Study: US Holocaust Museum's new exhibit distorts FDR's record

Study finds museum distorts, minimizes President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s abandonment of Jewish refugees during Holocaust.

Mordechai Sones,

FDR on US dime
FDR on US dime
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A study by eight leading Holocaust historians has found that a new exhibit at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum distorts and minimizes President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s abandonment of Jewish refugees during the Holocaust.

The study, titled Distorting America’s Response to the Holocaust, is a comprehensive analysis of the museum’s recently-opened exhibit, Americans and the Holocaust.

The report has been published by the David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies, in Washington, D.C. A PDF has been posted at www.WymanInstitute.org and printed copies are available by calling 202-434-8994.

The 70-page report features chapters by leading scholars in the field of American responses to the Holocaust:

Dr. Rafael Medoff (Wyman Institute) describes the variety of excuses that the exhibit uses to rationalize President Roosevelt’s refusal to provide meaningful aid to Jewish refugees.

Prof. Laurel Leff (Northeastern University) explores the exhibit’s portrayal of the Roosevelt administration as a prisoner of public opinion.

Prof. Bat-Ami Zucker (Bar-Ilan University) examines the exhibit’s shabby treatment of Secretary of Labor Frances Perkins, a vigorous advocate for Jewish refugees.

Prof. Stephen H. Norwood (University of Oklahoma), who authored two of the chapters in the study, considers the exhibit’s failure to report either the Roosevelt administration’s welcoming of Nazi warships in the 1930s, or American universities’ collaboration with Nazi-controlled universities.

Prof. Paul R. Bartrop (Florida Gulf Coast University) reviews the exhibit’s inadequate depiction of the 1938 international refugee conference at Evian.

Prof. Monty N. Penkower (Machon Lander Graduate School) analyzes the exhibit’s portrayal of the 1943 Bermuda Conference on refugees.

Stuart Erdheim, an expert on the Allies’ failure to bomb Auschwitz, explores the exhibit’s flawed treatment of that issue.

Shuli Eshel, the director of a film about Holocaust rescue advocate James McDonald, scrutinizes the inexplicable omission of McDonald from the new exhibit.

Rabbi Prof. David Golinkin (Schechter Institutes) and Noam Sachs Zion (Shalom Hartman Institute) probe the exhibit’s failure to include the interfaith protests organized by American rabbinical students during the Holocaust.

The David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies, located in Washington, D.C., is a research and education institute focusing on America’s response to the Holocaust. It is named in honor of the eminent historian and author of the 1984 best-seller The Abandonment of the Jews, concerning the US response to the Nazi genocide.

"They who seek to establish..." -FDR
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