America’s Response to the Holocaust (HGS 560/760)

This course explores a difficult, complex, and emotionally charged subject: the American response to the Holocaust. While most historians agree that the nation's response was inadequate, and that a more forceful and effective rescue policy might have saved many lives, they disagree about what was realistically possible to accomplish under the circumstances. The roles of various branches of the American government will be examined, such as the President and his advisors, Congress, the State Department, and other Cabinet secretaries. In addition, the students will evaluate the impact of public opinion, the press, religious groups, and private agencies on governmental policies related to rescue. Particular emphasis will be placed on the American Jewish community's reaction to the tragedy, and the factors influencing that reaction. Insights gained from the study of this dark chapter in history will be applied to consideration of appropriate responses to more recent international humanitarian crises.

Semester Information: 
Online Summer 2019-A: May 1-June 25