Skip to comments.The Mormon Senator Who Tried To Save Anne Frank
Posted on 03/08/2012 5:47:26 PM PST by SJackson
The news that a Mormon temple in the Dominican Republic recently conducted a posthumous proxy baptism of Anne Frank, the most famous diarist of the Holocaust, undoubtedly will cause some offense in the Jewish community. Evidently the baptizers believe they were saving Annes soul. Of greater significance, however, is what Mormons tried to do to save Annes life.
Millions of Americans know the story of the German Jewish teenager who hid for more than two years in an Amsterdam attic until she and her family were discovered by the Nazis and sent to the death camps. Anne Franks heartbreaking diary is required reading in schools throughout the United States.
What was not known, until a few years ago, is that before they went into hiding, the Franks requested permission to immigrate to the United States but were turned away. Annes mother, Edith, wrote to a friend in 1939, I believe that all Germanys Jews are looking around the world, but can find nowhere to go.
Immigration to the U.S. was determined by quotas that had been set up in the 1920s to reduce the number of undesirable immigrants particularly Jews and Italians. Even those quotas were almost never filled because the Roosevelt administration imposed bureaucratic obstacles designed to disqualify visa applicants. As a result, during the Holocaust, only 10 percent of the quotas from Axis-controlled European countries were utilized and nearly 190,000 quota places went unused.
Most Americans opposed more immigration. Fear of foreigners and the difficulties of the Great Depression hardened many hearts. But there were exceptions. One was the most famous and influential Mormon in America, Sen. William H. King, Democrat of Utah. In early 1939, refugee advocates in Congress proposed legislation to admit 20,000 German Jewish refugee children outside the quota system. One of the children who theoretically could have qualified to come to the U.S. under the bill was Anne Frank. Senator King supported the bill, although that meant defying most of his Democratic colleagues, as well as President Roosevelt.
Laura Delano Houghteling, a cousin of FDR and wife of the U.S. commissioner of immigration, typified opposition to the bill when she remarked that Twenty thousand charming children would all too soon grow up into 20,000 ugly adults.
Unfortunately, Houghtelings sentiment carried the day. The legislation was buried. On May 10, 1940, Germany invaded the Netherlands and completed its conquest in five days. Trapped under the heel of the Nazi jackboot, the Franks and other Jews in Holland now found themselves in an increasingly desperate position.
Coincidentally, that same week in Washington, the U.S. House of Representatives held hearings on legislation sponsored by Senator King to open Alaska to European Jewish refugees. This bill, too, might have enabled Anne Frank and her family to come to America.
Sparsely populated and strategically located, Alaska was in urgent need of development. Immigrant laborers could serve a vital national purpose. The Labor Department and the Interior Department endorsed Kings bill. But President Roosevelt told Interior Secretary Harold Ickes he would support only a watered-down version of the plan in which just 10 percent of the workers would be Jews, so as to avoid the undoubted criticism that we would be subjected to if there were an undue proportion of Jews.
The State Department and anti-immigration groups strongly opposed using Alaska for the resettlement of any refugees, and Roosevelt soon dropped the whole idea. The bill went nowhere.
Meanwhile, throughout 1941, Otto Frank continued writing to American friends and relatives, and U.S. government officials, in the hope of securing permission for his family to immigrate.
Little did he know the Roosevelt administration was quietly inventing new ways to shut the nations doors even tighter. In the summer of 1941, the State Department began automatically disqualifying all visa applicants who had close relatives in occupied Europe on the specious theory that the Nazis might hold the relatives as hostage to blackmail the emigrants into becoming Axis spies. (No such spies were ever discovered.)
The new regulation may have disqualified the Franks, since one of their close relatives, Annes paternal grandmother, Rosa Stern Hollander, was ill with cancer in late 1941 and probably would not have been able to make the cross-Atlantic journey.
William H. King concluded his Senate service in 1941 and returned to Utah having failed to open Americas doors to European Jewish refugees but not for lack of trying. His state had few Jewish voters, and his party was largely against more immigration, but King was driven by his Mormon faith to aid the downtrodden. Another Mormon U.S. senator from Utah, Democrat Elbert Thomas, would soon pick up where King left off and help lead the campaign to rescue Jews from the Nazis in the 1940s.
Anne Frank occupies a special place in the hearts of Jews, and any affront to her memory naturally arouses Jewish ire. Some members of the Jewish community have even urged presidential candidate Mitt Romney, today Americas best-known Mormon, to speak out against posthumous baptisms of Holocaust victims.
Before rushing to inject the issue into the presidential race, it is worth recalling that leaders of the Mormon church have already pledged to refrain from posthumously saving the souls of Hitlers victims, and no doubt will remind their Dominican Republic branch and their other followers of that pledge.
And it is especially worth recalling that when the issue was not saving Anne Franks soul but saving her life, the most powerful Mormon political figure in America did what he could at a time when too few were willing to do anything at all.
Dr. Rafael Medoff is director of The David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies. He is also the author of a number of books including the forthcoming Herbert Hoover and the Jews: The Origins of the Jewish Vote and Bipartisan Support for Israel, co-authored with Professor Sonja Schoepf Wentling.
I would hope there is a record.
