Rescue Board: The Untold Story of America’s Efforts to Save the Jews of Europe – Talk by Rebecca Erbelding, October 29

"Rescue Board: The Untold Story of America's Efforts to Save the Jews of Europe" -  presentation by Washington Holocaust Memorial Museum Historian Rebecca Erbelding

Join us for this talk on October 29, 12:30 - 1:45pm, at the Class of '47 Room, Babbidge Library, Storrs Campus. The program is free and open to the public. Attendance counts toward honors credit. Lunch will be served.

About the Book: America has long been criticized for refusing to give harbor to the Jews during World War II as Hitler and the Nazis closed in. In her book Rescue Board, Rebecca Erbelding tells the extraordinary unknown story of the War Refugee Board, a US government effort late in the war to save the remaining Jews. In January 1944, a young Treasury Department lawyer named John Pehle went to a meeting with the president to argue for the relief funds needed to help Jews escape Nazi ter­ri­to­ry. Pehle prevailed, and within days, FDR created the War Refugee Board, empowering it to rescue the victims of Nazi persecution, and put Pehle in charge. Over the next twenty months, Pehle pulled together D.C. pencil pushers, international relief workers, smugglers, diplomats, millionaires, and rabble-rousers to run operations across four continents and a dozen countries. This is the story of how the War Refugee Board saved tens of thousands of lives. [Read more about the book.]

About the Speaker: Rescue Board: The Untold Story of America's Efforts to Save the Jews of Europe won the JDC-Herbert Katzki National Jewish Book Award in 2018. Erbelding holds a PhD in American history from George Mason University. She worked as an archivist and curator at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum from 2003-2015, and since 2015, has been a historian for the Museum's newest exhibition, Americans and the Holocaust, which opened in April 2018. Her work has previously been featured in the New York Times, the Washington Post, the New Yorker, and on the History Channel and National Geographic.

The event is sponsored by the UConn Center for Judaic Studies and Contemporary Jewish Life. If you require an accommodation, please contact Pamela Weathers at or 860-486-2271.