chapter  1
39 Pages

Begining of New Life

The memories of last-minute reprieves sustained many of the survivors in the aftermath of the Holocaust. Some attributed it to God, others to fate. Regardless, the belief in a certain destiny gave them courage and hope. The immigrants clearly presented a challenge for the Jewish community in general, straining its resources. There were, no doubt, both good and bad tenants among the survivors, but, under such conditions, the temptation to stereotype was strong. American Jews viewed the immigrants as coarse and demanding, feelings that sometimes masked an effort to conceal their own vague sense of guilt at not having done more to help Europe's Jews during the war. An article in The New York Times focused on the telephone as a "symbol of freedom" for the newcomers. The organized Jewish community tried in many ways to stir the conscience of American Jewry with regard to the survivors.