 Appropria tions, Hearings on the National W ar Agencie s Appropriations Bill for 1944 78 (H ), 1s t sess. (Washing ton, D.C.: Government Printing O ffice , 1943), 829. Thomas Fle ming, The Ne w D e ale rs’ W ar : F ra nk lin D. Ro os e v e lt a nd the W ar with in 104 W or ld W ar Tw o (Ne w York: B asic B ooks, 2001), 4-17; Clay ton L aurie , The Propaganda W arriors: America’s Crusade against Nazi Germany (T op e ka : U niv e rs ity Pr e ss o f K a ns a s, 1998), 83; Allan Winkler, The Politics of Propaganda: The Office of W ar Information, 19421945 (N e w H a ve n: Y a le Un ive rs ity Pr e ss, 19 78 ), 55 ; a nd Jose ph B a rn e s, “ F ig hti ng wi th I nformation: O.W.I . Over seas,” Public Opinion Quarterly 7 (1943): 34. Ger d Horton, Ra dio Go e s to W ar : T he Cul tur al P oli tic s o f P ro pa ga nd a d ur ing W or ld 105 W ar Two (B erke ley and L os Ang eles: Univer sity of California Pre ss, 2002), 44-45; Sy dney Weinberg , “What to Tell America : The Writers’ Qua rre l in the Office of War I nformation,” J ou rn al o f A me ric an Hi sto ry 55 (1968): 73-89. Ba rbar a Savag e, Broadcasting Freedom : Radio, W ar and the Politics of Race, 1938106 1948 (Chapel Hill: University of North Car olina Press, 1999, 51; K.R.M. Short, “Holly wood,” in K.R.M. Short, ed., Film and Radio Propaganda in W orld W ar II (Knoxvil le: University of Tenne ssee Pre ss, 1983), 160-61; Arc h Merc ey , “Social Use s of the Motion Picture,” Annals of the Ame rican Acade my of Political and Social Scienc e 25 0 ( 19 47 ): 10 14; a nd B a rn e s, “F ighting ,” 37-45. 94 of the wa r ef fort, g overnme nt policies, combat ac tiviti es, and g ener al war aims.” An expansive 103 midlevel ag ency with office s in W ashing ton, D.C., L ondon, New Y ork, and San F ranc isco, the new or g anization provided a home to a rang e of “ New D eale rs,” many of who ha d held pre vious positions i n the Roosevelt administration. To its supporters, the Of fice of War I nformation 104 play ed a vital r ole in expanding the public f low of knowledg e. De trac tors, howeve r, cla imed that the bure au, like other s it joi ned in Roosevelt’s “a lphabet-soup” administration, repre sented a n eff ort to disseminate a pa rtisan, pluralist vision. 105 During 1942-43, the Of fice of War I nformation published many dozens of informational br oc hu re s. Di str ibu tio n le ve ls f or the se do c ume nts ra ng e d in to t he te ns of mil lio ns , h e lpi ng to ensure the ag ency ’s public visibili ty . Writers and ar tists covered a wide number of topics 106 i n cl u d i n g The Japanese Are Tough (1942), Report of the Rubber Surv ey (1942), Chi ne se Pi lot s (1942), W hy Rationing? (1943), a nd The Four Freedom s (1942). Of ficials betr ay ed a pa rticular

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See esp. Saul F riedman, Hi sto ry of t he Ho loc au st (L on do n: V a lle nti ne Mit c he ll, 107 2004), 343-44; Peter Novick, The Ho loc au st i n A me ric an Life (B oston: Houghton Mifflin, 1999), 22-23; and Micha el Marr us, “B y standers to the H olocaust,” in Ve rne N ewton, ed., FDR and the Ho loc au st (Ne w York: St. Martin’s, 1996), 157. 95 commitment to publi cizing stories roote d in sociocultural themes suc h as ra ce, c ree d, and g ender . W ar Jobs for W omen (1943) a nd Ne gr oe s a nd the W ar (1943) e x amined the r ole that fema les and Af rica n Americ ans play ed in streng thening the national ef fort. Nazi W ar against the Catholi c Church (1942) a nd Tale of a Ci ty (1943) c ondemned Ge rman hostility toward org anized relig ion. Throug h its brochure s, the Off ice of War I nformation unwound vision for huma nkind tha t c on tr a ste d s ta rk ly wi th i ma g e s o f f a sc ist a tom iza tio n. Th e re we re , h ow e ve r, su btl e r a sp e c ts to these publications. Amer icans, too, maintained a leg acy of human inequa lities borne from ethno-ra cial and r elig ious hatreds. B y focusing light on the e nemy ’s ra cism, administrators attempted to hammer awa y at a lar g er point that the United States wa s strug g ling to inaug urate a new e poch in human history in which all forms of intoler ance wer e taboo. On e re a so n th a t sc ho la rs wh o s pe c ia lize in A me ri c a n r e a c tio ns to N a zi a nti -S e mit ism have not e x amined the Of fice ’s role in sculpting a more tempera te public discourse is the do min a nc e of Da vid Wy ma n’ s “ a ba nd on me nt” the sis . T he dis c ov e ry tha t so me of fi c ia ls i n Roosevelt’s State Depa rtment viewe d the Nazi perse cutions dispassionately has ce mented the m a n n e r i n w h i c h h i s t o r i a n s f r a m e i n q u i r e s . T a k e t h e c a s e o f t h e o f t n o t e d “ R i e g n e r C a b l e . ” In Au g us t 19 42 , th is Wo rl d Jew ish Con g re ss c omm un iqu é to t he Sta te De pa rt me nt o utl ine d in de ta il t he on g oin g Ge rm a n p ro g ra m of mur de r; its a uth or s r e qu e ste d th a t A me ri c a n o ff ic ia ls share news of the repor t with J ewish Amer ican lea ders. I nstead of disseminating the information, dip lom a ts s up pr e sse d th e me ssa g e a ft e r d e te rm ini ng tha t it s c on te nts we re e xtra ne ou s to “d ef i n i t e A m er i ca n i n t er es t s . ” R ef u gee ex p er t s s u ch as W al l ac e M u rr ay an d Br ec k i n ri d ge 107

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Fr ed I srae l, ed., The W ar Diaries of Breck inridge Long (L incoln: University of 108 Nebr aska Pre ss, 1966), 303-4, 334. Steven Casey , Cautious C rusade: Frank lin D. Rooseve lt, American Public Opinion, 109 and the W ar against N azi Germany (Ne w York: Oxford Univer sity Press, 2001), 25-39. Keith Sward, The Legend of Henry Ford (Toronto: Rinehar t and Co., 1948), 31-45. 110 96 L on g Jr. mig ht h a ve c a re d li ttl e a bo ut t he Jew ish ple a s f or he lp, bu t ot he rs did e xpre ss 108 conce rn. A ne ed exists t o widen the locus of investiga tion bey ond a re view of the utteranc es and a c tiv iti e s o f m e n w ho e xhibi te d p ro fe ssi on a l in c omp e te nc e a nd pe rs on a l sh or tc omi ng s. At roug hly the same time that State De partment off icials dec ided how best to ig nore the g enocide , administrators at the Of fice of War I nformation discussed publicizing the se ty pes of repor ts. They rec og nized that contrasting the stories of Na zi religious intoleranc e with an exposi tion of America n liberties would y ield a tang ible ideolog ical g ain. Prior to J une 1944, wh e n th e Un ite d St a te s f ir st l a nd e d tr oo ps in We ste rn Eu ro pe , w inn ing thi s ty pe of ba ttl e a g a ins t the e ne my too k o n a n e ve n g re a te r s ig nif ic a nc e . Th e a c c ou nts of Ge rm a n v iol e nc e a g a ins t 109 no nc omb a ta nts de mon str a te d th e ve ry str a ins of re pr e ssi on tha t th e na tio n h a d mo bil ize d to de fe a t. A n e xami na tio n o f t he Of fi c e ’s wa r r e c or ds —it s in tr a -a g e nc y me mor a nd um, c or re sp on de nc e s, a s w e ll a s p ub lis he d ma te ri a ls— re ve a ls t he e ff or ts t a ke n to us e Na zi a tr oc ity s t o r i e s a s a f o i l a g a i n s t w h i c h t o d e f i n e t h e c o n t o u r s o f a p l u r a l i s t A m e r i c a n s o c i e t y. T h e p re s i d en t ’s ch o i ce t o ru n t h e O ff i ce o f W ar I n fo rm at i o n wa s t h e n o t ed fo re i gn corr espondent Elmer Davis. Da vis possessed no previous g overnme ntal experience , but he was kn ow le dg e a ble a bo ut E ur op e a n a ff a ir s. I n 1 91 6, Da vis c ov e re d H e nr y F or d’ s “ g oo dw ill journey .” Following World W ar I , he re ported on the Par is Peace Confere nce. D uring the 110 1920s and 1930s, he ha d worke d for the New Y ork Times a s b oth a wr iter and e ditor. Once the Second World War beg an, Da vis appea red on the Columbi a B roadc asting Sy stem radio networ k.

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For Elmer Da vis, see Da vid Culbert, News for the Everym an: Radio and Foreign 111 Affairs i n Thirt ies Americ a (We stp or t, C t.: Gr e e nw oo d, 19 76 ), 12 551 . Se e a lso El me r D a vis , “Report to the Pre sident: The Off ice of War I nformation, 13 June 1942-15 September1945,” Journalism Monographs 7 (1968): 16-18. For Robert Sherwood, se e I llka J oki and Rog er Sell, “Rober t E. Sherwood and the 112 Finnish Wint er War: Dr ama, Propa g anda a nd Contex t Fifty Yea rs Ag o,” Am e ric an Stu die s in Scandinavia 21 (1989): 51-69; a nd R. Bra id Shuman, Robert Sherwood (Ne w York: Twa y ne, 1964), 17. Michae l Grey , Ne w D e al M e dic ine : T he Ru ra l H e alt h P ro gr am s o f th e Fa rm Se c ur ity 113 Administrati on (B altimore: J ohn Hopkins University Press, 1999), 132; Nicholas N athanson, The Black I mage in the New De al: The Politics of FSA Photography (Knoxvil le: University of Tenne ssee Pre ss, 1992), 4-9; Monty Noam Penkowe r, The Fe de ra l W rit e rs’ Pr oje c t: A S tud y in the Go v e rn me nt P atr on ag e of t he Ar ts (Chicag o: University of I llinois Press, 1997), 9, 17; J err y Mang ione, The Dream and the Deal: The Fe deral W riters’ Project, 1935-1943 (Ne w York: Avon, 1972), 373. Michae l Denning , The Cultural Front: The Laboring of American Culture in the 114 Twe nti e th C e ntu ry (Ne w York: Ve rso, 1996), 44-46, 7882. 97 Seven day s a we ek, at shortly befor e 9 p.m., Davis told listeners about e vents in Europe. Citizens repor tedly enjoy ed his droll wit and “Hoosie r” pe rspec tive. 111 Da vis su rr ou nd e d h ims e lf wi th s ome c a pa ble a nd e xpe ri e nc e d a dmi nis tr a tor s. Ar c hib a ld MacL eish, who during 1941-42 had supe rvised the Of fice of F acts a nd Fig ures, se rved br iefly as an assistant direc tor. Pulit zer-winning play wrig ht and pre sidential speec hwriter Robe rt Sherwood ra n the Over seas B ranc h. The Of fice of War I nformation also incor porate d 112 hundreds of artists, writers, photog raphe rs, and e ditors from the Works Projects and F arm Security Administrations. Ag ency leade rs possessed a clea r ability to sculpt an audiovisual 113 messag e, and to sha re this vision with the America n public. I ndeed, the arr ay of talent ha s led historian Michae l Denning to conclude tha t the Offic e was pa rt of a muc h larg er “ cultural a ppara tus” that during the 1930s and 1940s helpe d to foster new soc ial norms. “The state sponsorship of wr iters, ar tists, t heatr es and musicians,” he has arg ued, “r edef ined Amer ican c ulture.” Fe dera l burea ucra cies joined the e ntertainment a nd 114

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Edmund Wi lson, “Edmund Wil son on Writers and Writing,” New Y ork Times Rev iew 115 of Books vol. 24 March 17, 1977. I bid. 116 I bid. See also Will iam L euchte nburg , Franklin D. Roosev elt and the New Deal, 1932117 40 (Ne w York: Ha rper Colophon, 1963), 342. F or the Com mit te e of War I nf or ma tio n, se e “ Sub je c t F ile ,” “ OWI ,” bo x 52, Ar c hib a ld 118 MacL eish Papers, 190781, L ibrary of Cong ress, Washing ton, D.C. See also Richard B reitman and Alan K raut, American R efugee Policy and Europe an Jewry, 19331945 (B loomington: I ndiana Unive rsity Press, 1987), 172. “ O. W.I ., ” bo x 52, Ma c L e ish Pa pe rs . 119 98 adver tisement industries in defining the social mainstre am. Contemporar y observe rs took note of thi s d e ve lop me nt. I n Jun e 19 42 , E dmu nd Wils on de c ri e d th e ro le tha t “ se c on da nd -t hir dra te writers” had come to play in shaping the “soc ial consciousness.” “With MacL eish and 115 Sherwood a t the Whit e House ,” he note d in a letter to a uthor Maxwell Geiser, “ the whole thing ma ke s me un e a sy .” Wils on ’s sp e c if ic c on c e rn wi th w ha t he te rm e d th e ir “ a wf ul c oll e c tiv ist 116 cant” captur ed pre cisely the contest unde r wa y to rec onfig ure A merica n thinking and be havior. 117 Ag ainst this landscape, the ever -esc alating repor ts of Nazi atrocities, stee ped in anc ient pr e jud ic e s a nd me die va l ba rb a ri ty , c le a rl y dif fe re nti a te d b e tw e e n th e de moc ra tic a nd fa sc ist vision for humankind. Even be fore the Off ice of War I nformation appe are d, later a dminist rators su c h a s A rc hib a ld M a c L e ish ha d d isc us se d th e ne e d to pr e se nt p ub lic ly the re po rt s o f f a sc ist violence. Working with Robert Kitner, a n executive of the N ational B roadc asting Company , and political fig ures suc h as Milton Eisenhower, A dlai Stevenson, Nelson Rocke feller , and Assistant Secre tary of War John McCl oy , MacL eish cha ired a g roup ca lled the “Committee on War I nf or ma tio n. ” On Ap ri l 30 , 1 94 2, in r e sp on se to a qu e sti on a bo ut t he “ ha nd lin g of a tr oc ity 118 materia l,” Mac L eish sug g ested fir st the need f or a w ritten statement cove ring what existed. 119

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I bid. 120 See esp. John Dower, W ar without Merc y: Rac e and Power in the Pac ific W ar (Ne w 121 York: Pantheon, 1986), 77, 147. “ O. W.I ., ” bo x 52, Ma c L e ish Pa pe rs . 122 I bid. 123 I bid. 124 Re c or ds , ed. Culbert, pt. 1, re el 12: 0754. 125 99 Tw o w e e ks la te r, the se me n me t to “ de ve lop a po lic y fo r t he dis c los ur e of a tr oc ity information.” The y ag ree d that such re lease s should occur w ith “the spec ific purpose of g iving the public an a ccur ate idea of the e nemy .” One wa y to ensure tha t America ns develope d a 120 positive image of the fle dg ling wa r ef fort wa s to depict the fa scists in as unfavora ble a manne r as possible. Attache d to this age nda is an e ightpag e discussion of how be st to present the 121 e vid e nc e , a ft e r “ a bs olu te ly ir re fu ta ble a nd ho rr ibl e re po rt s c ome in. ” “ Pho tog ra ph s, mov ie s, 122 p o s t e r s , s p e e c h e s , g o v e r n m e n t a l a n d e y e w i t n e s s t e s t i m o n y ” w e r e p o s s i b l e m e t h o d s l i s t e d . “ It 123 would be wise to ha ve a policy [on atrocities] ready .” “I f we do not prepa re,” the Commit tee on War I nformation dete rmined, “a ny number of unf ortunate thing s may happen.” 124 Offic e of War I nformation administrators took this lesson to heart. I n J uly 1942, only one month after the ag ency ’s founding , Geor g e B arne s, Direc tor Davis’s a ssistant, authored an internal memora ndum on the topic. “I s there a ny fac ility ,” the messa g e beg an, “f or che cking the authenticity and ac cura cy of re ported a trocities? ” Citing a conce rn that “w e shall ce rtainly have an incr easing number of inquirie s,” the doc ument closed with the stateme nt that “we should be prepa red to a nswer the m with some authority .” 125 Ten da y s later, Dir ector Davis re ceive d a re lated letter . The messa g e informe d him that presidential a dvisor Adolf B erle had shar ed with the Of fice a prospe ctive White House statement

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I bid., pt. 1, reel 12: 0805. 126 I bid. 127 “Da vis,” box 6, MacL eish Papers. 128 L aurie , Propaganda , 36; Cedric L arson, “ The Dome stic Picture Work of the Of fice of 129 War I nformation,” Ho lly woo d Q ua rte rly 2 (1948): 434. L aurie , Propaganda , 63; Holly Shulman, The Voice of Ame rica: Propaganda and 130 Democ racy, 194145 (Madison: University of Wisconsin P ress, 1990), 32. 100 on the topic of “ civilian atroc ities.” This document also conta ined a de scription of a ne w cate g ory termed “ crimes a g ainst humanity .” This construct conne cted the U nited States 126 d ir e c tl y w it h a d e f e n s e o f E u r o p e a n Je w r y . T h e c a te g o r y ’ s in te ll e c tu a l r o o ts h e ld th a t t h e N a zi actions, steepe d in anti-Semitism , wer e incompatible with democ ratic va lues. As the memo’s author obser ved: “those pe rpetra ting these atroc ities must know that they cannot a bsolve themselves. The crimes a re be ing r ecor ded in all countrie s with gr eat c are .” 127 Of c ourse, the O ffice of War I nformation exerted mode st authority . I ts midl evel bu re a uc ra tic a pp a ra tus wa s in su ff ic ie nt f or sto pp ing the g e no c ide . T he ne w o rg a niza tio n a lso e xpe ri e nc e d in tr a -a g e nc y fr a c tur e s, wh ic h h a ste ne d A rc hib a ld M a c L e ish ’s de pa rt ur e . I n h is resig nation letter to Elmer D avis, penne d less two months after the Offic e’s f ounding, the poet noted a “ confusion” tha t resulted fr om overlapping jurisdictions. I ndeed, the ag ency was but 128 one of se vera l org anizations invol ved with the collec tion and dissemination of war inf ormation. On the same day that President Roosevelt had a uthorized Davis’s bure au, he a lso crea ted an “ Of fi c e of Str a te g ic Se rv ic e s. ” Th e ma in d ist inc tio n b e tw e e n th e tw o r e sid e d in the ir sta ff s. 129 El me r D a vis ra n a c ivi lia n o rg a niza tio n ma nn e d b y lit e ra ry ta le nts . T he Of fi c e of Str a te g ic Service s was a military unit, commanded by Col. W illiam “Wi ld Bill” Donova n. A New York lawy er a nd Republican fr iend of the pr esident, Donova n had prior e x perie nce w ith information g ather ing a nd propag anda. He wa s a for cef ul fig ure w ho staked out a br oad vision. Perhaps not 130

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FDR we lcomed tensions within his bureauc rac y and staff . See Matthew Dic kinson, 131 Bitter Harvest: FD R, Presidential Power and the Growth of the Presidential Branch (Ne w York: Cambridg e Univer sity Press, 1997), 19-25. Re c or ds , ed. Culbert, pt. 1, Davis to Roosevelt, January 1, 1943; ree l 4: 0112. 132 Allison Gilm ore, Y ou Can ’t Fi gh t Ta nk s wi th B ay on e ts: Ps y c ho log ic al W ar far e ag ain st 133 the J ap an e se Ar my in t he So uth we st P ac ifi c (L incoln: University of Ne braska Press, 1998), 148-49. Records, e d. Culbert, pt. 1, Davis to Roosevelt, J anuar y 1, 1943, ree l 4: 0112. 134 Information Control and Propaganda: Rec ords of the Office of W ar Information, Part 135 2: Office of Policy Coordination Series A: Propag anda a nd Policy Direc tives for Ove rsea s Prog rams, 1942-1945, e d. David Culbert (F rede rick: Md.: University Publications of America , 1986), re el 11: 0342. Her eaf ter c ited as Rec ords , ed. Culbert, pt. 2. 101 su rp ri sin g ly , f ri c tio ns e me rg e d b e tw e e n th e ne w o rg a niza tio ns ov e r t he be st w a y to f ulf ill the ir sim ila r m a nd a te s. 131 “The confusion as to the r espec tive jurisdiction and functions of this Offic e and the Offic e of Strate g ic Service s require s clarif ication,” Elmer Davis informe d the pre sident on New Yea r’s Da y 1943. The dispute ce ntere d on what wa s termed “ white” ve rsus “blac k” 132 pr op a g a nd a . T he fo rm e r c a te g or y wa s a pa ssi ve , r e a c tio na ry a pp ro a c h th a t us e d f a c tua l st or ie s to enlig hten citizens about the ene my . Davis fa vored this method, and his staff had produc ed nu me ro us pie c e s o f “ wh ite ” pr op a g a nd a du ri ng la te 19 42 . T he Of fi c e of Str a te g ic Se rv ic e s, ho we ve r, pr e fe rr e d “ bla c k” pr op a g a nd a , a n o ff e ns ive , p ro a c tiv e c on c e pt d e sig ne d to pe ne tr a te enemy populations. These ty pes of a ctivities, what Davis cha rac terized in his letter to the 133 president a s “psy cholog ical and se cre t,” included dr opping f ictional leaf lets, airing false ne ws repor ts and otherwise eng ag ing in the spr ead of demora liz ing inf ormation. 134 Th e imp a sse pr ov e d n o tr if lin g ma tte r. Ni ne mon ths la te r, Rob e rt She rw oo d s e nt D a vis a cable repor ting “ Donovan’ s demands for participa tion in propag anda pla nning.” I n October 135 1943, Davis ag ain lear ned fr om his oversea s chief “ OSS is attempting to ha ve its mandate f or

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I bid., pt. 2, ree l 11: 0114. 136 Rec ords , ed. Culbert, pt. 1, Davis to Donova n, J une 6, 1944, re el 4: 0893. 137 Shulman, Voice , 33; Wi nkler, Politics , 1. 138 Var ian Fr y , “The Massac re of the J ews,” Ne w Re pu bli c , Dec ember 21, 1942, 818-19. 139 Re c or ds , ed. Culbert, pt. 1, re el 9: 0143. 140 102 black pr opag anda r einterpr eted.” As late a s J une 6, 1944, the da y that Americ an for ces la nded 136 in Fra nce, the propag anda c hiefs continued to ha sh over their respe ctive powe rs. “The Offic e of War I nf or ma tio n is so le ly re sp on sib le fo r t he dis se min a tio n o f A me ri c a n p ro pa g a nd a ,” Da vis inf or me d h is c ou nte rp a rt via le tte r. “ Th e Of fi c e of Str a te g ic Se rv ic e s, ” he c on tin ue d, “ is r e s p o n s i b l e f o r t h e d i s s e m i n a t i o n o f p r o p a g a n d a w h i c h o r i g i n a t e s w i t h i n e n e m y o r e n e m yoccupie d territory .” 137 The Of fice of War I nformation fa ced bur eauc ratic obstac les throug hout its t hree -y ear tenure . There was, howe ver, a productive a spect to these c halleng es. The a g ency ’s 138 c omm itm e nt t o p ro du c ing wh ite pr op a g a nd a ha d a n im pa c t on ra isi ng the le ve ls o f p ub lic attention reg arding the issue of Na zi religious intoleranc e. I ndeed, in Ma rch 1943, the Offic e of War I nformation published a pie ce of white propa g anda e ntitled Tal e of a City . T h i s t w e n t ythree -pag e broc hure de picted throug h words, statistics, and illustrations the Germa n ty ranny ong oing in Warsa w. At the time of its rele ase, the Nazis had emptied almost the entire infamous J ewish g hetto. Details about wha t awaited those sent “e ast” ha d appea red in the A merica n media, the pr e sid e nt h a d li ke wi se c on de mne d th e Na zi e xter min a tio n p ro g ra m. 139 This publication was not an e phemer al ef fort. I t refle cted a much larg er na tional conce rn with Nazi anti-Semiti sm. Tale of a Ci ty b ega n wi t h an i n s cr i p t i o n fr o m t h e p re s i d en t s t at i n g, “Punishment shall be meted out to those responsible f or the org anized murders a nd commission of atroc ities which have violated eve ry tenet of the Christian faith.” Along with Divide and 140

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I bid., pt. 1, reel 9: 1053-55. Ma cL eish’s private paper s contain a c omic book entitled 141 The re Ar e No M as te r R ac e s! Publis hed in 1944, the short wor k dispels Nazi racia l claims about differ ence s in human blood. I ts closing f eatur es a de piction of Abra ham L incoln uttering the phrase “our na tion is dedicated to the proposition that all men ar e cr eate d equal.” See “ Cor re sp on de nc e s, ” “ Sta rr ,” bo x 20, Ma c L e ish Pa pe rs . Se e “ Sub je c t F ile ,” “ OWI ,” bo x 53, Ma c L e ish Pa pe rs . 142 Re c or ds , ed. Culbert, pt. 1, re el 9: 0148. 143 I bid., pt. 1, reel 9: 0150. 144 103 Conquer (1942) a nd Nazi W ar against the Cat holic Church (1942), Tal e of a City repr esente d eff orts taken by the Roosevelt administration to raise leve ls of awa rene ss about Nazi intolerance a nd to b ind the na tio n’ s f ig ht w ith Ge rm a ny to a la rg e r d e fe ns e of re lig iou s f re e do m. Reade rs met with fra nk discussion of alar ming topics such a s Ary an “r ace laws” a nd Gestapo de ath squads. I n an ef fort to portra y Ger man intoleranc e as br oadly as possible, the 141 Tale of a Ci ty noted injustice ag ainst Catholics, Protestants, Sl avs, women, a nd the working class. Tale a lso bo re a c le a r s imi la ri ty in i ts t itl e a nd ton e to A rc hib a ld M a c L e ish ’s 19 37 ra dio play about fa scist social atomization, Fa ll o f a C ity . I n fa ct , t h e p o et b ega n wr i t i n g Tal e of a City while hea ding the Offic e of F acts a nd Fig ures. What separa tes the two stories, howe ver, is the 142 fa c t th a t Tale convey ed explicit im ag es of the violenc e and de struction that the Nazis had wroug ht. This evolution in rhetoric sug g ests that as informa tion officer s g ained de eper knowledg e about the pe rsec utions, they passed their awa rene ss on as a public ser vice. “I n Poland,” Tal e explained, “the Ge rmans per iodically cre ate a rtificial food shor tag es as a w ea p o n t o d em o ra l i z e t h e p o p u l at i o n . ” “ M i l k ca n s ar e w as t ef u l l y p u n ct u re d an d eggs sma sh e d. ” Am e ri c a ns le a rn e d th a t th e Pol ish Jew s w e re be ing “ de pr ive d o f t he ne c e ssa ry fa ts and vitamins,” with the re sult that “Warsaw today is dy ing out.” This gove rnment publication 143 paid par ticular a ttention to J ewish we lfare . “Polish J ews we re g iven three to six hours to pack and g et into the g hetto.” Tale of a Ci ty descr ibed the zone as a “dismal section of one hundred 144

