This past Friday was International Holocaust Day as designated by the United Nations. Often forgotten amid the memorializing is the role the leaders of the Jewish community refused to play to rescue their brethren and attempt to get President Franklin D. Roosevelt to disrupt the Nazi killing machine.
As the plight of European Jews became obvious to the entire world during the 1930s, the Japanese Ambassador to the United States proposed to Rabbi Stephen Wise the resettlement of hundreds of thousands of European Jews in Manchuria.
Wise, a physically large man, picked up the diminutive Japanese ambassador and threw him out of the rabbinical office. In an act of impulsive anger, Wise condemned hundreds of thousands who could have been saved.