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Book Notes: In Search of Refuge: Jews and US Consuls in Nazi Germany, 1933-1941, Bat-Ami Zucker

William D. Rubinstein

<plain_text><page sequence="1">In Search of Refuge: Jews and US Consuls in Nazi Germany, 1933 1941, Bat-Ami Zucker (Vallentine Mitchell, London, 2001) xiv + 229 pp., isbn 0-85303-400-1. This is yet another study of the response of the democracies to Jewish refugee immigration from Nazi Germany in the period down to the Second World War. Dr Zucker examines in particular the role of American Consuls in Germany in assisting or restricting would-be refugee immigrants in obtaining permission to migrate to the United States. Her conclusion is that these Consuls too often erected needless barriers at a time of dire necessity. 212</page><page sequence="2">Book Notes There is no doubt an element of truth in her conclusions, which are based largely on wholly original primary research, yet she has equally missed the larger picture: the actions of America's Consuls appear inhumane only in light of what we now know about the fate of those left behind and unable to emigrate. No American Consul could possibly have known of the Holocaust which began only after Pearl Harbor, when diplomatic relations between Germany and America ceased. As Dr Zucker points out, no less than one third of all immigrants admitted to the United States between 1933 and 1943 were Jews, proportionately far more than any other group. (Her state? ment on p. 136 that only one-third of 1.5 million available refugee quota places were used ignores the fact that these were mandated on the basis of particular countries and that virtually no immigration could occur once the war began in 1939.) One point on which I would have liked specific information is how many German Jews applied to migrate to the United States and were turned down. My guess, based on evidence presented in my book The Myth of Rescue, is that there were far fewer than one might have supposed: few German Jews wished to emigrate until Kristallnacht and fewer wished to come to the United States. Without precise statistics on this matter, howev? er, we are in the dark. In short, whatever insights this work adduces, are lost in the midst of a false paradigm. William D. Rubinstein</page></plain_text>