Sponsored by Piedmont National Family Foundation
In Conversation with Catherine Lewis, Professor of History, Kennesaw State University
Community Partner: Eternal Life Hemshech
REBECCA ERBELDING, Rescue Board
In January 1944, a young Treasury lawyer named John Pehle attended a meeting with President Franklin D. Roosevelt. For more than a decade, the Jews of Germany had sought refuge in the United States and had been stymied by Congress’s harsh immigration policy. Now the State Department was refusing to authorize relief funds that Pehle wanted to use to help Jews escape Nazi territory. At the meeting, Pehle made his best case–and prevailed. Within days, Roosevelt created the War Refugee Board, empowering it to rescue the victims of Nazi persecution, and put John Pehle in charge. Pehle pulled together a team of D.C. pencil pushers, international relief workers, smugglers, diplomats, millionaires, and rabble-rousers to run operations across four continents and a dozen countries. Together, they tricked the Nazis, forged identity papers, maneuvered food and medicine into concentration camps, recruited spies, leaked news stories, laundered money, and funneled millions of dollars into Europe. Altogether, they saved tens of thousands of lives.
RICK RICHMAN, Racing Against History
Racing Against History is the stunning story of three powerful personalities, David Ben-Gurion, Vladimir Jabotinsky, and Chaim Weizmann—the leaders of the left, right, and center of Zionism — who sought in 1940 to turn the tide of history. They undertook separate missions to America to seek support for a Jewish army to fight Hitler. Their efforts were at once heroic and tragic. The book presents a portrait of three historic figures and the American Jewish community—at the beginning of the most consequential decade in modern Jewish history—and a cautionary tale about divisions within the Jewish community at a time of American isolationism.+ More... - Less...