Most of Desperate Mission: Joel Brand’s Story (1958) is devoted to an account of how Brand came to be in a position to negotiate with the Nazis for the lives of a million human beings and what he did to carry out his incredible mission.
Written with all the passion of a man who was entrusted with an almost hopeless mission and had to sit by impotently watching the horrible consequences of its failure, Brand believed that goods and promises which would not have prolonged the fighting ability of the Wehrmacht by a single day might have prevented the slaughter of the 400,000 Jews from Hungary and the untold number from other countries who were put to death in the last year of Hitler’s regime.
The 15 years that have elapsed since the end of World War II have brought to light a plethora of new material and made possible a more objective evaluation of the Nazi design to liquidate the Jews of Europe, euphemistically referred to as “the final solution of the Jewish question.”
This study has a modest aim. Its primary purpose is to present a succinct, though informative, account of the destruction of the Hungarian Jewish community during World War II, with special emphasis on the role of Eichmann and his collaborators. Its scope and coverage are limited, for, indeed, volumes would be required to write the definitive history of Hungarian Jewry during the Nazi era on the basis of the recently discovered documentary and archival material alone. Such a larger project is now under consideration.-Preface
To this day he remains a highly controversial figure, regarded by some as a traitor and by many others as a hero. He was accused of betraying the bulk of the Hungarian Jewry by hand-picking only those who were politically and personally dear to him, or those from whom he could benefit financially, and the judge of his post-war trial concluded that he had 'sold his soul to Satan'.
Rezso Kasztner tells his story - and also the story of a child who lived to grow up after the Holocaust thanks to him. A compelling combination of history and memoir, it is also an examination of one individual's unique achievement and a consideration of the profound moral issues raised by his dealings with some of the most evil men ever known.
1.) Write the “Model Eugenical Law” that the Nazis used to draft portions of the Nuremberg decrees that led to The Holocaust.
2.) Be appointed as “expert” witness for the U.S. Congress when the 1924 Immigration Restriction Act was passed. The 1924 Act would prevent many Jewish refugees from reaching the safety of U.S. shores during The Holocaust.
3.) Provide the "scientific" basis for the 1927 Buck v. Bell Supreme Court case that made "eugenic sterilization" legal in the United States. This paved the way for 80,000 Americans to be sterilized against their will.
4.) Defend Hitler's Nuremberg decrees as “scientifically” sound in order to dispel international criticism.
5.) Create the political organization that ensured that the “science” of eugenics would survive the negative taint of The Holocaust. This organization would be instrumental in the Jim Crow era of legislative racism.
H.H. Laughlin was given an honorary degree from Heidelberg University by Hitler's government, specifically for these accomplishments. Yet, no one has ever written a book on Laughlin. Despite the very large amount of books about The Holocaust, Laughlin is largely unknown outside of academic circles.
The Carnegie Institution of Washington, D.C. gave this author permission to survey its internal correspondence leading up to The Holocaust and before the Institution retired Laughlin. These documents have not been seen for decades. They are the backbone of this book. The storyline intensifies as the Carnegie leadership comes to the horrible realization that one of its most recognized scientists was supporting Hitler’s regime.
IMPORTANT NOTE: This copy is an A.R.C. (Advanced Readers' Copy). It is an edited preliminary to the hardcover version that will be published when all the books in the series are finished. This softcover version will only be different from the final as the research for the other books in the series dictate. The first book of the series is titled “From a ‘Race of Masters’ to a ‘Master Race’: 1948 to 1848”. It can be found here on Amazon.com. That first book of the series is an A.R.C. as well. All A.R.C. versions will be retired upon the publishing of the hardcover versions.
East West Street looks at the personal and intellectual evolution of the two men who simultaneously originated the ideas of “genocide” and “crimes against humanity,” both of whom, not knowing the other, studied at the same university with the same professors, in a city little known today that was a major cultural center of Europe, “the little Paris of Ukraine,” a city variously called Lemberg, Lwów, Lvov, or Lviv.
