In the Shadow of Hitler: Alabama's Jews, the Second World War, and the Holocaust (Modern South)

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9780817313289: In the Shadow of Hitler: Alabama's Jews, the Second World War, and the Holocaust (Modern South)
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In the Shadow of Hitler chronicles the experiences of Alabama Jews as they worked to overcome their own divisions in order to aid European Jews before, during, and after the Second World War.

In this extensive study of how southern Jews in the United States responded to the Nazi persecution of European Jews, Dan J. Puckett recounts the divisions between Alabama Jews in the early 1930s. As awareness of the horrors of the Holocaust spread, Jews across Alabama from different backgrounds and from Reform, Conservative, and Orthodox traditions worked to bridge their internal divisions in order to mount efforts to save Jewish lives in Europe. Only by leveraging their collective strength were Alabama’s Jews able to sway the opinions of newspaper editors, Christian groups, and the general public as well as lobby local, state, and national political leaders.
 
Puckett’s comprehensive analysis is enlivened and illustrated by true stories that will fascinate all readers of southern history. One such story concerns the Altneuschule Torah of Prague and describes how the Nazis, during their brutal occupation of Czechoslovakia, confiscated 1,564 Torahs and sacred Judaic objects from communities throughout Bohemia and Moravia as exhibits in a planned museum to the extinct Jewish race. Recovered after the war by the Czech Memorial Scrolls Trust, the Altneuschule Torah was acquired in 1982 by the Orthodox congregation Ahavas Chesed of Mobile. Ahavas Chesed re-consecrated the scroll as an Alabama memorial to Czech Jews who perished in Nazi death camps.
 
In the Shadow of Hitler illustrates how Alabama’s Jews, in seeking to influence the national and international well-being of Jews, were changed, emerging from the war period with close cultural and religious cooperation that continues today.

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About the Author:

Dan J. Puckett is an associate professor of history at Troy University.

Review:

"One of the most impressive contributions of this book is Puckett’s gathering of such a vast array of resources to compile the narrative.  Many of the materials are relatively inaccessible for the general public, but the compilation of information places unpublished archival material at the disposal of the reader.  Puckett’s organization and conclusions provide order and meaning which make his work a starting point for those who may approach related topics in the future.  The book tells the stories of many prominent individuals whose contributions to Alabama could otherwise easily evaporate over time.  Influential persons like Abe Berkowitz, Leon Schwartz, Rabbi Milton Grafman, and Dora Roth deserve a place in Alabama’s history.  On the other side of things, it is fitting for us to remember the dissension caused by hatemongers like Arthur Terminiello. Puckett’s book reviews the impact of these characters upon the state and the nation.  Researchers, lay and professional, will find the book enlightening and useful."
The Alabama Review

“Puckett has written a wonderful examination of America’s Jews in Alabama and the Deep South, their conflict between orthodoxy and the more modern Reform Judaism, religious liberalism and cultural survival, and the realities of Jim Crow and Nazi mass murder. Every newspaper is examined, along with many organizations, archival documents, and synagogue newsletters—recorded in seventy-seven pages of detailed notes and bibliography. In the Shadow of Hitler is exhaustively researched, well written, and important.”
Journal of American History
 "[a]... meticulously researched and carefully hewn study of Alabama Jews in the 1930s and 1940s."—American Jewish History

"[Puckett’s] excellent chapter on Alabama newspapers’ coverage of the Holocaust, for example, is enlightening and informative well beyond its specifically Jewish relevance, as is his careful survey of expressions of anti-Semitism in the state. While Puckett’s primary focus throughout the book is on the Jewish community, his insights will be of great interest to anyone curious about the impact of global events on the American South.”
Journal of Southern History

"[Puckett's] very detailed account is packed with fascinating anecdotes, revealing Alabama’s small Jewish community as a microcosm of the nation, reflecting both unity and factionalism side by side." 
The Jewish Sound

"This well-written and scrupulously researched account chronicles the response of Alabama’s Jews to the rise of Hitler, World War II, and the Holocaust, and analyzes the impact of the Holocaust on Jewish life."
Yearbook of German American Studies 

"Those already interested in Jewish history will be his first readers, but In the Shadow of Hitler is clearly written as well as extensively documented and those unfamiliar with Jewish Alabama history will learn more than they anticipated."
The Tuscaloosa News

“In The Shadow of Hitler is a major contribution to our understanding of what people in the United States knew about Hitler and the Holocaust—and when they knew it.  By focusing on Alabama, Puckett reminds us that the history of Jews in the United States cannot be limited to New York and Los Angeles. This thoughtful, well-researched, well written study not only will broaden our knowledge of what Jews and non-Jews knew about the Holocaust and what they did about that knowledge; it will add invaluably to our knowledge of the history of Jews in the United States, to the history of the South, and, finally, to the complex history of the United States itself.”  
—Jack Salzman, editor-in-chief of Encyclopedia of African American Culture and History and, with Cornel West, editor of Struggles in the Promised Land: Toward a History of Black-Jewish Relations in the United States

