Israel versus Judaism

Holocaust Victims Accuse

Published in 1977 by
Bnei Yeshivos
161 East Houston St., Suite 10
New York, NY 10013

Chapter Four

Mishlei (Proverbs) 11:26

When was the fateful decision made in Hitler’s headquarters to destroy, murder and annihilate European Jewry?

The evidence in Rabbi Weissmandel’s book, “Min HaMaitzar,” (“From the Depths”), clearly answers this question. Wisliceny, Eichmann’s representative in Slovakia and the man with whom Rabbi Weissmandel negotiated successfully to stop the expulsion of Slovakia’s Jews, related that the German ambassador to the United States sent to Hitler the minutes of the Conference of Zionist Leaders and the World Jewish Congress in New York. At this conference, Stephen Wise, in the name of the entire Jewish people, declared war against Germany. When he read the report, Hitler went mad. He fell flat on the floor, bit the carpet and raged: “Now I'll destroy them, now I'll destroy them.” He then gathered together all the Nazi leaders to a conference in Wannsee, Germany, where they formulated the detailed plans of the “final solution.”

Who comprised the battalions of this “warring people” whom Stephen Wise ordered into the midst of battle? In the front lines stood the prisoners of the ghettoes, a vast army of six million men, women and children — fuel for the crematoria. Stephen Wise sat secure at a safe distance from the dangers, while in the name of the helpless, he declared war against mighty Germany.

It is accepted that during total war, even during scorched earth warfare, generals are concerned for their own civilians and for the fate of the aged and young, in particular. The most ruthless tyrants, bent only on military victory, preserve the conquered population, because they do not forget that it is they who make the victory meaningful and it is they who are their reason for fighting.

[Image of The entrance gate to the Auschwitz camp and the three rail lines on which 2 million Jews were brought for extermination.]

In World War II, several governments—in—exile conducted campaigns as best as possible against the invaders of their homelands. The governments—in—exile’s primary concern was to supply the needs of the civilian populace. Much effort was expended to provide food and medicine to the suffering war victims. Even the planning of rebellions and partisan attacks were considered in the light of the sub sequent risks to civilians. Thus were conducted the efforts of Poland, Czechoslovakia, France, Norway, Yugoslavia, Greece, Belgium and Holland.

Even here, the shameful exceptions were the heads of Zionism and the World Jewish Congress, who pretended to be a future government, and who, strictly for low political motives, cruelly abandoned their supposed “constituents” with shocking irresponsibility.

Hunger and plagues killed tens of thousands in the ghettoes, even before the Nazis began their general destruction. Infant mortality was up to 60—70% in various places — a shocking and unparalleled phenomenon. There were ways and means to deliver, through the Red Cross or through neutral countries like Switzerland, Portugal and Turkey, parcels 0f food and medicine to inhabitants of the ghettoes. One package of precious goods, like coffee or cocoa, could be bartered for black market material, allowing the receiving family to buy food for a month to sustain itself. The medicines obtained in the packages were necessary to save the sick and the infants. Could a more important function be performed by those world Jewish organizations during the holocaust than supplying, by all possible means, enough life—saving packages to the ghettoes?

We have previously quoted the words of Yitzchak Greenbaum, chairman of the “rescue committee” of the Jewish Agency in Eretz Yisroel, who refused to allocate even one dollar of United Jewish Appeal funds for food to those who were fighting off the pangs of hunger. This approach was totally in consonance with his famous slogan, to the effect that, “one goat in Eretz Yisroel is more important than an entire community in the Diaspora.” How could he thus withhold a package of straw from a Holy Land goat in order to send food to a starving infant? But if that is not enough, the Zionists acted like the fiend who declared that he not only would not give, but he also would not let others give (whom our Sages called a “rosho”—— a wicked person). The Zionist leaders weren’t satisfied merely with the crime of sitting idly by and doing nothing. They labored with all their might to forcefully prevent others from helping the sufferers in the ghetto.

