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by Alex Grobman
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Americas
  • Author:
    Alex Grobman
  • ISBN:
    0881258431
  • ISBN13:
    978-0881258431
  • Genre:
  • Publisher:
    Ktav Pub & Distributors Inc; 1st edition (May 1, 2004)
  • Pages:
    377 pages
  • Subcategory:
    Americas
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    4.3
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In Battling For Souls, Dr. Alex Grobman, explores the work of the Vaad in post-war Europe with objectivity and . A minor correction of fact. The Joint Distribution Committee, formed during World War I, was comprised of three Jewish groups

In Battling For Souls, Dr. Alex Grobman, explores the work of the Vaad in post-war Europe with objectivity and authority of a scholar who has written extensively on this period. Author of several important works during this era, Grobman has served as director of Holocaust Center in St. Louis and at the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles. The Joint Distribution Committee, formed during World War I, was comprised of three Jewish groups. The only problem is the incorrect sequence of their entry into the relief mode.

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Battling For Souls: The Vaad Hatzala Rescue Committee in Post-War Europe, 2004. Nations United: How The UN Undermines Israel and the West 2006. The Palestinian Right to Israel, 2010. a b "Holocaust revisionism deconstructed," Feb. 4, 2006, Josh Bains, Jerusalem Post. Dr. Alex Grobman, Camden People.

Book by Grobman, Alex. ISBN13:9780881258431. Release Date:May 2004.

To keep whatever spark of Jewish spirit was alive in the hearts of the refugees, to make it glow and burst into flame, the men and women of the Vaad Hatzala Rescue Committee worked long and hard. This is the story of a special breed of people, led by Rabbi Nathan Baruch. They dedicated themselves to a thankless task at the request of the greatest rabbinical leaders of the 20th century, and prevailed in their mission despite the lack of funds, the lack of people, the hostility of local populations and other Jewish organizations, and the chaos in Europe at the end of the war.

GROBMAN, ALEX (Author) Ktav Publishing House (Publisher). Associated people and organisations. whole: Dimensions: 24cm. Pagination: v, 377p.

Keywords: Battling, Vaad Hatzala, War Europe, Hatzala Rescue, Rescue Committee, post war, souls. The Holocaust, also known as the Shoah, was a genocide during World War II in which Nazi Germany, aided by local collaborators, systematically murdered some six million European Jews-around two-thirds of the Jewish population of Europe-between 1941 and 1945.

Book by Grobman, Alex

Onath
This fine study describes in great detail the struggles of the Vaad Hatzala to help Orthodox Jewish survivors in post World War 2 Europe. . By the end of 1945 , hundreds of thousands of Jews had found refuge in US Displaced Persons (DP) camps in Germany ,it quickly became clear that the Orthodox Jews amongst them (about 20%) would need more help than the Joint Distribution Committee could or would provide. Requirements such as kosher food, religious education, yeshivas, ritual items and religious literature were especially crucial to Orthodox Jews. The Joint was unable to meet these needs .The chief heroes of this book are Irving Bunim(the group's chief fund raiserin the U.S.)Stephen Klein, William I. Alpert and Rabbi Nathan Baruch who was the Vaad's representative in Germany for most of the time the Vaad was active after the War.Dr.
Grobman has made use of the archives of the Vaad(located in the archives of Yeshiva University) and other archival sources in documenting this book. In addition interviews with key players including Rabbi Baruch helpd in the production of this book.
There were serious conflicts between the Vaad and the Joint and even more serious conflicts between various Orthodox groups and personalities as to the nature of the Vaad, its fund raising, political agenda etc. Grobman does a brilliant job in detailing these conflicts, all the while providing for clear and instructive reading.
The book is well documented with end notes and a bibliography. Illustrations also help in constructing a picture of the work of the Vaad in Germany.
Of particular interest is Grobman's excellent description of the story behind the printing of the Talmud (19 volumes) in Germany in the late 1940's. Grobman sheds new light on this fascinating chapter in Jewish history.
Grobamn would have done well to interview some of the survivors still alive to get their perspective on the work of the Vaad. Consulting the rich Survivor periodical literature(chiefly in Yiddish) in post War Geramny may have also shed new light on certain situations.
May I also note that Dr. Grobman does not give the chief rabbi of the American zone Rabbi A. Sneig and his deputy Rabbi Rose enough credit in helping the survivors in reconstructing their lives along with rabbi Baruch.
On a personal note I worked on organizing the Vaad archives in 1981 at the Yeshiva University Archives in a very basic manner. I was struck by the fantastic job that Rabbi Baruch did and the critical role he played in the Vaad. Yet I had never heard of him and further research revealed that he basically retired from Jewish public life in the U.S. Reading this book answers my question as to why a talented and dedicated young rabbi and leader as Rabbi Baruch "retired" from Orthdox Jewish leadership. One suspects that the constant "machlokes" between various Orthodx groups was too much for him. I just wonder what sort of important role Baruch could have played in the revived Orthdoxy of the 1970's and onwards.
All in all this is a fine study of how American Jews rose to the occassion and assisted their brethern in need, not only with food and material needs, but with spiritual needs as well.Grobman deserves our collective appreciation for his research and dedication to this subject.
Anen
In recent years, the activities of the Vaad Hatzala, the Orthodox Rabbis' Relief and Rescue Committee, have precipitated an unusual amount of controversy. In Battling For Souls, Dr. Alex Grobman, explores the work of the Vaad in post-war Europe with objectivity and authority of a scholar who has written extensively on this period. Author of several important works during this era, Grobman has served as director of Holocaust Center in St. Louis and at the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles.

