The Road to September 1939: Polish Jews, Zionists, and the Yishuv on the Eve of World War II
Jehuda Reinharz and Yaacov Shavit
This valuable book is a corrective to simplistic views of strategies of the Zionist leaders of European Jewry in general just before the Holocaust. ... Highly recommended.
This well-researched and pathbreaking book challenges the widely held view that the Zionist movement effectively failed to respond to the worsening situation of European Jewry in the years between 1933 and 1939. Based on a detailed analysis of the situation of the Jews of Poland, it provides a clear account of what the different Zionist leaders attempted to do and why their efforts were doomed to failure. It is essential reading for all interested in the Jewish response to the rise of Nazism and the tragic fate of European Jewry
—Antony Polonsky, emeritus professor of Holocaust studies, Brandeis University, and chief historian, Museum of the History of Polish Jews in Warsaw
This remarkable history focuses on Polish Jewry on the eve of catastrophe against the backdrop of the international arena, including the Yishuv and the Zionist movement worldwide. Its authors muster an outstanding wealth of details and of insights at all levels of their narration. “The Road to September 1939” is a major achievement.
—Saul Friedländer, professor emeritus, UCLA, and author of “Nazi Germany and the Jews”
An incredibly important book documenting how helpless European Jews and the Jewish community in Palestine were on the eve of September 1939. The reader may be tempted to speculate how differently history might have turned out had a Jewish state existed in the 1930s that could have offered a safe haven to those intent on fleeing the gathering storm in Europe. The phrase “never again” assumes a deeper meaning: the difference Jewish sovereignty could have made.
—Shlomo Avineri, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and author of “Herzl’s Vision: Theodor Herzl and the Foundations of the Jewish State”
Jehuda Reinharz is the Richard Koret Professor of Modern Jewish History at Brandeis University. He is the president of the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Foundation. Yaacov Shavit is professor emeritus at Tel Aviv University. They are the coauthors of Darwin and His Circle and Glorious Accursed Europe: An Essay on Jewish Ambivalence.