Hannah Rosen Diary

Excerpts From the Hannah Rosen Diary, a fictional diary with factual research and interviews.

“The Diary of Hannah Rosen:
Europe’s Jews and America’s Response, 1937-1945”

Hannah Rosen Diary

by Elizabeth S. Rothschild

Presented as a Junior Division Individual Historical Paper

Plus Interviews with Jan Karski, John Pehle, Gerhart Riegner, and my family,

and Introduction by my father, Mr. Edwin Rothschild

“Encouraged by her 6th grade teacher, she wrote a “fictional diary” based on factual research and interviews of a young girl who escaped Germany in the late 1930s, joined the World Jewish Congress and helped in the effort to publicize the Final Solution and to push the U.S. Government into action.”

Individual end notes are indicated like this: (1) throughout the diary. Or view complete End notes

To get in touch with the author, send an email to: Elizabeth


2.4.37 (1)
Events are happening so rapidly that I am compelled to record my thoughts in this diary.

Ever since Adolf Hitler was appointed chancellor on 30 January 1933,(2) life has gotten so bad that I have decided that I must leave.(3)

My name is Hannah Rosen. I’m twenty now and able to think on my own.

I live in Friedberg,(4) Germany, and used to go to Friedberg Gymnasium before I was thrown out by the Nazis two years ago.

Last year, after her husband died of diabetes, my older sister, Rebecca, and her seven year old son, Daniel, moved in with my parents.

Lisle, my mother, is kind and sympathetic, but worries too much and carries a burden too heavy for her small shoulders.

My father, Karl, is strong and kind. I trust him more than any other person in the world.

It has been decided. My uncle and aunt, Max and Ruth Riegner, who live in Chicago, will send me an affidavit (5) so I can get a visa to go to New York.

Their son, Gerhart, (6) who lives in Geneva, has written me to tell me that when I get to the United States, I should contact Rabbi Stephen S. Wise, who will give me a job at the American Jewish Congress (AJC) in New York. (7)

Today, I leave with mixed feelings. My family has lived in Friedberg since the 1600s. (8)

I don’t want to leave, but I know it is safer in America. (9)

I only wish my parents and sister would come with me, instead of being so obstinate.(10)

I know I must look forward and not look back. I’ll board the ship proudly with a suitcase in each hand and my diary hidden inside my blouse.

As I enter New York harbor and behold the Statue of Liberty, I feel a surge of emotion. How wonderful it is to feel secure again!(11)

I rent a small flat in Manhattan and get a job at the AJC.

I meet Rabbi Wise.(13)

I tell him about my family, how I am trying to bring them here, and how I want to urge the Roosevelt administration to let more Jewish refugees into America.

Rebecca wrote me that our family went to visit our old friends, the Heinrichs.

I know this means that they have gone into hiding.

The Evian Conference just ended.(14)

President Roosevelt had called for it, raising all of our hopes by making it seem as if something would be done.

However, nothing was accomplished. Was it all just for show?

I read in The New York Times (NYT) about a pogrom in Germany.

Thousands of Jewish shop windows were smashed and hundreds of synagogues burned.(15) I hope my family is safe.

Kristallnacht pogrom 1938 Hannah Rosen Diary
Interior view of the destroyed Fasanenstrasse Synagogue, Berlin, burned on Kristallnacht; November Pogroms.

I received a letter from Rebecca relating the destruction on the 9th.

Father’s shop is a wreck. Rebecca says that all Jews have been stripped of their positions, wealth, and property. (16)

Now the Nazis propose an income tax for “Nazi charity.” (17)

Rebecca has saved a bit of money to give to the Heinrichs to help pay for food. She is crowded in with three other families.

The ship, St. Louis, sailed to Cuba with 900 Jews, was turned away, and then headed to the U.S. coast.

The U.S. government didn’t let the refugees in, forcing them back to Germany. (18)

This makes me so angry. We’ve got to find a way to stop this from happening.


