2014: “Passage to Freedom: The Sugihara Story”: Helping to promote this book through the Hawaii, California and Arizona school systems. It was written by Ken Mochizuki, illustrated by Dom Lee, and has an afterword by Hiroki Sugihara.
It was also a “Pick of the Lists” American Bookseller award winner and a recipient of multiple other literature awards, including a Parent’s Choice Award; Notable Book for a Global Society, IRA; Notable Books for Children, Smithsonian Magazine; and Texas Bluebonnet Award Masterlist.
Mr. Sugihara has traveled all over the world telling the story of how his father, Chiune Sugihara, saved as many as 10,000 Jewish refugees in Lithuania during World War II.
The book jacket asked: “Can a cartoon change the world? During the dark days of the Holocaust, a handful of American political cartoonists used their art to cry out against injustice – and to try to inspire the public to demand the rescue of Hitler’s victims.
“Cartoonists Against The Holocaust brings back more than 125 of these amazing cartoons. We can see the Nazi genocide and the world’s response as they unfold, through the eyes of some of America’s most beloved cartoonists, including the beloved Dr. Seuss, the Washington Post’s ‘Herblock’,and many others. It’s a unique way to learn abou the Holocaust — and a journey back in time to an era that we dare not forget.”
The “Cartoonists Against the Holocaust: Art In The Service of Humanity” project grew out of the seminar work by Dr. Rafael Medoff, the Institute’s director and historian, and J. David Spurlock, founder and CEO of Vanguard Productions. Artists who have participated have included Stan Lee, Michael Chabon, Harlan Ellison, Art Spiegelman, and more.
Stan Lee, Publisher Emeritus of Marvel Comics and co-creator of Spider-Man, the Hulk, and the X-Men said, “I strongly applaud these important and innovative projects to teach young people about the Holocaust through cartoons and comic strips. The use of creative educational techniques can help ensure that the mistakes of the 1930s and 1940s will not be repeated.”
5 YEARS SINCE THE “VOYAGE OF THE DAMNED”: ARE WE DOOMED TO REPEAT IT?
The 11th national conference of The David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies will focus on the 75th anniversary of the voyage of the St. Louis and its implications for our own era. The conference chair is Andrew M. Kluger representing co-sponsor Book Bank USA; emcee is Prof. Thane Rosenbaum.
Sessions will include:
- “Answering Revisionist Attacks on the St. Louis” with historian Rafael Medoff
- “Voices of the Survivors” with St. Louis passengers Mrs. Ronnie Breslow & Mrs. Sonja Geismar, and longtime National Public Radio host Martin Goldsmith, author of a new book about the St. Louis
- “The Relevance of the St. Louis in Today’s World” with Rwanda survivor Jacqueline Murekatete; Armenian representative Dr. Hagop Martin Deranian, and Prof. Thane Rosenbaum
- Plus: a special screening of the short Disney film, “Voyage of the Doomed.”
It will be held on Sunday, June 1, 2014, from 1:00 to 5:30 pm, at the Fordham University School of Law, 140 West 62 St., New York City (right behind Lincoln Center). Admission is free, and there is no need to register in advance; seating is first come, first served. The conference is cosponsored by the Combat Genocide Association. For more information, call the Wyman Institute at 202-434-8994 or write to: email@example.com
Book Bank USA funded the publication of this book by Dr. Rafael Medoff of The David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies. Buy the book through Amazon.com.
Amazon’s review states: FDR’s share of the responsibility of the West, and the U.S. in particular, for the failure to help rescue the Jewish victims of Naziism, has long been controversial. There is no doubt that FDR refused to help Jewish refugees enter the U.S. or, for that matter, any of the territories. Even when the Philippines, then a U.S. territory, offered to take thousands of refugees, it was blocked from doing so by the U.S. Government.
The problem with trying to evaluate and assign blame is that FDR had valid excuses for refusing to appear to be helping save Jews. He argued that if it seemed that he was steering the US into the war and risking the lives of American boys just to save Jews, he would not be able to get Congress to approve rearmament in 1940, or to help England in its battle with Germany before December 7, 1941. Another recent book, Breitman and Lichtman, “FDR and the Jews”, (one of the authors is the official historian at the Holocaust Museum in Washington DC), makes this argument very forcibly, and should be read together with the Medoff book.
In retrospect, it is hard to believe the extent of anti-semitism in the U.S. during those years. Congress was even worse, and Jewish leaders were afraid to ask Congress to liberalize the immigration laws to help the refugees because of the likelihood that Congress would make the laws more restrictive, not less restrictive. Much of the blame is also placed on the State Department (on this point, another recent book, Larson, “In the Garden of the Beasts”, is devastating).