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I bid., pt. 1, reel 9: 0158. This line also appe ars ve rbatim in the Off ice of Fa cts and 145 Fig ures br ochure Di v ide an d Co nq ue r (1942). I bid. 146 I bid., pt. 1, reel 9: 0159 147 I bid., pt. 1, reel 9: 0160. 148 I bid. 149 104 blocks in the norther n part of War saw, surr ounded by an eig ht foot wall topped by broken g lass.” “No one could enter or lea ve without a pass; no stree tcar s run betwe en the Ghe tto and 145 other pa rts of the c ity .” Tale provided spec ific data about J ewish dea th rates. At “ eig hty -three 146 deaths pe r thousand men,” the U.S. g overnme nt reporte d to its citi zens, the life expectanc y for Jew s li vin g in t he War sa w G he tto wa s “ sixty pe rc e nt l e ss” tha n it wa s f or oc c up a nts re sid ing in oth e r m od e rn c iti e s. 147 Tale of a Ci ty a d v is e d th a t i n Po la n d , “ w h ic h h a s b e e n ma d e th e p r in c ip a l N a zi slaug hterhouse,” Ger man authorities ar e now c arr y ing into ef fec t “Hitler’s of t-repe ated intention to ext erminate the J ewish people in Europe.” The g hettos established by the Nazi invader s 148 wer e “sy stematically empty ing.” “None of those take n awa y is ever he ard f rom ag ain. The a blebodied ar e wor ked to dea th in labor ca mps. The infirm ar e lef t to die of exposure or ar e delibera tely massacr ed in mass execution.” Since the 1930s, Amer icans mig ht have known 149 that the Ger man g overnme nt terror ized its relig ious minoriti es with conc entra tion camps and forc ed g hettoization. The Tal e broade ned this lore by explaining that in Nazi-conque red lands—the pre sumable fa te of the U nited States if the nation’s wa r ef fort fa iled—ethno-re ligious g roups fa ced de liberate extermination. At a distribution of just under 2 milli on copies, Tal e of a City repr esente d the Off ice’ s secondlarg est domestic re lease of white propa g anda. T he broc hure’ s publicity far exceede d that

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I bid ., pt. 1, re e l 8: 00 49 . D ist ri bu tio n le ve ls: Four Freedom s : 60 0, 00 0; Ba ttl e 150 Stations: 200,000; and Nazi W ar against C atholic Church : 250,000. New Y ork Times , “Ty ranny ,” F ebrua ry 14, 1943. 151 I bid. 152 I bid. 153 105 o f n u m er o u s o t h er wo rk s i n cl u d i n g The Four Freedom s (1942), Ba ttl e Sta tio ns for Al l (1943) and Nazi W ar against the Cat holic Church (1942). The Tale was a tang ible example that 150 g overnme nt officials took ser iously the nee d to teach A merica ns about the Na zi vi olence . The b r o c h u r e s i m p l i c i t m e s s a g e w a s t h a t t h e U n i t e d S t a t e s w a s b a t t l i n g s u c h f o r c e s o f p e r s e c u t i o n . In sharp c ontrast with State Depa rtment beha viors, the Off ice of War I nformation’s staf f integ rate d c on de mna tio ns of Na zi a tr oc iti e s in to p ub lic dis c us sio ns of the wa r. Soo n a ft e r t he pr e sid e nt f ir st expressed his abhorr ence of the e x termination prog ram, a lmost 2 m illion pi ece s of offic ial literature trumpeted these sentiments to the nation. The New Y ork Times discussed the broc hure. The article repr esente d an additional lay er of pu bli c dis c ou rs e thr ou g h w hic h c iti zen s c ou ld h a ve inf e rr e d th e re la tio ns hip be tw e e n Wo rl d War I I and the f ight a g ainst ethno-re ligious per secution. “Warsa w is being subjected to a delibera te Nazi pattern of death, disea se, starva tion and the wholesa le elimination of population,” the story beg an. Crediting the Offic e of War I nformation as its source , the Times 151 pie c e c on tin ue d, “ a ll r e lig ion is p e rs e c ute d: l a rg e nu mbe rs of pr omi ne nt p ri e sts a re in conce ntration ca mps or have be en torture d or put to death.” I n its closing, the r eade r lea rned 152 the stark f act that “ Ger man offic ials are now ca rry ing into ef fec t Hitler’s oft-r epea ted intention to ext erminate the J ewish people of Europe .” 153 Di re c tor Da vis re c e ive d a nu mbe r o f l e tte rs a bo ut Tale of a Ci ty fr om p ri va te c iti zen s. One c ame f rom Stuart Perry of Adria n, Michig an. On Ma rch 19, 1943, Per ry stated that he w as

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Re c or ds , ed. Culbert, pt. 1, Perry to Davis Marc h 19, 1943, ree l 9: 0172. 154 I bid., pt. 1, Davis to Perry , Marc h 27, 1943, ree l 9: 0173. 155 I bid., pt. 1, Hill t o Davis, April 28, 1943, re el 9: 0182. 156 I bid., pt. 1, Malinowski to Davis, J une 3, 1943, re el 9: 0189. 157 106 “per fec tly delig hted” with the Of fice ’s broc hure. H e noted, “ the subject matter is ex actly the kind that I want to see widely broadc ast.” As the editor of his town’s newspape r, Perr y 154 i n f o r m e d D a v i s t h a t h e w a s p l a n n i n g t o r e p r o d u c e i m m e d i a t e l y Tal e of a Cit y without any c on te nt o r s ty lis tic c ha ng e s. Stu a rt Pe rr y wa s c e rt a inl y no t a n e pic fi g ur e . H ow e ve r, his le tte r i s signific ant bec ause it validate s the Off ice’ s ability to shape the public discour se at va rious social strata. I n addition to the mill ions of copies other wise distributed, the citizens of Adrian, Michig an, possessed a n additional medium throug h which to lear n about the Amer ican f ight a g a i n s t b i g o t r y. “I am ver y g lad to know that y ou liked Tal e of a City , ” D i r e c t o r D a v i s w r o t e i n r e p l y . “ It ha s a s w ide a dis tr ibu tio n a s o ur bu dg e t c ou ld p e rm it, a nd the re c e pti on ha s b e e n q uit e g ratify ing.” Davis re ceive d additional plaudits from within the aca demy . “You a re to be 155 c on g ra tul a te d o n th e e xce lle nc e of y ou r p a mph le t Tal e of A City ,” wr ote Dr. D oug las Hill at Duke Unive rsity . The prof essor’s c losing, pe rhaps obliquely noting the doc ument’s educ ative purpose, c hara cter ized the effor t as “one of the be st of its kind.” The most compelling rea ction 156 came from an or g anization called “A merica n Fr iends of Polish Democra cy .” The g roup’s repr esenta tive termed the Tale of a Ci ty a “w onderf ul contribution to the Pol ish-Allied cause .” Th is p ri va te a sso c ia tio n w a s n ot s pe c if ic a lly c on c e rn e d w ith the fa te of Eu ro pe a n Jew ry , b ut i t asked pe rmission to reprint the publication in its newsletter. This ag ain shows a lay ering in the 157 pu bli c dis c ou rs e , b ro ug ht a bo ut d ir e c tly fr om t he Of fi c e of War I nf or ma tio n b ro c hu re , w hic h in

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I bid., pt. 1, Davis to L odg e Jr., April 2, 1943, reel 9: 0178. 158 I bid., pt. 1, L amber t to Davis, April 15, 1943, ree l 9: 0177. 159 107 turn ref lected a larg er de cision to disseminate war storie s that cover ed more than military matters. Tale of a Ci ty also attrac ted cong ressional a ttention. I n an Apr il 1943 letter to Senator He nr y Ca bo t L od g e Jr., Di re c tor Da vis e xpla ine d th e imp or ta nc e of pu bli c izin g a tr oc ity inf or ma tio n. “ Al l a va ila ble e vid e nc e po int s to the fa c t th a t mo st A me ri c a ns sti ll h a ve lit tle a c c ur a te c on c e pti on of wh a t do min a tio n b y the Na zis m e a ns ,” he inf or me d th e Ma ssa c hu se tts senator. “ Tal e of a City il lu s tr a te s f r o m a c o n c r e te e xa mp le w h a t h a p p e n s u n d e r N a zi occupa tion.” Noting his a g ency ’s commitment to publiciz ing suc h stories, the letter c losed by rela y ing tha t “the pamphlet ha s been w idely repr inted by a g rea t many newspa pers throug hout the country .” 158 Ho we v er , n o t al l t h e f ee d b ac k d i s cu s s i n g Tal e of a City was supportive. Some c itiz ens disputed the pamphlet’s a ccur acy ; others re sented the f eder al g overnme nt’s eff ort to fra me the war as a de fense of minority rig hts. Such disapproving replies do not mitiga te the pre vious expressions of praise. Rathe r, the more meaning ful point is that the Office of War I nformation—and, spe cifica lly the dec ision to j oin sociocultural issues into discussion of the war —had provoke d a conve rsation with the Amer ican public. A. B . L a mbe rt fr om S t. L ou is, Mis so ur i, w ro te on Ap ri l 15 , 1 94 3. He e xpre sse d h is opinion that “the publication was unc alled for and out of line with the Of fice of War I nformation’s bur eauc ratic pur pose.” L amber t rejec ted the pamphlet a s “an e motional appeal with cer tain social infer ence s.” Simi lar sentiments ar rived fr om Mrs. Fritz Downey in Kansas 159 City , M iss ou ri . Sh e dis lik e d “ the pr op a g a nd a pa mph le t Tal e of a City .” Que stioning the a g ency ’s

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I bid., pt. 1, Downey to Davis, April 29, 1943, re el 9: 0183. 160 J oseph Goe bbels rec orded a simil ar obse rvation. See Elke Fr ohlich, ed., Di e 161 Tag e bü c he r v on J os e ph Go e bb e ls (Ne w York: Saur, 1987) , pt. 2, (April-June 1943), 8: 214. “O.W.I . Chief Places B an on Politics,” W as hin gto n P os t , Marc h 18, 1943. 162 I bid. 163 See Winkler, Politics , 37. 164 108 decision to “use public f unds for such a purpose,” her le tter closed by asking the Off ice to “tr y and limit the amount of resourc es direc ted to such stories.” 160 That spring , some leg islators beg an pay ing c loser attention to Off ice of War I nformation pu bli c a tio ns . Co ng re ssi on a l c on c e rn s c e nte re d o n th e a g e nc y ’s un us ua l bu re a uc ra tic str uc tur e : it s motion picture, radio, a nd publications divisions . Some claimed that the Of fice of War I nformation—with a state d interest in cr afting white propa g anda—w as the c ounterpa rt to the Nazi’s Reich Propag anda Ministry . Such criticism quickly took a toll. “O.W.I . can be no more 161 conce rned w ith polit ics than the Ar my or the Na vy ,” Dire ctor Da vis stated in a Marc h 1943 W as hin gto n P os t story . “The Offic e’s job is not to make policy but to help people under stand 162 what it is and why .” 163 Howeve r, the de cision to employ white propa g anda to sc ulpt sociocultural and political attitudes proved a serious liability . During the spring 1943, two additional brochur es soon attrac ted public and c ong ressional ire . The Life of F ra nk lin De lan o R oo se v e lt outrag ed Re pu bli c a n la wm a ke rs wh o a sk e d w hy a Ne w D e a l a g e nc y us e d it s le g isl a tiv e a pp ro pr ia tio n to extol the chief executive. A more ambitious effort, Negroes and the W ar , proved f ar c ostlier. L eg islators from both cha mbers of Cong ress be g an to contest the O ffice ’s ef forts to imbue the wa r e ff or t w ith plu ra lis t po lit ic a l un de rt on e s. 164

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Re c or ds , e d. Cul be rt , p t. 1 , T a be r t o D a vis , M a rc h 1 , 1 94 3, re e l 12 : 03 57 . Se e a lso 165 “Ta ber A ttacks O.W.I .,” W as hin gto n P os t , Marc h 5, 1943. I bid., pt. 1, Davis to Taber , Marc h 4, 1943, ree l 12: 0364-65. 166 I bid. 167 109 J ohn Tabe r, the ra nking me mber on the H ouse Appropr iations Comm ittee, was particula rly critica l. I n a letter to Elmer Davis, the N ew Yor k Republican e x presse d his view that in the Life of F ra nk lin De lan o R oo se v e lt the a g e nc y ha d f a r e xce e de d it s ma nd a te to “ c oo rd ina te a n in te lli g e nt u nd e rs ta nd ing of the wa r e ff or t.” Th e le g isl a tor pe pp e re d th e dir e c tor wi th 165 numerous questions re lated to the topic’s se lection, its distribut ion levels, and c osts. Davis re plied quickly , if coy ly , to the inquiry . He e x plained that the Of fice ’s over seas division, run by Robert Sherwood, w as re sponsible for the Fr an k lin brochur e. The publication had no domestic distribution; only Americ an troops stationed in Europe had re ceive d the materia l. The direc tor repor ted the existence of f ive hundre d thousand copies, pr inted at a c ost of almost $14,000. “I cannot se e any political propag anda in the bookle t,” he e arne stly observe d. “I t has bee n a pra ctice in Ame rica since 1776 to identify the pre sident as a sy mbol for the entire na tio n. ” Hi s c los ing wa s a wh ims ic a l c omb ina tio n o f c on c ili a tio n a nd c a nd or . “ I f y ou wo uld 166 lik e fu rt he r e luc ida tio n a s to wh a t w e a re tr y ing to d o a t th e Of fi c e a nd wh y ,” he wr ote , “ I wo uld be ver y happy if y ou would come down a nd lunch with me some day next week.” “ I t is true that we a re c oming up be fore Congr ess to ask for next y ear ’s appr opriation,” he informed the c omm itt e e ’s ra nk ing me mbe r. “ B ut I a ssu re y ou tha t th is i nv ita tio n [to lun c h] is no t in a ny se ns e an ende avor to diver t or neutra liz e y our cr iticisms.” 167 T a b e r w a s n o t i n t e r e s t e d i n d i n i n g w i t h D a v i s . O n e w e e k l a t e r , h e s e n t t h e a g e n c y a scathing letter de tailing wha t he believe d to be g rave err ors in judgme nt. I n ref ere nce to the Franklin publication, he cha stised the ag ency ’s over t politi cization: “We are now eng ag ed in a

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I bid., pt. 1, Taber to Da vis, March 11, 1943, r eel 12: 0361. 168 I bid., 0362. 169 I bid ., pt. 1, Ta be r t o D a vis , M a rc h 1 1, 19 43 , r e e l 12 : 03 63 . Se e a lso Shulman, Voice , 170 13-14; L arson, “ Domestic,” 434; a nd Ba rnes, “ Fig hting,” 35-38. 110 war ag ainst those enemies w ho embra ce the public deifica tion of one man a s the leade r of a country .” “T hat y ou are copy ing one of the most hideous eleme nts of Nazism and fasc ism,” he continued, “is a startling thing .” Snidely addre ssing Da vis’s claim that the publication wa s an 168 overse as ende avor, Ta ber note d, “I will acce pt that y our rig ht hand does not know wha t y our left hand is up to.” I n closing , he fur ther dispar ag ed the Of fice ’s movie and r adio prog rams as 169 “subtle propa g anda a nd drivel distributed under the name a nd at the expense of the Offic e as officia l matter.” 170 This outrag e ca ptured the br ewing cong ressional ba cklash for ming a g ainst Davis’s activist ag ency , and spec ifically the ef fort to fra me discussions of the wa r broa dly . Tal e of a City ha d r e su lte d in re la tiv e ly fe w p ro ble ms, a nd pe rh a ps The Life of F ra nk lin De lan o R oo se v e lt was i n n o cu o u s . No t h i n g, h o we v er , i n s u l at ed t h e O ff i ce o f W ar I n fo rm at i o n fo l l o wi n g Negroes and the W ar . Al s o ap p ea ri n g i n s p ri n g 1 9 4 3 , wi t h 2 . 5 m i l l i o n co p i es p ri n t ed , t h i s s i x t y -n i n ep age tome was the O ffice ’s larg est publication. I ts sweeping scope a nd massive distribution demonstrated the ag ency ’s commitment to using taxpay er f unds to sculpt a new discour se of rac ial toleranc e and c oopera tion. However , the broc hure/book provoke d citizens li ving in the southern United States, who r ejec ted its overt ef forts at socia l eng ineer ing. On Marc h 18, 1943, at the same time that Elmer Davis wor ked at plac ating Congr essman Tabe r, Senator John Bankhe ad also c ontacted the embattled ag ency . The Ala baman De mocra t reg istered c oncer n with the Ne gr oe s pu bli c a tio n, a nd he re qu e ste d th e do c ume nts ’ o ve ra ll c os ts and distribution levels. The sena tor explained that he only first bec ame a war e of the matter a fter

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Re c or ds , ed. Culbert, pt. 1, B ankhea d to Davis, Marc h 18, 1943, ree l 9: 0194. 171 I bid., Davis to Ba nkhead, Ma rch 26, 1943, r eel 9: 0195. Ne gr oe s cost $85,000. See 172 ibid., pt. 1, reel 8: 0434. I bid., pt. 1, Overton to Davis, Apr il 15, 1943, reel 9: 0198. 173 I bid. 174 111 a c on sti tue nt r e c e ive d th e c on sp ic uo us ly size d ma ili ng un so lic ite d. Th e c iti zen wa s r e po rt e dly a la rm e d th a t th e fe de ra l g ov e rn me nt t oo k s uc h a n e xten siv e us e of pu bli c re so ur c e s to a dd re ss this particular issue. 171 Davis re plied to Senator B ankhea d within a wee k. The ra pidity of his response ref lected his a wa re ne ss t ha t th e Of fi c e ha d s uc c e e de d in pr ov ok ing a c on tr ov e rs ia l pu bli c de ba te . H is le tte r b e g a n b y pr ov idi ng se ve ra l ba sic fa c ts a bo ut Negroes : “A total number of two-andonehalf million pamphlets were printed at a n estimated cost of se venty -two thousand dollars.” He e xpla ine d th a t di str ibu tio n o c c ur re d p ri ma ri ly thr ou g h “ Ne g ro or g a niza tio ns ,” a lth ou g h “ pu bli c libraries” also rec eived some c opies. The de cision to bind a domestic rac ial issue to the larg er 172 milit ary eff ort was not ca pricious, nor wa s it incongr uent with past ag ency behavior s. Earlier that month the Office ’s sec ond-larg est domestic publication had c alled for a def ense of Europe’ s Jew s; n ow its la rg e st p ro je c t la ud e d A fr ic a n A me ri c a ns . Senator John Overton, a L ouisianan De mocra t, termed such a ctions “dang erous.” He 173 c ha rg e d D a vis a nd his sta ff wi th p ro mot ing ra c ia l a nta g on ism . E nc los e d w ith his corr espondenc e, the leg islator included a r esolution from the Shreve port, L ouisiana, Chamber of Com me rc e . “ We r e je c t,” the do c ume nt r e a d, “ e ff or ts t o p la c e the Ne g ro on the sa me so c ia l ba sis as the Cauc asian.” I n his closing, Sena tor Over ton stated that the Off ice of War I nformation 174

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I bid. 175 I bid., pt. 1., Hach to B y rd, April 19, 1943, re el 9: 0203. 176 I bid., pt. 1, Davis to By rd, June 30, 1943, reel 9: 0207. 177 “ L ite ra ry F ile ,” “ Sin a i T e mpl e ,” bo x 47, Ma c L e ish Pa pe rs . 178 112 ha d li ttl e un de rs ta nd ing of the so uth , “ wh e re the tw o r a c e s h a ve be e n li vin g sid e by sid e in perf ect ha rmony and mutual worka ble under standing .” 175 As was the c ase w ith Tal e of a City , the neg ative letter s never theless hinted at the Offic e’s suc cess in provoking public discourse. C. H. Ha ch of Richmond, Virg inia, rec og nized, but did not agr ee w ith the Office ’s tactic. H e sent a disapproving letter via the office s of Senator Har ry By rd (DVA). “ How does this publication help the wa r ef fort? ” The letter c losed with the sta te me nt t ha t “ thi s ma wk ish , g lor if y ing ha nd -o ut, be a ri ng the Go ve rn me nt P ri nti ng Of fi c e la be l, is a rea l waste of public mone y .” 176 Ho we ve r, a s D ir e c tor Da vis sta te d in his re ply , th e Of fi c e ’s a dmi nis tr a tor s sa w v a lue in the publication. “The Offic e fe els that its responsibilit y to convey information about the wa r inc lud e s p ro vid ing inf or ma tio n o f p a rt ic ula r i nte re st t o mi no ri ty g ro up s. ” Expr e ssi ng a ra tio na le that Arc hibald MacL eish had e arlier outlined, the letter c losed with the statement that “the pamphlet was w ritten specif ically to countera ct ene my propag anda de signe d to foment rac ial discord in this country .” 177 I nd e e d, a lth ou g h n o lo ng e r w or kin g wi th t he Of fi c e of War I nf or ma tio n, Ar c hib a ld MacL eish’s footprint had r emained in the a g ency . He a lso continued to publiciz e his support for social and r elig ious tolerance to private a udience s. I n a Nove mber 1943 spee ch deliver ed bef ore Chicag o’s Sinai Temple F orum, he e x plained, “the field of ba ttle today is men’s minds and opinions.” The United States wa s not simpl y try ing to “ conquer cities, islands, eleva tions or 178

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I bid. 179 Davis re ceive d some enc ourag ing ne ws from Capitol Hill. Appropriations Commit tee 180 member John Coffee ( D-WA) wr ote him a letter de clar ing, “ I am re sentful of the idiotic and absurd de nunciations of the O.W.I ., obviously g ener ated f or political purposes.” See ibid., pt. 1, Coffee to Davis, ree l 12: 7652. Richard Steele , Fr e e Sp e e c h in the Go od W ar (Ne w York: St. Martin’s, 1999), 1017; 181 L eslie De Ba uche, Ree l Patrioti sm: The Mov ies and W orld W ar One (M a dis on : U niv e rs ity of Wisconsin P ress, 1997), 1078; Stephen Vaug hn, Ho ldi ng Pa st t he In ne r Lin e s: Democ racy, Nationalism and the Committee on Public Information (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Pre ss, 1980), 37-38. 113 continents.” The larg er obje ctive involved the “ expansion of human fre edoms.” As President 179 Roosevelt first observe d when outlining his F our F ree doms declar ation, such civil liberties we re the collec tive rew ards f or all who re jected ty ranny and intolera nce. I n prac tical terms, howe ver, the decision to bind sociocultural a nd political issues to the larg er military eff ort spelled disaster for the O ffice of War I nformation. Only one y ear afte r the president ha d first devised the a g ency , Represe ntative J ohn Tabe r (R-NY ), in direc t retaliation for the inc endiar y brochur es, orc hestrate d a massive r eduction in its appropria tion. I n 1944, the domestic branc h rec eived a token budg et, leaving Direc tor Davis and his staf f inca pable of further sculpting public nor ms. The a g ency joined a stocke d g rave y ard, f ull of New D eal 180 ag encie s that had succ umbed to political pressure s. Although the pluralist worldview that a g ency of fi c ia ls p re fe rr e d e ve ntu a lly too k r oo t in the U. S., c on g re ssm e n a nd c iti zen s a lik e vie we d w ith sk e pti c ism a g ov e rn me ntc on tr oll e d in fo rm a tio n a pp a ra tus . I n th e ide olo g ic a l c on te sts of the Se c on d Wo rl d Wa r, the Am e ri c a n “ F ou r F re e do ms” contra sted favor ably with the Ger man “F inal Soluti on.” The Offic e of War I nformation’s decision to fra me the fig hting a s part of a larg er g lobal strug g le for c ore de mocra tic values pr ov e d c on tr ov e rs ia l. H ow e ve r, if the fe de ra l g ov e rn me nt f a ile d d ur ing the F ir st Wo rl d Wa r t o captur e the public’ s imag ination, the Off ice of War I nformation re prese nted a f ar more 181

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114 ambitious effort. I ts administrators and staff outlined a new imag e for Americ ans, one tha t welcome d a diver sity of minority issues into the mainstream. After the Off ice of War I nformation ce ased its domestic publications, public opposition toward N azi anti-Semiti sm—and rela ted forms of intoler ance —rema ined appa rent. Citiz en or g a niza tio ns , p a rt ic ula rl y int e re st g ro up s, too k a dv a nta g e of the iss ue ’s e xpos ur e a nd a pp e a l. During late 1943 and 1944, a more thoug htful and dy namic discourse emer g ed, one tha t int ro du c e d s c or e s o f a dd iti on a l pe op le to t he e ff or t. T he mom e ntu m g e ne ra te d b y thi s a c tiv ity would lead to an institutionaliz ation of Amer ican opposition, ultim ately dwar fing all forms of pu bli c re sis ta nc e tha t ha d p re c e de d it .