Despite the reports of the Jews’ worsening situation, the WJC and other Jewish organizations confront one main obstacle: the unwillingness of the Roosevelt administration and Congress to allow more Jews to immigrate by raising the quota limits. (19)

Rebecca informs me that three million books written by or referring to Jews were burned by Nazis. (20)

Rebecca now wants to come to America. I’ll send her an affidavit, but it’s harder to get out of Germany now.

I have a theory that Roosevelt is straddling the fence.

He is taking action, but very little.

The “action” is supposed to please people like me; the “little” is supposed to please the anti-Semites. (21)

Rabbi Wise’s colleague, Dr. Nahum Goldmann, (22) told me how helpful Eleanor Roosevelt has been.

Unfortunately, FDR has been listening to the State Department instead of his wife.

I hope she’ll be able to convince him to change course, because so many lives are at stake.(23)

I’ve received many letters from Rebecca telling me that Daniel was taken away.(24)

I’m worried about getting Rebecca and Daniel out of Europe.

She will only leave with Daniel, and Daniel may be lost forever.

The State Department has issued further restrictions on immigration. (25)

How amazing! Rebecca stumbled across an old school friend who was head of the children’s concentration camp where Daniel was held.(26)

He asked if there were anything he could do for her, and she told him about Daniel.

Daniel was sent home right away.

Rebecca and Daniel are finally coming to America.

However, Mother and Father cannot come until their passport numbers are called.

The Nyassa, (27) on which Rebecca and Daniel are travelling, arrived in port today.

What a happy reunion it was. The Nazis are now blocking the exits of the European countries under their control.(28)

Rebecca and Daniel were on the last ship! I’m very afraid that Mother and Father will die.

All this news is too much for me. My heart is heavy and will not bear the pain my mind is giving me.

Since Roosevelt signed the Bloom-Van Nuys bill in June, (29) the State Department’s policy on immigration has become even worse, according to Rabbi Wise.

Now, it’s even harder to get into this country. (30)

America has officially entered the war.

Maybe this will mean America will allow more Jews to take refuge here.(31)

The New York Herald Tribune (NYHT) finally had a front page story on the massacre of a million Jews.(32)

Though horrifying, this article contains hard facts, however late. I am outraged to have found such a brief article about the killings in Chelmno buried on page five in NYT on June 27. (33)

Even worse, there was only a two-inch article about the Bund Report on the same day in NYT. (34)

Why is the plight of the Jews in Europe getting so little attention?

Cousin Gerhart sent me a letter from Geneva explaining the Nazi terror(35) and suggested that I ask Rabbi Wise about a recent message he sent.

Rabbi Wise discussed Gerhart’s telegram (36) and said that a similar copy had been sent to Sydney Silverman, (37) who then sent it to Rabbi Wise who received it on August 28, three weeks after Gerhart had sent it. (38)

Gerhart Riegner Telegram
The Riegner Telegram was a telegraph message sent on 8 August 1942 from Gerhart Riegner, then Secretary of World Jewish Congress (Geneva), to its New York and London offices. The cable confirmed the alarming reports that had reached the West previously about the German intention to mass murder the European Jews.

The telegram states that Hitler is now implementing the “Final Solution” to kill all remaining Jews.

I’m grief-stricken. Oh Gott! Mother! Father! The AJC wants to publicize information about all the atrocities in Europe that the Jewish organizations are learning about through very reliable sources.

Rabbi Wise wants U.S. citizens to know about the “Final Solution,” but the State Department wants to withhold the information until it is verified. (39)

The AJC knows it must compromise. This is a dilemma.

Rabbi Wise is being criticized heavily for complying with the State Department’s position, but he feels that without government confirmation, the news would bethought of as just more Jewish propaganda.

Because he wants the State Department to recommend action to the President, Rabbi Wise knows that he has to comply.

Furthermore, he knows there are many anti-Semites inside and outside the government who would not believe the information in the Riegner telegram without the government’s corroboration.(40)

I agree whole heartedly with Rabbi Wise’s decision because the State Department might never recommend action if he doesn’t heed them.

NYT carried an announcement on page ten by Rabbi Wise about the slaughter of two million Jews. (41)

I feel sick. What is the world doing about this destruction?

