Could Jewish and Zionist Leaders Have Done More to Rescue the Jews of Poland?

That is the question a new history of Polish Jewry in the 1930s asks and—with one large exception—answers well.

February 5, 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.”
In the view of Philip Roth’s narrator in The Plot Against America—a fictional account of how fascism might have come to the United States in 1940—history as schoolchildren study it is the story “turned wrong way around”: a tale told after the fact, with “everything . . . chronicled on the page as inevitable.” By contrast, the narrator asserts, history experienced in real time is a story of the “relentless unforeseen.”

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