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U.S. Congre ss, House Committ ee on F oreig n Affa irs, Problems of W orld W ar Two and 1 It s A fte rm ath Part I I (Washington, D.C.: Gove rnment Printing Of fice , 1976), 15. He rea fter c ited a s Problems . New Y ork Times , Fe bruar y 16, 1943. 2 I bid. 3 F or mor e on the a dv e rt ise me nt, se e L ouis Rapoport, Shake H eave n and Earth: Peter 4 Bergson and the Struggle to Resc ue the J ews of Europe (Ne w York: Ge fen, 1999) , 78; and Sara h Peck, “T he Campaig n for a n Americ an Response to the N azi Holocaust, 1943-1945,” Journal of Contemporary History 15 (1980): 371. 115 CH APT ER 5 I NTEREST-GROUP ADVO CATES PUS H FO R A MORE TANGI BL E RESP ONSE,-1942-1943 The Ame rica n tradition of justice and huma nity dictates that a ll possibl e mea ns be employ ed. The Senate r ecommends a nd urg es the c rea tion by the President of a commission of diplom atic, ec onomic, and military experts to formulate and e ffe ctuate a plan of immediate a ction desig ned to save the re maining Jewish people of Europe f rom exti nction at the hands of Nazi Germa ny . —S Res. 203; Adopted Unanimously by the Chamber on D ece mber 21, 1943 1 Reade rs of the Ne w York Tim e s might have been sta rtled on F ebrua ry 16, 1943, by the full-pag e adve rtisement that appe are d on pag e ele ven. I n bold, capitalized letters, wha t appea red to be a ba nner he adline re ported, “ For Sale to Humanity : Seventy Thousand Jews: Guara nteed Human B eing s at Fifty Dollars a Piec e.” I n the ac company ing te x t, America ns were informed, 2 “Rumania is tired of killing J ews. I t has killed one hundre d thousand of them in the last two y ear s. Rumania will now give these Jews awa y for pr actica lly nothing.” Also appea ring on the 3 pa g e —a nd se t a t a dia g on a l a ng le to a ttr a c t a tte nti on —w a s a ty pe d b us ine ss l e tte r p oin te dly addre ssed to the “F our F ree doms.” The short messa g e re ad: “I know that y ou are very busy . For that rea son, I am writing an ad. T hey are easie r and quic ker to re ad than stories.” 4

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For Hec ht and opposition to Nazi anti-Semitism, s ee William MacAda ms, Be n H e c ht: 5 The Man behind the Lege nd (Ne w York: Scribne r, 1990), 236; Doug Fe therling , The Five Live s of Ben He cht (Toronto: L ester a nd Orpe n, 1977), 131, 138; and B en He cht, A Child of t he Ce ntu ry (Ne w York: Simon and Schuster, 1954), 2336. The Ame rica n painter N orman Rockwe ll visually depicted the se four ideas in an 6 identically entitled series. I n April 1943, for f our succ essive we eks, the Sa tur da y Ev e nin g P os t repr inted his image s on their cove r pag e. See Stuart Murray and James McCabe, Norman Rock well’s Four Freedom s: Image s That Inspire a Nat ion (Stockbridg e, Mass.: B erkshire House, 1993). For the “Committee for a J ewish Army ,” see David Wy man and Raf ael Me doff, A Race 7 ag ain st D e ath : P e te r B e rg so n, Am e ric a a nd the Ho loc au st (Ne w York: F ree Press, 2002), 19-24; Rapoport, Shake 36-52; and Pec k, “Campaig n,” 374-76. 116 The letter ’s sig natory was the pr ominent America n journalist and Holly wood sc re e nw ri te r B e n H e c ht. B y the 19 40 s, He c ht w a s a we llkn ow n c ult ur a l f ig ur e wh os e fi lm 5 cre dits included The Front Page (1928), Scarface (1932), Gone with the W ind (1939), a nd Some Lik e It Ho t (1939). His de cision to refe renc e the F our F ree doms sugg ested that the me taphor re ma ine d a re le va nt d e vic e fo r r oo tin g dis c us sio ns of the wa r. Mu c h li ke the pr e sid e nt a nd his 6 a dmi nis tr a tor s a t th e Of fi c e of War I nf or ma tio n, He c ht s a w i n th e de c la ra tio n a n e xplic it Am e ri c a n p ro mis e to u ph old re lig iou s f re e do ms. With re po rt s o f t he Na zi on sla ug ht a g a ins t Europe’ s J ews a ppear ing mor e fr equently , that was pre cisely the sort of g uara ntee that c oncer ned citizens wanted the g overnme nt to honor. I n this newspaper adver tisement, Hec ht was not simply convey ing his pe rsonal sentiments. Rather, an inter est g roup ca lled the “Committee for a J ewish Army ” had pa id for the lay out. Ba sed in New York City , a Palestinian Jew named Peter Be rg son (aka Hillel Kook) founded this org anization to raise support for his idea that the U.S. g overnme nt should arm Palestinian J ews to attac k Nazi force s in the Middle East. During 1942-44, the so-c alled 7 Be rg son Boy s dispersed ne ws of the unf olding g enocide throug hout Washington, D.C., New York, B oston, Chicag o, Philadelphia, and L os Ang eles. B erg son, Hec ht, and the numer ous

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Wy man and Me doff, Race , 25. 12 As quoted in Wy man and Me doff, Race , 80. 13 See, for example, Bria n Ander son and B urdett L oomis, “Taking Org anization 14 Seriously : The Structure of I ntere st Group I nfluenc e,” in Allan Cig ler a nd Bur dett L oomis, eds., In te re st G ro up Po lit ic s, 5th ed. (Washing ton, D.C.: Congre ssional Quarte rly Press, 1998), 84; Wil liam Brow ne, Cul tiv ati ng Con gr e ss (L awr ence : University Press of Ka nsas, 1995), 136; John Mark Ha nsen, “The Polit ical Ec onomy of Group Me mbership,” American P olitical Science Rev iew 9 (1985): 79-81; a nd Mancur Olson, The Logic of Col lective Action (Cambridg e: Har vard University Press, 1965), 51-52. 118 This most unl ikely fig ure in the story of the Ame rica n response to the Holocaust a rrived in the United States in J uly 1940. A slight man w ith fine-g raine d blond hair and be specta cled blue ey es, he spoke Eng lish with a British acc ent that “sque aked” when he was e x cited. 12 B e rg so n, ho we ve r, po sse sse d in na te c ha ri sma , mo xie, a nd int e lli g e nc e . Co ng re ssm a n Wil l Roge rs J r. re collecte d: “B erg son never made his appe al on the Jewish basis. . . . I wouldn’t have acc epted it on that basis either .” The Californian De mocra t was one of many Americ ans who believed “ the U.S. should do something about it [ge nocide] whether the victims were J ews or Cherokee s.” The list of the per sons who at some point lent their name or talents to Be rg son’s 13 e ff or ts s tr e tc he d f ro m Ma rl on B ra nd o a nd F ra nk Sin a tr a , to Ha rr y S. T ru ma n a nd Mr s. Roosevelt. D i d t h e s e p e o p l e s p e a k o u t o w i n g t o k i n d r e d s ym p a t h y? O r d i d t h e i r c o m m e n t s b e t r a y a subtler, more dispassionate support borne of a g ener al disinclination toward statesponsored violence? These Gordian que stions require de ep conside ration. What compels intere st-g roup fo rm a tio n a nd a c tiv ity ? Why do pe op le mob ili ze i n s up po rt of sp e c if ic c a us e s? I n th e pu bli c 14 campa ign tha t Be rg son directe d, the motivating f actor appea red to be outrag e over the “F inal Soluti on,” which ha d sprung in turn from an e arlier disgust with Nazi anti-Semitism; toge ther they provided B erg son a fe rtile g round for mobiliz ing a g rowing political support.

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Monroe B illington and Cal Clark, “ Rabbis and the Ne w Dea l: Cl ues to J ewish Politi cal 15 Be havior,” Am e ric an J e wis h H ist or y 80 (1990): 195. As quoted in Wy man and Me doff, Race , 80. 16 Rapoport, Shake , 82. 17 Wy man and Me doff, Race , 26. 18 119 Peter B erg son also pioneer ed new forms of a dvocac y . He pa id litt le mind to the tradition that found Jewish American or g anizations treading quietly in their approa ch to the cor ridors of power . Be rg son pref err ed a ple bian strateg y , soliciting a w ide ra ng e of political off ices. He 15 lob bie d th e De pa rt me nt o f N a vy , I nte ri or De pa rt me nt, Tr e a su ry De pa rt me nt, Sta te De pa rt me nt, President’s War Relief Control Boar d, as we ll as score s of member s on Capitol Hill . “B erg son was a strang er c oming in the door ,” one of ficial late r re collecte d. “I assumed he ha d just been walking around ba ng ing on door s and he ha ppened to ba ng on my door at this particula r time.” 16 Moreove r, while some Jews fea red tha t public discussions of Nazi anti-Semiti sm might ignite similarly held domestic passions, B erg son rooted his advoc acy in the supposition t hat Americ ans would uphold the universa l rig ht to worship. As his interest g roup’s letter to the 17 F ou r F re e do ms s ug g e ste d, the B e rg so nit e s b e lie ve d th a t th e Un ite d St a te s w a s f ig hti ng on be ha lf of a la rg er Judeo-Christian ethic. Dur ing 194244, he unwound a basic messa g e that an un c he c ke d g e no c ide bli g hte d a ll h uma nk ind . H is e ff or t pr od uc e d a sp a te of ne w a nd un lik e ly allies, as both public offic ials and private citizens reg istered their support for his messag e. Con g re ssm a n A nd re w So me rs wa s o ne su c h p e rs on . So me rs wa s a n I ri sh Ca tho lic Democr at who re prese nted a wor kingclass district in New Y ork City . First ele cted in 1925, Somers had re corde d no previous stateme nts about J ews. F ollowing a n unsolicited visit from Peter B erg son, howeve r, the c ong ressman be g an publicly to condemn Na zi anti-S emitism. He also volunteere d the use of his off ice spa ce a nd secr etar ial staff. Somers delivere d floor 18

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Andre w Somers, Congressional Record, H 77th Cong., 2nd se ss. (May 24, 1942): 19 A1706. Kelly Patterson, “The Polit ical F irepowe r of the N ational Rifle Association,” in Cig ler 20 and L oomis, eds., In te re st , 129. J ohn Ding ell, Congressional Record, H 76th Cong., 3r d sess. (De cembe r 3, 1941): 21 9398. I bid. 22 120 speec hes written by Be rg son’s lieutenants, and of fer ed re solutions pertaining to Jewish welfar e. I n his remar ks and off icial submissions, t he leg islator advanc ed the f amiliar pluralist claim that ending relig ious persec ution in Europe was pa rt and pa rce l of the Amer ican vision for humankind. 19 Con g re ssm a n So me rs wa s n ot t he on ly me mbe r w ho , a t B e rg so n’ s b e he st, of fe re d th e se ty pe s o f r a tio na le s. Du ri ng the Se ve nty -s ixth a nd Se ve nty -s e ve nth (1 93 943 ) C on g re sse s, Be rg son and his associate s orche strated more than a dozen pre written insertions into the Con gr e ssi on al R e c or d . This proce ss is most interesting when nonJ ewish member s with no pr e vio us ly re c or de d a c tiv ity e xpre sse d h ig hly sp e c if ie d p os iti on s. Pol iti c a l sc ie nti sts g e ne ra lly ob se rv e thi s so rt of be ha vio r— tha t is , in te re st g ro up s u sin g the ir sw a y to h a ve fa vo ra ble su bmi ssi on s in c lud e d a s p a rt of the pu bli c re c or d— in m uc h la te r C on g re sse s. Th a t th is 20 oc c ur re d d ur ing the e a rl y 19 40 s, a nd in c on ne c tio n w ith the iss ue of op po sin g Na zi a nti Semitis m, remains unexplored. Ta ke , f or e xamp le , a sta te me nt o ff e re d b y Con g re ssm a n Joh n D ing e ll Sr . ( DMI ). I n h is c omm e nts , th e po we rf ul m idw e ste rn le g isl a tor fo llo we d a te mpl a te of B e rg so npe nn e d r e ma rk s. Four day s prior to the Japanese a ttack ag ainst Pearl Ha rbor, Ding ell observe d, “millions of J ews i n E u ro p e h av e b ee n d ep ri v ed o f t h ei r e l em en t ar y h u m an ri gh t s . ” “T h es e p eo p l e a re we ar i n g a 21 y ellow badg e,” he informed his collea g ues. “I say that the badg e is one of c ourag e and honor .” 22

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I bid. 23 Geor g e Gr ant, Congressional Record, H 77th Cong., 2nd se ss. (J uly 7, 1942): A2659. 24 Richard Ga le, Con gr e ssi on al R e c or d , H 77th Cong., 2nd se ss. (J uly 13, 1942): A2714. 25 121 I n closing , Ding ell expli citly connec ted B erg son’s pleas f or aid to a de fense of the F our Fr eedoms. “ We must support t he Jews of the world,” he thunder ed. “T he ca use,” he exclaimed, was roote d in “dec ency , democr acy , the four f ree doms, and humanity .” 23 Peter B erg son succe eded in stoking a nea r-dor mant cong ressional discour se that had opposed Na zi anti-S emitism during the pr ior dec ade. T he member s’ names a nd states had ch an ged , b u t t h e u rge t o co n d em n as ab h o rr en t Na z i m ea s u re s re m ai n ed co n s i s t en t . Ge o rge Gra nt, an Alaba man, expressed a n uncannily prec ise g rasp of the dire situation. “I f any g roup of pe op le sh ou ld h a te Hi tle ri sm, a nd tha t w ha t it sta nd s f or , it is t he Jew ish ra c e .” Ad op tin g so me c on sp ic uo us ly we ll h on e d lo g ic , th e Di xiec ra t me mbe r r e a so ne d, “ Jew s k no w t ha t H itl e r w a nts to ext erminate them from the f ace of the e arth.” 24 The United States would not off icially acknow ledg e a G erma n prog ram of e x termination fo r f ive a dd iti on a l mo nth s. Ne ws of the kil lin g s h a d p re vio us ly re a c he d We ste rn ou tpo sts , b ut i t rema ins notable that a sec ond-term membe r fr om the Dee p South possessed such detailed kn ow le dg e . T his pa tte rn re a pp e a re d th e ne xt we e k, wh e n a no the r n on -Je wi sh me mbe r f ro m a re g ion we ll o uts ide the No rt he a st e nte re d a sta te me nt a bo ut t he ne e d to of fe r A me ri c a n a id t o Eu ro pe ’s e nd a ng e re d Jew s. Con g re ssm a n Ri c ha rd Ga le (R -M N) wo n h is e le c tio n to the Ho us e in 1941. His sentiments in a piece entitled “Jewish Army ” we re both a ccur ate a nd g rim. “The Jews ha ve no ill us ion s a s to the ir fa te ,” he wr ote . N oti ng tha t th e g e no c ide po se d a thr e a t to a ll, Ga le closed his piece with the observa tion, “Their [J ews] cold-blooded slaug hter, butche ry , and liq uid a tio n r e nd e rs hu ma nk ind vu lne ra ble to t he nig htm a re of Pol a nd , th e c on c e ntr a tio n c a mps , and extinction.” 25

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Phili p Tray nor, Congressional Record, H 77th Cong., 2nd se ss. (J uly 14, 1942): 26 A2744. Hec ht, Chi ld , 553. 27 122 The ne x t day , Delaw are Democr at Philip Tray nor ente red r emar ks that were even mor e incisive. L ike his colleag ues fr om Alabama a nd Minnesota, Tra y nor wa s a non-Jewish, freshma n member w ho believed tha t a def ense of J udaism was consona nt with the basic tene ts of Americ an socie ty . Represe ntative Tra y nor had r ecor ded no prior, nor did he re cord a ny subsequent, re marks about Jewish issues. His submi ssion, entitled “Nee d for a J ewish Army ,” cre dited the B erg sonites directly . “I n this trag ic conf lict we must be for or ag ainst the J ews,” he arg ued. “H itler has chose n to make them his specia l targ et.” This choic e wa s part of a larg er showdown betwe en “r ight, wr ong , g ood, and evil.” I n these e x pressions of support—a nd there 26 wer e more than a dozen submissions recorde d during summer 1942—Christian members noted a sociocultural a nd political value assoc iated with conde mning Na zi i ntoleranc e. The se member s embra ced the issue of dec ry ing G erma n bigotr y as a shibboleth for signa ling their larg er c omm itm e nt t o p ro mot ing plu ra lis m. Be rg son ultim ately retre ated f rom his Capitol Hil l lobby ing c ampaig n without obtaining any provisions to outfit a Palestini an Jewish army . I nstead, his new obje ctive bec ame r aising levels of public a war eness a bout the Nazi prog ram of mur der via a thea trical pa g eant e ntitled We W ill Ne v e r D ie (1943). The play repr esente d a smart a nd acc essible medium throug h which tens of tho us a nd s o f A me ri c a ns le a rn e d a bo ut t he Na zi a ssa ult on Eu ro pe a n Jew ry . B e n H e c ht w ro te the story line; he and B erg son secur ed the f inancial ba cking . An expansive and e x pensive 27 production, the pa g eant f eatur ed some of the period’s most popular ta lent, including B illy Rose,

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Robert Rosen, Sa v ing the J e ws: FD R a nd the Ho loc au st (Ne w York: Thunde r’s Mouth, 28 2006), 327. Palestine Statehood Committee Pape rs, 1939 1949, ed. Ka therine Mor ton 29 (Wilm ington: Scholar ly Resource s, 1982), re el 8. See a lso W hitfield, “Pag eantr y ,” 240; and Robert Skloot, “We W ill Never D ie: The Succ ess and F ailure of a Holoca ust Page ant,” The atr e Journal 37 (1985): 162-84. “Save the J ewish People of E urope,” W as hin gto n P os t , A pr il 1 1, 19 43 . Se e a lso 30 Rapoport, Shake , 75. Palestine , ed. Morton, re el 8: 0238; Rosen, Saving , 326. 31 Whit field, “Politics,” 240. 32 123 Ed mu nd G. R ob in so n, S id Ca esar , De an M art in , an d Bur gess M ered it h. Th e fi ft y -pi ece NBC 28 orche stra per formed the score . I t opened on Ma rch 9, 1943, w hen ac tors play ed two perf ormanc es in one da y befor e sold out audienc es in Madison Square G arde n. 29 The Apr il 12, 1943, perfor mance in Washington, D.C., was pa rticularly important beca use it provided B erg son with an alterna tive medium for per suasion. The show’ s perf ormanc e date contained political unde rtones as it occ urre d shortly befor e an A merica nAng lo confe renc e conve ned to discuss Europe an wa r re fug ees. I n the day s and we eks lea ding up t o t h e p ro d u ct i o n , Be rgs o n an d He ch t i n cr ea s ed t h ei r a d v o ca cy . T h ey p l ac ed an o t h er fu l l -p age newspa per a d in the W as hin gto n P os t under the headline “ Action Not Pity .” He cht wrote an e dit or ia l th a t a g a in o utl ine d th e g ro up ’s ma xim th a t g e no c ide ra va g e d b oth Jew s a nd Chr ist ia ns . 30 Actors pe rfor med W e W ill N eve r Die befor e two for ty -foot tablets e tched in He brew and intended to re plicate the T en Commandments. An illuminated Star of David hung above the stag e. The pa g eant be g an with nar rators—B urg ess Mere dith, Paul Muni , and Edwa rd G. 31 Robinson—reading off a “roll ca ll” of Jewish contributors to W estern soc iety . Some of the na me s in c lud e d M os e s, Sig mun d F re ud , a nd Al be rt Ei ns te in. Th e se c on d a c t, c a lle d “ Jew s in 32 the War ,” re tol d s tor ie s o f Je wi sh Am e ri c a n s a c ri fi c e s in bo th t he F ir st a nd Se c on d Wo rl d Wa rs .

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Hec ht, Chi ld , 557-63. 33 Palestine , ed. Morton, re el 8: 0264. 34 “Of ficial Washing ton Attends Gala,” W as hin gto n P os t , April 13, 1943. 35 124 Fr ank Sinatra a ppear ed in the role of a y oung soldier. The f inal act, “ Remember U s,” conve ned a solemn confe renc e whe re the “g hosts of the murder ed” r ecounte d their final minutes on Ear th. A chorus of cantor s sang “Sh’ma Yisra el (L ong L ive I srae l). At the pag eant’ s closing, the narr ator 33 sta te d— a nd thi s w a s p ri nte d in the of fi c ia l pr og ra m—t he “ ma ssa c re of Jew s is no t a Jew ish situation. I t is a problem that belong s to humanity .” 34 The produc tion was a tre mendous succe ss. The Constitut ion Hall audienc e included two hu nd re d me mbe rs of Con g re ss, the e nti re c a bin e t, t he e nti re Sup re me Cou rt , a s w e ll a s Mr s. Roosevelt. The da y following the per formanc e, the W as hin gto n P os t re po rt e d th e e ve nt o n it s front pag e, and c hara cter ized the effor t as a “ g ala.” What remained unc lear , howeve r, wa s 35 whether this manufactur ed publicity could impress upon ele cted lea ders a g rea ter sense of urg ency to devise a policy response . Th e fi rs t op po rt un ity fo r B e rg so n a nd his a lli e s to g a ug e the ir le ve l of e ff e c tiv e ne ss appea red a few wee ks later a t the Allied Be rmuda Confe renc e on Refug ees. The me e tin g —p ur po se fu lly he ld o n a re mot e isl a nd to i ns ula te the c on fe re e s f ro m pu bli c pressure —marke d the first time that Allied offic ials met to discuss European r efug ees since Wes te rn g ov e rn me nts fi rs t a c kn ow le dg e d th e e xiste nc e of a Na zi e xter min a tio n p ro g ra m. S ta te De pa rt me nt a dmi nis tr a tor s, min df ul o f t he g ro wi ng pu bli c int e re st, se le c te d tw o le g isl a tor s to join Princeton University President Howa rd Dodds on the thre e-ma n Americ an dele g ation. Se na tor Sc ott L uc a s ( DI L ) r e pr e se nte d a la rg e Pol ish Am e ri c a n c on sti tue nc y , ma ny wi th f a mil y members displac ed by the Nazi Gene ral Gove rnment. Cong ressman Sol Bloom (D -NY) , chair of

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Fr ed I srae l, ed., The W ar Di ar ie s o f B re c k inr idg e Lon g J r. (L incoln: University of 36 Nebr aska Pre ss, 1966), 309. I bid. 37 New Y ork Times , May 4, 1943. See also Wy man and Me doff, Race , 86; and Peck, 38 “Campaig n,” 376. 125 the House F oreig n Affa irs Commi ttee, wa s a prominent Jewish America n repr esenting New York City . I n terms of re scuing larg e number s of J ewish re fug ees f rom the ong oing N azi assault, the confe ree s did not obtain any thing substantive. Ne ither side propose d a wor kable method f or removing a massive a mount of people fr om an ac tive war zone in which neither na tion had mil ita ry fo rc e s st a tio ne d. On e po ssi ble re lie f s c he me —in c re a se d Jew ish imm ig ra tio n in to Palestine—fac ed re sistance owing to the possible backlash tha t such an a ction might provoke a g a ins t A lli e d tr oo ps sta tio ne d in the Mid dle Ea st. “ Th e wh ole Mo ha mme da n w or ld i s te nd ing to flare up at the indication that the Allied f orce s are try ing to loca te J ewish people in Moslem territorie s,” Assistant Secre tary of State B rec kinridg e L ong J r. re corde d in a diary entry made du ri ng the c on fe re nc e . Th is d a ng e ro us imp re ssi on , a c c or din g to L on g , le nt “ c re dib ili ty ” to 36 Ge rm a n p ro pa g a nd a br oa dc a sts c ha rg ing tha t Jew s c on tr oll e d th e Wes te rn de moc ra c ie s. 37 For Peter B erg son and his associate s, the tepid Be rmuda Confe renc e mar ked a tur ning point in the tone and scope of their a dvocac y . No long er c ontent to solicit or impl ore, the ir pleas assumed a ne w stridency . “Poor men a nd women,” be g an a f ull-pag e New Y ork Times adver tisement they place d in conjunction with the Americ an dele g ation’s ar rival home, “B ermuda was not the da wn of a new e ra of humanity and compa ssion.” Rather, the g roup c h a r g e d , B e r mu d a w a s a “ mo c k e r y a n d a c r u e l j e s t. ” I n a d d it io n to c o n d e mn in g th e N a zi 38 reg ime for its continued murde rous ac tions, the Ber g son Boy s impugne d the U.S. g overnme nt

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As quoted in Wy man and Me doff, Race , 85. 39 Be rg son retaine d some other a llies. W illiam L ang er ( R-ND) he ld a per sonal animus 40 toward Scott L ucas. D uring the summer of 1943, he hara ng ued L ucas a bout the Be rmuda Con fe re nc e , c la imi ng tha t hi s c oll e a g ue fr om I lli no is a tte mpt e d to dis g uis e his ow n d ipl oma tic shortcoming s by shamefully attacking Be rg son. See Wy man and Me doff, Race , 86. “Adve rtisement,” Ne w York Tim e s, Aug ust 26, 1943. 41 126 for its sustained lethar g ic re sponse. For the first time since Hitler ’s rise to powe r, there was ope n criticism in the public discourse f aulting the U.S. for not combating Nazi behavior. L isted on the May 1943 adver tisement were the names of dozens of lawmake rs. The implication was clea r that these of ficials also e ndorsed B erg son’s scathing critique. Sena tor L uc a s, ho we ve r, ob je c te d th a t so me of the le g isl a tor s’ na me s h a d a pp e a re d w ith ou t th e ir pe rm iss ion . Se na tor Ha rr y S. T ru ma n ( DMO ) w a s o ne of the me n s ur pr ise d to fi nd him se lf included in the attac k ad ag ainst his colleag ue. Af ter finding his name appe nded to the published bla st, the fi rs tte rm se na tor pe rs on a lly up br a ide d B e rg so n: “ I lik e my fr ie nd s. Sc ott L uc a s is a friend of mine. I am loy al to my friends a nd I want to help Scott L ucas.” Colorado sena tor 39 Edwin J ohnson, acc urate ly identified as the g roup’s na tional cocha irman, also chide d Be rg son. “ Sc ott L uc a s is a ve ry po we rf ul m a n, ” the Pa le sti nia n r e fu g e e re c a lle d h e a ri ng via the ph on e . H is unsettled senator ial ally further confide d that his colleag ue wa s “ang ry as any thing.” 40 Mu c h li ke wi th t he ne g a tiv e le tte rs se nt t o th e Of fi c e of War I nf or ma tio n, the se ou tbu rs ts ind ic a te d th a t B e rg so n c on tr ibu te d to a n o ng oin g pu bli c dis c ou rs e a bo ut N a zi a nti -S e mit ism . Editors at the Ne w Re pu bli c did likewise with their 75,000-c opy supplemental entitled The J e ws of Europe and How to Help Them . “ Th e wa r a g a ins t c ivi liza tio n b e g a n w he n th e fi rs t Jew in Ge rm a ny wa s mu rd e re d in c old blo od by a Na zi st or m tr oo pe r. ” “ Of Ge rm a ny ’s inn ume ra ble crimes the e x termination of the Jews is basically the most evil and morally heinous.” 41 Periodicals such a s the Ne w Re pu bli c first published repor ts of Ger man violence ag ainst J ews

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Rapoport, Shake , 82-85. 42 New Y ork Times , Aug ust 30, 1943. 43 As quoted in Wy man and Me doff, Race , 91. 44 I bid., 143. 45 127 du ri ng the e a rl y 19 30 s; t e n y e a rs la te r t he iss ue re ma ine d p ro min e nt. On e the on e ha nd , th is might indicate a culture of Amer ican inac tion, but on the other hand, it also betra y ed a de pth of conce rn. For his part, B erg son continued shar pening his advoca cy . I n J uly 1943, he de c omm iss ion e d h is C omm itt e e fo r a Jew ish Ar my in f a vo r o f t he “ Em e rg e nc y Com mit te e to Sa ve the Jew ish Pe op le of Eu ro pe .” B e n H e c ht r e ma ine d in a le a de rs hip ro le , b ut t he c ha ng e in moniker and a g enda r efle cted a new c all for a fede ral a g ency to administer Americ an re lief. 42 The methods sele cted to ar ticulate such de mands—newspa per a ds and direc t lobby ing—r eca lled ear lier ef forts. An Aug ust advertiseme nt placed in the New Y ork Times e xhor te d, “ On ly the U. S. g overnme nt can sa ve the Jewish people.” T he Emer g ency Commi ttee cha rac terized the task as be ing “ vit a l to the vic tor y of de moc ra c y .” Mo re ov e r, fo llo wi ng a los s o f s up po rt a sso c ia te d w ith the B ermuda Confere nce a d campa ign, the Be rg son Boy s listed a new na tional cocha irman, the popular Will R og ers Jr. 43 The California n Democr at g rea tly admired B en He cht. “With Ben H echt’ s participation,” the leg islator later r eca lled, “I believed this wa s a g roup that wa s actua lly g oing to r escue the Jew s. ” Rog e rs tho ug ht t ha t H e c ht’ s n e ws pa pe r a dv e rt ise me nts “ did mor e tha n a ny oth e r s ing le event to stimulate Americ ans to take a ction.” Criticiz ing the president c oncer ned him, but he 44 believed tha t Roosevelt was “ve ry wrong on this point . I thought he should have intere sted himself immediately in the resc ue issue, made stirring decla rations, and se t up a committee or g roup that could save these pe ople when he knew they wer e being killed en ma sse .” 45