Curelom bones melt; they do NOT fossilize.
Party ownership of the print media
made it easy to manipulate public opinion,
and the film and radio carried the process further.
The Ministry of Truth, Winston's place of work, contained, it was said, three thousand rooms above ground level, and corresponding ramifications below.
The Ministry of Truth concerned itself with Lies. Party ownership of the print media made it easy to manipulate public opinion, and the film and radio carried the process further.
The primary job of the Ministry of Truth was to supply the citizens of Oceania with newspapers, films, textbooks, telescreen programmes, plays, novels - with every conceivable kind of information, instruction, or entertainment, from a statue to a slogan, from a lyric poem to a biological treatise, and from a child's spelling-book to a Newspeak dictionary.
Winston worked in the RECORDS DEPARTMENT (a single branch of the Ministry of Truth) editing and writing for The Times. He dictated into a machine called a speakwrite. Winston would receive articles or news-items which for one reason or another it was thought necessary to alter, or, in Newspeak, rectify. If, for example, the Ministry of Plenty forecast a surplus, and in reality the result was grossly less, Winston's job was to change previous versions so the old version would agree with the new one. This process of continuous alteration was applied not only to newspapers, but to books, periodicals, pamphlets, posters, leaflets, films, sound-tracks, cartoons, photographs - to every kind of literature or documentation which might conceivably hold any political or ideological significance.
When his day's work started, Winston pulled the speakwrite towards him, blew the dust from its mouthpiece, and put on his spectacles. He dialed 'back numbers' on the telescreen and called for the appropriate issues of The Times, which slid out of the pneumatic tube after only a few minutes' delay. The messages he had received referred to articles or news-items which for one reason or another it was thought necessary to rectify.
In the walls of the cubicle there were three orifices. To the right of the speakwrite, a small pneumatic tube for written messages; to the left, a larger one for newspapers; and on the side wall, within easy reach of Winston's arm, a large oblong slit protected by a wire grating. This last was for the disposal of waste paper. Similar slits existed in thousands or tens of thousands throughout the building, not only in every room but at short intervals in every corridor. For some reason they were nicknamed memory holes. When one knew that any document was due for destruction, or even when one saw a scrap of waste paper lying about, it was an automatic action to lift the flap of the nearest memory hole and drop it in, whereupon it would be whirled away on a current of warm air to the enormous furnaces which were hidden somewhere in the recesses of the building.
As soon as Winston had dealt with each of the messages, he clipped his speakwritten corrections to the appropriate copy of The Times and pushed them into the pneumatic tube. Then, with a movement which was as nearly as possible unconscious, he crumpled up the original message and any notes that he himself had made, and dropped them into the memory hole to be devoured by the flames.
What happened in the unseen labyrinth to which the tubes led, he did not know in detail, but he did know in general terms. As soon as all the corrections which happened to be necessary in any particular number of The Times had been assembled and collated, that number would be reprinted, the original copy destroyed, and the corrected copy placed on the files in its stead.
In the cubicle next to him the little woman with sandy hair toiled day in day out, simply at tracking down and deleting from the Press the names of people who had been vaporized and were therefore considered never to have existed. And this hall, with its fifty workers or thereabouts, was only one-sub-section, a single cell, as it were, in the huge complexity of the Records Department. Beyond, above, below, were other swarms of workers engaged in an unimaginable multitude of jobs.
There were huge printing-shops and their sub editors, their typography experts, and their elaborately equipped studios for the faking of photographs. There was the tele-programmes section with its engineers, its producers and its teams of actors specially chosen for their skill in imitating voices; clerks whose job was simply to draw up lists of books and periodicals which were due for recall; vast repositories where the corrected documents were stored; and the hidden furnaces where the original copies were destroyed.
And somewhere or other, quite anonymous, there were the directing brains who co-ordinated the whole effort and laid down the lines of policy which made it necessary that this fragment of the past should be preserved, that one falsified, and the other rubbed out of existence.
We Flying Inmen provide REAL GRASS!
Geez, can't this religion get any new members that aren't dead?
First; you go to Nuevo Laredo...
At 1:12 pm. Recorded for history. Your archive must look like that room with all the National Geographic mags. Any more shots from down here? I’ve got you back up on the new web site.
Upon his arrest, local LDS leader Arthur Zander, a member of the Nazi party by his own free choice, immediately began excommunication proceedings and SLC approved.
However, in 1946, immediately after the end of the war. Hübener was posthumously added back to the rolls of the LDS.
Geez, can’t this religion get any new members that aren’t dead?
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Only in 3rd world countries where literacy rates are low and the internet is non-existant. I’m not kidding.
Not quite on point. I happen to think that the Schechter brothers are among the greatest Jewish American heroes in history, but their courageous case against the Roosevelt regime was not based upon First Amendment religious freedom rights and/or kosher slaughter. The SCOTUS rightfully overturned the NRA primarily on the basis of its interference with the right to contract.
Nevertheless, their victory in that case, overturning the most repulsive plank in Roosevelt's New Deal, was absolutely critical in holding the forces of socialism at bay in the United States. America would have a complete Soviet-style economy today if the National Recovery Act and its progeny, the National Recovery Administration, had continued unchecked.