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April 29, 1988 - Image 2

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1988-04-29

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410111111145/0A.Ktiatill.

PURELY COMMENTARY

Refuge And Wandering In A Century Of Tensions

PHILIP SLOMOVITZ

Editor Emeritus

R

efuge and wandering are in-
separable in the Jewish ex-
perience. They also relate to op-
pression and suffering. They involve a
multitude of pains and tears. They also
have a measure of resistance, of courage
confronting humiliations.
Ronald Sanders has to his credit a
variety of many important works. As
former editor of Midstream he has an
important record as one of the most in-
formed in the • media. His newest work
Shores of Refuge — A Hundred Years of
Jewish Emigration (Henry Holt and
Co.) combines all the element relating
to the topic and presents many analyses
of occurrences that have not been fully
published until now. His knowledge of
German, French, Yiddish and Hebrew
as well as a working knowledge of Rus-
sian enabled him to deal so extensive-
ly with the very important topic he has
covered with great skill.
Sanders' resultant efforts earn ap-
preciation for HIAS — Hebrew Im-
migrant Aid Society — for having
chosen him for a grant to attain this
immensely-researched volume. In a tru-
ly great work, Sanders has assembled
the basic facts relating to the refugees
of the century. The episodes that fill this
volume lead to an understanding of
what had occurred and to the ex-
periences learned from them.
This definitive work on and about
refugees is filled with dramatic recollec-
tions. Commencing with Czarist
Russia, continuing to this day, there is
an enlightenment that provides the

The SS William Black arriving in New York in 1948 with the first refugees coming to the U.S.
under the Displaced Persons Act.

details in Jewish sufferings as well as
the trials in efforts to attain justice, as
well as the wanderings in tasks to
emigrate in search for havens of rescue.
The very title of Sander's documen-
tary is distressing in historic memories,
and the facts are an accumulation of
pogroms. Sanders explains that
"pogrom" stems from the Russian word
"gromit" — to thunder or batter down

— in other words to destroy.
The tracing of the tragedies that
were inflicted upon Jewry include the
anti-Semitic resort to the Blood Libel.
One example is the rumor that Jews
had murdered a young Christian at
Passover time in 1903 near Kishinev. It
was soon established that the youth was
a victim in a family feud. Meanwhile,
a pogrom resulted in the mass murder

and the bloody riot that was among the
most inhuman on record.
Another similar, although less
massive, massacre occurred in 1946 in
Kielce Poland after World War II.
Again, truth of the libel was soon
established. Yet the crime against a
very small community surviving from
Nazism was a kind of natural anti-
Semitic outburst.
Emigration is the central theme of
Shores of Refuge. It is an endless search
for homes away from lands of prejudice.
Understandably, the Holocaust and
its accumulated horrors marked the
most pressing demands for places of
escape. They were preceded by decades
of such needs, resulting from massacres
and the hatreds of the miserable
records.
Therefore, in the Sanders accounts
there were the experiences of denials of
refuge as well as the couragerous efforts
to secure them and the generosity of
philanthropists who assisted in them.
There is so much of these ex-
periences in the record compiled by
Sanders that every chapter in his book
has historic value.
There are two especially important
assertions in the Sanders book that
have merit in the historic sense. In one
he absolves President Franklin D.
Roosevelt in the continuing charge that
he failed to act firmly in efforts to
rescue Jews from the Nazi terror. In the
other, he deals with the legislation in
the U.S. Congress to provide means of
settling victims of Nazism in this coun-
try, the prejudices here against the ef-
fort to provide a haven, the weakness

Continued on Page 44

Robert Mandel's Publishing Skill in WSU Jewish Titles

F

or half-a-century, several publish-
ing houses with Jewish names
dominated the publishing of
Jewish books. Jewish Publication Socie-
ty of America has a growing readership.
There were and still are the Hebrew
Publishing Co., Berhmann,'s Bloch,
several others.
Now, especially in the field of
juveniles and textbooks, the Union of
American Hebrew Congregations per-
forms admirably in the production of
Jewish titles.
What has happened in recent years
is that university presses have assum-

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS
(US PS 275-520) is published every Friday
with additional supplements the fourth
week of March, the fourth week of August
and the second week of November at
20300 Civic Center Drive, Southfield,
Michigan.

Second class postage paid at Southfield,
Michigan and additional mailing offices.

Postmaster: Send changes to:
DETROIT JEWISH NEWS, 20300 Civic
Center Drive, Suite 240, Southfield,
Michigan 48076

$26 per year
$29 per year out of state
60' single copy

Vol. XCIII No. 9

April 29, 1988

ed leadership in the publishing of
Jewish books. Wayne State University
Press dominates that field and its
directing head, Dr. Robert Mandel, has
gained great recognition in his three
years as the new selector of the massive
published titles.
It is, indeed, like a domination of
the field that Dr. Mandel has become a
vital factor as a publisher in this com-
munity. Several of the books, the
publishing of which are due to his
creativity, combine to form a veritable
university. In their unity they are text-
books assuring top-role teaching of
students generally, with an emphasis
on their possession of great value for
history researchers.
The new WSU Press books include
The Jews in Roman Imperial Legisla-
tion, outlining the importance of roman
law to the evolution of attitudees toward
Jews adopted by non-Jews. Hebrew
University Professor of History Amnon
Linder provides valuable data on this
significant subject, which provides
knowledge on the sources for the study
of history in the Middle Ages.
Especially important as a timely
topic is made available in The Year
After the Riots, the WSU Press reveal-
ing document The American Responses
to the Palestine Crisis of 1929-30. In this

very important and impressive resear-
ched volume, Hunter College Professor
of History Naomi W. Cohen traces the
horror-stricken period when Jewish
theological students were massacred in
Hebron. The experiences relate so much
to the current violence that this book
becomes a major and appealing work for
an understanding of the issues
prevalent in Israel. Therefore, a lengthy
review of it will follow soon.
The very great current publishing
achievement in the WSU Press record
are the three volumes which have just
come off the press. Martin Buber: Life
and Works by Dr. Maurice Friedman,
professor of religious studies,
philosophy and comparative literature
at San Diego State University, is divid-
ed in the three volumes to cover these
eras: Early years, 1878 to 1923; the mid-
dle years, 1923 to 1945; and later years,
1945 to 1965. An important era in
religious and philosophic ideas are in-
troduced and will cover vast studies by
the scholars of our time.
The 100th anniversary of the
Jewish Publication Society, which will
be observed in May, is occasion for
recognition of this important movement
in Jewish life. It is well to recall that
Henrietta Szold, who a decade later
founded the Hadassah Women's Zionist

Dr. Robert Mandel

Organization, was an editor of the JPS
and the translator of the History of the
Jews by Heinrich Graetz, published
toward the end of the last century by
JPS.
The Jewish Publication Society has
to its credit a number of paperbacked

Continued on Page 44

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