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Among the Righteous [Paperback]

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Item Number 440958  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   263
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 1" Width: 5.5" Height: 8.25"
Weight:   0.56 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Oct 8, 2007
Publisher   PublicAffairs
ISBN  1586485105  
EAN  9781586485108  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
Looks at the reaction of the Arab people to the Holocaust in North Africa, where thousands of Jews were forced into labor camps.

Publishers Description
Thousands of people have been honored for saving Jews during the Holocaust--but not a single Arab. Looking for a hopeful response to the plague of Holocaust denial sweeping across the Arab and Muslim worlds, Robert Satloff sets off on a quest to find the Arab hero whose story will change the way Arabs view Jews, themselves, and their own history.

The story of the Holocaust's long reach into the Arab world is difficult to uncover, covered up by desert sands and desert politics. We follow Satloff over four years, through eleven countries, from the barren wasteland of the Sahara, where thousands of Jews were imprisoned in labor camps; through the archways of the Mosque in Paris, which may once have hidden 1700 Jews; to the living rooms of octogenarians in London, Paris and Tunis. The story is very cinematic; the characters are rich and handsome, brave and cowardly; there are heroes and villains. The most surprising story of all is why, more than sixty years after the end of the war, so few people-- Arab and Jew--want this story told.

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More About Robert Satloff

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Robert Satloff, an expert on Arab and Islamic politics, is executive director of The Washington Institute for Near East Policy. Soon after 9/11, he and his family moved to Rabat, Morocco, where he launched a search for Arab heroes of the Holocaust. He lives in Chevy Chase, Maryland, with his wife, Jennie Litvack, and two sons, Benjamin and William.

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Product Categories
1Books > Subjects > History > Asia > General   [2024  similar products]
2Books > Subjects > History > Jewish > General   [1002  similar products]
3Books > Subjects > History > Jewish > Holocaust   [524  similar products]
4Books > Subjects > History > Middle East > General   [1506  similar products]
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Reviews - What do our customers think?
A personal voyage of discovery  Nov 26, 2008
This book documents its author's travels around the Mediterranean world in search of Arab individuals who went out the way to help Jews escape the Holocaust. The book is told first person as the author interviews individuals and goes thru records related to his search. What he finds is unsurprising, many Arabs did go out of the way to help Jews, though some also went out of the way to take advantage of Jews trying to escape the Nazis. His search takes him to places such as Paris, Tunis, Morocco, Berlin and Israel. The book focuses on personal stories of Arabs who helped Jews, but the book also includes solid compilations of records and references. All in all, a very interesting book.
Difficult to put down  Feb 25, 2008
After cringing through the first half of the book where north African Arabs horrifically persecute Jews, it was a relief when I finally came to accounts of courageous Arabs, although not many, who helped them. I found this book difficult to put down. I heartily recommend it.
A North African perspective  Nov 20, 2007
I received this book "Among the righteous" as a gift through from dear friends who knew of my background. I am of North African origin. Upon a preliminary examination of this book I was taken to my childhood and the fairy tale story of "The wolf & the lamb" hung over my mind. It was probably a way to trigger a defense mechanism to just get me ready to what I was about to read. Linking 9/11, the holocaust and the creation of the state of Israel together was a bad start.

Some of the stories of local inhabitants and occupational forces interactions are presented. Some were positive and some were negative. It is a mix. The author divided by choice the local inhabitants into two parts only - the Jewish and the Arabic part - but reality was otherwise. The stories were documented to the best possibilities available at hand but they were not far off of the norm available at the time. Similar stories are available throughout history of the region from the time of "The Barbary coast" through the independence of the North African nations. One of the best examples readily available is the story of the Emir Abdelkader. (A town Elkader, Iowa is named after him).

The author did not find any evidence of "death camps" but plenty of evidence of "Forced labor camps". These Forced labor camps had Jewish people in them but they were not exclusively Jewish. To my knowledge those camps were present throughout the occupation time. (They were certainly present before 1935). It would have been very interesting to find out more about them from the archives of the governments of France, Italy and Germany. The author limited himself to the occupied body without attempt to get information from the occupiers' brains. It may be a topic of a future book. Some of those camps sadly continued to be used even after the independence of the North African countries.

The author indulges himself gratuitously here and there in local stereotypes which were not necessary. The best example is on page 66 were he labeled people who helped him as Algerian black marketeers. If you believe that 4 Algerian black marketeers can drive a truck in Morocco's borders day time and stop to help you then I have a Brooklyn bridge to sell you.

The last chapter is more political than historical. The author discusses the politics of the day in the Middle East and justifies the creation of the state of Israel by "deserving" it (page164). Many states deserve to be created but not at the expense of others and the principal of self determination for any nation should be respected. The minute a link is made between the holocaust and the state of Israel creation john doe the Arab looses interest. Holding the position that Israel creation in the Middle East should be viewed as a "payment" for the holocaust is fictitious. Linking the two events at any level raises suspicion of agenda driven activism for muddying the water and not for clarifying the issues.

The holocaust is European and Europe cannot escape from its past.

I am glad that I read this book and I recommend it to others. It provides a flavor of some aspects of the lifestyle under the occupation in North Africa.
Interesting book on little known facts  Jun 22, 2007
The "righteous" would be those who risked their lives to help the this case Arab Jews during the holocaust. We remember the WWII battles in North Africa. We may forget that they were necessary because the Germans and Italians controlled those areas that were at the time colonies and only became nations post WWII. Because there have been no stories about righteous people rescuing Jews in those countries, Robert Satloff set out to find them. He did find some and he also opened up a whole area of research because he is sure there are many he did not find. That said, however, he had trouble finding descendents in families who would admit this heroism. Apparently this kind of heroism is so unpopular these days that a family would rather not be known as heroic. This leaves one extremely depressed.

One interesting fact I learned is that the definition of the word "Zionism" is completely different in Moslem countries than it is elsewhere in the world. Here we see it as another word for Israeli nationalism. There it means, "the purposeful infliction of pain and suffering on Arabs and Muslims." Wow! No wonder we have so much trouble acquiring peace in the region! So let's abandon the term and simply say there are two countries there that need to have borders established.

By all means read the book. It does depress one a bit, but it also shows that simple humanity is possible. Let us build on our common humanity.
Arabs & Jews: a complex story  Feb 12, 2007
Robert Satloff follows Germany's genocide plan to wipe out the Jews in North Africa during World War II. As in European countries, some neighbors helped the Nazis and others helped the Jews, either colaborating with the Nazis or risking their own lives helping the Jews of Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco. Satloff did intense research and traveled to the locations of the labor camps and communities. He gives the reader a complete picture and a very well written history.

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