In 1941, the Agudas HaRabbobim (Union of Orthodox Rabbis of the United States and Canada) backed with enthusiasm the plan of the Zeirei Agudas Israel in America to send food parcels to Polish Jewry. Hundreds of yeshiva students volunteered to raise funds and to prepare the packages. Thousands of parcels containing these minimal life-saving packets were sent to Poland. Tearful letters of thanks confirmed the receipt of these packages and pleaded for continuation of such life-saving aid. Then something happened which could not have been dreamed up by the wildest imagination: The Committee to Boycott Germany of the World Jewish Congress demanded, in the name of Dr. Stephen Wise, that the Zeirel Agudah stop sending packages, because it breached Britain’s boycott regulations against Germany. When this shameful demand was rejected, Zionist leader Dr. Josef Tannenbaum, who designated himself chairman of United Polish Jewry, organized pickets to demonstrate in front of the offices of Zeirei Agudas Israel, carrying placards in English reading: “Stop sending food to the lands of the Nazi enemy” and “Don’t break the boycott against Hitler.” The Gentiles saw and wondered: Are the Jews helping Hitler? (Zionists who are so sensitive to religious demonstrations in America against the State of “Israel,” asserting that the demonstrations besmirch Israel’s name to the Gentiles, did not hesitate to wave such plain English.). Zeirei Agudas Israel, of course, did not buckle under, but a majority of naive New York Jews became con fused and the sending of packages sharply declined. The number of starving and critically ill persons who died because these packages were not sent is counted in blood in the Heavens and is inscribed in the book of Dr. Josef Tannenbaum, who was profusely eulogized at his death.

Of course it is too simple to say that it was merely wickedness and hatred for fellow Jews that caused Stephen Wise and Tannenbaum to keep bread from the hungry. Their actions were a result of their secular outlook, which is the legacy of all Zionists in Eretz Yisroel and the Diaspora: As a warring nation we should bring sacrifices, which will give us the right to have an independent state at the end of the war. We should help the Allied war effort in all conditions and circumstances and we should not interfere with it, even when the fate of millions of Jews hangs in the balance. This excuse is offered clearly by Dr. Tannenbaum in an article on the food package issue in the “Tag” of July 22, 1941: (1)

“Maybe we could accept Agudas Israel's opinion that England is not the authority on Jewish concerns...but first of all, this isn’t only a Jewish matter, but a worldwide one, to which the Jewish interests must accommodate themselves or even completely assimilate with them. Anything which will hinder the British war effort is contrary to the interests of the Jewish people. We must not as a people or organization cause suspicion that we are a unique, solitary people.”

Lest you might say that war is merciless, it is not necessarily so! At the very same time, the Queen of Yugoslavia, staying in the United States, established a committee to send packages to the families of the captured Yugoslavian soldiers. At the head of the committee was Mrs. Roosevelt, wife of the President of the United States of America. In the entire United States there was no demented Yugoslavian who would urge that they shouldn't feed the hungry families because they were aiding the occupying Nazis. When hunger struck occupied Greece, the exiled King of Greece appealed unceasingly to the Allied heads of the state until he obtained their support. During the heat of the war, Allied officials came to an agreement with the Nazis permitting ships laden with food to sustain the population of Greece. They did this, notwithstanding the fact that they knew they were alleviating Germany of the necessity to feed the Greek population and even though the occupying German army enjoyed the food supplies, both directly and in directly. What was good enough for the Greek King and the Yugoslavian Queen did not befit the status of the “uncrowned president” of the Jewish people. Dr. Chaim Weizmann, steeped in high politics, looked down at these small affairs, feeling that the task of feeding and curing was below his dignity. His agents in America were at work making true his prophecy spoken at the Zionist Congress in London in August of 1937, that: “The old ones will pass. They will bear their fate or they will not. They were moral and economic dust in a cruel world...Only a branch shall survive. ..They have to accept it...”


Throughout all the years of the Holocaust, the Allies, with whom we were allegedly aligned as a “warring nation,” did nothing concrete to save European Jewry. True to the axiom that Esau hates Jacob, the enemies of Hitler rejoiced at the work he did on the Jews. The burning desire of Christianity permeated the nations: To destroy “the Christ killers” —— and they stood at the threshold of its realization. Only in 1944, did the first authorized government organization come together to save Jews from death:  President Roosevelt’s War Refugee Board.  Roosevelt, a leading anti-Semite, didn’t easily agree to establish this Board.  Before this, American Orthodoxy, led by the Agudas HaRabbonim, kept up a continuous battle for such a board.  Two days before Yom Kippur in 1943, 400 American rabbis staged a mass demonstration in Washington, where they made a tremendous impression by enunciating the screams of their beleaguered brethren.  They brought their petitions before the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate, as well as the White House.  With unceasing appeals to the members of the House and Senate, their measure passed both houses, forcing Roosevelt on January 22, 1044, to create the War Refugee Board.  To this demonstration there was one obstacle:  President Roosevelt refused to receive a delegation of the demonstrators and was represented only by his secretary.  Thus, we return to the dastardly character of Stephen Wise.  The Morning Journal, which is rarely cynical about Zionist leaders, wrote about the rabbis’ demonstration:

“It is regrettable that the President didn’t choose to accept the delegation of Rabbis.  It is more unfortunate, according to information we have received, that this was due to ’pressure’ put on the President by certain influential Jews.  Turning the rescue of Jews into a political football to be thrown around even at the President’s doorway is an outrageous scandal.”

The agents of “Rabbi” Stephen Wise did not hide their crime of intentional sabotage, but haughtily pointed to their own Stephen Wise’s obstruction of the rabbis.  In the Zionist Hebrew language organ, “Bezaron,” of Tishri, 1943 we read the following satire (see “The Record of the American Rescue Committee” by Moshe Prager):

“Our rabbis, sages, most honored rebbes and saintly individuals from all factions suddenly left their rabbinical seats, girded themselves, combed their beards and peyos and went out to breach the walls of Washington, D.C. Our rabbis are experts in Talmud but they've neglected and forgotten one tractate – the book of common manners.  They don’t understand that Washington cannot be taken by storm.  They should have known that the inner and outer keys to the White House are not in their hands.  There's and ancient proverb, 'he who works Friday eats on the Sabbath'.  Certainly they know that in times of danger for Zionism, who was the one to solicit mercy for them and tear up the evil edict?  Not these rabbis, but one well known rabbi, who stands on constant guard and in whose hands and agents’ hands are these keys.”

With the help of Congressman Sol Bloom, Stephen Wise did everything to prevent legislation in both houses of Congress leading to the formation of the War Refugee Board. He could not prevent it, but he did delay its formation.

The Almighty doesn't begrudge merit, even for nice words, and so we mustn’t deny such for the one good deed that Stephen Wise did. Although Stephen Wise had intended evil, the Almighty resolved to save many lives. Wise’s good deed was the dismantling of the Joint Committee, which included all the major American Jewish organizations, including the Agudas HaRabbonim and Agudas Israel —— and at its head stood Dr. Stephen Wise. The Committee excelled, not only in doing nothing, but in hindering all rescue enthusiasm emanating from American Orthodox Jewry. Eventually, the constant efforts of Orthodox leaders who wanted concrete results, not high politics, bothered and frustrated Stephen Wise, and so Dr. Wise decided to disband his Emergency Committee in 1943. In a dramatic conference the decision to break up was voted upon and carried: The World Jewish Congress, the Zionist Emergency Committee, the American Jewish Congress, the Synagogue Council of America, the B’nai B’rith and the Hadassah were in favor; while the Agudas HaRabbonim, Agudas Israel, American Jewish Committee and the Jewish Labor Committee were opposed to disbanding,

This is why Orthodox Jewry underwent subst rescue efforts only as late as 1943. Aligning themselves with the Zionists had tied their hands in chains.

It was about this that Rabbi Eliezer Silver of Cincinnati confesses in his book, “Journal of the Rescue Committee”:

'The last attempts at negotiations with the heads of the murderers involved sums of large cash or other payments offered as both ransom and secret bribes for the hostages., these desperate attempts came too late. If our efforts could have begun one, two or three years earlier, what we might have done, what we might have done…

“If we had the sense to give more of ourselves, with greater heart and more self sacrifce as demanded of us by that great man of Torah and of brave deeds of rescue, Rabbi Michael Dov Weissmandel the dean of Ni ra Yeshiva, who required great things of us, if, if,  if

In the valley of death sat the saintly Rabbi Weissmandel, virtually moving heaven and earth, as he wrote letters at great risk, offering large sums of money for their delivery to the Outside world, not knowing that they didn’t reach the intended rabbis, but remained on the desks of Zionist leaders, with whom the rabbis had aligned themselves in the rescue operation Rabbi Weissmandel tore the heavens, but could not crack these hearts of stone:

“Our brethren, the children of Israel, have you gone mad? How is it that all our pleadings affect you less than the whimperings of a beggar standing in your doorway? You throw us pennies. How much pleading do we have to do? Murderers! Madmen! Who is it who gives charity? You, who toss a few pennies from your safe homes, or we, who give our blood and tears in the depths of hell? We have told you the truth many times, Is It possible you believe our murderers more than you believe us? Is this possible? May the Almighty now open your eyes to allow you the merit, in this last hour, of rescuing the remaining survivors.”

