The American "Jewish bystanders": rethinking strategies of understanding

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Notes that a multitude of publications, almost all by Jews, have provided exhaustive knowledge but little understanding of the behavior of American Jews during the Nazi period. All of them posit Jewish solidarity as a basic moral principle of Judaism, and can explain American Jews' failure to rescue their European brethren while it was still possible only by their ignorance of what was to come. The fact is that American Jews at that time wanted nothing so badly as to be accepted as Americans; and American ideology denied the legitimacy of group loyalties. So American Jews fought Nazism not for the sake of its principal victims, their fellow Jews, but as Americans, for the survival of American democracy.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)253-269
JournalJahrbuch für Antisemitismusforschung
StatePublished - 2000


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