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Problems , 15. 46 I bid. 47 I bid. 48 Bloom to Be rnstein, May 4, 1943, box 1, “B ernstein,” Sol Bloom Papers, 1925-49, 49 Manuscr ipts and Archive s Division, New York Public L ibrary , New Y ork. 128 I n N ov e mbe r 1 94 3, Con g re ssm a n Ro g e rs too k s uc h a ste p w he n h e of fe re d H ou se resolution 352, concomitantly submitt ed as Sena te Resolution 201 by Guy Gillette, a B erg son ally from I owa. Tr umpeting the interest-g roup ca lls for a ne w fe dera l ag ency to administer Americ an re lief, the re solutions opened with an explicit refer ence to the “mass cr ime that has a lr e a dy e xter min a te d c los e to t wo mil lio n h uma n b e ing s. ” Me mbe rs of Con g re ss h e a rd tha t a 46 defe nse of Eur ope’s Jews complemented the “Amer ican tra dition of justi ce a nd humanity .” 47 What dist inguishe d these re solutions from previous expressions of support was a c losing sec tion tha t “ re c omm e nd e d a nd ur g e d th e c re a tio n o f a c omm iss ion to s a ve the su rv ivi ng Jew ish pe op le of Europe from extinction.” 48 The House For eig n Affa irs Commi ttee re ceive d the Rog ers r esolutions. Although the sponsor serve d on the committee, Sol Bloom held the c hair. The Be rmuda Confe renc e participa nt knew that B erg son had ea rlier c hara cter ized his di plomacy as a moc kery . He wa s particula rly sensitive to interest-g roup cr iticism. I n a priva te letter w ritten to the jurist J . Sidney Be rnstein, dated the day of his return f rom Be rmuda, B loom ex claimed, “ we a ccomplished ever y thing that we started out to do not withstanding the fac t that pressure g roups cr iticiz e wha t we ha ve done.” I n his closing, the ma n who ea rlier ha d succe ssfully steere d the Amer ican decla rations of wa r throug h the House ponde red, “ I do not know any one who c ould have done half a s much.” 49

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As quoted in Wy man and Me doff, Race , 154. 50 Problems , 15. 51 129 Bloom re sented the f act that B erg son’s interest g roup had f oisted the pending resolutions befor e his committee. He war ned Will R og ers, “ These a re not the pe ople [Ber g sonites] y ou should be associa ted with.” His clea r animus towar d the Emerg ency Commi ttee ensur ed that 50 the interrog ations addre ssed more tha n just the issue of aiding Europe’ s J ews. F or more tha n a deca de, the c oncer n with Nazi anti-Semiti sm had linge red in the A merica n mainstream. B erg son and his supporters ha d succe eded in r epac kag ing the exis ting, dispar ate opposition and steer ing the iss ue be fo re the na tio n’ s mo st o ff ic ia l pu bli c fo ru m. The so-c alled Holoca ust Hear ings c onvened on N ovember 19, 1943, under the leg islative heading “Establishment of a Commission to Effectua te the Rescue of the Jewish People of Eu ro pe .” I n th e se pr oc e e din g s, c a lle d to se ssi on se ve ra l ti me s o ve r a sp a n o f w e e ks in 51 November and De cembe r 1943, historians will find the most comprehe nsive public discussion of the Na zis’ g e no c ida l a c tiv iti e s. L a te 19 43 wa s a c ri tic a l pe ri od in t he e sc a la tin g mur de r p ro g ra m, with mill ions of J ews living in Nazi spheres of inf luence . As cre dible new r eports of g as c ha mbe rs a nd c re ma tor ia joi ne d p re vio us ly kn ow n s tor ie s o f m a ss e xec uti on s, a n o pp or tun ity exis ted for A merica n officia ls to chart a c ourse of action. During the two wee ks of testimony , some of the witnesse s who appe are d befor e the House include d Peter B erg son, New Y ork may or F iorello L a Gua rdia, a nd Assistant Secreta ry of State Br eckinr idge L ong J r. The pe nding que stion was whether Congr ess, in the per formanc e of its oversig ht duties, should recommend to the pre sident the cre ation of a ne w ag ency to save Eu ro pe ’s Jew s f ro m th e Na zis. Th e re e xists a ne e d to sp e nd a sig nif ic a nt a mou nt o f t ime examining this testimony beca use in addition to repre senting another instance in whic h

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I bid., 22. 52 I bid., 19-20. 53 I bid., 22. 54 I bid., 23. 55 I bid. 56 130 p ro m i n en t Am er i ca n s ex p re s s ed t h ei r d i s cu rs i v e o p p o s i t i o n t o Na z i an t i -S em i t i s m , t h e h ea ri n gs fe a tur e d in sta nc e s o f s ha rp a c ri mon y be tw e e n c oll e a g ue s, c or e lig ion ist s, a nd pe rf e c t st ra ng e rs . Mo re ov e r, sh or tly fo llo wi ng the e xcit e me nt t ha t su rr ou nd e d th e he a ri ng s, the pr e sid e nt a c te d in a c c or da nc e wi th t he pr op os e d r e so lut ion a nd c re a te d a sp e c if ic a g e nc y tha t a dmi nis te re d r e lie f t o Europea n J ews. The fir st Emerg ency Commi ttee witness to testify was the g roup’s vice chair man, Dea n Alfang e. Alfa ng e, who wa s born in Constantinople, and who was not Jewish, was a law y er by profe ssion. He bec ame involved with B erg son’s interest g roup bec ause he believed tha t ending the g enocide was “ essentially a Christian issue.” His opening statement asse rted that saving the 52 J ews wa s “a diff icult problem,” but he r easone d that cre ating a spec ific g overnme nt ag ency would “ca rry out the task eff ectively .” He a lso allowed for the possibilit y that such a step 53 would reduc e the ne ed for pressure advoca cy , as intere st gr oups could instead wor k with the new f e d e r a l e n t i t y. 54 The fir st cong ressman to a ddress Alfa ng e, Charle s Eaton, posed a question expl oring a tti tud e s to Juda ism in t he Mid dle e a st. Th e Ne w Je rs e y Re pu bli c a n w on de re d, “ I f w e ta ke thi s action, will it crea te any enthusiasm among the Ara bs”? Alfang e re sponded, “I do not know and I do not car e.” The leg islator then aske d, “Ar e the Jews a ra ce, a nation, or a r elig ion? ” The 55 baff led witness re sponded, “I have not g iven any thought to the matter .” Ea ton insist ed, “I was just wondering if y ou could please selec t one of the thre e ca teg ories.” Alfang e mig ht then have 56

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I bid., 24. 57 I bid., 29. 58 I bid., 30. 59 I bid., 32. For more on the “White Paper,” see B erna rd Wasserstein, Britain and the 60 Jews of Europe, 193945 (L ondon: Clarendon Press, 1979), 1739. 131 rec og nized that the hear ings w ere off tra ck. “F rankly ,” he r eplied, “I do not think that is sue has any rele vancy .” 57 Th e ne xt se t of qu e sti on s c a me fr om E dit h N ou rs e Rog e rs . T he Ma ssa c hu se tts Republican ha d first protested N azi anti-Semiti sm in 1933. I n 1939, she cosponsore d leg islation to increa se immigra tion levels into the United States for Ge rman Jewish children. I n November 1943, howeve r, she discusse d the difficulties of tr y ing to se para te the g enocide from the lar g er question of helping displaced pe rsons throug hout Europe. “ The Na zis in Poland are killing the Poles,” she obser ved. “T he Na zis in Gree ce a re murde ring the Gre eks.” Wondering wher e the 58 Emerg ency Commi ttee propose d to transfe r these ma ssive numbers of Jews, she aske d, “I s it not true that during the past y ear s more Jewish people have been br oug ht into thi s country than any other ra ce or relig ion? ” Mr. Alf ang e re sponded, “This is not an immigr ation question. We are not proposing to ope n Americ a’s door s to J ews.” 59 Following Congr esswoman Rog ers, the c hair be g an his rema rks. Sol Bloom first offe red a fulsome a ssessment of the re cent B ermuda Confere nce. H e informe d his colleag ues that the Br itish P arliame nt had ag ree d to ext end the limits of its “W hite Paper” g overning J ewish entry i n t o P al es t i n e. Af t er Bl o o m p ra i s ed h i s o wn d i p l o m ac y fo r s ev er al m o re m i n u t es , M r. Al fa n ge 60 interrupted the testimonial. He wished to re direc t the discussion to the critical question of whether the U.S. g overnme nt would demonstrate a dditional resolve in the for m of a ne w g ov e rn me nt a g e nc y . “ Th e pe rt ine nc e of ou r c omp la int , M r. Cha ir ma n, if I ma y int e rr up t y ou , is

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I bid., 33. 61 I bid. 62 I bid., 34-36. 63 Sol Bloom, The Autobiography of Sol Bloom (Ne w York: Putnam’s, 1948), 18490. 64 132 this is not a re fug ee pr oblem. . . . Once Ger many and her satellites know the U.S. is intent on resc uing the J ews that a lone would have a g rea t psy cholog ical ef fec t on ending the killings.” At 61 that point, Ohio Republican J ohn Vory s broke into the discussion. “Ha s there,” he aske d, “bee n any psy cholog ical ef fec t to the statements made to date by the President, the Sec reta ry of State, and the Cong ress? ” Alfa ng e re sponded, “Y es, but it has not broug ht results beca use it was not backe d up by action.” This spontaneous answe r hinted at both the inher ent exist ence and 62 lim ita tio ns of the dis c ur siv e op po sit ion to d a te . T he qu e sti on wa s w he the r t he U. S. g ov e rn me nt, the Con g re ss a nd the Exe c uti ve br a nc he s, wo uld tr a ns fo rm pr ior rh e tor ic of c on c e rn fo r Je wi sh w e l f a r e i n t o a p r a c t i c a l r e a l i t y. Soon after this exchang e, Chairman B loom moved the proce eding s into secre t executive session. He wished to que stion the witness about an Emer g ency Commi ttee teleg ram sent out prior to the hea ring s. The docume nt, which listed the witness’s name , was a fund-r aising eff ort that conjoined a r equest for money to the pending House re solutions. The line that Bloom found mos t di sq uie tin g re a d, “ I t is imp e ra tiv e to m ob ili ze p ub lic op ini on thr ou g ho ut t his c ou ntr y to forc e passa g e of the resolution.” The c hair e specia lly bristled at the implication that money 63 c ou ld “ fo rc e ” the Ho us e F or e ig n A ff a ir s Co mmi tte e int o a c tio n. B loo m, a we a lth y ma n w ith signific ant and va ried a ssets, wished to dispel any impression that money aff ecte d the manner 64 in which his committee dispensed with its leg islation. “We have a lot of prominent J ews in Ne w Yo rk a nd Was hin g ton ,” he inf or me d th e int e re stg ro up re pr e se nta tiv e . “ I f i t is ne c e ssa ry to r a ise

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Problems , 35. 65 I bid., 37. 66 I bid., 36. 67 I bid., 38. 68 I bid., 39. 69 133 money to force us to act, I think that places the c hairman a nd this commit tee in a ve ry embar rassing situation.” 65 Alfang e adopte d a conc iliatory tact, stating , “I ag ree with y ou sir, but frankly I would not put too much weig ht on that lang uag e.” Bloom, howe ver, w ished to press fur ther the point that 66 his committ ee did not re spond to compulsion. He asked the witness, “Did y our g roup ask the chair man or a ny member of this commit tee to hea r y ou? ” The witness replied, “ No sir.” B loom continued, “Y ou wer e thus neve r denie d any hear ing?” The witness ag ain ac knowledg ed “N o sir . . . . I a g re e tha t th e la ng ua g e is b a d. F ra nk ly , th is i s th e fi rs t ti me it h a s c ome to m y attention.” 67 Def ere nce did little to molli fy the committee. Additional member s took turns impugning the intere st-g roup’s tac tics. Some reporte d rec eiving clande stine phone ca lls from citiz ens attempting to influe nce c ommitt ee me mbers. “I think the integr ity of this committee and the House is in question,” West Virg inian Andre w Schiffler stated. “This is a matter ,” he c ontinued, “that oug ht to be completely investiga ted.” Kar l Mundt (R-SD) added his support to this idea. 68 “I had a ve ry prominent Americ an ca ll me on the telephone to lamba ste the cha irman,” he informed his collea g ues. “I will give it to y ou privately that he [caller] belong ed to one g roup and he w as try ing to knife the other g roup.” 69 That day , Congr essman B loom also wished to learn more about the Emer g ency Commi ttee’s a ssociation with a New York ra dio broadc aster w ho had cr iticiz ed the c hair for

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I bid., 40, 79, 94, 160. 70 Em a nu e l Ce lle r r e c or de d a pa rt ic ula rl y sc a thi ng a na ly sis . T he lon g -s e rv ing Jew ish 71 Democr at from Ne w York of fer ed a g rim assessment of his collea g ue’s pe rfor mance : “He didn’ t help.” As quote d in Wy man and Me doff, Race , 144-45. Some experts stress the fac t that Bloom cosponsore d leg islation that streng thened the 72 State Depa rtment’s rig ht of ref usal to Europea n J ews. See Br eitman and Kr aut, American , 135. 134 scheduling the hea ring s on a F riday . Bloom told his colleag ues that new s bulletins had inc or re c tly c la ime d th a t he se t th e he a ri ng s to inc on ve nie nc e ob se rv a nt Je ws . B loo m r e pe a te dly insisted that the date re flec ted the House parliame ntarian’ s pref ere nces. I ndeed, the chair , 70 raised in a n orthodox J ewish household, saw in the attack nothing more than a new stra in of u n fo u n d ed cr i t i ci s m re l at ed t o h i s p er ce i v ed i n s en s i t i v i t y t o wa rd E u ro p ea n J ew i s h s u ff er i n g. 71 Un kn ow n to c on te mpo ra ry c ri tic s su c h a s Pe te r B e rg so n, B loo m w a s a do g g e d a dv oc a te for many dozens of J ews thre atene d by the Nazis. During the y ear s from 1933 to 1944, he used his po sit ion to h e lp a nu mbe r o f f or e ig n Jew s o bta in e ntr a nc e to t he Un ite d St a te s. Som e of the se case s were particula rly complicated, ta king ma ny y ear s to resolve succ essfully . Bloom’s decision to opera te private ly has skewe red his conte mporary and historical leg acie s. No fr a me wo rk c ur re ntl y e xists fo r v ie wi ng Sol B loo m a s a ny thi ng oth e r t ha n a fi g ur e c omp lic it w ith a much lar g er a lleg ed Amer ican a bandonment. The c hair, howe ver, w as a c omplex person who 72 had ac cumulated a n arr ay of life e x perie nces pr ior to his entering Congr ess. Those who insist on se e ing in B loo m a n a rc he ty pe fo r a la rg e r f a ilu re mus t r e c on c ile tha t vi e w s c or e s o f i ns ta nc e s in wh i ch h e a l l ev i at ed J ew i s h s u ff er i n g. Take , for e x ample, the c ase of Her man Rothstein, a street swe eper who lived in Bloom’s Upper West S ide Manha ttan district. “I have be en try ing to br ing my niece from Poland to live with me,” he told his cong ressman in a short, ty ped letter sent in Fe bruar y 1938. The c or re sp on de nc e oc c ur re d b e fo re the Se c on d Wo rl d Wa r, a nd pr ior to B loo m’ s le a de rs hip

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Rot hs te in t o B loo m, F e br ua ry 24 , 1 93 8, bo x 17, “ Rot hs te in, ” B loo m Pa pe rs . 73 B loo m to Rot hs te in, Ma rc h 7 , 1 93 8, bo x 17, “ Rot hs te in, ” B loo m Pa pe rs . 74 Anna B erg er to B loom, March 6, 1936, box 31, “Be rg er,” Bloom Paper s. Anna wor ked 75 fo r P ro fe sso r A rt hu r B ur ns , D e pa rt me nt o f E c on omi c s. Jenk ins to B loo m, M a rc h 2 7, 19 36 , b ox 31 , “ B e rg e r, ” B loo m Pa pe rs . 76 135 position on t he House For eig n Affa irs Commi ttee. “Would y ou kindly g rant me a n interview a t y our Ne w York of fice ? ” Ten da y s later, B loom replied to Rothstein in a letter that closed, 73 “De pend on it that ever y thing that c an be done will be done to help y ou in having y our niec e admitted to the U.S.” 74 An d th e se we re no idl e pr omi se s. I n s ome ins ta nc e s, B loo m st ru g g le d f or y e a rs , thr ou g ho ut t he e nti re sp a n o f t he wa r, to u nit e Eu ro pe a n Jew s w ith the ir Am e ri c a n f a mil ie s. I lse B e rg e r w a s a fo rt y -o ne -y e a rold Ge rm a n w oma n w ith imp a ir e d v isi on in b oth e y e s. She liv e d in B r e s l a u , G e r m a n y , w h e r e s h e w o r k e d a s a h o u s e k e e p e r i n a s t a t e r u n c h i l d r e n ’ s o r p h a n a g e . In Marc h 1936, afte r lea rning that I lse had lost her job, I lse’s sister, Anna , a constituent in Bloom’s 20th district, wrote about the possibilities of eff ecting a re union. Awar e that I lse’s ag e, vision problem, inability to speak Eng lish, and unemploy ment might hampe r her visa applica tion, Anna Be rg er inc luded with her c orre spondence a letter verify ing he r own e mploy ment as a r esea rch a ssi sta nt a t Co lum bia Un ive rs ity . Sh e a lso inc lud e d h e r m on thl y ba nk re c e ipt s, int e nd e d to validate he r cla ims that her immigra nt sister would not become a “public cha rg e.” 75 Al on g wi th a c ov e r l e tte r r e qu e sti ng a ssi sta nc e , B loo m se nt a c op y of the do c ume nts to the Amer ican Emba ssy in Be rlin. Two wee ks later, he rec eived a perf unctory reply from Counsel Gene ral Doug las J enkins. “The Counsel Gener al has g iven the most car eful c onsideration to the evidenc e submitted in Miss Berg er’ s case ,” the letter informed the c ong ressman. Noting 76 various sec tions of U.S. imm igr ation law cove ring the “inadmissibility of aliens ha ving phy sical

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I bid. 77 I bid. 78 B loo m to Ku rt B e rg e r, F e br ua ry 7, 19 43 , b ox 31 , “ B e rg e r, ” B loo m Pa pe rs . 79 B loo m to Ku rt B e rg e r, Ma rc h 2 , 1 94 5, bo x 31, “ B e rg e r, ” B loo m Pa pe rs . 80 136 defe cts,” Jenkins concluded in his denial, “She w ould experience g rea t difficulty ear ning a living throug h her ow n eff orts.” His closed this letter to his “dea r Mr. B loom” with the statement that 77 the matter ha d rec eived “ ever y possible considera tion consisting with the exist ing immig ration laws and r eg ulations.” 78 I lse B e rg e r u lti ma te ly mov e d to L on do n, wh e re sh e a wa ite d th e wa r’ s e nd . I t is a pp a re nt, howeve r, fr om the numerous cor responde nces se nt betwee n her sister, br other, a nd the cong ressman, tha t Bloom continued his cr usade to re unite the fa mily . He a pplied various burea ucra tic tactics, a t differ ing le vels of the f eder al g overnme nt. I n Fe bruar y 1943, seven y ear s afte r the Ame rica n embassy in Be rlin had re jected I lse Be rg er’ s first visa reque st, Bloom had manag ed for I lse to submit a new set of f orms on which “f inal action had not y et occ urre d.” 79 I nto the next y ear , and then onwa rd, I lse Be rg er’ s pending immigra tion remained pa rt of Bloom’s off icial workloa d. “I am enc losing he rew ith a copy of a se lf-explanatory letter whic h I rec eived today from the State De partment,” Bloom wrote Kurt B erg er in January 1945. The corr espondenc e cla imed that investiga tors continued with their infor mation ga thering . I n Marc h, Bloom explained that secur ity ag encie s such as the F eder al B urea u of I nvestig ation, Milit ary I ntellige nce Ser vice, a nd Nava l I ntellige nce Ser vice r emained involved w ith “routine examinations i nto I lse’s cha rac ter.” 80 Nine y ear s after the B erg ers f irst contacte d their cong ressman a bout the possibili ty of obtaining a visa for the ir enfe ebled Ge rman sister, B loom successfully stewar ded her application throug h a thicket of obstacles. Via a Western Union c able, the ne ws arr ived on April 26, 1945,

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B loo m to Ku rt B e rg e r, Ap ri l 26 , 1 94 5, bo x 31, “ B e rg e r, ” B loo m Pa pe rs . 81 F le g e lma n to Ku rt B e rg e r, Ap ri l 27 , 1 94 5, bo x 31, “ B e rg e r, ” B loo m Pa pe rs . 82 B loo m to Ha rr iso n, No ve mbe r 1 7, 19 43 , b ox 17 , “ Roze nb lum ,” B loo m Pa pe rs . 83 Ha rr iso n to B loo m, N ov e mbe r 1 9, 19 43 , b ox 17 , “ Roze nb lum ,” B loo m Pa pe rs . 84 137 “ tha t th e Sta te De pa rt me nt h a s g ive n a dv iso ry a pp ro va l f or the iss ua nc e of a n im mig ra tio n v isa in the case of I lse Be rg er.” A follow-up letter that Bloom’s sec reta ry penned the next day 81 closed with the blithe assura nce tha t “it was a ple asure for our office to have be en of a ssistance in this m atter.” 82 Try ing, the n, to understand the r esentment with which B loom viewed intere st-g roup claims requir es some under standing of his ong oing pr ivate ef forts. I ndeed, the same we ek that B e rg so n’ s o rg a niza tio n h a d f or c e d th e so -c a lle d H olo c a us t H e a ri ng s, B loo m w a s in vo lve d w ith a idi ng a dis pla c e d E ur op e a n Jew . “ My de a r M r. Ha rr iso n, ” he wr ote on No ve mbe r 1 7, 19 43 , to the commissioner of the Philadelphia br anch of the I mmigra tion and Natura liz ation Service . “ Ad vis or y a pp ro va l ha s b e e n g ra nte d in the c a se of Juda Roze nb lum ,” a Jew ish re fu g e e fo rc e d to leave the United States due to a n irreg ularity in his paperwor k. Having moved to Toronto, 83 R o z e n b l u m h a d e n l i s t e d B l o o m ’ s h e l p i n r e o b t a i n i n g h i s p r e v i o u s l e g a l a l i e n s t a t u s . T w o d a ys later—a rema rkably quick ra te of re sponse for a ny burea ucra tic communication, not to mention an inquiry reg arding J ewish immigra tion—a response arr ived in Bloom’s off ice. Commissioner Har rison assure d his interbranc h colleag ue, “Rozenblum will be advised via the A merica n Consul in Toronto as to the procedur e to be f ollowed to eff ect his re admission to the U.S.” 84 These e x amples re veal just a fe w of the e ffor ts that Sol Bloom per sonally undertook. Such labors contr ibuted to the impatience w ith which he re ceive d Peter B erg son’s advoc acy . He further chaf ed at the ide a that a f oreig n alien would dire ct public cr iticism t owar d elec ted officia ls. On November 23, 1943, shortly afte r succ essfully steering the Rozenblum m atter, the

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Problems , 96. 85 I bid. 86 I bid. 87 I bid., 99. 88 Bloom, Autobiography , 96, 131, 208. 89 138 c h a i r h a d o c c a s i o n , b e f o r e h i s c o m m i t t e e , t o u n w i n d t h e s e f r u s t r a t i o n s a g a i n s t P e t e r B e r g s o n . In lit tle tim e , th e tw o me n— bo th Je ws int ima te ly inv olv e d w ith c omb a tin g Na zi a nti Semitis m—beca me ensna red in a hostile and unproductive dia logue that play ed out bef ore the Ho us e F or e ig n A ff a ir s Co mmi tte e a nd its on loo ke rs . “ A r e yo u a c i t i z e n o f t h e U n i t e d S t a t e s ? ” t h e c h a i r a s k e d t h e w i t n e s s i m m e d i a t e l y. Be rg son replied, “ No, sir.” As one ne ed not be Ame rica n to testify in the Congr ess, B loom 85 presumably saw a n alterna tive rea son to alert the c hamber to Be rg son’s fore ignne ss. His followup question was, “Wher e we re y ou born? ” Rather than answe ring , Be rg son retorte d, “I fail to see the re levanc e of this to my testimony . . . . I will be very happy to occupy the time of the 86 committee with the story of my life,” he continued, but I would appre ciate know ing w hat the connec tion is.” “We just want to know wher e y ou wer e born,” Bloom exploded. “I cannot 87 un de rs ta nd wh y a ma n w ou ld b e c ome a wi tne ss o f t his c omm itt e e if he we re g oin g to r e fu se to answe r the que stions.” 88 Helping to fuel the a nimosit y betwee n the two men we re vital diff ere nces in a g e, nationality , educa tion, wealth, and soc ial status. I n late 1943, Sol Bloom was se venty -three y ear s old and nea r the e nd of his life. A g rammar -school dropout, B loom was self-ma de, an A merica n who had thrive d as a pr omoter, ente rtainer , develope r, and politician in San F ranc isco, Chicag o, New Y ork, and Washing ton, D.C. Be rg son was for ty y ear s his junior, the dilettante son of a 89 wea lthy Palestinian J ewish fa mily . Other tha n associating with Irgun resistanc e fig hters who

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Rosen, Saving , 317-18; Wy man and Me doff, Race , 19. 90 Problems , 96. Be rg son rec alled being ang ry during his testimony . He late r 91 c ha ra c te ri zed B loo m, “ no t a br ig ht g uy a t a ll… a sma ll p ota to g uy wh o g ot w he re he wa s me re ly by seniority . He wa s a we asel kind of g uy g ener ally . He wa s not an impressive fe llow on any score .” See Wy man and Me doff, Race , 144. Problems , 98-99. 92 I bid., 100. 93 I bid. Bloom later boa sted to newspape r re porters tha t he exclaimed, “wha t the hell do 94 y ou mean y ou don’t know!? !” See Rapoport, Shake , 158. 139 da bb le d in a c ts o f s a bo ta g e a g a ins t B ri tis h c olo nia l f or c e s, B e rg so n’ s p ro fe ssi on a l r e su me included fe w ac complishments. No clea r re ason is appar ent for B loom to have fe lt threatene d 90 by his wi tne ss. Ho we ve r, the str ide nc y wi th w hic h h e ha mme re d a wa y a t se e min g ly pe da nti c i s s u es b et ra y ed a l ev el o f r ec ri m i n at i o n u n u s u al fo r s u ch a w ei gh t y p ro ce ed i n g. Af te r s a tis fy ing him se lf a s to B e rg so n’ s n on -A me ri c a n o ri g ins , th e c ha ir mov e d o n to qu e sti on s a bo ut E me rg e nc y Com mit te e fu nd -r a isi ng pr a c tic e s. B e rg so n c la ime d n o s pe c if ic rec ollection of the tele g ram discussed a t leng th in the prior session, so Bloom instructed the committee’s cle rk to rea d the text aloud. The chair ne x t asked, “ What is y our answe r Mr. B e rg so n?” T he wi tne ss r e pli e d f lip pa ntl y tha t, h a d h e re c e ive d th e te le g ra m, h e “ pr ob a bly wo uld have se nt some money .” 91 This sort of contentious exchang e continued. B erg son alienate d members by insisti ng tha t mo ne y “ pr ob a bly wo uld help sec ure the resolution’s passag e.” Bloom soon re turned to the 92 witness’s immigra tion status and asked, “ Are y ou leg ally in this country today ? ” B erg son re p l i ed , “T o m y k n o wl ed ge, y es . ” “ Do y o u n o t k n o w? ” T h e a l i en re p l i ed , “N o . ” No t re l en t i n g, 93 the cha ir asked, “ You do not know whethe r y ou are here leg ally ? ” To this, Ber g son exclaimed, 94

