Remembering a Polish Jew Who Helped Smuggle Hundreds of His Coreligionists Out of Nazi-Occupied France

Dec. 10 2021

On October 30, Justus Rosenberg, a Polish-born professor of literature at Bard College in the Hudson Valley, died at the age of one hundred. With Polish schools and universities becoming increasingly unwelcoming to Jews, and imposing ever-more restrictive quotas, Rosenberg left for Paris to pursue his education. He was there in 1939 when World War II broke out. Shira Hanau recounts his remarkable experiences working for Varian Fry, an American journalist who engaged in a major private effort to save intellectuals and artists from Nazi Germany:

When the Nazis took over Paris, Rosenberg fled to Toulouse where he met a woman who recruited him to join Fry’s Emergency Rescue Committee-sponsored rescue effort in Marseille. Rosenberg—who was blonde, appeared younger than his age, and spoke French—worked as a courier for Fry, ferrying forged documents and accompanying some refugees across the border to Spain. The rescue effort saved about 2,000 people, among them the writers Hannah Arendt and Heinrich Mann and the artists Marc Chagall and Marcel Duchamp.

When Fry’s efforts ended in 1941, Rosenberg, himself a refugee, was on his own again and was soon sent to a prison camp outside Lyon. When he learned that his fate and that of the other prisoners was to be sent to a labor camp in Poland, Rosenberg feigned an illness that would get him sent to a hospital. But even after having his appendix removed due to his nonexistent illness, Rosenberg was still slated to be sent to the camp. Devising a new plan, he sent a message to a group of priests that worked with the Resistance who brought him a bundle of clothing and a bicycle, which Rosenberg used to escape before he had recovered from surgery. After his recovery, Rosenberg joined the French Resistance and later worked as a guide for the American army.

After the war, Rosenberg continued his studies in Paris before immigrating to the United States in 1946. . . . During his years in Cincinnati, he supplemented the meager Jewish education he received as a child by conducting his own study at the Hebrew Union College’s library.

Read more at Jewish Telegraphic Agency

More about: Holocaust, Holocaust rescue, Resistance


Israel’s Covert War on Iran’s Nuclear Program Is Impressive. But Is It Successful?

Sept. 26 2023

The Mossad’s heist of a vast Iranian nuclear archive in 2018 provided abundant evidence that Tehran was not adhering to its commitments; it also provided an enormous amount of actionable intelligence. Two years later, Israel responded to international inspectors’ condemnation of the Islamic Republic’s violations by using this intelligence to launch a spectacular campaign of sabotage—a campaign that is the subject of Target Tehran, by Yonah Jeremy Bob and Ilan Evyatar. David Adesnik writes:

The question that remains open at the conclusion of Target Tehran is whether the Mossad’s tactical wizardry adds up to strategic success in the shadow war with Iran. The authors give a very respectful hearing to skeptics—such as the former Mossad director Tamir Pardo—who believe the country should have embraced the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran. Bob and Evyatar reject that position, arguing that covert action has proven itself the best way to slow down the nuclear program. They acknowledge, however, that the clerical regime remains fully determined to reach the nuclear threshold. “The Mossad’s secret war, in other words, is not over. Indeed, it may never end,” they write.

Which brings us back to Joe Biden. The clerical regime was headed over a financial cliff when Biden took office, thanks to the reimposition of sanctions after Washington withdrew from the nuclear deal. The billions flowing into Iran on Biden’s watch have made it that much easier for the regime to rebuild whatever Mossad destroys in addition to weathering nationwide protests on behalf of women, life, and freedom. Until Washington and Jerusalem get on the same page—and stay there—Tehran’s nuclear ambitions will remain an affordable luxury for a dictatorship at war with its citizens.

Read more at Dispatch

More about: Iran nuclear program, Israeli Security, Joseph Biden, Mossad, U.S. Foreign policy