The Swastika's Darkening Shadow: Voices before the Holocaust

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9781137302465: The Swastika's Darkening Shadow: Voices before the Holocaust
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The spread of anti-Semitism across Europe before World War II has received strikingly little comprehensive study. Drawing on newspapers, magazines, diaries, diplomatic correspondence, organizational reports, and a variety of other sources, this history reveals how imperiled European Jews navigated their world as darkness closed about.

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About the Author:

Monty Noam Penkower is Professor Emeritus of Jewish History at the Machon Lander Graduate School of Jewish Studies, Jerusalem, Israel. He was Victor J. Selmanowitz Professor of Modern Jewish History at Touro College in New York City, and also taught at Bard College, Rutgers University, and Stern College, and in the graduate History Departments of New York University and Yeshiva University. His numerous publications include The Federal Writers' Project (1977); The Jews Were Expendable: Free World Diplomacy and the Holocaust (1983); The Emergence of Zionist Thought (1986); The Holocaust and Israel Reborn: From Catastrophe to Sovereignty (1994); Decision on Palestine Deferred: America, Britain and Wartime Diplomacy, 1939-1945 (2002); and Twentieth Century Jews: Forging Identity in the Land of Promise and in the Promised Land (2010). The Jews Were Expendable received the B'nai B'rith-A.D.L. Merit for Educational Distinction and, together with The Emergence of Zionist Thought, garnered the second Samuel Belkin Memorial Literary Award from Yeshiva University.

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'The Swastika's Darkening Shadow, like Penkower's previous books, combines scrupulous scholarship, important new information and a compelling narrative. It enriches our understanding of a tragic period, even as it reminds us of opportunities missed, mistakes make and lessons to be learned.' - Jerusalem Post Magazine

'Students will find this book a hand source, in part because it servces to illustrate how Jews were not simply passive victims.' - CHOICE

'How did the world react to the rise and spread of Nazism during Hitler's first years in power? What did countries, organizations and individuals understand or misunderstand about the scope, depth and danger of antisemitism? In this highly documented study renowned historian Monty Noam Penkower puts together the pieces of the puzzle, providing readers with a fascinating cultural and political overview of various responses to the Nazi rise to power, Hitler's anti-Jewish policy during the pre-war years, and the growing Jewish refugee problem.' - Judy Baumel-Schwartz, Professor, Bar-Ilan University, Israel

'The careful and learned analysis provided in this work helps us understand the mood of the period between 1933 and the beginning of World War II and the murder of European Jewry. It includes a valuable selection of primary documents from the period. In sum, it is a worthwhile work of substantial merit.' - Steven T. Katz, Academic Adviser to the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance and Slater Professor of Jewish and Holocaust Studies, Boston University, USA

'In The Swastika's Darkening Shadow, not only does Monty Noam Penkower provide us with an important collection of little known documents charting the worsening condition of Europe's Jews, while the international community either ignored their plight or dithered in the six years or so preceding the outbreak of war in 1939, he prefaces this with a masterful analysis, rich in detail and with panoramic brush strokes. Elegantly written, The Swastika's Darkening Shadow is going to become an essential reference for anyone studying the Holocaust.' - Anthony McElligott, Professor of History, University of Limerick, Ireland

'None could have foretold the Shoa, yet a sense of grim foreboding as to the future of European Jewry was shared by many, Jews and non-Jews alike, during the 1930s. This is the quintessence of Monty Noam Penkower's recent contribution to the scholarly attempt to fathom the antecedents of the Holocaust. Its main thrust is the 140 pages of painstakingly unearthed, varied primary documents, which, when put together, take the reader along a journey in the footsteps of the unfolding tragedy, at the end of which he or she is deeply moved and furious.' - Dina Porat, Chief Historian of Yad Vashem and Head of the Kantor Center for the Study of European Jewry, Tel Aviv University, Israel

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