The next meeting of The World War II Book Club will feature a lecture by Richard Breitman, noted author, historian, and currently Distinguished Professor in History at American University.
Mr. Breitman, co-author of FDR and the Jews, will discuss his highly acclaimed book on Tuesday May 20, 2014 at 7PM, as usual at the Millburn Library, 200 Glen Avenue.
President Roosevelt's response, or lack of response, to the Nazis treatment of the Jews has been a subject of sharp debate, disagreement, and criticism by historians, Jewish organizations, and commentators commencing in the late 1930's during Hitler's rise to power, and the issue continues to generate immense interest. The most dramatic accusations against FDR, his unwillingness to admit to American soil the Jewish refugees aboard the SS St. Louis in 1939 and to order the bombing of gas chambers and crematoria at Auschwitz are carefully examined and evaluated. Was FDR's seeming reluctance to take the initiative and initiate measures to ameliorate the persecution of the Jews a pragmatic, political decision to placate domestic opposition, or a sound strategic military determination grounded on the belief that the rescue of the Jews, even if practical, was ultimately subordinate to the overriding priorities of total war and unconditional surrender of the enemy? Mr. Breitman carefully evaluates FDR's difficult decisions and presents the case in a scholarly and evenhanded manner while presenting arguments on both sides of the issue.
Richard Breitman received his B.A. from Yale University and his Ph.D. from Harvard University. He is author or co-author of ten books and many articles in German history, U.S. history, and the Holocaust. He is best known for The Architect of Genocide: Himmler and the Final Solution (Knopf 1991) and Official Secrets: What the Nazis Planned, What the British and Americans Knew (Hill and Wang, 1998). He served as director of historical research for the Nazi War Criminal Records and Imperial Japanese Records Interagency Working Group, which helped to bring about declassification of more than eight million pages of U.S. government records under a 1998 law. He is editor of the scholarly journal Holocaust and Genocide Studies. FDR and the Jews, co-authored with Allan J. Lichtman, won a National Jewish Book Award in American Jewish Studies and was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize in History.
For additional information contact Dr. John J. McLaughlin, Director and Moderator of the Book Club. Dr. McLaughlin can be reached at tel: 973-467-3313 or e-mail NJWW2BookClub@aol.com