The Man Who Exposed Official American Indifference to the Holocaust

The historian David S. Wyman, who died in early March, claimed that he never knew what brought him – a Gentile from New Hampshire – to focus his doctoral research on Franklin Roosevelt’s policies regarding Jewish refugees from Germany. But the resulting work, Paper Walls: America and the Refugee Crisis, 1938-1941 opened up a raft of unanswered questions. His 1978 commentary essay Why Auschwitz Was Never Bombed and then his 1984 The Abandonment of the Jews shaped all future discussion about this chapter in American history. To the very end, he maintained that there could have been a different outcome: “I still believe that the American people wouldn’t have failed on this if they had been given information and leadership. Maybe I have to believe it for my own inner peace.”

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