Rekindling the Flame: American Jewish Chaplains and the Survivors of European Jewry, 1944-1948

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Overview

A study of American Jewish chaplains in displaced persons' camps after World War II, Rekindling the Flame provides a historical analysis of the survivors impact on American Jewish chaplains and indirectly on American Jewry. The chaplains were among the first liberators to meet the survivors in Europe and to send reports to American Jews. This information, supplemented by accounts from American soldiers and journalists helped shape American Jewish response to the former victims. Grobman documents the activities of chaplains in responding to the desperate needs of postwar Jewish refugees. Although the U.S. Army was responsible for the welfare of the survivors, the army did not always understand the problems of Jewish survivors, and the chaplains mediated with official military bodies to meet those needs. In addition to offering spiritual guidance, providing food, and escorting refugees to better conditions and, eventually to Palestine, the chaplains informed American authorities and the American Jewish community about the plight of displaced persons and helped organize the displaced persons as an independent political force. This critical and controversial study examines not only the adequacy of the response by the U.S. government and military to the survivors, but also the American Jewish response. Grobman concludes that the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC), the Jewish organization most responsible for providing aid to the survivors, did not adequately respond. Both the failure of the American Jewish community to donate sufficient funds to the JDC and of American Jewish social workers to volunteer in significant numbers for duty as JDC representatives in Europe, severely hampered rescue efforts. As a chronicle of the chaplains' activities, this volume presents new information about a relatively neglected subject. Rekindling the Flame is based on several sources including chaplains' reports and other records; oral interviews with chaplains, thei
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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Beyond their role as bringers of food, comfort and spiritual guidance, Jewish chaplains served Holocaust survivors as mediators with US military command (who did not always understand their needs), and as reporters to US authorities and the American Jewish community of their desperate plight. Grobman documents these efforts, as well as examining the adequacy of American response (military, government and Jewish) in providing aid to the survivors. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780814324134
  • Publisher: Wayne State University Press
  • Publication date: 1/28/1993
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 260
  • Product dimensions: 6.66 (w) x 8.96 (h) x 0.73 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Abbreviations
Introduction 1
1 First Encounters with Survivors 6
2 Issues and Problems After the Liberation of the Camps: April-June 1945 36
3 The Harrison Report 65
4 The Struggle for Freedom: July-December 1945 89
5 Flight and Rescue: The Attempt to Reach Palestine 111
6 "The Jews Are Our Misfortune" 134
7 The Search for a Solution 164
Conclusion 192
Biographical Notes 198
Interviews 202
Notes 205
Bibliography 232
Index 249
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