Perhaps the title of this post is a bit harsh – but, perhaps not. The YU Commentator reports:
…[Yeshiva College] inaugurated a German Club in 1941 “to arouse a interest in German culture and an attempt to understand the German philosophy of life for the purpose of appreciation and good will.” The club met once a month to sing German songs and drink beer. After the war, the club rationalized its existence claiming that “Nazi brutality has not been able to blemish or desecrate contributions to world culture, whether they be of German origin or not.”
Yeshiva Professor of Jewish History Rabbi Bernard Rosensweig was one of the leading activists in Yeshiva during the later and post-War years. “At the begging of the War, the New York Times and the American government played down the events,” remembers Rabbi Rosensweig. “Our nominal community leaders were afraid to speak out. However, in 1944 – Rabbi Rosensweig’s first year at Yeshiva – America became heavily involved in the War and American Jewry gained interest in the Jewish Brigade (Fifteen units of Palestinian Jewish battalions incorporated into the British Army). It became a matter of great pride.”
America became “heavily involved” in WW2 in 1942. The man is a professor of history. Worse, he blames the Times and the US government, when Peter Bergson and his Jabotinsky group were publicizing the Holocaust in 1943. But, like most of the Jewish community, YU did not listen. The Commie continues:
Once the War had ended in 1945 and American Jewry became more acutely aware of the atrocities committed by the Nazis, Yeshiva rose to become a force in the Orthodox world.
“People were walking in the street and crying,” recollects Yeshiva Chancellor Rabbi Norman Lamm. “We were unaware of the enormity of the crimes that were going on. It was simply irrational. When the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising was commemorated we then began to realize the magnitude of what had happened.”
Rabbi Lamm entered Yeshiva College in 1945.
“When it was over, there was a terrible depression,” says Rabbi Rosensweig. “The boys at Yeshiva – Stern had not been founded yet – decided to raise a campaign for money.” Rabbi Rosensweig was the chairman of this committee, which in 1946, managed to raise an unprecedented $20,000 and submitted it to then Head of the Vaad Hatzalah (Emergency Committee) Rabbi Zalman Sorotzkin. “The number of boys here with money was very limited, but a number of people worked hard to raise the money. Our success is a reflection of the care of many devoted Yeshiva students.”
In other words, during the time that mattered most, YU did not help the Vaad Hatzolah in any significant way. This is not a record to be proud of.
And what is it about Commie reporters and editors? This is a university paper?
UPDATE and CLARIFICATION
… Bernard Revel, president until his death in late 1940, was working hard to bring Jews over however he could well before the Holocaust started. His successor, Samuel Belkin, did the same during the war. Many prominent professors and roshei yeshiva- and their families, and students, and anyone else who could be fit into the narrow laws- made their way out this way, not all winding up at YU.
Oh, and quite a few YU students were actually fighting. The yearbooks from the war years begin with lists of students from that year who were killed while serving in the Armed Forces .…
[A]nd speaking of Bergson: In his autobiography, “A Child of the Century,” Ben Hecht states that the cast and crew of the productions he put on with Bergson to publicize the Holocaust and, later, to support Israel were primarily made up of Yeshiva College students.
I have no reason to doubt Nachum’s information. But, one must ask, why is YU’s own paper ignorant of these facts? Perhaps YU needs to look at its standards, both in admission, and in how its own student paper is run.