The rescue committee of Agudas HaRabbonim inscribed praises to itself in golden letters for saving the lives of thousands. But, as we said, this was, only in the eleventh hour, when there remained only a small number of survivors. Too many crucial years had been lost in collaboration with the Zionist organizations. Commenting upon the methods of Torah Jewry used for rescue, Rabbi Silver writes, in his “Journal of the Rescue Committee”:

“I remember once, during those days of severe trial for the work of rescue, visiting a well— known philanthropist and asking him for a considerable sum of money. He asked me the following question:

“'Please, tell me, Rabbi! With all due respect to our Rabbis, it is difficult for me to understand why in the matter of saving Jews in Europe there is no one who can do anything; not one of our famous help organizations and institutions, and none of our political leaders — — only a handful of Orthodox Rabbis. Forgive my frankness, but will some old—fashioned Rabbis and inepts succeed in such an undertaking?!'

“I answered the man clearly and succinctly:

'When ills a matter of rescuing Jewish lives, we, the Rabbis, are forbidden to be 'inept'! The precept of saving lives is very dear to us, and true fulfillment of this precept is only by self—sacrifice. By command of our Holy Torah we are prepared to violate many laws vis a vis the authorities in order to save lives! We are ready to pay ransom for Jews and deliver them from concentration camps with the help of forged passports. For this purpose we do not hesitate to deal with counterfeiters and passport thieves! We are ready to smuggle Jewish children over the borders, and to engage expert smugglers for this purpose, rogues whose profession this is! We are ready to smuggle money illegally into enemy territory in order to bribe as many as necessary of the killers of the Jewish people, those dregs of humanity! We are even ready to send special emissaries to plead with the chief murderers, those ruthless criminals, and try to appease them at any cost!...'”

To epitomize this difference, we perceive the argument of Chaim Barlas, who represented the “rescue committee” of the Jewish Agency in Istanbul. On a visit to Eretz Yisroel, he spoke to his comrades in the Jewish Agency about Reb Yaakov Griffel, of blessed memory, the great rescuer. who represented Torah Jewry in Istanbul. Mr. Berlas [ Jewish that Reb Yaakov Griffel disregarded the work schedules of the committee’s office. He cancelled the regular working hours and put his bed in the office, so as not to ever leave at night and thus miss an important message which could save even one Jewish life.

Unfortunately, we cannot credit the account of Yitzchak Greenbaum with even one meritorious point, as we did for Stephen Wise. Yitzchak Greenbaum did not deem it suitable to dismantle the alignment of the Agudas Israel with the “rescue committee” of the Jewish Agency in Eretz Yisroel. He understood that Agudas Israel working independently was more dangerous to his evil plans than while incorporated within the Jewish Agency. The result was that while local Agudas Israel offices throughout the world did much rescue work because they worked on an independent basis, the Agudas Israel in Eretz Yisroel remained tied to inactivity in the chains of the Jewish Agency. The rescue committee of the Jewish Agency falsely bore the name of “rescue”. It would be more appropriate to call it the Committee for Covering Up, Ignoring and It might be compared to a cart with upholstery made of “shatnez” and driven with “kelayim” (mixed breeds), by a chauffeur who makes his horsemen keep a slow and heavy pace. While representatives of Agudas Israel in the “rescue committee” of the Jewish Agency were inspired with great desire to save Jews, the thoughts of Zionist officials and especially the chairman, Greenbaum, were steeped in plots and schemes to use the holocaust and its consequences to build up “the national home” and to realize their demands for establishing a Jewish state.

The association of Agudas Israel with the “rescue committee” of the Jewish Agency in Eretz Yisroel was the original sin — the first, but not the last — in the collaboration with the secularists, which was disastrous then and would be in future days.

