FDR and the Coast Guard


FDR and the Coast Guard
Your May 23 article “Rethinking Roosevelt” quoted Richard Breitman and Allan Lichtman, authors of FDR and the Jews, as claiming that the Roosevelt administration did not send the Coast Guard to prevent the passengers of the refugee ship St. Louis from reaching America’s shore.

Yet several years ago, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum issued a book-length report on the voyage of the St. Louis, titled Refuge Denied. On Page 23, the book states that as the ship approached the Florida coast, “The passengers were close enough to see hotels and automobiles along the beach. … But the view also included a U.S. Coast Guard boat patrolling American waters. And military planes shadowed the ship.”

Moreover, four survivors of the St. Louis – Herbert Karliner, professor Hans Fisher, Col. Phil Freund, and Fred Buff – recently issued this statement in response to what Breitman and Lichtman are claiming: “We saw the Coast Guard planes that flew around the ship to follow its movements. We saw the Coast Guard cutter that trailed us and made sure the St. Louis did not come close to the Florida coast. We heard the cutter blaring its warning to the St. Louis to stay away. Since the Coast Guard was carrying out its job of guarding the coast against anyone who tried to come close without permission, the Coast Guard planes and cutter had clearly been ordered to intercept the St. Louis and prevent any unauthorized landings of passengers. The Coast Guard planes and cutter were tragic symbols of a coldhearted government decision. It was President Franklin Roosevelt who decided our fate, who denied us and our families permission to land, forcing us to return to Europe, where many of the passengers were murdered by the Nazis. We categorically reject any and all attempts to distort these indisputable historical facts.” 

Edges of the Holocaust
Meredith Jacob’s review of Richard Breitman and Allan J. Lichtman’s book, FDR and the Jews (“Rethinking Roosevelt,” WJW, May 23) quotes the authors as stating that Roosevelt’s refusal to bomb the Auschwitz death camp would have only “affected the edges of the Holocaust.”

Even if that were true, wouldn’t “affecting the edges” be sufficient to agree that it would have been a good idea, when so many lives were at stake? For a death factory that gassed 12,000 daily at its peak, damaging the machinery of murder while the Nazi regime was fading could have saved many thousands of lives. Auschwitz inmates recall looking skyward and seeing American bombers pass by. To me, that’s symbolic of FDR’s failure to use his full power to interrupt the Holocaust.
New York


Servile loyalists
Progressive Jews adore scoundrels. So why would President Barack Obama be an exception? (“Will controversies hurt liberals’ support for Obama?” WJW, May 16).

After the first World Trade Center bombing in 1993, there followed other Islamist attacks. However, President Bill Clinton, too engrossed in romancing Monica Lewinsky for more than three years, was unable to make the necessary military decisions, which may have averted 9/11/01.

Mr. Clinton was impeached, held in contempt, but liberal Jews continue to idolize and fawn over him. He remains a revered figure in the Democratic Party. At its 2012 convention, Clinton received a bigger ovation than the presidential candidate.

President Obama claims to know nothing about extraordinary violations that threaten the life and liberty of his citizens. He learns about them from news reports. Another leader would be enraged for not being informed. Perhaps his appointees lack faith in his judgment, or else he’s told them not to disturb him unless it is about a White House concert or a Weinstein fundraiser.

Americans were murdered during an eight hour siege in Benghazi. No attempt of a rescue was made. Strangely, the Situation Room in the White House was deserted – unlike the time when Mr. Obama surrounded himself with dozens of bureaucrats watching bin Laden die. The commander in chief disappeared. Intentional neglect of duty?

Liberal Jews continually defend Mr. Obama’s radical tendencies. Contrarily, his reputation won’t suffer in spite of deplorable diplomacy, the divisive politics and egregious lies about “transparency.” One hundred scandals won’t reduce Mr. Obama’s bastion of servile loyalists.
Silver Spring

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