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Problems , 100. 95 I bid., 101. 96 I bid., 101-2. 97 I bid., 103 98 I bid., 104. 99 I bid. 100 140 “I s this an investiga tion of me or is this an investiga tion by a House committee to save the J ews o f E u r o p e ?” 95 Chairman B loom, however , was not pre pare d to move on. He r eturne d to the fund-r aising teleg ram. “ When this commi ttee finds out that y ou and y our org anization are se nding out te le g ra ms s a y ing tha t y ou wa nt m on e y ,” the po we rf ul l e g isl a tor thu nd e re d, “ I sa y tha t is i m p r o p e r a n d i t i s w r o n g . ” “ H o w m u c h , ” B l o o m i m p l o r e d , “ d i d y o u r a i s e f r o m t h i s t e l e g r a m ?” 96 Ev e ntu a lly , B e rg so n d e mon str a te d s ome c on tr iti on . H e c ha ng e d h is t on e fr om d e fi a nc e to flattery . “I am per sonally deeply g rieve d,” he be g an ane w, “that due to word choic e an op po rt un ity ha s b e e n g ive n to po stp on e the smo oth pr oc e e din g of the se he a ri ng s. . . . I a pp e a l to y ou Mr. Chairman, stop adding insult t o this im portant ca use.” 97 B loo m in ste a d tu rn e d h is i re tow a rd the pe nd ing re so lut ion . “ Who wr ote Ho us e resolution 352? ” Perha ps the cha ir had some knowle dg e of B erg son’s ea rlier suc cesse s at scripting member r emar ks. Be rg son replied, “ I should think t hat I am har dly the man to answe r tha t qu e sti on .” “ Di d y ou su g g e st t he m?” th e c ha ir c oy ly po nd e re d. B loo m so on be c a me 98 impatient. He bar ked: “Who sug g ested the r esolutions Mr. Be rg son? Do y ou wish to answer the question? Who sugg ested this resolution? Do y ou know? Yes or no?” Be rg son was nonplussed. 99 The he retofor e-c ombative witness stated, “ I do not ge t it, Mr. Chairman.” 100

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I bid., 120. 101 I bid., 137. 102 Aly n Br odsky , The Great May or (Ne w York: Tr uman Talley Books, 2003) , 247-48, 103 384-85. 141 Subsequent members pe rmitted Be rg son to discuss briefly his hopes for a new g overnme nt ag ency to combat Nazi anti-Semitism. However, Michig an Republica n Ba rtel Jonk ma n p e pp e re d h im w ith a dd iti on a l qu e sti on s a bo ut h is g ro up ’s fu nd -r a isi ng pr a c tic e s. 101 Other c ong ressmen e x presse d disappointment that prior Emerg ency Commi ttee witnesses ha d discussed aspe cts of their se cre t testimony with Peter B erg son. I ndeed, c ondemnations of the 102 Em e rg e nc y Com mit te e we re the fi na l se nti me nts e xpre sse d b e fo re B loo m g a ve le d th e se ssi on to a close . Wit nesses that da y had prove d unable to convinc e leg islators to support their calls for a ne w a g e nc y to s a ve Jew ish liv e s. B oth B e rg so n a nd Al fa ng e e xpe ri e nc e d li ttl e su c c e ss i n convincing leg islators of the nee d to increa se the leve l of offic ial attention that Americ an lea ders d e d i c a t e d t o i s s u e d e a l i n g w i t h E u r o p e a n J e w r y. Emerg ency Commi ttee member s later r ece ived more c ordial trea tment. The day following Be rg son’s testimony , New Y ork City may or F iorello L a Gua rdia, on be half of the Be rg son g roup, re g istered his support for the re solutions. The popular may or—a f irst-g ener ation Americ an off spring of Jewish and I talian immigra nt pare nts—embodied an a ctive cultura l p l u r a l i s m t h a t w a s b e c o m i n g m o r e a p p a r e n t i n t h e A m e r i c a n m a i n s t r e a m . F r o m 1 9 1 7 t o 1 9 3 3 , La Gu a rd ia wo n s ix te rm s in the Ho us e a nd wa s f a mil ia r w ith its c us tom s a nd c ou rt e sie s. He a lso enjoy ed a na tional reputation borne of his longstanding support for labor associations, as we ll as us e of ra dio te c hn olo g ie s to be c ome “ Am e ri c a ’s Ma y or .” L a Gu a rd ia ’s tho ug hts a bo ut t he ro le 103 that Congr ess could play in opposing Na zi ethno-relig ious violence c arr ied influenc e with the assembly , and he pr oved to be the inter est g roup’s most eff ective spoke sperson.

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I bid., 150. 104 I bid. 105 I bid. 106 I bid., 151. 107 I bid., 153. 108 142 He be g a n h is t e sti mon y by de fe rr ing to t he c omm itt e e ’s e xpe rt ise . L a Gu a rd ia acknow ledg ed that its members possesse d much better information about the c omplex ities su rr ou nd ing the iss ue . N e ve rt he le ss, the ma y or c ha lle ng e d th e F or e ig n A ff a ir s Co mmi tte e to e mbr a c e its g lob a l le a de rs hip ro le . “ I be lie ve a n e xpre ssi on fr om t he Con g re ss a t th is t ime wo uld be ver y benef icial.” “ People in Nazi-dominated countrie s,” he c ontinued, understand tha t in the United States, the “me dium of public expression is t he Cong ress.” “The y would rea liz e,” he rea soned, that these r esolutions “repr esent the vie wpoint and public opinion of our countr y .” 104 L a Gua rdia re minded the committee that Cong ress ha d previously assisted oppresse d Europea n min or iti e s. He re c a lle d D a nie l We bs te r’ s in te re st i n th e Hu ng a ri a n in de pe nd e nc e mov e me nt. “T h er e a re p l en t y o f p re ce d en t s fo r a ct i o n , ” h e i n fo rm ed h i s er s t wh i l e c o l l ea gu es . I n cl o s i n g, 105 L a Gua rdia e x presse d his “hope that the c ommitt ee w ill avail itself of the opportunity now of doing a rea l humane ac t.” 106 Un lik e e a rl ie r w itn e sse s, me mbe rs of fe re d th e ma y or e ve nha nd e d q ue ri e s d e sig ne d to build a constructive dia logue . I n the pre sence of a f ormer c olleag ue, they betra y ed their la rg er c on c e rn s. Som e la wm a ke rs we re bo the re d th a t th e pr op os e d r e so lut ion a pp lie d o nly to t he Jew s. Congr essman Mundt (R-SD) wished to include an ame ndment that repla ced the desig nation “Jew” with the phra se “oppr essed pe oples.” L a Gua rdia wonde red if N azi propag andists might 107 seize upon the dilution. He also discussed the standing question about possible backla sh in Arab lands. “I cannot imag ine,” he beg an, “how a re solution seeking to pr otect helpless pe ople ca n annoy any one who may need our help and pr otection later on.” 108

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I bid., 154. 109 I bid. 110 I bid., 170. 111 143 L eg islators also discussed the possible interbr anch te nsions that the pending resolution mig ht p ro vo ke . T he Pe nn sy lva nia n H e rm a n E be rh a rt e r n ote d, “ Th e re ha ve a lr e a dy be e n c e rt a in sta te me nts iss ue d b y the Sta te De pa rt me nt a nd the Pr e sid e nt t o th e e ff e c t th a t th is g ov e rn me nt i s doing e very thing it possibly can to r escue the J ews.” Congr essman Mundt then aske d, “I n the 109 l a n g u a g e o f M a n h a t t a n , i n t h i s r e s o l u t i o n a r e w e s a y i n g y o u b e t t e r g e t b u s y M r . P r e s i d e n t . ” “ In the la ng ua g e of Ma nh a tta n, ” the ma y or re tor te d, “ Wha t w e a re sa y ing is ‘ At ta bo y . . . g o to it.’” 110 Concern f or executive bra nch powe rs ar ose ag ain when the State Depa rtment’s re fug ee expert appea red be fore the House c ommitt ee. O n November 26, 1943, Assistant Secreta ry of State Br eckinr idge L ong J r. appe are d befor e the c ommitt ee. Mor e than a ny witness to date, L ong wa s c omp e te nt t o d isc us s th e a dmi nis tr a tio n’ s e ff or ts. I nd e e d, he wa s th e dip lom a t r e sp on sib le for or g anizing the B ermuda Confere nce tha t Chairman B loom had attended six mont hs pr e vio us ly . H ow e ve r, the a ssi sta nt s e c re ta ry wa s n ot a c a re e r p ub lic se rv a nt. He ow e d h is po sit ion to h is l on g tim e fr ie nd sh ip w ith the pr e sid e nt. Hi s te sti mon y , d e sig ne d to dil ute the c a lls for a new a g ency to administer Americ an re lief, provided some of the most compelling evidenc e that such a step w as indee d advisable. L on g be g a n h is t e sti mon y by re a din g a sta te me nt r e c a lli ng his wi de sp re a d e ff or ts t o administer to Europea n ref ug ees. During his uninterrupted re marks, the se cre tary provided 111 data that he purported to doc ument the number of immigra tion visas gr anted to Europe an Jews during 1933-43. “We ha ve take n into this country ,” he te stified, “appr ox imately 580,000

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I bid., 171. 112 I bid., 182. 113 I bid., 184. 114 I bid. 115 I bid., 197. 116 144 ref ug ees.” “F rom the start,” the assistant secr etar y of state a ssured the Cong ress, “ we ha ve rec og nized that J ews we re the most persec uted.” After sever al more pa g es, in which he 112 outlined further relief eff orts underta ken by the Amer ican Red Cross, Sec reta ry L ong closed with a re fer ence to the proposed r esolution. His assessment cente red squa rely on the interbra nch tensions associated w ith the leg islative dictum. “I think y our committee will want to consider ,” he mentioned, “ whether or not y ou should take a step w hich might be construed a s a re pudiation of the e x ecutive br anch.” The State De partment’s r epre sentative wound up his testimony that 113 day by ag ain assuring his inter-bra nch collea g ues that the a dminist ration had taken e x traordina ry steps to aid Europea n J ewr y . Commi ttee member s rea cted f avora bly to such news. L uther Johnson (D-TX) w as one committee member who “lea rned a g rea t many things.” Alluding to the pe nding r esolution, and the intere st-g roup pre ssure be hind its appeara nce, the cong ressman a sked, “D oes publicity hinder rathe r than he lp the solution t o these proble ms? ” The secr etar y responde d, “Tha t is corre ct.” 114 S u b s e q u e n t q u e s t i o n s a n d a n s w e r s r e v e a l e d a s i m i l a r t o n e . R o b e r t C h i p e r f i e l d ( R IL) c omp lim e nte d L on g ’s e ff or ts a s “ sp le nd id. ” He sta te d f ur the r, “ He ha d a lw a y s b e lie ve d th e Sta te Depa rtment was doing ever y thing that c ould be done.” “I am g ratified to lea rn all that y ou 115 have a ccomplished,” Congr essman Mundt likewise stated. “ Previous witnesses,” he continued, had lef t the impression that “Cong ress ha d to step into the breac h.” 116

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I srae l, ed., Diaries , 334-37. 117 “580,000 Refug ees,” New Y ork Times , Dec ember 11, 1943. 118 As quoted in Rapoport, Shake , 139. 119 Jewish Frontier , “B rec kinridg e L ong ’s Statement,” January 1944, 3. 120 145 Th e on ly pr ob le m f or L on g , a nd fo r t ho se he ha d h e lpe d to e nli g hte n, wa s th a t hi s testimony was wildly inacc urate . The 580,000 fig ure he had provide d ref lected the total number of slots for all ref ug ees w ho desired e ntry to the United States. I ndeed, f ollowing Septembe r 1939, these slots remaine d mostly unfilled. Moreove r, Europe an Jews had neve r re ceive d pref ere ntial treatment in matters r elated to immigr ation. I n his diary , the re fug ee e x pert a c kn ow le dg e d h is m ist a ke : “ I sp ok e wi tho ut n ote s a nd wi tho ut a ny pr e pa ra tio n. I t is re ma rk a ble that I did not make more ina ccur ate state ments.” 117 The miscue a dded fue l to the alrea dy smoldering public discourse a bout the need f or a new f eder al ag ency . The New Y ork Times ran a front-pa g e story that repor ted the incor rec t testimony . Reade rs throug hout the nation and wor ld learne d L ong ’s fa lse claim that “the majority of re fug ees a dmitted to the United States were J ews be cause we r ecog nized from the start that J ews we re the most persec uted peoples.” 118 A delug e of a dditional public criticism soon followed. On Dec ember 12, 1943, New Y ork c on g re ssm a n E ma nu e l Ce lle r c a lle d f or L on g ’s re sig na tio n. Th e lon g -s e rv ing Jew ish cong ressman sur mised, “The se cre tary was woe fully lacking in knowledg e or did not tell the truth.” Celler explained that Europe an Jews fac ed adde d burdens in g aining entry visas 119 beca use State De partment off icials ref used to ac knowledg e them as c itiz ens of na tionaliz ed states. The Jewish Frontier , a domestic Ame rica n publication, char acte rized L ong ’s cong ressional testimony as “f allacious a nd misleading . . . members we re le ft in a complete fog .” “I t is very difficult to understand,” the per iodical’s editors a rg ued, “how an informe d diplomat could offe r so bald a misstatement.” 120

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146 Two we eks later , the Senate F oreig n Relations Comm ittee fa vorably repor ted out B e rg so nÂ’ s r e so lut ion to t he fu ll c ha mbe r, wh e re it p a sse d u na nim ou sly . A lth ou g h th e Ho us e re c e sse d w ith ou t ha vin g vo te d o n th e ma tte r, the iss ue of ho w t he U. S. g ov e rn me nt w ou ld re sp on d to Na zi g e no c ide wa s a pa rt of ma ins tr e a m po lit ic a l di sc ou rs e . A lon g wi th t his development, the issue pr ovoked new and more intricate que stions about the nature of the Americ an g overnme nt and society . Was the fede ral g overnme nt, ever expanding since 1933, an appropr iate vehic le for c ombating N azi anti-Semiti sm? Was the America n public rea dy for suc h a dete rmination? Would t he pre sident demonstrate le ader ship? These issues, a nd the dee p conce rns they embodied, re mained unsettled a s the New Yea r 1944 beg an. Howe ver, w ithin the first ca lendar month, America ns interested in the ma tter would witness the a ppear ance of a prac tical g overnme ntal response .

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P e h l e t o B a r r y, b o x 8 , W a r R e f u g e e B o a r d P a p e r s , F r a n k l i n D . R o o s e v e l t L i b r a r y, 1 Hy de P ark, N.Y . He reaft er ci ted as W RB. For t he b oard ’s f ul l m and ate , s ee “C li pp in gs,” b ox 11 4, W RB. 2 “Roosevelt Moves on B ehalf of Jews,” W as hin gto n P os t , J anuar y 23, 1944. Soon after 3 the boar d’s cr eation, Supreme Court J ustice F rank Mur phy formed the “Na tional Comm ittee ag ainst Nazi Persecution and Extermination of the Jews.” This private or g anization included Vice Pre sident Henry Wallace, Wendell Willki e, and nume rous offic ers f rom the Protestant Episcopal Church. “ New G roup Set Up to Protect Jews,” New Y ork Times , J anuar y 31, 1944. 147 CH APT ER 6 THE WAR REFUGEE B OARD: THE I NSTI TUTI ONAL I Z ATI ON OF AMERI CAN DI SCURS I VE OPPOSI TI ON TO N AZ I ANTI -SEMI TI SM, 1944 I t is the policy of this gove rnment to take a ll measures w ithin it s power to r escue the victims of enemy oppression, and to a ffor d such victims all possible relief a nd assistance consistent with the succe ssful prosec ution of the war . — War Refug ee B oard dire ctor John P ehle to Cong ressman Wil liam Ba rry , in response to a written inquiry about the ag ency ’s mission, April 29, 1944) 1 I n J anuar y 1944, President Fr anklin Delano Rooseve lt inst itutionaliz ed more than a deca de of dispar ate public opposition to Nazi anti-Semiti sm. The War Refug ee B oard, he de c la re d, wo uld “ de ve lop pla ns a nd pr og ra ms f or the re sc ue a nd re lie f o f t he vic tim s o f e ne my op pr e ssi on wh o a re in i mmi ne nt d a ng e r o f d e a th. ” Th e bo a rd ’s ma nd a te did no t sp e c if ic a lly 2 mention J ews, but in ac tuality , near ly all of the a g ency ’s ac tiviti es addr essed e nding the g enocide . The W as hin gto n P os t repor ted this step in a story entitled “President Rooseve lt Moves on Be half of the J ews.” The a ccompa ny ing pie ce inf ormed re ader s that the preside nt had “stresse d the urg ent nee d for a ctions that fore stalled the Na zi pl an to exterminate Jews and other perse cuted minorities.” 3 The War Ref ug ee B oard sig naled the na tion, and the world, that the U .S. gove rnment maintained a c oncer n for Jewish welfa re. D uring 1944, the ag ency functioned a s a fulcr um for the diffe rent stra ins of Americ an discursive opposition t hat first eme rg ed in Marc h 1933.

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Robert Rosen, Sa v ing the J e ws: FD R a nd the Ho loc au st (Ne w York: Thunde r’s Mouth, 4 2006), 463-68. David Wy man, The Abandonment of the J ews: Ame rica and the Holocaust, 1942-1945 5 (Ne w York: Pantheon, 1984) , 287. Stephen Norw ood, “Mar auding Youth and the Christian F ront: Anti-Semitic Violence 6 I n Boston and N ew Yor k During World W ar I I ,” Am e ric an J e wis h H ist or y 91 (2003): 240. Michae l Marrus, The Holocaust In History (Ha nover, N .H.: University Press of Ne w 7 Eng land, 1987), 166. National Opinion Resea rch Cente r, Germany and the Post-W ar W orld (B oulder: 8 University of De nver, 1945) , 12. 148 Offic ials g ather ed informa tion, issued press rele ases, a nd even a dminist ere d direc t-relief missions . By the time of the boa rd’s c rea tion, many milli ons of Europe an Jews had per ished. 4 Da vid Wy ma n th us vie ws the ne w a g e nc y wi th s ke pti c ism , s ur mis ing tha t so me of the se vic tim s might have survived had the president take n such a step soone r. Howeve r, his conclusion misses 5 the la rg e r p oin t th a t in the bo a rd ’s a c tiv iti e s— its me mor a nd ums , p re ss r e le a se s, interg overnme ntal as we ll as private c orre spondence s—scholars will find cle are st ex amples of public Americ an ef forts to rebut the N azi claims that J ews we re a friendle ss people. Admittedly , the War Refug ee B oard did not er ase a nti-Semiti sm in Europe, or in the United States. During the ea rly 1940s, some J ews in the U.S. endur ed phy sical and e motional a bu se wh e n in pu bli c . Ma ny pr omi ne nt Je wi sh Am e ri c a ns we re c on vin c e d th a t do me sti c a nti 6 Semitis m posed a re al threa t. Moreove r, the dominant Christian majority repor tedly maintained 7 littl e intere st in the reports of g enocide . As late a s October 1944, a poll conducte d by the Americ an I nstitut e of Public Opinion found that onequarte r of r espondents dismissed the stories as fa lse. Even f or those who be lieved the a ccounts, most surmised that the Na zis had killed fe we r t ha n o ne hu nd re d th ou sa nd Jew s. 8

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Wil liam L euchte nburg , Franklin D. Roosev elt and the New Deal, 1932-40 (Ne w York: 9 Har per Colophon, 1963), 163, 256. David Wy man and Raf ael Me doff, A Race against Death: Pete r Bergson, Ame rica and 10 the Ho loc au st (Ne w York: F ree Press, 2002), 162-63. 149 Th e re a re oth e r r e a so ns tha t hi sto ri a ns mig ht v ie w t he War Re fu g e e B oa rd wi th skepticism. Throug hout the New D eal, Pre sident Roosevelt cre ated numer ous org anizations that had ang ere d rathe r than a ssuag ed the c itiz enry . Fa r more sig nificant e ntities such as the Ag ricultural Adjustment Administration and the Na tional Recover y Administration succumbed to politi cal a nd leg al cha lleng es. The pre sident’s executive orde r manda ting the War Refug ee 9 Boa rd had c alled for repr esenta tives from the State, War, a nd Trea sury Depa rtments to staff the ag ency . I n fac t, this never occ urre d. The State De partment de clined to assig n a liaison; and War Depa rtment offic ials viewed the board a s nonessential to the military eff ort. Tre asury Depa rtment offic ials stepped in to fill the brea ch, but one c ontemporar y observe r re called, “ they had a pe rmane nt fig ht [ with the State Depa rtment] whatever they wanted to do.” 10 Howeve r, wha t disti ng uished the War Refug ee B oard f rom other a g encie s in the bloated middle burea ucra cy administration was its $1-milli on presidential g rant. I nsulated fr om the cong ressional a ppropriations proc ess—a pr ocess that e arlier had deva stated the Of fice of War I nformation—the boa rd’s off icials had a ll necessa ry means to instituti onalize a fe dera l response. During the Second World War, no other c ountry cre ated a specific g overnme nt ag ency to combat the g enocide . The ne w bure au re prese nted a c apstone to a de cade -long eff ort that bound tog ether J ewish and Christian conc erns with Na zi anti-S emitism. I t is perhaps bizarre that in the y ear s following the board’ s cre ation, the total number of J ews killed in Europe actua lly incre ased. F or thirty y ear s, this perce ived fa ilure has pr ovided a foundation for larg er a rg uments about the boar d’s ineff ectivene ss. Tami David B iddle and

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Tami Davis B iddle, “Allied Air Powe r: Objec tives and Capabilities,” in Michae l 11 Neuf eld and Micha el B ere nbaum, eds., The Bombing of Auschwitz: Should the Allies Have Attempted It? (Ne w York: St. Martin’s, 2000), 4851; Sharon L owenstein, Token Re fuge (I ndianapolis: I ndiana Unive rsity Press, 1986), 17, 108. J ohn Roth, Ho loc au st P oli tic s (L ouisvill e: Westminst er John Knox Press, 2001), 165. 12 150 Sharon L owenstein ha ve obser ved that in orde r to ena ct proposals such a s the bombing of Auschwitz, or the transf er of Europea n J ews to re fug ee c amps, the War Refug ee B oard w as power less to act. Only the War and State D epar tments, where an anti-Semitic tradition was 11 repor tedly rife, posse ssed the pra ctical c apabilities nee ded to offe r Europe an Jews succor. To 12 date, this sy llogism is the standard c ourse of thought historian use to demonstrate that de pths of Am e ri c a n mi sst e ps . T he War Re fu g e e B oa rd , p e rh a ps bo rn e of g oo d in te nti on s, a pp e a rs a s a pu re ly po lit ic a l c re a tio n, a pa wn tha t w a s in c a pa ble of tr a ns c e nd ing ob du ra te bu re a uc ra tic resistanc e. Howeve r, foc using e x clusively on the total number of r escue s confuse s the board’ s pu rp os e a nd ob sc ur e s it s a c c omp lis hme nts . T he bo a rd ’s c on tr ibu tio n la y in i ts a bil ity to instit utionaliz e, to make pr actica l and offic ial, the public’s dec adelong inter est in this is sue. F ro m th e ro str ums of pr iva te ly fu nd e d d inn e rs in Wa sh ing ton D. C., a s w e ll a s o ff sh or e ra dio tr a ns mit te rs ne a r I sta nb ul, War Re fu g e e B oa rd of fi c ia ls h a mme re d a wa y a t th e Na zi c ri me s. Th e se e ff or ts h e lpe d s e t th e sta g e fo r t he po stw a r N ur e mbe rg tr ia ls t ha t mo st c le a rl y demonstrated A merica n commitment to upholdi ng J ewish we lfare and re ligious fr eedom. The y also serve d to reinfor ce a larg er a nd more mea ningf ul point: American-sty le liberties—as state d in the Four Fr eedoms a nd now def ended by the War Refug ee B oard—e x isted as a bulwa rk ag ainst Nazi barbar ism. Numerous f actor s contributed to President Roosevelt’s de cision to crea te the War Refug ee B oard. The first ca use appe are d in the form of inc rea sed media a ttention. By 1943,

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Robert Abzug, America V iews the Holocaust, 1933-1945 (N e w Y or k: S t. M a rt in’ s, 13 1999), 126, 137; Debor ah L ipstadt, Bey ond Belief: The Am erican Pre ss and the Coming of the Ho loc au st (Ne w York: F ree Press, 1986), 162-65. “Na zi S hift 30,000 J ews,” New Y ork Times , Fe bruar y 16, 1943. 14 I bid. 15 “Six teen Million Refug ees,” New Y ork Times , Aug ust 2, 1943. 16 “Two Million Murdere d,” New Y ork Times , Aug ust 8, 1943 . 17 Wy man and Me doff, Race , 158. 18 151 influential newspa pers suc h as the Ne w York Tim e s and the W as hin gto n P os t provided detailed—if ma rg inalized—covera g e about the g enocide in Europe. On Fe bruar y 16, the title of 13 an ar ticle in the Tim e s in f o r me d r e a d e r s , “ N a zi s Sh if t 3 0 , 0 0 0 Je w s . ” T h e a c c o mp a n y in g te xt 14 dis c us se d th e “ se le c tio n p ro c e ss” fo r v ic tim s “ ma rk e d f or sla ug hte r” a nd tho se “ fo rc e d in to labor.” An Aug ust 8 story informed Ame rica ns that J ews in Na zi-controlled nations fac ed a 15 “deliber ate policy of extermination.” A fe w day s later, a story entitled “2,000,000 Murde rs by 16 Nazis Charg ed” c ontained such una mbiguous stateme nts as “the victims now re alize their doom is near. . . . T he holding cells ar e filled a nd steam g as is forc ed throug h aper tures.” 17 Another f actor that might have influence d the pre sident’s ac tion was the political pr e ssu re sw ir lin g wi thi n Wa sh ing ton D. C. D ur ing la te 19 43 , c on g re ssi on a l c ri tic s f a ult e d h is administration for not addr essing the public’s conc ern w ith Nazi anti-Semit ism. His Assis tant Secre tary of State had r ece ntly proff ere d false a nd misleading testimony to an over sight committee investig ating the administration’s re sponse to the J ewish murder s. Shortly befor e Christmas, the Senate had pa ssed without one vote of opposition a re solution recommending that the pre sident cre ate a new f eder al ag ency specific ally to addre ss Nazi violence ag ainst relig ious minorities. As 1944 beg an, President Rooseve lt might have r ecog nized that adopting suc h a step wo uld he lp t o mu te do me sti c c ri tic ism . 18

