The Real FDR

Letter to the Editor

Published November 16, 2011, issue of November 25, 2011.
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Thanks to Henry Morgenthau, Jr., (father of Robert Morgenthau) in 1944, President Roosevelt acted to save Jews by creating the War Refugee Board. Other than that, whatever FDR did to save Jews between 1939 and 1945 was merely accidental. The reasoning of Robert Morgenthau in his October 21 op-ed, “How FDR’s Political Risk Helped Save the Jews of Palestine” is specious. The “risks” had nothing to do with the Jews of Palestine, North Africa or Europe. They were merely accidental recipients.

Does Robert Morgenthau believe the Allied 1942 invasion of North Africa was motivated by a desire to save the Jews of North Africa from Hitler?

I cried when FDR died in 1945. He was the only president I ever had. Like most Jews, I thought he was our great protector. How wrong I was. Had he been alive in 1947, does anyone believe he would have helped the UN partition Palestine? Would he not, instead, have listened to his Arab friend Ibn Saud, King of Saudi Arabia and opposed creating Israel?

He could have saved 900-odd Jews aboard the “St. Louis” when anchored off Miami in 1939 by allowing them sanctuary in the U.S. Instead, he played politics and let them be returned to Europe where they died under Nazi rule.

Robert Morgenthau should be proud of his father but needs to rethink the role of FDR with regard to American Jews.

Dan Davis

Santa Maria, Calif.

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