Yesterday on page one, NYHT reported Rabbi Wise’s press conference in Washington. (42)

Rabbi Wise told the world that there is an “extermination campaign” to kill all European Jews.

This catastrophe was only reported in NYT on page ten. (43)

Today, NYT reported on page sixteen on another press conference held by Rabbi Wise. (44)

Although buried, the article does give a good description of how Rabbi Wise met with many Jewish leaders on the morning of the 25th and then told the press that his information had been confirmed by the State Department.

I’m thrilled! Rabbi Wise has been pleased about these events.

I’m sure this means Roosevelt will intervene. My hopes are high and nothing can bring them down.

I scurry about excitedly. Today is the Day of Mourning. (45)

It reminds me of the Madison Square Garden rally last July. (46)

For a few minutes every radio will be silent, every road will be clear to mourn those unfortunate Nazi victims in Europe.

Maybe this will get America’s politicians’ attention.

I’m seething to find only on page twenty of NYT the account of Rabbi Wise’s meeting with Roosevelt. (47)

Rabbi Wise and other Jewish leaders took all their information to Roosevelt and begged him to do all in his power to save the Jews. (48)

There’s finally a front page story in NYT about the atrocities in Europe.

It’s really the first public acknowledgement by the U.S. government and ten other nations of the mass murder of the Jews. (49)

I haven’t heard from Mother or Father in so long. I lay awake at night fearing they’re in a concentration camp.

How terrible! At the Bermuda Conference, the U.S. government has failed once again.

Just like the Evian Conference in 1938, the U.S. government has been all words and no action. (50)

Rabbi Wise met with FDR yesterday regarding Gerhart’s plan to rescue thousands of Rumanian Jews; (51) the President gave his approval.(52)


Rabbi Wise and Dr. Goldmann introduced me to a young man, Jan Karski, working for the Polish underground.

Karski met with FDR and informed him of the fate of Europe’s Jews.

According to Rabbi Wise, the President replied that we will win the war and that the enemies will be punished. (53)

I am disappointed that this is what Roosevelt told him.

Roosevelt cares more about winning the war than he does about the dying Jews. I am overcome with anger.

Everyone here is talking about Breckinridge Long’s testimony to Congress on America’s immigration policy.

Members of Congress are saying he lied to the committee about how many Jews had been allowed to enter America. (54)

I’m so glad that Representative Celler told everyone that Long was not telling the truth.(55)

I’ve learned that Breckinridge Long and Sumner Welles tried to prevent sending money to European Jews to help them escape from the Nazis. (56)

Treasury Secretary Morgenthau, who pushed for sending the money, found out about the State Department’s sabotage. (57)

I’m exhilarated. Long and the State Department’s policy have been exposed.


Good news! Rabbi Wise told me about yesterday’s meeting at the White House. (58)

The conflict within the government between the State and Treasury Departments (59) may be resolved.

John Pehle was appointed to direct the War Refugee Board (WRB). (60)

This is the answer to our prayers and efforts.

Finally, something is really being done.(61)

I heard from Rabbi Wise that the War Department has once again refused to bomb Auschwitz. (62)

How absurd! I know bombing could kill many Jews, but imagine how many would be saved from annihilation in the gas chambers.

The AJC fought very hard to persuade the government to bomb Auschwitz.

This time the battle is between John Pehle at the WRB and John McCloy at the War Department.

This conflict once again demonstrates America’s unwillingness to use its power to save Jews. At least the WRB is having some success in other areas. (63)

Yesterday, the war in Europe finally ended. (64)

When I think back, there were so many conflicts with and within the Roosevelt administration about what to do and so many compromises that everyone made–compromises paid for in Jewish blood.

FDR was compromising constantly. On one hand, he told Jewish leaders and important figures, including Karski, that he wanted to do all that he could to help to save the Jews.

On the other hand, he failed to make any policy decisions or do anything concretely to help until he finally created the WRB in early 1944 and appointed Pehle to head it. (65)

Still, FDR was a great man because he did all he could to destroy Hitler and win the war.

