March 13, 1944

Praising the United Jewish Appeal, FDR Mentions Suffering Brought on By Nazis

Typed Letter Signed
1 page
SMC 249
The only way to rescue European Jews, Franklin D. Roosevelt thought, was to win the war as fast as possible. What this meant, in 1944, was that American heavy bombers would strike oil targets within forty-seven miles of Auschwitz, but leave the railroad tracks leading to the death camp untouched. Roosevelt in fact, took little interest in the fate of the Jews, except as a source of occasional favorable publicity. This letter, to the National Chairmen of the United Jewish Appeal, expresses the scope and setting of FDR’s concern:
 
The distress and suffering brought upon innocent victims by our Nazi enemies present a challenge to the American people. The false philosophies which have caused such widespread racial and religious persecutions are fully as abhorrent as the dreams of world conquest which have motivated the Nazi regime. They are in fact part and parcel of these insane ambitions.

The United Jewish Appeal, the president continues, “is one of the agencies through which the American people can make their contribution to the fight for decency, human dignity, and freedom for all to live in peace.” At that time, the overriding and specific purpose of the UJA was to raise funds to stop the systematic annihilation of European Jewry.
Typed Letter Signed, as President, 1 page, quarto, The White House, Washington, March 13, 1944. To the National Chairmen of the United Jewish Appeal in New York: Heller, Rosenwald, and Wise.

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