By Daniel Treiman

Published November 07, 2003, issue of November 07, 2003.
  • Print
  • Share Share

“As a Jew, it was Hitler and me. That’s the way I pictured the war.”

— Theodore Diamond, U.S. Army Air Force

For America’s Jews World War II was not just a fight for their country. It was also a fight against the global scourge of fascism that threatened their fellow Jews abroad.

“Ours to Fight For: American Jews in the Second World War” examines the contributions of American Jewry to the war effort. It tells the story of Jewish members of the Armed Forces such as Theodore Diamond, utilizing wartime letters and other artifacts, audio and video presentations and material from interviews the museum conducted with veterans.

While the focus of the exhibit is on America’s Jewish veterans, it also takes a look at the experiences of other American minority groups in World War II as well as Jews who fought for other Allied armies.

The 6,500-square-foot exhibition opens on Veterans Day at New York’s Museum of Jewish Heritage — A Living Memorial to the Holocaust.

For the holiday, the museum waives its admission fee and presents two events in conjunction with the exhibit. Holocaust survivors and the soldiers who freed them come together to offer their accounts of the liberation of Adolf Hitler’s concentration camps in “Bearing Witness: The Liberators and the Liberated.” Later in the day, black veterans discuss their experiences with war abroad and racism at home in “Tuskegee Airmen: Fighting on Two Fronts.”

Museum of Jewish Heritage — A Living Memorial to the Holocaust, 36 Battery Place; Nov. 11, 2003-Aug. 31, 2004, Sun.-Tue. 10 a.m.-5:45 p.m., Wed. 10 a.m.-8 p.m., Fri.10 a.m.-5 p.m.; “Bearing Witness” Nov. 11, 2:30 p.m.; “Tuskegee Airmen” Nov. 11, 7 p.m.; $7, $5 seniors and students, free Nov. 11. (212.968.1800 or www.ourstofightfor.org)

Find us on Facebook!
  • According to a new poll, 75% of Israeli Jews oppose intermarriage.
  • Will Lubavitcher Rabbi Moshe Wiener be the next Met Council CEO?
  • Angelina Jolie changed everything — but not just for the better:
  • Prime Suspect? Prime Minister.
  • Move over Dr. Ruth — there’s a (not-so) new sassy Jewish sex-therapist in town. Her name is Shirley Zussman — and just turned 100 years old.
  • From kosher wine to Ecstasy, presenting some of our best bootlegs:
  • Sara Kramer is not the first New Yorker to feel the alluring pull of the West Coast — but she might be the first heading there with Turkish Urfa pepper and za’atar in her suitcase.
  • About 1 in 40 American Jews will get pancreatic cancer (Ruth Bader Ginsberg is one of the few survivors).
  • At which grade level should classroom discussions include topics like the death of civilians kidnapping of young Israelis and sirens warning of incoming rockets?
  • Wanted: Met Council CEO.
  • “Look, on the one hand, I understand him,” says Rivka Ben-Pazi, a niece of Elchanan Hameiri, the boy that Henk Zanoli saved. “He had a family tragedy.” But on the other hand, she said, “I think he was wrong.” What do you think?
  • How about a side of Hitler with your spaghetti?
  • Why "Be fruitful and multiply" isn't as simple as it seems:
  • William Schabas may be the least of Israel's problems.
  • You've heard of the #IceBucketChallenge, but Forward publisher Sam Norich has something better: a #SoupBucketChallenge (complete with matzo balls!) Jon Stewart, Sarah Silverman & David Remnick, you have 24 hours!
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?

We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.