However, winning the war was what came first to him–not saving the Jews. (66)

Aside from the Jewish organizations, there was no real constituency to persuade him to do both concurrently.

I think that until 1941, when Europe closed its doors to the outside world, much more could and should have been done to save the Jews.

I’m glad that the war is over, but very disappointed in my adopted country’s government.

I grieve for my parents and many of my friends who probably died because FDR was not persuaded to do more to save Europe’s Jews.

I had a wonderful unexpected pleasure today — tea with Jan Karski at his home, after meeting him at a reception for the opening of the Holocaust Museum in Washington. (67)

I told him that I finally had enough courage to sort through my old belongings and pull out the diary that I had written during the Holocaust, starting right before I immigrated to America in 1937.

I even had an entry when Rabbi Wise introduced me to Karski when he first came to America in the summer of 1943.

So much has happened since then. So many books and articles have been written about what the AJC did and did not do, and what FDR did and did not do to save the European Jews.

I told Karski I had read that Pehle said Karski’s visit to FDR had shaken the President up enough to create the WRB.

He said that he was skeptical of this and that maybe Pehle was just being polite.

He thought that Morgenthau’s pressing Roosevelt was what led directly to the creation of the WRB.

Karski stressed to me that there could NEVER be another Holocaust because “now there is a Jewish nation–Israel” which would help protect the Jews and be an effective political lobby. (68)

One question will always painfully reverberate in my mind.

If the U.S. had done more, would my parents have been saved?

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    1. In Germany, the way to write the date is day. month. year, so this first entry 2.4.37 means April 2, 1937.
    2. Lucy Dawidowicz, The War Against the Jews 1933-1945 (New York: Bantam Books, 1976): 63; Nora Levin, The Holocaust: The Destruction of European Jewry 1933-1945 (New York: Schocken Books, 1973): 31; and Paul Johnson, A History of the Jews (New York: Harper Collins Publishers, Inc., 1987): 482.
    3. The Nazis imposed many anti-Jewish laws, including the Nuremberg Laws in 1935, which forced Jews out of the government and universities; others prevented Jews from selling things to non-Jews. [Gerald Schoenberner, The Yellow Star: The Persecution of the Jews in Europe 1933-1945, trans. Susan Sweet (New York: Bantam Books, 1973); Seymour Rossel, The Holocaust: The World and the Jew, 1933-1945 (New Jersey: Behrman House, Inc., 1992)]; Ilse Rothschild interview (Grandmother Ilse Rothschild, interview by author, 4 February 1995, Barrington, RI, tape recording); Erich Rothschild interview (Grandfather Erich Rothschild, interview by author, 4 February 1995, Barrington, RI, tape recording); Kurt Rothschild interview (Great Uncle Kurt Rothschild, interview by author, 31 January 1995, Glencoe, IL, tape recording.). See also Dawidowicz:63-92; Leni Yahil, The Holocaust: The Fate of European Jewry, trans. Ina Friedman and Haya Galai (New York: Oxford University Press, 1990): 53-87; Levin:59-73; Schoenberner: 14-27; Gerhart M. Riegner, “From the Night of the Pogrom to the Final Solution: Experiences and Lessons,” transcript of a talk given to the Theological Department of the Humboldt University, Berlin (East Germany) on 25 April 1988, in Christian Jewish Relations 21 (1988): 5-22.

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    4. I chose Friedberg as my hometown because that is where my grandfather, Erich Rothschild, and his brother, Kurt Rothschild, grew up. Friedberg is a small town about 10 miles north of Frankfurt. [Rand McNally Cosmopolitan World Atlas (New York: Rand McNally, 1959): 16.] In 1937 it had about 12,000 people with about 200 Jewish families and very little anti-Semitism. Erich and Kurt Rothschild interviews.
    5. Kurt Rothschild interview.