All the members of the first local conference of Agudas Israel in Petach Tikvah would not forget the cry of the devoted idealist, Rabbi Chanoch Krunsik, of blessed memory, who was a confidant of the Brisker Rav, Rav Yitzchok Zev Soloveitchik, and who caused all hearts to tremble with his piercing question: “Merciful Jews of merciful parents, how did you give this great and holy role in our epoch, the rescuing of European Jewry, into the soiled hands of Yitzchak Greenbaum?” As time went by, it was discovered what should have been understood much earlier: what the rescue committee of the Jewish Agency perpetrated on European Jewry and how it hastened its demise.



1 — In 1943, the opportunity again arose to send food packages to the Jews in the European ghettoes. The conduit would have been the International Red Cross, working in conjunction with the United States Government. But because the Ger man Red Cross would be the receiving agent, the Zionists blocked the proposal.

An editorial in the Pesach (April), 1943, issue of “Orthodox Youth” published by the Agudas Israel Youth Council of America, was critical of obstacles and delaying tactics connected with any and all rescue operations. It included the following paragraphs:

“It is needless to write in detail about the inhuman conditions under which our flesh and blood of Europe exist. Suffice it to note that they will not need any “bitter herbs” to remind them of sad days of yore, for every moment of the day they drink from the bitter cup of life itself.

“Organizations call meetings, conferences, assemblies, and what not, to discuss the alleviation of the situation of European Jewry. But if matters continue at this “business as usual” pace, whom will our friends be calling meetings for For the skeletons that lie strewn over the desolated streets of the Warsaw ghetto? If the Jewish mortality rate in Europe continues as heretofore, then for whom are the organizations making all their grandiose post—war plans about mass immigration? For the mass immigration of shiploads of bones, G—d forbid? Are we all blinded to the fact —— can we all not see Europe slowly turning into a vast Jewish cemetery?”

On the same page as the editorial, Dr.Isaac Lewin, in an article entitled, “We CAN Save Jews!” presented a detailed discussion of the entire food shipment controversy:

On February 11th of this year a group of Jewish women and children from Poland, who had been exchanged for a similar amount of German civilians, arrived in Eretz Yisroel. Having just left the “valley of tears” of Europe, they brought with them tidings that should have an immediate effect upon our course of action today in attempting to save the remnants of European Jewry from complete annihilation.

It seems that the Nazis, fully aware of the ill effect the merciless mass slaughter of innocent Jews has had upon the native population of the occupied countries, are conducting a gigantic propaganda drive to mitigate their heinous acts. They have posted all over the face of Europe thousands of posters with the short but portential ——slogan: Em Jude Weiniger—Emn Brol Mehr One Jew Less — One Bread More! Through this cunning inscription the Nazis tell the population: “Don’t mind the fact that Jews are being butchered. After all, you can now eat the bread that they would have consumed!” And, with the food problem so acute, it stands to reason that many have fallen prey to this trick of propaganda, and really believe that the mass murders of Jews are perpetrated for the good of the native population.

In view of this information, the immediate urgency of sending food to the ghettoes takes on added significance, for two reasons:

Firstly, from day to day it becomes more strikingly clear that hunger alone can destroy the Jews in the ghettoes. As there can be no doubt as to the scarcity of food in Europe, the first ones to suffer are the Jews, since they are the last ones to whom the food would be allotted by the Nazis. Thus it is certain that the Jews who remain are now in immediate danger of death from starvation, and nothing can avert this menace but direct help from outside sources ——from us.

Secondly, if food would be sent from the United States to the Jews .in the ghettoes, it would take the starch out of the Nazi propaganda line of Em Jude Weniger — Em Brot Mehr. it would be absolutely impossible for the Nazié to keep the fact that food is being sent from leaking out to the populace, which would voice its indignation at the needless slaughter of Jews. And there is a strong possibility that the Nazis, in order to pacify the natives, as a result would put a stop to their mass murders of our brothers and sisters.

An energetic campaign with all the resources at our command, should therefore be initiated at once that the necessary permission be granted for food to be sent to the ghettoes. And if we present our stand properly, and act with conviction, it can be done!

