In the terrible history of the Jewish catastrophe in Europe at the hands of the Nazis, one of the most perplexing questions remains, Why could not more Jews have been saved?
This question in turn gives rise to two others: Why were the Jews so submissive to their fate? And why didn’t others come to their rescue? It is the dilemma of their rescuers that the distinguished Holocaust historian Raul Hilberg confronts in this often agonizing appraisal, now available for the first time as an iBookstore Quick Read.
Hilberg is concerned with the major Jewish organizations in Europe and the United States that, despite continuing information about the plight of the Jews as Hitler continued his march across Europe, either failed to act or failed to persuade governments to act. Even when the “final solution” became apparent, some leading Jewish figures remained unconvinced of the depth of the crisis. Reports were too staggering, too unbelievable to be wholeheartedly accepted.
Raul Hilberg (1926–2007), author of the monumental Destruction of the European Jews, was the acknowledged master historian of the Holocaust. He taught for many years at the University of Vermont. His other books include The Politics of Memory, a memoir; Perpetrators Victims Bystanders, from which this excerpt is taken; and Sources of Holocaust Research. He also edited Documents of Destruction and (with Stanislaw Staron and Josef Kermisz) The Warsaw Diary of Adam Czerniakow.
'Too Fantastic to Be True' is published by Now and Then Reader, Digital Publishers of Serious Nonfiction. Each week, Now and Then publishes original and excerpted nonfiction titles ranging from 5,000 to 25,000 words.