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Richard Eva ns, The Third Reich in Power, 1933-1939 (Ne w York: Peng uin, 2005), 19 586, 592; Michael Z alampas, Adolf Hitler and the Thir d Reich in Ame rican Magazines, 19231939 (B owling G ree n, Ohio: Bowling Gre en State Univer sity Popular Press, 1989), 166. Eliahu Matz, “Polit ical Ac tions vs. P ersona l Relations,” Midstream 27 (1981): 47. 20 Nazi diplomats were a bsent, not invited by the United States to participa te. See Rosen, 21 Saving , 63-66. During 1938, the Dominican Republic state d an intere st in providing one hundr ed 22 thousand visas to Germa n J ews. How ever , State Depa rtment offic ials stalled the offe r. See H enry Fe ingold, Be ar ing W itn e ss: Ho w Am e ric a A nd It s J e ws R e sp on de d to the Ho loc au st (S y ra c us e : Sy ra c us e University Press, 1995), 75-76, 14243; Z alampas, Hitler , 167; and B erna rd Wasserstein, Britain and the Jews of Europe, 1939-45 (L ondon: Claerndon Press, 1979), 9. 152 L ike other pr ominent America n leade rs, the pre sident first spoke out ag ainst Germa n a n ti Se mi ti s m i n e a r ly 1 9 3 3 . F o ll o w in g th e N a zi po g ro ms i n N ov e mbe r 1 93 8, Roo se ve lt pr ote ste d th e e xtre me vio le nc e a nd de lib e ra te hu mil ia tio n me te d o ut t o th e Jew s b y re c a lli ng his a mb a s s a d o r to B e r li n f o r c o n s u lt a ti o n s . H o w e v e r , a f te r h is c o n d e mn a ti o n o f th e N a zi 19 e xter min a tio n p ro g ra m in De c e mbe r 1 94 2, of fi c ia ls i n th e Sta te De pa rt me nt e xhibi te d li ttl e interest in devising a re medy . Some historians thus point to a third fac tor—private intra branc h tensions betwee n the Tre asury and State De partments re g arding the matter’ s urg ency —when e xpla ini ng wh y the pr e sid e nt u ne xpe c te dly c re a te d a ne w a g e nc y to a id E ur op e a n r e fu g e e s. 20 More than f ive y ear s previously , the State Depa rtment, at the pre sident’s direc tion, had ta ke n s ome sig nif ic a nt s te ps to i nv e sti g a te po ssi ble re so lut ion s to the “ Jew ish Qu e sti on ” in Europe. I n the summer of 1938, A merica n diplomats traveled to F ranc e and hoste d the Evian Confere nce on Re fug ees. I n these sessions, the United States c onsulted with repre sentatives fr om mor e tha n th ir ty na tio ns . F oll ow ing the me e tin g s, the Sta te De pa rt me nt t oo k a le a d r ole in 21 fo rm ing a ne w b od y , th e I nte rg ov e rn me nta l Co mmi tte e fo r P oli tic a l Re fu g e e s, de sig ne d to fa c ili ta te Jew ish imm ig ra tio n f ro m E ur op e . H ow e ve r, pr ior to H itl e r’ s in va sio n o f P ola nd in September 1939, the new c ommitt ee ha d acc omplished lit tle. The non-military flow of human 22

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E. Thomas Wood and Stanislaw J ankowski, Karski: How One Man Tried to Stop the 23 Ho loc au st (Ne w York: Wiley , 1994), 117-19; Mac iej Kozlowski, “An I nterview with J an Ka rski: The Mission That Fa iled,” Di sse nt 34 (1987): 332; and Walter L aqueur and Richard B reitman, The Terrible Secre t: Suppression of the Truth about Hitler’s “Final Solut ion (B oston: L ittle, Brown, 1980) , 229-38. No t e ve ry Sta te De pa rt me nt o ff ic ia l st oo d a loo f. I n la te 19 44 , A rc hib a ld M a c L e ish 24 be c a me a ssi sta nt s e c re ta ry of sta te fo r c ult ur a l a ff a ir s. He c on tin ue d to a dd re ss m a tte rs re la te d to aiding Europea n J ewish we lfare . See Ar chibald Mac L eish to Abraha m Kalmanowitz, Febr uary 9, 1945, in Sy bil Mil ton and Henr y Fr iedlander , eds., Archive s of the Holocaust: An In te rn ati on al C oll e c tio n o f Se le c te d D oc um e nts (Ne w York: Ga rland, 1991), 18: 121. 153 tr a ff ic e nd e d w ith the ou tbr e a k o f w a r, fu rt he r l imi tin g a ny ho pe s f or a la rg e -s c a le de mog ra ph ic mov e me nt o f Je wi sh re fu g e e s. B y 19 43 , T re a su ry Se c re ta ry He nr y Mo rg e nth a u Jr. , th e on ly Jew ish Am e ri c a n s e rv ing in Roosevelt’s ca binet, acc epted a s fac t the firsthand stories he had re ceive d about the g enocide under w ay in Europe. He a lso believed that State De partment off icials, presuma bly equipped 23 with simi lar, if not more cre dible, repor ts did not vi ew this deve lopment with particular conce rn. 24 T h e t re as u ry s ec re t ar y h ad go o d re as o n t o b el i ev e t h at h i s co l l ea gu es i n t h e F o re i gn Service wer e not intere sted in helping Europea n J ews. I n 1940, he had joined w ith I nterior Secre tary Har old I ckes to c osponsor a proposa l to the president desig ned to re locate G erma n J ews to the U.S. Virg in I slands. The plan w as cr eative. T he two sec reta ries, the only two members of the pre sident’s ca binet to serve him continuously , arg ued that they wer e not try ing to b ri ng Jew s in to t he Un ite d St a te s. Ra the r, the y ma int a ine d th a t th e Vi rg in I sla nd s, a t th a t ti me part of the I nterior De partment’s pur view, we re e x trater ritorial. Howe ver, the two ag ency heads could not overc ome Secr etar y of State Cordell Hull’s strenuous objec tions. The president, wa ry of “ fi ft h c olu mn” e le me nts tha t mi g ht a rr ive a mon g the re fu g e e s, a nd min df ul o f a n is ola tio nis t

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For the Virg in I sland Plan, see Wy man and Me doff, Race , 152; Richard B reitman, 25 “Roosevelt and the Holocaust,” in Newton, ed., FDR , 113; and Fe ingold, Bearing , 113, 144. I rwin Ge llman, FD R, Cor de ll H ull an d S um ne r W e lle s (B altimore: J ohns Hopkins 26 University Press, 1995), 347. As quoted in Richard B reitman a nd Alan Kr aut, American R efugee Policy and 27 European Je wry, 1933-1945 (B loomington: I ndiana Unive rsity Press, 1987), 187-88. F or more on the politics of anti-Semitism i n Rumania during the 1930s, see B ela Va g o, The Shadow of the Swastika: The Rise of Fascism and Anti-Sem itism in t he Danube Basin, 1936-1939 (F arnbor oug h: Sax on House for the I nstitut e of Jewish Affa irs, 1975), 21-71; and Paul Shapiro, “Prelude to Dictatorship in Rumania betwe en the Tw o World W ars: The National Christian Party in Power, De cembe r 1937-F ebrua ry 1938,” Can ad ian -A me ric an Sla v ic Stu die s 8 (1974), 45-88. 154 mood within the Congre ss, chose not to approve the proposal. This tension betwee n the ca binet 25 heads r eg arding the prope r wa y to addre ss Nazi anti-Semiti sm did not go aw ay . The de struction of the Jews—and, par ticularly the abse nce of a cohe rent Ame rica n response —cause d continuing clashe s betwee n officia ls at the Tre asury and Secr etar y Depa rtments. Some episodes involved the Nazi seizure of Ame rica n-owne d assets, funds tra nsfer s betwee n the U.S. and its allies, as well as the Rumanian of fer that Peter B erg son’s g roup first publicized in Febr uary 1943. I n D e c e mbe r o f t ha t y e a r, the int ra br a nc h f ri c tio ns e ru pte d. At a me e tin g he ld t o d isc us s the Sta te De pa rt me nt’ s n on e xiste nt r e sp on se to t he mur de r o f s e ve ra l mi lli on Jew ish noncombatants, Sec reta ry Hull was “so poor ly prepa red he was una ble to introduce f our of f ive Sta te De pa rt me nt r e fu g e e e xpe rt s. ” With re fe re nc e to t he sta lle d Ru ma nia n ma tte r, Hu ll 26 implied that fault lay with Morg enthau’ s office for “ failing to devise a w orkable proposal for financ ing the prog ram.” During the meeting , the trea sury secr etar y and his senior staf fer s 27 observe d deep f rac tures within the State Depa rtment deleg ation. Soon after this unproduc tive session, they conclude d that they had a r esponsibility to alert the pr esident. Working on Christmas Day 1943, Trea sury Depa rtment offic ials J ohn Pehle and Josiah Du B ois arra ng ed a c omprehe nsive repor t entitled “Report to the Secr etar y on the Acquie scenc e

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As quoted in L aqueur and B reitman, Te rri ble , 224. 28 Sa ra h Pe c k, “ Th e Ca mpa ig n f or a n A me ri c a n Re sp on se to t he Na zi H olo c a us t, 29 1943-1945,” J ou rn al o f Co nte mp or ar y Hi sto ry 15 (1980): 386. 155 of This Gover nment in the Murder of the Jews.” I n this document, Morg enthau’ s staff c ompiled a full ac count of State De partment missteps and obstac les. They blasted the State De partment for “not only failing to fac ilitate the obtaining of information . . . but in their offic ial capa city have g one so fa r as to surr eptitiously stop the obtaining of information.” When Morg enthau Jr. 28 pr e se nte d th e ma nu sc ri pt t o Ro os e ve lt o n Jan ua ry 16 , 1 94 4, he ha d mo dif ie d o nly the tit le . I n h is c ov e r l e tte r, the tr e a su ry se c re ta ry a dv ise d h is l on g tim e fr ie nd , “ thi s la ps e in a tte nti on wi ll require littl e more in the way of proof to expl ode into a nasty littl e sca ndal.” Five da y s later, 29 and following almost ex actly the lang uag e conta ined in the standing Senate r esolution, President Roosevelt instit utionaliz ed Amer ican opposition to Nazi anti-Semiti sm within t he War Ref ug ee Boa rd. I t is perhaps not altog ether important to determine the e x act r eason( s) behind the boa rd’s cre ation. Historians might think of the boa rd less as a temporal re action to var ious pressure s, and more a s the zenith to m ore tha n a dec ade of Americ an opposition. Beg inning in January 1944, the U.S. g overnme nt beg an to document f or conte mporary citizens and future g ener ations exactly what Na zi anti-S emitism denoted. Offic ials at the War Refug ee r ender ed pra ctical the longstanding public asser tion that Nazi viol ence ag ainst J ews re prese nted a na tional conce rn. I ndeed, e nding suc h outrag es enc apsulated w hat the nation wa s fig hting to uphold. Roosevelt selec ted J ohn Pehle, a y oung man in his early thirties, to serve a s the War Refug ee B oard’ s first executive direc tor. His ag e aside , Pehle had r isen to the senior staf f leve l in the Trea sury Depa rtment. Along side fellow inter nal re port author Josiah Du Bois, the two men we re t ru s t ed M o rge n t h au l i eu t en an t s , an d we re s o m e o f t h e a d m i n i s t ra t i o n ’s m o s t k n o wl ed ge

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Wy man and Me doff, Race , 159. 30 Paul Sabatier, The or ie s o f th e Po lic y Pr oc e ss (B oulder, Colo.: Westvi ew, 1999) , 118; 31 J eff rey Be rry , The Interest Group Soc iety (Ne w York: Ha rper and Collins, 1996), 3-12; Terr y Moe, “Tow ard a Br oader View of I ntere st Groups,” Journal of Politics 43 (1981): 5-7, 25. P ehl e to fi le, J anu ary 25 , 1 94 4, “Em ergency ,” b ox 7, W RB. 32 156 officia ls about the Holoca ust. Particularly during the first eig ht months of 1944, they direc ted 30 the new a g ency to spread w ord g lobally —and, within the administration—that the U.S. opposed the killings. With a staff of a couple dozen, and of fice s in both New York a nd Washington D.C., the bo a rd ’s mos t ba sic fu nc tio n w a s c oo rd ina tin g the ma ny pr e e xistin g str a ins of pu bli c opposition i nto a g overnme nt-direc ted discourse . The primar y challeng e wa s ensuring that Americ ans and Eur opeans a like rec og nized the ir of fi c e s a s r e sp on sib le . D ur ing 19 33 -4 3, ma ny le g isl a tor s, int e re st g ro up s, a nd pr iva te citizens had spoken out. Pehle embra ced the se ea rlier e ffor ts. By allowing unprec edente d burea ucra tic acc ess, he not only succe ssfully muted domestic criticisms, but he also g ained a far more spec ialized knowledg e of the thorny issue. Polit ical scie ntists, i n their def initions of “nic he e xpe rt s, ” e xpla in h ow bu re a uc ra ts s ome tim e s se e k o ut i nte re stg ro up inp ut. Pa rt ic ula rl y in 31 case s without prece dent, widening the locus of nong overnme ntal involvement, asking for ne w information and spe cialized interpre tations, add a muchneede d text ure to discussions. The de str uc tio n o f E ur op e a n Jew ry wa s o ne of tho se ins ta nc e s, a nd Pe hle de mon str a te d a n im me dia te wi lli ng ne ss t o ta ke c ou ns e l f ro m, a nd pr ov ide a ssi sta nc e to, pr e ssu re or g a niza tio ns . I n J anuar y 1944, within day s of the ag ency ’s founding , J ohn Pehle welc omed Peter Be rg son to his W ashing ton D.C. office . The ba sic problem, Pehle lea rned, w as that the Ge rman g overnme nt and people, a s well as its satellites, were not awar e that the United States “ meant business” with reg ard to prote cting the J ews. Be rg son observe d that, particula rly in Eastern 32

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Rosen, Saving , 462; Charles F eny vesi, W hen Ange ls Fooled the W orld: Rescue rs of 33 Jews in W artime Hungary (Madison: University of Wisconsin P ress, 2003), 89; Richard Br eitman, Official Secrets: W hat the Nazis Planned, W hat the Americans and British Knew (Ne w York: Hill and Wang , 1998), l, 150. EC S J P E M emo rand um , Feb ruar y 9, 19 44 , “E mer gency ,” b ox 7, W RB. 34 I bid. 35 157 Europe, c itiz ens had no ide a that the United States w as monitoring a nti-J ewish ac tiviti es and w as considering such steps as postwa r military tribunals. A fore most task was aler ting potential perse cutors that the United States w as ac tively conce rned w ith J ewish we lfare . This idea imbued Jew s w ith a ne w p oli tic a l a nd mor a l va lue in t he e y e s o f C hr ist ia n E ur op e a ns . 33 As a mid le ve l bu re a uc ra c y , th e bo a rd wa s in c a pa ble of tur nin g ba c k th e Na zi de a th machine. Ra ther, B erg son and his org anization surmised that the board ne eded to stag e and w in a po lit ic a l a rg ume nt t ha t c on vin c e d n a tio ns a nti -S e mit ic pr a c tic e s w ou ld c a us e the m la te r t ro ub le s. An Emerg ency Commi ttee memora ndum to Pehle dated F ebrua ry 9, 1944, explained this i dea. “Only a par t of the some four milli on J ews in Na zi-controlled Europe c an be e vacua ted,” the document fr ankly stated. “The salvation of the major ity of them depe nds upon the succe ssful cre ation inside Europe of an atmospher e which ma kes extermination unprofitable, impra ctical, or impossibl e.” I n its closing, the letter ’s author a g ain stressed a need f or the Ame rica n 34 g ov e rn me nt t o “ inf or m th e Na zi sa te lli te s th e y mig ht c ur ry so me a mou nt o f a dd iti on a l f a vo r w ith the Un ite d N a tio ns if the y a do pt a ne w p oli c y tow a rd s th e Jew s. ” Th is a sse rt ion a g a in s pe a ks to 35 t h e s t r a t e g y o f a s s i g n i n g v a l u e t o J e w i s h l i v e s , a s t h e i m p l i c a t i o n a p p e a r e d t h a t p o s t w a r p e n a l t y, or re war d, awa ited Europea n nations depending on their expressions of tolera nce. I ndeed, the re is additional evide nce tha t board off icials helped A merica ns and Europe ans to build a new dialog ue about the g enocide . Not possessing the ir own wire service , the boar d

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Rosen, Saving , 463-64. 36 P ehl e to Trav ers , Feb ruar y 11 , 1 94 4, “Em ergency ,” b ox 7, W RB. 37 Bergson to J os eph Kl arm an, Febru ary 11 , 1 94 4, “Em ergency ,” b ox 7, W RB. 38 Bergson to Ary eh Ben eli ez er, Feb ruar y 11 , 1 94 4, “Em ergency ,” b ox 7, W RB. 39 Bergson to P ehl e, Feb ruar y 9, 19 44 , “E mer gency ,” b ox 7, W RB. 40 Not all Americ ans embra ced the se ef forts. I n Marc h 1944, a letter from an or g anization 41 called the “F orest Hills, Quee ns Civic Association” re ache d Pehle’s desk. The g roup’s opinion wa s t h at t h e b o ar d “p ro m o t ed en t an gl em en t s i n u n d es i ra b l e a n d d an ger o u s fo re i gn in vo lv eme nt s. ” S ee C harl es W arren to P ehl e, A pri l 1 7, 19 44 , “Fo res t, ” bo x 8, W RB. 158 took advantag e of White House a nd State Depa rtment fac iliti es. On Fe bruar y 11, 1944, J ohn 36 Pehle sent a le tter to Howa rd Tra vers, a senior off icial in the Europe an Af fairs division. The messag e, thoug h short, was una mbiguous: “I t will be appre ciated if y ou will have dispatche d the a tta c he d c a ble s f ro m Pe te r B e rg so n, Cha ir ma n, Em e rg e nc y Com mit te e to S a ve the Jew ish People of Eur ope.” The State De partment a cquiesc ed to the re quest, and provide d its service 37 fo r t he c omm un ic a tio n o f i nf or ma tio n th a t it ha d p re vio us ly de e me d e xtra ne ou s. Both c ables de alt with J ews tra pped in Hung ary and Turke y . Whil e neither of the messag es wa s particular ly meaning ful, the episode c apture d the proc ess of c onjoining the auspice s of the U.S. g overnme nt to effor ts on behalf of the J ews. “ Please c able a bout possibili ties, needs, a nd expenses throug h the Amer ican c onsul via the War Refug ee B oard,” Be rg son informed one contac t in I stanbul. “Proce ed immediately and conta ct ag ain throug h the 38 U.S. embassy ,” he instruc ted a se cond assoc iate in Tel Aviv. I f the c able’ s messag es we re not 39 a lto g e the r s ig nif ic a nt, the la rg e r p oin t w a s th a t th e y pu bli c ize d th a t Jew s w e re no lon g e r a lon e in the fig ht. As Be rg son wrote to Pehle in F ebrua ry 1944, “the War Ref ug ee B oard w as cr eate d beca use the va st majority of the Ame rica n people ha ve bee n deeply shaken by the Ger man massacr e of the J ews.” Using the War Refug ee B oard, the Palestinian-alien B erg son sprea d 40 g lobally the offic ial Americ an opposition to ge nocide. 41

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Richard B reitman a nd Alan Kr aut, American R efugee Policy and Europe an Jewry, 8 1933-1945 (B loomington: I ndiana Unive rsity Press, 1987), 142; Peck, “ Campaig n,” 367; Wy man, Abandonment , 346; Arthur Morse , W hile Six Million Died: A Chronicle of Ame rican Apathy (Ne w York: Random House , 1967), 77. Wy man and Me doff, Race , 171-74. See a lso W illiam Rubenstein, The Myth of Resc ue 9 (Ne w York: Routledg e, 1997), 4. Monty Noam Penkowe r, “I n Dra matic Dissent: The B erg son Boy s,” Am e ric an J e wis h 10 History 70 (1981): 286; Henr y Fe ingold, The Politics of Rescue: The Rooseve lt Administr ation and the Holocaust, 1938-1945 2nd ed. (N ew Yor k: Holocaust L ibrary , 1980), 175. Stephen J . Whit field, “The Polit ics of Pag eantr y , 1936-1946,” Am e ric an J e wis h 11 Hi sto ry 84 (1996): 242. 117 interest g roups they devised re config ured the public discourse, r emoving the issue of c on de mni ng Na zi a nti -S e mit ism fr om t he rh e tor ic a l a bs tr a c t a nd de ma nd ing tha t th e U. S. g overnme nt take pra ctical a ction. To da te , s c ho la rs ha ve dis pa ra g e d, or a t le a st d imi nis he d, the se e ff or ts. Pe te r B e rg so n, in 8 set of intervie ws conduc ted by David Wy man during the 1990s, has also lame nted his own ina bil ity to “ liv e up to t he oc c a sio n. ” “ I ha ve a fr us tr a tin g se ns e of fa ilu re ,” B e rg so n c on fi de d to the re se a rc he r m os t r e sp on sib le fo r i ntr od uc ing the c a te g or ie s o f “ c on tr iti on ” a nd “ re mor se ” to the historiogr aphy . Howeve r, alter native methods exist for viewing Be rg son’s ac tiviti es. We ca n 9 e xami ne the int e rp la y be tw e e n h is i nte re st g ro up s a nd the mor e e sta bli sh e d A me ri c a n Jew ish Commi ttee and A merica n J ewish Cong ress. During the ea rly 1940s, he succ essfully competed 10 with these better -known domestic e ntities for ac cess to policy maker s. Be rg son also amassed some notable c ultural ac hievements, in par ticular de monstrating a n ability to publiciz e the g enocide theatric ally . Howeve r, the e x tent to which B erg son and supporter s contributed to an 11 on g oin g pu bli c dis c ou rs e fo rm ing in o pp os iti on to N a zi r e lig iou s in tol e ra nc e re ma ins le ss w e ll known. An ing raine d tendenc y among scholars to re ad fa ult into Berg son’s beha viors has ser ved to obscure his vital role in br inging new voice s into the debate.

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P ehl e to fi le, Febru ary 14 , 1 94 4, “OW I ,” b ox 50 , W RB. 42 Man no n t o P in ku s, Febru ary 26 , 1 94 4, “OW I ,” b ox 50 , W RB. 43 I bid. 44 Kat z to Co wan , Ap ri l 1 , 1 94 4, “OW I ,” b ox 50 , W RB. 45 159 War Refug ee B oard of ficials also took private steps to ensure the y could func tion e ff e c tiv e ly wi thi n th e mid dle bu re a uc ra c y . So on a ft e r t he bo a rd ’s c re a tio n, John Pe hle me t w ith Offic e of War I nformation dire ctor Elmer Davis to discuss the disclosure of g enocide -re lated information. “Da vis seemed c oopera tive and said he would arr ang e for a mee ting in the ne ar fu tur e wi th h is r e g ion a l c hie fs ,” Pe hle re c or de d in a F e br ua ry 19 44 me mor a nd um t o h is f ile s. This statement of fa ct ende d with the rec ollection that “we made c lear to him the importance that we a tta c he d to de ve lop ing the pr op a g a nd a sid e of ou r p ro g ra m.” Tw o w e e ks la te r, L e o Pi nk us , 42 a staff er in the O ffice of War I nformation’s F oreig n News division, observe d this proclamation in action. A letter from Virg inia Mannon, who pe rfor med public re lations for the War Ref ug ee Boa rd, informe d him, “Our re ports on exterminations of the Poli sh J ews ha ve bee n su bs ta nti a te d. ” Di sc us sin g a ne e d to mon ito r t he fa te of Jew s in the Na zi sa te lli te sta te s, 43 Ma nn on c on tin ue d, “ As the fr on t a pp ro a c he s B a lka ns , th e re is a n im min e nt d a ng e r f or Jew s in the Ger man domination of Hung ary , Rumania and B ulga ria.” She closed he r messag e by asking the Of fi c e of War I nf or ma tio n to dir e c t it s v a ri ou s me dia a pp a ra tus to e ns ur e the re po rt s’ “ wi de st distribution.” 44 Perhaps, the motivation for se nding this ty pe of “ dear colleag ue” le tter re flec ted an e ffor t to s tr e ng the n in te ra g e nc y c oo pe ra tio n. A r e la te d me mor a nd um f ro m A pr il 1 , 1 94 4, do c ume nts a War Refug ee B oard r equest for the Off ice of War I nformation to “a ssume all propag anda ta sks pe rt a ini ng to t he re fu g e e pr ob le m.” Th is s te p g ua ra nte e d th a t th e bo a rd c ou ld d iss e min a te 45 a tr oc ity inf or ma tio n mo re br oa dly . Re pr e se nta tiv e s f ro m bo th a g e nc ie s c on c lud e d th a t a

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I bid. 46 Rec ords , ed. Culbert, pt. 2, re el 13: 0365. 47 I bid., pt. 2, reel 13: 0423. 48 160 sp e c ia lize d u nit , s ta tio ne d w ith in t he Of fi c e of War I nf or ma tio n, wo uld “ be be ne fi c ia l to bo th org anizations.” These e ffor ts to streamline a mea ningf ul exchang e of infor mation sugg est, at 46 the least, that more officia ls had ac cepte d the basic pr emise that g enocide was ong oing, a nd that the fe dera l gove rnment should oppose such a ctivities. As e a rl y a s Jan ua ry 19 43 , th e Of fi c e of War I nf or ma tio n h a d d e mon str a te d in te re st i n opposing N azi anti-Semiti sm from a political and mora l positi on. I ndeed, Robe rt Sherwood’ s overse as bra nch cir culated a repor t expl aining how the proc ess might wor k. Offic ials arg ued we should coldly and fa ctually establish Hitler’s plan to e x terminate the J ews in Europe . We s ho uld ma ke a po int in n e ws a nd ta lks of te lli ng pe op le the fu lle st f a c ts. An tiSe mit ism ha s b e e n a po te nt w e a po n o f N a zi po lit ic a l w a rf a re a nd the tim e ha s n ow c ome to u se it a g a ins t th e m. 47 Th e fo llo wi ng we e k a no the r c omm un iqu é su g g e ste d th a t w he n r e po rt ing a tr oc ity sto ri e s, officia ls should “include at lea st one messag e of e ncoura g ement to the Jews.” 48 This proce ss, discourag ing N azi violence by highlig hting Ame rica n opposition, receive d help from the hig hest levels in the g overnme nt. I n Marc h 1944, the pre sident issued a statement a bo ut t he pr e c a ri ou s f a te of Jew s li vin g in t he B a lka ns . T he se we re no t Ro os e ve lt’ s f ir st p ub lic comments about the Na zi m urder prog ram, but they wer e the f irst following the cre ation of the War Refug ee B oard. I n his remar ks, the preside nt clear ly stated that the Ame rica n war eff ort rela ted to protec ting Jewish lives. “I n one of the blacke st crimes of a ll hist ory ,” he be g an, “the wh ole sa le sy ste ma tic mur de r o f E ur op e ’s Jew s g oe s o n u na ba te d. . . . T ha t th e se inn oc e nt p e op le

