A new book by Holocaust scholar Rafael Medoff argues that Franklin Delano Roosevelt, far from being the friend of the Jews in whom many elderly Jews still believe, may have held deep antisemitic prejudices.
Newly-unearthed private remarks and actions, many of which are revealed in Medoff’s new book, FDR and the Holocaust: A Breach of Faith, reflect a president whose inaction left hundreds of thousands of Jews to be murdered in the Holocaust.
Some of these statements and actions, reviewed by Medoff in a recent Los Angeles Times op-ed, included:
- 1923: FDR felt there were too many Jews at Harvard and collaborated in instituting a quota on Jews.
- 1938: FDR said privately that anti-Semitism in Poland was triggered by Jews dominating the economy there.
- 1941:FDR told his Cabinet there were too many Jews among federal employees in Oregon.
- 1943: as Jews were being slaughtered in Europe, FDR met with Winston Churchill and spoke of what the future held for Jews. He approved of a plan “to spread Jews thin all over the world.” As noted by Vice President Henry Wallace, “The president said he had tried this out in [Meriwether] County, Georgia [where Roosevelt lived in the 1920s] and at Hyde Park on the basis of adding four or five Jewish families at each place. He claimed that the local population would have no objection if there were no more than that.”
- Another instance where FDR called jews begging ofr help getting their brethren out of Europe “Jewish wailing” and “sob stuff.”
- 1941: FDR remarked at a Cabinet meeting that there were too many Jews among federal employees in Oregon.
- On another occasion, FDR responded to a query by proudly asserting, “there is no Jewish blood in our veins.”
All of these actions, Medoff argues, suggest a new picture of the man whose administration stifled German Jews wanting to flee the Holocaust by instituting, starting in 1941, laws that refused permission if the individual left a family member behind, because of the assumption that the Nazis could blackmail the immigrant into spying for Hitler, and refusing to tell the State Department to fill the quotas for Jewish immigrants from Germany and Axis-occupied countries to the legal limit, which would have saved nearly 200,000 Jews.
The legacy of the Jews who became Democrats believing in FDR has affected generations following them who vote Democrats into office because their parents did. But if the truth be told, the present-day animus of the Democratic Party for the State of Israel and traditional Jewish values is nothing more than an outgrowth of the man who abandoned Jews while posing as their friend.