ORANGE – In the fall of 1944, as Nazi Germany was carrying out its horrific “Final Solution,” an attorney in the Treasury Department named Josiah DuBois, slipped into the State Department files and made a startling discovery. What he learned confirmed his worst fears and drove him to feverishly write a report to President Franklin D. Roosevelt entitled “The Acquiescence of This Government in the Murder of the Jews.” He then approached his boss, Treasury Secretary Henry Morgenthau, with the words: “…Tell the President that if he doesn’t act on this I’m going to resign and go to the press.”
Indeed, upon reading DuBois’ report, Roosevelt immediately created the War Refugee Board, a task force whose mission it was to rescue those in ”imminent danger of death.” Although it was formed heartbreakingly late in World War II, the War Refugee Board succeeded in alleviating the plight of more than 100,000 Holocaust victims. Raul Wallenberg, for example, who was commissioned by the War Refugee Board, managed to rescue thousands of Hungarian Jews from the clutches of the Nazi regime.
What was the information in DuBois’ report that jolted President Roosevelt to make his life-saving decision? Could the President have done more to reach out to the victims of Nazism?
Those questions will be up for discussion on Sunday, Nov. 18, 9:00 a.m., at the 12th Annual Kristallnacht Community Commemoration honoring the late Josiah DuBois, held at Congregation Or Shalom, 205 Old Grassy Hill Road in Orange.
At the commemoration, Josiah DuBois’ son, Robert, will receive on behalf of his late father a U.S. Senate commendation from U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal. Guest speakers will include: Dr. Rebecca Erbelding, author of the new book Rescue Board: Christy Marrella and her 8th grade students, creator of the award-winning video, “An American Holocaust Hero”; and Holocaust survivors who were rescued by the War Refugee Board.
The Kristallnacht commemoration is FREE and open to the public. For information: (203) 799-2341, firstname.lastname@example.org, orshalomct.org.
To view the student film “An American Holocaust Hero”: https://youtu.be/Ck3m0YBFziY.
CAP: Josiah DuBois