Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Fighting Hitler

Once upon a time there really was an Adolph Hitler. He came to power in Germany in 1933 and set out persecuting Jews. He also ramped up his war machine to conquer Europe.

The president who was conducting foreign policy during the Hitler years was, of course, Franklin Roosevelt.

As we watch today’s intrepid culture warriors demonize the opposition, especially but not exclusively Pres. Donald Trump, calling them Hitler, worse than Hitler, Darth Vader, and the Antichrist… we are within our rights to point out that when there really was a Hitler and when he really was persecuting Jews, that great beacon of liberal politics, Franklin Roosevelt, did nothing. Or, you might say... he eventually entered the war against Hitler... but it was too late for millions of Jews and for tens of millions of other victims.

Good liberals blame Roosevelt’s fecklessness on Republicans. It’s their modus operandi. If anything goes wrong under a Democratic president, the fault lies with Republicans. But they also blame it on public opinion. The American public, as measured by the Gallup organization, opposed resettling European Jews in America.

Thus, the theory goes, FDR could not act. Which feels like a cheap excuse. FDR was in charge. He could have done what it thought was right. He did not have to succumb to the vagaries of public opinion. Of course, the great orator could have given a fireside chat about the plight of Jewish refugees. He did not. FDR could have tried to influence public opinion. He did not.

We are also within our rights to ask how thoroughly the situation was reported in the American media. You know about the brave American media, the one that has declared all out culture war against President Trump. Well, as it happened, the great liberal beacon called The New York Times buried the story of Nazi persecution of Jews.

Another side note. If the American public, still suffering from an economic Depression that the New Deal was supposed to have cured, feared for the jobs that European Jews would take, why did no one imagine resettling European Jews elsewhere, outside of the American homeland.

As you know, the Hitler government tried to force European Jews to emigrate to foreign countries. When those nations, nations like Cuba, Canada and the United States, refused to take in the Jews, the Germans used the information to promote their eliminationist propaganda. See he fate of the Jews on the ship called the St. Louis.

If any Republican had been in charge of foreign policy at the time the hue and cry would have been deafening. Since it was FDR, the propaganda wing of the Democratic Party and the mainstream media has been up in arms exonerating the president… the poor man could do no other.

Rafael Medoff reports on a recent event that took place at the Holocaust Memorial

Gallup’s editor-in-chief spoke at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum on November 28, and described polls his organization took in the 1930s and early 1940s, which showed overwhelming opposition to the admission of Jewish refugees fleeing the Nazis.

Yet somehow he forgot to mention the single most important poll that Gallup took during those years—a poll which showed exactly the opposite of all the others. What can account for this peculiar omission?

The event at the museum in Washington, D.C., featured Gallup’s top editor, Frank Newport, together with Daniel Greene, the lead curator of the museum’s controversial new exhibit, “Americans and the Holocaust.”

The not-so-subtle theme of the exhibit is that President Franklin D. Roosevelt was virtually helpless to assist Jews fleeing Hitler because American public opinion was so heavily opposed to admitting them. Polls taken by Gallup and others during those years play a major role in the exhibit.

Get the picture. The propaganda never ceases. What were the poll results:

Large, lit-up boxes throughout the exhibit present the questions from the polls, and the results.

Was the persecution of Jews in Europe “their own fault”? Sixty-five percent of Americans said the Jews were partly or entirely to blame. (April 1938)

In the wake of the Nazis’ horrific Kristallnacht pogrom, should America admit more German Jews? Ninety-four percent disapproved of the pogrom, but 72 percent were against admitting refugees. (November 1938)

Should the U.S. admit 10,000 children from Germany? Sixty-seven percent said no. (January 1939)

Again, it is possible to influence public opinion. The silence of FDR on these issues, the silence of the New York Times might have suggested that the problem was not very grave.

By 1944, Medoff continues, public opinion had shifted.