    6. The diary writer chose to be Gerhart Riegner’s cousin because he knew what was going on and he also had family in the United States. (Swiss World Jewish Congress Representative Gerhart M. Riegner, interview with author, 16 and 21February 1995, Geneva, Switzerland, facsimile.) See also Martin Gilbert, Auschwitz and the Allies (New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1981): 352;Walter Laqueur & Richard Breitman, Breaking the Silence: (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1986): 134-137; Richard Breitman and Alan M. Kraut, American Refugee Policy and European Jewry, 1933-1945 (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1987): 148-149.
    7. The American Jewish Congress was part of the World Jewish Congress which played a central role in gathering and publishing information on the Nazi persecution of Europe’s Jews and pressuring the U.S. government to take action. David S. Wyman, Abandonment of the Jews (New York: Pantheon Books, 1984): 68;Yahil: 606-608; Breitman and Kraut: 98-99; Laqueur & Breitman: 133-134.
    8. Kurt Rothschild interview; see map “2000 Years of Jewish Life in Europe,” in Martin Gilbert, Atlas of the Holocaust (New York: PergamonPress, 1993).
    9. “I was lucky that my number came up sooner than a lot of other people’s.” Kurt Rothschild interview.
    10. Many people felt that it was dangerous to stay in Germany, and the people who did stay were making a big mistake. Kurt Rothschild interview.
    11. See map “Worldwide Reception of German Refugees” in Gilbert, Atlas Holocaust.
    12. The date is now written as it is in America.

    13. Nahum Goldmann and Rabbi Stephen S. Wise founded the WJC. Rabbi Wise was the president of the AJC and the most effective American Jewish leader in the fight to rescue Europe’s Jews. See Yahil: 606-607; Gilbert, Auschwitz: 355; Laqueur & Breitman: 133-134.
    14. The Evian Conference was a worldwide meeting called by President Roosevelt in order to find homes for Europe’s refuges. The New York Times (NYT), 14 July1938, p. 15; Levin: 76-77. In David S. Wyman, Paper Walls (New York: Pantheon Books, 1968): 43-50, the author explains that some people believed that the reason for the Evian Conference was to show anger and disapproval of the Nazis–although in the end nothing was accomplished.
    15. Deborah E. Lipstadt, Beyond Belief: The American Press and the Coming of the Holocaust, 1933-1945 (New York: The Free Press, 1986): 104; Rita Thalmannand Emmanuel Feinerman, Crystal Night trans. Gilles Cremonesi (New York:Coward, McCann & Geoghegan, Inc., 1974); Schoenberner: 32-34; Riegner, “Night Of Pogrom;” Levin: 80-81; Sanders: 444-450; see map “Destruction ofthe Synagogues” in Gilbert, Atlas Holocaust.
    16. Dawidowicz: 137; Levin: 90-94; Sanders: 453.
    17. Dawidowicz: 138-139; Yahil: 113; Rossel: 27.

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  • The Jews returned to Germany and certain death. NYT 2 June 1939, p. 1;Kurt Rothschild interview; Levin: 141-142; Yahil: 119; Sanders: 466-467; Lipstadt: 116-121; Breitman and Kraut: 70-73; Herbert Druks, The Failure to Rescue (New York: Robert Speller & Sons, Publishers, Inc., 1977): 19-25; seemap “The Voyage of the St. Louis” in Martin Gilbert, The Illustrated Atlas of Jewish Civilization: 4,000 Years of Jewish History (New York:Macmillan Publishing Company, 1990).
  • “The Jews of Europe: How to Help Them,” New Republic, 30 August1943, 299-315; Wyman, Abandonment: 5-6; Druks: 8-13; Breitman and Kraut:112-125. In Wyman, Paper Walls: 73-98, Wyman explains that this unwillingness was true even with regard to children. Even though Democratic Senator RobertF. Wagner of New York and Republican Representative Edith Nourse Rogers of Massachusetts introduced the Wagner-Rogers bill to permit 20,000 German refugee children under the age of 14 to come to the United States, Congress refused toact. The State Department opposed it and the White House was silent –even Eleanor Roosevelt.
  • 20 Levin: 191.
  • Breitman and Kraut: 236-249.
  • Nahum Goldmann came to America from Geneva in the summer of 1940. Swiss WJC Representative Gerhard M. Riegner, communication with author, 4 April 1995, facsimile.
  • Eleanor Roosevelt and the President were in conflict because Eleanor Roosevelt wanted FDR to do more to help Jewish refugees, especially children. Doris Kearns Goodwin, No Ordinary Time. Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt: The Home Front in World War II (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1994).
  • This is based on a true story. Ilse Rothschild interview.
  • Breitman and Kraut: 135; Druks: 12.

