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Malcolm MacDonald 1901-1981


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"Rediscovering Malcolm MacDonald"

A synopsis of an article by Frank Shapiro

The British 50 Year Secrecy Act not only veiled the former Colonial Secretary Malcolm MacDonald's inspiring objective to save Jews, but it had also marred the character of an outstanding man. For more than fifty years, the memory of MacDonald is tainted with his assumed notorious association with the dismal 1939 White Paper on Palestine. Now, finally and posthumously, the complete and balanced profile has emerged. MacDonald, a man of virtue and conscience was thwarted in his plans to save vast numbers of Jews fleeing Nazi Europe but his government's policy in Palestine in no way reflected his own ethical and moral reasoning. Forced by cabinet policy to prevent Jews entering Palestine he simultaneously sought to redress this policy by providing salvation in Northern Rhodesia in southern Africa. The time has come to rehabilitate the true Malcolm MacDonald and remove his tarnished profile from the historical records.


Who Thwarted Jewish Refugee Settlement in Northern Rhodesia?

A synopsis of the article: by Frank Shapiro

The free world did not take up the gauntlet and challenge Hitler's design to expel the Jews through his policy of Judenrein, or forced emigration. Although the Nazis were pressuring the Jews to leave through terror, economic harshness and disenfranchisement, the vast majority of this persecuted minority had nowhere to go to. And the paradox was that Hitler was letting them out. Sneering at the west's abandonment of the Jewish refugees, Hitler cynically concluded that the democratic world concurred with the Reich in its rejection of Jewry. Consequently, Hitler raised the stakes and mass murder was substituted for forced expulsion. In retrospect, it is tragic to discover now that the shape and dimensions of the Holocaust could have been dramatically different.

And yet, although the British government had enacted the British White Paper on Palestine in early 1939 and so prevented immigration to the only legitimate asylum, the Colonial and Foreign Offices encouraged the resettlement of Jewish refugees in Northern Rhodesia. The Emigration (Planning) Committee, run by the Anglo-Jewish leadership was responsible for the implementation of these plans. Newly declassified documents now inform how large numbers of central European Jewry were on the brink of being rescued. Sadly, the plans of mass settlement never bore fruit. What went wrong? Who thwarted these plans? And this is the other dark side of the Holocaust.


Jewish Telegraph Publication on February 28 2003

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