Friday, October 5, 2018
Rebecca Erbelding, historian, curator, and archivist at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, will discuss her research on the War Refugee Board (WRB), the official American response to the Holocaust. Her new book, Rescue Board, debunks the popular idea that Americans did not do anything to aid Jews and other victims of Nazi persecution. It shows to the contrary that young WRB staff undertook extraordinary efforts to work through (and sometimes sidestep) bureaucracy to rescue Jews.
Rebecca Erbelding is the author of Rescue Board: The Untold Story of America's Efforts to Save the Jews of Europe (Doubleday, April 2018). She has worked as a historian, curator, and archivist at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum for fifteen years, and served as a historian for the Museum's newest exhibition, Americans and the Holocaust. She holds a Ph.D. in American history from George Mason University.
Her book describes the creativity of the War Refugee Board which laundered money into Sweden, participated in ransom negotiations with Nazis, opened a refugee camp in upstate New York, sent rescuer Raoul Wallenberg to Budapest, helped 8,000 Jews escape to Palestine by boat, and approved $11 million in relief for Nazi-occupied Europe in the final year of the World War II.
Dr. Erbelding’s Athenaeum presentation is co-sponsored by the Mgrublian Center for Human Rights at CMC.