Why We Watched by Theodore S. Hamerow
Europe, America, and the Holocaust

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This book answers the most pressing question about the Holocaust: Why did the West do nothing as Hitler's killing machine took hold?

The Allies stood by and watched Nazi Germany imprison and then murder six million Jews during World War II. How could the unthinkable have been allowed to happen? Theodore Hamerow reveals in the pages of this compelling book that each Western nation had its own version of the Jewish Question—its own type of anti-Semitism—which may not have been as virulent as in Eastern Europe but was disastrously crippling nonetheless. If just one country had opened its doors to Germany's already persecuted Jews in the 1930s, and if the Allies had attempted even one bombing of an extermination camp, the Holocaust would have been markedly different. Instead, by sitting on their hands, the West let Hitler solve their Jewish Question by eliminating European Jewry.

About Theodore S. Hamerow

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Theodore S. Hamerow, professor emeritus of history at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, is among the most distinguished historians of his generation. He is the author of several prize-winning books, the most recent being On the Road to the Wolf's Lair. He lives in Madison, Wisconsin.
Published August 17, 2008 by W. W. Norton & Company. 544 pages
Genres: History, Travel. Non-fiction

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Chronicling the changing nature of anti-Semitism, the author notes that in earlier periods, especially before the French Revolution, it was subtler: “The ups and downs of official policy regarding the Jewish community reflected expediency, indecisiveness and sometimes simply indifference rather t...

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Christian Science Monitor

Historian Theodore Hamerow recognizes that reaction, so he opens his new book about the Holocaust by explaining his contribution to the subject.

Aug 27 2008 | Read Full Review of Why We Watched: Europe, Ameri...

Project MUSE

The author notes too the moderate opposition to quotas and support for emigration that emerged in American liberal circles, among Americans like Smith College president William Allen Neilson and Nation editor Freda Kirchwey, but he highlights this opposition's fundamental paralysis in finding ave...

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