Page 12 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 8 (1949-1950)

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of them Middle European Jews, occupy themselves with camp
intrigue, soccer, dreams and other staples of an interned exis-
tence while awaiting permission to rejoin the world community
is described in
Unpromised land
by Burton E. Martin (N. Y.,
Washburn, 1948). The book is a panorama of mass despair,
but it succeeds only moderately as an integrated story, mainly
because the author fulfills his dramatic obligations, which in-
volve the delineation of a struggle between a sympathetic Ame-
rican UNNRA officer and his polyglot charges, in a rather des-
ultory manner, not always fair to the Zionist view. The exotic
and dangerous travels of a young English woman who, after
befriending a German Jew in 1938, was forced to flee Germany
via Poland, Russia and Japan are described in
Under strange
by Christina Soltan (N.Y., Macmillan, 1948).
Despite improvement in their lot the fate of the D.P.’s
is still to be determined by conditions over which they themselves
have hardly any control. That the U. S. policy of renazifying
Germany is one which will in no way tend to ameliorate their
plight is evident from the report made by Ira A. Hirschmann.
The embers still burn
(N.Y., Simon and Schuster, 1948)
offers an eye-witness view of the post-war ferment in Europe
and the Middle East and the role we play in it. He recounts
from first hand knowledge and observation much that had
happened to the Jews in war-torn lands and of extraordinary
manifestations of friendship for many who have shared in the
anti-Jewish acts of the Nazis. He met everywhere indifference
or outright hostility to D.P.’s. Jewish refugees in particular
were being treated with decreasing sympathy, often with outright
General McNarney admitted to Hirschmann sadly:
“The Jews have certainly gotten short shrift. I only marvel
that they behaved so well under such difficult conditions.”
The relation of displaced persons to migratory currents is
discussed in
Eu?~ope on the move
by Eugene M. Kulischer (N.Y.,
Columbia University Press, 1948) who offers a searching ana-
lysis of population movements during World War II and the
postwar years. He also shows that from 1915 to 1923 there
was a large-scale displacement of Russia’s Jewish population
and discusses the transformation of Zionism from an intellectual
formulation into the political reality of large-scale colonization
of Palestine.
Among the displaced persons of recent years were quite a num-
ber of intellectually gifted and distinguished scholars. Probably
not since Constantinople fell to the Turks thirty-nine years
before Columbus discovered America had there been such an
exodus of scholars as took place when Hitler came into power.