Thursday, April 10, 2014

Ben Hecht - "Ballad of the Doomed Jews of Europe"

On September 14, 1943, the "Committee for a Jewish Army of Stateless and Palestinian Jews" published an advertisement on page 12 of the New York Times calling for Palestine to be opened to Jewish immigration, in order to save the remaining four million Jews of Europe. In case people have forgotten why the Zionist movement wanted to establish a Jewish state in Palestine, one of the principal reasons was to save Jews from their persecutors - first in Russia, under the Tsars, and then in Germany and occupied Europe, after 1933.


  1. This is interesting Rebecca. As it's getting close to Pesach, see also:

  2. My understanding - is this right? - is that this group was initiated by Revisionists and especially Hillel Kook, but that Hecht (unlike Szyk?) was never a Revisionist. Arendt was initially involved in the group, but saw it as too dominated by Revisionists. (Sol Stern wrote about this for City, but was quite inaccurate/dishonest in his description of Arendt's role .) Arendt continued to advocate for a Jewish army after her break with Kook's group.

    After the war, I think Hecht did a lot of his movie work under pseudonyms because he was blacklisted in Britain because of his involvement with Lehi. Have I got all that right?

    The Jewish army idea had first emerged during WWI, when it had been championed by Israel Zangwill and, later, Jabotinsky.

  3. This makes it very likely that the excuse that we didn't know what was going on until we liberated the camps very suspect