In the Shadow of Hitler will be a uniquely important book for us, the Alabama Holocaust Commission, and for all who are interested in the Jewish history of our state.”
—Phyllis G. Weinstein, Chair, Alabama Holocaust Commission

“Dan J. Puckett provides academic and lay readers a compelling, well-researched, and strongly written case study of how the people in a Deep South state confronted Hitler’s persecution of the Jews. This first detailed state study sheds substantial light on national issues and is a must read for anyone interested in the impact of Hitler’s persecution of the Jews, Jewish and non-Jewish responses and interactions, and the histories of African American–Jewish relations, Alabama, the South, and the nation.”
—Mark K. Bauman, editor of Dixie Diaspora: An Anthology of Southern Jewish History and the journal Southern Jewish History

“Puckett tells an important story. Its strength is to illuminate the very real and interdependent connection between major world events and the shifting parameters of local/regional life.”
—Jennifer E. Brooks, author of Defining the Peace: World War II Veterans, Race, and the Remaking of Southern Political Tradition

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9780817358686: In the Shadow of Hitler: Alabama's Jews, the Second World War, and the Holocaust (Modern South)

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ISBN 10:  0817358684 ISBN 13:  9780817358686
Publisher: University Alabama Press, 2016
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Book Description The University of Alabama Press, United States, 2014. Hardback. Condition: New. Language: English. Brand new Book. In the Shadow of Hitler is the first comprehensive state study of how southern Jews-and non-Jews-dealt with the coming of the Good War and the Nazi persecution of European Jews. In 1982, the Orthodox congregation of Ahavas Chesed in Mobile, Alabama, reconsecrated a Torah scroll from the Altneuschule in Prague, Czechoslovakia, that had been seized by the Nazis in the midst of the Holocaust. The Nazis, over the course of their occupation of Czechoslovakia, confiscated from Jewish communities throughout Bohemia and Moravia 1,564 Torahs, among numerous other Judaic ceremonial objects. The Nazis had the Torahs catalogued and planned to exhibit them after the war in a museum to the extinct Jewish race. Ahavas Chesed acquired the Altneuschule scroll from the Czech Memorial Scrolls Trust to honour the members of those communities who had perished in the camps. Dan J. Puckett's In the Shadow of Hitler examines the Jews of Alabama and shows that they were fully aware of events that affected Jews both nationally and internationally. Although Alabama's Jewish community was divided between Central and Eastern European and Sephardic backgrounds and cultures, and the Reform, Conservative, and Orthodox traditions, the Nazi persecution of the Jews in Europe forced this disparate Jewish community to put aside its differences and work together to aid and save European Jewry. In doing so, Alabama's Jews not only effectively lobbied influential politicians on the local, state, and national level, and swayed the opinions of newspaper editors, Christian groups, and the general public, but their cooperation also built bridges that spanned the cultural and religious divides within their own community. In the Shadow of Hitler illustrates how this intracommunity cooperation, the impact of the war and the murder of six million European Jews, and the establishment of the state of Israel built the foundation for closer cultural and religious cooperation in Alabama in the decades that followed. Seller Inventory # AAN9780817313289

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Book Description The University of Alabama Press, United States, 2014. Hardback. Condition: New. Language: English. Brand new Book. In the Shadow of Hitler is the first comprehensive state study of how southern Jews-and non-Jews-dealt with the coming of the Good War and the Nazi persecution of European Jews. In 1982, the Orthodox congregation of Ahavas Chesed in Mobile, Alabama, reconsecrated a Torah scroll from the Altneuschule in Prague, Czechoslovakia, that had been seized by the Nazis in the midst of the Holocaust. The Nazis, over the course of their occupation of Czechoslovakia, confiscated from Jewish communities throughout Bohemia and Moravia 1,564 Torahs, among numerous other Judaic ceremonial objects. The Nazis had the Torahs catalogued and planned to exhibit them after the war in a museum to the extinct Jewish race. Ahavas Chesed acquired the Altneuschule scroll from the Czech Memorial Scrolls Trust to honour the members of those communities who had perished in the camps. Dan J. Puckett's In the Shadow of Hitler examines the Jews of Alabama and shows that they were fully aware of events that affected Jews both nationally and internationally. Although Alabama's Jewish community was divided between Central and Eastern European and Sephardic backgrounds and cultures, and the Reform, Conservative, and Orthodox traditions, the Nazi persecution of the Jews in Europe forced this disparate Jewish community to put aside its differences and work together to aid and save European Jewry. In doing so, Alabama's Jews not only effectively lobbied influential politicians on the local, state, and national level, and swayed the opinions of newspaper editors, Christian groups, and the general public, but their cooperation also built bridges that spanned the cultural and religious divides within their own community. In the Shadow of Hitler illustrates how this intracommunity cooperation, the impact of the war and the murder of six million European Jews, and the establishment of the state of Israel built the foundation for closer cultural and religious cooperation in Alabama in the decades that followed. Seller Inventory # AAN9780817313289

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