American Jewry and the Holocaust

Hasia Diner, professor of American Jewish History at New York University, has written a book to dispel a long-time myth. Historians have been claiming for years that the Holocaust had no place in Jewish life and culture in the 1950’s. The myth states that Jews preferred to bury the memory of the Holocaust in order to assimilate into American culture. The memory was then rekindled in the 1960’s as a response to Arab claims on the land of Israel.

Prof. Diner grew up in the 1950’s and remembered that the Holocaust was a constant presence in her childhood so she decided to investigate this myth. What she found were numerous memorial projects from every segment of American Jewry and in multiple languages. American Jews were engaged with the Holocaust and with providing help to its survivors. According to Diner, the myth was created because of political agendas but has no basis in reality.

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