CONFRONTING TERROR March 29, 2003

Related Reading

Below are books written on the Holocaust by this year's speakers and presenters. A small number of these books will be available at the conference for purchase.

Haven: The Dramatic Story of 1,000 World War II Refugees and How They Came to America
Ruth Gruber

With this mixture of desperation and hope, Ruth Gruber begins Haven, the inspiring story of one thousand Jewish and Christian refugees brought to sanctuary in America in 1944. As special assistant to Secretary of the Interior Harold L. Ickes, Gruber was selected to carry out this top-secret mission despite the objections of the military brass who doubted the thirty-three-year-old woman's qualifications. Where Gruber met the gaunt survivors, they told her about hiding in sewers and forests, of risking their lives to save others. As she wrote down their stories, tears often wiped out the words of her notebook.

Gruber became the refugees' guardian angel during the dangerous crossing of the U-boat-haunted Atlantic and during their eighteen-month internment at a former army camp in Oswego, New York. Lobbying Congress at the end of the war, she also helped the refugees become American citizens. This edition concludes with a new chapter featuring Gruber's look back on her many decads as a crusading journalist, and a special Appendix from the 1946 Congressional Record listing the names of all the camp's residents.

Inside of Time: A Journey from Alaska to Israel: A Memoir with Eleanor Roosevelt, Harold L. Ickes, Golda Meir, and Other Friends
Ruth Gruber

Intriguing historical circumstances and a big heart distinguish this second memoir by Gruber (Ahead of Time, 1991, etc.), onetime official in the FDR Administration and a Mideast correspondent during the postwar years that saw the birth of Israel. Gruber begins in 1941, when Secretary of the Interior Harold Ickes asked her to serve as his field representative in Alaska. That not-yet state commands a large portion of Gruber's text, as she recalls traveling about the wilderness and taking her own measure of it, "making a study of how to open Alaska to homesteaders"-which sounds a bit Manifest Destiny-ish and in fact is. She also details at length her experiences covering the plight of displaced Jews immediately following WWII, which prompted her to go head-to-head with anti-Semites in the US Department of State, with General George Patton, and with the British colonial administration. Gruber has lost some of the good journalist's knack for compression: snips of dialogue lead nowhere, and repetition rather than forceful imagery drives home her points. Her prose can be windy to the point of storm warning, the off-color jokes are jarringly antiquated, and comments like "In July 1941, Ion Antonescu, Romania's fascist dictator, began murdering his Jews" are rather mortifying. But her tales of being in harm's way can also display real power, whether the danger is physical-slogging through backcountry Alaska, dodging Nazis to spirit away refugees-or emotional, as when she reports on camps for displaced Jews in Germany, Cyprus, and even Israel: "Camps are never good for human beings. People deteriorate amid the abnormality of camp life." No doubt the Palestinians would agree, yet the usuallyempathetic Gruber is mute on their predicament. Witness to worlds in the midst of radical change, the author gives a commonplace appeal to the momentous events with her ingenuous storytelling. Source: Kirkus Reviews

Ahead of Time: My Early Years as a Foreign Correspondent
Ruth Gruber

Long before feminism became a potent force in our time, Ruth Gruber was already blazing a trail for later generations of women. Now in paperback for the first time, this captivating memoir covers the first twenty-five years of an inspiring life, including these historic moments: Gruber's unprecedented academic career, which reached its zenith in 1932, when at twenty she became the world's youngest Ph.D. as a visiting American student at Cologne University, her return to Nazi Germany in 1935, and the rallies she attended where Hitler inveighed against "international Jews" like her; and her first stint as a foreign correspondent, when she became the only journalist to report from the Soviet Arctic, traveled in open cockpit seaplanes, met utopians who extolled Stalin's system, and gulag inmates who told her the bitter truth about his terrible schemes. Gruber writes with warmth, compassion, and humor, offering a life story that will be long remembered by all history lovers, adventurers, and women and men of all ages. Source: The Publisher

Industry and Ideology: IG Farben in the Nazi Era
Peter Hayes

Drawing upon prodigious research, much of it in German corporate and government archives, Peter Hayes argues that the IG Farben chemicals combine, the largest corporation in Nazi Germany, proved consistently unable to influence national policy outside the narrow sphere of the firm's expertise. Indeed, as Hayes shows, the most infamous aspects of Nazi policy - the Third Reich's armaments and autarky drives during the 1930s, Germany's advance toward war, the pillaging of Europe, the exploitation of slave and conscript labor, and the persecution of the Jews - occurred despite IG Farben's advocacy of alternative courses of action. Nonetheless, Farben grew rich under the Nazi regime and was directly involved in some of its greatest crimes. Source: The Publisher