Eric Lichtblau’s News Analysis, “Surviving the Nazis, Only to be Jailed by America” (Sunday Review, Feb. 7, 2015) provides, unfortunately, a distorted, confusing, and only very partial account of an important story that remains – despite numerous comprehensive historical studies – too little known and understood: the postwar experience of Jewish Displaced Persons in Allied occupied Europe between 1945 and 1949. Earl Harrison’s August 1945 Report to President Truman did indeed contain the oft-cited hyperbolic, deliberately sensational statement about American victors “treating the Jews as the
Last month New York Times staff reporter Eric Lichtblau gave a talk at my university about his 2014 book, The Nazis Next Door: How America Became a Safe Haven for Hitler’s Men (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt). I was surprised when nearly half of his talk focused on his first chapter, which exaggerates how badly the US treated Jewish survivors in postwar Germany, implying that abysmal conditions (as described in August 1945 in Earl Harrison's report for President Truman) were intentional and lasted "for years."
Several local listeners expressed their "shock" to me about these supposed "revelations,"