David S. Wyman is the current chairman of the Institute of Holocaust Studies, the institute that has been named after him. Through his book, Wyman made a great contribution in support of the Jews who he believes were abandoned by the American as well as the British leaders during the Holocaust in 1944.
The Abandonment of the Jews is mainly based on the argument that while the Holocaust was going on, the British and American political leaders that also includes the name of the President Roosevelt, denied the proposals that could have possibly saved the lives of hundreds of thousands European Jews. These were the Jews who were there in the concentration camps of Germany. The proposals that Wyman talks about here include the failure of these leaders to order the destruction of the railway lines that led to Auschwitz and denying asylum to the Jewish refugees. On the other hand, he also claims that in the middle of this chaos, the Jewish leaders in Palestine and America did not do much for lobbying the government for the change in their policies. At the same time, Wyman also claims that many newspapers including the New York Times who did not report these incidents, or under reported these incidents so as to avoid the anti-Semitism emotions since the paper was owned by the Jews so they did not want to appear as advocates of their religious community.
In this book, Wyman makes use of the documents that are suggestive of the denial of the British and U.S. government of the proposals that demanded the acceptance of European Jews. This issue was also raised during a White House conference that took place in 1943, and included the top British and American leaders, Roosevelt being one of them. Among the other leaders was the British Foreign Secretary Anthony Eden, U.S. Secretary of State Cordell Hull, presidential advisor Harry Hopkins as well as Lord Halifax who was the British Ambassador to Washington during the wartime.
Wyman also puts forth the argument that since there was a mixed state of unwillingness to act upon the proposals and of anti-Semitism, the world had to face the loss of millions of Jews who could be saved otherwise since there was no strategic problem in accepting the proposals that were presented to the political leaders during the wartime.
A book that saved Jewish Lives
The American foreign policy is something that most people all over the world have faith in, however some of its decisions in the past still haunt so many people. One of such incidents is that of the killing of Jews during the Nazi Holocaust when the administration of President Roosevelt decided not to accept the proposals without any concrete reason that could have saved the lives of so many Jews and therefore resulted in the massacre in which millions of the Jews were killed. In the year 1968, the diplomatic suspicion that was found in the American foreign policy was pointed out by late Arthur D. Morse who called it as being horrible. His beliefs were based on the evidence that available to him at that time; little did he know that such a detailed account as that written by Wyman would reveal the clear picture of prejudice and bias that was there in the diplomacy of the American as well as the British governments. Professor at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Wyman is probably the only scholar who professionally and critically competent enough to analyze the story of the Nazi wartime so chronologically and so accurately. The book written by him made it to the best sellers all over the world because it gives extensive details about the events that led to the death of thousands of Jews. The research that was conducted by Wyman on this topic is not an immature one as it is very evident when one reads through this book. The research conducted by him is indeed relentless and thorough in his judgments pertaining to retrospective morals. Another aspect of this book is that it does not provide the leader with the circumstances and attitudes of the officials of today, as they could be used to justify their actions during the Nazi wartime, but just explains the facts as they should be regarding the decisions of the officials who were otherwise probably very humane (Wyman, 1984).
The main allegation that Wyman makes in this book is the turning down of the proposals by the American and British political leaders including the American president of that time that they knew could be the savior of the thousands of European Jews who were then killed by the Germans. The argument that has been put forth by Wyman is that the Allied leaders demonstrated an indifferent attitude that cannot be excused and they also betrayed their moral principles that they claimed were very highly touted and therefore, the responsibility of the killing of European Jews has been placed by Wyman on the shoulders of these officials.
In the historical accounts of many scholars as well as the officials and personnel who were a part of this whole scenario, we also find another explanation that should rather be called a justification of this disgusting negligence. According to this explanation, along with the other authorities who knew about it, the Allied leaders were not of the belief that Germany was doing a propaganda in which it had planned to destroy the Jews of Europe. On the other hand, convincing evidence has been provided by Wyman for this explanation and just like any other historian who has tried to explain the Holocaust he also ignores the facts that are obvious and gives evidence of what he believes happened during the Nazi wartime. Therefore, for someone who does not have a bias and an extra soft corner for the Jews of Europe, the evidences provided by Wyman might seem somewhat doubtful.
There is also another incident that is quoted by the analysts and scholars who believe that Roosevelt and the other leaders of the wartime did not intentionally not save the Jews is that of the condemnation that was issued by the American President of that time Roosevelt in the year 1942. Although, this condemnation was vaguely worded, but he told Felix Frankfurter, who was his close Jewish confidant that the Jews should not worry about their extermination by the Nazis since they are only going to be deported from Europe and then they would definitely be given employment in the frontier area of the Soviet. This private meeting took place between Roosevelt and Frankfurter in the September of 1942. This is one of the revealing statements about Roosevelt that show that he was concerned about the future of the Jews and that he was not fully aware of the intentions of the Nazis and did not expect them to kill the Jews so ruthlessly. This incident has been quoted by Walter Laqueur, who is also a Jewish historian as well as many other analysts and scholars, however it has not been mentioned in the book written by Wyman.
Almost three decades ago, 812 starving Jews from Ethiopia were airlifted by the United States from their refugee camps that were set up in Sudan and these refugees were then sent to Israel. Apparently, this was one of the first phases of the top secret mission that was started by the United States to help the tens of thousands of Jews in Ethiopia. It can be rightly said that a major role was played by the book that is under discussion in this paper to make this mission possible.
This book was written by David S. Wyman when was a Professor at a renowned university in America. It was first published in the November of 1984 and broke the hearts of all the people who read it as the details were very heartbreaking and presented the complete record of the opportunities that were there for the British and American leaders to save the Jews from the Holocaust. He has also explained the planned refusal of the administration of Roosevelt to take any substantial action to save the Jews during the wartime.
Wyman has the honor to be the first scholar who revealed that when it was proposed that the government of the United States to bomb the railway lines that led to Auschwitz in 1944, the government claimed that the bombers did not have access to these railway lines. However, the truth was that the American bombers were engaged in bombing the German oil factories that were situated only within a few miles of the gas chambers, the place where millions of Jews were being murdered.
This book is important in the context that it provided a definitive study of the response of the American government at that time to the Nazi genocide. This account of the response of the American government during the wartime and the heartless details of the killing of the…