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For the pre sident’s full statement, see De pa rtm e nt o f St ate Bu lle tin 10 (1944): 277-78. 49 I bid. 50 Re c or ds , ed. Culbert, pt. 2, re el 15: 0432. 51 I bid. 52 161 should perish, on the ver y eve of the triumph over the ba rbar ism which their per secution sy mboliz es, would be a major trag edy .” 49 Roosevelt did more than obliquely hint at this commi tment. I n closing , the pre sident outlined America n intentions. “These a cts of sava g ery shall not go unpunished.” “The United Nations has made it clear they will pursue the g uilty . . . . All who knowing ly take pa rt in the de po rt a tio n o f Je ws to t he ir de a th a re e qu a lly g uil ty a s th e e xec uti on e r. Al l w ho sh a re the g uil t shall share the punishment.” This ty pe of una mbiguous public stateme nt mirrored the advice 50 t h at P et er Be rgs o n h ad o ff er ed J o h n P eh l e t h re e m o n t h s p re v i o u s l y : T h e p ac e o f t h e k i l l i n gs might slow if Amer icans lea ders c ommitt ed the g overnme nt to upholding J ewish saf ety . There was a lso a favor able political sleig ht-of-ha nd, as Amer ica a g ain assumed a role in protec ting Europe’ s “downtrodde n masses.” Va ri ou s f e de ra l a g e nc ie s p ub lic ize d th e pr e sid e nt’ s w a rn ing . T he pr e vio us ly a loo f S ta te De pa rt me nt p ub lis he d th e fu ll t e xt of the pr e sid e nt’ s me ssa g e thr e e da y s la te r i n it s Bulletin. The Offic e of War I nformation also took note of the statement. I ts oversea s summary included a sevenpag e adde ndum that “set out additional fac ts so they may be usef ul in connection with the president’ s statements on relig ious persec ution.” The e nclosure in f act ope ned with a quotation 51 fr om Mein Kampf , a nd the n tr a c e d N a zi pe rs e c uti on s f ro m th e Nu re mbe rg L a ws , to g hettoization, and eventually to ge nocide. By Marc h 1944, only two months after the president 52 c re a te d th e War Re fu g e e B oa rd , th e sto ri e s o f Je wi sh pe rs e c uti on s a pp e a re d in the hig he st l e ve ls

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J ewish liquidations were a re curr ent topic in the Off ice of War I nformation’s ove rsea s 53 repor ts. On April 13, 1944, officia ls describe d sever al Polish death fac tories. The Tr eblinka camp r ece ived par ticular a ttention. See ibid., pt. 2, reel 14: 0988-93. Marvin Ka lb, “The Journalism of the Holoca ust,” U.S. Holocaust Me morial Museum, 54 htt p:/ /w ww .u sh mm. or g /mi sc -b in/ a dd _g ob a c k/l e c tur e s/k a lb. htm . “40,000 Refug ees,” New Y ork Times, April 1, 1944. 55 I bid. 56 162 of fe de ra l di sc ou rs e . Pa rt ic ula rl y wh e n c on tr a ste d w ith pr ior Sta te De pa rt me nt b e ha vio rs , th is positive attention is unex pecte d and demonstra ted the deg ree to which the issue had be come pa rt of the po lit ic a l ma ins tr e a m. 53 Th e e ff or t to pu bli c ize a n o ff ic ia l A me ri c a n c on c e rn fo r E ur op e a n Jew ish sa fe ty wa s a lso a pp a re nt i n n e ws pa pe r r e po rt s. Du ri ng 19 42 -4 3, c iti zen s in nu me ro us c iti e s h a d th e op po rt un ity to rea d about the g enocide . Howeve r, it was one thing for the New Y ork Times to publish an 54 a rt ic le qu oti ng a n o ve rs e a s so ur c e wi th a n u nf a mil ia r n a me . I t w a s a no the r t hin g a lto g e the r t o ru n a sto ry ba se d u po n r e po rt s is su e d f ro m a g ov e rn me nt a g e nc y . I t is pe rh a ps no t po ssi ble to quantify if citizens indeed lear ned more about the g enocide beca use of the boa rd’s media , but at a min imu m, t he a ve nu e s n ow e xiste d th a t mi g ht e nc ou ra g e su c h d e ve lop me nts . I ndeed, ne wspape r re porters be g an citing the ag ency ’s authority in their repor ts. An article in the April 4, 1944, Ne w York Tim e s highlig hted this process: “Mor e than f orty thousand c ivi lia n v ic tim s o f N a zi op pr e ssi on ha ve e sc a pe d f ro m th e pa th o f G e rm a ny ’s re tr e a tin g a rm ie s, disclosed J ohn Pehle, Executive Direc tor of the War Ref ug ee B oard. . . . These e scape s took 55 place only a fe w wee ks after President Roosevelt set up the B oard to he lp aid victims of e ne my .” I n a dd iti on to e sta bli sh ing Pe hle a nd his a g e nc y a s th e so ur c e fo r t he re po rt s o f Je wi sh 56 suffe ring s, this article also conta ined the asse rtion that helping the J ews wa s evolving into a g lobal responsibility . “I n opening their borde rs,” Pehle w as quoted a s say ing, “ nations have

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I bid. 57 “Jews Fea r Annihilation,” Ne w York Tim e s, May 10, 1944. 58 “Na zi R eig n of Ter ror,” W as hin gto n P os t, J uly 15, 1944. 59 I bid. 60 163 g iven consider ation to politi cal a s well as humanitar ian re asons.” This assertion re inforce d the 57 la rg e r U .S. str a te g y of he lpi ng Jew s b y inf or min g Eu ro pe a n s oc ie tie s a bo ut p os sib le be ne fi ts a sso c ia te d w ith of fe ri ng pr ote c tio ns . These r hetorica l effor ts, however , did not necessa rily translate into better trea tment for J ews. A Tim e s article from May 10, 1944, repor ted, “Hung ary is now prepa ring for the annihilation of its J ews by the most fiendish measure s.” The story informed r eade rs that “the puppet Nazi g overnme nt is laughing at President Roosevelt’s wa rning s and is about to start the extermination of one million hum an being s.” Whil e this article de monstrates the limitations of 58 Americ an opposition, the Hung aria n g overnme nt was neve rtheless still awar e that the United Sta te s w a s mo nit or ing the ir a c tio ns . T he Sta te De pa rt me nt, too , b e c a me mor e inv olv e d. Th is repr esente d a mar ked cha ng e in their be haviors. A f ront-pag e W as hin gto n P os t story entitled “Na zi R eig n of Ter ror Rising in Sava g ery ” re ported Sec reta ry of State Hull’s conc ern. “The 59 U.S. will not s lacke n in its efforts to stop the puppet Hung aria n g overnme nt in its violations of the mos t e le me nta ry of hu ma n r ig hts ,” Hu ll d e c la re d. He c on tin ue d b y a ssu ri ng the wo rl d th a t, “ pu nis hme nt w ill be de a lt o ut t o th e Na zi pe rp e tr a tor s a nd the ir he nc hme n. ” Th e se sta te me nts 60 might appe ar a s mere r hetoric, but they are but one of dozens found whe re policy maker s condemne d Nazi anti-Semitism as ana thema to the Amer ican c ree d. For Secre tary Hull, who was wo e fu lly ill inf or me d o n th is t op ic , th e se fo rc e fu l se nti me nts re fl e c te d a pe rs on a l mo dif ic a tio n in his public tone.

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Rosen, Saving , 467, 469. 61 Wil liam Rubenstein, The Myth of Resc ue: W hy the De mocrac ies Could Not Have Done 62 Mo re to S av e the J e ws f ro m t he Naz is (Ne w York: Routledg e, 1997), 157181. Richard F oreg g er, “ Two Sketch Maps of the Auschw itz -B irkena u Ex termination 63 Camps,” Journal of Military History 59 (1995): 690. J ames Cate a nd Wesley Craven, The Army Air Force s in W orld W ar Two (Chicag o: 64 University of Chicag o Press, 1958), 3: 723. 164 Why , then, have historians dismis sed the e ffor ts of the War Refug ee B oard? How ca n the very ag ency responsible for helping to cultivate and c onvey Americ an conc ern f or Jews be associate d with an alleg ed “a bandonment”? For many scholars, the se questions boil down to the board’ s inability to act. Specifica lly , the deba te has c ry stalliz ed ar ound the neve r-a dopted 61 proposal to bomb Auschwitz. The bombing of Auschwitz, if succe ssful, might have provided a drama tic end to the extermination proce ss in Eastern Eur ope. I t cer tainly would have be en a me a nin g fu l sy mbo lic a c t. 62 Ho we ve r, the War Re fu g e e B oa rd did no t po sse ss a n a ir fo rc e ; it s p ri ma ry ro le wa s to develop plans a nd prog rams. The very fac t that board off icials, including J ohn Pehle, forw arde d the bombing r equest to the War De partment re flec ted the boar d’s succ essful oper ations. One might rig htly lament the ag ency ’s impotence, but f aulting the War Refug ee B oard f or inac tion seems akin to blaming the victim. I n the ca se of bombing Auschwitz, a wide ra ng e of va riables discourag ed taking the ac tion. L oc a te d in so uth e a ste rn Pol a nd , A us c hw itz w a s a la rg e c omp le x—se ve ra l mi le s in le ng th and width—that housed numer ous differ ent war -re lated conc erns. The g as cha mbers and cre matoria we re loc ated in the Ausc hwitz I (Main) a nd Auschwitz I I (B irkena u) ca mps. The 63 U. S. A rm y kn e w o f t he a re a a nd ha d tw ic e bo mbe d th e Mo no wi tz pe tr ole um f a c tor y loc a te d le ss than a mile aw ay . Yet as e arly as 1942, both the United States and G rea t Britain kne w that 64

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Richard B reitman, “ Auschwitz Partially Dec oded,” in Ne ufeld a nd Be renba um, eds., 65 Bombing , 33. Martin Gilbert, Au sc hwi tz a nd the Al lie s (Ne w York: Holt, Rinehar t and Winst on, 66 1981), 303. Martin Gilbert, “ The Contempora ry Case for the Fe asibility of B ombing Ausc hwitz,” 67 in Neufe ld and B ere nbaum, eds., Bombing , 66; Wy man, Abandonment , 290-91. 165 Auschwitz served a more sinister purpose . Under standing the fa ctors involved in dec iding 65 ag ainst bombing the e x termination ce nter, or its ra ilway s lines, remains a via ble question. Even if underta ken, such a step might not have stopped the killings. Poland housed four additional extermination camps, and it seems quite possible that the Na zis would have de vised alterna tive me tho ds . 66 A spate of calls for aer ial actions ag ainst Nazi death installations beg an to appe ar in the United States during the summer of 1944. The proposals did not orig inate in the War Ref ug ee B oa rd . T he y a pp e a re d b e fo re the bo a rd via Eu ro pe a n c oll e a g ue s, a s w e ll a s c on c e rn e d p ri va te citizens. On J une 18, 1944, John P ehle r ece ived a letter from an A merica n named Jacob Ros e nh e im. I n th e c or re sp on de nc e , Ro se nh e im s ta te d th a t he po sse sse d in c on tr ov e rt ibl e e v id e n c e a b o u t t h e f a ta l d e p o r ta ti o n o f H u n g a r ia n Je w s to th e g a s c h a mb e r s in A u s c h w it z. I mpl or ing the bo a rd to t a ke imm e dia te a c tio n, he su g g e ste d th a t a “ pa ra ly sis of ra il t ra ff ic ” c ou ld a t le a st s low the pa c e of the kil lin g s. 67 Th re e da y s la te r, John Pe hle fo rw a rd e d th is r e qu e st t o th e War De pa rt me nt. I nd e e d, thi s private sug g estion, rec eived just two wee ks after the “DDay ” landing , had g arne red a re ma rk a ble le ve l of a tte nti on . T he e xpe die nc e wi th w hic h th e le tte r p a sse d th ro ug h b ur e a uc ra tic c ha nn e ls o ff e re d a sta rk c on tr a st t o th e a tte nti on pa id t o th e e a rl ie r R ie g ne r C a ble . M or e ov e r, thi s sw if t r e sp on se oc c ur re d d e sp ite the fa c t th a t th e War Re fu g e e B oa rd did no t r e c e ive its fi rs t

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J ohn Mendelsohn, “T he Holoca ust: Rescue and Relief Documenta tion in the National 68 Arc hives,” Annals of the American Ac ademy of Politi cal and Social Scienc es 450 (1980): 24042. Rosen, Saving , 4 77 ; Ric ha rd H. L e vy , “ Th e B omb ing of Au sc hw itz Re vis ite d: A 69 Critical Analy sis,” in Neufe ld and B ere nbaum, eds., Bombing , 103-8. Roge r Will iams, “Why Wasn’t Auschwitz Bombed? ” Commonweal 105 (1978): 749. 70 For more on Sec reta ry McCloy , including a photogr aph, see Clay ton L aurie , The 71 Propaganda W arriors: America’s Crusade against Nazi Germany (Topeka : University Press of Kansa s, 1998), 52-54. 166 microfilmed dra wing s and desc riptions of Auschwitz until November 1944. I n J une, ther e wa s 68 no wa y fo r P e hle to e sta bli sh e sse nti a l po int s o f f a c t r e la te d to the bo mbi ng pr op os a l. H is willingness to pass the le tter along , despite his persona l reser vations, demonstrated the ag ency ’s c omm itm e nt t o e xplor ing e ve n s e e min g ly re mot e op tio ns . 69 Six mon ths e a rl ie r, no fe de ra l a g e nc y ha d e xiste d f or c iti zen s to so lic it r e g a rd ing thi s issue. By mid-1944, howeve r, the c oncer n rec eived a ttention from the hig hest ec helons of the g ov e rn me nt. Th is n e w c og niza nc e re su lte d f ro m th e bo a rd ’s po sit ive wo rk ing re la tio ns hip wi th other bure aucr atic entities, which sug g ested that off icials throug hout the administration now acknow ledg ed the War Ref ug ee B oard a s perf orming a leg itimate function. “I t will not be contemplated,” howeve r, a U .S. Army direc tive informed B ritish officials in Fe bruar y 1944, “ tha t th e a rm e d f or c e s w ill be e mpl oy e d f or the pu rp os e of re sc uin g vic tim s o f e ne my oppression.” Such r escue missions might occ ur only if “a ctions are the direc t result of military opera tions conducted with the objec tive of def eating the ar med forc es of the e nemy .” 70 Six mon ths la te r, the ba sic min dse t a g a ins t us ing mil ita ry fo rc e to e nd the Ho loc a us t rema ined uncha ng ed. John P ehle e njoy ed a pr oductive wor king r elationship with Assistant Secre tary of War John McCl oy , but this cordiality did nothing to alter set attitudes. “The War 71 De p ar t m en t fu l l y ap p re ci at es t h e h u m an i t ar i an i m p o rt an ce o f t h e s u gges t ed [ b o m b i n g] opera tion,” McCloy ’s J uly 4 letter to Pehle re ad. “H oweve r,” he continued, “the most effe ctive

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As quoted in Rubenstein, My th , 161. 72 Her bert Dr uks, “The A llies and J ewish L eade rship on the Question of B ombing 73 Auschwitz,” Tradit ion 19 (1981): 29. I bid., 32. 74 Wy man, Abandonment , 296. 75 Wil liamson Murray , “Monday -Morning Quar terba cking and the B ombing of 76 Auschwitz,” in Neufe ld and B ere nbaum, eds., Bombing , 213; W. Hay s Parks, “Prec ision and Are a B ombing: Who Did Whi ch, and When,” J ou rn al o f St ra te gic Stu die s 18 (1995): 166. 167 relief which ca n be g iven victims of enemy perse cution is to ensure the e arly defe at of the Axi s.” 72 Additional prohibitions aga inst striki ng Auschwitz appea red f rom leading repr esenta tives within the J ewish community . One suc h example was the c ase of L eon Kubowitzki, chief of the Wor ld Je wi sh Con g re ss R e sc ue Di vis ion . O n July 1, 19 44 , h e wr ote Pe hle a nd re g ist e re d h is cate g orica l oppositi on to bombing the c amps bec ause “ the first victims killed would be the J ews.” Howeve r, by Aug ust 1944 Kubowitz ki had cha ng ed his opinion. I n a subseque nt letter 73 to Joh n M c Clo y , h e no w a dv oc a te d ta rg e tin g the g a s c ha mbe rs a nd c re ma tor ia . Th e le tte r( s) 74 acc omplished nothing. A re ply from McCloy noted that the propose d opera tion “would be of such doubtful ef fica cy that it would not warra nt the use of our resour ces.” McCloy ’s neg ative 75 view re sted on the g overnme nt’s imprecise know ledg e of the killing oper ations within the Auschwitz compound. Moreove r, War De partment off icials expressed conc ern tha t gua rds might bind J ews to the ra ilway s as targ ets, or compe l the prisoners to re pair the da mag e. 76 The lar g er point, howe ver, is not whethe r or not the United States de cided to attac k Au sc hw itz. Ra the r, the su sta ine d, hig hle ve l a tte nti on dir e c te d to wa rd c omb a tin g Na zi a nti Semitis m indicated that off icials took seriously the conc ern tha t many citizens had expressed. Hi sto ri a ns mus t no t a llo w t he ir kn ow le dg e of the c on tin ue d k ill ing s to sk e w t he ir a na ly sis . I t is

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Br eitman and Kr aut, Refugee , 169; Wy man, Abandonment , 172. 77 Saul Frie dman, Hi sto ry of t he Ho loc au st (L ondon: Vallentine Mitchell, 2004), 36265. 78 Re c or ds , ed. Culbert, pt. 1, Pehle to Davis, Aug ust 24, 1944, reel 8: 0021. The letter 79 inc lud e d a n a tta c hme nt d isc us sin g a Na zi a tta c k a g a ins t th e S.S. Me rk ur a , a pr iva te Tu rk ish sh ip with 250 J ewish re fug ees tra veling from Rumania to Hung ary . 168 overly cy nical to conc lude that the War De partment’s de cision betray ed an institutional bias ag ainst J ewish intere sts. The much r icher story involves the new inter play betwee n g overnme nt 77 a g e nc ie s a nd pr iva te c iti zen s. Th e a dmi nis tr a tio n r e sp on de d to the ra ise d le ve ls o f p ub lic int e re st that appea red dur ing 193343. Previously aloof a nd perha ps even hostile, member s of the administration now demonstrated a clea r conc ern f or upholding J ewish sec urity in Eastern Europe. An e xamp le of thi s in sti tut ion a lize d d isc ur siv e op po sit ion a pp e a re d in a se ri e s o f f a ll 1944 corr espondenc es, betwe en the boa rd’s John P ehle, the O ffice of War I nformation’s Elmer Davis, and Sec reta ry of State Cordell Hull. Thoug h none involved could ha ve known it at the t i m e, t h e l as t re m n an t s o f H u n gar y ’s J ew s h ad ar ri v ed at Au s ch wi t z i n m i d -J u l y . T h e k i l l i n gs wer e nea ring their end. Pehle, howeve r, continued to ra ise the issue. “We ha ve re ceive d 78 disquieting re ports that the Nazis in Hung ary rec ently slaug htere d thousands of Jews,” the boar d c hie f i nf or me d E lme r D a vis . “ Th e Ge rm a n a uth or iti e s mu st b e inf or me d th a t th e U. S. g overnme nt and its people ar e shocke d by this brutality and ar e dete rmined those dee med responsible shall pay for their crimes.” Of c ourse, Da vis alrea dy knew these sorts of 79 “disquieting ” re ports. This formal exchang e of infor mation was an e ffor t to employ the burea ucra tic mecha nism they had tog ether cre ated. Two we eks later , on September 7, Pehle rec eived a response . “I have r ece ived y our letter on repor ts of Nazi atrocities,” be g an Da vis. “As y ou know, we ha ve consta ntly hammere d awa y

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I bid., pt. 1, Davis to Pehle, September 7, 1944, r eel 8: 0044. 80 I bid., pt. 1, Hull to Davis, S eptember 22, 1944, ree l 8: 0071. 81 I bid., pt. 1, Davis to Hull, S eptember 30, 1944, ree l 8: 0088. 82 169 a t t h is s u b je c t. ” H e in f o r me d th e Wa r Re f u g e e B o a r d : “ w e h a v e w r it te n a n e w d ir e c ti v e o n N a zi wa r c ri me s a nd a tr oc iti e s. Th e Ge rm a n, B a lka n, a nd se ve ra l ot he r r e g ion a l di re c tiv e s h a ve a lso addre ssed the subjec t in detail.” Fr om this corresponde nce, Pehle could conc lude that the issue 80 of comba ting Na zi anti-S emitism remained a vibr ant conc ern. A September 1944 le tter fr om Se c re ta ry of Sta te Cor de ll H ull up ho lds thi s ju dg me nt. “ Th e pe rs e c uti on of Jew s in Hu ng a ry is aga i n b ei n g i n t en s i fi ed , ” h e r ei n fo rm ed Da v i s . “R ep re s en t at i v es o f t h e W ar R ef u gee Bo ar d u rge the Off ice of War I nformation take vigor ous measure s.” “I concur in their rec ommendations,” t h e m er cu ri al s ec re t ar y s t at ed i n h i s cl o s i n g. 81 This information loop about the g enocide ended a wee k later w hen Elmer D avis replied to the State Depa rtment. “We ar e continuing our utmost effor ts to alleviate the distressing perse cution of the Jews in Hung ary ,” he w rote to Hull in autumn of 1944. “Our curr ent propag anda,” Davis continued, “ tells the Hung aria ns in the sharpe st terms that further atroc ities ag ainst J ews will intensify indigna tion on the part of Allied public opinion.” I n closing , the Of fi ce o f W ar I n fo rm at i o n l ea d er o ff er ed t h i s as s u ra n ce : “w e s h al l re p ea t s u ch wa rn i n gs fre quently until we have de finite news the Jews in Hung ary are safe .” 82 Whe n v ie we d f ro m a po stw a r v a nta g e po int , s uc h c or re sp on de nc e s a pp e a r i ns uf fi c ie nt, and may be eve n a bit trag ic. B y fall of 1944, the N azis had murdere d many milli ons of J ews wi tho ut a ny dir e c t A lli e d in te rv e nti on . H ow e ve r, thi s w e ig hty po int of fa c t ha s n e e dle ssl y c ru sh e d th e e ff or ts o f a g e nc ie s su c h a s th e War Re fu g e e B oa rd to a lte r t hin kin g a nd be ha vio rs . Prior to its J anuar y 1944 cre ation, no coher ent mecha nism ex isted for the a ccumulation or

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170 pr oc e ssi ng of a tr oc ity inf or ma tio n. Of fi c ia ls a t th e a dmi nis tr a tio n’ s h ig he st l e ve ls d isp la y e d li ttl e kn ow le dg e of , o r c on c e rn wi th, the Na zis’ de str uc tio n o f E ur op e a n Jew ry . H ow e ve r, wi thi n s ix months of its creation, the War Ref ug ee B oard stee red a cre dible g overnme nt discourse e merg ed focuse d on helping to end J ewish suffe ring . The boa rd’s wor th lies not in estim ating the number of Jew ish liv e s sa ve d. Ra the r, the mos t va lua ble fu nc tio n p e rf or me d r e la te d to its a bil ity to advanc e an ide a g lobally , and in the United States, that Na zi behaviors toward Jews violated Western sensibilities. The War Ref ug ee B oard institutionaliz ed the pr eviously nebulous conne ction betwee n Eu ro pe a n Jew ish we lf a re a nd Am e ri c a n n a tio na l in te re sts . T he a g e nc y re pr e se nte d a c a ps ton e to the de c a de -l on g c a mpa ig n to a lte r t he pu bli c ’s be lie f t ha t Jew s w e re a fr ie nd le ss p e op le , w ho se welfa re w as extraneous to Christian societies. Thoug h the body only exis ted for e ighte en months du ri ng 19 44 -4 5, the ste p s uc c e e de d in ma kin g pr a c tic a l th e muc h la rg e r i de a tha t c omb a tin g a nti Semitis m and re lated intolera nce w as a me aning ful task. I n the y ear s following 1945, the notion that an inviolable conne ction exis ted betwe en Jewish and Christian welfar e—the be drock ide a behind the boar d’s cr eation—provide d a founda tion for eng ineer ing a more plura list national ide nti ty . O pp os ing g e no c ide a nd sta te -s po ns or e d p e rs e c uti on s o f h uma n r ig hts be c a me a sta ple idea that a ppear ed in later fore ign policy discussions. During World W ar I I , the United States was the only Allied nation that rec orded a nd combated the J ewish destruc tion. The War Refug ee Boa rd ser ved to diffe rentiate for Ame rica n citizens and the world that a sta rk contra st ex isted betwee n the fa scist and democr atic conc eptions of life, liberty , and the pur suit of individual ha pp ine ss.

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As quoted in I van Tillem, The Jewish Direc tory and Almanac (N e w Y or k: P a c if ic Pr e ss, 1 1 9 8 4 ) , 1 : x. 171 CH APT ER 7 CONCL USI ON Properly , the J ew oug ht hardly be hea rd of. B ut he is hear d of, has a lway s been he ard of . He is as pr ominent on this pl anet a s any other pe ople. The Jew saw the m all, survived them all, and is now wha t he alwa y s was. All things a re morta l but the J ew. All other forc es pass, but he r emains. —Mark Tw ain, Harper’s M agazine , September 1897 1 Th is d iss e rt a tio n o ff e rs sc ho la rs wh o s pe c ia lize in t he Am e ri c a n r e a c tio n to Na zi a nti Semitis m a history that does not beg in with the premise that citizens and lea ders a bandoned the Je w s o f E u r o p e . I n s te a d , I a r g u e th a t s o me A me r ic a n s s a w in th e p u b li c r e p o r ts o f N a zi a nti -S e mit ism , a s w e ll a s r e la te d e xpre ssi on s o f G e rm a n in tol e ra nc e , a n o pp or tun ity to i nit ia te public discourse tha t expl ained how the fasc ist visi on for humankind wa s abhorr ent to citizens living in pluralist democr atic socie ties. During the 1930s and 1940s, the c omparing and c on tr a sti ng of div e rg e nt i de olo g ie s w a s c omm on pla c e , a pp a re nt i n n e ws pa pe rs a nd ma g a zine s, popular litera ture, thea ter, film, as we ll as in official g overnme ntal documents. The one unify ing threa d throug hout these var ious artifac ts is an oppositi on to the Ger man per secution of so c ioc ult ur a l a nd re lig iou s mi no ri tie s. The Mar ch 1933 Na zi t akeove r in Ger many reve aled a wide-r ang ing hostility toward J ews, Catholics, Qua kers, Ma sons, and labor or g anizations. The expression of such antipathies lent cre dibilit y to the emer g ing public c laim that all America ns—and, indee d, all fre edom-loving people—ha d something to fe ar f rom the spre ad of suc h a re g ime. Admittedly , this assertion was by no means pre valent during the 1930s. Americ ans we re still fig uring out who Adolf Hitler wa s and dete rmining w hat, if any thing, his belief s meant to their lives. I ndeed, some Americ ans embra ced his ra cial views, a nd participa ted in violence a g ainst J ews. How ever , many other

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172 milli ons beg an to re cog nize that racism posed a threa t to the nation. They planted a se ed arg ument that persisted into the next decade : contempt for c ivil li berties, whe ther in B erlin or Boston, wa s itself contemptible. I n J anuar y 1941, prior to the nationÂ’s e ntranc e into the Second World War, President Roo se ve lt i nc lud e d th e ri g ht o f u nf e tte re d w or sh ip a s o ne of the ina lie na ble hu ma n r ig hts de lin e a te d in his F ou r F re e do ms s pe e c h. On c e the Un ite d St a te s jo ine d th e fi g hti ng , th e c la im tha t A me ri c a n f or c e s b a ttl e d to up ho ld t his a nd oth e r d e moc ra tic ide a ls b e c a me sta nd a rd in pu bli c dis c us sio ns . Just a s th e y sti ll d o n ow , f ive de c a de s la te r, ma ny Am e ri c a ns a t th e tim e ide nti fi e d th e vic tor y ov e r N a zi ba rb a ri sm a s th e wa rÂ’ s mo st s ig nif ic a nt a c c omp lis hme nt. For those citizens, the rhetoric a bout America n conce rn for human rig hts proved essential. The se voters w ould have supporte d President RooseveltÂ’s dec ision to create a War Refug ee B oard tha t administered dire ct Amer ican r elief to Eur opeÂ’s pe rsec uted minorities. The weig ht of the inherited na rra tive has discoura g ed schola rs from investig ating the proposition that the Un ite d St a te s a rt ic ula te d a c oh e re nt o pp os iti on to N a zi a nti -S e mit ism . F or fo ur de c a de s, historians have be g un constructing their studies with a pre deter mined conclusion. I ho pe tha t th e int ro du c tio n o f n e w t e xts, v oic e s, a nd int e rp re ta tio ns wi ll l e a d s c ho la rs to rec onsider questions once thought se ttled. How do the long -standing claims of a pr evale nt nativism in t he United States mesh with evide nce tha t America ns of var y ing f aiths and leve ls of social status publicly attacke d Nazi anti-Semitic behaviors? How ar e we to rec oncile the dilatory anti-Semitism apparent in the State De partment with counte rvailing burea ucra tic narr atives reg arding other a g encie s? Which ty pe of pe rson, a Char les L indberg h or an A rchiba ld MacL eish, most successfully sculpted the public discour se during the 1930s and 1940s? Whose utterance s a n d a c t i v i t i e s s h o u l d t h e h i s t o r i a n e x a m i n e w h e n a s s e m b l i n g p o r t r a i t s o f t h e p e r i o d ?

