Res­cued from the Third Reich: How One of Hitler’s Sol­diers Saved the Life of the Lubav­itch­er Rebbe

  • Review
By – June 26, 2014

Res­cued from the Reich reads like a spy/​suspense nov­el, but it is actu­al his­to­ry, the amaz­ing sto­ry of how the Lubav­itch­er Rebbe and his court were res­cued from Nazi Germany. 

What made this ven­ture so remark­able— and also so suc­cess­ful — was the enor­mous web of con­spir­a­tors it required: diplo­mats in the US State Depart­ment, Nazi offi­cers and intel­li­gence per­son­nel, and remark­able coor­di­na­tion in the mid­dle of a World War. Major Ernst Bloch was a key per­son in putting the plan togeth­er. Bloch was born of a Jew­ish father, and had been Aryanized by Hitler. Anoth­er key play­er was the head of the Abwehr, Nazi Mil­i­tary Intel­li­gence, Admi­ral Wilh­lem Canaris. Oth­ers work­ing for this cause includ­ed New York Con­gress­man Sol Bloom, Attor­ney Gen­er­al Ben­jamin Cohen, and US Supreme Court Jus­tice Louis D. Brandeis. 

Sur­pris­ing­ly, the ini­tia­tive to res­cue the Rebbe orig­i­nat­ed on the US side with, of all enti­ties, the State Depart­ment. State was known to be clos­ing doors in the face of Jews try­ing to escape the hor­rors of Nazism and yet they worked hard to make this oper­a­tion a success. 

This book rais­es all the right ques­tions. Were all Nazis anti-Semi­tes? How could peo­ple so high up in the ech­e­lons of lead­er­ship have done this? Were they dis­sat­is­fied with the poli­cies of Hitler? Were they hop­ing for lenien­cy when the war ended?

How could the State Depart­ment be so cal­lous regard­ing the mass­es of Jews and so involved when it came to the Rebbe? There were no sig­nif­i­cant num­bers of Lubav­itch or Chas­sidic Jews in Amer­i­ca at the time. So why? 

We might nev­er know the answers. But good for Bryan Mark Rigg for bring­ing up the questions.

Relat­ed Content:

Mic­ah D. Halpern is a colum­nist and a social and polit­i­cal com­men­ta­tor. He is the author of What You Need To Know About: Ter­ror, and main­tains The Mic­ah Report at www​.mic​ah​halpern​.com.

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