The book opens with the author being invited to give a lecture on genocide and crimes against humanity at Lviv University. Sands accepted the invitation with the intent of learning about the extraordinary city with its rich cultural and intellectual life, home to his maternal grandfather, a Galician Jew who had been born there a century before and who’d moved to Vienna at the outbreak of the First World War, married, had a child (the author’s mother), and who then had moved to Paris after the German annexation of Austria in 1938. It was a life that had been shrouded in secrecy, with many questions not to be asked and fewer answers offered if they were.
As the author uncovered, clue by clue, the deliberately obscured story of his grandfather’s mysterious life, and of his mother’s journey as a child surviving Nazi occupation, Sands searched further into the history of the city of Lemberg and realized that his own field of humanitarian law had been forged by two men—Rafael Lemkin and Hersch Lauterpacht—each of whom had studied law at Lviv University in the city of his grandfather’s birth, each considered to be the father of the modern human rights movement, and each, at parallel times, forging diametrically opposite, revolutionary concepts of humanitarian law that had changed the world.
In this extraordinary and resonant book, Sands looks at who these two very private men were, and at how and why, coming from similar Jewish backgrounds and the same city, studying at the same university, each developed the theory he did, showing how each man dedicated this period of his life to having his legal concept—“genocide” and “crimes against humanity”—as a centerpiece for the prosecution of Nazi war criminals.
And the author writes of a third man, Hans Frank, Hitler’s personal lawyer, a Nazi from the earliest days who had destroyed so many lives, friend of Richard Strauss, collector of paintings by Leonardo da Vinci. Frank oversaw the ghetto in Lemberg in Poland in August 1942, in which the entire large Jewish population of the area had been confined on penalty of death. Frank, who was instrumental in the construction of concentration camps nearby and, weeks after becoming governor general of Nazi-occupied Poland, ordered the transfer of 133,000 men, women, and children to the death camps.
Sands brilliantly writes of how all three men came together, in October 1945 in Nuremberg—Rafael Lemkin; Hersch Lauterpacht; and in the dock at the Palace of Justice, with the twenty other defendants of the Nazi high command, prisoner number 7, Hans Frank, who had overseen the extermination of more than a million Jews of Galicia and Lemberg, among them, the families of the author’s grandfather as well as those of Lemkin and Lauterpacht.
A book that changes the way we look at the world, at our understanding of history and how civilization has tried to cope with mass murder. Powerful; moving; tender; a revelation.
Focusing on the choices and actions of Jews during the Holocaust, Ordinary Jews examines the different patterns of behavior of civilians targeted by mass violence. Relying on rich archival material and hundreds of survivors' testimonies, Evgeny Finkel presents a new framework for understanding the survival strategies in which Jews engaged: cooperation and collaboration, coping and compliance, evasion, and resistance. Finkel compares Jews' behavior in three Jewish ghettos—Minsk, Kraków, and Białystok—and shows that Jews' responses to Nazi genocide varied based on their experiences with prewar policies that either promoted or discouraged their integration into non-Jewish society.
Finkel demonstrates that while possible survival strategies were the same for everyone, individuals' choices varied across and within communities. In more cohesive and robust Jewish communities, coping—confronting the danger and trying to survive without leaving—was more organized and successful, while collaboration with the Nazis and attempts to escape the ghetto were minimal. In more heterogeneous Jewish communities, collaboration with the Nazis was more pervasive, while coping was disorganized. In localities with a history of peaceful interethnic relations, evasion was more widespread than in places where interethnic relations were hostile. State repression before WWII, to which local communities were subject, determined the viability of anti-Nazi Jewish resistance.
Exploring the critical influences shaping the decisions made by Jews in Nazi-occupied eastern Europe, Ordinary Jews sheds new light on the dynamics of collective violence and genocide.