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  • This is based on what happened to the author’s great grandfather Louis Rothschild. Kurt Rothschild interview.
  • Kurt Rothschild interview.
  • Levin: 186.
  • Breitman and Kraut: 135-136
  • New Republic, 312. According to this article: A few simple figures will show how immigration has been reduced from year to year until we have reached the point at which it has become insignificant. The following are the official figures for the total number of immigration visas issued for the war years and emigrant aliens leaving: Number of Emigrant emigrant aliens leaving: Number of Emigrant Aliens Fiscal Year Immigrants Leaving 1939 82,998 26,651 1940 70,756 21,461 1941 51,776 17,115 1942 28,781 7,363 These figures are especially significant in the light of the fact that under the law a total annual immigration of 153,774 is permitted from quota countries alone, which, of course, do not include Canada and other Western Hemisphere countries. An examination of the figures shows that within the framework of the existing immigration law some half-million additional people could have been admitted from quota countries.
  • This hope turned out to be dead wrong. Breitman and Kraut: 136.
  • The New York Herald Tribune (NYHT), 30 June 1942, p. 1; Lipstadt: 166.
  • Lipstadt: 164.
  • Wyman, Abandonment: 22.

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  • Riegner interview.
  • This is the famous “Riegner telegram” which provided some of the earliest details of the “Final Solution.” Gerhart M. Riegner,Telegram to Rabbi Stephen S. Wise via the U.S. State Department and via the London Foreign Office to Sydney Silverman, August 1942, Geneva, Switzerland, in Laqueur & Breitman; Riegner, “From the Night of the Pogrom,” 21 3(1988): 9-12.
  • Sydney Silverman was the British representative of the WJC and a Member of Parliament who received the telegram August 17 and began a debate in the British Parliament. Monty Noam Penkower, The Jews Were Expendable: Free World Diplomacy and the Holocaust, (Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1988):65-69; Breitman and Kraut: 148-149; Laqueur & Breitman: 147-152.
  • The State Department held back the telegram from Rabbi Wise because of concerns that it might “stir up a fuss”. Laqueur & Breitman: 149-152; Wyman, Abandonment: 43-44.
  • Laqueur & Breitman: 152-160; Breitman and Kraut: 152-157; Wyman,Abandonment: 44-51; Raul Hilberg, The Destruction of the European Jews (New York, Homes & Meier, 1985): 314-322.
  • Riegner interview; Wyman, Abandonment: 46-55.
  • NYT, 25 November 1942, p. 10.
  • NYHT, 25 November 1942, p. 1; Wyman, Abandonment: 61; Lipstadt: 181.
  • NYT, 25 November 1942, p. 10.
  • NYT, 26 November 1942, p. 16.

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  • NYT, 2 December 1942, p. 12.
  • NYT, 22 July 1942, p. 1.
  • Lipstadt: 186.
  • Laqueur & Breitman: 161-163; Penkower: 85-86.
  • NYT, 18 December 1942, p. 1. Those ten countries included: Belgium, Czechoslovakia, Greece, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Soviet Union,Britain, and Yugoslavia.
  • NYT, 14 July 1938, p. 15. In NYT, 4 March 1943, p. 9, the U.S. once again expresses concern for fate of refugees; Sanders: 532-535; Druks: 39-44; Wyman, Abandonment: 104-123.
  • Letter to Undersecretary of State Sumner Welles, from Rabbi Stephen S. Wise, president of the American Jewish Congress. New York, May 3, 1943 and Letter to U.S. Legation in Bern, from Secretary of State Cordell Hull.Washington, D.C. , May 16, 1943 in America and the Holocaust: A Thirteen Volume Set Documenting the Editor’s Book, The Abandonment of the Jews, vol. 6, ed. David S. Wyman (Massachusetts: Garland Publishing, 1990).
  • Breitman and Kraut: 184-188.
  • Karski had disguised himself as a policeman to observe inside the Warsaw Ghetto and the Belzec concentration camp. Gay Block and Malka Drucker, Rescuers: Portraits of Moral Courage in the Holocaust (New York: Holmes & Meier Publishers, Inc., 1992): 173.

