Benjamin Ginsberg's analysis

Benjamin Ginsberg's account


It is not apparent that the interventionists were so intrinsically Anglophile as to have supported Britain during the appeasement period. Rather, they supported Britain because it was opposing Nazi Germany. That was especially the case with Jewish Americans, whose significant role in American interventionism is still a largely taboo topic.

Benjamin Ginsberg provides a sympathetic depiction of the Jewish effort to bring the United States into World War II in his The Fatal Embrace: Jews and the State  (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1993). Ginsberg writes: "Jews became vitally important allies of the [Roosevelt] administration in its struggle against isolationism and pro-Axis sentiment in the years preceding World War II." (p. 108) He continues: "Jews and members of the Eastern establishment united during the late 1930s to create the 'Century Group,' which worked vigorously for American intervention against Nazi Germany." Regarding the strongly interventionist Fight for Freedom Committee, Ginsberg points out that most of its "major donors were either Jews or members of the Eastern Protestant establishment." (p. 109)

Ginsberg observes that the "Anti-Defamation League engaged in an active and extensive program of surveillance directed against pro-German and isolationist groups, organizations, and prominent individuals. The ADL monitored the activities of such organizations as the German-American Bund, the isolationist America First Committee, the anti-Semitic National Economic Council, and such prominent isolationists as Charles Lindbergh, General Robert Wood of Sears, Montana Senator Burton Wheeler, North Dakota Senator Gerald Nye, Mississippi Senator Theodore Bilbo, North Carolina Senator Robert Reynolds, New York Representative Hamilton Fish, and many others.... The ADL often employed investigative agents who secretly penetrated isolationist and anti-Semitic organizations and collected potentially damaging or incriminating information.... Information secured by the ADL was often turned over to federal agencies such as the FBI and the Immigration Bureau for possible criminal action." (p. 110)

"In addition," Ginsberg writes, "Jewish filmmakers, columnists, and radio personalities were only too happy to cooperate with the administration's anti-Nazi and pro-British interventionism. During the late 1930s ... Hollywood cooperated with the White House by producing films depicting the evils of the Nazi regime, presenting Nazi Germany as a threat to the United States, and suggesting that a pro-German fifth column was at work inside the United States to undermine the nation's will to resist the Nazis." (p. 112)

— Stephen J. Sniegoski

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