But the truth is that there was a very significant shift—according to a poll that Gallup itself took in 1944, in the middle of the war and the middle of the Holocaust.

What happened is that a small U.S. government agency, the War Refugee Board, proposed to President Roosevelt in early 1944 that he should grant temporary haven to hundreds of thousands of Jewish refugees until the end of the war. To test the waters of public opinion on the proposal, the White House commissioned a Gallup poll in April of 1944.

Gallup found that 70 percent of the public supported giving “temporary protection and refuge” in the United States to “those people in Europe who have been persecuted by the Nazis.”

Medoff explains that the war had finally done what the New Deal had promised; it had helped the nation to overcome the Depression. And besides, America was winning the war:

How is it that public opinion had changed so much from previous polling? Most Americans felt sympathy for European Jews, but had viewed refugees as a threat to their jobs or to national security. But the shift to a wartime economy completed America's emergence from the Great Depression. And as the tide of the war turned in 1943 (the liberation of North Africa; the defeat of the Germans at Stalingrad; the withdrawal of Italy from the war), the public’s fear of refugees (either as competing workers or disguised as Nazi spies) diminished, and its willingness to make humanitarian gestures increased.

So, the poll was taken in April, 1944. FDR could still have admitted more Jewish refugees. Being notably anti-Semitic, FDR did not care:

Gallup’s April 1944 poll was taken more than a year before the end of the war. It was late, but it was not too late, to rescue a significant number of Jewish refugees, if only President Roosevelt had shown an interest in doing so—and as the poll showed, he would have enjoyed ample public support for such action. Sadly, he agreed to grant temporary haven to just one token group of 982 refugees.

Got it. FDR, the great hero of the modern progressive liberal left, granted temporary refuge to 982 people. Out of millions. Medoff is not the first to show that FDR abandoned the Jews. Liberals have been covering it up for decades now. They present themselves as the world’s greatest Nazi fighters. Did you catch the irony?

Acknowledging the wartime shift of public opinion would upset the exhibit’s underlying theme of minimizing President Roosevelt’s abandonment of the Jews. Visitors would realize that the president’s hands were not completely tied, after all.

And this does not even consider what would have happened if FDR had gotten involved in European geopolitics years earlier.


Anonymous said...

It seems Roosevelt had a plan called the M Project which called for making sure any surviving Jews were to be displaced and thinly settled on the earth.

Incidentally, Progressive anti Zionist zealots in my area use The NY Times as a recruitment tool, “it’s not antisemitic to criticize Israel,” they say, “ waving the paper under my nose, every day The NY Times has an article about how bad Israel is. We must get rid of Israel for the sake of humanity. Zionists are behind all wars, they control the media and the government.”

I was raised to worry about right wing antisemites hiding under the bed. But meanwhile left wing antisemites are invited to sit at the table and proselytize at dinner parties.


Sam L. said...

Dems have always been deceitful.

Walt said...

The 1924 Immigration Act pretty much banned Jewish immigration--a prejudice rationalized by the IQ tests conducted at Ellis Island ca. 1908(?) by a then-famed and obviously antisemitic psychologist named Goddard who concluded that "80% of Jews" were "of moron grade." The Act remained in effect during WW2 and beyond.

In the late 30s-very early 40s, it was nearly impossible for Jews to get in here (and by 1941, they were officially barred from leaving Germany, while getting out of the rest of occupied Europe to anywhere at all was no easy feat).There was, however, a kind of underground railroad. I was told that it was originally organized by (Jewish) SCOTUS Judge Felix Frankfurter. Members of my family at the time were asked, through a friend who was an Public Defender if they'd sponsor a woman who badly needed to escape from Austria.( "Sponsoring" meant agreeing to support her until she could support herself and/or for five years) . They agreed, and did. This was likely in 1939 or at the latest 1940 because I once googled and found her name as living with them in the 1940 census. I've seen photos of her too. But, oddly, I don't think they ever blamed FDR.