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April 20, 1984 - Image 12

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1984-04-20

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Friday, April 20, 1984





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Continued from Page 2

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New Hampshire, Maine, New Brunswick, Quebec City, Montreal

Thank You For

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fer actual replicas of their homes and factories —
indeed rough replicas of their very existences.
And something intangible also transferred
with the German Jews during those years. It had
nothing to do with concrete or cash accounts and
had everything to do with culture. A German
fondness for music, for art, for spotless homes, for
cafes with chocolate tortes, for philosophy, for
antiquities, for theater, for the finer things that
struggling Palestine had never stopped to de-
velop. These intangibles were transferred like ev-
erything else.
After World War II, when hundreds of
thousands of Jews from a dozen different nations
wandered through Europe stateless and dis-
placed, each Jew a remnant of a family, a town or
a ghetto, all ravaged survivors without homes and
without lives to return to, after the Holocaust,
when the moment of the in-gathering of the exiles
was at hand, Israel was ready. A nation was wait-
Fifteen years earlier, it hadn't existed. Fifteen
years earlier few could have visualized what was
to come, what was to be. But a small group of men
did. They foresaw it all. That's why nothing would
stop them; no force was too great to overcome.
These men were the creators of Israel. And in
order to do so, each had to touch his hand to the
most controversial undertaking in Jewish history
— the transfer agreement. It made a state. Was it
madness, or was it genius?
Such was the controv-
ersial development that in-
volved heartache, ending
with an element of glory
born out of misery for those
who were rescued in the
There are many
supplementary occurrences
which could serve as
addenda to the record saved
by Black in The Transfer
Agreement. One item,
understandably not men-
tioned in his book because it
could have been among
many more related experi-
ences, was the reaction of
DorOthy Thompson
people like Dorothy
Thompson. For many years she was a supporter of the
Zionist movement. She appeared on Zionist platforms.
Then she became a violent antagonist. Could it have been
the transfer agreement?
She charged that Zionists were more interested in
building a Jewish National Home than in rescuing Jews
from Nazism. Meyer Weisgal was among her closest friends
and he maintained that she was ready, before her death, to
express regret over her negativism toward Zionism, but it
was too late.
It is evident, therefore, that no matter how controver-
sial Edwin Black's Transfer Agreement may prove, regard-
less of the bitterness it may arouse, the facts are on the
record. Surely, Black's concluding explanatory note gives
substance to what could have been judged as realism in the
era of that tragic agreement.
The recorded historic events relegate Black's book to
the most significant relating to Zionist history, the redemp-
tion of Israel into Jewish statehood as well as the controv-
ersial experiences that involved Jewish leadership in con-
flicts of nations — specifically the United States — during
the years of the Holocaust.

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