  • In this book of interviews, Karski is quoted as saying: ‘I will return to Poland, Mr. President. What shall I tell my people?’ Roosevelt replied, ‘You will tell them we shall win the war and the enemy will be punished for their crimes. Justice will prevail. Tell your nation that they have a friend in this house. This is what you will tell them.’ See also E. Thomas Wood and Stanislaw M. Jankowski, Karski: How One Man Tried to Stop the Holocaust, (New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 1994): 196-201;Walter Laqueur, The Terrible Secret: Suppression of the Truth About Hitler’s’Final Solution’ (Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1980): 229-238.

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  • The committee was the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the House of Representatives. Commenting on Long’s testimony, Rep. Emmanuel Celler said, …Long says that the door to the oppressed is open, but that it “has been carefully screened.” What he should have said is “bar locked and bolted.”
  • By the act of 1924, we are permitted to admit approximately 150,000 immigrants each year. During the last fiscal year only 23,725 came as immigrants. Of these only 4,705 were Jews fleeing Nazi persecution.

    See “Report to the Secretary of the Acquiescence of the Government in the Murder of the Jews,” initialed by Randolph Paul for the Foreign Funds Control Unit of the Treasury Department, January 13, 1944, in FDR, Morgenthau Diaries 693/212-229 in America and the Holocaust: A Thirteen Volume Set Documenting the Editor’s Book, The Abandonment of the Jews, vol. 6, ed. David S. Wyman (Massachusetts: Garland Publishing, 1990), pp. 228-29.

  • NYT, 11 December 1943, p. 1; “Report to the Secretary.”
  • “Report to the Secretary;” Breitman and Kraut: 188-190.
  • NYT, 2 January 1944, p. 9. Less than two weeks later, Members of Congress also accused the State Department of sabotage.
  • This refers to the meeting on January 16, 1944 between Treasury Department officials (Secretary Henry Morgenthau, Jr., Randolph Paul and John Pehle) with President Roosevelt regarding the State Department’s delay of rescue efforts and deceiving Congress about how many refugees had entered America. Wyman,Abandonment; “Report to the Secretary;” Breitman and Kraut: 189-190;Yahil: 609.
  • This refers to the conflict between the two Departments, but especially to the efforts by Breckinridge Long to deceive the Treasury Department. U.S. Government official John W. Pehle, interview by author, 16 February 1995, bytelephone, Montgomery County, MD.

  • NYT, 5 February 1944, p. 7; U. S. President Executive Order 9417,Federal Register, vol. 9, no. 18, 26 January 1944, p. 935; NYT, 6 February1944, p. 26 which reports Allied governments are addressing the refugee problem; Wyman, Abandonment: 209-21; Lipstadt: 227-228; Breitman and Kraut: 191.
  • 61 In his interview, John Pehle said: It [WRB] was established very late. The war was almost over. But it changed the policy of the United States. Instead of interfering with Jews being rescued, we had a chance of seeing thatall Jews who could be rescued were. With limited time and resources, it still did some good.
  • Martin Gilbert, Auschwitz and the Allies, 303-306; Wyman, Abandonment:291-305; Richard Breitman, “American Inaction During the Holocaust,”Dimensions, February 1994, pp. 7-8.
  • Wyman, Abandonment: 255-287; Breitman and Kraut: 191-219.


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  • Penkower: 285.
  • NYT, 5 February 1944, p. 7; Wyman, Abandonment: 210-215; Breitman: 7; Breitman and Kraut: 191-198.
  • Polish diplomat and rescuer Jan Karski, interview by author, 9 February1995, Chevy Chase, MD.
  • The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum was officially dedicated on April 23, 1993.
  • Jan Karski interview.

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