Today marks the beginning of the Days of Remembrance for victims of the Holocaust. The theme for this year's observance is Confronting the Holocaust: American Responses. Each day this week, we'll feature a book to further your understanding of the history of the Holocaust.
Our first selection ties in with this year's theme of American responses to the Holocaust. In Advocate for the Doomed, we get a look inside the private papers and diaries of US dipolmat James G. McDonald (1886–1964). His personal writings offer a unique and until now unknown source on the early history of the Nazi regime and the Roosevelt administration’s reactions to Nazi persecution of German Jews. Considered for the post of U.S. ambassador to Germany at the start of FDR’s presidency, McDonald traveled to Germany in 1932 and met with Hitler soon after the Nazis came to power. Fearing Nazi intentions to remove or destroy Jews in Germany, in 1933 he became League of Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and sought aid from the international community to resettle outside the Reich Jews and others persecuted there. In late 1935 he resigned in protest at the lack of support for his work.
This is the first in a three-volume series of McDonald's work that is published in association with the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Volumes two and three will be featured on the blog this week.