The focus of this study is on Rabbi Nathan Baruch, a musmach of Torah Vodaath, who served as director of the Vaad in Germany, during the first three postwar years, including, for a time, for all of Western Europe. The book shatters the myth that American Orthodox Jews were so focused on helping the rabbis and yeshiva students in Europe that they had did not help other Jews, and that the Vaad should have worked more closely with the JDC. The JDC and Agudas Israel have praised the work for dispelling the fabrications about the Vaad and the JDC that have been around for several years. Their hope is that these malicious distortions can be put to rest for good.

The book reviews the situation in Germany after the war, the challenges confronting the post-war Jewish community, the organizations providing relief and spiritual rehabilitation, and the struggles within the Jewish community that thwarted the Vaad's efforts. At the end of the war, the Displaced Persons were searching for ways to reconnect to the Jewish community. The Vaad helped them to establish kosher kitchens and provided kosher food, and helped build mikvehs, and yeshivos, Bais Yaakovs and other educational facilities. Without the Vaad, thousands of Jews would not have found there way back to a Torah way of life. The fact that the fact that the DP's received kosher food, for example, not only reconnected them to their ancient heritage, but it also showed them that Orthodox Jews cared. This psychological boost was especially important during those crucial postwar years when the broken survivors, felt so helpless and abandoned and when religion appeared to be passe. The JDC's social workers, most of whom were secularists, with scant interest in religion, saw little need to provide the Shearith Ha'pletah with what they needed most to re- connect to their Jewish Heritage and community. The Zionists focused on aliyah, secularists on the messianic visions of socialism, while Orthodox Jews wanted them to return to Torah Judaism. Every organization wanted to rehabilitate the survivors according to their own world view. The battle for their souls had begun.

A minor correction of fact. The Joint Distribution Committee, formed during World War I, was comprised of three Jewish groups. The only problem is the incorrect sequence of their entry into the relief mode. It was the Orthodox (the Central Committee for the Relief of Jewish War Sufferers), who were the very first to offer relief to East European Jewish victims of the heavy fighting, in October 1914; a little over a month after the opening of hostilities. Following them, about a month later, came the wealthy Yahudim, of German descent, who created the American Jewish Committee, and who controlled most Jewish organizations until the onset of the Second World War. Together, these two created the "American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee." Last, about a year later, these two groups were joined by the Jewish socialists (Jewish People's Relief Committee) to complete the formation of this vast and generous Jewish relief and rescue organization, still helping Jews, ninety years later.

Battling For Souls is a case history of how the Jewish community responds to itself in times of crises. It also demonstrates the importance religion has played in keeping the Jewish people together. Although the survivors went on to lead useful lives, this book is a sad story that today's Jewish leaders, the professionals and the laymen, need to read.
Malaris
The post-World War II years were an era marked by pain for the tragic losses of the past, as well as desperation and determination to move ahead to a still uncertain future. Foremost among those involved in bringing relief and hope to the survivors were organizations such as the Vaad Hatzala and Zeirei Agudath Israel, as well as a number of people from various walks of life - congregational rabbis, Roshei Yeshiva, service men and lay volunteers. The names - such as Rabbi Eliezer Silver, Rabbi Avrohom Kalmanowitz, and Rabbi Aaron Kotler, as well as Irving Bunim, Stephen Klein and Mike Tress - are familiar, but the overarching facts and inspiring details remain unknown to most people. These groups and individuals devoted heroic measures of heart, energy, and creativity to help the survivors chart their way to a new life, each adding his or her own pages to the eternity of Klal Yisroel. Alex Grobman's Battling for Souls opens new vistas for the reader in this dramatic era, primarily focusing on the extraordinary efforts of Rabbi Nathan Baruch, a young, energetic volunteer who contributed so much to the revitalization of life for the "ember snatched from the flames." This book is a most valuable contribution to an understanding of how, in spite of unparalleled odds, the Jewish People have maintained their eternity.