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David Truma n, The Go v e rn me nta l P ro c e ss, 2nd ed. (N ew Yor k: Knopf, 1975), 5023; 2 E. E. Schattschne ider, Vic tor J ones, and Stephe n Ba iley , A G uid e to t he Stu dy of P ub lic Af fai rs (Ne w York: Willi am Sloane, 1955), 25. Henr y Fe ingold, The Politics of Rescue: The Rooseve lt Administr ation and the 3 Holocaust, 1938-1945 2nd ed. (N ew Yor k: Holocaust L ibrary , 1980), 315. 173 Al low ing fo r t he po ssi bil ity tha t c omb a tin g Na zi a nti -S e mit ism pla y e d a me a nin g fu l r ole i n A m e r i c a n s o c i e t y d u r i n g t h e 1 9 3 0 s a n d e a r l y 1 9 4 0 s o p e n s u p n e w r o u t e s o f s c h o l a r l y i n q u i r y. Specifica lly , historians fac e the c halleng e of try ing to de monstrate the de g ree to which the issue perme ated mainstre am life. Curre ntly no aca demic fr amewor k exis ts for situating or evalua ting this particular issue a g ainst relate d political conce rns. Those sc holars who spe cialize in the Am e ri c a n r e a c tio n p re se nt t he iss ue a s a n a no ma ly ra the r t ha n a s p a rt of a muc h la rg e r p lur a lis t sh if t. N o o ne ha s y e t e xpla ine d h ow the su c c e ssf ul e ff or ts t o b ri ng thi s e thn ore lig iou s is su e int o t h e m a i n s t r e a m s i g n a l e d a n u p c o m i n g s e a c h a n g e i n t h e s o c i e t y. Perhaps se eking out interdisciplinary methods and theorie s will help historians with the task. Since the 1950s, public policy scholars ha ve examined the explosion of private pre ssure g ro up s th a t a c c omp a nie d th e ri se of e xec uti ve g ov e rn me nt d ur ing the Ne w D e a l. On e sp e c if ic 2 ramifica tion of this trend was that nar row spec ial interests beg an ag g ressively sear ching out acc ess to the cor ridors of powe r. Much like B erg son and He cht’s multiface ted lobby ing, c itiz ens re pr e se nti ng a ra ng e of int e re sts be g a n d e ma nd ing a ssi sta nc e fr om f e de ra l so ur c e s. Th is m a c ro c ha ng e in t he wo rk ing s o f t he Am e ri c a n p oli tic a l sy ste m pr ov ok e d a ri pp le thr ou g ho ut t he g ov e rn me nt, a s w e ll a s th e a c a de my , w he re sc ho la rs be g a n r e vis ing the ma nn e r i n which they discussed the policy proce ss. New c ateg ories of a naly sis widened the locus of what c on sti tut e d o ff ic ia l a c tiv ity . H ist or ia ns wh o s pe c ia lize in t he U. S. r e sp on se to N a zi a nti Semitis m, some of whom hold that Roosevelt followed only a policy of “g estures,” often overlook the f act that the te rm “policy ” has a rang e of me aning s. Viewing the re cord w ithin a 3

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Elinor Ostrom, “An Ag enda f or the Study of I nstitut ion,” Public Choice 48 (1986): 3-25. 4 Wil liam Brow ne, Cul tiv ati ng Con gr e ss (L awr ence : University Press of Ka nsas, 1995), 5 136. Edella Schlag er a nd Wil liam Bloomquist, “A Comparison of Thre e Emer g ing T heorie s 6 of the Policy Process,” Political Research Quarte rly 49 (1996): 652. Richard F enno, Con gr e ssm e n in Com mi tte e s (B oston: L ittle, Brown, 1971) , 284. 7 Walter Goodman, The Extraordinary Career of the House Committee on Un-A merican 8 Activities (Ne w York: F arr ar, Straus, G iroux ), 12. 174 public policy prism can pr ovide some much-ne eded the oretica l gir ding to more than a de cade of a c t i v i t y. The e asiest model for historians to a dapt to their discussions is one ref err ed to as “instituti onal ra tional choice.” This approa ch holds that repr esenta tives draf t bills that ref lect their per sonal pref ere nces. The theor y behind this approac h is that deleg ates—a ll holding 4 particula ristic interests—will support panoplies of nonre lated or e ssential issues. I n this schema, c iti zen -a dv oc a te s a pp e a r a s su pp lic a nts to t he c e nte rs of po we r. Th e ir g ra ssro ot p a rt ic ipa tio n is 5 su bje c t to the la rg e r w him s o f t he ins tit uti on s a nd a g e nc ie s th a t do min a te the po lic y pr oc e ss. 6 Those spec ializi ng in the Americ an re action to Nazi anti-Semitism wil l find in the instit utional rational choic e model a ba sis for situating a rang e of diff ere nt cong ressional activities. The c halleng e bec omes aff ix ing pa rticular c ase studies, such a s the issue of comba ting Nazi anti-Semitism , to an appr opriate g overnme ntal committee. One spe cific e nd might be a 7 more foc used examination of the House U n-Amer ican Ac tiviti es Committ ee, c onnecting the pu bli c str ug g le s a g a ins t N a zi a nti -S e mit ism wi th p ri va te ba ttl e s b e tw e e n c omm itt e e me mbe rs . 8 This approa ch would compleme nt a much lar g er study aimed at e x plaining the committee’s bizarre meta morphosis from a tool first desig ned to investig ate the e nemies of the Jews into a de vic e fo r i nv e sti g a tin g the Jew s a s e ne mie s. F or tw o d e c a de s, the bo dy pla y e d a le a din g ro le in

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Alan B rinkley , The End of Reform: New De al Liberali sm in Rece ssion and W ar (Ne w 9 York: Vintag e, 1995), 270. L eonar d Dinnerstein, Anti-Semitism in America (Ne w York: Oxford Univer sity , 1994), 10 150. Charles Stember e t al., Jews in the Minds of Ame rica (Ne w York: F ree Press, 1966), x. 11 175 the on g oin g c on te st o ve r Je ws , a nd a stu dy of c on g re ssi on a l e xpe ri e nc e s w ith a nti -S e mit ism w o u l d r e p r e s e n t a c l e a r a c h i e v e m e n t i n m e s h i n g h i s t o r i c a l m e t h o d a n d p o l i t i c a l s c i e n c e t h e o r y. An additional way to broade n investiga tions is by exploring the re lationship between the sustained opposition to Nazi anti-Semitism on t he one ha nd, and the f ull-blown emerg ence of sociocultural plura lism on t he other . The c onnection betwe en the de fea t of fasc ism, and g rea ter do me sti c tol e ra nc e fo r s oc ioc ult ur a l mi no ri tie s, is l og ic a l a s w e ll a s in tui tiv e . As pa rt of the ir 9 fig hting, Ame rica n GI s had lea rned tha t persec uting minorities was a bhorre nt. Some had oc c a sio n to vie w f ir sth a nd wh a t su c h b ig ote d p ra c tic e s h a d p ro du c e d. Up on re tur nin g to t he ir hometowns and c ities, these forme r soldiers helpe d to promulga te a more inclusive mind-set that stressed r espec t and tolera nce. I n public leade rship positions, as well as in private role s as the he a ds of ne w h ou se ho lds , th e y c on sti tut e d a ne w c oh or t th a t di sc ou ra g e d a nti -S e mit ism . 10 I ndeed, the results of public opinion polling conduc ted by the Gallup org anization, National Opinion Resea rch Cente r, Opinion Resea rch Corpor ation, Offic e of O pinion Researc h, a nd El mo R op e r h a ve de mon str a te d th a t A me ri c a ns he ld— or a t le a st e xpre sse d— mor e fa vo ra ble opinions of J ews in the de cade s following 1945 tha n in the y ear s leading up to the fig ht. Charles Stember’s wor k Jews in the Mind of Ame rica (1966), f unded by the Anti-De fama tion L eag ue as part of a multipart series entitled “Patter ns of Amer ican I ntoleranc e,” w as the fir st study to offer qu a nti ta tiv e e vid e nc e tha t de mon str a te d a de c lin e in A me ri c a n a nti -S e mit ism . 11

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Spencer Bla keslee , The De ath of A me ric an An tiSe mi tis m (Westport, Ct.: P rae g er, 12 2002), 44. I bid. I nterpre ting the polls ca n be an imper fec t exercise. Melvin Tumin has obser ved 13 tha t st a tus -s e e kin g big ots , a s w e ll a s r ur a l c iti zen s w ho mov e d to ur ba n a re a s f or e mpl oy me nt, might suppre ss their anti-Semitism publ icly , even f or a life time. See Tumin, An Inve ntory and Ap pr ais al o f R e se ar c h o n A me ric an An tiSe mi tis m (Ne w York: F ree dom Books, 1961), 45. Stan Tay lor, Ha rry S. Tru ma n a nd the Fo un din g o f I sra e l (Westport, Ct.: P rae g er, 14 1997), 124-25; Robert Wistrich, “Z ionism and I ts J ewish “A ssimil ationist” Critics, 1897-1948,” J e wis h S oc ial Stu die s 4 (1998): 127; Z vi Ganin, Truman, American J ewry, and Israe l, 19451948 (N e w Y or k: H olm e s a nd Me ie r, 19 79 ), 21 ; D or e e n B ie rb ri e r, “ Th e Am e ri c a n Z ion ist Emerg ency Council: An Analy sis of a Pressure Group,” Am e ric an J e wis h H ist or ic al Q ua rte rly 60 (1970): 82. 176 Stember examined the re sults of eig hty -three polls that asked Christian America ns over 250 questions about their Jewish fellow citizens. He prese nted his findings in more than 120 a g g re g a te d ta ble s, g ro up e d in fi ve su bs e c tio ns , c ov e ri ng a tti tud e s to wa rd Jew s, a sso c ia tio ns wi th J ews, a ctive hostility ag ainst J ews, a nd eff ects of the war on opinions toward J ews. Striking declines in the numbe r of big oted sentiments rec orded a re a ppare nt. For e x ample, Stember repor ted that in 1940, 63 perc ent of re spondents had af firmed the pr oposition t hat J ews ha d “objec tionable traits.” I n 1962, howeve r, the number of citizens expressing a g ree ment with that sta te me nt h a d d ro pp e d b y 40 pe rc e nta g e po int s. I n a no the r t a ble , St e mbe r p re se nte d d a ta 12 rela ted to the question of whe ther or not ha ving a J ewish neig hbor wa s objectionable. I n 1938, o n e q u a r t e r o f C h r i s t i a n A m e r i c a n s f o u n d t h e p o s s i b i l i t y u n t o w a r d ; i n 1 9 6 2 , h o w e v e r , o n l y 3 pe rc e nt o f r e sp on de nts e xpre sse d r e se rv a tio ns . 13 Th e de c lin e in p ub lic e xpre ssi on s o f a nti -S e mit ism c oin c ide d w ith a sp ike in Je wi sh Americ an visibilit y . During the late 1940s, a nd continuing into the 1950s a nd 1960s, supporting the new Jewish homeland in I srae l produce d a spate of new pressure org anizations such as the Am e ri c a n Z ion ist Em e rg e nc y Cou nc il a nd the Am e ri c a n Pa le sti ne Com mit te e . Th e re we re a lso 14 new domestic g roups such a s the Union of Amer ican He brew Congr eg ations, repr esenting the

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Allen Her tzke, Represe nting God in W ashington: The Role of Religious Lobbi es in the 15 Am e ric an Po lit y (Knoxvil le: University of Tenne ssee Pre ss, 1988), 37-39. Michae l Goldberg , W hy Should Je ws Survive: Looking Past the Holoc aust towar d A 16 J e wis h F utu re ( N e w Y o r k : O x f o r d U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1 9 9 5 ) , 1 1 6 , 1 4 8 . S e e a l s o D a v i d D e m s k y, “ A R he tor ic a l A na ly sis of the Jew ish De fe ns e L e a g ue Mo ve me nt” (m a ste r’ s th e sis , Ci ty University of Ne w York, Q ueens, 1972) , 18. Arthur Miller, Focus (Ne w York: Rey nal and Hitchc ock, 1945). 17 Christopher B igsby , Arthur Miller: A Criti cal Study (N e w Y or k: C a mbr idg e Un ive rs ity 18 Press, 2005), 67-78; Rober t Martin and Steve Centola, e ds., The Theatre Essays of Arthur Miller (Ne w York: Da Capo Press, 1996), 295, 299. 177 larg est [R efor m] seg ment of the Ame rica n J ewish community . Along with older asse mblies such as the Ame rica n J ewish Committ ee a nd Americ an Jewish Congre ss, numerous public g roups focuse d the dominant Christian public’s attention on the J ewish community . I ndeed, the 15 decision by J ewish Amer icans to adopt a more visible stance , particula rly ag ainst expressions of bigotr y and violence , fuele d the cr ies of “N ever Ag ain” that e merg ed during the Middle Easter n c on fl ic ts d ur ing the la te 19 60 s. 16 Th e re is a lso e vid e nc e tha t A me ri c a ns sa w i n th e de fe a t of Na zism a c ha nc e to ba ttl e do me sti c a nti -S e mit ism a s w e ll. I n 1 94 5, Ar thu r M ill e r’ s n ov e l Focus , s e t i n B r o o k l yn during the last two y ear s of World W ar I I , rooted a discussion of the phenomenon in the fictitious L awr ence Newma n, a big oted offic e wor ker w ho was c ompelled to wea r ey eg lasses by a de bil ita tiv e e y e c on dit ion . Ne wm a n b e lie ve d th a t th e c or re c tiv e le ns e s r e nd e re d h im Se mit ic 17 in a pp e a ra nc e . I n th e g la nc e s o f h is n e ig hb or s, Ne wm a n p e rc e ive d d isg us t a nd re je c tio n. Hi s le ve l of pa ra no ia inc re a se d, a nd he be c a me wi thd ra wn . T he on c e -c omf or ta ble pe tit bo ur g e ois beca me aliena ted from his neig hborhood, and the n, fee ling himself a n outsider, he turne d for so la c e to t he sa me Jew ish imm ig ra nts he ha d p re vio us ly so de sp ise d. Pe rh a ps the no ve l’ s mo st subtle observa tions relate to the mallea ble nature of identity and assimilation in the United Sta te s. 18

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19 http:// www.jhvc.or g /video_library /index .php? film_id=138 20 htt p:/ /no ir of the we e k. blo g sp ot. c om/ 20 05 /07 /c ro ssf ir e -1 94 771 12 00 5. htm l 178 Holly wood’s silver sc ree n also exposed domestic anti-Semitism . I n 1947, A Gentlem an’s Ag re e me nt wa s th e fi rs t f e a tur e to c on fr on t sq ua re ly the re a lit ie s o f C hr ist ia n A me ri c a n b ia se s. The film starr ed Gr eg ory Peck as a Protestant journalist named Phillip Green. I ts plot centere d on his ex perie nces a s a prog ressive w riter who w anted to investig ate a nti-Semiti sm. Peck’s c ha ra c te r d e c ide d to pr e te nd to b e Jew ish in o rd e r t o e xpe ri e nc e the va ry ing fo rm s o f r a c ism (e.g ., epithets, ref usal of ser vice, phy sical intimidation) that ex isted in America n society . He soon encounte red a wide ra ng e of obstac les, some over t and cr ude, other s more insidious. The film opened in late 1947 to both popular a nd critica l acc laim. That y ear , A Gentlem an’s Agreem ent won the Ac ademy Awar d for F ox Studios for be st moti on picture. 19 Also in 1947, RKO Studi os relea sed Crossfi re, starring Robert Ry an, Robert Young , and Robert Mitchum. Set in postwar Americ a, the movie de picted the story of a big ot named “ Mo nty ” Mo ntg ome ry (R ob e rt Ry a n) , a re c e ntl y dis c ha rg e d s old ie r w ho mur de re d a Jew ish Am e ri c a n ma n d ur ing a dr un ke n r a g e . N oth ing in t he e ve nts le a din g up to t he ho mic ide wo uld have ma de that outcome f orese eable ; the victim, like Montgomery , was a lso a veter an, and he and his wife ha d invited the my sterious soldier into their apa rtment. Howe ver, the materia l prosper ity evident in the couple ’s Washington D.C., home, joined with the GI ’s inebria tion and lifetime of ac cumulated big otries, re sulted in the attack. Cro ssf ire d i r e c t o r E d w a r d D m yt r yk so ug ht t o e xpos e the c on fl ic t r a g ing wi thi n a ma n w ho ha d f ou g ht b ra ve ly to d e fe a t a re g ime steepe d in relig ious hatred but wa s still unwilling to re linquish hi s own persona l biases. Much 20 like with A Gentlem an’s Agree ment , the citizens who viewed Cro ssf ire (1947) lea rned tha t dark emotions toward Jews were not limi ted to Europea n societies. The film encoura g ed Amer icans

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179 to be vig ilant ag ainst such sentiments, char acte rizing them as incompa tible with life in the po stw a r U nit e d St a te s. During the ea rly twentieth ce ntury , the leg acy of anti-Semitism clearly damag ed Jews, as their re lationship with m ember s of the Christian majority rema ined unpre dictable. This wa s the case particula rly in the deca de following the Fir st W orld War, when ne wspape rs re ported on the a c tiv iti e s o f Je wi sh B ols he vik s, Me rc ha nts of De a th, a nd L a bo r m ili ta nts . H ow e ve r, be g inn ing in the ea rly 1930s, and following into the next deca de, a br oad-ba sed socio-c ultural and political movement ca me into exi stence . Condemning the NazisÂ’ hostili ty toward or g anized relig ion as incompatible with the democr atic vision for humankind provide d a usef ul rhetorica l device tha t he lpe d A me ri c a ns to d e fi ne the ir na tio na l pu rp os e . G ra du a lly the sp e c te r a nd re a lit ie s o f N a zism repla ced the threa t of J udeo-B olshevism as the main object of A merica n consterna tion. A nasce nt discourse for med about def ending relig ious free dom, and the subseque nt discussion that emer g ed would ultimately rec onfig ure the manner in which citizens came to unde rstand the values they had long claimed to che rish.

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180 L I ST OF REF ERENCES Abzug, Robert. America V iews the Holocaust, 1933-1945. New Y ork: St. Martin’s, 1999. Alpers, Be njamin. Dictators, Democ racy and Am erican Public Culture: Env isioning t he Totali tarian Enemy, 1920s-1950s . Chapel Hill: University of North Car olina Press, 2003. Altman n, J ohn. “Movies’ Role in Hitler’ s Conquest of Ger man Youth.” Hollywood Quarterly 3 (1948): 379-84. Auer bac h, J erold. The Journey from Torah to C onstitut ion . B loo min g ton : I nd ia na Un ive rs ity Press, 1990. Ba ldwin , Neil. The American R eve lation: Ten Ideals That Shaped Our Country from the Puritans to t he Cold W ar . New Y ork: St. Martin’s, 2005. ----. H e nr y Fo rd an d th e J e ws: The Ma ss P ro du c tio n o f H ate . New Y ork: Public Affa irs, 2001. Ba rkan, Elazar. The Retreat of Scientific Rac ism: Changing Concepts of Race in Britain and the Un ite d S tat e s b e twe e n th e W or ld W ar s . New Y ork: Cambridg e Univer sity Press, 1992. Ba rnes, J oseph. “F ighting with I nformation: O.W.I . Over seas.” Public Opinion Quarterly 7 (1943): 34-45. Ba uer, Y ehuda. My Brothe r’s Keepe r: A History of the Ame rican Joint Je wish Dist ribution Committee, 1929-1939 . Philadelphia: J ewish Publications Services, 1974. Be ll, L e land. In Hi tle r’ s S ha do w: The An ato my of A me ric an Naz ism . New Y ork: Kennika t, 1973. ----. “T he F ailure of Nazism in America: The Ger man Amer ican Bund , 1936-1941.” Political Scienc e Quarterly 85 (1970): 585-99. Be nders ky , J oseph. The Jewish Threat: Anti-Semitic Politics of the U.S. Army . N e w Y or k: B a sic Books, 2000. Be rman , Aar on. “Amer ican Z ionism and the Rescue of Europea n J ewr y : An I deolog ical Perspec tive.” American J ewish History 70 (1981): 310-31. ----. N azism, the Jews, and Ame rican Zionism, 1933-1948 . D e tr oit : Wa y ne Sta te Un ive rs ity Press, 1990. Be rry , J eff rey . The In te re st G ro up So c ie ty . New Y ork: Har per a nd Colli ns, 1996. Be st, Ga ry Dea n. To F re e a P e op le : A me ric an J e wis h Le ad e rs a nd the J e wis h P ro ble ms in Eastern Europe . Westport, Ct .: Gree nwood, 1982.

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181 Bie rbrie r, Dore en. “T he Amer ican Z ionist Emerg ency Council: An Analy sis of a Pressure Group.” American J ewish Historical Quarterly 60 (1970): 82-105. Billing t on, Monroe, a nd Cal Clark. “Rabbis and the New D eal: Clues to J ewish Politi cal Be havior.” Am e ric an J e wis h H ist or y 80 (1990): 193-212. Birdw el l, Michael. Ce llu loi d S old ie rs: The W ar ne r B ro s. Cam pa ign ag ain st N az ism . New Y ork: New Y ork Univer sity Press, 1999. Bla ck, E dwin. I.B.M. and the Holocaust: The Strategic Alliance be tween Nazi Germany and America’ s Most Powerful Corpor ation . New Y ork: Crown, 2001. Bla ck, G reg ory . The Catholi c Crusade against the Movie s, 1940-1975 . Ne w Y o rk : C am b ri d ge University Press, 1997. Bla kesle e, Spence r. The De ath of A me ric an An tiSe mi tis m . Westport: P rae g er, 2002. Bloom, Sol. The Sol Bloom Papers, 1925-49. Ne w York Public L ibrary , New Y ork. ----. T he Autobiography of Sol Bloom . New Y ork: Putnam’s, 1948. Bode , C arl, e d. The Ne w M e nc k e n Le tte rs . New Y ork: Dial, 1977. Bor den, Morton. Jews, Turks and In fid e ls . Ch a pe l H ill : U niv e rs ity of No rt h Ca ro lin a Pr e ss, 1984. Br aham , Randolph, ed. Jewish Leadership during the Nazi Era: Patterns of Behavior in the Free W or ld . New Y ork: Columbia University Press, 1985. B re c he r , F ra nk . “ Da vid Wy ma n a nd the Hi sto ri og ra ph y of Am e ri c a ’s Re sp on se to t he Ho loc a us t: Counter-Considera tion.” Ho loc au st a nd Ge no c ide Stu die s 5 (1990): 423-46. Br eitma n, Richard. “ The Allied War Ef fort and the J ews, 1942-1943.” J ou rn al o f Co nte mp or ar y History 20 (1985): 135-57. ----. O fficial Secrets: W hat the Nazis Planned, W hat the Americans and British Knew . New York: Hill and Wang , 1998. Br eitma n Richard, a nd Alan Kr aut. American R efugee Policy and Europe an Jewry, 19331945 . Blooming ton: I ndiana Unive rsity Press, 1987. Br euer , Wil liam. Hitler’s Underc over W ar: The Nazi’s Espionage Invasion of the U.S.A. New York: St. Martin’s, 1989. Br inkley , Alan. The End of Refor m: New De al L ibera lism i n Rece ssion and War. New York: Vintag e, 1995.

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199 B I OG RA PHI CA L SKE TCH J eff rey Scott Demsky was born on L ong I sland, New York, on July 19, 1974, and attended the Sachem Public School Sy stem until hi s g radua tion from high sc hool in J une 1992. He a tte nd e d th e Sta te Un ive rs ity of Ne w Y or k a t A lba ny a nd re c e ive d a B a c he lor of Ar ts i n Europea n History and Political Science, cum laude , in Ma y 19 95 . T ha t f a ll, he be g a n g ra du a te s c h o o l , s t u d y i n g m o d e r n G e r m a n H i s t o r y , a t t h e A m e r i c a n U n i v e r s i t y , W a s h i n g t o n D . C . In summer 1997, af ter re ceiving his masterÂ’s of a rts deg ree , J eff rey Demsky attended the Goethe I n s t i t u t , M u n i ch , wh er e h e s t u d i ed Ge rm an l an gu age an d cu l t u re . Fr o m S ep t em b er 1 9 9 7 t h ro u gh Aug ust 1998, he rema ined in Washington D.C., working as a r esea rche r for the Gene ral Servic es Administration and National Ge og raphic Society . I n fall 1998, he e nrolled in a Eur opean H istory do c tor a l pr og ra m a t th e Un ive rs ity of F lor ida . So on the re a ft e r, he be c a me a re se a rc h a ssi sta nt t o Professor T. W. Gallant. He spent much of summer 2000 w orking on a proje ct funde d by the Na tio na l Sc ie nc e F ou nd a tio n, c la ssi fy ing B ri tis h im pe ri a l r e po rt s w ri tte n in the e a rl y nin e te e nth centur y . Whil e a g radua te student, he pre sented a number of pa pers to conf ere nces he ld at Rutge rs Univer sity , Dover State University , and the Unive rsity of F lorida. A membe r of se vera l aca demic honor soc ieties, including Phi Alpha Theta, he rec eived his PhD as a twe ntieth century Americ an historian in May 2007.