How the Jews Defeated Hitler: Exploding the Myth of Jewish Passivity in the Face of Nazism

Benjamin Ginsberg. Rowman & Littlefield, $35 (224p) ISBN 978-1-4422-2238-0
Political science professor Ginsberg (Downsizing Democracy) takes a broad look at Jews who countered Nazism through military force and sabotage, scientific and engineering discoveries, intelligence work, and political organizing. He devotes almost as much attention to little-known figures like Mikhail Gourevich, designer of the MiG fighter, as he does to the Warsaw Ghetto revolt. Ginsberg's most interesting chapter, reveals how Jewish financiers and other leaders, such as James Warburg, joined forced with WASP leaders like Dean Acheson who favored America declaring war against Nazi Germany. Ginsberg greatest strength—his comprehensiveness—is also his greatest weakness, as he includes excessively trivial facts like Irving Berlin having written a song to sell U.S. war bonds. Moreover, he comes to the lackluster conclusion that, "We can never know if the Allies would have defeated Hitler without the Jews. But we can say that the Allies did not defeat Hitler without the Jews." Also problematic is Ginsberg's concluding "Aftermath and Afterward," which veers off into contemporary anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism, and has been better addressed by such historians as Robert Wistrich. Ginsberg has written an eye-opening history, but sullied his achievement in trying to cover too much and tacking on a tangential, tendentious ending. (June)
Reviewed on: 09/23/2013
Release date: 04/01/2013
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