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The Uprooted

by Dorit Bader Whiteman

Whiteman, who escaped from Nazi-occupied Austria with her family, is now a clinical psychologist in New York. Her impassioned, riveting study of the Jews who managed to leave Germany and Austria before Hitler implemented mass executions and death camps is based partly on interviews with 190 escapees. She tells the incredible story of the Kindertransport operation, which took 10,000 Jewish children from Nazi-occupied countries to England by train and ferry. Adolf Eichmann, then an emigration official, disdainfully approved this mass exodus. We learn of the formidable barriers escapees faced in getting out, of horrid or supportive foster homes, of the trauma and pain of being forcibly uprooted. Many escapees endured years of poverty before re-establihsing themselves. Whiteman rejects Hannah Arendt's thesis that German Jews' cultural assimilation led to their political blindness in a "fool's paradise." This is a distinctive contribution to Holocaust literature.

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