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Protest and Prayer

Rabbi Dr Solomon Schonfeld and Orthodox Jewish Responses in Britain to the Nazi Persecution of Europe’s Jews 1942-1945

Chanan Tomlin

This book examines the reactions of Orthodox British Jews and their leaders to the Holocaust as it unfolded in the years 1942-1945. It focuses on the efforts of Solomon Schonfeld, who was the leader of the ultra-orthodox Haredi community in Britain at the time, and concentrates on the community’s efforts on behalf of the beleaguered Jews on the Continent rather than the assistance offered to refugees in Britain. Through extensive research into Schonfeld’s papers, British public and municipal archives and those of the Agudat Israel and Vaad Ha Hatzala, the author has made an important contribution to the history of this period. Many of these documents have not been analysed until now. Careful, extensive research, coupled with a keen understanding of human nature, has enabled the author to paint a vivid picture of a segment of Jewry that was desperate to assist its brethren, but was faced with almost insurmountable obstacles.
Contents: The state of Anglo-Jewry and Anglo-Orthodoxy in 1942-1945 – Knowledge vs. Action: How much was known - What could be done and what was done? – Hatzala: The Chief Rabbi’s Religious Emergency Council and Solomon Schonfeld: Its purpose and function – Anglo-Jewry: Co-operation or struggle? Did British Jews work together or against each other? – Philanthropy, Protest and Prayer: United efforts to assist Jews on the Continent.