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.

July 3, 2019 | Rick Richman
About the author: Rick Richman is the author of Racing Against History: The 1940 Campaign for a Jewish Army to Fight Hitler (Encounter). His most recent contribution to Mosaic was “One Who Fought Back: Herschel Grynszpan and the Holocaust.”

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

“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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