Recently the opportunity has arisen of sending food and medicaments to the Jewish ghetto in Cracow directly through the International Red Cross from Switzerland, for eventual distribution to all the Jews of Poland. 4nd because there are so many differences of opinion about this matter, nothing concrete has as yet been done to take advantage of this offer, which is the only practical possibility now in sight.

Those who view this possibility with misgiving, do so because it will be possible for the international Red Cross to send this food to the Jews in Cracow only through the intervention of the German Red Cross. And because they fear that the Germans will confiscate the food for themselves, no money (with some possible small exceptions) has as yet been sent for this purpose to the International Red Cross.

It is our opinion, however, that since the very lives of hundreds of thousands of human beings is dependent upon the outcome of such an action, the risk must be taken. Furthermore, since the International Red Cross guarantees to give the food to the Jewish Community of Cracow through the German Red Cross, that in itself is proof that Geneva Is convinced that the food will arrive at the desired destinations. And, then again, why not risk one shipload of food as a test case? Are not these Innocent victims of tragedy worthy of such a speculation?

Now, In light of the In formation brought by the new arrivals in Eretz Yisroel about the campaign of Em Jude Weniger — Em Brot Mehr, it can be yet more emphatically stated that unless we move heaven and earth to have food sent at once for the Jews In the ghettos, we shall be responsible for their murder!

Now the question is no longer whether the Nazis will confiscate the first shipment of food, because even if they do, the very fact that we are sending —— or even desirous of sending, food would result in a goodly part of the wholesale slaughter being put to a stop. For this would emasculate the Nazi propaganda explanation of their cruelty, and it is not a too remote possibility that many of our unfortunate brethren would thus be saved.
There is no time to lose! There are already enough dead Jewish souls to plague our con science for prolonging practical aid. Let us finally not murmur mere words of sympathy or  protest, but do our best for the actual life-saving work of the hour — SEND FOOD TO THE JEWS IN THE GHETTOES!

2 — In addition to about 400 rabbis, an estimated 100 reporters and friends participated in the march. Most of the rabbis arrived in Washington’s Union Station at 12:35 pm. They were met there by about 40 rabbis who had arrived earlier from the South and West, as well as about five or six from the Washington area.

From the station, they first marched to the Capital. Five rabbis from the group were permitted to meet with Vice Present Henry A. Wallace in his office near the Senate Chamber.

At the meeting in Wallace’s office were all the Jewish members of the House of Representatives.  Most of these Congressmen (with the help of the Zionists) had done everything possible to prevent the march on Washington of the rabbis.  They were almost on the verge of success when the whole thing was ruined by Congressman Bloom, who suggested to one of the rabbis that it would be very undignified for a group of such un-American looking people to appear in Washington.

Bloom’s statement had the opposite effect and, instead of the expected 250 spiritual leaders, 400 showed up.  A day before the march, Congressman Emanuel Cellar of New York held a meeting with all the Jewish legislators, where it was decided that it would be more prudent to meet with the rabbis.

The five rabbis who conferred with Wallace and the Congressmen gave the vice-president a petition and then returned to the main group on the steps of the Senate.  There they were joined by the majority and minority leaders of both the Senate and the House, as well as Speaker Sam Rayburn of Texas.  Rabbi Eliezer Silver of Cincinnati read the petition, first in Hebrew and then in English and Wallace answered by reading a prepared statement.

From the Capitol, the rabbis marched to the steps of the Lincoln Memorial and then on to the White House, where, again, a representative delegation was received inside.  But instead of seeing the President, they were met by Mr. McIntyre, one of the President’s secretaries.  This caused a furor amongst the 400 rabbis, with one of them from Brooklyn summing up the feeling of the whole group when he declared that this was not only a personal insult to the rabbis and the rabbinate, but a slap in the face of all American Jewry.

3 — At a meeting of the American Jewish Conference (forerunner of today’s Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations) on September 24, 1943, held in the offices of the American Jewish Congress, Henry Montor, executive vice chairman of the United Jewish Appeal, suggested that the Joint Emergency Committee for European Jewish Affairs be disbanded and that all of its rescue operations be transferred to the Conference. Infuriated at this action the American Jewish Committee left the group prior to its next meeting on October 29. Official action to disband the Emergency Committee was decided at the Joint Committee’s meeting on November 5.

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