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The "Jewish Threat": Anti-SemiticPolitics of the U.S. Army

Bendersky, Joseph

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ISBN 10: 0465006175 / ISBN 13: 9780465006175
Published by Basic Books, 2000
Condition: Very Good Hardcover
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Bibliographic Details

Title: The "Jewish Threat": Anti-SemiticPolitics of...

Publisher: Basic Books

Publication Date: 2000

Binding: Hard Cover

Book Condition:Very Good

Dust Jacket Condition: Very Good

Edition: First Edition.

About this title


While the pervasive anti-Semitism of "ordinary" Germans in the first half of the twentieth century has received much attention lately, very little has been written about America's own history of anti-Semitism. In this shocking book, Joseph Bendersky argues that such racism permeated the highest ranks of the U.S. military throughout the past century, having a very real effect on policy decisions. Through ten years of research in more than thirty-five archives, the author has uncovered irrefutable evidence of an endemic and virulent anti-Semitism throughout the Army Corps from the turn of the century right up to the 1970s. These sources reveal how the "Secret Americans" (a group of officers who described themselves as true patriots and who felt silenced by Roosevelt) were convinced of the physical, intellectual, and moral inferiority of Jews and feared that their "superior" Anglo-Saxon/Nordic culture was threatened by a radical and destabilizing Jewish conspiracy. This fully developed and clearly articulated perspective had a direct effect on policy discussions and decisions, affecting such matters as immigration, refugees, military strategy, and the establishment of Israel. Secret agents scoured Europe in a desperate attempt to prove the existence of the Jewish conspiracy. General Moseley, a close friend of Eisenhower's and one of the Army's most decorated officers, demanded the sterilization of Jewish refugees from Nazi Germany. During the war, the Chief of the Naval Institute claimed the stream of Jewish refugees from Europe was just a money-making scheme. Even in the 1970s, retired officers were still warning against the secret forces of Judaism and their supposed manipulation of presidents and the American public (even going so far as to label Kissinger a KGB spy). Written with novelistic intensity and attention to intriguing detail, The "Jewish Threat" is the first documented examination of a functioning anti-Semitic worldview within an American institution of government and adds an entirely new dimension to the history of the U.S. Army. It forces us to revise some of our cherished notions about our country and its most revered leaders.


The "Jewish Threat" makes the dramatic allegation that, throughout most of the last century, rampant racism in the highest ranks of the United States Army helped to shape important American public policies. Historian Joseph W. Bendersky bases most of his arguments on documents from Military Intelligence Division (MID) files that "identified a myriad of [Jewish] institutions and individuals that could be drawn upon and formed into various malleable combinations when necessary." The MID, says Bendersky, used these files to build conspiracy theories positing Jewish plans for world domination. Between 1918 and 1941, hundreds of officers contributed thousands of entries to the MID subject files indexed under the heading "Jews: Race." Bendersky's readings of these documents allege that the Army's campaign against Jewish immigration to the United States in the 1920s was motivated by racism, and that racism in the Army's highest ranks helps to explain America's slowness in responding to the Holocaust. Vigorously argued and rigorously researched, The "Jewish Threat" will fascinate students of World War II and of American race relations. --Michael Joseph Gross

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