The Hollywood Legend Who Mobilized the English Language on Behalf of the Jews of Europe and Israel

Ben Hecht invented the gangster movie. He also prodded Roosevelt into saving thousands of Jews from the Nazis, and marshaled reluctant American Jews into becoming Zionists.

Ben Hecht in 1946. Eileen Darby/The LIFE Images Collection via Getty Images.

Ben Hecht in 1946. Eileen Darby/The LIFE Images Collection via Getty Images.

Observation
July 3 2019
About the author

Rick Richman is an attorney and frequent contributor to Mosaic. He is the author of “What Would Brandeis Do?” (August 4, 2016) and Racing Against History: The 1940 Campaign for a Jewish Army to Fight Hitler (Encounter Books, 2018).


“In [1939], I became a Jew and looked on the world with Jewish eyes.” —Ben Hecht, A Child of the Century

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More about: Arts & Culture, Ben Hecht, History & Ideas, Holocaust