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The role of President Franklin D. Roosevelt in assisting or not assisting Jewish refugees and prisoners of Nazi Germany has been long debated. There are varying viewpoints on the subject by historians and others. Read the following information and assess his role for yourself.
FDR and the Holocaust
Read the above letter from Stephen Wise, President of the American Jewish Congress, to Franklin D. Roosevelt dated December 2, 1942.
Source: Letter from Stephen Wise, President, American Jewish Congress, to President Franklin D. Roosevelt, 12/2/1942, Franklin D. Roosevelt Official Files, National Archives, URL: https://catalog.archives.gov/id/7694130 – Accessed 16 November 2018.
Read this overview of FDR and the Nazi Persecution from the Holocaust Memorial Museum website:
Source: “Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Holocaust Encyclopedia, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, https://encyclopedia.ushmm.org/content/en/article/franklin-delano-roosevelt -Accessed 14 December 2019
Now read these two reviews of a 2013 book entitled “FDR and the Jews.”
Source: Peter E. Kornblum, Review of “FDR and the Jews” by Richard Breitman and Allan J. Lichtman, Jewish Book Council,
URL: https://www.jewishbookcouncil.org/book/fdr-and-the-jews -Accessed 16 November 2018.
Source: Jon Wiener, Review of “FDR and the Jews” by Richard Breitman and Allan J. Lichtman, Los Angeles Review of Books,
URL: https://www.lareviewofbooks.org/article/fdr-good-for-the-jews -Accessed 21 October 2021.
Compose a 400-600 word essay responding to the following questions and citing your sources.
1. Why did FDR not take bolder action regarding the atrocities of Nazi Germany against the Jewish people in 1942?
2. What would have been the consequences of bold measures as Wise advocated in 1942?
3. In your opinion, was FDR a “friend to the Jews?” Why or why not?
4. Why have American leaders generally been reluctant to address problems of genocide in other areas of the world?
Submission should reflect a deep understanding of the reading. Thoughtful, purposeful writing of approximately 500 words or more with properly cited sources and few, if any, grammatical or spelling mistakes. Use only 1-inch margins, Times New Roman, 12-point font, double-spaced type, and cite all sources using Chicago style format.